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The long reign of Philip Augustus (1180-1223), of which the brief rule of his son Louis VIII may be regarded as a continuation, was the most striking period in the history of the Capetian kings.

Philip, it is true, only laid the foundations of a larger France. He did not, for example, build up a widespread centralised state, whose officials administered a common law subject to the correction of the royal court. In his day France, although in conventional speech it could, as we shall see, be given a wider interpretation, was still, as it long remained, an ill-defined narrow area around the cities of Paris and Orleans, stretching from the district of Senlis in a south-westerly direction to the borders of Berri. It was ill-defined because, although the extent of the royal domain was known, France was not sharply distinguished from districts with which, at any particular point, it might have social or geographical affinities, and this uncertainty was reflected in common speech by the varying usage of a term which had no legal validity. No legal validity, for within this political “France” local custom varied, just as it varied throughout the outlying fiefs, great and small, of the French Crown. In this period the existence of local customs was generally recognised, and within France we find the customs of Senlis and of Orleans, as well as of Paris. And it was the customs of Paris—of the area around Paris—which came to be known in the Middle Ages as the customs of France. They had grown up unaffected by conscious legislation, which is first found in the reign of St Louis. The decrees issued by his grandfather Philip were administrative—a law against blasphemy, an assize of arms, financial measures, an order for the paving of the streets of Paris, and so on. Similarly, we must look forward to St Louis’ reign to find a system of appeal by which the local administration of law could be supervised by the curia regis. Even then men thought with difficulty of the realm of France as a whole, and if lawyers occasionally spoke of a “consuetudo Francie” in the sense of juristic facts common to the whole kingdom, they were normally concerned with the interpretation of local custom.

What King Philip did was to put himself over large stretches of modern France in the same position as he occupied in this narrower medieval France. Needless to say, he was not merely a conqueror, seizing fiefs in which he had no interest. He was the overlord, availing himself of one opportunity after another to take the place of vassals who were weak or dangerous. Thus he gave a content to the traditions of a monarchy which had a Carolingian origin, he made the style used in his charters, “Francorum rex”, mean something, he showed that the feudal ties which connected him with the princes west of the imperial fiefs and north of the Pyrenees had a reality in the nature of things.

Philip was a well-built, fresh-complexioned man. In youth he had, like his natural son, Philip Hurepel, a shock of untidy hair, but in later life he was bald. He is said to have had the effective use of only one eye, a defect of which his enemies were quick to take note. There is a story that a drawing of Philip, depicted with one eye, adorned the wall of King John’s chamber; John showed it one day to Philip’s jester, temporarily a refugee from his master’s wrath, who promptly forfeited all claim to favour by the remark: “No wonder that you all run away from him”. Philip was fond of good living, was very choleric, and by no means a man of strict morals; but he was moderate in his tastes—for example, he disliked display or extravagance in dress—and rapidly recovered from his outbursts of violent temper. Indeed he was, in many ways, a conventional level-headed Frenchman, energetic, practical, observant, a faithful son of the Church, and, though sometimes dominated by passion, rarely swayed by sentiment. He was the master of his household, and the memory of his sayings and little ways lingered long in the family circle. Judged by the standards of the age, Philip’s household must have been an orderly community, perhaps rather dull and austere under the guidance of its observant master. An old man, who in St Louis’ time was still attached to the service of the chamber, had rueful memories of the day on which he had put damp crackling logs upon the fire, and how Philip had in his anger promptly turned him out. Yet the careless fellow returned. On the great festal occasions display was allowed, and the king gave full rein to his natural feelings of generosity to the poor.

On the outside world Philip made a similar impression. In the eyes of some, it is true, he was the model of a glorious and successful King—Philip the Conqueror. The title Augustus, coined for him by his chaplain, William the Breton, was not current in the Middle Ages, but was popularised by the patriotic historians of a later age. In the eyes of others, such as the moralist Giles of Paris, he was a great man spoiled by hardness, avarice, and lust, but yet a real king, preferable to a man like Richard of England. But in general opinion he was a man of great practical wisdom and of apt pithy speech, terrible to the proud and the evil-doer, generous to the poor, always ready to discuss problems of Church or State without prejudice. Not specially cultivated or interested in learning and the arts, he recognised their value to society, and took the trouble to make the acquaintance of leading spirits, a Peter the Chanter or a Stephen Langton. He had an unusual dislike of blasphemy, and his favourite oath was “by the lance of St James”. His sagacity was not the sagacity of a patient, far-sighted, self-restrained man, for he was impulsive and hot in temper; it was the quality of a man whose energies were always well directed and whose mind was always on the alert. It is remarkable that, in spite of his passionate nature, he was very careful for his personal safety. There was a lack of generosity in him, which made him a hard bargainer and, except at Bouvines, a bad leader in battle. He shrank from death, as he shrank from all sorts of waste and extravagance. And, just as he was a master of political intrigue, so he loved the science of military engineering, and preferred to undermine a fortress rather than to take it by assault.

The story of Philip’s domestic life and of the marriage alliances in which he was concerned, is a good illustration both of his character and of the close relations which existed, in the life of a powerful medieval ruler, between his private affairs, the extension of his domain, and the course of his public or foreign policy. Through his mother Adela of Champagne, he was closely connected with the great family which impinged on either side upon the royal domain. When he was associated with his father Louis VII a few mouths before the latter’s death (1 November 1179-18 September 1180), the lad of fourteen seemed likely to fall under the control of his four uncles, William, Archbishop of Rheims, Henry I, Count of Champagne, Theobald V, Count of Blois and Chartres, the last of the Seneschals of France, and Stephen, Count of Sancerre. The rich valleys of the middle Loire and of the upper Seine and its tributaries, with their noble churches, prosperous towns, and busy fairs were firmly held by a single house, whose closely-knit interests might well stifle those of the Crown. As we shall see, Philip from the outset shewed that he had other ideas. Family solidarity was maintained and lasted well into the next century, but Philip, like Saint Louis, was always sufficiently sure of himself to take his own line. He was indeed too much of a realist to be swayed by the influences of kinship. So far as is known, he was quite indifferent, for example, to the fortunes of his sister Agnes of France, who, in the year of his accession, was sent off, a child of eight years of age, to begin her troubled and romantic career in the East.

Philip’s own marriages were as much dictated by political prudence as were his sister’s, while his domestic life was even more chequered by passion; yet the astuteness of the man was unfailing, so that the stormiest episodes of his private life are inseparable from the grave interplay of the interests of Church and State and the relations between the Papacy and the Empire. His first marriage, which took place in April 1180, lasted ten years, until 1190, when his wife Isabella of Hainault, the mother of the later Louis VIII, died at the age of nineteen. The history of this marriage, Philip of France’s earliest effort in self-emancipation, is the main theme in the history of the early years of the reign, and the agreements to which it gave rise affected the course of Franco-Flemish relations until 1226. Directly or indirectly it added to the French domain Artois; Valois, and Vermandois. Philip’s second marriage, with Ingeborg of Denmark, was inspired by less realistic political considerations, while its unhappy outcome involved him in a very serious conflict with Pope Innocent III. The story cuts across the main themes of our narrative and; at the risk of some loss in chronological sequence, may be told at once. In 1193 Philip had in hand a great attack upon Normandy. As part of a wider plan, he had also collected a fleet for the invasion of England. His alliance at this time with Canute VI, King of Denmark, was inspired by a desire for Danish aid. In return for a marriage alliance he is said to have asked for the transference to himself of the traditional claims of the successors of the great Canute to the English throne and for the assistance of the Danish forces for a year. The prospect of an understanding was not unattractive to Canute; French fashions and French culture had become the vogue, and the dismemberment of the great Saxon duchy in north Germany had not entirely relieved Denmark from its fears of German interference. But he was not prepared to go so far as Philip wished. He consented to send his sister Ingeborg, a beautiful girl of eighteen, with a dowry of 10,000 marks of silver, and the marriage took place in August at Amiens. The king’s pleasure in his bride changed in a few hours to a strong feeling of aversion, which he did not conceal during her coronation on the following day. The long agony of Ingeborg, which is fully revealed in the voluminous correspondence between king, queen, relatives, and the papal court, lasted for twenty years. It is clear that Philip was affected by a physical repugnance which he could only attribute to some evil agency (maleficium). He was in this regard no longer the politician, but a man whose sense of desperation in an intolerable situation rendered him, now reckless and cruel, now treacherously complaisant. The goodness of Ingeborg was not seriously in question, and her helplessness in a strange country among people whose language she did not understand stirred widespread sympathy. At one time she would be treated with a measure of consideration, at other times she was taken from convent to convent, or kept prisoner in a royal castle. During the worst period, some ten years after her marriage, she complained to the Pope that she was denied all society, denied too all the consolations of religion save an occasional mass and an occasional visit from some monk. She could have with her no congenial companions, could not choose her own confessor, was given bad food, and was deprived, not only of the comforts which befitted her station, but even of the necessary aids to a life of decency. But throughout she showed herself as determined to insist upon her rights as Philip was to refuse them. The Popes to whom she appealed for justice were in a painful position. The octogenarian Celestine III did his best for her, but he had. his own difficulties. Innocent III showed his usual persistence, but Philip withstood him for fifteen years. This was a matter in which, so long as Ingeborg was not definitely repudiated as queen, only moral pressure could be exerted, and in which—as public affairs must outweigh domestic concerns—the wisest policy was a policy of patience.

At first Philip put himself clearly in the wrong. He persuaded a council of bishops and magnates at Compiegne that Ingeborg and he were related within the prohibited degrees; and the French bishops, headed by the Archbishop of Rheims, dissolved the marriage. The queen and her brother appealed to the Pope, Celestine III, who, after an examination of the evidence, annulled the decision (May 1195). Disregarding the papal injunctions, Philip took a more irrevocable step in defiance of the Church and, after approaching several ladies in vain, took as his wife in June 1196 Agnes, the daughter of the Duke of Meran or Merania, the great fief recently carved out of Bavaria by the Hohenstaufen for the Counts of Andechs. In the face of these facts the strong-minded Innocent, who succeeded to the Papacy in 1198, could not hesitate. The relations between Philip and Ingeborg might cause perplexity, but there could be no doubt what his duty was so long as Philip flouted a papal decree and lived with an intruder. Kings must be taught that they were not exempted from the duties of the ordinary Christian. The legate, Peter of Capua, was instructed to lay France under an interdict unless Philip would take back his lawful wife. After a fruitless council at Dijon in December 1199 the legate withdrew to Vienne, in imperial territory, and there, in another council, published the interdict on 13 January 1200.

France was not unfamiliar with the interdict, a favourite means of ecclesiastical pressure; but the terms of this particular suspension of spiritual gifts were severe, the occasion had been solemnly advertised, and feeling on both sides ran high. At first acquiescence was general, but soon the French clergy were strangely divided, and while some bishops, including the Archbishop of Sens and the Bishop of Paris, braved the displeasure of the king and the temporary alienation from their sees, many rallied to him. But on the whole, as the effects of the interdict made themselves felt, feeling turned against the king. During these months France was at peace, and popular enthusiasm was being aroused by preachers and papal propaganda for a new crusade. Innocent, without abating his demands, prepared for a settlement. He sent a new legate, Cardinal Octavian of Ostia, a member of his own family and a relative of the king. If Philip would repudiate Agnes and recognise Ingeborg, proceedings for a new trial might be opened. By this time Philip also was ready to compromise. The bishops, however friendly, were wavering and unhappy; there were some active men who, we may be fairly certain, stood out for peace, men like the outspoken Giles of Paris and Peter of Corbett, the new Bishop of Beauvais, an old master in the Schools of Paris, who had at one time had the Pope among his pupils. Obstinacy would bring excommunication upon the king. So at another great council of the great men of the kingdom Philip met Ingeborg, for the first time since the Council at Compiegne, in the presence of the legate. He undertook to recognise her as his wife until the legal issue was decided in six months’ time, and, on the strength of this understanding, the interdict was raised (7 September 1200). Agnes of Meran was separated from the king, but Ingeborg was placed in irksome confinement in the castle of Étampes.

So long as Philip did not persist in his repudiation of Ingeborg he was free to act as he pleased. He availed himself fully of this advantage at the council which met at Soissons in the following March. Elaborate preparations had been made for the trial. A second legate, the Benedictine John, cardinal-priest of St Paul, was on the way. Philip came with a band of jurists, the defenders of Ingeborg with their evidence and genealogies. As the cardinal Octavian was regarded with suspicion by the Danish party, the council was adjourned until his colleague arrived. At first the king had the advantage, and the most impressive defence of Ingeborg was made by an unknown cleric; but the arrival of John of St Paul changed the outlook. Philip decided that it was time for him to assume a dramatic part; early one spring morning he rode away with Ingeborg as his lawful wife; and the council was dissolved with nothing decided. In July Agnes of Meran—whose lot cannot have been a happy one—did Philip a last service by dying. The king established a nunnery in her memory and secured from the Pope the legitimation of her children. Ingeborg had to suffer twelve more years of neglect, humiliation, and cruelty, while the paper warfare went on interminably. At last in April 1213, in the midst of his arrangements for the invasion of England as the champion of an outraged Church, Philip took back his queen as suddenly as twenty years before he had rejected her. Everything was put right, all criticism was stilled, and everybody was or pretended to be happy. Ingeborg survived her husband for many years.

Agnes of Meran left two children, who were legitimated by the Pope. Mary, the elder, was used by her father with characteristic skill as a pawn in his political intrigues. She was betrothed to Arthur of Brittany, and, after the disappearance of that unfortunate young man, to Philip, Margrave of Namur, the brother of Baldwin of Flanders. Baldwin’s absence on crusade, and his subsequent desertion of his western fief for the glories of empire in Constantinople, gave Philip of Namur additional importance. In 1206 the King of France attached him to his side, and the betrothal to Mary was part of the bargain. The pair were married in January 1211, but Philip of Namur died in the next year, and at the Great Assembly of Soissons in 1213 his young widow—a girl of sixteen or so—was given to her father’s Rhenish ally, Henry of Brabant. The marriage was part of the elaborate compact by which the Duke of Brabant was bound to the side of Philip Augustus and Frederick of Hohenstaufen, and undertook to help the former in the projected invasion of England. Mary’s brother, the second child of Agnes of Meran, was destined, almost from his birth, for an equally important role. He was named Philip after his father, and like his father was conspicuous by the shock of disorderly hair which gave him the nickname, Hurepel. In 1201, while a baby in the castle of Poissy, he was betrothed to Ida, the heiress of Boulogne. The compact was renewed in 1209, when Philip Augustus began to suspect the fidelity of the Count of Boulogne, Renaud of Dammartin; and it was carried through after Renaud’s fall in 1214. Nine years later, in 1223, Philip Hurepel was invested with the fief of Boulogne, and, as one of the great magnates of France, bore the sword at the coronation of his nephew, Louis IX.

