Skip to main content

Full text of "England under the Angevin kings"

See other formats














A II rights reserved 








Note A. The Council of Woodstock 43 

Note B. The Council of Clarendon . 44 

HENRY AND ROME, 1164-1172 . 46 




HENRY AND THE BARONS, 1166-1175 , .120 


THE LAST YEARS OF HENRY II., 1183-1189 . _29^ 





THE LATER YEARS OF RICHARD, 1194-1199 .... 332 


THE FALL OF THE ANGEVINS, 1199-1206 . . . 388 

Note. The Death of Arthur . . . . . .429 

THE NEW ENGLAND, 1170-1206 431 


III. IRELAND, A.D. 1172 . . To face page 82 


1173-1174 . T 49 


VI. EUROPE <;. 1 1 80 ... ,,189 

1194 ...... ,,359 




Page 71, line 3, for "the two kings" read "they." 
,, 81, ,, 3 from foot, for "Caen" read "Avranches." 
81, note 6, line n,for "doubtless" read "probably." 
,, 147, 3, ,, 6, for " Chateauneuf " read "Neufchatel. 
,, 152, line 16, for "Robert" read "Roger." 
,, 155, 8, dek "in person." 
I57 7, for "thousand" read "hundred." 
,, 160, 22, for "Robert" read "Roger." 
,, 160, lines 22, 23, dek "had . . . now." 
,, 163, line 5 from foot, for "Robert" read "Roger." 



SOMEWHAT more than a year after the primate's death, 
Thomas the chancellor returned to England. He came, as 
we have seen, at the king's bidding, ostensibly for the 
purpose of securing the recognition of little Henry as heir 
to the crown. But this was not the sole nor even the chief 
object of his mission. On the eve of his departure so the 
story was told by his friends in later days Thomas had 
gone to take leave of the king at Falaise. Henry drew 
him aside : " You do not yet know to what you are going.^ 
I will have you to be archbishop of Canterbury." The 
chancellor took, or tried to take, the words for a jest. " A 
saintly figure indeed," he exclaimed with a smiling glance at 
his own gay attire, "you are choosing to sit in that holy 
seat and to head that venerable convent ! No, no," he 
added with sudden earnestness, " I warn you that if such 
a thing should be, our friendship would soon turn to bitter 
hate. I know your plans concerning the Church ; you will 
assert claims which I as archbishop must needs oppose ; and 
the breach once made, jealous hands would take care that it 
should never be healed again." The words were prophetic; 
they sum up the whole history of the pontificate of Thomas 
Becket. Henry, however, in his turn passed them over as 
a mere jest, and at once proclaimed his intention to the 
chancellor's fellow-envoys, one of whom was the justiciar, 
Richard de Lucy. " Richard," said the king, " if I lay dead 


in my shroud, would you earnestly strive to secure my first- 
born on my throne ? " " Indeed I would, my lord, w^^| 
my might." " Then I charge you to strive no less earnestly 
to place my chancellor on the metropolitan chair of Can- 
terbury." 1 

Thomas was appalled. He could not be altogether 
taken by surprise ; he knew what had been Theobald's 
wishes and hopes ; he knew that from the moment of 
Theobald's death all eyes had turned instinctively upon 
himself with the belief that the future of the Church rested 
wholly in his all-powerful hands ; he could not but suspect 
the king's own intentions, 2 although the very suspicion would 
keep him silent, and all the more so because those intentions 
ran counter to his own desires. For twelve months he had 
known that the primacy was within his reach ; he had 
counted the cost, and he had no mind to pay it. He was 
incapable of undertaking any office without throwing his 
whole energies into the fulfilment of its duties ; his con- 
ception of the duties of the primate of all Britain would 
involve the sacrifice not only of those secular pursuits which 
he so keenly enjoyed, but also of that personal friendship 
and political co-operation with the king which seemed almost 
an indispensable part of the life of both ; and neither sacri- 
fice was he disposed to make. He had said as much to an 
English friend who had been the first to hint at his coming 
promotion, 3 and he repeated it now with passionate earnest- 
ness to Henry himself, but all in vain. The more he resisted, 
the more the king insisted the very frankness of his warn- 
ings only strengthening Henry's confidence in him ; and 
when the legate Cardinal Henry of Pisa urged his accept- 
ance as a sacred duty, Thomas at last gave way. 4 

The council in London was no sooner ended than Richard 
de Lucy and three of the bishops 5 hurried to Canterbury, by 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 180, 182. Cf. Thomas Saga 
(Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 63-67. 

2 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 180. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 14. Thomas Saga 
(as above), p. 63. 8 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 25, 26. 

4 Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), pp; 7, 8. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 18. Anon.' II. 
(0.), P- 86. 

6 E. . Grim (ib. vol. ii. ), p. 366. The bishops were Exeter, Chichester and 


the king's orders, to obtain from the cathedral chapter the 
[on of a primate in accordance with his will. The 
"monks of Christ Church were never very easy to manage ; 
in the days of the elder King Henry they had firmly and 
successfully resisted the intrusion of a secular clerk into the 
monastic chair of S. Augustine ; and a strong party among 
them now protested that to choose for pastor of the flock of 
Canterbury a man who was scarcely a clerk at all, who was 
wholly given to hawks and hounds and the worldly ways of 
the court, would be no better than setting a wolf to guard 
a sheepfold. But their scruples were silenced by the argu- 
ments of Richard de Lucy and by their dread of the royal 
wrath, and in the end Thomas was elected without a dis- 
sentient voice. 1 The election was repeated in the presence 
of a great council 2 held at Westminster on May 23, 3 and 
ratified by the bishops and clergy there assembled. 4 Only 
one voice was raised in protest ; it was that of Gilbert Foliot, 5 
who, alluding doubtless to the great scutage, declared that 
Thomas was utterly unfit for the primacy, because he had 
persecuted the Church of God. 6 The protest was answered 
by Henry of Winchester in words suggested by Gilbert's 

Rochester; Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 16, 17, Anon. I. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.), 
pp. 14-16, and Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 169 ; this last alone names 
Rochester, and adds another envoy Abbot Walter of Battle, Chichester's old 
adversary and the justiciar's brother. 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 17. E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), pp. 366, 
367. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. Hi.), pp. 183-185. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 1 6. 
Thomas Saga (Magnusson, vol. i. p. 73) has quite a different version of the result. 

2 Anon. I. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.), p. 17. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 9. 
Gamier, as above. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 169. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. 
i. p. 306. 

3 The Wednesday before Pentecost. R. Diceto (as above), p. 307. 

4 Gamier, Will. Cant., Anon. I., as above. R. Diceto (as above), p. 306. 
Gerv. Cant, (as above), p. 170. All these writers either say or imply that the 
council represented, or was meant to represent, the entire clertts et populus of all 
England ; except R. Diceto, who says : " clero totius provinciae Cantuariorttm 
generaliter Lundonise convocato " (p. 306). Cf. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. 
i- PP- 73-77; Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 36; and Herb. 
Bosh, (ib.}, p. 184. 

5 Gamier, Will. Cant., Will. Fitz-Steph. and Anon. I. as above. E. Grim 
(Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), p. 367. Will. Cant., E. Grim and the Anon, call 
him " bishop of London " by anticipation. 

6 " Destruite ad seinte Iglise." Gamier, as above. 


own phrase : " My son," said the ex-legate, addressing 
Thomas, " if thou hast been hitherto as Saul the persecutor, 
be thou henceforth as Paul the Apostle." 1 

The election was confirmed by the great officers of state 
and the boy-king in his father's name ; 2 the consecration 
was fixed for the octave of Pentecost, and forthwith the 
bishops began to vie with each other for the honour of per- 
forming the ceremony. Roger of York, who till now had 
stood completely aloof, claimed it as a privilege due to the 
dignity of his see ; but the primate-elect and the southern 
bishops declined to accept his services without a profession 
of canonical obedience to Canterbury, which he indignantly 
refused. 3 The bishop of London, on whom as dean of the 
province the duty according to ancient precedent should 
have devolved, was just dead ; 4 Walter of Rochester moment- 
arily put in a claim to supply his place, 5 but withdrew it in 
deference to Henry of Winchester, who had lately returned 
from Cluny, and whose royal blood, venerable character, and 
unique dignity as father of the whole English episcopate, 
marked him out beyond all question as the most fitting 
person to undertake the office. 6 By way of compensation, 
it was Walter who, on the Saturday in Whitsun-week, 
raised the newly-elected primate to the dignity of priest- 
hood. 7 

Early next morning the consecration took place. Can- 
terbury cathedral has been rebuilt from end to end since 
that day ; it is only imagination which can picture the 
church of Lanfranc and Anselm and Theobald as it stood 
on that June morning, the scarce-risen sun gleaming faintly 
through its eastern windows upon the rich vestures of the 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 18. 

2 Ibid. Anon. I. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.), p. 17. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), 
p. 9. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 367. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. in.), p. 185. 

3 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 170. 

4 He died on May 4. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 306. 

5 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 188. 

6 Gerv. Cant., R. Diceto and Herb. Bosh, as above. MS. Lansdown. II. 
(Robertson, Becket^ vol. iv.), p. 155. Cf. Anon. I. (*#.), p. 19. There was 
another claimant, a Welsh bishop, who asserted priority of consecration over all 
his brother-prelates; so at least says Gerv. Cant., but one does not see who he 
can have been. 7 R. Diceto, as above. 



fourteen bishops 1 and their attendant clergy and the dark robes 
of the monks who thronged the choir, while the nave was 
crowded with spectators, foremost among whom stood the 
group of ministers surrounding the little king. 2 From the 
vestry-door Thomas came forth, clad no longer in the brilliant 
attire at which he had been jesting a few weeks ago, but in the 
plain black cassock and white surplice of a clerk ; through the 
lines of staring, wondering faces he passed into the choir, 
and there threw himself prostrate upon the altar-steps. 
Thence he was raised to go through a formality suggested 
by the prudence of his consecrator. To guard, as he hoped, 
against all risk of future difficulties which might arise from 
Thomas's connexion with the court, Henry of Winchester 
led him down to the entrance of the choir, and in the name 
of the Church called upon the king's representatives to 
deliver over the primate-elect fully and unreservedly to her 
holy service, freed from all secular obligations, actual or 
possible. A formal quit-claim was accordingly granted to 
Thomas by little Henry and the justiciars, in the king's 
name ; 3 after which the bishop of Winchester proceeded to 
consecrate him at once. A shout of applause rang through 
the church as the new primate of all Britain was led up to 
his patriarchal chair ; but he mounted its steps with eyes 
downcast and full of tears. 4 To him the day was one of 
melancholy foreboding ; yet he made its memory joyful in 
the Church for ever. He began his archiepiscopal career by 
ordaining a new festival to be kept every year on that day 
the octave of Pentecost in honour of the most Holy 
Trinity ; 5 and in process of time the observance thus origin- 

1 See the list in Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 170. 

2 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 188. 

3 MS. Lansdown. II. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 154, 155. Cf. Anon. I. (ib.}, pp. 
17, 18; Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 9 ; E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 367; Herb. 
Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 185; Gamier (Hippeau), p. 19; and Thomas Saga 
(Magnusson), vol. i. p. 81. All these place this scene in London, immediately 
after the consecration. The three first, however, seem to be only following 
Gamier; and the words of Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii. p. 36), 
though not very explicit, seem rather to agree with the MS. Lansdown. Gamier, 
Grim and the Anon. I. all expressly attribute the suggestion to Henry of Win- 

4 Anon. I. (as above), p. 19. 5 Gerv. Cant, as above. 


ated spread from Canterbury throughout the whole of 
Christendom, which thus owes to an English archbishop the 
institution of Trinity Sunday. 

" The king has wrought a miracle," sneered the sarcastic 
bishop of Hereford, Gilbert Foliot ; " out of a soldier and 
man of the world he has made an archbishop." 1 The same 
royal power helped to smooth the new primate's path a little 
further before him. He was not, like most of his prede- 
cessors, obliged to go in person to fetch his pallium from 
Rome ; an embassy which he despatched immediately after 
his consecration obtained it for him without difficulty from 
Alexander III., who had just been driven by the Emperor's 
hostility to seek a refuge in France, and was in no condition 
to venture upon any risk of thwarting King Henry's favourite 
minister. 2 The next messenger whom Thomas sent over 
sea met with a less pleasant reception. He was charged to 
deliver up the great seal into the king's hands with a request 
that Henry would provide himself with another chancellor, 
" as Thomas felt scarcely equal to the cares of one office, 
far less to those of two." 3 

Henry was both surprised and vexed. It was customary 
for the chancellor to resign his office on promotion to a 
bishopric ; but this sudden step on the part of Thomas was 
quite unexpected, and upset a cherished scheme of the 
king's. He had planned to rival the Emperor by having 
an archbishop for his chancellor, as the archbishops of 
Mainz and Coin were respectively arch-chancellors of Ger- 
many and Italy ; 4 he had certainly never intended, in raising 
his favourite to the primacy, to deprive himself of such a 
valuable assistant in secular administration ; his aim had 

1 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 36. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 24, 25. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.) p. 9. 
Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 189. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 172. R. 
Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 307. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 91-95. 

3 Will. Cant, (as above), p. 12. Cf. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 29, and R. Diceto 
as above. 

4 R. Diceto (as above), p. 308. The real work of the office in the 
Empire was, however, done by another chancellor, who at this time was a certain 
Reginald, of whom we shall hear again later on. " Cancellarius " plays almost 
as conspicuous and quite as unclerkly a part in the Italian wars of Barbarossa as 
in the French and Aquitanian wars of Henry. 


rather been to secure the services of Thomas in two depart- 
ments instead of one. 1 To take away all ground of scandal, 
he had even procured a papal dispensation to sanction the 
union of the two offices in a single person. 2 Thomas, how- 
ever, persisted in his resignation ; and as there was no one 
whom Henry cared to put in his place, the chancellorship 
remained vacant, while the king brooded over his friend's 
unexpected conduct and began to suspect that it was caused 
by weariness of his service. 

Meanwhile Thomas had entered upon the second phase 
of his strangely varied career. He had " put off the deacon" 
for awhile ; he was resolved now to " put off the old man " 
wholly and for ever. No sooner was he consecrated than 
he flung himself, body and soul, into his new life with an 
ardour more passionate, more absorbing, more exclusive than 
he had displayed in pursuit of the worldly tasks and pleasures 
of the court. On the morrow of his consecration, when 
some jongleurs came to him for the largesse which he had 
never been known to refuse, he gently but firmly dismissed 
them ; he was no longer, he said, the chancellor whom they 
had known ; his whole possessions were now a sacred trust, to 
be spent not on actors and jesters but in the service of the 
Church and the poor. 3 Theobald had doubled the amount 
of regular alms-givings established by his predecessors ; 
Thomas immediately doubled those of Theobald. 4 To be 
diligent in providing for the sick and needy, to take care 
that no beggar should ever be sent empty away from his 
door, 5 was indeed nothing new in the son of the good dame 
Rohesia of Caen. The lavish hospitality of the chancellor's 
household, too, was naturally transferred to that of the arch- 
bishop ; but it took a different tone and colour. All and 
more than all the old grandeur and orderliness were there ; 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 29. Cf. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 69-71. 

2 Gamier, as above. 

3 MS. Lansdown. II. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.), p. 156. 

4 Anon. I. (ibid.\ p. 20. The Anon. II. (ibid.), p. 90, and Joh. Salisb. 
(ib. vol. ii.), p. 307, say that to this purpose he appropriated a tithe of all his 
revenues a statement which reflects rather strangely upon the former arch- 

5 Joh. Salisb. and Anon. I. as above. Anon. II. (as above), pp. 89, 90. 


the palace still swarmed with men-at-arms, servants and 
retainers of all kinds, every one with his own appointed 
duty, whose fulfilment was still carefully watched by the 
master's eyes ; the bevy of high-born children had only in- 
creased, for by an ancient custom the second son of a baron 
could be claimed by the primate for his service- as the 
eldest by the king until the age of knighthood ; a claim 
which Thomas was not slow to enforce, and which the barons 
were delighted to admit The train of clerks was of course 
more numerous than ever. The tables were still laden with 
delicate viands, served with the utmost perfection, and 
crowded with guests of all ranks ; Thomas was still the 
most courteous and gracious of hosts. But the banquet 
wore a graver aspect than in the chancellor's hall. The 
knights and other laymen occupied a table by themselves, 
where they talked and laughed as they listed ; it was the 
clerks and religious who now sat nearest to Thomas. He 
himself was surrounded by a select group of clerks, his 
eruditi, his " learned men " as he called them : men versed 
in Scriptural and theological lore, his chosen companions in 
the study of Holy Writ into which he had plunged with 
characteristic energy ; while instead of the minstrelsy which 
had been wont to accompany and inspire the gay talk at the 
chancellor's table, there was only heard, according to eccles- 
iastical custom, the voice of the archbishop's cross-bearer who 
sat close to his side reading from some holy book : the 
primate and his confidential companions meanwhile exchang- 
ing comments upon what was read, and discussing matters 
too deep and solemn to interest unlearned ears or to brook 
unlearned interruption. 1 Of the meal itself Thomas partook 
but sparingly; 2 its remainder was always given awayj; 3 and 
every day twenty-six poor men were brought into the hall 
and served with a dinner of the best, before Thomas would 
sit down to his own midday meal. 4 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 225-229. On the eruditi see 
ib. pp. 206, 207, 523-529. 

2 Ib. pp. 231-236. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ibid.}, p. 37. Joh. Salisb. (ib. vol. 
ii.), p. 308. Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 89. 

3 Joh. Salisb. (as above), p. 307. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 20, 21. 

4 Anon. II. (ib.), p. 89. 


The amount of work which he had got through by that 
time must have been quite as great as in the busiest days of 
his chancellorship. The day's occupations ostensibly began 
about the hour of tierce, when the archbishop came forth 
from his chamber and went either to hear or to celebrate 
mass, 1 while a breakfast was given at his expense to a 
hundred persons who were called his "poor prebendaries." 2 
After mass he proceeded to his audience-chamber and there 
chiefly remained till the hour of nones, occupied in hearing suits 
and administering justice. 3 Nones were followed by dinner, 4 
after which the primate shut himself up in his own apart- 
ments with his eruditi 5 and spent the rest of the day with 
them in business or study, interrupted only by the religious 
duties of the canonical hours, and sometimes by a little 
needful repose, 6 for his night's rest was of the briefest. At 
cock-crow he rose for prime ; immediately afterwards there 
were brought in to him secretly, under cover of the darkness, 
thirteen poor persons whose feet he washed and to whom he 
ministered at table with the utmost devotion and humility, 7 
clad only in a hair-shirt which from the day of his con- 
secration he always wore beneath the gorgeous robes in which 
he appeared in public. 8 He then returned to his bed, but 
only for a very short time ; long before any one else was astir 
he was again up and doing, in company with one specially 
favoured disciple the one who tells the tale, Herbert of 
Bosham. In the calm silent hours of dawn, while twelve 
other poor persons received a secret meal and had their feet 
washed by the primate's almoner in his stead, the two friends 
sat eagerly searching the Scriptures together, till the arch- 
bishop chose to be left alone 9 for meditation and confession, 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 208. 2 Ib. p. 203. 

3 Ib. p. 219. 4 //;. p. 225. 5 Ib. pp. 236, 237. 6 Ib. p. 238. 

7 Ib. p. 199. Cf. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ibid.), p. 38, and Job. Salisb. (ib. vol. 
ii.), p. 307. 

8 On the hair-shirt see MS. Lansdown. II. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 154; Anon. I. 
(ibid.\ p. 20; Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 10 ; Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 196, 
199 ; Gamier (Hippeau), p. 23. On Thomas's troubles about his dress and how 
he settled them see Gamier, pp. 19, 20, 23; Anon. I. (as above), p. 21 ; E. 
Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 368; Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 196. On his whole 
manner of life after consecration cf. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 95-111. 

9 Herb. Bosh, (as above), pp. 202-205. 


scourging and prayer, 1 in which he remained absorbed until 
the hour of tierce called him forth to his duties in the 
world. 2 

He was feverishly anxious to lose no opportunity of 
making up for his long neglect of the Scriptural and theo- 
logical studies befitting his sacred calling. He openly con- 
fessed his grievous inferiority in this respect to many of his 
own clerks, and put himself under their teaching with child- 
like simplicity and earnestness. The one whom he specially 
chose for monitor and guide, Herbert of Bosham, was a man 
in whom, despite his immeasurable inferiority, one can yet 
see something of a temper sufficiently akin to that of Thomas 
himself to account for their mutual attraction, and perhaps 
for some of their joint errors. As they rode from London 
to Canterbury on the morrow of the primate's election 
he had drawn Herbert aside and laid upon him a special 
charge to watch with careful eyes over his conduct as arch- 
bishop, and tell him without stint or scruple whatever he saw 
amiss in it or heard criticized by others. 3 Herbert, though 
he worshipped his primate with a perfect hero-worship, never 
hesitated to fulfil this injunction to the letter as far as his 
lights would permit; but unluckily his zeal was even less 
tempered by discretion than that of Thomas himself. He 
was a far less safe guide in the practical affairs of life than in 
the intricate paths of abstract and mystical interpretation of 
Holy Writ in which he and Thomas delighted to roam 
together. Often, when no other quiet time could be found, 
the archbishop would turn his horse aside as they travelled 
along the road, beckon to his friend, draw out a book from 
its hiding-place in one of his wide sleeves, and plunge into 
an eager discussion of its contents as they ambled slowly 
on. 4 When at Canterbury, his greatest pleasure was to 
betake himself to the cloister and sit reading like a lowly 
monk in one of its quiet nooks. 5 

But the eruditi of Thomas, like the disciples of Theobald, 
were the confidants and the sharers of far more than his 

1 Anon. II. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.), p. 88. 
2 Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 205. 3 Ib. p. 186. 
4 //;. p. 206. 5 Will. Fitz-Steph. (#.), pp. & 39- 


literary and doctrinal studies. It was in those evening 
hours which he spent in their midst, secluded from all outside 
interruption, that the plans of Church reform and Church 
revival, sketched long ago by other hands in the Curia 
Theobaldi, assumed a shape which might perhaps have 
startled Theobald himself. As the weeks wore quickly away 
from Trinity to Ember-tide, the new primate set himself to 
grapple at once with the ecclesiastical abuses of the time in 
the persons of his first candidates for ordination. On his 
theory the remedy for these abuses lay in the hands of the 
bishops, and especially of the metropolitans, who fostered 
simony, worldliness and immorality among the clergy by the 
facility with which they admitted unqualified persons into 
high orders, thus filling the ranks of the priesthood with 
unworthy, ignorant and needy clerks, who either traded upon 
their sacred profession as a means to secular advancement, 
or disgraced it by the idle wanderings and unbecoming shifts 
to which the lack of fit employment drove them to resort for 
a living. He was determined that no favour or persuasion 
should ever induce him to ordain any man whom he did not 
know to be of saintly life and ample learning, and provided 
with a benefice sufficient to furnish him with occupation 
and maintenance ; and he proclaimed and acted upon his 
determination with the zeal of one who, as he openly avowed, 
felt that he was himself the most glaring example of the 
evils resulting from a less stringent system of discipline. 1 

His next undertaking was one which almost every new- 
made prelate in any degree alive to the rights and duties of 
his office found it needful to begin as soon as possible : the 
recovery of the alienated property of his see. Gilbert Foliot, 
the model English bishop of the day, had no sooner been 
consecrated than he wrote to beg -the Pope's support in this 
important and troublesome matter. 2 It may well be that 
even fourteen years later the metropolitan see had not yet 
received full restitution for the spoliations of the anarchy. 
Thomas however set to work in the most sweeping fashion, 
boldly laying claim to every estate which he could find to 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 238-247. 
2 Gilb. Foliot, Ep. Ixxxvii. (Giles, vol. i., p. 113). 


have been granted away by his predecessors on grounds 
which did not satisfy his exalted ideas of ecclesiastical right, 
or on terms which he held detrimental to the interest and 
dignity of his church, and enforcing his claims without 
respect of persons ; summarily turning out those who held 
the archiepiscopal manors in ferm, 1 disputing with the earl 
of Clare for jurisdiction over the castle and district of Tun- 
bridge, and reclaiming, on the strength of a charter of the 
Conqueror, the custody of Rochester castle from the Crown 
itself. Such a course naturally stirred up for him a crowd 
of enemies, and increased the jealousy, suspicion and resent- 
ment which his new position and altered mode of life had 
already excited among the companions and rivals of his 
earlier days. The archbishop however was still, like the 
chancellor, protected against them by the shield of the royal 
favour ; they could only work against him by working upon 
the mind of Henry. One by one they carried over sea their 
complaints of the wrongs which they had suffered, or with 
which they were threatened, at the primate's hands ; 2 they 
reported all his daily doings and interpreted them in the 
worst sense : his strictness of life was superstition, his zeal 
for justice was cruelty, his care for his church avarice, his 
pontifical splendour pride, his vigour rashness and self-conceit: 3 
if the king did not look to it speedily, he would find his 
laws and constitutions set at naught, his regal dignity 
trodden under foot, and himself and his heirs reduced to mere 
cyphers dependent on the will and pleasure of the archbishop 
of Canterbury. 4 

At the close of the year Henry determined to go and 
see for himself the truth of these strange rumours. 5 The 
negotiations concerning the papal question had detained him 
on the continent throughout the summer; in the end both 

1 E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.) pp. 371, 372. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. 
iii.) pp. 250, 251. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 117-121. 

2 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 252. Thomas Saga (as above), p. 121. 

3 Joh. Salisb. (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.) pp. 309, 310. Anon. II. (ib. vol. 
iv.) pp. 91, 92. 

4 Joh. Salisb. (as above), p. 310. E. Grim (ibid.) p. 372. Anon. II. (ib. vol. 
iv.), p. 92. Cf. Arn. Lisieux, Ep. 34 (Giles, pp. 148, 149). 

5 Anon. II. as above. 


he and Louis gave a cordial welcome to Alexander, and a 
general pacification was effected in a meeting of the two 
kings and the Pope which took place late in the autumn at 
Chouzy on the Loire. Compelled by contrary winds to 
keep Christmas at Cherbourg instead of in England as he 
had hoped, 1 the king landed at Southampton on S. Paul's 
day. 2 Thomas, still accompanied by the little Henry, was 
waiting to receive him; the two friends met with demonstr- 
ations of the warmest affection, and travelled to London 
together in the old intimate association. 3 One subject of 
disagreement indeed there was ; Thomas had actually been 
holding for six months the archdeaconry of Canterbury 
together with the archbishopric, and this Henry, after several 
vain remonstrances, now compelled him to resign. 4 They 
parted however in undisturbed harmony, the archbishop 
again taking his little pupil with him. 5 

The first joint work of king and primate was the trans- 
lation of Gilbert Foliot from Hereford to London. Some of 
those who saw its consequences in after-days declared that 
Henry had devised the scheme for the special purpose of 
securing Gilbert's aid against the primate ; 6 but it is abund- 
antly clear that no such thought had yet entered his mind, 
and that the suggestion of Gilbert's promotion really came 
from Thomas himself. 7 Like every one else, he looked upon 
Gilbert as the greatest living light of the English Church ; 
he expected to find in him his own most zealous and efficient 
fellow-worker in the task which lay before him as metro- 
politan, as well as his best helper in influencing the king for 
good. Gilbert was in fact the man who in the natural 
fitness of things had seemed marked out for the primacy ; 

1 Rob. Torigni, a. 1162. 

2 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Beckel, vol. iii.), p. 252. The date is given by R. 
Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 308. 

3 Herb. Bosh, (as above), pp. 252, 253. Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 92. 
R. Diceto (as above) tells a different tale ; but Herbert is surely a better authority 
on these personal matters. Cf. also Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 
121-123. 4 R Diceto, as above. 

5 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 253. 

6 Will. Fitz-Steph. (as above), p. 46. 

7 This is the statement of Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv. p. 98) and Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs, vol. i. p. 173), fully borne out by the letters of Thomas. 


failing that, it was almost a matter of necessity that he 
should be placed in the see which stood next in dignity, and 
where both king and primate could benefit by his assistance 
ever at hand, instead of having to seek out their most useful 
adviser in the troubled depths of the Welsh marches. The 
chapter of London, to whom during the pecuniary troubles 
and long illness of their late bishop Gilbert had been an 
invaluable friend and protector, were only too glad to elect 
him ; and his world -wide reputation combined with the 
pleadings of Henry to obtain the Pope's consent to his 
translation, 1 which was completed by his enthronement in 
S. Paul's cathedral on April 28, 1163? 

The king spent the early summer in subduing South- 
Wales ; the primate, in attending a council held by Pope 
Alexander at Tours. 3 From the day of his departure to 
that of his return Thomas's journey was one long triumphal 
progress ; Pope and cardinals welcomed him with such 
honours as had never been given to any former archbishop 
of Canterbury, hardly even to S. Anselm himself ; 4 and the 
request which he made to the Pope for Anselm's canoniz- 
ation 5 may indicate the effect which they produced on his 
mind confirming his resolve to stand boldly upon his right 
of opposition to the secular power whenever it clashed with 
ecclesiastical theories of liberty and justice. The first 
opportunity for putting his resolve in practice arose upon 
a question of purely temporal administration at a council 
held by Henry at Woodstock on July 31, after his return 
from Wales. The Welsh princes came to swear fealty to 
Henry and his heir ; Malcolm of Scotland came to confirm 

1 Epp. xvi.-xix. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. pp. 24-30). Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. 
iii.), pp. 255, 256. Cf. Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 98. 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 309. 

3 According to Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 173, and Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 
14 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 135), it opened on Trinity Sunday, May 19; according to 
R. Diceto (as above), p. 310, on May 21. The Thomas Saga (Magnusson), 
vol. i. pp. 123-127, makes out that Thomas's chief object in going there was to 
obtain confirmation of certain privileges of his see. Cf. also the account of this 
council in Draco Norm., 1. iii. cc. 13-15, vv. 949-1224 (Hewlett, Will Newb., 
vol. ii. pp. 742-751). 

4 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 253-255. Thomas Saga (as 
above), pp. 129, 131. 5 Ep. xxiii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. p, 35). 


his alliance with the English Crown by doing homage in 
like manner to the little king. 1 Before the council broke 
up, however, Henry met the sharpest constitutional defeat 
which had befallen any English sovereign since the Norman 
conquest, and that at the hands of his own familiar friend. 

The king had devised a new financial project for in- 
creasing his own revenue at the expense of the sheriffs. 
According to current practice, a sum of two shillings annually 
from every hide of land in the shire was paid to those officers 
for their services to the community in its administration and 
defence. This payment, although described as customary 
rather than legal, 2 and called the " sheriff's aid," 3 seems 
really to have been nothing else than the Danegeld, which 
still occasionally made its appearance in the treasury rolls, 
but in such small amount that it is evident the sheriffs, if 
they collected it in full, paid only a fixed composition to the 
Crown and kept the greater part as a remuneration for their 
own labours. Henry now, it seems, proposed to transfer the 
whole of these sums from the sheriff's income to his own, 
and have it enrolled in full among the royal dues. Whether 
he intended to make compensation to the sheriffs from some 
other source, or whether he already saw the need of curbing 
their influence and checking their avarice, we know not ; but 
the archbishop of Canterbury started up to resist the pro- 
posed change as an injustice both to the receivers and to the 
payers of the aid. He seems to have looked upon it as an 
attempt to re-establish the Danegeld with all the odiousness 
attaching to its shameful origin and its unfair incidence, and 
to have held it his constitutional duty as representative and 
champion of the whole people to lift up his voice against it 
in their behalf. " My lord king," he said, " saving your 
good pleasure, we will not give you this money as revenue, 
for it is not yours. To your officers, who receive it as a 
matter of grace rather than of right, we will give it willingly 
so long as they do their duty ; but on no other terms will . 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 311. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 30. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 12* 
E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 373. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 23. 

3 " L'Ai'de al Vescunte." Gamier, as above. 


we be made to pay it at all."- " By God's Eyes !" swore the 
astonished and angry king, " what right have you to contra- 
dict me ? I am doing no wrong to any man of yours. I 
say the moneys shall be enrolled among my royal revenues." 
" Then by those same Eyes," swore Thomas in return, 
" not a penny shall you have from my lands, or from any 
lands of the Church I" 1 

How the debate ended we are not told ; but one thing 
we know : from that time forth the hated name of u Dane- 
geld " appeared in the Pipe Rolls no more. It seems there- 
fore that, for the first time in English history since the 
Norman conquest, the right of the nation's representatives 
to oppose the financial demands of the Crown was asserted 
in the council of Woodstock, and asserted with such success 
that the king was obliged not merely to abandon his project, 
but to obliterate the last trace of the tradition on which it 
was founded. And it is well to remember, too, that the first 
stand made by Thomas of Canterbury against the royal will 
was made in behalf not of himself or his order but of his 
whole flock ; in the cause not of ecclesiastical privilege 
but of constitutional right. The king's policy may have 
been really sounder and wiser than the primate's ; but the 
ground taken by Thomas at Woodstock entitles him none 
the less to a place in the line of patriot-archbishops of which 
Dunstan stands at the head. 2 

The next few weeks were occupied with litigation over 
the alienated lands of the metropolitan see. A crowd of 
claims put in by Thomas and left to await the king's return 
now came up for settlement, the most important case being 
that of Earl Roger of Clare, whom Thomas had summoned 
to perform his homage for Tunbridge at Westminster on 
July 22. Roger answered that he held the entire fief by 
knight-service, to be rendered in the shape of money-pay- 
ment, 3 of the king and not of the primate. 4 As Roger was 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 30. Cf. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 
12. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 374. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 23, 24. 

2 On the different account of this affair given in the Thomas Saga, and the 
view which has been founded on it, see note A at end of chapter. 

3 "Publicis pensionibus persolvendis." R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 311. 

4 Ibid. 


connected with the noblest families in England, 1 king and 
barons were strongly on his side. 2 To settle the question, 
Henry ordered a general inquisition to be made throughout 
England to ascertain where the service of each land- 
holder was lawfully due. The investigation was of 
course made by the royal justiciars ; and when they 
came to the archiepiscopal estates, one at least of the 
most important fiefs in dispute was adjudged by them to 
the Crown alone. 3 

Meanwhile a dispute on a question of church patronage 
arose between the primate and a tenant -in -chief of the 
Crown, named William of Eynesford. Thomas excom- 
municated his opponent without observing the custom 
which required him to give notice to the king before inflict- 
ing spiritual penalties on one of his tenants-in-chief. 4 Henry 
indignantly bade him withdraw the sentence ; Thomas re- 
fused, saying " it was not for the king to dictate who should 
be bound or who loosed." 5 The answer was indisputable 
in itself; but it pointed directly to the fatal subject on 
which the inevitable quarrel must turn : the relations and 
limits between the two powers of the keys and the 

Almost from his accession Henry seems to have been 
in some degree contemplating and preparing for those great 
schemes of legal reform which were to be the lasting glory 
of his reign. His earliest efforts in this direction were 
merely tentative ; the young king was at once too inex- 
perienced and too hard pressed with urgent business of all 
kinds, at home and abroad, to have either capacity or 
opportunity for great experiments in legislation. Through- 
out the past nine years, however, the projects which floated 
before his mind's eye had been gradually taking shape ; 
and now that he was at last freed for a while from the 

1 And had moreover "the fairest sister in the whole kingdom," adds Will. 
Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 43. 2 Ibid. 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 311. 

4 Ib. pp. 311, 312. Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. The object of this rule- 
one of the avita consuetudines was, as R. Diceto explains, to guard the king 
against the risk of unwittingly associating with excommunicates. 

-. 6 Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. 



entanglements of politics and war, the time had come when 
he might begin to devote himself to that branch of his 
kingly duties for which he probably had the strongest in- 
clination, as he certainly had the highest natural genius. 
He had by this time gained enough insight into the nature 
and causes of existing abuses to venture upon dealing with 
them systematically and in detail, and he had determined 
to begin with a question which was allowed on all hands 
to be one of the utmost gravity : the repression of crime in 
the clergy. 

The origin of this difficulty was in the separation 
needful perhaps, but none the less disastrous in some of its 
consequences made by William the Conqueror between 
th~^teiiLpQral and ecclesiastical courts of justice. In 
William's intention the two sets of tribunals were to work 
side by side without mutual interference save when the 
secular power was called in to enforce the decisions of the 
spiritual judge. But in practice the scheme was soon 
found to involve a crowd of difficulties. The two jurisdic- 
tions were constantly coming into contact, and it was a 
perpetual question where to draw the line between them. 
The struggle for the investitures, the religious revival which 
followed it, the vast and rapid developement of the canon 
law, with the increase of knowledge brought to bear upon 
its interpretation through the revived study of the civil law 
of Rome, gave the clergy a new sense of corporate im- 
portance and strength, and a new position as a distinct 
order in the state ; the breakdown of all secular administr- 
ation under Stephen tended still further to exalt the 
influence of the canonical system which alone retained 
some vestige of legal authority, and to throw into the 
Church -courts a mass of business with which they had 
hitherto had only an indirect concern, but which they alone 
now seemed capable of treating. Their proceedings were 
conducted on the principles of the canon law, which ad- 
mitted of none but spiritual penalties ; they refused to 
allow any lay interference with the persons over whom they 
claimed sole jurisdiction ; and as these comprised the whole 
clerical body in the widest possible sense, extending to all 


who had received the lowest orders of the Church or who 
had taken monastic vows, the result was to place a con- 
siderable part of the population altogether outside the 
ordinary law of the land, and beyond the reach of adequate 
punishment for the most heinous crimes. Such crimes were 
only too common, and were necessarily fostered by this 
system of clerical immunities ; for a man capable of stain- 
ing his holy orders with theft or murder was not likely to 
be restrained by the fear of losing them, which a clerical 
criminal knew to be the worst punishment in store for 
him ; and moreover, it was but too easy for the doers of 
such deeds to shelter themselves under the protection of a 
privilege to which often they had no real title. The king's 
justiciars declared that in the nine years since Henry's 
accession more than a hundred murders, besides innumer- 
able robberies and lesser offences, had gone unpunished 
because they were committed by clerks, or men who repre- 
sented themselves to be such. 1 The scandal was acknow- 
ledged on all hands ; the spiritual party in the Church 
grieved over it quite as loudly and deeply as the lay 
reformers ; but they hoped to remedy it in their own way, 
by a searching reformation and a stringent enforcement of 
spiritual discipline within the ranks of the clergy them- 
selves. The subject had first come under Henry's direct 
notice in the summer of 1158, when he received at York a 
complaint from a citizen of Scarborough that a certain dean 
had extorted money from him by unjust means. The case 
was tried, in the king's presence, before the archbishop of 
the province, two bishops, and John of Canterbury the 
treasurer of York. The dean failed in his defence ; and as 
it was proved that he had extorted the money by a libel, 
an offence against which Henry had made a special decree, 
some of the barons present were sent to see that the law 
had its course. John of Canterbury, however, rose and 
gave it as the decision of the spiritual judges that the 
money should be restored to the citizen and the criminal 
delivered over to the mercy of his metropolitan ; and despite 
the justiciar's remonstrances, they refused to allow the king 

1 Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 16 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 140). 


any rights in the matter. Henry indignantly ordered an 
appeal to the archbishop of Canterbury ; but he was called 
over sea before it could be heard, 1 and had never returned 
to England until now, when another archbishop sat in 
Theobald's place. 

That it was Thomas of London who sat there was far 
from being an indication that Henry had forgotten the in- 
cident It was precisely because Henry in these last four 
years had thought over the question of the clerical immun- 
ities and determined how to deal with it that he had sought 
to place on S. Augustine's chair a man after his own heart. 
He aimed at reducing the position of the clergy, like all 
other doubtful matters, to the standard of his grandfather's 
time. He held that he had a right to whatever his ances- 
tors had enjoyed ; he saw therein nothing derogatory to 
either the Church or the primate, whom he rather intended 
to exalt by making him his own inseparable colleague in 
temporal administration and the supreme authority within 
the realm in purely spiritual matters thus avoiding the 
appeals to Rome which had led to so much mischief, and 
securing for himself a representative to whom he could 
safely intrust the whole work of government in England as 
guardian of the little king, 2 while he himself would be free 
to devote his whole energies to the management of his 
continental affairs. He seems in fact to have hoped tacitly 
to repeal the severance of the temporal and ecclesiastical 
jurisdictions, and bring back the golden age of William and 
Lanfranc, if not that of Eadgar and Dunstan ; and for this 
he, not unnaturally, counted unreservedly upon Thomas. 
By slow degrees he discovered his miscalculation. Thomas 
had given him one direct warning which had been un- 
heeded ; he had warned him again indirectly by resigning 
the chancellorship ; now, when the king unfolded his plans, 
he did not at once contradict him ; he merely answered all 
his arguments and persuasions with one set phrase : " I 
will render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto 
God the things that are God's." 3 

1 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket\ vol. iii. pp. 43-45. 
2 Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 92-94. 3 Ib. pp. 94, 95. 


In July occurred a typical case which brought matters 
to a crisis. A clerk named Philip de Broi had been tried in 
the bishop of Lincoln's court for murder, had cleared himself 
by a legal compurgation, and had been acquitted. The 
king, not satisfied, commanded or permitted the charge to be 
revived, and the accused to be summoned to take his trial at 
Dunstable before Simon Fitz-Peter, then acting as justice-in- 
eyre in Bedfordshire, where Philip dwelt. Philip indignantly 
refused to plead again in answer to a charge of which he 
had been acquitted, and overwhelmed the judge with abuse, 
of which Simon on his return to London made formal com- 
plaint to the king. Henry was furious, swore his wonted 
oath "by God's Eyes" that an insult to his minister was an 
insult to himself, and ordered the culprit to be brought to 
justice for the contempt of court and the homicide both at 
once. The primate insisted that the trial should take place 
in his own court at Canterbury, and to this Henry was com- 
pelled unwillingly to consent. The charge of homicide was 
quickly disposed of ; Philip had been acquitted in a Church 
court, and his present judges had no wish to reverse its 
decision. On the charge of insulting a royal officer they 
sentenced him to undergo a public scourging at the hands of 
the offended person, and to forfeit the whole of his income 
for the next two years, to be distributed in alms according to 
the king's pleasure. Henry declared the punishment insuf- 
ficient, and bitterly reproached the bishops with having per- 
verted justice out of favour to their order. 1 They denied it," 
but a story which came up from the diocese of Salisbury 2 
and another from that of Worcester 3 tended still further to 
shew the helplessness of the royal justice against the eccles- 
iastical courts under the protection of the primate ; and the 
latter's blundering attempts to satisfy the king only increased 
his irritation. Not only did Thomas venture beyond the 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 30-32. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), pp. 
12, 13. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 374-376. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 45. 
Herb. Bosh, (ib.}, pp. 265, 266. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), PP- 24, 25. R. Diceto 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 313. There is another version in Thomas Saga (Magnusson), 
vol. i. p. 145. 

2 Herb. Bosh, (as above), pp. 264, 265. Thomas Saga (as above), p. 143. 

3 Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. 


limits of punishment prescribed by the canon law by causing 
a clerk who had been convicted of theft to be branded as 
well as degraded, 1 but he actually took upon himself to con- 
demn another to banishment. 2 He hoped by these severe 
sentences to appease the king's wrath ; 3 Henry, on the 
contrary, resented them as an interference with his rights ; 
what he wanted was not severe punishment in isolated 
cases, but the power to inflict it in the regular course of 
his own royal justice. At last he laid the whole question 
before a great council which met at Westminster on 
October i. 4 

The king's first proposition, that the bishops should con- 
firm the old customs observed in his grandfather's days, 5 
opened a discussion which lasted far into the night. Henry 
himself proceeded to explain his meaning more fully ; he 
required, first, that the bishops should be more strict in the 
pursuit of criminal clerks ; 6 secondly, that all such clerks, 
when convicted and degraded, should be handed over to the 
secular arm for temporal punishment like laymen, according 
to the practice usual under Henry I. ; 7 and finally, that the 
bishops should renounce their claim to inflict any temporal 
punishment whatever, such as exile or imprisonment in a 
monastery, which he declared to be an infringement of his 
regal rights over the territory of his whole realm and the 
persons of all his subjects. 8 The primate, after vainly beg- 
ging for an adjournment till the morrow, retired to consult 
with his suffragans. 9 When he returned, it was to set forth 
his view of the "two swords" the two jurisdictions, spiritual 
and temporal in terms which put an end to all hope of 

1 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 45, 46. 

2 Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), p. 267. 3 Will. Fitz-Steph. (ibid.\ p. 46. 

4 Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), p. 266. Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 95. Summa Causes 
(ibid.), p. 201 ; this last gives the date. 

5 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 32. Anon. I. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv. ), pp. 25, 26. 
E. Grim (ib. vol. ii. ), p. 376. 

6 Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 96. 

7 Ibid. Cf. Summa Causa (ib.\ p. 202, Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 266, and 
Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 148, 149. 

8 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 267. 

9 Summa Causa (ib. vol. iv.), p. 202. Their discussion is given in Thomas Saga 
(as above), p. 151. 


agreement with the king. He declared the ministers of the 
Heavenly King exempt from all subjection to the judgement 
of an earthly sovereign ; the utmost that he would concede 
was that a clerk once degraded should thenceforth be treated 
as a layman and punished as such if he offended again. 1 
Henry, apparently too much astonished to argue further, 
simply repeated his first question " Would the bishops obey 
the royal customs ?" " Aye, saving our order," was the 
answer given by the primate in the name and with the 
consent of all. 2 When appealed to singly they all made the 
same answer. 3 Henry bade them withdraw the qualifying 
phrase, and accept the customs unconditionally ; they, 
through the mouth of their primate, refused ; 4 the king 
raged and swore, but all in vain. At last he strode suddenly 
out of the hall without taking leave of the assembly ; 5 and 
when morning broke they found that he had quitted London. 6 
Before the day was over, Thomas received a summons to 
surrender some honours which he had held as chancellor and 
still retained ; r and soon afterwards the little Henry was 
taken out of his care. 8 

The king's wrath presently cooled so far that he invited 
the primate to a conference at Northampton. They met on 
horseback in a field near the town ; high words passed 
between them ; the king again demanded, and the archbishop 
again refused, unconditional acceptance of the customs ; and 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 268-272. Cf. Anon. I. (ib. 
vol. iv.), p. 22. The speech in Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 151-153, is 
much more moderate in tone, but grants no more in substance. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 32. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 13. E. 
Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 376. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 273. Anon. II. (ib. 
vol. iv.), p. 97. Cf. Ep. ccxxv. (ib. vol. v. p. 527). 

3 For Hilary of Chichester's attempt at evasion see Herb. Bosh, (as above), pp. 
273, 274, and Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 155. 

4 Gamier, E. Grim, Herb. Bosh., Anon. II., as above. For this scene the 
Saga (as above), pp. 153-155, substitutes a wrangle between king and primate, 
which however comes to the same result. 

5 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 274. 

6 Ib. p. 275. Sttmma Causes (ib. vol. iv.), p. 205. Thomas Saga (as above), 

P- 157- 

7 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 275. 

8 He was with his father at the council of Clarendon in January 1 164. Summa 
Causa (ib. vol. iv.), p. 208. 


in this determination they parted. 1 A private negotiation 
with some of the other prelates suggested, it was said, by 
the diplomatist-bishop of Lisieux was more successful ; 
Roger of York and Robert of Lincoln met the king at 
Gloucester and agreed to accept his customs with no other 
qualification than a promise on his part to exact nothing 
contrary to the rights of their order. Hilary of Chichester 
not only did the same but undertook to persuade the primate 
himself. In this of course he failed. 2 Some time before 
Christmas, however, there came to the archbishop three 
commissioners who professed to be sent by the Pope to bid 
him withdraw his opposition ; Henry having, according to 
their story, assured the Pope that he had no designs against 
the clergy or the Church, and required nothing beyond a 
verbal assent for the saving of his regal dignity. 3 On the 
faith of their word Thomas met the king at Oxford, 4 and 
there promised to accept the customs and obey the king 
" loyally and in good faith." Henry then demanded that as 
the archbishop had withstood him publicly, so his submission 
should be repeated publicly too, in an assembly of barons 
and clergy to be convened for that purpose. 5 This was more 
than Thomas had been led to expect ; but he made no 
objection, and the Christmas season passed over in peace. 
Henry kept the feast at Berkhampstead, 6 one of the castles 
lately taken from the archbishop ; Thomas at Canterbury, 
where he had just been consecrating the great English scholar 
Robert of Melun one of the three Papal commissioners 
to succeed Gilbert Foliot as bishop of Hereford. 7 

1 Anon. I. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.), pp. 27-29. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 33, 34. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), 
pp. 14, 15. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 377, 378. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 
30-31. Cf. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 276, and Thomas Saga (Magnusson), 
vol. i. p. 159. 

3 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 34, 35. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 15. E. Grim (ib. 
vol. ii.), p. 378. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 31. Thomas Saga (as above), p. 161. 
All, except the Anon., seem to doubt the genuineness of the mission. 

4 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 277. The Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 32, and Gamier 
(Hippeau), p. 35, say Woodstock. 

5 Gamier, Will. Cant., Herb. Bosh, and Thomas Saga, as above. E. Grim 
(Robertson, Becket, vol. ii. ), p. 379. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 33, 34. 

6 Eyton, If in. Hen. II. , p. 66, from Pipe Roll a. 1164. 

7 On December 22. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 176. 


On S. Hilary's day the proposed council met at the royal 
hunting-seat of Clarendon near Salisbury. 1 Henry called 
upon the archbishop to fulfil the promise he had given at 
Oxford and publicly declare his assent to the customs. 
Thomas drew back. As he saw the mighty array of barons 
round the king as he looked over the ranks of his own 
fellow-bishops it flashed at last even upon his unsuspicious 
mind that all this anxiety to draw him into such a public 
repetition of a scene which he had thought to be final must 
cover something more than the supposed papal envoys had 
led him to expect, and that those " customs " which he had 
been assured were but a harmless word might yet become a 
terrible reality if he yielded another step. His hesitation 
threw the king into one of those paroxysms of Angevin 
fury which scared the English and Norman courtiers almost 
out of their senses. Thomas alone remained undaunted ; 
the bishops stood " like a flock of sheep ready for slaughter," 
and the king's own ministers implored the primate to save 
them from the shame of having to lay violent hands upon 
him at their sovereign's command. For two days he stood 
firm ; on the third two knights of the Temple brought him a 
solemn assurance, on the honour of their order and the salv- 
ation of their souls, that his fears were groundless and that a 
verbal submission to the king's will would end the quarrel 
and restore peace to the Church. He believed them ; and 
though he still shrank from the formality, thus emptied of 
meaning, as little better than a lie, yet for the Church's sake 
he gave way. He publicly promised to obey the king's laws 
and customs loyally and in good faith, and made all the 
other bishops do likewise. 2 

The words were no sooner out of their mouths than 
Thomas learned how just his suspicions had been. A ques- 
tion was instantly raised what were these customs ? It 
was too late to discuss them that night ; next morning the 

1 On the date see note B at end of chapter. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 20-22, 36. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket,\o>\. i.), 
pp. 1 6, 17. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 380-382. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 
278, 279. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv. ), pp. 33-36. Anon. II. (ibid.}, p. 99. Cf. 
Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 163-167, and Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. 
pp. 177, 178. 


king bade the oldest and wisest of the barons go and make 
a recognition of the customs observed by his grandfather 
and bring up a written report of them for ratification by the 
council. 1 Nine days later 2 the report was presented. It 
comprised sixteen articles, known ever since as the Constitu- 
tions of Clarendon. 3 Some of them merely re-affirmed, in a 
more stringent and technical manner, the rules of William 
the Conqueror forbidding bishops and beneficed clerks to 
quit the realm or excommunicate the king's tenants-in-chief 
without his leave, and the terms on which the temporal 
position of the bishops had been settled by the compromise 
between Henry I. and Anselm at the close of the struggle for 
the investitures. Another aimed at checking the abuse of 
appeals to Rome, by providing that no appeal should be 
carried further than the archbishop's court without the assent 
of the king. The remainder dealt with the settlement of 
disputes concerning presentations and advowsons, which were 
transferred from the ecclesiastical courts to that of the king; 
the treatment of excommunicate persons ; the limits of the 
right of sanctuary as regarding the goods of persons who 
had incurred forfeiture to the Crown ; the ordination of 
villeins ; the jurisdiction over clerks accused of crime ; the 
protection of laymen cited before the Church courts against 
episcopal and archidiaconal injustice ; and the method of 
procedure in suits concerning the tenure of Church lands. 

The two articles last mentioned are especially remark- 
able. The former provided that if a layman was accused 
before a bishop on insufficient testimony, the sheriff should 
at the bishop's request summon a jury of twelve lawful men 
of the neighbourhood to swear to the truth or falsehood of 
the charge. 4 The other clause decreed that when an estate 
was claimed by a clerk in frank-almoign and by a layman as 
a secular fief the question should be settled by the chief 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 37. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 18. 
E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 382. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 279. Anon. I. (ib. 
vol. iv.), p. 37. Anon. II. (ibid.}, p. 102. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 178. 

2 On the chronology see note B at end of chapter. 

8 .Will. Cant, (as above), pp. 18-23; Gerv - Cant, (as above), pp. 178-180; 
Stubbs, Select Charters, pp. 137-140. 

4 Const. Clarend. c. 6 (Stubbs, Select Charters, pp. 138, 139). 


justiciar in like manner on the recognition of twelve jurors. 1 
The way in which these provisions are introduced implies 
that the principle contained in them was already well known 
in the country ; it indicates that some steps had already 
been taken towards a general remodelling of legal procedure, 
intended to embrace all branches of judicial administration 
and bring them all into orderly and harmonious working. 
In this view the Constitutions of Clarendon were only part 
of a great scheme in whose complete developement they 
might have held an appropriate and useful place. 2 But the 
churchmen of the day, to whom they were thus suddenly 
presented as an isolated fragment, could hardly be expected 
to see in them anything but an engine of state tyranny for 
grinding down the Church. Almost every one of them 
assumed, in some way or other, the complete subordination 
of ecclesiastical to temporal authority ; the right of lay juris- 
diction over clerks was asserted in the most uncompromising 
terms ; while the last clause of all, which forbade the ordin- 
ation of villeins without the consent of their lords, stirred a 
nobler feeling than jealousy for mere class-privileges. Its 
real intention was probably not to hinder the enfranchise- 
ment of serfs, but simply to protect the landowners against 
the loss of services which, being attached to the soil, they 
had no means of replacing, and very possibly also to prevent 
the number of criminal clerks being further increased by the 
admission of villeins anxious to escape from the justice of 
their lords. But men who for ages had been trained to 
regard the Church as a divinely-appointed city of refuge for 
all the poor and needy, the oppressed and the enslaved, could 
only see the other side of the measure and feel their inmost 
hearts rise up in the cry of a contemporary poet "Hath 
not God called us all, bond and free, to His service?" 3 

1 Const. Clarend. c. 9 (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 139). 

2 It should be noticed that this was clearly understood, and full justice was 
done to Henry's intentions, not only by the most impartial and philosophic hist- 
orian of the time William of Newburgh (1. ii. c. 16 ; Hewlett, vol. i. p. 140) 
but even by Thomas's most ardent follower, Herbert of Bosham (Robertson, 
Becket, vol. iii. pp. 272, 273, 278, 280). 

3 " Et Deus a sun servise nus a tuz apelez ! 

Mielz valt filz a vilain qui est preuz et senez, 


The discussion occupied six days ; l as each clause was 
read out to the assembly, Thomas rose and set forth his 
reasons for opposing it. 2 When at last the end was reached, 
Henry called upon him and all the bishops to affix their 
seals to the constitutions. "Never," burst out the primate 
" never, while there is a breath left in my body ! " 3 The 
king was obliged to content himself with the former verbal 
assent, gained on false pretences as it had been ; a copy of 
the obnoxious document was handed to the primate, who 
took it, as he said, for a witness against its contrivers, and 
indignantly quitted the assembly. 4 In an agony of remorse 
for the credulity which had led him into such a trap he 
withdrew to Winchester and suspended himself from all 
priestly functions till he had received absolution from the 
Pope. 5 

Que ne fet gentilz hum failliz et debutez ! " 

Gamier (Hippeau), p. 89. This, variously expressed, was the grand argument of 
the clerical-democratic party, and the true source of their strength. And they 
were not altogether wrong in attributing the action of their opponents, in part at 
least, to aristocratic contempt and exclusiveness if we may trust Gervase of 
Canterbury's report of a complaint said to have been uttered at a later time by the 
king : " Hi quoque omnes" [i.e. the religious orders] "tales sibi fratres associant, 
pelliparios scilicet et sutores, quorum nee unus deberet instante necessitate in 
episcopum vel abbatem salva conscientia nostra promoveri." Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 540. 

1 See note B at end of chapter. 

2 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 280-285. The answers to the 
Constitutions in Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 84-89, seem to be partly Thomas's and 
partly his own. 

3 " L'arcevesques respunt : Fei que dei Deu le bel, 

Co n'ert, tant cum la vie me bate en cest vessel ! " 

Gamier (Hippeau), p. 37. Cf. E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), p. 383, and 
Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 37. 

4 Gamier, as above. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 23. E. 
Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 383. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 37. Cf. Joh. Salisb. (ib. 
vol. ii.), p. 311; Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 288; Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 
103, and Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 167-169. Will. Fitz-Steph. 
(Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 48, 49, says that Thomas did set his seal to the 
constitutions ; but his statement is at variance with those of all other authorities ; 
and he himself afterwards recites two speeches made at Northampton, one by 
Thomas and one by Hilary of Chichester, both distinctly affirming that none of 
the bishops sealed. Ib. pp. 66, 67. 

5 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 38. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 24. Joh. 
Salisb. (ib. vol. ii.), p. 312. E. Grim (ibid.\ p. 383. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. 
vol. iii.), p. 49. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, pp. 289-292. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), 
P- 37- 


It was to the Pope that both parties looked for a settle- 
ment of their dispute ; but Alexander, ill acquainted both 
with the merits of the case and with the characters of the 
disputants, and beset on all sides with political difficulties, 
could only strive in vain to hold the balance evenly between 
them. Meanwhile the political quarrel of king and primate 
was embittered by an incident in which Henry's personal 
feelings were stirred. His brother William the favourite 
young brother whom he had once planned to establish as 
sovereign in Ireland had set his heart upon a marriage 
with the widowed countess of Warren ; the archbishop had 
forbidden the match on the ground of affinity, and his pro- 
hibition had put an end to the scheme. 1 Baffled and indig- 
nant, William returned to Normandy and poured the story 
of his grievance into the sympathizing ears first of his 
mother and then, as it seems, of the brotherhood at Bee. 2 
On January 29, 1164 one day before the dissolution of 
the council of Clarendon he died at Rouen ; 3 and a writer 
who was himself at that time a monk at Bee not only im- 
plies his own belief that the young man actually died of dis- 
appointment, but declares that Henry shared that belief, and 
thenceforth looked upon the primate by whom the disappoint- 
ment had been caused as little less than the murderer of his 
brother. 4 The king's exasperation was at any rate plain to 

1 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.) p. 142. Isabel de Warren was 
the widow of Stephen's son William, who of course was cousin in the third degree 
to William of Anjou. 

2 " Hie" \_i.e. Thomas] " regis fratrem pertoesum semper habebat, 

Ne consul foret hie, obvius ille fuit : 
Cum nata comitis comitem Warenna tulisset, 

Nobilis hie praesul ne nocuisset ei. 
Ira permotus, nunquam rediturus, ab Anglis 

Advenit is, matri nunciat ista pise. 
Hinc Beccum veniens fratrum se tradit amori." 
Draco Norm., 1. ii. c. 8, w. 441-447 (Hewlett, Will. Newb., vol. ii. p. 676). 

3 Rob. Torigni, a. 1164. Draco Norm., 1. ii. c. 8, vv. 448-450 (as above). 
The date is from the first-named writer. 

4 Draco Norm., 1. ii. c. 8, vv. 453-456 (as above). Considering the abundance 
one might almost say superabundance of unquestionably authentic information 
which we already possess as to the origin and grounds of Henry's quarrel with 
Thomas, I cannot attach so much importance as Mr. Hewlett apparently does 
(ib. pref. pp. Ixi-lxiii) to this new contribution from Stephen of Rouen. Stephen's 
work is quasi-romantic in character and utterly unhistoric in style ; and his view 


all eyes ; and as the summer drew on Thomas found him- 
self gradully deserted. His best friend, John of Salisbury, 
had already been taken from his side, and was soon driven 
into exile by the jealousy of the king ; : another friend, John 
of Canterbury, had been removed out of the country early 
in 1163 by the ingenious device of making him bishop of 
Poitiers. 2 The old dispute concerning the relations between 
Canterbury and York had broken out afresh with intensified 
bitterness between Roger of Pont-1'Eveque and the former 
comrade of whom he had long been jealous, and who had 
now once again been promoted over his head ; the king, 
hoping to turn it to account for his own purposes, was in- 
triguing at the Papal court in Roger's behalf, and one of 
his confidential agents there was Thomas's own archdeacon, 
Geoffrey Ridel. 3 The bishops as yet were passive ; in the 

of the whole Becket controversy is simply ludicrous, for he ignores the clerical 
immunities and the Constitutions of Clarendon altogether, and attributes the 
quarrel wholly to two other causes this affair about William, and Thomas's sup- 
posed peculations while chancellor (ib. 1. iii. c. 12, vv. 909-914, p. 741). That 
the domestic tragedy of which he gives such a highly-coloured account had some 
bearing upon the great political drama appears from the words of Richard le 
Breton to Thomas at his murder seven years later, " Hoc habeas pro amore 
domini mei Willelmi fratris regis" (Will. Fitz-Steph., Robertson, Becket, vol. iii. 
p. 142). But in these words there is no mention either of William's death or of 
Henry's feelings about it. Some allusion to either or both may have been in 'the 
speaker's mind ; but what he actually said implies nothing more than that he had 
been in William's service, and had therefore resented the thwarting of his lord's in- 
terests, and through them, it may be, of his own. Will. Fitz-Steph., after ex- 
plaining what William's grievance was, simply adds, " Unde Willelmus . . . in- 
consolabiliter doluit ; et omnes sui archiepiscopo inimici facti sunt. " Ibid. 

1 From a comparison of Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 46, 
with Ep. Iv. (ib. vol. v. pp. 95-103), it appears that John was separated from 
Thomas before the council of Clarendon. After some months of wandering he 
found shelter at Reims, in the great abbey of S. Remigius of which his old 
friend Peter of Celle was now abbot, and there he chiefly dwelt during the next 
seven years. 

2 Will. Fitz-Steph., as above, says John was promoted for the purpose of getting 
him out of the way. He was consecrated by the Pope at the council of Tours ; 
R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 311. It must be remembered that Henry had already 
had experience of John's zeal for clerical immunities. 

3 Epp. xiii., xxvii., xxxvi., xli.-xliii., 1., li., liii., liv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. 
v. pp. 21, 22, 44-46, 59, 60, 67-69, 85, 87, 88, 91, 94) ; Will. Cant. (ib. vol. 
i.), p. 24; E. Grim (id. [vol. ii.), p. 384; Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 38, 39; 
Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 39, 40; Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 179-181 ; 
Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 181. 


York controversy Gilbert Foliot strongly supported his own 
metropolitan j 1 but between him and Thomas there was 
already a question, amicable indeed at present but ominous 
nevertheless, as to whether or not the profession of obedience 
made to Theobald by the bishop of Hereford should be 
repeated by the same man as bishop of London to Theo- 
bald's successor. 2 

Thomas himself fully expected to meet the fate of 
Anselm ; throughout the winter his friends had been en- 
deavouring to secure him a refuge in France ; 3 and early in 
the summer of 1 1 64, having been refused an interview with 
the king, 4 he made two attempts to escape secretly from 
Romney. The first time he was repelled by a contrary 
wind ; the second time the sailors put back ostensibly for 
the same reason, but really because they had recognized 
their passenger and dreaded the royal wrath ; 5 and a servant 
who went on the following night to shut the gates of the 
deserted palace at Canterbury found the primate, worn out 
with fatigue and disappointment, sitting alone in the dark- 
ness like a beggar upon his own door-step. 6 Despairing of 
escape, he made another effort to see the king at Wood- 
stock. Henry dreaded nothing so much as the archbishop's 
flight, for he felt that it would probably be followed by a 
Papal interdict on his dominions, 7 and would certainly give 
an immense advantage against him to Louis of France, who 
was at that very moment threatening war in Auvergne. 8 
He therefore received Thomas courteously, though with 
somewhat less than the usual honours, 9 and made no allusion 

1 Ep. xxviii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. pp. 46, 47). 

2 Epp. xxxv., Ixvii. (ib. pp. 56, 57, 130, 131). 

3 Epp. xxxv., xxxvi., Iv. (ib. pp. 57, 58, 97). 

4 Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib.), vol. iii. p. 49. 

5 Cf. Will. Fitz-Steph. as above; Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), p. 293; Anon. II. (ib. 
vol. iv.), p. 104; and Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), p. 325, with E. Grim (ibid.), 
PP- 3 8 9> 39 J Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i. ), p. 29 ; Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv. ), p. 40 ; and 
Garnier (Hippeau), p. 49. 

6 Alan Tewkesb. as above. 

7 Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 29. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 390. Anon. I. (ib. 
vol. iv.), p. 40. Garnier (Hippeau), p. 50. 

8 Ep. Ix. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v., p. 115). 

9 Ep. ccxxv. (ib. p. 530). Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 294. 


to the past except by a playful question " whether the arch- 
bishop did not think the realm was wide enough to contain 
them both?" Thomas saw, however, that the old cordiality 
was gone ; his enemies saw it too, and, as his biographer 
says, "they came about him like bees." 1 Foremost among 
them was John the king's marshal, who had a suit in the 
archbishop's court concerning the manor of Pageham. 2 It 
was provided by one of Henry's new rules of legal pro- 
cedure that if a suitor saw no chance of obtaining justice in 
the court of his own lord he might, by taking an oath to 
that effect and bringing two witnesses to do the same, 
transfer the suit to a higher court. 3 John by this method 
removed his case from the court of the archbishop to that of 
the king; and thither Thomas was cited to answer his claim on 
the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. When that day came 
the primate was too ill to move ; he sent essoiners to excuse 
his absence in legal form, and also a written protest against 
the removal of the suit, on the ground that it had been ob- 
tained by perjury John having taken the oath not upon 
the Gospel, but upon an old song-book which he had surrep- 
titiously brought into court for the purpose. 4 Henry angrily 
/refused to believe either Thomas or his essoiners, 5 and im- 
mediately issued orders for a great council to be held at 
Northampton. 6 It was customary to call the archbishops 
and the greater barons by a special writ addressed to each 
individually, while the lesser tenants -in -chief received a 
general summons through the sheriffs of the different 
counties. Roger of York was specially called in due form ; 7 
the metropolitan of all Britain, who ought to have been in- 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 294, 295. 

2 Will. Fitz-Steph. (ibid.), p. 50. 

3 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 51. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 31. 
Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 41. On this proceeding see Glanville, De Legg. et Conss. 
AngL, 1. xii. c. 7. 

4 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 51-53. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 30. E. Grim (ib. 
vol. ii. ), p. 390. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 50. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv. ), 
p. 41. Ep. ccxxv. (ib. vol. v.), pp. 530, 531. 

5 Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. 

6 Ib. p. 49. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), p. 296. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 30. Ep. 
ccxxv. (ib. vol. v.), p. 531. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 50. 

7 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 313, 314. 


vited first and most honourably of all, merely received 
through the sheriff of Kent a peremptory citation to be 
ready on the first day of the council with his defence against 
the claim of John the marshal. 1 

The council an almost complete gathering of the ten- 
ants-in-chief, lay and spiritual, throughout the realm 2 was 
summoned for Tuesday October 6. 3 The king however 
lingered hawking by the river-side till late at night, 4 and it 
was not till next morning after Mass that the archbishop 
could obtain an audience. He began by asking leave to go 
and consult the Pope on his dispute with Roger of York and 
divers other questions touching the interests of both Church 
and state ; Henry angrily bade him be silent and retire to 
prepare his defence for his contempt of the royal summons 
in the matter of John the marshal. 5 The trial took place 
next day. John himself did not appear, being detained in 
the king's service at the Michaelmas session of the Exchequer 

1 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 51. 

2 Herb. Bosh, (ibid.} p. 296. E. Grim (z&ivol. ii.), p. 390. Anon. I. (ib. 
vol. iv.), p. 41. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 313. Only two bishops were 
absent : Nigel of Ely, disabled by paralysis, and William of Norwich, who made 
an excuse to avoid sharing in what he knew was to come. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), 
vol. i. p. 185. From Alan Tewkesb. however (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii. p. 331), 
it seems that Norwich came after all only, like Rochester (Will. Fitz-Steph., ib. 
vol. iii. p. 52) > somewhat late. 

3 Will. Fitz-Steph. (as above), p. 50. Herb. Bosh. (ib. p. 296), says 
" hebdomadse feria quinta, sexta ante B. Calixti . . . diem" a self-contradiction, 
for in 1164 October 9, the sixth day before the feast of S. Calixtus, was 
not Thursday but Friday. He makes, however, a similar confusion as to the 
last day of the council (ib. pp. 301, 304, 326) ; and as this was undoubtedly 
Tuesday October 13 not Wednesday 14, as he seems to make it in p. 304 it 
is plain that his mistake lies in placing the feast of S. Calixtus a day too early, 
and that the day to which he really means to assign the opening of the assembly 
is Thursday October 8. This really agrees with Will. Fitz-Steph., for, as will be 
seen, the council did not formally meet till a day after that for which it was sum- 
moned, and did not get to business till a day later still. William gives the date 
for which it had been summoned ; Herbert, that of its practical beginning. R. 
Diceto (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 313) has substituted the closing day for that of opening ; 
the author of Thomas Saga (Magnusson, vol. i. p. 241), has done the same, with 
a further confusion as to the days of the week ; while Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs, vol. i. 
p. 182) has a date which agrees with nothing, and which must be altogether 
wrong. * Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. 

5 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 52. E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), p. 391. Cf. 
Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 42, and Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 51. 



in London j 1 the charge of failure of justice was apparently 
withdrawn, but for the alleged contempt Thomas was sen- 
tenced to a fine of five hundred pounds. 2 Indignant as he 
was at the flagrant illegality of the trial, in which his own 
suffragans had been compelled to sit in judgement on their 
primate, Thomas was yet persuaded to submit, in the hope 
of avoiding further wrangling over what seemed now to have 
become a mere question of money. 3 But there were other 
questions to follow. Henry now demanded from the arch- 
bishop a sum of three hundred pounds, representing the 
revenue due from the honours of Eye and Berkhampstead 
for the time during which he had held them since his resign- 
ation of the chancellorship. 4 Thomas remarked that he 
had spent far more than that sum on the repair of the 
royal palaces, and protested against the unfairness of mak- 
ing such a demand without warning. Still, however, he dis- 
dained to resist for a matter of filthy lucre, and found 
sureties for the required amount. 5 Next morning Henry 
made a further demand for the repayment of a loan made 
to Thomas in his chancellor days. 6 In those days the two 
friends had virtually had but one purse as well as "one 
mind and one heart," and Thomas was deeply wounded by 
this evident proof that their friendship was at an end. Once 
more he submitted ; but this time it was no easy matter to 

1 Will. Fitz-Steph. ( Robertson, ' Becket, vol. iii.), p. 51. 

2 Ibid. Herb. Bosh. (ibid.}, p. 297. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 30. E. 
Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 391. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 42. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 
52. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 18. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 
183. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 313. The actual sentence was forfeiture of 
all his moveable goods ad misericordiam commuted according to custom ; cf. 
Herb. Bosh, and Gerv. Cant., as above, with Will. Fitz-Steph. (as above), p. 
62. Gamier makes the sum three hundred pounds ; Will. Cant., fifty ; E. Grim, 
the Anon. I. and R. Diceto, five hundred. 

3 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 52. E. Grim (as above), p. 391. Anon. I. (ib. vol. 
iv.), p. 43. 

4 This must be the meaning of Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 53, compared 
with R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 313, 314. 

5 Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. 

6 The demand is stated by Will. Fitz-Steph. (ibid.} as " de quingentis marcis 
ex caus commodati in exercitu Tolosse, et aliis quingentis marcis ex causa 
fidejussionis regis pro eo erga quendam Judseum ibidem." This would make the 
total amount ^"666:3:8. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, p. 298, and the Thomas Saga 
(Magnusson), vol. i. p. 189, make it five hundred pounds. 


find sureties j 1 and then, late on the Friday evening, there 
was reached the last and most overwhelming count in the 
long indictment thus gradually unrolled before the eyes of 
the astonished primate. He was called upon to render a 
complete statement of all the revenues of vacant sees 
baronies and honours of which he had had the custody as 
chancellor in short, of the whole accounts of the chancery 
during his tenure of office. 2 

At this crushing demand the archbishop's courage gave 
way, and he threw himself at the king's feet in despair. All 
the bishops did likewise, but in vain ; Henry swore " by 
God's Eyes " that he would have the accounts in full. He 
granted, however, a respite till the morrow, 3 and Thomas 
spent the next morning in consultation with his suffragans. 4 
Gilbert of London advised unconditional surrender ; 5 Henry 
of Winchester, who had already withstood the king to his 
face the night before, 6 strongly opposed this view, 7 and sug- 
gested that the matter should be compromised by an offer 
of two thousand marks. This the king rejected. 8 After 
long deliberation 9 it was decided again at the suggestion 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 298, 299. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 53. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 31. 
Job. Salisb. (ib. vol. ii.), p. 312. E. Grim (#*/.), p. 392. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. 
vol. iii.), p. 54. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, p. 299. Anon. I.(ib. vol. iv.), p. 43. Anon. 
II. (ibid.), p. 104. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 314. The total sum due was 
assessed in the end at thirty thousand pounds, according to Gamier (p. 65), Will. 
Cant. (p. 38), E. Grim (p. 396) and Anon. I. (p. 49). Herb. Bosh., however (as 
above), makes it thirty thousand marks (i.e. twenty thousand pounds). The Thomas 
Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 191, says thirty thousand marks "of burnt silver," 
i.e. blanch ; while Gilbert Foliot, when reciting the story to the Pope's legates in 
1167, is reported as stating it at forty-four thousand marks (^"2933:6:8); Ep. 
cccxxxix. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi. p. 271). Herb. Bosh, (as above) places 
this demand on the Saturday morning, and the whole history of the three days, 
Friday- Sunday, October 9-11, is somewhat confused by the discordant notes 
of time given by the various biographers. I have followed Will. Fitz-Steph., 
who is the most self-consistent and apparently the most trustworthy. 

3 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 53, 54. 

4 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 300. 

5 Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 326, 327. 

6 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 54. 7 Alan Tewkesb. (as above), p. 327. 

8 Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 54. 

9 The speeches of the bishops interesting for studies of character are given 
at length by Alan Tewkesb. (as above), pp. 327, 328. Cf. the account in Thomas 
Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 193-199. 


of Bishop Henry that Thomas should refuse to entertain 
the king's demands on the ground of the release from all 
secular obligations granted to him at his consecration. This 
answer was carried by the bishops in a body to the king. 
He refused to accept it, declaring that the release had been 
given without his authority ; and all that the bishops could 
wring from him was a further adjournment till the Monday 
morning. 1 In the middle of Sunday night the highly-strung 
nervous organization of Thomas broke down under the long 
cruel strain ; the morning found him lying in helpless agony, 
and with great difficulty he obtained from the king another 
day's delay. 2 Before it expired a warning reached him from 
the court that if he appeared there he must expect nothing 
short of imprisonment or death. 3 A like rumour spread 
through the council, and at dawn the bishops in a body im- 
plored their primate to give up the hopeless struggle and 
throw himself on the mercy of the king. He refused to 
betray his Church by accepting a sentence which he believed 
to be illegal as well as unjust, forbade the bishops to take 
any further part in his trial, gave them notice of an appeal 
to Rome if they should do so, and charged them on their 
canonical obedience to excommunicate at once whatever 
laymen should dare to sit in judgement upon him. 4 Against 
this last command the bishop of London instantly appealed. 5 

1 Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 31. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 

392. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. in.), p. 300. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 43. Anon. 
II. (ibid.), pp. 104, 105. Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 328, 329, has a slightly 
different version ; in this, and also in Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 199- 
20 1, Gilbert Foliot wins the respite by a daring misrepresentation of Thomas's 
answer to the king. I have followed Herbert's reckoning of the days here, as it 
fits in with that of Will. Fitz-Steph., who seems the best guide in this matter. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 55, 56. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 32. Alan 
Tewkesb. (ib. voL ii.) pp. 329, 330. E. Grim (ibid.), pp. 392, 393. Will. Fitz- 
Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 56. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), pp. 300, 301. Anon. I. (ib. vol. 
iv. ), p. 44. Thomas Saga (as above), p. 203. Here again I follow Will. Fitz- 
Steph. and Herbert as to the day. 

3 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 56. Will. Cant, as above. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 

393. Anon. I. (ib. voL iv. ), p. 44. Thomas Saga as above. 

4 Will. Fitz-Steph. (as above), p. 62. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), pp. 301-303. 
Thomas Saga (as above), pp. 205-207. 

5 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 303. Thomas Saga (as above), p. 207. Some 
of the other biographers place this scene later in the day, but we can hardly do 
otherwise than follow the two eye-witnesses, William and Herbert. 


All then returned to the court, except Henry of Winchester 
and Jocelyn of Salisbury, who lingered for a last word of 
pleading or of sympathy. 1 When they too were gone, 
Thomas w r ent to the chapel of the monastery in which he 
was lodging a small Benedictine house dedicated to S. 
Andrew, just outside the walls of Northampton and with 
the utmost solemnity celebrated the mass of S. Stephen with 
its significant introit : " Princes have sat and spoken against 
me." The mass ended, he mounted his horse, and escorted 
no longer by a brilliant train of clerks and knights, but by a 
crowd of poor folk full of sympathy and admiration, he rode 
straight to the castle where the council awaited him. 2 

At the gate he took his cross from the attendant who 
usually bore it, and went forward alone to the hall where the 
bishops and barons were assembled. They fell back in 
amazement at the apparition of the tall solitary figure, robed 
in full pontificals, and carrying the crucifix like an uplifted 
banner prepared at once for defence and for defiance; friends 
and opponents were almost equally shocked, and it was not 
till he had passed through their midst and seated himself in 
a corner of the hall that the bishops recovered sufficiently to 
gather round him and intreat that he would give up his un- 
becoming burthen. Thomas refused ; " he would not lay 
down his standard, he would not part with his shield." " A 
fool you ever were, a fool I see you are still and will be to 
the end," burst out Gilbert Foliot at last, as after a long 
argument he turned impatiently away. 4 The others followed 
him, and the primate was left with only two companions, 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 303. Jocelyn's after-conduct 
shewed that his sympathy with the primate was not very deep. 

2 Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), pp. 32, 34. Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. 
")> P- 33- E. Grim (ibid.}, p. 393. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 56, 57. 
Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, p. 304. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 45. Gamier (Hippeau), 
pp. 56-60. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 207-209. 

3 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 60. Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), 
p. 57. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, p. 304. Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), p. 330. 
Thomas Saga (as above), p. 209. 

4 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 60, 61. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 34. Alan 
Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), p. 330. E. Grim (ibid.}, p. 394. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. 
vol. iii.), p. 57. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, pp. 305, 306. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv. ), pp. 
46, 47. 7"homas Saga (as above), pp. 211-213. 


William Fitz-Stephen and his own especial friend, Herbert 
of Bosham. 1 The king had retired to an inner chamber and 
was there deliberating with his most intimate counsellors 2 
when the story of the primate's entrance reached his ears. 
He took it as an unpardonable insult, and caused Thomas to 
be proclaimed a traitor. Warnings and threats ran con- 
fusedly through the hall. The archbishop bent over the 
disciple sitting at his feet : " For thee I fear yet fear not 
thou ; even now mayest thou share my crown." The ardent 
encouragement with which Herbert answered him 3 provoked 
one of the king's marshals to interfere and forbid that any 
one should speak to the " traitor." William Fitz-Stephen, 
who had been vainly striving to put in a gentle word, caught 
his primate's eyes and pointed to the crucifix, intrusting to 
its silent eloquence the lesson of patience and prayer which 
his lips were forbidden to utter. When he and Thomas, 
after long separation, met again in the land of exile, that 
speechless admonition seems to have been the first thing 
which recurred to the minds of both. 4 

In the chamber overhead, meanwhile, Henry had sum- 
moned the bishops to a conference. 5 On receiving from 
them an account of their morning's interview with Thomas, 
he sent down to the latter his ultimatum, requiring him to 
withdraw his appeal to Rome and his commands to the 
bishops as contrary to the customs which he had sworn to 
observe, and to submit to the judgement of the king's court 
on the chancery accounts. Seated, with eyes fixed on the 
cross, Thomas quietly but firmly refused. His refusal was 
reported to the king, who grew fiery-red with rage, caught 
eagerly at the barons' proposal that the archbishop should 
be judged for contempt of his sovereign's jurisdiction in ap- 
pealing from it to another tribunal, and called upon the 

1 Will. Cant (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 34. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), 
p. 307. They only mention Herbert ; William's presence appears in the sequel. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 61. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 35. E. Grim (ib. 
vol. ii.), p. 394. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii,), p. 305. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), 
p. 47. 3 Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 306-308. 

* Will. Fitz-Steph. (ibid.\ p. 59. 

5 Ib. p. 57. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 35. Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), p. 
331. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 62. 


bishops to join in his condemnation. 1 York, London and 
Chichester proposed that they should cite him before the 
Pope instead, on the grounds of perjury at Clarendon and 
unjust demands on their obedience. 2 To this Henry con- 
sented ; the appeal was uttered by Hilary of Chichester in 
the name of all, and in most insulting terms ; 3 and the 
bishops sat down opposite their primate to await the 
sentence of the lay barons. 4 

What that sentence was no one outside the royal council- 
chamber ever really knew. It was one thing to determine 
it there and another to deliver it to its victim, sitting alone 
and unmoved with the sign of victory in his hand. With 
the utmost reluctance and hesitation the old justiciar, Earl 
Robert of Leicester, came to perform his odious task. At 
the word "judgement" Thomas started up, with uplifted 
crucifix and flashing eyes, forbade the speaker to proceed, 
and solemnly appealed to the protection of the court of 
Rome. The justiciar and his companions retired in silence. 5 
" I too will go, for the hour is past," said Thomas. 6 Cross 
in hand he strode past the speechless group of bishops into 
the outer hall ; the courtiers followed him with a torrent of 
insults, which were taken up by the squires and serving- 
men outside ; as he stumbled against a pile of faggots set 
ready for the fire, Ralf de Broc rushed upon him with a 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 65, 66. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), pp. 
36-38. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. in.), pp. 62-65. Cf. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), 
vol. i. pp. 213-217. 

2 Will. Cant, (as above), p. 37. In the versions of E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), 
p. 396, Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 308, and the Thomas Saga (as above), 
p. 217, they bluntly bargain to be let off from actually sitting in judgement on 
their primate in consideration of a promise to stand by the king against him for 
ever after. 

3 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 65, 66. Alan Tewkesb. 
(ib. vol. ii.), pp. 331, 332. According to Alan, Thomas answered but one word 
" I hear " ; according to William, he condescended to make a long speech. Cf. 
Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 49. 4 Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), p. 332. 

5 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 67. Will. Cant, (as above), pp. 38, 39. Alan 
Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 332, 333. E. Grim (ibid.), pp. 397, 398. Will. 
Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 67, 68. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), pp. 309, 310. Anon. 
I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 50, 51. . Cf. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 221, where 
the altercation is longer, but comes to the same end. 

6 Anon. I. (as above), p. 51. 


shout of "Traitor! traitor I" 1 The king's half-brother, 
Count Hameline, echoed the cry ; 2 but he shrank back at 
the primate's retort " Were I a knight instead of a priest, 
this hand should prove thee a liar !" 3 Amid a storm of 
abuse Thomas made his way into the court-yard and sprang 
upon his horse, taking up his faithful Herbert behind him. 4 
The outer gate was locked, but a squire of the archbishop 
managed to find the keys. 5 Whether there was any real 
intention of stopping his egress it seems impossible to de- 
termine ; the king and his counsellors were apparently too 
much puzzled to do anything but let matters take their 
course ; Henry indeed sent down a herald to quell the 
disturbance and forbid all violence to the primate ; 6 but the 
precaution came too late. Once outside the gates, Thomas 
had no need of such protection. From the mob of hooting 
enemies within he passed into the midst of a crowd of poor 
folk who pressed upon him with every demonstration of 
rapturous affection ; in every street as he rode along the 
people came out to throw themselves at his feet and beg 
his blessing. 

It was with these poor folk that he supped that night, 
for his own household, all save a chosen few, now hastened 
to take leave of him. 7 Through the bishops of Rochester, 
Hereford and Worcester he requested of the king a safe- 
conduct for his journey to Canterbury ; the king declined 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 68. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 39. 
E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 398. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 51, 52. Cf. Will. 
Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 68. 

2 Gamier and Will. Cant, as above. Anon. I. (as above), p. 52. 

3 Anon. I. as above. Cf. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 310. There is a 
different version in Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i. ), pp. 39, 40. 

4 Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. Of his own escape William says nothing ; 
but we know from a passage later in the same page that he soon rejoined his 

5 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 69. Cf. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 40 ; Alan Tewkesb. 
(ib. vol. ii.), p. 333 ; Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 52 ; and Thomas Saga (Magnusson), 

vol. i. p. 222. 

6 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 70. Will. Fitz-Steph. (as above), p. 69. E. Grim 
(ib. vol. ii.), p. 399. 

7 Alan Tewkesb. (as above), p. 333. E. Grim (ibid.}, p. 399. Herb. Bosh. 
(ib. vol. iii.), p. 310. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 52. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 40. 
Gamier, as above. 


to answer till the morrow. 1 The primate's suspicions were 
aroused. He caused his bed to be laid in the church, as if 
intending to spend the night in prayer. 2 At cock-crow the 
monks came and sang their matins in an under-tone for 
fear of disturbing their weary guest ; 3 but his chamberlain 
was watching over an empty couch. At dead of night 
Thomas had made his escape with two canons of Sempring- 
ham and a faithful squire of his own, named Roger of Brai. 
A violent storm of rain helped to cover their flight, 4 and it 
was not till the middle of the next day that king and 
council discovered that the primate was gone. 

" God's blessing go with him !" murmured with a sigh 
of relief the aged Bishop Henry of Winchester. "We 
have not done with him yet ! " cried the king. He at 
once issued orders that all the ports should be watched to 
prevent Thomas from leaving the country, 5 and that the 
temporalities of the metropolitan see should be left un- 
touched pending an appeal to the Pope 6 which he de- 
spatched the archbishop of York and the bishops of 
London, Worcester, Exeter and Chichester to prosecute 
without delay. 7 They sailed from Dover on All Souls day ; 8 
that very night Thomas, after three weeks of adventurous 
wanderings, guarded with the most devoted vigilance by the 
brethren of Sempringham, embarked in a little boat from 
Sandwich ; next day he landed in Flanders ; 9 and after 

1 Alan Tewkesb. (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), p. 334. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. 
vol. iii.), p. 69. Herb. Bosh. (ibid.}, p. 312. 

2 Alan Tewkesb. and Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), 
p. 40. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 53. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 70. Thomas Saga 
(Magnusson), vol. i. p. 229. 3 Gamier, as above. 

4 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 71. E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), p. 399. 
Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 53, 54. Cf. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 40, Will. 
Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 69, and Herb. Bosh, (ibid.) p. 312. 

5 Anon. I. (as above), p. 55. 

6 Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 70. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, p. 322. 

7 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 79. Alan Tewkesb. (as above), p. 336. E. Grim 
(ibid.), p. 402. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 70. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), p. 
323. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 60, 61. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 
261. s will. Fitz-Steph. as above. 

9 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 71-74. E. Grim (as above), pp. 399, 400. Alan 
Tewkesb. (ibid.) t p. 335. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 70.. Herb. 
Bosh, (ibid.), pp. 323-325. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 54, 55. Thomas 


another fortnight's hiding he made his way safe to Soissons, 
where the king of France, disregarding an embassy sent by 
Henry to prevent him, welcomed him with open arms. He 
hurried on to Sens, where the Pope was now dwelling ; the 
appellant bishops had preceded him, but Alexander was 
deaf to their arguments. 1 Thomas laid at the Pope's feet 
his copy of the Constitutions of Clarendon ; they were read, 
discussed and solemnly condemned in full consistory. 2 The 
exiled primate withdrew to a shelter which his friend Bishop 
John of Poitiers had secured for him in the Cistercian abbey of 
Pontigny in Burgundy. 3 On Christmas-eve, at Marlborough, 
Henry's envoys reported to him the failure of their mission. 
On S. Stephen's day Henry confiscated the whole possess- 
ions of the metropolitan see, of the primate himself and of 
all his clerks, and ordered all his kindred and dependents, 
clerical or lay, to be banished from the realm. 4 

Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 245. Here again there is a confusion about the 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 74-81. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.). 
pp. 42-46. Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 335-341. E. Grim (ibid.}, pp. 
400-403. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 70-74. Herb. Bosh. (ibid.\ pp. 
325-340. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 57-61. Cf. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), 
vol. i. pp. 265-289. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 82-84. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 46. Alan 
Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 341, 342. E. Grim (ibid.), pp. 403, 404. Herb. Bosh. 
(ib. vol. iii.), pp. 340-342. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 61-64. Tne formal record 
of these proceedings is the edition of the Constitutions included among the 
collected letters of S. Thomas Ep. xlv. (ib. vol. v. pp. 71-79), in which there 
is appended to each article the Pope's verdict "Hoc toleravit" or "Hoc 
damnavit." The tolerated articles are 2, 6, n, 13, 14 and 16. Alan of 
Tewkesbury, who first collected the letters of S. Thomas, was for some years a 
canon of Benevento, and probably got this annotated copy of the Constitutions 
from Lombard, who had been in Thomas's suite as one of his eruditi during this 
visit to Sens, and who was archbishop of Benevento at the time of Alan's residence 

3 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 90. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 46. Joh. Salisb. (ib. 
vol. ii.), p. 313. Alan Tewkesb. (ibid.), p. 345. E. Grim (ibid.), p. 404. Will. 
Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 76. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), p. 357. Anon. I. (ib. vol. 
iv.), p. 64. Anon. II. (ibid.), p. 109. Cf. Ep. Ix. (ib. vol. v.), p. 114. 

4 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 91. Will. Cant, (as above), pp. 46, 47. Joh. Salisb. 
(ib. vol. ii.), pp. 313, 314. E. Grim (ibid.), p. 404. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. 
iii.), p. 75. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), p. 359. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 65. The 
dates are from Will. Fitz-Steph. The Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 347- 
349, puts this banishment too late in the story. 




The usual view of the council of Woodstock a view founded 
on contemporary accounts and endorsed by Bishop Stubbs (Constit. 
Hist, vol. i. p. 462) has been disputed on the authority of the 
Icelandic Thomas Saga. This Saga represents the subject of the 
quarrel as being, not a general levy of so much per hide throughout 
the country, but a special tax upon the Church lands nothing 
else, in fact, than the " ungeld " which William Rufus had imposed 
on them to raise the money paid to Duke Robert for his temporary 
cession of Normandy, and which had been continued ever since. 
" We have read afore how King William levied a due on all 
churches in the land, in order to repay him all the costs at which 
his brother Robert did depart from the land. This money the 
king said he had disbursed for the freedom of Jewry, and therefore 
it behoved well the learned folk to repay it to their king. But 
because the king's court hath a mouth that holdeth fast, this due 
continued from year to year. At first it was called Jerusalem tax, 
but afterwards Warfare-due, for the king to keep up an army for the 
common peace of the country. But at this time matters have 
gone so far, that this due was exacted, as a king's tax, from every 
house " [" monastery," editor's note], " small and great, throughout 
England, under no other name than an ancient tax payable into 
the royal treasury without any reason being shown for it." Thomas 
Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 139. Mr. Magnusson (ib. p. 138, 
note 7) thinks that this account "must be taken as representing 
the true history of" the tax in question. In his Preface (ib. vol. ii. 
pp. cvii-cviii) he argues that if the tax had been one upon the 
tax-payers in general, " evidently the primate had no right to inter- 
fere in such a matter, except so far as church lands were con- 
cerned ;" and he concludes that the version in the Saga "gives a 
natural clue to the archbishop's protest, which thus becomes a pro- 
test only on behalf of the Church." This argument hardly takes 
sufficient account of the English primate's constitutional position, 
which furnishes a perfectly " natural clue" to his protest, supposing 
that protest to have been made "on behalf of the whole nation and 
not only of the Church : or rather, to speak more accurately, in 
behalf of the Church in the true sense of that word the sense 
which Theobald's disciples were always striving to give to it as 
representing the whole nation viewed in a spiritual aspect, and not 
only the clerical order. Mr. Magnusson adds : " We have no 
doubt that the source of the Icelandic Saga here is Robert of 


Cricklade, or ... Benedict of Peterborough, who has had a 
better information on the subject than the other authorities, which, 
it would seem, all have Gamier for a primary source ; but he, a 
foreigner, might very well be supposed to have formed an erroneous 
view on a subject the history of which he did not know, except by 
hearsay evidence " (ib. pp. cviii, cix). It might be answered 
that the " hearsay evidence " on which Gamier founded his view 
must have been evidence which he heard in England, where he is 
known to have carefully collected the materials for his work 
(Gamier, ed. Hippeau, pp. 6, 205, 206), and that his view is en- 
titled to just as much consideration as that of the Icelander, 
founded upon the evidence of Robert or Benedict ; that of the 
three writers who follow Gamier, two, William of Canterbury and 
Edward Grim, were English (William of Canterbury may have been 
Irish by birth, but he was English by education and domicile) and 
might therefore have been able to check any errors caused by the 
different nationality of their guide : and that even if the case 
resolved itself into a question between the authority of Gamier and 
that of Benedict or Robert (which can hardly be admitted), they 
would be of at least equal weight, and the balance of intrinsic 
probability would be on Garnier's side. For his story points directly 
to the Danegeld ; and we have the indisputable witness of the Pipe 
Rolls that the Danegeld, in some shape or other, was levied at 
intervals throughout the Norman reigns and until the year 1163, 
when it vanished for ever. On the other hand, the Red King's 
" ungeld " upon the Church lands, like all his other " ungelds," 
certainly died with him ; and nothing can well be more unlikely 
than that Henry II. in the very midst of his early reforms should 
have reintroduced, entirely without excuse and without necessity, 
one of the most obnoxious and unjust of the measures which had 
been expressly abolished in "the time of his grandfather King 



There is some difficulty as to both the date and the duration of 
this council. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 176) gives the date of 
meeting as January 13 ; R. Diceto (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 312) as Janu- 
ary 2 5 ; while the official copy of the Constitutions (Summa Causce, 
Robertson, Becket, vol. iv. p. 208; Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 140) 
gives the closing day as January 30 (" quarta die ante Purificationem 
S. Maria "). As to the duration of the council, we learn from 
Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Btcket, vol. iii. p. 279) and Gerv. Cant. 


(as above, p. 178) that there was an adjournment of at least one 
night; while Gilbert Foliot (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. Ep. ccxxv. 
pp. 527-529) says " Clarendonae . . . continuato triduo id solum 
actum est lit observandarum regni consuetudinum et dignitatum a 
nobis fieret absoluta promissio;" and that "die vero tertio," after a 
most extraordinary scene, Thomas "antiquas regni consuetudines 
antiquorum memoria in commune propositas et scripto com- 
mendatas, de caetero domino nostro regi se fideliter observaturum in 
verbo veritatis absolute promittens, in vi nobis injunxit obedientise 
sponsione simili nos obligare." This looks at first glance as if 
meant to describe the closing scene of the council, in which case 
its whole duration would be limited to three days. But it seems 
possible to find another interpretation which would enable us to 
reconcile all the discordant dates, by understanding Gilbert's words 
as referring to the verbal discussion at the opening of the council, 
before the written Constitutions were produced at all. Gilbert does 
indeed expressly mention "customs committed to writing"; but 
this may very easily be a piece of confusion either accidental or 
intentional. On this supposition the chronology may be arranged 
as follows : The council meets on January 13 (Gerv. Cant.). That 
day and the two following are spent in talking over the primate ; 
towards evening of the third which will be January 15 he yields, 
and the bishops with him (Gilb. Foliot). Then they begin to 
discuss what they have promised ; the debate warms and lengthens ; 
Thomas, worn out with his three days' struggle and seeing the rocks 
ahead, begs for a respite till the morrow (Herb. Bosh.). On that 
morrow /.<?. January 16 Henry issues his commission to the 
" elders," and the council remains in abeyance till they are ready 
with their report None of our authorities tell us how long an 
interval elapsed between the issue of the royal commission and 
its report. Herbert, indeed, seems to imply that the discussion on 
the constitutions began one night and the written report was brought 
up next day. But this is only possible on the supposition that it 
had been prepared secretly beforehand, of which none of the other 
writers shew any suspicion. If the thing was not prepared before- 
hand, it must have taken some time to do ; and even if it was, 
the king and the commissioners would surely, for the sake of ap- 
pearances, make a few days' delay to give a shew of reality to their 
investigations. Nine days is not too much to allow for preparation 
of the report. On January 25, then, it is brought up, and the real 
business of the council begins in earnest on the day named by R. 
Diceto. And if Thomas fought over every one of the sixteen con- 
stitutions in the way of which Herbert gives us a specimen, six 
days more may very well have been spent in the discussion, which 
would thus end, as the Summa Causce says, on January 30. 



WITH the archbishop's flight into France the struggle 
between him and the king entered upon a new phase. Its 
intrinsic importance was almost entirely lost, and it became 
simply an element in the wider questions of general 
European politics. In England Thomas's departure left 
Henry sole master of the field ; the Constitutions of 
Clarendon were put in force without delay and without 
difficulty ; a year later they were followed up by an Assize, 
significantly issued from the same place, which laid the 
foundations of the whole later English system of procedure 
in criminal causes ; and thenceforth the work of legal and 
judicial reform went on almost without a break, totally 
unaffected by the strife which continued to rage between 
king and primate for the next five years. The social 
condition of the country was only indirectly affected by it. 
The causes which had ostensibly given rise to it the 
principle involved in the acceptance or rejection of the 
Constitutions did not appeal strongly to the national 
mind, and had already become obscured and subordinated 
to the personal aspect which the quarrel had assumed at 
Northampton. As in the case of Anselm, it was on this 
personal aspect alone that popular feeling really fastened ; 
and in this point of view the advantage was strongly on the 
archbishop's side. Thomas, whose natural gifts had already 
made him a sort of popular idol, was set by the high-handed 


proceedings of the council in the light of a victim of regal 
tyranny ; and the sweeping and cruel proscriptions inflicted 
upon all who were in the remotest way connected with him 
tended still further to excite popular sympathy for his 
wrongs and turn it away from his persecutor. But the 
sympathy was for the individual, not for the cause. The 
principle of the clerical immunities had no hold upon the 
minds of the people or even of the clergy at large. Even 
among the archbishop's own personal friends, almost the 
only men who clave to it with anything like the same 
ardour as himself were his two old comrades of the Curia 
Tkeobaldi, Bishop John of Poitiers and John of Salisbury ; 
and even the devotion of John of Salisbury, which is one of 
the brightest jewels in Becket's crown, was really the 
devotion of friend to friend, of Churchman to primate, of a 
generous, chivalrous soul to what seemed the oppressed and 
down-trodden side, rather than the devotion of a partizan to 
party principle. Herbert of Bosham, the primate's shadow 
and second self, who clave to his side through good report 
and evil report and looked upon him as a hero and a martyr 
from first to last, was nevertheless the author of the famous 
verdict which all the searching criticism of later times has 
never yet been able to amend : " Both parties had a zeal for 
God ; which zeal was according to knowledge, His judgement 
alone can determine." x 

Cool, dispassionate thinkers like Gilbert Foliot, on the 
other hand, while inclining towards the cause which Thomas 
had at heart, recoiled from his mode of upholding it as little 
less than suicidal. In Gilbert's view it was Thomas who 
had betrayed those " rights of his order " which he pro- 
claimed so loudly, by forsaking the attitude of passive 
resistance which the bishops had adopted at Westminster 
and in which they were practically unassailable, and staking 
everything upon the king's good faith, without security, in 
the meeting at Oxford and the council at Clarendon : it 
was Thomas who by his subsequent conduct his rash 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.) p. 273. The whole passage from 
" O rex et o pontifex " to "judicium" (pp. 272, 273) should be compared with 
the admirable commentary of Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 16 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 140-141). 


attempts at flight, his rapid changes of front at Northampton 
in first admitting and then denying the royal jurisdiction, 
his final insult to the king in coming to the council cross in 
hand, and his undignified departure from the realm had 
frustrated the efforts whereby wiser and cooler heads might 
have brought the king to a better mind and induced him to 
withdraw the Constitutions : and it was not Thomas, but 
his suffragans, left to bear the brunt of a storm which they 
had neither deserved nor provoked, who were really in a fair 
way to become confessors and martyrs for a Church brought 
into jeopardy by its own primate. 1 Gilbert in fact saw 
clearly that the importance of the point at issue between 
king and archbishop was as nothing compared to the 
disastrous consequences which must result from their pro- 
tracted strife. Lit threatened nothing less than ruin to the 
intellectual and religious revival which Theobald had fostered 
so carefully and so successfully. The best hopes of the 
movement were bound up with the alliance between Church 
and state which had been cemented at Henry's accession J] 
that alliance was now destroyed ; instead of the Church's 
most valuable fellow-worker, the king had been made her 
bitter foe ; and the work of revival was left to be carried on 
if it could be carried on at all in the teeth of the royal 
opposition and without a leader, while the man who should 
have directed it was only a perpetual stumbling-block in the 
path of those who had to supply as best they could the 
place left deserted by his flightTj It was upon Gilbert of 
London that this burthen chiefly fell ; and it is in Gilbert's 
position that we may find a key to the subsequent direction 
of the controversy, as far as England was concerned. 

For full twenty years before Becket's rise to the primacy 
Gilbert Foliot had been one of the most respected members 
of the reforming party in the English Church. While 
Thomas was a worldly young subdeacon in the household of 
Archbishop Theobald, while as chancellor he was outshining 
the king in luxurious splendour or riding in coat of mail at 
the head of his troops, Gilbert was setting the pattern of 
ecclesiastical discipline and furnishing the steadiest and most 

1 Ep. ccxxv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v.), pp. 526 et seq. 


valued assistance to the primate's schemes of reform. 
Trained no less than Henry of Winchester in the old 
Cluniac traditions of ecclesiastical authority, his credit had 
never been shaken by rashness and inconsistency such as 
had marred Henry's labours ; and it would have been neither 
strange nor blameworthy if he had cherished a hope of 
carrying on Theobald's work as Theobald's successor. 
Gilbert, however, solemnly denied that he had ever sought 
after or desired the primacy; 1 and his conduct does not 
seem to furnish any just ground for assuming the falsehood 
of the denial. His opposition to the election of Thomas 
was thoroughly consistent with his position and known 
views ; equally so was the support and co-operation which 
Thomas, as soon as he was fairly launched into his new 
course of action, anxiously sought to obtain from him, and 
which he for a while steadily gave. He had begun to find 
such co-operation difficult even before the question of the 
clerical immunities arose at the council of Westminster. On 
that question, in itself, the primate and the bishop of London 
were at one ; but they differed completely in their way of 
treating it. To the impulsive, short-sighted, downright 
Thomas it was the one, sole, all-absorbing question of life 
and death ; to the calm, far-seeing, cautious Gilbert it was 
a provoking hindrance raised up partly by the primate's 
own bad management to the well-being of interests far 
too serious and too wide-reaching to be imperilled for a 
mere point of administrative detail. He took up his position 
definitely at the council of Northampton. [The customs 
being once accepted, he held it the true Churchman's duty 
to obey them, to make the best and not the worst of them, 
while desiring and labouring for their abrogation, but only 
by pacific means. A temporary submission was the least of 
two evils. It was infinitely safer to bend to the storm and 
trust to the influences of time and conciliation for turning 
the mind of the king, than to run the risk of driving him 
into irreconcileable hostility to the Church. For hostility to 
the Church meant something far worse now than in the days 
when William Rufus and Henry I. had set up their regal 

1 Ep. ccxxv. (Robertson, JBecket, vol. v.), pp. 522, 523. 


authority against primate and Pope. It meant a widening 
of the schism which was rending western Christendom in 
twain ; it meant the accession of the whole Angevin 
dominions to the party of the Emperor and the anti-Pope, 
and the severance of all the ties between the English Church 
and her continental sisters which Theobald, Eugene and 
Adrian had laboured so diligently to secure?^ 

The dread of this catastrophe explains also the attitude 
of the Pope. In the long dreary tale of negotiation and 
intrigue which has to be traced through the maze of the 
Becket correspondence, the most inconsistent and self-con- 
tradictory, the most undecided and undignified, the most 
unsatisfactory and disappointing part of all is that played 
by Alexander III. It is however only fair to remember 
that, in this and in all like cases, the Pope's part was also 
the most difficult one. No crown in Christendom pressed 
so sorely on its wearer's brow as the triple tiara : " It may 
well look bright," Adrian IV. had been wont to say to his 
friend John of Salisbury, "for it is a crown of fire!" 
Adrian indeed, though his short reign was one of marked 
vigour and prosperity, declared that if he had had any idea 
of the thorns with which S. Peter's chair was filled, he would 
have begged his bread in England or remained buried in 
the cloisters of S. Rufus to the end of his days sooner than 
thrust himself into such a thicket of troubles. 1 For it was 
not only " the care of all the churches " that rested upon a 
medieval Pope, but the care of all the states as well. The 
court of Rome had grown into the final court of appeal for 
all Christendom ; the Pope was expected to be the universal 
referee, arbitrator and peacemaker of Europe, to hold the 
balance between contending parties, to penetrate and dis- 
entangle the intricacies of political situations which baffled 
the skill of the most experienced diplomatists, to exercise a 
sort of equitable jurisdiction on a vast scale over the whole 
range of political as well as social life. Earlier and later 
pontiffs may have voluntarily brought this burthen upon 
themselves ; most of the Popes of the twelfth century, at 
any rate, seem to have groaned under it as a weight too 

1 Job. Salisb. Polycrat., 1. viii. c. 23 (Giles, vol. iv. p. 367). 


heavy for any human strength to bear. Unprincipled as 
their policy often seemed, there was not a little justice in 
the view of John of Salisbury, that a position so exceptional 
could not be brought within the scope of ordinary rules of 
conduct, and that only those who had themselves felt its 
difficulties could be really competent to judge it at all. 1 
Adrian's energetic spirit was worn out by it in four years ; 2 
yet his position was easy compared to that of Alexander 
III. Alexander was a pontiff without a throne, the head of 
a Church in captivity and exile ; dependent on the support 
of the most selfish and untrustworthy of living sovereigns ; 
with Italy and Germany arrayed against him under the rule 
of a schismatic Emperor, and with the fidelity of the 
Angevin house hanging upon a thread which the least 
strain, the lightest touch, might break at any moment. 
Moreover Alexander was no Englishman like his prede- 
cessor. He had no inborn comprehension and no experi- 
ence of the ways and tempers of the north ; he had no 
bosom-friend, no John of Salisbury, to stand as interpreter 
between him and the Angevin king or the English primate ; 
he understood neither of them, and he was almost equally 
afraid of both. His chief anxiety was to have as little as 
possible to do with them and their quarrel, and the fugitive 
archbishop was to him anything but a welcome guest. 

It was of course impossible for the Pope to withhold his 
sympathy and his support from a prelate who came to him 
as a confessor for the privileges of the Church. But it was 
equally impossible for him to run the risk of driving Henry 
and his dominions into schism by espousing Thomas's cause 
as decisively as Thomas himself desired. Placed thus in 
what Adrian had once declared to be the ordinary position 
of a Roman pontiff " between hammer and anvil " Alex- 
ander drifted into a policy of shifts and contradictions, tergi- 
versations and double-dealings, which irritated Henry and 
which Thomas simply failed to comprehend. If Gilbert 

1 Job. Salisb., Polycrat., 1. viii. c. 23 (Giles, vol. iv. p. 363). 

2 Ibid. (pp. 366, 367). "Licet nihil aliud Isedat, necesse est ut citissime vel 
solo labore deficiat [sc. Papa]. . . . Dum superest, ipsum interroga." This was 
written early in 1 1 59, and in August Adrian died. 


