The documents dealt with in this calendar were, for the most part, transcribed for the old Record Commission more than sixty years ago. On the dissolution of that Commission its labours terminated abruptly and no steps were taken to utilise these transcripts, of which a great number had then been executed at no inconsiderable cost. A list of the volumes into which they had been bound, according to the places from which they had been obtained, was printed in 1885 as an Appendix to the Syllabus, in English, of Rymer's “Fœdera”; but no attempt has hitherto been made to render their contents available to the public. In dealing with so vast a mass of material, some principle had to be adopted; and it was decided that priority of treatment ought to be awarded to those documents which are anterior to the date at which our English series of enrolments begin, namely, the close of the twelfth century. And, as the bulk of these early documents is found among the transcripts from Normandy, the year 1206 was selected as one which would amply cover the loss of that province, terminating the period of a century and a half during which it was connected with England. No document, therefore, is included which appears to be certainly later in date than 1206. (fn. 1)
Although it is desirable, as a general rule, to print in extenso all documents older than the thirteenth century, the adoption in this instance of a calendar in English will, it is hoped, prove sufficient for all practical purposes, as the transcripts in full can, in most cases, be consulted at the Public Record Office. The lists of witnesses, however, are given in Latin throughout, as, it will be generally admitted, is absolutely essential.
Valuable, and in some cases unique, as is the material acquired by the Commission, the necessity of making it the basis of the work has caused some difficulty. It is a far easier task to approach documents de novo, and to deal with them on a uniform system, than to utilise the transcripts made by several different individuals whose systems of arrangement varied widely, and whose principles in selecting documents were not wholly identical. The transcripts, for instance, from Lower Normandy are arranged under religious houses, while those from the upper portion of the province are classified according to the status of the parties from whom they proceed. Others, again, are found in miscellaneous parcels, with no arrangement at all. It has here been decided to group the documents under the names of those religious houses to which they severally relate. Except in the Archives Nationales of France, the documents at this early date are almost all connected with some religious house; the few which are not are here placed among “Miscellaneous” groups. Within the above groups the arrangement is roughly chronological, but where charters of different dates are very closely related, as in Nos. 998–1003, they have been placed together for the convenience of the student. This has involved the re-arrangement of all the documents transcribed, a task of much difficulty and trouble; but it will be easy to identify the transcript calendared, as its number in the MS. volume is given in the marginal note.
With regard to the text, it should be clearly understood that the documents which are here calendared are transcripts. A systematic collation, in foreign archives, of the text would have been equivalent to a new undertaking; and all that was originally contemplated was the utilisation of the transcripts executed for the Record Commission. But, although originally intended for publication as received, the transcripts have not been so treated. Their text has been carefully revised by the editor, who received instructions that in those cases where the text appeared to him suspicious, it should, where possible, be verified abroad. He has, for his own satisfaction, gone considerably further, and collated, as will be seen by the notes, a large number of the transcripts with the sources whence they were derived. But the difficulties in the way of such a collation have proved threefold. In the first place, many of the documents transcribed are, as will be shown below, no longer forthcoming; secondly, to those series of charters which have not yet been examined and catalogued, by the authorities in France, access is difficult to obtain, and in some cases impossible, as in the archives of the Seine Inférieure, where the editor was informed that Série H. was not available for collation; thirdly, the indications given by those who executed the transcripts are insufficient for identification, charters being only described (because then uncatalogued) as existing in certain archives, while the folio, in the case of a cartulary, is generally omitted. It was necessary, therefore, to identify the documents before undertaking their collation; and this was rendered extremely laborious in the case of separate documents, by the system of the Inventaires Sommaires, while, in that of cartularies, an entire volume had to be examined to discover the folios from which the text of the charters, often but few in number, had been transcribed. As the result, however, of this labour, the editor has been enabled to append the present official reference for documents inventoried up to date, together with precise indications for those derived from cartularies.
Advantage was taken of the opportunity presented by this work of revision to traverse again the ground from which the transcripts were derived, in order to ascertain whether any documents had been omitted. The result was a large addition to the number previously transcribed, as will be made evident by those marginal references which contain no mention of a transcript. For instance, of the forty-five charters relating to the abbey of Bec and its priories (Nos. 357–401), twenty-nine have been added by the editor, including the original grant of Little Ogbourne manor, which corrects the received history (No. 374). From the cartulary, at Evreux, of St. Taurin's abbey, only three charters were extracted: the editor has added three others, one of which corrects the narrative of the Lacys’ foundation in Ireland of Fore abbey, (fn. 2) while another contains welcome evidence on the Norman settlement of Gower. It would be possible to give many similar examples. In addition to this fresh search among the Norman archives, the editor volunteered, on his own responsibility, to explore certain archives outside Normandy, in order to include in this calendar such documents of value as they might contain. For this purpose he visited Le Mans, Angers, Bordeaux, and other places, and was thus enabled to supplement the labours of the Record Commission, and to calendar documents of great interest for English history in the twelfth century.
He may, perhaps, be permitted to state that the actual results are no indication of the amount of labour incurred. The examination of cartularies yielded, in some cases, but one or two charters; in others, none at all. But, as the Bishop of Oxford has forcibly observed, in his lecture on “The Present Status and Prospects of Historical Study”:—
“There are fields of work in History as well as Natural Science in which experiment is to be treated as result. … In historical study I should place among the lawful researches and results the investigation of foreign libraries … the calendaring and cataloguing of manuscripts,—all sorts, in fact, of investigation on which it was à priori reasonably probable that discoveries would be made; … even if in that sense, of result, there were no result but the discovery that there was nothing to discover.” (fn. 3)
Such, in the opinion of the recognised head of the English historical school, is the research now needed.
It may here be desirable to state the principle of selection adopted. Broadly speaking, the object of this calendar is to render practically useful to the student a great mass of miscellaneous material, illustrating English history, political and institutional, topography, genealogy, and chronology. Keeping in view this object, the editor has exercised his discretion as to documents suitable for insertion, except in the case of the old transcripts, which he has felt bound to utilise. Some of them, especially among those executed by M. D'Anisy, have for an English student a scarcely appreciable interest; and, in the case of lengthy charters, much of the material is here omitted (the omission being duly indicated) as of absolutely no value for the object described above. On the other hand, documents which, at first sight, appear to have no connexion with England, have often an indirect but important bearing on its history. Some instances in point will be found below, but it is, of course, impossible to give, in all such cases, the reasons for inclusion.
All charters of English kings and of their immediate relatives have been systematically included. The importance of such evidence has only lately been realised (fn. 4) ; but it is not too much to say that the history of our Norman kings cannot be placed on a sure documentary and chronological basis until their charters have at least been calendared, and, so far as possible, dated. The many chronological difficulties of this still obscure period have led the editor to include another class of documents, namely, those which afford proof that certain persons, at a certain date, were present at a certain place.