The story of Ingeborg and of the interdict of 1200 throws much inci­dental light upon France and French society at the end of the twelfth century. The disputes with the Pope revealed the strength of the ties between the Crown and the clergy, and the possibilities of the independent temper which was to develop the Gallicanism of later days. The limitation of the interdict to a definite area, which did not correspond with diocesan but with feudal boundaries, raised legal difficulties whose settlement was to be an important precedent. The interdict, according to the choniclers, was laid upon the whole of France (Francia tota), a phrase which gives us the current as distinct from the strict definition of France, for the country affected was, in the Pope’s words, terra quae regi tunc temporis adhaerebat, and the list of bishops involved shows that France in this sense included the lands of Champagne, Blois, Burgundy, Nevers, and the fiefs of the north-east to the English Channel, but not the great fiefs of the north and west and south. Normandy and Aquitaine were clearly not regarded as “adhering” to Philip, although their lord had done homage. It was a curious result of this distinction between France and the fiefs of the Plantagenets that the marriage between the twelve-year-old Louis and his twelve-year-old bride, Blanche of Castile, was celebrated within the Norman frontier, by the Archbishop of Bordeaux (May 1200). This marriage, so fraught with consequences, was part of an undertaking with Blanche’s uncle, King John of England, and it took place in Normandy because the interdict prevented its celebration in France.

Such was Philip Augustus, a man who was able, through his steady waiting on circumstance, to turn even his passions and domestic errors to political advantage. The story of his reign has a threefold interest: first, the advance to the north-east, with the accompanying assertion of his mastery over his powerful relatives and vassals; secondly, his successful contest with the great house of Anjou; thirdly, his steady consolidation of his victories by the rounding off and administration of his vast new domain. Or, in other words, it is the story of the assertion of the supre­macy, within a wider France, of the overlord in Paris and Orleans of the narrow Francia.

Philip was born in August 1165 and was only fourteen years of age when he was associated with Louis VII as King of France. His marriage in the following April, some months before his father’s death, was his first act of self-assertion, for it was a declaration of alliance with Philip of Alsace, the Count of Flanders, against the family of his mother, Adela of Champagne. Philip of Alsace was the sort of man—brilliant, adventurous, astute, successful—to appeal to any boy of spirit, beset by a group of uncles who regarded their power as a matter of course. The pair disregarded the prejudices of the family. The young king married the count’s niece Isabella of Hainault; and, early one morning, the queen was crowned in the abbey of Saint Denis, not by the Archbishop of Rheims, but by the Archbishop of Sens. Her dowry, the lands known in later days by the name of Artois, but at this time a group of fiefs in western Flanders, was retained for the present by Philip of Alsace, who, with her father Baldwin V of Hainault, doubtless expected to step into the place of the queen-mother and her brothers as chief advisers of the Crown.

Philip would seem to have scented the danger which lay in his alliance with Philip of Alsace, as soon as he had incurred it. Within a few weeks of his marriage he came to an understanding with his most powerful neighbour and vassal, King Henry. Henry, perhaps warned by the king’s relatives, had crossed to Normandy, for the Counts of Flanders and Hainault were prepared to join their new ally in a fresh adventure—this time in pursuit of the rights against Henry which Philip had inherited, as a trust from his father, in Berry. It is probable that at this stage his paternal uncles, the Count of Dreux and Peter of Courtenai, pointed out to Philip what risks he ran, possible also that Theobald of Blois, the most pacific and wary of his mother’s brothers, became uneasy. At all events Philip and Henry met near Gisors in June 1180 and, renewing the arrangement made at Nonancourt in 1177, agreed to submit their dispute in Berri to arbitration. And it is also clear that the Count of Flanders was disillusioned; during the next few years, in alliance with various members of the house of Champagne and Blois, notably Stephen of Sancerre, he was engaged in a feud with his boy-suzerain. This feud was the expression of a continuous sense of hostility or suspicion, not a sustained war; its history is a record of manoeuvres, of a purely opportunist kind. Philip of Alsace could not rely upon a definite group of allies, bound together by identical interests. He soon lost the united support, if he ever had it, of the king’s maternal uncles. Theobald V of Blois stood aloof, Henry of Champagne died, the Archbishop of Rheims returned to his nephew’s side to become for many years his right-hand man, the protector, as Philip expressed it in 1184, of youth against faithless adversaries, “in consiliis nostris oculus vigilans, in negociis dextra manus”. The Count of Flanders probably set more hope upon his Rhenish connexion, and upon the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who was on the look-out for support for his son, afterwards the Emperor Henry VI; but the princes of the Low Countries could never combine for long, and Frederick was far too busy elsewhere to do more than give temporary undertakings, exchange embassies, and send parties of knights.

The interest of these alliances lies in the light which they throw upon local politics, and in the possibilities which they suggested. They did something, no doubt, to prepare the way for the combinations formed later by Richard and John of England. The closest ally of Philip of Alsace was his brother-in-law, Baldwin V of Hainault, the father of the young Queen of France, but even this connexion was shaken by his marriage, shortly after the death of his first wife, Isabella of Vermandois, to a daughter of Alfonso I, King of Portugal. At this time (1182) Philip was about forty years of age and might well have an heir; and, if he did, the prospects, which were in fact realised later, of a union between Flanders and Hainault would vanish. The danger which beset his daughter, as a result of his military demonstrations against the King of France, weighed still more heavily upon Baldwin. The situation was an unnatural one; and at last the eighteen-year-old king showed his resentment (and revealed his character) by threatening to repudiate the queen. A. great Council of the realm gathered at Senlis in March 1184, and only expostulations of his advisers deterred Philip from his foolish purpose. Yet the threat had effect, for, during the absence of Philip of Alsace on a visit to the tomb of St Thomas at Canterbury, Baldwin V came to a definite understanding with his formidable son-in-law. It seemed at last that war would be waged in earnest. An alliance between a King of France and Hainault, an imperial fief, was a dangerous thing. Hainault was attacked and ravaged by the forces of Flanders, Brabant, and Cologne, while Baldwin looked on, helpless, if safe, in Mons. The king prepared a host—the first great military achievement of his reign—for the invasion of Vermandois and Flanders. In the early summer of 1185 he moved northwards from Compiegne towards Amiens and encamped at Boves, at the junction of the Somme and the Avre. The Count of Flanders, after seeking in vain for help from King Henry II and the Emperor, came to terms, and in July a treaty was concluded which enlarged the French domain as it had never been enlarged since the accession of Hugh Capet.

When Isabella of Vermandois and Valois, Countess of Flanders, died in 1182, the problem of the succession to Vermandois had been raised; and the manoeuvres of the next three years were dictated by the natural desire of Philip of Alsace to retain this valuable fief and of Philip of France to secure it. The country of Vermandois, extending over the valleys of the Somme and the Oise, comprised Vermandois proper (Peronne, St Quentin, etc.), Amiens, and Montdidier with their chatellénies. The Count of Flanders asserted that, although it was the fief of his late wife, he had acquired lawful right to it. Eleanor, wife of the Chamberlain of France, Matthew III Count of Beaumont-sur-Oise, claimed to succeed as the sister of Isabella. The king, while favouring the heiress, based his own claim on kinship in the seventh degree with Isabella to the exclusion of all collateral heirs. Leaving Valois to Eleanor, he strove from the outset to gain effective control of Vermandois. In consequence of the settlement with the Count of Flanders in July 1185 Vermandois was divided. Philip took Amiens, Montdidier, and numerous other fiefs in the west, Philip of Alsace was allowed Vermandois proper, i.e. Péronne, St Quentin, and Ham, with the proviso that his suzerain had the power of rachal. Baldwin V of Hainault was to be indemnified for his losses in war, and the alliance with Flanders was to be renewed.

By this treaty Philip of Alsace lost control of the city of Amiens and of over sixty castles. All that he retained in Vermandois was the title of count and a life interest in the eastern part of the county. After his death in Palestine (1191) Philip Augustus secured Péronne by the treaty of Arras (March 1192), while Eleanor was granted a life interest in St Quentin. On her death, in June 1213, the king took the last step in this piecemeal absorption of her sister’s inheritance, and added Valois and St Quentin, with their dependencies, to the Crown. He was thus immediate lord of a line of cities and fiefs which lay continuously from Paris to Montreuil-sur-Mer. In due course he would be able to take over the lands of Artois which he claimed in right of his wife.

The failure of Philip of Alsace in 1185 put an end to the lofty ambitions, but not to the restless activity, of this brilliant and versatile prince. Henry II and the Emperor combined to reconcile him to Philip of France. In March 1186 he was at Amiens, when the alliance with Philip and Baldwin of Hainault was firmly established. For the rest of his life he was faithful to the king. He helped him to strengthen his position in view of the inevitable conflict with the house of Anjou, and accompanied him on his crusade.

Hence, when Philip Augustus, ten years after his marriage to Isabella of Hainault, made his arrangements for the government of France during his absence in the East, he had cleared the way for the second great achievement of his reign. He had become master in his own house; he could rely upon the great families, all closely related to his own, of Champagne, Flanders, and Hainault. His domain extended from the Loire to the English Channel. He was on friendly terms with Pope and Emperor and, a young man of twenty-five, strong, wary, and rich in experience, was inferior to no European prince in prestige and ability. And, as we must now see, he had already shown his intention of asserting his authority in the West, and of availing himself to the full of the opportunities opened up to him by the discords in the family life of the house of Anjou.

In 1180 the relations between the houses of France, Blois, and Anjou were close. The daughters of Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Philip’s half-sisters and Henry’s step-daughters, had married the Counts of Champagne and Blois. Philip’s sister Margaret was the wife of the young Henry, Henry II’s eldest surviving son. Henry and his brother Geoffrey, Count of Brittany, were present at Philip’s coronation and became his personal friends as well as his vassals. When their father protected his young relative in the dangerous time, 1180-1182, during which he was threatened by the combined power of Champagne, Burgundy, and Flanders, these young men abandoned themselves with zest to the war against the allies, especially against the Count of Sancerre. The old king doubtless regarded Philip, much as he regarded his sons, with the mingled feelings of grim affection, tolerance, and suspicion; and it is beside the mark to regard Henry as an imperial statesman and to try to trace in his acts a far-seeing, elaborate, and consistent foreign policy, quite unnatural in the atmosphere of western feudalism. His restless ability, asserted by a series of dramatic accidents, had made the head of the house of Anjou the greatest figure, with the exception of the Emperor, in Europe. As such he was called in 1185 to the rescue of his Angevin kinsman in Palestine and to take control of the kingdom of Jerusalem. But, as a wise householder, he took counsel with his magnates and refused the invitation. His responsibilities in England, Normandy, Anjou, Aquitaine were far too pressing to give room for adventures of this kind. His numerous interventions in European affairs were not directed by logical policy; they were the natural result of his position, the undertakings of everyday sagacity, or the Bashes of royal splendour. Thus, during the controversy with Archbishop Thomas of Canterbury, Henry naturally cultivated the goodwill of the Emperor; his envoys were present at Wurzburg in 1165, and three years later his eldest daughter married the most powerful of Frederick’s vassals, Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria. During the same time Henry sought the friendship of William of Sicily and of the north Italian cities and came to an understanding with his neighbour Alfonso VIII of Castile, who in 1169 married his second daughter, Eleanor. When the dispute with the Church was over, Henry continued to extend his influence in the south, with Raymond V of Toulouse and Humbert III of Savoy. Early in 1173 he met the leading princes of the south at Montferrand in Auvergne; the marriage­treaty was made, which, if it had been carried out, would have given Henry’s son John the control of the Alpine passes and the succession to Savoy; and Raymond V of Toulouse did homage. It is possible that the Italian cities offered him the crown of Italy. In 1176, the year of the imperial defeat at Legnano, the project for a marriage between William II of Sicily and Henry’s youngest daughter Joan, was resumed with the strong support of Alexander III. Joan was married at Palermo in February 1177. There was no deep-rooted hostility to the Emperor, with whom Henry seems always to have been on friendly terms; there was no conscious plan for the “encirclement of France”. If William of Sicily and Joan had left an heir, the Hohenstaufen would not have succeeded to Sicily and the whole history of Europe would have been profoundly changed; but it is not more likely that Henry desired to avert imperialist designs in Sicily than that he expected, through Henry the Lion, to create a new imperialist house in Germany, or, through Alfonso of Castile, to become the great-grandfather of St Ferdinand and St Louis.

Henry had no desire to upset the French kingdom, just as he had no desire to reject the imperial tradition. He was too firmly established and powerful to be alarmed by Philip’s success in 1185, and, with the Emperor, took a hand in reconciling him with the Count of Flanders. A states­man of the twelfth century did not plan to revise the system of feudal relations which composed what, in modern speech, is grandly termed the public law of Europe; and so long as Henry, as was second nature with him, controlled the administration of his dominions and kept the Norman frontier well fortified, he could feel secure. His danger lay in the needless, grasping, treacherous ambitions of his quarrelsome sons. As Philip grew to manhood he realised the opportunity which their domestic passions gave him, not only to settle outstanding disputes with the Angevin house, but also to give reality to his position as the overlord of the Angevin fiefs on the continent. During the twenty years which followed the treaty of Boves, he seized every chance, accustomed his vassals to the idea of a traditional conflict with his neighbour, and then, with a rapidity which must have surprised himself, added the greater part of the Angevin inheritance to his French domain.