Foliot and Arnulf of Lisieux could have succeeded in their 
efforts to induce the contending parties to accept a com- 
promise, the Pope would have been only too glad to 
sanction it. [But it_was useless to talk of compromise 
where Thomas Becket was concerned^ To all the remoter 
consequences, the ultimate bearings of the quarrel, he was 
totally blind. For him there was but one question in the 
world, the one directly before him ; it could have but two 
sides, right and wrong, between which all adjustment was 
impossible, and with which considerations of present ex- 
pediency or future consequences had nothing to doT^ All 
Gilbert's arguments for surrender, his solemn waniings of 
the peril of schism, his pleadings that it was better for the 
English Church to become for a while a sickly member of 
the ecclesiastical body than to be cut off from it altogether, 1 
Thomas looked upon, at best, as proposals for doing evil 
that good might come. After his humiliating experience at 
Clarendon he seems to have felt that he was no match for 
Henry's subtlety ; his flight was evidently caused chiefly by 
dread of being again entrapped into a betrayal of what he 
held to be his duty ; and once, in an agony of self-reproach 
and self-distrust, he laid his archiepiscopal ring at the 
Pope's feet and prayed to be released from the burthen of 
an office for which he felt himself unworthy and unfit. 2 
Strong as was the temptation to pacify Henry thus easily, 
Alexander felt that the Church could not allow such a 
sacrifice of her champion ; and Thomas never again swerved 
from his determination to be satisfied with nothing short ot 
complete surrender on the part of the king. For this one 
object he laboured, pleaded, argued, censured, during the 
next six years without ceasing ; his own suffragans, the 
monastic orders, Pope, cardinals, the Empress Matilda, the 
king of France, none of them had a moment's peace from 
his passionate endeavours to press them into a service which 

1 Ep. cviii. (Robertson, Becket^ vol. v.), p. 207. 

2 Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 46; Alan Tewkesb. (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 342, 343 ; 
E. Grim (ibid.}, p. 403; Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 76; Thomas Saga 
(Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 305-313. Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 16 (Hewlett, vol. i. 
p. 140), gives this scene as having occurred, "ut dicitur," at the council of 


he seemed to expect them all to regard as a matter of life 
and death not merely for England but for all Christendom. 
Doubtless it was a sad waste of energy and a sad perversion 
of enthusiasm ; yet the enthusiasm contrasts pathetically, 
almost heroically, with the spirit in which it was met. 
There was something noble, if there was also something 
exasperatingly unpractical, in a man who, absorbed in his 
devotion to one mistaken idea, never even saw that he and 
his cause were becoming the pretexts and the tools of half 
the political intrigues of Europe, and whom the experience 
of a lifetime failed to teach that all the world was not as 
single-hearted as himself. Intellectually, a mind thus con- 
stituted must needs provoke and deserve the impatient scorn 
of a cool clear brain such as Gilbert Foliot's ; but its very 
intellectual weakness was the source of its true strength. It 
is this dogged adherence to one fixed idea, this simplicity 
of aim, which appeals to the average crowd of mankind far 
more strongly than the larger and more statesmanlike 
temper of men like Foliot, or like Henry himself. Whether 
or no the cause be worthy whether or no the zeal be 
according to knowledge it is the zealot, not the philo- 
sopher, who becomes the popular hero and martyr. 

From the moment of Thomas's arrival in France, then, 
little though he perceived it himself, the direct question at 
issue between him and the king became in every point of 
view save his own entirely subordinate to the indirect conse- 
quences of their quarrel ; the ecclesiastical interest became 
secondary to the political, which involved matters of grave 
importance to all Europe. The one person to whom the 
archbishop's flight was most thoroughly welcome was Louis 
of France. Louis and Henry were nominally at peace ; but 
to Louis their alliance was simply a shield behind which he 
could plan without danger his schemes for undermining 
Henry's power on the continent, and no better tool for this 
purpose could possibly have fallen into his hands than the 
fugitive archbishop of Canterbury. Thomas had indeed just 
enough perception of the state of affairs between the two 
kings of which he must have acquired considerable experi- 
ence in his chancellor days to choose going to live on his 


own resources at Pontigny rather than accept the hospitality 
of his sovereign's enemy. 1 This arrangement probably 
delighted Louis, for it furnished him with a safe answer to 
Henry's complaints and remonstrances about harbouring the 
" traitor " Thomas was in sanctuary in a Cistercian abbey 
in Burgundy, and France was not harbouring him at all ; 
while the welcome which Louis gave to the primate's exiled 
friends and the sympathy which he displayed for their cause 
heightened his own reputation for devotion to the Church 
and served as a foil to set off more conspicuously the supposed 
hostility of Henry. To Louis in short the quarrel was some- 
thing which might turn to his own advantage by helping to 
bring Henry into difficulties ; and he used it accordingly 
with a skill peculiar to himself, making a great shew of dis- 
interested zeal and friendly mediation, and all the while 
taking care that the breach should be kept open till its heal- 
ing was required for his own interest. 

With such an onlooker as this Henry knew that he must 
play his game with the utmost caution. He had been pro- 
voked by the personal opposition of his old friend into 
standing upon his regal dignity more stiffly than he would 
have thought it worth while to do so long as it remained 
unchallenged. On his side, too, there was a principle at 
stake, and he could not give it up unconditionally ; but he 
might have been induced to accept a compromise, had not 
the obstinacy of Thomas forced him into a corresponding 
attitude of unbending determination. So keen was his sense 
of the danger attendant upon the fugitive archbishop's 
presence in France that it led him to postpone once more 
the work which he had been planning in England and cross 
over to Normandy again early in 1 165. 2 Lent was passed 
in fruitless attempts to bring about a triple conference 
between the two kings and the Pope ; Henry refused to 
allow Thomas to be present ; Thomas begged the Pope not 
to expose himself to Henry's wiles without him who alone 
could help him to see through them ; and Alexander, now 
busy with preparations for his return to Rome, was probably 

1 Anon. II. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.), p. 109. 
- Rob. Torigni, a. 1165. 


not sorry to escape by declaring that for a temporal prince 
to dictate who should or who should not form part of the 
Pope's suite was a claim which had never been heard of 
before and which he could not possibly admit 1 Imme- 
diately after Easter he set out on his journey homewards. 

The rival party saw their opportunity and seized it 
without delay. Their fortunes were now at a very low ebb ; 
the antipope Victor had died in April ; his chief supporter, 
Cardinal Guy of Crema, had succeeded him under the title 
of Paschal III.; but Italy had cast him off, and even in 
Germany the tide was turning against him. The Emperor, 
however, clung with unwavering determination to his original 
policy ; and he at once saw in the English king's quarrel 
with the Church a means of gaining for Paschal's cause what 
would amply compensate for all that had been lost. Before 
Alexander was fairly out of the French kingdom an embassy 
from Germany came to Henry at Rouen, bringing proposals 
for an alliance to be secured by two marriages : one between 
the English princess Matilda, Henry's eldest daughter, and 
the Emperor's cousin Duke Henry of Saxony ; the other 
between Henry's second daughter and Frederic's own little 
son. The chief ambassador was Reginald, archbishop-elect 
of Coin, who from the time of Frederic's accession two 
years before that of Henry had been his chancellor and 
confidential adviser, playing a part curiously like that of 
Thomas Becket, till in the very year of the English chan- 
cellor's removal to Canterbury he was appointed to the see 
of Coin. There the parallel with Thomas ended ; for 
Reginald was the most extreme champion of the privileges 
not of the Church but of the Imperial Crown, and was even 
more closely identified with the schismatic party than 
Frederic himself. Henry sent him over to the queen, who 
had been left as regent in England, to receive from her a 
formal promise of her daughter's hand to the duke of Saxony, 
in a great council convened at Westminster for that purpose. 
The old justiciar Earl Robert of Leicester refused the kiss 

1 Alan Tewkesb. (Robertson, Becket ', vol. ii.), pp. 346, 347; evidently taken 
from the Pope's own letter, extant only in the Icelandic version, in Thomas Saga 
(Magnusson),.vol. i. p. 329. 


of peace to the schismatic and caused the altars at which he 
had celebrated to be thrown down, 1 thereby saving Henry 
from the fatal blunder of committing himself publicly to the 
cause of the anti-pope, and England from the dangers of 
open schism. But he could not prevent the king from 
sending two clerks to a council which met at Wiirzburg on 
Whit-Sunday to abjure Pope Alexander and acknowledge 
Paschal ; and although the fact was strenuously denied, it 
seems impossible to doubt that they did take the oath at 
the Emperor's hands in their master's name ; 2 indeed, 
Reginald of Coin boasted that Henry had promised to make 
all the bishops in his dominions do the same. 

A crisis seemed imminent, but Henry managed to avoid 
it. From the Emperor's solicitations, from the Pope's 
remonstrances, from all the pleadings of friends and all the 
intrigues of foes, he suddenly made his escape by flying back 
to England and plunging into a Welsh war which kept him 
all the summer safe out of their reach, 3 and furnished him 
with an excuse for postponing indefinitely the completion of 
his alliance with the schismatic party. Such an alliance 
would in fact have cost far more than it was worth. Alex- 
ander was once more safely seated upon S. Peter's chair, and 
was urging Thomas to throw himself wholly on the protection 
of the king of France ; Louis was in the highest state of 
triumph, rejoicing over the birth of his long-desired son ; 
while the whole Angevin dominions, which Eleanor was 
governing in her husband's absence, were full of suppressed 
disaffection and surrounded with threatening or intriguing 
foes. 4 In Lent 1 166 therefore Henry hurried back to Nor- 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 318. He mistakenly thinks that the king was 
at Westminster, and he also thinks the embassy came in 1167. Its true date, 
1165, is shown by the letters referred to in next note. 

2 Epp. xcviii.-ci. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. pp. 184-195). Will. Cant. (ib. 
vol. i.), pp. 52, 53. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p.. 331. 

3 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 197) says Henry went into Wales in 1165, "quo 
facilius domini Papse vel etiam Cantuariensis archiepiscopi . . . declinaret sententiam." 

4 " Movetur enim [rex] Francorum invidia, calumniisque Flandrensium, Wall- 
ensium improbitate, Scottorum insidiis, temeritate Britonum, Pictavorumque 
foederibus, interioris Aquitaniae sumptibus, Gasconum levitate, et (quod gravius 
est) simultate fere omnium quoscumque ditioni ejus constat esse subjectos." Ep. 
clxii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v.), pp. 313, 314. 


mandy to hold a conference with Louis, and, if possible, to 
free his own hands for the work which lay before him. 

The work was in truth a vast and complex one. At 
the age of thirty-three Henry was already planning out an 
elaborate scheme for the future of his children and the dis- 
tribution of his territories, in which the election of his eldest 
son as joint-king in England was but the first and least 
difficult step. Normandy and Anjou, as well as England, 
had to be secured for little Henry ; Aquitaine was if possible 
to be settled upon Richard as his mother's heir ; for Geoffrey 
Henry was bent upon acquiring the Breton duchy. 1 Conan 
IV., whom Henry had in 1158 established as duke of 
Britanny, had but one child, a daughter, whose hand, together 
with the reversion of her father's territories, the king was 
anxious to secure for his son. This however required the 
assent not only of Conan but of Louis of France, and also 
of the Breton barons, who bitterly resented the Norman 
interference which had set Conan as ruler over them, and 
were inclined to resist to the uttermost an arrangement 
which would bring them still more directly under the Nor- 
man yoke ; while Louis was but too ready to encourage 
them in their resistance. A campaign in the summer of 
1 1 66, however, another in August 1 167, and a third in the 
following spring so far broke their opposition 2 that in May 

1 Will. Newb. 1. ii. c. 18 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 145, 146). 

2 On the Breton campaign of 1166 see R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 329, and 
Rob. Torigni ad ann. Henry was near Fougeres on June 28 (Ep. ccix., Robert- 
son, Becket, vol. v. p. 421); he was besieging Fougeres itself on July 13-14 
(Eyton, Itin. Hen. II. , p. 96). On the campaigns of 1167 and 1168 see Rob. 
Torigni ad ann,, the meagre entries in a Breton chronicle, a. 1168-1169 (Morice, 
Hist. Bret., preuves, vol. i. col. 104; Rer. Gall. Scriptt., vol. xii. p. 560), and 
Chron. S. Albin. a. 1167 (Marchegay, Eglises, p. 40), which tells of Louis's share 
in the matter. See also the account of Henry's correspondence with King Arthur 
in Draco Norm., 1. ii. cc. 17-22, vv. 941-1282 (Hewlett, Will. Newb., vol. ii. pp. 
6 95-77)- According to this writer, one of the Breton leaders " Arturi dapifer, 
Rollandus, consul et idem tune Britonum " (Mr. Hewlett suggests that this may 
be Roland of Dinan, ib. p. 696 note) wrote a letter to Arthur imploring his aid 
for Britanny, and received a reassuring answer ; Henry also received a long epistle 
from the blameless king, to which, "subridens sociis, nil pavefactus," (c. 21, v. 
12 1 8, p. 705) he returned a polite and diplomatic answer. Unluckily the good 
monk omits to say how the letters were conveyed, and gives us no light upon the 
postal arrangements between Britanny and Avalon which by the way he places 
among "silvas . . . Cornubiae, proxima castra loco," whatever that may mean 


1169 Geoffrey was sent into Britanny to receive their 
homage as heir to the dukedom ; three months later his 
father joined him, 1 and at Christmas they held their court 
together at Nantes, 2 whence they made a sort of triumphal 
progress through the duchy, receiving homage and fealty 
wherever they went. 3 

It had proved easier to subdue Britanny than to hold 
Aquitaine. The half independent princes of the south, so 
scornful of a king beyond the Loire, were at least equally 
scornful of a king from beyond the sea ; in November 1 166 
Henry was obliged to summon them to a conference at 
Chinon, 4 and to relieve Eleanor of her task of government 
by sending her to keep Christmas in England, 5 while he 
himself took her place at Poitiers. 6 His foes seized their 
opportunity to revive the vexed question of Toulouse ; a 
meeting with Raymond at Grandmont and an attempt to 
assert Henry's ducal authority over the count of Auvergne 
led to a fresh rupture with Louis ; 7 and in the spring of 
1 1 68 the discontented barons of Aquitaine, secure of the 
French king's goodwill, broke into open revolt. In the 
midst of a negotiation with Louis, Henry hurried away to 
subdue them. 8 Scarcely had he turned northward again 
when Earl Patrick of Salisbury, whom he had appointed to 

(c. 20, w. 1213, 1214, p. 705). It is quite possible that some of the Breton 
leaders did seek to rouse the spirit of their followers by publishing an imaginary 
correspondence with the mythic hero-king whose existence was to most of the 
common people in Britanny at that time almost as much an article of faith as any 
in the Creed ; it is possible too that they were themselves so far carried away by 
the same illusion as to attempt to work upon Henry by similar means ; and in 
that case it is extremely probable that Henry, with his Angevin tact and sense of 
humour, would meet the appeal pretty much as the Bee writer represents. But 
the letters given in the Draco must be the monk's own composition. Neither 
Roland nor Henry can have been capable of stringing together such a quantity of 
pseudo-history, ancient and modern, as is therein contained. 

1 Rob. Torigni, a. 1169. 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 337.' Gesta Hen. ["Benedict of Peterborough "] 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 3. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 3. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above. 4 Ep. ccliii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.), p. 74. 

5 Eyton, Itin. Hen. //., pp. 104, 108. 

6 Rob. Torigni, a. 1167. Cf. Ep. cclxxvii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.), p. 131. 

7 Rob. Torigni, a. 1167. Cf. Chronn. S. Albin. and S. Serg. a. 1166 
( March egay, Eglises, pp. 40, 149). 

8 Rob. Torigni, a. 1168. Ep. ccccix. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.), p. 408. 


assist Eleanor in the government of the duchy, was murdered 
by one of the rebel leaders j 1 and Eleanor was once more 
left to stand her ground alone in Poitou, while her husband 
was fighting the Bretons, staving off the ecclesiastical cen- 
sures which threatened him, and vainly endeavouring to 
pacify Louis, who now openly shewed himself as the 
champion of all Henry's disaffected vassals, Breton, Poitevin, 
Scottish and Welsh, 2 as well as of the exiled archbishop. 

Henry meanwhile was endeavouring to strengthen his 
political position by alliances in more remote quarters ; the 
marriage of his eldest daughter with the duke of Saxony 

1 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 205. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 331. 
Rob. Torigni, a. 1168. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 273, 274. This last 
writer states that the slayer was Guy of Lusignan, and that Guy fled to Jerusalem 
(of which he afterwards became king) to escape the punishment of this crime. 
This story has been generally adopted by modern historians. But its latter half 
is incompatible with the appearance of " Guy of Lusignan" among the rebels in 
Aquitaine in 1173, five years after the death of Patrick (Gesta Hen., Stubbs, vol. i. 
p. 46) ; and the whole of it seems to rest solely on Roger's misunderstanding of 
the passage in the Gesta which he was copying. In that passage Guy is intro- 
duced as " Guide de Lezinan, frater Gaufridi de Lezinan, qui Patricium comitem 
Salesbiriensem tempore hostilitatis . . . occiderat. Erat enim prsedictus Guido," 
etc. ; then comes an account of his adventures in Palestine (Gesta Hen.,, Stubbs, 
vol. i. p. 343). Roger of Howden chose to make qui refer to Guido; but it 
might just as well, or even better, refer to Gaufridus. Guy comes upon the historical 
scene for the first time in 1173. It seems pretty clear that Geoffrey was his elder 
brother, and took a leading part in southern politics and warfare long before Guy 
was of an age to join in them. If Patrick was slain by either of the brothers, 
therefore, it was by Geoffrey and not by Guy. Admitting this much, however, 
there is still no ground for looking upon even Geoffrey as a murderer who had 
committed such a crime as to be obliged to fly from justice. For "Geoffrey of 
Lusignan " stood by the side of Guy among the rebels of 1 173 (Gesta Hen,, Stubbs, 
vol. i. p. 46); "Geoffrey of Lusignan" and his brothers claimed La Marche 
against King Henry between 1178 and 1180 (Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. c. 70, Labbe, 
Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 324) ; "Geoffrey of Lusignan" rose against Richard in 
1188 (Gesta Hen., Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 34; Rog. Howden, Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 339; 
R. Diceto, Stubbs, vol. ii. pp. 54, 55) ; and it was not till after he had in this 
revolt slain a special friend of Richard, that he betook himself to Palestine, where 
he arrived in the summer of the same year (Itin. Reg. Ric., Stubbs, p. 26), and where, 
moreover, he and Richard afterwards became firm allies. Geoffrey may therefore 
enjoy the benefit of the plea which Bishop Stubbs (Itin. Reg. Ric., introd. p. 
cxxiv, note) puts forward for Guy, that "there is nothing to show that Patrick 
was not killed in fair fight. " But it seems pretty clear that for the heroic king of 
Jerusalem himself no such plea is needed at all. 

2 Rob. Torigni, a. 1168 ; Epp. ccccix., ccccxxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi. ), 
pp. 408, 455, 456. 


had taken place early in 1 168 j 1 two years before, the hand 
of one of her sisters had been half promised to the marquis 
of Montferrat for his son, in return for his good offices with 
the Pope ; 2 and a project was now on foot for the marriage 
of Henry's second daughter, Eleanor, with the king of 
Castille a marriage which took place in 1169 ; 3 while the 
infant Jane, who was scarcely four years old, was betrothed 
to the boy-king William of Sicily. 4 For Richard his father 
was now endeavouring to gain the hand of Adela ( of France, 
the younger daughter of Louis and Constance, as a sort of 
security for the investiture of Aquitaine ; while at the same 
time Henry was on the one hand making interest with the 
Emperor's Italian foes, the rising commonwealths of Lom- 
bardy and the jurisconsults of Bologna ; 5 and on the other, 
Frederic was endeavouring to regain his alliance by an 
embassy headed by his own cousin, Henry's new-made son- 
in-law, the duke of Saxony. 6 

All this political, ecclesiastical and diplomatic coil Henry 
had to unravel almost single-handed. Of the group of coun- 
sellors who had stood around him in his early years, Arnulf 
of Lisieux on one side of the sea and Richard de Lucy on 
the other were almost the sole survivors. He had lost the 
services of his constable Henry of Essex under very painful 
circumstances a few months before that council at Wood- 
stock which saw the beginning of his quarrel with Thomas. 
The constable was accused by Robert de Montfort of having 

1 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 205. From the Pipe Roll of the year, with 
Mr. Eyton's comment {Itin. Hen. II., p. 109), it seems that Matilda and her 
mother crossed the sea together in September 1167, and that Matilda went on to 
Germany, where she was married early next year, while Eleanor returned to 
England before Christmas. Rob. Torigni, a. 1167. 

2 Ep. cclii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.), p. 68. 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 334. The original scheme seems to have been 
for marrying both Eleanor and Jane to Spanish sovereigns, among whom, how- 
ever, Castille is not named. In a letter written in the summer of 1168 John of 
Salisbury speaks of "regum, Navariensis aut Aragonensis scilicet, quibus filias 
suas dare disponit [rex]." Ep. ccccxxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.) p. 457. 

4 Ep. dxxxviii. (ib. vol. vii.) p. 26. Jane was born at Angers in October 
1165 ; Rob. Torigni, ad ann. 

5 Epp. dxxxviii., dxxxix. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.), pp. 26, 30, 31. 

6 Rob. Torigni, a. 1168. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 205. Draco Norm., 
1. iii. cc. 4, 5, vv. 191-360 (Howlett, Will. Neivb., vol. ii. pp. 718-724). 


committed high treason six years before by purposely letting 
fall the standard and falsely proclaiming the king's death at 
the battle of Consilt. Henry of Essex declared that he 
had dropped the standard in the paralysis of despair, really 
believing the king to be dead ; and it is evident from the 
high commands which he held in the war of Toulouse and 
elsewhere that the king continued to treat him with un- 
diminished confidence, and to regard him as one of his most 
valuable ministers and friends. The charge once made, 
however, could only be met by ordeal of battle. The 
encounter took place at Reading; Henry of Essex went 
down before his accuser's lance ; and all that his sovereign 
could do for him was to save his life by letting the monks 
of the neighbouring abbey carry his body off the field as if 
for burial, and when he proved to be still alive, suffering 
him to remain as a brother of the house, while his property 
was confiscated to the Crown and his services were lost to 
the state. 1 The king's mother died in the autumn of 1 16/; 2 
his old friend and adviser Earl Robert of Leicester passed 
away in Ii68. 3 A desperate attempt was even made to 
part him from his wife, in order to get rid of his rights over 
Aquitaine ; 4 while the man who had once been his most 
successful diplomatic agent and his unfailing helper against 
the wiles of all his enemies was now the most formidable 
tool in their hands. 

It was for his children's sake that Henry at last bent 
his pride to do what he had vowed never to do again. At 
Montmirail, on the feast of Epiphany 1 169, he renewed his 

1 Rob. Torigni, a. 1163. Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 5 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 108). 
Joe. Brakelond (Rokewode, Camden Soc.), pp. 50-52. For date see Palgrave, 
Eng. Commonwealth, vol. ii. pp. xxii, xxiii. 

2 Rob. Torigni, a. 1167. Draco Norm., 1. iii. c. I, vv. 1-12 (Howlett, Will. 
Newb., vol. ii. p. 711). Chron. S. Serg., a. 1167 (Marchegay, Eglises, p. 150). 

3 Rob. Torigni, a. 1168. Ann. Waverl. a. 1168 (Luard, Ann. Monast., vol. 
ii. p. 239). Chron. Mailros, a. 1168. 

4 See the Gradus cognationis inter regem et reginam (Robertson, Becket, vol. 
vi. p. 266). " Hanc computationem prsesentaverunt Pictavenses cardinalibus 
quando S. Thomas exsulabat, sed non sunt auditi." The "computation" as 
there stated is wrong ; but the right one really does leave Henry and Eleanor 
within the forbidden degrees. (See above, vol. i. p. 393, note 2, and p. 445, note 
1 1). They were cousins in the fifth degree, their common ancestress being Herleva 
of Falaise. 


homage to Louis, made full submission to him, and pro- 
mised compensation to the Breton and Poitevin barons for 
their losses in the recent wars. 1 Next day young Henry 
did homage to the French king for the counties of Anjou 
and Maine, 2 and, as it seems, of Britanny, which his brother 
Geoffrey was to hold under him. 3 Richard did the like for 
Aquitaine, of which Louis granted him the investiture, 4 
together with a promise of Adela's hand. 5 Three weeks 
later young Henry, in his new capacity of count of Anjou, 
officiated in Paris as seneschal to the king of France ; 6 he 
afterwards repeated his homage to Louis's son and heir, and 
received that of his own brother Geoffrey for the duchy of 
Britanny. 7 

One thing alone was now lacking to the completion of 
Henry's scheme : the crowning of his heir. There can be 
no doubt that when he sent Thomas and the child to Eng- 
land together the one to be chosen king and the other to 
be made primate he intended the coronation to take place 
as soon as he himself could rejoin them. Its performance, 
delayed by his own continued absence on the continent, had 
however been made impossible by his quarrel with Thomas. 
That the archbishop of Canterbury alone could lawfully 
crown a king of England was a constitutional as well as an 
ecclesiastical tradition so deeply rooted in the minds of 
Englishmen that nothing short of absolute necessity had 
induced Henry I. to set it aside in his own case ; and still 
less could Henry II. venture to risk such an innovation in 
the case of his son. 8 Yet the prospect of a reconciliation 

1 Ep. cccclxi. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.), pp. 506, 507. 

2 Ib. p. 507. Rob. Torigni a. 1169. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 208. 

3 Rob. Torigni, a. 1169, and Gerv. Cant, (as above) say that young Henry 
did homage to Louis for Britanny ; Normandy was not mentioned, the homage 
done for it by young Henry in 1160 being counted sufficient (ibid.}. The elder 
king himself kept Touraine on the old terms of homage to Theobald of Blois 
(Ep. cccclxi. as above). 

4 Ep. cccclxi., Rob. Torigni and Gerv. Cant, as above. 

5 Gerv. Cant, as above. 6 Rob. Torigni, a. 1169. 7 Ibid. 

8 The historical arguments on this subject may be seen in Will. Fitz-Steph. 
(Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. no, and Ep. dclxxxiv. (ib. vol. vii.), pp. 328- 
330. Henry was once said to have projected getting the Pope himself to crown 
the child ; Ep. Iv. (ib. vol. v.), p. 100. Against this, of course, Canterbury could 
have had nothing to say. 


with the primate seemed at this moment further off than 

Thomas's first impulse on entering Pontigny had been 
to give himself up to a course of study, devotion and self- 
discipline more severe than anything which he had yet 
attempted. He secretly assumed the habit of the " white 
monks," 1 and nearly ruined his delicate constitution by a 
rash endeavour to practise the rigorous abstinence enjoined 
by the rules of the order. 2 He grew more diligent than 
ever in prayer, meditation, and study of Holy Scripture. 3 
But his restless, impetuous nature could not rise to the 
serene heights of more than worldly wisdom urged upon 
him by John of Salisbury, who truly insisted that such 
occupations alone were worthy of a true confessor. 4 In spite 
of John's warnings and pleadings, he still kept all his friends 
John himself included ceaselessly at work in his behalf; 
and while he sought out in every church and convent in 
Gaul every rare and valuable book that he could hear of, to 
be copied for his cathedral library, he was also raking 
together for the same collection all the privileges, old or 
new, that could be disinterred from the Roman archives or 
extorted from the favour of the Pope. 5 Until Easter 1 1 66 
Alexander restrained him from any direct measures against 
the king ; 6 then, unable to keep silence any longer, Thomas 
again took the matter into his own hands and wrote to 
Henry himself, earnestly imploring him to consider his ways 
and to grant his old friend a personal interview. 7 Henry 
was inexorable ; Thomas wrote again, this time a torrent of 
mingled warnings, intreaties and remonstrances, 8 and with 
just as little effect. Then, towards the end of May, as the 

1 Alan Tewkesb. (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii. ), p. 345. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), 
p. 64. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 315. 

2 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 126, 127. E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), 
pp. 412, 413. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 376-379. Thomas Saga (as above), 
P- 317. 

3 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 77. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), 
p. 379. 4 Ep. Ixxxv. (ib. vol. v.), pp. 163, 164. 

5 Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. 

6 Ep. xcv. (Robertson, Beckef, vol. v.), pp. 179, 180. 

7 Ep. clii. (ib. pp. 266-268). 

8 Ep. cliii. (ib. pp. 269-278), translated by Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 100-106. 


king was holding council with his barons at Chinon, a bare- 
footed monk came to him with a third letter from the 
primate. 1 Once again Thomas expressed his longing for a 
personal meeting ; once again he set forth the doctrine of 
the divine rights and duties of kings, and charged Henry, by 
the solemn memory of his coronation-vows, to restore to 
the English Church her privileges and her chief pastor. 
Only in the last sentence came a significant warning : " If 
not, then know of a surety that you shall feel the severity of 
Divine vengeance ! " And there was no doubt about its 
meaning ; for the Empress Matilda had already transmitted 
to her son a threat sent to her by Thomas in plain words, 
that unless she could bring him to acknowledge his error, 
" shortly, yea, very shortly " the " sword of the Spirit " 
should be drawn against his dominions and even against 
himself. 3 

Harassed by disaster and revolt, provoked by the 
primate's former letters, Henry, upon reading this one and 
hearing the messenger's comment upon it for Thomas had 
charged him to say a good deal more than he wrote 4 - 
might well feel that he was standing on the brink of a 
volcano. He turned desperately upon the bishops around 
him, half imploring, half commanding them to help him out 
of his strait, abusing them for a pack of traitors who would 
not trouble themselves to rid him of this one unmanageable 
foe, and exclaiming with a burst of tears that the archbishop 
was destroying him soul and body together; for he naturally 
expected nothing less than an interdict on his dominions 
and an anathema against himself, and both sanctioned by 
the Pope. When Henry was thus at his wits' end, the only 
one among his continental advisers who was likely to have 
any counsel to offer him was Arnulf of Lisieux. Once 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 106. E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), p. 419. 
Cf. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 383-385. Eyton (Itin. Hen. //., p. 93) dates 
this council June I, but this cannot be reconciled with Thomas's subsequent 

2 Ep. cliv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. pp. 278-282), translated by Gamier 
(Hippeau), pp. 109-111. 

3 Ep. clxxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. p. 361). 

4 Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p- 385. 


more Arnulf proved equal to the occasion ; he suggested 
that the primate's intended censures should be forestalled by 
an appeal to the Pope. The remedy was a desperate one, 
for, as John of Salisbury triumphantly remarked when he 
heard of it, the king was flying in the face of his own 
Constitutions and confirming that very right of appeal 
which he was so anxious to abolish, by thus having 
recourse to it for his own protection. But there was no 
other loophole of escape ; so the appeal was made, a 
messenger was despatched to give notice of it in England, 
close the ports and cut off all communication with Thomas 
and with the Pope ; while the bishops of Lisieux and Seez 
set out for Pontigny to bid the primate stay his hand till 
the octave of Easter next, which was fixed for the term 
of Henry's appeal. 1 

They were too late. No sooner had the barefooted 
messenger returned with his tidings of the king's irreconcile- 
able wrath than Thomas hurried to Soissons on a pilgrimage 
to its three famous shrines : those of the Blessed Virgin, 
who had been the object of his special reverence ever since 
he learned the Ave Maria at his mother's knee ; of S. 
Gregory the Great, the patron of the whole English Church 
and more particularly of Canterbury and its archbishops ; 
and of S. Drausius, who was believed to have the power of 
rendering invincible any champion who spent a night in 
prayer before his relics. Before each of these shrines 
Thomas, like a warrior preparing for mortal combat, passed 
a night in solemn vigil, the last night being that of the 
festival of S. Drausius, and also of Ascension-day. 2 On the 
morrow he left Soissons ; 3 on Whitsun-eve 4 he reached 

1 Ep. cxciv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v.), pp. 381, 382. Herb. Bosh. (ib. 
vol. iii.), p. 393, confuses this appeal with a later one. 

2 It was also the anniversary of his own ordination to the priesthood June 2. 

3 Ep. cxciv. (Robertson, vol. v.), p. 382. 

4 Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 391, says "proxima ante festum die," and he 
makes the festival that of S. Mary Magdalene, the patron of the place. Tempt- 
ing, however, as his version is for it would explain at once Thomas's otherwise 
rather unaccountable choice of Vezelay for the scene of his proceedings, and the 
great concourse of people who evidently were assembled there it is quite irrecon- 
cileable with the minute chronological details of John of Salisbury's letter (Ep. 
cxciv. as above), written within a few weeks of the events, while Herbert's story 



Vezelay, a little town distant only a day's journey from 
Pontigny, and made famous by its great abbey, which 
boasted of possessing the body of S. Mary Magdalene. 
Thomas found the place crowded with pilgrims assembled 
to keep the Whitsun feast on this venerated spot. He was 
invited by the abbot to celebrate High Mass and preach on 
the festival day j 1 his sermon ended, he solemnly anathema- 
tized the royal customs and all their upholders, and excom- 
municated by name seven persons whom he denounced as 
special enemies to the Church ; the two first being Henry's 
confidential envoys John of Oxford and Richard of Ilchester, 
who had been the medium of his communications with the 
Emperor ; while a third, Jocelyn de Bailleul, was one of his 
chief advisers, and a fourth was no less a personage than 
the justiciar, Richard de Lucy. 2 Thomas had set out from 
Soissons in the full determination to excommunicate Henry 
himself at the same time ; but on his way he learned that 
the king was dangerously ill ; he therefore contented him- 
self with a solemn warning publicly addressed to him by 
name, calling him to repentance for the last time, and in 
default, threatening him with immediate excommunication. 3 

The news of these proceedings reached Henry when, 
sick and anxious, he was trying to gather up strength and 
energy for a campaign against the Bretons. He instantly 
despatched another messenger to England, bidding Richard 
de Lucy call an assembly of the bishops and clergy and 
compel them to make a general appeal to the Pope against 
the authority and jurisdiction of their primate. 4 The meet- 
was written from memory, many years after. On the other hand, R. Diceto's 
date (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 318), Ascension-day, is more impossible still. 

1 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 391. 

2 The details of the sentence are in Thomas's own letters, Epp. cxcv., cxcvi., 
cxcviii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v.), pp. 386-391, 392-397- Cf. Ep. cxciv. (ibid.), 
p. 383. The other excommunicated persons were Ralf de Broc, Hugh of S. Clare 
and Thomas Fitz - Bernard. Their crime was invasion of Church property. 
Richard of Ilchester and John of Oxford were condemned for their dealings with 
the schismatics ; Richard de Lucy and Jocelyn de Bailleul, as being the authors of 
the Constitutions. 

3 Epp. cxciv., cxcvi., cxcviii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v.), pp. 382, 383, 391, 
396. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 391, 392. 

4 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 200. 


ing was held in London 1 at midsummer. 2 The appeal was 
made and sent to the Pope in the name of all the bishops 
and clergy of England ; but it is tolerably clear that the 
main body were merely passive followers, more or less 
willing, of Gilbert of London and Jocelyn of Salisbury, the 
former of whom was almost certainly the writer of the letter 
which conveyed the appeal to the Pope, as well as of that 
which announced it to the primate. 3 The hand of Gilbert 
Foliot was indeed so plainly visible that Thomas's reply was 
addressed with equal plainness to him personally. 4 The 
long and sarcastic letter with which he retorted 5 was answered 
in a yet more startling fashion at the opening of the next 
year. As Gilbert stood before the high altar of his cath- 
edral church on the feast of its patron saint a paper was 
thrust into his hand ; to his dismay it proved to be a papal 
brief granting to Archbishop Thomas a commission as legate 
for all England, and commanding the bishops to render 
him unqualified obedience and to resign within two months 
whatever confiscated church property had been placed in 
their charge by the king. In an agony of distress Gilbert, 
who himself had the custody of the Canterbury estates, sent 

1 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 200. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. 
i.), p. 56. 2 Ep. ccix. (ib. vol. v.), p. 421. 

3 Epp. cciv., ccv. (ib. vol. v.), pp. 403-413. Cf. Ep. ccix. (ibid.}, p. 241, 
and Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), pp. 56, 57. The bishop of Exeter consented to 
appeal, but in a fashion of his own, of which however there is no trace in the 
letter actually sent to the Pope. Two prelates were absent : Walter of Rochester, 
who pleaded illness, and Henry of Winchester, who wrote in excuse : " Vocatus a 
summo Pontifice, nee appello nee appellare volo." The others thought he meant 
that the Pope had cited him ; " ipse vero summum Pontificem, summum Judicem 
intelligebat, ad cujus tribunal jamjam trahebatur examinandus, tanquam qui in 
multis diebus processerat et vitse metis appropinquaret. " So says Will. Cant. ; but 
John of Salisbury says distinctly that the letter of appeal was sealed by London, 
Winchester and Hereford (Ep. cclii. , Robertson, Becket, vol. vi. p. 65). Can William 
have founded his pretty story on the old confusion (which is perpetually breaking 
out in his favourite authority, Gamier, and in other writers who have less excuse 
for it) between Wincestre and Wirecestre and was Roger of Worcester the real 
absentee ? He certainly did not share in the obloquy which this appeal brought 
upon Robert of Hereford, with whom hitherto he had usually been coupled by 
Thomas ; on the contrary, he and Bartholomew of Exeter are henceforth always 
coupled together as fellow-sufferers for their loyalty to the primate. 

4 Epp. ccxxiii., ccxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. pp. 490-520). 

5 The famous " Multiplicem nobis et diffusam." Ep. ccxxv. (ib. pp. 521-544). 


this news to the king, imploring him to grant permission 
that the Pope's mandate might be obeyed, at least till some 
method could be devised for escaping from a dilemma which 
now looked well-nigh hopeless. 1 Henry, absorbed in a 
struggle with the Bretons, had already been provoked into 
a vengeance as impolitic as it was mean. He threatened 
the Cistercian abbots assembled on Holy Cross day at the 
general chapter of their order that if Thomas were not 
immediately expelled from Pontigny, he would send all the 
White Monks in his dominions to share the primate's exile. 2 
When the abbot of Pontigny carried this message home, 
Thomas could only bid him farewell and betake himself to 
the sole protection left him that of the king of France. He 
left Pontigny on S. Martin's day 3 1 1 66, and took up his abode 
as the guest of Louis in the abbey of S. Columba at Sens. 4 

Henry saw his own blunder as soon as it was made, and 
endeavoured to neutralize its effects by despatching an 
embassy to the Pope, requesting that he would send a 
legatine commission to settle the controversy. One of his 
envoys was the excommunicate John of Oxford ; to the 
horror of Thomas and the indignation of Louis, John came 

1 Ep. ccviii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. v. pp. 417, 418). The Pope's brief is 
Ep. clxxii. (ib. pp. 328, 329); it is dated " Anagniae, vii. Idus Octobris," but its 
true date is Easter-day, April 24 (see editor's note, p. 329) the actual date of the 
letter whereby Alexander notified his act to the English bishops ; Ep. clxxiii. 
(Robertson, as above, pp. 229-231). The diocese (not the province) of York was 
exempted from Thomas's legatine jurisdiction the reason being that Roger of 
York was legate for Scotland (Ep. cclxx., ib. vol. vi. p. 119). Thomas sent the 
brief over to his friends Robert of Hereford and Roger of Worcester, bidding them 
communicate it to their brethren, beginning with London (Ep. clxxix., ib. vol. v. 
pp. 344-346). Canon Robertson supposes this brief to have been delivered to 
Gilbert on the feast of the Commemoration of S. Paul, i.e. June 30, 1166. Gilbert 
himself says merely "die beati Pauli"; and his letter has no date. But it men- 
tions " legates qui diriguntur ad nos " ; and there is no hint elsewhere of any talk 
about sending legates till late in the autumn, or even winter. There really seems 
to be no reason why we should not adopt a more obvious rendering of the date, 
as representing the greater and better-known festival of S. Paul's Conversion. In 
that case, of course, the year must be 1167. 

2 Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 50. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 414. 
Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 83. Herb. Bosh (ibid.}, p. 397. Anon. I. 
(ib. vol. iv.), p. 65. Cf. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 371. 

3 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 201, 202. 

4 E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), p. 415. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), 
pp. 403, 404 j etc. 


back in triumph, boasting not only that he had been 
absolved by the Pope, but that two cardinals, William and 
Otto the former of whom was a determined opponent of 
Thomas were coming with full powers to sit in judgement 
on the case between primate and king and decide it without 
appeal. 1 The first half of the boast was true, but not the 
second ; the cautious Pope instructed his envoys to do 
nothing more than arbitrate between the contending parties, 
if they could. 2 They did not reach Normandy till the 
autumn of 1167; Thomas came to meet them on the 
French border on November I 8 ; he refused to enter upon 
any negotiations till the property of the metropolitan see 
was restored ; 3 the legates carried their report to the king 
at Argentan, and were dismissed with an exclamation of 
disappointment and disgust " I wish I may never set eyes 
upon a cardinal again !" 4 Five of the English bishops whom 
Henry had summoned to advise him renewed their appeal, 5 
its original term having expired six months ago ; and the 
legates insisting that Thomas should respect the appeal, 6 
another year's delay was gained. 

At last, when the two kings made their treaty at Mont- 
mirail at Epiphany 1 1 69, Thomas, who had come to the 
spot under the protection of Louis, suddenly entered the 
royal presence and fell at Henry's feet, offering to place 
himself unreservedly in his hands. All parties thought the 
struggle was over, till the archbishop added once again the 
words which had so exasperated Henry at Oxford and at 
Clarendon : " Saving God's honour and my order." The 
king burst into a fury, and the meeting broke up in con- 
fusion. 7 Three months later, on Palm Sunday, from the 

1 Epp. cclxxx., cclxxxiii., cclxxxv., ccxcii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.), PP- 
140, 146, 147, 151-153, 170, 171. 

2 Ep. cccvii. (ibid.}, p. 201. ' Cf. Will. Cant. (id. vol. i.), p. 65, and Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 202, 203. 

3 Epp. cccxxxi., cccxxxii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.), pp. 247-251, 256-258. 

4 Ep. cccxxxix. (ibid.}, pp. 269, 270. 

5 Epp. cccxxxix., cccxli. -cccxlv. (ibid.}, pp. 270-272, 276, 277, 283-288. 

6 Ep. cccxliii. (ibid.), pp. 284, 285. 

7 Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 418-427. Epp. ccccli., cccclxi. (ib. vol. vi.), 
pp. 488, 489, 507-509. Cf. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), pp. 73, 74> and Thomas Saga 
(Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 427-433. 


high altar of Clairvaux, Thomas excommunicated ten of his 
opponents, first among whom was Gilbert Foliot. 1 Gilbert, 
who knew that the sentence had been hanging over him 
for more than a year, had appealed against it before it was 
uttered ; 2 the king, too, was forewarned, and at every sea- 
port guards were set to catch and punish 'with the utmost 
rigour any messenger from the primate. It was not till 
Ascension-day that a young layman named Berengar 
made his way up to the altar of Gilbert's cathedral 
church in the middle of High Mass and thrust into the 
hand of the celebrant the archbishop's letter proclaim- 
ing the excommunication of the bishop. 3 On that very 
day Thomas issued another string of excommunications. 4 
Gilbert, driven to extremity, renewed his appeal two days 
later ; and he added to it a formal refusal to acknowledge 
the jurisdiction of a metropolitan to whom he had made no 
profession, and a declaration so at least it was reported in 
Gaul of his intention to claim the metropolitical dignity 
for his own see, as an ancient right of which it had been 
unjustly defrauded by Canterbury. 5 A storm of indignant 
protest and vehement denunciation arose from the arch- 
bishop's party ; and the terrified Pope checked further pro- 
ceedings by despatching another pair of envoys, who as 
usual failed to agree either with the king, with the archbishop, 
or even with each other, and after wasting the summer in 
misunderstandings and recriminations left the case just 

1 Ep. cccclxxxviii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi. pp. 558, 559). See also Will. 
Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 87, and for date, R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 333. 

2 Ep. dxiii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi.), p. 614. 

3 Compare the account given by " Magister Willelmus" in Ep. dviii. (ibid.\ 
pp. 603, 604, with that of Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 89, 90. They are 
clearly from the same hand. 

4 Epp. dii., dvii. (ib. vol. vi.), pp. 594, 601-603. For date cf. Ep. cccclxxxviii. 
(ib. pp. 558, 559). 

5 Ep. dviii. (ibid.}, pp. 604-606 a very circumstantial account, yet one can 
scarcely understand how a man so wise and so learned as Gilbert can really have 
made such an utterly unhistorical claim. He must have known that it had no 
shadow of foundation, the nearest approach to such a thing being S. Gregory's 
abortive scheme for fixing the two archbishoprics at London and York. Gilbert's 
opponents, on the other hand, declared that he derived his claim from the archpriests 
of Jupiter who had their seat in the Roman Londinium, and denounced him as their 
would-be representative and successor. Epp. dxxxv., dxlvi. (ib. vol. vii.), pp. 10, 41. 


where they had found it. 1 By this time king and primate 
were both weary of their quarrel, and still more weary of 
mediation. In November the two kings had another per- 
sonal interview at Montmartre, and the archbishop's uncon- 
ditional restoration was all but decided. 2 Thomas, however, 
rashly attempted to hasten the completion of the settlement 
by a threat of interdict; 3 and the threat stung Henry into 
an act of far greater rashness. He had met Louis, as well 
as Thomas, at Montmartre, and had gained his immediate 
object of restraining the French king yet a little longer from 
direct hostilities ; the settlement of Britanny was completed 
at Christmas, that of Aquitaine was so far secure that its 
conclusion might safely be left to Eleanor's care ; in March 
1 170 Henry went to England 4 with the fixed determination 
of seeing his eldest son crowned there before he left it 

Three years before, he had wrung from the Pope then 
blockaded in Rome by the Imperial troops, and in the last 
extremity of peril a brief authorizing young Henry's 
coronation by the archbishop of York, in default of the 
absent primate of all England. 5 In face of a mass of 
earlier and later rescripts from Alexander's predecessors and 
Alexander himself, all strenuously confirming the exclusive 
privileges of Canterbury, Henry had never yet ventured to 
make use of this document ; like Adrian's bull for the con- 
quest of Ireland, it had been kept in reserve for a future 
day ; and that day had now come. In vain did Thomas 
proclaim his threatened interdict ; 6 in vain did the Pope 

1 On this legation of Gratian and Vivian see R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 335 ; 
Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 212, 213 ; Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. 
iii.), pp. 441-445; Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), pp. 72, 73; Epp. ccccxci., ccccxcii. 
(ib. vol. vi.), pp. 563, 564, 567 ; dlx., dlxi., dlxiii. -dlxviii. , dlxxxi., dlxxxiv., dci., 
dcii. (ib. vol. vii.), pp. 70-76, 78-92, 115, 116, 124, 125, 151-154, etc. 

2 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 97, 98; Herb. Bosh. 
(ibid.}, pp. 445-451 ; Epp. dciv.-dcvii. (ib. vol. vii. pp. 158-168). Thomas Saga 
(Magnusson), vol. i. p. 447. R. Diceto as above, pp. 335-337- Gerv. Cant, as 
above, p. 213. 

3 Epp. dlxxiii. -dlxxvii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii. pp. 97-109), etc. 

4 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 3. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 3. Gerv. 
Cant, as above, p. 216. 

5 Ep. cccx. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vi. pp. 206, 207). See the editor's note 
as to the date. 6 Epp. dclxxviii. -dclxxxiii. (ib. vol. vii. pp. 320-325). 


ratify it j 1 in vain did both alike issue prohibitions to all the 
English bishops against the act which they knew to be in 
contemplation. 2 The vigilance of the justiciars, quickened 
by a fresh set of stringent injunctions sent over by the king 
in the previous autumn, 3 made the delivery of letters from 
either primate or Pope so difficult that Thomas at last could 
intrust it to no one but a nun, Idonea, whom he solemnly 
charged with the duty of presenting to Roger of York the 
papal brief in which the coronation was forbidden. 4 The 
ceremony was fixed for Sunday, June 14. A week before 
that date young Henry, who with his girl-bride Margaret of 
France had been left at Caen under the care of his mother 
and Richard of Hommet the constable of Normandy, was 
summoned to join his father in England. 5 On S. Barnabas's 
day the bishops and barons assembled at Westminster in 
obedience to the royal summons ; 6 on Saturday, the 1 3th, 
the Pope's letter was at last forced upon the archbishop of 
York ; 7 but none the less did he on the following morning 
crown and anoint young Henry in Westminster abbey; while 
Gilbert of London, who had managed to extort conditional 
absolution in the Pope's name from Archbishop Rotrou of 
Rouen, 8 once more stood openly by his side in the foremost 
rank of the English bishops. 9 

The elder king only waited to see the tenants-in-chief, 
with the king of Scots at their head, swear fealty to his 
new-made colleague ere he hurried back to Normandy to 

1 Epp. dcxxviii.-dcxxx. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii. pp. 210-214). 

2 Epp. dcxxxii., dcxxxiii., dcxlviii.-dcli. (ib. pp. 216, 217, 256-264). Herb. 
Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 462, puts this interdict too late. 

3 The "ten ordinances"; Ep. dxcix. (ib. vol. vii. pp. 147-149); Will. Cant. 
(ib. vol. i.), pp. 53-55 ; Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 214-216; Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 231-236; on the date see Bishop Stubbs's note at last 

4 Ep. dclxxii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii. pp. 307-309). See the editor's note. 

5 Ep. dclxxiii. (ibid.\ pp. 309, 312. 

6 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 5. 

7 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 103. 

8 Ibid. Epp. dclviii.-dclx. (ib. vol. vii. pp. 275-277). 

9 Will. Fitz-Steph. (as above), p. 103 ; Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 5 ; 
Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs) vol. i. p. 219. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 338, Chron. 
Mailros, a. 1170, Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 4, Chron. S. Serg. a. 1169 
(Marchegay, Eglises, p. 150), all give different dates, and all wrong. 

ii. ' 'HENRY AND ROME 73 

meet the fast-gathering storm. 1 Louis, incensed that his 
daughter's husband should have been crowned without her, 
was already threatening war ; 2 Thomas, seeing in the king's 
action nothing but the climax of Canterbury's wrongs, was 
overwhelming the Pope with complaints, reproaches, and 
intreaties for summary vengeance upon all who had taken 
part in the coronation ; and the majority of the cardinals 
strongly supported his demands. 3 Henry saw that he must 
make peace at any price. Two days before the feast of S. 
Mary Magdalene he held a conference with Louis near 
Freteval, on the borders of the Vendomois and the county 
of Chartres ; 4 they were reconciled, and as they parted 
Henry said jestingly to the French king : " That rascal of 
yours, too, shall have his peace to-morrow ; and a right good 
peace shall it be." 5 At dawn on S. Mary Magalene's day 6 
he met Thomas in the "Traitor's Meadow," 7 close to 
Freteval ; they rode apart together, and remained in confer- 
ence so long that the patience of their followers was all but 
exhausted, when at last Thomas was seen to dismount and 
throw himself at the king's feet. Henry sprang from his 
horse, raised the archbishop from the ground, held his 
stirrup while he remounted, and rode back to tell his 
followers that peace was made, on terms which practically 
amounted to a complete mutual amnesty and a return to 
the state of affairs which had existed before the quarrel. 8 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 6. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 220. 
Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 83. Henry landed at Baffleur about 
Midsummer ; Gesta Hen. as above. 2 Gesta Hen. as above. 

3 Ep. dccvii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii. pp. 373, 374). 

4 " In limitibus suis inter Firmitatem, oppidum scilicet in pago Carnotensi, et 
Fretivalle, castrum videlicet in territorio Turonensi." Ep. dclxxxv. (ibid.}, p. 339' 
This Firmitas must be La Ferte-Villeneuil, and Turonensi should be Vindocinensi. 
Herb. Bosh., who lays the scene "in confinio Carnotusiae et Cenomannia, inter 
duo castella quorum unum nominatur Viefui" [Vievy-le-Raye] "et alterum 
Freteval " (jib. vol. iii. p. 466), is no nearer to the true geography. 

5 " Et crastina die habebit pacem suam latro vester ; et quidem bonam 
habebit." Will. Fitz-Steph. (ibid.}, p. 108. 

6 Ep. dclxxxv. (jib. vol. vii.), p. 340. 

7 Herb. Bosh. (jib. vol. iii.), p. 466. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 461. 

8 Epp. dclxxxiv., dclxxxv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.), pp. 326-334, 340-342. 
Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 108-111. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, p. 466. 
Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 150, 151. Thomas Saga (as above), pp. 461-465. , 


Henry had no sooner returned to Normandy than he 
fell sick almost to death ; on his recovery he went on a 
pilgrimage to the shrine of our Lady at Rocamadour in the 
Quercy, 1 and it was not until October that Thomas again 
saw him at Tours, on his way to a conference with Count 
Theobald of Blois at Amboise. 2 A difficulty had arisen 
about the restitution of the confiscated Church property and 
the absolution of the persons whom Thomas had excom- 
municated, each party insisting that the other should make 
the first step in conciliation. 3 There was also a difficulty 
about the kiss of peace, which Thomas required as pledge of 
Henry's sincerity, but which Henry seemed desirous of post- 
poning indefinitely. 4 Nevertheless, a letter from Henry to 
his son, announcing the reconciliation and bidding the 
young king enforce the restoration of the archiepiscopal 
estates, was drawn up in Thomas's presence at Amboise and 
sent over to England by the hands of two of his clerks, 5 
who presented it at Westminster on October 5. 6 The 
restoration was, however, not effected until Martinmas, and 
then it comprised little more than empty garners and ruined 
houses. 7 Thomas saw the king once more, at Chaumont, 8 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 6, 7. 

2 Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.) pp. 468, 469. Will. Fitz-Steph. 
(ibid.), p. 114. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 154. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. 
p. 469. The writer of the Gesta Hen. (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 8) gives the date of this 
meeting as Tuesday, October 12. But this must be quite ten days too late, for 
we shall see that a letter drawn up after the meeting was received in England on 
October 5. 

3 Ep. dclxxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.), pp. 333-337. 

4 Henry alleged that he had publicly sworn never to give Thomas the kiss 01 
peace, and could not face the shame of breaking his oath. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 
150; Herb. Bosh. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 450; Ep..dcxxiii. (ib. vol. vii.) 
pp. 198, 199 ; Thomas Saga, as above, p. 449. See in Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 
469, Will. Fitz-Steph. (ibid.), p. 115, and Thomas Saga (as above), p. 469, the 
contrivance by which he avoided it at Tours or Amboise, in William's version. 

5 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 156, 157. The letter, of which Gamier gives a 
translation, is Ep. dcxc. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.) pp. 346, 347 ; also in W'ill. 
Cant. (ib. vol. i.), p. 85; Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 112; Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 221 ; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 339. 

6 Ep. dccxv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.), p. 389. 

7 Ep. dccxxxiii. (ibid.), p. 402. 

8 Chaumont on the Loire, seemingly. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 470. Cf. 
Thomas Saga, as above, pp. 471-473. 


and Henry promised to meet him again at Rouen, thence to 
proceed with him to England in person. 1 Before the ap- 
pointed time came, however, fresh complications had arisen 
with the king of France ; Henry was obliged to give up all 
thought of going not only to England but even to Normandy, 
and delegated the archbishop of Rouen and the dean of 
Salisbury to escort Thomas in his stead. 

The duty finally devolved solely upon the dean, who 
was no other than Thomas's old opponent John of Oxford. 2 
Naturally enough, the primate was deeply hurt at being thus 
sent back to his see under the protection of a man who, as 
he truly said, ought to have been thankful for the privilege 
of travelling in his suite. 3 Thomas, however, was in haste 
to be gone, although fully persuaded that he was going to 
his death. He seems indeed to have been weary of life ; 
the tone of his letters and of his parting words to the friends 
whom he was leaving in France indicates not so much a 
morbid presentiment of his fate as a passionate longing for it. 
Yet it can hardly have been from him alone that the fore- 
boding communicated itself to so many other minds. 
Warnings came to him from all quarters ; one voice after 
another, from the king of France 4 down to the very pilot of 
the ship in which he took his passage, implored him not to 
go ; Herbert of Bosham alone upheld his resolution to the 
end. 5 

We may put aside at once all the wild talk of the arch- 
bishop's biographers about plots against his life in which the 
king had a share. Even if Henry's sudden willingness for 
his return was really suggested by words said to have been 
uttered by one of his counsellors "Why keep the arch- 
bishop out of England ? It would be far better to keep 
him in it" there is no need to assume that those words 
bore even in the speaker's mind, far less in that of the king, 
the horrible meaning which they were afterwards supposed 
to have covered; 6 for they were true in the most literal sense. 

1 Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), pp. 115, 116. 

2 Ib. p. 116. Epp. dccxxii., dccxxiii. (ib. vol. vii.), pp. 400, 403. Gamier 
(Hippeau), p. 160. 3 Will. Fitz-Steph. as above. 

4 Ib. p. 113. 5 Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), pp. 472-476. 

6 Will Fitz-Steph. as above, pp. 106, 107. 


The quarrel of king and primate would have mattered little 
had it been fought out on English ground ; it was the arch- 
bishop's exile which rendered him so dangerous. Thomas 
had dealt his most fatal blow at Henry by flying from him, 
and Henry, as he now perceived, had made his worst blunder 
in driving Thomas into France. Of the infinitely greater 
blunder involved in the archbishop's murder setting the 
criminal aspect of the deed altogether aside it is enough to 
say that Henry was wholly incapable. The same may be 
said of Roger of York and Gilbert of London, although, like 
the king himself, they were urged by dread of the archbishop 
into making common cause with men of a very different 
stamp : men who hated the primate with a far more intense 
personal hatred, and who were restrained by no consider- 
ations either of policy or of morality : men such as Ralf de 
Broc, a ruffian adventurer who had served as the tool of 
Henry's vengeance upon the archbishop's kinsfolk, had 
resumed the custody of the archiepiscopal estates when it was 
resigned by Gilbert Foliot, had been for the last four years 
at once fattening upon the property of Thomas and smarting 
under his excommunication, and was ready to commit any 
crime rather than disgorge his ill-gotten gains. 1 It was 
known that Thomas had letters from the Pope suspending 
all those bishops who had taken part in the coronation of 
the young king, and replacing Gilbert of London, Jocelyn of 
Salisbury, and all whom Thomas had excommunicated under 
the sentences from which they had been irregularly released 
by some of the Papal envoys. 2 Gilbert, Jocelyn and Roger 
of York now hurried to Canterbury, intending to proceed to 

1 On Ralf de Broc see Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iii.), p. 75 ; 
Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, p. 360; Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.) p. 65 ; E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), 
p. 404; Epp. Ixxviii. (ib. vol. v. p. 152), cccxli., ccccxcviii. (ib. vol. vi. pp. 278, 
582), dccxviii., dccxxiii. (ib.vol. vii. pp. 394, 402). In the last place Thomas says 
that Ralf "in ecclesiam Dei ... per septem annos licentius debacchatus est"; 
and the writer of the Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 321, seems to have 
understood this as meaning that Ralf had had the stewardship of the Canterbury 
property throughout the archbishop's exile. This, however, does not appear to 
have been the case. Ralf certainly had the stewardship for a short time at first ; 
but it was, as we have seen, soon transferred to Gilbert Foliot, and only restored 
to Ralf when Gilbert resigned it early in 1167. 

2 Epp. dccxx., dccxxii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii. pp. 397-399). 


Normandy as soon as Thomas set foot in England ; while 
Ralf de Broc, Reginald de Warren and Gervase of Cornhill 
the sheriff of Kent undertook to catch him at the moment 
of landing, ransack his baggage, search his person, and seize 
any Papal letters which he might bring with him. Thomas, 
however was warned ; he sent the letters over before him, 
and the three prelates at Canterbury read their condemnation 
before their judge quitted Gaul. 1 Next day he sailed from 
Wissant, and on the morning of December I he landed at 
Sandwich. 2 His enemies were ready to receive him ; but 
at the sight of John of Oxford they stopped short, and John 
in the king's name forbade all interference with the primate. 3 
Amid the rapturous greetings of the people who thronged to 
welcome their chief pastor, he rode on to Canterbury ; there 
some of the royal officials came to him in the king's name, 
demanding the absolution of the suspended and excom- 
municate bishops. Thomas at first answered that he could 
not annul a Papal sentence ; but he afterwards offered to 
take the risk of doing so, if the culprits would abjure their 
errors in the form prescribed by the Church. Gilbert and 
Jocelyn were inclined to yield ; but Roger refused, and 
they ended by despatching Geoffrey Ridel to enlist the 
sympathies of the young king in their behalf, while they 
themselves carried their protest to his father in Normandy. 4 

1 Ep. dccxxiii., dccxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.), pp. 403, 410. Cf. 
Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), pp. 87-89; Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. in.), p. 117; Herb. 
Bosh, (ibid.}, pp. 471, 472 ; Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 68 ; Anon. II. (ibid.}, p. 123 ; 
Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 161, 163. The version in Thomas Saga (Magnusson), 
vol. i. p. 483, seems founded on a confusion between the delivery of these Papal 
letters and that which Berengar delivered in S. Paul's on the Ascension-day of 
the previous year. 

2 Will. Fitz-Steph. (as above), p. 118. Herb. Bosh. (ibid.}?. 476. Anon. I. (ib. 
vol. iv.), p. 68. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 164. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 339. 
Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 222. Thomas Saga (as above), pp. 489-491. The 
date is from Will. Fitz-Steph. , R. Diceto and the Saga ; Gervase makes it November 
30, and Herbert " two or three days after the feast of S. Andrew." 

3 Will. Fitz-Steph. and Gamier, as above. Ep. dccxxiii. (Robertson, Becket, 
vol. vii.), pp. 403, 404. Thomas Saga (as above), p. 491. 

4 Ep. dccxxiii., dccxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.), pp. 404-406, 411, 
412. Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i.), pp. 102-105. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 
120, 121. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, p. 480. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. pp. 497- 
501. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 172, erroneously thinks the censures on the bishops 
were not issued till Christmas-day. 


The young king was preparing to hold his Christmas 
court at Winchester. 1 Thomas proposed to join it, but was 
stopped in London by a peremptory command to " go back 
and mind his own business at Canterbury." 2 He obeyed 
under protest, and on Christmas-day again excommunicated 
the De Brocs and their fellow-robbers. 3 The elder king was 
keeping the feast at his hunting-seat of Bures near Bayeux. 4 
There the three bishops threw themselves at his feet ; Roger 
of York spoke in the name of all, and presented the Papal 
letters ; 5 the courtiers burst into a confused storm of indign- 
ation, but not one had any counsel to offer. In his impatience 
and disappointment Henry uttered the fatal words which he 
was to rue all his life : " What a parcel of fools and dastards 
have I nourished in my house, that none of them can be 
found to avenge me of this one upstart clerk!" 6 

The words were hardly more than he had used at Chinon 
four years before, but they fell now upon other ears. Four 
knights Hugh de Morville, William de Tracy, Reginald 
Fitz-Urse and Richard le Breton 7 took them as a warrant 
for the primate's death. That night it was Christmas-eve 8 
they vowed to slay him, no matter how or where ; 9 they 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 166. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.), p. 106. 
Anon. II. (ib. vol. iv.), p. 126. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 342, says the young 
king was at Woodstock when Thomas sought for an interview ; he was, however, 
certainly at Winchester at Christmas. 

2 " Fere vostre mestier a Cantorbire alez." Gamier (Hippeau), p. 171. Cf. 
Ep. dccxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.), p. 412; Will. Cant. (ib. vol. i. ) pp. 
106-113); Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 121-123; Herb. Bosh, (ibid.}, pp. 482, 
483 ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 13 ; Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. 

PP- 505-507. 

3 Will. Cant, (as above), p. 120. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), p. 428. Will. Fitz- 
Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 130. Herb. Bosh, (ibid.), pp. 484, 485. R. Diceto (as 
above), p. 342. Thomas Saga (as above), pp. 511-513. 

4 Herb. Bosh, (as above), p. 481. Gamier (Hippeau), p. 175. Gesta Hen. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. ii. Rob. Torigni, a. 1171. 

5 Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 175-177. Will. Cant, (as above), pp. 122, 123. Cf. 
Thomas Saga (as above), pp. 501-503. 

6 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 175. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 121. E. Grim (ib. 
vol. ii.), p. 429. Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 487. 

7 In Will. Cant, (as above), pp. 128, 129, is a "descriptio spiculatorum," in 
which the only point of interest is the English speech of Hugh de Morville's 
mother. 8 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 177. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 123. 

9 Gamier, as above. Will. Cant, (as above), p. 124. E. Grim (ib. vol. ii.), 


left the court in secret, crossed to England by different routes, 1 
and met again at Saltwood, a castle which the archbishop 
had been vainly endeavouring to recover from the clutches 
of Ralf de Broc, and where Ralf himself was dwelling amid a 
crowd of his kinsfolk and dependents. There the final plot 
was laid. 2 How it was executed is a tale which has been 
told so often that its details may well be spared here. On 
the evening of December 29, after a scene in his own hall 
scarcely less disgraceful than the last scene in the king's hall 
at Northampton, the primate of all England was butchered 
at the altar's foot in his own cathedral church. 3 

The ill news travelled fast. It fell like a thunderbolt 
upon the Norman court still gathered round the king at 
Argentan, 4 whither the assembly had adjourned after the 
Christmas feast at Bures. Henry stood for a moment 
speechless with horror, then burst into a frenzy of despair, 
and shut himself up in his own rooms, refusing to eat or 
drink or to see any one. 5 In a few days more, as he anti- 
cipated, all Christendom was ringing with execration of the 
murder and clamouring for vengeance upon the king who 
was universally regarded as its instigator. The Pope ordered 
an interdict upon Henry's continental dominions, excom- 
municated the murderers and all who had given or should 
henceforth give them aid, shelter or support, and was only 
restrained from pronouncing a like sentence upon the king 
himself by a promise that he would make compurgation and 

p. 429. Will. Fitz-Steph. (Robertson, Bccket, vol. iii.), p. 128. Herb. Bosh. 
(ibid.}, p. 487. Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. i. p. 517. 

1 Gamier (Hippeau), p. 177. Will. Cant. (Robertson, Becket, vol. i.) p. 124, 
Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), p. 130. Thomas Saga as above. 

2 Will. Fitz-Steph. as above; cf. ib. p. 126. Thomas Saga, as above, pp. 
517-519. Saltwood was mentioned, as a special subject for inquiry and restitution, 
in the king's letter commending Thomas to his son. 

3 Will. Cant, (as above), pp. 131-135. Joh. Salisb. (ib. vol. ii.), pp. 319, 320. 
E. Grim (ibid.), pp. 430-438. Will. Fitz-Steph. (ib. vol. iii.), pp. 132-142. Herb. 
Bosh, (ibid.), pp. 488 et seq. Anon. I. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 70-77. Anon. II. (ibid.) t 
pp. 128-132. Gamier (Hippeau), pp. 179-195. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 343, 
344. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 224-227. Thomas Saga as above, pp. 

4 R. Diceto (as above), p. 345. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 14. 

5 Ep. dccxxxviii. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii.), p. 438. Cf. MS. Lansdown. 
(ib. vol. iv.), pp. 159, 160, and Gesta Hen. as above. 


submit to penance. 1 Two cardinal-legates charged with the 
enforcement of these decrees were at once despatched to 
Normandy ; 2 but when they arrived there, Henry was out of 
their reach. The death of Duke Conan in February had 
thrown Britanny completely into his hands ; he only stayed 
to secure Geoffrey's final establishment there as duke 3 before 
he called a council at Argentan and announced that he was 
going to Ireland. 4 He quitted Normandy just as the legates 
reached it, 5 leaving strict orders that the ports should be 
closed to all clerks and papal envoys, and that no one should 
dare to follow him without special permission. 6 Landing at 
Portsmouth in the first days of August, 7 he hurried to Win- 
chester for a last interview with the dying Bishop Henry, 8 
closed the English ports as he had closed those of Normandy, 9 
then plunged once more into the depths of South Wales, and 
on October 16 sailed from Milford Haven for Waterford. 10 

The elements favoured his escape ; for five months a 
persistent contrary wind hindered all communication to 

1 Epp. dccl., dccli. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii. pp. 471-478). 

2 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 233. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 346. 
Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 24. 

3 Rob. Torigni, a. 1171. Conan died February 20; Chron. Kemperleg. ad 
ann. (Rer. Gall. Scriptt., vol. xii. p. 563). The Chron. S. Serg. a. 1169 
(Marchegay, Eglises, p. 150), places the event two years too early. Cf. Chron. 
Britann. a. 1170, 1171 (Rer. Gall. Scriptt., vol. xii. p. 560; Morice, Hist. 
Bretagne, preuves, vol. i. col. 104). 4 Rob. Torigni, a. 1171. 

5 MS. Lansdown. (Robertson, Becket, vol. iv.), p. 169. Gerv. Cant, (as 
above), pp. 233, 234. The Gesta Hen. (as above), and Rog. Howden (Stubbs, 
vol. ii. pp. 28, 29) seem to imply that they arrived just before Henry left ; 
but they are rather confused about these legates. They make two pairs of them 
come to Normandy this summer first, Vivian and Gratian, who come with hostile 
intent, and from whom Henry runs away (Gesta Hen., Stubbs, vol. i. p. 24 ; Rog. 
Howden, Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 29); and secondly, Albert and Theodwine, who 
apparently supersede them later in the year, and whom Henry hurries to meet 
(Gesta Hen. as above, p. 29 ; Rog. Howden as above, p. 34). But the MS. 
Lansdown. (which is the fullest account of all), Gerv. Cant, and R. Diceto 
distinctly make only one pair of legates, Albert and Theodwine. The confusion 
in Thomas Saga (Magnusson), vol. ii. pp. 31-33, is greater still. 

6 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 24. Cf. Rog. Howden (as above), p. 29. 

7 Gesta Hen. as above, and Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 234, say August 3; 
R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 347, says August 6. 

8 R. Diceto as above. Bishop Henry died on August 8 ; ibid. 

9 Gerv. Cant., Gesta Hen. and Rog. Howden, as above. 

10 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 25. 


Ireland from any part of his dominions. 1 The bishops and 
the ministers were left to fight their own battles and make 
their own peace with the legates in Normandy until May 
1172, when the king suddenly reappeared 2 to claim the 
papal absolution and offer in return not only his own spirit- 
ual obedience and that of his English and continental 
realms, but also that of Ireland, which he had secured for 
Rome as her share in the spoils of a conquest won with 
Adrian's bull in his hand. 3 The bargain was soon struck. 
On Sunday May 21 Henry met the legates at Avranches, 
made his purgation for the primate's death, promised the 
required expiation, and abjured his obnoxious "customs," 
his eldest son joining in the abjuration. 4 To pacify Louis, 
young Henry and Margaret were sent over sea with the 
archbishop of Rouen and by him crowned together at 
Winchester on August 27 ; 5 and the Norman primate 
returned to join a great council of the Norman clergy 
assembled at Caen to witness there, two days before 
Michaelmas, a public repetition of their sovereign's purgation 
and his final absolution by the legates. 6 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 350. Gir. Cambr., Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 
36 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 284). 2 R. Diceto (as above), p. 351. 

3 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 28. 

4 Ep. dcclxxi.-dcclxxiv. (Robertson, Becket, vol. vii. pp. 513-522). MS. 
Lansdown. (ib. vol. iv.), pp. 173, 174. 

5 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 31 ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 34; Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 237. R. Diceto (as above), p. 352, makes it August 21. 

6 Gesta Hen. (as above), pp. 32, 33. Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 35-37. 
Gerv. Cant, (as above), p. 238. These three are the only writers who mention 
this purgation in September, and they say nothing of the one in May. That it 
took place is however clear from the letter of the legates themselves (Ep. dcclxxiv. 
Robertson, Becket,vo\. vii. p. 521), giving its date, " Vocem jucunditatis, " i.e. 
Rogation- Sunday. On the other hand, the MS. Lansdown. (ib. vol. iv. pp. 
173, 174) mentions only one purgation, and this clearly is the earlier one, for 
it is placed before the re-crowning of young Henry. The explanation seems to be 
that this was a private ceremony between the king and the legates, with a few 
chosen witnesses ; the legates say in their letter that Henry promised to repeat it 
publicly at Caen ; he doubtless did so at Avranches instead. On the other hand, 
Rob. Torigni (a. 1172) says : " Locutus est cum eis primo Savigneii, postea Abrin- 
cis, tercio Cadomi, ubi causa ilia finita est ;" and seems to make the Michaelmas 
council at Avranches a mere ordinary Church synod, where moreover "obsistente 
regis infirmitate parum profecerunt." To add to the confusion, Gir. Cambr. 
(Expugn. Hibern. , 1. i. c. 39 ; Dimock, vol. v. p. 289) says the purgation was 
made at Coutances. 




IT is in the history of the settlements formed on the Irish 
coast by the northern pirates in the ninth century that we 
must seek for the origin of those relations between England 
and Ireland which led to an English invasion of the latter 
country in the reign of Henry II. The earliest intercourse 
between the two islands had been of a wholly peaceful 
character ; but it had come utterly to an end when Bishop 
Colman of Lindisfarne sailed back to his old home at lona 
after the synod of Whitby in 664. From the hour when 
her missionary work was done, Ireland sank more and more 
into the isolation which was a natural consequence of her 
geographical position, and from which she was only roused 
at the opening of the ninth century by the coming of the 
wikings. In the early days of the northmen's attack upon 
the British isles it was the tradition of Ireland's material 
prosperity and wealth, and the fame of the treasures stored 
in her religious houses, that chiefly tempted the "white 
strangers " from the Norwegian fiords across the unknown 
perils of the western sea ; and the settlement of Thorgils in 
Ulster and those of his fellow-wikings along the eastern and 
southern coasts of Ireland formed a chief basis for the oper- 
ations of the northmen upon Britain itself. The desperate 
fighting of the Irish succeeded in freeing Ulster after Thor- 
gils's death ; but by the middle of the ninth century the 
wikings were firmly established at four points on the Irish 

Norgate's "England, muter the Aagevhv Kings.' 


Ostmeris settlements marked 
thus : Dudlirv. 

Wagner JLDebes' Geo^TJstabVIeipsic. 

Xondon.Macmillan b. Co. 


coast, Dublin, Waterford, Cork and Limerick. 1 Under the 
leadership of Olaf the Fair, Dublin became the head of a 
confederacy which served as a starting-point and furnished 
a constant supply of forces for the Danish conquests in Eng- 
land ; 2 and for a hundred years afterwards, throughout the 
struggle of the house of ^Elfred for the recovery of the Dane- 
law, the support given by the Ostmen or wikings of Ireland 
to their brethren across the channel was at once the main 
strength of the Northumbrian Danes and the standing diffi- 
culty of the English kings. 3 

To Ireland itself the results of the wiking invasions were 
far more disastrous than either to Britain or to Gaul. Owing 
to the peculiar physical character of their country, to their 
geographical remoteness from the rest of Europe, and to the 
political and social isolation which was a consequence of 
these, the Irish people had never advanced beyond the 
primitive tribal mode of life which had once been common 
to the whole Aryan race, but which every European branch 
of that race, except the Irish, had long since outgrown. In 
the time of Ecgberht and of Charles the Great Ireland was 
still, as at the very dawn of history, peopled by a number of 
separate tribes or septs whose sole bond of internal cohesion 
was formed by community of blood ; whose social and 
political institutions had remained purely patriarchal in 
character, unaffected by local and external influences such 
as had helped to mould the life of England or of Gaul : 
who had never yet coalesced into any definite territorial 
organization, far less risen into national unity under a 
national sovereign. The provincial kings of Ulster, Con- 
naught, Leinster and Munster were merely the foremost 
chieftains among the various groups of tribes over whom 
they exercised an ever-shifting sway ; while the supremacy 
of the Ard-Righ or chief monarch, to whom in theory was 
assigned the overlordship of the whole island, was practically 
little more than a sort of honorary pre-eminence attached 

1 On Thorgils and the wiking settlements in Ireland see Wars of the Gaedhil 
with the Gaill (Todd), and Green, Conquest of England, pp. 66, 67, 74, 76. 

2 Green, Conquest of England, pp. 90, 91, 107. 

3 Ib. pp. 213, 242, 252-254, 270-272. 


to certain chosen descendants of an early hero-king, Niall 
" of the Nine Hostages " ; it carried with it little effective 
authority, and no territorial power ; for the monarch's trad- 
itional seat at Tara had long been a heap of ruins, and a 
tribal under-king had ousted him from the plain of Meath 
which in legal theory formed his royal domain. 1 Neither in 
the monarch himself nor in the provincial chieftains of a 
state thus constituted could there be found, when the storm- 
cloud from the north burst upon Ireland, a centre of unity 
even such as the peoples of Gaul found in their Karolingian 
sovereigns, far less such as the West-Franks found in the 
dukes of the French, or such as the English found in their 
kings of the house of Ecgberht. The stress of the north- 
men's attack, which elsewhere gave a fresh impulse to the 
upgrowth of national life, crushed out all hope of its develope- 
ment in Ireland. The learning and the civilization of ages 
perished when Columba's Bangor, Bridget's Kildare, Ciaran's 
Clonmacnoise, Patrick's own Armagh, shared the fate of 
Baeda's Jarrow and Hild's Streoneshealh, of Cuthbert's 
Melrose and Aidan's Lindisfarne ; and in Ireland there was 
no Wessex and no ^Elfred. 

On the other hand, the concentration of the wiking 
forces upon Britain had given to the Irish an advantage 
which enabled them to check the spread of wiking settle- 
ments in their country ; and the failure of all attempts to 
establish a Scandinavian dominion in Britain destroyed all 
chance of a Scandinavian conquest of Ireland. The Ostmen 
never even gained such a footing in Ireland as the followers 
of Hrolf gained in Frankland: their presence never received 
the sanction of any Ard-Righ ; they were not a compact 
body occupying the whole of an extensive and well-defined 
territory, but a number of separate groups settled here and 
there along the coast, and holding their ground only by 
sheer hard fighting against a ring of implacable foes. The 
long struggle may be said to have ended in a defeat of both 
parties. The Irish kings of Munster succeeded in establish- 

1 Maine, Early Hist, of Institutions, lect. i.-x. ; O'Donovan, Introd. to Book 
of Rights ; Lynch, Cambrensis Eversus, with Mr. Kelly's notes; O'Donovan, 
notes to Four Masters, vols. i. and ii. 


ing a more or less effective overlordship over the Scandi- 
navian communities of Limerick and Waterford ; and in 
989 Malachi II., supreme monarch of Ireland, reaped his 
reward for nine years of desperate fighting in the submission 
of the Ostmen of Dublin. The city was blockaded and 
starved into surrender, and a yearly tribute was promised 
to Malachi and his successors. 1 Six years later " the ring 
of Tomar and the sword of Carl " two heathen relics prob- 
ably of ancient heroes, which seem to have been treasured 
as sacred emblems of sovereignty by the Ostmen 2 were 
carried off by Malachi as trophies of another victory; 3 and 
in 999 or 1000 a renewal of the strife ended in a rout of 
the Ostmen and a great slaughter of their leaders, and 
Dublin was sacked and burnt by the victorious Irish. 4 

Malachi's triumph, however, was gained at the cost of a 
disruption of the monarchy. Malachi himself was displaced 
by a king of the rival house of Munster, his colleague in the 
sack of Dublin, the famous Brian Boroimhe ; 5 Brian's career 
of conquest ended in 1014 on the field of Clontarf, where 
he was slain in battle with the men of Leinster and the 
Ostmen ; 6 and when Malachi, who now resumed his place, 
died in IO22, 7 the downfall of the Irish monarchy was com- 
plete. 8 The tradition which had so long linked it to the 
house of Niall had been shattered by Brian's successes ; and 

1 Tighernach, a. 989 (O'Conor, Rer. Hibern. Scriptt., vol. ii. pp. 264, 265). 

2 See O'Donovan's introduction to the Book of Rights, pp. xxxviii, xxxix. 

3 Tighernach, a. 995 (as above, p. 267). 

4 Ib. a. 998, 999 (p. 268). Wars of Gaedhil with Gaill (Todd), pp. 109-117. 

5 Tighernach, a. 1000, 1001 (as above, pp. 269, 270). Wars of Gaedhil with 
Gaill (Todd), p. 119. Brian's victory was won by the help of the Ostmen, with 
whom he stooped to ally himself for the sake of overcoming 'his rival ; but the 
alliance was only momentary. On Brian's reign see Wars of Gaedhil with Gaill, 
PP. "9-155. 

6 Wars of Gaedhil with Gaill (Todd), pp. 155-211. Four Masters, a. 1013 
(O'Donovan, vol. ii. pp. 773-781). Ann. Loch Ce, a. 1014 (Hennessy, vol.i. pp. 1-13). 

7 Tighernach, a. 1022 (as above, p. 274). Four Masters, a. 1022 (as above, p. 
800). Ann. Loch Ce, a. 1022 (as above, p. 23). 

8 " From the death of Maelseachlainn II. the legitimate monarchy of all Ireland 
departed from all families during seventy-two years, until the joint reigns of Muir- 
cheartach O'Briain and Domhnall MacLochlainn ; during that time no Feis or 
general assembly, so agreeable to the people, was held, because Ireland had no 
supreme king." Quoted by Mr. Kelly, note to Cambrensis Eversus, vol. ii. p. 38, 

rom Gilla-Modud, an Irish poet of the twelfth century. 


Brian had not lived to consolidate in his own house the forces 
which had begun to gather around himself. Thenceforth 
the Scandinavian colonies simply furnished an additional 
element to the strife of the Irish chieftains, and to the rivalry 
between the O'Briens of Munster and the O'Neills of Ulster 
for the possession of a shadowy supremacy, claimed by the one 
house as descendants of Brian Boroimhe and by the other 
as heirs of Malachi II. and of his great ancestor Niall. 

The social and political system of Ireland was powerless 
either to expel or to absorb the foreign element thus intro- 
duced within its borders. Not only was such an union of 
the two peoples as had at last been effected in England 
simply impossible in Ireland ; the Irish Danelaw was parted 
from its Celtic surroundings by barriers of race and speech, 
of law and custom and institutions, far more insuperable 
than those which parted the settlers in the "northman's land" 
at the mouth of Seine from their West-Frankish neighbours. 
Even the Irish Church, which three hundred years before had 
won half England one might add half Europe to the 
Faith, had as yet failed to convert these pagans seated at her 
door. At the close of the tenth century the Ostmen were 
still for the most part heathens in fact if not in name, aliens 
from whatever culture or civilization might still remain in 
the nation around them. Meanwhile their relations with 
England had wholly altered in character. The final sub- 
mission of the English Danelaw to Eadred carried with it 
the alliance of the Irish Danelaw; it seems that the Ostmen 
in their turn endeavoured to strengthen themselves against 
the attacks of the Irish princes by securing a good under- 
standing with the English king, if not actually by putting 
themselves under his protection ; for the fact that Eadgar 
coined money in Dublin 1 indicates that his authority must 
have been in some way or other acknowledged there. The 
years of the Ostmen's struggle with Malachi and Brian 
Boroimhe were the years of England's struggle with Swein 
and Cnut ; but the two strifes seem to have been wholly 
unconnected ; and throughout the long peace which lasted 
from Cnut's final triumph until the coming of the Normans, 

1 Green, Conquest of England, p. 323. 


new ties sprang up between the Ostmen and the sister-isle. 
Owing to their position on the sea-coast and to the spirit of 
merchant enterprise which was, quite as much as the spirit of 
military enterprise, a part of the wiking-heritage of their 
inhabitants, the towns of the Irish Danelaw rose fast into 
importance as seats of a flourishing trade with northern 
Europe, and above all with England through its chief sea- 
ports in the west, Bristol and Chester. The traffic was 
chiefly in slaves, bought or kidnapped in England to be sold 
to the merchants of Dublin or Waterford, and by these again 
to their Irish neighbours or to traders from yet more distant 
lands. 1 Horrible as this traffic was, however, even while 
filling the Irish coast-towns with English slaves it helped to 
foster a more frequent intercourse and a closer relation 
between Ostmen and Englishmen ; and the shelter and aid 
given to Harold and Leofwine in 1 1 5 I by Dermot Mac-Mael- 
nambo, 2 a prince of the royal house of Leinster who had 
acquired the sovereignty over both Leinstermen and Danes, 
shews that the political alliance established in Eadgar's day 
had been carefully renewed by Godwine. 

To these commercial and political relations was added 
soon afterwards an ecclesiastical tie. The conversion of the 
Ostmen to Christianity, completed in the early years of the 
eleventh century, was probably due to intercourse with their 
Christianized brethren in England rather than to the in- 
fluence of the Irish clergy, whose very speech was strange to 
them ; and their adoption of their neighbours' creed, instead 
of drawing together the hostile races, soon introduced a fresh 
element into their strife. About the year 1040 the Ostmen 
of Dublin set up a bishopric of their own. Their first 
bishop, Donatus, was probably Irish by consecration if not 
by birth. 3 But when he died, in io/4, 4 the Ostmen turned 

1 Green, Conquest of England, pp. 440, 443, 444. 

2 See Freeman, Norm. Conq., vol. ii. pp. 154. 

3 That is, he was certainly not consecrated in England ; Lanigan, Eccle s. Hist. 
Ireland, vol. iii. pp. 433-436. But might he not have been consecrated by some 
of the bishops in Scotland and the Isles, with which the Ostmen were in constant 
intercourse and alliance ? 

4 Tighernach, a. 1074 (O'Conor, Rer. Hibern. Scriptt.\ vol. ii. p. 309. Four 
Masters, a. 1074 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 907). 


instinctively towards the neighbouring island with which 
they had long been on peaceful terms, where the fruits of 
the warfare waged by generation after generation of wikings 
upon the shores of Britain were being reaped at last by 
Norman hands, where William of Normandy was entering 
upon the inheritance alike of Alfred and of Cnut, and where 
Lanfranc was infusing a new spirit of discipline and activity 
into the Church of Odo and Dunstan. The last wiking-fleet 
that ever sailed from Dublin to attack the English coast a 
fleet which Dermot Mac-Maelnambo, true to his alliance with 
their father, had furnished to the sons of Harold had been 
beaten back six years before. 1 Since then Dermot himself 
was dead ; 2 the Ostmen were once more free, subject to no 
ruler save one of their own choice and their own blood ; 
with the consent of their king, Godred, 3 they chose a priest 
named Patrick to fill Donatus's place, and sent him to be 
consecrated in England by the archbishop of Canterbury. 4 
No scruples about infringing the rights of the Irish bishops 
were likely to make Lanfranc withhold his hand. At the 
very moment when the Ostmen's request reached him, he 
had just been putting forth against the archbishop of York 
a claim to metropolitical jurisdiction over the whole of the 

1 Eng. Chron. (Wore.) a. 1067, 1068; Flor. Wore. (Thorpe), vol. ii. p. 2; 
Ord. Vit. (Duchesne, Hist. Norm. Scriptt.\ p. 513; Will. Jumieges, 1. vii. c. 41 
(ib. p. 290) ; Freeman, Norm. Cong., vol. iv. pp. 225-227, 243-245, 788-790. 

2 He fell in battle with the king of Meath in 1072, according to the Four 
Masters ad ann. (O'Donovan, vol. ii. pp. 901-903), and the Ann. Loch Ce (Hen- 
nessy, vol. i. p. 67). The Chron. Scot. (Hennessy, p. 291) places his death in 
1069 ; Mr. Freeman (as above, p. 245) adopts this date. 

3 At the time of Donatus's appointment in 1040, one Sihtric ruled in Dublin 
(see Lanigan, Eccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. iii. pp. 434, 435) doubtless under the 
overlordship of Dermot. On Dermot's death the Ostmen flung off the Irish 
supremacy and took for their king, first a jarl named Godred, who died in 1072, 
and then another of the same name, who seems to have been already king of Man. 
(Freeman, as above, p. 528 and note 5). Lanfranc addresses ihis Godred as 
" King of Ireland" (Lanfranc, Ep. 43, Giles, vol. i. p. 61) ; and no other prince 
is mentioned in connexion with Patrick's consecration. But it is plain from 
Lanfranc's correspondence, if from nothing else, that Terence O'Brien was 
acknowledged overlord of Dublin for some time before his death (see Lanfranc, 
Ep. 44, ib. p. 62 ; and Lanigan, as above, p. 474 et seq.} ; and he died in 

4 Lanfranc, Ep. 43 (as above, p. 61). Eng. Chron. Winch., Appendix (Thorpe, 
vol. i. p. 387). Cf. Lanigan, as above, pp. 457, 458. 


British isles, founded on the words of S. Gregory committing 
" all the bishops of the Britains " to S. Augustine's charge. 1 
He therefore gladly welcomed an opportunity of securing for 
the authority of his see a footing in the neighbour-isle. He 
consecrated Patrick of Dublin and received his profession of 
obedience ; 2 and for the next seventy-eight years the bishops 
of Dublin were suffragans not of Armagh but of Canterbury. 
When in 1096 the Ostmen of Waterford also chose for 
themselves a bishop, they too sought him beyond the sea ; 
an Irishman, or more probably an Ostman by birth, a monk 
of Winchester by profession, Malchus by name, he was con- 
secrated by S. Anselm and professed obedience to him as 
metropolitan. 3 

Through the medium of these Irish suffragans the arch- 
bishops of Canterbury endeavoured to gain a hold upon the 
Irish Church by cultivating the friendship of the different 
Irish princes who from time to time succeeded in winning 
from the Ostmen an acknowledgement of their overlordship. 
In the struggles of the provincial kings for the supreme 
monarchy of Ireland it was always the Ostmen who turned 
the scale ; their submission was the real test of sovereignty. 
The power which had been wielded by Dermot Mac-Mael- 
nambo passed after his death first to Terence or Turlogh 
O'Brien, king of Munster, 4 a grandson of Brian Boroimhe, 
and then to Terence's son Murtogh. 5 Both were in cor- 
respondence with the successive English primates, Lanfranc 
and Anselm, 6 and both were recognized as protectors and 
patrons, in ecclesiastical matters at least, by the Ostmen, 7 

1 Lanigan, Rccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. iii. pp. 464-466. 

2 Ib. p. 458. Eng. Chron. Winch., Appendix (Thorpe, vol. i. p. 387). 

3 Eadmer, Hist. Nov. (Rule), pp. 76, 77. Cf. Lanigan, as above, vol. iv. pp. 
15, 16. 

4 Four Masters, a. 1073-1086 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. pp. 905-927). 

5 Ib. a. 1087- 1 1 19 (pp. 929-1009). 

6 Lanfranc, Ep. 44 (Giles, vol. i. pp. 62-64); Anselm, Epp. 1. iii., Epp. cxlii., 
cxlvii. (Migne, Patrol., vol. clix., cols. 173, 174, 178-180); Lanigan, as above, 
vol. iii. pp. 474 <?/ seq., vol. iv. pp. 15, 19, 20. 

7 Samuel of Dublin in 1095 and Malchus of Waterford in 1096 were both 
elected under Murtogh's sanction and sent to England for consecration with letters 
of commendation from him. Eadmer, Hist. Nov. (Rule), pp. 73-76 ; Lanigan, 

above, vol. iv. pp. 12-15. 


whose adherence during these years enabled the O'Briens to 
hold their ground against the advancing power of Donnell 
O'Lochlainn, king of Aileach or western Ulster, 1 a represent- 
ative of the old royal house of the O'Neills which had 
fallen with Malachi II. On Murtogh's death in 1 1 ip 2 a new 
aspirant to the monarchy appeared in the person of the 
young king of Connaught, Terence or Turlogh O'Conor. A 
year before, Terence had won the submission of the Ostmen 
of Dublin ; 3 in 1 120 he celebrated the fair of Telltown, 4 a 
special prerogative of the Irish monarchs ; and from the 
death of Donnell O'Lochlainn next year 5 Terence was un- 
disputed monarch till 1127, when a joint rising of Ostmen 
and Leinstermen enabled both to throw off his yoke. 6 
Meanwhile Murtogh O'Lochlainn, a grandson of Donnell, 
was again building up a formidable power in Ulster ; at 
last, in 1150, all the provincial kings, including Terence, 
gave him hostages for peace ; 7 and Terence's throne seems 
to have been only saved by a sudden change in the policy 
of the Ostmen, whose independent action enabled them for a 
moment to hold the balance and act as arbitrators between 
northern and southern Ireland. 8 Four years later, however, 
they accepted Murtogh as their king, 9 and two years later 

1 Four Masters, a. 1083-1119 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. pp. 921-1009). Cf. Ann. 
Loch Ce, a. 1083-1119 (Hennessy, vol. i. pp. 73-111). 

2 Four Masters, a. 1119 (as above, p. 1009). Ann. Loch. Ce, a. 1119 (as 
above, p. in). 

3 Lanigan, Ecdes. Hist. Ireland, vol. iv. p. 48, says : "The Annals of Innis- 
fallen have at A. 1118, 'Turlogh O'Conor became king of the Danes of Dublin.'" 
(This passage does not occur in either of the two editions of Ann. Inisfal. 
printed by O'Conor.) The Four Masters, a. 1118 (as above, p. 1007), say 
that Terence took hostages from the Ostmen in that year. He was, at any 
rate, acknowledged as their overlord by 1121, for it was he who in that year sent 
Gregory, bishop-elect of Dublin, to England for consecration. Lanigan, as 
above, p. 47. 4 Four Masters ad ann. (as above, p. ion). 

5 Ib. a. 1 121 (p. 1013). Ann. Loch Ce, a. 1121 (as above, p. 113). 

6 Ann Loch Ce, a. 1127 (p. 123). 

7 Four Masters, a. 1150 (as above, p. 1093). 

8 Something of this kind must be meant by the phrase of the Four Masters 
(ib. p. 1095) : " The foreigners made a year's peace between Leath-Chuinn and 
Leath-Mhogha." This is in 1150, after Murtogh's appearance as " King of Ire- 
land" and the Ostmen's submission to Terence (II.) O'Brien, whom his name- 
sake of Connaught had set up as king in Munster. 

9 Four Masters, a. 1154 (as above, p. 1113). 


still he was left sole monarch by the death of Terence 
O'Conor. 1 

The anarchy of the Irish state was reflected in that of 
the Church. If Lanfranc, when he consecrated Patrick of 
Dublin, knew anything at all of the ecclesiastical condition 
of Ireland, he may well have thought that it stood in far 
greater need of his reforming care than England itself. The 
Irish Church had never felt the organizing hand of a 
Theodore ; its diocesan and parochial system was quite un- 
developed ; it had in fact scarcely advanced beyond the 
primitive missionary stage. Six centuries after S. Patrick's 
death, the Irish clergy were still nothing but a band of 
mission-priests scattered over the country or gathered to- 
gether in vast monastic establishments like Bangor or Dur- 
row or Clonmacnoise ; the bishops were for the most part 
merely heads of ever -shifting mission -stations, to whose 
number there was no limit ; destitute of political rank, they 
were almost equally destitute of ecclesiastical authority, and 
differed from the ordinary priesthood by little else than their 
power of ordination. At the head of the whole hierarchy 
stood, as successor and representative of S. Patrick, the arch- 
bishop of Armagh. But since the death of Archbishop 
Maelbrigid in 927 the see of Armagh had been in the hands 
of a family of local chieftains who occupied its estate, 
usurped its revenues, handed on its title from father to son, 
and were bishops only in name. 2 The inferior members of 
the ecclesiastical body could not escape the evil which para- 
lyzed their head. The bishops and priests of the Irish 
Church furnished a long roll of names to the catalogue of 
saints ; but they contributed little or nothing to the political 
developement of the nation, and scarcely more to its social 
developement. The growth of a class of lay-impropriators 
ousted them from the management and the revenues of their 
church-lands, reduced them to subsist almost wholly upon 
the fees which they received for the performance of their 
spiritual functions, stripped them of all political influence, 

1 Four Masters, a. 1156 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1119). 

2 S. Bernard, Vita S. Malach., c. 10 (Mabillon, vol. i. col. 667). Cf. Lani- 
gan, Eccles, Hist. Ireland, vol. iii. p. 382. 


and left them dependent solely upon their spiritual powers 
and their personal holiness for whatever share of social in- 
fluence they might still contrive to retain. 1 The Irish 
Church, in fact, while stedfastly adhering in doctrinal 
matters to the rest of the Latin Church, had fallen far 
behind it in discipline ; to the monastic reforms of the 
tenth century, to the struggle for clerical celibacy and for 
freedom of investiture in the eleventh, she had remained 
an utter stranger. The long -continued stress of the 
northern invasions had cut off the lonely island in the 
west from all intercourse with the world at large, so 
completely that even the tie which bound her to Rome 
had sunk into a mere vague tradition of spiritual loyalty, 
and Rome herself knew nothing of the actual condition 
of a Church which had once been her most illustrious 

But it was the northmen, too, who were now to become 
the means of knitting up again the ties which had been 
severed by their fathers' swords. The state of things in 
Ireland, as reported to Canterbury from Dublin and Water- 
ford, might well seem to reforming churchmen like Lanfranc 
and Anselm too grievous to be endured. Lanfranc had 
urged upon Terence O'Brien the removal of two of its worst 
scandals, the neglect of canonical restraints upon marriage 
and the existence of a crowd of titular bishops without fixed 
sees ; 2 Anselm used all his influence with Murtogh O'Brien 
for the same end ; 3 at last, finding his efforts unavailing, he 
seems to have laid his complaints before the Pope. The 
result was that, for the first time, a papal legate was ap- 
pointed for Ireland. The person chosen was Gilbert, who 
some two or three years before Anselm's death became the 
first bishop of the Ostmen of Limerick. Gilbert seems, like 
the first Donatus of Dublin, to have been himself an Irish 
prelate ; he lost no time, however, in putting himself in com- 

1 On these lay impropriators, "comorbas" and " erenachs," see Lanigan, 
Ecdes. Hist. Ireland, vol. iv. pp. 79-86. 

2 Lanfranc, Ep. 44 (Giles, vol. i. p. 63). 

3 Anselm, Epp. 1. iii., Epp. cxlii., cxlvii. (Migne, Patrol. , vol. clix., cols. 
173, 174, 178-180). 


munication with Canterbury, 1 and displayed an almost 
exaggerated zeal for the Roman discipline and ritual. 2 In 
1 1 1 8 he presided over a synod held at Rathbreasil, where 
an attempt was made to map out the dioceses of Ireland on 
a definite plan. 3 Little, however, could be done till the 
metropolitan see was delivered from the usurpers who 
had so long held it in bondage ; and it was not until 
1134 that the evil tradition was broken by the election of 
S. Malachi. 

Malachi was the wisest and most enlightened as well as 
the most saintly Irish prelate of his time ; he had already 
been labouring for nearly ten years at the reform of the 
diocese of Connor ; in that of Armagh itself he had earlier 
still, as vicar to Archbishop Celsus, laid the foundations of a 
similar work which he now took up again as primate. 4 After 
a successful pontificate of three years he again retired to the 
humbler position of a diocesan bishop at Down ; 5 but he 
still continued to watch over the interests of the whole Irish 
Church ; and in 1 139 he went to Rome specially to lay its 
necessities before the Pope, and if possible to obtain from 
him the gift of a pallium for the archbishop of Armagh, and 
another for the bishop of Cashel as metropolitan of southern 
Ireland. 6 The pallium was now generally regarded as an 
indispensable note of metropolitical rank, but it had never 
been possessed by the successors of S. Patrick. 7 Innocent 
II. refused to grant it save at the request of the Irish 
clergy and people in council assembled ; he sanctioned, how- 
ever, the recognition of Cashel as metropolis of southern 
Ireland, and moreover he transferred to Malachi himself the 
legatine commission which Gilbert of Limerick had just 
resigned. 8 Gilbert seems to have died shortly afterwards : 
his successor in the see of Limerick went to Theobald of 

1 On Gilbert's relations with Anselm see Lanigan, Eccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. 
iv. pp. 23-26. 2 ib. pp. 26-29. 3 ft* PP- 3 8 > 4-43- 

For S. Malachi see hisZz/by S. Bernard, and Lanigan, as above, pp. 59 etseq. 

S. Bern., Vila S. Moloch. > c. 14 (Mabillon, vol. i. cols. 671-672). 

Ib. c. 15 (col. 672). 

Ibid. Cf. Lanigan's note, Eccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. iv. pp. no, in. 

S. Bern., Vita S. Moloch., c. 16 (as above, col. 674). Lanigan, as above, 
p. 112. 


Canterbury for consecration ; but his profession of obedience 
was the last ever made by an Irish bishop to an English 
metropolitan. 1 In 1148 a synod held at Inispatrick by 
Archbishop Gelasius of Armagh, with Malachi as papal 
legate, decided upon sending Malachi himself to the Pope 
once more, charged with a formal request for the two 
palls, in the name of the whole Irish Church. Malachi 
died on the way, at Clairvaux ; 2 but he left his commission 
in safe hands. Nine years before, when on his first journey 
to Rome he had passed through the " bright valley," its 
abbot had recognized in him a kindred spirit. 3 From that 
moment S. Bernard's care of all the churches extended itself 
even to the far-off Church of Ireland ; and if it was not he 
who actually forwarded his dying friend's petition to Eugene 
III., there can be little doubt that Eugene's favourable 
reception of it was chiefly owing to his influence. The 
result was the mission of John Paparo as special legate to 
Ireland. Stephen's refusal to let John pass through his 
dominions caused another year's delay; 4 but at the close of 
1151 John made his way through Scotland safe to his destin- 
ation. 5 In March 1152 he held a synod at Kells, in which 
the diocesan and provincial system of the Irish Church was 
organized upon lines which remained unaltered till the 
sixteenth century. The episcopal sees were definitely fixed, 
and grouped under not two but four archbishoprics. The 
primacy of all Ireland, with metropolitical authority over 
Ulster and Meath, was assigned to Armagh ; Tuam became 
the metropolis of Connaught, Cashel of Munster ; while the 
rivalry of Armagh and Canterbury for the spiritual obedience 
of the Ostmen was settled by the grant of a fourth pallium, 
with metropolitical jurisdiction over the whole of Leinster, 
to Bishop Gregory of Dublin himself. 6 

1 Lanigan, Eccks. Hist. Ireland, vol. iv. pp. 114, 115, 116. 

2 S. Bern., Vita S. Malach., cc. 30, 31 (Mabillon, vol. i. cols. 687-692). 
Lanigan, as above, pp. 129, 130. 

3 S. Bern., Vita S. Malach., c. 16 (as above, cols. 673, 674). 

4 See above, vol. i. p. 380. 

5 Four Masters, a. 1151 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1095). 

6 On the synod of Kells see Four Masters, a. 1152 (as above, p. noi) ; Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 212 ; and Lanigan, as above, pp. 139-151. 


It is plain that Bernard and Eugene aimed at applying 
to Ireland's troubles the same remedy which they were at 
that very time applying to those of England. They hoped 
to build up an united nation and a strong national govern- 
ment on the basis of a free and united national Church. 
But the foundation-stone of their work for Ireland was 
scarcely laid at Kells when both the wise master-builders 
were called away. On the other hand, their labours for 
England were crowned by the accession of the young 
Angevin king, whose restless temper, before he had been 
nine months on his throne, was already seeking for another 
sphere of activity still further beyond the sea ; overwhelming 
the newly-crowned, English-born Pope with suggestions of 
work and offers of co-operation in every quarter of Christen- 
dom, 1 and proposing to begin at once with the reduction 
of Ireland to political, ecclesiastical and social order after 
the pattern of England and Normandy. 2 Adrian IV. would 
have needed a wisdom and a foresight greater than those of 
S. Bernard himself to enable him to resist the attractions of 
such an offer. The so-called " Donation of Constantine " 
a donation which is now known to be forged, but whose 
genuineness no one in Adrian's day had ever thought of 
doubting vested the ultimate sovereignty of all islands in 
the Papacy. 3 The best and greatest Popes, from S. Gregory 
down to Adrian himself, seem to have interpreted this as 
making them in a special way responsible for the welfare of 
such outlying portions of Christendom, and bound to leave 
no means untried for providing them with a secure and 
orderly Christian government. 4 The action of Alexander II. 

1 Pet. Blois, Ep. clxviii. (Giles, vol. ii. pp. 116-118). See above, vol. i. p. 497. 
" Significasti siquidem nobis, fill in Christo carissime, te Hiberniae insulam, 
ad subdendum ilium populum legibus et vitiorum plantaria inde exstirpanda, velle 
intrare ; et de singulis domibus annuam unius denarii beato Petro velle solvere 
pensionem ; et jura ecclesiarum illius terrse illibata et integra conservare. " Bull 
of Adrian IV. to Henry (" Laudabiliter "), in Gir. Cambr. Exptign. Hibern.^ 1. ii, 
c. 5 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 317), etc. 

3 "Nam omnes insulse, de jure antique, ex donatione Constantini qui earn 
fundavit et dotavit, dicuntur ad Romanam ecclesiam pertinere." Joh. Salisb. 
Metalog.) 1. iv. c. 42 (Giles, vol. v. p. 206). 

4 " Sane Hiberniam et omnes insulas, quibus sol justitise Christus illuxit, et 
quae documenta fidei Christianse ceperunt, ad jus beati Petri et sacrosanctse 
Romanse ecclesiae, quod tua etiam nobilitas recognoscit, non est dubium pertinere. 


in sanctioning the Norman conquest of England was a 
logical outcome of this principle, applied, however unwisely 
or unjustly, to a particular case. But there was infinitely 
greater justification for applying the same principle, in the 
same manner, to the case of Ireland. Neither the labours 
of S. Malachi, nor the brief visit of John Paparo, nor the 
stringent decrees passed at the synod of Kells, could suffice 
to reform the inveterate evils of Ireland's ecclesiastical system, 
the yet more inveterate evils of her political system, or the 
intellectual and moral decay which was the unavoidable 
consequence of both. On the Pope, according to the view 
of the time, lay the responsibility of bringing order out of 
this chaos a chaos of whose very existence he had but just 
become fully conscious, and which no doubt looked to him 
far more hopeless than it really was. In such circumstances 
Henry's proposal must have sounded to Adrian like an offer 
to relieve him of a great weight of care to cut at one stroke 
a knot which he was powerless to untie to clear a path for 
him through a jungle-growth of difficulties which he himself 
saw no way to penetrate or overcome. John of Salisbury 
set forth the plan at Rome, in Henry's name, in the summer 
of 1 1 5 5 ) he carried back a bull which satisfied all Henry's 
demands. Adrian bade the king go forth to his conquest 
" for the enlargement of the Church's borders, for the restraint 
of vice, the correction of morals and the planting of virtue, 
the increase of the Christian religion, and whatsoever may 
tend to God's glory and the well-being of that land j" 1 and 
he sent with the bull a gold ring, adorned with an emerald 
of great price, as a symbol of investiture with the government 
of Ireland. 2 

Unde tanto in eis libentius plantationem fidelem et germen gratum Deo inserimus 
quanto id a nobis interno examine districtius prospicimus exigendum." Bull 
" Laudabiliter," Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. ii. c. 5 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 317). 

1 Bull "Laudabiliter," Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. ii. c. 5 (Dimock, vol. 
v. pp. 317, 318) ; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 300, 301 ; Pet. Blois, Ep. 
ccxxxi. (Giles, vol. ii. pp. 201, 202) ; Rymer, Fccdera, vol. i. p. 19 ; etc. Its 
authenticity has been fiercely disputed, but is now admitted by all Irish scholars. 
See proofs in Lanigan, Eccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. iv. pp. 165, 166, and 
O'Callaghan's edition of Macarice, Excidium (Irish Archaeol. Soc.), pp. 242, 245, 
where it is reprinted from Baronius's copy, found by him in the Vatican archives. 