The original transcribers were directed, it would seem, not to deal with any documents already printed in the Monasticon Anglicanum, and this principle has been here adhered to, although the Monasticon text is at times deplorably corrupt. Indeed, in such a case as No. 736, the inclusion of a more correct version needs no apology. Documents, also, known to have been printed in any publication of the Record Commission are here passed over. But, in both these classes, a reference is given to the place where the text has been printed; and if, on collation, the MS. was found to contain additional witnesses, these have been duly given. In the case of cartularies published abroad by societies or private individuals, the documents printed in them have been included without hesitation. For it has been found by practical experience that they remain virtually unknown to students in this country. It is not only difficult to ascertain what has been printed, and where, but it is also impossible to discover, until every page has been examined, whether a cartulary, even when known, contains documents comprised within the purview of this calendar. It is believed that the results of such examination, as comprised in these pages, will prove of the greatest service.
Before proceeding to further details, something must be said of the foreign sources from which these documents are derived. For, in some respects, the French system is very different from our own. The most salient of these differences is the existence of a record office (“Archives Départmentales”) attached to the Préfecture of each Department. The records of the local religious houses are almost all here preserved; and a uniform system of classification exists in every Department. The documents relating to the secular clergy are placed in “Série G” and those of the regulars in “Série H”: they are preserved in numbered liasses, each of which packets may contain several documents. It is to these numbered liasses that the marginal notes, in this calendar, refer. For the“Archives” of each Department there is an Inventaire Sommaire compiled by the Archiviste in charge (or by successive Archivistes), in which each “série” is dealt with separately. Except in the smaller collections, such as those at Evreux and Le Mans, “Série H,” which is the most important for the purpose of this calendar, has either not been dealt with, or only recently attacked. It may illustrate the difficulty, even for French scholars themselves, of ascertaining what evidence these collections contain, if the editor mentions that he was enabled to communicate to M. Paul Meyer, Director of the famous École des Chartes, for his great work on “Guillaume le Maréchal,” the existence of No. 229, of which he was unaware. Thus these transcripts contain information which at present is not elsewhere to be found, even in France.
To those familiar with the calendars of our own national records, the French Inventaires Sommaires will appear strangely disappointing. An index does not form part of the scheme, nor are the documents arranged in alphabetical or chronological order. The labour, therefore, of discovering the liasse in which a particular document is contained is often, the editor has found, very great. At Rouen, for instance, “Série G” contains thousands of liasses, many of which contain documents ranging over several centuries. A system of classification has, it is true, been adopted, but the risk invariably attending any such system in practice is shown by the fact that the striking charter of John, as count of Mortain (No. 180), which the Archives possess in duplicate, is found in two different classes, one copy (G. 4037) appearing under “Biens aliénés,” and the other (G. 4485) under “Bulles et Chartes.” So too, the charters (Nos. 39, 40) of the duke and duchess of Britanny, although they have absolutely the same witnesses, are found in widely separated classes, the former (G. 3569) under “Fondations Pieuses,” the latter (G. 4483) under “Bulles et Charters.” The searcher, therefore, cannot rely on such classification as a guide.
The Archives Nationales need not be discussed, as few of the documents here calendared are derived from that source; but something must be said of the public libraries, which contain a large proportion of them. A few of the local cartularies are found in the Archives Départementales, but the bulk of them are preserved in libraries, where they are easily accessible. This, however, is not the case with the vast collection of original MSS., cartularies, transcripts, and collections in the Bibliothèque Nationale itself. The very valuable class catalogue in the MS. Department of the British Museum enables the searcher to discover at a glance, under “Religious orders and monasieries,” the MS. material there available for any given religious house. The French institution has nothing of the kind. Indeed, the editor ventures to assert, from practical experience in preparing this work, that the officials themselves are not able to supply such information, or to thread their way in search of it, through their labyrinth of “fonds.” Partly by the references given in the footnotes to printed books, and partly from information supplied by friends, whose valuable help will be acknowledged below, he was gradually enabled to examine the MSS. likely to afford information; but he has probably by no means exhausted the material lurking in the MSS. of this magnificent collection.
To the examination of the above MSS. the editor attached great importance because, while separate documents, whether originals or copies, are almost all preserved in the Archives Dèpartmentales, the cartularies, as in the case of St. Evroul, or the valuable transcripts, made from the originals before their dispersal by former antiquaries, are largely preserved at Paris. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary, as will be seen from the pages of this calendar, that the examination of records in the provinces should be supplemented by study of the relative MSS. preserved in the central depository.
But, though this examination has enabled the editor to complete and to supplement the labours of those who transcribed for the Record Commission, it has greatly increased the complication of the task. When the transcript is in London, the cartulary in Paris, and the original or quasi-original in the Archives of some department, it is obviously no easy matter to secure a satisfactory text, or to revise the proofs when they are passing through the press. And the difficulty is increased when the transcriber, as is too frequently the case, has extended a word without warning and extended it wrongly. For the London transcripts, it must be remembered, were made the basis of the text. As if these obstacles were not enough, the references given for the transcripts have ceased, in cases, to be accurate. For instance, when M. D'Anisy made his transcripts from the charters belonging to the Abbey of Savigny, they were all preserved at Mortain: some are now in the Archives Nationales; others are in the Archives of La Manche; and a few, so far as the editor could discover, are no longer to be found. Again while many documents are not now forthcoming, others, described as in private hands, when copied, are now in Departmental Archives. It is hoped, therefore, that allowance will be made for the many difficulties surrounding a work of this peculiar character, differing, as it does, so widely from an ordinary calendar of records that special methods had to be devised for the treatment and arrangement of its contents.
A belief, however, may be confidently expressed that its practical value for the student of the period with which it deals outweighs by far the drawbacks to which reference has here been made. Instances in point will be given below; but apart from these, it has three features to which attention should be drawn. It is, in the first place, needful to explain that many of the documents here calendared have now disappeared from the Departmental Archives. At Caen, for example, the editor was informed by the able Archiviste of the Calvados that there is no trace in the Archives now of the charters relating to the English priories of the abbey of St. Pierre-sur-Dives (Nos. 578–589). It is, obviously, desirable to allude as briefly as possible to a subject of some delicacy; but it is an open secret among French experts that the Norman Archives have, in the past, suffered serious losses. Considerable interest, therefore, was aroused by the editor's announcement that copies of certain lost documents existed in these transcripts. The marginal notes record the fact that, when transcribed, they were in the Archives, but the proportion of them now missing will not be ascertained until the Inventaires of those remaining have been completed.
The second feature of special value is that, as has been explained above, this calendar contains information, not available even in France, as to the contents of those Archives which have not yet been explored and catalogued.
Lastly, it is difficult to over-estimate the advantage of collecting in a single volume so large a number of documents relating to one period. By the help of the index it will now be possible not only to determine several points hitherto obscure in history and biography, but also to date and explain other documents of the period, which may hereafter be brought to light, whether in England or in France. For this purpose the Monasticon is useless, apart from its bulk and miscellaneous character, because there is no attempt to date the dateless documents it contains, and, above all, from that want of an index of names and places, which it shares with the Inventaires Sommaires and with some printed cartularies.
