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The History of England From the Norman Conquest to the Death of John
Henry And His Sons
by Adams, George Burton

For England peace was now established. The insurrection was suppressed, the castles were in the king's hands, even the leaders of the revolted barons were soon reconciled with him. The age of Henry I returned, an age not so long in years as his, but yet long for any medieval state, of internal peace, of slow but sure upbuilding in public and private wealth, and, even more important, of the steady growth of law and institutions and of the clearness with which they were understood, an indispensable preparation for the great thirteenth century so soon to begin--the crisis of English constitutional history. For Henry personally there was no age of peace. England gave him no further trouble; but in his unruly southern dominions, and from his restless and discontented sons, the respite from rebellion was short, and it was filled with labours.

In 1175 the two kings crossed together to England, though the young king, who was still listening to the suggestions of France and who professed to be suspicious of his father's intentions, was with some difficulty persuaded to go. He also seems to have been troubled by his father's refusal to receive his homage at the same time with his brothers'; at any rate when he finally joined the king on April 1, he begged with tears for permission to do homage as a mark of his father's love, and Henry consented. At the end of the first week in May they crossed the channel for a longer stay in England than usual, of more than two years, and one that was crowded with work both political and administrative. The king's first act marks the new era of peace with the Church, his attendance at a council of the English Church held at London by Archbishop Richard of Canterbury; and his second was a pilgrimage with his son to the tomb of St. Thomas. Soon after the work of filling long-vacant sees and abbacies was begun. At the same time matters growing out of the insurrection received attention. William, Earl of Gloucester, was compelled to give up Bristol castle which he had kept until now. Those who had been opposed to the king were forbidden to come to court unless ordered to do so by him. The bearing of arms in England was prohibited by a temporary regulation, and the affairs of Wales were considered in a great council at Gloucester.

One of the few acts of severity which Henry permitted himself after the rebellion seems to have struck friend and foe alike, and suggests a situation of much interest to us which would be likely to give us a good deal of insight into the methods and ideas of the time if we understood it in detail. Unfortunately we are left with only a bare statement of the facts, with no explanation of the circumstances or of the motives of the king. Apparently at the Whitsuntide court held at Reading on the first day of June, Henry ordered the beginning of a series of prosecutions against high and low, churchmen and laymen alike, for violations of the forest laws committed during the war. At Nottingham, at the beginning of August, these prosecutions were carried further, and there the incident occurred which gives peculiar interest to the proceedings. Richard of Lucy, the king's faithful minister and justiciar, produced before the king his own writ ordering him to proclaim the suspension of the laws in regard to hunting and fishing during the war. This Richard testified that he had done as he was commanded, and that the defendants trusting to this writ had fearlessly taken the king's venison. We are simply told in addition that this writ and Richard's testimony had no effect against the king's will. It is impossible to doubt that this incident occurred or that such a writ had been sent to the justiciar, but it seems certain that some essential detail of the situation is omitted. To guess what it was is hardly worth while, and we can safely use the facts only as an illustration of the arbitrary power of the Norman and Angevin kings, which on the whole they certainly exercised for the general justice.

From Nottingham the two kings went on to York, where they were met by William of Scotland with the nobles and bishops of his kingdom, prepared to carry out the agreement which was made at Falaise when he was released from imprisonment. Whatever may have been true of earlier instances, the king of Scotland now clearly and beyond the possibility of controversy became the liege-man of the king of England for Scotland and all that pertained to it, and for Galloway as if it were a separate state. The homage was repeated to the young king, saving the allegiance due to the father. According to the English chroniclers all the free tenants of the kingdom of Scotland were also present and did homage in the same way to the two kings for their lands. Some were certainly there, though hardly all; but the statement shows that it was plainly intended to apply to Scotland the Norman law which had been in force in England from the time of the Conquest, by which every vassal became also the king's vassal with an allegiance paramount to all other feudal obligations. The bishops of Scotland as vassals also did homage, and as bishops they swore to be subject to the Church of England to the same extent as their predecessors had been and as they ought to be. The treaty of Falaise was again publicly read and confirmed anew by the seals of William and his brother David. There is nothing to show that King William did not enter into this relationship with every intention of being faithful to it, nor did he endeavour to free himself from it so long as Henry lived. The Norman influence in Scotland was strong and might easily increase. It is quite possible that a succession of kings of England who made that realm and its interests the primary objects of their policy might have created from this beginning a permanent connexion growing constantly closer, and have saved these two nations, related in so many ways, the almost civil wars of later years.