2 Joh. Salisb. Metalog., 1. iv. c. 42 (Giles, vol. v. p. 206). 


This strange crusade was postponed for the moment, 
as we have seen, in deference to objections made by the 
Empress Matilda. 1 Adrian's bull and ring were stored up 
in the English chancery, and there, long after Adrian was 
dead, they still lay, 2 unused and, as it seemed, forgotten 
amid an ever-increasing throng of more urgent cares and 
labours which even Henry found to be quite as much as he 
was capable of sustaining. At last, however, the course of 
political events in Ireland itself took a turn which led almost 
irresistibly to a revival of his long-forsaken project Two 
years before Henry's accession Dermot Mac-Murrough, king 
of Leinster, had made a raid upon the district of Breffhy in 
Connaught, on the borders of Ulster and Meath, and carried 
off Dervorgil, the wife of its chieftain Tighernan O'Ruark. 3 
From that hour Tighernan's vengeance never slept. During 
the next fourteen years, while Murtogh O'Lochlainn was 
striving for the mastery first against the veteran Terence 
O'Conor and after Terence's death with his son Rory or 
Roderic, the swords of the men of BrefTny were thrown alter- 
nately'into either scale, as their chieftain saw a hope of securing 
the aid of either monarch to avenge him of his enemy. 4 

1 Rob. Torigni, a. 1155. See above, vol. i. p. 431. 

2 Joh. Salisb. Metalog., 1. iv. c. 42 (Giles, vol. v. p. 206). 

3 Four Masters, a. 1152 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1103). Cf. Gir. Cambr., 
Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. I (Dimock, vol. v. pp. 225, 226), and the elaborately 
romantic account in the Anglo-Norman Poem on the Conquest of Ireland, edited 
by M. Francisque Michel, pp. 2-6. The two last-named authorities represent this 
affair as the immediate cause of Dermot's overthrow, and of all the consequent 
troubles. Chronology shews this to be mere romance ; yet, notwithstanding the 
criticisms of some modern writers, there still seems to be some ground for the 
earlier view which looked upon Dervorgil as a sort of Irish Helen. If we follow 
carefully the thread of the story in the Four Masters from 1153 to 1 1 66 we can 
hardly avoid the conclusion that throughout those years the most important 
personage in Irish politics, the man whose action turned the scale in nearly all the 
ups and downs of fortune between Murtogh of Ulster and the kings of Connaught, 
was the border-chieftain whose position made him the most dangerous of foes and 
the most indispensable of allies Tighernan O'Ruark ; and we can hardly help 
seeing in Dermot's banishment the vengeance less of Roderic O'Conor himself 
than of a supporter whom Roderic could not afford to leave unsatisfied. On the 
other hand, it is perfectly true that the opportunity for executing that vengeance 
was given by the disaffection of Dermot's own subjects and, as usual, more 
especially by the rising of the Ostmen of Dublin. 

4 See Four Masters, a. 1153-1166 (as above, pp. 1107-1159). 



In 1 1 66 the crisis came. Murtogh drew upon himself 
the wrath of his people by blinding the king of Uladh, 
for whose safety he was pledged to the archbishop of 
Armagh ; Ulster, Meath, Leinster and Dublin rose against 
him all at once ; he was defeated and slain in a great 
battle at the Fews ; the Ostmen of Dublin acknowledged 
Roderic as their king, and all the princes of southern 
Ireland followed their example. Dermot's submission, how- 
ever, was in vain ; the first act of the new monarch was to 
banish him from the realm. 1 The Leinstermen forsook him 
at once, for their loyalty had long been alienated by his 
harsh government and evil deeds. 2 Left alone to the justice 
of Roderic and the vengeance of O'Ruark, he fled to Cork 
and thence took ship to Bristol. Here he found shelter for 
a while in the priory of S. Augustine, under the protection 
of its founder Robert Fitz- Harding ; 3 at the close of the 
year he made his way to Normandy, and thence, with some 
difficulty, tracked Henry's restless movements into the 
depths of Aquitaine, 4 where he at last laid his appeal for 
succour at the feet of the English king. 

At the crisis of his struggles with Thomas of Canterbury, 
with Louis of France and with the rebel barons of Poitou, 
all that Henry could do was to accept Dermot's offer of 

1 Four Masters, a. 1166 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1159-1163). 

2 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. I (Dimock, vol. v. pp. 225, 226). 
For specimens of his misdeeds see Four Masters, a. 1141 (as above, p. 1065), 
and Ann. Clonmacnoise, a. 1135 (ib. p. 1051, note/). 

3 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 12. 

4 "In remotis et transmarinis Aquitannicse Gallise partibus." Gir. Cambr. 
as above (p. 227). Henry was in Aquitaine from December 1166 till May 1167 ; 
see Eyton, I tin. Hen. //., pp. 103-106. The chase which he characteristically led 
the Irish king is amusingly described in the Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 13 : 

" Bien est, seignurs, ke jo vus die 

Cum Dermod va par Normandie ; 

Li rei Henri va dune quere, 

A munt, a val, avant, arere ; 

Tant ad mande et enquis 

Que trove ad li rei Henris, 

A une cite 1'ad trove, 

Que seignur esteit clame." 

On the last line the editor (notes, p. 168) remarks : "Seignur (seign, MS.) ? Is. 
it not : of which he was called lord ?" One feels tempted to suggest that it might 
be meant for the name of the place ; but if so, what can it be ? Saintes ? 


homage and fealty, 1 promise to send him help as soon as 
possible, 2 and furnish him with a letter authorizing any loyal 
English, Norman, Welsh, Scottish or Angevin subjects who 
might be so disposed to join the standard of the Irish prince, 
as of a faithful vassal of their sovereign. 3 Another stay of 
some weeks in Bristol 4 convinced Dermot that his best 
chance of aid lay beyond the Severn. Wales was still in 
the main a Celtic land, ruled in primeval Celtic fashion by 
native princes under little more that nominal subjection to 
the king of England. The Norman conquest of Wales, so 
far as Wales could be said to have been conquered at all, 
had been effected not by the royal power but by the daring 
and prowess of individual adventurers who did, indeed, seek 
the royal sanction for their tenure of the lands which they 
had won, but who were scarcely more amenable to the royal 
authority than their Welsh neighbours, with whom they not 
unfrequently made common cause against it. It was Robert 
of Belleme's connexion with Wales, through his border- 
earldom of Shrewsbury and his brother's lordship of Pem- 
broke, which had made him so formidable to Henry I.; it 
was Robert of Gloucester's tenure of the great Welsh lord- 
ship of Glamorgan, even more than his English honours, 
which had enabled him to act as an independent potentate 
against Stephen. Another border-chieftain who played some 
part in the civil war was Gilbert de Clare, whose father had 
received a grant of Cardigan from Henry I. in iio/, 5 and 
upon whom Stephen in 1138 conferred the title of earl of 
Pembroke. 6 His son Richard appears under the same title 
among the witnesses to Stephen's proclamation of the treaty 
of Wallingford in 1 1 5 3 ; 7 the writers of the time, however, 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. I (Dimock, vol. v. p. 227). Anglo- 
Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 15. 2 Anglo-Norm. Poem, as above. 

3 Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 227, 228). 

4 Ib. c. 2 (p. 228). He was at Bristol " quinzein u un meins " ; Anglo-Norm. 
Poem (Michel), p. 16. 5 Brut y Tywys., a. 1107 (Williams, p. 105). 

6 Ord. Vit. (Duchesne, Hist. Norm. Scriptt.}, p. 917. 

7 Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. p. 18. Richard de Clare became known to later 
generations by the nickname of " Strongbow." Its use is convenient, as helping 
to avoid confusion with the other Richards of the period ; but it seems to have no 
contemporary authority. See Mr. Dimock's note, Gir. Cambr., vol. v. p. 228, 
note 4. 


usually describe him as earl of Striguil, a fortress which 
seems to have occupied the site whence the ruins of Chepstow 
castle now look down upon the Wye. His earldom of 
Pembroke, indeed, as one of Stephen's fictitious creations, 
must have been forfeited on Henry's accession ; but the lord 
of Striguil was still a mighty man on the South-Welsh border 
when in the spring of 1167 he promised to bring all the 
forces which he could muster to aid in restoring Dermot, 
who in return offered him his daughter's hand, together with 
the succession to his kingdom. 1 A promise of the town of 
Wexford and its adjoining territory won a like assurance of 
aid from two half-brothers in whose veins the blood of 
Norman adventurers was mingled with the ancient royal 
blood of South-Wales : Maurice Fitz-Gerald, a son of Gerald 
constable of Pembroke by his marriage with Nest, aunt of 
the reigning prince Rees Ap-Griffith, and Robert Fitz- 
Stephen, son of the same Nest by her second husband, 
Stephen constable of Cardigan. 2 Another Pembrokeshire 
knight, Richard- Fitz-Godoberd, volunteered to accompany 
Dermot at once with a little band of Norman -Welsh 
followers. 3 With these Dermot returned to Ireland in 
August Ii6/; 4 he was defeated in a pitched battle with 
Roderic O'Conor and Tighernan O'Ruark ; 5 but in his own 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibem., 1. i. c. 2 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 228). Anglo- 
Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 17. 

2 Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 229). The circumstances of Fitz-Stephen's enlist- 
ment illustrate the condition of South-Wales at this time. He had been cast into 
prison three years before by his cousin Rees, and at the moment of Dermot's 
arrival had just been released on condition of joining Rees in an attack upon 
England. His Norman blood, however, was loyal enough to revolt against the 
fulfilment of the condition ; and Rees, who had warmly espoused Dermot's 
interest, was persuaded to allow its exchange for service in Ireland. Ibid.; cf. 
Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 19, 20. For pedigree of Nest's descendants see 
Mr. Dimock 's edition of Gir. Cambr. Opp., vol. v. App. B. to pref., pp. c, ci. 

3 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 21. 

4 About August I, according to Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 2 
(Dimock, vol. v. p. 229). 

5 Four Masters, a. 1167 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. pp. 1165-1^67). Among the 
slain they mention ' ' the son of the king of Britain, who was the battle-prop of the 
island of Britain, who had come across the sea in the army of Mac Murchadha. " 
This can only mean a son or brother of Rees ; but neither Gerald nor the Welsh 
chronicles make any mention of such a person in Ireland. 


hereditary principality of Kinsellagh 1 he was safe ; there 
throughout the winter he lay hid at Ferns, 2 and thence, 
when spring returned, he sent his bard Maurice Regan to 
claim from his Welsh allies the fulfilment of their promises. 3 
In the first days of May 4 Robert Fitz-Stephen landed 
at Bannow, between Wexford and Waterford, with thirty 
picked knights of his own immediate following, and a body 
of auxiliaries to the number of sixty men-at-arms and three 
hundred archers. 5 With him came three of his nephews, 
Meiler Fitz-Henry, Miles Fitz-David 6 and Robert de Barri ; 7 
and also a ruined knight called Hervey of Mountmorris, 
uncle of Richard de Clare. 8 Next day an independent ad- 

1 The modern county of Wexford, or rather the diocese of Ferns. The Four 
Masters (as above, p. 1 165) say that Dermot "returned from England with a force 
of Galls, and he took the kingdom of Ui-Ceinnsealaigh." 

2 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 2. (Dimock, vol. v. p. 230). 

3 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 21. 

4 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 3 (as above). All the later Irish 
historians, as well as Lord Lyttelton and Mr. Dimock (ib. margin) date the 
arrival of Fitz-Stephen in May 1169. The reason apparently is that, as far as 
Dermot and his English auxiliaries are concerned, the year 1168 is a blank in the 
Four Masters, while under 1169 they say: "The fleet of the Flemings came 
from England in the army of Mac Murchadha, i.e. Diarmaid, to contest the 
kingdom of Leinster for him ; they were seventy heroes clad in coats of mail." 
But seeing that in the following year, 1 1 70, they for the first time mention Robert 
Fitz-Stephen, and represent him as coming over with Richard of Striguil 
(O'Donovan, vol. ii. pp. 1173-1175), it is by no means evident that the foregoing 
entry has any reference to him. It may just as well apply to Maurice Fitz- 
Gerald, who certainly followed him after an interval of some months at least. 
Gerald (as above, c. 2, p. 229) says that Fitz-Stephen and Fitz-Gerald both promised, 
in the summer of 1167, to join Dermot "cum zephyris et hirundine prima." 
Maurice undoubtedly made a long delay ; but there is not a word to shew that 
Robert did otherwise than fulfil his engagement to the letter. Nay, Gerald 
pointedly introduces him (ib. c. 3, p. 230) as " nee promissionis immemor nee 
fidei contemptor." He also tells us (c. 2, ibid.} that Dermot had wintered at 
Ferns. Why then are we to assume that by "wintered " he means "wintered, 
summered, and wintered again"? What could Dermot possibly have been doing 
there for more than twenty months ? 

5 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 3 (p. 230). For account of Fitz-Stephen himself 
see ib. c. 26 (pp. 271, 272). 

6 Anglo - Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 22. On Meiler see Gir. Cambr. as 
above, 1. ii. c. 9 (pp. 324, 325) ; and for pedigree, Mr. Dimock's App. B. to pref. 
(ib. pp. c., ci.). 

7 Gir. Cambr. as above, 1. i. c. 3 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 232). Cf. App. B. to 
pref., ib. p. c. 

8 Gir. Cambr. as above, 1. i. c. 3 (p. 230). See also 1. ii. c. II (pp. 327, 328). 


venturer, Maurice de Prendergast, arrived from Milford with 
ten more knights and a band of archers. 1 Dermot himself 
came to meet them with some five hundred Irishmen. The 
united force marched upon Wexford, and took it in two 
days ; 2 they then established their head-quarters at Ferns, 8 
and thence made an expedition into Ossory, whose chieftain 
was specially hostile to Dermot. In spite of overwhelming 
odds, through all the difficulties of an unknown country 
full of woods and marshes, and traps laid against them by 
their skilful foes, the Norman -Welsh knights and archers 
made their way into the heart of Ossory ; and a great 
battle ended in the rout of the Irish and the bringing of 
two hundred heads to Dermot's feet in his camp on the 
banks of the Barrow. 4 A successful raid upon Offaly was 
followed by one upon Glendalough, and a third upon 
Ossory again, 5 till in the following year the state of affairs 
in Leinster had become threatening enough to drive all the 
Irish princes and the Ostmen of Dublin into a confederacy 
under Roderic O'Conor for the expulsion of the intruders. 6 
Dermot pledged himself to acknowledge Roderic as monarch 
of Ireland, and was in his turn acknowledged by Roderic 
as king of Leinster on condition that he should dismiss his 
foreign allies. 7 The agreement was however scarcely made 
when Maurice Fitz-Gerald landed at Wexford with some 
hundred and forty men ; 8 these at once joined Dermot in 
an expedition against Dublin, and harried the surrounding 
country till the citizens were reduced to promise obedi- 
ence. 9 Early in the next year Dermot's son-in-law Donell 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 3 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 232). 

2 Ibid. (pp. 232, 233). Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 24, 25. 

3 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 25, 26. 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 4 (p. 234). Cf. the long account in Anglo-Norm. 
Poem (Michel), pp. 27-38. 5 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 42-51. 

6 Roderic, in 1169, met the northern chieftains at Tara, thence marched 
to Dublin, and afterwards proceeded into Leinster ; and Tighernan O'Ruark, 
Dermot king of Meath, and the Ostmen of Dublin "went to meet the men of 
Munster, Leinster and Osraigh " [Ossory], "and they set nothing by the 
Flemings." Four Masters, a. 1169 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1173). 

7 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 10 (p. 244). 

8 Ten knights, thirty "arcarii" or mounted archers, and about a hundred 
"sagittarii pedestres." Ib. c. II (pp. 244, 245). 9 Ibid. (p. 245). 


O'Brien, king of Limerick or Northern Munster, succeeded 
by the help of Robert Fitz-Stephen in throwing off the 
authority of Roderick O'Conor. 1 Encouraged by these 
successes, Dermot now began to aspire in his turn to the 
monarchy of all Ireland ; 2 but his auxiliaries were numer- 
ically insufficient ; and the one from whom he had expected 
most had as yet failed to appear at all. 

The history of Richard of Striguil is far from clear. 
From the number of v troops which eventually accompanied 
him to Ireland it is evident that he had been during these 
two years actively preparing for his expedition ; and it may 
even be that the extent of his preparations had drawn upon 
him the suspicions of King Henry. We only know that, 
for some cause or other, he was now a ruined man ; his 
lands were forfeited to the Crown ; 3 and he seems to have 
lingered on, absorbed in a desperate effort to regain Henry's 
favour, and clinging to his lost home with a feeling that if 
he once turned his back upon it, he would never be allowed 
to see it again. A letter from Dermot, telling of the 
successes of his party in Leinster and renewing his former 
offers, forced him into action. 4 He made a last appeal to 
the king, intreating either for restoration of his lands or 
for the royal license to go and repair his fortunes elsewhere. 
Henry ironically bade him go, and he went. 5 On S. Bar- 
tholomew's eve, 1170, he landed at Waterford with twelve 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. II (Dimock, vol. v. p. 245). The 
date, 1170, comes from the Four Masters (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1175), who 
however do not mention Fitz- Stephen's share in the matter. 

2 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 12 (p. 246). 

3 The cause of Richard's disgrace seems to be nowhere stated, except by 
William of Newburgh. He has (1. ii. c. 26 ; Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 167, 168), 
as usual, an independent version of the whole affair. According to him, Richard's 
chief motive for going to Ireland was to escape from his creditors, he being 
deep in debt ; he went in defiance of an express prohibition from Henry, and it 
was on hearing of his victories i.e. some time in the latter part of 1170 that 
Henry confiscated his estates. Dugdale (Baronage, vol. i. p. 208) gives 1170 
as the date of the forfeiture, on the authority of a MS. in the Bodleian library. 
But this is irreconcileable with the very circumstantial story of Gerald. Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 234, dates the forfeiture three years before Henry's visit 
to Ireland, i.e. 1168. 

4 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 12 (as above, pp. 246, 247). 

5 //>. cc. 12, 13 (pp. 247, 248). Cf. Gerv. Cant, as above. 


hundred men j 1 next day he was joined by Raymond " the 
Fat," a young warrior whom he had sent over three months 
before 2 with ten knights and seventy archers, and who 
with this small force had contrived to beat back an assault 
of three thousand Irishmen of Decies and Ostmen of 
Waterford upon his camp of wattle and thatch, hastily 
thrown up on the rocky promontory of Dundonulf. 3 On 
August 25 Richard and Raymond attacked Waterford ; 
three assaults in one day carried both town and citadel ; 4 
seven hundred citizens were slaughtered, 5 and the officers of 
the fortress, whose names tell of northern blood, were made 
prisoners. 6 A few days later Richard was married at 
Waterford to Dermot's daughter Eva. 7 He then joined his 
father-in-law in a circuitous march across the hills and 
through Glendalough, 8 whereby they avoided a great host 
which Roderic had gathered at Clondalkin to intercept 
them, and arrived in safety on S. Matthew's day beneath 
the walls of Dublin. 9 Dermot sent his bard to demand 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 16 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 254). Anglo- 
Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 72. The latter gives the number of troops as fifteen 
hundred ; Gerald makes them two hundred knights and a thousand foot-men. 

2 So says Gerald, as above, c. 13 (p. 248) ; but Mr. Dimock (ib. note 2) thinks 
this too early. 

3 Ibid. (pp. 248, 249). There is however a less heroic version of this affair in 
the Anglo-Norman Poem (Michel), pp. 68-70. We are there told that Raymond 
and his men had provided themselves with food by "lifting " all the cattle in the 
neighbourhood and penning them within the camp. At the sound of arms these 
creatures rushed out in a wild stampede, and it was this which put the assailants 
to flight. On the site of Dundonulf see Mr. Dimock 's Glossary to Gir. Cambr., 
vol. v. p. 421. 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 16 (ib. pp. 254, 255). 

5 Four Masters, a. 1170 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1177)- 

6 Ragnald and "the two Sihtrics"; Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 255). The 
Four Masters (as above) give to the commandant of the citadel which Gerald 
calls " Ragnald's tower " the name of Gillemaire. In the Anglo-Norm. Poem 
(Michel), p. 72, we read that "les plus poanz de la cite" were Regenald and 
" Smorch." 

7 Gir. Cambr. as above. Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 73. Four 
Masters, a. 1170 (as above). 

8 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 17 (p. 256). 

9 Anglo -Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 75-78. Cf. Gir. Cambr. and Four 
Masters as above. The latter say that " there was a challenge of battle between 
them"(z.*. between Roderic and the foreigners) "for three days, until lightning 
burned Ath-Cliath " [Dublin], 


the instant surrender of the town, with thirty hostages for 
its fidelity. A dispute arose, probably between the Irish 
and Danish inhabitants, as to the selection of the hostages ; x 
Archbishop Laurence was endeavouring to compose the 
difficulty, 2 and Hasculf Thorgils' son, a chieftain of northern 
blood who commanded the citadel, had actually promised to 
surrender/ft on the morrow, 3 when a sudden attack made by 
Raymond the Fat on one side and by a knight called Miles 
Cogari on the other carried the town before the leaders of 
either party knew what had happened. 4 A second rush won 
the citadel ; Hasculf escaped by sea and took refuge in the 
Orkneys ; 5 Dublin was sacked, 6 and left throughout the 
winter under the command of Miles Cogan, 7 while Richard 
of Striguil was guarding Waterford against the men of 
Munster, 8 and Dermot, from his old head-quarters at 
Ferns, 9 was making raid after raid upon Meath and 
Breffny. 10 

In vain did the Irish clergy meet in synod at Armagh 
and strive to avert the wrath which seemed to have been 
revealed against their country by a solemn decree for the 
liberation of the English slaves with whom, even yet, the 
houses of the Irish chieftains were filled. 11 One sentence 
from an Irish record of the next year may serve to illustrate 
the condition of the country : " Seven predatory excursions 

1 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 79, 80. 

2 Gir. Cambr. Exptign. Hibern., 1. i. c. 17 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 256). 

3 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 80. He is there called ." Hesculf"; in 
p. 79> "Mac Turkil Esculf." In the Four Masters, a. 1170 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. 
p. 1177), he is "Asgall, son of Raghnall, son of Turcaill." Gir. Cambr. (as 
above) calls him simply " Hasculphus." 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 256, 257). Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 
80, 81. 

5 Four Masters, as above. Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 257). 

6 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 81, 82. 

7 Gir. Cambr. as above. Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 82. 

8 "A victory was gained by the son of Cormac, grandson of Carthach, and 
the people of Desmond, over the knights who were left to defend Port Lairge " 
[i.e. Waterford]. Four Masters, as above. Earl Richard returned thither early 
in October ; Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 82. 

9 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 83. 

10 Four Masters, a. 1170 (as above, pp. 1177, 1179). 

11 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 18 (p. 258). 


were made by the Ui-Maine into Ormond from Palm Sun- 
day till Low Sunday." 1 It made but little difference when 
at Whitsuntide Dermot, " by whom a trembling sod was 
made of all Ireland," died at Ferns " of an insufferable and 
unknown disease without a will, without penance, without 
the Body of Christ, without unction, as his evil deeds de- 
served." 2 At that very moment a wiking fleet gathered 
from all the lands where the old sea-rovers' life still lingered 


Norway, the Hebrides, Orkney, Man appeared in Dublin 
bay under the command of Hasculf, the exiled leader of 
the Ostmen, and of a northern chief whose desperate valour 
won him the title of " John the Furious " in the English 
speech of that day, John the Wode. 3 Something of the 
spirit of the old northern sagas breathes again in the story 
of this, the last wiking-fight ever fought upon the soil of 
the British isles. Bard and historian alike tell of the 
mighty strokes dealt by the battle - axes of John and his 
comrades, 4 and how they had almost hewed their way into 
Dublin once more, when a well-timed sally of the besieged 
caught them at unawares in the rear ; 5 how an Irish chief 
named Gillamocholmog, whom Miles Cogan had posted on 
a neighbouring hill, chivalrously bidding him watch the 
course of the battle and join the winning side, rushed down 
with his followers at the critical moment and helped to com- 
plete the rout of the Ostmen ; 6 how John the Wode fell by 
the hand of Miles Cogan ; 7 how Hasculf was taken prisoner 
by Miles's brother Richard and brought back to be reserved 
for ransom, and how his hot wiking-blood spoke in words of 

1 Four Masters, a. 1171 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1185). The Ui-Maine were 
a tribe in south-eastern Connaught. 

2 Ibid. (p. 1183). Cf. Ann. Loch Ce, a. 1171 (Hennessy, vol. i. p. 145). The 
date, " circa Kalendas Make," is given by Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern.^ 1. i. c. 
20 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 263). 

3 " Duce Johanne agnomine the Wode," Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 21 (p. 264). 
" Johan le Deve," Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 108. It is there added that, 
" solum les Yrreis," he was a nephew of the king of "Norwiche," i.e. Norway. 
The Four Masters, a. 1171 (as above, p. 1185) describe him as "Eoan, a Dane 
from the Orkney Islands." 

4 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 116. Gir. Cambr. as above. 

6 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 111-114. Gir. Cambr. as above. 

6 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 109-111, 115. 7 Ib. p. 117. 


defiance which goaded his captors to strike off his head. 1 
Fifteen hundred northmen fell upon the field ; five hundred 
more were drowned in trying to regain their ships. 2 From 
the shores of Ireland, as from those of England, the last 
northern fleet was driven away by Norman swords. 

The garrison of Dublin fought in truth even more des- 
perately than their assailants ; for they were fighting for 
their all. A remonstrance addressed by some of the Irish 
princes to the king of England against the aggressions of 
his subjects 3 can hardly have been needed to open Henry's 
eyes to the danger gathering for him and his realm beyond 
the western sea. This little band of adventurers, almost all 
bound together by the closest ties of kindred, 4 were conquer- 
ing Leinster neither for its native sovereign nor for their 
own, but were setting up a new feudal state independent of 
all royal control, under the leadership of a disgraced English 
baron. Such a state, if suffered to grow unhindered, would 
soon be far more dangerous to England than to Ireland, for 
it would be certain to play in every struggle of the feudal 
principle against the royal authority in England the part 
which the Ostmen had played of old in the struggles of the 
Danelaw. At the beginning of the year 1171 therefore 
Henry issued an edict prohibiting all further intermeddling 

1 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 117, 118. (On his captor cf. ify. p. III). 
Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 21 (Dimock, vol. v. pp. 264, 265). 

2 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 116, 118. The date of this siege is given 
by Gir. Cambr. (as above, p. 263) as " eadem fere tempestate " (i.e. about the 
time of Dermot's death), "circa: Pentecosten." This would be at the beginning 
of May. In the Poem it comes much later in the year. There seems however 
no reason to upset Gerald's arrangement of events. See Mr. Dimock's remarks, 
Gir. Cambr. as above, note 2. 

3 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 234, 235. 

4 The close kindred of these Norman- Welsh settlers in Ireland is a very 
remarkable feature of their settlement. Robert Fitz-Stephen and Maurice 
Fitz-Gerald were half-brothers (Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 2, p. 229) ; the 
two Fitz-Henrys, Raymond the Fat, Miles Fitz-David and Robert de Barri 
were their nephews (ib. cc. 4, 13, and 1. ii. c. 10, pp. 234, 248, 335) ; Richard 
of Striguil was nephew to Hervey of Mountmorris (ib. 1. i. c. 3, p. 230), who 
afterwards married a daughter of Maurice Fitz-Gerald, while Maurice's eldest son 
married Richard's daughter Alina (ib. 1. ii. c. 4, p. 314) ; another daughter of 
Richard married his constable Robert de Quincy (Anglo-Norm. Poem, Michel, 
p. 130) ; and his sister Basilea became the wife of Raymond the Fat (ib. p. 145, 
and Gir. Cambr. as above, 1. ii. c. 3, pp. 312, 313). 


of his subjects in Ireland, and bidding those who were 
already there either return before Easter or consider them- 
selves banished for life. 1 Not a man went back; Richard of 
Striguil sent Raymond over to Normandy with a written 
protest to the king, pleading that his conquests had been 
undertaken with the royal sanction and that he was ready 
to place them at the king's disposal ; 2 but the " Geraldines," 
as the kindred- of Maurice Fitz-Gerald called themselves, 
seem to have at once accepted their sentence of exile and 
resolved to hold by their swords alone the lands which those 
swords had won. 3 

The hostility of the Ostmen had apparently ended with 
Hasculf 's defeat ; thenceforth they seem to have made 
common cause with the new-comers in whom they were 
perhaps already beginning to recognize the stirrings of 
kindred blood. But, on the other hand, the position of Earl 
Richard and his comrades had been seriously weakened by 
Dermot's death. The king of Leinster's devise of his king- 
dom to his son-in-law was, like the grants which he had 
made to the Geraldines and like his own homage to King 
Henry, void in Irish law. In Irish eyes his death removed 
the last shadow of excuse for the presence of the strangers 
on Irish soil ; their allies rapidly fell away ; 4 and by mid- 
summer the whole country rose against them as one man. 
Roderic* O'Conor mustered the forces of the north ; Arch- 
bishop Laurence of Dublin, whose family occupied an 
influential position in Leinster, called up the tribes of the 
south ; while a squadron of thirty ships was hired from Jarl 
Godred of Man. 5 The aim of the expedition was to 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 19 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 259). 

2 Ibid. Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 235. Raymond was back again 
in time to share in the defence of Dublin against Roderic O'Conor i.e. by the 
end of May or beginning of June. Gerald says he had to seek the king in 
" Aquitanic Gaul," but this time the phrase cannot be taken literally. Eyton's 
Itinerary shews plainly that throughout 1171 Henry never was further south than 
the Norman, or, at the utmost, the Breton border. 

3 This seems to be the key-note of a speech which Gerald puts into Maurice's 
mouth ; Expugn. Hibern.^ 1. i. c. 23 (as above, pp. 266, 267). 

4 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 83. 

5 Gir. Cambr. as above, cc. 22, 24 (pp. 265, 266, 269). This is the archbishop 
afterwards canonized as S. Laurence O'Toole. 


blockade Dublin, whither Earl Richard had now returned, 
and where almost all the leaders of the invasion, except 
Robert Fitz-Stephen and Hervey of Mountmorris, were now 
gathered together. The whole Irish land-force amounted to 
sixty thousand men; half of these were under the immediate 
command of Roderic, encamped at Castle-Knock j 1 Mac-Dun- 
levy, the chieftain of Uladh, planted his banner on the old 
battle-field of Clontarf; 2 Donell O'Brien, the king of North 
Munster, posted himself at Kilmainham ; and Murtogh Mac- 
Murrough, a brother of Dermot, whom Roderic had set up as 
king of Leinster in 1167, took U P his position at Dalkey. 3 
To these were added, for the northern division, the men of 
Breffny and of East Meath under Tighernan O'Ruark, those 
of Oiriel or southern Ulster under Murtogh O'Carroll, 4 and 
those of West Meath under Murtogh O'Melaghlin; while the 
archbishop's call had brought up the whole strength of 
Leinster except the men of Wexford and Kinsellagh ; 5 and 
even these, as the sequel proved, were preparing to fight the 
same battle on other ground. 

For nearly two months 6 the English knights were thus 
blockaded in Dublin. Their sole hope of relief was in 
Robert Fitz-Stephen, who had been left in command at 
Wexford. They were all but starving when Donell 
Kavanagh, a half-brother of Eva Mac-Murrough and a 
devoted adherent of her husband, slipped into the city with 
tidings that Wexford had risen ; Robert Fitz-Stephen was 
blockaded in the little fort of Carrick by the townsfolk and 
the men of Kinsellagh, to the number of three thousand ; 
unless he could be succoured within three days, all would be 
over with him and his men. 7 Earl Richard at once called 

1 Cf. Anglo -Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 84, with Gerald's reckoning ot 
Roderic's own forces at thirty thousand. Expngn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 24 (Dimock, 
vol. v. p. 268). 

"A Clontarf ficha sa banere." Anglo-Norm. Poem, as above. 3 Ibid. 

4 Four Masters, a. 1171 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1185). Gir. Cambr. Expugn. 
Hibern., 1. i. c. 24 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 269). 5 Gir. Cambr. as above. 

6 Ib. c. 22 (p. 266). This would bring the beginning of the siege to Mid- 
summer at latest, for it was certainly over by the middle of August. The Four 
Masters (as above) make it last only a fortnight. 

7 Gir. Cambr. as above. The Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 85, 86, gives 
a very hasty and confused sketch of this Wexford affair. 


a council of war. It comprised nearly all the leaders of the 
English and Welsh forces in Ireland : Richard of Striguil 
himself; Maurice Fitz - Gerald with three of his gallant 
nephews, Meiler Fitz- Henry, Miles Fitz-David and Raymond 
the Fat ; Miles Cogan, the captor of Dublin and its chief 
defender in the recent siege ; Maurice de Prendergast, 1 who 
two years before had thrown up the adventure and gone 
home in disgust at the faithlessness of his allies, 2 but had 
returned, it seems, in Earl Richard's train, and was yet 
to leave, alone of all the invading band, an honoured memory 
among the Irish people ; 3 and some fourteen others. 4 They 
decided upon sending Maurice de Prendergast and Archbishop 
Laurence to Roderic with an offer of surrender on condition 
that Richard of Striguil should hold the kingdom of 
Leinster under Roderic as overlord. Roderic rejected the 
proposal with scorn ; the knights might hold what the 
earlier pirates had held Dublin, Waterford and Wexford ; 
not another rood of Irish land should be granted to the earl 
and his company ; and if they refused these terms, Dublin 
should be stormed on the morrow. 5 That afternoon the 
little garrison scarce six hundred in all 6 sallied forth and 
surprized Roderic's camp while he and his men were bathing ; 
Roderic himself escaped with great difficulty; fifteen hundred 
Irishmen were slain, many of them perishing in the water ; 

1 Earl Richard, Meiler, the two Mileses and Maurice Prendergast are men- 
tioned in the Anglo- Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 86, 87. Raymond is named by 
Gerald, Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 22 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 266), as "a curia jam 
reversus " ; his presence also appears later in the Poem. Gerald alone mentions 
the presence of Maurice Fitz-Gerald, whom the Poem never names throughout the 
siege ; while Gerald never names Maurice de Prendergast. Is it possible that he 
has transferred to his own uncle the exploits of his namesake ? But if so, where 
can Fitz-Gerald have been ? 

2 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 51-67. 3 Ib. pp. 97-103. 

4 The Poem (as above), p. 87, reckons them at twenty in all, and names four 
besides those already mentioned, viz., Robert de Quincy, Walter de Riddlesford, 
Richard de Marreis and Walter Bluet. 

5 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 87-90. 

6 The Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 90, 91, describes the force as com- 
posed of three divisions, each consisting of forty knights, sixty archers and a 
hundred " serjanz." Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 24 (p. 268), makes the three bands 
of knights contain respectively twenty, thirty and forty, each accompanied by as 
many archers and citizens as could be spared from guarding the walls. 


while at sunset the victors returned, after a long pursuit, with 
scarcely a man missing, and laden with provisions enough to 
supply all Dublin for a year. 1 The rest of the besieging army 
dispersed at once, and the very next morning Earl Richard 
was free to set out for the relief of Robert Fitz-Stephen. 2 

He was however already too late. Three thousand men 
of Wexford and Kinsellagh, finding that they could make no 
impression by fair means upon Robert Fitz-Stephen shut up 
in the fort of Carrick with five knights and a handful of 
archers, at length had recourse to fraud. Two bishops and 
some monks were made to stand under the walls of the fort 
and swear upon relics brought for the purpose that Dublin 
was taken, the earl and his comrades slain, and Roderic on 
the march to Wexford at the head of his victorious host. 
On a promise of liberty to escape to Wales 3 Robert in his 
despair surrendered, only to see his little band of humbler 
followers slaughtered to a man, and himself and his five 
knights cast into chains. The men of Wexford then fired 
their town and took refuge with their captives on the 
neighbouring island of Beg-Erin, 4 whence they sent word to 
Richard of Striguil that if he dared to approach them he 
should immediately receive the heads of his six friends. 5 
Notwithstanding this disaster at Wexford, and the failure of 
a plot to entrap the chief of Ossory a well-deserved fail- 
ure, due to the loyalty of Maurice de Prendergast 6 the 
invaders were rapidly gaining ground. The king of North 
Munster, who was married to Eva's sister, again forsook 
Roderic and made alliance with his English brother-in-law ; 7 
an attempt made by Tighernan O'Ruark to renew the siege of 
Dublin ended in failure ; 8 and at last Murtogh of Kinsellagh 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 24 (Dimock, vol. v. pp. 268, 269). 
Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 90-94. Cf. the brief account in Four Masters, 
a. 1171 (O' Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1185). 

2 Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 269, 270). Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 95. 

3 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 25 (pp. 270, 271). 

4 Ibid. (p. 271). Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 85, 97. 

5 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 28 (p. 273). 

6 See the story in Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 97-103. 

7 Ib. pp. 97, 98. 

8 Four Masters, a. 1171 (as above, pp. 1185-1187). Gir. Cambr. as above, 
c, 29 (p. 274). 


was reduced to make a surrender of his principality into 
Richard's hands and accept a re-grant of it from him as 
overlord, while Donell Kavanagh was invested on like 
terms with the remaining portion of Leinster. 1 

The earl's triumphs, however, met with an abrupt check 
from over sea. His uncle Hervey of Mountmorris, who had 
gone to plead his cause with the king after the failure of 
Raymond's mission, returned to Waterford 2 with tidings that 
Henry himself was on his way to Ireland and required the 
self-styled earl of Leinster to go and speak with him without 
delay. Richard hurried over to Wales, 3 met Henry on the 
border, 4 and was forgiven on condition that he should sur- 
render Dublin and the other coast towns absolutely into the 
king's hands and do him homage and fealty for the rest ot 
Leinster; 5 he then accompanied Henry into Pembrokeshire; 6 
where the royal fleet was assembling in Milford Haven. It 
consisted of four hundred ships, 7 carrying a force of about 
four thousand men, of whom some five hundred were knights 
and the rest archers, mounted and unmounted. 8 The king 

1 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 103. 

2 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 28 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 273). Hervey 
must have gone before Midsummer ; he was clearly not in Dublin during the 
second siege, and returned shortly after its conclusion. 

3 Ibid. Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 105, 106. 

4 At Newnham in Gloucestershire, according to Gerald (as above). The 
Anglo-Norm. Poem (p. 106), however, says they met at Pembroke. This would 
make a difference of at least ten days in the date. From the account of Henry's 
movements in the Brut y Tywys.^ a. 1171 (William, pp. 211-213), it seems that he 
crossed the border about September 8 and reached Pembroke on September 20. 

5 Gir. Cambr. as above. Cf. Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 26 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 
168, 169). 

6 Brut y Tywys., a. 1171 (Williams, p. 215). 

7 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 25 ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 29 ; 
Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 235. The Four Masters, a. 1171 (O'Donovan, 
vol. ii. p. 1 187), .and Ann. Loch. Ce, a. 1171 (Hennessy, vol. i. p. 145), give the 
number as two hundred and forty. 

8 Gerald (Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 30, Dimock, vol. v. p. 275) reckons five 
hundred knights, with ' ' arcariis \var. satellitibus equestribus] quoque et sagittariis 
multis." The Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 123, makes the knights four 
hundred, and a few lines later sums up the whole force as "quatre mil Engleis." 
Mr. W. Lynch {View of Legal Inst. in Ireland under Hen. //., p. 2) argues from 
the payments for arms, provisions, shipping, etc. recorded in the Pipe- Rolls for 
1171, that the army must have numerically "far exceeded the force described in 
our printed historians." He gives a few details of these payments, extracted from 


embarked on the evening of Saturday, October 16, and 
landed next day at Croch, eight miles from Waterford. 1 
On the morrow, S. Luke's day, he entered the town of 
Waterford; 2 there he was met by his seneschal William 
Fitz-Aldhelm, his constable Humfrey de Bohun, Hugh de 
Lacy, Robert Fitz-Bernard, and some other officers of his 
household whom he had sent over to prepare for his coming. 3 
The Irish of the district and the Ostmen of the town, in the 
person of their chieftain Ragnald, made submission to him 
as their sovereign; 4 while Richard of Striguil formally 
surrendered the place into the king's hands and did homage 
to him for the earldom of Leinster. 5 The men of Wexford 
now, according to an agreement which they had made with 
Henry while he was waiting for a wind at Pembroke, 6 
brought their captive Robert Fitz-Stephen to his sovereign's 
feet, to be by him dealt with as a rebel and a traitor. Henry 
loaded him with reproaches and imprisoned him afresh, but 
his anger was more assumed than real, and the captive was 

the Pipe-Roll in question (17 Hen. II., a. 1171) ; some more, from this and the 
next year's roll, maybe seen in Eyton, Itin. Hen. //., pp. 161, 163. The host 
was no doubt composed almost wholly of English tenants-in-chivalry ; but what- 
ever may have been its numbers, there was a large proportion of these tenants who 
had nothing to do with it except by paying its expenses next year with a great 
scutage. See in Madox, Hist. Exch.> vol. i. pp. 629-632, the extracts from Pipe 
Roll 18 Hen. II. "de scutagio militum qui nee abierunt in Hyberniam nee 
denarios " (in some cases " nee milites nee denarios ") " illuc miserunt." 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 25 ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 29. 
R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 348, makes October 16 the day of Henry's arrival in 
Ireland ; Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 235, makes it "about S. Calixtus's day" 
(October 16 would be two days after). Gerald, Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 30 
(Dimock, vol. v. p. 275) makes him reach Waterford "circa kalendas Novembris, 
die videlicet S. Lucae." The Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel, p. 123) turns this into 
"a la Tusseinz" ; the Four Masters, a. 1171 (O'Donovan, vol. ii. p. 1187) record 
his coming without any date at all ; and the Brut y Tywys. a. 1171 (Williams, p. 
217), absurdly says he sailed on Sunday, November 16. The Anglo-Norman poet 
seems to have taken Croch " a la Croiz " as he calls it for the place of embark- 

2 Gesta. Hen.) Rog. Howden and Gir. Cambr. as above. 

3 Gesta Hen. and Rog. Howden, as above. Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), 
p. 124. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 30. 

5 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 124. 

6 See the curious story of their envoy's arrival and reception at Pembroke, 
ib. pp. 119-123. 



soon released. 1 The submission of the English adventurers 
was followed by that of the Irish princes. Dermot Mac- 
Carthy, king of Cork or South Munster, was the first of 
them who came to Henry's feet at Waterford, swore him 
fealty, gave hostages and promised tribute. 2 On November 
I 3 Henry advanced to Lismore, and thence, two days later, 
to Cashel, where at the passage of the Suir he was met by 
the king of Limerick or of Northern Munster, Donell O'Brien, 
with offers of tribute and obedience. The lesser chieftains 
of southern Ireland followed the example of the two kings ; 
in three weeks from his arrival all Munster was at his feet, 
and its coast-towns, Wexford, Waterford, Limerick and Cork, 
were all in the custody of his own officers. 4 At Martinmas 
he reached Dublin; 5 before Christmas he received hostages 
from all the princes of Leinster and Meath, from Tighernan 
O'Ruark of Breffny, from O'Carroll of Oiriel, and from the 
king of Uladh or eastern Ulster; 6 his new vassals built him 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. cc. 31, 32 (Dimock, vol. v. pp. 276, 277, 
278). Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 125, 126. 

2 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 31 (p. 277). 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 30, says he stayed at Waterford fifteen 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above, cc. 31, 32 (pp. 277, 278). He adds that Henry returned 
to Waterford, where he released Robert Fitz-Stephen, and thence proceeded to 
Dublin. The Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 126, 127, places this progress 
through Cashel and Lismore in inverse order, after Henry's first visit to Dublin, 
and says nothing of a second visit to Waterford. Its account is however much less 
circumstantial than Gerald's. The Gesta Hen. and Rog. Howden only name two 
places where Henry stayed Waterford and Dublin ; and as they both say he 
reached the latter at Martinmas, while Roger says he left Waterford when he had 
been there a fortnight (i.e. on November i), Gerald's story fills up the interval 
very well. 

5 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 28. Rog. Howden (as above), p. 32. 

6 Gerald (as above, c. 33, p. 278) enumerates the princes who submitted 
at Dublin as follows : " Machelanus Ophelan [O'Phelan], Machtalewi, 
Otuetheli [O'Toole], Gillemoholmoch [Gillamocholmog of Fingal by Dublin 
see above, p. 106], Ocathesi [O'Casey], Ocaruel Urielensis [O'Carroll of 
Oiriel], et Ororicius Medensis " [O'Ruark]. He then relates the half-submission 
of Roderic of Connaught (of which more later), and adds : "sic itaque, praeter 
solos Ultonienses, subditi per se singuli." (Ib. p. 279.) He need not however 
have excepted the Ulstermen ; for the Ann. Loch Ce, a. 1171 (Hennessy, vol. i. 
p. 145) copying, it seems, the old Annals of Ulster (see Four Masters, O'Donovan, 
vol. ii. p. 1187, note c, and O'Kelly's note to Lynch's Cambr. Evers., vol. ii. p. 
472, note d) say that Henry while at Dublin received hostages from "Leinster, 
Meath, Breffny, Oiriel and Uladh." This leaves only Connaught and Aileach 


a dwelling of wattle or wicker-work, after the manner of 
their country, outside the walls of Dublin, and there in their 
midst he held his Christmas court 1 

Early in November two royal chaplains had been 
despatched to summon the Irish bishops to a council and 
claim their submission. 2 We hear not a word of Pope 
Adrian's bull ; but we can hardly doubt that its existence 
and its contents were in some way or other certified to the 
Irish prelates before, in response to the royal mandate, they 
met in council at Cashel in the first weeks of 1172? The 
archbishop of Armagh absented himself on the plea of 
extreme age and infirmity; 4 all his episcopal brethren, how- 
ever, made full submission to Henry, pledged themselves to 
conform in all things to the pattern of the English Church, 5 
gave written promises to support the English king and his 
heirs as lawful sovereigns of Ireland, 6 and joined with him 

unsubdued. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 235) and the Gesta Hen. (Stubbs, vol. 
i. p. 25) lump all these submissions together, and the latter seems to place them 
all, as well as the submission of the bishops, during Henry's stay in Waterford. 
Rog. Howden (Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 30) not only does the same still more distinctly, 
but he does worse ; he places the submission of the bishops first, and then says 
that the lay princes submitted "exemplo clericorum." It is he, not Gerald or any 
one else, who is responsible for this misrepresentation, which the champions of the 
Irish Church have been justly denouncing ever since Dr. Lynch's time. 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 28, 29. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 
32. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 236. Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 
33 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 279). 

2 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 28. Rog. Howden (as above), p. 31. The 
messengers were Nicolas, a chaplain of the king, and Ralf archdeacon of Landaff. 
They were sent out "circa festum S. Leonard! " (November 6). Gesta Hen. as 

3 The Gesta Hen. and Rog. Howden as above, both place this council before 
Christmas 1171. Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 35 (p. 281), and R. Diceto (Stubbs), 
vol. i. p. 351, date it 1172. It seems better to follow them, for though Gerald is 
certainly no chronologist, he is the only writer who gives a detailed and rational 
account of this synod ; and the summary given by R. Diceto also shews a fair know- 
ledge of the subject, though he makes the synod meet at Lismore instead of Cashel. 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 283). He adds that the primate afterwards went 
to Dublin and there submitted to Henry ; but see Dr. Lariigan's comment, Eccles. 
Hist. Ireland, vol. iv. pp. 205, 206. 

5 Gir. Cambr. as above. R. Diceto (as above), pp. 350, 351. 

6 They sent him "litteras suas in modum cartse extra sigillum pendentes:" 
Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 26. Cf. Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 30, 31. This is 
however placed by both writers some time before the council. See above, p. 114, 
note 6. 


in sending to Rome a report of his proceedings and their 
own. 1 

In all Ireland the king of Connaught was now the 
only ruler, spiritual or temporal, who had not submitted 
to Henry. 2 Trusting to the inaccessible nature of his 
country, 3 Roderic had at first refused all dealings with the 
invader, declaring that he himself was the sole rightful 
monarch of Ireland. 4 It seems however that he afterwards 
came to a meeting with William Fitz-Aldhelm and Hugh de 
Lacy by the banks of the Shannon, on the frontier of 
Connaught and Meath, and there promised tribute and fealty 
like his fellow-kings. 5 The promise was however worthless 
until confirmed by his personal homage ; and this Henry 
soon perceived was only to be extorted at the sword's point. 
The impossibility of fighting to any advantage in the wet 
Irish winter compelled him to postpone the attempt until 
the spring; 6 and when spring came he found that his 
intended campaign must be abandoned altogether. From 
the day when he left Milford he had received not one word 
of tidings from any part of his dominions. 7 This total 
isolation, welcome at first as a relief from the load of cares 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 31, says that Henry sent copies of the 
bishops' letters of submission to Rome. Dr. Lanigan (Eccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. 
iv. pp. 217, 218) objects that this can only have been done some time later, as 
Henry's communications were cut off by the weather. But this is not borne out 
either by the words of R. Diceto (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 350) or by those of Gerald 
(Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 36, Dimock, vol. v. p. 284). They both say distinctly 
that a persistent contrary wind hindered all communication from England to Ire- 
land. For communication in the opposite direction such a wind would surely be 
most favourable. Moreover, it is quite certain that the Pope did, some time before 
September 20, 1172, receive reports of Henry's proceedings in Ireland both from 
Henry himself and from the Irish bishops, for he says so in three letters one 
addressed to Henry, another to the kings and bishops of Ireland, and the third to 
the legate, Christian bishop of Lismore all dated Tusculum, September 20, and 
all printed in Hearne's Liber A T iger, vol. i. pp. 42-48, as well as in the notes to 
Macaria Excidium (O'Callaghan), pp. 255-262. 

2 Perhaps we should add the chief of Aileach ; see above, p. 1 14, note 6. 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 348. 

4 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 25, 26. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 235. 

5 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 33 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 279). See Dr. 
Lanigan's refutation of Gerald's comment on the legal effect of this transaction, 
Eccles. Hist. Ireland, vol. iv. pp. 203, 204. 

6 Gesta Hen. (as above), pp. 26, 29. 

7 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 36 (p. 284). R. Diceto as above, p. 350. 


which indeed he had purposely left behind him, 1 became at 
the end of nineteen weeks a source of almost unbearable 
anxiety. On March I he removed from Dublin to Wexford; 2 
there for nearly a month he remained eagerly watching for 
a ship from England ; none came until after Mid-Lent, 3 and 
then it was laden with such ill news that he could only take 
such hasty measures as were possible at the moment for 
maintaining his hold upon Ireland, and prepare to hurry out 
of it as soon as the wind would carry him. 4 Richard of Striguil 
was suffered to remain at Kildare 5 as earl of Leinster ; 
the general direction of government and administration 
throughout the king's Irish domains was intrusted to Hugh 
de Lacy, 6 who had already received a grant of Meath in fee, 7 
and who was also left in command of the citadel of Dublin, 8 
with a garrison of twenty knights, among whom were 
Maurice Fitz- Gerald 9 and Robert Fitz- Stephen. 10 The 
grants of territory made by Dermot to the half-brothers were 
of course annulled ; Waterford and Wexford were both 
garrisoned and placed in charge of an officer appointed by 
the king ; n and in each of these towns a fortress was either 
erected or repaired by his orders. 12 

A better mode of securing his authority in Dublin was 
probably suggested to him by the ravages which war and 

1 See Gervase of Canterbury's account of his motives for going to Ireland 
(Stubbs, vol. i. p. 235). 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 29 ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 33. 

3 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 37 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 285). 

4 Ib. c. 37 (pp. 285, 286). In the Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 128, 129, 
Henry is made to receive the bad news before leaving Dublin, which is obviously 
too soon. Cf. Gesta Hen. as above, and Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 33, 34. 

5 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 132. 

" Constituit eum justitiarium Hyberniae." Rog. Howden (as above), p. 34. 

7 Ibid. Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 30. Gir. Cambr. (as above), c. 38 (p. 286). 
Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 130. See the charter of donation in Lyttelton, 
Hen. II., vol. iv. p. 295. 

8 Gir. Cambr., Gesta Hen. and Rog. Howden, as above. Anglo-Norm. Poem 
(Michel), p. 129. 9 Qi r> Cambr. as above. 

10 Anglo-Norm. Poem, as above adding Meiler Fitz-Henry and Miles Fitz- 

11 Gesta ffen., Rog. Howden and Gir. Cambr. as above. 

12 Gesta Hen. and Rog. Howden, as above. If we may believe the Anglo- 
Norm. Poem (Michel, p. 130) Henry furthermore made a grant of Ulster to John 
de Courcy " si a force la peust conquere." 


famine had made among its population. Eight years before 
he had taken the burghers of Bristol, so long the medium of 
trading intercourse between England and Ireland, under his 
especial patronage and protection. 1 He now granted to 
them the city of Dublin, to colonize and to hold of him and 
his heirs by the same free customs which they enjoyed in 
their own town of Bristol. 2 It is plain that Henry was 
already aiming at something far other than a mere military 
conquest of Ireland ; and the long and varied list of English 
names, from all parts of the country, which is found in a roll 
of the Dublin citizens only a few years later, 3 shews how 
willingly his plans were taken up, not only at Bristol but 
throughout his realm, by the class to which he chiefly and 
rightly trusted for aid in their execution. Unluckily, they 
were scarcely formed when he was obliged to leave their 
developement to other hands ; and the consequence was a 
half success which proved in the end to be far worse than 
total failure. On Easter night 4 he sailed from Wex- 
ford ; 5 next day he landed at Portfinnan, hard by S. David's ; 6 
before the octave was out he had hurried through South 

1 In January 1164 "he granted a short charter of privileges to the burghers of 
Bristol, whom as sovereign lord he calls his burgesses, although they were then 
under the lordship of the earl of Gloucester. This charter contains only an 
exemption from toll and passage and other customary payments for themselves and 
their goods through the king's own lands, with a confirmation of their existing 
privileges and liberties" (Seyer, Mem. of Bristol, vol. i. p. 494, with a reference to 
"Charters of Bristol, No. I "). 

2 Charter printed in Gilbert, Hist, and Munic. Documents of Ireland \ p. I. 

3 Ib. p. 3 et seq. 

4 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 351, says at sunset on Easter day (April 16) ; 
the Ann. Loch Ce, a. 1172 (Hennessy, vol. i. p. 147), say on Easter day "after 
Mass." Gerald, Expugn. Hibern.> 1. i. c. 38 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 286), the Gesta 
Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 30, and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 34, say he 
sailed early on the Monday morning, the two latter adding a reason he would not 
travel on the feast-day, though he had suffered his household to do so. Most 
probably he sailed at midnight, as seems to have been often done. The Brut y 
Tywys. a. 1172 (Williams, p. 217), makes him reach Pembroke on Good Friday, 
but this is impossible. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 30. Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 131. The 
household had sailed from Croch to Milford ; ibid. Cf. Rog. Howden as above, 

P- 34- 

6 Gesta Hen. and Rog. Howden, as above. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 351. 
The name of the place, Portfinnan, is given only in the Anglo-Norm. Poem (as 


Wales to Newport j 1 in a few days more he was at Ports- 
mouth ; 2 and before Rogation-tide he was once more in 
Normandy, ready to face the bursting of a storm whose 
consequences were to overshadow all his remaining years 
and to preclude all chance of his return to complete his 
conquest of Ireland. 

1 See the itinerary in Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. cc. 38-40 (Dimock, 
vol. v. pp. 286-291), compared vf\\hJ3ruty Tywys. a. 1172 (Williams, pp. 217-219). 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 30. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 34. 
It is Porchester in R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 351. 



FOR thelast eight years Henry had been literally, through- 
out his English realm, over all persons and all causes 
supreme. FronL-.the hour "ol--aJiQmas 7 s riight, rioOTiiand, 
not_a voice was lifted to nppnsg -_c\r ._t9_!TL^tJPJ!l his__.will ; 
England lay passive before him ; the time seemed to have 
come when he might work out at leisure and without fear of 
check his long-cherished plans of legal, judicial and administr- 
ative reform. In the execution of those plans, however, 
he was seriously hampered by the indirect consequences of 
the ecclesiastical quarrel. One of these was his own pro- 
longed absence from England, which was made necessary by 
the hostility of France, and which compelled him to be 
content with setting his reforms in operation and then leave 
their working to other hands and other heads, without the 
power of superintending it and watching its effects with his 
own eyes, during nearly six years. He had now to learn 
that the enemy with whom he had been striving throughout 
those years was after all not the most serious obstacle in 
his way ; that the most threatening danger to his scheme 
of government still lay, as it had lain at his accession, in that 
Jumper of the baronage which it had been 

task to bring under subjection. The victory which he had 
gained over Hugh Bigod in 1156 was real, but it was not 
final. The spirit of feudal insubordination_was pheckedr-not 
crushed pit~was only waiting~an opportunity to lift its 


head once more ; and with the strife that raged around _g. 
Thomas of Canterbury the opportunity came. 

Henry's attitude towards the barons during these years 
had been of necessity a somewhat inconsistent one. He 
never lost sight of the main thread of policy which he had 
inherited from his grandfather : a policy which may bo^T^T^ 
defined as the consolidation of kingly power in his own _j 

hands, throughthe repression of the feudaT nobles and^the 
raising:, of ttxeT"people at large into a condition of greater 
security and jprosjgeritv. and of closer Tonnexigp with affl 
dependence upon the Crown j as a check and counterpoise to 
ce__o the feudataries. On the other 
hand, his quarrel with the primate had cTriven him to throw 
himself on the support of those very feudataries whom it was . , /> 
his true policy to repress, and had brought him into hostility 
with the ecclesiastical interest which ought to have been, and 
which actually had been until now, his surest and most 
powerful aid. If it was what we may perhaps ventured 
to call the feudal side of the ecclesiastical movement its 
introduction of a separate system of law and jurisdiction, r^J 
traversing and impeding the course of his own uniform regal , 
administration which roused the suspicions of the king, it 
was its anti-feudal side, its championship of the universal 
rights and liberties of men in the highest and widest sense, 
that provoked the jealousy of the nobles. This was a point 
which Henry, blinded for the moment by his natural instinct 
of imperiousness, seems to have overlooked when at the 
council of Northampton he .stooped to avail himself of the 
assistancejpf the Jjarons to crush the primate. They doubt- 
less saw what he failed to see, that he was crushing not so 
much his own rival as theirs. The cause of the Church was 
bound up with tha_Lothe people, and hr>tb alike were closely 
knit to that of the Crown. Sceptre and crozier once parted, 
the barons might strive with the former at an advantage 
such as they had never had while Lanfranc stood beside 
William and Anselm beside Henry L, such as they never 
could have had if Thomas had remained standing by the 
side of Henry II. 1 

1 "The government party was made up of two elements the higher order of 


As yet, however, there was no token of the strife to 
come. In February 1166, two years after the publication 
of the Constitutions of Clarendon, Henry^ assembled_an other 
council at the same place and thence issued an ordinance l 
for carrying out a reform in the method of bringing to 
justice criminals in general, similar to that which he had in 
the Constitutions sought to apply to criminals of one par- 
ticular class. Bv_the Assize of Clarendon it was enacted, 
that the king's justices and the sheriffs should in every shire 
throughout the kingdom make inquiry concerning all_crjmes 
therein committed " since our lord the king was king." 
The method of their investigations was that of inquest by 
sworn recognitors chosen from among the " lawful men " of 
each hundred and township, and bound by oath to speak 
the truth according to their knowledge of the fact in ques- 
tion. This mode of legal inquiry had been introduced into 
England by William the Conqueror for fiscal purposes, such 
as the taking of the Domesday survey, and its employment 
for similar objects was continued by his successors. Henry 
II. had in the early years of his reign applied the same 
principle to the uses of civil litigation by an ordinance 
known as the " Great Assize," whereby disputes concerning 
the possession of land might, if the litigants chose, be settled 
before the justices of the king's court by the unanimous 
oath of twelve lawful knights chosen according to a pre- 
scribed form from among those dwelling in the district 
where the land lay, and therefore competent to swear to the 
truth or falsehood of the claim. 3 This proceeding seems to 

the Clergy, who joined the king out of cowardice, having more at stake than they 
could make up their minds to lose ; and the higher order of the Laity, who in this 
instance sided with the king against the Church, that when they had removed this 
obstacle they might afterwards fight him single-handed. " (R. H. Froude, Remains ; 
vol. iv. p. 30). Which is just what Arnulf of Lisieux saw from the first (Ep. 
clxii., Robertson, Becket, vol. v. pp. 309, 310), and what Henry learned to his 
cost in 1173. 

1 On the date see Bishop Stubbs' preface to Gesta Hen., vol. ii. pp. lix.-lxi. 
The Assize is printed in an appendix to same preface, pp. cxlix-cliv, and in 
Select Charters, pp. 143-146. 

2 Assize of Clarendon, c. I (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 143). 

3 Glanville, De legibus Anglice, 1. ii. c. 7 (ib. p. 161). Cf. Stubbs, Constit. 
Hist., vol. i. p. 616. 


be assumed as already in use by the ninth Constitution of 
Clarendon, which ordains its application to disputes concern- 
ing Church lands. 1 The Assize of Clarendon aimed at 
bringing criminals to justice by the help of the same 
machinery. It decreed that in every hundred of every shire 
inquest should be made by means of twelve lawful men ot 
the hundred and four from each township, who should be 
sworn to denounce every man known in their district as 
a robber, thief or murderer, or a harbourer of such ; on their 
presentment the accused persons were to be arrested by the 
sheriff, and kept by him in safe custody till they could 
be Brought before the itinerant justices, to undergo the 
ordeal of water and receive legal punishment according to 
its results. 2 The inquest was to be taken and the session of 
the justices held in full shire-court ; no personal privileges 
of any kind were to exempt any qualified member of the 
court from his duty of attendance and of service on the jury 
of recognitors if required ; 3 and no territorial franchise or 
private jurisdiction, whether of chartered town or feudal 
"honour," was to shelter a criminal thus accused from the 
pursuit of the sheriffs on the authority of the justices. 4 

As was the case with most of Henry's reforms, none 
the methods of procedure adopted in -this Assize were new 
inventions. Not only had the inquest by sworn recognitors 
been in use for civil purposes ever since the Norman con- 
quest ; it may even be that the germ of a jury of present- 
ment in criminal cases, which in its modern shape appears 
for the first time in the Assize of Clarendon, is to be traced 
yet further back, to an ordinance of ^Ethelred II., whereby 
the twelve senior thegns in every wapentake were made to 
swear that they would " accuse no innocent man nor con- 
ceal any guilty one." 5 The_jnission of itinerant justices 
principle from the early Hays of English kingship, 

when the soverejmJiimseK^pexambulated his whole realm, 

1 Constit. Clar. c. 9 (Stubbs, Select Charters^ p. 139). See above, pp. 26, 27. 

2 Assize Clar. cc. i, 2, 4, 6 (as above, pp. 143, 144). 

3 Ib. c. 8 (p. 144). 4 Ib. cc. 9-1 1 (as above). 

5 Laws of ^Ethelred II., 1. iii. c. 3 (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 72). See 
Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. pp. 103, 115, 396, 611, 614. 


hearing and deciding whatever_cause' camejbefore him as he_ 
passed along had been employed by Henry L, and revived 
by Henry II. immediately after his accession. A visitation 
of the greater part of England had been made by two of the 
chief officers of the Curia Regis in the first year of his reign, 
and again in the second ; another circuit seems to have been 
made in 1 159 by William Fitz-John ; and in 1 163 Alan de 
Neville held pleas of the forest in Oxfordshire, while the 
justiciar himself, Richard de Lucy, made a journey into 
Cumberland to hold the pleas of the Crown there, for the 
first time since the district had passed into the hands of the 
king of Scots. 1 From the date of the Assize of Clarendon, 
however, these journeys became regular and general, 2 and 
the work of the judges employed on them became far more 
extensive and important. 

The first visitation under the assize was at once begun 
by Richard de Lucy and Geoffrey de Mandeville, earl of 
Essex ; 3 and the Pipe Roll of the year furnishes some indic- 
ations of its immediate results. The sums credited to the 
treasury for the pleas of the Crown reach a far greater 
amount than in the earlier rolls, and its receipts are further 
swelled by the goods and chattels of criminals condemned 
under the assize, 4 which were explicitly declared forfeit to 
the king. 5 J'he clause binding all qualified persons to be, 
ready to serve on the juries was strictly enforced ; one 
attempt to evade it was punished with a fine of five marks. 
Another clause, enjoining upon the sheriffs the construction 
and repair of gaols for the detention of criminals, was carried 
into effect with equal vigour. 7 The work of the two justiciars 
was apparently not completed till the summer of 1 16?. 8 In 
that year pleas of the forest were held throughout the 

1 Stubbs, Gesta Hen., vol. ii., pref. p. Ixiv. 2 Ib. pp. Ixiii, Ixiv. 

3 Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 470. Gesta Hen., vol. ii., pref. pp. 
Ixiv, Ixv. 4 See Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 471. 

5 Ass. Clar., c. 5 (Stubbs, Select Charters, pp. 143, 144). 

6 "Homines de Tichesoura debent v marcas quia noluerunt jurare assisam 
regis." Pipe Roll a. 1166, quoted in Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 470, note I. 

7 "The expenses of gaols at Canterbury, Rochester, Huntingdon, Cambridge, 
Sarum, Malmesbury, Aylesbury and Oxford are accounted for in the Roll of 
1 1 66." Ib. p. 471, note 5. 

8 Stubbs, Gesta Hen., vol. ii., pref. pp. Ixiv, Ixv and note i. 


country by Alan de Neville ; and in jTi68 seven barons of 
the Exchequer made a general visitation of the shires for the 
collection of an aid on the marriage of the king's eldest 
daughter/^ This last was primarily a fiscal journeyj the aid 
itself was a strictly feudal impost, assessed at one mark on 
every knight's fee. 2 It was however levied in a remarkable 
manner. The Domesday survey, which by a few modifi- 
cations in practice had been made to serve as the rate-book 
of the whole 'kingdom for eighty years, was at last found 
inadequate for the present purpose. A royal writ was there- 
fore addressed to all the tenants-in-chief, requiring from them 
an account of the knights' fees which they held and the 
services due upon them, whether under the " old infeoffment " 
of the time of Henry I., or under the " new infeoffment " 
since the resettlement of the country by his grandson. 3 The 
answers were enrolled in what is known as the Black Book 
of the Exchequer^ and the aid was levied in accordance with 
their contents. The whole process occupied a considerable 
time ; the preparations seem to have begun shortly after 
Matilda's betrothal, for we hear of the purchase of " a hutch 
for keeping the barons' letters concerning their knights " as 
early as ii66, 5 yet the collection of the money was not 
finished till the summer of 1 169, 6 a year and a half after her 
marriage. The labours of the barons employed in it were 
however not confined to this one end ; as usual, their travels 
were turned to account for judicial purposes, 7 and the system 
begun by the assize of Clarendon was by no means suffered 
to fall into disuse. 

1 Stubbs, Constit. Hist.) vol. i. p. 471 and note 6. 

2 Ib. p. 472. Madox, Hist. Exch., vol. i. p. 572. 

3 The tenour of the king's writ is shewn by a typical answer, printed by Bishop 
Stubbs in his Select Charters, p. 146, from Hearne's Liber Niger Scaccarii (2d. ed.), 
vol. i. pp. 148, 149. 

4 Liber Niger Scaccarii, edited by Hearne. A roll of the Norman tenants-in- 
chivalry was comp.vsd in the same manner in 1172; see Stapleton, Magni Rotuli 
Scaccarii Normannia, vol. i., Observations, p. xxxiv. 

6 Madox, Hist. Exch., vol. i. p. 576, and Stubbs, Constit. Hist., p. 471, note 
7, from Pipe Roll a. 1166. 

6 Stubbs, as above, p. 472, and Gesta Hen., vol. ii. pref. p. Ixv and note 2. 
Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., p. 117. 

7 Stubbs, Gesta Hen., vol. ii., pref. p. Ixv, note 2. 


It was too soon as yet for the beneficial results of these 
measures to become evident to the people at large ; but it 
was not too soon for them to excite the resentment of the 
barons. The_stringencv^ with which in the^ assize of_Claren- 
don every claim of personal exemption or special jurisdiction 
was_made to giveaway before the all-embracing authority of 
the king's^sj.ipreme justice shewed plainly that Henry still 
clave to the policy which had_jed__him to insist npnn ffi^ 
restoration of alienated lands and the surrender of un^ 

to lose no opportunity of ex- 
ze^and garrison the castleTof his 

vassals in NormandyJ: in a w n H, t^ r\^(*r\r qr^ jjn w ^rf i n 
every possible way the rnpni ' Q f th^ fcndal prin^'pl^ 
The assessment of the aid for his daughter's marriage seems 
indeed at first glance to have been based on a principle 
wholly favourable to the barons, for it apparently left the 
determination of each landowner's liabilities wholly in his 
own hands. But the commissioners who spent nearly two 
years in collecting the aid had ample power and ample 
opportunity to check any irregularities which might have 
occurred in the returns ; and the impost undoubtedly pressed 
very heavily upon the feudal tenants as a body. Its pro- 
ceeds seem, however, not to have come up to Henry's 
expectations, and the unsatisfactory reports which reached 
him from England of the general results of his legal measures 
led him to suspect some failure in duty on the part of those 
who were charged with their execution. 

A large share of responsibility rested with the sheriffs ; 
and the sheriffs were still for the most part, as they had 
been in his grandfather's days, the chief landowners in their 
respective shires, men of great local importance, and only 
too likely to have at once the will and the power to defeat 
~the ends of the very measures which by their official position 
they were called upon to administer. Henry fhf > reforp_on 
his return to England at Easter 1 170 summarily deposed all 
sheriffs of counties and bailiffs of royal demesnes, pending 
an inquisition into all the details of their official conduct 
since his own departure over sea four years ago. The in- 

1 Stubbs, Gesta Hen. , vol. ii. pref. p. xlvii, note. 


quiry was intrusted not to any of the usual members of 
the King's Court and Exchequer, but to a large body of 
commissioners specially chosen for the purpose from the 
higher ranks of both clergy and laity. 1 These were to 
take pledges of all the sheriffs and bailiffs that they would 
be ready to appear before the king and make redress on 
an appointed day; an oath was also tg_be__ 

knights and freemen in every shire that they 
would_ answer trythfiilly anH wM>nuL.respect of persons-to. 
all questions put to them by the commissioners in the 
king's name. 2 

The subject-matter of these inquiries, as laid down in 
the king's instructions, embraced far more than the conduct 
of the sheriffs. Not only were the commissioners to examine 
into all particulars of the sums received by the sheriffs and 
bailiffs in the discharge of their functions, and the manner 
and grounds of their acquisition, 3 and into the disposal of all 
chattels and goods forfeited under the assize of Clarendon ; 
theyLjvere also to ascertain whether the collection of the aid 
J)our fille marier had been honestly conducted ; they were 
at the same time to investigate the administration of the 
forests 4 ancLthe condition of the royal demesnes ; 5 to find 
out and report any persons who had failed to do homage to 
the king or his son ; 6 and they were moreover to make in- 
quisition into the proceedings of all the special courts of the 
various franchises, whether held by archbishop or bishop, 
abbot, earl or baron, as fully and minutely as into those of 
the ordinary hundreds. 7 Only two months were allowed to 
the commissioners for their work, which nothing but their 
great number can. have enabled them to execute in the time. 
Unhappily, the report which they brought up to the king on 
S. Barnabas's day is lost, and we have no record of its 

1 The list of commissioners for seven of the southern shires is in Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 216. See also Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 473 and 
note 2. 

2 Inquest of sheriffs, Stubbs, Select Charters^ p. 148. Gerv. Cant, (as above), 
p. 217. 

3 Inquest of sheriffs, cc. I, 4, 9, 10 (as above,pp. 148-150). 

4 Ib. cc. 5, 6,-j (p. 149). 5 Ib. c. 12 (p. 150). 

6 Ib. c. II (p. 150). 7 //;. cc. 2, 3 (pp. 148, 149). 


results save in relation to one point : _out of twenty-seven 
sheriffs, only seven were allowed to retain their offices. The 
rest, who were mostly local magnates owing their importance 
rather to their territorial and family influence than to their 
connexion with the court, were replaced by men of in- 
ferior rank, and of whom all but four were officials of the 
Exchequer. 1 

This significant proof of Henry's determination ta pursue 
his anti-feudal policy was followed "up next year by the last 
step in that resumption of alienated demesnes which in 
England had been virtually completed thirteen years ago, 
but which had been enforced only by slower degrees on the 
other side of the channel. In 1 1 7 1 Henry ordered a 
general inquisition into the extent and condition of the 
demesne lands and forests held by his grandfather in Nor- 
mandy, and into the encroachments since made, upon them 
by the barons ; and we are told that the restitution which 
resulted from the inquiry almost doubled his ducal revenue. 2 
The_endttfafie~Qf _the. Jbarons was now almost at an end ; 
aj^jnoreover, their opportunity had now- come. From that 
same council at Westminster whence the decree had gone 
forth for the inquest of sheriffs, there had gone forth also the 
summons for the crowning of the young king ; that other 
assembly which on S. Barnabas's day saw the deposition of 
the delinquent officers saw also, three days later, the new 
and dangerously suggestive spectacle of two kings at once in 
the land. When, six months later still, the first consequences 
of that coronation appeared in the murder of S. Thomas, the 
harnnoj-QiiIrl nQtJput feel that their hour was at hand. His 
regal dignity no longer all his own, but~voluntarily sharejd 
his regal unctiun washed ^ut~n2_that stream 
uTriim off from the support of the 
Church Henry seemed to be left alone and defenceless in 
the face of his foes. The year which he spent in cou^qiiejing 
Ireland was a breathing-space for them as well as for him. 
They used it to adapt to their purposes the weapon which 
he had so lately forged for his own defence ; they found a 

1 See the list, and Bishop Stubbs's analysis of it, in his preface to Gesta Hen. , 
vol. ii. p. Ixvii, note 3. - Rob. Torigni, a. 1171. 


rallying-point and j. pretext for their designs against him in 
the very son whom he had left to cover his retreat and 

jrhe_younger Henry had passed over to Normandy just 
before his father quitted it, in July ii/i. 1 There he ap- 
parently stayed with his mother and her younger children 
till the opening of the next year, when he and his wife 
went to England, and there remained as titular king and queen 
until his father's return from Ireland. 2 The youth's kingship,, 
however, was scarcely more than nominajjjm his presence 
no less than in his absence, the real work of government in 
England was done by the justiciars ; and his own personal 
interests lay chiefly beyond the seaT~~]The influences which 
surrounded him there were those of his father's open or 
secret foes : of his wife's father, King Louis of France, of 
his own mother, Queen Eleanor, her kindred and her people ; 
and Eleanor had ceased to be a loyal vice-gerent for the 
husband who had by this time forfeited his claims to wifely 
affection from her. She seems to have taken for her political 
confidant her uncle, Ralf of Faye 3 one of the many faith- 
less barons of Poitou ; and it is sa[d to have been at her 
instigation that Ralf and an Angevin baron, Hugh of Ste.- 
Maure\ profited by Henry's absence in Ireland to whisper to 
her eldesT~son that a crown was worthless without the reality 
of kingly power, and that it was time for him to assert his 
claim to the substance of which his father had given him 
only the shadow. 4 Young Henry, now seventeen years old, 
listened but tocTreadily to such suggestions ; and it was a 
rumour of his undutiful temper, coupled significantly with 
a rumour of growing discontent among the barons, that 
called^Henry back from Ireland 5 and made him carry his 
son with him to Normandy 6 in the spring of 1172. After 
the elder king's reconciliation with the Church, however, and 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 24, note 2. 

2 Eyton, Itin. Hen. II. , pp. 162, 166. He kept Christmas at Bures ; Rob. 
Torigni, a 1172 (i.e. 1171). 

3 Ep. ciii., Robertson, Becket, vol. v. p. 197. Cf. Ep. cclxxvii., ib. vol. vi. 
P- I3 1 - 4 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 350. 

5 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 37 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 285). Anglo- 
Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 128, 129. 6 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 30. 


the second coronation of the younger one, the danger seemed 
to have subsided ; and in November Henry, to complete the 
pacification, allowed his son to accompany his girl-wife on 
a visit to her father, the king of France. 1 When they re- 
turned, 2 the young king at once confronted his father with a 
demand to be put in possession of his heritage, or at least of 
some portion of it England, Normandy, or Anjou where 
he might dwell as an independent sovereign with his queen. 3 
The father refused. 4 He had never intended to make his 
sons independent rulers of the territories allotted to them ; 
Richard and Geoffrey indeed were too young for such an 
arrangement to be possible in their cases ; and the object of 
the eldest son's crowning had been simply to give him such 

in inchoate royalty as would enable his father to employ 
'him as a colleague and representative in case of need, and to 
feel assured of his ultimate succession to the English throne. 

'he king's plans for the distribution of his territories and for 
the establishment of his children had succeeded well thus 
far. He had secured Britanny in Geoffrey's name before he 
quitted Gaul in 1 1 7 1 ; and a month after his return, on 
Trinity Sunday (June 10) 1172, Richard was enthroned as 
duke of Aquitaine according to ancient custom in the abbot's 
chair in the church of S. Hilary at Poitiers. 5 One child, 
indeed, the youngest of all, was still what his father had 
called him at his birth "John Lackland." 6 Even for John, 
however, though he was scarcely five years old, 7 a politic 
marriage was already in view. 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 34. This writer says they went over young 
Henry much against his will about All Saints' day, and were sent to the king of 
France both together. Rob. Torigni, a. 1172, says they crossed at Martinmas, 
and paid their visits to Louis separately, Henry at Gisors, Margaret at Chaumont. 

2 Summoned, it seems, by Henry, "timens fraudem et malitiam regis Francise, 
quas ssepe expertus fuerat." Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 35. 

3 Ib. p. 41. Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 242. The Gesta say the 
demand was made "per consilium regis Francorum, et per consilium comitum et 
baronum Anglise et Normannise, qui patrem suum odio habebant." 

4 Gesta Hen. and Gerv. Cant, as above. 

5 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. c. 67 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 318). 

6 " Quartum natu minimum Johannem Sine Terra agnominans. " Will. Newb., 
1. ii. c. 18 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 146). 

7 There is some doubt as to the date of John's birth. Rob. Torigni (ad ann.} 
places it in 1167 ; R. Diceto (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 325) in 1166. The prose addition 


One of the many branches of Henry's continental policy 
was the cultivation of an alliance with those small but 
important states which lay on the border-land between Italy, 
Germany, and that old Aquitanic Gaul over wjuch he 
claimed dominion in his wife's name. The most important 
6T these was the county of Maurienne, a name which in 
strictness represents only a small mountainous region encircled 
to east and south by the Graian and Cottian Alps, and to 
west and north by another chain of mountains bordering the 
outermost edges of two river-valleys, those of the Isere and 
the Arc, which again are severed from each other by a line 
of lesser heights running through the heart of the district. 
In the southern valley, that of the Arc, stood the capital of 
the county, S. Jean-de-Maurienne, the seat of a bishopric 
from the dedication of whose cathedral church the town 
itself took its name. In the northern valley, at the foot of 
the Little S. Bernard, some few miles above the source of the 
Isere, the counts of Maurienne were advocates of the abbey 
of S. Maurice, which long treasured the sacred symbol of the 
old Burgundian royalty, the spear of its patron saint. The 
power of the counts of Maurienne, however, was not bounded 
by the narrow circle of hills which stood like an impregnable 
rampart round about their native land. On the shore of the 
lake of Bourget they held Chambery, guarding the pass of 
Les Echelles, through which southern Gaul communicated 
with the German lands around the lake of Geneva ; the 
county of Geneva itself was almost surrounded by their 
territories, for on its western side their sway extended from 
Chambery across the valley of the Rhone northward as far 
as Belley, while eastward they held the whole southern 
shore of the lake. To north-east of Maurienne, again, the 
great highway which led from Geneva and from the German 
lands beyond it into Italy, through the vale of Aosta by the 
passes of the Pennine Alps or up the valley of the Isere by 
S. Maurice under the foot of the Little S. Bernard, was in 

to Robert of Gloucester's Chronicle (Hearne, vol. ii. p. 484) says that he was born 
at Oxford on Christmas Eve. As Eleanor seems to have been in England at 
Christmas-tide in both years, this gives us no help. Bishop Stubbs (Introd. to W. 
Coventry, vol. ii. p. xvii, note 3) adopts the later date. 


their hands ; for Aosta itself and the whole land as far 
as Castiglione on the Dora Baltea belonged to them. 
Across the Graian Alps, their possession of the extreme out- 
posts of the Italian border, Susa and Turin, gave them the 
title of " Marquises of Italy," 1 and the command of the great 
highway between Italy and southern Gaul by the valley of 
the Durance and through the gap which parts the Cottian 
from the Maritime Alps beneath the foot of the Mont 
Genevre ; while yet further south, on either side of the 
Maritime Alps where they curve eastward towards the Gulf 
of Genoa, Chiusa, Rochetta and Aspromonte all formed part 
of their territories. 2 In one word, they held the keys of 
every pass between Italy and north-western Europe, from 
the Great S. Bernard to the Col di Tenda. Nominally 
subject to the Emperor in his character of king of Burgundy, 
they really possessed the control over his most direct lines 
of communication with his Imperial capital ; while the inter- 
course of western Europe with Rome lay almost wholly at 
their mercy ; 3 and far away at the opposite extremity of 
Aquitania the present count Humbert of Maurienne seems 
to have claimed, though he did not actually hold, one of the 
keys of another great mountain-barrier, in the Pyrenean 
county of Roussillon on the Spanish March. 4 
\j^In 1 17 1 5 Henry's diplomatic relations with the Alpine 
pfmces bore fruit in a proposal from Humbert of Maurienne 
for the marriage of his eldest daughter with the king's 
youngest son. Humbert himself had no son, and by the 
terms of the marriage-contract his territories, Alpine and 
Pyrenean, were to be settled upon his daughter and her 

1 "Comes Maurianensis et Marchio Italise " is Count Humbert's style in the 
marriage-contract of his daughter with John: Gesta Hen, (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 36. 

2 All these places are named in the marriage-contract of John and Alice of 
Maurienne ; Gesta Hen. (as above), pp. 36-40. 

3 As says Rob. Torigni, a. 1171 : " Nee aliquis potest adire Italiam, nisi per 
terram ipsius " [sc. comitis]. 

4 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 37. Humbert "concedit eis" [i.e. to John and 
Alice, in case he himself should have a son who must oust them from Maurienne] 
" in perpetuum et hseredibus eorum Russillun cum toto mandate suo sive pertinentiis 
suis omnibus," as if he actually had it in his own hands. I have however failed 
to discover any connexion between Roussillon and Maurienne. 

5 Rob. Torigni ad ann. 


future husband, 1 in return for five thousand marks of English 
silver. 2 The contract was signed and ratified before Christ- 
mas 1 i/2, 3 and soon afterwards Henry summoned his eldest 
son to join him in a journey into Auvergne for a personal 
meeting with Humbert. They reached Montferrand before 
Candlemas, and were there met not only by Humbert and 
his daughter but also by the count of Vienne, 4 the count of 
Toulouse and the king of Aragon. 5 How high the English 
king's influence had now risen in these southern lands may 
be judged by the fact that not only King Alfonso of Aragon, 
a son of his old ally Raymond-Berengar, but also his former 
enemy Raymond of Toulouse, could agree to choose him as 
arbiter in a quarrel between themselves. 6 Raymond in truth 
saw in Henry's alliances with Aragon and Maurienne a 
death-blow to his own hopes of maintaining the inde- 
pendence of Toulouse. Hemmed in alike to south and 
east by close allies of the English king whose own duchy 
of Aquitaine surrounded almost the whole of its north- 
western border, the house of St.-Gilles felt that it was no 
longer possible to resist his claim to overlordship over its 
territories. Henry carried his guests back with him to 
Limoges ; there he settled the dispute between Raymond 
and Alfonso ; and there Raymond did homage to the two 
Henrys for Toulouse, 7 promising to do the like at Whit- 
suntide to Richard as duke of Aquitaine, and pledging 
himself to military service and yearly tribute. 8 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 36-40. - Ib. p. $6. 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 44), in copying from the Gesta Hen. 
(as above, p. 40) an account of the ratification of the contract, heads the paragraph 
" De adventu nunciorum comitis Mauriensis in Angliam." If he is right, it must 
have taken place in April ; but he may mean only ' ' to the king of England. " 

4 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 353. 

5 Ibid. Gesta Hen. (as above), pp. 35, 36. 

6 This seems to be the meaning of Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 36 : " Venerunt 
etiam illuc ad regem rex Arragoniae et comes de S. ^Egidio, qui inimici erant ad 
invicem, et rex duxit eos secum usque Limoges, et ibi pacem fecit inter eos. " 

7 Ibid. Rog. Howden (as above), p. 45. R. Diceto, as above, says only 
" fecit homagium 'regi Anglorum Henrico patri regis Henrici." Geoff. Vigeois, 
1. i. c. 67 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 319), gives the date, the first Sunday 
in Lent, February 25. 

8 Gesta Hen. as above. " Sed quia Ricardus dux Aquitanise, cuifacturus esset 
homagium comes S. Egidii, prsesens non erat, usque ad octavas Pentecostes negotii 


The infant heiress of Maurienne was now placed under 
the care of her intended father-in-law j 1 Henry's political 
schemes seemed to have all but reached their fulfilment, 
when suddenly Count Humbert asked what provision Henry 
intended to make for the little landless bridegroom to whom 
he himself was giving such a well-dowered bride. 2 That 
question stirred up a trouble which was never again to be 
laid wholly to rest till the child who was its as yet innocent 
cause had broken his father's heart. Henry proposed to 
endow John with the castles and territories of Chinon, 
Loudun and Mirebeau. 3 But the Angevin lands, with which 
the younger Henry had been formally invested, could not 
be dismembered without his consent ; and this he angrily 
refused. 4 The mere request, however, kindled his smoulder- 
ing discontent into a flame 5 which seems to have been fanned 
rather than quenched by the suggestions of Eleanor ; yet so' 
blind was the indulgent father that, if we may venture to 
believe the tale, nothing but a warning from Raymond of 
Toulouse opened his eyes to the danger which threatened 
him from the plots of his own wife and children. Then, by 
Raymond's advice, he started off at once with a small escort, 
under pretence of a hunting-party, 6 and carried his son back 
towards Normandy with the utmost possible speed. They 
reached Chinon about Mid-Lent ; thence young Henry slipped 
away secretly by night to Alengon ; his father flew after 
him, but when he reached Alengon on the next evening the 
son was already at Argentan ; and thence before cock-crow 
he fled again over the French border, to the court of his 
father-in-law King Louis. 7 Henry in vain sent messengers 

complementum dilationem accepit," says R. Diceto (Stubbs, vol. i. pp. 353, 354). 
The Gesta and Rog. Howden make Raymond do homage to tbe two Henrys and 
to Richard all at once. They alone give full details of the services promised. 

1 Gesta\Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 36. 2 Ib. p. 41. 

3 Ibid. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 242, turns these into "tria castella in 
Normannia." 4 Ibid. 

5 According to Rob. Torigni, a. 1173, the young king was further offended 
because his father removed from him some of his favourite counsellors and friends, 
Hasculf of St. Hilaire and some other young knights. 

6 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. c. 67 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth.^ vol. ii. p. 319). 

7 Gesta Hen. (as above), pp. 41, 42. R. Diceto (as above), p. 355. The 
chronology is here in great confusion. The Gesta tell us that the two kings 


to recall him : " Your master is king no longer here stands 
the king of the English !" was the reply of Louis to the 
envoys. 1 

Henry at once made a circuit of his Norman fortresses, 
especially those which lay along the French border, put 
them in a state of defence, and issued orders to all his 
castellans in Anjou, Britanny, Aquitaine and England, to 
do the like. 2 Before Lent had closed the old prophecy 
which Henry's enemies were never weary of casting in his 
teeth was fulfilled : his own " lion-cubs " were all openly 
seeking to make him their preyv* Whether sent by their 
mother, with whom they had been left behind in Aquitaine, 
or secretly fetched by their eldest brother in person, 4 both 
Richard and Geoffrey now joined him at the French court. 5 
Eleanor herself was caught trying to follow them disguised 
as a man, and was by her husband's order placed in strict con- 
finement. 6 Louis meanwhile openly espoused the cause of the 
rebels ; in a great council at Paris he and his nobles publicly 
swore to help the young king and his brothers against their 

reached Chinon just before Mid-Lent (which in 1173 was on March 16), that 
young Henry was next day at Alengon, the day after that at Argentan, and that 
on the third night, " circa gallicantum," he went off again, " octava Idus Martii, 
feria quinta ante mediam Quadragesimam. " (In the printed edition by Bishop 
Stubbs vol. i. p. 42 the word mediam has been accidentally omitted ; see note 
to his edition of R. Diceto, vol. ii. pref. p. xxxvi, note 6). It is of course impossible 
to make anything of such a contradiction as this. On the other hand, R. Diceto 
gives only one date, that of the young king's flight from Argentan, which he 
places on March 23. Now in 1173 March 23 was the Friday after Mid-Lent 
Sunday. Reckoning backwards from this i.e. from the night of Thursday- 
Friday, March 22-23, for it is plain that the flight took place before daybreak 
we should find the young king at Alen9on on Wednesday, March 21, and at 
Chinon on Tuesday, March 20 ; that is, four days after Mid-Lent. It looks very 
much as if the author or the scribe of the Gesta had written " ante " instead of 
" post " twice over. * 

1 Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 27 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 170). 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 42. 

3 See the quotation from Merlin's prophecy, and the comment on it, ib. pp. 
42, 43- 

4 The first is the version of the Gesta Hen. (as above) ; the second that of 
Will. Newb. as above, pp. 170, 171). 

5 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 42. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 355. Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 242. 

6 Gerv. Cant, as above. He adds a comment : " Erat enim prudens femina 
valde, nobilibus orta natalibus, sed instabilis. " 


father to the utmost of their power, while the three brothers 
on their part pledged themselves to be faithful to Louis, and 
to make no terms with their father save through his medi- 
ation and with his consent. 1 Young Henry at once began to 
purchase allies among the French feudataries and supporters 
among the English and Norman barons, by making grants 
of pensions and territories on both sides of the sea : grants 
for which the recipients did him homage and fealty, 2 and 
which he caused to be put in writing and sealed with a new 
seal made for him by order of Louis 3 his own chancellor, 
Richard Barre, having loyally carried back the original 
one to the elder king who had first intrusted it to his 
keeping. 4 

Nearly three months passed away before war ^actually 
broke out ; buF~when~the outburst came, the list of those 
who were engaged in it shews that the whole Angevin 
empire had become a vast hotbed of treason ; though, on 
the other hand, it shews also that the treason was almost 
entirely confined to one especial class. Its local distribu- 
tion, too, is significant. The restless barons of Aquitaine, 
still smarting under their defeat of 1 1 69, were but too eager, 
at the instigation of their duchess and their newly-crowned 
duke, to renew their struggle against the king. Foremost 
among them were, as before, the count of Angouleme, 5 the 
nobles of Saintonge, and Geoffrey of Lusignan, beside whom 
there stood this time his young brother Guy, now to begin 
in this ignoble strife a career destined to strange vicissitudes 
in far-off Palestine. 6 The heart of the old Angevin lands, 
Anjou itself, was in the main loyal ; we find there the names 
of only five traitors ; and three of these, Hugh, William 
and Jocelyn of Ste.-Maure, came of a rebellious house, and 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 44. 

2 See the list, ib. pp. 44, 45 ; and cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 243. 

3 Gesta Hen. (as above), pp. 43 and 45. 4 Ib. p. 43. 5 Ib. p. 47. 

6 Ib. p. 46. The other Aquitanian rebels, besides the count of Angouleme 
and the two Lusignans, were Geoffrey of Rancogne, the lords of Coulonges and 
Rochefort in Saintonge, of Blaye (" Robertus de Ble " this might possibly be Blet 
in Berry) and Mauleon in Gascony, and of Chauvigny in Poitou, with Arch- 
bishop William of Bordeaux and Abbot Richard of Tournay (ib. pp. 46, 47) ; 
to whom we may add Ralf of Faye. 


were only doing over again what their predecessors had 
done in the days of Geoffrey Plantagenet's youth. 1 The 
same may be said of Henry's native land, Maine ; this too 
furnished only seven barons to the traitor's cause ; and five 
of these again are easily accounted for. It was almost 
matter of course that in any rising against an Angevin count 
the lord of Sable should stand side by side with the lord 
of Ste.-Maure. Brachard of Lavardin had a fellow-feeling 
with undutiful sons, for he was himself at strife with his 
own father, Count John of Vendome, a faithful ally of 
Henry II., ; the same was probably the case of Brachard's 
brother Guy. 2 Bernard of La Ferte' represented a family 
whose position in their great castle on the Huisne, close to 
the Norman border, was almost as independent as that of 
their neighbours the lords of Belleme, just across the frontier. 
Hugh of Sille* bore a name which in an earlier stage of 
Cenomannian history in the days of the " commune," just 
a hundred years before had been almost a by-word for 
feudal arrogance ; and whether or not he inherited anything 
of his ancestor's spirit, he had a personal cause for enmity to 
the king if, as is probable, he was akin to a certain Robert 
of Sille, whose share in the southern revolt of 1169 was 
punished by Henry, in defiance of treaties, with an im- 
prisonment so strict and cruel that it was speedily ended 
by death. 3 

Across the western border of Maine, in Geoffrey's duchy, 
Rait of Fougeres was once more at the head of a band of 
discontented Breton nobles, chiefly, it seems, belonging to 
that old seed-plot of disturbance, the county of Nantes. 4 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 46, 47. The other Angevin rebels are Vivian 
ai?d Peter of Montrevault : to whom may be added John of Lignieres and Geoffrey 
of La Haye in Touraine. Ibid. p. 46. 2 Ib. pp. 47, 63. 

3 ' ' Robertum de Selit quadam occasione captum rex Henricus crudeliter ferro 
indutum, pane arcto atque aqua breve cibavit donee defecit." Geoff. Vigeois, 
1. i. c. 66 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 318). " Robertas de Silliaco redeat 
in mentem ... quern nee pacis osculum publice datum, nee fides corporaliter 
regi Francorum prsestita, fecit esse securum." Ep. dcx., Robertson, Becket, vol. 
vii. p. 178. Cf. Epp. dcvi., dcxliv., ib. pp. 165, 247. The other Cenomannian 
rebels are Gwenis of Palluau and Geoffrey of Brulon ; Gesta Htn. (as above), 
p. 46. 

4 Hardwin of Fougerai, Robert of Treguier, Gwiounon of Ancenis, Joibert of 


The true centre and focus of revolt, however, was as of old 
Ythe duchy of Normandy. Almost all the great names which 
have been conspicuous in the earlier risings of the feudal 
baronage against the repressive policy of William and of 
Henry I. re-appear among the partizans of the young king. 
The house of Montfort on the Rille was represented J>y that 
Robert of Montfort 1 whose challenge to Henry of Essex 
ten years before had deprived the king of one of his most 
trusty servants. The other and more famous house of Mont- 
fort the house of Almeric and of Bertrada was also, now 
as ever, in opposition in the person of its head, Count Simon 
of Evreux. 2 He, like his fellow-traitor the count of Eu, 3 to 
whom, as after-events shewed, may be added the count of 
Aumale, represented one of those junior branches of the 
Norman ducal house which always resented most bitterly 
the determination of the dukes to concentrate all political 
power in their own hands. The counts of Ponthieu 4 and of 
Alengon 5 inherited the spirit as well as the territories of 
Robert of Belleme. Count Robert of Meulan 6 was the son 
of Waleran who in 1123 had rebelled against Henry I., 
and the head of the Norman branch of the great house of 
Beaumont, which for more than half a century had stood in 
the foremost rank of the baronage on both sides of the sea. 
The chief of the English Beaumonts was his cousin and 
namesake of Leicester, soon to prove himself an unworthy 
son of the faithful justiciar who had died in 1168 ; while 
the countess of Leicester, a woman of a spirit quite as 
determined and masculine as her husband's, was the heiress 
of the proud old Norman house of Grandmesnil 7 a grand- 
daughter of that Ivo of Grandmesnil who had been banished 
by Henry I. for trying to bring into England the Norman 
practice of private warfare. Of the other English rebels, 
Hugh of Chester 8 was a son of the fickle Ralf, and had at 

La Guerche ; Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 46, 47. To these we afterwards 
find added several others ; ib. pp. 57, 58. 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 45. 2 Ib. p. 47. 3 Ib. p. 45. 4 Ibid. 

5 Called simply "William Talvas" in the Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 46, and 
"John count of Sonnois" by R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 371. John was his 
real name. G Gesta Hen. and R. Diceto, as above. 

7 Rob. Torigni, a. 1168. 8 R. Diceto, as above. 


stake besides his palatine earldom in England his hereditary 
viscounties of Bayeux and Avranches on the other side 
of the Channel. Hugh Bigod, the aged earl of Norfolk, 
untaught by his experiences of feudal anarchy in Stephen's 
day and undeterred by his humiliation in 1157, was ready 
to break his faith again for a paltry bribe offered him by the 
young king. 1 Earl Robert of Ferrers, Hamo de Massey, 
Richard de Morville, and the whole remnant of the great 
race of Mowbray Geoffrey of Coutances, Roger de Mow- 
bray and his two sons were all men whose grandfathers 
had " come over with the Conqueror," and determined to 
fight to the uttermost for their share in the spoils of the 
conquest. All these men were, by training and sympathy, 
if not actually by their own personal and territorial interests, 
more Norman than English ; and the same may probably 
be said of the rebels of the second rank, among whom, 
beside the purely Norman lords of Anneville and Lessay in 
the Cotentin, of St.-Hilaire on the Breton frontier, of Falaise, 
Dives, La Haye and Orbec in Calvados, of Tillieres, Ivry 
and Gaillon along the French border, we find the names of 
Ralf of Chesney, Gerald Talbot, Jordan Ridel, Thomas de 
Muschamp, Saher de Quincy the younger, Simon of Marsh, 
Geoffrey Fitz-Hamon, and Jocelyn Crispin, besides one 
which in after-days was to gain far other renown William 
the Marshal. 2 

1 Young Henry promised him, and received his homage for, the hereditary 
constableship of Norwich castle ; Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 45. This writer 
adds the honour of Eye ; Rog. Howden, however (Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 46), says 
this was granted to Matthew of Boulogne. 

2 All these names are given in the list of the young king's partizans in Gesta 
Hen. (as above), pp. 45-48. The remaining names are : William de Tancar- 
ville the chamberlain of Normandy, of whom more presently ; Eudo, William, 
Robert, Oliver and Roland Fitz-Erneis (see Liber Niger, Hearne, pp. 142, 295, 
and Eyton, Itin. Hen. //., pp. 186 and 251) ; Robert of Angerville (he seems to 
have been the young king's steward or seneschal see quotations from Pipe Roll 
a. 1172 in Eyton, as above, pp. 166, 167, 168) ; Solomon Hostiarius (probably 
also an attendant of young Henry); Gilbert and Ralf of Aumale: "Willelmus 
Patricius senior" (he appears in Pipe Rolls 3 Hen. II., Hunter, p. 81, 4 Hen. 
II., p. 1 18 Berks and Wilts); William Fitz-Roger (Pipe Roll 4 Hen. II., 
p. 172, Hants); Robert "de Lundres"(is this some mighty London citizen?); 
Peter of St.-Julien (may be either St.-Julien in Gascony, in eastern Touraine, or 
in the county of Nantes) ; Hugh " de Mota " (La Mothe on the lower Garonne, 


One other rebel there was who stood indeed on a differ- 
ent footing from all the rest, and whose defection had a 
wider political significance. The king of Scots William 
the Lion, brother and successor of Malcom IV. had long 
been suspected of a secret alliance with France against his 
English cousin and overlord. The younger Henry now 
offered him the cession of all Northumberland as far as 
the Tyne for himself, and for his brother David confirmation 
in the earldom of Huntingdon, 1 with a grant of the earldom 
of Cambridge in addition, in return for the homage and 
services of both brothers : offers which the king of Scots 
accepted. 2 Only three prelates, on either side of the sea, 
shewed any disposition to countenance the rebellion ; in 
the south, William, the new-made archbishop of Bor- 
deaux ; 3 in the north, Arnulf of Lisieux 4 and Hugh of 
Durham. Arnulf's influence at court had long been on 
the wane ; all his diplomacy had failed, as far as his personal 
interest with King Henry was concerned ; but he possessed 
the temporal as well as the spiritual lordship of his see ; 
and the man's true character now shewed itself at last, 
justifying all Henry's suspicions, in an attempt to play the 
part of a great baron rather than of a bishop to use his 

La Motte Archard in the county of Nantes, or La Motte de Ger in Normandy) ; 
Robert of Mortagne (possibly the Norman Mortagne, possibly a place of the 
same name in Anjou close to the Poitevin border) ; William of " Tibovilla" (pro- 
bably Thiberville in the county and diocese of Lisieux) ; John and Osbert ' ' de 
Praellis" (possibly Pradelles in Auvergne, more likely Preaux in Normandy); 
Almeric Turel, Robert Bussun, Guy of Curtiran, Fulk Ribule, Adam de Ikobo, 
Robert Gerebert, William Hagullun, Baldric of Baudemont, Geoffrey Chouet, 
" Bucherius," and William de Oveneia, whom I cannot identify. 

1 To which, as will be seen later, there was a rival claimant who adhered to 
Henry II. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 45. Jordan Fantosme, w. 268, 269 (Michel, 
p. 14) adds Carlisle and Westmoreland to the young king's offers, and relates at 
great length how William hesitated before accepting them, how he sent envoys to 
the elder king begging for a new cession of Northumberland from him, and only 
upon Henry's defiant refusal, and after long debate with his own barons, entered 
upon the war. Ib. w. 372-426 (pp. 14-22). 

3 "Willelmus archiepiscopus. " Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 47. This can 
be no one else than William, formerly abbot of Reading, appointed to Bordeaux 
in February 1173; Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. c. 67 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 
319); but I find no further account of his political doings. 

4 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 51, note 4. 


diplomatic gifts in temporizing between the two parties, 
instead of seeking to make peace between them or to keep 
his straying flock in the path of loyalty as a true pastor 
should. He did but imitate on a smaller scale and under 
less favourable conditions the example set by Hugh of 
Puiset in his palatine bishopric of Durham, where he had 
been throughout his career simply a great temporal ruler, 
whose ecclesiastical character only served to render almost 
unassailable the independence of his political position. It 
was the pride of the feudal noble, not the personal sym- 
pathies of the churchman, that stirred up both Hugh and 
Arnulf to their intrigues against Henry. Personal sym- 
pathies indeed had as yet little share in drawing any of the 
barons to the side of the boy-king. What they saw in his 
claims was simply a pretext and a watchword which might 
serve them to unite against his father. Young Henry him- 
self evidently relied chiefly on his foreign allies his father- 
in-law, the counts of Flanders and Boulogne, and the count 
of Blois, the last of whom was bribed by a promise of an 
annual pension and the restitution of Chateau-Renaud and 
Amboise ; while to Philip of Flanders was promised the earl- 
dom of Kent with a pension in English gold, and to Matthew 
of Boulogne the soke of Kirton-in-Lindsey and the Norman 
county of Mortain. 1 

The first hostile movement was made directly after Easter 
by a body of Flemings who crossed the Seine at Pacy ; but 
they had no sooner touched Norman soil than they were 
driven back by the people of the town, and were nearly all 
drowned in attempting to recross the river. 2 Henry mean- 
while, after spending Easter at Alengon, 3 had established his 
head-quarters at Rouen, where he remained till the end of 
June, apparently indifferent to the plots that were hatching 
around him, and entirely absorbed in the pleasures of the 
chase. 4 In reality however he was transacting a good deal 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 44, 45. Roger of Howden, as has been said 
above (p. 139, note i), adds the honour of Eye to Matthew's intended possessions. 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 367. He says they were drowned because the 
bridge was "a quadam muliercula effractus." 

3 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 45. 

4 " Rex pater eo tempore morabatur Rothomagi, ut populo videbatur sequo 


of quiet business, filling up vacant sees in England ; 1 ap- 
pointing a new chancellor, Ralf of Varneville, to the office 
which had been in commission that is, virtually, in the 
hands of Geoffrey Ridel ever since S. Thomas had resigned 
it ten years before ; 2 and writing to all his continental allies 
to enlist their sympathies and if possible their support in the 
coming struggle. 3 One of them at least, his future son-in- 
law William of Sicily, returned an answer full of hearty 
sympathy ; 4 neither he nor his fellow-kings, however, had 
anything more substantial to give. The only jsiipport-upon 
which Henry could really depend was that of a troop of 
twenty thousand Brabantine mercenaries, who served him 
indeed bravely and loyally, but by no means for nothing ; 5 
and if we may trust a writer who, although remote from the 
present scene of action, seems to have had a more intimate 
acquaintance than most of his fellow -historians with all 
matters connected with the Brabantines, Henry's finances 
were already so exhausted that he was obliged to give the 
sword of state used at his coronation in pledge to these men 
as security for the wages which he was unable to pay them. 6 
Yet he could trust no one else in Normandy ; and as yet he 
scarcely 'knew his own resources in England. 

Early in June Robert of Leicester and William of Tan- 
carville, the high-chamberlain of Normandy, sought license 

animo ferens quse fiebant in terra ; frequentius solito venatui totus indulgens " [see 
extracts from Pipe Roll 1173 illustrating this, in Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., p. 173]; 
"venientibus ad se vultum hylaritatis prsetendens, aliquid extorquere volentibus 
patienter respondens." R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 373, 374. Cf. Jordan Fan- 
tosme, vv. 118, 119 (Michel, p. 6). 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 366-368. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 
243, 245. 2 R. Diceto (as above), p. 367. 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 47. He says Henry wrote " imperatoribus 
et regibus," which we must take to include the Eastern Emperor. 

4 Letter in GestaHen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 55, note 2 ; Rog. Howden (as above), 
p. 48. 

5 Rog. Howden (as above), p. 47. Cf. Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 27 (Hewlett, 
vol. i. p. 172). The latter does not mention their number ; Jordan Fantosme, 
v. 67 (Michel, p. 4) makes it only ten thousand ; the Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 51, 
says "plus quam decem millia." 

6 I suppose this to be the meaning of Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. c. 67 (Labbe, Nova 
Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 319): "Adeo Rex multis thesauris exhaustis nauseatus est, ut 
Brabantionibus qui ei parebant pro mercede Spatham regise coronae in gagium 


from the justiciars in London to join the king at Rouen. 
Immediately on landing, however, they hastened not to 
Henry II., but to his son. 1 The justiciar himself, Richard 
de Lucy, was in such anxiety that he seems to have had 
some thoughts of going in person to consult with the king. 2 
The consultation however was to be held not in Normandy 
but in England. In the last days of June or the first days 
of July, while the counts of Flanders and Boulogne were 
easily overcoming the mock resistance of Aumale and Drien- 
court, and Louis of France was laying siege to Verneuil, 3 
Henry suddenly crossed the sea, made his way as far inland 
as Northampton, where he stayed four days, collected his 
treasure and his adherents, issued his instructions for action 
against the rebels, and was back again at Rouen so quickly 
that neither friends nor foes seem ever to have discovered 
his absence. 4 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 370. He gives no date ; but it must have been 
quite in the beginning of June, for Mr. Eyton says (Itin. Hen. II., p. 172, note 5) : 
"The Dorset Pipe Roll of Michaelmas 1173 shews that the Earl of Leicester's 
manor of Kingston (now Kingston Lacy) had been confiscated four months 
previously (Hutchins, iii. 233)." 

2 " Et in liberacione ix navium quse debuerunt transfretare cum Ricardo de 
Luci, et Ricardo Pictavise archidiacono, et Gaufrido Cantuariensi archidiacono et 
aliis baronibus, precepto Regis 13 : 155. per breve Ricardi de Luci." Pipe^Roll 
a. 1173 (Southampton), quoted by Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., p. 174. See Mr. Eyton's 
comment, ib. note 4, which points to the conclusion that the ships made the voyage 
doubtless with the other passengers but that Richard "probably thought it 
wise to adhere to his post of viceroy." 

3 R. Diceto (as above), pp. 373, 374. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 49. 
Rob. Torigni, a. 1173. 

4 " Et item in liberacione Esnaccae quando transfretavit in Normanniam contra 
Regem 7 : IDS. per breve Regis. Et in liberacione xx. hominum qui fuerunt missi 
de cremento in Esnaccha 403. per breve Regis. Et in liberacione iv. navium quae 
transfretaverunt cum Esnacchia ^7 : IDS. per idem breve. Et pro locandis carretis 
ad reportandum thesaurum de Hantonia ad Wintoniam duabus vicibus 93. Et pro 
una carreta locanda ad portandas Bulgas Regis ad Winton. 9d." Pipe Roll a. 
1173 (Southampton), quoted in Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., p. 173. " Et in corredio 
Regis apud Norhanton per iv dies ^32:6:5 per breve Regis." Northampton, 
ibid. " Et in soltis per breve Regis ipsi vicecomiti [of Northamptonshire] 
^72 : 1 1 : 9, pro robba quam invenit Regi. " Ibid. On the Southampton entries 
Mr. Eyton remarks : "The above charges, from their position on the roll, would 
seem to have been incurred after July 15." But surely if Henry had been in 
England during the siege of Leicester, which lasted from July 3 to July 28, we 
must have had some mention of his presence ; and there is scarcely time for it later, 
between the capture of Leicester and his own expedition to Conches on August 7. 