In the autumn of 1177, at Nonancourt, Henry II and Louis VII had agreed to go together on crusade and to submit to arbitration their disputes over Auvergne, Berry, and the Norman Vexin. Not long afterwards they had their last interview at Graçai-en-Berri, presumably to deal with the arbitrators’ award. Whatever this may have been—and it would seem that Henry’s rights of possession at this time suffered no interference—King Louis was bitterly chagrined, for according to the story told many years later by Gerald of Wales, he upbraided Henry for his usurpations, of which the plainest, the most flagrant, was the unjust occupation of Auvergne, and solemnly entrusted the maintenance of his cause to God, his heir, and the barons of the Crown. Indeed, in this year, Henry must have seemed at the height of his power. Since the great rebellion of 1173 he had firmly established his control. In 1175 he revised his arrangements for his sons, and those youthful warriors, Richard and Geoffrey, after doing homage, had been sent to prove their valour and statesmanship in their future fiefs of Aquitaine and Brittany. In Normandy, searching inquiries were made into encroachments upon the demesne, and Richard of Ilchester restored the Exchequer to activity and the finances to order. In 1177, after the treaty of Nonancourt, Henry held his court at Verneuil, where he issued an administrative order, to be observed everywhere in his dominions (potentates), relating to the debts of crusaders. In the same year, in all his continental lands, he took peculiar and systematic care in the appointment of the higher officials (iustitiae et rectores). The pious journey, for which these acts were a preparation, was never made, and when Philip came to the throne, he found Henry still busily at work. The subjugation of Aquitaine had been completed, for the moment, by Richard, whose amazing courage, energy, and perseverance in conquest had already made him famous, and whose determination to build up an orderly centralised state far outweighed his glaring weaknesses in the eyes of the observant ecclesiastics of his time. He helped his father to vindicate feudal right to the wardship of the rich heiress of Châteauroux and Déols in Berry. He demonstrated the extent of ducal power in the Limousin and the recesses of Gascony. And by the dramatic siege of the great fortress of Taillebourg, which surrendered on Ascension Day 1179, he broke the long rebellion of the Count of Angouleme and Geoffrey of Ranson in the heart of the duchy. Henry had already bought out the rights of the Count of La Marche, and had for the time being added it to the domain. By the end of 1179 Richard, now definitely recognised by Henry as Count of Poitou, was supreme from the valley of the Loire to the Pyrenees. In the same year the last Breton revolt, that of Guiomarc’h of Leon, was crushed, and the definite establishment of Geoffrey was followed in 1181 by his marriage, arranged many years before, to Constance, the heiress of Conan IV. In 1180 Henry kept Christmas at Le Mans, and issued an assize of arms—afterwards extended to England, and adopted by the King of France and the Count of Flanders—to be observed “throughout the lands across the sea”. However limited its observance was, this act is striking testimony to the unity of the Angevin dominions. It is not surprising that Philip, after a tentative demonstration against him, decided to postpone the settlement of his grievances and, in 1181, renewed the treaty of 1177.

It would be easy to exaggerate the cohesion of Henry’s vast lordship. The customs of Brittany were not identical with those of Poitou; between Normandy and Gascony the difference was almost incalculable. The common element in administration was provided by Henry’s wandering court, with its chancery and household, and by a group of high officials who executed his writs and acted in his name, not in the name of the provinces which they ruled. Their centres were the castles of the domain, and the castles were the centres of fiscal areas (praepositurae). As time went on, and the series of lordships (excluding Brittany) fell under the rule of one man, first Richard, then John, each great province was administered by a seneschal, who presided over the local exchequer, and was responsible for the lord’s judicial pleas. The official, even the military, element was not necessarily native to the district. Seneschals, castellans, bailiffs, mercenaries might be sent from other Angevin fiefs. They were, so to speak, extensions of the Angevin household, were directed by one will, and were maintained, if need be, from a common fund. Apart from this simple machinery, provincial traditions were upheld. Any disregard of feudal usage was fiercely resented. Legislation, like the Assize of Arms, common to all the Angevin lands was rare and cannot be described as a change in feudal custom. The main effects of union were probably seen in the wider opportunity for trade and social, intercourse, a certain measure of uniformity in financial method and in military engineering, and especially in the grant to communes, in their charters, of the customs and privileges of distant places.

The contrasts which underlay the superficial unity of Henry’s dominium were revealed during the quarter of a century which succeeded the ac­cession of Philip of France. In 1180 Normandy, and the area which included the counties of Maine, Anjou, Touraine, and the district round Poitiers and Bordeaux, were firmly administered, while the fragile ties which bound the greater part of Aquitaine and Gascony to Henry seemed unlikely to endure. In 1205 Philip had secured nearly all the former lands, while John depended upon the Aquitanian nobles for support. The change was not so paradoxical as it appears; for the comparative peace and prosperity of Normandy and Anjou were maintained by a system of government which penetrated the whole of society and would disappear if this system were shattered. A change of rulers was infinitely preferable, in the eyes of the inhabitants, to a state of chaos. When a breach was once made in its defences it was easier to hold a well-organised than a disorganised community. In Normandy Henry had been able to build upon strong foundations, and during the last two decades of the century England and the duchy were better administered than any state to the west of the Byzantine Empire, with the possible exceptions of Sicily and Venice. Under the control of seneschal and bailiffs Normandy had an uninterrupted life which, as was seen during Richard’s absence on crusade, could hold its own against external interference. Its legal customs were well understood, and, although the earliest Norman custumal dates from about the year 1200, some of them had probably been written down before our period begins. The seneschal presided over a financial and judicial system, with its headquarters at Caen, similar to the English system.

The “pleas of the sword” comprised the more important criminal jurisdiction as well as the administrative rights of the duke, and were held by seneschal and justices throughout the duchy, in the franchises no less than the bailiwicks; and the ducal monopoly of a great number of civil pleas had been secured by a development of writs under a series of assizes almost identical with those which regulated civil jurisdiction in England. Before 1180 the older administrative divisions, the vicecomitatus and the praepositurae, had been worked into a system of commands known as bailliae or bailiwicks, whose officers were responsible to the Norman exchequer with duties similar to those of the English sheriff. The bailiffs were frequently castellans, farming the praepositura of the ducal castles within their areas of jurisdiction, but sometimes they co-operated with castellans who were financially responsible or with paid castellans who were not. Henry had overhauled the whole of the Norman defences, especially on the border, and had devised plans whereby he could, if he desired, group the series of castles along the valley of the Eure or of the Epte under a great single military command. In short, while the sense of unity, deep-rooted in tradition, was expressed in feudal custom and a far-reaching administration based upon that of the Franks, the power of the duke was great enough to permit of much conscious artifice and change. The bailiwicks showed the influence of the old ecclesiastical and secular divisions, but were not slavishly defined by them. They were creations of convenience and could be grouped, as they were in John’s short reign, under the control of a few hands, while the castles were distributed among few or many vassals or mer­cenaries.

Owing to lack of material it is not possible to estimate the extent to which this administrative system operated in the other Angevin fiefs. There were provincial seneschals, who were regarded as deputies of the lord and invested, under him, with full powers, provincial exchequers, treasuries in the castles of the domain, and machinery for the farming of revenue and the execution of writs. The system was probably very similar in the fiefs of the great vassals, such as the Count of Angouleme. But naturally, the farther one penetrated from the neighbourhood of Tours and Chinon, of Poitiers, Saintes, and Bordeaux, the less one could rely upon the protection of the overlord. The greater part of Aquitaine and Gascony was in the hands of lords who in their irresponsibility were indistinguishable from the barons in central France as a whole. They belonged to the feudal, society of Auvergne and Burgundy. Their attitude to life was voiced by the poet baron, Bertrand of Born, the claimant of the castle and fief of Hautefort in the Limousin, on the border of Perigord, life, as we see it in Bertrand’s sirventes, was a succession of fierce, joyous impressions; of love and fighting, delightful intrigue and splendid hatred. He looked back with the liveliest distaste upon an unwilling holiday which he had spent with Richard at Henry’s court in Argentan; it was so dull, so incapable of sparkling gibes and laughter; only the presence of Henry’s daughter, the charming Duchess of Saxony, had made it tolerable. Yet Bertrand was a realist. He began by hating Richard, then, as his intrigues came to naught, was forced to a reluctant but, frank admiration, and in the end became his willing servant. The change can be traced in the songs which are a running comment upon the great rebellion which he helped to plan in 1182. This rebellion, which grew out of the endemic unrest of the time, found a rallying-point in the young King Henry, Richard’s elder brother. The story illustrates to perfection the strange quality of twelfth-century feudalism, of these men who professed “gentility”, the mother of “largesse”, despised “covetousness”, quoted the Chansons de geste to each other as a scholar quoted Virgil, and fought like cunning wild-cats over their feudal rights. This spirit affected the Court and even won the grudging acquiescence of the old Henry, but it infected his sons and the nobility of Aquitaine. After the settlement of the years 1177-1181, the king had tried to keep his sons about him, and to prepare for a peaceful and legal succession after his death. He and the younger Henry came to the support of Richard in the summer of 1182, when the league of the Counts of Limoges, his half-brother of Angouleme, the Count of Perigord, and their barons and allies, was temporarily destroyed. But, probably during the campaign, the younger Henry was played off by the barons of Aquitaine against his brother, and his anger was further stirred when Richard built a castle, which he called Clairvaux, just within the borders of Anjou. This irregularity was put right in the course of the Christmas festivities at Caen, but Henry was alarmed and tried to reach a final agree­ment between the brothers shortly afterwards at Le Mans. The brothers swore to keep peace among themselves, Geoffrey did liege-homage to the young Henry for Brittany, and Richard, after discussion, undertook to do the same for Aquitaine. Then the discovery was made that the young king was pledged to the barons of Aquitaine, who must first be consulted. The consultation never took place. Richard hurried off to prepare for war, and the king, reflecting perhaps that they had better fight then than later, angrily encouraged the young Henry to subdue his pride.

The old king soon found that the danger was much greater than he had supposed. He had expected that, after some rough-and-tumble fighting, the barons of Aquitaine would be induced to submit to the arbitration of his court; but the chance given by the young Henry’s interference was not to be missed, and a genuine rising spread rapidly throughout the south. Philip of France had already accepted the homage of Ademar of Angouleme, and now with a good face could send help to his friend and brother-in-law of Anjou. Geoffrey, with the aid of his vassals and mercenaries from Brittany, threw himself eagerly into the fight. The lords of the viscounties and baronies of Gascony and Auvergne joined with those of the Limousin. The Duke of Burgundy and the Count of Toulouse came in on the side of the young Henry, Alfonso of Aragon on the side of Richard. From all directions the young king’s companions-in-arms (bachelors) Hocked to his side, for this adventure was better than any tournament. And, worst of all, the dreaded mercenary bands (routiers), growing as they came, turned out from their lairs—Sancho from the hills of Seraunes, Curbaran, who had adopted the name of a Saracen prince in the Chanson d'Antioche, Raymond, and other leaders of “Tartarean legions”. The famous Mercadier, who was to be Richard’s favourite captain, was also there. Beyond the pale of society, and even of the Church, these bands were well armed and disciplined; they recognised no obligation to the helpless folk whose lands and goods they devastated; they grew rich not merely on their pay, but on the spoils of churches and monasteries, cities and villages. For a few months it seemed as though the Angevin power, and with it whatever existed of social order in Aquitaine, would disappear. The old king came hurrying to the rescue of Richard, and Richard, as usual, was everywhere, doing marvellous deeds of speed, skill, valour, and ruthlessness; but the sudden death, in June 1183, of the young king did more than the lighting could do to end the crisis. The league broke up, the forces of Burgundy and Toulouse slipped away, and in the course of the next, year Richard was once more in control.

The history of the revolt showed how difficult it was to arrange for the future government of Henry II’s possessions on the basis of feudal relations between his sons. It revealed the latent danger from a conflict of feudal claims between the King of France and the Duke of Aquitaine—a source of trouble which was to develop during the next two centuries. Moreover it illustrated the dilemmas created by personal ideas of loyalty. One of the young king’s bachelors was William the Marshal, who was reconciled with his master at this time, and went to him protected by the benevolent assurances both of Philip of France and the old king. The latter is alleged to have encouraged William to do his duty although it involved resistance to himself. On the other hand, when the young king’s seneschal excused himself from service on the ground that he was the liege man of Henry the elder, who at the time was approaching Limoges, he was contemptuously allowed to go. The history of this period, notably of the conquest of Normandy, provides many examples of this conflict of loyalties, so difficult to reconcile with the conception of a self-contained state. It was the unhappy lot of Aquitaine and the adjoining lands to suffer from all the evils of unregulated feudalism. The effects of war did not end with the peace-making of the feudal chiefs. On this particular occasion the havoc and misery were spread far beyond the original home of the disputes, and the wretched people throughout central France themselves sought a remedy from their calamities. During the early part of 1183 the brotherhood of the white-caped friends of peace (capucciati) was spreading rapidly. The movement had begun in Puy-en-Velay with a band of persons gathered together by a carpenter, Durand Dujardin. It aroused universal interest and the story of its origin and development is full of inconsistencies. A sceptical chronicler of Laon says that the carpenter was tricked by a wily canon who desired to keep open the roads for pilgrims to the relics in the cathedral of Puy. The general view was that he was a pious visionary, a kind of St Francis. However this may be, the movement was at first an expression of generous feeling, in which men of all ranks took part. It began as an association of persons who swore to seek peace, it developed into a society for the violent suppression and massacre of the mercenaries; it seems to have changed into a revolutionary sect, seeking to throw off the evils of bondage and to preach the equality of man, and within two or three years of its birth it disappeared, execrated by clergy and laity alike. Many lords called in against it the very mercenaries whom at one time it had helped them to suppress.

The story of the extension of the royal power over the greater part of the Angevin dominions has frequently been told. Here we can only deal with the main tendencies and results; detailed narratives are easily accessible elsewhere.

Henry was not at his best in the years which followed the death of his eldest son. He allowed himself to be distracted from a sensible policy by his affection for his youngest son, John. Richard was by no means unmanageable; though fitful, he was generous, and on more than one occasion during these years he submitted himself impulsively and wholeheartedly to his father’s will. But he refused to be party to any scheme for the surrender of Aquitaine to John, still less to a drastic division of the Angevin inheritance. The situation became acute in 1187 and the mutual suspicion of Henry and Richard gave Philip his opportunity. The growing strength of the French monarchy was patent to all, and before Henry’s death shrewd observers, like Ranulf de Glanville the justiciar, had realized that the advantage lay with Philip rather than with his neighbour.