The value of a document, for historical use, must be so largely dependent on its correct dating, that every effort has been made to avoid, in this calendar, the assignment of a wrong or doubtful date. There is, in the editor's belief, no limit to the errors that may arise even from a single mistake; and he has, therefore, acted throughout on the principle that a wrong date is worse than none at all. In some cases, after full research, he has preferred to specify no date; in others, he has adopted a wide limit, in order to be absolutely safe. Where the date is accompanied by a note of interrogation, it is given as highly probable, but not definitely proved. It must, of course, be borne in mind that these documents had to be dated without such assistance as this very volume, by means of its index, will afford.
The use which, both privately and officially, has been made of Mr. Eyton's well-known work (fn. 5) renders necessary some remarks on the system therein adopted. It was the author's endeavour to assign, from its contents or from the names of its witnesses, every charter of Henry II. to some moment in his reign. But neither his industry nor his skill could enable him to attain success in what, from the nature of the case, was an impossible undertaking. A limit of date,—often a wide one,—is usually all that is possible.
The danger of attempting more is shown by the fact that charters here brought to light are destructive of some of Mr. Eyton's dates. For instance, the great charter of confirmation in favour of the abbey of Bocherville (No. 211), with which he was not acquainted, may, with almost absolute certainty, be assigned to 1180, for it is subsequent to William Fitz Ralf becoming seneschal of Normandy, and, it may safely be assumed, to the king's return there in April 1180. But as the charters to this abbey and that of St. Victor en Caux printed in the Monasticon, (fn. 6) were similarly granted at Lillebonne, and have the same witnesses, we may assign these also to 1180, and not, as Mr. Eyton thought, to 1173. (fn. 7) It may be added that the Bocherville charter (No. 210) is of interest also for its late mention of the chancellor Ralf and his deputy, and for the occurrence, among its witnesses of several officers whose names are found on the Norman exchequer roll of 1180. John count of Vendôme had possibly come to court to secure, through the king, his absolution by the bishop of Chartres this year. Another and particularly striking case is that of the king's great charter of confirmation to the abbey of St. Sauveur, which Mr. Eyton places early in 1157 (fn. 8) ; for among the gifts it confirms is that of William de Soliers (No. 979), which is given by M. D'Anisy a little further on, and is dated 1160.
It need hardly be said that these remarks are in no way intended to discredit the labours of a pioneer: their only object is to demonstrate that his scheme is not practicable, and to justify the adoption, in this calendar, of a more cautious system.
As a typical instance of the difficulties presented by Henry's charters, and of the help that one document may give for dating others, one may take the interesting group of those to the abbeys of Préaux, St. Mary of Longues (No. 1450), and St. Stephen of Caen (No. 1413a), on p. 282 of Mr. Eyton's work. To these we may add one granted to the Priory of Ste. Barbe (No. 573), which he appears to have overlooked, and one to the Hospice of Montjoux (fn. 9) of which the seven witnesses are all found among those who witnessed the charter to Préaux. The Montjoux document dates the group by its mention of the bishopelect of Coventry; but even the limit so obtained is no narrower than three years, 1185–1187. Now the king was in Normandy for twelve months from April 1185, and again for eleven months from the February of 1187. To which of these two visits does the group belong? Mr. Eyton assigned it, without hesitation, to the close of 1187. But a very important document (No. 1084), calendared in this volume, reveals the entourage of the king at Gisors, March 11, 1186; and of the nine names there mentioned, eight are found as witnesses to the group of charters in question, while we can actually account for the ninth, (fn. 10) as the Pipe Roll specially records that he arrived in Normandy, this year, from England. (fn. 11) We can hardly, therefore, hesitate to assign this group of charters to the king's earlier visit in 1185, with a probability that it was previous to the above gathering at Gisors.
But, although groups of individuals may thus be evidence of date, the presence, among the witnesses to a charter, of some prominent personage whose movements are believed to be known has been too rashly relied on, at times, for that purpose. It would be possible to select from the documents in this calendar instances of the presence of such persons at times and at places where, it would be held, they are not likely to have been. The famous Nigel, bishop of Ely, is supposed not to have left England between his promotion to that see (1133) and the death of Henry I. (1135). Yet two documents here (Nos. 290, 590) reveal him in Normandy at the court of that king. His great successor, Longchamp, is believed to have parted from Richard at Dover in 1189, being left by him in England. Yet we here find him (No. 1346) attesting a charter of that king in the neighbourhood of St. Omer, so that he must have accompanied his sovereign across the channel. William Marshal, again, a no less prominent personage, was sent over to England by John, in 1199, to prepare the way for his accession. It would be deemed improbable that he could have returned before John left Normandy; and yet we find them at Dieppe together on May 21 (No. 112). We see, therefore, that the movements even of leading men are not known to us with sufficient certainty to form a trustworthy criterion of date. Those of the most restless of our kings are themselves difficult to follow. No one would imagine from his “itinerary,” in Mr. Eyton's work, that Henry Fitz Empress was at Gloucester, surrounded by a crowd of notables on December 13, 1157. And yet, from the Gloucester cartulary, (fn. 12) the fact is certain.
No. 1364 can be assigned with tolerable certainty to Henry's visit to Hesdin (1187), (fn. 13) and thus confirms the mention of that visit by Ralf de Diceto. It also confirms the statement in the Gesta that the count of Flanders was with him there, but corrects the same writer's assertion that the earl of Essex awaited him at Aumale. We can actually date this charter to a day (February18), in spite of four elaborate notes in Mr. Eyton's work (pp. 276–278), rejecting the dates in the Gesta, in Ralf de Diceto, and in Gervase, on the ground that according to Jocelyn de Brakelond, the king did not leave England till February 27. A careful investigation will show that Jocelyn himself says nothing of the date at which the king left, and that Mr. Eyton must have taken this date from an editorial note, (fn. 14) in which the authority vouched for it is no other than the Gesta; so that this “27th February” (on which the argument rests) is a mere printer's (or editor's) error for 17th February (the date of Henry's arrival at Witsand in the Gesta).
It has been impossible of course, to give the reasons throughout for dates which would often require a somewhat lengthy explanation. But in one instance, at least, such an explanation is required; and this instance must suffice.
The date of Nos. 31–33 is of importance, but of considerable difficulty, as they might belong to 1175 or 1179. The clue is afforded by No. 30, which—from the bishop of Winchester appearing as “elect” — must have been granted when the king was waiting to cross from Portsmouth, August 8, 1174. He is known to have so waited at Stokes (Bay) three years later (July 9 1177), so this charter being granted “apud Stokes” harmonises with the supposition that he was waiting to cross from Portsmouth. Now the confirmation by the young king (No. 31), being executed at Westminster, must be subsequent to his reconciliation with his father in the autumn of 1174, and cannot therefore be earlier than the middle of May 1175, when father and son returned to England. As this act of confirmation would not be delayed till the summer of 1179—the next possible date, we must place it previous to the young king's departure from England in March 1176, and may assign it, with some confidence, to the summer of 1175. But this conclusion dates No. 33, for the witnesses are almost identical; and No. 33, again, dates No. 32, of which it is the confirmation. And with this conclusion the witnesses to No. 32 are in perfect agreement.