From these ceremonies at York Henry returned to London, and there, before Michaelmas, envoys came to him to announce and to put into legal form another significant addition to his empire, significant certainly of its imposing power though the reasons which led to this particular step are not known to us. These envoys were from Roderick, king of Connaught, who, when Henry was in Ireland, had refused all acknowledgment of him, and they now came to make known his submission. In a great council held at Windsor the new arrangement was put into formal shape. In the document there drawn up Roderick was made to acknowledge himself the liege-man of Henry and to agree to pay a tribute of hides from all Ireland except that part which was directly subject to the English invaders. On his side Henry agreed to recognize Roderick as king under himself as long as he should remain faithful, and also the holdings of all other men who remained in his fealty. Roderick should rule all Ireland outside the English settlement, at least for the purposes of the tribute, and should have the right to claim help from the English in enforcing his authority if it should seem necessary. Such an arrangement would have in all probability only so much force as Roderick might be willing to allow it at any given time, and yet the mere making of it is a sign of considerable progress in Ireland and the promise of more. At the same council Henry appointed a bishop of Waterford, who was sent over with the envoys on their return to be consecrated.

At York the king had gone on with his forest prosecutions, and there as before against clergy as well as laity. Apparently the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas had secured for the Church nothing in the matter of these offences. The bishops did not interfere to protect the clergy, says one chronicler; and very likely in these cases the Church acknowledged the power rather than the right of the king. At the end of October a papal legate, Cardinal Hugo, arrived in England, but his mission accomplished nothing of importance that we know of, unless it be his agreement that Henry should have the right to try the clergy in his own courts for violations of the forest law. This agreement at any rate excited the especial anger of the monastic chroniclers who wrote him down a limb of Satan, a robber instead of a shepherd, who seeing the wolf coming abandoned his sheep. In a letter to the pope which the legate took with him on his return to Rome, Henry agreed not to bring the clergy in person before his courts except for forest offences and in cases concerning the lay services due from their fiefs. On January 25, 1176, a great council met at Northampton, and there Henry took up again the judicial and administrative reforms which had been interrupted by the conflict with Becket and by the war with his sons.

The task of preserving order in the medieval state was in the main the task of repressing and punishing crimes of violence. Murder and assault, robbery and burglary, fill the earliest court records, and on the civil side a large proportion of the cases, like those under the assizes of Mort d'Ancestor and Novel Disseisin, concerned attacks on property not very different in character. The problem of the ruler in this department of government was so to perfect the judicial machinery and procedure as to protect peaceable citizens from bodily harm and property from violent entry and from fraud closely akin to violence. An additional and immediate incentive to the improvement of the judicial system arose from the income which was derived from fines and confiscations, both heavier and more common punishments for crime than in the modern state. It would be unfair to a king like Henry II, however, to convey the impression that an increase of income was the only, or indeed the main, thing sought in the reform of the courts. Order and security for land and people were always in his mind to be sought for themselves, as a chief part of the duty of a king, and certainly this was the case with his ministers who must have had more to do than he with the determining and perfecting of details.

This is not the place to describe the judicial reforms of the reign in technical minuteness or from the point of view of the student of constitutional history. The activity of a great king, the effect on people and government are the subjects of interest here. The series of formal documents in which Henry's reforming efforts are embodied opens with the Constitutions of Clarendon in 1164. Of the king's purpose in this--not new legislation, but an effort to bring the clergy under responsibility to the state for their criminal acts according to the ancient practice,--and of its results, we have already had the story. The second in the series, the Assize of Clarendon, the first that concerns the civil judicial system, though we have good reason to suspect that it was not actually Henry's first attempt at reform, dates from early in the year 1166. It dealt with the detection and punishment of crime, and greatly improved the means at the command of the state for these purposes. In 1170, to check the independence of the sheriffs and their abuse of power for private ends, of which there were loud complaints, he ordered strict inquiry to be made, by barons appointed for the purpose, into the conduct of the sheriffs and the abuses complained of, and removed a large number of them, appointing others less subject to the temptations which the local magnate was not likely to resist. This was a blow at the hold of the feudal baronage on the office, and a step in its transformation into a subordinate executive office, which was rapidly going on during the reign. In 1176, in the Assize of Northampton, the provisions of the Assize of Clarendon for the enforcement of criminal justice were made more severe, and new enactments were added. In 1181 the Assize of Arms made it compulsory on knights and freemen alike to keep in their possession weapons proportionate to their income for the defence of king and realm. In 1184 the Assize of the Forest enforced the vexatious forest law and decreed severe penalties for its violation. In the year before the king's death, in 1188, the Ordinance of the Saladin Tithe regulated the collection of this new tax intended to pay the expenses of Henry's proposed crusade.