Hurried, however, as was the king's visit to England, it 
did its work in bracing up the energies and ^deterniming the 
action of the vassals who were faithful to him there. In 
personal and territorial importance indeed these were very 
unequally matched with the rebels. The fidelity of the 
Welsh princes, David Ap-Owen and Rees Ap-Griffith, 1 could 
not balance the hostility of the King of Scots. Among the 
loyal English barons, the most conspicuous were a group of 
the king's immediate kinsmen, none of whom however 
ranked high among the descendants of the ducal house of 
Normandy : his half-brother Earl Hameline of Warren, his 
uncle Reginald of Cornwall, his cousin William of Gloucester ; 2 
besides Earl William of Arundel the husband of his grand- 
father's widow Queen Adeliza, his son William, and his 
kinsman Richard of Aubigny. The earl of Essex, William 
de Mandeville, was a son of that Geoffrey de Mandeville 
who had accepted the earldom of Essex from both Stephen 
and Matilda, and who had been one of the worst evil-doers 
in the civil war ; but the son was as loyal as the father was 
faithless ; he seems indeed to have been a close personal 
friend of the king, and to have well deserved his friendship. 3 
The loyalty of Earl Simon of Northampton may have been 
quickened by his rivalry with David of Scotland for the 
earldom of Huntingdon. That of William of Salisbury was 
an inheritance from his father, Earl Patrick, who had earned 
his title by his services to the Empress, and had fallen hon- 
ourably at his post of governor of Aquitaine in the rising of 
1 1 68. The loyal barons of lesser degree are chiefly repre- 
sentatives of the class which half a century before had been 

Is it not much more natural to conclude that the visit took place earlier at the 
end of June and that the orders for the Leicester expedition, which Rog. Wend. 
(Coxe, vol. ii. p. 372) expressly says were given by the king, were issued to 
Richard de Lucy in a personal interview ? 

1 In Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 51, note 4, the names are given as " David 
et Evayn reges Wallise" a blunder probably caused by the writer's greater 
familiarity with David, owing to his later family alliance with the English king. 
In the present war, however, Rees proved the more active ally of the two, as we 
shall see later. 

2 It will however appear later that Gloucester's fidelity was somewhat doubtful. 

3 William de Mandeville is constantly found, throughout his life, in the king's 
immediate company. See Eyton, I tin. Hen. II. passim. 


known as the " new men " men who had risen by virtue of 
their services in the work of the administration, either under 
Henry himself or under his grandfather. Such were the 
justiciar Richard de Lucy and the constable Humfrey de 
Bohun ; William de Vesci, son of Eustace Fitz-John, and 
like his father a mighty man in the north ; his nephew John, 
constable of Chester; -the whole house of Stuteville, with 
Robert de Stuteville the sheriff of Yorkshire at its head ; * 
and Ralf de Glanville, 2 sheriff of Lancashire, custodian of the 
honour of Richmond, 3 and destined in a few years to wider 
fame as the worthy successor of Richard de Lucy. The 
Glanvilles, the Stutevilles and the de Vescis now wielded in 
Yorkshire as the king's representatives the influence which 
had been usurped there by William of Aumale before his 
expulsion from Holderness ; while in Northumberland a 
considerable share of the power formerly exercised by the 
rebellious house of Mowbray had passed to servants of the 
Crown such as Odelin de Umfraville 4 and Bernard de 
Bailleul, 5 whose name in its English form of Balliol became 
in after-times closely associated with that borne by two other 
loyal northern barons Robert and Adam de Bruce. 6 To 
the same class of " new men " belonged Geoffrey Trussebut, 
Everard de Ros, Guy de Vere, Bertram de Verdon, Philip de 
Kime and his brother Simon. 7 

Some half-dozen of the king's English adherents Will- 
iam of Essex, William of Arundel, Robert de Stuteville and 
the elder Saher de Quincy, besides two who had lately come 
over from Ireland, Richard of Striguil and Hugh de Lacy 

1 All these names are in the list in the Gesta. Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 51, 
note 4. 

2 Ib. p. 65. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 60. Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 33, 
(Hewlett, vol. i. p. 184). 

3 Escheated on the death of Duke Conan of Britanny. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 51, note 4, 66. 

5 Ib. pp. 65, 66. Will. Newb. as above. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 51, note 4. 

7 Ibid. The Trussebuts, de Roses and de Veres appear under Henry I. Ber- 
tram de Verdon and Philip de Kime were employed in the Curia Regis and 
Exchequer under Henry II. ; see Eyton, Itin. Hen. //., pp. 185, 76, 130, etc. 
Another name among the loyalists in the Gesta Hen. (as above) that of Richard 
Louvetot seems to have got in by mistake ; cf. ib. p. 57, where he appears 
among the rebels at Dol. 



either returned with him to Rouen or had joined him there 
already, 1 thus helping to swell the little group of loyalists 
who surrounded him in Normandy. That group contained 
no Norman baron of the first rank, and consisted only of a 
few personal friends and ministers : Richard of Hommet 
the constable of the duchy, with all his sons and brothers ; 2 
William de Courcy the seneschal ; 3 Richard Fitz-Gount, the 
king's cousin ; 4 Hugh de Beauchamp 5 and Henry of Neu- 
bourg, 6 sons of the loyal house of Beauchamp which in 
England looked to the earl of Warwick as its head ; Richard 
de Vernon and Jordan Tesson ; 7 while two faithful mem- 
bers of the older Norman nobility, Hugh of Gournay and 
his son, had already fallen prisoners into the hands of the 
young king. 8 It was in truth Henry's continental dominions 
which most needed his presence and that of all the forces 
which he could muster ; for the two chief English rebels, the 
earls of Leicester and Chester, were both beyond the Channel, 
and their absence enabled the king's representatives to strike 
the first blow before the revolt had time to break forth in 
England at all. On July 3 the town of Leicester was 
besieged by Richard de Lucy and Earl Reginald of Cornwall 
at the head of " the host of England." 9 After a three weeks' 
siege and a vast expenditure of money and labour, 10 the town 
was fired, and on July 28 it surrendered. 11 The castle still 

1 Essex and Arundel had both been with him since the very beginning of the 
year, for they witnessed the marriage-contract of John and Alice of Maurienne ; 
Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 39. Robert de Stuteville and Saher de Quincy 
seem to have been with him in the summer of 1173 (Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., p. 174). 
Hugh de Lacy was at Verneuil, defending it for the king in July (Gesta Hen., vol. 
i. p. 49) ; and Richard of Striguil was of the party which went to its relief in 
August (R. Diceto, Stubbs, vol. i. p. 375). 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 51, note 4. 

3 Ib. p. 39. Cf. Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., pp. 170, 177. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 51. 5 Ib. p. 49. 

6 Ib. p. 52. 7 Ib. pp. 51, 52. 

8 Hugh of Gournay and his son, with eighty knights, fell into the young king's 
hands, " non tarn inimicorum virtuti quam insidiis intercepti," quite early in the 
war ; R. Diceto (as above), p. 369. 

9 "Cum exercitu Anglise," i.e. the national not the feudal host. Gesta Hen. 
as above, p. 58. The date comes from R. Diceto (as above), p. 376. 

10 See some illustrations in the Pipe Roll of 1173, as quoted by Eyton 
<as above), p. 175. 

11 R. Diceto (as above), p. 376. He seems to make the fire accidental, 


held out, its garrison accepting a truce until Michaelmas ; 
the gates and walls of the city were at once thrown down ; 
the citizens were suffered to go out free on payment of a 
fine of three hundred marks ; l but it was only by taking 
sanctuary in the great abbeys of S. Alban or S. Edmund 
that their leaders could feel secure against the vengeance of 
the king. 2 

Three days before the capture of Leicester, an arrow 
shot by one of Henry's Brabantine cross -bowmen gave 
Matthew of Boulogne his death-wound, and thereby caused 
the break-up of the Flemish expedition against Normandy. 3 
A fortnight later Henry set out at the head of all his 
available forces to the relief of Verneuil, which Hugh de 
Lacy and Hugh de Beauchamp were defending against the 
king of France. By a double treachery Louis, under cover 
of a truce, gained possession of the town, set it on fire, and 
retreated into his own domains before Henry could over- 
take him. 4 Henry marched back to Rouen, taking Gilbert 
of Tillieres's castle of Damville on the way, 5 and thence 
despatched his Brabantines to check the plundering oper- 
ations which Hugh of Chester and Ralf of Fougeres were 
carrying on unhindered throughout the border district which 
lay between Fougeres and Avranches. The interception of 
an important convoy and the slaughter of its escort by the 
Brabantines drove the rebel leaders to retire into the fortress 

and the surrender a consequence of it. In the Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 58, 
the victors seem to fire the town after they have captured it. 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 376. 

2 Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Luard), vol. ii. p. 289. 

3 R. Diceto as above, p. 373. He alone gives the date, attributes the 
wound to a shot "a quodam marchione," and places the scene on the invaders' 
march from Driencourt to Arques. The Gesta Hen. as above, p. 49, Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 246, and Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 28 (Howlett, vol. i. p. 
173) make it occur during the siege of Driencourt (William calls it by its more 
modern name, " Chateauneuf "), but as the former has told us that this siege began 
about July 6 and was ended within a fortnight, this is irreconcileable with the 
date given by R. Diceto. Gervase says Matthew was shot "a quodam arcu- 

4 See the details of the story, and the disgraceful conduct of Louis, in Gesta 
Hen. as above, pp. 51-54; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 50; R. Diceto 
as above, p. 375 ; and another version in Will. Newb. as above (pp. 174, 175). 

5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 56. 


of Dol. Here they were blockaded by the Brabantines, 
backed by the populace of the district of Avranches, 1 who 
clearly had no sympathy with the treason of their viscount. 
The siege began on August 20 ; on the morrow Henry 
received tidings of it at Rouen ; on the 23d he appeared in 
the midst of his soldiers ; and on the 26th Dol and its 
garrison, with Ralf of Fougeres and Hugh of Chester at 
their head, surrendered into his hands. 2 This blow 
crushed the Breton revolt ; the rest of the duchy sub- 
mitted at once. 3 Louis of France was so impressed by 
Henry's success that he began to make overtures for negoti- 
ation, while Henry was holding his court in triumph at Le 
Mans. Shortly before Michaelmas a meeting took place 
near Gisors ; Henry shewed the utmost anxiety to be 
reconciled with his sons, offering them literally the half of 
his realms in wealth and honours, and declaring his willing- 
ness virtually to strip himself of everything except his 
regal powers of government and justice. 4 That, however, 
was precisely the reservation against which the French king 
and the disaffected barons were both alike determined to 
fight as Henry himself had fought against S. Thomas's 
reservation of the rights of his order. The terms were 
therefore refused, and the earl of Leicester in his baffled 
rage not only loaded his sovereign with abuse, but actually 
drew his sword to strike him. This outrage of course broke 
up the meeting. 5 Leicester hurried through Flanders, col- 
lecting troops as he went, to Wissant, whence he sailed for 
England on Michaelmas day. 6 Landing at Walton in 

1 Rob. Torigni, a. 1173. " Itaque obsessa est turris Doli a Brebenzonibus et 
militibus regis et plebe Abrincatina. " 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 378 ; Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 57, 58 ; 
Rob. Torigni, a. 1173; Will. Newb. 1. ii. c. 29 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 176). The 
Gesta Hen. gives the date, and a list of the captured. According to Rob. 
Torigni, Ralf of Fougeres escaped to the woods, and his two sons were taken as 
hostages. The Chron. S. Albin. a. 1173 (Marchegay, Eglises, p. 42), says he 
was taken, together with Hugh (whom the Angevin monk transforms into 
" comitem Sceptrensem ") and a hundred knights. 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 52. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 59. Rog. Howden as above, p. 53. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, p. 54. 

6 R. Diceto as above, p. 377. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 246, and 
'<'- Hen. as above, p. 60, say he came over about S. Luke's day; but this is 

orgale'S "England. under Qu- Angevin Kmgs" 


Map to fflnstrate 



0173 -J17*. 

Royal StrongTwlds wideHinetL 

(S) Scottish 

( H VWugTi ofDurTiam 

(M) Mavrbraps 

QMKiRamo deMcussey 

(R LlSabert andcester 
(R F "\Robert of Foray 

s' Geog!EslabTLeipsic. 

I ondouMkcmillaiiA C o . 


Suffolk, he made his way to Hugh Bigod's castle of Fram- 
lingham ; here the two earls joined their forces ; and they 
presently took and burned the castle of Haughley, which 
Ralf de Broc held against them for the 'king. 1 

At the moment of Leicester's arrival the representatives 
of the king were far away on the Scottish border. At the 
close of the summer William of Scotland had gathered his 
motley host of Lowland knights and wild Galloway High- 
landers, marched unhindered through the territories of the 
see of Durham, and was just beginning to ravage Yorkshire 
after the manner of his forefathers when Richard de Lucy 
and Humfrey de Bohun hastily reassembled their forces 
and marched against him with such promptitude and vigour 
that he was compelled to retreat not merely into Lothian 
but into the safer shelter of the Celtic Scotland beyond it. 
The English host overran Lothian, 2 and had just given 
Berwick to the flames when tidings reached them of Earl 
Robert's doings in Suffolk. The king of Scots was 
begging for a truce ; the English leaders readily consented, 
that they might hurry back to their duties in the south. 3 
Richard de Lucy returned to his post of viceroy, and the 
supreme military command was left to the constable 
Humfrey de Bohun, assisted by the earls of Cornwall and 
Gloucester and by Earl William of Arundel, 4 who had now 
come to give the help of his sword in England as he had 
already given it in Normandy. The constable and the 
three earls, with three hundred paid soldiers of the king, 
posted themselves at S. Edmund's, ready to intercept Earl 
Robert on his way from Framlingham to join the garrison 

irreconcileable with R. Diceto's careful and minute chronology of the subsequent 
campaign. R. Niger (Anstruther), p. 175, says "in vigilia S. Mauricii," i.e. 
September 20. 

1 Gesta Hen, (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 60, 61, with an impossible date ; see ib. 
p. 60, note 12. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 246. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. 
P- 377> gives the correct date of the capture of Haughley, October 13. 

2 R. Diceto as above, p. 376. Cf. Gesta Hen. as above, p. 61. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 61. R. Diceto as above, p. 376. Jordan 
Fantosme, vv. 478-838 (Michel, pp. 22-38), has a long account of this first 
Scottish invasion, but it is far from clear, and some parts of it, e.g. the statement 
that Warkworth was taken by the Scots, seem incompatible with after-events. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above. 


of Leicester. 1 He made a circuit to the northward to 
avoid them, but in vain. They marched forth from S. 
Edmund's beneath the banner of its patron saint, the famous 
East- Anglian king and martyr, overtook the earl in a marsh 
near the church of S. Genevieve at Fornham, 2 and in spite of 
overwhelming odds defeated him completely. His Flemish 
mercenaries, who had gone forth in their insolent pride 
singing "Hop, hop, Wilekin ! England is mine and thine," 3 
were cut to pieces not so much by the royal troops as by 
the peasantry of the district, who flocked to the battle-field 
armed with forks and flails, with which they either de- 
spatched them at once or drove them to suffocation in the 
ditches. 4 His French and Norman knights were all made 
prisoners ; 5 he himself took to flight, but was overtaken and 
captured ; 6 and his wife, who had accompanied him through- 
out his enterprise, was made captive with him. 7 The 
victors followed up their success by posting bodies of 
troops at S. Edmund's, Ipswich and Colchester, hoping 
that Hugh Bigod, thus confined within his own earldom, 
would be unable to provide for the large force of Flemish 
mercenaries still quartered in his various castles, and that 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 377. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 61. 
Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 54. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above. Rog. Howden (as above), p. 55. The date, accord- 
ing to R. Diceto (as above, p. 378) is October 17; the Gesta (as above, p. 62) 
make it October 16. 

3 Mat. Paris, Hist. Angl. (Madden), vol. i. p. 381. "Hoppe, hoppe, Wile- 
kin, hoppe, Wilekin, Engelond is min ant tin." 

4 Jordan Fantosme, vv. 1086-1091 (Michel, p. 50). 

5 R. Diceto as above, pp. 377, 378. Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 61, 
62. Rog. Howden as above, p. 55. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 246. Will. 
Newb.,1. ii. c. 30 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 179). The number of Robert's Flemish 
troops is surely exaggerated by all these writers ; still, even at the lowest com- 
putation, the odds seem to have been, as R. Diceto says, at least four to one. 

6 Gerv. Cant, as above. 

7 Will. Newb. as above. R. Diceto as above, p. 378. She had been with 
her husband in France, and returned with him to England ; ib. p. 377. Ac- 
cording to Jordan Fantosme, vv. 980-992 (Michel, p. 46), it was she who urged 
him to the march which led to his ruin, in defiance of his own dread of the royal 
forces. See also in Jordan, vv. 1070-1077 (Michel, p. 50) the story of her trying 
to drown herself in a ditch to avoid being captured ; and that in Mat. Paris, 
as above, of her throwing away her ring. This latter seems to be only another 
version of Jordan's ; cf. his v. 1072. 


these would be starved into surrender. The approach of 
winter however disposed both parties for a compromise ; a 
truce was arranged to last till the octave of Pentecost, 
Hugh consenting to dismiss his Flemings, who were 
furnished with a safe-conduct through Essex and Kent and 
with ships to transport them from Dover back to their own 
land. 1 

The earl and countess of Leicester were sent over to 
Normandy by the king's orders, there to be shut up in com- 
pany with Hugh of Chester in prison at Falaise. 2 Their 
capture filled the French king and the rebel princes with 
dismay, and none of them dared to venture upon any 
opposition against Henry when at Martinmas he led his 
Brabantines into Touraine, forced some of its rebellious 
barons into submission, 3 reinstated his ally Count John of 
Vendome in his capital from which he had been expelled by 
his own son, 4 and returned to keep the Christmas feast at 
Caen. 5 An attack upon Seez, made at the opening of the 
new year by the young king and the counts of Blois, 
Perche and Alenc^on, was repulsed by the townsfolk, 6 and 
led only to a truce which lasted till the end of March. 17 
The truce made by Richard de Lucy with the king of 
Scots was prolonged to the same date the octave of 
Easter by the diplomacy of Bishop Hugh of Durham, 
who took upon himself to purchase this delay, apparently 
without authority and for his own private ends, by a 
promise of three hundred marks of silver to be paid to 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 378. He gives the number of these Flemings 
as fourteen hundred. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 62. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 55. 
See also quotations from Pipe Roll a. 1173 on this matter, in Eyton, Itin. Hen. 
II. , p. 177. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 62, 63. The chief rebels were Geoffrey ol 
La Haye apparently that same La Haye which had formed part of the dower- 
lands of the first countess of Anjou, and is known now as La Haye Descartes and 
Robert of " Ble" (see above, p. 136, note 6) who held Preuilly and Champigny. 
A list of the garrisons of these castles is given ; two names are worth noting 
" Hugo le Danais " and " Rodbertus Anglicus." 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 63. 

5 Ibid. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 246. According to Rob. Torigni, 
however (a. 1174 i.e. 1173 in our reckoning) he kept it at Bures. 

6 R. Diceto as above, p. 379. 7 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 63, 64. 


the Scot king out of the lands of the Northumbrian 
barons. 1 

The issue proved that Hugh's real object was simply 
to gain time for the organization of a general rising in the 
north ; and in this object he succeeded. The old isolation 
of Yorkshire was not yet a thing of the past ; and its few 
lines of communication with southern England were now 
all blocked, at some point or other, by some stronghold of 
rebellion. Earl Hugh's Chester, Hamo de Massey's Dun- 
ham 2 and Geoffrey of Coutances' Stockport commanded the 
waters of the Dee and the Mersey. South of the Peak, in the 
upper valley of the Trent, the earl of Ferrers held Tutbury 
and Duffield ; further to south-east, on the opposite border 
of Charnwood Forest, lay the earl of Leicester's capital and 
his castles of Groby and Mount Sorrel. 3 By the time that 
the truce expired Robert de Mowbray had renewed the 
fortifications of Kinardferry in the Isle of Axholm, 4 thus 
linking this southern chain of castles with those which he 
already possessed at Kirkby Malzeard, or Malessart, and 
Thirsk ; 5 and Bishop Hugh had done the like at North- 
allerton. 6 Further north stood the great stronghold of Dur- 
ham ; while all these again were backed, far to the north- 
westward, by a double belt of fortresses stretching from the 
mouths of the Forth and the Tweed to that of the Solway : 
Lauder, held by Richard de Morville ; Stirling, Edinburgh, 
Berwick, Jedburgh, Roxburgh, Annan and Lochmaben, all 
in the hands of the king of Scots. 7 

Between this northern belt of rebel strongholds, how- 
ever, and the southern one which stretched from Chester to 
Axholm, there lay along the river-valleys of Cumberland 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 64. King and bishop met in person at 
"Revedale" or, as Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 56, 57, says, "in con- 
finio regnorum Anglioe et Scotise apud Revedene." 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 48. Hamo de Massey had another castle called 
Ullerwood ; where was this ? 3 Ibid. 

4 Ib. p. 64. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 379. 

5 Gesta. Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 48. 

6 Rog. Howden as above, p. 57. 

7 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 48. Annan and Lochmaben belonged to 
Robert de Bruce ; ibid. No doubt William had seized them when Bruce joined 


and Northumberland a cluster of royal castles. Nicolas de 
Stuteville held Liddell, on the river of the same name. 
Burgh 1 stood on the Solway Firth, nearly opposite Annan ; 
the whole valley of the Eden was guarded by Carlisle, 
whose castellan was Richard de Vaux, 2 and Appleby, which 
like Burgh was held by Robert de Stuteville for the king. 3 
The course of the Tyne was commanded by Wark, under 
Roger de Stuteville, 4 Prudhoe, under Odelin de Umfraville, 5 
and by the great royal fortress of Newcastle, in charge of 
Roger Fitz- Richard ; 6 further north, between the valleys of 
the Wansbeck and the Coquet, stood Harbottle, also held by 
Odelin, with Roger Fitz-Richard's Warkworth 7 and William 
de Vesci's Alnwick 8 at the mouths of the Coquet and the 
Alne. This chain of defences William of Scotland, when 
at the expiration of the truce he again marched into England, 
at once set himself to break. While his brother David 
went to join the rebel garrison of Leicester, 9 he himself 
began by laying siege to Wark. This fortress, held in the 
king's name by Roger de Stuteville apparently a brother 
of the sheriff of Yorkshire occupied a strong position in 
the upper valley of the Tyne, on the site of an earlier 
fortress which under the name of Carham had played a 
considerable part in the Scottish wars of Stephen's time, 
and had been finally taken and razed by William's grand- 
father King David in H38. 10 William himself had already 
in the preceding autumn besieged Wark without success j 11 
he prospered no better this time, and presently removed his 
forces to Carlisle, 12 where he had also sustained a like repulse 

I Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 65. 2 Ib. p. 64. 

3 Ib. p. 65. Jordan Fantosme, v. 1467 (Michel, p. 66), gives us the name 
a very interesting one of the acting commandant " Cospatric le fiz Horm, 
un viel Engleis fluri." 

4 Jordan Fantosme, vv. 478-483 (Michel, pp. 22-24). 

5 Ib. vv. 594-603 (p. 28). Gesta Hen. as above. 

6 Jordan Fantosme, vv. 566, 567 (Michel, p. 26). 

7 Ib. vv. 562-565 (p. 26). Gesta Hen. as above, p. 65. See above, p. 149, 
note 3. 8 Jordan Fantosme, vv. 538, 539 (as above). 

9 Gesta Hen. as above. Cf. Jordan Fantosme, w. 1113-1136 (Michel, p. 52). 

10 See above, vol. i. pp. 287, 292. 

II Jordan Fantosme, vv. 478-530 (Michel, pp. 22, 26). 
12 Ib. vv. 1191-1351 (pp. 54-62). 


six months before. 1 Carlisle, as well as Wark, was in truth 
almost impregnable except by starvation ; and William, 
while blockading it closely, detached a part of his host for 
a series of expeditions against the lesser fortresses, Liddell, 
Burgh, Appleby, Harbottle and Warkworth, all of which fell 
into his hands. 2 His brother's arrival at Leicester, meanwhile, 
seemed to have revived the energies of its garrison ; under 
the command of Earl Robert of Ferrers they sallied forth 
very early one morning, surprised and burned the town '.of 
Nottingham, made a great slaughter of its citizens, and went 
home laden with plunder and prisoners. 3 

Meanwhile the king's representatives in the south were 
not idle. Knowing however that he was powerless to rescue 
the north, Richard de Lucy made an attempt to draw off in 
another direction the forces both of the Scot king and of his 
brother by laying siege to David's castle of Huntingdon. 4 
Huntingdon had been held ever since 1136 either by the 
reigning king of Scots or by one of his nearest kinsmen, in 
virtue of their descent from Waltheof, the last Old-English 
earl of Huntingdon and Northampton, through his daughter 
Matilda, the wife of King David. In each case, however, 
the fief seems to have been held not as an hereditary possess- 
ion but by a special grant made to the individual holder for 
his life. The house of Northampton, sprung from an earlier 
marriage of the same Matilda, were thus enabled to main- 
tain a claim upon it which had never been entirely barred, 
and which Earl Simon of Northampton now seized his 
opportunity to urge upon the king. 5 Henry answered that 
Simon might keep Huntingdon if he could win it ; 6 thus 

1 Jordan Fantosme, vv. 610-760 (pp. 28-36). 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 64, 65. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 
60. Will. Newb., 1. ii. cc. 30, 31 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 177, 180), seems to have 
confused this campaign with that of the preceding autumn ; and so has, ap- 
parently, Jordan Fantosme, vv. 1145-1511 (Michel, pp. 52-68). "Banesburc" 
in v. 1158 (p. 54), though it looks like Bamborough, surely ought to be Burgh. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 69. Nottingham was commanded by Reginald de 
Lucy ; what relation to the justiciar ? 4 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 384. 

5 See the story in the tract " De Juditha uxore Waldevi comitis," in M. F. 
Michel's Chroniques Anglo- Nor tnandes, vol. ii. pp. 128, 129. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 71. The case seems to have 'been tried in the 
Curia Regis ; ibid. t and Chron. Anglo-Norm., as above. 


securing for Richard de Lucy his support and co-operation 
in the siege, which began on May S. 1 Three days before 
this, however, a severe blow had been dealt at the northern 
rebels. The king's eldest son Geoffrey, who a year before 
had been appointed to the bishopric of Lincoln, gathered up 
the forces of Lincolnshire, led them into Axholm and laid 
siege to Kinardferry. Robert of Mowbray, who was com- 
manding there in person, seeing his garrison threatened with 
the want of water, slipped out to seek aid of his friends at 
Leicester, but was surrounded and made prisoner by the 
country-folk at Clay. 2 On May 5 Kinardferry surren- 
dered ; after razing it, Geoffrey marched northward to York ; 
here he was joined by the forces of the archbishop and of 
the shire ; with this united host he took Mowbray's castle of 
Malessart, 3 closely menaced that of Thirsk by erecting a rival 
fortification at Topcliff, and having intrusted the former to 
Archbishop Roger and the latter to William de Stuteville, 
marched back to Lincoln in triumph. 4 His victory was 
scarcely won when a new peril arose in East-Anglia. Three 
days after Pentecost some three hundred Flemish soldiers, 
forerunners of a great host with which Count Philip of 
Flanders had sworn to invade England at Midsummer on 
behalf of the young king, landed at the mouth of the Orwell. 5 
Hugh Bigod, whose truce with the king's officers, made when 
he dismissed his other Flemish troops in the preceding 
autumn, expired four days later, at once received them into 
his castles. 6 For a whole month, however, no further move- 
ment was made save by the garrison of Leicester, who after 
the close of Whitsun-week made a successful plundering raid 
upon the town of Northampton. 7 On June 18 Hugh 
Bigod and his Flemings marched upon Norwich, took it by 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 384. 

2 " A rusticis del Clay." Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 68. Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 58, alters "rusticis" into "hominibus." The place is per- 
haps Clay Cross in Derbyshire. 3 Kirkby or Kirby Malzeard, near Ripon. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 68, 69. Cf. R. Diceto as above, and Gir. Cambr., 
Vita Galfr. Archiep., 1. i. cc. 2, 3 (Dimock, vol. iv. pp. 364-367). 

5 " Apud Airewellam." R. Diceto (as above), p. 381. 

6 Ibid. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 247. 

7 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 68. 


assault, committed a vast slaughter of men and women, and 
finally sacked and fired the city. 1 They seem to have re- 
turned to Framlingham by way of Dunwich, which was still 
a flourishing seaport, of sufficient wealth to tempt their 
greed ; but its stout fisher-folk met them with such a determ- 
ined front that they were compelled to retire. 2 

Richard de Lucy was all this while busy with the siege 
of Huntingdon. Provoked apparently by a vigorous assault 
which he made upon it at midsummer, 3 the garrison set fire 
to the town ; Richard then built a tower to block their 
egress from the castle, and left the completion of the siege 
to the earl of Northampton. 4 For himself it was time once 
more to lay down the knightly sword and resume that of 
justice. While the justiciar's energies were absorbed in war- 
fare with the barons, the burgher-nobles of the capital had 
caught from their feudal brethren the spirit of lawlessness 
and misrule, and London had become a vast den of thieves 
and murderers. Young men, sons and kinsmen of the 
noblest citizens, habitually went forth by night in parties of 
a hundred or more, broke into rich men's houses and robbed 
them by force, and if they met any man walking in the 
streets alone, slew him at once. Peaceable citizens were 
driven in self-defence to meet violence with violence. One 
man, expecting an attack, gathered his armed servants 
around him in a concealed corner, surprised his assailants 
in the act of breaking into his house with crowbars, struck 
off with a blow of his sword the right hand of their leader 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 68. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 381 (to whom 
we owe the date). Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 248. 

2 Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 30 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 178). " Insignum vicum mari- 
timum, variis opibus refertum, qui dicitur Donewich," he calls it. He gives an 
account of the entire East-Anglian campaign, but he has mixed up the doings of 
this summer of 1174 with those of the preceding autumn. Jordan Fantosme, vv. 
845-897 (Michel, pp. 40-42), has done the same. He explains, however, the 
otherwise unaccountable facility with which Norwich was taken, by telling us that 
" Uns tra'itres Lohereng la trahi, pur 50 si fud surprise." 

3 " Appropinquante autem nativitate S. Johannis Baptistoe, Ricardus de Luci 
magnum congregavit exercitum et obsedit castellum de Huntendonia. " Gesta 
Hen. as above, p. 70. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 60, substitutes for the 
first words "in festo Nativitatis S. Johannis." This is the first time that either 
writer mentions the siege, but see R. Diceto as above, p. 376. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 71. 


Andrew Bucquinte, and raised an alarm which put the rest 
to flight. Bucquinte was captured and delivered next 
morning to the justiciar ; on a promise of safety for life 
and limb he gave up the names of his accomplices ; some 
fled, some were caught, and among the latter was one of the 
noblest and richest citizens of London, John Oldman, 1 who 
vainly offered five thousand marks of silver to the Crown to 
purchase his escape from the gallows. 2 The revelation of 
such a state of things in the capital apparently drove 
Richard de Lucy and his colleagues almost to desperation. 
They had already sent messenger after messenger to intreat 
that the king would return ; getting however no certain 
answer, they now determined that one of their number 
should go to Normandy in person to lay before him an 
authentic account of the desperate condition of his realm. 3 

Henry had spent the spring in a successful progress 
through Maine and Anjou to Poitiers, where he kept the 
Whitsun feast. He had just rescued Saintes from a band 
of rebels who had seized it in Richard's name 4 when he 
was called northward again by a rumour of the Flemish 
count's scheme for the invasion of England. By S. Barna- 
bas's day he was back again on the borders of Britanny and 
Anjou ; he took and fortified Ancenis, and then, leaving 
Anjou to the charge of a faithful baron, Maurice of Craon, 5 
went to meet the castellans of the Norman border in a 
council at Bonneville on Midsummer-day. Their deliber- 

1 "Johannes Senex." 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 155, 156. The story is there told in con- 
nexion with that of the murder of a brother of the earl of Ferrers in 1177, and 
said to have happened "three years before." The wording of the latter part, 
where it is said that John "obtulit quingentas marcas argenti domino regi . . . 
sed . . . noluit denarios illos accipere, et praecepit ut judicium de eo fieret," 
seems to imply that the king himself came to England between the capture of 
Bucquinte and the execution of John. In that case the date of the affair would 
be about June or July 1174. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 131, mentions 
the hanging of John Oldman, but puts it after the murder of De Ferrers in 1177 
and omits the whole story which in the Gesta intervenes, thereby also omitting 
to shew the true sequence of events and chronology. 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 381. 

4 Ib. p. 380. Cf. Gesta Hen. as above, p. 71, and Chron. S. Albin. a. 1174 
(Marchegay, Eglises, p. 43). 

5 R. Diceto and Gesta Hen. as above. 


ations were interrupted by the appearance of Richard of 
Ilchester now bishop-elect of Winchester on his errand 
from England to recall the king. 1 Richard's pleadings how- 
ever were scarcely needed. Henry knew that his eldest son 
was at that very moment with the count of Flanders at 
Gravelines, only awaiting a favourable wind to set sail for 
the invasion of England, 2 and that, whatever might be the 
risk to his continental realms, he must hasten to save the 
island. 3 He at once took measures for the security of the 
Norman castles and for the transport of those prisoners and 
suspected persons whom he dared not venture to leave be- 
hind him his queen, 4 the earl and countess of Leicester, 
the earl of Chester, 5 the young queen Margaret, 6 and the 
affianced brides of his three younger sons ; besides the two 
children who were still with him, Jane and John. 7 The 
wind which thwarted the designs of his foes was equally 
unfavourable to him ; it was not till July 7 that he him- 
self embarked at Barfleur, and even then the peril of cross- 
ing seemed so great that the sailors were inclined to put 
back. Henry raised his eyes to heaven : rt If I seek the 
peace of my realm if the heavenly King wills that my 
return should restore its peace He will bring me safe into 
port. If He has turned away His Face from me and 
determined to scourge my realm, may I never reach its 
shores !" By nightfall he was safe 8 at Southampton. 9 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 381, 382. Cf. Jordan Fantosme, vv. 1530- 
1633 (Michel, pp. 70-74). 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 72. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 61. 

3 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 248. Cf. Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 32 (Howlett, 
vol. i. p. 181). 

4 R. Diceto as above, p. 382. Gesta Hen. as above. 

5 R. Diceto (as above) has "comitem Cestrensem, Legecestrensem comitis- 
sam"; Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Luard), vol. ii. p. 292, turns this into "com- 
item Legecestrensem et comitissam." We may surely combine the two versions. 

6 R. Diceto and Gesta Hen. as above. 

7 R. Diceto as above, p. 382. " Uxores filiorum suorum " must mean 
Adela of France, Constance of Britanny and Alice of Maurienne, all of whom are 
known to have been in Henry's custody. 

8 R. Diceto as above, pp. 382, 383. 

9 Ib. p. 383. Gesta Hen. as above. Cf. Pipe Roll a. 1173, quoted by 
Itin. Hen. //., p. 180. R. Niger (Anstruther), p. 176, puts the voyage two days 


His first care was to bestow his prisoners and hostages 
in safe custody. 1 That done, he set off at once on a pil- 
grimage to the grave of his former friend and victim at 
Canterbury. Travelling with the utmost speed, and feeding 
only on bread and water, he reached Canterbury on July 
1 2 ; before the church of S. Dunstan, outside the west 
gate, he dismounted, exchanged his kingly robes for the 
woollen gown of a pilgrim, and made his way with bare 
and bleeding feet along the rough-paved streets to the 
cathedral church. Here, surrounded by a group of bishops 
and abbots who seem to have come with him, as well as by 
the monks of the cathedral chapter and a crowd of won- 
dering lay-folk, he threw himself in an agony of penitence 
and prayer on the martyr's tomb, which still stood in the 
crypt where his body had been hastily buried by the terrified 
monks immediately after the murder. The bishop of London 
now came forward and spoke in the king's name, solemnly 
protesting that he had never sought the primate's death, and 
beseeching absolution from the assembled prelates for the 
rash words which had occasioned it. The absolution was 
given ; the king then underwent a public scourging at the 
hands of the bishops and monks ; he spent the whole night 
in prayer before the shrine ; early on the morrow he heard 
mass and departed, leaving rich gifts in money and endow- 
ments, and rode back still fasting to London, which he 
reached on the following morning. 2 The next few days were 
spent in collecting forces, in addition to a large troop of 
Brabantines whom he had brought over with him, 3 and in 
despatching a part of these into Suffolk against Hugh Bigod; 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 72. Eleanor was placed at Salisbury (Geoff. 
Vigeois, 1. i. c. 67 ; Labbe, Nova BibL, vol. ii. p. 319) in charge of Robert 
Mauduit ; the younger queen "and the hostages" were sent to Devizes under 
the care of Eustace Fitz-Stephen. (Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., p. 180, from Pipe 
Roll a. 1173.) 

2 For accounts of the penance see R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 383 ; Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 248, 249; Gesta Hen. as above; Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 61, 62 ; Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 35 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 18) ; 
E. Grim (Robertson, Becket, vol. ii.), pp. 445-447 ; Herb. Bosh. (ib. vol. iii.), 
PP- 545-547; 

3 R. Diceto as above, p. 382. Gesta Hen. as above. Rob. Torigni, a. 


Henry himself lingering another day or two to recover from 
his excitement and fatigue. 1 

In the middle of the night of July 1 7 a courier from 
the north came knocking wildly for admittance at the palace- 
gate. The porters remonstrated with him in vain ; he bore, 
he said, good news which the king must hear that very 
night. He hurried to the door of the king's chamber, and, 
despite the expostulations of the chamberlains, made his way 
to the bedside and woke the king from his sleep. " Who 
art thou?" demanded Henry. " A servant of your faithful 
Ralf de Glanville, and the bearer of good tidings from him 
to you." "Is he well?" "He is well; and lo ! he holds 
your enemy the king of Scots in chains at Richmond castle." 
Not till he had seen Ralf's own letters could Henry believe 
the tidings ; then he burst into thanksgivings for the crowning 
triumph which had come to him, as he now learned, almost 
at the moment when his voluntary humiliation at Canterbury 
was completed. 2 The garrison of Carlisle had pledged 
themselves to surrender to the Scot king at Michaelmas if 
not previously relieved. In the interval William laid siege 
to Odelin de Umfraville's castle of Prudhoe on the Tyne. 3 
Here he was rejoined by Robert de Mowbray, who had 
somehow escaped from his jailors, and now came to intreat 
the Scot king's aid in the recovery of his lost castles. 4 Mean- 
while, however, the king's return had apparently brought 
with it the return of the sheriff of Yorkshire, Robert de 
Stuteville. Under his leadership and that of his son William 
the whole military forces of the shire, with those of William 
de Vesci, Ralf de Glanville, Bernard de Balliol and Odelin 
de Umfraville, and Archbishop Roger's men under his con- 

1 Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 35 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 189), says he stayed in London in 
order to be bled. 

2 Ib. (pp. 189, 190). On the coincidence of time see Mr. Hewlett's note 3, 
p. 1 88. Cf. the more detailed, but far less vivid version of the story in 
Jordan Fantosme, vv. 1956-2029 (Michel, pp. 88-92). In the Gesta Hen. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 72, Henry is said to have received the news on July 18. 
Taken in conjunction with the story given above, this must mean the night of 
July 17-18. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 65. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 60. Cf. 
Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 32 (as above, p. 182); and Jordan Fantosme, vv., 1640 
1650 (Michel, p. 74). 4 Will. Newb. as above. 


stable Ralf de Tilly, gathered and marched northward to 
oppose the Scots. 1 They reached Newcastle on July 1 2 2 
the day of Henry's penitential entry into Canterbury but 
only to find that on the rumour of their approach William 
the Lion had retired from Prudhoe, and was gone to besiege 
Alnwick with his own picked followers, while the bulk of 
his host, under the earls of Fife and Angus and the English 
traitor Richard de Morville, dispersed over all Northumber- 
land to burn, plunder and slay in the old barbarous Scottish 
fashion which seems hardly to have softened since the days 
of Malcolm Canmore. 3 The English leaders now held a 
council of war. Their forces consisted only of a few hun- 
dred knights, all wearied and spent with their long and 
hurried march, in which the foot had been unable to keep 
up with them at all. The more cautious argued that enough 
had been done in driving back the Scots thus far, and that 
it would be madness for a band of four hundred men to 
advance against a host of eighty thousand. Bolder spirits, 
however, urged that the justice of their cause must suffice to 
prevail against any odds ; and it was decided to continue 
the march to Alnwick. They set out next morning before 
sunrise ; the further they rode, the thicker grew the mist ; 
some proposed to turn back. " Turn back who will," cried 
Bernard de Balliol, "if no man will follow me, I will go on 
alone, rather than bear the stain of cowardice for ever ! " 
Every one of them followed him ; and when at last the mist 
cleared away, the first sight that met their eyes was the 
friendly castle of Alnwick. Close beside it lay the king of 
Scots, carelessly playing with a little band of some sixty 
knights. Never dreaming that the English host would dare 
to pursue him thus far, he had sent out all the rest of his 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 65, 66. Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. 
p. 60. 

z "Sexta Sabbati." Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 33 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 183). 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 66. Cf. Rog. Howden as above ; Will. Newb., 1. ii. 
c. 32 (as above, pp. 182, 183), and Jordan Fantosme, vv. 1671-1729 (Michel, pp. 
76-78). On the Scottish misdoings see also R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 376 ; 
Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 247 ; and Gesta Hen. as above, p. 64 ; this latter 
writer can find no better way of describing them than by copying Henry of 
Huntingdon's account of the Scottish invaders of 1138 (Hen. Hunt., 1. viii. c. 6, 
Arnold, p. 261). 



troops on a plundering expedition, and at the first appearance 
of the enemy he took them for his own followers returning 
with their spoils. When they unfurled their banners he saw 
at once that his fate was sealed. The Scottish Lion, how- 
ever, proved worthy of his name, and his followers proved 
worthy of their leader. Seizing his arms and shouting, 
*' Now it shall be seen who are true knights ! " he rushed 
upon the English ; his horse was killed, he himself was 
surrounded and made prisoner, and so were all his men. 1 
Roger de Mowbray and Adam de Port, an English baron 
who had been outlawed two years before for an attempt on 
King Henry's life, alone fled away into Scotland ; 2 not one 
Scot tried to escape, and some even who were not on the 
spot, when they heard the noise of the fray, rode hastily 
up and almost forced themselves into the hands of their 
captors, deeming it a knightly duty to share their sovereign's 
fate. 3 

The capture of William the Lion almost put an end to 
the rebellion. A body of Flemings summoned by Bishop 
Hugh of Durham landed the same day at Hartlepool ; but 
at the tidings of the Scottish disaster, Hugh thought it safest 
to pay them their forty days' wages and send them home 
again at once. 4 On the same day, too, the young king, 
weary of waiting for a wind at Gravelines, left the count of 
Flanders there alone and proceeded to Wissant with a body 
of troops whom he succeeded in despatching from thence 
into England, under the command of Ralf of La Haye, to the 
assistance of Hugh Bigod. 5 In London, meanwhile, the news 
brought by Ralf de Glanville's courier raised to the highest 
pitch the spirits both of Henry and of his troops. On that 
very day he set out for Huntingdon, 6 whose titular earl had 

1 Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 33 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 183-185). Jordan Fantosme, 
vv. 1731-1839 (Michel, pp. 78-84). Cf. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 67 ; Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 63 ; and Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 249. 

2 Jordan Fantosme, vv. 1841-1849 (Michel, p. 84). Will. Newb. as above 
(p. 185). On Adam de Port (whose presence on this occasion is mentioned by 
Jordan only) see Gesta Hen. as above, p. 35 and note 2, and Stapleton, Magn. 
Rot. Sacc. Norm. (Soc. Antiq.), vol. i., Observ., p. clxi. 

3 Will. Newb. as above. 4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 67. 

5 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 381. Cf. ib. p. 385. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 72. 


already fled back to Scotland ; l at Huntingdon Geoffrey of 
Lincoln came to meet him with a force of seven hundred 
knights ; 2 and three days later the garrison surrendered at 
discretion. 3 The king then marched to S. Edmund's ; here 
he divided his host, sending half against Hugh Bigod's castle 
of Bungay, while he himself led the other half to Framling- 
ham, where Hugh was entrenched with five hundred knights 
and his Flemish men-at-arms. The number of these, how- 
ever, had dwindled greatly ; when the royal host encamped 
on July 24 at Sileham, close to Framlingham, Hugh felt 
himself unable to cope with it ; and next morning he 
surrendered. 4 By the end of the month the whole struggle 
was over. One by one the king's foes came to his feet as 
he held his court at Northampton. The king of Scots was 
brought, with his feet tied together under his horse's body, 
from his prison 5 at Richmond. 6 On the last day of July 
Bishop Hugh of Durham came to give up his castles of 
Durham, Norham and Northallerton. On the same day the 
earl of Leicester's three fortresses were surrendered by his 
constables; 7 and Thirsk was given up by Robert of Mowbray. 8 
Earl Robert de Ferrers yielded up Tutbury and Duffield ; 9 
the earl of Gloucester and his son-in-law Richard de Clare, 
who were suspected of intriguing with the rebels, came to 
offer their services and their obedience to the king ; 10 and a 

1 Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 37 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 195). 

- See Henry's remark at their meeting in Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 3 
(Dimock, vol. iv. p. 368). 

3 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 73. Cf. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 384. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above. R. Diceto as above, p. 384, 385. 

5 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 64. 

6 Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 33 (as above, p. 185). 

7 Gesta Hen. as above. R. Diceto as above, p. 384, dates the surrender of 
these three castles July 22 i.e. just as Henry was leaving Huntingdon for Suffolk. 
The chronology of the Gesta seems much more probable. See in Will. Newb., "4. 
ii. c. 37 (as above, pp. 194, 195), how Henry frightened the constables into sub- 
mission. Jordan Fantosme, vv. 2039-2046 (Michel, p. 92), has a different story about 
Leicester. He makes David of Huntingdon its commandant, and says that as soon 
as Henry received the news of the Scot king's capture, he forwarded it to David with 
a summons to surrender ; whereupon David gave up Leicester castle and himself 
both at once. 8 Gesta Hen. as above. R. Diceto (as above), p. 385. 

9 Gesta Hen. as above. Tutbury was being besieged by a host of Welshmen 
under Rees Ap-Griffith ; R. Diceto (as above), p. 384. 

10 R. Diceto as above, p. 385. 


like offer came from far-off Galloway, whose native princes, 
Uhtred and Gilbert, long unwilling vassals of the king of 
Scots, had seized their opportunity to call home their men, 
drive out William's bailiffs, destroy his castles and slaughter 
his garrisons, and now besought his victorious English cousin 
to become their protector and overlord. 1 In three weeks 
from Henry's landing in England all the royal fortresses 
were again in his hands, and the country was once more at 
peace. 2 

When England was secured, it was comparatively a light 
matter to secure the rest Louis of France was so dismayed 
at the sudden collapse of the rebellion in England a collapse 
which necessarily entailed a like fate upon the rebellion in 
Normandy, since the leaders were the same men in both 
cases that he at once recalled the young king and the 
count of Flanders from their project of invasion. As a last 
resource, all three concentrated their forces upon the siege of 
Rouen. 3 Its garrison held out gallantly until Henry had 
time to recross the sea with his Brabantines and a thousand 
Welshmen 4 who had already done good service under Rees 
Ap-Griffith at the siege of Tutbury. 5 On August 1 1, three 
days after landing, he entered Rouen ; 6 a successful raid of 
his Welshmen upon some French convoys, followed by an 
equally successful sally of Henry himself against the besieg- 
ing forces, sufficed to make Louis ask for a truce, under cover 
of which he fled with his whole host back into his own 
dominions. 7 Some three weeks later 8 he and Henry met in 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 63. 

2 Ib. p. 65. Rob. Torigni, a. 1174. 

3 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 73. Rog. Howden as above, p. 64. Will. 
Newb., 1. ii. c. 36 (Howlett, vol. i. p. 190). Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 249. 
R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 386. 4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 74. 

5 See R. Diceto as above, p. 384. It seems most likely that these were 
the same. The Pipe Roll of 1174 (Eyton, Itin. Hen. II. , p. 183) has a charge of 
4: 18 : II "in corredio Reis et aliorum Walensium qui venerunt ad regem in 

6 R. Diceto as above, p. 385. Gesta Hen. as above. Rog. Howden as above, 
p. 65. 

7 See the details of Louis's disgraceful conduct in Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 
74-76, Rog. Howden as above, pp. 65, 66, R. Diceto as above, pp. 386, 387, Gerv. 
Cant, as above, p. 250, and Will. Newb., 1. ii. cc. 36 and 37 (as above, pp. 192- 
196). 8 On September 8. Gesta Hen. as above, p. 76. 


conference at Gisors and arranged a suspension of hostilities 
until Michaelmas on all sides, except between Henry and 
his son Richard, who was fighting independently against his 
father's loyal subjects in Poitou. 1 Henry marched southward 
at once ; Richard fled before him from place to place, leav- 
ing his conquests to fall back one by one into the hands of 
their rightful owner ; at last he suddenly returned to throw 
himself at his father's feet, and a few days before Michaelmas 
Henry concluded his war in Poitou 2 by entering Poitiers in 
triumph with Richard, penitent and forgiven, at his side. 3 

On the last day of September the two kings and all the 
princes met in conference between Tours and Amboise. 4 
Henry's three elder sons accepted the endowments which he 
offered them ; in return, the young king gave his assent to a 
provision for John. A general amnesty was agreed upon ; 
all prisoners on both sides, except the king of Scots, the 
earls of Leicester and Chester and Ralf of Fougeres, were 
released at once ; all the rebels returned to their allegiance, 
and were fully forgiven ; Henry claimed nothing from any 
of them save the restoration of their castles to the condition 
in which they had been before the war, and the right of 
taking such hostages and other security as he might choose. 5 
These terms of course did not apply to England ; while, on 
the other hand, the king of Scots and his fellow-captives, 
whom Henry had brought back with him to Normandy and 
replaced in confinement at Falaise, 6 were excluded from them 
as prisoners of war. It was at Falaise, on October 1 1, that 
Henry and his sons embodied their agreement in a written 
document. 7 A few weeks later William of Scotland, with 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 76. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 66. 
Rob. Torigni, a. 1174. 

"Et sic finivit rex gwerram suam in Pictavia," comments the writer of the 
Gesta Hen. (as above) on the reconcilation. 

3 Rog. Howden as above, p. 67. 

4 Ibid. Gesta Hen. as above. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 250. R. 
Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 394. On the date given by this last see below, 
note 7. 

5 Treaty given at length in Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 77-79, and Rog. Howden 
as above, pp. 67-69 ; abridged in R. Diceto as above, pp. 394, 395. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 74. 

7 The treaty, as given in Gesta Hen. and Rog. Howden (see above), note 


the formal assent of the bishops and barons of his realm, 
who had been allowed free access to him during his captivity, 
submitted to pay the price which Henry demanded for his 
ransom. The legal relations between the crowns of England 
and Scotland had been doubtful ever since the days of 
William the Conqueror and Malcolm Canmore, if not since 
the days of Eadward the Elder and Constantine ; henceforth 
they were to be doubtful no longer. William the Lion 
became the liegeman of the English king and of his son for 
Scotland and for all his other lands, and agreed that their 
heirs should be entitled to a like homage and fealty from all 
future kings of Scots. The castles of Roxburgh, Jedburgh, 
Berwick, Edinburgh and Stirling were required by Henry as 
security ; and as soon as the treaty had been ratified at 
Valognes l William was sent over sea in a sort of honourable 
custody to enforce their surrender and thereby complete his 
own release. 2 

By the terms of Henry's treaty with France, all the 
English barons who held lands on both sides of the sea were 
to be at once re-instated in their continental possessions, 
except the castles over which the king resumed his ancient 
rights of garrison or of demolition. Their English estates 
however were wholly at his mercy ; but he made a very 
gentle use of his power over them. He took in fact no 
personal vengeance at all ; he exacted simply what was 
necessary for securing his own authority and the peace 

5), is printed also in Rymer's Fadera, vol. i. p. 30, with the addition of a date 
Falaise and the signatures of twenty -eight witnesses. Among the latter is 
Geoffrey, bishop elect of Lincoln. Now we know from R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. 
i. p. 393, that Geoffrey came over from England to Normandy on October 8. R. 
Diceto (id. p. 394) gives the date of the meeting at which the treaty was made as 
October n. Is it not probable that he has substituted for the date of the making 
of the treaty that of its formal ratification at Falaise ? 

1 This treaty, as given in Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 96-99, and Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 80-82 (and from them in Rymer's Fcedera, vol. i. pp. 
30, 31), is dated at Falaise. R. Diceto, however (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 396), who gives 
an abridgement of it, says it was made at Valognes, on December 8. Now there 
is in Hearne's Liber Niger, vol. i. pp. 36-40, a copy of the treaty, differing from the 
former ones in having eighteen more witnesses (one cannot help noting the name of 
the last " Roger Bacun ") and in its date, which is " Valognes." No doubt the 
Falaise copy was made first, and this is the ratification of it. 

2 R. Diceto as above, p. 398. 


of the realm the instant departure of the Flemish mercen- 
aries l and the demolition of unlicensed fortifications and 
for defraying the expenses of the war. This was done by a 
tax levied partly on the royal demesnes, partly on the estates 
of the rebels throughout the country, on the basis of an 
assessment made for that purpose during the past summer 
by the sheriffs of the several counties, assisted by some 
officers of the Exchequer. 2 No ruinous sums were demanded ; 
even Hugh Bigod escaped with a fine of a thousand marks, 
and lost none of the revenues of his earldom save for the 
time that he was actually in open rebellion ; the third penny 
of Norfolk was reckoned as due to him again from the third 
day after his surrender, and its amount for two months was 
paid to him accordingly at Michaelmas. 3 Even the earls of 
Leicester and Chester seem to have been at once set free ; 4 
and in little more than two years they were restored to all 
their lands and honours, except their castles, which were 
either razed or retained in the king's hands. 5 

This very clemency was in itself at once the strongest 
proof of jthe completeness of Henry's victory and the_surest 
means of retaining the hold which he had now gained over 
the barons. The struggle whose course w^Jmve^eejijtrymg_v 
to follow has a special significance : it was the last struggle 
in English history in which the barons were arrayed against 
the united interests of the Crown and the people. That 
feudal pride which had revolted so often ancTso fiercely 
against the determination of William the Conqueror and 
Henry I. to enforce justice and order throughout their realm 
stooped at last to acknowledge its master in Henry II. 

1 Hugh Bigod's Flemings and the knights sent over by the young king were 
all sent out of the country immediately after Hugh's surrender, and the former 
were made to swear that they would never set a hostile foot in England again. 
R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 385. 

2 This is the " Assiza super dominica regis et super terras eorum qui recess- 
erunt." Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., pp. 184, 185. 

3 See extract from Pipe Roll 20 Hen. II. [a. 1174], and Mr. Eyton's comment 
upon it, Itin. Hen. II. , p. 181, note 2. 

4 Hugh of Chester was probably released at the same time with the king of 
Scots, for he signs among the witnesses to the treaty of Falaise. Gesta Hen. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 99. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 82. 

5 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 134, 135. Rog. Howden as above, p. 118. 


In_the unbroken tranquillity, the uninterrupted developement 
ojj-eform in law jmd administration, the unchecked growth 
ofjhe material and social prosperity of England during the 
remaining fifteen years of his reign. Henry and his people 
jirct^jhy^ his 

predecessors had so Jong^.^jid_5a. .steadily maintained Its 
full harvest was to be reaped^after he was gone, not by the 
sovereign, but byjthe barons themselves, to whom his__^trojig 
hand__jiad__at last taught their true mission as leaders 
and champions ofjthe^ En^iisTT]people againsT~ar king who 
had falleri_swa>t_4r^m^heH:i i aditions alike of the Norman 
and of the Angevin Henry. ^ 



IN the seven years which followed the suppression of the 
barons' revolt Henry's prosperity reached its height. The 
rising in which all his enemies had united for his destruction / J j 
had ended in leaving him seated more firmly than ever upon 
the most securely-established throne in Europe. Within the 
four seas of Britain he was master as no king had ever been 
master before him. The English people had been with him 
from the first, and was learning year by year to identify its 
interests more closely with his ; the Church, alienated for 
nearly ten years, was reconciled by his penance ; feudalism 
was beaten at last, and for ever. The Welsh princes were 
his obedient and serviceable vassals ; the Scot king had been 
humbled to accept a like position ; a new subject-realm was 
growing up on the coast of Ireland. The great external 
peril which had dogged Henry's footsteps through life, the 
hostility of France, was for a while paralyzed by his success. 
Other external foes he had none ; the kings of Spain and 
of Sicily, the princes of the Western and even of the Eastern 
Empire, vied with each other in seeking the friendship, one 
might almost say the patronage, of the one sovereign in 
Europe who, safe on his sea-girt throne, could afford to be 
independent of them all. Within and without, on either side 
of the sea, all hindrances to the full and free developement 
of Henry's policy for the government of his whole dominions 
were thus completely removed. 


In England itself the succeeding period was one of 
unbroken tranquillity and steady prosperous growth, social, 
intellectual, political, constitutional. Henry used his op- 
portunity to make a longer stay in the island than he had 
ever made there before, save at the very beginning of his 
reign. He was there from May 1175 to August 1177 ; in 
the following July he returned, and stayed till April 1 1 80 ; 
he came back again in July 1181, and remained till March 
1182. Each of these visits was marked by some further 
step towards the completion of his judicial and administr- 
ative reforms. Almost as soon as he set foot in the country, 
indeed, he took up his work as if it had never been inter- 
rupted. The king and his eldest son went to England 
together on May 9, II/5; 1 on Rogation Sunday they 
publicly sealed their reconciliation with each other and with 
the Church in a great council which met at Westminster 2 
under the presidence of a new archbishop of Canterbury, 
Richard, formerly prior of Dover, who after countless troubles 
and delays had been chosen just before the outbreak of the 
rebellion to fill S. Thomas's place, 3 and had come back from 
Rome in triumph, with his pallium and a commission as 
legate for all England, just as Henry was returning to 
Normandy from his success against Hugh Bigod. 4 From 
the council the two kings and the primate went all together 
on a pilgrimage to the martyr's tomb at Canterbury ; 5 at 
Whitsuntide the kings held a court at Reading, 6 and on S. 
Peter's day they met the Welsh princes in a great council at 
Gloucester. 7 Two days later the process, begun two years 
before, of filling up the vacant bishoprics and abbacies 
which had been accumulating during Thomas's exile was 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 83, 84. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 399. 
~ Gesta Hen. as above, p. 84. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 250. R. 
Diceto as above, pp. 399-401. 

3 On the Canterbury troubles and Richard's election see Gerv. Cant, as above, 
pp. 239-242, 243-245, 247. 

4 Ib. p. 249. R. Diceto as above, p. 391. Gesta Hen. as above, 
p. 74. 

5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 91. Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 256. R. Diceto as 
above, p. 399. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above. 7 Ib. p. 92. 


completed in another council at Woodstock. 1 Thence, too, 
was issued an edict for the better securing of order through- 
out the realm, and particularly around the person of the 
king ; all his opponents in the late war were forbidden, on 
.pain of arrest as traitors, to come to the court without special 
summons, and, under any circumstances, to come before sun- 
rise or stay over night ; and all wearing of arms, knife, bow 
and arrows, was forbidden on the English side of the Severn. 
These prohibitions however were only temporary ; 2 and they 
were, with one exception, the only measure of general 
severity taken by Henry in consequence of the rebellion. 
That exception was a great forest-visitation, begun by 
Henry in person during the summer of 1175 and not 
completed by his ministers, it seems, till Michaelmas 1177, 
and from which scarcely a man throughout the kingdom, 
baron or villein, layman or priest, was altogether exempt. 
In vain did Richard de Lucy, as loyal to the people as to 
the king, shew Henry his own royal writ authorizing the 
justiciars to throw open the forests and give up the royal 
fish-ponds to public use during the war, and protest against 
the injustice of punishing the people at large for a trespass 
to which he had himself invited them in the king's name and 
in accordance, as he had understood it, with the king's ex- 
pressed will. The license had probably been used to a far 
wider extent than Henry had intended ; the general excite- 
ment had perhaps vented itself in some such outburst of 
wanton destructiveness as had occurred after the death of 
Henry I. ; at any rate, the Norman and the Angevin blood 
in Henry II. was all alike stirred into wrath at sight of 
damage done to vert and venison ; the transgressors were 
placed, in technical phrase, " at the king's mercy," and their 
fines constituted an important item in the Pipe Roll of 
H76. 3 

1 GestaHen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 93. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 78, 79. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above. " Sed hsec prsecepta parvo tempore custodita sunt." 

3 On the " misericordia regis pro foresta," as it is called in the Pipe Rolls, see 
Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 92, 94 ; Rog. Howden as above, p. 79 ; R. Diceto 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 402 ; Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 483 ; and the extracts 
from the Pipe Rolls 22 and 23 Hen. II. (i.e. 1176 and 1177) in Madox, Hist. 

.) vol. i. pp. 541, 542. 


In the beginning of that year the king assembled a great 
council at Northampton, 1 and thence issued an Assize which 
forms another link in the series of legal enactments begun 
at Clarendon just ten years before. The first three clauses 
and the twelfth clause of the Assize of Northampton are 
substantially a re-issue of those articles of the Assize of 
Clarendon which regulated the presentment, detention and 
punishment of criminals and the treatment of strangers and 
vagabonds. 2 The experience of the past ten years had 
however led to some modifications in the details of the pro- 
cedure. The recognition by twelve lawful men of every 
hundred and four of every township, to be followed by 
ordeal of water, was re-enacted ; but the presentment was 
now to be made not to the sheriff, but direct to the king's 
justices. The punishments, too, were more severe than 
before ; the forger, robber, murderer or incendiary who 
under the former system would have suffered the loss of a 
foot was now to lose a hand as well, and to quit the realm 
within forty days. 3 The remaining articles dealt with quite 
other matters. The fourth declared the legal order of pro- 
ceeding with regard to the estate of a deceased freeholder, in 
such a manner as to secure the rights of his heir and of his 
widow before the usual relief could be exacted by the lord ; 
and it referred all disputes between the lord and the heir 
touching the latter's right of inheritance to the decision of 
the king's justices, on the recognition of twelve lawful men 4 
a process which, under the name of the assize of mort 
(Tancester, soon became a regular part of the business trans- 
acted before the justices-in-eyre. Some of the other clauses 

1 On January 26. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 404. Cf. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), 
vol. i. p. 107, and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 87. The Gesta date it 
merely " circa festum Conversionis S. Pauli " ; Roger turns this into " in festo," etc., 
and adopts the reading " Nottingham " instead of " Northampton." Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 257, 258, confounds the Assize of Clarendon with the Con- 

2 Cf. articles 1-3, 12 of Ass. Northampton (Stubbs, Select Charters, pp. 150, 
151, 152), with Ass. Clarendon, cc. 1-4, 13, 15, 16 (ib. pp. 143, 144, 145). The 
Assize of Northampton is given in the Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 108-110, and by 
Rog. Howden as above, pp. 89-91. 

3 Ass. North, c. i (Stubbs, as above, p. 151). 

4 Ib. c. 4 (pp. 151, 152). 


had a more political significance. They directed the justices 
to take an oath of homage and fealty to the king from every 
man in the realm, earl, baron, knight, freeholder or villein, 
before the octave of Whit-Sunday at latest, and to arrest as 
traitors all who refused it : l to investigate and strictly 
enforce the demolition of the condemned castles ; 2 to ascer- 
tain and report by whom, how and where the duty of castle- 
guard was owed to the king ; 3 to inquire what persons had 
fled from justice and incurred the penalty of outlawry by 
failing to give themselves up at the appointed time, and to 
send in a list of all such persons to the Exchequer at Easter 
and Michaelmas for transmission to the king. 4 The tenth 
article was aimed at the bailiffs of the royal demesnes, 
requiring them to give an account of their stewardship 
before the Exchequer ; 5 and two others defined the justices' 
authority, as extending, in judicial matters, over all pleas of 
the Crown, both in criminal causes and in civil actions con- 
cerning half a knight's fee or less ; and in fiscal matters, 
over escheats, wardships, and lands and churches in royal 
demesne. 6 

The visitations of the justices by whom this assize was 
carried into effect were arranged upon a new plan, or rather 
upon a modified form of the plan which had been adopted 
two years before for the assessment of a tallage upon the royal 
demesnes, to meet the cost of the expected war. It was at 
that terrible crisis, when most men in Henry's place would 
have had no thought to spare for anything save the military 
necessities and perils of the moment, that he had first 
devised and carried into effect the principle of judicial 
circuits which with some slight changes in detail has re- 
mained in force until our own day. This tallage was levied 
by nineteen barons of the Exchequer, distributed into six 
companies, each company undertaking the assessment 
throughout a certain district or group of shires. 7 The 

1 Ass. North., c. 6 (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 152). 

2 Ib.'c. 8 (as above). 3 Ib. c. II (ibid.) 

4 Ib. c. 13 (pp. 152, 153). * jb. c. 10 (p. 152). 

6 Ib. cc. 7 and 9 (ibid. ). 

7 See the lists in Stubbs, Gesta Hen., vol. ii., pref. p. Ixv, note 5, and Eyton, 
Itin. Hen. II. , p. 176 ; from the Pipe Roll 19 Hen. II. (a. 1173). 


abandonment of this scheme in the assizes of the two 
following years was probably necessitated by the disturbed 
state of the country. But at the council of Northampton 
the kingdom was again definitely mapped out into six divi- 
sions, to each of which three justices were sent. 1 In the 
report of their proceedings in the Pipe Roll of the year 
they are for the first time since the Assize of Clarendon 2 
officially described by the title which they had long borne 
in common speech, " justifies itinerantes " (or " errantes "), 
justices-in-eyre ; and it is from this time that the regular 
institution of itinerant judges is dated by modern legal 
historians. 3 

This first distribution of circuits however was soon 
altered. In the very next year the same eighteen officers 
made, in addition to their judicial circuits, a general visit- 
ation of the realm for fiscal purposes, in four companies 
instead of six ; 4 and on Henry's return to England in the 
summer of 1178 he made what at first glance looks like a 
sweeping change in the organization of the Curia Regis. 
" The king," we are told, " made inquiry concerning his 
justices whom he had appointed in England, whether they 
treated the men of the realm with righteousness and moder- 
ation ; and when he learned that the country and the people 
were sore oppressed by the great multitude of justices for 
they were eighteen in number by the counsel of the wise 
men of the realm he chose out five, two clerks and three 
laymen, who were all of his private household ; and he 
decreed that those five should hear all the complaints of 
the realm, and do right, and that they should not depart 
from the king's court, but abide there to hear the complaints 
of his men ; so that if any question came up among them 
which they could not bring to an end, it should be presented 
to the king's hearing and determined as might please him 
and the wise men of the realm." 5 From the mention of the 
number eighteen it appears that the persons against whom 

1 See lists in Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 107, 108. 

2 Ass. Clar., c. 19 (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 145). 

3 Stubbs, Gesta Hen., vol. ii. pref. pp. Ixix, Ixx and notes. 

4 //;. p. Ixx and note 3. 5 Ib. vol. i. pp. 207, 208. 


were primarily directed both the complaint of the people 
and the action of the king were the justices-in-eyre of the 
last two years ; and this is confirmed by the fact that of all 
these eighteen, only six were among the judges who went 
on circuit in 1178 and 1179, while from 11 80 on wards 
only one of them reappears in that capacity, though many 
of them retained their functions in the Exchequer. In 
1178 and 1179 moreover the circuits were reduced from 
six to two, each being served by four judges. 1 The enact- 
ment of 1 178, however, evidently touched the central as 
well as the provincial judicature, and with more important 
results. It took the exercise of the highest judicial functions ") 
out of the hands of the large body of officers who made up 
the Curia Regis as constituted until that time, and re- 
stricted it to a small chosen committee. This was appar- 
ently the origin of a limited tribunal which, springing up thus 
within the Curia Regis, soon afterwards appropriated its 
name, and in later days grew into the Court of King's 
Bench. At the same time the reservation of difficult 
cases for the hearing of the king in council points to the 
creation, or rather to the revival, of a yet higher court of 
justice, that of the king himself in council with his "wise 
men " a phrase which, while on the one hand it carries 
us back to the very earliest form of the Curia Regis, 
on the other points onward to its later developements 
in the modern tribunals of equity or of appeal, the 
courts of Chancery and of the Privy Council in its judicial 
capacity. 2 

All these changes in the circuits and in the Curia Regis 
had however another motive. The chief obstacle to Henry's 
judicial and legal reforms was the difficulty of getting them 
administered according to the intention of their author. It 
was to meet this difficulty that Henry, as a contemporary 
writer says, "while never changing his mind, was ever 
changing his ministers." 3 He had employed men chosen 

1 Stubbs, Gesta Hen. , vol. ii. , pref. p. Ixxi and note 2. 

2 Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. pp. 486, 487, 601-603; Gesta Hen., vol. ii. 
pref. pp. Ixxi, Ixxiv-lxxvii. 

"Sic animum a proposito non immutans, circa personas mutabiles immut- 


from every available class of society in turn, and none of 
his experiments had altogether brought him satisfaction. 
Feudal nobles, court officials, confidential servants and 
friends, had all alike been tried and, sooner or later, found 
wanting. 1 There was only one who had never yet failed 
him in a service of twenty-five years' duration Richard de 
Lucy "the loyal"; but in the summer of 1179 Richard de 
Lucy, to his master's great regret, resigned his office of 
justiciar and retired to end his days a few months later as a 
brother of an Augustinian house which he had founded at 
Lesnes in Kent to the honour of S. Thomas of Canterbury. 2 
Henry in this extremity fell back once more upon a pre- 
cedent of his grandfather's time and determined to place the 
chief administration, for the moment at least, again in 
clerical hands. Instead of a single justiciar-bishop, how- 
ever, he appointed three the bishops of Winchester, 
Ely and Norwich ; 3 all of whom, under their earlier 
appellations of Richard of Ilchester, Geoffrey Ridel and 
John of Oxford, had long ago acquired ample experience 
and shewn ample capacity for the work of secular administr- 
ation. 4 

This arrangement was however only provisional. The 
number of judicial circuits was again raised to four, and to 
each of the three southern circuits was despatched one of the 
justiciar-bishops, with a royal clerk and three laymen to act 
as his subordinate assistants. The fourth circuit, which 
took in the whole district between the Trent and the Scottish 
border, was intrusted to six justices, of whom only two were 
clerks ; one of these, Godfrey de Lucy the archdeacon of 
Richmond, a brother of the late chief justiciar, stood nomin- 

abilem semper ssepe mutavit sententiam." R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 434 
part of a long passage which sets forth very fully the motives and the general 
aims and results of Henry's administrative changes. 

1 R. Diceto as above, pp. 434-435. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 238. Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 
190. 3 R. Diceto as above, p. 435. 

* Richard of Ilchester is well known as an active official of the Exchequer ; 
see below, pp. 193, 194. Geoffrey Ridel seems to have acted as vice-chancellor 
throughout S. Thomas's primacy and exile ; see Eyton, Itin. Hen. //., p. 1 74, 
note i. As for John of Oxford, his diplomatic talents are only too notorious. 


ally at the head of the commission ; but there can be little 
doubt that its real head was one of his lay colleagues Ralf 
de Glanville, 1 the faithful sheriff of Lancashire and castellan 
of Richmond to whom William the Lion had given up his 
sword at Alnwick in 1174 ; 2 and these six were appointed 
to form the committee for hearing the complaints of the 
people, apparently in succession to the five who had been 
selected in the previous year. 3 All four bodies of judges 
brought up a report of their proceedings to the king at 
Westminster on August 2/, 4 and it seems to have been the 
most satisfactory which he had yet received. When he 
went over sea in the following April, he left Ralf de Glan- 
ville to represent him in England as chief justiciar. 5 Ralf's 
business capacities proved to be at least as great, and his 
honesty as stainless, as those of his predecessor ; and from 
that time forth the management of the entire legal and 
judicial administration was left in his hands. Circuits, 
variously distributed, continued to be made from year to 
year and for divers purposes by companies of judges, rang- 
ing in total numbers from three to twenty-two ; 6 while the 
King's Court and the Exchequer pursued their work on the 
lines already laid down, without further interruption, till the 
end of Henry's reign. / 

The last of Henry's great legal measures, with the excep- 
tion of a Forest Assize issued in 1 1 84, was an ordinance 
published in the autumn of 1 1 8 1 and known as the Assize 
of Arms. Its object was to define more fully and exactly 
the military obligations of the people at large in the service 
of the king and the defence of the country ; in a word, to 
put once again upon a more definite footing the old institu- 

1 See the lists in Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 238, 239 ; Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 190, 191. 

~ Jordan Fantosme, v. 1811 (Michel, p. 82). 

"Isti sex sunt justitiae in curia regis constituti ad audiendum clamores 
populi." Gesta Hen. as above, p. 239. See on this Stubbs, Gesta Hen., vol. ii. 
pref. p. Ixxiii, and Constit. Hist., vol. i. pp. 60 1, 602. 

4 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vok i. p. 436. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, p. 215. 

6 See notices of the circuits and of the sessions of the Curia Regis and Ex- 
chequer in Eyton, Itin. Hen. II., pp. 236, 237, 243, 244, 247, 248, 249, 251, 
2 53, 258, 259, 265, 272, 273, 281, 291. 



tion of the " fyrd," which was the only effective counterpoise 
to the military power of the barons, and whose services in 
1173 and 1174 had proved it to be well worthy of the 
royal consideration and encouragement. The Assize of 1 1 8 1 
declared the obligation of bearing arms at the king's com- 
mand to be binding upon every free layman in the realm. 
The character of the arms with which men of various ranks 
were required to provide themselves was defined according 
to a graduated scale, from the full equipment of the knight 
down to the mail-coat, steel-cap and spear of the burgher 
and the simple freeman. 1 The justices were directed to 
ascertain, through the " lawful men " of the hundreds and 
towns, what persons fell under each category, to enroll their 
names, read out the Assize in their presence, and make them 
swear to provide themselves with the proper accoutrements 
before S. Hilary's day. 2 Every man's arms were to be care- 
fully kept and used solely for the royal service ; they were 
not to be taken out of the country, or alienated in any way ; 3 
at their owner's death they were to pass to his heir ; 4 if any 
man possessed other arms than those required of him by the 
Assize, he was to dispose of them in such a manner that 
they might be used in the king's service ; 5 and all this was 
enforced by a stern threat of corporal punishment upon 
defaulters. 6 

The freemen who were armed under this Assize had 
little occasion to use their weapons so long as King Henry 
lived. Within the four seas of Britain there was almost 
unbroken peace till the end of his reign. The treaty with 
Scotland was ratified by the public homage of William the 
Lion to Henry and his son at York on August I o, 1175 ; 7 
and thenceforth Henry's sole trouble from that quarter was 
the necessity of arbitrating between William and his unruly 

1 Ass. Arms, cc. 1-3 (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 154; from Gesta ffen., 
vol. i. pp. 278-280. The ^ Assize is also given by Rog. Howden, vol. ii. pp. 
261, 262). 

2 Ib. cc. 9 and 4 (Stubbs as above, pp. 155, 156, 154). 

3 Ib. cc. 4, 8 (pp. 154, 155)- 4 Ib. c. 5 (p. 155). 

5 Ib. cc. 6, 7 (as above). 6 Ib. c. 10 (p. 156). 

7 Gesta Hen. (as above), pp. 94-96. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 79. 
Cf. Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 38 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 198). 


vassals in Galloway, 1 and of advising him in his ecclesiastical 
difficulties with the Roman see. The western border of 
England was less secure than the northern ; yet even in 
Wales the authority of the English Crown had made a con- 
siderable advance since Henry's accession. His first Welsh 
war, directed against the princes of North Wales in 1157, 
had little practical result. A second expedition marched in 
1163 against Rees Ap-Griffith, prince of South Wales, and 
a lucky incident at the outset insured its success. Directly 
in the king's line of march from Shrewsbury into South 
Wales, between Wenlock and Newport, there ran a streamlet 
called Pencarn a mountain-torrent passable only at certain 
points. One of these was an ancient ford concerning which 
a prophecy attributed to the enchanter Merlin declared : 
" When ye shall see a strong man with a freckled face rush 
in upon the Britons, if he cross the ford of Pencarn, then 
know ye that the might of Cambria shall perish." The 
Welsh guarded this ford with the utmost care to prevent 
Henry from crossing it ; he, ignorant of the prophecy, sent 
his troops over by another passage, and was about to follow 
them himself, when a loud blast from their trumpets on the 
opposite bank caused his horse to rear so violently that he 
was obliged to turn away and seek a means of crossing else- 
where. He found it at the fatal spot, and as the Welsh saw 
him dash through the stream their hearts sank in despair. 2 
He marched unopposed from one end of South Wales to 
the other, through Glamorgan and Carmarthen as far as 
Pencader ; 3 here Rees made his submission ; 4 and Rees 
himself, Owen of North Wales, and several other Welsh 
princes appeared and swore allegiance to King Henry and 
his heir in that famous council of Woodstock where the 
first quarrel arose between Henry and Thomas of Canter- 
bury. 5 

1 On the Galloway affair see Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 67, 68, 79, 80, 99, 
126, 313, 336, 339, 348, 349; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 63, 69, 105, 
2 99> 39- ' Gir. Cambr. Itin. Kambr. 1. i. c. 6 (Dimock, vol. vi. pp. 62, 63). 

3 Ib. 1. ii. c. 10 (p. 138). 

4 Ann. Cambr. a. 1164 (Williams, p. 49). Brut y Tywys., a. 1162 (Williams, 
p. 199). Both dates are self- evidently wrong ; the only possible one is the inter- 
mediate year. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 311. 


Next year Rees, provoked as he alleged by Henry's non- 
fulfilment of his promises and also by the shelter given to 
the slayer of his nephew by Earl Roger of Clare, harried the 
whole border and roused all Wales to fling off the yoke of 
the " Frenchmen," as the Welsh still called their Norman 
conquerors. 1 Henry was obliged to delay his vengeance till 
the following summer, when it furnished him with an 
excellent pretext for escaping from his ecclesiastical and 
political entanglements on the continent. 2 He set out from 
Oswestry 3 at the head of a vast army drawn from all parts 
of his dominions, both insular and continental, and reinforced 
by Flemish and Scottish allies. 4 All the princes of Wales 
were arrayed against him, and both parties intended the 
campaign to be decisive. But the wet climate of the Welsh 
hills proved a more dangerous foe than the mountaineers 
themselves ; and after remaining for some time encamped at 
Berwen, Henry was compelled to beat an ignominious 
retreat, completely defeated by the ceaseless rain, 5 and 
venting his baffled wrath against the Welsh in a savage 
mutilation of their hostages. 6 For six years after this, as we 
have seen, he never had time to visit his island realm at all, 
and the daring " French " settlers in Wales or on its borders, 
such as the Geraldines or the De Clares, were free to fight 
their own battles and make their own alliances with the 
Welsh just as they chose ; it was not till Henry in 1171 
followed them to their more distant settlement in Ireland 
that he again entered South Wales. Then he used his 

1 Ann. Cambr. a. 1165 (Williams, pp. 49, 50). Brut y Tywys., a. 1163 (Will- 
iams, p. 199). 2 See above, p. 56, note 3. 

3 Ann. Cambr. a. 1166 (i.e. 1165 ; Williams, p. 50). Brut y Ty^uys., a. 1164 
(Williams, p. 201). Gir. Cambr. Itin. Kambr., 1. ii. c. 10 (Dimock, vol. vi. p. 
138). According to the Brut (as above) Henry first "moved an army with ex- 
treme haste, and came to Rhuddlan, and purposed to erect a castle there, and 
stayed there three nights. After that he returned into England, and collected a 
vast army," etc. Following this, Mr. Bridgeman {Princes of S. Wales, p. 48) and 
Mr. Eyton {Itin. Hen. //., pp. 79, 82) divide the Welsh campaign of 1165 into 
two, one in May and the other in July. Neither the Ann. Cambr. nor Gerald, 
however, make any mention of the Rhuddlan expedition. 

4 Ann. Cambr. and Brut y Tywys. as above. 

5 Brut y Tywys., a. 1164 (Williams, pp. 201, 203). 

6 Ibid. (p. 203). Chron. Mailros a. 1165. 


opportunity for a series of personal interviews with Rees, 1 
which ended in a lasting agreement. Rees was left, in the 
phrase of his native chronicler, as the king's "justice" over 
all South Wales. 2 How far he maintained, along the border 
or within his own territories, the peace and order whose 
preservation formed the main part of an English justiciar's 
duty, may be doubted ; but in the rebellion of 1174 he 
shewed his personal loyalty to the king by marching all the 
way into Staffordshire to besiege Tutbury for him, and some 
of his followers did equally good service in the suppression 
of the Norman revolt. 3 David of North Wales, too, if he 
did nothing to help the king, at least resisted the temptation 
of joining his enemies ; and the war was no sooner fairly 
over than, anxious that some reflection of the glories of 
English royalty should be cast over his own house, he became 
an eager suitor for the hand of Henry's half-sister Emma 
a suit which Henry found it politic to grant. 4 A few months 
later, in June 1175, the king made an attempt to secure the 
tranquillity of the border by binding all the barons of the 
district in a sworn mutual alliance for its defence. 5 The 
attempt was not very successful ; the border-warfare went on 
in much the same way as of old ; but it was not till the 
summer of 1 1 84 that it grew serious enough to call for 
Henry's personal intervention, and then a march to Worcester 
sufficed to bring Rees of South Wales once more to his 
feet. 6 

It was the latest-won dependency of the English crown 
which during these years gave the most trouble to its wearer. 
If Henry found it hard to secure fit instruments for the 
work of government and administration in England, he 
found it harder still to secure them for the same work in 
Ireland. At the outbreak of the barons' revolt he had at 
once guarded against all danger of the rebels finding support 
in Ireland by recalling the garrisons which he had left in the 

1 See Brut y Tywys., a. 1171, 1172 (Williams, pp. 213-219). 

2 Ib, a. 1172 (p. 219). 3 See above, p. 164. 

4 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 397, 398. 

5 At the council held at Gloucester on June 29. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. 
P- 92. 6 Ib. p. 314. 


Irish coast-towns and summoning the chief men of the new 
vassal state, particularly Richard of Striguil and Hugh de 
Lacy, to join him personally in Normandy. 1 Richard served 
him well in the war as commandant of the important border- 
fortress of Gisors ; 2 and it may have been as a reward for 
these services that he was sent back to Ireland as governor 
in Hugh's stead 3 at the close of the year. For the next 
two years, while the king had his hands full in Normandy 
and England, matters in Ireland went much as they had 
gone before his visit there; the Norman -English settlers 
pursued their strifes and their alliances with their Irish 
neighbours or with each other, and granted out to their 
followers the lands which they won, entirely at their own 
pleasure. 4 But the lesson which Henry was meanwhile 
teaching their brethren in England was not thrown away 
upon them ; and at the close of 1175 it was brought home 
to them in another way. Roderic O'Conor, moved as it 
seems by the fame of Henry's successes, and also perhaps 
by two papal bulls Adrian's famous " Laudabiliter," and 
another from the reigning Pope Alexander which Henry 
had lately caused to be published at Waterford, 5 at last bent 
his stubborn independence to send three envoys to the 
English king with overtures for a treaty of peace. The 
treaty was signed at Windsor on October 6. Roderic sub- 
mitted to become Henry's liegeman, and to pay him a yearly 
tribute of one hide " pleasing to the merchants " for every 
ten head of cattle throughout Ireland ; on these conditions 
he was confirmed in the government and administration of 
justice over the whole island, except Leinster, Meath and 
Waterford, and authorized to reckon upon the help of the 
royal constables in compelling the obedience of his vassals 
and collecting from them their share of the tribute. 6 

1 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 136-141. Cf. above, p. 145. 

2 Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), p. 137. 

3 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. i. c. 44 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 298). 

4 For the history of these years in Ireland see Four Masters, a. 1173-1175 
(O'Donovan, vol. iii. pp. 9-23); Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. ii. cc. 1-4 
(Dimock, vol. v. pp. 308-314); Anglo-Norm. Poem (Michel), pp. 142 to end. 

8 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 5 (pp. 315-319). 

6 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 101-103. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. 
pp. 83, 84. 


This scheme might perhaps have answered at least as 
well as a similar plan had answered during a few years in 
South Wales, had it not been for the disturbed condition of 
the English settlement. The death of Richard of Striguil 
in 1176* left the command in the hands of his brother-in- 
law and constable, Raymond the Fat, who for some years 
had been not only the leader of his forces, but also his chief 
adviser and most indispensable agent in all matters political 
and military. 2 A jealous rival, however, had already brought 
Raymond into ill repute at court, 3 and the king's seneschal 
William Fitz-Aldhelm was sent to supersede him. 4 William 
appears to have been a loyal servant of the king, but his 
tact and wisdom did not equal his loyalty. At the moment 
of landing his suspicions were aroused by the imposing dis- 
play of armed followers with which Raymond came to meet 
him ; the muttered words which he incautiously suffered to 
escape his lips " I will soon put an end to all this ! " were 
enough to set all the Geraldines against him at once ; and 
the impolitic haste and severity with which he acted upon 
his suspicions, without waiting to prove their justice, 5 drove 
the whole body of the earlier settlers into such a state of 
irritation that early in the next year Henry found it necess- 
ary to recall him. 6 Meanwhile the aggressive spirit of the 
English settlers had made Henry's treaty with Roderic almost 
a dead letter. In defiance of the rights which that treaty 
reserved to the Irish monarch, they had profited by the 
mutual dissensions of the lesser native chieftains to extend 
their own power far beyond the limits therein laid down. A 
civil war in Munster had ended in its virtual subjugation by 
Raymond and his Geraldine kinsfolk ; 7 a like pretext had 

1 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. ii. c. 14 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 332). R. 
Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 407. Four Masters, a. 1176 (O'Donovan, vol. iii. p. 
25). Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 125. 

2 Gir. Cambr. as above, cc. 1-3 (pp. 308-313). 

3 Ib. cc. 10, ii (pp. 327, 328). 

4 Gesta Hen. as above. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 100. 

5 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 15 (pp. 334-337). 

6 Ib. c. 20 (p. 347). Gerald gives no date for the recall of William ; but it 
seems to have been before the nomination of John as king of Ireland in May 1177 ; 
see below, p. 184. 

7 Gir. Cambr. as above, cc. 7, 12, 13 (pp. 320-323, 329-332). 


served for an invasion of Connaught itself by Miles Cogan ; l 
John de Courcy was in full career of conquest in Ulster. 2 
Henry could scarcely have put a stop to all this, even had 
he really wished to do so ; and by this time he was probably 
more inclined to encourage any extension of English power 
in Ireland, for he had devised a new scheme for the govern- 
ment of that country. 

The bride of John " Lackland," Alice of Maurienne, had 
died within a year of her betrothal. 3 The marriage-contract 
indeed provided that in case of such an event her sister 
should take her place ; but the connexion had begun too 
inauspiciously for either Henry or Humbert to have any 
desire of renewing it ; and Henry now saw a possibility of 
more than repairing within his insular dominions the ill-luck 
which had befallen his plans of advancement on the con- 
tinent for his favourite child. In the autumn of 1 176 John 
was betrothed to his cousin Avice, the youngest of the three 
daughters of Earl William of Gloucester, and Avice was 
made heiress to the whole of the vast estates in the west of 
England and South Wales which her father had inherited 
from his parents, Earl Robert of Gloucester and Mabel of 
Glamorgan. 4 But a mere English earldom, however im- 
portant, was not enough to satisfy Henry's ambition for his 
darling. In his scheme Avice's wealth was to furnish her 
bridegroom with the means of supporting a loftier dignity. 
He had now, it was said, obtained Pope Alexander's leave 
to make king of Ireland whichever of his sons he might 
choose. On the strength of this permission he seems to 
have reverted to his original scheme of conquering the whole 
island. 5 In May 1177 he publicly announced his intention 
of bestowing the realm of Ireland upon his youngest son John, 

1 Four Masters, a. 1177 (O'Donovan, vol. iii. p. 35). Ann. Loch Ce, a. 1177 
(Hennessy, vol. i. p. 155). Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., 1. ii. c. 19 (Dimock, 
vol. v. p. 346). 

2 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 17 (pp. 338-343). Four Masters, as above, pp. 29-33. 
Ann. Loch Ce, as above, pp. 155-157. Gesta Hen, (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 137, 138 
Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 120. 

3 Art de verifier Us Dates ', vol. xvii. p. 165. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 124. Rog. Howden as above, p. 100. Cf. R. 
Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 415. 5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 161. 



FIR A\NJ 1 11 Ul ^Gi y) NJ BIT 

cir.US 0. 

nl the frowtk of the 
Empire from the time ofFiflkthjeBlack. 

Jx/ou 982, Tourawe JO^t^,Jfame 2W.Nbrmanclp21?t>t, 
Aquttauw and, &asconyH52 ,EnglandJ25<t,]fante5215 & ', 
guercy '216 '0,Britcainy '2169, Ovwlorclsfap of Toulouse 

E N G L A N D 

^1^1 SafoLDffmcdn, (France.). 
~House ofS? GttUs (Xau- 


and parcelled out the southern half of the country among 
a number of feudal tenants, who did homage for their new 
fiefs to him and John in a great council at Oxford. 1 As 
however John was too young to undertake the government 
in person, his father was again compelled to choose a viceroy. 
He fell back upon his earliest choice and re-appointed Hugh 
de Lacy ; 2 and with the exception of a temporary disgrace in 
ii8i, 3 it was Hugh who occupied this somewhat thankless 
office during the next seven years. With the internal 
history of Ireland during his administration and throughout 
the rest of Henry's reign we are not called upon to deal 
here ; for important as are its bearings upon the history of 
England, their importance did not become apparent till a 
much later time than that of the Angevin kings. 

It is during these years of prosperity and peace that we 
are able to get the clearest view of the scope and aims of 
Henry's general scheme of home and foreign policy. That 
policy, when fully matured in its author's mind, formed a 
consistent whole ; it was however made up of two distinct 
parts, originating in the twofold position of Henry himself. 
His empire extended from the western shores of Ireland to 
the Cevennes, and from the northernmost point of the main- 
land of Britain to the Pyrenees. But this empire was com- 
posed of a number of separate members over which his 
authority differed greatly in character and degree. These 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 162-165. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. 

PP- I33-I35- 

2 The Gesta Hen. as above, p. 161, seem to imply that the appointment 
was given to Hugh of Chester. After relating the earl's restoration to his lands 
and honours, they add: " Et postea praecepit ei [rex] ut iret in Hiberniam ad 
subjiciendum earn sibi et Johanni filio suo . . . et pracepit prsedicto comiti ut 
debellaret reges et potentes Hibernise qui subjectionem ei facere noluerunt." 
Hugh de Lacy is named simply in the general list of whose who were to accom- 
pany him. But Gerald (Expugn. Hibern., 1. ii. c. 20, Dimock, vol. v. p. 347), 
says that Hugh de Lacy was re-appointed viceroy at this time. That he acted as 
such for the next seven years is certain, while there is, as far as I know, no in- 
dication that his namesake of Chester ever was in Ireland at all. It seems therefore 
that either the earl refused the office or the king changed his mind or the author 
of the Gesta, confused by the identity of Christian names, has substituted one 
Hugh for another. 

3 When he was superseded for about half a year by John de Vesci (the con- 
stable of Chester) and Richard de Pec. Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 23 (pp. 355, 
356). Gesta Hen. as above, p. 270. 


members, again, fell into two well-marked groups. Over 
the one group Henry ruled as supreme head ; no other 
sovereign had ever claimed to be his superior, none now 
claimed to be even his equal, within the British Isles. In 
the other group, however, he had at least a nominal superior 
in the king of France. It was impossible to deal with these 
two groups of states on one and the same principle ; and 
Henry had never attempted to do so. The one group had 
its centre in England, the other in Anjou. As a necessary 
consequence, Henry's policy had also two centres throughout 
his reign. The key to it as a whole lies in its blending of 
two characters united in one person, yet essentially distinct : 
the character of the king of England and supreme lord of 
the British Isles, and the character of the head of the house 
of Anjou. Henry himself evidently kept the two characters 
distinct in his own mind. His policy as king of England, 
however little it may have been consciously aimed at such a 
result and we should surely be doing a great injustice to 
Henry's sagacity if we doubted that it was so aimed, at least 
in some degree certainly tended to make England a strong 
and independent national state, with its vassal states, Scotland, 
Wales and Ireland, standing around it as dependent allies. 
If he had ever for a moment dreamed of reducing his insular 
dominions to a mere subject-province of the empire which he 
was building up in Gaul, when he thought of intrusting their 
government to his boy-heir under the guardianship of Thomas, 
that dream had been broken at once and for ever by the 
quarrel which deprived the child of his guardian and the 
king of his friend. But, on the other hand, Henry certainly 
never at any time contemplated making his continental 
empire a mere dependency of the English crown. It was 
distinctly an Angevin empire, with its centre in the spot 
whence an Angevin count had been promised of old that the 
sway of his descendants should spread to the ends of the 
earth. Henry in short had another work to carry on be- 
sides that of Cnut and William and Henry I. He had to 
carry on also the work of Fulk the Black and Geoffrey 
Martel and Fulk V.; and although to us who know how 
speedy was to be its overthrow that work looks a compar- 


atively small matter, yet at the time it may well have seemed 
equally important with the other in the eyes both of Henry 
and of his contemporaries. While what may be called the 
English thread in the somewhat tangled skein of Henry's life 
runs smoothly and uneventfully on from the year 1175 to 
the end, it is this Angevin thread which forms the clue to 
the political and personal, as distinguished from the social 
and constitutional, interest of all the remaining years of his 
reign. And from this interest, although its centre is at 
Angers, England is not excluded. For the whole con- 
tinental relations of Henry were coloured by his position as 
an English king ; and the whole foreign relations of England, 
from his day to our own, have been coloured by the fact 
that her second King Henry was also head of the Angevin 
house when that house was at the height of its continental 
power and glory. 

The prophecy said to have been made to Fulk the 
Good was now literally fulfilled. The dominions of his 
posterity reached to the uttermost ends of the known world. 
In the far east, one grandson of Fulk V. ruled over the little 
strip of Holy Land which formed the boundary of Christen- 
dom against the outer darkness of unexplored heathendom. 
In the far west, another of Fulk's grandsons was, formally at 
least, acknowledged overlord of the island beyond which, in 
the belief of those days, lay nothing but a sea without a 
shore. Scarcely less remarkable, however, was the fulfil- 
ment of the prediction in a narrower sense. The whole 
breadth of Europe and the whole length of the Mediter- 
ranean sea parted the western from the eastern branch of 
the Angevin house. But in Gaul itself, the Angevin 
dominion now stretched without a break from one end of 
the land to the other. The Good Count's heir held in his 
own hands the whole Gaulish coast-line from the mouth of 
the Somme to that of the Bidassoa, and he could almost 
touch the Mediterranean Sea through his vassal the count of 
Toulouse. Step by step the lords of the little Angevin 
march had enlarged their borders till they enclosed more 
than two -thirds of the kingdom of France. Fulk Nerra 
and Geoffrey Martel had doubled their possessions by the 


conquest of Touraine to the south-east ; Fulk V. had tripled 
them by the annexation of Maine to the northward ; Geoffrey 
Plantagenet's marriage with the heiress of Normandy had 
brought him to the shores of the English Channel. The 
whole series of annexations and conquests whereby his son 
expanded his continental dominions to the extent which they 
covered thirty years after Geoffrey's death resulted simply 
from a continuation of the same policy which, a century and 
a half before, had laid the foundations of the Angevin empire. 
Count Henry Fitz- Empress stood in a figure, like Count 
Fulk the Black, upon the rock of Angers, looked around 
over his marchland and its borders, noted every point at 
which those borders might be strengthened, rounded off or 
enlarged, and set himself to the pursuit of Fulk Nerra's work 
in Fulk Nerra's own spirit For such a survey indeed he 
needed a more wide-reaching vision than even that of the 
Black Falcon. The work had altered vastly in scale since it 
left the " great builder's " hands ; but it had not changed in 
character. Henry's policy in Gaul was essentially the same 
as Fulk's a policy of consolidation, rather than of conquest 
He clearly never dreamed, as a man of less cautious ambition 
might well have done in his place, of pitting the whole 
strength of his continental and insular dominions against that 
of the French Crown in a struggle for the mastery of Gaul ; 
he seems never to have dreamed even of trying to free himself 
from his feudal obedience to a sovereign far inferior to him 
in territorial wealth and power ; he never, so far as we can 
see, aspired to stand in any other relation to the French 
king than that which had been held by his forefathers. 
He aimed in fact simply at compacting and securing his 
own territories in Gaul, and maintaining the rank of the head 
of the Angevin house, as the most influential vassal of the 
Crown. If he ever saw, on a distant horizon, a vision of 
something greater than this, he kept his dream to himself and, 
like Fulk of old, left his successors to attempt its fulfilment 
An ambition so moderate as this entailed no very com- 
plicated schemes of foreign diplomacy. As a matter of fact, 
Henry was at some time or other in his reign in diplomatic 
relations with every state and every ruler in Christendom, 


from Portugal to Norway, and from the count of Montferrat 
to the Eastern and Western Emperors. But these relations 
sprang for the most part from his insular rather than from 
his continental position ; or, more exactly, they arose from 
his position as a king of England, but a king far mightier 
than any who had gone before him. It was the knowledge 
that Henry had at his back all the forces of the island-crown 
which roused in Louis VII. such a restless jealousy of his 
power in Gaul ; and it was the jealousy of Louis which 
drove Henry into a labyrinth of diplomacy and of war, 
neither of which was a natural result of Henry's own policy. 
A very brief glance at Henry's foreign relations will suffice 
to shew that they concerned England far more than Anjou. 
A considerable part of them arose directly out of his quarrel 
with the English primate. Such was the case with his 
German and Italian alliances, designed to counterbalance 
the French king's league with the Pope. The alliances 
formed through the marriages of his daughters were all 
strictly alliances made by the English Crown. The im- 
mediate occasion of Matilda's marriage with Henry of 
Saxony was her father's quarrel with S. Thomas ; in another 
point of view, this union was only a natural continuation of 
a policy which may be traced through the wedding of her 
grandmother with Henry V. and that of Gunhild with Henry 
III. back to the wedding of ^Ethelstan's sister Eadgifu with 
Charles the Simple. The marriages of Eleanor and Jane 
were first planned during the same troubled time ; in each 
case the definite proposal came from the bridegroom, and 
came in the shape of an humble suit to the king of England 
for his daughter's hand ; and in the case of all three sisters, 
the proposal was laid before a great council of the bishops 
and barons of England, and only accepted after formal 
deliberation upon it with them, as upon a matter which con- 
cerned the interests of England as a state. 1 When Jane 
went to be married to the king of Sicily in 1 1 76, the details 

1 On the marriages of Matilda and Eleanor see above, pp. 55, 59, 60, and the 
references there given ; on that of Jane, Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 116, 117; 
Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 94; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 408 : Rymer, 
Feeder a, vol. i. p. 32. 


of her journey to her new home and of the honours which 
she received on her arrival there were recorded in England 
as matters of national interest and national pride. 1 When 
in the following year her sister Eleanor's husband, Alfonso 
of Castille, submitted a quarrel between himself and his 
kinsman the king of Navarre to his father-in-law's arbitr- 
ation, the case was heard in an assembly of the English 
barons and wise men at Westminster. 2 Henry's daughters 
in short were instruments of his regal, his national, his 
English policy ; for the carrying out of his Angevin, his 
family policy, he looked to his sons. 

The arrangement by which he endeavoured to make 
them carry it out is however not very easy to understand or 
to account for. He had long since abandoned his early 
scheme of devoting himself entirely to continental politics 
and making England over to the hands of his eldest son. 
That scheme, indeed, had been frustrated in the first instance 
by his quarrel with Thomas ; although it seemed to have 
been revived in 1 1 70, it was as a mere temporary expedient 
to meet a temporary need ; and the revolt of 1 173 put an 
end to it altogether, by proving clearly to Henry that he 
must never again venture to delegate his kingly power and 
authority to any one, even for a season. But, on the other 
hand, it is not easy at once to see why, during the years 
which followed, he persistently refused to give to his eldest 
son as much real, though subordinate, power on the con- 
tinent as he was willing to give to the younger ones why 
/ young Henry was not suffered to govern Anjou and Nor- 
( mandy as Richard was suffered to govern Aquitaine and 
j Geoffrey to govern Britanny, so soon as they were old 
> enough, under the control of their father as overlord. So 
far as we can venture to guess at the king's motives, the 
most probable reason seems to be that he could not part 
with any share of authority over his ancestral dominions 
without parting at the same time with his ancestral dignities. 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 414, 415, 418; Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. 
pp. 120, 127, 157, 158, 169-172; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 95-98; Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 263-265. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 139-154; Rog. Howden as above, pp. 120, 131. 


From a strictly Angevin or Cenomannian point of view, 
Aquitaine and Britanny were both simply appendages, 
diversely acquired, to the hereditary Angevin and Cenoman- 
nian dominions. Nay, from a strictly Norman point of view, 
England itself was but an addition to the heritage of the 
Norman ducal house. Henry might make over all these to 
his sons as under-fiefs to govern in subjection to him, and 
yet retain intact his position as head of the sovereign houses 
of Normandy and Anjou. But to place his mother's duchy 
and his father's counties in other hands to reduce them to 
the rank of under-fiefs, keeping for himself no closer con- 
nexion with them than a mere general overlordship would 
have been, in principle, to renounce his birthright ; while in 
practice, it would probably have been equivalent to complete 
abdication, as far as his continental empire was concerned. 
Henry would have had as little chance of enforcing his 
claim to overlordship without a territorial basis on which to 
rest it, as a German Emperor without his hereditary duchy of 
Saxony or Franconia or Suabia, or a French king without 
his royal domain. In short, when Henry found it impossible 
to give England to his eldest son, he had nothing else to 
give him, unless he gave him all ; and Henry Fitz-Empress 
was no more inclined than William the Conqueror had been 
to " take off his clothes before he was ready to go to bed." 
All his schemes for the distribution of his territories, there- 
fore, from 1175 onwards, were intended solely to insure a 
fair partition among his sons after his own death ; his 
general aim being that young Henry should step into exactly 
his own position as king of England, duke of Normandy and 
count of Anjou, and overlord of Britanny, Aquitaine, and 
all other dependencies of the Angevin and Norman coronets 
or of the English crown. 

None of the holders of these dependencies, however, 
had as yet entered into full enjoyment of their possessions. 
At the close of their first revolt, in 1175, the young king 
was but just entering his twentieth year; Richard was in his 
eighteenth and Geoffrey in his seventeenth year ; and 
although the one had been titular duke of Aquitaine and 
the other titular duke of Britanny since 1 1 69, the real 


government of both duchies, as well as that of Normandy 
and Anjou, had been until now in the hands of their father. 
For the purposes of our story there is only one part of these 
continental possessions of our Angevin king into whose 
internal concerns we need enter at any great length ; a very 
slight sketch may suffice for the others. The part which lay 
nearest to England, and which politically was most closely 
connected with it the duchy of Normandy was also 
associated with it in many of Henry's legal, constitutional 
and administrative reforms. A comparison of dates indeed 
would almost suggest that Henry, when contemplating a 
great legal or administrative experiment in England, usually 
tried it first in Normandy in order to test its working there 
upon a small scale before he ventured on applying it to his 
island realm. An edict issued at Falaise in the Chri^tmas- 
tide of 1159-1160, ordaining "that no dean should accuse 
any man without the evidence of neighbours who bore a 
good character, and that in the treatment of all causes, the 
magistrates of the several districts at their monthly courts 
should determine nothing without the witness of the neigh- 
bours, should do injustice to no man and inflict nothing to 
the prejudice of any, should maintain the peace, and should 
punish all robbers summarily," 1 seems to contain a fore- 
shadowing at once of some of the Constitutions of Clarendon 
which created such excitement in England four years after- 
wards, and of the Assize which followed two years later still. 
A commission of inquiry into the administration of the 
Norman episcopal sees and viscounties in 1 162 2 was a sort 
of forerunner of the great inquest into the conduct of the 
English sheriffs in 1170. This again was followed next 
year, as we have seen, by an inquiry into the state of the 
ducal forests and demesnes, 3 which has its English parallels 
in the great forest assize of 1 176 and in an inquest into the 
condition of the royal demesnes ordered in the spring of 
1 177.* On the other hand, a roll of the Norman tenants-in- 

1 Contin. Becc. (Delisle, Rob. Torigni, vol. ii. p. 180). Stubbs, Constit. 
Hist., vol. i. pp. 459, 460. 2 Rob. Torigni, a. 1162. 

3 Rob. Torigni, a. 1171. See above, p. 128. 

4 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 138. 


chivalry compiled in 1172 seems to have been modelled 
upon the English " Black Book " of 1 168 ; l and when Henry 
determined to institute a thorough reform in the whole 
Norman administration, it was at the English exchequer- 
table that he found his instrument for the work. In 1176 
William de Courcy, the seneschal of Normandy, died. In 
his stead the king appointed Richard of Ilchester. Richard, 
to judge by his surname, must have been an Englishman by 
birth ; from the second year of Henry's reign he was 
employed as a "writer" in the royal treasury; 2 about 1163 
he was made archdeacon of Poitiers, but his archidiaconal 
functions sat as lightly upon him as upon a contemporary 
whose name is often associated with his, Geoffrey Ridel, 
archdeacon of Canterbury and vice-chancellor; and through- 
out the struggle with Archbishop Thomas he was one of the 
most active agents of Henry's foreign diplomacy. 3 Unlike 
his colleagues Geoffrey Ridel and John of Oxford, he con- 
trived, notwithstanding the ecclesiastical disgrace in which 
he became involved through his dealings with the schismatic 
Emperor and the antipope, to retain the general respect of 
all parties among his fellow-countrymen. 4 Throughout 
the same period, when not absent from England on some 
diplomatic mission, he frequently appears as an acting justice 
of the King's Court and baron of the Exchequer. 5 He 
continued to fulfil the same duties after his elevation to the 
see of Winchester in 1174; and the estimation in which he 
was held is shewn by the fact that on his return from 
Normandy, where he was replaced at the end of two years 

1 See above, p. 125. 

" Tipe Roll 2 Hen. II., pp. 30, 31; 4 Hen. II., pp. 121, 122 (Hunter) ; 5 
Hen. II., p. 20; 6 Hen. II., p. 57; 7 Hen. II., p. 48; 8 Hen. II., p. 21 (Pipe 
Roll Soc.) 3 See the Becket correspondence, passim. 

4 Except, of course, the immediate personal friends of the archbishop, to whom 
he seems to have been even more obnoxious than the "archidiabolus" Geoffrey Ridel 
that is, supposing Mr. Eyton to be right in his theory that Richard of Ilchester 
is the person designated in the private letters of Thomas and his friends as 
"Luscus." Canon Robertson, however, took "Luscus" to mean Richard de 
Lucy ; but the other interpretation seems on the whole more probable. 

5 Madox, Formulare Anglic., p. xix (a. 1165). Eyton, Itin. Hen. 77. , p. 
130 (a. 1 1 68, 1 169). He was one of two custodians of the temporalities of the see 
of Lincoln during the vacancy caused by Bishop Robert's death in 1167 ; ib. p. 
99, note 5, from Pipe Roll 12 Hen. II. 



by William Fitz-Ralf, 1 a special seat was assigned to him at 
the exchequer-table between the presiding justiciar and the 
treasurer, " that he might diligently examine what was 
written on the roll." 2 He was evidently invested with far 
more authority in Normandy than that which usually apper- 
tained to a Norman seneschal authority, in fact, more like 
that of an English justiciar ; indeed, he is actually called 
justiciar, and not seneschal, by contemporary English writers. 3 
His work in the duchy seems to have been moreover specially 
connected with finance ; 4 and we may perhaps venture to see 
a trace of his hand in the organization of the Norman Court 
of Exchequer, which first comes distinctly to light in Henry's 
latter years, its earliest extant roll being that of the year 
1 1 8o. 5 The earlier stages of the legal and administrative 
organization of Normandy are, however, so lost in obscurity 
that neither constitutional lawyers in Henry's day nor con- 
stitutional historians in our own have been able to determine 
the exact historical relation of the Norman system to that 
of England ; 6 and the speedy severance of the political 
connexion between them makes the determination of the 
question, after all, of little practical moment. 