Henry had never done homage to Philip. The last occasion on which he had solemnly recognised the overlordship of the French King had been in January 1169, during the Becket controversy, when, as we learn from the letters of John of Salisbury, he did homage to Louis VII. But, after the death of the young Henry, an understanding with Philip was necessary; for the Norman Vexin legally returned to Philip’s sister, the widowed Margaret, and, moreover, new plans for the succession to the Angevin fiefs required Philip’s sanction. At the end of 1183 Henry did homage to Philip for all his continental lands and agreed that the Norman Vexin should be regarded henceforth as the dowry of Margaret’s sister, Alice, who should marry one of his sons. In March 1186, at Gisors, this arrangement was confirmed and Richard—in spite of his devotion to Berengaria, the daughter of the King of Navarre—promised to marry Alice. When Geoffrey of Brittany died at Paris in August, the way seemed to be clear, for Geoffrey had always been a disturber of peace. But Philip, with his relatives of the house of Blois and Philip of Flanders now united in his support, saw that the time for strong action had come. Richard had spent the summer in a war with Raymond of Toulouse, wresting from him the turbulent province of Quercy. Philip intervened as overlord, then claimed the wardship of Geoffrey’s child, Arthur, and finally, in April 1187, demanded back the Norman Vexin and the unhappy Alice, who was still unmarried. He followed up this diplomatic attack by a quick and successful campaign in central France. In eastern Berry, Graçai and Issoudun were seized, and Châteauroux was besieged. Henry and Richard joined forces for the protection of Châteauroux, and this first military demonstration ended in June with a truce which was to last for two years; but the great contest had begun, and, in spite of numerous reverses and delays, Philip never rested until he had turned his rights as suzerain—rights of which he availed himself at every turn—into the rights of immediate lordship over Normandy, Anjou, and the greater part of Poitou.

Two very different considerations—the one making for peace, the other for war—complicated the position at this time. The one was the danger in Syria, the other Henry’s plans for John. The truce of June 1187 was followed, later in the year, by the news of Saladin’s dramatic successes in the East. Richard characteristically took the Cross at once, and when he had to crush another rising, headed by Geoffrey of Lusignan, in 1188, insisted among the conditions of peace that his rebellious vassals should go on crusade. Early in 1188 the two kings, moved by the eloquence of the Archbishop of Tyre, also agreed to do the same. The excitement was widespread among the magnates on each side, and in the face of such a crisis, domestic quarrel was seen in its true light, as a piece of criminal folly. During the preparations neither side was to countenance attacks on the other. Unhappily, emotional exaltation cannot remove the natural passions of undisciplined men; unhappily also, the temper of the South was not like that of the North. A series of incidents stirred the dispute between Raymond of Toulouse and Richard to a fierce renewal of war. On the whole, right seems to have been on Richard’s side, and Philip’s earliest remonstrances were not unfriendly. But he did not wish Richard and his mercenaries, who took one town and stronghold after another, to add yet another great fief to Aquitaine, and, when the arbitration of his Court was refused, he threatened to renew his attack. The threat was carried out; Chateauroux fell in June, the Auvergne was overrun, and Philip began operations in Touraine and Maine. Once more Henry and Richard joined forces, once more the desultory fighting was interrupted by negotiations. It was at this stage that the misunderstanding, the outcome of four years of intrigue and suspicion, between Henry and his son enabled Philip to divide them. Richard was doubtless affected by his desire to go on crusade and by the influence of the Count of Flanders, and his vacillation turned to fury against Henry at a fateful meeting which took place between them and Philip at Bonmoulins, in Normandy, on 11 November. In the previous year there had been rumours that Henry was planning to grant to John all the continental fiefs except Normandy; and now, when Henry showed reluctance to recognise Richard as his successor and to proceed with the marriage between him and Alice, Richard’s passion carried him away. He had come to the meeting in Philip’s company, and his father, doubtless seeing that they had arrived at an understanding, refused to confirm under constraint the settlement to which he had himself agreed in 1186. The bystanders saw Richard suddenly kneel down, and perform the act of homage to Philip. The colloquy ended, and father and son went their several ways. By this act Richard was recognised by Philip as his vassal for all continental fiefs, saving Henry’s rights during his lifetime. They stood by each other during the next few months; all Henry’s attempts at compromise, all proposals of ecclesiastical mediation or threat of interdict and excommunication, failed to move them. At a meeting in Whitsuntide 1189, Henry went so far as to offer Philip everything he wanted, if he would substitute John for Richard. This was the end. The allies invaded Normandy and Maine, seized Le Mans, and surrounded Tours. Henry, a dying man, came from Chinon to a last meeting held at Colombières, between Tours and Azai-le-Rideau. He surrendered on all points and, returning to Chinon, died two days later (6 July). He lived long enough to receive from Philip, as he had stipulated, the list of those who had joined the alliance against him, and to hear that the first name upon it was that of his youngest son.

By the treaty of Colombières Richard was recognised as Henry’s successor. The Norman Vexin was to be retained as the dowry of Richard’s future wife Alice. Philip gave back Châteauroux, but received a large indemnity and kept the rest of his conquests in Berry and the immediate suzerainty over Auvergne. Thus he had performed the task with which his father had entrusted him and had prepared the way for the extension of the royal domain in the heart of France.

Philip and Richard resumed their companionship in July 1190, exactly a year after the treaty of Colombières. They joined forces at Vezelai, on their way to the Crusade. They were better matched as foes than as friends. Richard, now thirty-three years of age, was in the full glory of his manhood, Philip was twenty-five. The one was engaged on a great adventure, arrogant in his sense of strength, revelling in his freedom, susceptible to any distraction. The other wits far-sighted, reluctant, uncertain in his physical health, the suzerain of a vassal who took and held a higher place in the opinion of the crusading hosts. In short, they were incompatible, and Philip was at a disadvantage. At Messina Richard refused to fulfil his promise to marry Alice. He was now his own master, he was in love with Berengaria of Navarre, and there was a very ugly story abroad about relations which his father had had with the French princess. So Berengaria came to Sicily and was married, and Philip acquiesced in a revision of the treaty. Alice was to be sent back to her brother as soon as Richard returned, the Norman Vexin was to remain as part of Normandy, unless Richard had no male heirs, and if Richard had two sons, both were to hold their lands in chief of the French Crown, the younger having either Normandy, or Maine and Anjou, or Aquitaine and Poitou. It is noteworthy that Philip foreshadowed a division of the Angevin inheritance. Raymond of Toulouse was to be forced to submit to the judgment of Philip’s court, Philip was to keep Issoudun and Graçai and the overlord­ship of Auvergne, Richard was to keep Quercy, pay 10,000 marks of silver, and be Philip’s liege man (ligius homo).

By the end of the year the King of France was back again, celebrating Christmas at Fontainebleau. During the Crusade, the Count of Flanders, Philip of Alsace, had died, and, in accordance with the treaty of 1185, the king could recover eastern Vermandois (Péronne and St Quentin). He had also nourished a lively hatred of Richard and the time for revenge had come. It would seem that no copy of the treaty of Messina had reached Normandy, and Philip produced a charter in which Richard ordered the return of Alice and the Norman Vexin. The Seneschal of Normandy, William Fitz Ralf, refused to act upon it without independent instructions, and, as decency forbade at this early stage an attack upon the lands of a crusader, Philip had to wait his time. The news of Richard’s capture in December 1192 on his way home revived his chances. He had already entered upon the possession of Péronne and St Quentin in the Vermandois, and had renewed the ultimate rights of his house over Artois by an arrangement with the new Count of Flanders, Baldwin V (VIII) of Hainault, the brother-in-law of the late count and the father of Philip’s late wife Isabella. He seized Gisors and the Norman Vexin, allied himself with Canute of Denmark, and prepared for an invasion of England. With John as his ally, he tried to secure Normandy and to bribe the Emperor not to execute his treaty with Richard. But again he over-reached himself. The officials and magnates resisted John’s wiles in England and Normandy, and Philip’s rapid intrigues weakened rather than strengthened his influence at the imperial court. Richard was set free early in February 1194, and on his way home succeeded in straining the alliance between Philip and Baldwin of Hainault and in forming a confederacy of pensioners in the Rhineland. When he landed in Normandy, in May 1194, he was at least able to face Philip on equal terms.

Although he had failed in his main intention, Philip had been very busy during the previous months. In Aquitaine King Sancho of Navarre, Berengaria’s brother, and the seneschal of Poitou had to face (1192-3) a rebellion, and Ademar of Angouleme had, with John’s consent, been received by Philip as his direct vassal for nearly all his fiefs. In Normandy many of the great fortresses of the frontier, in addition to Gisors, were in Philip’s hands. In July 1193 Richard’s chancellor, William Longchamp, in order to avoid further molestation, had agreed as Richard’s agent to the surrender of Arques and Drincourt in eastern Normandy, of Loches and Chatillon-sur-Indre in Touraine, as sureties for the payment of a large sum of money. This cession with additions was confirmed by John in a later treaty with Philip in January 1194. When Richard arrived, Philip was actually in possession of Vaudreuil, near the junction of the Eure with the Seine, had captured Evreux, and after a demonstration before Rouen was threatening Verneuil.

For five years Normandy was the scene of as much activity as had been known since the foundation of the duchy. One of the greatest soldiers in history brought to its salvation all the experience, the skill in fortification, the reckless abandonment which he had learned or shewn in Aquitaine and the Holy Land. Within a few weeks of the rejoicings which greeted his arrival, Verneuil, the fortress on the Avre, was relieved, Loches, one of the noblest castles in Touraine, was recovered, and Philip, caught suddenly at Freteval, between Chateaudun and Vendome, fled back to safety, leaving behind him his treasury and chapel, his engines of war, and the furniture of his tents. Among the booty Richard found the charters by which those who had played him false during his absence had bound themselves to Philip’s service. In July he was in Aquitaine, bringing Ademar of Angouleme and Geoffrey of Ranson once more to heel. Then came the first lull in the storm. A papal legate and the Abbot of Citeaux were striving for peace, and on 23 July a truce until 1 November 1195 was made. War broke out again in the summer of 1195, and Philip, suspecting, it would seem, that he would not be allowed to keep Vaudreuil, began to destroy it during a conference in the neighbourhood. The noise made by the falling stones reached Richard’s ears, the conference became a fight, and Vaudreuil was retaken. But the agents of peace resumed their work, and what was meant to be a definitive peace was made in January 1196 at Louviers, south of Vaudreuil. The promise of imperial support and a successful demonstration against Philip in Berry had enabled Richard to exact satisfactory terms. Philip kept the south-eastern March, from Vernon to Nonancourt. Nothing was said about the Vexin, but he surrendered his other conquests cast of the Seine. The castles on the Eure would protect his domains, the retention of Gisors and the Norman Vexin satisfied a very old grievance and brought him near to Rouen. On the other hand the Angevin power was more compactly united under Richard than it had ever been under Henry II, and through his alliances Richard was protected from attack from without. Later in the year he strengthened himself still further by an alliance with his old enemy, Raymond VI of Toulouse, who married Joan, the widow of William II of Sicily and Richard’s favourite sister.

The treaty could not ensure a lasting peace; the more firmly Richard established himself, the more Philip had to fear. The roll of the Norman Exchequer for 1195 shows that, during the truce, Richard had spent large sums on the fortification of the castles, and in April 1196 in a letter to the justiciar in England he expressed the opinion that Philip intended war rather than peace, and instructed him to send to Normandy all the barons whose chief seats lay in the duchy, and the English barons with a small number of their knights prepared for a long period of service. In June Philip was, in fact, making headway again in the north. He had given his sister Alice to the Count of Ponthieu, and now he secured the support of the young Baldwin IX of Flanders (the future Eastern Emperor) and the able Count of Boulogne, Renaud of Dammartin, who was later to be so useful to the Angevin cause. In July Philip seized Aumale, lately granted with its countess to Richard’s loyal friend Baldwin of Bethune, but never again to be ruled by the family which bore the title. But his successes were few. Richard’s forces overran a great part of the Norman Vexin, and, by the persuasive tongue of Earl William the Marshal, that hero of tournaments, the Counts of Flanders and Boulogne were won back again. Philip invaded Flanders in vain and in September 1197 a truce was arranged, so that a new treaty might be made. On this occasion the parties applied for the assistance of the new Pope, Innocent III, who never ceased henceforward to work for peace.

Richard’s position at this time was a strong one. The great crusader had won the lively admiration of the new Pope. In Germany and the Low Countries he exercised much influence at the election of his nephew, Otto of Brunswick (whom he had enfeoffed with the county of Poitou), as King of the Romans in March 1198. In the South, since his alliance with Raymond VI of Toulouse, he had little to fear. Brittany was under his control, Flanders his ally, and England his reservoir of men and treasure. He was served in Normandy and Anjou by capable administrators and castellans, and had a powerful force of mercenaries at his back. And in 1197-8 he crowned the rock at Andeli with the magnificent Château Gaillard, henceforward the centre of a system of strong defences in the valley of the Seine, over against Philip’s castles at Vernon and Gaillon. For this purpose it was necessary to invade the rights of the Archbishop of Rouen, his old adviser Walter of Coutances, in his manor of Andeli, but the Pope arranged a liberal settlement with the infuriated ecclesiastic. Apart from the advantage of its impregnable site, the new castle was a natural starting-point for the recovery of the Norman Vexin. When the war began again in the autumn of 1198, the short campaign was disastrous for Philip. He was driven from nearly the whole of the Vexin, and when a truce was made in November, was in effective control only of the valleys of the Seine and the Epte. A treaty was to be made under the mediation of the papal legate, Peter of Capua, who had been sent with large powers in 1196 to preach a crusade and decide the fate of Philip’s wife, Ingeborg of Denmark. But the treaty was not made. In its steady a truce for five years was arranged early in 1199 and was in force when the news arrived in April that Richard had met his death in Aquitaine. He was killed in his forty-fourth year, in pursuit of a trivial quarrel about a non-existent treasure.