This list of the formal documents in which Henry's reforms were proclaimed is evidence of no slight activity, but it gives, nevertheless, a very imperfect idea of his work as a whole. That was nothing less than to start the judicial organization of the state along the lines it has ever since followed. He did this by going forward with beginnings already made and by opening to general and regular use institutions which, so far as we know, had up to this time been only occasionally employed in special cases. The changes which the reign made in the judicial system may be grouped under two heads: the further differentiation and more definite organization of the curia regis and the introduction of the jury in its undeveloped form into the regular procedure of the courts both in civil and criminal cases.

Under the reign of the first Henry we noticed the twofold form of the king's court, the great curia regis, formed by the barons of the whole kingdom and the smaller in practically permanent session, and the latter also acting as a special court for financial cases--the exchequer. Now we have the second Henry establishing, in 1178, what we may call another small curia regis--apparently of a more professional character--to be in permanent session for the trial of cases. The process of differentiation, beginning in finding a way for the better doing of financial business, now goes a step further, though to the men of that time--if they had thought about it at all--it would have seemed a classification of business, not a dividing up of the king's court. The great curia regis, the exchequer, and the permanent trial court, usually meeting at Westminster, were all the same king's court; but a step had really been taken toward a specialized judicial system and an official body of judges.

In the reign of Henry I we also noticed evidence which proved the occasional, and led us to suspect the somewhat regular employment of itinerant justices. This institution was put into definite and permanent form by his grandson. The kingdom was at first divided into six circuits, to each of which three justices were sent. Afterwards the number of justices was reduced. These justices, though not all members of the small court at Westminster, were all, it is likely, familiar with its work, and to each circuit at least one justice of the Westminster court was probably always assigned. What they carried into each county of the kingdom as they went the round of their districts was not a new court and not a local court; it was the curia regis itself, and that too in its administrative as well as in its judicial functions indeed it is easy to suspect that it was quite as much the administrative side of its work,--the desire to check the abuses of the sheriffs by investigation on the spot, and to improve the collection of money due to the crown, as its judicial,--as the wish to render the operation of the law more convenient by trying cases in the communities where they arose, that led to the development of this side of the judicial system. Whatever led to it, this is what had begun, a new branch of the judicial organization.

It was in these courts, these king's courts,--the trial court at Westminster and the court of the itinerant justices in the different counties,--that the institution began to be put into regular use that has become so characteristic a distinction of the Anglo-Saxon judicial system--the jury. The history of the jury cannot here be told. It is sufficient to say that it existed in the Frankish empire of the early ninth century in a form apparently as highly developed as in the Norman kingdom of the early twelfth. From Charles the Great to Henry II it remained in what was practically a stationary condition. It was only on English soil, and after the impulse given to it by the broader uses in which it was now employed that it began the marvellous development from which our liberty has gained so much. At the beginning it was a process belonging to the sovereign and used solely for his business, or employed for the business of others only by his permission in the special case. What Henry seems to have done was to generalize this use, to establish certain classes of cases in which it might always be employed by his subjects, but in his courts only. In essence it was a process for getting local knowledge to bear on a doubtful question of fact of interest to the government. Ought A to pay a certain tax? The question is usually to be settled by answering another: Have his ancestors before him paid it, or the land which he now holds? The memory of the neighbours can probably determine this, and a certain number of the men likely to know are summoned before the officer representing the king, put on oath, and required to say what they know about it.