But, further, the original transaction confirmed by Nos. 32, 33, is recorded in a document not transcribed by M. Deville, though it is preserved (G. 4362) in the Archives of the Seine Inférieure. By this charter Hawise wife of Bernard Comin sells to Walter de Coutances, treasurer of the church of Rouen, a portion of the inheritance of Ralf Fitz Stephen her brother “publice in plena communia Rothomagi, coram “Bartholomeo Fergant, tunc majore Rotomagi, testibus: “Hugone de Cressi, R[icardo] abbate Mortuimaris, (fn. 15) “Willelmo de Malapalude, Willelmo de Brealte, Galtero “filio Ger[oldi]” etc. Another charter to the same effect (G. 4363), in which “Robert” is substituted for “Ralf” (according to the Inventaire) is also “actum publice, “but” coram Rotrodo Rothomagi archiepiscopo, “Roberto decano, Radulfo cancellario, Petro cantore.” Having dated the above royal charters, we can now assert that these Rouen documents cannot be later than 1175, which carries back the Mayoralty of Bartholomew Fergant and the full communal organisation to that date. (fn. 16) The first appearance of a mayor of Rouen has been hitherto assigned, by French antiquaries, to 1177, (fn. 17) and the earlier date here ascertained is important not merely for municipal history, but for its bearing on other documents, such as No. 29, the date of which is discussed, but left undecided in the Introduction to the “Lay-Folks’ Mass Book” (pp. xliii.-xlix.). (fn. 18)
In his great monograph on the Etablissements de Rouen, M. Giry accepted 1177 as the earliest date for the appearance of the Mayor, (fn. 19) and wrote accordingly that the documents available do not decide the question of precedence between Rouen and La Rochelle, as they only prove that the common municipal organisation was adopted at Rouen between 1177 and 1183, and at La Rochelle between 1169 and 1199. (fn. 20) But as, from these documents, we can carry back to 1175 at latest the appearance of a mayor at Rouen, so, at La Rochelle, we can advance the limit from 1169 to 1175. For the charter by which that town received from Henry II. its commune (No. 1251) must clearly be assigned to February 1175, though dated by M. Marchegay 1170, and cautiously placed by M. Giry between 1169 and 1178. (fn. 21) In further illustration of what has been said as to the incomplete acquaintance of French and English scholars with one another's labours, it may be observed that M. Giry (1883) was restricted to the outline itinerary of Henry II. given by Stubbs, and evidently did not know of Mr. Eyton's work (1878). The above charter was granted at Le Mans, and must belong to April 1174 or February 1175. Now we know that Richard, who was present at the time, was at Le Mans with the king on the latter occasion, and cannot have been on the former, when he was in open revolt. To this it may be added that five of its witnesses (Stephen, bishop of Rennes, Maurice de Craon, Fulk Paynel, Josbert de Précigny and Geoffrey de Perche) are known to have been with the king in Normandy two months before (Eyton, p. 186).
The dating of No. 1167 was a matter of anxious consideration. Circumscribed within (September) 1055 and 1064 by the names of the archbishop of Rouen and the abbot of Marmoutier, it is here recorded in a charte-notice which, being of later date, interpolates in two places, the count's subsequent kingship. As “bishop Gervase” can be no other than Gervase, bishop of Le Mans, who had taken refuge at William's court, and became archbishop of Rheims in October 1055, the date seems fixed to the narrow limit Sept.–Oct. 1055. (fn. 22) Yet the names are more suggestive of a date ten years later. Among them are all five of those who append their signa to a charter of 1066 (No. 73), while a number of them are on the list of those who contributed ships for the duke's invasion of England. (fn. 23)
The date assigned in the margin to No. 817 is similarly determined by the name of Pope Lucius III., but the contents of No. 818 suggest that the Pope's name should rather be Lucius II., and the date forty years earlier.
As experts know, a frequent snare is set, in scribes'copies, by the trick of assigning, as above, to a king or noble a style he did not bear till a date later than the charter. An interesting example of this is found in No. 113, which assigns to William I. his regal style. M. Delisle who cites this document as a “Fausse charte,” writes:—
La fausseté de cette charte résulte de ce que Guillaume y prend le titre de roi d'Angleterre, et de ce qu'elle est souscrite par plusieurs personnes dont la mort arriva avant 1066. (fn. 24)
The editor, however, ventures to hold that this is a charter of the critical years 1035–1037, and that the list of witnesses is wholly consistent with that date, allowing for the interpolation by a long subsequent scribe, in accordance with a mischievous practice, of an ante-dated style. Among them, indeed, is an archbishop “Gingolor,” whose name may sound suspicious; but he is no other than “Junkeneus,” who is found in charters as “archbishop” of Dol so late as 1032, and whose successor does not occur before 1040. (fn. 25)
Less comprehensible is such a slip as in No. 357, in which the king's style is not of later but of earlier date than the document. This charter, which probably contains quite the earliest mention of Hythe, might well be dated before the Conquest, did it not relate to lands in England. The only year to which it seems possible to assign it is 1067; and in this year Hugh de Moutfort was actively employed in England. We should, hardly, therefore expect to find him in Normandy with William.
Lastly, the style may be right and the date in the charter wrong. Thus No. 412 seems to be accepted as a document of 1061 by M. Delisle, who observes of it:—
Le titre de roi donné à Guillaume le Bâtard dans une charte de l'année 1061 suffit pour montrer que le texte de cette charte a été remainé après coup. (fn. 26)
It appears to the editor more probable that this charter may actually belong to the Council of Lillebonne in 1080 (held, as the charter records, at Whitsuntide), a date in accordance with the names of the five prelates (except Hugh bishop of Lisieux, whom Gilbert had replaced three years before) together with those of William de Breteuil and Ralf de Conches (i.e., de Tosni), who had probably made their peace. In this case the date given in the document is altogether wrong, and the right one is 25 May, 1080.
In spite of the great and just reputation of French scholars in Diplomatique, and of the fact that the Archivistes are trained in the École des Chartes, the editor has felt compelled to differ, as to the dates of some documents, not only from these skilled officials, but from some of the greatest anthorities in France (Nos. 307, 763, 999, 1016, 1162, 1200 (fn. 27) ). He has, however, in such cases, been careful to record the dates which they have adopted. No. 1280, of interest for its bearing on our own Constitutio domus regis, presents great difficulties, as the witnesses’ names are probably corrupt. The name of Robert de Curci proves that 1157 is the latest possible date, while, if R[obert] de Ver were a witness, his name would be decisive proof that the charter was one of Henry I. about the close of his reign. It must, therefore, be concluded that he was not. (fn. 28)
Something must now be said of the character of those transcripts on which this calendar is based. The great bulk of them is contained in Nos. 140 A, 140 B of the foreign transcript series in the Public Record Office, which are devoted respectively to Upper and Lower Normandy. The latter, known as D'Anisy's transcripts, consists of three volumes, and, being carefully arranged and bound and deposited in the search-room, is tolerably familiar and was used by Mr. Eyton for his Itinerary of Henry II. Of Deville's transcripts (140 A) on the other hand, the existence was practically forgotten; and Mr. Eyton, consequently did not know of these valuable materials for his work. They are not indexed, but a list of them is given in the unindexed and unpublished Cooper's “Appendix to Fœdera, B, C, D.”