Philip leaped to take advantage of the confusion which ensued, and when the treaty was at last concluded in May 1200 at his new castle of Le Goulet, the possession of Gisors and the Vexin was confirmed. By the terms of this treaty, the frontier of France was pushed forward to a strip of neutral country round Andeli, and west of the Seine to include the city and district of Evreux. John definitely surrendered Issoudun and Graçai in Berry, this time as a dowry for his niece Blanche of Castile on her marriage with Philip’s son Louis. He undertook not to countenance any hostile acts by the Count of Flanders against his suzerain. Philip on his side recognised John as lord of all the Angevin lands, but, before doing so, he had taken a long step forward in the assertion of his powers as suzerain. For on the news of Richard’s death the Angevin dominion had, for a time, fallen asunder. While the magnates of England and Normandy acknowledged John, and Aquitaine rallied to the aged Eleanor, the barons of the western lands in Maine, Anjou, and Touraine turned, in local sympathy, to the boy Arthur of Brittany. Just as Eleanor, though nearer eighty than seventy years of age, found new energy in this crisis, so Constance of Brittany was stirred to avenge her own wrongs and vindicate her son’s claims. The Angevin barons were won over, and national feeling aroused in Brittany. Fortunately for John, Chinon and other castles had been handed over to him, and, although Philip hurried to Tours, Eleanor was able, with the aid of the Poitevins, to check the dangerous movement. William des Roches, Arthur’s seneschal in Maine and Anjou, deserted him. The disputed succession was referred to Philip’s court, and it was by a judgment of this court that John’s rights were secured. Further, John undertook that he would do nothing to prejudice Arthur’s rights in Brittany without a judgment of his own court, and, as an additional safeguard, Arthur was consigned for the time being to Philip’s care. Eleanor, before handing Aquitaine over to John, had already done homage to the French King. Thus, while the integrity of the succession was maintained, Philip had given reality, as none of his predecessors had been able to do, to his overlordship, and had definitely secured the Norman Vexin, the district of Évreux, and eastern Berry.

Fortune soon gave him the chance of pressing home his feudal advantage. Within two years of the treaty of Le Goulet, his court—by a judgment of great importance in the history of the “peers of France”—declared John a contumacious vassal. The King of England was condemned to lose all the lands held of the French Crown, and in execution of this sentence Philip, in May 1202, began the war which ended in the addition of most of the Angevin fiefs to the French domain. The occasion had been provided by a quarrel between John and the house of Lusignan. The story of this famous family is obscure, but by 1199 the head of the house, Hugh IX, had, in spite of claims put forward by Ademar of Angouleme, secured the county of La Marche. Hugh had several brothers, including Geoffrey and Ralph, lord of Exoudun in Poitou, and in right of his wife Count of Eu in the north-east corner of Normandy. Good relations with this powerful trio were advisable, if John was to hold his widespread inheritance in peace. At first the outlook was hopeful. The barons of Aquitaine and Gascony accepted the new duke, and by July 1200 Hugh of Lusignan and Ademar of Angouleme were reconciled; the former kept La Marche, and betrothed his son, the later Hugh X, to Isabella, Ademar’s daughter, a girl of fourteen. John had busied himself in this settlement, but the sight of Isabella immediately diverted his unstable mind. He had recently divorced his wife, Hawisia, the heiress of the Gloucester lands, and had been in treaty with the King of Portugal for a marriage with one of his daughters. Now everything was changed. He made an end of the old feud with Angouleme, married Isabella at Chinon on 30 August, and took her away to England, where she was crowned as queen on 8 October. The anger which this triumphant courtship caused in the family of Lusignan was the immediate occasion of the loss of the Angevin possessions.

In earlier days the incident would, not have been serious. The marriage was in many ways an advantageous one. John secured the succession to Angouleme, a compact lordship which the French King had hitherto used as a means of breaking the unity of Aquitaine. The hostility of the house of Lusignan was nothing new, and as events showed, was not implacable. He checked the first attacks of the Lusignan brothers without difficulty, and in the following spring even took over the administration of La Marche. The danger really lay in the opportunity given to Philip of France, Philip waited his time and received John at Paris in June 1201 with a magnificent hospitality. But, when John in the following autumn began to push home his success against the Poitevin rebels, Philip was ready to make himself felt. Their lands were in John’s custody and in October he summoned them to answer for their treachery both to Richard and himself. His plan was to pit them against professional champions. They demanded to be tried by their peers, and appealed to Philip. Philip matured his designs during the winter, and when John very naturally refused to appear before his court in Paris, began hostilities in the end of April 1202.

In 1202 the minds of men were restless and divided. Many had resented John’s succession, many more were alienated by his caprice or by the contrast between his querulous vacillation, his unregulated energy or unintelligible sloth, and the resolute compelling personality of his brother. The system of administration could offer no rallying-point, as perhaps had been the case during Richard’s absence, for it was not a means of expression for provincial patriotism, but a machine which would work as well under one lord as under another. Moreover John had no claims upon and felt no obligation to the trained administrator. He changed the seneschal of Normandy twice in three years, made the ambitious William des Roches hereditary seneschal of Anjou and Touraine, concentrated the bailiwicks in a few hands, and submitted the countryside to mercenary garrisons under upstart or alien leaders. Philip was able to proceed bit by bit, confirming charters and customs, setting up trustworthy officials, at the worst only substituting for one irresponsible mercenary chief (routier) another who was more responsible. He had organised the Evrécin in this way before the war began, and he continued the patient policy as the war proceeded. As a last resort John scattered grants of communal government among the towns and called up the arrière-ban or general levy; but he could not appeal to any spirit of passionate popular resistance, for no such spirit existed. The real resistance to Philip was shown by great castles, like Chateau Gaillard, under the command of men such as the Constable of Chester or the mercenary Girard d’Athée, whose interests were not local at all.

Hence when Philip began to move, he was able to move quickly. He had no external danger to fear. The Count of Flanders and many of his neighbours had gone on crusade and, after Richard’s death, were glad to go. The Count of Toulouse deserted the Angevin alliance, and in Aquitaine the Count of Limoges joined the house of Lusignan. John’s one great success, which gave him possession of Arthur and many of his enemies, turned to his undoing, for it was followed by an epidemic of disloyalty.

In a letter of 11 May John compared his own humility and moderation with the overweening insolence of his suzerain, and in a later letter he refers to Philip’s efforts to deprive him of his inheritance. By the end of July Philip had secured the outer ring of castles in eastern Normandy from Lions-le-Foret to Eu, and, with Ralph of Exoudun, had laid siege to Arques, south of Dieppe. He had invested Arthur with Brittany, Aquitaine, Touraine, Anjou, and Maine and had sent him off to join the rebellious barons of Poitou at Tours. Arthur, with the brothers Hugh and Geoffrey of Lusignan, the Count of Limoges and others, intercepted the old Queen Eleanor at Mirabeau on her way south from her retreat at Fontevrault. His force occupies the town and laid siege to the castle; but he was caught unawares at dawn on 1 August, and with many of his chief allies was captured by his uncle. His vassals never saw him again. He was taken to Falaise, then to Rouen. There is no evidence that he was dealt with by John’s Court, although the Pope was apparently satisfied by representations made in later years that he deserved his fate. Modern students of feudal law have not endorsed this opinion, and to contemporaries the murder of Arthur seemed a most shameful crime. According to the most probable story, John made away with his nephew on 3 April 1203, the day before Good Friday; but suspicion was rife many months before this date, and uncertainty prevailed many months later. Acting on their suspicion the Bretons had risen, and, through John’s folly in alienating William des Roches, they had with them the nobles of Maine, Anjou, and Touraine. Philip was able to detach these provinces from John’s control. He entered into identical agreements with the barons of each area, and shortly after Easter 1203—a few days in fact after the unknown tragedy at Rouen—made a voyage down the Loire as far as Saumur. By the middle of the year only Loches and Chinon, with the citadel of Tours, still held out. The last named fell in 1204, the others in 1205. Thus owing to the solidarity which Philip’s policy and Arthur’s disappearance had imposed upon the central provinces of the Angevin dominions, Normandy and Aquitaine were separated.

In the meanwhile defection had been rife in Normandy, and especially in the west, where the influence of events in Maine and Brittany was most easily felt. Robert, Count of Alençon or Séez, led the movement in January 1203, and the Norman records of this year are full of entries about the confiscated lands of the tournés, as the Marshal’s biographer terms the deserters. Their conduct was a sign that the morale of the Normans was breaking down, but it did not at first affect the military administration. During 1203 treasure and material poured in from England, and the strong defences in western Normandy were carefully organised in case Philip should break through the lines of castles in the valleys of the Eure and the Risle, or the Bretons and their allies close in upon them. If John had not lost his head and left the country at the end of the year, after some savage and ineffective raids into the Chartrain and Brittany, he might have held out for some time, keeping the Cotentin, if not Caen, as the base for reinforcements from England. But his nerve failed him as Philip captured one fortress after another in central Normandy; and the Normans, not altogether unwilling to find an excuse, made English indifference the justification for their surrender.

By the autumn of 1203 Philip had opened the way to Rouen. In June two English barons, Robert Fitz Walter and Saer de Quincy, in later years leaders in the fight for the Charter, surrendered Vaudreuil; in September Radepont on the Andelle, which guarded the approach from the south-east, was taken; and the investment of Château Gaillard began. It must have been at this time that John realised the firmness of his adversary. As late as 29 July he was writing as though a truce for two or three years was in sight. He had for some time been in touch with Otto and the Pope and in negotiation with Philip; but Philip was determined to push his advantage to the end. In June, July, and August the vassals of France, including Burgundy, Champagne, Blois, and Renaud of Dammartin, Count of Boulogne, formally counselled Philip not to make peace at papal instigation. The exhortations of Innocent and the attempted mediation of his legate, the Cistercian Abbot of Casamari, were in vain; and at a great feudal assembly at Mantes in August Philip laid down the famous principle that matters of feudal law, as distinct from moral issues, were not matters for papal competence. The disinheritance of John in Normandy was completed in 1204. Roger de Laci’s heroic defence of Chateau Gaillard ended in March, and Philip, leaving Rouen on one side, marched across the Risle, to occupy Argentan, Falaise, and Caen. At Caen he was joined by the Bretons under Guy of Thouars, who had been recognised by John as lord of Brittany as being the last husband of Constance (ob. August 1201). Guy came from a successful campaign in the west, where he had captured Mont St Michel and Avranches, and he was sent back with the Count of Boulogne to complete his work. Disregarding all John's efforts for peace, Philip went calmly on; he settled the affairs of the occupied territory, and invested Rouen, where refugees had gathered from all sides. The citizens had formed a kind of league with Arques and Verneuil, the only great fortresses which still held out; but circumstances were too strong for them. They realised their impotence, and the end came on St John’s Day, 24 June. Normandy, although claimed by the Kings of England until the definitive treaty of Paris in 1259, was never again, except for a couple of decades in the fifteenth century, to be separated from France. Philip preserved provincial customs, lay and ecclesiastical; the latter especially were the subject of careful enquiry; he accepted the homage of the Norman barons who desired to throw in their lot with him and to risk the loss of their English lands. The Exchequer under a board of French commissioners became the centre of provincial administration and justice, the local administrative areas were regrouped under French bailiffs at Rouen, Gisors, Pont Audemer, Verneuil, Caen, Bayeux, and in Caux and the Cotentin. Most of the castles and the lands of many great English barons were added to the domain.

Philip, however, did not rest content. During Richard’s captivity he had meditated an invasion of England as John’s ally; now he began to plan an invasion of England as John’s enemy—a project which was ultimately attempted in 1216. If the barons whose chief seats were in England hoped to recover their Norman lands, Philip’s new vassals also had their eyes on their English estates. Renaud of Dammartin, Count of Boulogne in right of his wife, was especially eager to secure the Boulogne inheritance across the Channel; and there was now no Anglo-Flemish alliance to stand in the way of further adventure.

Nothing came of the project of invasion for the present, and soon Renaud of Dammartin had gone over to John’s side. Philip’s immediate preoccu­pations in 1205-6 were the capture of Chinon and Loches, the settlement of Brittany under Guy of Thouars, and the assertion of his claims as overlord in Flanders. While he was before Chinon in June 1205 he heard that Baldwin of Flanders, the Emperor of Constantinople, had been captured by the Bulgarians at Adrianople two months before; and a year later he entered into a close agreement with Baldwin’s brother and regent, Philip of Namur. After the fall of Chinon Philip had made it his headquarters, under the control of the Duke of Burgundy, for an advance into Aquitaine. John and his administrators in England had been very busy. In 1205 England had been organised for defence, and when the fear of invasion passed a great naval expedition had been gathered at Portsmouth. John reached la Rochelle on 7 June 1206, and turned southwards to the stronghold of Montauban, where the Garonne and the Dordogne meet. Like Richard, John seems to have been more at home in his mother’s country than in Normandy, and it was characteristic of the difference between the two duchies that, the barons of Aquitaine, however uncertain and rebellious in their relations with their duke, however willing to avail themselves of the protection offered by the French Court, would not submit themselves, as the barons of Normandy did, to any steady course. At Montauban the turbulent lords of Gascony had gathered around the seneschal of Castile, who represented John’s brother-in-law Alfonso VIII. Alfonso had seized the opportunity offered by John’s misfortunes to assert his claims to Gascony. In 1204 he had won the support of the chief bishops and feudatories of the land. But at Montauban his pretensions were scattered to the winds. In epic literature the castle was famous as the place which Charlemagne had vainly tried for seven years to take. John’s English soldiers took it in a fortnight, and with it the leaders of the Gascon rebellion. John could turn northwards with safety. In Poitou he was joined by Aimeri, viscount of Thouars, the great fief which lay to the south of Brittany, now ruled by his brother Guy, and, with the viscount, John invaded the cradle of his race and reached Angers and the borders of Maine. But on Philip’s approach towards Poitou, a truce for two years was made at Thouars (October 13). Neither side was prepared to put to the test the divided allegiance of the Poitevin barons. During the following years the west of Poitou, under the viscount of Thouars and Savaric of Mauleon, stood by John, and successfully resisted attack in 1208, in spite of the defection to Philip of the house of Lusignan and La Marche. Moreover,the Albigensian wars began in 1209 and Raymond VI of Toulouse looked to John for aid; and John, in his turn, amidst the troubles of the interdict and his quarrel with the Pope, looked confidently to his nephew Otto, who came under the ban of the Church at the end of 1210. So a step was taken towards the great campaign of 1214.                                                                                                    