In its beginning that is all the jury was. But it was a process of easy application to other questions than those which interested the king. The question of fact that arose in a suit at law--was the land in dispute between A and B actually held by the ancestor of B?--could be settled in the same way by the memory of the neighbours, and in a way much more satisfactory to the party whose cause was just than by an appeal to the judgment of heaven in the wager of battle. If the king would allow the private man the use of this process, he was willing to pay for the privilege. Such privilege had been granted since the Conquest in particular cases. A tendency at least in Normandy had existed before Henry II to render it more regular. This tendency Henry followed in granting the use of the primitive jury generally to his subjects in certain classes of cases, to defendants in the Great Assize to protect their freehold, to plaintiffs in the three assizes of Mort d'Ancestor, Novel Disseisin, and Darrein Presentment to protect their threatened seisin. As a process of his own, as a means of preserving order, he again broadened its use in another way in the Assize of Clarendon, finding in it a method of bringing local knowledge to the assistance of the government in the detection of crime, the function of the modern grand jury and its origin as an institution.

The result of Henry's activities in this direction--changes we may call them, but hardly innovations, following as they do earlier precedents and lying directly in line with the less conscious tendencies of his predecessors,--this work of Henry's was nothing less than to create our judicial system and to determine the character and direction of its growth to the present day. In the beginning of these three things, of a specialized and official court system, of a national judiciary bringing its influence to bear on every part of the land, and of a most effective process for introducing local knowledge into the trial of cases, Henry had accomplished great results, and the only ones that he directly sought. But two others plainly seen after the lapse of time are of quite equal importance. One of these was the growth at an early date of a national common law.

Almost the only source of medieval law before the fourteenth century was custom, and the strong tendency of customary law was to break into local fragments, each differing in more or less important points from the rest. Beaumanoir in the thirteenth century laments the fact that every castellany in France had a differing law of its own, and Glanville still earlier makes a similar complaint of England. But the day was rapidly approaching in both lands when the rise of national consciousness under settled governments, and especially the growth of a broader and more active commerce, was to create a strong demand for a uniform national law. What influences affected the forming constitutions of the states of Europe because this demand had to be met by recourse to the imperial law of Rome, the law of a highly centralized absolutism, cannot here be recounted. From these influences, whether large or small, from the necessity of seeking uniformity in any ready-made foreign law, England was saved by the consequences of Henry's action. The king's court rapidly created a body of clear, consistent, and formulated law. The itinerant justice as he went from county to county carried with him this law and made it the law of the entire nation. From these beginnings arose the common law, the product of as high an order of political genius as the constitution itself, and now the law of wider areas and of more millions of men than ever obeyed the law of Rome.

One technical work, at once product and monument of the legal activity of this generation, deserves to be remembered in this connexion, the Treatise on the Laws of England. Ascribed with some probability to Ranulf Glanvill, Henry's chief justiciar during his last years, it was certainly written by some one thoroughly familiar with the law of the time and closely in touch with its enforcement in the king's court. To us it declares what that law was at the opening of its far-reaching history, and in its definiteness and certainty as well as in its arrangement it reveals the great progress that had been made since the law books of the reign of Henry I. That progress continued so rapid that within a hundred years Glanvill's book had become obsolete, but by that time it had been succeeded by others in the long series of great books on our common law. Nor ought we perhaps entirely to overlook another book, as interesting in its way, the Dialogue of the Exchequer. Written probably by Richard Fitz Neal, of the third generation of that great administration family founded by Roger of Salisbury and restored to office by Henry II, the book gives us a view from within of the financial organization of the reign as enlightening as is Glanvill's treatise on the common law.

But besides the growth of the common law, these reforms involved and carried with them as a second consequence a great change in the machinery of government and in the point of view from which it was regarded. We have already seen how in the feudal state government functions were undifferentiated and were exercised without consciousness of inconsistency by a single organ, the curia regia, in which, as in all public activities, the leading operative element was the feudal baronage. The changes in the judicial system which were accomplished in the reign of Henry, especially the giving of a more fixed and permanent character to the courts, the development of legal procedure into more complicated and technical forms, and the growth of the law itself in definiteness and body,--these changes meant the necessity of a trained official class and the decline of the importance of the purely feudal baronage in the carrying on of government. This was the effect also of the gradual transformation of the sheriff into a more strictly ministerial officer and the diminished value of feudal levies in war as indicated by the extension of scutage. In truth, at a date relatively as early for this transformation as for the growth of a national law, the English state was becoming independent of feudalism. The strong Anglo-Norman monarchy was attacking the feudal baron not merely with the iron hand by which disorder and local independence were repressed, but by finding out better ways of doing the business of government and so destroying practically the whole foundation on which political feudalism rested. Of the threatening results of these reforms the baronage was vaguely conscious, and this feeling enters as no inconsiderable element into the troubles that filled the reign of Henry's youngest son and led to the first step towards constitutional government.