In a Latin preface, dated January 23, 1835, M. Deville explains that the documents he has transcribed were examined by him, during 1833 and 1834, in the archives and the public and private libraries of Upper Normandy (now the Departments of Seine-Inférieure and Eure). He claims that the transcripts are most carefully made from charters, cartularies, “vidimus,” or other authentic sources, the place where the documents were found, specified, and the preservation of seals noted. In cases where the documents had been previously published, he justifies his transcripts as giving a more perfect text. The character of his work is distinctly good, although collation has revealed an occasional mistake.
For a report on the Archives of Lower Normandy, comprising the modern Departments of Orne, La Manche, and Calvados, the Commission were fortunate in securing the services of M. Léchaudé D'Anisy, who, as a labour of love, had devoted six years to examining and calendaring the vast collection in the departmental Archives of Calvados. He had been successful in bringing to light over ten thousand documents, of which nothing had been known, and had executed drawings of more than 500 of the seals still appendant to them. The result of these labours is seen in the 7th and 8th volumes of the Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de Normandie (1834) and in the accompanying “Atlas” (1835), containing drawings of the seals he had selected and illustrations of Palæography. His general observations on Norman Diplomatique will be found in his Introduction to the first of these volumes. (fn. 29)
Accepting with enthusiasm, he writes, the task entrusted to him, in spite of his age and his feeble health, M. D'Anisy extended his researches to the rest of Lower Normandy; and, through his labours, the Record Commission became the means of making known documents of which the existence had hitherto been unsuspected. To the value of its initiative in that respect he bore striking testimony. After describing how the archives of Mont St. Michel were carried off to St. Lô, and there exposed to rain and wind, while a damp tower, over an ice-house, was being prepard for their reception, he exclaims:—
“C’est dans cet état que ces actes furent jetés sans ordre dans ce dépôt dévorant et dans lequel ils achevèrent de se décomposer. Honneur done à la Commission des Archives d'Angleterre à laquelle la France sera redevable de ces documents précieux qui infailliblement eussent été perdus sans I’appel qu'elle fit en 1833 aux antiquaries français. (fn. 30)
A no less remarkable discovery was made by him at Mortain, where he found in a garret, concealed beneath a layer of dirt and dust, a foot in thickness, the magnificent collection of charters and seals belonging to the abbey of Savigny, which had been thrown there in the tumults of 1793. The results of this notable find are contained in the third volume of his transcripts, for. 57–174.
To the three volumes in which are embodied the fruits of M. D'Anisy's researches, he gave the name of a “Cartulary of Lower Normandy,” (fn. 31) the leading idea that he kept in view being the formation of a Monasticon Anglo-Normannicum. (fn. 32)
The prominence his scheme of work assigned to the history of the religious houses themselves led him to include many documents which cannot be legitimately said to bear on English history. Indeed, at the close of his Introduction, he frankly admitted that he had preferred to include documents unduly rather than to leave out any that might prove of service. It has, therefore, been found necessary to omit from the present calendar several of the charters he transcribed. On the other hand, he was so careful, in accordance with the instructions he received, not to include anything that was already accessible in print, that it has hardly been necessary to reject on that ground anything he selected for inclusion.
In the Preface to this MS. “Cartulaire,” and in his Introduction to Vol. VII. of the Mémoires (ut supra) M. D'Anisy dwelt on the vicissitudes the archives of Normandy had undergone. In the 15th century the English, on their departure, had taken with them, it is said, many of the records relating to its religious houses. Conversely, in the following century, monks fleeing from the English Reformation, brought over, he alleges, with them English charters for safe keeping. The effects of the Great Revolution were most disastrous on these archives, for although it made them accessible to the public, it exposed them to negligent and reckless treatment, with the result that a large proportion was lost, alienated, or injured, while many of the finest charters were deliberately employed to make cartridge cases for the navy. As if this were not sufficient, it was decreed on June 25, 1794, that all documents recalling English domination in France were to be destroyed. (fn. 33) It is certainly remarkable, under these circumstances, that so many documents have survived, and still more so is the number of seals in more or less perfect condition. Those of interest which are not illustrated in M. D'Anisy's “Atlas,” were depicted by him for the Commission, and it is not too much to say that the drawings of them in these volumes are executed with admirable skill. Special attention may be called to No. 762, on the seal of which is a representation of the chronicler, Robert de Torigny, holding a book in one of his hands.
Vol. 133 of the Transcript series contains copies of documents preserved in the Archives Nationales, executed by trained students. It is little, if at all, known. In order to adhere as far as possible to the original arrangement, the transcripts in this volume have been calendared apart under “Paris.” But the documents obtained by the editor himself from the MSS. at the Bibliothèque Nationale, are treated under the provinces to which they severally relate. Outside Normandy there are certain religious houses, of which the records deserve special mention.