Even more obscure than the internal history of Nor- 
mandy under Henry II. is that of Anjou and of the two 
dependencies which may now be reckoned as one with it, 
Touraine and Maine. There is in his time throughout the 
whole of his dominions, with the marked exception of Eng- 
land, a dearth of historical records. Normandy cannot boast 
of a single historian such as those of the preceding gener- 
ation, Orderic or William of Jumieges ; the only Norman 
chronicle of any importance is that of Robert of Torigny, 
commonly known as " Robert de Monte" from the Mont- 
St.-Michel of which he was abbot ; and even his work is 
nothing more than a tolerably full and accurate chronicle 

1 See Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 100, and the editor's note 3. 

2 Dialog, de Scacc., Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 178; cf. ib. p. 184. 

3 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 124. "Curia sibi totius Normannise 
deputata" says R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 415. 4 R. Diceto as above. 

5 Edited by Mr. Stapleton for the Society of Antiquaries Magni Rotuli 
Scaccarii Normannia, vol. i. 

6 Dial. deScacc. as above, p. 176. Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 438. 


of the old-fashioned type, arranged on the annalistic plan 
" according to the years of our Lord " which William 
of Malmesbury had condemned long ago. The Breton 
chronicles, always meagre, grow more meagre still as the 
years pass on ; the same may be said of the chronicles of 
Tours ; the " Acts of the bishops of Le Mans," our sole 
native authority for the history of Maine, cease to record 
anything save purely ecclesiastical details. In Anjou itself 
the recent aggrandizement of the Angevin house stirred up 
in Henry's early years a spirit of patriotic loyalty which led 
more than one of his subjects to collect the floating popular 
traditions of his race, as the ballads and tales of old Eng- 
land had been collected by Henry of Huntingdon and 
William of Malmesbury, and weave them into a narrative 
which passed for a history of the Angevin counts ; and one 
of these writers supplemented his work with a special memoir 
of Henry's father, Geoffrey duke of the Normans. But the 
reign of Henry himself found no historian in the Marchland ; 
and indeed the half-blank pages of the few monastic chronicles 
which still dragged out a lingering existence in one or two 
of the great Angevin abbeys shew us that under Count 
Henry Fitz-Empress Anjou was once more, as of old under 
Count Fulk the Good, happy in having no history. 

Yet it is there, and there alone, that we can catch a 
glimpse of one side of his character which, if we saw him 
only in England or in Normandy, we should hardly have 
discerned at all. Strange as it seems to us who know him 
in his northern realms only as the enterprising and some- 
what unscrupulous politician, the stern and vigorous ruler, 
the hard-headed statesman, the uncompromising opponent 
of the Church's claims, Henry is yet the one Angevin count 
who completely reproduced in his Marchland, as a living 
reality, the ideal which was represented there by the name 
of the good count-canon of Tours. Fulk the Black and 
Fulk the Fifth had both tried to reproduce it, each according 
to his lights, during those few years when the pressure of 
external politics and warfare left them free to devote their 
energies for a while to their country's internal welfare. But 
Henry's whole reign was, for his paternal dominions, a reign 


of peace. If we drew our ideas of him solely from the 
traces and traditions which he has left behind him there, 
we could never have guessed that he was a greater warrior 
than Fulk Nerra ; we should rather have taken him for a 
quiet prince who, like Fulk the Good, " waged no wars." 
These traces and traditions lie scattered over the soil of 
Anjou, Touraine and Maine as thickly as the traces and the 
traditions of the Black Count himself. Henry is in fact the 
only one of the later Angevin counts who made upon the 
imagination of his people an impression even approaching 
in vividness to that left by Fulk the Black, and of whose 
material works there remains anything which can be com- 
pared with those of the "great builder" of the preceding 
century. But the memory which Anjou has retained of 
Henry differs much in character from that which she has 
kept of Fulk ; and it differs more widely still from that 
which Henry himself has left in his island-realm. In English 
popular tradition he appears simply as the hero of a foolish 
and discreditable romance, or as the man who first caused the 
murder of* S. Thomas and then did penance at his grave ; 
and material traces of him there are literally none, for of his 
English dwelling-places not one stone is left upon another, 
and not a single surviving monument of public utility, 
secular or ecclesiastical, is connected with his name. In 
the valley of the Loire it was far otherwise. There the two 
great Angevin builders share between them the credit of 
well-nigh all the more important monuments which give life 
to the medieval history of the land except the military 
constructions, which belong to Fulk alone. It is not in 
donjons such as that of Loches or Montrichard, but in 
palaces and hospitals, bridges and embankments, that we 
see our Angevin king's handiwork in his own home-lands. 
Almost every one of his many local capitals was adorned 
during his reign with a palace of regal dimensions and 
magnificence, reared by him in place of the lowlier " halls " 
which had served for the dwelling of the merely local rulers 
whom he succeeded. The rebuilding of the ducal palace at 
Rouen was begun in H6I; 1 that of Caen was nearly 

1 Rob. Torigni, a. 1161. 


finished in 1 1 80 ; its hall, which still exists, is the tradi- 
tional seat of the Norman Exchequer. 1 At Tours a round 
tower which still stands in the barrack-yard is the sole sur- 
viving fragment of a castle which Henry is said to have 
built. His favourite abode in Touraine, however, was not 
at Tours but at Chinon, where the little fortress above the 
Vienne which had been the last conquest of Fulk Nerra and 
the lifelong prison of Geoffrey the Bearded grew under 
Henry's hands into a royal retreat of exquisite beauty and 
splendour a gem, even now in its ruin, worthy of its setting 
in the lovely valley of the Vienne, with the background of 
good greenwood which to Henry was probably its greatest 
charm. Angers, again, almost put on a new face in the 
course of Henry's lifetime. In the year before his birth it 
had been visited by a fire which reduced to almost total 
ruin its whole south-western quarter, including the palace of 
the counts, 2 of which nothing but the great hall seems to 
have remained. The work of reconstruction, begun no 
doubt by Geoffrey Plantagenet, was completed on a regal 
scale by his son, and before the close of Henry's reign 
a visitor from England, Ralf de Diceto, could gaze in 
admiration at the " vast palace," with its " newly-built 
apartments, adorned with splendour befitting a king," which 
rose at the foot of the vine-clad hills above the purple stream 
of Mayenne. 3 

But the count-king did not build for himself alone. It 
was, above all, with works of public usefulness that he 
delighted to adorn his realms. His beneficence indeed took 
a different shape from that of his predecessors. Church- 
building and abbey-founding met with little sympathy from 
him ; throughout his whole dominions, only six religious 
houses, in the strict sense, could claim him as their founder ; 
and even one of these was as much military as religious, 
for it was a commandery of knights Templars. 4 But no 

1 Mag. Rot. Scacc. Norm. (Stapleton), vol. i. p. 56. Ib. Observ. pp. xxvii- 
xxviii. 2 Chron. S. Serg. a. 1132 (Marchegay, Eglises d'Anjou, p. 144). 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 292 (Hist. Com. Andeg., Marchegay, Comtes 
d'Anjou, p. 337). 

4 P'ounded in U73> at Vaubourg in the forest of Roumare an old hunting- 
seat of his Norman grandfather; Stapleton, Mag. Rot. Scacc. Norm., vol. i., 


sovereign was ever more munificent in providing for the 
sick and needy. Not only do the Norman Exchequer-rolls 
contain frequent mention of sums set apart out of the ducal 
revenues for the support of lazar-houses and hospitals in the 
chief towns of the several bailiwicks ; x nineteen years before 
the completion of his own palace at Caen, he had founded 
an hospital for lepers outside the walls of the town ; 2 and a 
park and hunting-lodge which he had made for himself in 
the same year, 1161, at Quevilly by Rouen 3 were shortly 
afterwards given up by him to a colony of monks from 
Grandmont in Aquitaine, to be converted under their care 
into another great asylum for victims of the same disease. 4 
At his own native Le Mans, the great hall of an almshouse 

Observ., p. cxli. Of the other houses, three were Austin priories : S. Laurence at 
Beauvoir in the forest of Lions, founded while Henry was still only duke of Nor- 
mandy (ib. p. cxiv) ; Newstead, in Sherwood Forest, founded before 1174 (its 
foundation-charter, dated at Clarendon, has no mention of day or year, but is 
witnessed by "Geoffrey archdeacon of Canterbury," who in 1174 became a 
bishop; Dugdale, Monast. AngL, vol. vi. pt. i. p. 474); and the priory " B. 
Marise Mellinensis," near La Fleche, founded in 1180 (Gall. Christ., vol. xiv. 
col. 600. I cannot identify this place). The other two were Carthusian 
houses, Witham in the forest of Selwood and Le Liget in that of Loches, 
founded respectively in 1174 and 1175. (The date of Le Liget is traditional; 
I cannot find any mention of the place in Gall. Christ. ) Of all these, Witham is 
the only one of any consequence ; and the importance of even Witham lies chiefly 
in its connexion with S. Hugh. (For its history see Magna Vita S. Hugonis, 
Dimock, pp. 52 et seq.} The insignificance of the others is shewn by Gerald's 
account of Henry's religious foundations, in De Instr. Princ., dist. ii. c. 7 (Angl. 
Christ. Soc., pp. 27, 28) an account, however, which is by no means fair. 
Henry on his absolution for S. Thomas's death, in 1172, promised to go on 
a crusade of three years' duration (Rog. Howden, Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 37); this 
undertaking he was afterwards allowed to exchange for a promise that he would 
build three religious houses in his dominions. According to Gerald, he managed 
one of these by turning the nuns out of Amesbury and putting a colony from 
Fontevraud in their place (see Gesta Hen., Stubbs, vol. i. pp. 134-136, 165), and 
another by turning the secular canons out of Waltham and putting regulars in 
their place (ib. pp. 134, 135, 173, 174, 316, 317. Both these transactions took 
place in 1177.) " Tertium vero," says Gerald (as above) "vel nullum, vel simile 
prioribus sibique prorsus inutile fecit ; nisi forte domum conventualem ordinis 
Cartusiensis de Witham, s. modicis sumptibus et exilem, ad hoc fecisse dicatur." 
No doubt Witham was one of the three. But the other two are easily found ; 
they were Newstead and Vaubourg or Le Liget. R. Niger (Anstruther, p. 168) is 
as unjust to Hemy in this matter as Gerald ; but so he is on most others also. 

1 See Stapleton, Mag. Rot. Scacc. Norm., vol. i., Observ., pp. lix., Ixi., Ixvii. 

2 Ib. p. ci. Rob. Torigni, a. 1161. 3 Rob. Torigni, a. 1161. 
4 See Stapleton as above, pp. cxlvi-cxlvii. 


or hospital outside the north-eastern boundary of the city, 
said to have been reared by him for the reception of its 
poor and sick folk, is still to be seen, though long since 
perverted to other uses. At Angers, on the other hand, 
it is only within the last half-century that the sick and 
disabled poor have exchanged for a more modern dwelling 
the shelter provided for them by Henry Fitz- Empress. 
Some time in the quiet years which followed the barons' 
revolt, Stephen, 1 the seneschal of Anjou, bought of the 
abbess and convent of our Lady of Charity at Angers a plot 
of ground which lay between their abbey and the river, and 
on which he designed to build an hospice for. the poor. In 
the last days of 1 180 or the first days of 1 181 the count- 
king took under his own care the work which his seneschal 
had begun, granted to the new hospital a rich endowment in 
lands and revenues, exempted it from secular charges and 
imposts, and won from Pope Alexander a confirmation of its 
spiritual independence. 2 Four priests were appointed to 
minister to the spiritual needs of its inmates ; the care of 
their bodies was undertaken at first, it seems, by some pious 
laymen bound by no special rule ; some years later, however, 
the hospital became, like most other establishments of the 
kind, affiliated to the Order of S. Augustine. 3 The pretty 
little chapel dedicated to S. John the Baptist, and still 
standing, the cloisters and the domestic offices were all 
finished before Henry's death ; 4 while of the two great 
pillared halls which now form the chief architectural glory 
of the suburb, one, the smaller and simpler, is clearly of his 
building ; and the other, more vast and beautiful, is in all 
probability the last legacy of his sons to the home which 
was soon to be theirs no longer. 5 

This Hospice of S. John formed a third with Fulk 
Nerra's abbey of S. Nicolas and Hildegard's nunnery of our 
Lady of Charity in the group of pious and charitable found- 

1 Of Mar9ay or Matha or Turnham ; authorities differ so much as to his 
identity that I dare not venture upon adopting either surname. 

2 C. Port, Cartulaire de V Hopital St. /ean d' Angers, pp. 2-10, ii-vi. 

3 Ib. pp. 11-13. 4 Ib. p. xiv. 

5 On the hospital-buildings see an article by M. D'Espinay in Revue de V Anjou, 
vol. xii. (1874), pp. 264-273. 


ations round which there gathered, on the meadows that 
bordered the right bank of the Mayenne, the suburb now 
known as Ronceray or La Doutre, a suburb which even before 
the close of Henry's reign had grown almost as populous as 
Angers itself, and was actually preferred to it as a residence 
by Ralf de Diceto. 1 Twice in Henry's reign the bridge which 
linked it to the city was destroyed by fire ; 2 the present 
" Grand-Font " probably owes its erection to him. Fire was, 
however, by no means the most destructive element in the 
valleys of the Loire and its tributaries. "Well-nigh disap- 
pearing in summer, choked within their sandy beds," these 
streams were all too apt, as Ralf de Diceto says of the 
Mayenne, to "rage and swell in winter like the sea ;" 3 and 
the greatest and most lasting of all Henry's material bene- 
factions to Anjou was the embankment or " Levee" a work 
which he seems characteristically to have planned and exe- 
cuted in the very midst of his struggle with the Church 4 
which stretches along Loire-side, from Ponts-de-Ce, just 
above the junction of the Mayenne and the Loire, some 
thirty miles eastward to Bourgueil. Further south, in the 
valley of the Vienne, the legend of the " Pont de 1'Annonain" 
illustrates the curious but not altogether unaccountable con- 
fusion which grew up in popular imagination between the 
two great builders of Anjou. The " bridge," a long viaduct 
which stretched from Chinon across river and meadow south- 
westward to the village of Riviere, was in reality built by 
Henry to secure a safe transit from Chinon into Poitou 
across the low ground on the south bank of the Vienne, 
which in rainy seasons was an all but impassable swamp. 
Later ages, however, connected it with a dim tradition, which 
still lingered in the district, of the wonderful night-ride across 
Loire and Vienne whereby Fulk Nerra had won Saumur, 
and in the belief of the peasantry the Pont de 1'Annonain 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 292 (Hist. Com. Andeg., Marchegay, Comtes 
d* Anjou, p. 337). 

- In 1167 and 1177. Chron. S. Serg. a. 1167 and 1177, Chron. S. Albin. a. 
1177 (Marchegay, Eglises d' Anjou, pp. 149, 151, 44). 

3 R. Diceto as above. 

4 It was certainly made before 1169; see Rob. Torigni ad ann. 


became a "devil's bridge," built in a single night by the 
Black Count's familiar demon 1 a demon who is but a 
popular personification of that spirit of dauntless enterprise 
and ceaseless activity which, alike in their material and in 
their political workmanship, was the secret of Henry's 
success no less than of Fulk's. 

One portion, however, of Henry's continental dominions 
has during these years a political and military history of its 
own, which is not without a bearing upon that of our own 
land. Geographically remote as it was from England, still 
more remote in the character of both country and people, 
Aquitaine yet concerns us more than any other part of 
Henry's Gaulish possessions. For not only was it a chief 
source of the political complications which filled the closing 
years of his life ; it was the only one of those possessions 
whose connexion with England survived the fall of the 
Angevin house. The heritages of Geoffrey and Matilda 
were lost by their grandson ; the heritage of Eleanor re- 
mained, in part at least, in the hands of her descendants for 
more than two hundred years. 

It was in truth a dower at once valuable and burden- 
some that Henry had received with his Aquitanian wife. 
She had made him master of a territory whose extent sur- 
passed that of all his Norman and Angevin dominions put 
together, and was scarcely equalled by that of England a 
territory containing every variety of soil and of natural 
characteristics, from the flat, rich pastures of Berry and the 
vineyards of Poitou and Saintonge to the rugged volcanic 
rocks and dark chestnut-woods of Auvergne, the salt marshes, 
sandy dunes, barren heaths and gloomy pine-forests of the 
Gascon coast, and the fertile valleys which open between 
the feet of the Pyrenees : a territory whose population 
differed in blood and speech from their fellow-subjects north 
of Loire almost as widely as Normans and Angevins differed 
from Englishmen ; while in temper and modes of thought 
iind life they stood so apart from the northern world that in 
contradistinction to them Angevins and Normans and 
English might almost be counted, and indeed were almost 

1 See Salies, Foulques-Nerra, note civ. , pp. 429, 430. 


ready to count themselves, as one people. It was a territory, 
too, whose political relations varied as much as its physical 
character, and were full of dangers which all Henry's vigilance 
and wisdom were powerless to guard against or overcome. 
Setting aside, for the moment, the internal difficulties of 
Aquitaine, its whole eastern frontier, from the banks of the 
Cher to the Pyrenees, was more or less in dispute throughout 
his reign. The question of Toulouse, indeed, was settled in 
1 173 ; thenceforth the county of Toulouse, with its northern 
dependencies Rouergue and Alby, became a recognized 
underfief of the Poitevin duchy of Aquitaine, to which its 
western dependency, Quercy or the county of Cahors, had 
been already annexed after the war of 1160. The north- 
eastern portions of the older Aquitania, Berry and Auvergne, 
were sources of more lasting trouble. Berry had long ago 
been split into two unequal portions, of which the larger 
had remained subject to the dukes of Aquitaine, while the 
smaller northern division formed the viscounty of Bourges, 
and was an immediate fief of the French Crown. Naturally, the 
king was disposed to use every opportunity of thwarting the 
duke in the exercise of his authority over southern Berry; 
and Henry was equally desirous to lose no chance of re- 
asserting his ducal rights over Bourges. 1 The feudal position 
of Auvergne was a standing puzzle which king and duke, 
count, clergy and people, all in vain endeavoured to solve. 
During the struggle for supremacy in southern Gaul between 
the houses of Poitiers and Toulouse, Auvergne, after fluc- 
tuating for nearly a hundred years between the rival 
dukedoms, had virtually succeeded in freeing itself from 
the control of both, and in the reign of Louis VI. it seems 
to have been regarded as an immediate fief of the French 
Crown, to which however it proved a most unruly and 
troublesome possession. But the dukes of Aquitaine had 
never relinquished their claim to its overlordship ; and when 
a quarrel broke out between two rival claimants of the 

1 His first attempt to do so was made in 1170, when a pretext was given him 
by the declaration said whether truly or falsely to have been made by the dying 
archbishop Peter of Bourges, that his see belonged of right to Aquitaine. Nothing, 
however, came of the attempt. See Gesta Hen, (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 10, u. 


county, it was naturally followed by a quarrel between Henry 
and Louis VII. as to their respective rights, as overlord and 
as lord paramount, to act as arbiters in the strife. 1 During 
five-and-twenty years it was a favourite device of Louis and 
of his successor, at every adverse crisis in Henry's fortune, 
to despatch a body of troops into Auvergne to occupy that 
country and threaten Aquitaine through its eastern marches, 2 
just as they habitually threatened Normandy through the 
marches of the Vexin. 

Such a threat implied a far more serious danger in the 
south than in the north. The Aquitanian border was guarded 
by no such chain of strongly-fortified, stoutly-manned ducal 
castles as girt in the Norman duchy from Gisors to Tillieres; 
and Henry's hold over his wife's dominions was very different 
from his grasp of the heritage of his mother. Twenty years 
of Angevin rule, which for political purposes had well-nigh 
bridged over the channel that parted England from Gaul, 
seem to have done nothing towards bridging over the gulf 
that parted Aquitaine from France and Anjou. If our 
Angevin king sometimes looks like a stranger amongst us, 
he was never anything but a stranger among the fellow- 
countrymen of his wife. Nowhere throughout his whole 
dominions was a spirit of revolt and insubordination so rife 
as among the nobles of Poitou and its dependencies ; but it 
was a spirit utterly unlike the feudal pride of the Norman 
baronage. The endless strife of the Aquitanian nobles with 
their foreign duke and with each other sprang less from 
political motives than from a love of strife for its own sake ; 
and their love of strife was only one phase of the passion 
for adventure and excitement which ran through every fibre 
of their nature and coloured every aspect of their social life. 
The men of the south lived in a world where the most 
delicate poetry and the fiercest savagery, the wildest moral 
and political disorder, and the most refined intellectual 
culture, mingled together in a confusion as picturesque as it 

1 See Rob. Torigni, a. 1167. 

2 E.g. in 1164 (Ep. lx., Robertson. Becket, vol. v. p. 115), 1167 (above, p. 58 ; 
Rob. Torigni ad ann.\ 1170 (Will. Fitz-Steph., Robertson, Becket, vol. iii. p. 116 ; 
Ep. dccxxii., ib. vol. vii. p. 400), and again in 1188. 


was dangerous. The southern warrior was but half a knight 
if the sword was his only weapon if he could not sing his 
battles as well as fight them. From raid and foray and 
siege he passed to the " Court of Love," where the fairest 
and noblest women of the land, from the duchess herself 
downwards, presided over contests of subtle wit, skilful rime 
and melodious song, conducted under rules as stringent and 
with earnestness as deep as if life and death were at stake 
upon the issue; and in truth they sometimes were at stake, 
for song, love and war all mingled together in the troubadour's 
life in an inextricable coil which the less subtle intellects of 
the north would have been powerless to unravel or compre- 
hend. The sirvente or poetical satire with which he stung 
his enemies into fury or roused the slumbering valour of his 
friends often wrought more deadly mischief than sharp steel 
or blazing firebrand. The nature of the men of the south 
was like that of their country : it was made up of the most 
opposite characteristics of the lightest fancies, the stormiest 
passions, the most versatile capabilities of body and mind, 
the most indolent love of ease and pleasure, the most restless 
and daring valour, the highest intellectual refinement and the 
lowest moral degradation. It was a nature which revolted 
instinctively from constraint in any direction, whose im- 
petuosity burst all control of law and order imposed from 
without upon its restless love of action and adventure, just 
as it overflowed all conventional bounds of thought and 
language with its exuberant play of feeling and imagination 
in speech or song. 1 We may see a type of it in the portrait, 
drawn by almost contemporary hands, of one who played an 
important part both in the social and in the political history 
of Aquitaine throughout the closing years of Henry II. and 
the reign of his successor. "Bertrand de Born was of the 
Limousin, lord of a castle in the diocese of Perigueux, by 
name Hautefort. He had at his command near a thousand 
men. And all his time he was at war with all his neigh- 

1 As John of Salisbury says " auctor ad opus suum " : 
" De Pictavorum dices te gente creatum, 
Nam licet his lingua liberiore loqui." 

(Enthet. ad Polycrat., Giles, vol. iii. p. i.) 



bours, with the count of Perigord, and the viscount of 
Limoges, and with his own brother Constantine whom he 
would have liked to disinherit, had it not been for the king 
of England and with Richard, while he was count of Poitou. 
He was a good knight, and a good warrior, and a good 
servant of ladies, and a good troubadour of sirventes ; he 
never made but two songs, and the king of Aragon assigned 
the songs of Guiraut de Borneil as wives to his sirventes ; 
and the man who sang them for him was named Papiol. 
And he was a pleasant, courteous man, wise and well-spoken, 
and knew how to deal with good and evil. And whenever 
he chose, he was master of King Henry and his sons ; but 
he always wanted them to be at war among themselves, the 
father and the sons and the brothers one with another ; and 
he always wanted the king of France and King Henry to be 
at war too. And if they made peace or a truce, he im- 
mediately set to work to unmake it with his sirventes, and 
to shew how they were all dishonoured in peace. And he 
gained much good by it, and much harm." 1 

Until the dukedom of Aquitaine passed to a woman, as 
were the vassals, so was their sovereign. Eleanor's grand- 
father the crusader -duke William VIII. and her father 
William IX. were simply the boldest knights, the gayest 

_troubadours and the most reckless adventurers in their duchy. 

\Tliere can be no doubt that the submission of Aquitaine to 
Louis VIL, so far as it ever did submit to him, was due to 
Eleanor's influence ; and it was the same influence which 
chiefly contributed to preserve its obedience to her second 
husband during those earlier years of their married life when, 
at home and abroad, all things had seemed destined to 
prosper in his handsP^ But at the first symptom of a turn in 
the tide of his fortunes, southern Gaul at one rose against its 
northern master. Eleanor's tact and firmness, Henry's wari- 
ness and vigour, were all taxed to the uttermost in holding 
it down throughout the years of his struggle with the Church ; 
and when Eleanor herself turned against him in 1173, the 

1 From the two old Provei^al sketches of the life of Bertrand de Born, printed 
and translated into French by M. Leon Cledat in his monograph Du rdle hist- 
orique de Bertrand de Born, pp. 99-101. 


chances of a good understanding between her subjects and 
her husband became very nearly desperate. Henry himself 
seems to have long ago perceived that a duke of Aquitaine, 
to be thoroughly sure of his ground, needed a different ap- 
prenticeship from that which might befit a king of England, 
a duke of Normandy or Britanny, or a count of Anjou. 
The very first step in his plans for the future of his children 
a step taken several years before he seems even to have 
thought of crowning his eldest son was the designation of 
the second as his mother's destined colleague and ultimate 
heir. Richard had been trained up ever since he was two 
years old specially for the office of duke of Aquitaine. After 
long diplomacy, and at the cost of a betrothal which became 
the source of endless mischief and trouble, the French king's 
sanction to the arrangement had been won ; and on Trinity- 
Sunday 1172 Richard, in his mother's presence, had been 
formally enthroned at Poitiers. (He was probably intended 
to govern the duchy under her direction and advice ; if so, 
however, the plan was frustrated by Eleanor's own conduct 
and by the suspicions which it aroused in her husband. She 
was one of the very few captives whom at the restoration of 
peace in 1175 he still retained in confinement. \ Richard, 
on the other hand, had been like his brothers fully and freely 
forgiven ; and while his father and eldest brother went to 
seal their reconciliation in England, he was sent into Poitou 
charged with authority to employ its forces at his own 
discretion, and to take upon himself the suppression of all 
disturbance and disorder in Aquitaine. 1 

What had been the precise nature of Richard's training 
for his appointed work what proportion of his seventeen 
years' life had been actually spent in Aquitaine, what oppor- 
tunities he had had of growing familiar with the people over 
whom he was now set to rule we have no means of determ- 
ining. By his own natural temper, however, he was prob- 
ably of all Eleanor's sons the one least fitted to gain the 
goodwill of the south. The " Cceur-de-lion" of tradition, 
indeed the adventurous crusader, the mirror of knightly 
prowess and knightly courtesy, the lavish patron of verse 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 81. 


and song, the ideal king of troubadours and knights-errant 
looks at first glance like the very incarnation of the spirit of 
the south. But it was only in the intellectual part of his 
nature that his southern blood made itself felt ; the real 
groundwork of his character was made of sterner stuff. The 
love of splendour and elegance, the delight in poetry and 
music, 1 the lavish generosity, the passion for adventure, which 
contrasted so vividly with his father's practical business- 
like temper, came to him without doubt from his mother. 
The moral deficiencies and evil tendencies of his nature he 
himself charged, somewhat too exclusively, upon the demon- 
blood of the Angevin counts. 2 But we need not look either 
to an ancestress so shadowy and so remote as the demon- 
countess, nor to a land so far distant from us as Poitou, for 
the source of Richard's strongest characteristics both of body 
and of mind. In him alone among Henry's sons can we see 
a likeness to the Norman forefathers of the Empress Matilda. 
His outward aspect, his lofty stature, his gigantic strength 
held in check though it was by the constantly-recurring ague 
which " kept him, fearless, in a tremor as continual as the 
tremor of fear in which he kept the rest of the world " 3 
his blue eyes and golden hair, all proclaimed him a child of 
the north. And although he spent the chief part of his life 
elsewhere, the slender share of local and national sympathies 
which he possessed seems to have lain in the same direction. 
The " lion-heart " chose its own last earthly resting-place at 
Rouen, not at Poitiers ; 4 and the intimate friend and com- 
rade whose name is inseparably associated with his by a 
tradition which, whatever its historical value, is as famous as 
it is beautiful, was no Poitevin or Provencal troubadour, but 
a trouvere from northern France. 5 The influence of his 
northman-blood shewed itself more vividly still when on his 

vl See R. CoggeshalPs description of Richard's love of church music : " clericos 
sonora voce modulantes donis et precibus ad cantandum festivius instimulabat, atque 
per choruni hue illucque deambulando, voce ac manu ut altius concreparent excit- 
abat." R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 97. 

2 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 27 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 154). 

3 Ib. c. 8 (p. 105). 

4 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 84. 

5 That is, if the Blondel of tradition is to be identified with Blondel of Nesle. 


voyage to Palestine, having lived to be more than thirty years 
old without possessing a skiff that he could call his own, or 
unless indeed in early childhood he had gone a cruise round 
his father's island -realm ever making a longer or more 
adventurous voyage than that from Southampton to Barfleur or 
Wissant, he suddenly developed not only a passionate love 
of the sea, but a consummate seamanship which he certainly 
had had no opportunity of acquiring in any way, and which 
can only have been born in him, as an inheritance from his 
wiking forefathers. When scarcely more than a boy in years, 
Richard was already one of the most serious and determined 
of men. His sternness to those who " withstood his will " 
matched that of the Conqueror himself ; and Richard's will, 
even at the age of seventeen, was no mere caprice, but a 
fixed determination which overrode all obstacles between it- 
self and its object as unhesitatingly as the old wiking-keels 
overrode the billows of the northern sea. He went down 
into Aquitaine fully resolved that the country should be at 
once, and once for all, reduced to submission and order. He 
set himself " to bring the shapeless into shape, to reduce the 
irregular to rule, to cast down the things that were mighty 
and level those that were rugged ; to restore the dukedom ot 
Aquitaine to its ancient boundaries and its ancient govern- 
ment." 1 He did the work with all his might, but he did it 
with a straightforward ruthlessness untempered by southern 
craft or Angevin caution and tact. He would not conciliate ; 
he could not wait. " He thought nothing done while any- 
thing still remained to do ; and he cared for no success that 
was not reached by a path cut by his own sword and 
stained with his opponent's blood. Boiling over with zeal 
for order and justice, he sought to quell the audacity of this 
ungovernable people and to secure the safety of the innocent 
amid these workers of mischief by at once proceeding against 
the evil-doers with the utmost rigour which his ducal authority 
could enable him to exercise upon them." 2 In a word, be- 
fore Richard had been six months in their midst, the Aqui- 
tanians discovered that if their Angevin duke had chastised 

1 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 8 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 104). 
3 Ibid. (p. 105). 


them with whips, the son of their own duchess was minded 
to chastise them with scorpions. 

He set off at once upon a furious campaign against the 
strongholds of the unruly barons. " No mountain-side how- 
ever steep and rugged, no tower however lofty and impreg- 
nable, availed to check his advance, as skilful as it was 
daring, as steady and persevering as it was impetuous." ] 
By midsummer the castles of Poitou itself were mostly in 
his hands, and the young conqueror was busy with the siege 
of Castillonnes-sur-Agen, which surrendered to him in the 
middle of August. 2 Before the winter was over he was 
master of Perigueux, and had, in the phrase of a local writer, 
well-nigh " disinherited " the barons of Perigord, the Quercy 
and the Limousin. But in the spring their smouldering 
resentment was kindled into a blaze by the incitements of 
Bertrand de Born, whose brother Constantine, expelled by 
him from the castle of Hautefort which the two brothers 
had inherited in common, had appealed to Richard for 
succour ; the signal for revolt, given by Bertrand in a 
vigorous sirvente, was answered by all the malcontents of 
the district, 3 and at the opposite end of Poitou by the count 
of Angouleme ; and at Easter Richard found his position so 
difficult that he went to seek advice and reinforcements from 
his father in England. 4 Geoffrey of Britanny arrived at the 
same time on a like errand. Henry bade his eldest son go 
to the help of the younger ones ; the young king complied, 5 
somewhat unwillingly, and went to collect forces in France 
while Richard hurried back into Poitou. The peril was 
urgent ; in his absence Count Vulgrin of Angouleme had 
invaded Poitou at the head of a host of Brabantines. The 
invaders were however met and defeated with great slaughter 
at Barbezieux by Richard's constable Theobald Chabot and 
Bishop John of Poitiers. 6 By Whitsuntide Richard had 

1 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 8 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 105). 

' 2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 101. 

:{ See Cledat, Bertrand de Born, pp. 29, 30. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 114, 115. 

5 Ib. p. 115. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 93. 

6 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 407. He adds : " Sicque salus in manu cleric- 
orum data satis evidenter ostendit plerisque non animos deesse sed arma." 

VOL. II. p 


gathered a sufficient force of loyal Poitevins and stipend- 
iaries from the neighbouring lands to march against Vulgrin 
and his Brabantines and defeat them in a battle near the 
border of the Angoumois and Saintonge. He then turned 
upon the viscount of Limoges, besieged and took his castle 
of Aixe, and thence advanced to Limoges itself, which he 
captured in like manner. At midsummer he was rejoined 
at Poitiers by his elder brother, and the two led their com- 
bined forces against Vulgrin of Angouleme. 1 A fortnight's 
siege had however scarcely made them masters of Chateau- 
neuf on the Charente when the young king seduced, it 
was said, by some evil counsellor whom we may probably 
suspect to have been Bertrand de Born 2 suddenly aban- 
doned the campaign and withdrew again to France. Richard, 
undaunted by his brother's desertion, pushed on to Moulin- 
Neuf and thence to Angouleme itself, where all the leaders 
of the rebellion were gathered together. A six days' siege 
sufficed to make Vulgrin surrender himself, his fellow-rebels, 
his city and five of his castles to the mercy of the duke and 
the English king. Richard sent over all his prisoners to 
his father in England ; Henry, however, sent them back 
again, and Richard put them in prison to await their 
sentence till the king should return to Gaul. 3 

Northern Aquitaine, or Guyenne, was now for the 
moment subdued. As soon as Christmas was over Richard 
proceeded to the reduction of Gascony. Dax, held against 
him by its viscount Peter and by the count of Bigorre, and 
Bayonne, defended by its viscount Ernald Bertram, sub- 
mitted each after a ten days' siege ; S. Pierre-de-Cize, on 
the Spanish frontier, fell in one day ; the Basques and 
Navarrese were compelled to promise peace; the plunderings 
habitually inflicted by the border-folk upon pilgrims to the 
shrine of S. James at Compostella were suppressed ; and 
from his court at Poitiers on Candlemas - day Richard 
triumphantly reported to his father that he had pacified the 
whole country. 4 But the peace did not last long. Trouble 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 120, 1 21. 

2 See Cledat, Bertrand de Bom, p. 35. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 121. 4 Ib. pp. 131, 132. 


was already threatening at the opposite end of the duchy. 
Ralf of Deols, the wealthiest baron in Berry, had lately died 
leaving as his heir an infant daughter. She was of course, 
according to feudal law, a ward of her overlord, King Henry ; 
but her relatives seized both her and her estates, and refused 
to give up either. 1 Henry, probably feeling that the boy- 
duke of Aquitaine had already more than enough upon his 
hands, charged his eldest son with the settlement of this 
affair, bidding him take possession of all Ralf's lands without 
delay, and significantly adding : " While I governed my 
realms alone, I lost none of my rightful possessions ; it will 
be shame to us all if aught of them be lost now that we are 
several to rule them." The young king took the hint, 
marched with all his Norman and Angevin forces into Berry, 
and laid siege to Chateauroux ; 2 but he seems to have had 
no success ; 3 and there was no chance of help from Richard, 
for not only was the Limousin again plunged in civil war, 4 
but all southern Aquitaine was in danger of a like fate an 
attempt of Count Raymond of Toulouse to exert his auth- 
ority as overlord of Narbonne with greater stringency than 
its high-spirited viscountess Hermengard was disposed to 
endure having stirred up against him a league of all the 
princes of Septimania and the Spanish border, under the 
leadership of Hermengard herself and of Raymond's hered- 
itary rivals, the king of Aragon and his brothers. 5 The way 
in which Raymond prepared to meet their attack supplies a 
vivid illustration of southern character and manners. He 
sought an ally in Bertrand de Born, and he appealed to him 
in his character not of knight but of troubadour. He sent 
a messenger to Hautefort to state his cause and to ask 
Bertrand, not to fight for it, but simply to publish it to the 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 127. - Ib. p. 132. 

3 The Gesta Hen.> as above, say Chateauroux was surrendered to him at 
once ; but we hear nothing more of it till the autumn, and then we find that the 
elder king has to besiege it himself ; so if the younger one ever did win it, he must 
have lost it again as quickly. 

4 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. cc. Ixix., Ixx. (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. pp. 
322, 323). 

5 See Vic and Vaissete, Hist, du Languedoc (new ed. ), vol. vi. pp. 69, 70 ; 
and the terms of the league, ib. vol. viii. cols. 325, 326. 


world in a sirvente. Bertrand answered readily to the ap- 
peal ; he was only too glad of any excuse for a sirvente 
which should " cause dints in a thousand shields, and rents 
in a thousand helms and hauberks." " I would fain have 
the great barons ever wroth one with another !" is the 
characteristic exclamation with which he ends his war-song. 1 
The strife thus begun for the mastery in Septimania was 
continued at intervals between the houses of Toulouse and 
Aragon for many years to come. The overlord of Toulouse, 
however, seems to have taken no part in it as yet ; and 
indeed, it had scarcely more than begun when Richard was 
summoned away to meet his father in Normandy. Three 
times in the course of that spring and summer had King 
Henry collected his host in England for the purpose of 
going over sea to the help of his sons ; twice had he re- 
manded it, 2 for the sake, as it seems, of continuing his legal 
and administrative work in England. By midsummer how- 
ever the tidings from Gaul were such that he dared not 
further prolong his absence. Geoffrey wanted his help in 
Britanny ; Richard wanted it almost as much in Aquitaine ; 
the young king's unaccountable lack of vigour in their sup- 
port, and in the prosecution of the war in Berry, was justly 
raising suspicions of his loyalty to the family cause ; and the 
treaty made with Louis of France at the close of the last 
war was proving, as such treaties too often did prove, only a 
source of fresh disputes. Henry summoned Louis to fulfil 
his part of the agreement by handing over the Vexin to the 
young king and the viscounty of Bourges to Richard, accord- 
ing to his promise, as the dowries of their brides ; 3 Louis 
insisted that Henry should first complete his share of the 
engagement by allowing Adela, who had been in his custody 
ever since the treaty was signed, to be wedded to her 
promised bridegroom, Richard. At last, in July, he suc- 
ceeded in bringing the matter to a crisis by extorting from 
a papal legate who had been sent to deal with a heresy that 
had arisen in southern Gaul a threat of laying all Henry's 
dominions under interdict unless Richard and Adela were 

1 Cledat, Bert, de Born, pp. 38, 39. 
2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 138, 160, 167, 168. 3 Ib. p. 168. 


married at once. 1 The English bishops appealed against 
the threat ; 2 while Henry hurried over to Normandy, 3 met first 
his two elder sons, 4 then the legate, 5 then the French king/' 
and once again contrived to stave off the threatening peril. 
At Nonancourt, on September 25, the two kings made 
a treaty containing not one word of marriages or dowries, 
but consisting of an agreement to bury all their differences 
under the cross. They pledged themselves to go on crusade 
together, to submit to arbitration the questions in dispute 
between them about Auvergne and Berry, and to lay aside 
all their other quarrels at once and for ever. 7 Such a treaty 
was in reality a mere temporary expedient ; but it served 
Henry's purpose by securing him against French interference 
while he marched against the rebels in Berry. As usual, he 
carried all before him ; Chateauroux surrendered without a 
struggle ; the lord of La Chatre, who had stolen the little 
heiress of Deols and was keeping her fast in his own castle, 
hurried to make his peace and give up his prize. 8 Henry 
used his opportunity to advance into the Limousin and 
exert his authority in punishing its turbulent barons ; 9 soon 
after Martinmas he and Louis met at Gragay and made 
another ineffectual attempt to settle the vexed question of 
Auvergne ; 10 a month later he was again in Aquitaine, 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 180, 181. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 143. 
Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 271. 2 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 181. 

3 In the night of August 17-18. Gesta Hen. as above, p. 190. R. Diceto 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 421. 4 Rob. Torigni, a. 1177. 

5 On September u. Gesta Hen. as above, p. 190. 

6 September 21. Ibid. Cf. Rog. Howden and Gerv. Cant, as above. 

7 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 191-194. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 
144-146 ; Gerv. Cant, as above, pp. 272-274 ; shorter in R. Diceto as above, pp. 
421, 422. The place and date are from this last authority. 

8 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 195, 196. Cf. R. Diceto as above, p. 425. 

9 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 196. 

The proceedings on this occasion are worth notice. Henry, it seems, tried 
to substitute for the arbitration of three prelates and three laymen on each side 
(which had been agreed upon at Nonancourt) his own favourite plan of sworn in- 
quest. He called together the barons of Auvergne, and required them to certify 
what rights his predecessors the dukes of Aquitaine had enjoyed in their country. 
They answered that by ancient right all Auvergne pertained to the ducal dominions, 
except the bishopric (Clermont), which was dependent on the French Crown. To 
this definition Louis would not agree ; so they fell back upon the former scheme 


purchasing the direct ownership of one of its under-fiefs, 
the county of La Marche, from the childless Count Adalbert 
who was purposing to end his days in Holy Land j 1 and at 
Christmas he was back at Angers, where he kept the feast 
with his three elder sons amid such a gathering of knights 
as had never been seen at his court except at his own crown- 
ing or that of the young king. 2 

For six months there was peace, and in July the king 
ventured to return to England. 3 He knighted his son 
Geoffrey at Woodstock on August 6, 4 and when the lad 
hurried over sea, eager to flesh his maiden sword and 
emulate the prowess of his brothers, he could find no more 
serious field in which to exercise his warlike energies than a 
succession of tournaments on the borders of France and 
Normandy. 5 Richard however was again busy with more 
earnest fighting. The rivalry between the houses of Aragon 
and Toulouse had stirred up the petty chieftains of southern 
Gascony, whom the king of Aragon was seeking to enlist in 
his service ; and Richard was obliged to undertake a cam- 
paign against the count of Bigorre in particular, which seems 
to have occupied him till the end of the year. The defiant 
attitude of the nobles of Saintonge and the Angoumois, and 
especially of a powerful baron, Geoffrey of Rancogne, called 
him back at Christmas to Saintes ; as soon as the feast was 
over he laid siege to Geoffrey's castle of Pons ; after spend- 
ing more than three months before the place, he left his 
constables to continue the blockade while he himself went to 
attack the other rebel castles. Five of them were taken and 

of arbitration which, however, seems never to have got any further. Gesta Hen. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 196. This was apparently the last meeting (except the one in 
England ; see below, p. 216) between Henry and Louis, and must therefore be the 
one of which a curious account is given by Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ. , dist. iii. 
c. i (Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 85, 86). 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 197. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 147, 
148. Rob. Torigni, a. 1177. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 425, under a wrong 
year. Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. c. 70 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth.^ vol. ii. p. 324). Henry 
received the homage of the under-tenants of La Marche (Gesta Hen. as above) ; 
but he did not really get what he paid for, as will be seen later. 

2 Rob. Torigni, a. 1178. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 206, 207. R. Diceto as above, p. 426. 

4 R. Diceto as above. 5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 207. 


razed between Easter and Rogation-tide, 1 and then Richard 
gathered up all his forces to assault Geoffrey of Rancogne's 
mightiest stronghold, Taillebourg. It stood a few miles 
north of Saintes, on the crest of a lofty rock, three of whose 
sides were so steep as to defy any attempt to scale them, 
while the fourth was guarded by a triple ditch and rampart. 
Three lines of wall, built of hewn stone and strengthened 
with towers and battlements, encircled the keep, which was 
stored with provisions and arms offensive and defensive, and 
crowded with picked men-at-arms who laughed to scorn the 
rashness of the young duke in attempting to besiege a fort- 
ress which all his predecessors had looked upon as well-nigh 
unapproachable. But he cleared its approaches with a 
ruthless energy such as they little expected, cutting down 
vineyards, burning houses, levelling every obstacle before 
him, till he pitched his tents close to the castle walls under 
the eyes of the astonished townsfolk. A sally of the latter 
only resulted in making a way for Richard's entrance into 
the town ; three days later the castle surrendered, and 
Geoffrey himself with it. 2 Ten days' more fighting brought 
all the rebels to submission and reduced Vulgrin of An- 
gouleme himself to give up his capital city and his castle of 
Montignac in Perigord ; 3 and at Whitsuntide Richard went 
to report his success with his own lips to his delighted 
father in England. 4 

He returned shortly before Michaelmas, 5 to witness the 
opening of a new phase in the relations between the Angevin 
house and the French Crown. Philip of France, the only 
son of Louis VII., was now fourteen years old, and his 
father was desirous to have him crowned king. Before the 
appointed day arrived, however, he fell sick almost to death. 6 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 212, 213. 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 431, 432. Cf. Gesta Hen. as above, p. 213, 
and Rob. Torigni, a. 1179. 3 Gesta Hen. as above. 

4 Ibid. R. Diceto as above, p. 432. 

5 So it appears from an entry in the Pipe Roll of 1179 ; Eyton, Itin. Hen. If., 
p. 227. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 240. According to Rob. Torigni, a. 1179, 
Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v. p. 5), and Will. Armor., Philippis, 
1. i. (ib. pp. 99, 100), the boy's sickness was the effect of a fright caused by an ad- 
venture in the forest of Compiegne, very like that of Geoffrey Plantagenet at Loches. 


Louis, half wild with anxiety, dreamed that the martyr of 
Canterbury required him to visit his shrine as a condition ot 
the boy's recovery. 1 He hurried across the Channel ; Henry 
met him at Dover and conducted him to Canterbury, where 
they both spent three days in fasting and prayer before the 
shrine ; and on the fourth day after his landing Louis re-entered 
his own country, to find that his prayers were answered. 2 
His brief visit was long remembered in England, where no king 
of France had ever been seen before, 3 or was ever seen again 
save when John the Good was brought there as a prisoner in 
the days of Edward III. Scarcely, however, had Philip re- 
covered when Louis himself was stricken down by paralysis. 4 
This calamity made him all the more anxious for his son's 
coronation, which took place at Reims on All Saints' day. 
The archbishop of the province a brother of Queen Adela 
performed the rite, assisted by nearly all the bishops ot 
Gaul ; all the great vassals of the kingdom were present, 
among them the young King Henry, who in his capacity of 
duke of Normandy carried the crown before his youthful 
overlord in the procession to and from the cathedral church, 
as Count Philip of Flanders carried the sword of state. 5 
Like the crowning of young Henry himself, the crowning of 
Philip Augustus proved to be a beginning of troubles. His 
father's helpless condition left the boy-king to fall under the 
influence of whatever counsellor could first get at his ear. That 
one happened to be his godfather, Philip of Flanders ; and the 
policy of Flanders was to get the boy entirely under his own 
control by setting him against all his father's old friends/' 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 240-241. Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. 
ii. p. 192. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 241, 242 ; Rog. Howden, as above, pp. 192, 193 ; 
Will. Armor., Philipp., 1. i. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.) pp. 100, 
101. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 432, 433, relates the pilgrimage without any 
mention of its motive ; while Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), p. 293, seems to think Louis 
came for the benefit of his own health, not his son's. 

3 R. Diceto, as above, p. 433. 4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 243. 

5 //>. p. 242. Rog. Howden as above, pp. 193, 194. R. Diceto as above, 
p. 438. It is Roger who says that Henry bore the crown officially "de jure 
ducatus Normannise." Ralf explains away the matter as a mere act of courtesy 
and friendship. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 244. Rog. Howden as above, p. 196. 


and even against his mother, whom he tried to rob of her 
dower-lands and persecuted to such a degree that she was 
compelled to leave his domains and fly to her brothers 
for the protection which her husband was powerless to give 
her. 1 The united forces of Flanders and of the Crown for 
the latter were now wholly at Philip's command 2 were, 
however, more than a match for those of Champagne and 
Blois ; and the house of Blois was driven to seek help of the 
only power which seemed capable of giving it the power 
of their old rivals of Anjou. 3 

The days were long gone by when it had been a chief 
part of the Angevin interest and policy to set the French 
king and the house of Blois at variance with each other. If 
Henry had needed any proof that the rivalry of Blois was 
no longer to be feared, he would have found it in the appeal 
for succour thus sent to him by Queen Adela and her 
brothers, and supported by his own eldest son, who at Mid- 
Lent 1 1 80 went over to England purposely to consult with 
him on the state of affairs in France. Before Easter father 
and son both returned to Normandy, and there held a per- 
sonal meeting with the French queen, her brothers Theobald 
of Blois and Stephen of Sancerre, and several other victims 
of young Philip's tyranny. Pledges of good faith were ex- 
changed, and summons were issued for a general levy of all 
Henry's forces, on both sides of the sea, ready to attack 
Philip after Easter. 4 Before the attack could be made, how- 
ever, Philip had got himself into such difficulties as to render 
it needless. As soon as Lent was over he went into 
Flanders and there married a niece of its count, Elizabeth, 
daughter of the count of Hainaut. 5 He then summoned all 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 196. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 6. 
Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 294. 

2 He had stolen his father's royal seal, to prevent all further exercise of 
authority on the part of Louis. R. Diceto, as above. 

3 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 244. Rog. Howden as above. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 245. Rog. Howden as above. 

5 Ibid. R. Diceto as above, p. 5. Gerv. Cant, as above. Rob. Torigni, a. 
1 181 (a year too late). The bride is called Elizabeth by her husband's panegyrist, 
Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v. p. 7), and Isabel by another of 
his biographers (ib. p. 258). R. Diceto calls her Margaret. 


the princes of his realm to meet him at Sens on Whit-Sunday 
for the coronation of himself and his queen. The marriage 
had, however, given such offence that Philip of Flanders, in 
dread of opposition to his niece's crowning, persuaded the 
young king to anticipate the ceremony and have her crowned 
together with himself at S. Denis, early in the morning of 
Ascension-day, by the archbishop of Sens. 1 The wrath of 
the great vassals knew no bounds ; and the wrath of the 
archbishop of Reims was almost more formidable still, for 
the exclusive right to crown the king of France was a 
special prerogative of his see, and he at once forwarded to 
Rome an indignant protest against the outrage done to him 
by his royal nephew. 2 Philip of France and Guy of Sens 
had in fact put themselves into a position which might easily 
have become almost as full of peril as that into which Henry 
of England and Roger of York had put themselves by a 
somewhat similar proceeding ten years before. As, however, 
William of Reims was not a Thomas of Canterbury, the 
consequences were less tragic ; and Henry himself must have 
been tempted to smile at the turning of the tables which 
suddenly placed in his hands the task of shielding Philip 
from the consequences of his rashness, and reconciling him 
to the outraged Church and the offended people. 

There was a story that young Henry of Anjou, standing 
close behind his brother-in-law Philip on his first coronation- 

1 Gesta. Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 245, 246. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. 
p. 197. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 5. Rob. Torigni, a. 1181. This last writer, 
whose chronology has now become extremely confused, puts the event a year too 
late. So does Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 7. Rigord indeed 
gives an account of the matter so different from that of the English writers e.g. 
he represents it as taking place publicly, amid a great concourse of spectators 
that one might almost suppose he was relating a second coronation, performed in 
the following year. But there seems no other record of any such thing ; and 
there are some details in his story which point to a different conclusion. Not 
only does he, too, name the archbishop of Sens as the consecrator an outrage 
upon Reims which could not possibly have been repeated but he betrays his 
own confusion by giving the date as June I, 1181, and then describing the day as 
Ascension-day, which in 1181 fell on May 14, but which really was the day of the 
crowning in 1180 (May 29). The truth is that the panegyrists of Philip Augustus 
are obliged to slur over this first disgraceful year of his reign as rapidly and con- 
fusedly as they can. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 246. Rog. Howden as above. 


day in Reims cathedral, had bent forward to hold the crown 
upon the boy's head, and thus relieve him of its weight and 
keep it safely in its place. 1 The little act of brotherly kind- 
ness and protecting care may be taken as typical of the 
political attitude which Henry's father actually assumed 
towards the boy-king of the French, and which he faithfully 
maintained until Philip himself rendered its maintenance 
impossible. It was in truth no new thing for a count of 
Anjou to act as the protector of a king of France. But we 
may fairly question whether this traditional function of the 
Angevin house had ever been fulfilled so honestly and un- 
selfishly as it was by Henry during the first two years of 
Philip's reign. It was Henry alone who, by his personal 
influence and tact, brought Philip himself to reason and the 
count of Flanders to submission. 2 Next year, when Philip had 
been left sole king of France by the death of Louis VII., 3 it 
was Henry whose mediation checked an attempt of the Flemish 
count to avenge by force of arms the loss of his influence at 
court; 4 and when a few months later the house of Blois, with 
characteristic inconstancy, made common cause with Flanders 
against France, it was the prompt and vigorous action of 
Henry's sons which alone saved t the royal domain from 
invasion on all sides at once, and enabled their young 
sovereign to hold out against his assailants till Henry him- 
self came over to patch up another settlement in the spring 
of n82. 5 

Other needs, however, than those of the French Crown 
were once more calling for Henry's presence in Gaul. The 
condition of Aquitaine only grew more unsatisfactory, in 
spite or in consequence of Richard's efforts to improve it. 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 439. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. 
Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 5, tells the same story more briefly, and it is amusing to see 
how differently he colours it. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 246, 247. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 6. 

3 September 18, 1180; Gesta Hen. as above, p. 250; R. Diceto as above, 
p. 7; Will. Armor., Gesta Phil. Aug. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), 
p. 72. Rigord (ib.), p. 7, makes a confusion about the year. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 277. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 260. 

5 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 284-286. R. Diceto as above, pp. 9-11. Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 297, 300. Gir. Cambr., De Instr. Prtnc., dist. ii. cc. 
15, 16 (Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 42-47). Rob. Torigni, a. 1182. 


Henry's bargain with Adalbert of La Marche had failed to 
secure him the possession of that county ; the brother-lords 
of Lusignan claimed it as next-of-kin to Adalbert as soon as 
the king's back was turned, and made good their claim by 
forcible occupation. 1 The Limousin was again threatening 
revolt ; the town-walls of Limoges were razed by Richard's 
order at midsummer n8i. 2 Almost at the same moment 
the death of Count Vulgrin of Angouleme opened a fresh 
source of strife ; his two brothers laid claim to his inheritance 
against his only daughter, whom Richard of course took into 
wardship as a feudal heiress, and on Richard's refusal to ad- 
mit their claims they made common cause with Ademar of 
Limoges. 3 The mischief however did not end here. Richard's 
unbending resolve to bridle Aquitaine had gradually stirred 
up against him the bitter hatred of the whole people a 
hatred for which his stern rule is quite sufficient to account, 
without admitting the blacker charges brought against him 
by the reckless tongues of the south. 4 The voice of Bert- 
rand de Born had once more given the signal for a general 
rising. A sirvente which went forth from Hautefort in 1 1 8 I 
rang like a trumpet-call in the ears of the lords of Venta- 
dour and Comborn and Perigord and Dax, of Angouleme 
and Pons and Taillebourg. 5 But even this was not all. 
Years before, it seems, there had flashed through the trouba- 
dour's quick brain a possibility of stirring up strife in higher 
quarters than among the petty princes of his native land. 
Now he distinctly saw the possibility of finding for the 
Aquitanian resistance to Richard a rallying-point and a leader 
in Richard's own brother. 

One of the most puzzling figures in the history of the 
time is that of the younger Henry of Anjou the "young 
king," as he is usually called. From the day of his crown- 
ing to that of his death not one deed is recorded of him save 

1 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. c. 70 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth.^ vol. ii. p. 324). 

2 Ib. c. 72 (p. 326). 

3 Ibid. He was their half-brother, the only son of their mother's first 

4 Cf. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 292, with Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 
303, and Gir. Cambr., De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 8 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 105). 

5 Cledat, Bert, de Born, pp. 44, 45. 


deeds of the meanest ingratitude, selfishness, cowardliness 
and treachery. Yet this undutiful, rebellious son, this 
corrupter and betrayer of his younger brothers, this weak 
and faithless ally, was loved and admired by all men while 
he lived, and lamented by all men after he was gone. 1 The 
attraction exercised by him over a man so far his superior as 
William the Marshal 2 is indeed well-nigh incomprehensible. 
But the panegyrics of the historians, unaccountable as .they 
look at first glance, do throw some light on the secret of 
young Henry's gift of general fascination. It was a gift 
which indeed, in varying degrees, formed part of the hered- 
itary endowments of the Angevin house. But the char- 
acter which it took in Fulk Nerra or Henry Fitz-Empress 
was very different from that which it assumed in Henry's 
eldest son. The essence of the young king's nature was 
not Angevin. He had little either of the higher talents or 
of the stronger and sterner qualities of the Angevin race ; he 
had still less of the characteristics of the Norman. It is by 
studying his portrait as drawn in contrast to that of Richard 
by a hand equally favourable to both that we can best see 
what he really was. " The first was admired for his mild- 
ness and liberality ; the second was esteemed for his serious- 
ness and firmness. One was commendable for graciousness, 
the other for stateliness. One gained praise for his courtesy, 
the other for his constancy. One was conspicuous for mercy, 
the other for justice. One was the refuge and the shield of 
vagabonds and evil-doers, the other was their scourge. One 
was devoted to the sports of war, the other to war itself; 
one was gracious to strangers, the other to his own friends 
one to all men, the other only to good men." 3 Henry in 
fact was at bottom what Richard never was but on the 
surface a careless, pleasure -loving, capricious, but withal 
most gracious and winning child of the south. The most 
philosophic English historian of the day was reduced to 
account for the young king's popularity by the simple and 
comprehensive explanation that " the number of fools is in- 

1 Except the ever-independent William of New burgh ; see his 1. iii. c. 7 (Hew- 
lett, vol. i. pp. 233, 234). 2 See Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 279; 
3 Gir. Cambr., De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 8 (Angl. Christ. Soc. p. 106). 


finite." 1 But it was not folly, it was a shrewd perception of 
their own interest, which led the Aquitanians writhing under 
Richard's iron rule to see in his elder brother a prince after 
their own hearts. 2 

It was not the first time that Bertrand de Born had 
sought to kindle in the young king's mind the sparks of 
jealousy and discontent which were always latent there. 3 
Now, he fed the flames with an unsparing hand. In words 
of bitter satire he ridicules the position of the young king, 
who bears the titles of a great sovereign, but has no authority 
in his own land, and cannot even claim the tolls upon the 
traffic along its roads : " Barons of Aquitaine, are we not all 
of us better than a carter who leaves his cart to go as it 
may, and counts his dues, if he counts any at all, with trem- 
bling fingers?" "I prize a tiny tract of land with honour 
above a great empire with disgrace !"' Richard, meanwhile, 
was playing into his enemies's hands by an encroachment 
upon territory which in name at least belonged to his 
brother. He had built a castle at Clairvaux, between 
Loudun and Poitiers, but on the Angevin side of the 
frontier. If the thought of resentment did not occur to 
Henry, Bertrand took care to suggest it : " Between Poitiers 
and He-Bouchard and Mirebeau and Loudun and Chinon 
some one has dared to rear, at Clairvaux, a fair castle in the 
midst of the plain. I would not have the young king see 
it or know of it, for it would not be to his taste ; but its 
walls are so white, I doubt he will catch sight of their gleam 
from Mateflon !" 5 The troubadour's shafts were well aimed, 
and they rankled. When King Henry returned to Nor- 
mandy in the spring of 1182 the Aquitanian rising was in 
full career ; as soon as he had composed matters in France 
he hurried to the help of Richard, who was fighting the 
rebels in the Limousin ; at Whitsuntide the counts of Angou- 

1 " Quia ut scriptum est, Stultorum infinitus est numerus." Will. Newb., 1. iii. 
c. 7 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 234). The quotation is from the Vulgate version of Eccles- 
iastesi. 15 ; the English A. V. conveys a wholly different idea. 

2 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 303. See also Gerald's other account of 
young Henry, De Instr. Princ., dist. ii. c. 9 (Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 31, 32). 

3 See Cledat, Bert, de Born. , p. 36. 4 Ib. p. 44. 5 Ibid. 


leme and Perigord and the viscount of Limoges came to 
confer with him at Grandmont, but nothing came of the 
negotiations ; Henry then went to attack Pierre-Buffiere, 
while Richard returned to the siege of Excideuil. At mid- 
summer the king was back at Grandmont, and Geoffrey of 
Britanny with him ; thence they went to rejoin Richard, 
who was now busy with the siege of Perigueux. 1 Matters 
were in this stage when the young king at last made up his 
mind to advance into Aquitaine. He was joyfully welcomed 
at Limoges on the festival of its patron S. Martial the last 
day of June. On the morrow, however, he joined his father 
and brothers before Perigueux, and within a week peace was 
made ; Perigueux surrendered, its count and the viscount of 
Limoges submitted to Richard, and only the brother-counts 
of Angouleme still remained in arms against him. 2 

Peace, however, never lasted long either in Aquitaine or 
in King Henry's family. His eldest son now again grew 
importunate for a definite and immediate share in the family 
heritage. When this was refused, he fled to the court of 
France, and was only recalled by a promise of an increased 
pecuniary allowance for himself and his queen. 3 ["Aquitaine, 
as soon as Henry had left it, drifted into a state of anarchy 
more frightful than any that had ever been known there 
before ; the sudden conclusion of the war had let loose all 
over the country a crowd of mercenaries commonly known 
as " Brabantines," but really the off-scouring of every land 
from Flanders to Aragon who wrought, as a local writerj 
says, such havoc as had never been seen since the days of 
the heathen northmen. 4 The evil in some measure brought 
its own remedy with it, for it drove the common people to 
take into their own hands the maintenance of peace and 
order. A poor Auvergnat carpenter, urged by a vision of 
the Blessed Virgin, set forth under the protection of the 
diocesan bishop to preach the cause of peace in his native 
district of Le Puy. Those who were like-minded with him, 

1 Strictly, of its suburb Puy- St. -Front. 

- Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. cc. i, 2 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. pp. 330, 331). 

3 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 289, 291. Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. 
ii. pp. 266, 267. 

4 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. i. c. 73 (as above, p. 328). 


no matter what their rank or calling, enrolled themselves in 
a society bound together by solemn pledges for mutual sup- 
port in adherence to right and resistance to wrong in every 
shape ; and in a few years these " Caputii" as they were 
called from the linen capes or hoods which they always wore 
in fight, proved more than a match for the Brabantines. 1 

Meanwhile, however, the warlike barons of Aquitaine 
were exasperated at the failure of their league against 
Richard ; and their anger reached its height when at the 
conclusion of the Christmas festivities held by King Henry 
and his sons at Caen, the young king of his own accord re- 
newed his oath of allegiance to his father, confessed his 
secret alliance with Richard's enemies, and offered to 
abandon it and make peace with his brother if his father 
would but insist upon the surrender of Clairvaux. Richard, 
after some hesitation, gave up to his father the fortress in 
dispute. 2 The incident apparently opened Henry's eyes to 
the necessity of clearly defining his sons' political relations 
with each other ; and while Bertrand de Born was giving a 
voice to the wrath of his fellow-barons at the young king's 
desertion of their cause, 3 Henry led his three sons back to 
Angers, made them all take an oath of obedience to him 
and peace with each other, 4 and then called upon the two 
younger to do homage to the eldest for their fiefs. 5 Geoffrey 
obeyed ; 6 Richard indignantly refused, declaring it was 
utterly unreasonable that there should be any distinction of 
rank between children of the same parents, and that if the 
father's heritage belonged of right to the eldest son, the 
mother's was equally due to the second. 7 The young king, 
on the other hand, was on account of his entanglements 
with the Aquitanian barons almost as unwilling to receive 

1 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 22 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 339). Rob. 
Torigni, a. 1183. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 300, 301. Rigord (Duchesne, 
Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), pp. ii, 12. 

- Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 291, 294, 295. 

3 Cledat, Bert, de Born, p. 47. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 295. Cf. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 18. 

5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 291. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 273. 

6 Ibid. R. Diceto as above. 

7 R. Diceto (as above), pp. 1 8, 19. Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 292. Cf. Gerv. 
Cant, (as above), p. 303. 


the homage as Richard was to perform it 1 The end of the 
discussion was that Richard quitted the court, " leaving be- 
hind him nothing but threats and insults," and hurried into 
Poitou to prepare for defence and defiance. 2 

In the first burst of his anger Henry bade the other two 
brothers go and " subdue Richard's pride " by force of arms. 3 
Immediately afterwards, however, he summoned all three, 
together with the aggrieved barons of Aquitaine, to meet 
him in conference at Mirebeau. 4 But the young king had 
already marched into Poitou and received a warm welcome 
there ; 5 Geoffrey, to whom his father had intrusted his 
summons to the barons, led a motley force of Bretons, Bra- 
bantines and mercenaries of all kinds to Limoges ; 6 soon 
afterwards young Henry joined him ; with the viscount's 
help they threw themselves into the citadel, 7 and set to work 
to raise the whole country against Richard. He, in his 
extremity, appealed to his father ; 8 and Henry at once 
hurried to the rescue. For six weeks he laid siege to the 
citadel of Limoges ; 9 twice he was personally shot at, and 
narrowly escaped with his life ; twice the young king came 
to him with offers of submission, and each time he was wel- 
comed with open arms, but each time the submission was a 
mere feint, designed to keep Henry quiet and give the 
barons time to wreak their vengeance upon Richard. 10 By 
Easter matters were so far advanced that Bertrand de Born 
was openly calling for aid upon Flanders, France and Nor- 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 18. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 292. The 
two accounts do not exactly agree, Ralf placing at this point the young king's con- 
fession of his dealings in Aquitaine ; while the story in the Gesta is extremely con- 
fused, because it is told twice over, in different forms (pp. 291, 292 and 294, 
295). 2 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 292. 

3 R. Diceto as above, p. 19. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 295. 5 Ib. p. 292. 

6 Ib. pp. 293, 295. Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 6 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. 
P- 332). 

7 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 293, 296. Geoff. Vigeois as above. Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 304. 

8 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 274. 

9 From Shrove Tuesday March i to Easter. Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. cc. 12, 
16 (as above, pp. 334, 336). 

10 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 296-298. Cf. Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 7 (as above, 
PP- 332, 333). 



mandy j 1 and the dread of a rising in this last-named 
quarter prompted Henry to send orders for the arrest of 
those barons, both in Normandy and England, who had 
been most conspicuous in the rebellion of 1 1?3. 2 

The young king at the same time quitted Limoges to 
make a diversion at Angouleme. On his return, however, 
he found it impossible to re-enter Limoges ; its townsfolk 
had by this time so fully awakened to his real character and 
to their own best interests that they drove him from their 
walls with a volley of stones, shouting " We will not have 
this man to reign over us ! " He had already robbed them 
of their wealth and stripped the shrine of their patron saint 
to provide wages for his Brabantines ; 4 and the insult goaded 
him to yet more unsparing plunder and yet more reckless 
sacrilege. From the castle of Aixe, which he took on the 
Monday in Rogation-week, he advanced to Grandmont, a 
religious house whose inmates enjoyed, amid the now general 
decay of monastic sanctity, an almost unique reputation for 
piety and virtue, and were known to be held by his father 
in especial reverence and esteem. He wrung from them all 
the treasure they possessed, and forcibly carried off a golden 
pyx, his father's gift, from the high altar itself. He then 
proceeded to Uzerches, where the duke of Burgundy and 
the count of Toulouse met him with reinforcements on 
Ascension-day ; from Uzerches he moved southward to 
Donzenac and Martel, and thence to Rocamadour. 5 Roc- 
amadour was the most famous of the holy places of Aquitaine ; 
besides the tomb of the hermit from whom its name was 
derived, it boasted of a statue of the Virgin which attracted 
as many pilgrims as the shrine of S. James at Compostella ; 
and among the treasures of its church, which was said to 
have been founded by Zacchaeus the publican, was a sword 
traditionally believed to be the famous " Durandal " the 
sword of the Paladin Roland, devoted by him to the Blessed 
Virgin on the eve of his last campaign, and carried to her 

1 Cledat, Bert, de Born, p. 52. 2 Gesta Hen, (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 294. 
3 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 16 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 336). Gesta 
Hen, as above, p. 299. 

4 'Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. cc. 13, 14 (pp. 335, 336). 5 Ib. c. 16 (p. 336). 


shrine at Rocamadour after the disaster of Roncevaux. Heed- 
less alike of paladins and of saints, the young king stripped 
the shrine of S. Amadour 1 as he had stripped that of S. 
Martial ; and local tradition declares that he also carried off 
the hallowed sword, leaving his own dishonoured brand in 
its place. 

He had been ailing ever since he left Uzerches ; 2 now, 
on his return to Martel, his baffled rage threw him into a 
fever, to which other complications were soon added. 3 Con- 
science awoke as death drew near. From the blacksmith's 
cottage 4 where he lay awaiting his end he sent a message to 
Limoges, imploring his father to come and speak with him 
once more. 5 Henry would have gone, but his friends, in their 
natural dread of another trick, prevented him ; 6 he sent, 
however, a bishop charged with a message of love and par- 
don, 7 and as a token of the genuineness of the commission, a 
precious ring, said to be an heirloom from Henry I. 8 The 
messenger was only just in time. On the Tuesday in 
Whitsun-week the young king called together the bishops 
and religious men who had gathered round him at the 
tidings of his sickness, confessed his sins first privately, then 
publicly, before all his followers, was absolved and received 
the Holy Communion. 9 For three more days he lingered, 
long enough to receive his father's message of forgiveness 
and to dictate a letter to him, pleading that the same 
clemency might be extended to his mother the captive 
Queen Eleanor, to his own young Queen Margaret, and to 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 278. 

2 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 16 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 336). 

3 Ibid. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 300. Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 7 (Hew- 
lett, vol. i. pp. 233, 234). 

" In domo Stephani cognomine Fabri." Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 19 (as above, 
P- 337)- Is this to be taken literally, or can it be merely a punning nickname 
applied to the lord si Martel? 

5 Gesta Hen. as above. Will. Newb. as above (p. 234). 

6 Will. Newb. as above. Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 17 (as above, p. 337). 

7 Gesta Hen. as above. 

3 "Annulum preciosum . . . qui Henrici munifici Regis olim extitisse nar- 
ratur." Geoff. Vigeois as above. Cf. Will. Newb. as above, and Th. Agnellus, 
De Morte Hen. Reg. jun. (Stevenson, R. Coggeshalt], pp. 265, 266. 

9 Geoff. Vigeois as above. 


all his servants, friends, adherents and allies ; l beseeching 
also that his father would make atonement in his stead for 
the sacrileges which he had committed against the holy 
places of Aquitaine, and would cause his body to be buried 
at Rouen in the cathedral church of our Lady. 2 In the 
early twilight of S. Barnabas's day he repeated his confession, 
after which he begged to be wrapped once more in his 
cloak, marked with the cross which he had taken at Limoges 
in petulance rather than in piety. Now, however, he was in 
earnest, and when the sacred symbol had rested for a 
moment on his shoulder he gave it to his best-beloved 
knight, William the Marshal, charging him to bear it to the 
Holy Sepulchre and thus fulfil his vow in his stead. 3 He 
then caused his attendants to strip him of his soft raiment, 
clothe him in a hair-shirt and put a rope round his neck ; 
with this he bade the assembled clergy drag him out of bed 
and lay him on a bed of ashes strewed for the purpose. 
There, lying as if already in his grave, with a stone at his 
head and another at his feet, he received the last sacraments ; 4 
and there, an hour after nones, 5 kissing his father's ring he 
died. 6 

1 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 24 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 339). Gesta 
Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 300, 301. 2 Geoff. Vigeois as above. 

3 Ib. c. 17 (p. 337). Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 279. On young Henry's 
vow of crusade see Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 297, 298. 

4 Rog. Howden as above. 

5 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 19 (as above, p. 338). 

6 Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 7 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 234). 



THE unexpected death of the young king was a catastrophe 
almost equally overwhelming to both parties in the war. 
Henry himself, when the news was brought to him by the 
prior of Grandmont, whither the body had been taken to 
be prepared for burial, 1 went almost out of his mind with 
grief. 2 For a moment indeed friends and foes alike seemed 
incapable of anything but mourning. Hero or saint could 
scarcely have won a more universal tribute of affection and 
regret than was showered upon this young king who, so far 
as we can see, had done so little to deserve it. Stern voices 
like that of Bertrand de Born, accustomed only to the bitterest 
tones of sarcasm, insult and angry strife, melted suddenly 
into accents of the deepest tenderness and lamentation. 3 
Sober-minded churchmen and worldly-wise courtiers, though 
they could not deny or excuse the dead man's sins, yet be- 
trayed with equal frankness their unreasoning attachment to 
his memory. 4 As his body, arrayed in the linen robe which 

1 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 20 (Labbe, Nova Bibloth., vol. ii. p. 338). 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 301. Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 
279, and Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. ii. c. 8 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 30). 

3 See Bertrand de Bern's two elegies on the young king, Cledat, Bert, de Born, 

PP- 53, 54- 

4 See Pet. Blois, Ep. ii. (Giles, vol. i. pp. 3-5) ; Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 9 
(pp. 31, 32) ; W. Map, De Nug. Cur., dist. iv. c. i. (Wright, pp. 139, 140) ; 
and Th. Agnellus (Stevenson, R. Coggeshall), pp. 265-273. The tone of the 
real historians of the time is however somewhat different. The Gesta Hen. 
is perfectly colourless, and even on the young king's death the writer adds not 


he had worn at his coronation its white folds, hallowed by 
the consecrating oil, made to serve for a winding-sheet was 
borne on an open bier upon the shoulders of his comrades- 
in-arms from Grandmont northward through Anjou, the 
people streamed forth from every castle and town and village 
along the road to meet it with demonstrations of mourning 
and tears ; l and at Le Mans, where it was deposited for a 
night in the cathedral church, the bishops and citizens forcibly 
took possession of it, refused to give it up, and buried their 
beloved young king then and there by the side of his grand- 
father Geoffrey Plantagenet. 2 

The political tide, however, turned as soon as he was 
gone. The Aquitanian league suddenly found itself without 
a head ; for Geoffrey of Britanny, although the wiliest and 
most plausible of all the king's sons, was also the most 
generally distrusted and disliked. 3 The league broke up at 
once ; on Midsummer-day Ademar of Limoges surrendered 
his citadel and made his peace ; 4 and most of the other 
rebels soon followed his example. By the end of the month 
Henry, having razed the walls of Limoges and garrisoned 
with his own troops the castles which had submitted to him, 
could venture to set out for Normandy ; 5 while King Alfonso 
of Aragon, who had come to the help of his father's old 

a word of comment, good or bad. Rog. Howden, on the other hand (Stubbs, 
vol. ii. p. 279), openly gives vent to a feeling which may be expressed by " So 
perish all the enemies of King Henry," and grows almost impatient with 
Henry's grief. R. Diceto (Stubbs, vol. ii. pp. 19, 20) is as usual very cautious 
in the expression of his personal opinions, but they also appear to be somewhat 
opposed to the popular sentiment. The point of view taken by Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs, vol. i. p. 305) is probably unique. The one really judicial commentator 
on the whole affair is William of Newburgh (1. iii. c. 7 Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 
233, 234). 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 20. Cf. Th. Agnellus (Stevenson, R. Cogges- 
hall), p. 268. 

2 R. Diceto as above. Th. Agnellus (as above), p. 269. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), 
vol. i. p. 303. 

3 See Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. ii. c. n (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 35). 
The author of the Gesta Hen. seems to look upon Geoffrey as the instigator of all 
his brothers' misdoings, and scarcely ever mentions his name without an epithet of 

4 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 18 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 337). Gesta 
Hen. as above, p. 302. The date comes from Geoffrey. 

5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 303. 


ally, found nothing left for him to do but to join Richard in 
an expedition against the one baron who still persisted in 
his rebellion Bertrand de Born.* If Bertrand's story may 
be believed, it was Alfonso's treachery which, after a week's 
siege, compelled him to surrender Hautefort. 2 What fol- 
lowed shewed plainly that the Aquitanian revolt was at an 
end. Richard made over Hautefort to Constantine de Born, 
the troubadour's brother and lifelong rival ; 3 Bertrand, in- 
stead of calling his fellow-barons to avenge him as of old, 
threw himself upon the generosity of his conqueror, and 
addressed Richard in a sirvente entreating that his castle 
might be restored to him. Richard referred him to his 
father ; Bertrand then hastened to the king, who greeted 
him sarcastically with an allusion to one of his own earlier 
sirventes : " You were wont to boast of possessing more 
wits than you ever needed to use what has become of 
them now?" "Sire, I lost them on the day that you lost 
your son." Henry burst into tears ; Bertrand was forgiven, 
indemnified for the losses which he had sustained during 
the siege, and dismissed with a charter securing to him from 
that time forth the sole possession of Hautefort. 4 As a 
natural consequence, his lyre and his sword were thenceforth 
both alike at the service of the ducal house to whom he had 
hitherto been such a troublesome and dangerous foe. 

On his northward march Henry met with no opposition. 
The young king had drawn to himself followers from all 
parts of the Angevin dominions, as well as from those of 
the French Crown ; 5 but they had all been drawn by a 
purely personal attraction, or by the hope of gain ; their 
action had no political significance ; and the greater barons, 
warned by their experience of ten years before, had remained 
entirely aloof from the whole movement. On reaching Le 
Mans, indeed, Henry found the old jealousy between Nor- 
mandy and Maine on the point of breaking out over his 
son's dead body ; the clergy and people of Rouen, indignant 

1 Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 18 (Labbe, Nova Biblioth., vol. ii. p. 337). 

2 On 'the story of this siege see Cledat, Bert, de Born, pp. 55-57, and Geoff. 
Vigeois as above. 

3 Geoff. Vigeois as above. 4 Cledat, Bert, de Born, pp. 57, 58. 
5 W. Map, De Nug. Cur., dist. iv. c. i. (Wright, p. 139). 


at being defrauded of their young king's dying bequest, were 
threatening to come and destroy the city of Le Mans and 
carry off his body by force. Henry was obliged to cause it 
to be disinterred and conveyed to Rouen for re-burial, 1 while 
he himself returned to Angers to meet Richard and to 
receive Geoffrey's submission. 2 The quarrel between the 
Cenomannians and the citizens of Rouen was however only 
the smallest part of the troubles which arose from the young 
king's death. As Margaret's only child had died in infancy, 
her brother Philip of France at once demanded the restor- 
ation of her dowry, and especially the fortress of Gisors. 
Henry refused to give it up ; conference after conference 
was held without result ; 3 at last, in December, a compro- 
mise was made, Henry consenting to do homage to Philip 
for all his transmarine dominions and to pay a money-com- 
pensation for Gisors, which was to be left in his hands 
henceforth as the dowry not of Margaret, but of her sister 
Adela, Richard's affianced bride. 4 

But a far worse difficulty remained. All Henry's schemes 
for the distribution of his territories were upset by the death 
of his heir, and it was necessary to devise some new arrange- 
ment. It really seems as if Henry's first thought about the 
matter was that now at last he could provide as he chose 
for his darling " Lackland " ; for he at once bade the English 
justiciar Ralf de Glanville bring John over to meet him in 
Normandy. As soon as they arrived he sent for Richard and 
unfolded his plan. Richard was now the eldest son ; if he 
lived, he must in due time succeed his father as head of the 
Angevin house. Henry had clearly no mind to venture a 
second time upon the dangerous experiment of crowning his 
heir during his own life. But, although we have no actual 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 303, 304. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. 
p. 280. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 20. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 305. 
Th. Agnellus (Stevenson, R. Coggeshall], pp. 269-272. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 304. 

3 Ib. pp. 304, 305. Cf. Rog. Howden as above, pp. 280, 281. According 
to the Gesta, one of Henry's contrivances for avoiding the restitution of the 
dower-lands was to declare that he had bestowed them upon his own wife; and 
he set her at liberty and made her go through the said lands to demonstrate the 
fact. If so, however, she was soon put in prison again. 

4 Ib. p. 306. Cf. Rog. Howden, as above, pp. 281, 284. 


statement of his intentions, it seems plain that he did intend 
to place Richard, in every respect short of the coronation, in 
the same position which had been held by the young king. 
Under these circumstances, if the continental dominions of 
the Angevin house were to be redistributed among the three 
surviving brothers, there was only one possible mode of re- 
distribution. Geoffrey could not give up Britanny, for he 
was now actually married to its duchess ; J but Richard, in 
consideration of his prospects as future king of England, 
duke of Normandy and count of Anjou, might fairly be 
asked to surrender to his youngest brother the duchy of 
Aquitaine. So at least it seemed from Henry's point of 
view. Richard however saw the matter in another light. 
Not because he loved Aquitaine, but because he hated it 
because for eight years he had fought unceasingly to crush it 
beneath his feet now that it lay there prostrate, he could 
not let it escape him. Richard was generous ; but to give 
up to other hands the reaping of a harvest which he had 
sown with such unsparing labour and watered with such 
streams of blood, was a sacrifice too great for his generosity 
in his six-and-twentieth year. He met his father's demand 
with a request for time to think it over ; that evening he 
mounted his horse and rode straight for Poitou ; and thence 
he sent back a message that so long as he lived, no one but 
himself should ever hold the duchy of Aquitaine. 2 

After threatening and beseeching him by turns all 
through the winter, Henry so far lost patience that he gave 
permission to John now fifteen years old to lead an 
army into his brother's territories and win an heritage for 
himself if he could. 3 It does not appear, however, that any 
such attempt was actually made till after Henry himself 
had gone back to England in June 1 1 84.* As soon as his 
back was turned, his two younger sons joined to harry the 
lands of the eldest ; Richard retaliated by pushing across 
the Angevin border and making a raid upon Britanny ; and 

1 Geoffrey and Constance were married in 1181 ; see a document in Morice, 
Hist. Bret., preuves, vol. i. col. 687. Rob. Torigni dates the marriage a year too 

ate (Delisle, vol. ii. p. 104 and note 4). 

2 GestaHen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 308. 3 Ib. p. 311. 
4 Ib. p. 312. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 21. 


in November Henry found it necessary to check the lawless 
doings of all three by summoning them to rejoin him in 
England. 1 On S. Andrew's day a sort of public recon- 
ciliation of the whole family took place in a great council at 
Westminster ; Eleanor was suffered to resume her place as 
queen, and the three sons were compelled formally at least 
to make peace among themselves. 2 Geoffrey was at once 
sent back to Normandy ; 3 Richard and John stayed to keep 
the Christmas feast with their father and mother amid 
a brilliant gathering of the court at Windsor. 4 , Soon after- 
wards Richard also returned to his troublesome duchy ; 5 for 
Henry had now abandoned all idea of transferring it to 
John. Falling back upon his earlier plans for his youngest 
child, on Mid-Lent Sunday 1185 ne knighted John at 
Windsor, and thence despatched him as governor to 
Ireland. 6 

Meanwhile the king himself was again called over sea 
by fresh troubles in Gaul. The king of France and the 
count of Flanders had been quarrelling for the last two years 
over the territories of the latter's deceased wife, the counties 
of Amiens and Vermandois ; 7 Henry's last act before he left 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 319. 

2 Ib. pp. 319, 320. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 288. Eleanor had 
been released in June in order that she might welcome her daughter, the duchess 
of Saxony ; Gesta Hen. as above, p. 313. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 320. 4 Ib. p. 333. 5 Ib. p. 334. 

6 Ib. p. 336. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 34. John sailed from Milford on 
April 24 and landed next day at Waterford. Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern.^ 1. ii. 
c. 32 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 380). 

7 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 311, 312. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 
309. On this quarrel cf. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt.^ vol. v.), pp. 
12, 13, and Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 2 (Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 
88-90). This last version is extremely confused in its chronology. The main 
facts of the case are these : Philip of Flanders and Isabel his wife had no children, 
and they had quarrelled (Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 99, 100). Philip's heir-pre- 
sumptive was his sister Margaret, wife of Count Baldwin of Hainaut, and after her, 
her son, another Baldwin. In 1180, however, Philip proposed, instead of leaving 
all his dominions to his sister and her son, to settle the southern half of them, 
comprising Vermandois and Flanders south of the river Lys, upon her daughter 
Elizabeth, whom he had just given in marriage to Philip of France. (Ib. p. 245.) 
He meant to leave them to her on his own death ; but when his wife died, in 1182 
(ib. p. 285), Philip Augustus laid claim to her two counties as lapsed fiefs. King 
and count went on quarrelling till 1186, when, as we shall see, the matter was 


Normandy had been to arrange a truce between them. 1 Two 
months later in August 1 1 84 while Philip of Flanders 
was away in England on a pilgrimage to the martyr's tomb 
at Canterbury, Philip of France broke the truce by stirring 
up his father-in-law the count of Hainaut to attack Flanders 
in his behalf: Philip of Flanders appealed for help to his 
other overlord the Emperor Frederic ; the archbishop of 
Coin, who had been his fellow-pilgrim, at once joined him in 
a counter-invasion of Hainaut ; 2 and the incalculable dangers 
of a war between France and Germany were only averted by 
Frederic's wise reluctance to interfere, strengthened, we may 
perhaps suspect, by the influence of the English king. It 
seemed indeed as if nothing but Henry's presence could 
avail to keep order in Gaul. When he returned thither, in 
April n85, 3 his first task was to pacify another quarrel 
between his own sons. This time the elder one seems to 
have been the aggressor ; and Henry grew so angry that he 
once more summoned Richard to give up Aquitaine alto- 
gether, not, however, to either of his brothers, but to its own 
lawful lady, his mother, Queen Eleanor. Despite all her 
faults, Eleanor was reverenced by her sons; Richard especially 
treated her throughout his life with the utmost respect and 
affection ; and the demand thus made in her behalf met 
with immediate submission. 4 For nine months Henry's 
dominions were quiet, and his hands were free to deal with 
the quarrels of France and Flanders. But before he had 
succeeded in pacifying them, a further complication was 
added. King Bela of Hungary made suit to Philip of 
France for the hand of his sister the widowed Queen 
Margaret, 5 and this at once re-opened the question about her 

settled by the immediate cession of Vermandois to Philip Augustus, who thereupon 
agreed to wait for the rest till the Flemish count's death. 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 312. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 309. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 321, 322. Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 
288, and R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 32. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 337. R. Diceto as above, p. 34. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 337, 338. Cf. Rog. Howden as above, p. 304. 

5 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 20. Will. Armor., 
Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid. ), p. 73. According to the Gesta Hen. as above, p. 346, 
Bela's first suit was to Henry, for the hand of his granddaughter Matilda of 


dower ; for the agreement made two years before had been 
conditional upon Richard's marriage with Adela, and as this 
event seemed as far off as ever, Philip again laid claim to 
the whole dowry, including Gisors. He was however too 
much in need of Henry's assistance in his dispute with 
Flanders over the dower-lands of Isabel of Vermandois to 
risk a quarrel with him about those of the young queen ; 
and by Henry's tact and diplomacy both questions were 
settled in a conference at Gisors itself early in 1 186. 1 The 
count of Flanders gave up Vermandois to Philip Augustus, 2 
while Philip and Margaret again consented, in return for a 
money-compensation from Henry, to make Gisors over to 
him on the old condition that Richard should marry Adela 
without further delay. 3 The condition however remained 
unfulfilled. Richard was again despatched into Aquitaine, 
not indeed as its duke for Henry had placed all its for- 
tresses under officers of his own appointment 4 but still as 
his father's 'representative, charged in his name with the 
maintenance of obedience and order. 5 As for Eleanor, 
Henry had clearly never intended again to intrust her with 
any real authority ; and in April he carried her back with 
him to England. 6 

England was now his only refuge. In these closing 
years of his reign, when the whole interest of the story 
centres round the person of the king, the character of those 
few incidents which take place on English ground is in 
striking contrast with the state of affairs which occupied him 
in Gaul. While the Angevin dominions on the continent 

Saxony; but Henry, "ut mos suus erat," was so slow in answering that Bela, 
tired of waiting, transferred his proposals to Margaret. On the other hand, Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 336, 337, charges Henry with having contrived 
Margaret's marriage with Bela on purpose to get her to a safe distance, whence 
neither she nor her husband could reclaim the dowry. 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 343. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 40. The 
last gives the date as March 10 ; the Gesta make it just before Mid-Lent, which 
was February 26. 

- Cf. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 13, with R. Diceto 
as above. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 344. Cf. R. Diceto as above. 

4 R. Diceto as above. 5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 345. 
6 Ibid. R. Diceto as above. 


were threatening disruption under their owner's very eyes, 
each of his visits to England was marked by some fresh 
indication of the firm hold which he had gained upon his 
island realm and its dependencies, or of the lofty position 
which England under him had acquired among the powers 
of the world. Of the internal affairs of England itself, 
indeed, we hear absolutely nothing save a few ecclesiastical 
details, and of Wales and Scotland scarcely more. Henry's 
first business after his landing in 1 1 84 had been to lead 
an army against South Wales j 1 but at the mere tidings of 
his approach Rees hurried to make submission at Worcester. 2 
William of Scotland was in still greater haste to meet the 
English king with a suit for the hand of his granddaughter 
Matilda of Saxony, 3 who was now in England with her 
parents. The project was foiled by the Pope's refusal to 
grant a dispensation, 4 without which such a marriage was 
impossible, owing to the descent of both parties from 
Malcolm III. and Margaret Henry, however, on his 
next visit to England in 1186, proposed that William 
should wed in Matilda's place her kinswoman Hermengard 
of Beaumont. 5 Hermengard stood even nearer than Matilda 
in descent from Henry I., but there was no obstacle to 
her marriage with the king of Scots ; he therefore will- 
ingly embraced the offer ; and before the year closed the 
alliance between the two kings was doubly cemented, first 
at Carlisle by the final submission of Galloway to Henry, 
William himself standing surety for its obedience ; 6 and 
afterwards, at Woodstock on September 5, by the marriage 
of Hermengard and William, to whom Henry restored 
Edinburgh castle as his contribution to the dowry of the 
bride. 7 

Henry is said to have received in the course of the 
same year another proposal, from a more distant quarter, for 
his granddaughter's hand. According to one writer, Bela of 
Hungary had at first desired the young Saxon princess for his 
queen, and it was only Henry's long delay in answering his 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 314. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 309. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above. 3 Ib. p. 313. 4 Ib. p. 322. 
5 Ib. p. 347. 6 Ib. pp. 348, 349. 7 Ib. p. 351. 


suit which provoked him to transfer it to Margaret. 1 Both 
Matilda's suitors must have been attracted solely by the 
ambition of forming a family connexion with her grand- 
father King Henry ; and that attraction must have been a 
very strong one, for at the time of William's suit, if not at 
the time of Bela's, it had to counterbalance the fact that 
Matilda herself, her parents, and all their other children, 
were landless and penniless exiles. To Henry's load of 
family cares there had been added since 1180 that of the 
troubles of his eldest daughter and her husband, Duke Henry 
the Lion of Saxony. During the retreat of the Imperial 
forces from Italy in 1 179 the duke fell under the displeasure 
of his cousin the Emperor ; next year he was deprived of 
all his estates and placed under the ban of the Empire. In 
the summer of 1182 he and his family made their way to 
the sole refuge left them, the court of his father-in-law ; and 
there for the most part they remained during the next two 
years. Towards the close of 1184 the English king's influ- 
ence in Germany prevailed to obtain the duke's restoration 
to his patrimonial duchy of Brunswick ; 2 and another token 
of the eagerness with which Henry's alliance was sought 
may be seen in the fact that among the conditions demanded 
by Frederic was the betrothal of one of his own daughters 
to Richard of Poitou. 3 This condition, which might have 
added considerably to Henry's difficulties in France, was 
annulled by the speedy death of the intended bride. 4 On 
the other hand, the restoration of the exiled duke was far 
from complete ; Brunswick was only a small part of the 
vast territories which he had formerly possessed ; although 
he returned to Germany in 1 185, 5 it was as a suspected and 
ruined man ; and before Henry's reign closed another sen- 
tence of banishment drove him and his wife again to seek 
the shelter of her father's court. 

Early in 1185 came a crowning proof of the estimation 
in which the English king was held both at home and 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 346. See above, p. 235, note 5. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 249, 287, 288, 318, 319, 322, 323 ; cf. Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 199-201, 269, 288, 289. 3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 319. 

4 Ib. p. 322. 5 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 38. 


abroad. King Baldwin III. of Jerusalem, the eldest son and 
successor of Queen Melisenda and Fulk of Anjou, had died 
in 1162, the year of Thomas Becket's appointment to the 
see of Canterbury. He was succeeded by his brother 
Almeric, who died while Henry was struggling with his 
rebellious barons in 1173. During the twelve years which 
had passed since then, Almeric's son, another Baldwin, had 
fought on bravely against overwhelming odds to keep out 
the Infidel foe. But the struggle grew more hopeless year 
by year and day by day. The young king himself was in 
natural temper as gallant a knight as ever sprang from the 
blood of Anjou ; but he was crippled physically, socially and 
politically by a disease which made his life a burthen he 
was a leper ; his kingdom was torn by the mutual jealousies 
of the kinsmen on whom he was compelled to rely for its 
government and defence ; while the political and military 
power of the Turks was growing to a height such as it had 
never before attained, under their famous leader Saladin. 1 
If the necessities of Palestine had been grievous when King 
Baldwin II. had called upon Fulk to protect Melisenda on 
her perilous throne if they had been grievous when Meli- 
senda sought the aid of the western princes for her infant 
son Baldwin III. they were far more grievous now. But 
times were changed in the west since Melisenda had been 
obliged to rest content with a general appeal addressed to 
Latin Christendom through the abbot of Clairvaux. Inde- 
pendent of the claim of the king of Jerusalem to the sym- 
pathy and the succour of all Christian princes, Baldwin had 
a direct personal claim upon one prince, and that one well- 
nigh the mightiest of all. He himself represented one 
branch of the race whose power had spread from the black 
rock of Angers to the ends of the earth ; the other, the elder 
branch, was represented by Henry Fitz-Empress. As Bald- 
win's nearest kinsman, as the foremost descendant alike of 
Fulk the King and of Fulk the Canon, as head of the whole 

1 Will. Tyr., 11. xix.-xxii. 1. xxi. ; containing a most moving account of Bald- 
win. See also Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 10 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 240-247), and Bishop 
Stubbs's elucidation of the whole story and its significance in his introduction to 
Itin. Reg. Ric. , pp. Ixxxi. et seq. 


Angevin race on both sides of the sea, it was to the Angevin 
king of England that the Angevin king of Jerusalem 
appealed, as a matter of right and almost of duty, for succour 
in his extremity. 1 And he threw his appeal into a shape 
which made it indeed irresistible. Henry was at Notting- 
ham, on his way northward to York, in the last days of 
January 1 185, when he was stopped by tidings that two of 
the highest dignitaries of the Latin Church in the east, 
Heraclius the Patriarch of Jerusalem and the Grand Master 
of the Hospital, had arrived at Canterbury on a mission from 
Holy Land. 2 He at once changed his course and hurried 
southward again to meet them at Reading. 3 With a burst 
of tears Heraclius laid at the feet of the English king the 
royal standard of Jerusalem, the keys of the city, those of 
the Tower of David and of the Holy Sepulchre itself, be- 
seeching him in Baldwin's name to carry them back at the 
head of his crusading host. 

The whole assembly wept with the Patriarch ; and the 
king himself was deeply moved. 4 How many of his earlier 
projects of going on crusade now to Spain, now to Holy 
Land, now alone, now with the king of France had been 
mere political expedients, we cannot tell ; there may have 
been more sincerity in them than one is at first disposed to 
imagine. Little as Henry cared for either war or adventure 
merely for its own sake, still there flowed in his veins, no 
less than in those of his young cousin Baldwin, the blood of 
Angevin pilgrims and crusaders. The lifelong dream of 

1 " Sicut ab eo ad cujus nutum regnum Jerosolymitanum de jure haereditario 
prsedecessorum suorum spectabat." Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 328. 

2 Ib. p. 335. They had come through France, and had been received in Paris 
by Philip on January 16 ; Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 14. 
They were at Canterbury on January 29, and it seems that even the Patriarch of 
Jerusalem, with the very keys of the Sepulchre itself in his hands, thought it well 
to stop and pay his devotions at the martyr's tomb; Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. 
i. p. 325. A third envoy, the Grand Master of the Temple, had died on the way 
at Verona ; Gesta Hen. as above, p. 331 ; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 32. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 335 ; cf. R. Diceto as above. Gir. Cambr. , De 
Instr. Princ., dist. ii. c. 24 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 59) 'places the meeting at 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 335, 336. R. Diceto as above, pp. 32, 33. Cf. 
Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 59, 60). 


Fulk Nerra and Fulk V. may have been also the dream of 
Henry, although none of the three was a man to let his 
dreams influence his conduct until he saw a clear possibility 
of realizing them. Whether there was such a possibility 
now, however, was a question whose decision did not rest 
with Henry alone. If he was to head a crusade, he must 
head it not merely as count of Anjou but as king of 
England, with all England's powers and resources, material 
and moral, at his back ; and this could only be if England 
sanctioned his undertaking. The " faithful men of the 
land " the bishops and barons, the constitutional repre- 
sentatives of the nation were therefore gathered together 
in council at Clerkenwell on March 1 8 ; Henry bade them 
advise him as they thought best for his soul's health, and 
promised to abide by their decision. After deliberation, 
they gave it as their unanimous judgement that he must 
remain at home and not venture to abandon, for the sake of 
giving his personal assistance in the east, the work to which 
he was pledged by his coronation-oath, of keeping his own 
realms in peace and order and securing them from external 
foes. 1 Whether or not the decision thus arrived at was wise 
for the interests of Christendom at large whether or not it 
redounds altogether to the honour of England it was surely 
the highest tribute she could pay to her Angevin king. A 
ruler from whom his people were so unwilling to part had 
clearly some better hold over them than that of mere 
force. That they shrank with such dread from any inter- 
ruption of his kingly labours is the best proof how greatly 
they had benefited by those labours during the past thirty 

The Patriarch was bitterly disappointed, and vented his 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 33, 34. The author of Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), 
vol. i. p. 336, dates the council eight days earlier than Ralf, and finds nothing 
more to say about it than "cum diu tractassent de itinere Jerosolimitanae profec- 
tionis, tandem placuit regi et consiliariis consulere inde Philippum regem Franciae." 
But the totally independent versions of Henry's answer to the Patriarch given by 
Gir. Cambr., De Instr. Princ., dist. ii. c. 27 (Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 64, 65), and 
Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 32, both distinctly support Ralf thus far, that they 
represent the king's refusal as grounded on the difficulty of reconciling the pro- 
posed expedition with the fulfilment of his duty to his own realms. 



disappointment upon Henry in unmeasured terms. In vain 
did he intreat that at least John, the only one of the king's 
sons then in England, might be sent to infuse some new 
life into the rapidly-dying stock of the Angevin house in 
Palestine. John himself, it is said, was eager to go, 1 but 
the king refused his consent, and six weeks later, as we 
have seen, despatched him as governor to Ireland. This 
mission failed completely, through John's own fault. He 
was received with every demonstration of loyalty both by 
the native princes and by the English settlers ; but in a 
very few months he contrived to set them all against him. 
He treated the English leaders with the most overbearing 
insolence ; he insulted the Irish chieftains who came to 
bring him their loyal greetings at Waterford more brutally 
still, mocking at their dress and manners, and even pulling 
their beards ; 2 he sent the mercenaries who had accompanied 
him from England to make a raid upon North Munster, in 
which they were repulsed with great loss, 3 and then ex- 
asperated them to mutiny by keeping them penniless while 
he spent their wages upon his own pleasure. 4 By September 
he had brought matters to such a pass that his father was 
obliged to recall him and bid John de Courcy undertake the 
government of Ireland in his place. 5 Henry however was 
far from abandoning his cherished scheme. Blinded by his 
fatal partiality for his youngest child, he was willing to at- 
tribute John's failure to any cause except the true one ; he 
determined that the lad should return to his post, but 
clothed with fuller powers and loftier dignity. Taking ad- 
vantage of a change in the Papacy, he at once applied to 
the new Pope, Urban III., for leave to have his son anointed 
and crowned as king of Ireland. Urban not only gave his 
consent, but accompanied it with a gift of a crown made of 
peacock's feathers set in gold. 6 Next summer there came 
to England news that " a certain Irishman had cut off the 

1 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Frinc., dist. ii. c. 27 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 65). 

2 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern., I. ii. c. 36 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 389). 

3 Four Masters, a. 1185 (O'Donovan, vol. iii. p. 67). 

4 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 339. 

5 Gir. Cambr. Expugn. Hibern. as above (p. 392). 

6 Gesta Hen. as above. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 306, 307. 


head of Hugh de Lacy"; 1 Henry, seeing in this event an 
opportunity of recovering for the Crown Hugh's vast estates 
in Ireland, hurried John off thither at once 2 without waiting 
to have him crowned, or possibly intending that the coron- 
ation should take place in Dublin. But before John had 
sailed, he was recalled by tidings of another death which 
touched his father more nearly. 

Geoffrey of Britanny had gone to visit the French king 
in Paris ; there, on August 19, he died. 3 No one regretted 
him, unless it was his father, and Philip of France, who 
caused him to be buried with regal honours in the cathedral 
church of our Lady in Paris, and followed him to the grave 
with every demonstration of mourning. 4 If report spoke 
true, Philip's grief was as sincere as it was selfish ; for 
Geoffrey had been cut off in the midst of a plot whereby he 
proposed, out of spite against his father and elder brother, 
to withdraw from them his homage for Britanny and become 
Philip's liegeman, receiving in return the title of grand 
seneschal which in the year of his own birth had been 
conferred upon his father as a warrant for intervention in 
the affairs of the Breton duchy. 5 Faithful servants of the 
English king were inclined to see in Geoffrey's sudden end 
a divine judgement upon this undutiful scheme. 6 Philip how- 
ever saw a means of making his own profit out of Geoffrey's 
death, quite as readily as out of his life. He at once 
claimed, as overlord, the wardship of the infant heiress- 

1 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 350. Cf. ib. p. 361 ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), 
vol. ii. p. 309; Four Masters, a. 1186 (O'Donovan, vol. iii. pp. 71-75); Gir. 
Cambr. Expu^n. Hibern., 1. ii. c. 35 (Dimock, vol. v. p. 387) ; and R. Diceto 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 34. This last gives the day, July 25, but places the event a 
year too early. 2 Gtsta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 350. 

3 R. Diceto as above, p. 41. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., 
vol. v.), p. 20. Will. Armor., Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.}, p. 73. The accounts oi 
the cause of death are very conflicting. Rigord, Will. Armor, and Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs, vol. i. 336) say he died of some malady not specified. Gir. Cambr., 
De Instr. Pi inc., dist. ii. c. 10 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 34), makes him die " eodem 
quo et frater antea morbo acutissimo, sc. febrili calore. " The Gesta Hen. as 
above, and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 309, attribute his death to 
injuries received in a tournament ; but the Gesta, as we shall see, have an 
alternative version. 4 Gir. Cambr., Rigord and Will. Armor, as above. 

5 Cf. Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 33, 34), with Gesta Hen. as above, and Will. 
Newb., 1. iii. c. 7 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 235). 6 Gesta Hen. as above. 


presumptive of Britanny Eleanor, the only child of 
Geoffrey and Constance 1 and with it the administration 
of her duchy till she should be old enough to be married. 
Henry tried to temporize, 2 but the longer the negotiations 
lasted the more complicated they became, as Philip kept 
increasing his demands. First Aquitaine was dragged into 
the dispute. Its northern portion was just now in a state 
of unwonted tranquillity, for at the close of the year we 
find Bertrand de Born complaining that he had witnessed 
neither siege nor battle for more than twelve months. 3 
Richard was in fact busy in the south, at war with the 
count of Toulouse. 4 Against this Philip remonstrated, as 
an unjust aggression upon a loyal vassal of the French 
Crown ; 5 he added to his remonstrance a demand for 
Richard's homage to himself for Aquitaine, and also all 
prospect of Adela's marriage being now apparently at an 
end for the definite restitution of Gisors. 6 While the two 
kings were negotiating, actual hostilities broke out between 
some of their constables on the border ; the warlike zeal 
of both parties, however, died down at the approach of 
Christmas ; 7 Henry lingered in England to receive two 
papal legates who were coming to crown John as king of 
Ireland, 8 but the crowning never took place ; and at last, on 
February 17, 1187, king and legates sailed together for 
Normandy. 9 

When the two kings met at the Gue-St.-Remy on April 
5, 10 little Eleanor was no longer heiress of Britanny. On 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 41, says they had two daughters ; but I can 
find no trace of a second. 2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 353, 354. 

3 Cledat, Bert, de Born, pp. 68, 69. * Gesta Hen. as above, p. 345. 

3 R. Diceto as above, pp. 43, 44. 

6 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 23. Will. Armor., 
Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.}, pp. 73, 74; Philipp., 1. ii. (ibid.}, p. 118. 

7 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 354, 355. R. Diceto as above, p. 44. 

8 Cardinal Octavian and Hugh of Nonant, bishop-elect of Chester ; Gesta Hen. 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 3, 4 ; R. Diceto (as above), p. 47. They landed at Sand- 
wich on Christmas-eve and kept the feast at Canterbury. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), 
vol. i. p. 346. 

9 The Gesta Hen. as above, p. 4, and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 317, 
say they crossed together ; R. Diceto as above, p. 47, to whom we owe the date 
of Henry's crossing, seems to think the legates had preceded him. 

10 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 5. 


Easter-day Constance had become the mother of a son, 
whom the Bretons, in defiance of his grandfather's wish to 
bestow upon him his own name, insisted upon calling after 
the legendary hero of their race, Arthur 1 thus at once 
claiming him as the representative of their national exist- 
ence and rights. The child's birth made little difference in 
the political situation ; Philip claimed the wardship of the 
heir of Britanny just as he had claimed that of its heiress ; 
the conference broke up, and both parties prepared for war. 
Henry distributed his forces in four divisions ; one of these 
was commanded by his eldest son, Geoffrey the chancellor, 
who as bishop-elect of Lincoln had given good proof of his 
military capacities in the revolt of 1174; another was 
intrusted to the king's faithful friend Earl William de Man- 
deville ; the other two were commanded respectively by 
Richard and John, and it seems that both of these were at 
once sent down into Berry, where Philip was expected to 
begin his attack. Soon after Whitsuntide Philip advanced 
upon Berry, 2 took Issoudun and Gragay, and laid siege to 
Chateauroux. 3 Henry now followed his sons ; the three 
together marched to the relief of Chateauroux, and Richard 
apparently succeeded in making his way into the place, 
where John afterwards rejoined him. 4 For nearly a fort- 
night the two kings remained encamped on opposite sides 
of the Indre, drawing up their forces every morning for 
battle ; 5 but each day the battle was averted by some 
means or other. Now it was the mediation of the French 
bishops in Philip's camp, or of the Roman legates in that 
of Henry; 6 now it was a miraculous judgement upon a 
sacrilegious Brabantine in the French host, which scared 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 48. Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 7 (Hewlett, vol. 
i. p. 235). Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 358, 361. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), 
vol. ii. p. 315. These two latter make the year 1186, which is nonsense, as they 
both expressly say that the child was posthumous. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 6. 

3 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 23; Will. Armor. 
Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.}, p. 74; Philipp., 1. ii. (ibid.}, p. 119. 

4 Gesta Hen. (as above), p. 5. Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 369. 

5 See Cledat, Bert, de Born, p. 71. 

6 Ibid. Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 6, 7. 


Philip into dismissing his mercenaries j 1 now it was the 
count of Flanders who, as soon as his peace with France 
was made, turned against the peace-maker and sought to 
stir Richard up to play over again the part of the young 
king ; now it was Henry himself who opened negotiations 
for a truce. 2 Finally, on Midsummer-eve, 3 a truce was 
made for two years. 4 According to Bertrand de Born, it 
was wrung from Philip by the discovery that the troops of 
Champagne, which formed a considerable part of his army, 
had been bought over by the English king. 5 Its actual 
negotiator was Richard ; 6 and when Richard, instead of 
returning to his father, rode away in the closest companion- 
ship with the king of France, Henry naturally grew suspi- 
cious of the terms on which it had been won. His 
suspicions were confirmed when Richard, under pretence of 
obeying his summons to return, made his way to Chinon 
and there seized the contents of the Angevin treasury, 
which he immediately applied to the fortification of his 
own castles in Poitou. 7 A partizan of Richard tells us 
that Philip had communicated to him a letter in which 
Henry proposed to make peace by marrying Adela to 
John and constituting the latter heir to all his dominions 
except England and Normandy. 8 If this scheme really 
existed, it was foiled by Philip's own act ; and when Henry 
and his elder son met soon afterwards at Angers, their dif- 

1 Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 369, 370 ; Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. 
Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), pp. 23, 24 ; Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 14 (Hewlett, vol. i. 
p. 248) ; and Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 2 (Angl. Christ. Soc., 
p. 92). 2 Gerv. Cant, as above, pp. 371-373- 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 49. 