For a moment serious business was now interrupted by a bit of comedy, at least it seems comedy to us, though no doubt it was a matter serious enough to the actors. For many years there had been a succession of bitter disputes between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York over questions of precedence and various ceremonial rights, or to state it more accurately the Archbishops of York had been for a long time trying to enforce an exact equality in such matters with the Archbishops of Canterbury. At mid-Lent, 1776 Cardinal Hugo, the legate, held a council of the English Church in London, and at its opening the dispute led to actual violence. The cardinal took the seat of the presiding officer, and Richard of Canterbury seated himself on his right hand. The Archbishop of York on entering found the seat of honour occupied by his rival, and unwilling to yield, tried to force himself in between Richard and the cardinal. One account says that he sat down in Richard's lap. Instantly there was a tumult. The partisans of Canterbury seized the offending archbishop, bishops we are told even leading the attack, dragged him away, threw him to the floor, and misused him seriously. The legate showed a proper indignation at the disorder caused by the defenders of the rights of Canterbury, but found himself unable to go on with the council.

For a year past the young king had been constantly with his father, kept almost a prisoner, as his immediate household felt and as we may well believe. Now he began to beg permission to go on a pilgrimage to the famous shrine of St. James of Compostella, and Henry at last gave his consent, though he knew the pilgrimage was a mere pretext to escape to the continent. But the younger Henry was detained at Portchester some time, waiting for a fair wind; and Easter coming on, he returned to Winchester, at his father's request, to keep the festival with him. In the meantime, Richard and Geoffrey had landed at Southampton, coming to their father with troubles of their own, and reached Winchester the day before Easter Sunday. Henry and his sons were thus together for the feast, much to his joy we are told; but it is not said that Queen Eleanor, who was then imprisoned in England, very likely in Winchester itself, was allowed any part in the celebration. Richard's visit to England was due to a dangerous insurrection in his duchy, and he had come to ask his father's help. Henry persuaded the young king to postpone his pilgrimage until he should have assisted his brother to re-establish peace in Aquitaine, and with this understanding they both crossed to the continent about a fortnight after Easter, but young Henry on landing at once set off with his wife to visit the king of France. Richard was now nearly nineteen years old, and in the campaign that followed he displayed great energy and vigour and the skill as a fighter for which he was afterwards so famous, putting down the insurrection almost without assistance from his brother, who showed very little interest in any troubles but his own. The young king, indeed, seemed to be making ready for a new breach with his father. He was collecting around him King Henry's enemies and those who had helped him in the last war, and was openly displaying his discontent. An incident which occurred at this time illustrates his spirit. His vice-chancellor, Adam, who thought he owed much to the elder king, attempted to send him a report of his son's doings; but when he was detected, the young Henry, finding that he could not put him to death as he would have liked to do because the Bishop of Poitiers claimed him as a clerk, ordered him to be sent to imprisonment in Argentan and to be scourged as a traitor in all the towns through which he passed on the way.

About the same time an embassy appeared in England from the Norman court of Sicily to arrange for a marriage between William II of that kingdom and Henry's youngest daughter, Joanna. The marriages of each of Henry's daughters had some influence on the history of England before the death of his youngest son. His eldest daughter Matilda had been married in 1168 to Henry the Lion, head of the house of Guelf in Germany, and his second daughter, Eleanor, to Alphonso III of Castile, in 1169 or 1170. The ambassadors of King William found themselves pleased with the little princess whom they had come to see, and sent back a favourable report, signifying also the consent of King Henry. In the following February she was married and crowned queen at Palermo, being then a little more than twelve years old. Before the close of this year, 1176, Henry arranged for another marriage to provide for his youngest son John, now ten years old. The infant heiress of Maurienne, to whom he had been years before betrothed, had died soon after, and no other suitable heiress had since been found whose wealth might be given him. The inheritance which his father had now in mind was that of the great Earl Robert of Gloucester, brother and supporter of the Empress Matilda, his father's mother. Robert's son William had only daughters. Of these two were already married, Mabel to Amaury, Count of Evreux, and Amice to Richard of Clare, Earl of Hertford. Henry undertook to provide for these by pensions on the understanding that all the lands of the earldom should go to John on his marriage with the youngest daughter Isabel. To this plan Earl William agreed. The marriage itself did not take place until after the death of King Henry.