Attempts to reduce the diplomatic history of Western Europe during these years to a system are vain and misleading. The position of affairs changed from year to year, almost from month to month. In the mind of Philip Augustus the only clear issue had come to be his hostility to the Angevin house and the danger of the alliance between it and the Emperor Otto. It is sometimes supposed that the King of France was a consistent friend to the Hohenstaufen, but the consistency lay only in his fear of Otto. In his youth he had had to face the prospect of the intervention of Frederick Barbarossa on the side of the widespread confederacy which Philip of Flanders had formed against him; and although he had managed to maintain friendly relations with the great Emperor, so on the whole did Henry II. Later he intrigued with the Emperor Henry VI against Richard, but Richard had been stronger than he and won the favour of his captor. During the contest between the rivals, Otto of Brunswick and Philip of Swabia, he had naturally used all his influence in support of his namesake, for he was hard pressed by Otto’s uncle and benefactor, Richard, and involved in a harassing dispute with the Papacy on account of his repudiation of his wife Ingeborg; but as soon as Richard was dead, peace made with John, and a settlement with Pope Innocent in sight, he wavered. Philip’s firm and oft-expressed conviction that Otto’s success would spell danger to himself and his realm made any arrangement impossible, save as a transitory expedient, and the expropriation of John, with the prospect of an invasion of England, must have widened the breach between them. Misfortune on the other hand drew John and Otto together. In 1207, after John’s return from Poitou, and when Otto’s isolation in Germany was most intense, the Emperor-elect came to England to seek his uncle’s support. The two princes held con­ference in Essex, in the chamber of the famous Samson, Abbot of Bury, in his manor of Stapleford. At this time John was only entering on his quarrel with Innocent, and Otto was still under the Pope’s hesitating protection. Yet it is significant that, as Otto’s power waned in Germany and that of his rival, Philip of Swabia, grew, Philip Augustus grew cooler in the latter’s support, while, when Philip of Swabia was murdered in June 1208 and Otto’s fortunes revived, the French king looked around for a new anti-king. The expansion of France, in fact, was displeasing to the German court, whatever its political complexion, just as the prospect of unity in Germany was a cause of alarm to Philip. His attempt to put forward the Duke of Brabant as king failed; Otto received the imperial crown from Innocent in October 1209 and for a short time seemed likely to restore the Empire to its ancient glory. He was in close touch with John. Philip’s allies in the north of France were beginning to waver, and it was necessary to anticipate attack by resuming the offensive.

The rash ambition of Otto lured on by his new sense of power to break his engagement with the Pope, made the way clear for Philip. In November 1210 the Emperor was excommunicated, in the next year the young Frederick of Sicily was put forward against him and civil strife revived in Germany. Philip exerted himself busily on Frederick’s behalf. French envoys negotiated with the German princes, were present at his election in December 1212, and a few days earlier, at Vaucouleurs in Lorraine, had arranged an offensive alliance with him against Otto and John of England. English gold helped Otto, French gold helped Frederick. Yet the realistic independence of Philip is very striking during these years. He was at last working, not against, but with the papal candidate of Empire. His two enemies were under the ban of the Church. But, in marked contrast with Otto, he did not for a moment lose sight of his main objective. Innocent’s ideals were not his ideals; just as his policy was inspired by no generous affection for the Hohenstaufen, so he was quite unmoved by any ecclesiastical considerations. For some time he had met Innocent’s call to a crusade against the Albigensian heretics in Languedoc with polite equivocation. Papal agents had helped to arrange the truce with. John in 1206 and had worked for its renewal, in the hope that Philip would come to the aid of the faith in the South. Philip felt no call to interfere with persons who were not his vassals; and until his vassal, the Count of Toulouse, was convicted of heresy, he would not attack him, much though he had suffered at his hands. If Raymond were convicted, then, he said, he would know what to do. The crusade of 1209 was not his, but the work of ecclesiastics and knightly adventurers. Similarly, Philip refused to be diverted into a military attack on Otto’s German allies. To this holy war also the clergy should contribute—he would acquiesce in a papal tax—but active intervention was another matter. This was his attitude in 1210, before Frederick had appeared. He had prepared the way for rebellion against Otto, but, while tireless in intrigue and lavish with financial help, he would not scatter his strength. He would use his forces against John and Otto in his own way, for the consolidation of his great domain, and, if possible, its extension across the Channel. It is characteristic that the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts had no glamour for him. They could wait. He wished to be sure of the well-organised provinces of the Loire and the Seine, the Somme and the Meuse, with their cities, their wealth and administrative systems. And, if he were to keep these safe, he must be free to strike at England and at Flanders.

Whether Philip’s policy was the outcome of deep reflection may perhaps be doubted; it was certainly urged by hate. But his instinct was a sound one. His safety, no less than his power, depended on the control of Vermandois, Artois, and Normandy; and, so long as John was able to follow up his intrigues, the fidelity of the new domain could not be assured. At the same time, strongly entrenched though John was, he was not impregnable. If he was wealthy with the spoils of the Church, he was outside the pale as an excommunicated king (November 1209), and he had made many enemies. Philip was in correspondence with disaffected English barons, and had probably learned by 1210 from the lips of a very distinguished, refugee, William de Braiose, the detailed story of Arthur’s death. If there be any truth in the report which he afterwards circulated, that John had been condemned in his court for the murder of his nephew, this may well have been the time of judgment. But, before he could attack England, he found that he had to reckon with the in­fluence of John upon his own vassals. By far the most important of these was the Count of Boulogne, Renaud of Dammartin. Renaud had become a very important person. He had, in addition to his wife’s rich county, with its ports of Calais and Boulogne, received from Philip the great Norman fief of Mortain, and, in exchange for Mortemer-sur-Mer, Aumale and Domfront. He had betrothed his daughter to Philip’s son by Agnes of Meran, and he had married his brother Simon to Philip’s niece, the heiress of Ponthieu. A typical chevalier, a patron of letters, a builder, and a statesman with a keen sense of the value of commerce, he held a position in the north very like that which Philip of Alsace had held twenty years earlier. Unhappily he could not stand aside and avail himself of the quarrel between John and Philip; he had to choose between one and the other, and in 1211 Philip discovered that he had been seduced by John and the Emperor. Renaud’s position on the Breton frontier and on the north-eastern coast was so strong that he perhaps anticipated, as an ally of Otto and John in the recovery of Normandy and the ruin of Philip’s prestige in north-eastern France, a greater future than he could expect as a powerful vassal of the French crown. Philip acted with his usual promptitude. Mortain was taken by siege, Domfront surrendered, the counties of Aumale and Boulogne were overrun. Renaud and his brother took to flight, and were henceforth the chief agents in the formation of the Anglo-German alliance.

The occupation of Boulogne and Calais brought Philip nearer to his goal; but John and his allies found unexpected support in the new Count of Flanders, Ferrand of Portugal. In order to understand Ferrand’s attitude, we must go back to the settlement made twelve years before (2 January, 1200) after the death of King Richard, in the second treaty of Péronne. Philip’s position in Vermandois, in the county proper (St Quentin and Péronne) no less than in Amiens, was no longer in question; but he made some concessions regarding the lands in Artois, as it was now called, which had been the dowry of his first wife and which he had in trust for his son Louis. His direct suzerainty over this area—practically identical with the modern department of Pas-de-Calais, and comprising Arras and the fief of Boulogne, Saint Paul, and Béthune—was recognised, with two important qualifications. Baldwin IX’s lordship was to include a strip of territory containing the communes of Saint-Omer and Aire along the eastern border; and, in the second place, if Louis should die without heirs, the whole of the remainder of Artois was to return to Flanders. Baldwin’s counties of Flanders and Hainault—the one a French, the other an imperial fief—stretched therefore from the Scheldt behind Bruges and Ghent to a line in front of Saint-Omer, Aire, and Mons. On the other hand, by his occupation of Boulogne, in northern Artois, and his close relationship with his brother-in-law William of Ponthieu (in the lower Somme valley), Philip by 1212 had extended his power to the Channel in the whole of the gap between Flanders and Normandy. Now in 1212 the hand of Joanna, the elder daughter of the Emperor Baldwin, was bestowed on Ferrand, the younger son of Sancho I of Portugal, a young man of twenty-four. The marriage took place in the king’s chapel in Paris, and Ferrand set out with his bride to take possession of Flanders. On his arrival he found that Louis of France had stolen a march upon him. The young prince was determined to allow no strong and independent Flanders on the flank of his province of Artois, and began by seizing Saint-Omer and Aire. Ferrand, busy enough in securing the succession to Flanders, which had been ruled by local officials for so many years, was forced to acquiesce (February 1212). But the young southerner never forgave the insult. Before many months had gone by, he was in touch with King John, and when Philip, early in 1213, refused to give back the two towns without a judgment of his court, he joined the great alliance against him.

The English records show that John’s emissaries were to be found far afield at this time, in Portugal, Aragon, and Toulouse, in the cities of the middle Rhine, and of course at Otto’s court. The accession of Ferrand and his aunt, the dowager Countess Matilda, and of the neighbouring princes of the Empire gave strength to the party and made a more ambitious programme possible. On his side Philip had realised that he must strike hard; the invasion of England even troubled his dreams. The appearance at his court of Robert Fitz Walter, and his understanding with other English barons, shewed him that the time had come. He would see to Flanders, while Louis attacked England. The solemn decision was definitely reached when Pope Innocent, unable to bring Otto and John to terms, came wholeheartedly into line with Philip for the first and last time. They regarded the issues of their day with very different eyes; but if a holy war was to be preached against John, as well as against Otto and the heretics of Languedoc, Philip was clearly the man to undertake it, and about this venture Philip would feel no hesitation. In November 1212 Philip made his treaty with Frederick of Sicily; two months later, he received from the legate Pandulf Innocent’s injunction to deprive the excommunicated and obdurate King of England of his crown. On 8 April 1213 a great council gathered at Soissons, the papal mandate was read and accepted, and Philip ordered a fleet to gather at Boulogne, and his men to meet him at Rouen on 21 April. He had his ally Henry of Brabant beside him, and bound him down by a marriage with his daughter Mary, the widow of Philip of Namur. And, above all, he showed his whole-hearted desire to remove all obstacles to an understanding with the Church by a final reconciliation with his wife Ingeborg of Denmark.

Philip decided to make Gravelines, on the Flemish border, his starting- point. So the great fleet and army, got together at the expense, so English chroniclers say, of from forty to sixty thousand pounds, moved on from Boulogne in the second week of May. But on 22 May, the day of Philip’s arrival at Gravelines, he was forbidden in the Pope’s name to proceed. Innocent had urged Philip to the adventure, but in his plans the invasion was intended to bring John to reason, and the legate who brought the papal letters to Philip had also been empowered to treat with John. John’s surrender, more abject even than he had expected, at once changed the position. During the next few days events moved very quickly. On 24 May Philip forced Count Ferrand to a decision. The count had adopted a waiting policy: he was Philip’s liege man, yet had refused to submit his grievances to the judgment of Philip’s court; he was in John’s pay, yet he had not yet gone over to him. In a stormy interview he refused to join in the invasion, and was declared to be the king’s enemy. Acting throughout on the advice of his vassals, Ferrand called for help from England. Philip had moved his fleet to the Swine, which was the harbour of the rich mercantile entrepot, Damme, and was connected by canal with Bruges. He hastened to secure the Flemish towns—Bruges, Ghent, Ypres, and the rest. Bruges and Ypres were already in his hands and Ghent under siege when the English surprised him. On 30 May an English fleet, under the command of John’s half-brother, the Earl of Salisbury, attacked the French ships in the Swine. Four hundred of the smaller ships anchored there were brought out to sea. Over eighty larger vessels, beached by Damme, were captured or burnt. The earl had with him the Counts of Boulogne and Holland, and on the following day, after a landing, Count Ferrand formally joined the alliance. Philip, a few miles away at Bruges, was strong and rapid enough to save Damme, with its treasure and merchandise, and to defeat the land attack. The earl and the counts withdrew to the island of Walcheren; but the plans for an invasion of England were frustrated and Philip destroyed the remainder of his unfortunate fleet.

The importance of this revolution in affairs was great. By distracting Philip from a risky invasion of England, it forced him to concentrate upon Flanders, and to bring all the casual tendencies of the time to a definite issue. The persistence of King John during the last two or three years had debauched the chivalry of Flanders, Holland, Brabant, and the neighbouring lands, and had strengthened the independence of the Flemish towns. As early as 1208 the latter, whose self-government on the lines of the constitution of Arras, had been secured under the rule of Philip of Alsace, had come to an understanding with John. They had learned to act together and had already adopted the anti-French policy which was to become a fixed tradition. Far beyond their borders English money had percolated steadily. By 1213 John’s pensioners, paid so much a day, were to be found all over the Low Countries, and many were actually in his service. It has been said that they included so many Brabançons that the Duke of Brabant had to resort to mercenaries in order to fill his depleted ranks. However this may be, Philip found himself faced by a very strong alliance. The Emperor Otto realised that he could best secure his own interests by putting himself at the head of it, and his resolution brought other powerful adherents, including Henry of Brabant, Philip’s ally and former candidate for the Empire. During 1213 and the first half of 1214 Flanders was the scene of devastating, if desultory, warfare—a war of sieges, in which towns, notably Lille, were taken and retaken; by the spring of 1214 the long-matured plans for an invasion of France, by way of Vermandois, came to a head. While John made his last great attempt in Poitou, the Emperor and his allies, the Dukes of Brabant, Lorraine, and Limburg, the Counts of Holland, Flanders, and Boulogne, with a few French deserters of whom the Count of Nevers was the most conspicuous, concentrated their forces at Valenciennes in Hainault. Otto had his Saxon chivalry with him, the Earl of Salisbury was at the head of an English contingent, Renaud of Boulogne and Hugh of Boves brought the rest of the adventurers collected by them with the aid of John’s treasure. Historians have failed to agree upon the size of this host, but that the allies were superior in number to the French would seem to be certain. Philip, after his Poitevin campaign, had come to Péronne and was separated from his foes by the imperial bishopric of Cambrai. He decided to put himself between Valenciennes and the Channel, marched northwards through Douai to Lille (at this time in his hands), then eastwards along the Roman road over the marshy country between Lille and Tournai. The allies had turned north and came to halt at a strong position where the Scheldt and the Scarpe meet, a few miles south of Tournai. They were sure of an easy victory, and when they heard that Philip had decided to turn back to Lille and choose a more favourable battleground, they decided, in spite of Renaud of Boulogne’s opposition, to pursue him. Philip, to his surprise, was caught up at Bouvines, a village on a plateau just to the east of the solitary bridge over the river Marcq, which had already been crossed by the infantry of the communes. He had just time to draw up in order of battle and to bring back the communal lines, and on a hot Sunday afternoon (27 July) won the great victory which destroyed the power of Otto and secured for the future the new France. When the great dragon on a thirty-foot pole was torn from its wagon and hacked to pieces, Otto’s empire fell with it. Henry of Brabant was one of the first to flee from the field; Count Ferrand and Renaud of Boulogne were taken prisoner and lingered in prison—Renaud until his death—for thirteen years. Flanders was ruled by the Countess Joanna under Philip’s watchful scrutiny, Boulogne came to his son Philip Hurepel. The unusual concentration of forces, the anxious uncertainty, and the dramatic triumph alike stirred a new sense of unity and power within the kingdom of France. The demesne was no longer to be a collection of fiefs and cities, backed by a semi-independent Champagne or Burgundy, but a centralised state, in which the provincial customs of Normandy, Vermandois, or the Beauvaisis, and the communal privileges of Amiens, Arras, Compiègne, Rouen, and the rest, were subordinated to a uniform administration. Philip came back to Paris amidst scenes of popular and academic enthusiasm. Most of the prisoners, drawn perhaps in the wagons of the victorious communes, were brought to the capital to grace his triumph and were confined in the Grand and the Petit Chatelet.