The charters of the abbey of Tiron in Perche will be virtually new to English historians. A so-called cartulary of the abbey in the Bibliothèque Nationale proves to be only a modern transcript made by M. Lejeune, public librarian of Chartres, in 1839, from a very late compilation lent to him by its then owner. The only cartulary of value for England is one of the 12th century which was published latterly by the Societé Archéologique d'Eure-et-Loir. (fn. 34) Although very fully described by its editor, its present resting-place seems to be unmentioned, but the original charters are believed to be now in the archives of Eure-et-Loir. In spite of his official position and high qualifications, the editor has not been fortunate in his dealings with the English dependencies of the abbey. He assigns to it in Wales two abbeys, “Caithmeis” and “St. Dogmaels” (on the latter of which, one reads, he has no information) though these were but one house; and in Scotland also two abbeys, “Notre Dame de Kelso,” formerly “Notre Dame de Roxburgh,” which was situated “à “Selkirk, ville du comté de Roxburgh,” and transferred to Kelso in 1128; and “Sélecherhe.” Of the latter, we read, “nous n'avons aucun renseignment sur cette “abbaye, située dans le comté de Cumberland (sic) en “Ecosse” (I. cxix.): yet the name is obviously “Selecherche,” i.e. Selkirk. The interesting charter of the Empress Matilda, which belongs to 1141, is assigned to1127, and her uncle, king David, who is among the witnesses, is transformed into his wife the queen, a scribe having evidently misread, as was sometimes the case, “A” for “D.” When one adds that the note on William de Rollos is derived from the pseudo-Ingulf, it will be evident that the French edition must be used with extreme caution. (fn. 35)
The abbey has a special interest for England on account of its endowment, from English revenues, by Henry I., who had a warm admiration for its founder. As the fact, in England at least, seems to have remained unknown, the passage from which we learn it, may here be quoted:—
“Aliqui vero, quia illum secum in finibus suis præsentem habere non poterant, de monachis ejus duodenos assumentes in territoriis suis monasteria construebant. Quorum unus Henricus rex Anglorum duxque Normannorum extitit, qui transmissis duobus excellentissimis principibus, Theobaudo scilicet Blesensi comite, atque Rotroco Perticensium consule, magnis precibus exorabat quatinus idem Domini famulus usque in Normanniam veniens, sibi corporis præsentiam exhibieret, excusans se quod propter diversorum accidentium insperatos eventus, finium suorum metas excedere non auderet. Quo annuente, mox ut eum Rex vidit, manus ad cœlum portans atque ipsius in habitatori, Christo videlicet, immensas grates retulit, datisque sibi mutuis amplexibus, eum debita cum honorificentia suscepit, cujus post auditam competentem doctrinam, quamplurima donaria obtulit, insuper et quindecim marcas argenti monasterio suo quoque anno perpetualiter habendas dedit.” (fn. 36)
“Præ nimia quoque amoris dulcedine, quem ad Christi confessorem deinceps habuit, in tantum monachos illius, quoad vixit, dilexit, ut unoquoque anno, præter redditum quem diximus, eis sexagenas aut quinquagenas marcas argenti, vel eo plus minusve numero, transmitteret, et ut religio institutionis illius non declinaret diligenter admonuit. Nostri etiam dormitorii ædes faciendas suscepit, quas, multis expensis pecuniis regia magnificentia consummavit.” (fn. 37)
Henry's envoys, his nephew and son-in-law, are both mentioned by Orderic as special benefactors of Tiron, (fn. 38) and were both actively supporting him at the siege of Belesme in May 1114. It was, no doubt, through them that Henry heard of the virtues of St. Bernard.
The charter which in these pages is placed at the head of the list, is dated (as, at this period, was not unusual), “apud Rotomagum, in die qua barones Normannie effecti homines filii regis.” This event is usually assigned to the eve of the king's departure from Normandy in 1120. (fn. 39) But as the charter is witnessed by the count of Meulan, who died in 1118, it must belong to an earlier occasion. Such an occasion is mentioned by Henry of Huntingdon in 1115:–
“Rex … fecit omnes proceres patriæ fidelitatem Domino debitam Willelmo filio suo jurare, et in Angliam rediit.” (fn. 40)
We may then safely assign the charter (which the French editor dated “circa 1117”) to this occasion, and thus find in it a confirmation of the chronicler's statement. Henry will have made the barons of Normandy do homage to his son before be left its shores in the summer of 1115, as he did on the eve of leaving it in the winter of 1120.
The three charters relating to St. Dogmaels, otherwise the abbey of St. Mary of Kemeys, are not only new, but are all earlier than the charter given in the Monasticon. As the history of its foundation is, admittedly, obscure, they are valuable, especially for the light they throw on the conversion of a priory into this abbey, which had been, we find, effected before the king's return to England at the close of 1120. It should be noted that one of the king's charters is separately confirmed by his son, whose act is witnessed by Otuer “Fitz Count,” who perished with him in the White Ship. This confirms the statement of Orderic that Otuer acted as his tutor. The Monasticon charter cannot be earlier than 1121, being witnessed by queen Adeliza, but as it was granted when the first abbot was blessed by the bishop of St. Davids, it not improbably belongs to the king's visit to Wales in that year, (fn. 41) in which case we could say that he was in the Pembroke district, September 11, 1121.
It has been suggested that the original founder of the abbey's Welsh house was the father of Robert fitz Martin. (fn. 42) of this father nothing is really known. The editor would suggest that his name was not “Martin de Tours,” as is always stated, but that we may detect him in “Martinus de Walis,” the first witness to the foundation charter of Totness Priory. (fn. 43) This would carry back to a very early date his settlement in Wales. But the narrative quoted above is conclusive as to Robert's claim:—
Per idem tempus Robertus quidam genere nobilissimus sanctum virum ab Oceani partibus adiit, atque tredecim ex ipsius discipulis secum assumens, Normannicos Anglicosque fines pertransiit, et ad ultimos Galentium (fn. 44) regionum metas perveniens, in littore maris Hibernici juxta Teni (fn. 45) fluvium, prius quidem cellam postea vero, totidem cum Abbate impetratis monachis, pacto quo diximus, (fn. 46) cænobium omnibus usualibus aptum composuit.
Special attention has here been drawn to these Tiron charters, because there has recently been published a history of “the Lordes of the Barony of Kemes,” annotated with a wealth of erudition, to the editor of which they were not known. (fn. 47) This is an excellent illustration of the fact insisted on above, namely, that such documents, even though in print abroad, have remained, in England, virtually unknown, because buried in scattered quarters.
Of the remaining charters, two throw light on the family of William Martel, a prominent follower of Stephen; one connected, evidently, with Titley Priory proves that Crown demesne, has passed, in Herefordshire, to Adam de Port, more than forty years earlier there Dugdale connects the name with that county; two (Nos. 1010, 1011), are of interest for Scottish antiquaries; and a group of considerable importance is discussed below (p. xliv).
The charters of the famous abbey of Fontevrault have remained little, if at all, known in England. And yet, as M. Marchegay truly said, “Pour le douzième siècle et le treizième surtout, il serait difficile de réunir un plus grand nombre de belles et antiques chartes, toutes inédites.” (fn. 48) In addition to the originals now preserved in the archives of Maine-et-Loire, there is in the same deposit a cartulary of the abbey, in nine volumes, formed by Père Lardier in 1648-1658, from the originals; and from this cartulary in 1699, Gaignères compiled the fine transcript in two volumes, now MS. lat. 5480 at Paris. Like D'Anisy, these industrious scholars of the 17th century were careful to record and copy the seals then appendant to the charters; and their drawings are now of great value.