4 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 7 ; R. Diceto and Gir. Cambr. as above ; 
Rigord (as above), p. 23. Will. Armor., Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.\ p. 75, and 
Philipp^ 1. ii. (ibid.), p. I2O, turns the truce into an abject submission of Henry 
and Richard. Gerald says that one of the conditions of the truce was that 
Auvergne, which Philip had conquered, should remain in his hands during the 
period. But none of the other authorities mention Auvergne at all at this time ; 
and Gerald's statement seems incompatible with the French accounts of Philip's 
attack upon Auvergne, as if upon a hostile country, in 1188 (Rigord, as above, 
p. 27 ; Will. Armor., ibid., pp. 74, 122). Gerald and Rigord are however almost 
equally untrustworthy for details, and especially for chronology. 

5 See Cledat, Bert, de Born, pp. 71, 72. 6 Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 373. 
7 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 9. 8 Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 91, 92). 


ferences were apparently settled for the moment by Richard's 
reinstatement in the dukedom of Aquitaine ; for we are told 
that he not only returned to his duty, but publicly renewed 
his homage to the king. 1 

All these western quarrels again sank into the back- 
ground before the tidings which came from Holy Land as 
the year drew to a close. Heraclius had gone home from 
his unsuccessful mission to find Baldwin IV. delivered out 
of all his troubles, and his throne occupied by his infant 
nephew, the child of his sister Sibyl. The little king 
soon followed his uncle to the grave; and Sibyl, on whom 
the representation of the royal house thus devolved, at once 
bestowed her crown upon the man who had already been for 
six years the bravest and most successful defender of the 
distracted realm her husband, Guy of Lusignan. 2 Guy 
sprang from a faithless race whom the Angevins had little 
cause to love or trust in their western home; but in Palestine 
he was hated simply because he had deservedly won the 
affection and the confidence of both Baldwin and Sibyl. 
Thwarted, baffled, deserted, betrayed by envious rivals, left 
almost alone to face the Infidel foes whose advance grew 
more threatening day by day, Guy fought on till in a great 
battle at Tiberias, in July 1187, he was made prisoner by 
the Turks ; the Christians were totally defeated, and the 
relic of the Cross, which they had carried with them to the 
fight, fell with the king into the hands of the unbelievers. 3 
The tidings of this disaster, when they reached Europe in 
October, gave the death-blow to Pope Urban III. 4 His 
successor, Gregory VIII., opened his pontificate with an im- 
passioned appeal to all Western Christendom for the rescue 
of the Holy Land. 5 The first response came from the young 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 9. 2 Ib. vol. i. pp. 358, 359. 

3 According to the pathetic story in Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 1 5, it was 
rather the king who fell with the Cross, in a desperate effort to save it. See also 
Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 13, 22, 37 ; R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 21 ; 
Expugn. Terra Sancta (ibid.}, pp. 209-227. 

4 Cf. Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 21 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 267), and Rigord (Duchesne, 
Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 24. 

5 Will. Newb. as above. See also Gesta Hen. as above, p. 15. and Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 322. 


duke of Aquitaine ; without waiting to consult his father, at 
the earliest tidings of the catastrophe Richard took the 
cross at the hands of the archbishop of Tours. 1 Henry 
himself was so thunderstruck at the news that for four days 
he suspended all state business and refused to see any one. 2 
He was in Normandy, and with him was Archbishop Baldwin 
of Canterbury, who had taken the cross two years before 
with the archbishop of Rouen, the veteran warrior-bishop 
Hugh of Durham, the justiciar Ralf de Glanville, and a crowd 
of other dignitaries of both Church and state, none of whom, 
however, had as yet actually started on their crusade. It 
was not King Henry who hindered them ; he had given 
every facility for the preaching of the crusade throughout 
his dominions ; 3 and even in Richard's case, although 
reproving the hastiness of the vow, he made no attempt to 
thwart its fulfilment, but on the contrary promised his son 
every assistance in his power. 4 Richard's project, however, 
roused up the king of France to insist once more upon his 
immediate marriage with Adela, or, failing this, the restitu- 
tion of Gisors ; and Henry, on his way to England in 
January 1188, was recalled by tidings that Philip had 
gathered his host and was threatening to invade Normandy 
unless his demands were granted at once. The kings met 
at the old trysting-place between Gisors and Trie ; 5 but 
their conference had scarcely begun when it was interrupted 
by another messenger from Palestine, charged with news ot 
a catastrophe more awful than even that of Tiberias. Three 
months after Guy's capture, in October 1187, Jerusalem 
itself had fallen into the hands of the Infidels ; 6 and the 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 50. Cf. Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 23 (Hewlett, 
vol. i.p. 271). Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 5 (Angl. Christ. Soc., 
p. 98). 2 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 389. 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 302. 4 Will. Newb. as above. 

5 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 29. Rog. Howden as above, p. 334. R. 
Diceto as above, p. 51. Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 406. Rigord (Duchesne, 
Hist. Franc. Script, vol. v.), p. 24. Will Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.), p. 74. 
The date is either S. Hilary's day, January 13 (Rigord and Will. Armor.), or that 
of S. Agnes, January 21 (Gesta Hen.> Rog. Howden and R. Diceto). Gerv. 
Cant, makes it " about S. Vincent's day " (January 22). 

6 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 24. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 22, 23. Expugn. 
Terra Sancta (ibid.\ pp. 241-248. Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 20-22. 


archbishop of Tyre now came to tell with his own lips the 
sad and shameful story. 

In his presence the selfish quarrel of the two kings was 
shamed into silence. The king of France took the cross at 
once, and the king of England followed his example, this 
time without waiting for his people's consent ; the arch- 
bishops of Reims and Rouen, the counts of Flanders, 
Burgundy, Blois and Champagne, and a crowd of French 
and Norman barons did the like. 1 The two kings set up a 
wooden cross, afterwards replaced by a church, to mark the 
spot, which they called the "Holy Field"; 2 then they 
separated to make their preparations. Henry at once sent 
to request a safe-conduct for himself and his troops through 
the dominions of the king of Hungary and those of the 
Western and Eastern Emperors. 3 Before the end of the 
month he issued from Le Mans an ordinance known as that of 
the " Saladin tithe," requiring every man in his dominions 
to give towards the expenses of the crusade a tithe of all his 
personal property, excepting only the necessary outfit of a 
knight or a priest. 4 This was accompanied by eight other 
ordinances also relating to the crusade, 5 and was imitated 
two months later in France by Philip Augustus. 6 On January 
30 Henry returned to England ; 7 on February 1 1 he met 
the bishops and barons in council at Geddington near 
Northampton, to obtain their assent to the Saladin tithe and 
make arrangements for its collection. 8 It was chiefly to super- 
intend this that the king remained in England, while the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury went to preach the crusade in Wales. 9 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 51. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 30. Will. 
Newb., 1. iii. c. 23 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 272). Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 406. 
Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt. , vol. v. ), p. 25. 2 Rigord, as above. 

3 R. Diceto as above, pp. 51-54. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 31. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 335, 336. 
Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 160. 

5 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 31, 32. Rog. Howden as above, pp. 336, 337. 
These latter ordinances were issued in all Christian realms by the Pope's desire ; 
see Will. Newb. as above (pp. 273, 274). 6 Rigord (as above), pp. 25, 26. 

7 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 33. Gerv. Cant, as above. 

8 Gerv. Cant, as above, pp. 409, 410 (we are indebted to him for place and 
date). Gesta Hen. as above. 

9 Henry seems to have intended going to Wales himself, but to have given it 


Meanwhile Richard was eager to start without delay ; 
but his father refused his consent, insisting that their exped- 
ition should be made in common. The impatient " Lion- 
heart," however, was not to be thus restrained, and in his 
father's absence he made all his preparations and wrote to 
bespeak the aid of his brother-in-law William of Sicily for 
the voyage which he was determined to begin as soon as the 
summer should arrive. 1 But his plans were checked by a 
fresh rising of the Poitevin barons, headed as usual by the 
count of Angouleme, Geoffrey of Rancogne and Geoffrey 
of Lusignan. 2 This last was the worst offender, having 
treacherously slain a personal friend of Richard's. 3 But, like 
Richard himself, he had taken the cross ; and it was doubt- 
less owing to this protection that, before the summer was 
over, he was suffered to make his escape to the realm of his 
hapless brother in Palestine. 4 The other rebels were scarcely 
put down when Raymond of Toulouse seized and cruelly 
maltreated some Poitevin merchants who were passing 
through his territory. Richard at once avenged this outrage 
by an armed raid upon the frontier-districts of Toulouse, and 
presently managed to catch and imprison the count's chief 
adviser Peter Seilun, who was said to have instigated the 
seizure of the merchants. Raymond retaliated by capturing 
two knights attached to the household of the English king, 
Robert Poer and Ralf Fraser, on their way back from a 
pilgrimage to Compostella ; and neither Richard's protest 
against the sacrilege of keeping pilgrims in prison, nor even 
the express command of the king of France for their liber- 
ation out of reverence to S. James, could induce him to give 
them up on any condition save the release of Peter Seilun, 
which Richard firmly refused. 5 A heavy ransom offered by 

up and sent the archbishop instead an exchange which Baldwin gladly accepted, 
as he was at feud with his chapter, and greatly relieved to get away from it. Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 419-421. 

1 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 7 (Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 102, 103). 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 34. 3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 54. 

4 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 26. 

5 Gesta Hen. (as above), pp. 34, 35. Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. 
pp. 339, 340. The date of this expedition of Richard's against Toulouse seems 
to have been about April ; see Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (Duchesne, Hist. 
Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 74. 


the two English captives themselves shortly afterwards 
changed Raymond's determination j 1 but this was of course 
no satisfaction to Richard, and after Whitsuntide he again 
invaded Toulouse with fire and sword ; castle after castle 
fell into his hands, till at last he began to threaten the capital 
itself. 2 

In Aquitaine even more than elsewhere, the beginning 
of strife was like the letting-out of water. This time the 
strife of Richard and Raymond led to the outbursting of a 
flood which ended by overspreading the whole Angevin 
dominions and sweeping away Henry Fitz- Empress himself. 
If Richard's story was true, neither he nor Raymond was 
the real originator of the mischief; it was Philip of France 
who had secretly urged him to the attack ; 3 while another 
rumour, which Richard was only too ready to believe, 
accused Henry himself of stirring up the count of Toulouse 
and the Aquitanian rebels against his son, in order to prevent 
him from starting on the Crusade. 4 Little as we can credit 
such a tale, it is easy to imagine how dexterously Philip 
would use it to sow dissensions between father and son and 
entangle the impetuous Richard in a coil such as only the 
sword could cut. Openly, meanwhile, Philip was taking the 
part of Toulouse, and peremptorily insisting that Henry 
should put a stop to his son's aggressions in that quarter. 5 
Without waiting for Henry's reply, he marched upon Berry 
and laid siege to Chateauroux, which surrendered to him on 

1 Rog. Howden. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 340. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 36. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 55. This 
last writer says that Richard took seventeen castles, but he must be counting in 
those which had been taken in the spring. The date of this second expedition 
comes from Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 27, who places 
it between Pentecost and midsummer. The new editors of Vic and Vaissete, 
Hist, du Languedoc, vol. vii. p. 22, charge Rigord with false chronology here, and 
insist upon following (as they suppose) that of Will. Armor., who tells us that 
Richard began his campaign against Toulouse "modico elapso tempore" after 
the Mid-Lenten council at Paris (Gesta Phil. Aug., Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., 
vol. v. p. 74). If, however, they had read the English authorities more carefully, 
they would have seen that there were really two campaigns, and that while Will. 
Armor, speaks of the first, Rigord is speaking of the second. 

3 Rog. Howden as above. Cf. Gesta Hen. as above, p. 39. 

4 R. Diceto as above. Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 7 (Angl. 
Christ. Soc., p. 103). 5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 36. 


June I6. 1 It was now Henry's turn to remonstrate against 
this breach of truce, all the more flagrant because committed 
against a brother-crusader. He knew however that nothing 
but his own presence could make his remonstrances of any 
avail ; sending John over before him, on the night of July 
10 he hurried across the sea to Barfleur, and thence went 
to muster his forces at Alengon. 2 They consisted of the 
feudal levies of England and Normandy, and a multitude of 
Welsh under the command of Ralf de Glanville, 3 together 
with some Bretons and Flemish mercenaries, 4 and apparently 
some Angevins and Cenomannians. 5 Henry was however 
very unwilling to resort to force ; his old scruple about 
making war upon his overlord seems not to have been yet 
quite extinguished, and moreover he shrank alike from the 
bloodshed and the expense of war. During some weeks his 
forces were still kept idle, save for an occasional plundering- 
raid across the French border. 6 Philip meanwhile was 
carrying all before him in Berry, and having conquered 
nearly the whole district, made a dash upon Auvergne. 7 
Richard seized the opportunity for an attempt to regain 
Chateauroux, in which however he failed, and was only 
saved from capture or death by the help of a friendly 
butcher. 8 His advance however had been enough to make 
Philip retire into his own domains. 9 Soon afterwards the 
approach of the vintage-season compelled the French king 
to disband a part of his forces ; the remainder, under com- 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 55. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 432, 
seems to have confused this siege of Chateauroux with an earlier one. Cf. Will. 
Newb., 1. iii. c. 25 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 276), Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. 
Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 27, and Will. Armor., Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.}, p. 74. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 40. Cf. Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 433. 
R. Diceto (as above) dates the king's crossing "circa festum S. Jacobi," but this 
is clearly wrong. 

3 Gesta Hen. as above. 4 R. Diceto as above. 

6 Rog. Howden (Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 343) adds some troops "from his other 
lands." 6 Gerv. Cant, as above, pp. 433, 434. 

7 Rigord as above. Will. Armor, as above ; Philipp., 1. iii. (ibid.}, p. 122. 
Both these writers however throw some suspicion upon their account of Philip's 
successes by saying that Henry was flying before him all the while, and was 
finally chased back by him into Normandy which in reality it seems plain that 
he had never quitted. 

8 Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 434. 9 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 45. 


mand of the bishop of Beauvais, went to ravage the Norman 
frontier-lands. Henry demanded reparation, and threatened 
to cast off his allegiance in default of it ; Philip retorted 
that he would not cease from the warfare which he had 
begun till all Berry and the Vexin were in his hands. 1 At 
last, in the middle of August, the two kings met in person 
once more between Gisors and Trie ; but the meeting broke 
up in anger ; and when they parted, Philip in his rage cut 
down the great elm tree under which the conferences be- 
tween the rulers of France and Normandy had so long 
been held, vowing that no conference should ever be held 
there again. 2 

Richard had now rejoined his father, 3 and at his instig- 
ation an attack was made by their united forces upon Mantes, 
which was occupied by a small French force under William 
des Barres, lately the commandant of Chateauroux. Richard 
succeeded in avenging his recent mishap at Chateauroux by 
taking William prisoner, but he made his escape immed- 
iately, and nothing was gained by the expedition. 4 Richard 
again went into Berry ; Henry lingered on' the Norman 
border, where soon afterwards he received from Philip 
a demand for another conference. It took place at Chatillon 
on October 7, but again without result. Philip now followed 
Richard, who thereupon opened negotiations on his own 
account, offering to submit his quarrel with Toulouse to the 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 45, 46. 

" According to R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 55, the conference began on 
August 16 and lasted three days. The Gesta Hen. as above, p. 47, place 
it after September I, but this is impossible. Will. Armor., Gesta Phil. Aug. 
(Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 74, and Philipp., 1. iii. (ibid.} pp. 123, 
124, tells the story of the tree in a very odd shape. He says the English were 
sitting comfortably under its shade, while the French were broiling in the sun, 
and the French grew so envious of the more agreeable situation of their foes that 
they made a dash at them, put them to flight, and then cut down the tree, which 
Henry had caused to be carefully enclosed, as a sort of symbol of his ownership 
in the soil. R. Diceto, however, says that the ground on which the tree stood 
was French. 

3 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 10 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. in), 
makes them meet before Chateauroux. He has confused this campaign with that 
of the previous year. 

4 Cf. Gesta Hen. as above, p. 46, with Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. iii. (as above), 
pp. 124-132. 


judgement of the French king's court j 1 but this also came 
to nothing. Still the negotiations went on, and Henry's 
difficulties were increasing. Chief among them was the 
want of money to pay his soldiers. His realms had been 
almost drained for the Saladin tithe ; his own treasury was 
exhausted ; his troops, seeing no prospect of either wages 
or plunder, began to slip away ; and at last he was obliged 
to disband his mercenaries and send his Welsh auxiliaries 
back to their own country. 2 Philip meanwhile was secretly 
in communication with Richard ; 3 and Richard was growing 
eager to bring matters to a crisis. The insidious whispers 
of France and Flanders had done their work in his too 
credulous mind. To the end of his life Richard was but 
little of a statesman and less of a diplomatist ; it is there- 
fore no wonder that he failed on the one hand to fathom 
the subtle policy of his father, and on the other to see 
through the wiles of Philip. His fault lay in this that 
while Henry's servants were content to trust him where they 
could not understand him, his own son was ready to find a 
ground of suspicion in every word and action of his father's 
for which his own intelligence was incapable of accounting, 
and to credit every calumny reported to him by his father's 
enemies. More than a year ago they had contrived, as has 
been seen, to awaken in his mind an idea that he was in 
danger of being disinherited in favour of his youngest 
brother ; and it was with a determination to ascertain once 
for all the extent of this danger that he brought the two 
kings to a meeting with each other and with himself near 
Bonmoulins on November I 8. 4 

The conference lasted three days ; and each day the 
prospect of peace grew fainter. 6 Philip proposed that all 
parties should return to the position which they had occu- 
pied before taking the cross ; Henry was ready to close with 
this proposition, but Richard rejected it, as it would have 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 46, 48, 49. 

2 Ib. p. 50. Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 434, 435. 

3 Gerv. Cant, (as above), p. 435. 

4 Ibid. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 57. Gesta Hen. as above. 

5 Gerv. Cant, as above. 


compelled him to give up his conquests won from Toulouse 
and worth a thousand marks or more as demesne lands, in 
exchange for Chateauroux and a few other castles over 
which he would have had only a precarious overlordship. 1 
As far as the two kings were concerned, the meeting ended 
in a simple truce between them, to last till S. Hilary's day. 
No sooner however was this settled than Philip offered to 
restore all his conquests on condition that Henry should 
cause his subjects to do homage to Richard as his heir, and 
should allow his marriage with Adela to take place immed- 
iately. Henry refused. 2 The two kings were standing, with 
Richard and the archbishop of Reims, in the midst of a 
crowded ring of spectators. Richard himself now suddenly 
turned to his father, and demanded to be distinctly acknow- 
ledged as heir to all his dominions. Henry tried to put 
him off; he repeated his demand with the same result. 
" Now," he exclaimed, " I believe what hitherto seemed to 
me incredible." Ungirding his sword, he stretched out his 
hands to the king of France and offered him his homage 
and fealty for the whole continental heritage of the Angevin 
house ; an offer which Philip readily accepted, promising in 
return to give back to Richard his recent conquests in Berry. 3 
Henry drew back, speechless with amazement and constern- 
ation ; the crowd, seeing the two kings thus separated, 
rushed in between them, and the duke of Aquitaine rode 
away in company with the French king, leaving Henry 
alone with his recollections of all the evils which had come 
of his eldest son's alliance with Louis VII., and his fore- 
bodings of worse mischief to come from this new alliance 
with Philip, who, as he well knew, was far more dangerous 
than Louis had ever been ; for he had more brains and even 
fewer scruples. 4 

What little could be done to ward off the impending danger 
Henry did without delay. He sent the only one of his 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 58. 

2 Ibid. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 435. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 50. 

3 Gerv. Cant, as above, pp. 435, 436. R. Diceto and Gesta Hen. as above. 
Cf. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 27, and Gir. Cambr. 
De Instr. Princ.> dist. iii. c. 10 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. in). 

4 Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 436. 


sons on whom he could really depend, Geoffrey the chan- 
cellor, to secure the fortresses of Anjou ; he himself went 
to do the like in Aquitaine, 1 whence he returned to keep 
Christmas at Saumur. The feast must have been a dreary 
one, even if both Geoffrey and John were with him ; yet, 
deserted as he was, he managed to collect, for the last time, 
some semblance of the old regal state. 2 When the truce 
expired, however, he postponed his intended meeting with 
Philip, on the plea of illness, first to Candlemas-day, and 
then till after Easter. He hoped to make use of the delay 
for winning Richard back ; but Richard turned a deaf ear 
to every message of conciliation. 3 He had in fact joined 
Philip in an attack upon Henry's territories as soon as the 
truce was expired ; and the ever-discontented Bretons had 
been induced to lend their aid. 4 After Easter Richard was 
at length brought to a meeting with his father, on the 
borders of Anjou and Maine ; but nothing came of the 
interview. 5 In vain did the Pope, fearing that these 
quarrels in Gaul would put a stop to the crusade, send two 
legates in succession to make peace. The first, Henry of 
Albano, who was sent early in 1188 to mediate between 
Henry and Louis, unintentionally became the indirect cause 
of a further addition to Henry's troubles. Thinking it 
safer to postpone his mediation till the meeting of the two 
kings should take place, he in the meantime went to preach 
the crusade in Germany and there persuaded the Emperor 
himself to take the cross. 6 By May 1189 Frederic was ready 
to start ; 7 but before doing so he took a stern and summary 
measure to secure the peace of the Empire during his 
absence. He ordered all those princes and nobles whose 
loyalty he suspected either to accompany him or to quit 
the country and take an oath not to set foot in it again till 

1 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 436. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 60, 61. 

3 Gerv. Cant, as above, pp. 438, 439. 4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 61. 

5 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 13 (Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 116, 

6 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 355, 356. 

7 He took the cross at Mainz on March 27, 1188, and started on May 10, 1189. 
Ansbert (Dobrowsky), pp. 18, 21. 


his return. Among those who thus incurred banishment 
was Henry the Lion. For the second time he and his wife 
sought shelter in England ; not finding the king there, they 
crossed over to Normandy in search of him, 1 but it does not 
appear that they ever reached him where he lay, sick and 
weary, at Le Mans. 2 Meanwhile Henry of Albano, after 
anathematizing Richard for his disturbance of the peace, had 
withdrawn to Flanders and there died. 3 His mission was 
taken up with a somewhat firmer hand by another legate, 
John of Anagni. Reaching Le Mans at Ascension-tide 
1189,* John at once excommunicated all troublers of the 
peace except the two kings themselves, who were made to 
promise that they would submit their quarrels to his arbi- 
tration and that of the archbishops of Reims, Bourges, 
Canterbury and Rouen, and were threatened with excom- 
munication if they should fail to redeem their promise. 5 

On the basis of this agreement a conference was held on 
Trinity Sunday, June 4, at La Ferte-Bernard. There were 
present, besides the two kings, Richard, and the legate, the 
four archbishops who were to assist him as arbitrators, most 
of the Norman bishops, those of Angers and Le Mans, four 
English and several French prelates, and a crowd of French, 
English and Norman barons. 6 Philip began by again 
demanding that Adela and Richard should be married at 
once ; that Richard should have security given him for his 
succession to his father's dominions ; and that John should 
be made to take the cross and accompany his brother to 
Palestine. 7 Richard repeated these demands for himself. 8 
Henry refused, and made a counter-proposition to Philip 
the same which he was said to have made at Chateauroux 
two years ago, for Adela's marriage with John ; but this 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 62. 

2 The duchess died in that very summer, seven days after her father according 
to R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 65, or nine days before him according to the 
Chron. Stederburg (Leibnitz, Scriptt. Rer. Brunswic., vol. i. p. 86 1). 

3 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 51, 55, 56. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 355. 

4 Epp. Cant, cccvii. (Stubbs), p. 290. 5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 61. 

6 Ib. p. 66. The English bishops were Lincoln, Ely, Rochester and Chester. 

7 Ibid. Rog. Howden as above, p. 362. 

8 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 447. 



Philip rejected in his turn. 1 The legate now interposed with 

a threat to Philip that unless he would come to terms, his 

domains should be laid under interdict ; Philip defied the 

threat, and charged the legate with having been bribed by 

English gold. 2 This explosion of course broke up the 

meeting. 3 Henry went back to Le Mans, whence neither 

bishop nor archbishop, servant nor friend, could persuade 

him to move, 4 although Philip and Richard with their 

united forces were overrunning Maine at their will. In 

five days the principal castles of its eastern portion were in 

their hands ; one of the most important, Ballon, only fifteen 

miles from Le Mans, fell on June 9. There the conquerors 

paused for three days ; 5 and there, probably, they received 

the submission of the chief nobles of the western border 

Geoffrey of Mayenne, Guy of Laval, Ralf of Fougeres. 6 But 

while the barons were false, the citizens were true. Le 

Mans still clung with unswerving loyalty to the count 

whom she looked upon as her own child ; and Henry clung 

with equal attachment to the city which held his father's 

grave and had held his own cradle. 7 He had little else 

to cling to now. Where John was it is impossible to say ; 

he was clearly not at Le Mans ; and it is certain that, 

wherever he may have been, his proceedings were wholly 

unknown to Henry. 8 Geoffrey the chancellor was still 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 363. 

2 Ibid. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 66. 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 62, says there were two meetings at La Ferte 
"after Easter." There seems to be no other notice of the second; but Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 446, 447, has an account of a conference at Le Mans on 
June 9, which agrees almost to the letter with the report given in the Gesta Hen. and 
Rog. Howden of the proceedings at La Ferte on June 4. It seems most unlikely 
that either Philip or Richard would go to a conference at Le Mans itself; and 
June 9 is an impossible date, for by that time, as we shall see, the war was in full 
career, and Philip and Richard were actually besieging Ballon. Gervase has 
probably mistaken both place and date. 

4 R. Diceto as above, p. 63. 5 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 67. 
6 R. Diceto as above. 7 Gesta Hen. as above. 

8 Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 25 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 277), says, after the king's 
retreat from Le Mans, "Tune Johannes filius ejus minimus, quern tenerrime 
diligebat, recessit ab eo." But it is almost impossible that all the contemporary 
historians should have failed to mention John's presence with his father if he had 
really been there ; and Henry's horrified surprise at the final discovery of John's 
treachery shews that there had been no open desertion such as William seems to 


at his father's side, and so were some half-dozen faith- 
ful barons, as well as Archbishop Bartholomew of Tours. 1 
Beyond these the king had nothing but a small force 
of mercenaries wherewith to defend either himself or Le 
Mans. The citizens were however willing to stand a 
siege for his sake, and he in return had promised never to 
desert them. 2 

On S. Barnabas's day Sunday, June 1 1 Philip and 
Richard appeared with their host before Le Mans. They 
made a feint of passing on in the direction of Tours ; 
but next morning Philip suddenly drew up his forces 
under the walls and prepared for an assault. The de- 
fenders, conscious of the overwhelming odds against them, 
adopted the desperate remedy of setting fire to the sub- 
urbs. Unhappily, the wind carried the flames not into 
the enemy's lines but into the city itself. 3 The French 
saw their opportunity and rushed at the bridge ; a gallant, 
though unsuccessful, attempt to break it down was made 
by some of Henry's troops, headed by a Cenomannian 
knight, Geoffrey of Brulon, who thus honourably wiped 
out the memory of his rebellion of sixteen years before ; 
after a desperate fight, Geoffrey was wounded and made 
prisoner with a number of his comrades, and the rest 
were driven back into the city, the French rushing in 
after them. 4 Then at last Henry felt that he could not 
keep his promise to the citizens of Le Mans, and with 
some seven hundred knights he took to flight. 5 The 

1 Besides Bartholomew (whom most of the English writers of the time call 
William) there had been with him throughout the spring the archbishops of Canter- 
bury and Rouen; Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 13 (Angl. Christ. 
Soc., pp. 115, 116). It is clear that Bartholomew stayed with him to the end, for 
he buried him. But we hear nothing more of either Baldwin of Canterbury or 
Walter of Rouen, except that Baldwin was at Rouen two or three days before 
Henry's death ; Epp. Cant, cccxi. (Stubbs), p. 296. See Bishop Stubbs's preface 
to Rog. Howden, vol. ii. p. Ixi, note I. Of the laymen more later. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 67. 

a Ibid. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 63. Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 24 (p. 
137). Cf. Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 25 (Howlett, vol. i. p. 277). 

4 Gesta Hen. as above. 

5 Ibid. Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 447 ; R. Diceto and Will. Newb. 
as above ; Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 138) ; Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. 
Script^ vol. v.), p. 28 ; and Will. Armor., Gesta Phil Aug. (ibid.}, p. 75. 


French hurried in pursuit, but they did not carry it far. 
It may be that Geoffrey of Brulon's effort to break down 
the bridge saved the king although it could not save the 
city ; for the French are said to have been checked in 
their pursuit by the impossibility of fording the river, 1 
and one can scarcely help conjecturing that the fugitives 
had crossed by the half-undermined bridge, and that it fell 
as soon as they had passed over it. 2 

Geoffrey however was not the only baron who after 
siding with Henry's enemies in his prosperous days had 
learned to stand by him in his last hour of need. Besides 
his one faithful son, Geoffrey the chancellor, his old friend 
Earl William de Mandeville, and William Fitz-Ralf the 
seneschal of Normandy, Henry was accompanied in his 
flight by an English baron, William the Marshal. William's 
father, John, who seems to have been marshal successively 
to Henry I. and to Stephen, had married a sister of Patrick 
of Salisbury and, like his brother-in-law, espoused the cause 
of the Empress in the civil war. 3 William himself first 
appears in history at the age of about six years, in 1152, 
when he was placed as a hostage in the hands of Stephen. 
Twice his life was forfeited by his father's defiance of the 
king, and twice it was saved by the unconscious fearlessness 
of the child, which so won Stephen's heart that he ended 
by making himself the little fellow's playmate instead of his 
slayer. 4 John's services to the Empress were rewarded on 
Henry's accession by his reinstatement in the office of 
marshal ; he afterwards became notorious through his 
quarrel with Thomas of Canterbury, which formed one 
of the pretexts for the archbishop's condemnation at 
Northampton. 5 After John's death his title and office seem 
to have been shared by his two sons. 6 The second, William, 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 68. 

2 This is suggested by Bishop Stubbs's remark about " the breaking down of 
the bridge. " Rog. Howden, vol. ii. pref. p. Ixii. 

3 See extracts from Hist, de Guillaume le Marechal, vv. 23-398, in Romania, 
vol. xi. (1882), pp. 47-52. 

4 Hist, de Guill le Mar., vv. 399-654 (as above, pp. 52-55). 

5 See above, pp. 32, 33. 

6 They seem to have both officiated at the crowning of Richard. Gesta Ric. 
(Stubbs, "Benedict of Peterborough," vol. ii.), p. 81. 


we find in 1173 among the partizans of the young king's re- 
bellion ; ten years later he appears as the young king's best- 
beloved knight, and as charged by him with the last office ol 
friendship, the accomplishment in his stead of the crusading 
vow which he had not lived to fulfil. 1 Six years afterwards, 
however, William was still in Europe, ready to stand to the 
last by another perishing king, and to take the post oi 
honour as well as of danger among the little band of faithful 
servants who watched over the last days of Henry Fitz- 
Empress. It was William who brought up the rear of the 
little force which covered Henry's retreat from Le Mans. 
Turning round as he heard the pursuers close behind him, he 
suddenly found himself face to face with Richard, and 
levelled his spear at him without hesitation. " God's feet, 
marshal ! " cried Richard with his wonted oath, " slay me 
not ! I have no hauberk." " Slay you ! no ; I leave that 
to the devil," retorted William, plunging his spear into the 
horse's body instead of the rider's. 2 Richard was of course 
compelled to abandon the chase, and at a distance of some 
two miles from Le Mans the king felt himself sufficiently 
out of danger to pause on the brow of a hill whence he 
could look back for the last time upon his native city. As 
he saw its blazing ruins words of madness burst from his 
lips : " O God, Thou hast shamefully taken from me this day 
the city which I loved most on earth, in which I was born 
and bred, where lies the body of my father and that of his 
patron saint I will requite Thee as I can ; I will withdraw 
from Thee that thing in me for which Thou carest the 
most." J Another eighteen miles' 4 ride brought the fugitives 

1 See above, pp. 139 and 228. 

2 P. Meyer, in Romania, vol. xi. pp. 62, 63, from Hist, de Gtiill. le 
Mar., vv. 8833-8836. This is clearly the incident recorded briefly and without 
a name by Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 25 (Angl. Christ. Soc., 
p. 140). 

3 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 24 (p. 138). He makes the distance two miles from 
Le Mans ; in the Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 67, the pursuit is said to have 
extended to three miles. 

4 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. iii. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), 
p. 132, makes the day's ride twenty miles altogether ; but he carries it as far as 
Alen9on. See, however, Bishop Stubbs's pref. to Rog. Howden, vol. ii. pp. 
Ixii, Ixiii and notes. 


at nightfall to La Frenaye, 1 whose lord, the viscount of 
Beaumont, was a kinsman of Henry, and the father of 
Hermengard whose marriage with the king of Scots had 
been arranged three years ago by Henry's influence. The 
king found shelter in the castle ; his followers, already sadly 
diminished in number in consequence of the overpowering 
heat and fatigue of the day's ride, quartered themselves in 
the little town as best they could ; the chancellor would 
have remained with them to keep guard himself, but his 
father would not be parted from him, and made him come 
in to sup and spend the night. Geoffrey, whose baggage 
had been all left in Le Mans, was glad to exchange his 
travel-stained clothes for some which his father was able to 
lend him ; Henry, with characteristic disregard of such 
details, persisted in lying down to rest just as he was, with 
his son's cloak thrown over him for a coverlet. 2 

From La Frenaye another day's ride would have brought 
the king to the Norman border. His first intention on 
leaving Le Mans had evidently been to fall back upon Nor- 
mandy and there rally his forces doubtless also to summon 
help from England to renew the struggle with Philip ; and 
this was the course to which his followers still urged him on 
the Tuesday morning. He, however, had changed his plans 
in the night. He seems to have made up his mind that his 
end was near ; and in consequence, he had also made up his 
mind to go back to the Angevin lands. Since he had been 
compelled to leave his own birthplace in the enemy's power, 
he would at any rate stand to the last by the old home of 
his father's house, and die at his hereditary post as -count of 
Anjou. He made William Fitz-Ralf and William de Mande- 
ville swear that they would surrender the castles of Nor- 
mandy to no one save John ; he bade Geoffrey take the 
command of the troops, escort the barons with them as far 
as Alengon, and then come back to rejoin him in Anjou. 
Geoffrey, whose dominant feeling clearly was anxiety for his 
father's personal safety, only stayed in Alengon long enough 

1 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 25 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 140); 
Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 4 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 369). See Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. 
ii. pref. p. Ixiii, note 5. - Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr. as above. 


to secure the place and collect a fresh force of a hundred 
picked knights, and with these set off southward again to 
overtake his father. Henry meanwhile had started for 
Anjou almost alone. His son rejoined him at Savigny l 
whether it was the village of that name near Chinon, or one 
of several others further north, there is no means of deciding ; 
but it is certain that by the end of the month Henry and 
his son were both safe at Chinon. 2 Whether the king 
had made his way alone, or whether he had been at once 
the leader and the guide of the little Norman force, through 
the Angevin woodlands which as a hunter he had learned to 
know so well, and where he was now in danger of being 
hunted down in his turn in either case this sick and weary 
man had achieved an adventure equal in skill and daring to 
those of Fulk Nerra's most romantic days, or of his own 
youth. Once safe out of the enemy's reach, he made no 
further movement until Philip, having possessed himself of 
the citadel of Le Mans 3 and the remnant of the Cenomannian 
strongholds, and made his way southward by Chaumont and 
Amboise as far as Roche-Corbon, 4 sent him a proposal for a 
meeting to be held at Azay on the last day of June. 5 Henry 
apparently advanced from Chinon to Azay ; but on that very 
day an attack of fever was added to the malady from which 
he was already suffering, and he was unable to attend the 
conference. 6 It seems probable that he sent representatives 
to whom Philip and Richard made their propositions, and 
who may possibly have accepted them in his name. 7 Cer- 

1 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 4 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 369). See Stubbs, 
Rog. Howden, vol. ii. pref. pp. Ixiv, Ixv and notes. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 68. 

3 Some of Henry's troops had thrown themselves into the citadel, and held out 
there for three days after his flight. Gesta Hen. as above. Another body of 
troops in a tower by the north gate (this must be the Conqueror's Mont-Barbet - 
the " citadel " being the old palace or castle of the counts, near the cathedral) held 
out for a week longer still. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 63. 

4 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 69. 

5 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 25 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 140). 
R. Diceto, as above, p. 64, makes the day June 28 ; Bishop Stubbs (Rog. Howden, 
vol. ii. pref. p. Ixv) follows Gerald. 6 Gir. Cambr. as above. 

7 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 365, 366, gives, with the date "circa 
festum apostolorum Petri et Pauli, ad colloquium inter Turonim et Azai," a treaty 
identical with that which the Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 69, 70, give without 


tainly, however, no truce was made ; for that same day 
Philip marched up to the southern bank of the Loire and 
drew up his host opposite the gates of Tours. 1 Next day 
he forded the river an easy exploit when it was half dried 
up by the summer's heat 2 established his headquarters in 
the " borough of S. Martin " or Chateauneuf, 3 and began to 
invest the city. 4 Henry, it seems, had now gone to Saumur ; 5 
there on the Sunday July 2 he was visited, according to 
one account at his own request, by the archbishop of Reims, 
the count of Flanders and the duke of Burgundy, endeavour- 
ing to arrange terms of peace. 6 The visit was a failure ; it 
could not be otherwise, for the peacemakers were acting 
without Philip's sanction, and in spite of a distinct warning 
from him that, whatever tidings they might bring back, he 
would assault Tours next morning. 7 The morning came ; 
the assault was made ; the walls which had kept out Fulk 
Nerra and Geoffrey Martel could not avail to keep out 
Philip Augustus, enabled as he was by his possession of 
Chateauneuf and by the lack of water in the Loire to bring 
up his machines against their weakest side ; and in a few 
hours he was master of Tours. 8 

The tidings were carried at once to Henry, with a final 

any date at all, but after Philip's capture of Tours, and which we know to have 
been finally made at Colombieres on July 4 (see below, p. 265). R. Diceto 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 63, also gives the substance of the treaty, adding (p. 64) : 
" Facta sunt autem hsec in vigilia Apostolorum Petri et Pauli, scilicet inter Tur- 
onim et Azai." It seems possible that the terms were arranged at Azay between 
Philip and Henry's representatives, subject to ratification by Henry himself. See 
Stubbs, Rog. Ho-wden, vol. ii. pref. p. Ixv. 

1 On the date see Stubbs, Rog. Howden^ vol. ii. pref. p. Ixvi and note. 

2 This is the English account ; Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 69, copied by 
Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 364. But the French writers turn it into some- 
thing very like a miracle. See Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), 
p. 28; Will. Armor., Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.\ p. 75, and Philipp., 1. iii. (ibid.}, 
p. 133. 3 Gesta Hen. as above. 

4 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., 1. iii. c. 25 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 140) says 
the investment began on the morrow of the Azay conference. 

5 Gesta Hen. as above. See Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. ii. pref. p. Ixvi and note. 

6 Gesta Hen. as above. Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 141). For the duke of 
Burgundy Gerald substitutes the count of Blois. Bishop Stubbs (Rog. Howden, 
as above) adopts the former version. 7 Gesta Hen. as above. 

8 Ibid. Cf. Rigcrd and Will. Armor, as above, and Philipp. 1. iii. (ibid)., pp. 
133, 134. 


summons to meet the conqueror at Colombieres, half-way 
between Tours and Azay. 1 Henry, at his wits' end, con- 
sulted William the Marshal as to whether or not he should 
respond to the summons ; William recommended him to 
follow the counsel of his barons ; they advised that he should 
go, and he went. Most of his followers went with him ; 
Geoffrey, however, feeling that he could not endure to see 
his father's humiliation, besought and obtained permission to 
remain where he was. 2 Henry found a lodging in a small 
commandery of Knights Templars at Ballan, 3 close to Colom- 
bieres ; but he had no sooner reached it than he was seized 
with racking pains in every limb and every nerve. He 
again called for William the Marshal, who did his best to 
soothe him, and persuaded him to go to bed. Philip and 
Richard had always refused to believe that his sickness was 
anything but a feint, and despite the pleadings of his friends 
they still insisted that the conference should take place 4 on 
the following day. 5 When they saw him, however, they were 
compelled to admit the truth of his excuse ; his sternly-set 
and colourless face shewed but too plainly how acutely he 
was suffering. So evident was his weakness that they offered 
him a seat on a cloak spread upon the ground but he 
refused it ; he had not come there, he said, to sit down with 
them ; he had come simply to hear and see what the French 
king demanded of him, and why he had taken away his 
lands. 6 Philip formulated his demands with brutal blunt- 
ness ; he required that Henry should put himself, as a 
conquered enemy, entirely at his mercy before he would 
discuss any terms at all. 7 Henry could not at once bring 
himself to submit. Suddenly, amid the breathless stillness 
of the sultry July morning, a clap of thunder was heard, and 

1 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 8935-8944 (Romania, vol. xi. p. 64). The name 
of Colombieres is given only by Will. Armor., Gesta Phil. Aug. (Duchesne, Hist. 
Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 75, and Philipp., 1. iii. (ibid.}, p. 134. 

2 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 5 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 370). 

3 Hist, de Guill. le Alar., vv. 8947-8958 (as above). M. Meyer (ib. p. 69) sup- 
plies the name of the commandery. 4 Ib. vv. 8960-8997 (as above, p. 64). 

5 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. iii. (as above), gives the date by saying Henry died 
" post triduum." 

6 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9013-9028 (as above, p. 65). 

7 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 25 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 141). 


the excited bystanders thought they actually saw a stroke of 
lightning fall out of the cloudless blue sky, directly between 
the two kings. Both started back in terror ; after a while 
they rode forward again, and immediately there was a second 
peal of thunder. Henry's shattered nerves gave way com- 
pletely ; he nearly fell from his horse, and at once placed him- 
self wholly at Philip's mercy. 1 Then the terms were dictated 
to him. He was made to do homage to Philip, and to 
promise that Adela should be placed under guardians chosen 
by Richard, who was to marry her on his return from Pales- 
tine ; that Richard should receive the fealty of all the 
barons of the Angevin dominions, on both sides of the sea, 
and that all who had attached themselves to Richard's party 
in the late war should be suffered to remain in his service 
and released from their obligations to his father, at any rate 
until the latter should be ready to set forth on the crusade ; 
that he would be thus ready, and would meet Philip and 
Richard at Vezelay, thence to start with them at Mid-Lent ; 2 
that he would renounce all claims upon Auvergne, 3 and 
pay Philip an indemnity of twenty thousand marks. 4 As 
security for the fulfilment of the treaty, Philip and Richard 
were to hold in pledge either three castles on the Norman 
border or two in Anjou, with the cities of Tours and Le 
Mans ; and all Henry's barons were to swear that they 
would hold their allegiance to him contingent only upon his 
fulfilment of these conditions. 5 Finally, he was compelled 
to acknowledge himself reconciled with Richard, and to give 
him the kiss of peace. The kiss was indeed given ; but it 
was accompanied by a whisper which Richard did not scruple 
to repeat for the amusement of the French court when the 
conference was over " May I only be suffered to live long 
enough to take vengeance upon thee as thou deservest ! " 6 

One thing alone Henry asked and obtained in return for 
all this humiliation ; a written list of those among his sub- 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 366. 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 70. 

3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 64. 4 lb. p. 63. Gesta Hen. as above. 

5 Gesta Hen. as above, pp. 70, 71. 

6 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 26 (Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 149, 


jects whose services were transferred to Richard. 1 The list 
was promised, 2 and Henry was carried back, worn out with 
fatigue, suffering and shame, to the favourite home of his 
brighter days at Chinon. 3 By the time he reached it he was 
too ill to do anything but lie down never to rise again. He 
sent back his vice-chancellor, Roger Malchat, 4 to fetch the 
promised list of traitors ; and on Roger's return he bade 
him sit down beside his bed and read him out the names. 
With a sigh Roger answered : " Our Lord Jesus Christ help 
me, sire ! the first written down here is Count John, your 
son." ' The words gave Henry his death-blow. " Say no 
more," 6 he faltered, turning away his face. 7 Yet the tale 
seemed too horrible to be true, and he started up again : 
" Can it be ? John, my darling child, my very heart, for love 
of whom I have incurred all this misery has he indeed for- 
saken me ? " It could not be denied ; he sank back again 
and turned his face to the wall, moaning: "Let things go 
now as they will ; I care no more for myself or for the 
world." 8 

All through that day and the next he lay there, trembling 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 366. Hist, de Guill. le Mar., v. 9035 
(Romania, vol. xi. p. 65). 

2 Rog. Howden says that it was given, and implies that it was read, then and 
there, but we shall see that he is wrong. 

3 Rog. Howden as above. Hist, de Guill. le Mar. , v. 3639 (as'above). Bishop 
Stubbs (Rog. Howden, vol. ii. pref. p. lxviii)~says "he returned to Azai," and makes 
the reading of the fatal list take place there, before Henry went on to Chinon 
(ib. p. Ixx). This seems to be the meaning of Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. 
iii. c. 25 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 148). But Gerald evidently thought Henry had 
been at Azay ever since the Friday, just as William of Armorica (Philipp., 1. iii., 
Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v. p. 134) thought he had been all the 
while at Chinon ; whereas the Gesta and Roger shew that both are wrong in this. 
On the other hand, the Life of William the Marshal seems distinctly to shew that 
the place where Henry went to lodge before the meeting at Colombieres was not 
Azay, but Ballan ; and it also tells us that he went straight back from Colombieres 
to Chinon, and there read the list. In the absence of further elucidations, I ven- 
ture to follow this version. 

4 "... Mestre Roger Malchael, 

Qui lores portout son seel. " 

Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9051-9052 (as above, p. 65). See M. Meyer's note, 
ib. p. 69. 

5 Hist, de Guill. le Afar., vv. 9040-9076 (as above, p. 65). 

6 " Asez en avez dit." Ib. v. 9083 (as above). 7 Ib. v. 9084 (p. 66). 
8 Gir. Cambr. as above. 


from head to foot, sometimes appearing to see and hear 
nothing, and to be conscious of nothing but pain, murmur- 
ing broken words which no one could understand. 1 At 
other times his delirium shewed itself in frenzied curses upon 
himself and his sons, which the attendant bishops vainly 
besought him to revoke. 2 It was Geoffrey who at length 
managed to bring him to a somewhat calmer frame both of 
body and of mind. With his head on his son's shoulder and 
his feet on the knees of a faithful knight, Henry at last 
seemed to have fallen asleep. When he opened his eyes 
again and saw Geoffrey patiently watching over him and 
fanning away the flies which buzzed around his head, he 
spoke in accents very different from any that he had used 
for some days past. " My dearest son ! thou, indeed, hast 
always been a true son to me. So help me God, if I recover 
of this sickness, I will be to thee the best of fathers, and 
will set thee among the chiefest men of my realm. But if I 
may not live to reward thee, may God give thee thy reward 
for thy unchanging dutifulness to me !" " O father, I desire 
no reward but thy restoration to health and prosperity" was 
all that Geoffrey could utter, as the violence of his emotion 
so overcame his self-control that he was obliged to rush out 
of the room. 3 The interval of calmness passed away, and 
the ravings of delirium were heard again ; " Shame, shame 
upon a conquered king!" Henry kept muttering over and 
over again, till the third morning broke the seventh day of 
the fever 4 and brought with it the lightning before death. 
Once more Geoffrey, stifling his own distress, came to his 
father's side ; once more he was rewarded by seeing Henry's 
eyes open and gaze at him with evident recognition ; once 
more the dying king recurred wistfully to his plans, not this 
time of vengeance upon his rebellious sons, but of advance- 
ment for the loyal one, faintly murmuring in Geoffrey's ear 
how he had hoped to see him bishop of Winchester, or better 
still, archbishop of York ; 5 but he knew that for himself all 

1 Hist, de Guill. le Mar.) w. 9085-9094 {Romania, vol. xi. p. 66). 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 366. 

3 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 5 (Brewer, vol. iv. pp. 370, 371). 

4 Gi*. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., 1. iii. c. 26 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 150). 

5 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr. as above (p. 371). 


was over. He took off a gold finger-ring, engraved with a 
leopard 1 the armorial device of the Angevin house and 
handed it to Geoffrey, bidding him send it to the king of 
Castille, the husband of his daughter Eleanor ; he also gave 
directions that another precious ring which lay among his 
treasures should be delivered to Geoffrey himself, and gave 
him his blessing. 2 After this he was, by his own desire, 
carried into the chapel of the castle and laid before the altar ; 
here he confessed his sins to the attendant bishops and 
priests, was absolved, and devoutly made his last Com- 
munion. Immediately afterwards he passed away. 3 

Then followed one of those strange scenes which so often 
occurred after the death of a medieval king. The servants 
who should have laid out the body for burial stripped it and 
left it naked on the ground ; and as during the three days 
that he lay dying they had plundered him of everything on 
which they could lay their hands, the few friends who were 
shocked at the sight could not find a rag wherewith to cover 
the dead king, till one of his knights, William de Trihan, 
took off his own cloak for the purpose. 4 All this, however, 
was speedily set right by William the Marshal. He at once 
took the command of the little party a duty for which 
Geoffrey was evidently unfitted by the violence of his grief 
sent to call as many barons as were within reach to attend 
the funeral, and gave directions for the proper robing of the 
corpse. 5 It was no easy matter to arrange within four-and- 
twenty hours, and utterly without resources, anything like a 

"Pantera." "The word is doubtful," notes Mr. Brewer (Gir. Cambr., 
vol. iv. p. 371) ; Bishop Stubbs (Rog. Howden, vol. ii. pref. p. Ixxi) renders it 

2 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 5 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 371). 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 367. Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. 
iii. c. 28 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 156), says there were no bishops with him at his 
death ; any way, there were two at his burial. The date of death July 6 is 
given by many authorities: Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 71 ; Rog. Howden 
as above ; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 64 ; Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 
450, etc. 

4 Hist, de Gut!!, le Afar., vv. 9027-9161 (Romania, vol. xi. p. 66). Gir. 
Cambr. De Instr. Princ., as above (pp. 156, 157), tells the same story, more highly 
coloured, but with less verisimilitude, as he has lost the name of William de Trihan 
and turned him into " puer quidam." 

5 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9165-9172, 9215-9220 (as above, pp. 66, 67). 


regal burial for this fallen king. 1 William, however, man- 
aged to do it ; and next day Henry Fitz-Empress, robed as 
if for his coronation, with a crown of gold upon his head, a 
gold ring on his finger, sandals on his feet, and a sceptre 
in his gloved right hand, 2 was borne upon the shoulders of 
his barons down from his castle on the rock of Chinon, 
across the viaduct which he himself had built over the swampy 
meadows beneath, and thence northward along the left bank 
of the silvery, winding Vienne to his burial-place at Font- 
evraud. 3 He had wished to be buried at Grandmont ; 4 but 
this of course was impossible now. " He shall be shrouded 
among the shrouded women " so ran the closing words of 
a prophecy which during the last few months had been 
whispered throughout Henry's dominions as a token of his 
approaching end. It was fulfilled now to the letter, as he 
lay in state in the abbey-church of Fontevraud, while the 
veiled sisters knelt by night and day murmuring their prayers 
and psalms around the bier. 5 

None of the dead king's friends had thought it necessary 
to wait for any instructions from his heir. The marshal, 
however, had sent to apprise Richard of his father's death, 
and delayed the burial long enough to give him an oppor- 
tunity of attending it if he chose to do so. The other 
barons were in great dread of meeting the future king 
against whom they had been in arms ; and several of them 
were even more anxious for the marshal than for themselves, 
for they could not but imagine that Richard's heaviest 

1 Gir. Cambr. Delnstr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 28(Angl. Christ. Soc., pp. 157, 158). 

2 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 71. How hard it was to manage all this we 
learn from Gerald : " Vix annulus digito, vix sceptrum manu, vix capiti corona 
sicut decuit, quia de aurifrigio quodam veteri inventa fuit, vix ulla prorsus insignia 
regalia nisi per emendicata demum suffragia, eaque minus congruentia suppetiere." 
De Instr. Princ. as above (p. 158). The chronicle of Laon, a. 1187, quoted in 
note (ibid.}, adds that the gold fringe of which the crown was made came off a 
lady's dress. 

3 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9071-9223 (Romania, vol. xi. p. 67). See a 
curious incident at the setting out of the funeral train, in vv. 9173-9214. 

4 He had given solemn directions to that effect, when he thought himself 
dying at La Motte-de-Ger, in 1170. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 7. 

5 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., w. 9229-9244 (as above). For the prophecy and its 
application see Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 55, and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), 
vol. ii. pp. 356, 367. 


vengeance would fall upon the man who had unhorsed and 
all but killed him at Le Mans. More than one of them 
offered to place himself and all his possessions at the service 
of the comrade whom they all held in such reverence, if 
thereby anything could be done to save him from Richard's 
wrath. But he only answered quietly : " Sirs, I do not 
repent me of what I did. I thank you for your proffers ; 
but, so help me God, I will not accept what I cannot return. 
Thanks be to Him, He has helped me ever since I was 
made a knight ; I doubt not He will help me to the end." l 
Before nightfall Richard overtook them. 2 He came, it 
seems, alone. Vainly did the bystanders seek to read his 
feelings in his demeanour ; he shewed no sign of either 
grief or joy, penitence or wrath ; he " spoke not a word, 
good or bad," 3 but went straight to the church and into the 
choir, where the body lay. 4 For awhile he stood motionless 
before the bier ; 5 then he stepped to the head, and looked 
down at the uncovered face. 6 It seemed to meet his gaze 
with all its wonted sternness ; but there were some who 
thought they saw a yet more fearful sight a stream of 
blood which flowed from the nostrils, and ceased only on 
the departure of the son who was thus proclaimed as his 

1 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9245-9290 (Romania, vol. xi. pp. 67, 68). 

2 The Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 71, make Richard meet the corpse on 
its way ; and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 367, follows the Gesta. But 
the Hist, de Guill. le Mar. and Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 28 
(Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 157) both distinctly say that he met it at Fontevraud. 
The other version is intrinsically most improbable, for Richard can hardly have 
been coming from anywhere else than Tours, and in that case he could not poss- 
ibly meet the funeral train on its way from Chinon to Fontevraud. That he should 
reach Fontevraud some hours after it, on the other hand, is perfectly natural ; 
and this is just what Gerald and the French Life imply; for they both tell 
us that the funeral started from Chinon on the day after the death i.e. Friday, 
July 7 and Gerald (as above, p. 158) implies that the actual burial took place 
the day after Richard's arrival, while in the Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 5 (Brewer, vol. iv. 
p. 372), he seems to place it on the Saturday, July 8. See Bishop Stubbs's preface 
to Rog. Howden, vol. ii. p. Ixix, note I. One of the MSS. of Mat. Paris, Chron. 
Maj. (Luard, vol. ii. p. 344, note 8) has a curiously different version of Richard's 
behaviour on the occasion. 

3 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9294-9298, 9300 (p. 68). 

4 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ. as above. 

5 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9299, 930x3 (as above). 

6 Ib. v. 9301. Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ. and Vita Galfr. as above. 


father's murderer. 1 Richard sank upon his knees ; thus he 
remained " about as long as one would take to say the 
Lord's Prayer ; " 2 then he rose and, speaking for the first 
time, called for William the Marshal. William came, ac- 
companied by a loyal Angevin baron, Maurice of Craon. 
Richard bade them follow him out of the church ; outside, 
he turned at once to the marshal : " Fair Sir Marshal, you 
had like to have slain me ; had I received your spear-thrust, 
it would have been a bad day for both of us !" " My lord," 
answered William, " I had it in my power to slay you ; I 
only slew your horse. And of that I do not repent me yet." 
With kingly dignity Richard granted him his kingly pardon 
at once ; 3 and on the morrow they stood side by side while 
Henry Fitz-Empress was laid in his grave before the high 
altar by Archbishop Bartholomew of Tours. 4 

1 Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ., dist. iii. c. 28 (Angl. Christ. Soc., p. 157); 
Vita Galfr., 1. i.^c. 5 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 372). Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 71. 

2 Gir. Cambr. as above. 

3 Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9304-9344 (Romania, vol. xi. pp. 68, 69). 

4 The day is given by Gir. Cambr. De Instr. Princ. as above (p. 158), and 
Vita Galfr. as above ; the name of the officiating prelate by R. Diceto (Stubbs), 
vol. ii. p. 65. Bartholomew was assisted by Archbishop Fulmar of Trier (ibid.) 



ALL doubts as to the destination of Henry's realms after 
his death were settled at once by the discovery of John's 
treason. Throughout the Angevin dominions not a voice 
was raised to challenge the succession of Richard. The 
English marshal and the Angevin barons gathered at Font- 
evraud received him unquestioningly as their lord, and were 
at once accepted as loyal subjects. One of them indeed, 
the seneschal of Anjou, Stephen of Turnham or of Margay, 
was flung into prison for failing to surrender the royal 
treasure j 1 but the reason of his failure seems to have been 
simply that the treasury was empty. 2 According to one 
contemporary historian, Richard sealed his forgiveness of 
William the Marshal by at once despatching him to England 
with a commission to hold the country for him in effect, 
to act as justiciar till he could proceed thither himself. 3 
In all probability, however, William was authorized to do 
nothing more than set Eleanor at liberty ; it was she who, 
by her son's desire, undertook the office of regent in Eng- 
land, 4 which she fulfilled without difficulty for the next six 
weeks. Geoffrey the chancellor resigned his seal into his 
half-brother's hands as soon as the funeral was over. 5 The 

1 Gesta Ric. ("Benedict of Peterborough," Stubbs, vol. ii.), p. 71. Cf. Ric. 
Devizes (Stevenson), p. 6. 

2 See Hist, de Guill. le Mar., vv. 9198, 9199 (Romania, vol. xi. p. 67). 

3 Ib. vv. 9347-9354 (p. 69). 4 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 67. 
5 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 5 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 372). 



promise of the Norman castellans to Henry that they would 
surrender to no one but John was of course annulled by 
later events. John himself hastened to join his brother ; 
Richard gave him a gracious welcome, and they returned to 
Normandy together. 1 At Seez the archbishops of Canter- 
bury and Rouen came to meet them, and absolved Richard 
from the excommunication 2 laid on him by the legate John 
of Anagni. Thence they all proceeded to Rouen. On July 
20 Richard went in state to the metropolitan church, 
where Archbishop Walter girded him with the ducal sword 
and invested him with the standard of the duchy. 3 On the 
same day he received the fealty of the Norman barons, 4 and 
held his first court as duke of Normandy, and also, it seems, 
as king-elect of England, although there had been no formal 
election. He at once made it clear that the abettors of his 
revolt had nothing to hope from him three of the most 
conspicuous had been deprived of their lands already 5 and 
that his father's loyal servants had nothing to fear, if they 
would transfer their loyalty to him. He shewed indeed 
every disposition to carry out his father's last wishes ; he at 
once nominated Geoffrey for the see of York, and confirmed 
Henry's last grant to John, consisting of the Norman county 
of Mortain and four thousand pounds' worth of land in Eng- 
land ; 6 at the same time he bestowed upon William the 
Marshal the hand of Isabel de Clare, daughter and heiress 
of Earl Richard of Striguil, and upon the son of the count 
of Perche a bride who had already been sought by two kings 
his niece, Matilda of Saxony. 7 

This last match was evidently intended to secure the 
attachment of the important little border-county of Perche 
in case of a rupture with France, which seemed by no means 
unlikely. The alliance of Philip and Richard had expired 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 72. 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 67. How had the archbishops power to 
cancel a legatine sentence ? 

3 Ibid. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 73. (The date is from this last). 

4 Gesta Ric. as above. 5 Ib. p. 72. 

6 Ib. p. 73. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 3 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 301). On John 
and Mortain see Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 6 and note 2, and preface to 
vol. iii. p. xxiv, note I. 7 Gesta Ric. as above. 


with King Henry; now that Richard stood in his father's 
place, Philip saw in him nothing but his father's successor 
the head of the Angevin house, whose policy was to be 
thwarted and his power undermined on every possible occa- 
sion and by every possible means. This was made evident 
at a colloquy held on S. Mary Magdalene's day to settle the 
new relations between the two princes ; Philip greeted his 
former ally with a peremptory demand for the restitution 
of the Vexin. 1 Richard put him off with a bribe of four 
thousand marks, over and above the twenty thousand pro- 
mised by Henry at Colombieres ; and on this condition, 
accompanied, it seems, by a vague understanding that Richard 
and Adela were to marry after all, 2 Philip agreed to leave 
Richard in undisturbed possession of all his father's do- 
minions, including the castles and towns which had been 
taken from Henry in the last war, 3 except those of Berry 
and Auvergne. 4 Thus secured, for the moment at least, in 
Normandy, Richard prepared to take possession of his island 
realm. He had paved the way for his coming there by 
empowering Eleanor to make a progress throughout Eng- 
land, taking from all the freemen of the land oaths of fealty 
in his name, releasing captives, pardoning criminals, mitigat- 
ing, so far as was possible without upsetting the ordinary 
course of justice, the severe administration of the late king. 
Richard himself now restored the earl of Leicester and the 
other barons whom Henry had disseized six years before. 5 The 
next step was to send home the archbishop of Canterbury and 
three other English prelates who were with him in Normandy. 6 
On August 1 2 they were followed by Richard himself. 7 

His politic measures of conciliation, executed by his 
mother with characteristic intelligence and tact, had secured 
him a ready welcome. It was only by slow degrees, and 
with the growing experience of years, that the English 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 73, 74. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 3, 4. 

2 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 74. 3 Rog> Howden as above, p. 4. 

4 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 29. Will. Armor. 
Gesta Phil. Aug. (#.), p. 75. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 450. 

5 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 74, 75. 6 /^ p 75 

7 Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 457. The Gesta Ric., as above, give a confused 
date" Idus Augusti, die dominica post Assumptionem B. Marise." 


people learned how much they owed to the stern old king 
jwho was gone. At the moment they thought of him chiefly 
[as the author of grievances which his son seemed bent upon 
Semoving. 1 Richard's mother, with a great train of bishops 
and barons, was waiting to receive him at Winchester ; 2 there, 
on the vigil of the Assumption, he was welcomed in solemn 
procession ; 3 and there, too, he came into possession of the 
royal treasury, whose contents might make up for the de- 
ficiencies in that of Anjou. 4 So complete was his security 
that instead of hastening, as his predecessors had done, to 
be crowned as soon as possible, he left Eleanor nearly three 
weeks in which to make the arrangements for that ceremony, 5 
while he went on a progress throughout southern England, 6 
coming back at last to be crowned by Archbishop Baldwin 
at Westminster on September 3. 7 No charter was issued 
on the occasion. The circumstances of the new king's 
accession were not such as to make any special call for one ; 
they were sufficiently met by a threefold oath embodied in 
the coronation-service, pledging the sovereign to maintain 
the peace of the Church, to put down all injustice, and to 
enforce the observance of righteousness and mercy. 8 In the 
formal election by clergy and people which preceded the 
religious rite, 9 and in the essentials of the rite itself, ancient 
prescription was strictly followed. The order of the pro- 
cession and the details of the ceremonial were, however, 
arranged with unusual care and minuteness ; it was the most 
splendid and elaborate coronation-ceremony that had ever 

1 Cf. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 75, 76; and Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. I (Hewlett, 
vol. i. p. 293). 2 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 453, 454. 

3 Ib. p. 457. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 67. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 74. 

4 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 76, 77. 

5 "Mater comitis Alienor regina de vocatione comitum, baronum, vicecomitum, 
uit sollicita." R. Diceto as above, p. 68. 

6 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 77- Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 457, says he went to 
check the depredations of the Welsh. 

7 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 78, 79. Gerv. Cant, and R. Diceto as above. Ric. 
Devizes (Stevenson), p. 5. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 26, 27. Will. Newb. 
as above (p. 294). 

8 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 81, 82. R. Diceto as above. This last was an 
eye-witness, for, the see of London being vacant, the dean had to fulfil in his 
bishop's stead the duty of handing the unction and chrism to the officiating 
primate. Ib, p. 69. 9 R. Diceto as above, p. 68. 


been seen in England, and it served as a precedent for all 
after-time. 1 Richard had none of his father's shrinking from 
the pageantries and pomps of kingship ; he delighted in its 
outward splendours almost as much as in its substantial 
powers. 2 He himself, with his tall figure, massive yet finely- 
chiselled features, and soldierly bearing, must have been by 
far the most regal-looking sovereign who had been crowned 
since the Norman Conqueror ; and when Archbishop Baldwin 
set the crown upon his golden hair, Englishmen might for a 
moment dream that, stranger though he had been for nearly 
thirty years to the land of his birth, Richard was yet to be in 
reality what he was in outward aspect, a true English king. 

Such dreams however were soon to be dispelled. On 
the second day after his crowning Richard received the 
homage of the bishops and barons of his realm ; 3 he then 
proceeded into Northamptonshire, and on September 1 5 
held a great council at Pipewell. 4 His first act was to fill 
up the vacant sees, of which there were now four besides 
that of York. The appointments were made with consider- 
able judgement. London, whose aged bishop Gilbert Foliot 
had died in iiS?, 5 was bestowed upon Richard Fitz-Nigel, 6 
son of Bishop Nigel of Ely, and for the last twenty years 
his successor in the office of treasurer ; while Ely, again 
vacated scarcely three weeks ago by the death of Geoffrey 
Ridel, 7 rewarded the past services and helped to secure the 
future loyalty of Richard's chancellor, William of Long- 
champ. 8 Winchester, vacated nearly a year ago by the 
death of Richard of Ilchester, 9 was given to Godfrey de 
Lucy, a son of Henry's early friend and servant Richard 
de Lucy " the loyal " ; 10 Salisbury, which had been without 

1 See details in Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 80-83 ; and R og- Howden (Stubbs), 
vol. iii. pp. 9-12. 

2 We see this in the descriptions of his magnificent dress, brilliant armour, etc. 
in the Itinerarium Regis Ricardi. 3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 84. 

4 Ib. p. 85. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 69. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. 
i. p. 458. 5 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 5. R. Diceto as above, p. 47. 

6 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 85. R. Diceto as above, p. 69. Ric. Devizes 
(Stevenson), p. 9. 7 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 78. R. Diceto as above, p. 68. 

8 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 85. R. Diceto as above, p. 69. Ric. Devizes as above. 

9 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 58. R. Diceto as above, p. 58. 

10 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 84. R. Diceto as above, p. 69. Ric. Devizes as above. 


a bishop ever since November 1 1 84, 1 was given to Hubert 
Walter, 2 a near connexion of the no less faithful minister of 
Henry's later years, Ralf de Glanville. This last appoint- 
ment had also another motive. Hubert Walter was dean of 
York ; he stood at the head of a party in the York chapter 
which had strongly disputed the validity of Geoffrey's elec- 
tion in the preceding August, and some of whom had even 
proposed the dean himself as an opposition candidate for 
the primacy. 3 Hubert's nomination to Salisbury cleared this 
obstacle out of Geoffrey's way, and no further protest was 
raised when Richard confirmed his half-brother's election in 
the same council of Pipewell. 4 

When, however, the king turned from the settlement of 
the Church to that of the state, it became gradually appar- 
ent that his policy in England had only two objects : to 
raise money for the crusade, and to secure the obedience of 
his realm during his own absence in the East. These 
objects he endeavoured to effect both at once by a wholesale 
change of ministers, sheriffs and royal officers in general, at 
the council of Pipewell or during the ten 'days which elapsed 
between its dissolution and the Michaelmas Exchequer- 
meeting. The practice of making a man pay for the privi- 
lege either of entering upon a public office or of being 
released from its burthen was, as we have seen, counted in 
no way disgraceful in the days of Henry I., and by no 
means generally reprobated under Henry II. Richard how- 
ever carried it to a length which clearly shocked the feelings 
of some statesmen of the old school, 5 if not those of the 
people in general. The first to whom he applied it was no 
less a person than the late justiciar, Ralf de Glanville. Ralf 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 32. Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 320. 

2 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 84. R. Diceto as above, p. 69. Ric. Devizes 
(Stevenson), p. 9. 

3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 77, 78. Cf. Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 6 
(Brewer, vol. iv. p. 373). Hubert had indeed been proposed for the see as far 
back as 1186 ; Gesta Hen. as above, p. 352. See also Bishop Stubbs's preface to 
Rog. Howden, vol. iv. pp. xxxix-xlvi. 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 374). 

5 This appears from the tone in which his sales of office, etc., are described 
by Richard Fitz- Nigel in the Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 90, 91, and by Roger of 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 13. 


was, like Richard himself, under a vow of crusade, which 
would in any case have rendered it impossible for him to 
retain the justiciarship after the departure of the English 
host for Palestine. 1 The king, however, insisted that his 
resignation should take effect at once, 2 and also that it 
should be paid for by a heavy fine a condition which was 
also required of the Angevin seneschal, Stephen of Turnham, 
as the price of his release from prison. 3 Worn out though 
he was with years and labours, 4 Ralf faithfully kept his 
vow. 5 If all the intending crusaders had done the same, it 
would have been no easy matter to fill his place or to make 
adequate provision for the government and administration of 
the realm. Both king and Pope, however, had learned that 
for eastern as well as western warfare money was even more 
necessary than men ; Richard had therefore sought and 
obtained leave from Clement III. to commute crusading 
vows among his subjects for pecuniary contributions towards 
the expenses of the war. 6 By this means he at once raised 
a large sum of money, and avoided the risk of leaving Eng- 
land deprived of all her best warriors and statesmen during 
his own absence. Instead of Ralf de Glanville he appointed 
two chief justiciars, Earl William de Mandeville and Bishop 
Hugh of Durham ; 7 under these he placed five subordinate 
justiciars, one of whom was William the Marshal. 8 The 
bishop-elect of London, Richard Fitz-Nigel, was left undis- 
turbed in his post of treasurer, where his services were too 
valuable for the king to venture upon the risk of forfeiting 
them ; but the bishop-elect of Ely, although a favourite 
servant and almost a personal friend of Richard, had to pay 
three thousand pounds for his chancellorship. On the other 
hand, Richard proved that in this instance he was not 

1 He had taken the cross in 1185 ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 302. 
The Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 87, and Will. Newb. 1. iv. c. 4 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 
302) say distinctly that Ralf himself wished to resign in order to fulfil his vow. 

2 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 90. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 7, says he even 
put him in ward. 3 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 6, 7. 4 Ib. p. 9. 

5 He died at the siege of Acre before October 21, 1190. Epp. Cant, ccclvi. 
(Stubbs, p. 329). 6 R og> Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 17. 

7 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 87. Hugh paid a thousand marks for the remission 
of his crusading vow, to enable him to undertake the office. Ib. p. 90. 

8 Rog. Howden as above, p. 16. 


actuated solely by mercenary motives, by refusing a still 
higher bid from another candidate. 1 All the sheriffs were 
removed from office ; some seven or eight were restored 
to their old places, five more were appointed to shires other 
than those which they had formerly administered ; 2 the 
sheriffdom of Hampshire was sold to the bishop-elect of 
Winchester, 3 that of Lincolnshire to Gerard de Camville, 
those of Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire to 
Bishop Hugh of Chester ; 4 and the earldom of Northumber- 
land was granted on similar terms to the justiciar-bishop of 
Durham. 5 

Two other matters had to be dealt with before Richard's 
preparations for departure were completed. To guard his 
realm from external disturbance, he must secure the fealty 
of the vassal-rulers of Scotland and Wales. To guard it 
against internal treason, he must, if such a thing were 
possible, secure the loyalty of the brother whom he was 
leaving behind him. The first was at once the less im- 
portant and the easier matter of the two. Rees of South 
Wales had indeed profited by the change of rulers in Eng- 
land to break the peace which he had been compelled to 
maintain with King Henry, and after the council of Pipewell 
Richard sent John against him at the head of an armed 
force. The other Welsh princes came to meet John at 
Worcester and made submission to him as his brother's 
representative ; 6 Rees apparently refused to treat with any 
one but the king in person, and accordingly he came back 
with John as far as Oxford, but Richard would not take the 
trouble to arrange a meeting, and was so unconcerned about 
the matter that he let him go home again without an 
audience, and, of course, in a state of extreme indignation. 7 

1 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 9. 

2 Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. p. xxix. 

3 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 10. 

4 Stubbs as above, pp. xxviii, xxix, and Madox, Hist, Exch., vol. i. p. 458, 
from Pipe Roll 2 Ric. I. 

5 Pipe Roll 2 Ric. I. (Stubbs, as above, p. xxviii, note 3). Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), 
p. 90. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 8. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 5 (Hewlett, vol. i. 
p. 304). Geoff. Coldingham, c. 9 (Scriptt. Dunelm. III., Raine, p. 14). The 
grant itself, dated November 25, is in Scriptt. Dttnelm. III., App. p. Ixii. 

6 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 87, 88. 7 Ib. p. 97. 


His threatening attitude served as an excuse for raising a 
scutage, nofninally for a Welsh war ; l but the expedition 
was never made. The king of Scots was otherwise dealt 
with. Early in December, while Richard was at Canter- 
bury on his way to the sea, William the Lion came to visit 
him, and a bargain was struck to the satisfaction of both 
parties. Richard received from William a sum of ten 
thousand marks, and his homage for his English estates, 
as they had been held by his brother Malcolm ; in return, 
he restored to him the castles of Roxburgh and Berwick, 
and released him and his heirs for ever from the homage for 
Scotland itself, enforced by Henry in ii/S- 2 

Richard's worst difficulty however was still unsolved : 
how to prevent John from trying to supplant him in his 
absence. Richard knew that this lad, ten years younger 
than himself, had been his rival ever since he was of an age 
to be a rival to any one ; and he knew his brother's cha- 
racter as, perhaps, no one else did know it as yet for their 
mother had scarcely seen her youngest child since he was 
six years old. In the light of later history, it is impossible 
not to feel that Richard's wisest course, alike for his own 
sake and for England's, would have been to follow the 
instinct which had once prompted him to insist that John 
should go with him to the crusade. In this case however 
he was now led astray by the noblest feature in his cha- 
racter, his unsuspecting confidence and generosity. From 
the hour of their reconciliation after their father's death, 
Richard's sole endeavour respecting John was to gain his 
affection and gratitude by showering upon him every 
honour, dignity and benefit of which it was possible to 
dispose in his favour. The grant of the county of Mortain 
made him the first baron of Normandy, and it was accom- 
panied by a liberal provision in English lands. To these 
were added, as soon as the brothers reached England, a 

1 Madox, Hist. Exch., vol. i. p. 664, from Pipe Roll 2 Ric. I. 

2 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 98. Richard's charter of release to William is in 
Rymer, Fccdera, vol. i. p. 30 ; Gesta Ric. as above, pp. 102, 103 ; Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 25, 26. It is dated (in Rymer's copy) December 5. On 
this transaction see also R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 72, and Will. Newb., 1. iv. 
c. 5 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 304). 


string of "honours" Marlborough, Luggershall, Lancaster, 
each with its castle ; the Peak, Bolsover, and the whole 
honour of Peverel ; those of Wallingford and Tickhill, and 
that of Nottingham, including the town ; and the whole 
shire of Derby; 1 besides the honour of Gloucester, which 
belonged to John's betrothed bride Avice, and which Richard 
secured to him by causing him to be married to her at 
Marlborough on August 29, 2 in spite of Archbishop Bald- 
win's protests against a marriage between third cousins 
without dispensation from the Pope. Baldwin at once laid 
all the lands of the young couple under interdict ; but John 
appealed against him, and a papal legate who came over in 
November to settle Baldwin's quarrel with his own monks 
confirmed the appeal and annulled the sentence of the 
primate. 3 At the same time Richard bestowed upon his 
brother four whole shires in south-western England Corn- 
wall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset with the ferms and the 
entire profits of jurisdiction and administration. 4 More than 
this even Richard could not give ; if more was needed to 
hold John's ambition in check, he could only trust to the 
skilful management of Eleanor. She was left, seemingly 
without any formal commission, but with the practical 
authority of queen -regent, and with the dowries of two 
former queens in addition to her own. 5 

One important part of Richard's administrative arrange- 
ments was however already upset : William de Mandeville, 
having gone to Normandy on business for the king, died 
there on November I4. 6 Earl of Essex by grant of 
Henry II., count of Aumale by marriage with its heiress, 
William had been through life one of Henry's most faithful 
friends ; he was honoured and esteemed by all parties on 
both sides of the sea ; there was no one left among the 
barons who could command anything like the same degree 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 78. See also Stubbs/./?^. Howden, vol. iii., pref. p. xx. 

2 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 78. 3 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 72, 73. 

4 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 99. Stubbs as above, p. xxv. Cf. Will. Newb., 
1. iv. c. 3 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 301), and his comments on the subject (ib. p. 302). 

5 Gesta Ric. as above. 

6 R. Diceto as above, p. 73. Gesta Ric. as above, p. 92. The day comes 
from Ralf. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 26, makes it December 12. 


of general respect ; and Richard for the moment saw no 
means of filling his place. He 

of f Durjiajxuas--sole-^hJfj[usticiar ; but he made a change in 
the "Body of subordinate justiciars appointed at Pipewell. 
Two of them were superseded ; one was replaced by Hugk- 
Bardulf, and the other, it seems, by the chancellor JWilliam. of 
Longchamp, who, in addition to the office which he already 
held, was put in charge of the Tower of London, and 
intrusted with powers which virtually made him equal in 
authority to the chief justiciar. 1 

None of these appointments was in itself unwise ; but 
two worse-matched yokefellows than the justiciar and the 
chancellor it would have been difficult to find. Hugh of 
Puiset or " Pudsey," as his English flock called him had 
stood high in both Church and state ever since the days of 
the civil war. Through his mother he was a great-grandson 
of the Conqueror, and thus cousin in no remote degree to 

I Henry Fitz-Empress and Richard Cceur-de-Lion, as well as 
to Philip of France. We saw him more than forty years 
ago, as archdeacon and treasurer of York, meeting the 
ecclesiastical censures of his metropolitan with a retort on 
equal terms, and wielding not unsuccessfully the weapons 
both of spiritual and temporal warfare in the cause of his 
cousin William of York and his uncle Henry of Winchester. 
Since 1153 he had been bishop of Durham ; certainly not 
an ideal successor of S. Cuthbert ; yet his appointment had 
been sanctioned by the saintly archbishop Theobald ; and 
throughout his long episcopate he shewed himself by no 
means ill-fitted, on the whole, for his peculiar position. That 
position, it must be remembered, had more than that of any 
other English bishop an important political side. The bishop 
of Durham was earl palatine of his shire ; its whole admin- 
istration, secular as well as ecclesiastical, was in his hands. 
His diocesan jurisdiction, again, extended over the whole of 
Northumberland, and thus brought him into immediate con- 

1 On these appointments cf. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 101 ; Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 28; Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 8, II ; Will. Newb., 1. iv. 
c. 5 (Hewlett, vol.^ p. 306) ; and Bishop Stubbs's note, pref. to Rog. Howden as 
above, p. xxx. 



tact with the Scots across the border. His diocese was in 
fact a great marchland between England and Scotland ; he 
was the natural medium of communication or negotiation 
between the two realms ; and on him depended in no small 
degree the security of their relations with each other. For 
such a post it was well to have a strong man, in every sense 
of the words ; and such a man was Hugh of Puiset His 
strength was not based solely upon an unscrupulous use of 
great material and political resources. He was a popular 
man with all classes ; notwithstanding his unclerical ways, 
he never fell into any ecclesiastical disgrace except with his 
own metropolitan, for whom he was generally more than a 
match ; and he was one of the very few prelates who man- 
aged to steer their way through the Becket quarrel without 
either damaging their reputation as sound churchmen or 
forfeiting the confidence of Henry II. His intrigues with 
the Scot king and the rebel barons in 1174 failed so com- 
pletely and so speedily that Henry found it scarcely worth 
while to punish them in any way ; and on the other hand, 
Hugh's position was already so independent and secure that 
he himself never found it worth while to renew them. In 
his own diocese, whatever he might be as a pastor of seuls, 
he was a vigorous and on the whole a beneficent as well as 
magnificent ruler ; the men of the county palatine grumbled 
indeed at his extravagance and at the occasional hardships 
brought upon them by his inordinate love of the chase, but 
they were none the less proud of his splendid buildings, his 
regal state, and his equally regal personality. His appear- 
ance and manners corresponded with his character and his 
rank ; he was tall in stature, dignified in bearing, remarkably 
attractive in look, eloquent and winning in address. 1 More- 
over, he had lived so long in England, and all his interests 
had so long been centred there, that for all practical pur- 
poses, social as well as political, he was a thorough English- 
man certainly far more of an Englishman than his young 
English -born cousin, King Richard. For the last eight 

1 On Hugh of Durham see Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 10 (Howlett, vol. ii. pp. 436- 
438), Geoff. Coldingham, cc. I, 4, ii, 14 (Scriptt. Dundm. III., Raine, pp. 4, 8, 
9, ii, 12, 14), and Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. pp. xxxiii.-xxxvii. 


years, indeed, he had held in the north much the same pos- 
ition as had belonged in earlier times to the archbishops of 
York ; for the northern province had been without a metro- 
politan ever since the death of Roger of Pont-1'Eveque in 
November uSi, 1 and the supreme authority, ecclesiastical 
as well as secular, had thus devolved upon the bishop of 
Durham. He was now threatened with the loss of this pre- 
eminence ; but he had no intention of giving it up without 
a struggle, in which his chances of success were at least as 
good as those of his rival the archbishop-elect ; and what- 
ever the result might be with respect to his ecclesiastical 
independence, he had secured a formidable counterpoise to 
the primate's territorial influence by his purchase of North- 
umberland, which made him sole head, under the Crown, of 
the civil administration of the whole country between the 
Tweed and the Tees. 

Alike in himself and in his antecedents Hugh of Puiset 
was the very antithesis to William of Longchamp. William 
had nothing of the stately presence and winning aspect 
which distinguished the bishop of Durham ; on the contrary, 
he laboured under personal disadvantages which should have 
entitled him to sympathy, but which one of his political 
opponents was heartless enough to caricature, after his fall, 
in order to make him an object of vulgar contempt and dis- 
gust. His stature was diminutive, his countenance swarthy 
and ill-favoured, his figure mis-shapen, and he was moreover 
very lame. 2 His origin was as lowly as his person. His 
father was 'a certain Hugh of Longchamp who in 1156 re- 
ceived from the king a grant of lands in Herefordshire, 3 and 
about the time of the barons' revolt was fermor of the 
honour of Conches in Normandy. 4 His grandfather was 
said to have been a French serf who had fled from the 
justice of his lord and found a refuge in the Norman village 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 283. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 10. 
Will. Newb., 1. iii. c. 5 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 225). 

2 Cf. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. n, with the horrible caricature in Gir. 
Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 19 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 420). 

3 Pipe Roll 2 Hen. II. (Hunter), p. 51. 

4 Mag. Rot. Scacc. Norm. (Stapleton), vol. i. p. 74. Cf. Stubbs, Rog. Hoivden, 
vol. iii. pref. p. xxxviii. 


whence his descendants took their name. 1 In Henry's latter 
years Hugh of Longchamp was deep in debt and disgrace, 2 
and his six sons had to make their way in the world as 
best they could under the shadow of the king's displeasure. 3 
William, whose physical infirmities must have shut him out 
from every career save that of a clerk, first appears under 
the patronage of Geoffrey the chancellor, as his official in 
one of his many pieces of Church preferment, the arch- 
deaconry of Rouen. 4 The king, however, remonstrated 
strongly with his son on the danger of associating with 
a man whom he declared to be " a traitor, like his 
father and mother before him." 5 The end of his re- 
monstrances was that, shortly before the last outbreak, 
William fled from Geoffrey to Richard, and, according to 
one account, became the chief instigator of Richard's rebel- 
lion. 6 However this may be, it is certain that Richard, while 
still merely duke of Aquitaine, employed William as his 
chancellor, 7 and that he was not only so well satisfied with 
his services as to retain him in the same capacity after his 
accession to the crown, but had formed such a high opinion 
of his statesmanship and his fidelity as to make him his 
chief political adviser and confidant Richard, like his father, 
was constant in his friendships, and very unwilling to discard 
those to whom he had once become really attached; his 
trust in William remained unshaken to the end of his life, 
and in some respects it was not misplaced. William seems 
to have been thoroughly loyal to his master, and his energy 
and industry were as unquestionable as his loyalty. As 
Richard's most intimate companion, confidential secretary, 
and political adviser in foreign affairs, William was in his 

1 Letter of Hugh of Nonant, in Gesta Ric, (Stubbs), p. 216 (also in Rog. 
Howden, Stubbs, vol. iii. p. 142). Gir. Cambr. Vita Gatfr., 1. ii. c. 18 (Brewer, 
vol. iv. p. 418). 

2 Mag. Rot. Scacc. Norm. (Stapleton), vol. i. p. 74. Stubbs, Rog. Howden, 
vol. iii. pref. pp. xxxviii, xxxix and notes. 

3 Stubbs, as above, pp. xxxix, xl. 4 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. I (p. 388). 

5 Ibid. Cf. c. 19 (pp. 420, 421). It does not seem to be known exactly who 
William's mother was ; but she brought to her husband in dower a knight's fee in 
Herefordshire under Hugh de Lacy. See Lib. Nig. Scacc. (Hearne), p. 155, and 
Stubbs, as above, p. xxxviii, note 4. 6 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 19 (p. 421). 

7 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 6. 


right place ; but he was by no means equally well fitted to 
be Richard's representative in the supreme government and 
administration of England. He had the primary disqualifi- 
cation of being a total stranger to the land, its people and 
its ways. Most likely he had never set foot in England till 
he came thither with Richard in 1189; he was ignorant of 
the English tongue j 1 his new surroundings were thoroughly 
distasteful to him ; and as he was by no means of a cautious 
or conciliatory temper, he expressed his contempt and dis- 
like of them in a way which was resented not only by the 
people, but even by men whose origin and natural speech 
were scarcely more English than his own. 2 He had in short 
every qualification for becoming an extremely unpopular 
man, and he behaved as if he desired no other destiny. The 
nation at large soon learned to return his aversion and to 
detest him as a disagreeable stranger ; his colleagues in the 
administration despised him as an upstart interloper ; the 
justiciar, in particular, keenly resented his own virtual sub- 
ordination to one whom he naturally regarded as his inferior 
in every way. 3 It was sound policy on Richard's part to 
place a check upon Hugh of Durham ; and it was not un- 
natural that he should select his chancellor for that purpose. 
The seven happiest years of Henry Fitz-Empress had been 
the years during which another chancellor had wielded a 
power almost as great as that which Richard intrusted to 
William of Longchamp. But, on the other hand, any one 
except Richard might have seen at a glance that of all 
statesmen living, William of Longchamp was well-nigh the 
least fitted to reproduce the career of Thomas of London. 

The king left England on December 1 1. 4 William was 
consecrated, together with Richard Fitz-Nigel, on December 
3 i , 5 and on the feast of the Epiphany he was enthroned at 
Ely. 6 Immediately afterwards he began to assert his temp- 
oral authority. At a meeting of the Court of Exchequer 

Letter of Hugh of Nonant in Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 219. 

See Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 19 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 424). 

Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 101. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 29. 

Gesta Ric. as above. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 73, makes it December 14. 

R. Diceto as above, p. 75. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. ii. 

R. Diceto as above. 


the bishop of Durham was turned out by the chancellor's 
orders ; presently after he was deprived of his jurisdiction 
over Northumberland. Soon after this, Bishop Godfrey of 
Winchester was dispossessed not merely of his sheriffdom 
and castles, but even of his own patrimony. 1 For this last 
spoliation there is no apparent excuse ; that a man should 
hold a sheriffdom together with a bishopric was, however, con- 
trary alike to Church discipline and to sound temporal policy ; 
and the non-recognition of Hugh's purchase of Northumber- 
land might be yet further justified by the fact that the pur- 
chase-money was not yet paid. 2 In February 1 1 90 Richard 
summoned his mother, his brothers and his chief ministers 
to a final meeting in Normandy ; 3 the chancellor, knowing 
that complaints against him would be brought before the 
king, hurried over in advance of his colleagues, to justify him- 
self before he was accused, 4 and he succeeded so well that 
Richard not only sent him back to England after the council 
with full authority to act as chief justiciar as well as chan- 
cellor, 5 but at the same time opened negotiations with Rome 
to obtain for him a commission as legate 6 an arrangement 
which, the archbishop of Canterbury being bound on crusade 
like the king, would leave William supreme both in Church 
and state. 

The new justiciar's first act on his return was to fortify 
the Tower of London; 7 his next was to punish a disturbance 
which had lately occurred at York. During the last six 
months the long-suppressed hatred which the Jews inspired 
had broken forth into open violence. The first pretext had 
been furnished by a misunderstanding on the coronation-day. 
Richard, who had some very strict ideas about the ceremonials 
of religion, had given orders that no Jew should approach 
him on that solemn occasion ; in defiance or ignorance of 
the prohibition, some rich Jews came to offer gifts to the 
new sovereign ; the courtiers and the people seized the 

1 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. n. 

2 See Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. p. xxxi. and note 3. 

3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 105, 106. 4 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 12. 

5 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 106. Cf. Ric. Devizes as above, and Will. Newb., 
1. iv. c. 14 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 331). 

6 Gesta Ric. as above. 7 Ibid. 



excuse to satisfy at once their greed and their hatred ; the 
unwelcome visitors were driven away, robbed, beaten, some 
even slain j 1 and the rage of their enemies, once let loose, 
spent itself throughout the night in a general sack of the 
Jewish quarter. Richard, engaged at the coronation-banquet, 
knew nothing of what had happened till the next day, 2 when 
he did his best to secure the ringleaders, and punished them 
^severely. 3 When he was gone, however, the spark thus 
kindled burst forth into a blaze in all the chief English 
cities in succession, Winchester being almost the sole excep- 
tion. 4 Massacres of Jews took place at Norwich on February 
6, at Stamford on March 7, at S. Edmund's on March 18, 
Palm Sunday. 5 A day before this last, a yet worse 
tragedy had occurred at York. The principal Jews of that 
city, in dread of a popular attack, had sought and obtained 
shelter in one of the towers of the castle, under the protection 
of its constable and the sheriff of Yorkshire. 6 Once there, 
they refused to give it up again ; whereupon the constable 
and the sheriff called out all the forces of city and shire to 
dislodge them. After twenty-four hours' siege the Jews 
offered to ransom themselves by a heavy fine; but the blood 
of the citizens was up, and they rejected the offer. The 
Jews, in desperation, resolved to die by their own hands 
rather than by those of their Gentile enemies ; the women 

1 The Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 83, lay the blame on "curiales"; with Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 12, the source of the mischief is "plebs superbo 
oculo et insatiabili corde " ; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 69, is so ashamed of the 
whole business that he tries to shift the responsibility off all English shoulders 
alike " Pax Judseorum, quam ab antiquis temporibus semper obtinuerant, ab 
alienigenis interrumpitur." Cf. the very opposite tone of R. Coggeshall (Steven- 
son), p. 28, and the judicial middle course characteristically steered by Will. 
Newb., 1. iv. cc. I and 9 (Howlett, vol. i. pp. 297, 298, 316, 317). 

2 R. Diceto as above. 

3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 84. Rog. Howden as above. Both take care to 
assure us that Richard's severity was owing not to any sympathy for the Jews, but 
to the fact that in the confusion a few Christians had suffered with them. Cf. a 
slightly different version in Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. I (as above, pp. 297-299). 

4 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 5. 

5 R. Diceto as above, p. 75. Cf. Will. Newb., 1. iv. cc. 7, 8 (as above, pp. 
308-312), who adds Lynn to the series. 

6 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 107, and a more detailed account in Will. Newb., 1. iv. 
c. 9 (as above, pp. 312-314). From him we learn that the Jews of Lincoln did 
the same, and with a more satisfactory result. 



and children were slaughtered by their husbands and fathers, 
who flung the corpses over the battlements or piled them up 
in the tower, which they fired. 1 Nearly five hundred Jews 
perished in the massacre or the flames; 2 and the citizens and 
soldiers, baulked of their expected prey, satiated their greed 
by sacking and burning all the Jewish houses and destroying 
the bonds of all the Jewish usurers in the city. 3 At the 
end of April or the beginning of May 4 the new justiciar 
came with an armed force to York to investigate this affair. 
The citizens threw the whole blame upon the castellan and 
the sheriff; William accordingly deposed them both. 5 As 
the castle was destroyed, he probably thought it needless to 
appoint a new constable until it should be rebuilt ; for the 
sheriff John, elder brother of William the Marshal he at 
once substituted his own brother Osbert. 6 Most of the 
knights who had been concerned in the tumult had taken 
care to put themselves out of his reach ; their estates were, 
however, mulcted and their chattels seized; 7 and the citizens 
only escaped by paying a fine 8 and giving hostages who 
were not redeemed till three years later, when all thought of 
further proceedings in the matter had been given up. 9 Even 
the clergy of the minster had their share of punishment, 
although for a different offence : William, though his legatine 
commission had not yet arrived, claimed already to be 
received as legate, and put the church under interdict until 
his claim was admitted. 10 

For the moment William's power was undisputed even 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 107. For date March 16 see R. Diceto (Stubbs), 
vol. ii. p. 75. 2 R. Diceto as above. 

3 Gesta Ric. as above. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 34. Cf. the some- 
what different version of Will. Newb., 1. iv. cc. 9, 10 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 314- 
322), and also R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 27, 28. 

4 The Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 108, say merely " post Pascha" ; Will. Newb., 
1. iv. c. ii (as above, p. 323), says "circa Dominicse Ascensionis solemnia," which 
fell on May 4. 5 Gesta Ric. as above. 

6 Rog. Howden as above. 

7 Will. Newb. as above (p. 323). Cf. Pipe Roll 2 Ric. I., quoted in Stubbs, 
Rog. Howden^ vol. iii. pref. pp. xliv., notes 4, 5, xlv., note I. 

8 Will. Newb. as above. 

9 Pipe Roll 5 Ric. I. in Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. p. xliv., note 7. 
Will. Newb., as above (p. 324), says that nothing further was ever done in the 
matter. 10 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 108, 109. 


in the north ; for Hugh of Durham was still in Gaul. Now, 
however, there came a notice from the king that he was 
about to send Hugh back to England as justiciar over the 
whole country north of the Humber. 1 Hugh himself soon 
afterwards arrived, and hurried northward, in the hope, it 
seems, of catching the chancellor on the further side of the 
Humber and thus compelling him to acknowledge his 
inferiority. 2 In this hope he was disappointed ; they met 
at Blyth in Nottinghamshire. 3 Hugh, impetuous in old age 
as in youth, talked somewhat too much as the chancellor 
had acted " as if all the affairs of the realm were dependent 
on his nod." 4 At last, however, he produced the commission 
from Richard upon which his pretensions were founded ; 5 
and William, who could read between the lines of his royal 
friend's letters, saw- at once that he had little to fear. 6 He 
replied simply by/expressing his readiness to obey the king's 
orders, 7 and proposing that all further discussion should be 
adjourned to" a second meeting a week later at Tickhill. 
There Hugh found the tables turned. The chancellor had 
reached the place before him ; the bishop's followers were 
shut out from the castle ; he was admitted alone into the 
presence of his rival, who, without giving him time to speak, 
put into his hands another letter from Richard, bidding all 
his English subjects render service and obedience to " our 
trusty and well-beloved chancellor, the bishop of Ely," as 
they would to the king himself. The letter was dated June 
6 some days, if not weeks, later than Hugh's credentials ; 8 
and it seems to have just reached William together with his 
legatine commission, which was issued on the previous day. 9 
He gave his rival no time even to think. " You had your 
say at our last meeting ; now I will have mine. As my 
lord the king liveth, you shall not quit this place till you 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 109. This appointment is mentioned (ib. p. 106) 
among those made at the council of Rouen, where William himself was appointed ; 
but it seems plain that it was not ratified till some time later. 

2 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 12. 3 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 109. 

4 Ric. Devizes as above. 5 Ib. p. 13. Gesta Ric. as above. 

6 Ric. Devizes as above. 7 Gesta Ric. as above. 

8 Cf. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 83, with Ric. Devizes as above. 

9 R. Diceto as above. 


have given me hostages for the surrender of all your castles. 
No protests ! I am not a bishop arresting another bishop ; 
I am the chancellor, arresting his supplanter." ] Hugh was 
powerless ; yet he let himself be dragged all the way to 
London before he would yield. Then he gave up the 
required hostages, 2 and submitted to the loss of all his 
lately-purchased honours Windsor, Newcastle, Northumber- 
land, even the manor of Sadberge which he had bought of 
the king for his see 3 everything, in short, except his 
bishopric. For that he set ^ut as soon as he was liberated ; 
but at his manor of Howden he was stopped by the chan- 
cellor's orders, forbidden to proceed further, and again 
threatened with forcible detention.^ He promised to remain 
where he was, gave security for the fulfilment of his promise, 
and then wrote to the king his complaints of the treatment 
which he had received. 4 All the redress.jthat he could get, 
however, was a writ commanding that Sadberge should be 
restored to him at once and that he should suffer no further 
molestation. 5 

The chancellor's first rival was thus suppressed ; but 
already he could see other stumbling-blocks arising in his 
path, not a few of them placed there by the shortsighted 
policy of his royal master. Richard's reckless bestowal of 
lands and jurisdictions would, if left undisturbed, have put 
the administration of at least ten whole shires practically 
beyond the control of the central government. The bishops 
of Durham, Winchester and Coventry or Chester would have 
had everything their own way, in temporal matters no less 
than in spiritual, throughout their respective dioceses. To 
this state of things William had summarily put an end in 
the cases of Northumberland and Hampshire ; in those of 

1 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 13. 

2 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 109. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 35, places 
the submission at Southwell. 

3 Gesta Ric. as above. On Sadberge see Rog. Howden as above, p. 13. 

4 Gesta Ric., pp. 109, no. 

5 The Gesta Ric., p. no, say Richard ordered the restitution of Newcastle and 
Sadberge; for Newcastle Rog. Howden, as above, p. 38, substitutes "comitatum 
Northumbrise"; but the king's letter, given by Roger himself (ib. pp. 38, 39), 
mentions nothing except Sadberge. For its date see ib. pp. 37 note I, 39 note 3, 
and Gesta Ric. as above, p. 112, note I. 


Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire the primate 
had been induced to remonstrate with Hugh of Coventry 
upon the impropriety of a bishop holding three sherififdoms, 
and Hugh had accordingly given up two of them, though he 
managed to get them back after Baldwin's death at the close 
of i I9O. 1 There were however still four shires in the south- 
west and one in Mid-England over which the king's justiciar 
was not only without practical, but even without legal 
jurisdiction. In these, and in a number of "honours" scat- 
tered over the midland shires from Gloucester to Nottingham, 
the whole rights and profits of government, administration 
and finance belonged solely to John ; for his exercise of 
them he was responsible to no one but the king ; and thus, 
as soon as Richard was out of reach, John was to all intents 
and purposes himself king of his own territories. For the 
present indeed he was unable to set foot in his little realm : 
Richard in the spring had made both his brothers take an 
oath to keep away from England for three years. 2 It was 
however easy enough for John to govern his part of England, 
as the whole of it had often been governed for years together, 
from the other side of the Channel. He had his staff of 
ministers just like his brother his justiciar Roger de Planes, 3 
his chancellor Stephen Ridel, 4 his seneschal William de 
Kahaines, and his butler Theobald Walter - 5 , the sheriffs of 
his five counties and the stewards or bailiffs of his honours 
were appointed by him alone, and exercised their functions 
solely for his advantage, without reference to the king's court 
or the king's exchequer. 6 It is evident that, even though as 
yet the sea lay between them, John had already the power 
to make himself, if he were so minded, a serious obstacle to 
the chancellor's plans of governing England for Richard. 
Moreover, before Richard finally quitted Gaul, his mother 
persuaded him to release John from his oath of absence ; 7 

1 See R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 77, 78, and Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. 
iii. pref. p. xxxi. and note 5. 

2 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 106. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 15. 

3 R. Diceto as above, p. 99. 4 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 224. 

5 Rymer, F&dera, vol. i. p. 55. 

6 See Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. pp. xxxiii and Hi. 

7 Gesta Ric. and Ric. Devizes as above. 


and William of Longchamp himself, in his new character of 
legate, was obliged to confirm the release with his absolution. 1 
In view of the struggle which he now saw could not be far 
distant, William began to marshal his political forces and 
concert his measures of defence. On August I he held a 
Church council at Gloucester, in the heart of John's terri- 
tories ; 2 on October 13 he held another at Westminster ; 3 and 
he seems to have spent the winter in a sort of half legatine, 
half vice-regal progress throughout the country, for purposes 
of justice and finance and for the assertion of his own 
authority. This proceeding stirred up a good deal of 
discontent. Cripple though he was, William of Longchamp 
seems to have been almost as rapid and restless a traveller 
as Henry II.; one contemporary says he "went up and 
down the country like a flash of lightning." 4 It. may be 
however that these words allude to the disastrous effects of 
the chancellor's passage rather than to its swiftness and 
suddenness ; for he went about in such state as no minister 
except Henry's first chancellor had ever ventured to assume. 
His train of a thousand armed knights, besides a crowd of 
clerks and other attendants, was a ruinous burthen to the reli- 
gious houses where he claimed entertainment ; and the burthen 
was made almost unbearable by the heavy exactions, from clerk 
and layman alike, which he made in his master's name. 5 

That master was now with Philip of France at Messina, 6 
preparing for his departure from Europe. When he would 
come back whether he ever would come back at all was 
felt by all parties to be doubtful in the extreme. With his 

1 Gir. Cambr. De rebus a se gestis, 1. ii. c. 23 (Brewer, vol. i. p. 86). Ric. 
Devizes (Stevenson), p. 15, says the arrangement was that John "in Angliam per 
cancellarium transiens staret ejus judicio, et ad placitum illius vel moraretur in 
regno vel exularet." But with Eleanor in England to back her son, William 
could really have no choice in the matter. 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 83. On the version of this in Ric. Devizes (as 
above, pp. 13, 14), see Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. p. xlix. 

3 R. Diceto as above, p. 85. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 488, makes it 
October 16. 4 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 14. 

5 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 214. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 72. Will. 
Newb., 1. iv. c. 14 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 333, 334). 

6 Richard was there from September 23, 1190, to April 10, 1191. Gesta Ric. 
(Stubbs), pp. 125, 162 ; R. Diceto as above, pp. 84, 91. 


ardent zeal, rash valour and peculiar health, he was little 
likely to escape both the chances of war and the effects of 
the eastern climate j 1 and the question of the succession was 
therefore again becoming urgent. There was indeed not 
much latitude of choice ; the male line of Anjou, already 
extinct in Palestine, had in Europe only three representatives 
Richard himself, John, and their infant nephew Arthur of 
Britanny. By the strict feudal rule of primogeniture, Arthur, 
being Geoffrey's son, would have after Richard the next 
claim as head of the Angevin house. By old English con- 
stitutional practice, John, being a grown man and the reign- 
ing sovereign's own brother, would have a much better 
chance of recognition as his successor than his nephew, 
a child not yet four years old. Neither alternative was 
without drawbacks. Richard himself had made up his 
mind to the first ; early in November 1 1 90 he arranged a 
marriage for Arthur with a daughter of King Tancred of 
Sicily, on a distinct understanding that in case of his own 
death without children Arthur was to succeed to all his 
dominions ; 2 while at the same time William of Longchamp 
was endeavouring to secure the Scot king's recognition of 
Arthur as heir-presumptive to the English crown. 3 The 
queen-mother was unwilling to contemplate the succession 
of either Arthur or John ; she was anxious to get Richard 
married. Knowing that he never would marry the woman 
to whom he had been so long betrothed, she took upon 
herself to find him another bride. Her choice fell upon 
Berengaria, daughter of King Sancho VI. of Navarre ; 4 it 

1 See Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 5 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 306). 

2 Treaty in Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 133-136, and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), 
vol. iii. pp. 61-64. It is dateless, but on November II Richard wrote to the 
Pope telling him of its provisions and asking for his sanction. Gesta Ric. as 
above, pp. 136-138; Rog. Howden as above, pp. 65, 66. 

3 Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 14 (as above, pp. 335, 336). William represents this 
as an unauthorized proceeding of the chancellor's, contrived in his own interest as 
against John. He seems to place it at a later date. 

4 "Puella prudentior quam pulchra" says Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 25; 
but he seems to be contrasting her with Eleanor. On the other hand, Will. 
Newb., 1. iv. c. 19 (as above, p. 346), calls her " famosae pulchritudinis et 
prudentise virginem." According to the If in. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 175, this had 
been Richard's own choice for many years past. 


was accepted by Richard ; early in February 1 1 9 1 1 she 
went over to Gaul ; there she met her intended daughter-in- 
law, whom she carried on with her into Italy, and by the 
end of March they were both with Richard at Messina. 2 On 
the very day of their arrival Philip had sailed. 3 After 
long wrangling with him, Richard had at last succeeded in 
freeing himself from his miserable engagement to Adela ; 4 
he at once plighted his troth to Berengaria ; and when his 
mother, after a four days' visit, set out again upon her home- 
ward journey, 5 his bride remained with him under the care 
of his sister the widowed queen Jane of Sicily 6 till the 
expiration of Lent and the circumstances of their eastward 
voyage enabled them to marry. The wedding was cele- 
brated and the queen crowned at Limasol in Cyprus on the 
fourth Sunday after Easter. 7 

On her way home Eleanor stopped to transact some 
diplomatic business at Rome, and she seems to have re- 
mained in Gaul until the beginning of the next year. Long 
before she returned to England there were evident tokens 
that when Richard had proposed to keep John out of it, he 
had for once been wiser than his mother. Early in the 
year John, profiting by the liberty which her intercession 
had procured him, came over to England and there set up 
his court in such semi-regal state as to make it a source of 
extreme irritation, if not of grave anxiety, to the chancellor. 8 
Eleanor's departure thus left William of Longchamp face to 
face with a new and most formidable rival ; while about the 
same time he saw his power threatened on another side. 
In March 1191 tidings came that Archbishop Baldwin had 
died at Acre in the foregoing November. 9 If a new primate 

1 Richard sent ships to meet her at Naples before the end of that month. 
Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 157. 

2 They arrived on March 30. Gesta Ric. as above, p. 161. 3 Ibid. 

4 Gesta Ric. as above, pp. 160, 161. Rog. Howden( Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 99. R. 
Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 86. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 26. The actual treaty 
between Richard and Philip, of which more later, is in Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. p. 54. 

5 She sailed on April 2. Gesta Ric. as above, p. 161. Cf. R. Diceto as above. 

6 Ibid. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 28. 

7 Gesta Ric. as above, pp. 166, 167. Ric. Devizes, p. 39. Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), 
pp. 195, 196. 8 See Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. pp. li., Hi. 

9 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 488, 490. 


should be appointed, it was to be expected as a matter of 
course that the bishop of Ely would lose the legation ; he 
could hope to retain it only by persuading Richard either to 
nominate him to the primacy, or to keep it vacant altogether. 
Richard's notions of ecclesiastical propriety were however too 
strict to admit the latter alternative ; from the former he 
would most likely be deterred by his father's experiences with 
another chancellor ; so, to the astonishment of everybody, 
he nominated for the see of Canterbury a Sicilian prelate, 
one of his fellow-crusaders, William archbishop of Monreale. 1 
Meanwhile John and the chancellor were quarrelling openly ; 
popular sympathy, which William had alienated by his arro- 
gance and his oppressions, was on the side of John ; even 
the subordinate justiciars, who had stood by William in his 
struggle with Hugh of Durham, 2 were turning against him 
now; from one and all complaints against him were showering 
in upon the king ; 3 till at the end of February Richard grew 
so bewildered and so uneasy that he decided upon sending 
the archbishop of Rouen to investigate the state of affairs in 
England and see what could be done to remedy it. 4 

The archbishop of Rouen Walter of Coutances was a 
man of noble birth and stainless character who had been 
successively archdeacon of Oxford, treasurer of Rouen 
cathedral and vice-chancellor to Henry II. ; 5 in this last 
capacity he had for eight years done the whole work of 
head of the chancery for his nominal chief Ralf of Varne- 
ville, 6 till Ralf was succeeded in 1182 by the king's son 
Geoffrey, and next year the vice-chancellor was promoted to 
the see of Lincoln, which Geoffrey had resigned. A year 
later Walter was advanced to the primacy of Normandy. 7 
He was now with Richard, on his way to Holy Land, but 
commuted his vow to serve the king. 8 He was a very quiet, 

1 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 493, 494; date, January 25 [1191]. 