Before the battle of Bouvines was fought King John had failed in his last attempt to reconquer his lost dominions; perhaps, if the campaigns had more nearly synchronised, the issue would have been different, although it is not clear that the forces which had been with Louis in Poitou were seriously diverted to join his father. John, after his reconciliation with the Church, had immediately turned his thoughts to the expedition which had been prepared in 1212; but, in spite of his energetic preparations, he was unable to sail until February 1214. A few weeks earlier he had received in England the personal homage of Ferrand of Flanders and Raymond VI of Toulouse, the former buoyed up by lively hopes, the latter in desperate straits. For three months John doubled backwards and forwards in Aquitaine—now here, now there; the ways of such a trickster, said William the Breton, are as mysterious as those of a serpent or of a feather in the wind. Philip came into Poitou to cut off his advance, and even to hold him off by suggestions for a marriage treaty, but John was so elusive that he had to withdraw for his northern campaign with nothing accomplished. John had a definite reason for his erratic movements. He secured his hold of one province after another, he was deep in negotiations with the family of Lusignan, and above all, he had to await the development of his allies’ plans in Flanders and Hainault. But by the end of May he was ready. At Parthenai on 25 May the three brothers, Hugh of La Marche, Ralph of Eu, and Geoffrey of Lusignan did him homage and fealty, and John’s daughter Joan was promised in marriage to Hugh’s son. At last, the king wrote, he could vary his attack beyond the limits of Poitou. He was at first rapid and successful. By the middle of June he was in Angers, an d on 19 of June laid siege to a new castle built by the seneschal of Anjou, William des Roches, between Angers and Nantes at Roche-au-Moine; but the approach of Louis from Chinon brought the ever latent spirit of disaffection to light. John’s presence was always a strain on the personal loyalty of people, and an open battle against the French overlord might have dangerous consequences. He hail to withdraw to the South (2 July), and before he could re-establish his position the news of Bouvines had come. A month later Philip himself was in northern Poitou, and on 18 September, after some days of negotiation with John’s envoys he made a truce to last for five years after Easter 1215. It would have been foolish in either king to seek a fight to a finish, for in Aquitaine fighting could never be finished. Philip wished to consolidate his success in the north-east, and, in spite of his great advantage, could hardly expect to prevent the retention by John of the maritime districts of Aquitaine, or to cut off La Marche or Angouleme from English reinforcements. John was still less in a position to fight; he had lost countless treasure in the last few years and could make no headway in Poitou. Finally the papal legate, the English Cardinal Rot Courzon (de Courçon), who had been in France since the previous autumn preaching a crusade, was active in negotiation. The Pope laid striven for peace throughout the year; after the disaster at Bouvines the call to the Crusade might be heard. At all events a truce was made, and in 1220, when it expired, it was renewed for four years.

Philip lived fortune years after the truce of Chinon. He was then for nearing his fiftieth year and his work was done. There is a touch of weariness in his negotiations about the Albigensian Crusade to which he rallied on his death-bed, and even in his handling of the English invasion in 1210. Modern historians have scoffed at the statement of contemporaries that Philip was reluctant to allow his son to attempt a conquest of England, but his attitude at the famous assembly at Melun in April 1216 is not inconsistent with this view. He had set. his heart on the enterprise in the years gone by, and nothing had ever come of it. Louis went at his own risk, in support of a claim based partly on a legal case, now generally believed to have been fabricated and in any event irrelevant, partly on his wife’s descent from Henry II, partly on the urgent invitation of the English rebels. Philip held the balance even, and characteristically swept aside the papal claim that, as a fief of the Church, England should be regarded as immune from attack.

Similarly the intervention in the Albigensian Crusade and the gradual penetration of Aquitaine, though they began before Philip’s death, were not pressed until afterwards. The king’s main achievements, apart from the subjection of the north, were the ordering of his demesne, the accumulation of a large treasure, carefully disposed of by will, and the assertion of royal right in the county of Auvergne. In the summer of 1223 he summoned a great council for the consideration of the policy to be pursued with regard to the Albigensian Crusade, but before he could meet his vassals he died at Mantes, on the way from Paci to Paris (14 July 1223).

His successor was at this time about thirty-six years of age—a slight “little man of poor physique, pious, determined and shrewd”, the father of a family of small children who were to cut a great figure in the world. Louis had been given his independence in 1209 at the age of twenty-two, when he was knighted by his father. From this time he took an increasing share in the affairs of state. His sharp practice in 1212, when he seized Saint-Omer and Aire, had, by throwing the young Ferrand of Flanders into opposition, precipitated the definitive struggle of 1213-14. He had checked John in Poitou, invaded England, and shared in the general enthusiasm for the crusade against the Albigensian heretics. When he died in the Auvergne in October 1226 he had brought Poitou, the Atlantic ports, and part of Gascony either under his immediate lord­ship or into his domain, and had entered upon the conquests of Simon de Montfort in Languedoc. Thus he had rounded off his father’s work and also had prepared the way for that system of appanages, in his own Artois, in Anjou, Poitou, and Toulouse, by which the new France was largely administered in the thirteenth century.

Louis’ success in the west was due to the inability of the administration, badly supported from England, to maintain control in the face of the great barons, and especially the Count of La Marche, Hugh X, who had married John’s widow, Isabella of Angouleme, and, through her, was the greatest man in Aquitaine. Many efforts were made during the second period of truce with France (1220-24) to bring peace and unity on the basis of an accommodation with Hugh. Louis was prepared to renew the truce for ten years, but the English government could not tie the hands of the young king for so long a time. Hence when the truce expired it was not renewed. Louis came to terms with Hugh of La Marche and gathered together a great French host at Tours in June 1224. Within a few months the whole of Poitou and several of the towns of Gascony around Bordeaux were won. La Rochelle, Saint-Jean-d’Angeli, Niort, and the other cities were confirmed in their privileges under the French crown. The dominion of Henry III was confined to the areas of Bordeaux and Bazas and the lowlands to the south of the Garonne.

The elimination of Plantagenet influence removed the last hindrance in the way of the French exploitation of Languedoc. Throughout his royal dominions, the last years of Philip Augustus had seen the removal of intermediate lords between the Crown and the local vassals, and even the appearance of new little islets of royal domain. The history of Auvergne provides an excellent case in point. Philip had first secured from Henry II and Richard I the acknowledgment of his rights as direct overlord; he then seized every chance of recognising the immediate dependence upon himself, to the exclusion of the Count of Auvergne, of the bishops of Clermont and Le Puy, the abbeys, and secular lords. This process had already gone far when in 1213 Philip turned upon Count Guy II on account of his molestations of bishops and abbots and his understanding with King John of England. A sharp brutal cam­paign brought the long period of absorption to an end. The Counts of Auvergne were confined to their chatéllenie of Vic-le-Comte, the Bishop of Clermont became the legal lord of the city of Clermont, while some 120 small fiefs were added to the royal domain. Now, on a larger scale, this process had begun in Aquitaine, and was to be continued piece­meal so long as the kings of England had any rights on French soil. It was going on nearly every year in all directions—thus, in 1218 the county of Clermont in the Beauvaisis fell to the Crown, in 1219 the county of Alençon in Normandy, in 1221 the seigneury of Nogent, in 1221 that of Issoudun in Berry, in 1223 the county of Beaumont-sur-Oise. The impetus given by Philip’s early successes seemed to be gathering an effortless speed, and one can understand why, during the last enterprise of this period—the royal expedition to Languedoc—the reaction which endangered the first years of St Louis can first be traced in the reluctant service and the envious forebodings of those great vassals who were most closely allied with the royal house, the heads of the families of Cham­pagne and Dreux.

Until Louis VIII stamped it with the marks of royal aggrandisement, the terrible warfare against the heretics of Languedoc had all the characteristics of a crusade. The Crown played a permissive part. The Crusade was led by a papal legate, followed by sworn volunteers of all ranks—nobles, knights, burgesses—and was maintained on the whole from ecclesiastical taxation. For nearly twenty years it distracted the attention of the north, and at one time or another most of Philip’s vassals and nearly all the great ecclesiastics took part. The king’s annoyance at this disturbance during the most critical years of his reign must have been intense. Louis had first succumbed in February 1218, when the appeals of King Peter of Aragon against French interference were set on one side; but he was not able to go south until 1215, and then only on a short and, one might say, unofficial journey. His visit is said to have been that of a pilgrim and to have lasted for the usual period of a pilgrimage, forty days, after his arrival at Lyons on Easter Day (19 April). The ecclesiastical chiefs did not desire to see royal intervention as an expression of the feudal claims of France over Toulouse—as Philip was alone prepared to contemplate. They would prefer to welcome it as assistance in a religious warfare, and the more successful the wholehearted crusaders, above all Simon de Montfort, were, the more anxious the legate and his colleagues became about the future. In this, as in other matters, the policy of the Church differed widely from that of the French King. The failure of the attempted conquest of England intensified the religious character of French participation in the Crusade, for Louis had attacked a king under papal protection, and when he made peace at Kingston in 1218, had to submit to the judgment of the Church. He was a penitent, and his penance took the form of special financial contributions to the war against the heretics. Pope Honorius III liked to regard France as a land dedicated to a mission, taxed heavily for this purpose, and under special papal protection. When Simon de Montfort fell before Toulouse in 1218 leaving a young son, Amaury, to succeed him, the Pope was concerned to prevent independent negotiations between Philip Augustus and the heretics to the detriment of the Crusade, and to urge upon the French to come to the rescue to carry on the good work in the old way. Philip was well content to wait; he would acquiesce in the papal policy, but he would not put all his strength at the service of the Church. Louis, as in duty bound, made his military pilgrimage. He took part in the dreadful massacre at Marmande, besieged Toulouse without success, and returned to the north (August 1219). Time was working on his and his father’s side. Amaury was no match for the Count of Toulouse, and at last, at the end of 1221, sent his chancellor to Philip, urging him to take over the lands of the heretics as part of his domain. The Crusade as a crusade had collapsed, and the legate joined with the bishops of Languedoc in the appeal to France. When Philip died, both the orthodox party and Raymond VII of Toulouse were competing for his support. His successor had every advantage on his side: he was a loyal son of the Church, a friend of the legate, a champion of orthodoxy, yet in full control of the situation. The Crusade was given a national character in the great councils of Paris and Bourges in 1226. Success was assured before the expedition had started; and by the time that Louis had reached his goal by way of Avignon, Beziers, and Carcassonne, the whole country was at his feet. At Pamiers in October he declared that lands confiscated from heretics belonged by right to the royal domain, and during his short stay in the South he organised Languedoc as its lawful lord. In fact the situation was not so simple as it seemed to be, and after his death the conflicting interests of the Church, the Count of Toulouse, and the French Crown had to be adjusted by the treaty of 1229. But the events of 1226 showed that the Albigensian Crusade in the South had prepared the unity of France as effectively as the conquest of Normandy in the North.

The Crusade of 1226 did more than this. As the champion of the Church, Louis did not hesitate to approach Languedoc from Lyons along the left bank of the Rhone. He came to the imperial city of Avignon by way of imperial territory. At the command of the ecclesiastical leaders he did not hesitate to attack Avignon—at this time a refuge for heretics—when the city closed its gates against him. The siege of Avignon was the only serious military incident of the campaign, and its surrender broke what spirit of resistance remained in the South. One action of Louis was full of significance for the future. In order to over­come Avignon he made a treaty of parage with the Benedictines of Saint-Andre, an abbey whose site dominated the new town. In return for a fixed revenue, the monks allowed the king to build a castle at Saint-André, and to place a garrison there, and to receive the oath of fidelity from the inhabitants. Just as his father, by his policy in the North, began to penetrate with French influence the imperial fiefs on the borders of Flanders and Vermandois, so his son made the first small step; towards the penetration of the imperial kingdom of Arles.

The reign of Philip Augustus put the King of France in a position which could give full scope both to the magnanimity of Saint Louis and to the relentless legalism of Philip the Fair. Force and law had never been combined to such skilful purpose. Every victory was followed up until its results were made secure, so that the history of the development of French institutions is the history of the expansion of France regarded from the other or interior side.