Of these documents, the most striking, if not the most important, is the final agreement between Henry II. and his daughter-in-law Margaret, at Gisors, in the presence of her brother king Philip, March 11th, 1186 (No. 1084). Mr. Eyton could not assign a single charter to Henry's visit to Normandy, 1185-86; so that this dated evidence is doubly welcome. We here see with the French king his paternal uncle, count Robert of Dreux, his maternal uncles, count Theobald of Blois, count Stephen of Sancerre, and William, archbishop of Rheims, and his wife's uncle, count Philip of Flanders. (fn. 49) The “affidatio in manu” is well illustrated by this document, and its precise reckoning of Angevin money as then one quarter the value of sterling should be noted. Next in importance are the charters (Nos. 1052–3, 1055–6), relating to Henry I.’s endowment, which are dealt with below. (fn. 50) From two documents (Nos. 1057–8), we learn the curious fact that Reginald de St. Valery, having forfeited his English possessions by adhering to the Angevin cause had received, in compensation, till he should regain them, the revenues of the port of Dieppe. Reginald's counterseal, at this early date, is alleged to have borne a lion passant. It is particularly interesting to find Matthew, duke Henry's teacher (doctor) witnessing two of his charters, for this was the master under whom he was educated for four years at Bristol. (fn. 51)
The documents preserved at Angers, in the archives of Maine-et-Loire, relating to the endowments, English and foreign, of the abbey of St. Florent de Saumur are of exceptional value for the purpose of this calendar. Many of them were published by M. Paul Marchegay, in various quarters, as follows: (1) Les Prieurés Anglais de St. Florent près Saumur, in Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Chartes, Vol. XL. (1879), pp. 154 et seq.; (2) Chartes Normandes de l'Abbaye de St. Florent près Saumur, in Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de la Normandie, Vol. XXX. (1880), pp. 663 et seq. Collation by the editor proved that there was little to correct in these texts. But it is needful to bear in mind, first that the so-called original charters are mostly not the real originals, but documents recording their contents—which are accordingly calendared with the prefix “[Notification that]”; secondly that M. Marchegay's editorial notes have required revision throughout. He frankly confessed, indeed, that his dates “devront être minutieusement contrôlées” (fn. 52) ; and, as a matter of fact, a Monmouth charter he assigned to “vers 1090,” has been ascertained to belong to 1101 or 1102, (No. 1136), while one relating to a Sussex manor, which he dated “vers 1140,” proves to have been placed by him two generations too late, and to have been really executed by a Domesday tenant-in-chief, and attested by his under-tenants.
For the abbey of Marmoutier at Tours, and the priories dependent on it, we are largely dependent on 17th century transcripts. Those of Gaignères, which he made from the original charters, prove singularly accurate when collated with those which survive, and have the great merit of preserving all abbreviations.
It has been deemed desirable to include in this collection the Cluny documents now preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, of which, till somewhat recently, nothing was known in England. Sir George Duckett's work (fn. 53) brought them to the notice of scholars; but on examining the original records in the Collection de Bourgogne and those transcribed in Cartulary D (MS. lat. 5459), the editor discovered that some documents had been omitted in that work, while others had been misunderstood. No. 1389 is printed by Sir George from the very imperfect original, but the editor has been enabled to complete the text from the cartulary, and thus to assign the charter to the great council of Northampton (September 8, 1131). (fn. 54) There has also been some confusion as to the charters of Henry II. That which will be now described has been identified with a totally distinct one. (fn. 55) It is a document (No. 1400) of special interest, because we can assign it, with absolute certainty, to an eventful occasion. It must be subsequent to John of Oxford becoming bishop of Norwich (appointed November 26, cons. December 14, 1175) and previous to his departure from England with Richard de Camville, who is also a witness, in the early summer of 1176. This points directly to the great council at Northampton (26 January, 1176), at which the Assize of Northampton was promulgated, and justices appointed for six circuits. No document is assigned by Mr. Eyton to this occasion, and the present charter fills the gap. Among its witnesses are four of the justices appointed at this council, Hugh de Cressi, Bertram de Verdon, and William Fitz Ralf, with Randulf de Glanville himself. Of the others, the bishops of Winchester, Ely, and Norwich were all connected with judicial proceedings. (fn. 56) Ralf Brito acted later as a judge, while the name of Richard de Luci speaks for itself. The Balliol charter (No. 1392) is of great value for the early pedigree of this famous house, and established its Picard origin, a fact which seems to be doubted. (fn. 57)
It will only be possible within the compass of this Preface to touch on some of the many points upon which the documents here collected afford, when carefully examined, new and important information. Alien priories and English endowments bestowed on foreign abbeys are in the Monasticon Anglicanum comparatively neglected subjects. Dugdale admitted, in dealing with one of them, Wolston Priory, that he found it difficult to obtain in England the information required. (fn. 58) But from foreign sources is now supplied the foundation of this very priory (No. 578), as well as that of Burwell, of which he could tell us nothing, but which is now carried back to a Domesday tenant-in-chief. Sporle Priory, Norfolk, is another of these alien houses of which the interesting foundation (No. 1149) had hitherto remained unknown.
In addition to the light it throws on the origin of Burwell Priory, the cartulary of La Sauve affords us new and remarkable information on the honour of Holderness. It has hitherto been believed that this honour, assigned in Domesday Book to “Drogo de Bevrere,” was given, on his forfeiture, to Odo of Champagne, a brother-in-law of the Conqueror, and passed from him to Stephen of Aumale, his son and successor. (fn. 59) Nor has there been any reason to doubt this version. Yet we here find Arnulf de Montgomery giving the churches of Barrow and Bytham, in the Lincolnshire portion of the honour, to the abbey of La Sauve, and William Rufus confirming the gift (No. 1236). It might indeed be rash to rely on this evidence alone, but fortunately, in quite another quarter, we obtain ample confirmation. A document belonging to St. Martin of Sées (No. 667) proves that Arnulf endowed its cell which he had founded at Pembroke with tithes from certain English churches, which can all be identified as belonging to the honour of Holderness. His possession of that honour has to be accounted for. When we remember that the revolt of 1095 was intended to dethrone William Rufus in favour of Stephen of Aumale, and that his father Odo was deprived of his lands (fn. 60) and sentenced to captivity in consequence, (fn. 61) we have, surely, no difficulty in accounting for the Crown being free to bestow on Arnulf de Montgomery the honour of Holderness. Obtaining it shortly after 1095, he would hold it at least to 1100, if not to his fall and departure in 1102. On Stephen of Aumale regaining it under Henry I., he bestowed upon his own foundation of St. Martin d'Acy, in 1115, the Lincolnshire church of Barrow (Bytham was added afterwards) which Arnulf had given to La Sauve, and those of Paghill, Preston, Skeekling, Frodingham, Tunstall, Withernsea, Easington, and Carlton, from which Arnulf had endowed Pembroke Priory (fn. 62) ; also the tithes of his castle at Aldbrough, which, therefore, probably was the “castle” spoken of in Arnulf's endowment (No. 667). Here then we have evidence of the transfer of endowments, without regard for previous gifts, when a fief changed hands.
To the grant of “Catford” church (No. 1234) there attaches an exceptional interest; for the mention of its “canons” proves that it can be no other than the great collegiate church founded by earl Roger de Montgomery at Quatford. Mr. Eyton, who assigned this foundation to 1086, and traced with great care its brief collegiate existence, (fn. 63) was wholly unaware of this grant to La Sauve, to which the downfall of the house of Belesme a few years later, if not the desertion of Quatford for Bridgnorth, must quickly have proved fatal. This case should be compared with that of the collegiate church of Clun. The fact that Burcot on the Severn, a member of Worfield, was among the endowments of Quatford church at its foundation, may account for the grant of land etc. at Worfield to La Sauve (No. 1238).