2 See Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. n, 12. 

3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 158. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 95, 96. 

4 Gesta Ric. as above. Rog. Howden as above, p. 96. We get the date 
approximately from Richard's letter in R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 90. 

5 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 10 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 408). 

6 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 367. 7 Ib. vol. ii. pp. 10, 14, 21. 
8 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 27 very unfairly coloured. 


unassuming person, and certainly not a vigorous statesman ; 
but his integrity and disinterestedness were above ques- 
tion ; x and the position in which he was now placed was one 
in which even a Thomas Becket might well have been 
puzzled how to act. The only commission given him by 
Richard of which we know the date was issued on February 
23 ; 2 but it was not till April 2 that he was allowed to leave 
Messina ; 3 and during the interval Richard, in his reluctance 
to supersede the chancellor, seems to have been perpetually 
changing his mind and varying his instructions, some of 
which were sent direct to England and some intrusted to 
Walter, till by the time the archbishop started he was laden 
with a bundle of contradictory commissions, addressed to 
himself, to William and to the co-justiciars, and apparently 
accompanied by a verbal order to use one, all or none of 
them, wholly at his own discretion. 4 

Before he reached England John and the chancellor 
were at open war. On Mid-Lent Sunday they met at 
Winchester to discuss the payment of John's pensions from 
the Exchequer and the possession of certain castles within 
his territories. 5 The discussion clearly ended in a quarrel ; 
and this served as a signal for revolt against the unpopular 
minister. Gerard de Camville, sheriff of Lincolnshire by 
purchase from the king, was also constable of Lincoln castle 
in right of his wife Nicolaa de Haye. He was accused of 
harbouring robbers in the castle, and when summoned 
before the king's justices he refused to appear, declaring 

1 Cf. Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 10 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 408), and Will. 
Newb., 1. iv. c. 15 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 336). In this place William calls Walter 
"virum prudentem et modestum"; but in 1. iii. c. 8 (ib. p. 236) he displays a 
curiously bitter resentment against him for his abandonment of the see of Lincoln 
for the loftier see of Rouen. 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 90. Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 6 (p. 401), gives 
the date as February 20. 

3 He and Eleanor left Messina together, ftin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 176. 

4 This seems the only possible explanation at once of Walter's conduct and of 
the conflicting accounts in R. Diceto as above, pp. 90, 91 ; Gir. Cambr. as 
above (pp. 400, 401); Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 158; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), 
vol. iii. pp. 96, 97 ; Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 27-29 ; and Will. Newb. as 
above. See Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. pp. lx., Ixi., note I. 

5 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 26. 


that he had become John's liegeman and was answerable 
only to him. 1 At the opposite end of England Roger 
de Mortemer, the lord of Wigmore successor to that 
Hugh de Mortemer who had defied Henry II. in 1156 
was at the same moment found to be plotting treason 
with the Welsh. Against him the chancellor proceeded 
first, and his mere approach so alarmed Roger that he 
gave up his castle and submitted to banishment from 
the realm for three years. 2 William then hurried to Lin- 
coln ; but before he could reach it Gerard and Nicolaa 
had had time to make their almost impregnable stronghold 
ready for a siege, and John had had time to gain possession 
of Nottingham and Tickhill 3 two castles which the king 
had retained in his own hands, while bestowing upon his 
brother the honours in which they stood. Nicolaa was in 
command at Lincoln, and was fully equal to the occasion ; 
her husband was now with John, and John at once sent the 
chancellor a most insulting message, taunting him with the 
facility with which the two castles had been betrayed, 4 and 
threatening that if the attempt upon Lincoln was not at 
once given up, he would come in person to avenge the 
wrongs of his liegeman. 5 William saw that John was now 
too strong for him ; he knew by this time that Pope 
Clement was dead, 6 and his own legation consequently at 
an end ; he must have known, too, of the mission of Walter 
of Rouen ; he therefore, through some of his fellow-bishops, 7 
demanded a personal meeting with John, and proposed that 
all their differences should be submitted to arbitration. 
John burst into a fury at what he chose to call the im- 
pudence of this proposal, 8 but he ended by accepting it, 
and on April 25 the meeting took place at Winchester. 

1 Cf. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 30, with Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. 
pp. 242, 243, and Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 16 (Hewlett, vol, i. pp. 337, 338), and see 
Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref.*pp. Ivi. , Ivii. 2 Ric. Devizes as above. 

3 Ibid. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 207. Will. Newb. as above (p. 338). 

4 Ric. Devizes as above. * Ibid. Gesta Ric. as above. 

6 He died on the Wednesday before Easter April 10 and his successor 
Celestine III. was elected on Easter-day. Gesta Ric. as above, p. 161. 

7 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 31, makes Walter of Rouen the mediator, but 
we shall see that this is chronologically impossible. 8 Ibid. 


The case was decided by the bishops of London, Winchester 
and Bath, with eleven lay arbitrators chosen by them from 
each party. Their decision went wholly against the chan- 
cellor. He was permitted to claim the restitution of Not- 
tingham and Tickhill, but only to put them in charge of two 
partizans of John ; his right to appoint wardens to the other 
castles in dispute was nominally confirmed, but made 
practically dependent upon John's dictation ; he was com- 
pelled to reinstate Gerard de Camville, and moreover to 
promise that in case of Richard's death he would do his 
utmost to secure the crown for John. 1 

Two days later Walter of Rouen landed at Shoreham. 2 
He was evidently not wanted now to act as a check upon 
William of Longchamp ; he might almost expect to be soon 
wanted as a check upon John ; but meanwhile, he could 
only stand aside and watch the effect of the new arrange- 
ments. His passive attitude gave, however, an indirect 
support to the chancellor ; after midsummer, therefore, the 
latter ventured to repudiate the concessions wrung from 
him at Winchester ; he again advanced upon Lincoln, and 
formally deprived Gerard of the sheriffdom, which he con- 
ferred upon William de Stuteville. 3 Once more the other 
bishops interposed, backed now by the Norman primate. 
Another assembly met at Winchester on July 28, 4 and here 
a fresh settlement was made. Gerard was reinstated in the 
sheriffdom of Lincolnshire, pending his trial in the king's 
court ; William and John were both bound over to commit 
no more forcible disseizures ; the disputed castles were to be 
again put in charge for the king, but through the medium of 
the archbishop of Rouen instead of the chancellor, and John 
was allowed no voice in the selection of the castellans, who 

1 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 32, 33. On the date see Bishop Stubbs's notes 
to Gesta Ric., p. 208, and Rog. Howden, vol. iii. p. 134, and pref. to latter, pp. 
Iviii., lix. 

2 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 497, says he landed about midsummer, and 
the printed text of R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 90, makes the date June 27 ; but 
see note in latter place. Bishop Stubbs (Rog. Hoiuden, vol. iii. pref. p. lix.) adopts 
the earlier date. 3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 207. 

4 The date comes from Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 32, who however mis- 
applies it. See Bishop Stubbs's notes to Gesta Ric., p. 208, and Rog. Howden, 
vol. iii. p. 134. 


were chosen by the assembly then and there. If the chan- 
cellor should infringe the agreement, or if the king should 
die, these castles were to be given up to John ; but all refer- 
ence to his claims upon the succession to the throne was 
carefully omitted. 1 The contest almost seemed to have 
ended in a drawn battle. It was strictly a contest between 
individuals, involving no national or constitutional interests. 
The barons, as a body, clearly sided with John ; but, just as 
clearly, they sided with him from loyal motives. The 
authority of the Crown was never called in question ; the 
question was, who was fittest to represent and uphold it 
the king's chancellor, or his brother. Of treason, either 
to England or to Richard, there was not a thought, unless 
as indeed is only too probable it lurked in the mind of 
John himself. 

A drawn battle, however, could not possibly be the end 
of a struggle between two such men as John of Mortain and 
William of Longchamp. In the autumn a new element was 
added to the strife by the return of Archbishop Geoffrey of 
York. For thirty-five years Geoffrey had been the eldest 
living child, if indeed he was not actually the first-born, of 
Henry Fitz-Empress ; 2 but of the vast Angevin heritage 
there fell to his share nothing, except the strong feelings 
and fiery temper which caused half the troubles of his life. 
As a child he had been brought up at court almost on equal 
terms with his half-brothers ; 3 he seems indeed to have been 
his father's favourite, till he was supplanted by the little 
John. When he grew to manhood, however, Henry could 
see no way of providing for him except by forcing him into 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 135-137. 

2 In the first chapter of his Life by Gerald (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 363), we are 
told that Geoffrey was scarcely twenty when elected to Lincoln, i.e. in 1173. But 
in 1. i. c. 13 (ib. p. 384), Gerald says that he was consecrated to York "anno 
setatis quasi quadragesimo, " in 1191. These two dates, as is usual with Gerald in 
such cases, do not agree, and neither of them pretends to be more than approxim- 
ate. Still it seems plain that Geoffrey's birth must fall somewhere between 1151 
and 1153. Even if we adopt the latest date, he must have been born in the same 
year as Eleanor's first son the baby William who died in 1 1 56 and must have 
been at least two years older than the young king, four years older than Richard, 
and fourteen years older than John. 

3 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. I (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 363). 


a career for which he had no vocation. At an early age he 
was put into deacon's orders and made archdeacon of Lin- 
coln ; 1 in 1173, when about twenty years of age, he was 
appointed to the bishopric of the same place. 2 The Pope, 
however, demurred to the choice of a candidate disqualified 
alike by his youth and his birth ; and when the former 
obstacle had been outlived and the latter might have been 
condoned, Geoffrey voluntarily renounced an office in which 
he would have been secure for life, but which he had never 
desired and for which he felt himself unfit, 3 in order to 
become his father's chancellor and constant companion 
during the last eight years of his life. It was Henry's last 
regret that this son, the only one of his sons whose whole 
life had been an unbroken course of perfect filial obedience, 
had to be left with his future entirely at the mercy of his 
undutiful younger half-brother. Richard received him with 
a brotherly welcome ; 4 when, however, he nominated him to 
the see of York, he was indeed carrying out their father's 
last wishes, but certainly not those of Geoffrey himself. 
Richard seems to have thought that he was held back by 
other motives than those of conscience or of preference for a 
secular life ; he suspected him of cherishing designs upon 
the crown. 5 It can only be said that Geoffrey, so far as 
appears, never did anything to justify the suspicion, -but 
shewed on the contrary every disposition to act loyally 
towards both his brothers, if they would but have acted with 
equal loyalty towards him. As soon however as the tonsure 
had marked him irrevocably for a priestly life, 6 Richard's 
zeal for his promotion cooled. The bishop of Durham, who 

1 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. I (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 363). 

2 Ib. p. 364. Will. Newb., 1. ii. c. 22 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 154). 

3 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 271, 272. Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 4 
(p. 368). The resignation was formally completed at Epiphany 1182. R. Diceto 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 10. 4 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 5 (p. 372). 

5 Ib. c. 8 (p. 379). In c. 7 (p. 374) Gerald actually represents Geoffrey as 
entertaining some hope of surviving and succeeding both his younger brothers ; 
but this is a very different thing from plotting against them during their lives. 
See Stubbs, Rog. Hoivden, vol. iii. pref. p. Ixvi. As it turned out, the first part, 
at any rate, of this dream of Geoffrey's was] not so mad as it seemed, for he died 
only four years before John. 

6 He was ordained priest September 23, 1189. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 88. 


was striving to make his see independent of the metro- 
politan, 1 and a strong party in the York chapter with whom 
Geoffrey had quarrelled on a point of ecclesiastical etiquette, 
easily won the king's ear ; 2 it was not till the very eve of 
Richard's departure from England that Geoffrey was able to 
buy his final confirmation both in the see of York and in 
the estates which his father had bequeathed to him in 
Anjou ; 3 and in March he was summoned over to Normandy 
and there, like John, made to take an oath of absence from 
England for three years. 4 

According to Geoffrey's own account, he followed his 
brother as far as Ve"zelay, and there won from him a remiss- 
ion of this vow. 5 It is certain that by April 1191 Richard 
had so far changed his mind again as to be desirous of 
Geoffrey's speedy consecration. The Pope's consent was 
still lacking ; and the negotiations for obtaining this were 
undertaken by the person who, from Geoffrey's very birth, 
had been his most determined enemy Queen Eleanor. 
When she went from Messina to Rome to plead his cause 
with Clement III. or his successor Celestine, 6 it is plain that 
natural feeling gave way to motives of policy. She could 
now see that an archbishop of York might become very 
useful in England, in holding the balance between Hugh of 
Durham and William of Ely. His canonical authority and 
personal influence might furnish, not indeed a counterpoise, 
but at least a check to the now unlimited powers of the 
legate. On the other hand, it was the long vacancy of York 
which more than anything else had tended to Hugh's ex- 
altation. For ten years the bishop of Durham, with no 
metropolitan over him, had virtually been himself metro- 
politan of northern England. He strongly resented the 
filling of the vacant see, and had actually obtained from 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 146. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 74. 

2 Gesta Ric. as above, pp. 88, 91, 99. Rog. Howden as above, pp. 17, 18, 
27. Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 8 (Brewer, vol. iv. pp. 377, 378). 

3 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 100. Cf. Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 379). 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above. Gesta Ric. as above, p. 106. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), 
P- 15- 5 Gir. Cambr. as above, c. u (p. 382). 

6 Rog. Howden as above, p. 100. The change in the Papacy must have 
occurred while she was there. 


Clement III. a privilege of exemption from its jurisdiction. 1 
If the archbishop of York could be reinstated in his proper 
constitutional position, his own interests would lead him to 
use it for those of the kingdom and the king. 

Geoffrey's qualifications and disqualifications for such a 
task may be very easily summed up. He had the Angevin 
fearlessness, energy, persistence and thoroughness, with a fair 
share of the versatile capabilities of the family ; he had all 
their impetuosity, but very little of their wariness and tact. 
Mingled with the Angevin fire, there seems to have run in 
his veins the blood, and with it the spirit, of a totally differ- 
ent race. If we may credit on such a point the gossip of 
his father's court, Geoffrey was through his mother a child 
of the people seemingly the English people and of its 
very lowest class. 2 This consideration has more interest at 
a later stage of Geoffrey's career, when he stands forth as a 
champion of constitutional liberty. Until then, there is, so 
far as we can see, no evidence of any special sympathy 
between him and the English people. Yet the plebeian and 
probably English element in him existed, or was believed to 
exist ; and if it did not become, as it easily might have done, 
an important element in his political career, it was at any 
rate not unlikely to have exercised some influence upon his 

Eleanor's mission to Rome succeeded. Geoffrey's elec- 
tion and his claim to the obedience of the bishop of Durham 
were both confirmed by Pope Celestine ; 3 he was consecrated 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 146. 

2 W. Map, De Nugis Cur., dist. v. c. 6 (Wright, pp. 228-235). Walter is 
the only writer who tells us anything about Geoffrey's mother ; as he does not 
say she was a foreigner, it seems most probable that he looked upon her as an 
Englishwoman. The name which he gives to her "Ykenai" or " Hikenai "- 
tells nothing either way, in itself. But Mr. Dimock (in his preface to the seventh 
volume of Gerald's works, p. xxxvii) throws doubt upon Walter's whole account 
of her except her name, and suggests that she may have belonged to a knightly 
family of Akeny (i.e. Acquigny) in Normandy. This, however, is a question to 
be investigated by a biographer of Geoffrey or a student of his later political 
career rather than by an historian of the Angevin kings. The doubts which W. 
Map tries to throw upon his connexion with them are probably affected, and clearly 
unfounded. Few specimens of the Angevin race are more unmistakeable than 
Geoffrey ; one might perhaps add, few more creditable. 

3 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 209. See Celestine's letter (date, May u) in 


at Tours by Archbishop Bartholomew on August 18, and 
received his pall on the same day. 1 He at once put himself in 
communication with John, to secure a protector on his return 
to his see ; 2 for William of Longchamp, having had no notice 
from Richard of the remission of Geoffrey's vow of absence, 
refused to believe in it, 3 and had not only issued orders for 
the archbishop's arrest as soon as he should land in England, 4 
but had agreed with the countess of Flanders that no Flemish 
ship should be allowed to give him a passage. The countess, 
however, evaded her agreement by letting him sail from 
Wissant in an English boat. 5 He landed at Dover on Holy 
Cross day, 6 having changed his clothes to avoid recognition. 7 
The constable of Dover, Matthew de Cleres, was absent ; his 
wife Richenda was a sister of William of Longchamp ; her 
men-at-arms surrounded the archbishop the moment he 
touched the shore, recognized him in spite of his disguise, 
and strove to arrest him, but he managed to free himself 
from their hands and make his way to the priory of S. Mar- 
tin, just outside the town. Here for five days Richenda's 
followers vainly endeavoured to blockade and starve him 
into surrender. 8 On the fifth day a band of armed men 
rushed into the priory-church, and in the chancellor's name 
ordered Geoffrey to quit the country at once. Geoffrey, 
seated by the altar, clad in his pontifical robes and with his 

Monasticon Angl., vol. vi. pt. iii. col. 1188, and Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iii. 
pref. p. Ixvii, note 2. 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 96. Cf. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 209 ; Gir. 
Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. i. c. 13 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 384). Will. Newb., always 
hostile to Geoffrey, declares that " ordine prsepostero" he got his pallium before 
he was consecrated ; 1. iv. c. 17 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 339, 340). 

2 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 34. 

3 His disbelief was evidently shared by Roger of Howden (Stubbs, vol. iii. p. 
138); but Roger's authority, the treasurer, does not commit himself to any opinion 
on the subject. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 210. 

4 See the chancellor's writ dated Preston, July 30 in R. Diceto as above, and 
Gir. Cambr. as above, 1. ii. c. I (p. 389) ; and cf. Ric. Devizes and Gesta Ric. as above. 

5 Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 388). Cf. Gesta Ric. as above. The countess- 
Isabel of Portugal, second wife of Count Philip was governing her husband's 
territories during his absence on crusade, where he died. 

6 R. Diceto as above, p. 97. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 504. 

7 Gesta Ric. as above. 

8 Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 388-390). Cf. R. Diceto and Gesta Ric. as above, 
and Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 17 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 340). 



archiepiscopal cross in his hand, set them and their chancellor 
at defiance. 1 They dragged him out of the church by the 
hands and feet ; and as nothing would induce him to mount 
a horse which they brought for him, they dragged him on, 
still in the same array, still clinging to his cross and excom- 
municating them as they went, all through the town to the 
castle, where they flung him into prison. 2 

This outrage roused up all parties alike in Church and 
state. England had had quite enough of persecuted and 
martyred archbishops. Protests and remonstrances came 
pouring in upon the chancellor from the most opposite 
quarters : from the treasurer and bishop of London, Richard 
Fitz-Nigel 3 from the aged bishop of Norwich, John of 
Oxford, 4 and from the Canterbury chapter, 5 both of whom 
had had only too much experience, in different ways, of the 
disasters which might result from such violence to an arch- 
bishop. The most venerated of living English prelates, 
S. Hugh of Lincoln, at once excommunicated Richenda, her 
husband and all her abettors, with lighted candles at Oxford. 6 
John remonstrated most vehemently of all, 7 and his remon- 
strances procured Geoffrey's release, 8 but only on condition 
that he would go straight to London and there remain till 
the case between him and the chancellor could be tried by 
an assembly of bishops and barons. 9 This of course satisfied 
nobody. John had no mind to lose his opportunity of 
crushing his enemy once for all. From Lancaster, where he 
was laying his plans with the help of Bishop Hugh of 
Coventry a nephew of the old arch -plotter Arnulf of 

1 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. i (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 391). 

2 Ibid. (pp. 391, 392). Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 35, 36. R. Diceto 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 97. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. in. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. 
i. p. 505. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 17 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 340). 

3 R. Diceto as above. Gir. Cambr. as above, c. 2 (pp. 393, 394). 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 394). 

5 Gerv. Cant, as above, pp. 505, 506. 

6 Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 393). 

7 Ibid. (p. 394). Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 211. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. 
iii. p. 139. 

8 On September 26; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 97. Cf. Gir. Cambr. 
as above, c. 4 (p. 395), Gerv. Carrt. as above, p. 507, and Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), 
p. 26. 9 Gir. Cambr. as above. 


Lisieux he hurried to Marlborough, and thence sent out 
summons to all the great men whom he thought likely to 
help him against the chancellor. He was not disappointed. 
The co-justiciars hastened up from the various shires where 
they were apparently busy with their judicial or financial 
visitations William the Marshal from Gloucestershire, Will- 
iam Bruere from Oxfordshire, Geoffrey Fitz- Peter from 
Northamptonshire ; the bishops were represented by Godfrey 
of Winchester and Reginald of Bath, and the sovereign him- 
self by Walter of Rouen ; S. Hugh of Lincoln joined the 
train as it passed through Oxford to Reading. From 
Reading John sent to call his half-brother to his side. 
Geoffrey, who was beginning to be looked upon and to 
look upon himself as something like another S. Thomas, 
had made a sort of triumphal progress from Dover to 
London ; tied by his parole, he was obliged to ask the 
chancellor's consent to his acceptance of John's invitation, 
and onljr gained it on condition of returning within a given 
time. 1 

The chancellor meanwhile was at Norwich ; 2 and thither 
John and the justiciars had already sent him a summons to 
appear before them and answer for his conduct towards both 
Geoffrey of York and Hugh of Durham, at an assembly to 
be held at the bridge over the Lodden, between Reading 
and Windsor, on Saturday October 5. 3 William retorted by 
a counter-summons to all who had joined the count of Mor- 
tain to forsake him as an usurper and return to their obed- 
ience to the king's chosen representative. 4 He hurried, 
however, to Windsor in time for the proposed meeting ; but 
when the Saturday morning came, the earls of Arundel, 
Warren and Norfolk appeared at the trysting-place in his 
stead, pleading ill-health as an excuse for his absence. 5 As 
Saturday was accounted an unlucky day for contracts or 

1 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. cc. 4, 5 (Brewer, vol. iv. pp. 395-397). 

2 Ib. cc. 2, 5 (pp. 393, 394, 397). 

3 Ib. c. 5 (p. 397). Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 37, giving the date, which is 
confirmed by one of the summons that addressed to the bishop of London- 
given by R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 98. Cf. also Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 212. 

4 Gir. Cambr. as above. 

5 Ib. c. 6 (p. 398). Cf. R. Diceto, Ric. Devizes and Gesta Ric. as above. 


settlements of any kind, 1 no one regretted the delay ; John 
and the barons, sitting amid a ring of spectators in the 
meadows by the Lodden, spent the day in discussing all the 
complaints against the chancellor, and also, apparently, in 
looking through such of the Norman primate's bundle of 
royal letters as he chose to shew them, and deliberating 
which would be most appropriate to the present state of 
affairs. On one point all were agreed ; the chancellor must 
be put down at once. 2 Early next morning he tried to 
bribe John into reconciliation, but in vain. 3 At the high 
mass in Reading parish church the whole body of bishops 
lighted their candles and publicly excommunicated all who 
had been, whether by actual participation, command or 
consent, concerned in Archbishop Geoffrey's arrest ; 4 and at 
nightfall the chancellor was compelled to swear that, come 
what might, he would be ready to stand his trial at the 
bridge of Lodden on the morrow. 5 

Scarcely had he set out on the Monday morning when 
he was met by a report that his enemies were marching upon 
London. 6 The report was true in substance ; John and the 
barons, instead of waiting for him at the Lodden bridge, 
crossed it, and then divided their forces into two bodies ; the 
smaller, consisting of the bishops and barons with John him- 
self, proceeded towards Windsor to meet the chancellor; the 
larger, comprising the men-at-arms and the servants in charge 
of the baggage, was sent on by the southern road to Staines.' 
Such a movement was quite enough to justify William in 
hurrying back to Windsor and thence on to London as fast as 
horses could carry him. 8 Before he could reach it he met 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 98. 

2 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 6 (Brewer, vol. iv. pp. 398-401). 

3 Ib. c. 7 (p. 402). 4 Ibid. R. Diceto as above. 

5 Gir. Cambr. as above. 

6 Ibid. c. 8 (pp. 402, 403). Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 37. Gesta Ric. 
(Stubbs), p. 212. 

7 Cf. Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 403, 404), and R. Diceto as above, p. 99. 
Ric. Devizes, as above, says plainly what the other writers leave us to guess, that 
these followers were meant to go on to London. 

8 Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 403). Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 38. R. Diceto 
and Gesta Ric. as above. Cf. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 17 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 341, 


John's men-at-arms coming up by the other road from Staines; 
a skirmish took place, in which John's justiciar Roger de 
Planes was mortally wounded, but his followers seem to have 
had the best of the fight, 1 although they could not prevent 
the chancellor from making his way safe into London. Here 
he at once called a meeting of the citizens in the Guildhall, 
and endeavoured to secure their support against John. 2 He 
found, however, a strong party opposed to himself. On the 
last day of July 3 three days after the second award between 
John and William at Winchester the citizens of London 
had profited by the king's absence and his representative's 
humiliation to set up a commune. They knew very well that, 
as a contemporary writer says, neither King Henry nor 
King Richard would have sanctioned such a thing at any 
price ; 4 and they knew even better still that Richard's chan- 
cellor would never countenance it for a moment. With John 
they might have a chance, and they were not disposed to 
lose it by shutting their gates in his face at the bidding of 
William of Longchamp. William, seeing that his cause was 
lost in the city, shut himself up in the Tower. 5 

By this time John and his companions were at the gates; 
a short parley ended in their admittance. 6 Next morning 
barons and citizens came together in S. Paul's. 7 One after 
another the chancellor's victims, with the archbishop of York 
at their head, set forth their grievances. 8 Archbishop Walter 
of Rouen and William the Marshal then produced the king's 
letter of February 20, addressed to the Marshal, and accredit- 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 99. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 212. Gir. Cambr. 
Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 8 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 404). . 

2 Gir. Cambr. as above. Cf. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 38. 

3 "Ipsa die" the day on which Philip of France set out homeward from 
Acre. Ric. Devizes, p. 53. 

4 Ib. pp. 53, 54. Yet Richard had once said that he would sell London 
altogether, if he could find anybody who would give him his price for it. Ib. p. 
10, and Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 5 (Howlett, vol. i. p. 306). 

5 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 38. R. Diceto as above. Gesta Ric. as above, 
p. 212, 218. Will. Newb. as above, c. 17 (p. 342). 

6 Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 404). 

7 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 38, says "in ecclesia S. Pauli"; R. Diceto 
as above, "in capitulo"; the Gesta Ric. as above, p. 213, and Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 140, say "in atrio." 

8 Ric. Devizes as above. Gesta Ric. as above, pp. 213, 218. 


ing Walter to him and his fellow-justiciars, and bidding them, 
in case of any failure of duty on the chancellor's part, follow 
Walter's direction in all things. 1 John and the barons agreed 
to act in accordance with these instructions ; they won the 
assent of the citizens by swearing to maintain the commune; 2 
the whole assembly then swore fealty to Richard, and to John as 
his destined successor. 3 According to one account they went 
a step further : they appointed John regent of the kingdom, 
and granted him the disposal of all the royal castles except 
three, which were to be left to the chancellor. 4 Upon the 
latter they now set out to enforce their decision at the sword's 
point. His forces were more than sufficient to defend the 
Tower ; they were in fact too numerous ; they had had no 
time to revictual the place, they were painfully overcrowded, 
and before twenty-four hours were over they found their 
position untenable. 5 On the Wednesday William tried to 
bribe John into abandoning the whole enterprise, and he very 
nearly succeeded ; Geoffrey of York and Hugh of Coventry, 
however, discovered what was going on, and remonstrated so 
loudly that John was obliged to drop the negotiation and 
continue the siege. 6 In the afternoon, at the chancellor's 
own request, four bishops and four earls went to speak with 
him in the Tower. 7 Five days of intense excitement had so 
exhausted his feeble frame that when they told him what 
had passed at the meeting on the previous day, he dropped 
senseless at their feet, and when brought to himself could at 
first do nothing but implore their sympathy and mediation. 8 
The brutal insolence of Hugh of Coventry, 9 however, seems 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 213, 218. 

2 Ib. p. 213. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 99. 

3 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 214. 4 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 37, 38. 

5 Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 17 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 342). 

6 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr.^ 1. ii. c. 9 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 406). 

7 Gerald (ib. p. 405), says "quarta veroTeria." Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 39, 
says "Dies ille nefastus declinabat ad vesperam," which, taken in connexion with 
what precedes, ought to mean Tuesday evening ; but he seems to have lost count 
of the days just here. It is he alone who mentions the earls ; while it is Gerald 
alone who gives the names of the bishops London, Lincoln, Winchester and 

8 Cf. Ric. Devizes as above, and Gir. Cambr. as above, who tries to colour 
this scene differently. 9 Gir. Cambr. as above (pp. 405, 406). 


to have stung him into his wonted boldness again. With 
flashing eyes he told them that the day of reckoning was 
yet to come, when they and their new lord would have 
to account for their treason with Richard himself; and he 
sent them away with a positive refusal to surrender either 
his castles or his seal. 1 Late at night, however, as he 
lay vainly endeavouring to gain a little rest, his friends 
came and implored him to abandon the useless struggle 
with fate; and at last his brother Osbert and some others 
wrung from him an unwilling permission to go and 
offer themselves as hostages for his submission on the 
morrow. 2 

On the Thursday morning the barons assembled in the 
fields east of the Tower, 3 and there William of Longchamp 
went forth to meet them. The instant he appeared Hugh of 
Coventry stepped forward, recited the whole indictment 
against him, and pronounced with brutal bluntness the sen- 
tence of the assembly. 4 William was to be deposed from 
all secular authority, to keep nothing but his bishopric and 
the castles of Dover, Cambridge and Hereford ; he must give 
hostages for his future good behaviour ; then let him begone 
wherever he would. The assembly broke into a chorus of 
approval which seemed intended to give William no chance 
of reply ; but his dauntless spirit had by this time regained 
its mastery over his physical weakness ; he stood quietly till 
they had all talked themselves out, and then they had to 
listen in their turn. He denied every one of the charges 
against him ; he refused to recognize either the moral justice 
or the legal validity of his deposition ; he agreed to surrender 
the castles, because he no longer had power to hold them, 
but he still lifted up his protest, as King Richard's lawful 
chancellor and justiciar, against all the proceedings and the 
very existence of the new ministry. 5 Walter of Rouen was 

1 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 39. 

2 Ib. p. 40. Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 9 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 

3 Ric. Devizes (as above). Gir. Cambr. as above. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. 
ii. p. 100. 4 Ric. Devizes as above. 

5 Ib. pp. 40-42. Cf. Gir. Cambr. and R. Diceto as above; Gesta Ric. 
(Stubbs), p. 214; and Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 17 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 341). 


at once proclaimed justiciar in his stead. 1 The keys of the 
Tower and of Windsor castle, and the hostages, were delivered 
up next morning, and William was then allowed to withdraw 
to Bermondsey, whence on the following day he proceeded to 
Dover. 2 Thence, apparently in a desperate hope that his 
men might yet be able to hold the castles till he could gather 
means to relieve them, he twice attempted to escape over sea, 
first in the disguise of a monk, then in that of a pedlar- 
woman. His lameness, however, and his ignorance of 
English were fatal to his chances of flight ; he was detected, 
dragged back into the town, and shut up in prison till all the 
castles were surrendered. Then he was set at liberty, and 
sailed for Gaul on October 2Q. 3 

His opponents, however, were not rid of him yet. The 
king was now practically out of reach of his remonstrances 
and appeals for succour ; 4 but the Pope was not. William 
was a bishop ; and the harshness with which he had been 
treated enabled him now to pose in his turn as a consecrated 
victim of profane violence. Celestine III. warmly took up 
his cause ; he distinctly acknowledged him as legate, whether 
with or without a formal renewal of his commission ; 5 and 
on December 2 he issued a brief addressed to the Eng- 
lish bishops, bidding them excommunicate all who had 
taken part in William's deposition, and put their lands under 
interdict till he should be reinstated. 6 William, as legate, 
followed this up by excommunicating twenty-six of his chief 
enemies by name, with the archbishop of Rouen at their head, 
and, with the Pope's sanction, threatening to treat John in 
like manner, if he did not amend before Quinquagesima. 7 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 213. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 18 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 344). 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 100. Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 9 
(Brewer, vol. iv. p. 407). Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 42. 

3 Ric. Devizes as above. R. Diceto as above, pp. 100, 101. Gir. Cambr. 
as above, cc. 12, 13 (pp. 410-413). Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 219, 220. Will. 
Newb. as above, c. 17 (p. 343). The date comes from R. Diceto. 

4 He had written to complain of John's insubordination, but Richard did not 
get the letter till six months after the writer's fall. Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), 
p. 333. 5 See Epp. Cant. (Stubbs), introd. p. Ixxxiii, note I. 

6 Letter of Celestine III. in Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 221, 222. 

7 Letter of William "bishop of Ely, legate and chancellor," ib. pp. 222- 
224; and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 152-154. 


The bishops, however, took no notice of his letters, and 
the justiciars retorted by sequestrating his see j 1 they all 
held him bound by the sentences pronounced against him at 
Reading and at London for his persecution of Geoffrey of 
York, and their view was upheld by the suffragans of Rouen, 
who all treated him as excommunicate. 2 Geoffrey was now 
the highest ecclesiastical authority in England ; but he was 
not the man to rule the English Church. He had more 
than enough to do in ruling his own chief suffragan. As 
soon as he was enthroned at York, 3 he summoned Hugh of 
Durham to come and make his profession of obedience ; 
Hugh, who having been reinstated in his earldom of North- 
umberland 4 felt himself again more than a match for his 
metropolitan, ignored the summons, whereupon Geoffrey 
excommunicated him. 5 This did not deter John from keep- 
ing Christmas at Howden with the bishop ; in consequence 
of which John himself was for a while treated as excom- 
municate by his half-brother. 6 The momentary coalition, 
formed solely to crush the chancellor, had in fact already 
split into fragments. The general administration, however, 
went on satisfactorily under the new justiciar's direction, and 
his influence alone for Eleanor was still on the continent 7 
sufficed to keep John out of mischief throughout the 

Richard's continental dominions had thus far been at 
peace a peace doubly secured by the presence of Eleanor 
and the absence of Philip of France. Shortly before Christ- 
mas 1191, however, Philip returned to his kingdom. 8 In 
January 1192 he called the seneschal and barons of Nor- 
mandy to a conference, and demanded from them, on the 
strength of a document which he shewed to them as the 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 225. 

2 Ib. p. 221. Cf. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 43. 

3 On All Saints' day [1191]. Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. n (Brewer, 
vol. iv. p. 410). 4 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 39. 

5 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 225. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 168, 169. 
See the excellent summary of this affair in Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 27 (Hewlett, 
vol. i. pp. 371, 372). 6 Q esta Rj Ct (Stubbs), pp. 235, 236. 

7 She kept Christmas at Bonneville. Ib. p. 235. Rog. Howden as above, 
p. 179. 

8 Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v. ), p. 76. 


treaty made between himself and Richard at Messina, the 
restitution of his sister Adela and her dower-castles in the 
Vexin, as well as the counties of Eu and Aumale. The sene- 
schal, rightly suspecting the paper to be a forgery, answered 
that he had no instructions from Richard on the subject, 
and would give up neither the lands nor the lady. 1 Philip 
threatened war, and all Richard's constables prepared for 
defence. 2 Meanwhile, Philip offered to John the investiture 
of all Richard's continental dominions, if he would accept 
Adela's hand with them. 3 That John had a wife already 
was an obstacle which troubled neither the French king nor 
John himself. He was quite ready to accept the offer ; but 
meanwhile it reached his mother's ears, and she hurried to 
England to stop him. 4 Landing at Portsmouth on Quinqua- 
gesima Sunday, 5 she found him on the point of embarking ; 
the archbishop of Rouen and the other justiciars gladly wel- 
comed her back to her former post of regent, and joined 
with her in forbidding John to leave the country, under 
penalty of having all his estates seized in the king's name. 6 
They then held a series of councils, at Windsor, Oxford, 
London and Winchester; 7 in that of London the barons 
renewed their oath of fealty to the king, but to pacify John 
they were obliged to do the like to him as heir, 8 and the 
immediate consequence was that he persuaded the constables 
of Windsor and Wallingford to surrender their castles into 
his hands. 9 William of Longchamp thought his opportunity 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 236. Cf. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 56. It is 
certain that Philip told and acted a downright lie ; for the treaty of Messina is 
extant, and its main provisions are these : Richard shall be bound to surrender 
Adela only within one month after his own return to Gaul, aud the whole Norman 
Vexin, including its castles, shall remain to him and his heirs male for ever. Only 
in case of hisMeath without male heir is it to revert to the French Crown ; and as 
for Aumale and Eu, there is not a word about them. Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. 
p. 54. 2 Gesta Ric. as above. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 55. 

3 Gesta Ric. as above. 4 Ibid. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 57. 

5 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 55. This was February n [1192]. 

6 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 237. 

7 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 57. 

8 Gesta Ric. as above. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 187. 

9 Ric. Devizes as above. In Rog. Howden (as above), p. 204, the betrayal of 
these castles is placed a year later. Roger's account of the first few months of 
1193 has, however, somewhat the look of a repetition of the history of 1192, and 


had come. He managed to gain Eleanor's ear and to bribe 
John j 1 both connived at his return to Dover, and thence he 
sent up his demand for restoration to a council gathered in 
London towards the close of Lent 2 It seems plain that he 
had won the favour of the queen ; for the justiciars, whose 
original purpose in meeting had been to discuss the mis- 
doings of John, now saw themselves obliged to fetch John 
himself from Wallingford to support them, as they expected, 
in their resistance to the chancellor's demands. To their 
dismay John told them plainly that he was on the point of 
making alliance with his old enemy for a consideration of 
seven hundred pounds. 3 They saw that their only chance 
was to outbid William. They gave John two thousand 
marks out of the royal treasury ; 4 Walter of Rouen helped 
to persuade the queen-mother, 5 and the chancellor was 
bidden to depart out of the land. 6 

Shortly afterwards, two cardinal-legates arrived in France 
to settle his dispute with the archbishop of Rouen. When 
they attempted to enter Normandy, the seneschal refused 
them admittance and shut the gates of Gisors in their faces, 
pleading that the subjects of an English king were forbidden 
by ancient custom to admit legates into any part of his 
dominions without his consent. The legates on this excom- 
municated the seneschal and laid all Normandy under inter- 
dict. 7 William had done the same to his own diocese before 

his story is much less consistent and circumstantial than Richard's, which I have 
therefore ventured to follow. 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 239. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 188. Cf. 
Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 14 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 413) ; Ric. Devizes 
(Stevenson), p. 56; and Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 512. 

2 Gir. Cambr., as above, says he landed about April I, i.e. the Wednesday 
before Easter. But the other writers seem to place this council soon after Mid- 
Lent. Gerv. Cant. , as above, says the chancellor came " mediante mense Martio." 

3 Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 58, 59. 

4 " 2000 marks, .500 of which were to be raised from the chancellor's estates" 
is Bishop Stubbs's interpretation (Rog. Howden, vol. iii. pref. p. xc.) of Gesta 
Ric., p. 239, and Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 59. 

5 Gesta Ric. as above. 

6 Ibid. Ric. Devizes as above. Gir. Cambr. as above (p. 415). Cf. Will. 
Newb., 1. iv. c. 18 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 345, 346). According to the first 
authority, William sailed again on Maunday Thursday, April 2. 

7 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 246, 247. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 43, 44. 


leaving England. 1 Archbishop Walter, the English justiciars, 
even the queen-mother, were all at their wits' end : Philip 
was openly threatening to invade the Norman duchy ; the 
obstacle which had prevented him until now the unwill- 
ingness of the French barons to attack the territories of a 
crusader 2 would be considerably lessened by the interdict; 
the only person who could be found in England capable of 
undertaking a negotiation with the legates was Hugh of 
Durham ; but Hugh declined to go till his own quarrel with 
his metropolitan was settled, 3 and this was not accomplished 
till the middle of October. 4 Then indeed he went to France, 
and succeeded in obtaining the removal of the interdict. 5 
But in other quarters the prospect grew no brighter. Aqui- 
taine, held in check for a while by the presence of its 
duchess, had risen as soon as she was out of reach. Count 
Ademar of Angouleme marched into Poitou with a large 
body of horse and foot ; taken prisoner by the Poitevins, he 
appealed to the French king for deliverance. 6 A revolt of 
the Gascon barons was with difficulty suppressed by the 
seneschal, assisted by young Sancho of Navarre, 7 brother of 
Richard's queen ; and the victors rashly followed up their 
success by a raid upon Toulouse, which, though it went 

~ unpunished for the moment, could only lead to further mis- 

Y chief. 8 In England John was still defying the justiciars ; 
and they dared not proceed to extremities with him, for 

I they now saw before them an imminent prospect of having 

^-*to acknowledge him as their king. 

Richard's adventures in the East lie outside the sphere 
of English history. The crusade of which he was the chief 
hero and leader had indirectly an important effect upon 
English social life ; but it was in no sense a national under- 

1 Gir. Cainbr. Vita Galfr., 1. ii. c. 15 (Brewer, vol. iv. p. 414). Ric. Devizes 
(Stevenson), pp. 42, 43, puts this in the previous October. 

2 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 236. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 187. 

3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 247. 

4 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 513. Rog. Howden as above, pp. 170 
note, 172. 5 Gesta Ric. as above, p. 250. 

6 Chron. S. Albin, a. 1192 (Marchegay, Eglises, p. 50). The sequel of this 
story, however, clearly belongs to the following year ; so it may be that the whole 
of it is antedated. 7 Rog. Howden as above, p. 194. 

8 Ibid. Cf. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 55. 


taking ; every man in the host was, like the king himself, 
simply a volunteer, not sent out by his country or represent- 
ing it in any way. Richard's glory is all his own ; to us, 
the practical interest of the crusade in which he won it con- 
sists in the light which it throws upon his character, and on 
his political relations with the other princes who took part 
in the enterprise. The story, as it comes out bit by bit, 
oddly intermingled with the dry details of home affairs, in 
the English historians of the time, and as it is told at full 
length in the " Itinerary " composed by one of his fellow- 
crusaders, reads more like an old wiking-saga than a piece of 
sober history, and its hero looks more like a comrade of S. Olaf 
or Harald Hardrada than a contemporary of Philip Augustus. 
Nothing indeed except Richard's northman-blood can account 
for the intense love of the sea, and the consummate seamanship, 
as sound and practical as it was brilliant and daring, which he 
displayed on his outward voyage. No sea-king of old ever 
guided his little squadron of " long keels " more boldly, more 
skilfully and more successfully through a more overwhelming 
succession of difficulties and perils than those through which 
Richard guided his large and splendid fleet on its way from 
Messina to Acre. 1 Not one had ever made a conquest at 
once as rapid, as valuable and as complete as the conquest 
of Cyprus, which Richard made in a few days, as a mere 
episode in his voyage, in vengeance for the ill-treatment 
which some of his ship-wrecked sailors had met with at the 
hands of the Cypriots and their king. 2 But it was a mere 
wiking-conquest ; Richard never dreamed of permanently 
adding this remote island to the list of his dominions ; 
within a few months he sold it to the Templars, 3 and after- 
wards, as they failed to take possession, he made it over to 
the dethroned king of Jerusalem who had helped him to 
conquer it, Guy of Lusignan. 4 The same love of adventure 

1 See the details of the voyage in Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 177-209 ; Gesta 
Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 162-169 ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 105-112. 

2 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 188-204. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 163-168. 
Rog. Howden as above, pp. 105-112. Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 47-49. 
Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 20 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 350,. 351). 

3 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 35. 

4 Ibid. Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 351. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 36. 


for its own sake colours many of his exploits in the Holy 
Land itself. But there we learn, too, that his character had 
yet another and a higher aspect. We find in him, side by 
side with the reckless northern valour, the northern endurance, 
patience and self-restraint, coupled with a real disinterested- 
ness and a self-sacrificing generosity for which it would be 
somewhat hard to find a parallel among his forefathers on 
either side. 1 Alike in a military, a political and a moral 
point of view, Richard is the only one among the leaders of 
the crusading host, except Guy, who comes out of the ordeal 
with a character not merely unstained, but shining with 
redoubled lustre. And this alone would almost account for 
the fact that, before they separated, nearly every one of 
them, save Guy, had become Richard's open or secret foe. 

Envy of a better man than themselves was however not 
the sole cause of their hostility. The office of commander- 
in-chief of the host fell to Richard's share in consequence of 
a catastrophe which altered the whole balance of political 
parties in Europe. That office had been destined for the 
Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, who for more than thirty 
years had stood as high above all other Christian princes in 
political capacity, military prowess, and personal nobility of 
character, as in titular dignity and territorial power. Frederic 
set out for Palestine as early as May 1 1 89 ; 2 he fought his 
way through the treacheries of the Greek Emperor and the 
ambushes of the Turkish sultan of Iconium. only to be 
drowned in crossing a little river in Asia Minor on June 10, 
1 1 9<D. 3 These tidings probably met Richard on his arrival 
at Messina in September. There he had to deal with the 
consequences of another death which had occurred in the 
previous November, that of his brother-in-law King William 
of Sicily. 4 William was childless ; after a vain attempt to 

1 It is impossible to give illustrations here ; the whole Ilinerarium, from his 
arrival at Acre (p. 211) onwards, is in fact one long illustration. 

2 Ansbert (Dobrowsky), p. 21. Most of the English writers give a wrong date. 

3 See the story of Frederic's expedition and death in Ansbert (Dobrowsky), 
p. 21 et seq. ; Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 43-55 ; Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 56, 
61, 62, 88, 89; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 358; Monach. Florent, vv. 
245-330 (ib. vol. iii. app. to pref. pp. cxiv.-cxvii.). 

4 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 101, 102. 


induce his father-in-law Henry II. to accept the reversion 
of his crown, 1 he had bequeathed it to his own young aunt 
Constance, who was married to Henry of Germany, the 
Emperor's eldest son. 2 It was, however, seized by Tancred, 
a cousin of the late king. 3 Richard's alliance with Tancred, 
though on the one hand absolutely necessary to secure the 
co-operation of Sicily for the crusade, was thus on the other 
a mortal offence to the new king of Germany, who moreover 
had already a grudge against England upon another ground : 
Henry the Lion had in this very summer extorted from 
him almost at the sword's point his restoration to his forfeited 
estates. 4 Thus when Richard at last reached Acre in June 
1 1 9 1 , 5 he was already in ill odour with the leaders of the 
German contingent, the Emperor's brother Duke Frederic of 
Suabia and his cousin Duke Leopold of Austria. 

This, however, was not all. Isaac, the tyrant of Cyprus, 
whom Richard had brought with him as a captive, was 
also connected with the Suabian and Austrian houses ; 6 
his capture was another ground of offence. Next, when 
the siege of Acre, which the united forces of eastern and 
western Christendom had been pressing in vain for nearly 
two years, came to an end a month after Richard joined it, 7 
Richard and Leopold quarrelled over their shares in the 
honour of the victory ; Leopold so the story goes set up 
his banner on the wall of the conquered town side by side 
with that of the English king, and Richard tore it down 
again. 8 Besides all this, as Richard's superior military 
capacity made him an object of perpetual jealousy to the 

1 "Vidimus, et praesentes fuimus, ubi regnum Palaestinse, regnum etiam Italiae 
patri vestro aut uni filiorum suorum, quern ad hoc eligeret, ab utriusque regni 
magnatibus et populis est oblatum." Pet. Blois, Ep. cxiii. (Giles, vol. i. p. 350 
to Geoffrey of York). Bishop Stubbs {Rog. Howden^ vol. ii. pref. p. xciii.) in- 
terprets "regnum Italise " as representing Sicily. 

2 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 102, 202. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 29, 
164 and note. 3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 102. 

4 See ibid. p. 145 and note. 5 Ib. p. 169. 

6 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 59. Ansbert (Dobrowsky), p. 114. 

7 On July 12, 1191. Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 232, 233. Gesta Ric. 
(Stubbs), p. 178, etc. 

8 See the different versions of this story in Otto of S. Blaise, c. 36 (Wurstisen, 
Germ. Hist. Illustr., vol. i. p. 216); Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 514; R. 


other princes, so his policy in Holy Land was in direct 
opposition to theirs. Since the death of Queen Sibyl in 
October 1 1 Sg, 1 they had one and all aimed at transferring the 
crown from her childless widower Guy of Lusignan to the 
lord of Tyre, Conrad, marquis of Montferrat. Montferrat 
was an important fief of the kingdom of Italy ; Conrad's 
mother was aunt both to Leopold of Austria and to Frederic 
Barbarossa ; 2 he thus had the whole Austrian and imperial 
influence at his back ; and that of Philip of France was 
thrown into the same scale, simply because Richard had 
espoused the opposite cause. Guy of Lusignan, with a fear- 
lessness which speaks volumes in his favour as well as in 
Richard's, had thrown himself unreservedly on the generosity 
and justice of the prince against whom all his race had for 
so many years been struggling in Aquitaine ; his confidence 
was met as it deserved, and from the hour of their meeting 
in Cyprus to the break-up of the crusade, Richard and Guy 
stood firmly side by side. But they stood alone amid the 
ring of selfish politicians who supported Conrad, and whose 
intrigues brought ruin upon the expedition. Philip, indeed, 
went home as soon as Acre was won, to sow the seeds of 
mischief in a field where they were likely to bring forth a 
more profitable harvest for his interests than on the barren 
soil of Palestine. But the whole body of French crusaders 
whom he left behind him, except Count Henry of Cham- 

Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 59 ; Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), p. 52 ; Rigord 
(Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 35 ; and Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. 
(Luard), vol. ii. p. 384. 1 Epp. Cant, cccxlvi. (Stubbs, p. 329). 

2 Frederic's father and Leopold's father were half-brothers, sons of the two 
marriages of Agnes of Franconia, daughter of the Emperor Henry IV. Conrad's 
mother, Judith, was a child of Agnes's second marriage with Leopold, marquis of 
Austria. Conrad's father was the Marquis William of Montferrat who had been 
one of Henry II. 's allies in his struggle with the Pope (see above, p. 60} ; and his 
elder brother had been the first husband of Queen Sibyl. On his own iniquitous 
marriage, if marriage it is to be called, with her half-sister and heiress, Isabel an 
affair which seems to have actually broken the heart of Archbishop Baldwin of 
Canterbury see Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 119-124; Expugn-. Terra Sancta 
(Stevenson, R. Coggeshalf], p. 256 ; Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 141 ; Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 70, 71. Conrad's antecedents are told by Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 320, 321. Considering, however, the case of Guy of Lusignan, 
it is perhaps hardly safe to admit a charge of homicide against any claimant to the 
throne of Palestine on Roger's sole authority. 


pagne, made common cause with the Germans and the 
partizans of Conrad in thwarting every scheme that Richard 
proposed, either for the settlement of the Frank kingdom in 
Palestine or for the reconquest of its capital. Twice he led 
the host within eight miles of Jerusalem, and twice, when 
thus close to the goal, he was compelled to turn away. 1 
Conrad fell by the hand of an assassin in April 1 192 ; 2 but 
Guy's cause, like that of Jerusalem itself, was lost beyond 
recovery ; all that Richard could do for either was to com- 
pensate Guy with the gift of Cyprus, 3 and sanction the transfer 
of the shadowy crown of Jerusalem to his own nephew, 
Henry of Champagne. 4 Harassed by evil tidings from 
England and forebodings of mischief in Gaul, disappointed 
in his most cherished hopes and worn out with fruitless 
labour, sick in body and more sick at heart, he saw that his 
only chance of ever again striking a successful blow either 
for east or west was to go home at once. After one last 
brilliant exploit, the rescue of Joppa from the Turks who 
had seized it in his absence, 5 on September 2 he made a 
truce with Saladin for three years ; 6 on October 9 he sailed 
from Acre. 7 

Stormy winds had again parted the king's ship from the 
rest of his fleet when, within three days' sail of Marseille, he 
learned that Count Raymond of Toulouse was preparing to 

1 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 285-312, 365-396; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. 
iii. pp. 174, 175, 179; R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 37-40. See also the char- 
acteristic and pathetic account of Richard's distress at the last turning-back, in 
Ric. Devizes (Stevenson), pp. 75-77. 

2 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 339, 340. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 104. 
R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 35. Rog. Howden (as above), p. 181. Will. Newb., 
1. iv. c. 24 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 363). 

3 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 35, makes it a sale; 
but it is hard to conceive where poor Guy could have found money for the purchase. 

4 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 342, 346, 347. R. Diceto and Rog. Howden 
as above. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 35, 36. Will. Newb. as above, c. 28 
(P- 374)- Henry of Champagne was son of Count Henry "the Liberal" and 
Mary, daughter of Louis VII. and Eleanor. 

5 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 403-424. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 41- 
51. This is really the most splendid of all Richard's wiking exploits. 

6 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 249. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 52. Rog. 
Howden (as above), p. 184. 

7 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 441, 442. R. Diceto (as above), p. 106. 
Rog. Howden (as above), p. 185, makes it a day earlier. 



seize him on his landing, 1 no doubt in vengeance for the 
attack made upon Toulouse a few months before by the 
seneschal of Gascony. Capture by Raymond meant be- 
trayal to Philip of France, and Richard knew Philip far 
too well to run any needless risk of falling into his hands. 
Under more favourable conditions, he might have escaped 
by sailing on through the strait of Gibraltar direct to his 
island realm ; but contrary winds made this impossible, and 
drove him back upon Corfu, where he landed about Martin- 
mas. 2 Thence, in his impatience, he set off in disguise 
with only twenty followers 3 on board a little pirate-vessel 4 
in which, at imminent risk of discovery, he coasted up 
the Adriatic till another storm wrecked him at the head 
of the Gulf of Aquileia. 5 By this time his German enemies 
were all on the look-out for him, and whatever his plans on 
leaving Corfu may have been, he had now no resource but to 
hurry through the imperial dominions as rapidly and secretly 
as possible. His geographical knowledge, however, seems to 
have been at fault, for he presently found himself at Vienna, 
whither Leopold of Austria had long since returned. In 
spite of his efforts to disguise himself, Richard was recog- 
nized, captured and brought before the duke ; 6 and three 

1 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 53. 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 106. Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 442. Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 185. R. Coggeshall as above. The two first supply 
the dates. 

3 Rog. Howden as above. The Itin. Reg. Ric. (as above) says four, but there 
were at least nine with him after his landing. See Rog. Howden (as above), 

P. 195- 

4 Itin. Reg. Ric. as above. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 53-54, gives some 
details highly characteristic of Richard. The pirates began by attacking the king's 
ship, whereupon he, "for their praiseworthy fortitude and boldness," made friends 
with them, and took his passage in their company. This is authentic, for the 
writer had it from one of Richard's companions, the chaplain Anselm. Ib. p. 54. 

6 This is the Emperor's account, given in a letter to Philip of France ; Rog. 
Howden (as above), p. 195. Cf. Ansbert (Dobrowsky), p. 114 ; Will. Newb., 1. 
iv. c. 31 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 383) ; Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 42 ; R. Diceto 
as above ; R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 54 ; and Rog. Howden (as above), p. 185 
and note 7. 

6 He was captured December 20, 1192; Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), p. 443; 
R. Diceto (as above), p. 107. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 56, makes it a day 
later. Otto of S. Blaise, c. 38 (Wurstisen, Germ. Hist. Illustr., vol. i. p. 217), 
gives the most detailed account of the capture an account which looks too char- 


days after Christmas the Emperor sent to Philip of France 
the welcome tidings that their common enemy was a prisoner 
in Leopold's hands. 1 

Philip at once forwarded the news to John, with a re- 
newal of the proposal which he had made to him a year 
before. John hurried over sea and formally did homage to 
the French king for all his brother's continental dominions ; 
but the seneschal and barons of Normandy refused to ac- 
knowledge the transaction, and he hastened back again to try 
his luck in England. 2 There he met with no better successr- 
He called the justiciars to a council in London, assured them 
that the king was dead, and demanded their homage ; they 
refused it ; he withdrew in a rage to fortify his castles, and 
the justiciars prepared to attack them. 3 Before Easter a 
French fleet sailed to his assistance, but was repulsed by the 
English militia assembled at the summons of Archbishop 
Walter. 4 While the justiciars laid siege to Windsor, Geoffrey 
of York fortified Doncaster for the king, and thence went to 
help his gallant old suffragan and rival, Hugh of Durham, 
who was busy with the siege of Tickhill. 5 The castles had 
all but fallen, and John was on the eve of submission, when 
the victorious justiciars suddenly grew alarmed at their own 
success. Richard's fate was still so uncertain that they dared 

acteristic not to be true. According to him, Richard stopped to dine at a little 
inn just outside Vienna, and to avoid recognition, set to work to broil some meat 
for himself. He was holding the spit with his own hands, utterly forgetful that 
one of them was adorned with a magnificent ring, when a servant of the duke 
chanced to look in, noticed the incongruity, then recognized the king whom he 
had seen in Palestine, and hurried off to report his discovery ; whereupon the duke 
came in person and seized his enemy on the spot, in the middle of his cooking. 
The story of R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 55, 56, is somewhat more dignified. 
Cf. also Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 31 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 383) ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), 
vol. iii. pp. 186, 195 ; and Ansbert (Dobrowsky), p. 114. 

1 The letter is in Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 195, 196. " Gratissimum 
illi super aurum et topazion . . . nuntium destinavit," says Will. Newb. as above, 
c. 32 (p. 384). 

2 Rog. Howden (as above), p. 204. Cf. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 106. 
John's treaty with Philip is in Rymer, Fccdera, vol. i. p. 57 ; date, February 1193. 

3 Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 204, 205. Cf. Will. Newb. as above, c. 34 
(P. 39). 

4 Rog. Howden (as above), p. 205. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 514, 


* Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 206, 208. 


not humiliate his heir ; and at Eleanor's instigation they 
made a truce with John, to last until All-Saints' day. 1 

The six months of tranquillity thus gained were spent in 
negotiations for the king's release. As soon as the justiciars 
heard of his capture they had despatched Bishop Savaric of 
Bath to treat with the Emperor, and the abbots of Boxley 
and Robertsbridge to open communications, if possible, with 
Richard himself ; 2 this however was a difficult matter, for of 
the place of his confinement nothing was known except that 
it was somewhere in the Austrian dominions, and these were 
to most Englishmen of that day a wholly undiscovered 
country. How the captive was first found history does not 
say. Tradition filled the blank with the beautiful story of 
the minstrel Blondel, wandering through Europe till he 
reached a castle where there was said to be a prisoner whose 
name no one could tell winning the favour of its lord and 
thus gaining admittance within its walls peering about it 
on every side in a vain effort to catch a glimpse of the 
mysterious captive, till at last a well-known voice, singing 
" a song which they two had made between them, and which 
no one knew save they alone," fell upon his delighted ear 
through the narrow prison-window whence Richard had seen 
and recognized the face of his friend. 3 It may after all have 
been Blondel who guided the two abbots to the spot ; we 
only know that they met Richard at Ochsenfurt on his way 
to be delivered up on Palm Sunday to the Emperor Henry 
at Speyer. 4 Thenceforth the negotiations proceeded without 
intermission ; but it took nearly a year to complete them. 
Personal jealousy, family interest, and pride at finding him- 
self actually arbiter of the fate of the most illustrious living 
hero in Christendom, all tempted Henry VI. to throw as 
many obstacles as possible in the way of his captive's release. 
Taking advantage of his own position as titular head of 
western Christendom, he demanded satisfaction for all the 
wrongs which the various princes of the Empire had received, 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 207. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 
516, says Michaelmas. 

2 Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 197, 198. 

3 Retits (fun menestrel de Reims (ed. N. de Wailly, Soc. de 1'Hist. de France), 
cc. 77-8i (pp. 41-43). 4 Rog. Howden (as above), p. 198. 


or considered themselves to have received, at Richard's hands, 
and for all his alleged misdoings on the Crusade, from his 
alliance with Tancred to the death of Conrad of Montferrat, 
in which it was suggested that he had had a share. 1 Not 
one of the charges would bear examination ; but they served 
Henry as an excuse for playing fast and loose with Richard 
on the one side and Philip of France on the other, and for 
making endless changes in the conditions required for 
Richard's liberation. These were ultimately fixed at a 
ransom of a hundred and fifty thousand marks, the liber- 
ation of Isaac of Cyprus, and the betrothal of Eleanor of 
Britanny to a son of the Austrian duke. 2 

The duty of superintending the collection of the ransom 
and the transmission of the hostages required by the Emperor 
for its payment had been at first intrusted by Richard to 
his old friend and confidant, the chancellor William of Long- 
champ. William, however, found it impossible to fulfil his 
instructions ; before the justicfars would allow him to set 
foot in England at all, they made him swear to meddle with 
nothing outside his immediate commission ; when compelled 
to meet him in council at S. Albans, Walter of Rouen 
refused him the kiss of peace, and the queen-mother and 
the barons all alike refused to trust him with the hostages. 3 
Prompt and vigorous measures were however taken for 
raising the money. An " aid for the king's ransom " was 
one of the three regular feudal obligations, which in strict 
law fell only upon the tenants -in- chivalry ; but all the 
knights' fees in Richard's whole dominions would have been 
unable to furnish so large a sum as was required in his case. 
In addition therefore to an aid of twenty shillings on the 
knight's fee, the justiciars imposed a wholly new tax : they 
demanded a fourth part of the revenue and of the moveable 
goods of every man, whether layman or clerk, throughout 

1 The charges are summed up in R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 58, 59. On 
the death of Conrad see Stubbs, Itin. Reg. Ric., pref. pp. xxii, xxiii. 

2 Treaty in Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 215, 216. Roger dates it S. 
Peter's day; ib. p. 215. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. no, makes it July 5. 
Cf. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 37 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 398). 

3 Gir. Cambr. Vita Galfr., \. ii. c. 17 (Brewer, vol. iv. pp. 415, 416). Cf. 
Rog. Howden as above, pp. 211, 212. 


the realm. Severe and unprecedented as was this demand, 
it provoked no opposition, even from the clergy ; l it had 
indeed the active co-operation of the bishops, under the 
direction of a new primate Hubert Walter, the bishop of 
Salisbury, who had been one of Richard's fellow-crusaders, 
and was now at Richard's desire elected to the see of Canter- 
bury. 2 The nation seems to have responded willingly to 
the demands made upon it ; yet the response proved in- 
adequate, and the deficiency had to be supplied partly by a 
contribution from the Cistercians and Gilbertines of a fourth 
part of the wool of the flocks which were their chief source 
of revenue, and partly by confiscating the gold and silver 
vessels and ornaments of the wealthier churches. 3 Similar 
measures were taken in Richard's continental dominions, 
and they were so far successful that when the appointed 
time arrived for his release, in January 1 1 94, the greater 
part of the ransom was paid. 4 For the remainder hostages 
were given, of whom one was Archbishop Walter of Rouen. 5 
This selection left the chief justiciarship of England practi- 
cally vacant, and accordingly Richard, before summoning 
the Norman primate to Germany, superseded him in that 
office by bestowing it upon the new archbishop of Canter- 
bury, Hubert Walter. 6 

1 Except at York, where the resistance was prompted by spite against the 
archbishop. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 222. 

2 Elected May 29, 1193; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 108, 109. Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 518. 

3 On the ransom, and how it was raised, see Rog. Howden as above, pp. 210, 
211, 222, 225; R. Diceto as above, p. no; Will. Newb. 1. iv. c. 38 (Hewlett, 
vol. i. pp. 399, 400) ; and Bishop Stubbs's explanations of the matter, in his pre- 
face to Rog. Howden, vol. iv. pp. Ixxxii-lxxxvi, and Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 501. 

4 Rog. Howden as above, p. 225. 

5 Ib. p. 233. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 41 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 404), and R. 
Diceto as above, p. 113. According to this last, another of the hostages was 
William the chancellor; but his name does not appear in Rog. Howden's list. 
One MS. of Ralf has in its place that of Baldwin Wake. As Baldwin certainly 
was a hostage on this occasion, perhaps William was selected first, and Baldwin 
afterwards substituted for him. One at least of the hostages was released before 
the whole ransom was paid : Archbishop Walter came back to England on May 
19. R. Diceto as above, p. 115. 

6 Rog. Howden as above, p. 226. R. Diceto as above, p. 112. Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 523. 


The new justiciar immediately had his hands full of 
trouble. At the prospect of Richard's return John grew 
half frantic with rage and dismay. As early as July 1193, 
when it became known that Richard and the Emperor had 
come to terms, Philip had sent warning to John " Beware, 
the devil is loose again ! " and John, without stopping to 
reflect that the " devil " could not be really loose till his 
ransom was paid, had hurried over sea to seek shelter from 
his brother's wrath under the protection of the French king. 
Richard, however, at once made overtures of reconciliation 
to both ; l the terms which he offered to John were indeed 
so favourable that the Norman constables refused to execute 
them, and thereby put an end to the negotiation. 2 In 
January Philip and John made a last effort to bribe the 
Emperor either to keep Richard in custody for another year, 
or actually to sell him into their hands. 3 When this failed, 
John in the frenzy of desperation sent a confidential clerk 
over to England with letters to his adherents there, bidding 
them make all his castles ready for defence against the king. 
The messenger's foolish boasting, however, betrayed him as 
he passed through London ; he was arrested by order of the 
mayor, his letters were seized, and a council was hurriedly 
called to hear their contents. Its prompt and vigorous 
measures were clearly due to the initiative of the new 
justiciar -archbishop. John was excommunicated and de- 
clared disseized of all his English tenements, and the 
assembly broke up to execute its own decree by force of 
arms. The old bishop of Durham returned to his siege of 
Tickhill ; the earls of Huntingdon, Chester and Ferrers led 
their forces against Nottingham ; Archbishop Hubert him- 
self besieged Marlborough, and took it in a few days ; Lan- 
caster was given up to him by its constable, who happened 
to be his own brother ; and S. Michael's Mount in Cornwall 
a monastery whose site, not unlike that of its great Nor- 
man namesake, had tempted one of John's partizans to 
drive out the monks and fortify it in his interest surren- 
dered on the death of its commander, who is said to have 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 216-220. 2 Ib. pp. 227, 228. 

3 Ib. p. 229. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 40 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 402). 


died of terror at the news of the king's approach. 1 Richard 
had been set free on February 4. 2 After a slow progress 
through Germany and the Low Countries, he embarked at 
Swine, near Antwerp, and landed at Sandwich on March 1 3. 3 
Following the invariable practice of his father, he hastened 
first to the martyr's shrine at Canterbury ; 4 next day he 
was met by the victorious archbishop hastening to welcome 
him home, 5 and three days later he was solemnly received 
in London. 6 As soon as the defenders of Tickhill were 
certified of his arrival they surrendered to the bishop of 
Durham. 7 As Windsor, Wallingford and the Peak had been 
in the queen-mother's custody since the truce of May i I93, s 
only Nottingham now remained to be won. Richard at 
once marched against it with all his forces ; the archbishop 
followed, Hugh of Durham brought up his men from Tick- 
hill ; in three days the castle surrendered, and Richard was 
once again undisputed master in his realm. 9 

It must have seemed, to say the least, an ungracious 
return for the sacrifices which England had made in his 
behalf, when the king at once demanded from the English 
knighthood the services of a third of their number to accom- 
pany him into Normandy, from the freeholders a contribution 
of two shillings on every carucate of land, and from the 
Cistercians the whole of their wool for the current year. 10 
In view of a war with France, of which it was impossible to 
calculate either the exigencies or the duration, Richard 
undoubtedly needed money ; but his needs pressed heavily 
upon a country which had already been almost drained to 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 236-238. 

2 Ib. p. 233. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 112, 113. R. Coggeshall 
(Stevenson), p. 62, dates it February 2. 

3 Rog. Howden as above, p. 235 ; R. Coggeshall as above. Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 524, dates it March 12, and R. Diceto as above, p. 114, March 
20. 4 Gerv. Cant, as above. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 63. 

5 Gerv. Cant, as above, p. 524. 

6 R. Diceto and R. Coggeshall as above. 

7 Rog. Howden as above, p. 238. 8 Ib. p. 207. 

9 Ib. pp. 238-240. R. Diceto and R. Coggeshall as above. Will. Newb., 
1. iv. c. 42 (Hewlett, vol. i. pp. 407, 408). 

10 Rog. Howden as above, p. 242. Cf. Will. Newb., 1. v. c. i (vol. ii. pp. 
416, 417). 


piGvi4e_his ransom. In justice to him, it must however be 
added thatlhc "carucage," as the new land-tax came to be 
called, seems to have been levied not for his personal profit, 
but as a supplement to the measures taken by the justiciars 
in the previous year, to complete the sum still due to Henry 
VI. It was in reality an old impost revived under a new 
name, for the carucate or ploughland was in practice 
reckoned as equivalent to the ancient hide, 1 and the sum 
levied upon it was precisely that which the hide had fur- 
nished for the Danegeld of earlier times. 2 Its re-imposition 
in these circumstances, under a new appellation and for the 
payment of what the whole nation regarded as a debt of 
honour, met with no resistance. The Cistercians, however, 
remonstrated so strongly against the demand for their wool 
that they were allowed to escape with a money-compens- 
ation. 3 The taxes were imposed in a great council held at 
Nottingham at the end of March and beginning of April, 4 
where measures were also taken for the punishment of the 
traitors and the reconstruction of the administrative body. 
These two objects were accomplished both at once, and both 
were turned to account for the replenishment of the royal 
coffers. Except John, Bishop Hugh of Chester, and Gerard 
de Camville, who were cited before the king's court on a 
charge of high treason, 5 none of the delinquents were even 
threatened with any worse punishment than dismissal from 
office. This was inflicted upon most of those who had taken 
part in the proceedings against the chancellor. Several of 
the sheriffs indeed were only transferred from one shire to 

1 That it was so in the reign of Henry I. seems plain from Orderic's story about 
Ralf Flambard re-measuring for William Rufus " omnes carrucatas, quas Angli 
hidas vocant" (Ord. Vit., Duchesne, Hist. Norm. Scriptt., p. 678) a statement 
which, whether the story itself be correct or not, shews that Orderic himself was 
accustomed to hear carucates and hides identified. The settlement of the carucates 
at a hundred acres in 1198 points to the same identification. 

2 And seemingly, to the " dona" which took the place of the Danegeld after its 
abolition eo nomine in 1163. On the carucage of 1194 see Stubbs, pref. to Rog. 
Howden, vol. iv. pp. Ixxxii-lxxxiv and notes, Ixxxvi. See also the account of it 
given by Will. Newb., 1. v. c. i (Howlett, vol. ii. p. 416). 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 242. 

4 March 30 April 2. Ib. pp. 240-243. 

5 Ib. pp. 241, 242. Cf. the account of John's condemnation in Ann. Margam, 
a. 1199 (Luard, Ann. Monast., vol. i. p. 24). 


another ; l but Gerard de Camville was ejected without 
compensation from the sheriffdom of Lincolnshire, and Hugh 
Bardulf, one of the subordinate justiciars who had joined the 
party of John, from those of Yorkshire and Westmoreland. 
These three offices Richard at once put up for sale, and, 
with a strange inconsistency, William of Longchamp, whose 
well-grounded resistance to the accumulation of sheriffdoms 
in episcopal hands had been the beginning of his troubles, 
now sought to buy the two former, and also that of Nor- 
thamptonshire, for himself. He was however outbid by 
Archbishop Geoffrey of York, who bought the sheriffdom of 
Yorkshire for three thousand marks and a promise of a 
hundred marks annually as increment 2 This purchase 
made Geoffrey the most influential man in the north, for 
Hugh of Durham, apparently finding himself powerless to 
hold Northumberland, had resigned it into the king's hands. 3 
William of Scotland immediately opened negotiations with 
Richard for its re-purchase, as well as for that of Cumber- 
land, Westmoreland, Lancaster, and the other English lands 
held by his grandfather David. The barons, however, before 
whom Richard laid the proposal in a council at Northampton, 
resented it strongly ; Richard's own military instinct led him 
to refuse the cession of the castles, and as William would 
not be satisfied without them, the scheme came to nothing. 4 
Richard meanwhile had been making a progress through 
Mid-England, 5 similar to that which he had made before his 
crowning in 1189, and ending at Winchester, where he 
solemnly " wore his crown " in the cathedral church on the 
first Sunday after Easter. 6 This ceremonial was in itself 
merely a revival of the old regal practice which Henry II. 
had formally abandoned in 1158; but its revival on this 
occasion was prompted by other motives than Richard's love 
of pomp and shew. As a concession to the Emperor's 

1 Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 503. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p 241. 

3 Ib. p. 249. Will. Newb., 1. v. c. I (Howlett, vol. ii. p. 416). 

4 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 243-245, 249, 250. 5 Ib. pp. 243-246. 

6 Ib. p. 247. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 114. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), 
p. 64. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 524, 525. Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 42 
(Hewlett, vol. i. p. 408). 


vanity for we can scarcely conceive any other motive 
Richard had accepted from Henry VI. the investiture of the 
kingdom of Burgundy ; " over which," says a contemporary 
English writer, "be it known that the Emperor had really 
no power at all," but for which, nevertheless, he had received 
Richard's homage. 1 The homage was, of course, as empty 
as the gift for which it was due ; but insular pride, which 
had always boasted that an English king, alone among 
European sovereigns, had no superior upon earth, was offended 
by it none the less ; and although the story that Richard 
had formally surrendered England itself into Henry's hands 
and received it back from him as a fief of the Empire 2 may 
perhaps be set down as an exaggeration, still it seems to have 
been felt that the majesty of the island-crown had been so 
far dimmed by the transactions of his captivity as to require 
a distinct re-assertion. 3 As he stood in his royal robes, 
sceptre in hand and crown on head, 4 amid the throng of 
bishops and barons in the " Old Minster " where so many of 
his English forefathers lay sleeping, past shame was forgotten, 
and England was ready once again to welcome him as a new 
king. 5 But the welcome met with no response. On May 1 2 
just two months after his landing at Sandwich Richard 
again sailed for Normandy; 6 and this time he went to return 
no more. 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 226. 

2 Ib. pp. 202, 203. He seems to be the only writer who mentions it. * 

3 See R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 113 ; and on the whole question of this 
coronation, Bishop Stubbs's note to Rog. Howden, vol. iii. p. 247, and his 
remarks in Constit. Hist., vol. i. pp. 504, 561, 562. Richard himself seems to 
have resented the popular view, for R. Coggeshall (Stevenson, p. 64) says he went 
through the ceremony " aliquant ulum renitens." 

4 Rog. Howden (as above), p. 247. See the details of the ceremony in Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 524-526. 

5 " Detersa captivitatis ignominia quasi rex novus apparuit." Will. Newb., 
1. iv. c. 42 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 408). 

6 Rog. Howden as above, p. 251. R. Diceto as above, p. 114. Gerv. Cant, 
as above, p. 527. 



THE political history of England during the four years 
which followed Richard's departure over sea is simply the 
history of the administration of Hubert Walter. Richard 
neverjigain interfered in the concernsof his island realm, 
save for_the purpose of ^Staining money from it ; and even 
the method whereby the money was to be raised he left, like 
all other details of administration, wholly to the justiciar's 
discretion. Hubert in fact, as justiciar and archbishop, 
wielded during these years a power even more absolutejffia"n 
that which William of Longchamp had wielded during the 
king's absence on crusade. But Richard's second experiment 
in governing England by deputy succeeded far otherwise 
than the first. It was, indeed, attended with far less risk ; 
for the king himself was never really out of reach, and could 
at any moment have returned to take up the reins of govern- 
ment in person, had there been any need to do so. More- 
over, the man whom he now left as viceroy had far other 
qualifications for the office than William of Longchamp. 

Hubert Walter had been trained under the greatest 
constitutional lawyer and most successful administrator of the 
age, Ralf de Glanville. He was nephew to Ralf s wife, 1 and 

1 Hubert's mother and Ralf s wife were sisters ; cf. the Glanville family history 
in Dugdale, Monast. AngL> vol. vi. pt. i., p. 380, and the foundation-charter 
of Arklow, given by Hubert's brother Theobald, ib. pt. ii. p. 1128. Hubert and 
his brothers seem to have been brought up by their aunt and her husband ; 


had been a clerk or chaplain in Ralf's household until 1 186, 
when he was appointed dean of York. 1 A few months later 
he was one of five persons nominated by the York chapter 
in answer to a royal mandate for election to the vacant see. 2 
King Henry, however, refused all five, and Hubert remained 
dean of York for three years longer. He seems to have held, 
besides his deanery, an office at court, either as protonotary 
or as vice-chancellor under Geoffrey; for during the last few 
months of Henry's life he is found in Maine attending upon 
the king, and apparently charged with the keeping of the 
royal seal. 3 Consecrated to Salisbury by Archbishop Baldwin 
on October 22, ii89, 4 he immediately afterwards set out 
with him for Palestine ; there he won universal esteem by 
the zeal and ability with which he exerted himself to relieve 
the wants of the poorer crusaders; 5 on Baldwin's death 
Hubert virtually succeeded to his place as the chief spiritual 
authority in the host ; 6 and after Richard's arrival he made 
himself no less useful as the king's best adviser and most 
trusty diplomatic agent in Palestine. 7 It was Hubert who 
headed in Richard's stead the first body of pilgrims whom 
the Turks admitted to visit the Holy Sepulchre ; 8 and it 
seems to have been he, too, who led back the English host 
from Palestine to Europe after Richard's departure. He 
hastened as early as possible to visit the king in his captivity; 9 
and Richard lost no time in sending him to England to be 
made archbishop, and to help the justiciars in collecting the 

Hubert, when dean of York, founded a Premonstratensian house at West Dereham 
" pro salute animae mese, et patris, et matris mese, et domini Ranulphi de Glan- 
villa, et dominse Bertrise uxoris ipsius, qui nos nutrierunt." //;. vol. vi. pt. ii. p. 

1 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. i. 360. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 310. 

2 Gesta Hen. as above, p. 352. 

3 See Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iv. pref. p. xli. note I. 

4 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 71. 

5 Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 134-137. Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 145. 

6 R. Diceto as above, p. 88. The Patriarch Heraclius had become discredited 
in the eyes of all the right-minded crusaders by his share in the divorce and re- 
marriage of Queen Isabel, which broke Baldwin's heart. 

7 Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 29 (Howlett, vol. i. p. 378). 

8 Ibid. Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 437, 438. 

9 Will. Newb. as above, c. 33 (p. 388). Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. 
p. 209. 


ransom. 1 They had refused the help of William of Long- 
champ, but they could not reject that of Hubert ; for they 
knew that, as a contemporary historian says, " the king had 
no one so like-minded with himself, whose fidelity, prudence 
and honesty he had proved in so many changes of fortune." 2 
Hubert was one of the commissioners appointed to have the 
custody of the ransom ; 3 and there can be little doubt that 
the scheme by which it was raised was in part at least 
devised by his financial genius, and carried into execution 
by his energy and skill qualities which he displayed no less 
effectively in dealing with the revolt which was finally quelled 
by the return of Richard himself. 

Hubert entered upon his vice-royalty for it was nothing 
less under more favourable conditions than William of 
Longchamp. He came to it not as an upstart stranger, but 
as an Englishman already of high personal and official 
standing, thoroughly familiar and thoroughly in sympathy 
with the people whom he had to govern, intimately acquainted 
with the principles and the details of the system which he 
was called upon to administer ; his qualifications were well 
known, and they were universally acknowledged. Moreover, 
there was now no one capable of heading any serious oppo- 
sition to his authority, at least in secular affairs. WiriTanTof 
.Longchamp was still chancellor ; but like the royal master 
'to whose side he .^lave for the rest of his life, he had left 
England for ever>MFrom John there was also nothing to 
fear. His intended trial never took place, for he threw 
himself at Richard's feet at the first opportunity, and was 
personally forgiven ; but the king was wise enough to leave 
untouched the sentence of forfeiture passed by the justiciar, 
and to keep his brother at his own side, a dependent upon 
his royal bounty, for nearly twelve months ; 4 and then he 
restored to him nothing but the counties of Mortain and 
Gloucester and the honour of Eye, but without their castles, 
giving him in compensation for the latter and for his other 

1 Will. Newb., 1. iv. c. 33 (Hewlett, vol. i. p. 388). Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), 
vol. i. pp. 516, 517. 2 Will. Newb. as above. 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 212. 

4 Cf. Rog. Howden as above, pp. 252 and 286, and also R. Coggeshall 
(Stevenson), p. 64. 


estates a yearly pension of eight thousand pounds Angevin. 1 
Even John's capacities for mischief-making were so far 
paralyzed by this arrangement that he seems to have made 
no further attempt to meddle in English politics so long as 
Richard lived. The one man in whom Hubert saw, or 
fancied he saw, a possible rival on personal and ecclesiastical 
grounds, he swept roughly out of his path. The two primates 
had already quarrelled over the privileges of their respective 
sees, and nothing but the king's presence had availed to keep 
peace between them. 2 The northern one had been at 
with his own chapter ever since his appointment, and they 
were now prosecuting an appeal against him at Rome. In 
June 1194, backed, it can hardly be doubted, by Hubert's 
influence, they obtained from the Pope a sentence which 
practically condemned Geoffrey without trial ; 3 and before 
these tidings reached England in September, a committee of v 
royal justices, sent by Hubert to deal with the case in its 
temporal aspect, had already punished Geoffrey's refusal to 
acknowledge their jurisdiction by confiscating all his archi- 
episcopal estates except Ripon. 4 He went over sea and 
appealed to the king, but in vain ; 5 and for the next five 
years there was again but one primate in the land. One 
northern bishop, however, was still ready to defy Hubert as 
he had defied William of Longchamp and his own metro- 
politan. When the newly appointed sheriff of Northumber- 
land, Hugh Bardulf, sought to enter upon his office shortly 
after Richard's departure, he found that Hugh of Durham 
had already made a fresh bargain with the king, whereby he 
was to retain the county on a payment of two thousand 
marks. He tried, however, as before, to evade the necessity 
of payment, and was in consequence forcibly disseized by 
Richard's orders. 6 Still he was unwilling to give up the 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 286. 

2 Ib. pp. 246, 247, 250 ; vol. iv. pref. pp. lix, Ix. 

3 Ib. vol. iii. pp. 272, 273, 278-286 ; vol. iv. pref. pp. Ixii, Ixiv. 

4 Ib. vol. iii. pp. 261, 262 ; vol. iv. pref. pp. Ixi, Ixii. 

5 Richard in November ordered his restoration, but the order was not carried 
out ; the brothers went on quarrelling, and next year Richard again declared the 
archiepiscopal estates forfeited, and this time finally. Ib. vol. iii. pp. 273, 287 ; 
vol. iv. pref. pp. Ixiv, Ixix. 6 Ib. vol. iii. pp. 260, 261 ; cf. p. 249. 


game ; and in the spring of 1195 he made another attempt 
to regain the territorial influence in the north which Geoffrey's 
fall seemed to have placed again within his reach. The 
story went in Yorkshire that he actually succeeded in once 
more obtaining from Richard of course on Richard's usual 
terms a commission as co-justiciar with Hubert. 1 Such a 
commission can hardly have been given otherwise than in 
mockery; yet the aged bishop, untaught by all his experience 
of the king's shifty ways, once again set out from York, 
where he had just been excommunicating some of Geoffrey's 
partizans, 2 to publish his supposed triumph in London. 
Sickness, however, overtook him on the way ; from Doncaster 
he was compelled to turn back to his old refuge at Howden, 
and there on March 3 Jie^jiied. 3 His palatinate was of 
course taken into the custody of the royal justiciars. 4 A 
fortnight later Celestine III. sent to Archbishop Hubert a 
commission as legate for all England ; 5 and thenceforth he 
was undisputed ruler alike in Church and state. 

Like most of the higher clergy of Henry's later years, 
Hubert was distinctly more of a statesman than a church- 
man. His pontificate left no mark on the English Church ; 
as primate, his chief occupation was to quarrel with his 
chapter. No scruples such as had moved Archbishop 
Thomas to resign the chancellorship, or had made even 
Bishop Roger of Salisbury seek a papal dispensation before 
he would venture to undertake a lay office, 6 held back 
Hubert Walter from uniting in his own person the justiciar- 
ship and the primacy of all England. He was, however, 
a statesman of the best school of the time, steeped in the 
traditions of constitutional and administrative reform which 
had grown up during Henry's, later years under the inspiration 
of the king himself and the direction of Ralf de Glanville. 
The task of developing their policy, therefore, could not have 

1 Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 10 ( Hewlett, vol. ii. pp. 438, 439). 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 284. 

3 Ibid. Will. Newb. as above (p. 439). 

4 Rog. Howden as above, p. 285. 

5 Dated March 18 [1195]. Ib. pp. 290-293. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 

6 Will. Malm. Gesta Reg., 1. v. c. 408 (Hardy, p. 637). 


fallen to more competent hands ; and as Richard was totally 
destitute of his father's business capacities, it was well that 
Hubert was left to fulfil it according to his own judgement 
and on his own sole responsibility for nearly four years. 

The justiciar's first act after his sovereign's departure 
was to despatch the judges itinerant upon their annual 
visitation-tour with a commission 1 which struck the key- 
note of his future policy. It was the note which had been 
struck by Henry II. in the Assizes of Clarendon and North- 
ampton ; but the new commission shewed a great advance 
in the developement of the principles which those measures 
embodied. The jurisdiction of the justices is defined with 
greater fulness and extended over a much wider sphere. 
The " pleas of the Crown " with which they are empowered 
to deal include, besides those formerly recognized under this 
head, such various matters as the number and condition of 
churches in the king's gift, 2 escheats, wardships and mar- 
riages ; 3 forgers 4 and defaulters ; 5 the harbouring of male- 
factors ; 6 the arrears of the ransom ; r the use of false meas- 
ures ; 8 the debts of the murdered Jews ; the fines due from 
their slayers, 9 from the adherents of John, and from his 
debtors, as well as from his own forfeited property; 10 the 
disposal of the chattels of dead usurers, and also of crusaders 
who had died before setting out on their pilgrimage j 11 and 
the taking of recognitions under the Great Assize con- 
cerning land worth not more than five pounds a year. 12 In 7 
all these proceedings the chief object evidently was to 
procure money for the royal treasury ; a tallage which the 
judges were also directed to assess upon all cities, towns and 

royal demesnes 13 being deemed insufficient to supply its 


1 " Forma qualiter procedendum est in placitis Coronse Regis." Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 262-267 5 Stubbs, Select Charters, pp. 259-263. 

2 Forma procedendi, c. 4 (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 259). 

3 Ib. cc. 3, 5, 6, 23 (pp. 259, 260, 261). 4 Ib. c. 8 (p. 260). 

5 Ib. c. 19 (as above). 6 Ib. c. 7 (as above). 

7 Ib. c. 10 (as above). 

8 Ib. c. 1 6 (as above). Richard had at the beginning of his reign caused all 
weights and measures to be reduced to one standard ; Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. 
(Luard), vol. ii. p. 351. 9 Forma proced. , c. 9 (as above). 

10 Ib. cc. 11-14 (as above). u Ib. cc. 15, 17 (as above). 

12 Ib. c. 18 (as above). 13 Ib. c. 22 (p. 261). 




needs. The details of this multifarious business are how- 
ever of less historical importance than the method employed 
for its transaction. Every item of it was to be dealt with 
on the presentment of what may now be called the "grand 
jury " the jury of sworn recognitors in every shire, whose 
functions, hitherto confined to the presentment of criminals, 
were thus extended to all branches of judicial work. This 
growth in the importance of the jury was marked by 
the introduction of a new ordinance for its constitution. 
The Assizes of Clarendon and Northampton simply ordered 
that the jury should consist of twelve lawful men of every 
hundred and four of every township, without specifying 
how they were to be selected. Most probably they were 
nominated by the sheriff. 1 The recognitors employed in the 
civil process known as the Great Assize, however, were from 
the first appointed in a special manner prescribed in the 
Assize itself. Four knights of the shire were summoned by 
the sheriff, and these four elected the twelve recognitors. 2 
By the " Form of proceeding in the pleas of the Crown " 
delivered to the justices-errant in ( \ 194, this method of elec- 
tion was applied to the jury of presentment in all cases, with 
a modification which removed the choice yet one step further 
from the mere nomination of the sheriff. Four knights were 
first to be chosen out of the whole shire ; these were to elect 
two out of every hundred or wapentake, and these two were 
to choose ten others, who with them constituted the legal 
twelve. 3 Whether or not the choice of the first four was 
actually, as seems most probable, transferred from the sheriff 
to the body of the freeholders assembled in the county-court, 4 
still this enactment shews a distinct advance in the principles 
of election and representation, as opposed to that of mere 
nomination by a royal officer. Another step in the same 
direction was the appointment of three knights and a clerk 
to be " elected in every shire to keep the pleas of the 

1 Stubbs, jRog. Howden, vol. iv. pref. pp. xcvi, xcvii. 

2 R. Glanville, De Legg. AngL, 1. xiii. c. 3. 

3 Forma proced., introductory chap., Stubbs, Select Charters > p. 259; Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 262. 

4 Stubbs, Rog. Howden, as above, pp. xcvii-xcix. 


Crown." 1 This was the origin of the office afterwards 
known as that of coroner. It had the effect of depriving 
the sheriff of a considerable part of his judicial functions ; 
and his importance was at the same time yet further limited 
by an order that no sheriff should act as justiciar in his own 
shire, nor in any shire which he had held at any time since 
the king's first crowning. 2 The difficulty of checking the 
abuse of power in the hands of the sheriffs, which Henry 
had been unable to overcome, had certainly not been less- 
ened by Richard's way of distributing the sheriffdoms in his 
earlier years. It had indeed become so serious that in this 
very year either the new justiciar, or possibly the king him- 
self, proposed an inquisition similar to that made by Henry 
in 1 170, into the administration of all servants of the Crown, 
whether justices, sheriffs, constables, or foresters, since the 
beginning of the reign. When the king was gone, however, 
it seems to have been felt that such an undertaking would 
add too heavily to the labours of the judges-errant ; and the 
inquiry was accordingly postponed for an indefinite time by 
the archbishop's orderj- 

The principle of co-operatjcin-Jaetween the^goyejqiment 
and the people for maintaining order and peace, which under- 
ties all Hemy*s reforming measures, and of which the new 
regulations for election of the grand jury are a further recogni- 
tion, was again enunciated yet more distinctly in the following 
year. An edict was published requiring every man above 
the age of fifteen years to take an oath that he would do 
all that in him lay for the preservation of the king's peace ; 
that he would neither be ^^H^T~d^robbf^n^~si~^ece'iver 
or accomplice of such persons, but would do his utmost to 
denounce and deliver them to the sheriff, would join to the 
uttermost of his power in the pursuit of malefactors when 
hue and cry was raised against them, and would deliver up 
to the sheriff all persons who should have failed to perform 
their share in this duty. 4 The obligation binding upon every 

1 Forma proced., c. 20 (Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 260). 

2 Ib. c. 21 (as above). s Ib. c. 25 (p. 263). 

4 Edictum Regium. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 299, 300; Stubbs, 
Select Charters, p. 264. 


member of the state to lend his aid for the punishment of 
offences against its peace had been declared, in words which 
are almost echoed in this edict, as long ago as the reign of 
Cnut. 1 The difficulty of enforcing it caused by the dis- 
organized condition of society which had grown up during 
the civil war was probably the reason which led Henry, in 
framing his Assizes of Clarendon and Northampton, at once 
to define it more narrowly and to lay the responsibility of 
its execution upon a smaller body of men specially appointed 
for the purpose in every shire. The completeness of organ- 
ization which the system introduced by these Assizes had 
now attained, however, gave scope for a wider application of 
the principle through one of those revivals of older custom 
in which the enduring character of our ancient national insti- 
tutions and their capacity for adaptation to the most diverse 
conditions of national life are so often and so strikingly dis- 
played. The edict of 1 195 forms a link between the usage 
of Cnut's day and that of modern times. It directed that 
the oath should be taken before knights assigned for the 
purpose in every shire ; out of the office thus created there 
seems to have grown that of conservators of the peace ; and 
this again developed in the fourteenth century into that of 
justices of the peace, which has retained an unbroken exist- 
ence down to our own age. 2 

The same year was marked by the only important 
ecclesiastical act of Hubert's pontificate. Having received 
in the spring his commission as legate, he made use of it to 
hold a visitation of the northern province now, by Geoffrey's 
absence and Hugh of Puiset's death, deprived of both its 
chief pastors and a council in York minster at which 
fifteen canons were passed 3 to remedy the general relaxation 
of Church discipline which had been growing ever since 
Thomas's flight. At the close of the year Hubert was 

1 " And we will that every man above xii years make oath that he will neither 
be a thief nor cognizant of theft." Cnut, Secular Dooms, c. 21, Stubbs, Select 
Charters, p. 74. 

2 Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 263 ; Constit. Hist. , vol. i. p. 507 ; pref. to Rog. 
Howden, vol. iv. pp. c, ci. 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 293-298. Cf. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. 
pp. 146-148, and Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 12 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 442). 


again at York, upon a different errand : the negotiation of 
a fresh treaty with Scotland, on the basis of a marriage 
between the Scot king's eldest daughter and Richard's 
nephew Otto of Saxony. 1 The marriage never took place, 
but the alliance of which it was to be the pledge lasted 
throughout Richard's reign ; and it is a noteworthy proof at 
once of the growth of friendly relations between the two 
countries, and of the success of Hubert's recent ordinance 
for the preservation of peace and order in England, that in 
the following year a similar edict, evidently modelled upon 
the English one, was issued in Scotland by William the 
Lion. 2 


with rts_jiejghbourrSta^^ nnr tht^ organisation of J4^tic_and 
police within -its ewa borders, was however the most 
laborious part of Hubert's task. One thing only was 
required of him by his royal master ; but that was precisely 
the one thing which cost him the most trouble to obtain. 
From a country which must, as it seems, have been almost 
drained of its financial resources over and over again during 
the last ten years, he was perpetually called upon to extract 
supplies of money such as had never been furnished before 
to any English king. That he contrived to meet Richard's 
ceaseless demands year after year without either plunging 
the nation into helpless misery or provoking it to open 
revolt, is the strongest proof not only of his financial genius 
and tact, but also of the increase in material prosperity and 

1 William the Lion had been sick almost to death, and having no son, had 
proposed to leave his crown to his eldest daughter, under the protection of Richard, 
whose nephew he wished her to marry. The opposition of his barons, and the 
restoration of his own health, caused him to drop the scheme of bequest (Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 298, 299). That of the marriage however was still 
pursued, and accepted by Hubert in Richard's name, on somewhat singular condi- 
tions : Lothian, as the bride's dowry, was to be given over to Richard's custody, 
while Northumberland and the county of Carlisle were to be settled upon Otto 
and made over to the keeping of the king of Scots. The negotiation, however, 
dragged on for a year, and was again checked by the hope of an heir to the Scottish 
crown (ib. p. 308); and the fulfilment of this hope in August 1198 led to its aban- 
donment. Ib. vol. iv. p. 54. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 33. He says William issued his pro- 
clamation "de bono sumens exemplum." 


national contentment which had been fostered by Henry's 
rule, and of the success of Hubert's own efforts in carrying 
out the policy which Henry had begun. By Michaelmas 
1194 it seems that the whole of the complicated accounts 
for the ransom, including the carucage imposed in the 
spring, were closed. 1 In the same year the country had 
borne the additional burthen of a tallage upon the towns. 
This, however, added to the sums raised by sales of office 
during the king's visit and to the proceeds of the judges' 
visitation, failed to satisfy the wants of Richard. He there- 
fore resorted to two other methods of raising money, both 
apparently of his own devising, and both harmonizing very 
ill with the constitutional policy of his justiciar. Save dur- 
ing the disorderly reign of Stephen, the practice of tourna- 
ments had been hitherto unknown in England. Both Henry 
I. and Henry II. were too serious and practical-minded to 
encourage vain shews of any kind, far less to countenance 
the reckless waste of energy and the useless risk of life and 
limb which these entertainments involved, which had moved 
Pope after Pope to denounce them as perilous alike to body 
and soul, 2 and, in spite of a characteristic protest from 
Thomas Becket, to exclude those who were slain in them from 
the privileges of Christian burial. 3 The Church had indeed 
been unable to check this obnoxious practice in Gaul ; 
backed, however, by the authority of the Crown, she had 
as yet succeeded in keeping it out of England. But in 
1 1 94 a fresh prohibition, issued by Pope Celestine in the 
previous year, 4 was met by Richard with a direct defiance. 
On August 20 he issued a license for the holding of tourna- 
ments in England, on condition that every man who took 
part in them should pay to the Crown a specified sum, 
varying according to his rank. Five places were appointed 
where tournaments might be held, and no one was allowed 
to enter the lists until he had paid for his license. 5 The 

1 See Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iv. pref. pp. Ixxxii-lxxxiv and notes. 

2 Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 4 (Hewlett, vol. ii. pp. 422, 423). 

3 Ep. xxiv., Robertson, Becket, vol. v. p. 36. 

4 Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. p. 56. 

5 Writ in Rymer, as above, p. 65, and in Stubbs, R. Diceto, vol. ii., app. 
to pref. pp. Ixxx, Ixxxi ; this latter copy is dated August 22. Cf. Rog. Howden 


collection of this new item of revenue was evidently looked 
upon as an important matter, for it was intrusted to the 
justiciar's brother Theobald Walter. 1 Whatever may have 
been Hubert's share in this measure, he was clearly in no 
way responsible for the other and yet more desperate 
expedient to which Richard, almost at the same time, 
resorted for the replenishment of his treasury. On pretext > 
of a quarrel with his chancellor, he took away the seal from , 
him, ordered another to be made, and declared all acts/ 
passed under the old one to be null and void, till they should/ 
have been brought to him for confirmation : 2 in other wordsJ 
till they should have been paid for a second time. 

In the following spring a fit of characteristic Angevin 
penitence fervent and absorbing while it lasted, but passing 
away all too soon moved the king to make some amends 
for his extortions as well as for his other sins ; he began to 
replace the church-plate which had been given up for his 
ransom ; 3 no fresh tax was imposed till late in the year, and 
then it was only a scutage of the usual amount twenty 
shillings on the knight's fee for the war in Normandy. 4 
Next year, however, the king's mood again changed. He 
was now resolved to carry into effect, with or without 
Hubert's assent, the inquiry into the financial administration 
which Hubert had postponed in 1 194. For this purpose he 
sent over to England Robert, abbot of S. Stephen's at Caen, 
who, notwithstanding his monastic profession, had acquired 
great experience as a clerk of the Norman exchequer, and 
seems to have there enjoyed a high reputation for knowledge 
and skill in all matters of finance. 5 The abbot, accompanied 

(Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 268, Will. Nevvb., 1. v. c. 4 (Hewlett, vol. ii. pp. 422, 423), 
and R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 120. 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 268. 

2 Ib. p. 267. Cf. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 93. Rog. Howden's very 
confused account of the seals is made clear by Bishop Stubbs, Constit. Hist., voL i. 
p. 506 note. 

3 Rog. Howden as above, p. 290. Cf. Itin. Reg. Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 449, 450. 

4 See Madox, Hist. Exch., vol. i. pp. 637, 638. That it was imposed late in 
the year seems implied by so much of it not being accounted for till the next year ; 
see Stubbs, pref. to Rog. Howden, vol. iv. p. Ixxxviii and note 3. 

5 Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 19 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 464). Cf. Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 5. 


by the bishop-elect of Durham, Philip of Poitiers, 1 reached 
London in Lent 1196, and demanded Hubert's co-operation 
in fulfilling the royal orders. The justiciar, though displeased 
and hurt, had no choice but to comply, and an order was 
issued in the king's name bidding all sheriffs and officers of 
the Crown be ready to give an account of their stewardship 
in London on a certain day apparently the day of the 
usual Exchequer-meeting in , Easter-week. 2 Before Easter 
came, the abbot of Caen himself was gone to his last 
account ; he was seized with illness while dining with Arch- 
bishop Hubert on Passion Sunday, and five days later he 
died. 3 The intended inquisition never took place ; but the 
mere proposal to conduct it thus through the medium of a 
stranger from over sea was a direct slight offered to the 
justiciar by the king ; 4 and it coincided with a disturbance 
which warned Hubert of a possible danger to his authority 
from another quarter. 
' Strive as he might to equalize the burthens of taxation, 
he could not prevent them from pressing upon the poorer 
classes with a severity which grew at last well-nigh intoler- 
able. The grievance was felt most keenly in London. The 
substitution of the " commune " for the older shire-organiz- 
ation of London in 1191 was a step towards municipal unity, 
and thus indirectly towards local independence and self- 
government ; but it had done nothing for the poorer class of 
citizens. It had placed the entire control of civic adminis- 
tration, including the regulation of trade and the assessment 
of taxes, in the hands of a governing body consisting of a 
mayor and aldermen, one of whom presided over each of the 
wards into which the whole city was divided, the head of 
them all being the mayor. 5 This corporation was the repre- 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 5. He seems to imply that Philip shared 
in the abbot's commission ; but he evidently made no attempt to act upon it after 
Robert's death. 2 Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 19 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 465). 

3 Rog. Howden as above. " Nee cum eis quos evocaverat post Pascha posi- 
turus, sed ante Pascha rationem superno Judici de propriis actibus redditurus." 
Will. Newb. as above. 

4 On April 15, four days after the abbot's death, Richard wrote a sort of apology 
to the justiciar. See Stubbs, R. Diceto, vol. ii. app. to pref. pp. Ixxix, Ixxx. 

5 In the Liber de Antiquis Legibus (a chronicle of the mayors and sheriffs of 
London, compiled in 1274, and edited by Mr. Stapleton for the Camden Soc.), p. 


sentative of the merchant-gild, which had thus absorbed into 
itself all the powers and privileges of the earlier ruling class 
of territorial magnates, in addition to its own. As might be 
expected, the rule of this newly-established oligarchy over 
the mass of its unenfranchized fellow-citizens was at least as 
oppressive as that of the sheriffs and " barons of the city " 
which had preceded it ; and it was less willingly borne, 
owing to the jealousy which always existed between the 
craftsmen and the merchant-gild. As the taxes grew more 
burthensome year by year, a suspicion began to spread that 
they were purposely assessed in such a manner as to spare 
the well-filled pockets of the assessors, and wring an unfair 
proportion of the required total from the hard-earned savings 
of the poor. 1 Whether the injustice was intentional or not, 
the grievance seems to have been a real one ; and it soon 
found a spokesman and a champion. William Fitz-Osbert 
rt William with the Long Beard," as he was commonly 
called was by birth a member of the ruling class in the 
city. 2 He seems to have shared with a goldsmith named 
Geoffrey the leadership of a band of London citizens who 
in 1190 formed part of the crusading fleet, and did good 
service, not indeed, so far as we know, in Holy Land, but 
like their brethren forty-three years earlier, in helping to 
drive the Moors out of Portugal. 3 Since his return, whether 

i, the first mayor, Henry Fitz-Aylwine, is said to have been appointed "anno 
gratie M? centesimo Ixxxviii, anno prime regni Regis Ricardi ; " and the document 
known as Fitz-Aylwine's Assize (ib. p. 206) purports to have been issued "Anno 
Domini M? C? Ixxxix, scilicet primo anno regni illustris Regis Ricardi, existente 
tune Henrico filio Aylewini Maiore, qui fuit primus Maiorum Londoniarum. " On 
this however Bishop Stubbs remarks: "It is improbable that London had a 
recognized mayor before 1191, in which year the communa was established . . . 
and there is I believe no mention of such an official in a record until some three 
years later." Introd. to Annales Londonienses ("Chronicles of Ed. I. and Ed. 
II."), p. xxxi. 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 5. Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Luard), 
vol. ii. p. 418. Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 20 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 466). 

"Willelmus cum Barba," Rog. Howden as above, pp. 5, 6; "agnomen 

ibens a barba prolixa," Will. Newb. (as above); "cognomento cum-Barba," 
"dictus Barbatus vel Barba," Mat. Paris (as above), pp. 418, 419. Will. Newb. 
thinks he wore the unusual appendage simply to make himself conspicuous ; Mat. 
"is explains " cujus genus avitum ob indignationem Normannorum radere barbam 

mtempsit," on which see Freeman, Norm. Conq., vol. v. p. 900. 
3 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), pp. 116-118. 


fired by genuine zeal for the cause of the oppressed, or, as 
some of his contemporaries thought, moved by the hope of 
acquiring power and influence which he found unattainable 
by other means, 1 he had severed himself from his natural 
associates in the city to become the preacher and leader of 
another sort of crusade, for the deliverance of the poorer 
classes from the tyranny of their wealthy rulers. At every 
meeting of the governing body he withstood his fellow- 
aldermen to the face, remonstrating continually against their 
corrupt fiscal administration. They could not silence and 
dared not expel him, for they knew that his whispers were 
stirring up the craftsmen ; and although the rumour that he 
had more than fifty thousand sworn followers at his back 
must have been an exaggeration, yet there could be no 
doubt of the existence of a conspiracy sufficiently formidable 
to excuse, if not to justify, the terror of the civic rulers. 2 
When after a visit to Normandy William began openly to 
boast of the king's favour and support, the justiciar thought 
it time to interfere. He called the citizens together, en- 
deavoured to allay their discontent by reasonings and 
remonstrances, and persuaded them to give hostages for 
their good behaviour. 3 William however set his authority 
at defiance. Day after day, in the streets and open spaces 
of the city, and at last even in S. Paul's itself, 4 this bold 
preacher with the tall stately form, singular aspect and 
eloquent tongue gathered round him a crowd of eager 
listeners to whom he proclaimed himself as the " king and 
saviour of the poor." One of his audience afterwards 
reported to a writer of the time his exposition of a text 
from Isaiah : " With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells 
of the Saviour." 5 " I," said William, " am the saviour of 
the poor. Ye poor who have felt the heavy hand of the 
rich, ye shall draw from my wells the water of wholesome 
doctrine, and that with joy, for the time of your visitation 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 5, 6, and Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Luard), 
vol. ii. pp. 418, 419, represent the former view ; Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 20 (Hewlett, 
vol. ii. pp. 467, 468), and R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 143, the latter. 

2 Will. Newb. as above (p. 468). 3 Ib. (pp. 468, 469). 

4 R. Diceto as above. 

5 "Of salvation," A. V. ; " de fontibus Salvatoris," Vulg. Is. xii. 3. 


is at hand. For I will divide the waters from the waters. 
The people are the waters ; and I will divide the humble and 
faithful people from the proud and perfidious people. I will 
divide the elect from the reprobate, as light from darkness." l 
Powerless to deal with these assemblies within the city, 
Hubert determined at least to check the spread of such 
teaching as this, and issued orders that any citizen of the 
lower class found outside the walls should be arrested as 
an enemy to king and kingdom. Some chapmen from 
London were accordingly arrested at Mid-Lent at Stamford 
fair. 2 A day or two afterwards the justiciar's fears being 
perhaps quickened by the arrival of the abbot of Caen, 
which William might easily interpret as the effect of his 
own remonstrances with the king an attempt was made to 
call William himself to account for his seditious proceedings. 
The bearer of the summons found him surrounded by such 
a formidable array of followers that he dared not execute 
his commission, and a forcible arrest was decided on. 
Guided by two citizens who undertook to catch him at 
unawares, a party of armed men was sent to seize him ; 3 
one of the guides was felled with a blow of a hatchet by 
William himself, the other was slain by his friends ; William, 
with a few adherents, took sanctuary in the church of S. 
Mary-at-Bow. The justiciar, after surrounding the church 
with soldiers, ordered it to be set on fire, 4 and William, 
driven out by the smoke and the flames, was stabbed on the 
threshold by the son of the man whom he had killed an 
hour before. 5 The wound however was not immediately 
fatal ; the soldiers seized him and carried him to the Tower 
for trial before the justiciars, who at once condemned him 
to death ; he was stripped, tied to a horse's tail, thus 
dragged through the city, and hanged with eight of his 
adherents. 6 The rest of the malcontents were so overawed 

1 Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 20 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 469). 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 6. 3 Will. Newb. as above (p. 470). 