An income suitable for his position had now certainly been secured for the king's youngest son, for in addition to the Gloucester inheritance that of another of the sons of Henry I, Reginald, Earl of Cornwall who had died in 1175, leaving only daughters, was held by Henry for his use, and still earlier the earldom of Nottingham had been assigned him. At this time, however, or very soon after, a new plan suggested itself to his father for conferring upon him a rank and authority proportionate to his brothers'. Ireland was giving more and more promise of shaping itself before long into a fairly well-organized feudal state. If it seems to us a turbulent realm, where a central authority was likely to secure little obedience, we must remember that this was still the twelfth century, the height of the feudal age, and that to the ruler of Aquitaine Ireland might seem to be progressing more rapidly to a condition of what passed as settled order than to us. Since his visit to the island, Henry had kept a close watch on the doings of his Norman vassals there and had held them under a firm hand. During the rebellion of 1173 he had had no trouble from them. Indeed, they had served him faithfully in that struggle and had been rewarded for their fidelity. In the interval since the close of the war some advance in the Norman occupation had been made. There seemed to be a prospect that both the south-west and the north-east--the southern coast of Munster and the eastern coast of Ulster--might be acquired. Limerick had been temporarily occupied, and it was hoped to gain it permanently. Even Connaught had been successfully invaded. Possibly it was the hope of securing himself against attacks of this sort which he may have foreseen that led Roderick of Connaught to acknowledge himself Henry's vassal by formal treaty. If he had any expectation of this sort, he was disappointed; for the invaders of Ireland paid no attention to the new relationship, nor did Henry himself any longer than suited his purpose.

We are now told that Henry had formed the plan of erecting Ireland into a kingdom, and that he had obtained from Alexander III permission to crown whichever of his sons he pleased and to make him king of the island. Very possibly the relationship with Scotland, which he had lately put into exact feudal form, suggested the possibility of another subordinate kingdom and of raising John in this way to an equality with Richard and Geoffrey. At a great council held at Oxford in May, 1177, the preliminary steps were taken towards putting this plan into operation. Some regulation of Irish affairs was necessary. Richard "Strongbow," Earl of Pembroke and Lord of Leinster, who had been made justiciar after the rebellion, had died early in 1176, and his successor in office, William Fitz Adelin, had not proved the right man in the place. There were also new conquests to be considered and new homages to be rendered, if the plan of a kingdom was to be carried out. His purpose Henry announced to the council, and the Norman barons, some for the lordships originally assigned them, some for new ones like Cork and Limerick, did homage in turn to John and to his father, as had been the rule in all similar cases. Hugh of Lacy, Henry's first justiciar, was reappointed to that office, but there was as yet no thought of sending John, who was then eleven years old, to occupy his future kingdom.

It was a crowded two years which Henry spent in England. Only the most important of the things that occupied his attention have we been able to notice, but the minor activities which filled his days make up a great sum of work accomplished. Great councils were frequently held; the judicial reforms and the working of the administrative machinery demanded constant attention; the question of the treatment to be accorded to one after another of the chief barons who had taken part in the rebellion had to be decided; fines and confiscations were meted out, and finally the terms on which the offenders were to be restored to the royal favour were settled. The castles occasioned the king much anxiety, and of those that were allowed to stand the custodians were more than once changed. The affairs of Wales were frequently considered, and at last the king seemed to have arranged permanent relations of friendship with the princes of both north and south Wales. In March, 1177, a great council decided a question of a kind not often coming before an English court. The kings of Castile and Navarre submitted an important dispute between them to the arbitration of King Henry, and the case was heard and decided in a great council in London--no slight indication of the position of the English king in the eyes of the world.

