Saturday, 6 June 2009

Chapters 22 and 23

Of Hugh's renewed treason

Much later in different circumstances, after he had been received back into the king’s favour by offering many hostages and oaths, Hugh resumed the path of deception. ‘Pupil of Scylla, he excelled his master in crime,’[1] Again he was besieged by the king[2], disinherited again; yet though he pierced the king’s steward Anselm de Garlande, a valiant baron, with his own lance, this was not enough to make him forget his innate and habitual treason, until he took the road to Jerusalem. This did what it has done for many wicked men: it cured his enflamed evil of all its poison by taking his life.[3]

Of the peace made the English king

The great men of the kingdom and the religious took a hand in making peace between the king of England, the king of France and Count Theobald.[4] By a just judgement those who had bound the king of England and Count Theobald to the settlement of their own grievances, thus conspiring against the kingdom, having been exhausted by war, profited nothing by peace. They now had the chance to reflect on just what they had done to obtain the sentence they deserved. Lancelin, count of Dammartin, lost without hope of recovering his claim on the escort toll of Beauvais[5]; Pagan of Montjay failed in the affair of the castle of Livry; one month he bitterly lamented the destruction of its fortifications, and the next he completely restored it to greater strength through the money of the English king. Miles of Montlhéry grieved and groaned when his very gratifying marriage to the count’s sister was annulled on grounds of consanguinity. The marriage had brought him less honour and joy than the divorce brought him shame and unhappiness. Men judged that all this was well done, in conformity with the canonical authority which states: ‘Any obligations contracted for the purpose of breaking the peace shall be entirely set at nought.’[6]


[1] Lucan, De bello civili, I, 326

[2] Ibid, Molinier, Auguste, (ed.), Vie de Louis le Gros par Suger, p. 79, no 4 dated the siege to the autumn of 1117 based on the possible dates for the death of Anselm de Garlande between 3rd August 1117 and 1st January 1118. However, ibid, Luchaire, Louis VI le Gros, Annales de son vie et de son règne, n° 231 suggested dates between 6th January and 1st May 1118 for the third and final siege. There is an acta in the cartulary of Saint-Pere de Chartres dated 6th January 1118 signed by Anselm. On 1st May 1118, the king allowed Toury to establish a market and abolished the oppressive customs established by the lords of Le Puiset. Luchaire, I think has the better of the argument.

[3] Did Hugh cause the king further problems after the third siege? Was he again in possession of Puiset in 1123 or 1128? He did not go on crusade for ten years after his defeat. In the Holy Land, he played an inconspicuous role and died in 1132 from wounds received in a quarrel. It was not him but his uncle Hugh II who linked himself to the dynasty of the counts of Jaffa.

[4] The war had resumed in August 1111 at the time of the quarrel that sprung up between Louis VI and Theobald after the first siege of Le Puiset. Peace was agreed at L’Ormeteau-Ferré, near to Gisors at the end of March 1113. The peace of Gisors rebounded against a group of barons who had caused Louis much trouble. To this extent the settlement was to his advantage but the more detailed account of Orderic Vitalis 4: 307 indicates that Henry got the better of the deal. Orderic describes the peace as having been sought by Louis and reached by the two kings at a meeting between them and states that Louis VI ceded to Henry I Bellème and the suzerainty of Maine and all Brittany: see ibid, Luchaire, Louis VI le Gros, Annales de son vie et de son règne, n° 81.

[5] The issue here was the right to charge tolls for protection. These were paid by merchants in return for assured protection from a lord or the king, later replaced by the notion of safe conduct: see Huvelin, P., Essai historique sur le droit des marches et des foires, Paris, 1987, pp. 363-364 and 377-379. Lancelin II de Bulles was a vassal of the church of Beauvais.

[6] This text seems to concern canons relating to the Peace of God. Barthélemy, Dominique, L’an mil et la paix de Dieu: La France chrétienne et féodal 980-1060, (Fayard), 1999 is primarily concerned with the eleventh century but it does have some useful things at say about later attitudes.

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