4 Ibid. Rog. Howden as above ; Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Luard) vol. ii. 
p. 419. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 143, makes William himself fire the 
church, but this seems nonsense, as he clearly had no intention of dying in it. 

5 Will. Newb. as above. Cf. Rog. Howden as above. 

6 Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 20 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 471) says nine. Eight is the 


this spectacj_lliat__they at once made complete sub- 
mission. 1 The justiciar had triumphed ; but his triumph was 
dearly bought at the cost of what little still remained to 
him of personal popularity and ecclesiastical repute. The 
common people persisted in reverencing William Longbeard 
as a martyr ; 2 the clergy were horrified at the sacrilege 
involved in the violation of the right of sanctuary and the 
firing of a church, a sacrilege all the more unpardonable 
because committed by an archbishop ; while his own chapter 
seized upon it as the crowning charge in the already long 
indictment which they were preparing against their primate. 3 
Thus overwhelmed with obloquy on all sides, Hubert in 
disgust for a moment threw up the justiciarship, but re- 
sumed it as soon as he was once more assured of Richard's 
confidence. 4 For two more years he toiled on at his thank- 
less task. The budget of 1196 was made up by the safe 
expedient of another scutage. 5 Next year the sole legis- 
lative act ventured upon by the justiciar was an attempt to 
enforce uniformity of weights and measures throughout the 
kingdom by means of an Assize, 6 whose provisions however 
turned out to be so impracticable that, like a similar ordin- 
ance issued earlier in the reign, it seems to have remained 
inoperative, and six years later was abolished altogether. 7 
In the autumn Hubert went over to Normandy, where he 
was occupied for some weeks in diplomatic business for the 
king. 8 A month after his return the crisis came. 

number given by Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 6. Cf. R. Diceto (Stubbs), 
vol. ii. p. 143 ; Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. pp. 533, 534 ; and Mat. Paris, Chron. 
Maj. (Luard), vol. ii. p. 419. Gervase calls the place of execution "ad ulmos," 
Mat. Paris "ad Ulmetum" ["the Elms in Smithfield " notes Mr. Luard in the 
margin]. R. Diceto calls it Tyburn ; the other writers give it no name at all. We 
are indebted to Gervase (as above, p. 533) for the date of this affair ; Saturday, 
April 6 the day before the abbot of Caen fell sick ; see above, p. 344. 

1 Rog. Howden and R. Diceto, as above. 

2 See Will. Newb. as above, c. 21 (pp. 471, 472). Mat. Paris (as above) 
heartily shared in their opinion. 

3 Rog. Howden as above, p. 48. 4 Ib. pp. 12, 13. 

5 Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iv. pref. p. Ixxxviii and note 3. Madox, Hist. 
Exch., vol. i. pp. 637, 638. 6 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 33, 34. 

7 Ib. p. 172. Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. p. 509. 

8 R. Diceto as above, p. 158. Gerv. Cant, as above, pp. 544, 545. The 
dates do not exactly agree. 



Richard, at the height of his struggle with Philip of 
France, found himself short not only of money but of men, 1 
at any rate of men whom he could trust. He called upon 
Hubert to send him over from England either a force of 
three hundred knights to serve him at their own charges for 
a year, or a sum which would enable him to enlist the same 
number of mercenaries for the same period, at the rate of 
three English shillings a day. 2 For some reason or other it 
seems that Hubert, somewhat unwisely, at once decided to 
ignore the second alternative ; in a great council held at 
Oxford on December 7 3 he simply proposed, in his own 
name and that of his colleagues in the government, that the 
barons of England, among whom the bishops were to be 
reckoned, should come to the rescue of their distressed 
sovereign by supplying him with three hundred knights to 
serve him at their own cost for a year. Hubert himself, in 
his character of archbishop, declared his readiness to take 
his share of the burthen ; so did the bishop of London, 
Richard Fitz-Nigel the treasurer. The bishop of Lincoln, 
Hugh of Avalon, was then asked for his assent. " O ye 
wise and noble men here present," said the Burgundian 
saint, " ye know that I came to this land as a stranger, and 
from the simplicity of a hermit's life was raised to the office 
of a bishop. When therefore my inexperience was called to 
rule over the church of our Lady, I set myself carefully to 
learn its customs and privileges, its duties and burthens ; and 
for thirteen years I have not strayed from the path marked 
out by my predecessors, in preserving the one and fulfilling 
the other. I know that the church of Lincoln is bound to do 
the king military service, but only in this land ; outside the 
boundaries of England she owes him no such thing. Where- 
fore I deem it meeter for me to go back to my native land 
and my hermit's cell, rather than, while holding a bishopric 
here, to bring upon my church the loss of her ancient 
immunities and the infliction of unwonted burthens." 4 

1 Magna Vita S. Hugonis (Dimock), p. 248. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 40. 

3 Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 549, and Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), 
p. 251. 4 Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), pp. 249, 250. 


iHugh of Lincoln was the universally - acknowledged 
eader of the English Church in all matters of religion and 
moraTFpIie~iiScr^5cercised in" Henry II.'s later years such an 
influence over the king as no one, except perhaps Thomas 
Becket, had ever possessed ; the whole Church and nation 
reverenced him as it had never reverenced any man since 
the death of S. Anselm. When he took up the position of 
Thomas and Anselm as a champion of constitutional liberty, 
the victory was sure. Strangely enough, his action seems 
to have taken the primate completely by surprise. For a 
moment Hubert stood speechless ; then he turned to Bishop 
Herbert of Salisbury, and with quivering lips asked what he 
was minded to do for the king's assistance. As a son of 
Richard of Ilchester and a kinsman of the great ministerial 
house founded by Roger of Salisbury, 1 Herbert represented 
the traditions of an old and venerated political school, as 
Hugh represented those of the best school of ecclesiastics. 
The statesman's reply was an echo of the saint's : " It seems 
to me that, without grievous wrong to my church, I can 
neither do nor say aught but what I have heard from my 
lord of Lincoln." The justiciar, hurling a torrent of 
reproaches at Hugh, broke up the assembly, and wrote 
to the king that his plan had been foiled through Hugh's 
opposition. 2 Richard in a fury ordered the property of the 
two recalcitrant bishops to be confiscated ; in the case of 
Salisbury this was done, but no Englishman dared lay 
a finger on anything belonging to the saint of Lincoln, " for 
they feared his curse like death itself." In vain did the 
king reiterate his command, till at last his own officers 
begged Hugh to put an end to the scandal by making 
his peace, for their sakes if not for his own ; Hugh therefore 
went to seek Richard in Normandy, and literally forced him 
into a reconciliation on S. Augustine's day. Herbert, on the 
other hand, had to purchase his restoration at a heavy price; 3 
but the king and his justiciar were none the less completely^ 

1 On Herbert's antecedents and connexions see Stubbs, Rog. Howden, vol. iv. 
pref. p. xci, note 4. 

2 Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 250. Cf. the brief account in Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 40. 3 Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 251. 


beaten. _ The death of Rees Ap-Griffith and a dispute 
between his sons for the succession in South Wales gave 
Hubert an opportunity of renewing his fading laurels by a 
brilliant expedition to the Welsh marches, where he suc- 
ceeded in restoring tranquillity and securing the border- 
fortresses for the king. 1 He had however scarcely had time 
to recover from his political defeat before he was overwhelmed 
by the bursting of an ecclesiastical storm which had long 
been hanging over his head. Pope Celestine died on 
January 8, 1198. On the morrow the cardinals elected as 
his successor a young deacon named Lothar, who took the 
name of Innocent III., and began at once to sweep away the 
abuses of the Roman court and to vindicate the rights of his 
see against the Roman aristocracy with a promptness and 
vigour which were an earnest of his whole future career. 2 
The monks of Canterbury lost no time in sending to the new 
Pope their list of grievances against their primate ; and at 
the head of the list they set a charge which, in the eyes of 
such a pontiff as Innocent, could admit of no defence. 
Hubert, said they, had violated the duties and the dignity 
of his order by becoming the king's justiciar, acting as 
a judge in cases of life and death, and so entangling himself 
in worldly business that he was incapable of paying due 
attention to the government of the Church. Innocent 
immediately wrote to the king, charging him, if he valued 
his soul's health, not to suffer either the archbishop of 
Canterbury or any other priest to continue in any secular 
office ; and at the same time he solemnly forbade the accept- 
ance of any such office by any bishop or priest throughout 
the whole Church. Discredited as Hubert now was in the 
eyes of all parties, he had no choice but to resign, and this 
time Richard had no choice but to accept his resignation. 3 -*^ 

1 On Rees's death his two sons quarrelled over the succession, and Hubert had 
to go to the " fines Gwallise " and make peace between them. Rog. Howden 
(Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 21. At Christmas he was at Hereford, where he took the 
castle into his own hands, turning out its custodians and putting in new ones, 
"ad opus regis"; he did the same at Bridgenorth and Ludlow. Ib. p. 35. See 
also Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 543, Gerald's letter to Hubert after his vic- 
tory, and Hubert's reply : Gir. Cambr. De Rebus a se gestis, 1. iii. cc. 5,6 
(Brewer, vol. i. pp. 96-102). 

3 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 41-44. 3 Ib. pp. 47, 48. 


The last few months of his justiciarship were however 
occupied with the projection, if not the execution, of a 
measure of great constitutional importance. Early in the 
spring he had, in his master's name, laid upon England a 
carucage to the amount of five shillings upon every carucate 
or ploughland. The great increase in the rate of taxation, 
as compared with that of 1194, was not unjustifiable; for 
since that year the socage-tenants, on whom the impost 
fell, had paid no direct taxes at all, while two scutages had 
been exacted from the tenants-in-chivalry. But a far more 
important change was made in the assessment of the new 
impost. Until now, the carucate, like the hide, had been a 
term of elastic significance. It represented, as the literal 
meaning of the word implied, the extent of land which could 
be cultivated by a single plough ; and this of course varied 
in different parts of the country according to the nature of 
the soil, and the number and strength of the plough-team. 
In general, however, a hundred acres seem to have been 
reckoned as the average extent both of the carucate and of 
the hide. In order to avoid the endless complications and 
disputes which under the old system had made the assess- 
ment of the land-tax a matter of almost more trouble than 
profit, Hubert Walter adopted this average as a fixed 
standard, and ordered that henceforth, for purposes of tax- 
ation, the word " carucate " should represent a hundred 
acres. It followed as a necessary consequence that the 
whole arable land of England must be re-measured. The 
old customary reckoning of hides, based upon the Domesday 
survey, would no longer answer its purpose : the venerable 
rate-book which had been in use for more than a hundred 
years, partially superseded since 1168 by the Black Book 
of the Exchequer, was now to be superseded entirely. 
Hubert therefore issued in the king's name a commission 
for what was virtually a new Domesday survey. Into every 
shire he sent a clerk and a knight, who, together with the 
sheriff and certain lawful men chosen out of the shire, were, 
after swearing that they would do the king's business faith- 
fully, to summon before them the stewards of the barons of 
the county, the lord or bailiff of every township and the 


reeve and four lawful men of the same, whether free or 
villein, and two lawful knights of the hundred ; these per- 
sons were to declare upon oath what ploughlands there were 
in every township how many in demesne, how many in 
villenage, how many in alms, and who was responsible for 
these last. The carucates thus ascertained were noted in a 
roll of which four copies were kept, one by each of the two 
royal commissioners, one by the sheriff, and the other divided 
among the stewards of the local barons. The collection of 
the money was intrusted to two lawful knights and the bailiff 
of every hundred ; these were responsible for it to the sheriff; 
and the sheriff had to see that it agreed with his roll, and to 
pay it into the Exchequer. Stern penalties were denounced 
against witnesses, whether free or villein, who should be 
detected in trying to deceive the commissioners. No land 
was to be exempted from the tax, except the free estates 
belonging to the parish churches, and lands held of the king 
by serjeanty or special service ; even these last, however, 
were to be included in the survey, and their holders were 
required to come and prove their excuses at its conclusion, 
in London at the octave of Pentecost. 1 

This was Hubert's last great administrative act, and it 
had a far more important significance than he himself pro- 
bably knew. In form, the application of the process of jury- 
inquest to the assessment of an impost on the land was only 
a return to the precedent of Domesday itself. In reality, 
however, it was something much more important than this. 
The jury-inquest had been introduced by the Conqueror in 
1086 under exceptional circumstances, and for an excep- 
tional purpose which could be attained by no other means. 
So far as its original use was concerned, the precedent had 
remained a wholly isolated one for more than a hundred 
years. But during those years the principle which lay at 
the root of the jury-inquest had made its way into every 
branch of legal, fiscal and judicial administration. It had 
been applied to the purposes of private litigation by the 
Great Assize, to the determination of individual liability to 
military duty by the Assize of Arms, to the assessment 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 46, 47. 
VOL. II. 2 A 


of taxation on personal property by the ordinance of the 
Saladin tithe ; it had penetrated the whole system of 
criminal procedure through the Assizes of Clarendon and 
Northampton ; and it had gained a yet fuller recognition in 
the judicial ordinances of 1194. Viewed in this light, its 
application to the assessment of taxation on real property 
was another highly important step in the extension of its 
sphere of work. But this was not all. The chief value of 
the jury-system lay in its employment of the machinery of 
local representation and election, whereby it was a means of 
training the people to the exercise of constitutional self- 
government. The commission of 1 198 shews that, although 
doubtless neither rulers nor people were conscious of the 
fact, this training had now advanced within measurable 
distance of its completion. The machinery of the new 
survey was not identical with that used in 1086. The 
taxpayers were represented, not only by the witnesses on 
whose recognition the assessment was based, but by the 
" lawful men chosen out of the shire " who took their place 
side by side with the king's officers as commissioners for the 
assessment, and by the bailiff and two knights of the hundred 
who were charged with the collection of the money. The 
representative principle had now reached its furthest develope- 
ment in the financial administration of the shire. Its next 
advance must inevitably result in giving to the taxpayers a 
share in the determination, first of the amount of the impost, 
and then of the purposes to which it should be applied, by 
admitting them, however partially and indirectly, to a voice in 
the great council of the nation. 1 

We must not credit Hubert Walter with views so lofty 
or so far-reaching as these. The chief aim of his policy 
doubtless was to get for his master as much money as he 
could, although he would only do it by what he regarded 
as just and constitutional methods. Unluckily the com- 
missioners' report is lost, and there is not even any proof that 
it was ever presented ; for before Whitsuntide the new Pope's 
views had become known, and on July 1 1 a royal writ 

1 On this "Great Carucage" see Stubbs, Constit. Hist., vol. i. pp. 510, 511, 
and pref. to Rog. Howden, vol. iv. pp. xci*xcv. 


announced Hubert's retirement from the justiciarship and 
the appointment of Geoffrey Fitz-Peter in his stead. 1 Like 
Hubert, Geoffrey Fitz-Peter came of a family which had 
long been engaged in administrative work. His elder 
brother Simon had in Henry's early years filled the various 
offices of sheriff, justice-in-eyre, and king's marshal. 2 Geoffrey 
himself had been sheriff of Northampton throughout the last 
five years of Henry's reign, and had during the same period 
acted occasionally as an ordinary justice of assize, and more 
frequently as a judge of the forest- court. 3 In 1189 Richard 
appointed him one of the assistant- justiciars, and in this 
capacity he supported Walter of Rouen in the affair of 
William of Longchamp's deposition. 4 In the early days of 
William's rule, however, Geoffrey had made use of the latter's 
influence to secure for himself the whole English inheritance 
of the earl of Essex, William de Mandeville, upon which his 
wife had a distant claim. 5 Such a man was likely to be 
controlled by fewer scruples, as well as hampered by fewer 
external restraints, than those which had beset the just- 
iciar - archbishop ; and in truth, before the year was out, 
both clergy and people had cause to regret the change of 
ministers. Some of the religious orders refused to pay their 
share of the carucage ; their refusal was met by a royal edict . 

declaring the whole body of clergy, secular as well as mon- I) 
astic, incapable of claiming redress for any wrongs inflicted Y ITj 
on them by the laity, while for any injury done by a clerk - 
or a monk to a layman satisfaction was exacted to the 
uttermost farthing. The archbishop of Canterbury could 
hardly have published what was virtually a decree of out- 
lawry against his own order ; the new justiciar published it 

1 Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. p. 71. 

2 He was sheriff of Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire 
from 1 156 till 1160, arid of Northamptonshire again from Michaelmas 1163 till 
Easter 1170. See the list of sheriffs in index to Eyton's Itin. Hen. II. , pp. 337, 
339. He appears as marshal in 1165 (Madox, Form. Angl., p. xix), and as 
justice-errant in Bedfordshire, A.D. 1163, in the story of Philip de Broi (above, 
p. 21). 

3 Eyton, Itin. Hen. II. , list of sheriffs, p. 339; ib. pp. 265, 273, 281, 291, 
298. Pipe Roll I. Ric. I. ( Hunter } passim, 

4 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 16, 28, 96, 153. 

5 Stubbs, Rog. Howdett, vol. iii., pref. p. xlviii, note 6. y\ 


seemingly without hesitation, and the recalcitrant monks 
were compelled to submit. 1 This act was followed by a 
renewal of the decree requiring all charters granted under 
the king's old seal to be brought up for confirmation under 
the new one 2 a step which seems to imply that Richard's 
former command to this effect had not been very strictly 
enforced by Hubert. Meanwhile three justices-errant, acting 
on a set of instructions modelled upon those of 1 1 94, were 
holding pleas of the Crown in the northern shires ; 3 "so that," 
says King Henry's old chaplain Roger of Howden, " with 
these and other vexations, just or unjust, all England from 
sea to sea was reduced to penury. And these things were 
not yet ended when another kind of torment was added to 
confound the men of the kingdom, through the justices of 
the forest," who were sent out all over England to hold a 
great forest -assize, which was virtually a renewal of that 
issued by Henry in 1 1 84.* 

Stern and cruel, however, as was the administration of 
the last eight months of Richard's reign, it was still part of 
a salutary discipline. The milder chastenings which Richard's 
English subjects had endured from Hubert Walter, the 
scorpion-lashes with which he chastised them by the hands 
of Geoffrey Fitz-Peter, were both alike stages in the training 
which Richard's predecessor had begun, and whose value 
they were to learn when left face to face with the personal 
tyranny of his successor. For nearer at hand than they 
could dream was the day when English people and Angevin 
king were to stand face to face indeed, more closely than 
they had ever stood before. The nine generations of in- 
creasing prosperity promised to Fulk the Good were all 
numbered and fulfilled, and with their fulfilment had come 
the turn of the tide. The power of the Angevins had 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 66. 

2 Ibid. Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Luard), vol. ii. p. 451. Ann. Waverl. 
a. 1198 (Luard, Ann. Monast., vol. ii. p. 251). 

3 Instructions in Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 6l, 62. The judges were 
Hugh Bardulf, Roger Arundel and Geoffrey Hacket ; they held pleas in Lin- 
colnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Westmore- 
land, Cumberland and Lancashire. 

4 Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 62-66. 


reached its destined limit, and had begun to recede again. 
From the sacred eastern land all trace of it was already 
swept away ; in the west it was, slowly indeed as yet, but 
none the less surely falling back. Five years were still to 
pass before the tide should be fairly out ; then it was to 
leave the Good Count's heir stranded, not on the black rock 
of Angers, but on the white cliffs of England. 

Richard had spent the first half of his reign in fighting 
for a lost cause in Palestine ; he spent the other half in 
fighting for a losing cause in Gaul. The final result of the 
long series of conquests and annexations whereby the An- 
gevin counts, from Fulk the Red to Henry Fitz-Empress r 
had been enlarging their borders for more than two hundred 
years, had been to bring them into direct geographical con- 
tact and political antagonism with an enemy more formid- 
able than any whom they had yet encountered. In their 
earliest days the king of the French had been their patron ; 
a little later, he had become their tool. Now, he was their 
sole remaining rival ; and ere long he was to be their con- 
queror. Since the opening of the century, a great change 
had taken place in the political position of the French 
Crown ; a change which was in a considerable measure 
due to the yet greater change in the position of the Angevin 
house. When Louis VI. came to the throne in 1 1 09, he 
found the so-called " kingdom of France " distributed some- 
what as follows. The western half, from the river Somme 
to the Pyrenees, was divided between four great fiefs Nor- 
mandy, Britanny, Anjou and Aquitaine. Four others 
Champagne, Burgundy, Auvergne and Toulouse covered 
its eastern portion from the river Meuse to the Mediterranean 
Sea ; another, Flanders, occupied its northernmost angle, 
between the sources of the Meuse, the mouth of the Scheld, 
and the English Channel. The two lines of great fiefs were 
separated by an irregular group of smaller territories, amid 
which lay, distributed in two very unequal portions, the royal 
domain. Its northern and larger half, severed from Flanders 
by the little counties of Amiens and Vermandois, was flanked 
on the east by Champagne and on the north-west by Nor- 
mandy, while its south-western border was ringed in by the 


counties of Chartres, Blois and Sancerre, which parted it 
from Anjou, and which were all linked together with Cham- 
pagne under the same ruling house. Southward, in the 
upper valleys of the Loire and the Cher, a much smaller 
fragment of royal domain, comprising the viscounty of 
Bourges and the territory afterwards known as the Bour- 
bonnais, lay crowded in between Auvergne, the Aquitanian 
district of Berry, and the Burgundian counties of Macon and 
Nevers and that of Sancerre, which parted it from the larger 
royal possessions north of the Loire. The whole domains 
of the Crown thus covered scarcely more ground than the 
united counties of Anjou, Touraine and Maine, scarcely so 
much as the duchy of Normandy. Within these limits, 
however, Louis VI. had in his twenty-nine years' reign con- 
trived to establish his absolute authority on so firm a basis 
that from thenceforth the independence of the Crown was 
secured. To destroy that of the great feudataries, and to 
bring them one by one into a subjection as absolute as that 
of the royal domain itself, was the work which he bequeathed 
to his successors. 

We may set aside the temporary annexation of Aqui- 
taine through the marriage of Louis VII. and Eleanor as 
forming no part of this process of absorption. In the plans 
of Louis VI. it was doubtless meant to be a very important 
part ; but as a matter of fact, its historical importance proved 
to be of a wholly different kind. The marriage of Louis 
and Eleanor contributed to the final acquisition of Guienne 
and Gascony by the French Crown not a whit more than 
the marriage of Geoffrey Martel and Agnes had contributed 
to their acquisition by the house of Anjou. The Parisian 
king, like his Angevin follower of old, had work to do on 
his own side of the Loire before he might safely attempt the 
conquest of the south. By the middle of the century, the 
map of Gaul had undergone a marked transformation. Its 
eastern and central portions indeed remained unchanged ; 
but the western half was utterly metamorphosed. Its four 
great divisions had been virtually swept away, and the whole 
land had become Angevin. In face of this altered state of 
things, the remaining powers of northern Gaul were of 

3Torgate's*EnglHncL under Hie Angevin Kings." 

Map TIL 




To ilhistrate the wars of Richard. aiuL 
John with. PMlip Augustus. 

B^J &qyal Domain, ofThitip^ A J). 1134. 
E N 


G? Ga/naches 

Gail; Gaillon 
IoiL.=Zoicriers j ) I 
VsVaudrevuL \\\ 


Wagner i.Debes'Geog^ Establlelpsic. 

London, Ma mull an i Co. 



necessity driven into union, as a counterpoise to this 
enormous growth of Anjou ; and the only possible centre of 
union, alike in a political and a geographical point of view, was 
the king of the French. He alone could claim to match in 
rank and dignity the crowned masters of the west ; and 
under his leadership alone was it possible to face them all 
along the line from the mouth of the Somme to the source 
of the Cher with a front as unbroken as their own. The 
old Angevin march had ceased to be a marchland at all ; its 
original character was now transferred to the counties of 
Chartres and Blois ; while to north and south of these, from 
Nonancourt to Aumale and along the whole course of the 
Cher above Vierzon, the royal domain itself was the sole 
bulwark of north-eastern Gaul against the advancing power 
of Anjou. To secure Chartres and Blois was the first 
necessity for the king : but their counts needed his pro- 
tection even more than he needed their fidelity, for the 
whole width of his domains parted them from Champagne, 
where the bulk of their strength lay. Accordingly Louis VIL, 
by the matrimonial alliances which he formed first for his 
daughters and lastly for himself with the house of Blois and 
Champagne, easily succeeded in binding them to a com- 
munity of personal interests with the royal house of France, 
whereby their subservience to the French Crown was for the 
future secured. The chain was too strong to be broken by 
the boyish wilfulness of Philip Augustus ; and from the 
moment of his reconciliation with his mother and uncles 
in 1 1 80, the whole military and political strength of 
Blois, Chartres and Champagne may be reckoned at his 
command as unreservedly as that of his own immediate 

Since that time, the royal power had made an important 
advance to the northward. At the opening of Philip's reign 
the dominions of the count of Flanders stretched from the 
Channel to the borders of Champagne, covered the whole 
northern frontier of the royal domain, and touched that of 
Normandy at its junction with Ponthieu. Twelve years 
later, more than half this territory had passed, either by 
cession or by conquest, into the hands of the king. Ver- 


mandois was given up to him in 1186; and in 1191 the 
death of the Flemish count Philip made him master of all 
Flanders south of the river Lys, which had been promised to 
him as the dowry of his first queen, Elizabeth of Hainaut, 
niece of the dead count and daughter of his successor. 1 
This was in several respects a most valuable acquisition. 
Not only did it bring to the Crown a considerable accession 
of territory, including the whole upper valley of the Somme, 
the famous fortress of Peronne, and the flourishing towns of 
Amiens and Arras ; but the power of Flanders, which a few 
years before had threatened to overshadow every other power 
in northern Gaul, was completely broken ; and the effect 
upon the political position of Normandy was more important 
still. While Vermandois and Amiens were in Flemish 
hands, a league between the Flemish count and the ruler 
of Normandy would at any moment not only place the 
whole north-western border of France at their mercy, but 
would enable them to call in the forces of the imperial 
Crown to a junction which the French king could have no 
power to hinder, and which must almost certainly lead to 
his ruin. Now, on the other hand, such a junction was 
rendered well-nigh impossible ; the whole territory between 
Normandy, Ponthieu and the German border was in the 
king's own hands, and all that was left of Flanders lay in 
almost complete isolation between the Lys and the sea. In 
fine, as the dukes of Burgundy had for several generations 
been obedient followers of their royal kinsmen, now that 
Blois, Champagne and Vermandois were all secured, the 
power and influence of the French Crown north of the 
Loire was fully a match in territorial extent for that of the 
house of Anjou. South of the Loire the balance was less 
equal. The extensive possessions of the house of S. Gilles 
may indeed be left out of both scales ; their homage for 
Toulouse was now secured to the dukes of Aquitaine, but it 
was a mere formality which left them practically still inde- 
pendent of both their rival overlords. It was indeed at the 
expense of Toulouse that the Angevin rulers of Poitou had 
made their last conquest, that of the Quercy. But since 

1 See above, p. 234, note 7. 


then the French king, too, had been gaining territory in 
Aquitaine ; and his gains were made at the expense of the 
Poitevin duke. Richard had found it needful to buy Philip's 
assent to his peaceful entrance upon his ancestral heritage 
after his father's death by a renunciation of all claims upon 
Auvergne and a cession of two important lordships in Berry, 
Gragay and Issoudun. 1 The sacrifice was trifling in itself, 
but it was significant It marked Richard's own conscious- 
ness that a turning-point had come in the career of his 
house. Hitherto they had gone steadily forward ; now it 
was time to draw back. The aggressive attitude which had 
been habitual to the counts of Anjou for nearly three hundred 
years must be dropped at last. Henceforth they were to 
stand on the defensive in their turn against the advance of 
the French Crown. 

It was not the strength of that advance itself which made 
it so formidable to Richard ; it was the knowledge that, side 
by side with the process of consolidation in France, there 
had been and still was going on in the Angevin dominions 
a process of disintegration which his father had been unable 
to check, and against which he himself was well-nigh help- 
less. The French monarchy was built up around one definite 
centre, a centre round which all the subordinate parts of the 
structure grouped themselves unquestioningly as a matter of 
course. Paris and its king, even when his practical authority 
was at the lowest ebb, had always been in theory the accepted 
rallying-point of the whole kingdom, the acknowledged head 
of the body politic, none of whose members had ever dreamed 
of establishing any other in its place. But the empire of 
Richard Cceur-de-Lion had no centre ; or rather, it had 
three or four rival ones. In Angevin eyes its centre was 
Angers ; in Norman eyes it was Rouen ; to the men of the 
south, it was Poitiers. Even Henry Fitz-Empress had felt 
at times the difficulty of fulfilling two such opposite parts as 
those of duke of Normandy and count of Anjou without 
rousing the jealous resentment of either country against 
himself as the representative of the other ; while as for 

1 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt.^ vol. v.) p. 29. Will. Armor. Gesta 
Phil. Aug. (ibid.), p. 75. 


Britanny and Aquitaine, he had only been able to keep an 
uncertain hold over them by sheer force, until Britanny was 
appeased by the marriage of Constance, and Aquitaine sub- 
dued by the vigour of Richard. But for Richard in his 
father's place the difficulty was far greater. Chafe as they 
might against the yoke which bound them together dispute 
as they might over their respective shares in their common 
ruler and their respective claims upon him neither Angevin 
nor Norman could fail to recognize his own natural sove- 
reign and national representative in the son of Geoffrey and 
Matilda. But the chances of this recognition being extended 
to the next generation expired with the young king. If the 
two Henrys were strangers in Britanny and in Aquitaine, 
yet on the banks of the Seine, the Loire and the Mayenne 
they were felt to be at home. But Richard was at home 
nowhere, though he was master everywhere, from the Solway 
to the Pyrenees. His Aquitanian subjects for the most part, 
if they counted him as a fellow-countryman, counted him 
none the less as an enemy ; his subjects north of Loire 
counted him as a southern stranger. Normans and Angevins 
still saw in him, as they had been taught to see in him for 
the first twenty-six years of his life, the representative not 
of Hrolf and William or of Fulk the Red and Geoffrey 
Martel, but simply of his mother's Poitevin ancestors. The 
Bretons saw in him the son of their conqueror, asserting his 
supremacy over them and their young native prince only 
by the right of the stronger. As Suger had laid it down 
as an axiom, more than half a century ago, that " English- 
men ought not to rule over Frenchmen nor French over 
English," so now we begin to discern growing up in 
Richard's continental dominions a feeling that Normans 
should not rule over Angevins, nor Angevins over Nor- 
mans, nor either over Bretons and Poitevins, nor Poitevins 
over any of the rest ; and that if one and all must 
needs submit to the loss of their ancient independence, 
it would be more natural and less humiliating to lay it 
down at the feet of the prince who had always been acknow- 
ledged in theory as the superior of all alike, the king of the 


This feeling, however, had scarcely come into existence, 
much less risen to the surface of politics, when Philip 
Augustus came home from the Crusade at Christmas 1191. 
It is scarcely probable that any plan of actual conquest had 
as yet taken shape in Philip's mind. But the very audacity 
of the demand which he made upon the credulity of the 
Norman constables when in the following spring he asked 
them to believe that Richard had ceded to him not only the 
whole Vexin, but also the counties of Aumale and Eu a 
cession for which there was not a shadow of reason either in 
past history or in present circumstances, and which if carried 
into effect would have cut off the Norman communica- 
tions with Ponthieu and Flanders, and given him at once a 
foothold upon the Channel and an invaluable coign of vant- 
age for an attempt upon Rouen seems to indicate that he 
was already forming some more definite design against the 
Angevins' power than the simple system of lying in wait to 
steal from them any territorial or political advantage that 
could be stolen with impunity, with which he, like his father, 
had hitherto been content. The terms of his treaty with 
John in the following year point still more strongly in the 
same direction. As the price of John's investiture with the 
rest of his brother's dominions, Philip reserved to himself 
the whole Norman territory on the right bank of the Seine, 
except the city of Rouen ; on the left bank, nearly half the 
viscounty of Evreux, including the castles of Vaudreuil, 
Verneuil and Ivry ; and from the older Angevin patrimony, 
all that was most worth having in Touraine Tours itself, 
Azay, Montbazon, Montrichard, Amboise and Loches 
besides the transfer of the Angevin fiefs in the Vendomois 
from the count of Anjou to the count of Blois. 1 Owing to 
the disorganized state of Richard's dominions caused by his 
captivity, Philip's endeavours to carry this bargain into effect 
by conquering Normandy in John's interest and his own 
met for a while with considerable success. His first attempt 
at invasion was indeed repulsed by the Norman barons under 
the leadership of Earl Robert of Leicester ; 2 but a few weeks 

1 Treaty in Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. p. 57. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 205. 


later treason opened to him the gates of Gisors and Neaufle ; 
the rest of the Vexin was easily won, 1 and secured thus 
against attack in his rear, he marched northward to the 
capture of Aumale and Eu. 2 Thence he turned back to 
besiege Rouen, but soon retreated again into his own terri- 
tories, 3 taking Pacy and Ivry on his way. 4 In July, finding 
that, according to his own phrase, the Angevin demon was 
after all to be let loose upon him once more, he thought it 
advisable to accept Richard's overtures of peace ; and Richard 
on his part being still in prison deemed it wise for the 
moment to sanction the French king's recent conquests in 
Normandy and the liberation of Ademar of Angouleme, and 
also to let Philip have temporary possession of Loches, 
Chatillon-sur-Indre, Driencourt and Arques, as pledges for 
the payment of twenty thousand marks, due within two 
years of his own release. 5 

Whether he intended to keep or to break these engage- 
ments is practically no matter ; for, if he meant to break 
them, Philip took care to anticipate him. Seven months 
after the treaty was signed he again crossed the Norman 
border, took Evreux, 6 which he handed over to John's cus- 
tody, 7 and marched up by way of Neubourg and Vaudreuil, 
both of which he captured, to besiege Rouen. Thence, 
however, he again retired scared, it may be, by tidings 
of Richard's approach and hurrying back to the southern 
border laid siege to Verneuil on May io. 8 Two days later 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 206. Will. Newb., 1. iv. 0.^34 (Hewlett, 
vol. i. pp. 389, 390). Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 36. 
Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid. ), p. 77. 

2 Will. Newb. as above (p. 390). 

3 Ibid. Rog. Howden, as above. Cf. Chron. Rothom., a. 1193 (Labbe, Nova 
Biblioth., vol. i. p. 369). 

4 Will. Newb. as above. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 217-220. These were apparently the twenty 
thousand marks promised in 1189 and not yet paid. 

6 Will. Newb. as above, c. 40 (p. 403). Rigord (as above), p. 37. Will. 
Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. as above ; Philipp., 1. iv. (ibid.) p. 143. 

7 Will. Armor. Philipp. as above. 

8 Rigord as above. Will. Armor. Gesta Phil Aug. as above. Cf. Philipp. 
as above; Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 251, 252; R. Diceto "(Stubbs), vol. ii. 
pp. 114, 115; and Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 2 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 418). The date of 
the siege of Verneuil comes from Rog. Howden. 


Richard landed at Barfleur, 1 and by the end of another 
fortnight he was encamped at L'Aigle, 2 within a few miles 
of Verneuil. His presence there, coupled with the defection 
of John who had contrived to join him on the road, 3 and 
the surprise and slaughter of the French garrison of Evreux 
by a body of Norman troops, 4 alarmed Philip so much that 
on Whitsun Eve, May 28, he again fled into his own 
dominions. 5 Richard was busy strengthening the walls of 
Verneuil when tidings came to him that " the Angevins 
and Cenomannians " were besieging Montmirail, 6 a castle on 
the borders of Perche and Maine, famous as the scene of 
a stormy conference between Henry II. and S. Thomas. 
Who the besiegers actually were, or what was the ground 
of their hostility either to William of Montmirail 7 or to his 
overlord King Richard, must remain undecided. It is 
plain, however, that in Richard's ears the tidings sounded as 
a warning of disaffection in his patrimonial dominions. He 
hurried to the relief of Montmirail, but found it levelled with 
the ground. 8 He wasted no time in pursuit of its destroyers, 
but pushed on direct to Tours, took up his quarters in 
Chateauneuf, 9 and shewed his suspicions concerning the 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 251. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 114. 

2 Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 2 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 418). 

3 Rog. Howden (as above), p. 252. R. Diceto, as above, says they met " apud 
Bruis. " 

4 This is all that Rigord says about the disaster (Duchesne, Hist, Franc. 
Script., vol. v. p. 37). In the hands of the poet William of Armorica it becomes 
a horrible romance, wherein John, as commandant of Evreux, invites the unsus- 
pecting Frenchmen to a banquet, and then brings in his "armed Englishmen" to 
massacre them (Philipp., 1. iv., ib. p. 143; Gesta Phil. Aug., ib. p. 77). John 
has so many undoubted crimes to answer for that it probably seemed a mere trifle 
to add one more to the list, but for that very reason one cannot admit it on the 
sole testimony of the poet-historiographer. The English writers say nothing of 
the whole matter. 

5 Rog. Howden and Will. Newb. as above. R. Diceto (as above), p. 115. 
Cf. Rigord and Will. Armor, as above. 

6 " Andegavenses et Cenomannenses " says Rog. Howden as above. R. Diceto 
(as above), p. 116, has "Andegavenses" only; the Chron. S. Albin. a. 1192 
(Marchegay, Eglises, p. 49), has "Andegavenses et alii." 

7 William "Gohet" as R. Diceto calls him; i.e. (see Bishop Stubbs's note, 
ibid.}, "William of Perche Gouet, Goeth, or le petit Perche." 

8 Rog. Howden as above. R. Diceto as above, p. 117. Cf. Chron. S. Albin. 
a. 1192 (as above). 9 R. Diceto as above. 


origin of the new mischief by driving the canons of S. 
Martin out of the abbey where they dwelt under the special 
protection of the French king. 1 The burghers, on the other 
hand, made proof of their loyalty by a free-will offering 
of two thousand marks. 2 Determined now to redeem his 
pledges to Philip not with gold but with steel, Richard 
marched on to Beaulieu, 3 to join a body of Navarrese and 
Brabantines, sent by his brother-in-law Sancho of Navarre, 
in blockading the castle of Loches ; 4 a few days after his 
arrival, on June 13, it was surrendered by its French 
garrison. 5 He was however standing between two fires. 
Bertrand de Born was again stirring up the south, singing 
and fighting ostensibly in Richard's interest against his 
disaffected neighbours in the Limousin, but in reality kin- 
dling into a fresh blaze all the reckless passions and endless 
feuds which had been smouldering too long for the warrior- 
poet's pleasure. 6 Philip meanwhile was again threatening 
Rouen; 7 the Norman archbishop and seneschal attempted to 
negotiate with him in Richard's name, but without result ; 8 
and at the end of the month he marched southward to meet 
Richard himself. On July 4 the two kings were within 
a few miles of each other Richard at Venddme, Philip at 
Freteval. 9 What followed is told so diversely by the English 
and French historians of the time that it seems impossible 
to reconcile the rival accounts or to decide between them. 
All that we know for certain is that Philip suddenly struck 
his tents and withdrew into the territories of the count of 
Blois ; that Richard set off in pursuit, missed Philip himself, 
but fell at unawares upon the troops who were convoying 

1 Rigord (Duchesne), Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v. p. 38. 

2 " Dono spontaneo," Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 252 ; " nulla coactione 
prsemissa," R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 117. The "burgenses" in question, as 
appears from R. Diceto, were those of Chateauneuf, not the cives of Tours proper. 

3 R. Diceto as above. 

4 Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 252, 253. 

5 Ib. p. 253 (with the date). R. Diceto as above. Cf. Chron. S. Albin. 
a. 1192 (Marchegay, Eglises, p. 49). 

6 Cledat, Bert, de Born, pp. 83, 84. 

7 Rog. Howden as above, p. 253. R. Diceto, p. 116. 

8 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 253-255. 

9 R. Diceto as above. 



his baggage towards Blois, routed them, and captured all 
the French king's most precious possessions, including his 
royal seal and the treasury -rolls of the whole kingdom, 
besides a number of valuable horses, an immense quantity 
of money and plate, and what would be scarcely less useful 
to Richard for political purposes the charters of agreement 
between Philip and all the Norman, Angevin and Poitevin 
rebels who had plotted treason with him and John against 
their lord. 1 

The repairing of this disaster gave Philip sufficient occu- 
pation for the rest of the year, and Richard was free to 
march upon the Aquitanian rebels. Sancho of Navarre was 
already wasting the lands of the ringleaders, Geoffrey of 
Rancogne and Ademar of Angouleme ; 2 and by July 22 
Richard was able to report to his justiciar in England that 
he was master of all the castles of the Angoumois and all 
the lands of Geoffrey. 3 From Angouleme he marched north- 
ward again, took measures for the security of Anjou and 
Maine, 4 and then returned to Normandy, where he found 
that his representatives, headed by the chancellor, had just 
concluded a truce with the French king to last till All 
Saints' day 5 a proceeding which served him as the pretext 
for that withdrawal of the seal from William and repudiation 

1 Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 255, 256 ; R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. 
pp. 117, 118 ; Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 2 (Howlett, vol. ii. p. 419); Rigord (Duchesne, 
Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 38 ; Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.), p. 77; 
Philipp.^ 1. iv. (ibid.), p. 144 ; and Chron. S. Albin. a. 1192 (Marchegay, Eglises, 
p. 49). Rog. Howden alone mentions the charters, and Will. Armor, the treasury- 
rolls and seal. 

2 R. Diceto as above, p. 117. Will. Newb. as above. 

3 Letter of Richard to Hubert Walter (date, Angouleme, July 22) in Rog. 
Howden as above, pp. 256, 257. Cf. R. Diceto as above, pp. 118, 119. Will. 
Newb. as above (p. 420). 

4 " Rediit in Andegaviam, et redemit omnes baillivos suos, id est, ad redemp- 
tionem coegit. Similiter fecit in Cenomannia." Rog. Howden as above, p. 267. 
At Le Mans " convocavit magnates omnes suae jurisdictioni subpositos," and 
apparently tried to shame them into more active loyalty or more liberal gifts 
by eulogy of their English brethren : " ubi fidem Anglorum in adversitate sua 
semper sibi gratiosam, integram et probabilem plurimum commendavit." R. 
Diceto as above, p. 119. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 257-260. Cf. R. Diceto as above, p. I2O, and 
Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 3 (as above). This last gives a wrong date ; that of the 
document in Rog. Howden is July 23. 


of all engagements made under it, which has been mentioned 
already. 1 No further movement was however made by either 
party until the spring. Then the wearisome story of fruit- 
less negotiations alternating with indecisive warfare begins 
again, and goes on unceasingly for the next four years. 
Save for an occasional attempt to make a diversion in Berry, 
the actual fighting between the two kings was confined to 
the Norman border. 2 Normandy was the chief object of 
Philip's attack, partly no doubt because, owing to its 
geographical position, he could invade it with more ease 
and less risk than any other part of Richard's dominions, 
but also because it was the key to all the rest. A French 
conquest of Normandy would sever Richard's communica- 
tions not only with Flanders and Germany, but also with 
England ; and the strength of the Angevins in Gaul now 
rested chiefly upon the support of their island -realm. 
Neither assailant nor defender, however, was able to gain 
any decisive advantage in the field. The armed struggle 
between them was in fact of less importance than the 
diplomatic rivalry which they carried on side by side with 
it ; and in this, strangely enough, Richard, who had hitherto 
shewn so little of the far-sighted statecraft and political 
tact of his race, proved more than a match for his wily 

That the foes in Richard's own_ household should league 

themse_lv_es against him with Philip, as he had done in earlier 

{ days against his own father, was, so far as Richard himself 

is concerned, no more than retributive justice. Philip's 

alliance with John had proved a failure ; but it was not 
long before he saw a chance of securing a more useful tool 
in the person of little Arthur of Britanny. English histor- 
ians tell us that when Richard and Philip made their treaty 
at Messina in March 1191 Richard obtained a formal 
acknowledgement of his rights, as duke of Normandy, to the 

1 .Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 267. See above, p. 343. 

2 It may be followed in Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 301-305, vol. iv. 
pp. 3-7, 14, 16, 19-21, 24, 54-61, 68, 78-81 ; Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. 
Scriptt., vol. v.), pp. 38-40, 42 ; Will. Armor. Gesta Phil Aug. (ibid.\ pp. 78, 79 ; 
Philipp., 1. v. (ib.\ pp. 146-154. 


overlordship of Britanny and the liege homage of its duke. 1 
The text of the treaty of Messina, however, contains not a 
word on this subject ; the agreement, if made at all, must 
have been drawn up in a separate form ; and it seems to 
have remained a dead letter, like another agreement made 
at the same place a few months earlier the treaty with 
Tancred whereby Richard had engaged to recognize Arthur 
of Britanny as his successor in default of direct heirs. 
Although after five years of marriage Queen Berengaria was 
still childless, no such recognition had yet been made. 
Richard on his return to Europe probably perceived that 
Arthur's succession would be impossible in England, and in 
Gaul would be fatal to the independence of the Angevin 
house. Accordingly, he was once more doing all in his 
power to win the attachment of John ; and John, having at 
length discovered that his own interests could be better 
served by supporting his brother than by intriguing against 
him, proved an active and useful ally in the war against 
Philip. 2 On the other hand, Richard seems never to have 
received Arthur's homage for Britanny ; and those who had 
the control of political affairs in that country were deter- 
mined that he never should. The dispute between Henry 
and Philip for the wardship of the two children of Geoffrey 
and Constance had apparently ended in a compromise. 
Eleanor, the elder child, was now under the care of her 
uncle Richard ; 3 but Constance seems to have succeeded in 
keeping her infant boy out of the reach of both his 
would-be guardians, and, moreover, in governing her duchy 
without any reference to either of them, for nearly seven 
years after the death of her father-in-law King Henry. 
She had been given in marriage by him, when scarcely 
twelve months a widow, to Earl Ralf of Chester, 4 son and 
successor of Earl Hugh who had been one of the leaders in 
the revolt of 1173. As the earls of Chester were hered- 
itary viscounts of the Avranchin the border-district of 

1 Gesta Ric. (Stubbs), p. 161. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 99, 100. 

2 See e.g. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 5, 16, 60 ; Rigord (Duchesne, 
Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 38; Will. Armor. Gesta Phil Aug. (ibid.\ p. 
77- 3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 275, 278. 

4 Gesta Hen. (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 29. 

VOL. II. 2 B 


'Normandy and Britanny this marriage would have fur- 
nished an excellent means of securing the Norman hold 
upon the Breton duchy, if only Ralf himself could have 
secured a hold upon his wife. In this however he com- 
pletely failed. Safe in her hereditary dominions, with her 
boy at her side, and strong in the support of her people 
rejoicing in their newly-regained independence, Constance 
apparently set Ralf, Richard and Philip all alike at defiance, 
till in 1 196 Richard summoned her to a conference with him- 
self in Normandy, and she set out to obey the summons. 
Scarcely had she touched the soil of the Avranchin at 
Pontorson when she was caught by her husband and im- 
prisoned in his castle of S. James-de-Beuvron. 1 It is hard 
not to suspect that Richard and Ralf had plotted the 
capture between them ; for Richard, instead of insisting 
upon her release, at once renewed his claim to the wardship 
of Arthur, and prepared to enforce it at the sword's point. 
The Bretons first hurried their young duke away to the 
innermost fastnesses of their wild and desolate country under 
the care of the bishop of Vannes, 2 and then, after a vain 
attempt to liberate his mother, intrusted him to the protec- 
tion of the king of France, 3 who of course received him 
with open arms, and sent him to be educated with his own 
son. 4 

Philip had now got the old Angevin patrimony between 
two fires ; but the Bretons were so little accustomed to act 
in concert even among themselves, far less with any other 
power, that he found it impossible to make any real use of 
them as allies either for military or political purposes. The 
independent warfare which they carried on with Richard 
across the south-western border of Normandy 5 had little 
effect upon that which Richard and Philip were carrying on 
along its eastern border ; and upon the Angevin lands which 
lay directly between Britanny and France the Breton revolt 
had no effect at all. To the end of Richard's life, we hear 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 7. 

2 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. v. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 
149. Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 18 (Hewlett, vol. ii. pp. 463, 464). 

3 Rog. Howden as above. 4 Will. Armor, as above. 
5 Will. Newb. as above, c. 30 (p. 491). Rog. Howden as above. 


of no further troubles in Maine or Anjou. Nay more, we 
hear of no further troubles in Aquitaine. If Philip had in 
some sense turned Richard's flank in the west, Richard had 
turned Philip's flank far more effectually in the south. The 
unwonted tranquillity there may indeed have been partly due 
to the fact that one of the chief sources of disturbance was 
removed in 1196 by the withdrawal of Bertrand de Born 
into a monastery j 1 but it was also in great measure owing 
to Richard's quickness in seizing an opportunity which 
presented itself, in that same eventful year, of forming a 
lasting alliance with the house of Toulouse. His old enemy 
Count Raymond V. was dead ; 2 he now offered the hand of 
his own favourite sister, the still young and handsome Queen 
Jane of Sicily, to the new Count Raymond VI.; 3 and thence- 
forth the eastern frontier of his Aquitanian duchy was as secure 
under the protection of his sister's husband as its southern 
frontier under that of his wife's brother, the king of Navarre. 
Nor were Richard's alliances confined within the bound- 
aries of Gaul. His year of captivity in Germany had not 
been all wasted time. When he parted from his imperial 
jailor in the spring of 1 1 94, they were, at any rate in out- 
ward semblance, close political allies ; and at the same time 
Richard had succeeded in gaining over his bitterest foe, 
Leopold of Austria, by an offer of his niece Eleanor of 
Britanny as wife to Leopold's son. 4 The marriage-contract 
was however not yet executed when the Austrian duke met 
with a fatal accident and died in agony, owning with his 
last breath that his miserable end was a just retribution for 
his conduct towards the English king. 5 The impression 
made by this event deepened the feeling of respect and awe 
which the captive lion had already contrived to inspire in 
the princes of the Empire. Meanwhile Henry VI. had 

1 Cledat, Bert, de Born, p. 92. 

2 In 1194, according to Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), 
p. 38. 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 13. Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 30 (Hewlett, 
vol. ii. p. 491). R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 70. 

4 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 275. See above, p. 325. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 276, 277. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 124. 
Will. Newb. as above, c. 8 (pp. 431-434). R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 65, 66. 


made himself master of Sicily ; J and now the old dream by 
which the German Emperors never quite ceased to be 
haunted, the dream of re-asserting their imperial supremacy 
over Gaul, was beginning to shape itself anew in his brain. 
In the summer of 1195 he sent to Richard a golden crown 
and a message charging him, on his plighted faith to the 
Emperor and on the very lives of his hostages, to invade 
the French kingdom at once, and promising him the support 
and co-operation of the imperial forces. Richard, suspecting 
a trap, despatched William of Longchamp to inquire into 
the exact nature, extent and security of Henry's promised 
assistance ; Philip vainly tried to intercept the envoy as he 
passed through the royal domains ; 2 and the negotiations 
proved so far effectual 'that Henry remitted seventeen 
thousand marks out of the ransom, as a contribution to 
Richard's expenses in his struggle with Philip. 3 When, on 
Michaelmas Eve 1197, Henry VI. died, 4 the use of that 
homage on Richard's part which his English subjects had 
resented so bitterly was made apparent to them at last. 
While the English king was holding his Christmas court at 
Rouen there came to him an embassy from the princes of 
Germany, summoning him, as chief among the lay members 
of the Empire 5 by virtue of his investiture with the kingdom 
of Aries, to take part with them in the election of a new 
Emperor at Coin on February 22. 6 Richard himself could 
not venture to leave Gaul ; but the issue proved that his 
presence at Coin was not needed to secure his interests 
there. He wished that the imperial crown should be given 
to his nephew Duke Henry of Saxony, eldest son and suc- 
cessor of Henry the Lion. This scheme, however, when 
laid before the other electors by the envoys whom he sent 
to represent him at Coin, was rejected on account of the 
duke's absence in Holy Land. 7 The representatives of the 
English king then proposed Henry's brother Otto, for whom 
Richard had long been vainly endeavouring to find satis- 

1 In the autumn of 1 194. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 268-270. Cf. 
R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 123, 124. 

2 Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 300, 301. 3 Ib. pp. 303, 304. 

4 Ib. vol. iv. p. 31. ' "Sicut prsecipuum membrum imperil." Ib. p. 37. 

6 Ibid. 7 Ib. pp. 37, 38. 


factory provision on either side of the sea, 1 and who seems 
really to have been his favourite nephew. The result was 
that, on the appointed day, Otto was elected Emperor of the 
Romans, 2 and on July 12 he was crowned king of the 
Germans at Aachen by the archbishop of Coin. 3 

For a moment, at the mere prospect of beholding a 
grandson of Henry Fitz-Empress seated upon the imperial 
throne of the west, there had flashed across the mind of at 
least one friend of the Angevin house a fancy that the world- 
wide dominion which seemed to be passing away from the 
heirs of Fulk the Good was to be renewed for yet one more 
generation. 4 There was indeed an opposition party in 
Germany, who set up a rival Emperor in the person of 
Philip of Suabia, a brother of Henry VI.; 5 and he at once 

1 He appointed him earl of York in 1190, but as the grant was made after 
the king left England, some of the Yorkshire folk doubted its genuineness, and 
Otto never succeeded in obtaining possession. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 
86. The elaborate scheme for his endowment in the north, projected in 1195, has 
already been mentioned (above, p. 341). This having also failed, Richard in 1196 
gave him the investiture of Poitou. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 7 ; cf. ib. 
vol. iii. p. 86, and R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 70. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 37-39. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 
163. 3 R. Diceto as above. 

4 R. Diceto tells the story of the prophecy made to Fulk the Good in two 
places ; in the Abbreviationes Historiarum (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 149) and in the 
Opuscula (vol. ii. pp. 267, 268). In the latter place he adds: "Quod quon- 
dam probavit regnum Jerosolimitanum ; quod adhuc ostendit regnum Anglorum ; 
quod suo tempore declarabit Romanum imperium." This, as Bishop Stubbs notes, 
"looks like an anticipation of the election of Otto IV. to the empire. ... As 
Bishop Longchamp died in 1197, before which date we must suppose MS. R 
to have been written " [the MS. from which the Opuscula are printed, and which 
begins with a dedication to William of Longchamp], " it can scarcely be a pro- 
phecy after the event." As William of Longchamp died January 31, 1197 
(R. Diceto, vol. ii. p. 150; February I according to Gerv. Cant., Stubbs, 
vol. i. p. 543), it seems indeed to shew that the possibility of one or other of 
Richard's nephews becoming Emperor at the next vacancy was already in contem- 
plation more than eight months before the death of Henry VI. Or was Ralf 
dreaming rather of a transfer of the imperial crown to Richard himself? for it is 
to be observed that Otto can be included within the "nine generations" only by 
excluding from them Fulk the Good himself; but this mode of computing would 
fail if applied to the eastern branch of the Angevin house, where it would give 
only eight generations, so that we can hardly suppose it to have been adopted by 
Ralf. According to R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 88, and Gerv. Cant, as above, 
p. 545, a party among the electors actually did choose Richard, and much more 
strangely another party chose Philip of France. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, p. 39. 


made common cause with his French namesake. 1 This 
Suabian alliance, however, and the support of the count of 
Ponthieu purchased two years before with the hand of the 
unhappy Adela, whom Richard had at last restored to her 
brother 2 could not much avail Philip Augustus against 
such a league as was now gathering around the English 
king. The vast sums which Hubert Walter had been send- 
ing, year after year, to his royal master over sea were 
bringing a goodly interest at last. Flanders, Britanny, 
Champagne, had all been secretly detached from the French 
alliance and bought over to the service of Richard ; 3 the 
Flemish count had already drawn Philip into a war in which 
he narrowly escaped being made prisoner; 4 and in the summer 
of 1 1 98, when the imperial election was over, not only Baldwin 
of Flanders, Reginald of Boulogne, Baldwin of Guines, Henry 
of Louvain, Everard of Brienne, Geoffrey of Perche and Ray- 
mond of Toulouse, but even the young count Louis of Blois 
and the boy-duke Arthur of Britanny himself, one and all 
leagued themselves in an offensive and defensive alliance with 
Richard against the French king. 5 The immediate consequence 
was that Philip begged Hubert Walter, who being just released 
from his justiciarship had rejoined his sovereign in Normandy, 
to make peace for him with Richard ; and he even went so far 
as to offer the surrender of all the Norman castles which he had 
won, except Gisors. Richard however would listen to no terms 
in which his allies were not included. 6 At last, in November, 
a truce was made, to last till the usual term, S. Hilary's day. 7 
When it expired the two kings held a colloquy on the Seine 

1 Treaty in Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. p. 70 ; date, June 29 [1197]. 

2 Rog.* Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. p. 303. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. 
Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 38. Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (ibid.} p. 77. 

3 Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 19, R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 77, 
and Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 32 (Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 495). Richard's treaty with 
Flanders is in R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 152, 153, and Rymer, as above, 
pp. 67, 68 ; it has no date, but as R. Diceto (as above, p. 158) tells us that it 
was drawn up by Hubert Walter, and also that Hubert was in Gaul from Septem- 
ber 14 (or 28, according to Gerv. Cant., Stubbs, vol. i. p. 574) to November 8 
[1197], it must fall in that interval. 

4 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 20, 21. Will. Newb. as above. R. Coggeshall 
(Stevenson), pp. 77, 78. 5 Rog. Howden as above, p. 54. 

6 Ib. p. 61. 7 Ib. p. 68. 


between Vernon and Les Andelys, Richard in a boat on the 
river, Philip on horseback on the shore ; 1 this meeting was 
followed by another, where, by the mediation of a cardinal- 
legate, Peter of Capua, who had lately arrived in Gaul, they 
were persuaded to prolong their truce for five years. 2 

Yet all the while, there lurked in Richard's heart a mis- 
giving that, in the last resort, his diplomacy would prove to 
have been in vain ; that, strive as he might to turn away 
the tide of war from his own borders by stirring up north 
and east and south to overwhelm the Crown of France, still, 
after all, the day must come when the Angevins would have 
to stake their political existence solely upon their own 
military resources, and to stand at bay, unaided, unsup- 
ported, alone, behind whatever bulwark they might be able 
to devise by their own military genius. It was the genius 
and the foresight of Richard himself which insured that 
when the crisis came, the bulwark was ready, even though 
it were doomed to prove unavailing in the end. The last 
and mightiest of the many mighty fortresses reared by 
Angevin hands since the first great builder of the race had 
begun his castle-building in the Loire valley was the Chateau- 
Gaillard, the " saucy castle " of Richard the Lion-heart. He 
" fixed its site where the Seine bends suddenly at Gaillon in 
a great semicircle to the north, and where the valley of Les 
Andelys breaks the line of the chalk cliffs along its banks. 
Blue masses of woodland crown the distant hills ; within the 
river curve lies a dull reach of flat meadow, round which the 
Seine, broken with green islets and dappled with the grey 
and blue of the sky, flashes like a silver bow on its way to 
Rouen." 3 Some three-quarters of a league from the right 
bank of the river, in a valley opening upon it from the east- 
ward and watered by the little stream of Gambon, stood the 
town of Andely. Between the town and the river stretched 
a lake, or rather perhaps a marsh, 4 through which the Gam- 
bon and another lesser rivulet descending from the hills to 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 79, 80. 

2 Ib. p. 80. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 42. 

3 I copy Mr. Green's picture, Hist, of the English People, vol. i. p. 187. 

4 Now dried up. See Deville, Hist, du Chdteau-Gaillard^ pp. 27, 28. 


the north of Andely found their way by two separate issues 
into the Seine, nearly opposite two islets, of which the larger 
and more northerly was known as the Isle of Andely. 1 The 
space enclosed between the three rivers and the marsh seems 
to have been a tract of waste land, occupied only by a toll- 
house for the collection of dues from the vessels passing up 
and down the Seine 2 dues which formed one of the most 
important items in the revenue of the archbishop of Rouen, 
to whom Andely and its neighbourhood belonged. 3 Over 
against this spot, on the southern bank of the Gambon, in 
the angle formed by its junction with the Seine, a mass of 
limestone crag rose abruptly to the height of three hundred 
feet. Its western side, almost perpendicular, looked down 
upon the great river, the northern, scarcely less steep, over 
the Gambon and the lake beyond ; to the north-east and 
south-west its rocky slopes died down into deep ravines, and 
only a narrow neck of land at its south-eastern extremity 
connected it with the lofty plateau covered with a dense 
woodland known as the Forest of Andely, which stretches 
along the eastern side of the Seine valley between Andely 
and Gaillon. One glance at the site was enough to rivet a 
soldier's gaze. If, instead of the metropolitan church of 
Normandy, a lay baron had owned the soil of Andely, we 
may be sure that long ago that lofty brow would have 
received its fitting crown ; if the power of Fulk the Builder 
had reached to the banks of the Seine, we may doubt whether 
the anathemas of the Norman primate would not have 
availed as little to wrest such a spot from his grasp as those 
of the archbishop of Tours had availed to wrest from him 
the site of Montrichard. But a greater castle-builder than 
Fulk Nerra himself was the architect of Chateau-Gaillard. 

1 " Est locus Andelii qui nunc habet insula nomen." Will. Armor. Philipp., 
\. vii. v. 29 (Deville, Chdteau-Gaillard, p. 126; Duchesne, Hist. Franc, Scriptt., 
vol. v. p. 169). 

2 See a charter of Archbishop Malger (nth century) and one of Pope Eugene 
III., a. 1148, quoted in Deville as above, p. 26, note 2. 

3 The archbishops seem to have looked upon Andely as their most profitable 
territorial possession ; Rotrou called it his " unicum vivendi subsidium " (Rotr. Ep. 
xxiv., Rer. Gall Scriptt., vol. xvi. p. 632); Walter called it " patrimonium 
ecclesiae solum et unicum " (R. Diceto, Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 148). 


Richard's historical connexion with the " rock of Andely " 
has its ill-omened beginning in a ghastly story of the fate of 
three French prisoners whom he flung from its summit into 
the ravine below, in vengeance for the slaughter of some 
Welsh auxiliaries who had been surprised and cut to pieces 
by the French king's troops in the neighbouring valley. 1 
By the opening of 1196, however, he had devised for it a 
more honourable use. In a treaty with Philip, drawn up in 
January of that year, the fief of Andely was made the sub- 
ject of special provisions whereby it was reserved as a sort 
of neutral zone between the territories of the two kings, and 
a significant clause was added : " Andely shall not be forti- 
fied." * As by the same treaty the older bulwarks of 
Normandy Nonancourt, Ivry, Pacy, Vernon, Gaillon, Neuf- 
marche, Gisors were resigned into Philip's hands, this 
clause, if strictly fulfilled, would have left the Seine without 
a barrier and Rouen at the mercy of the French king. The 
agreement in short, like all those which bore the signatures 
of Philip and Richard, was made only to be broken ; both 
parties broke it without delay ; and while Philip was forming 
his league with the Bretons for the ruin of Anjou, Richard 
was tracing out in the valley of the Gambon and on the 
rock of Andely the plan of a line of fortifications which were 
to interpose an insurmountable barrier between his Norman 
capital and the French invader. His first act was to seize 
the Isle of Andely. 3 Here he built a lofty octagonal tower, 
encircled by a ditch and rampart, and threw a bridge over 
the river from each side of the island, linking it thus to 
either shore. 4 On the right, beyond the eastern bridge, he 
traced out the walls of a new town, which took the name of 
the New or the Lesser Andely, 5 a secure stronghold whose 

1 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. v. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 151. 

2 Treaty in Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. p. 66. For date see Rigord (Duchesne as 
above), p. 39. 

3 Letter of Walter of Rouen (a. 1196), R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 148, 
149. Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 14, and Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 34 
(Hewlett, vol. ii. p. 499). 

4 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. vii. w. 29-43 (Deville, Chdteau-Gaillard, p. 126 ; 
Duchesne as above, p. 169). 

5 A poet of the thirteenth century, William Guiart, calls it "le Nouvel-An- 
deli." It is known now as " le Petit-Andely. " Deville as above, p. 26. 


artificial defences of ramparts and towers were surrounded 
by the further protection of the lake on its eastern side, the 
Seine on the west, and the two lesser rivers to north and 
south, a bridge spanning each of these two little streams 
forming the sole means of access from the mainland. 1 The 
southern bridge, that over the Gambon, linked this New 
Andely with the foot of the rock which was to be crowned 
with the mightiest work of all. Richard began by digging 
out to a yet greater depth the ravines which parted this 
rock from the surrounding heights, so as to make it wholly 
inaccessible save by the one connecting isthmus at its south- 
eastern extremity. On its summit, which formed a plateau 
some six hundred feet in length and two hundred in breadth 
at the widest part, he reared a triple fortress. The outer 
ward consisted of a triangular enclosure ; its apex, facing the 
isthmus already mentioned, was crowned by a large round 
tower, 2 with walls ten feet in thickness ; the extremities of 
its base were strengthened by similar towers, and two 
smaller ones broke the line of the connecting curtain-wall. 
This was surrounded by a ditch dug in the rock to a depth 
of more than forty feet, and having a perpendicular counter- 
scarp. Fronting the base of this outer fortress across the 
ditch on its north-western side was a rampart surmounted 
by a wall ninety feet long and eight feet thick, also flanked 
by two round towers ; from these a similar wall ran all 
round the edges of the plateau, where the steep sides of the 
rock itself took the place of rampart and ditch. The wall 
on the south-west side the river-front was broken by 
another tower, cylindrical without, octagonal within ; and its 
northern extremity was protected by two mighty rectangular 
bastions. Close against one of these stood a round tower, 
which served as the base of a third enclosure, the heart and 
citadel of the whole fortress. Two-thirds of its elliptical 
outline, on the east and south, were formed by a succession 
of semicircular bastions, or segments of towers, seventeen in 
number, each parted from its neighbour by scarcely more 

1 Will. Armor. Gesta Phil Aug. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), 
p. 8l. Deville, Ch&teau-Gaillard, p. 27. 

2 Now known as " tour de la Monnaie." Deville as above, p. 30, note i. 



than two feet of curtain-wall an arrangement apparently 
imitated from the fortress of Cherbourg, which was accounted 
the greatest marvel of military architecture in Normandy, 
until its fame was eclipsed by that of Richard's work. 1 This 
portion of the enclosure was built upon a rampart formed 
by the excavation of a ditch about fifteen to twenty feet in 
width ; the counterscarp, like that of the outer ditches, was 
perpendicular ; and a series of casemates cut in the rock ran 
along on this side for a distance of about eighty feet. On 
the western side of the citadel stood the keep, a mighty 
circular tower, with walls of the thickness of twelve feet, 
terminating at an angle of twenty feet in depth where it 
projected into the enclosure ; it had two or perhaps three 
stages, 2 and was lighted by two great arched windows, 
whence the eye could range at will over the wooded hills 
and dales of the Vexin, or the winding course of the river 
broadening onward to Rouen. Behind the keep was placed 
the principal dwelling-house, and under this a staircase cut 
out of the rock gave access to an underground passage 
leading to some outworks and a tower near the foot of the 
hill, whence a wall was carried down to the river-bank, just 
beyond the northern extremity of a long narrow island 
known as the " isle of the Three Kings " doubtless from 
some one of the many meetings held in this district by 
Louis VII. or Philip Augustus and the two Henrys. 3 The 
'iver itself was barred by a double stockade, crossing its bed 
from shore to shore. 4 

All this work was accomplished within a single year. 5 
.ichard, who had watched over its progress with unremitting 
ire, broke into an ecstasy of delight at its completion ; he 

1 See Deville, Chdteau-Gaillard, p. 34, and the passage there quoted from 
fist. Gaufr. Duds (Marchegay, Comtes d'Anjou, p. 30x3). 

2 See Deville as above, p. 38, note 2. 

3 Ib. p. 36. The island is now joined to the mainland ; ib. note I. 

4 For description see Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. 
Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 81 ; Phiiipp., 1. vii. vv. 48-85 (ib. pp. 169, 170; Deville as 
above, pp. 126, 127), and Deville as above, pp. 25-40. 

5 That is, the castle on the rock, built 1197-1198. See the story of the rain 
of blood in May 1198 (R. Diceto, Stubbs, vol. ii. p. 162), which fixes its comple- 
tion after that date. The tower on the island and the Nouvel-Andely were the 
work of the previous year, 1196-1197. 


called his barons to see "how fair a child was his, this child 
but a twelvemonth old " ; l he called it his " saucy castle," 
" Chateau-Gaillard," 2 and the name which he thus gave it in 
jest soon replaced in popular speech its more formal title of 
" the Castle on the Rock of Andely." 3 The hardness of the 
rock out of which the fortifications were hewn was not the sole 
obstacle against which the royal builder had had to contend. 
Richard had no more thought than Fulk Nerra would have 
had of asking the primate's leave before beginning to build 
upon his land ; the work therefore was no sooner begun 
than Archbishop Walter lifted up his protest against it ; 
obtaining no redress, he laid Normandy under interdict and 
carried his complaint in person to the Pope. 4 Richard at 
once sent envoys to appeal against the interdict and make 
arrangements for the settlement of the dispute. 5 Mean- 
while, however, he pushed on the building without delay. 
Like Fulk of old, the seeming wrath of Heaven moved him 
as little as that of its earthly representatives ; a rain of blood 
which fell upon the workmen and the king himself, though 
it scared all beside, failed to shake his determination ; " if an 
angel had come down out of the sky to bid him stay his 
hand, he would have got no answer but a curse." 6 He had 
now, however, made his peace with the Church ; in the 

1 " Ecce quam pulcra filia unius anni !" J. Bromton, Twysden, X. Scriptt,, 
col. 1276. 

2 " Totamque munitionem illam vocavit Gaillardum, quod sonat in Gallico 
petulantiam." Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., 
vol. v.), p. 81. 

3 " Castrum " or " castellum de Rupe Andeleii " or " Andeliaci," it is called in 
the charters of Richard and John. The first document in which it appears as 
"Chateau-Gaillard" is a charter of S. Louis, "actum in castro nostro Gaillard," 
A.D. 1261 ; Deville, Ch&teau-Gaillard, p. 40. Will. Armor, however uses the 
name, and other writers soon begin to copy him. 

4 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 14. Cf. Will. Newb. , 1. v. c. 28 (Hewlett, 
vol. ii. pp. 487, 488), R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 70, and Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), 
vol. i. p. 544. 

5 The envoys were William of Longchamp, William bishop of Lisieux and 
Philip elect of Durham ; Rog. Howden (as above), pp. 16, 17. They must have 
started early in 1197, for William of Longchamp died on the journey, at Poitiers, 
on January 31 or February I ; see above, p. 373, note 4. 

6 Will. Newb. , 1. v. c. 34 (as above, p. 500). This is William's last sentence. 
R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 162, also tells of the portent, and gives its date, 
May 8, 1198. 


spring of 1 197 he offered to the archbishop an exchange of 
land on terms highly advantageous to the metropolitan see ; 
and on this condition the Pope raised the interdict in May 
of the same year. 1 The exchange was carried through on 
October i6, 2 and ratified by John in a separate charter, a 
step which seems to indicate that John was now recognized 
as his brother's heir. 3 

It was probably about the same time that the treaty 
with Flanders, the corner-stone of the league which Richard 
was forming against the king of France, was signed within 
the walls of the new fortress. 4 Yet, as has been already 
seen, the coalition was not fully organized till late in the 
following summer ; and even then the complicated weapon 
hung fire. Want of money seems to have been Richard's 
chief difficulty, now as ever a difficulty which after Hubert 
Walter's defeat in the council at Oxford and his resignation 
in the following July must have seemed well-nigh insur- 
mountable. At last, however, in the spring of 1 1 99, a ray 
of hope came from a quarter where it was wholly unexpected. 
Richard was leading his mercenaries through Poitou to 
check the viscount of Limoges and the count of Angouleme 
in a renewal of their treasonable designs 5 when he was met 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 17-19. Will. Newb., 1. v. c. 34 
(Hewlett, vol. ii. pp. 499, 500). 

2 Richard's charter, of which Deville gives a fac-simile in his Chateau- Gaillard, 
p. 18, and a printed copy in his "pieces justificatives," ib. pp. 113-118, is also in 
R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 154-156. According to this last writer (ib. pp. 158, 
159), and Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 544), the settlement was due to the 
mediation of Archbishop Hubert. 

3 See Deville, as above, pp. 21, 22. John's charter is in the "pieces 
justificatives," ib. pp. 119-123. 4 R. Diceto (as above), p. 153. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, p. 80, says merely that Richard was on his 
way to Poitou. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 94, says he was marching 
against the viscount of Limoges, to punish him for a treasonable alliance with 
the French king. The writer of the Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 280, says 
" expeditionem direxerat adversus comitem Engolismensem "; and that Angouleme 
had some share in the matter appears also from the confused story of Gerv. Cant, 
(as above), pp. 592, 593, who makes Richard receive his death-wound while 
besieging "castrum comitis Engolismi, quod Nantrum erat appellatum." A joint 
rebellion of the lords of Limoges and Angouleme would be very natural, for they 
were half-brothers. On the other hand, the two men were very likely to be con- 
founded by historians, for they both bore the same name, Ademar. See above, 
p. 220 and note 3. 


by rumours of a marvellous discovery at Chalus in the 
Limousin. A peasant working on the land of Achard, the 
lord of Chalus,- was said to have turned up with his plough 
a treasure 1 which popular imagination pictured as nothing 
less that " an emperor with his wife, sons and daughters, all 
of pure gold, and seated round a golden table." 2 In vain 
did Achard seek to keep his secret and his prize to himself. 
Treasure-trove was a right of the overlord, and it seems to 
have been at once claimed by the viscount Ademar of 
Limoges, as Achard's immediate superior. His claim, how- 
ever, had to give way to that of his own overlord, King 
Richard ; but when he sent to the king the share which he 
had himself wrung from Achard, Richard indignantly re- 
jected it, vowing that he would have all. This Achard and 
Ademar both refused, and the king laid siege to Chalus. 3 

This place, not far from the western border of the 
Limousin, is now represented by two villages, known con- 
jointly as Chalus-Chabrol, and built upon the summits of 
two low hills, at whose foot winds the little stream of Tar- 
doire. Each hill is crowned by a round tower of late twelfth- 
century work ; the lower one is traditionally said to be the 
keep of the fortress besieged by Richard with all his forces 
at Mid-Lent II99- 4 In vain did Achard, who was utterly 
unprepared to stand a siege, protest his innocence and offer 
to submit to the judgement of the French king's court, as 
supreme alike over the duke of Aquitaine and over his 
vassals ; in vain did he beg for a truce till the holy season 

1 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. v. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 
155. Rigord (ib. p. 42) describes the finder as a soldier. 

2 " Qui posteris, quo tempore fuerant, certam dabant memoriam," adds Rigord 
(as above), p. 43. Is it possible that the thing can have been a real relic of some 
of the old Gothic kings of Aquitania ? 

3 This seems to be the only way of reconciling the different accounts in Rog. 
Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 82, Rigord (as above), p. 42, Will. Armor, as 
above, and R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 94. 

4 Will. Armor (as above) says the treasure was discovered after Mid-Lent. But 
Rog. Howden (as above, p. 84), Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs, vol. i. p. 593), R. Cogges- 
hall (Stevenson, p. 95), and the Ann. of Margam, Winton. and Waverl. a. 1199 
(Luard, Ann. Monast., vol. i. p. 24, vol. ii. pp. 71, 251), all tell us that Richard 
received his death-wound on March 26 Friday, the morrow of Mid-Lent and 
R. Coggeshall adds that this was the third day of the siege, which must therefore 
have begun on Wednesday, March 24. 


should be past ; in vain, when the outworks were almost 
wholly destroyed and the keep itself undermined, 1 did he 
ask leave to surrender with the honours of war for himself 
and his men. Richard was inexorable ; he swore that he 
would hang them all. 2 With the courage that is born of 
despair, Achard, accompanied by six knights and nine 
serving- men, retired into the keep, determined to hold it 
until death. 3 All that day Friday, March 26 4 Richard 
and his lieutenant Mercadier, the captain of his mercenaries, 5 
prowled vainly round the walls, seeking for a point at which 
they could assault them with safety. 6 Their sappers were 
all the while undermining the tower. 7 Its defenders, find- 
ing themselves short of missiles, began throwing down beams 
of wood and fragments of the broken battlements at the 
miners' heads. 8 They were equally short of defensive arms ; 
one of the little band stood for more than half the day upon 
a turret, with nothing but a frying-pan for a shield against 
the bolts which flew whistling all around him, yet failed to 
drive him from his post. 9 At last the moment came for 
which he had been waiting so long and so bravely. Just as 
Richard, unarmed save for his iron head-piece, paused within 

1 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. v. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. ScriptL, vol. v.), p. 155. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 82. Cf. Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 593. 

3 Will. Armor, as above. 4 See above, p. 382, note 4. 

5 On this man's history see an article by H. Geraud "Mercadier; les Routiers 
au xiii e siecle" in BibL de VEcole des Chartes, ser. i. vol. iii. pp. 417 et seq. 
The writers of his own time call him " Marcadeus," " Mercaderius," in every poss- 
ible variety of spelling ; in a charter of his own, printed by Geraud (as above, p. 
444), his style is " ego Merchaderius " ; it seems best therefore to adopt the form 
"Mercadier," which Geraud uses. He was a Proven9al by birth (Mat. Paris, 
Chron. Maj., Luard, vol. ii. p. 421). He makes his first historical appearance in 
1183, in Richard's service, amid the disorders in Aquitaine after the death of the 
young king (Geoff. Vigeois, 1. ii. c. 25, Labbe, Nova Biblicth.^ vol. ii. p. 340). 
He reappears by Richard's side at Vendome in 1194 (Rog. Howden, Stubbs, vol. 
iii. p. 256) ; about this time Richard endowed him with the lands of Bainac in 
Perigord (see his own charter, a. 1195, as referred to above, and Geraud's 
comments, ib. pp. 423-427) . He played a considerable part in Richard's wars 
with Philip (see authorities collected by Geraud, as above, pp. 428-431), remained, 
as we shall see, with Richard till his death, and afterwards helped Eleanor to re- 
gain Anjou for John. He was slain at Bordeaux in April 1200 (Rog. Howden, 
Stubbs, vol. iv. p. 114). 6 Rog. Howden (as above), p. 82. 

7 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 94. 

8 Ibid. Will. Armor, as above. 9 R. Coggeshall, p. 95. 


bow-shot of the turret, this man caught sight of an arrow 
which had been shot at himself from the besieging ranks 
seemingly, indeed, by Richard's own hand and had stuck 
harmlessly in a crevice of the wall within his reach. He 
snatched it out, fitted it to his cross-bow, and aimed at 
the king. 1 Richard saw the movement and greeted it with 
a shout of defiant applause ; he failed to shelter himself 
under his buckler ; the arrow struck him on the left shoulder, 
just below the joint of the neck, and glancing downwards 
penetrated deep into his side. 2 He made light of the wound, 3 
gave strict orders to Mercadier to press the assault with re- 
doubled vigour, 4 and rode back to his tent as if nothing was 
amiss. 5 There he rashly tried to pull out the arrow with 
his own hand. 6 The wood broke off, the iron barb remained 
fixed in the wound ; a surgeon attached to the staff of 
Mercadier was sent for, and endeavoured to cut it out ; un- 
luckily, Richard was fat like his father, and the iron, buried 
deep in his flesh, was so difficult to reach that the injuries 
caused by the operator's knife proved more dangerous than 
that which had been inflicted by the shaft of the hostile 
crossbow-man. 7 The wounded side grew more swollen and 
inflamed day by day ; the patient's constitutional restless- 
ness, aggravated as it was by pain, made matters worse ; s 
and at last mortification set in. 9 

1 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. v. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 156. 
Cf. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 82. 

2 ' ' Percussitque regem super humerum sinistrum juxta colli spondilia, sicque 
arcuato vulnere telum dilapsum est deorsum ac lateri sinistro immersum. " R. 
Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 95. See also the briefer accounts of the scene and the 
wound in Rog. Howden and Will. Armor, as above, and Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), 
vol. i. p. 593. 3 R- Coggeshall as above. 

4 Rog. Howden as above. 5 Ibid. R. Coggeshall as above. 

6 R. Coggeshall as above. Rog. Howden (as above), p. 83, lays the blame of 
this unskilful operation upon the doctor. 

7 Rog. Howden and R. Coggeshall as above. 

8 The English writers Rog. Howden and R. Coggeshall try to shift the 
blame of their king's death as much as possible upon the foreign surgeon. Will. 
Armor, (as above) attributes it wholly to Richard's disregard of the doctor's orders ; 
and even~R. Coggeshall (Stevenson, p. 96) is obliged to add at last "rege .... 
pnecepta medicorum non curante." Rog. Wendover. (Coxe), vol. iii. p. 135, says 
the arrow was poisoned, but this seems to be only an inference from the result. 

9 R. Coggeshall as above. 


Then Richard, face to face with death, came to his better 
self once more, and prepared calmly and bravely for his end. 
Until then he had suffered no one to enter the chamber 
where he lay save four barons whom he specially trusted, 
lest the report of his sickness should be bruited about, 1 to 
discourage his friends or to rejoice his foes. Now, he 
summoned all of his followers who were within reach to 
witness his solemn bequest of all his dominions to his brother 
John, and made them swear fealty to John as his successor. 2 
He wrote to his mother, who was at Fontevraud, requesting 
her to come to him ; 3 he bequeathed his jewels to his nephew 
King Otto, and a fourth part of his treasures to be dis- 
tributed among his servants and the poor. 4 By this time 
Chalus was taken and its garrison hung, according to his 
earlier orders all save the man who had shot him, and who 
had apparently been reserved for his special judgement. 
Richard ordered the man to be brought before him. " What 
have I done to thee," he asked him, " that thou shouldest 
slay me?" "Thou hast slain my father and two of my 
brothers with thine own hand, and thou wouldst fain have 
killed me too. Avenge thyself upon me as thou wilt ; I will 
gladly endure the greatest torments which thou canst devise, 
since I have seen thee upon thy death-bed." " I forgive 
thee," answered Richard, and he bade the guards loose him 
and let him go free with a gift of a hundred shillings. 5 The 

1 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 96. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 83. And this, although he and John 
had parted on bad terms shortly before. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 99. Mag. 
Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 287. 3 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 96. 

4 Rog. Howden as above. 

5 Ibid. Cf. the different account of the captive's demeanour in Gerv. 
Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 593. It seems impossible to make out who this man 
really was. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 166, the Ann. Margam, a. 1199 
(Luard, Ann. Monasf., vol. i. p. 24), the anonymous continuator of Geoff. 
Vigeois (Labbe, Nova Biblioth.^ vol. ii. p. 342) and Rog. Wend. (Coxe), vol. 
iii. p. 135, call him Peter Basilius or Basilii. Gervase calls him John Sabraz ; 
Rog. Howden, Bertrand de Gourdon ; and Will. Armor. Philipp., \. v. 
(Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v. p. 156), Guy, without any surname at 
all. But as Geraud proves (art. " Mercadier," in Bibl. de V Ecole des Chartes, ser. 
i. vol. iii. pp. 433, 434, 442), it cannot have been Bertrand de Gourdon ; for the 
only man who is known to have borne that name was still living in 1231, while 
Rog. Howden himself tells us that Richard's pardon did not avail to save the life 

VOL II. 2 C 


story went that Richard had not communicated for nearly 
seven years, because he could not put himself in charity with 
Philip. 1 Now, on the eleventh day after his wound April 
6, the Tuesday in Passion-week 2 he made his confession 
to one of his chaplains, and received the Holy Communion. 
His soul being thus at peace, he gave directions for the dis- 
posal of his body. It was to be embalmed ; the brain and 
some of the internal organs were to be buried in the ancient 
Poitevin abbey of Charroux ; the heart was to be deposited 
in the Norman capital, where it had always found a loyal 
response ; the corpse itself was to be laid, in token of penit- 
ence, at his father's feet in the abbey-church of Fontevraud. 3 
Lastly, he received extreme unction ; and then, " as the day 
drew to its close, his day of life also came to its end." 4 
His friends buried him as he had wished. S. Hugh of Lin- 
coln, now at Angers on his way to protest against a fresh 
spoliation of his episcopal property, came to seal his forgive- 
ness by performing the last rites of the Church over this 
second grave at Fontevraud, 5 where another Angevin king 
was thus " shrouded among the shrouded women " his own 

of his slayer. Mercadier detained the man till the king was dead, and then had 
him flayed and hanged ; Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 84 ; or, according 
to another account, he sent him to Jane, and it was she who took this horrible 
vengeance for her brother's death. Ann. Winton. a. 1199 (Luard, Ann. Monast., 
vol. ii. p. 71). 

1 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 96. This must be, at any rate, an exaggera- 
tion ; for Richard had certainly communicated upon at least one occasion within 
the last five years at his crowning at Winchester in April 1194. Gerv. Cant. 
(Stubbs), vol. i. p. 526. 

2 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 166 ; Gerv. Cant, (as above), p. 593 ; Rog. 
Howden as above ; Rog. Wend. (Coxe), vol. iii. p. 136 ; Ann. Winton. and 
Waverl. a. 1199 (Luard as above, pp. 71, 251); Geoff. Vigeois Contin. (Labbe, 
Nova Biblioth.) vol. ii.), p. 342. R. Coggeshall as above, and the Chron. 
S. Flor. Salm. a. 1199 (Marchegay, Eglises, p. 194), make it April 7 ; on the part 
of R. Coggeshall, however, this is clearly a mere slip, for he rightly places the 
death on the eleventh day after the wound. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. 
Scriptt.^ vol. v.), p. 42, and the Chron. S. Serg. a. 1199 (Marchegay, Eglises, p. 
151), date it April 8, and the Ann. Margam, a. 1199 (Luard, as above, vol. i. p. 
24), April 10. 

3 Rog. Howden as above. Cf. Rog. Wend, as above. 

4 "Cum jam dies clauderetur, diem clausit extremum." R. Coggeshall as 

5 Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 286. The funeral was on Palm Sunday ; 



mother, doubtless, in their midst. 1 He was laid to sleep in 
the robes which he had worn on his last crowning-day in 
England, five years before. 2 His heart was enclosed in a 
gold and silver casket, carried to Rouen, and solemnly de- 
posited by the clergy among the holy relics in their cathedral 
church ; 3 and men saw in its unusual size 4 a fit token of 
the mighty spirit of him whom Normandy never ceased to 
venerate as Richard Cceur-de-Lion. 

1 She seems not to have got his letter in time to see him alive. Berengaria was 
at Beaufort in Anjou, whither S. Hugh turned aside to visit and comfort her on his 
way from Angers to Fontevraud ; and the state of intense grief in which he found 
her supplies another proof of Richard's capacity for winning love which he did not 
altogether deserve. Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 286. 

2 Ann. Winton. a. 1199 (Luard, Ann. Monast., vol. ii. p. 71). 

3 Will. Armor. Philipp., 1. v. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt.,vQ\. v.), p. 157. 

4 Gerv. Cant. (Stubbs), vol. i. p. 593. According to the Ann. Winton. as 
above, it was "paulo majus pomo pini." 



" IN the year 1199," says a contemporary French writer, 
" God visited the realm of France ; for King Richard was 
slain." 1 Richard's death was in truth the signal for the 
break-up of the Angevin dominiQns_Jp_jthe_profit of the 
French-Crown. John, who was at the momentum Britamiyp 
hurried southward as soon as he heard the news. Three 
days after the funeral on April 14, the Wednesday before 
Easter he arrived at Chinon, the seat of the Angevin 
treasury ; the wardens of the castle 2 welcomed him as their 
lord in his brother's stead ; the household of the late king 
came to meet him and acknowledged him in like manner, 
after receiving from him a solemn oath that he would carry 
out Richard's testamentary directions and maintain the 
customs of the lands over which he was called to rule. 3 On 
this understanding the treasury was given up to him by the 
Angevin seneschal, Robert of Turnham. 4 After keeping 
Easter at Beaufort, 5 he proceeded into Normandy ; here he 
was received without opposition, and on the Sunday after 
Easter was invested with the sword, lance and coronet of 

1 Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. Aug. (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), 
p. 80. 

2 "A proceribus quibusdam Anglorum castrum ipsum servantibus. " Mag. 
Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 287. 3 Ibid. 

4 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 86. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 99. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, p. 87. 


the duchy by Archbishop Walter at Rouen. 1 As the lance 
was put into his hands he turned with characteristic levity to 
join in the laughing comments of the young courtiers behind 
him, and in so doing let the symbol of his ducal authority 
fall to the ground. His irreverent behaviour and refusal to 
communicate on Easter-day had already drawn upon him a 
solemn warning from S. Hugh ; and this fresh example of 
his profane recklessness, and its consequence, were noted as 
omens which later events made but too easy of interpretation. 2 
For the moment, however, the Normans were willing to 
transfer to Richard's chosen successor the loyalty which they 
had shewn towards Richard himself; and so, too, were the 
representatives of the English Church and baronage who 
happened to be on the spot, Archbishop Hubert and William 
the Marshal. 3 But in the Angevin lands Philip's alliance 
with the Bretons, fruitless so long as Richard lived, bore 
fruit as soon as the lion-heart had ceased to beat. While 
Philip himself invaded the county of Evreux and took its 
capital, 4 Arthur was at once sent into Anjou with a body of 
troops ; 5 his mother, released or escaped from her prison, 
joined him at the head of the Breton forces ; 6 they marched 
upon Le Mans, whence John himself only escaped the night 
before it fell into their hands; 7 Angers was given up to them 
by its governor, a nephew of the seneschal Robert of Turn- 
ham ; 8 and on Easter-day, 9 while John was actually holding 
court within fifteen miles of them at Beaufort, the barons of 
Anjou, Touraine and Maine held a council at which Arthur 
was unanimously acknowledged as lawful heir to his uncle 
Richard according to the customs of the three counties, and 
their capital cities were surrendered to him at once. 10 At Le 

1 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 166. Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 87, 
88. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 99. Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 293. 

2 Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), pp. 291-294. 

3 Rog. Howden as above, p. 86. 

4 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 43. Will. Armor. Gesta 
Phil. Aug. (ibid.}, p. 80. Cf. R. Coggeshall as above. 5 Rigord as above. 

6 Cf. R. Coggeshall as above, and Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 296, with 
Rog. Howden as above, p. 87. 7 Mag. Vita S. Hug. as above. 

8 Rog. Howden as above, p. 86. 

9 Chron. S. Albin. a. 1199 (Marchegay, Eglises, p. 50). 

10 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 86, 87. Cf. R. Coggeshall as above. 


Mans he met the French king and did homage to him for 
his new dominions, Constance swearing fealty with him. 1 
Shortly afterwards, at Tours, Constance formally placed her 
boy, who was now twelve years old, under the guardian- 
ship of Philip ; and Philip at once took upon himself the 
custody and the administration of all the territories of his 
ward. 2 

Neither in personal influence nor in political skill, how- 
ever, was Constance a match for her mother-in-law. Eleanor 
was, as has been seen, at Fontevraud when Richard died. 
Feeling and policy alike inclined her to favour the cause of 
his chosen successor, her own only surviving son, rather than 
that of a grandson whom most likely she had never even 
seen. She therefore effected a junction with Mercadier and 
his Brabantines as soon as they had had time to march up from 
Chalus, and the whole band of mercenaries, headed by the 
aged queen and the ruthless but faithful Provencal captain, 
overran Anjou with fire and sword to punish its inhabitants 
for their abandonment of John. 3 Having given this proof of 
her undiminished energy, Eleanor, to take away all pretext 
for French intermeddling in the south, went to meet Philip 
at Tours and herself did homage to him for Poitou. 4 By this 
means Aquitaine was secured for John. John himself .had 
made a dash into Maine and burned Le Mans in vengeance 
for the defection of its citizens. 5 He could, however, venture 
upon no serious attempt at the reconquest of the Angevin 
lands till he had secured his hold upon Normandy and 
England ; and for this his presence was now urgently needed 
on the English side of the Channel. 

Archbishop Hubert and William the Marshal had already 
returned to England charged with a commission from John 
to assist the justiciar Geoffrey Fitz-Peter in maintaining 
order there until the new king should arrive. 6 The pre- 
caution was far from being a needless one. The news of 

1 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 43. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 87. The Chron. S. Albin. a. 1200 
(Marchegay, Eglises, p. 51) places this a year later. 

3 Rog. Howden as above, p. 88. 4 Rigord as above. 

5 Rog. Howden as above, p. 87. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 99. 

6 Rog. Howden as above, p. 86. 


Richard's death reached England on Easter Eve ; and its 
consequences appeared the very next morning, when some 
of the nobles and knights went straight from their Easter 
feast to begin a course of rapine and depredation which 
recalls the disorders after the death of Henry I, and which 
was only checked by the return of the primate. Hubert at 
once excommunicated the evil-doers, 1 and, in concert with 
the Marshal, summoned all the men of the realm to swear 
fealty and peaceable submission to John, as heir of Henry 
Fitz-Empress. The peace, however, was not so easy to keep 
now as it had been during the interval between Henry's death 
and Richard's coronation. Since then John himself had set 
an example which those whom he now claimed as his subjects 
were not slow to follow. All who had castles, whether 
bishops, earls or barons, furnished them with men, victuals 
and arms, and assumed an attitude of defence, if not of 
defiance ; and this attitude they quitted only when the 
archbishop, the marshal and the justiciar had called all the 
malcontents to a conference at Northampton, and there 
solemnly promised that John should render to all men their 
rights, if they would keep faith and peace towards him. On 
this me barons took the oath of fealty and liege homage to 
John^^The king of Scots refused to do the like unless his 
lost counties of Northumberland and Cumberland were 
restored to him, and despatched messengers charged with these 
demands to John himself ; the envoys were, however, inter- 
cepted by the archbishop and his colleagues, and the Scot 
king was for a while appeased by a promise of satisfaction 
when the new sovereign should arrive in his island-realm. 2 

On May 25 John landed at Shoreham ; next day he 
reached London; 3 on the 2/th Ascension-day the bishops 
and barons assembled for the crowning in Westminster abbey. 4 
John's coronation is one of the most memorable in English 
history. It was the last occasion on which the old English 
doctrine of succession to the crown was formally asserted 

1 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 98. 

2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 88, 89. 3 Ib. p. 89. 

* Ib. pp. 89, 90. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. pp. 166. ' R. Coggeshall 
(Stevenson), pp. 99, 100. 


and publicly vindicated, and that more distinctly than it had 
ever been since the Norman conquest In the midst of the 
crowded church the archbishop stood forth and spoke : 
" Hearken, all ye that are here present ! Be it known unto 
you that no man hath any antecedent right to succeed 
another in the kingdom, except he be unanimously chosen 
by the whole realm, after invocation of the Holy Spirit's 
grace, and unless he be also manifestly thereunto called by 
the pre-eminence of his character and conversation, after the 
pattern of Saul the first anointed king, whom God set over 
his people, although he was not of royal race, and likewise 
after him David, the one being chosen for his energy and 
fitness for the regal dignity, the other for his humility and 
holiness ; that so he who surpassed all other men of the 
realm in vigour should also be preferred before them in 
authority and power. But indeed if there be one of the dead 
king's race who excelleth, that one should be the more 
promptly and willingly chosen. And these things have I 
spoken in behalf of the noble Count John here present, the 
brother of our late illustrious King Richard, now deceased 
without direct heir ; and forasmuch as we see him to be 
prudent and vigorous, we all, after invoking the Holy Spirit's 
grace, for his merits no less than his royal blood, have with 
one consent chosen him for our king." The archbishop's 
hearers wondered at his speech, because they could not see 
any occasion for it ; but none of them disputed his doctrine ; 
still less did they dispute its immediate practical application. 
" Long live King John !" was the unanimous response; 1 and, 
disregarding a protest from Bishop Philip of Durham against 
the accomplishment of such an important rite in the absence 
of his metropolitan Geoffrey of York, 2 Archbishop Hubert 
proceeded to anoint and crown the king. A foreboding 
which he could not put aside, however, moved him to make 
yet another significant interpolation in the ritual. When he 
tendered to the king-elect the usual oath for the defence of 
the Church, the redressing of wrongs and the maintenance 
of justice, he added a solemn personal adjuration to John, in 

1 Mat. Paris, Chron. Maj. (Luard), vol. ii. pp. 454, 4.55. 
2 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 90. 



Heaven's name, warning him not to venture upon accepting 
the regal office unless he truly purposed in his own mind to 
perform his oath. John answered that by God's help he 
intended to do so. 1 But he contrived to omit the act which 
should have sealed his vow. For the first and last time 
probably in the history of Latin Christendom, the king did 
not communicate upon his coronation-day. 2 

On that very day he made his arrangements for the 
government of the realm which he was already anxious to 
feave as soon as he could do so with safety. G p off rp 3 7 F it 7 - 

wag rnnfirmpH in hk nfflrp nf jngHriar William in that 

of marshal, and both were formally invested with the earl- 
doms whose lands and revenues they had already enjoyed 
for some years Geoffrey with the earldom of Essex, 
William with that of Striguil. At the same time, in defiance 
alike of precedent, of ecclesiastical propriety, and of the 
warnings of an old colleague in the administration, JHugh 
Bardulf, Archbishop Hubert ijnHpri-nnk the office of chan- 
cellor. 3 Next day Job rf>r^wi thp from a ore of the barons, 
and went on pilgrimage to S. Alban's abbey ; 4 he afterwards 
visited Canterbury and S. Edmund's, 5 and thence proceeded 
to keep the Whitsun feast at Northampton. 6 An inter- 
change of embassies with the king of Scots failed to win \Jf 
either the restitution of the two shires on the one hand, or/ 
the required homage on the other ; William threatened to 
invade the disputed territories if they were not made over to 
him within forty days ; John retorted by giving them in 
charge to a new sheriff, the brave and loyal William de 
Stuteville, and by appointing new guardians to the tempor- 
alities of York, as security for the defence of the north 
against the Scots, 7 while he himself hurried back to the sea, 
and on June 20 sailed again for Normandy. 8 

1 Rog. Wend. (Coxe), vol. iii. p. 140. 

2 Mag. Vita S. Hug. (Dimock), p. 293. 

3 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 90, 91. 

4 Rog. Wend, as above. 5 R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 166. 

6 Ibid. Rog. Howden as above, p. 91, says Nottingham', but John was at 
lorthampton on Whit-Monday according to Sir T. D. Hardy's Itin. K. John, a. 
(Introd. Pat. Rolls). 7 Rog. Howden as above, pp. 91, 92. 

8 Ib. p. 92. R. Diceto (as above) says June 19, but Sir T. D. Hardy's Itinerary, 

I (as above), shews John at Shoreham on the 2Oth. 


On Midsummer-day he made a truce with Philip for 
three weeks. 1 At its expiration the two kings held a 
personal meeting ; John's occupation of his brother's ter- 
ritories without previous investiture from and homage to 
Philip was complained of by the latter as an unpardonable 
wrong ; and John was required to expiate it by the cession 
of the whole Vexin to Philip in absolute ownership, and of 
Poitou and the three Angevin counties for the benefit of 
Arthur. This John refused. 2 His fortunes were not yet so 
desperate as to compel him to such humiliation. He had 
already secured the alliance of Flanders ; 3 his nephew Otto, 
now fully acknowledged by the Pope as Emperor-elect, was 
urging him to war with France and promising him the aid 
of the imperial forces ; 4 and his refusal of submission to 
Philip was at once followed by offers of homage and mutual 
alliance from all those French feudataries who had been in 
league with Richard against their own sovereign. 5 The war 
began in September, with the taking of Conches by the 
French king ; this was followed by the capture of Ballon. 
Philip, however, chose to celebrate these first successes by 
levelling Ballon to the ground. As the castle stood upon 
Cenomannian soil, it ought, according to the theory pro- 
claimed by Philip himself, to have been handed over by 
him to Arthur ; Arthur's seneschal William des Roches 
therefore remonstrated against its demolition as an injury 
done to his young lord. Philip retorted that "he would 
not for Arthur's sake stay from dealing as he pleased with 
his own acquisitions." The consequence was a momentary 
desertion of all his Breton allies. William des Roches not 
only surrendered to J ohn the city of Le Mans, which 
Philip and Arthur had intrusted to him as governor, but 
contrived to get the boy-duke of Britanny out of Philip's 
custody and bring him to his uncle, who received him into 
seeming favour and peace. 6 That very day, however, a 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 93. 2 Ib. pp. 94, 95. 

3 The count of Flanders did homage to John at Rouen on August 13 [1199]. 
Ib. p. 93. 4 Ib. pp. 95, 96. 5 Ib. p. 95- 

6 Ib. p. 96. This must have been on September 22 ; see Hardy, Itin. K. 
John, a. i (Intr. Pat. Rolls). 


warning reached Arthur of the fate to which he was already 
doomed by John ; and on the following night he fled away 
to Angers with his mother and a number of their friends. 
Among the latter was the viscount Almeric of Thouars, who 
had just been compelled to resign into John's hands the 
office of seneschal of Anjou and the custody of the fortress 
of Chinon, which he held in Arthur's name ; and it seems 
to have been shortly afterwards that Constance, apparently 
casting off Ralf of Chester without even an attempt at 
divorce, went through a ceremony of marriage with Almeric's 
brother Guy. 1 

The year's warfare again ended in a truce, made in 
October to last till S. Hilary's day. 2 Its author was that 
Cardinal Peter of Capua 3 who had negotiated the last truce 
between Philip and Richard, and who now found another 
occupation in punishing the matrimonial sins of the French 
king: Philip having sent away his queen Ingebiorg of 
Denmark immediately after his marriage with her in 1193, 
and three years later taken as his wife another princess, 
Agnes of Merania. 4 At a Church council at Dijon on 
December 6, 1199, the legate passed a sentence of interdict 
upon the whole royal domain, to be publicly proclaimed on 
the twentieth day after Christmas 5 the very day on which 
Philip's truce with John would expire. It was no doubt 
the prospect of this new trouble which moved Philip, when 
he met John in conference between Gaillon and Les 
Andelys, 6 to accept terms far more favourable to the English 
king than those which he had offered six months before. 
As a pledge of future peace and amity between the two 
kings, Philip's son Louis was to marry John's niece Blanche, 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 96, 97. The marriage of Guy and 
Constance must however have been legalized somehow, for their child was ultimately 
acknowledged as heiress of Britanny. 

2 Ib, p. 97. Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.) p. 43, says S. 
John's day. 3 Rog. Howden as above. 

4 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iii. pp. 224, 306, 307. R. Diceto (Stubbs), 
vol. ii. p. in. Rigord (as above), pp. 36, 37, 40, 42. Will. Armor. Gesta Phil. 
Aug. (ibid.}, pp. 77, 78. "Merania" is Moravia. Rigord and William both 
call the lady Mary, but all scholars seem agreed that Agnes was her real name. 

5 Rigord (as above), p. 43. Will. Armor, (as above), p. 80. Cf. R. Diceto 
(as above), pp. 167, 168. 6 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. p. 106. 


a daughter of his sister Eleanor and her husband King 
Alfonso of Castille ; John was to bestow upon the bride, by 
way of dowry, the city and county of Evreux and all those 
Norman castles which had been in Philip's possession on the 
day of Richard's death ; he was also to give Philip thirty 
thousand marks of silver, and to swear that he would give 
no help to Otto for the vindication of his claim to the 
Empire. The formal execution of the treaty was deferred 
till the octave of midsummer ; and while the aged queen- 
mother Eleanor went to fetch her granddaughter from 
Spain, John_at the end of February took advantage of the 
respite to make a hurried visit to England, 1 for the purpose 
ofjaising the thirty thousand marks which he had promised 
tQ_Philip. This was done by means of a carucage or aid 
of three shillings on every ploughland. 2 As a scutage of a 
most unusual amount two marks on the knight's fee- 
had already been levied since John's accession, this new 
impost was a sor^ burthen upon the cmintry, The abbots 
of some of the great Cistercian houses in Yorkshire with- 
/ stood it as an unheard-of infringement of their rights, to 
I which they could not assent without the permission of a 
* general chapter of their order. John in a fury bade the 
sheriffs put all the White Monks outside the protection of 
the law. The remonstrances of the primate compelled him 
to revoke this command ; but he rejected all offers of com- 
promise on the part of the monks, and " breathing out 
threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the 
Lord " went over sea again at the end of April. 3 As 
France had been suffering the miseries of an interdict ever 
since January, 4 Philip was now growing eager for peace. 
He therefore met John at Gouleton, between Vernon and 
Les Andelys, on May 22, and there a treaty was signed. 
Its solid advantages were wholly on the side of John. In 

1 Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 106, 107. John crossed on February 24 ; 
Ann. Winton, a. 1200 (Luard, Ann. Monast., vol. ii. p. 73). 

2 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 101. Rog. Howden as above, p. 107. 

3 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), pp. 102, 103. The date of John's crossing lies 
between April 28 and May 2. Hardy, Itin. K. John, a. I (Intr. Pat. Rolls}. 

4 Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v.), p. 43 ; Rog. Howden as 
above, p. 112. R. Diceto (Stubbs), vol. ii. p. 168, says only since Mid-Lent. 


addition to the concessions made in January, he did indeed 
resign in favour of Blanche and her bridegroom his claims 
upon the fiefs of Berry ; but the thirty thousand marks due 
to Philip were reduced to twenty thousand ; Arthur was 
acknowledged as owing homage to his uncle for Britanny ; 
and John was formally recognized by the French king as 
rightful heir to all the dominions of his father and his elder 
brother. 1 On the morrow Louis and Blanche were married, 
by the archbishop of Bordeaux, and on Norman soil, in con- 
sequence of the interdict in France ; 2 and on the same day, 
at Vernon, John received in Philip's presence Arthur's hom- 
age for Britanny, 3 Philip having already accepted that of 
John for the whole continental dominions of the house of 
Anjou. 4 

The next six weeks were spent by John in a triumphant 
progress southward, through Le Mans, Angers, Chinon, 
Tours and Loches, into Aquitaine, where he remained until 
the end of August. 5 While there, he received the homage 
of his brother-in-law Count Raymond of Toulouse for the 
dower-lands of Jane, 6 who had died in the preceding autumn. 7 
Of all these successes, however, John went far to cast away 
the fruit by a desecration of the marriage-bond almost as 
shameless and quite as impolitic as that which had brought 
upon Philip the wrath of Rome. He persuaded the Aqui- 

1 Treaty in Rymer, Fcedera, vol. i. p. 79, and Rog. Howden (Stubbs), vol. iv. pp. 
148-151. Its date is not quite clear; the document itself bears only " mense 
Maii"; Rigord (Duchesne, Hist. Franc. Scriptt., vol. v. p. 43) says it was 
made on Ascension-day (May 18) ; Rog. Howden (as above, p. 114) begins by 
placing it at the date for which it had been originally fixed the octave of S. 
John Baptist but in the next page corrects this into "xi kalendas Junii, feria 
secunda," i.e. Monday, May 22. R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p, 103, believed the 
thirty thousand marks to have been paid in full. The remission of ten thousand 
of them clearly made no difference to England ; they were pocketed by John. 

2 Rog. Howden as above, p. 115. He says it was at Portmort, on the 
morrow of the treaty i.e. according to his reckoning, on Tuesday, May 23. 
Rigord however (as above), p. 44, dates it "at the same place, on the Monday 
after [Ascension]," i.e. Gouleton, May 22. Hardy's Itinerary, a. 2, shews John 
at La Roche- Andelys (Chateau-Gaillard) daily from May 17 to May 25. The 
places however are all close together. 3 Rog. Howden as above. 

4 R. Coggeshall (Stevenson), p. 101. 

5 See Hardy, Itin. K. John, a. 2 (Intr. Pat. Rolls). 

6 Rog. Howden as above, p. 124. 7 Ib. p. 96. 


tanian and Norman bishops to annul his marriage with his 
cousin Avice of Gloucester, apparently by making them 
believe that the dispensation granted by Clement III. had 
been revoked by Innocent. 1 Instead however of restoring 
to Avice the vast heritage which had been settled upon her 
at her betrothal, he gave her county of Gloucester to her 
sister's husband Count Almeric of Evreux as compensation 
for the loss of his Norman honour, 2 and apparently kept the 
remainder of her estates in his own hands. These proceed- 
ings were_enough to excite the ill-will of a powerful section 
of the English baronage. John's next step was a direct 
challenge to the most active, turbulent and troublesome 
house in all Aquitaine. He gave out that he desired to 
wed a daughter of the king of Portugal, and despatched an 
honourable company of ambassadors, headed by the bishop 
of Lisieux, to sue for her hand ; after these envoys had 
started, however, and without a word of notice to them, he 
suddenly married the daughter of Count Ademar of An- 
gouleme. 3 Twenty-nine years before, Richard, as duke of 
Aquitaine, had vainly striven to wre