Ever since early February, 1177, Henry had been planning to cross over to Normandy with all the feudal levies of England. There were reasons enough for his presence there, and with a strong hand. Richard's troubles were not yet over, though he had already proved his ability to deal with them alone. Britanny was much disturbed, and Geoffrey had not gone home with Richard, but was still with his father. The king of France was pressing for the promised marriage of Adela and Richard, and it was understood that the legate, Cardinal Peter of Pavia, had authority to lay all Henry's dominions under an interdict if he did not consent to an immediate marriage. The attitude of the young Henry was also one to cause anxiety, and his answers to his father's messages were unsatisfactory. One occasion of delay after another, however, postponed Henry's crossing, and it was the middle of August before he landed in Normandy. We hear much less of the army that actually went with him than of the summons of the feudal levies for the purpose, but it is evident that a strong force accompanied him. The difficulty with the king of France first demanded attention. The legate consented to postpone action until Henry, who had determined to try the effect of a personal interview, should have a conference with Louis. This took place on September 21, near Nonancourt, and resulted in a treaty to the advantage of Henry. He agreed in the conference that the marriage should take place on the original conditions, but nothing was said about it in the treaty. This concerned chiefly a crusade, which the two kings were to undertake in close alliance, and a dispute with regard to the allegiance of the county of Auvergne, which was to be settled by arbitrators named in the treaty, After this success Henry found no need of a strong military force. Various minor matters detained him in France for nearly a year, the most important of which was an expedition into Berri to force the surrender to him of the heiress of Déols under the feudal right of wardship. July 15, 1178, Henry landed again in England for another long stay of nearly two years. As in his previous sojourn this time was occupied chiefly in a further development of the judicial reforms already described.

While Henry was occupied with these affairs, events in France were rapidly bringing on a change which was destined to be of the utmost importance to England and the Angevin house. Louis VII had now reigned in France for more than forty years. His only son Philip, to be known in history as Philip Augustus, born in the summer of 1165, was now nearly fifteen years old, but his father had not yet followed the example of his ancestors and had him crowned, despite the wishes of his family and the advice of the pope. Even so unassertive a king as Louis VII was conscious of the security and strength which had come to the Capetian house with the progress of the last hundred years. Now he was growing ill and felt himself an old man, though he was not yet quite sixty, and he determined to make the succession secure before it should be too late. This decision was announced to a great council of the realm at the end of April, 1179, and was received with universal applause. August 15 was appointed as the day for the coronation, but before that day came the young prince was seriously ill, and his father was once more deeply anxious for the future. Carried away by the ardour of the chase in the woods of Compiegne, Philip had been separated from his attendants and had wandered all one night alone in the forest, unable to find his way. A charcoal-burner had brought him back to his father on the second day, but the strain of the unaccustomed dread had been too much for the boy, and he had been thrown into what threatened to be a dangerous illness. To Louis's troubled mind occurred naturally the efficacy of the new and mighty saint, Thomas of Canterbury, who might be expected to recall with gratitude the favours which the king of France had shown him while he was an exile. The plan of a pilgrimage to his shrine, putting the king practically at the mercy of a powerful rival, was looked upon by many of Louis's advisers with great misgiving, but there need have been no fear. Henry could always be counted upon to respond in the spirit of chivalry to demands of this sort having in them something of an element of romance. He met the royal pilgrim on his landing, and attended him during his short stay at Canterbury and back to Dover. This first visit of a crowned king of France to England, coming in his distress to seek the aid of her most popular saint, was long remembered there, as was also his generosity to the monks of the cathedral church. The intercession of St. Thomas availed. The future king of France recovered, selected to become--it was believed that a vision of the saint himself so declared--the avenger of the martyr against the house from which he had suffered death.

Philip recovered, but Louis fell ill with his last illness. As he drew near to Paris on his return a sudden shock of paralysis smote him. His whole right side was affected, and he was unable to be present at the coronation of his son which had been postponed to November 1. At this ceremony the house of Anjou was represented by the young King Henry, who as Duke of Normandy bore the royal crown, and who made a marked impression on the assembly by his brilliant retinue, by the liberal scale of his expenditure and the fact that he paid freely for everything that he took, and by the generosity of the gifts which he brought from his father to the new king of France. The coronation of Philip II opens a new era in the history both of France and England, but the real change did not declare itself at once. What seemed at the moment the most noteworthy difference was made by the sudden decline in influence of the house of Blois and Champagne, which was attached to Louis VII by so many ties, and which had held so high a position at his court, and by the rise of Count Philip of Flanders to the place of most influential counsellor, almost to that of guardian of the young king. With the crowning of his son, Louis's actual exercise of authority came to an end; the condition of his health would have made this necessary in any case, and Philip II was in fact sole king. His first important step was his marriage in April, 1180, to the niece of the Count of Flanders, Isabel of Hainault, the childless count promising an important cession of the territory of south-western Flanders to France to take place on his own death, and hoping no doubt to secure a permanent influence through the queen, while Philip probably intended by this act to proclaim his independence of his mother's family.