At every stage Philip gave a new reality to his feudal position. By the end of his reign his supremacy was too great for legal expression, and the victor of Bouvines becomes the “Carolin,” the successor of Charles the Great, whose blood ran in the veins of his first wife. Although it is clear that Philip made conscious use of the Carolingian tradition, and was not unwilling to merge the attributes of a feudal chief in the attributes of royalty, his own importance lies in the fact that he gave new meaning to kingship by his insistence upon his rights as suzerain. He was influential enough to impose important modifications of the feudal law of succession—notably the rule which made all the sharers in a divided inheritance directly dependent upon the overlord—upon the lands of his great vassals as well as within his domain. By his insistence upon the implications of the homage due to himself—the emphasis upon it as liege-homage, recognising in him a claim to prior personal service—he put an end to the perplexing casuistry to which a multiplicity of claims so constantly gave rise. Thus he would not tolerate the double position of the Count of Flanders, Ferrand of Portugal, who tried to serve King John of England while remaining his vassal. Again, the English barons, who like William the Marshal would have kept their Norman lands by doing him homage, had also to promise not to serve against him; in other words, they put themselves in an impossible position. These are technical examples of a general policy, firmly and consistently applied. The trial of John for his treatment of his Poitevin vassals, the insistence that the royal court was the proper tribunal to settle the difference between Richard of Aquitaine and Raymond VI of Toulouse, the proceedings against the Counts of Flanders and Boulogne, the maintenance of the rights of John as against those of Arthur to Anjou in 1199, show how the treatment of the most important issues was never divorced from legality. And the casual opportunities of every day were never allowed to slip: great vassals who had been wont to succeed to their lordships as a matter of course were forced to pay rachat for recognition; the exercise of the wardship and marriage of their heirs was made a matter of careful definition under royal control; and all over the France of today, especially in Auvergne, the Cevennes, and the outlying provinces of Aquitaine, vague feudal relationships were given a precise form in explicit treaties or contracts of parage or joint control, often at the expense of the local lord. It should be remembered, in this connexion, that in virtue of traditions not clearly feudal in character the kings of France exercised scattered rights within all the great fiefs, and upon these a strong king could build. The commune of Châteauneuf at Tours, for example, was only to a slight degree under the control of the Count of Anjou; its administration was under the control of a royal official known as the treasurer, its charter was granted by the French King (1181), its judicial system, which in 1190 was the subject of a careful joint inquiry, was most strictly defined. Similarly, when Philip recognised Richard’s rights in Quercy he excepted, as a matter of course, the two royal abbeys which were dependent upon himself.

Yet, as it has been the main object of this chapter to show, the real strength of the kingdom lay in the France of the royal domain; and the development of the administrative system followed the extension of the domain. As King of Paris and Orléans, Philip at the beginning of his reign had a very limited power. His influence outside his domain was largely due to the close ties between the Crown and the bishoprics—which, with the exception of the Norman bishoprics, were almost independent of the great local feudatories. Hence the curia Regis, in its narrower sense, was mainly concerned with local affairs, and in its widest form, as a council of the magnates, was as likely to become a deliberative assembly of equals as the advisory body of a king. The rapid extension of the domain changed all this. When Vermandois, Artois, then Normandy itself were successively brought under royal control, and the resources of the Crown were doubled, the prestige of the court was greatly enhanced. It was fortunate, moreover, that, except during the early years of his reign, the magnates of the realm were not numerous or strong enough to overshadow Philip. A circle of great vassals as ambitious and energetic as was Philip of Alsace or Renaud of Dammartin would have embarrassed him at every turn. But Champagne for over twenty years, and Flanders for over ten years, in the new century were in the hands of regents. The Countess Blanche of Champagne, ruling for her son, depended upon the king, and Flanders suffered through the absence and, later, the death of Count Baldwin IX. The duchy of Burgundy also was for several years in the hands of a woman. In consequence Philip’s control over the lands which, in the phrase of Innocent III, recognised his lordship (as distinguished from an almost empty suzerainty) was almost as great as it was in his domain. In 1210 for example, when Philip seems to have feared an attack by the Emperor Otto through Champagne, he was ener­getic in securing its defences, and throughout the young Count Theobald’s minority his consent was required before new castles could be built.

Under these circumstances the curia regis, as a body of counsellors, jurists, and officials, became an instrument of national government and the centre of a more intricate administrative system. The great feudal councils of magnates and ecclesiastics were of course frequently summoned to support the king in his assertion of principle or in grave political decisions. They were called during the dispute with the Pope regarding Ingeborg, and supported Philip in his proceedings against John and also against Innocent’s intervention in feudal issues. Similarly the great vassals, lay and clerical, were invited individually to emphasise their approval of Philip’s refusal to make peace when the conquest of Normandy was in sight. Again, it was during the reigns of Philip and his son that the distinction between the peers of the realm and the other bishops and barons of the King’s Court was made. King John was condemned in 1202 by his peers and by other barons; in 1216 a case was judged by “the peers of our realm,” the Archbishop of Rheims, the Bishops of Langres, Châlons, Beauvais, and Noyon, and the Duke of Burgundy, “and by many other bishops and barons”. The peers did not as yet constitute a separate court, and any claim of this kind was repudiated in 1224. The “twelve peers of France,” as a distinct body, have not yet appeared: but, perhaps in order to define a competent tribunal for the trial of the greatest vassals of the Crown, and to make the curia an indisputably valid engine for the assertion of royal rights, some of the most exalted vassals were distinguished as an integral element of the court. The tendency was a repetition—in a more closely knit kingdom—of the development of courts of peers in Flanders, Vermandois, Champagne, and many other fiefs.

Yet the mainspring of royal administration, and of justice also, was to be found in the royal household, in the curia as an organised expression of the familia. It is probable that even the peers of France owed their distinction to a traditional connexion with the royal palace. Philip Augustus was strong enough to work through his chosen advisers and officials, and to avail himself just so far as he wished of traditional forms and assemblies. The great officers of state, the seneschal, the butler, the chamberlain, the constable, standing around the king in his palace, might be called upon to attest a solemn act of state, but they played only a small part in daily affairs. The two most important offices, those of seneschal and chancellor, lapsed in Philip’s reign, so that no great personage intervened between the king and the administration. The king’s uncle, the Archbishop of Rheims, was the only eminent figure among Philip’s administrators, and then only in the early years of the reign. Philip relied on his chamberlains, particularly Walter of Nemours and his son, and, later, Bartholomew of Roye, on his marshals and constables. Walter of Nemours was in control of the chancery during the early years, the sagacious Brother Guerin, Bishop of Senlis, towards the end of the reign. Important negotiations were entrusted to them, and they even advised the king on the field of battle. The Bishop of Senlis, for example, drew up the order of battle on part of the field of Bouvines, with the same sureness of touch with which he arranged the records of the chancery. The numerous records of Philip’s reign have unfortunately disappeared almost entirely. The earlier series were lost at Freteval in 1194 during the flight before King Richard, and although the younger Walter of Nemours carefully reconstructed their contents during the next twenty years, the only guide to the arrangements and contents of the royal archives, early and late, is the series of Registers, three in number, which contain copies of important royal and private charters, letters, statements of service, manumissions, and the like. The first comprises acts prior to 1212, the second acts prior to 1220, the third—which was the most elaborate and was drawn up in 1222 by Stephen of Gallardou, a chancery clerk, under the direction of Bishop Guerin—acts after 1220. The Registers are not exhaustive and were probably memoranda books which could be carried about. The archives, secretarial and financial, were arranged in the royal palace in Paris. The financial records were the outcome of the supervision of local administration by the royal Chamber, and of the treasure in the Temple by Brother Aimard, the Templar.

Although the Registers contain many important documents such as the record of military service, with its financial equivalent, due from royal abbeys, communes, and estates (prisia servientium), and statements of the arms and armour stored in the royal castles, it is significant that the two most illuminating documents of the reign are known through incidental survivals in other quarters. On these, one, the arrangements made in June 1190 for the government of France during Philip’s absence on the Crusade, was inserted by Rigord, the monk of Saint Denis, in his chronicle; the other, an isolated statement of the accounts of the realm for the years 1202-3, was printed, from a text now lost, by Brussel in the eighteenth century. In 1190 Philip entrusted the kingdom to his mother and the Archbishop of Rheims; and it is clear from his careful instructions that the domain was by this date divided into administrative areas under bailiffs. The original bailiwicks were coincident with the older administrative divisions. Commissions of two or more persons, trained in the royal household, were at first sent round; then large and vague areas were allotted to particular officials; finally, by the end of the reign, distinct areas begin to be mentioned, named from the centres of the domain, Orléans, Paris, Amiens, etc. In 1190, moreover, the bailiffs were instructed to hold assizes once a month and to exercise control over each prévôt in their areas with the counsel of four trustworthy men of the locality. Every quarter the regents were to hear complaints (clamores) at Paris, and on this occasion the bailiffs were to be in attendance to report upon the affairs of the kingdom. The importance of Paris is shown by the appointment by name of six burgesses (instead of the four to be chosen in other places) who were not only to act as advisers to the local administrator, but also to receive the royal revenues three times a year and, after they had been recorded in writing, deposit them in the Temple. This render of accounts three times a year is reflected in the three terminal accounts from the baillivae and praepositurae in the only surviving balance sheet, that for 1202-3. We may infer, therefore, that the financial system, operated after Philip’s return by the royal Chamber, was connected with the reorganisation of the local administration.

The accounts for 1202-3 are obviously a war budget, for the expenditure noted, about £95,000, was almost all incurred on the Marches, that is to say, the fortified, and garrisoned areas on the Norman frontier. The total receipts—after deduction of probable double entries—were close upon £100,000 in excess of the recorded expenditure, and the balance represents the normal revenue which was required for the normal administration (household, wardrobe, chamber etc.). It has been suggested that the extraordinary revenue expended in the Marches was drawn from the savings of previous years accumulated in the Temple. As a sum equivalent to about £50,000 in the same currency was brought from England in this year to supplement the normal Norman revenue of £20,000, it will be seen that Philip’s resources during the last stages of the war against John compare very favourably with those of the duchy. And, if in the middle of his reign, before the great conquests, Philip’s normal revenue from his domains was about, £100,000, we may safely assume that the resources of Louis VIII were two or three times as much, though not so great as the £1.200 a day calculated by the royal officials in their well-known conversation with the provost of Lausanne.

The organisation of the Marches in 1202-3 is a very striking illustration of the efficiency of the administration under such men as Walter of Nemours, Bartholomew of Roye, and Aimard the Templar. Over a long front, and working on exterior lines in provinces which did not possess the unity of Normandy, Philip was able to protect his dominions, prepare a great plan of invasion, and allocate a treasure more than comparable to that expended by Richard in 1197-8 (when he spent over £50,000 on Chateau Gaillard) and by John. The later records of the reign reveal Philip in control of a still more elaborate organisation prepared to meet the threatened attack by the Emperor. In 1210 and 1211 he was especially active in all the lands between Orleans and the north-east frontier. The castles were rebuilt or restored, the towns walled, sometimes as at Arques under his personal supervision; and a careful inventory was kept of the equipment of war in the towns and strongholds of the realm He depended for his garrisons and armies mainly upon his heavy-armed knights—some 2000 in number—and the troops of mercenaries under Cadoc and other leaders, also upon the mounted serjeants (servientes) provided by the domain, but, like Richard, he substituted a permanent paid force for a feudal levy which owed only a short period of service, and, therefore, he raised money to pay for his mercenaries and engineers and the long-service knights and serjeants by commuting the service due from the abbeys and towns to an equivalent in money. Only a few communes actually sent men to the campaign of Bouvines.

It is not easy to define the sources of royal revenue apart from the proceeds of the domain administered by provosts and bailiffs—the rents, tallages, profits of justice. Philip was able to dispose of large sums in Germany and elsewhere, just as Richard and John of England could; on the other hand he received large sums by the terms of treaties or in return for favours and pardons. The only extraordinary taxation of a general kind was levied for purposes of the Crusades in the East or Languedoc in co-operation with the Church. At various times he extorted money from the clergy, notably the abbeys; he regulated, with great financial advantage to the Crown, the transactions of the Jews, whom earlier in his reign he had temporarily expelled; the auxilium exercitus, paid instead of the military duties of serjeants (prisia servientium), amounted to about £12,000 in 1194 and to over £26,000 in 1202-3. Other sources were the standardised money equivalents of various ancient dues and the increased annual farms of chartered communities. Indeed, the wealth of Philip Augustus was due to careful exploitation of a prosperous and better ordered state, in which the domain was constantly increasing. Philip was a practical man served by able men. He realised the importance of stability in financial affairs, and, as administrative control became closer, he could afford to encourage stability and self-government in the rural and municipal areas and in the communes. He departed from precedent by granting communal charters in the old domain on the Norman frontiers, he developed the communal movement largely in his new acquisitions, Vermandois and Artois, and he confirmed it in Normandy and Poitou. He was vigilant in the protection of the trading community, including the merchants who travelled to the great fairs of Champagne and the subjects of his enemies. Numerous passages in the literature of the time, especially in the Chansons de geste, reveal a curiously intimate feeling of affection for the sweet land of France, which one entered at Orleans. It was a rich and pleasant land, stretching northwards to Beauvais, a land to look back upon with regretful eyes and to dream about. And in the heart of it lay Paris, with its great monasteries and churches, its wonderful island with the new cathedral of Our Lady and the great royal palace, its bridges and fortresses and busy quays and harbours, its streets full of pilgrims and merchants and students. In Philip’s time, the privileges of the Parisian merchant hansa were confirmed and extended, its monopoly and relations with the merchants of other trading centres, like Rouen, defined. The leading burgesses took part in royal administration, and the merchant body already had certain rights of jurisdiction. Many of the craft-gilds dated their privileges from the days of Philip Augustus. It was his aim to make the city more than a half-rural centre of a large administrative area (the prévôté and vicomté of Paris). He ordered the burgesses in 1190 to build the walls on the right bank, and in 1209 he himself built the walls on the left bank of the Seine, and ordered the owners of fields and vineyards within the enclosure to let their lands for building. At the weakest point in the fortifications on the right bank he built the great Tower—soon called the Louvre—which had a position in Paris like that of the Tower in London. Nothing is more characteristic of Philip than the picture of him walking up and down in the chamber of his island palace, meditating on the affairs of his kingdom, and then pausing to gaze out of the window over the fair and busy scene, whose complex life owed so much to his guidance. It was the beginning of a new age, not less brilliant but more ordered than the old. Henceforth the life of chivalry, of commerce, and even of learning, was not to expend itself in numerous centres of competing energy, but to be subdued to the influence of a common ideal which at last had found expression in permanent institutions.