These rapid changes could not take place without exciting the anxious attention of the king of England. His family interests, possibly also his prestige on the continent, had suffered to some extent in the complete overthrow and exile of his son-in-law Henry the Lion by the Emperor Frederick I, which had occurred in January, 1180, a few weeks before the marriage of Philip II, though as yet the Emperor had not been able to enforce the decision of the diet against the powerful duke. Henry of England would have been glad to aid his son-in-law with a strong force against the designs of Frederick, which threatened the revival of the imperial power and might be dangerous to all the sovereigns of the west if they succeeded, but he found himself between somewhat conflicting interests and unable to declare himself with decision for either without the risk of sacrificing the other. Already, before Philip's marriage, the young Henry had gone over to England to give his father an account of the situation in France, and together they had crossed to Normandy early in April. But the marriage had taken place a little later, and May 29 Philip and his bride were crowned at St. Denis by the Archbishop of Sens, an intentional slight to William of Blois, the Archbishop of Reims. Troops were called into the field on both sides and preparations made for war, while the house of Blois formed a close alliance with Henry. But the grandson of the great negotiator, Henry I, had no intention of appealing to the sword until he had tried the effect of diplomacy. On June 28 Henry and Philip met at Gisors under the old elm tree which had witnessed so many personal interviews between the kings of England and France. Here Henry won another success. Philip was reconciled with his mother's family; an end was brought to the exclusive influence of the Count of Flanders; and a treaty of peace and friendship was drawn up between the two kings modelled closely on that lately made between Henry and Louis VII, but containing only a general reference to a crusade. Henceforth, for a time, the character of Henry exercised a strong influence over the young king of France, and his practical statesmanship became a model for Philip's imitation.

At the beginning of March, 1182, Henry II returned to Normandy. Events which were taking place in two quarters required his presence. In France, actual war had broken out in which the Count of Flanders was now in alliance with the house of Blois against the tendency towards a strong monarchy which was already plainly showing itself in the policy of young Philip, Henry's sons had rendered loyal and indispensable assistance to their French suzerain in this war, and now their father came to his aid with his diplomatic skill. Before the close of April he had made peace to the advantage of Philip. His other task was not so easily performed. Troubles had broken out again in Richard's duchy. The young duke was as determined to be master in his dominions as his father in his, but his methods were harsh and violent; he was a fighter, not a diplomatist; the immorality of his life gave rise to bitter complaints; and policy, methods, and personal character combined with the character of the land he ruled to make peace impossible for any length of time. Now the troubadour baron, Bertran de Born, who delighted in war and found the chosen field for his talents in stirring up strife between others, in a ringing poem called on his brother barons to revolt. Henry, coming to aid his son in May, 1182, found negotiation unsuccessful, and together in the field they forced an apparent submission. But only for a few months.

In the next act of the constantly varied drama of the Angevin family in this generation the leading part is taken by the young king. For some time past the situation in France had almost forced him into harmony with his father, but this was from no change of spirit. Again he began to demand some part of the inheritance that was nominally his, and fled to his customary refuge at Paris on a new refusal. With difficulty and by making a new arrangement for his income, his father was able to persuade him to return, and Henry had what satisfaction there could be to him in spending the Christmas of 1182 at Caen with his three sons, Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey, and with his daughter Matilda and her exiled husband, the Duke of Saxony. This family concord was at once broken by Richard's flat refusal to swear fealty to his elder brother for Aquitaine. Already the Aquitanian rebels had begun to look to the young Henry for help against his brother, and Bertran de Born had been busy sowing strife between them. In the rebellion of the barons that followed, young Henry and his brother Geoffrey acted an equivocal and most dishonourable part. Really doing all they could to aid the rebels against Richard, they repeatedly abused the patience and affection of their father with pretended negotiations to gain time. Reduced to straits for money, they took to plundering the monasteries and shrines of Aquitaine, not sparing even the most holy and famous shrine of Rocamadour, Immediately after one of the robberies, particularly heinous according to the ideas of the time, the young king fell ill and grew rapidly worse. His message, asking his father to come to him, was treated with the suspicion that it deserved after his recent acts, and he died with only his personal followers about him, striving to atone for his life of sin at the last moment by repeated confession and partaking of the sacrament, by laying on William Marshal the duty of carrying his crusader's cloak to the Holy Land, and by ordering the clergy present to drag him with a rope around his neck on to a bed of ashes where he expired.


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