It is a work of the utmost difficulty to disentangle the various endowments conferred by William de Braose (i.e. Briouze) on the abbey of St. Florent de Saumur. The documents themselves are conflicting in their evidence, and none of the accounts based upon them appears satisfactory to the editor. What really happened, it would seem, is this. In England, William founded, in 1073, a church of canons at Bramber (the seat of his well-known castle) which he endowed with the church of Beeding (afterwards “Sele”) etc. (No. 1130). Meanwhile, he had endowed the church of Briouze in Normandy with churches and lands, and had given it to the monks of Lonlay, intending that they should, in time, make it an abbey (No. 1115). As they objected to this scheme, he took it back and placed clerks there (Ib.). Eventually, however, in or about 1079, he resolved to entrust the monks of St. Florent with his contemplated abbey at Briouze, and in order to increase his previous endowment, which was insufficient for its purpose, he added the church of Bramber, with its endowments, and other churches in England (No. 1112). But as the contemplated abbey was never established, and Briouze remained a priory only, the English endowment was devoted to an independent priory, which, founded at Beeding instead of Bramber (perhaps on account of the transaction recorded in No. 1131), took the name of Sele.
Of the English possessions of the abbey of St. Sever scarcely anything has hitherto been known. The discovery by the editor in the Cartulaire de Normandie of their confirmation by Adrian IV. (No. 615) enables us to name no fewer than thirty-three localities in which it held churches or endowments. Its great benefactor was Hugh, the Conqueror's earl of Chester, who re-founded the Norman house, and to whose English fief, analysis proves, almost all its possessions belonged. It had cells at Henstridge, (fn. 64) Somerset, and Haugham, (fn. 65) , Lincolnshire, at both which places it is entered in Domesday as holding of earl Hugh.
The grants to the abbeys of Cluny and Fontevrault, charged on the revenues from English cities, from an instructive addition to our knowledge of Norman finance. In 1129, Henry I. granted to Fontevrault a hundred pounds annually in money of Rouen from the revenue of his mint there, 30 marcs of silver from the ferm of his city of London and 20 marcs from that of Winchester (No. 1052). No such payments are entered on the Pipe Roll of 1130, and in 1131 (January 13) he substituted a fresh grant of 60 marcs a year out of the ferm of London and 40 marcs out of that of Winchester (No. 1460). Four months later, he bestowed on the abbey of Cluny a similar endowment, 60 marcs from the ferm of London, and 40 marcs from that of Lincoln, adding the interesting provision that his officers were to bring this money, with his ferms, to his Exchequer at Michaelmas, failing which, his justice[s] of the Exchequer (justicia mea scaccarii) were to enforce payment etc. (No. 1387). (fn. 66) . The apportionment of the charge was altered to 50 marcs from London and 50 from Lincoln by a rather later charter (No. 1389). These references to the Exchequer and to its coercive jurisdiction are remarkable for their early date. It should be observed that, although these sums are to be received “from my treasury,” the money can never have actually passed “in thesauro,” as the agent of the abbey was to intercept it at the Exchequer.
With these grants should be grouped the remarkable series of charters relating to a similar endowment conferred on the abbey of Tiron (Nos. 998–1003.) Their special feature is that they charge the endowment at first, not on the ferm of any town, but on the king's treasury at Winchester, and make it payable at Michaelmas. We have here, incidentally, what is virtually evidence that the annual Michaelmas audit, afterwards held at the Exchequer, was, at this period, still held at the Winchester treasury. Some quarter of a century after Henry I. had made this grant, it was confirmed by his daughter the Empress, but was now specially charged on the ferm of Winchester itself. Her charter was confirmed in the same terms, by Henry II. before his accession; and finally, in 1189, we find Richard I. describing the endowment as payable at his Exchequer in London. It is very remarkable that the Empress confirmed the grants both to Fontevrault and Tiron about the same time in 1141, the former charter being actually addressed to the officers in charge of London, from which she had just been expelled. Neither of these her charters has hitherto been known. (fn. 67) . Equally curious in its way is the confirmation by duke Henry to Tiron, in which he deals with English revenues as if already king.
There must have been a similar grant by the Crown to the great abbey of Marmoutier; for, in his manuscript history of that house, founded on its charters, Dom Martène wrote that—
Hilgodus [abbot 1100–1104], étant passée en Angleterre, y fut reçu du roi et de la reine avec une bonté vraiment royale. II éprouva des effets de leur magnificence par le don qu'ils lui firent de trente marcs d'argent par an pour son monastére. (fn. 68)
Such an endowment, at that early date, would be of peculiar interest if the charter could be found; but the editor was unsuccessful in the special search he made for it.
An admirable instance of the value of these documents for Anglo-Norman genealogy is found in the new light they throw on the family of Bohun. Mr. Stapleton, who first investigated the subject in his well-known work on the Norman Exchequer, (fn. 69) decided that Engelger de Bohun, (fn. 70) who was in close attendance on Henry II. before his accession, and acted as a justiciary in Normandy for his father, and who appears later as paternal uncle (“patruus”) of Jocelin bishop of Salisbury was the son of another Engelger whose wife was “apparently a “daughter of Richard de Meri.” (fn. 71) This Richard, he held, had, besides her, a son Herbert, whom he placed as a child in the abbey of Marmoutier in 1113. The pedigree was next investigated by Dr. Stubbs, who devoted to it a long note in his edition of the Literæ Cantuarienses (1865), (fn. 72) in which he held that—
“Richard de Meri made his heir Engelger, a noble of the Côtentin, who was almost certainly his son-in-law. This Engelger had a son, Engelger II., who was living to nearly 1180.”
Some years later a writer in the Herald and Genealogist attacked the pedigree anew, urging that the first Engelger was one of the house of de Fougères. (fn. 73) . Then Mr. Chester Waters, who was deemed the leading authority on these subjects, wrote a long and learned article, (fn. 74) accepting everything said by Stapleton, “who was facile “princeps of our Anglo-Norman genealogists,” and maintaining, in addition, that Savaric Fitz Cana, the founder of the Bohuns of Midhurst, married “the “daughter of Engelger (I.) by the heiress of Richard “de Meri.” (fn. 75)
Although Stapleton had been over the ground covered by this calendar, the results of the evidence it contains are startling. It not only gives us the names, hitherto unknown, of the wives of Richard de Meri and Savaric Fitz Cana (Nos. 669, 1213), but proves that the two Engelgers (son-in-law and maternal grandson of Richard) were, in reality, but one, who was, on the contrary, his son (fn. 76) (Nos. 662, 1215). Moreover, Savaric's wife was the daughter not of Engelger de Bohun, but of Richard de Meri (fn. 77) ; This changes the whole pedigree given by Mr. Chester Waters. And further, examination of the Marmoutier charter (No. 1213) proves that Mr. Stapleton had so misread it that its date is 1092, not 1113, and that the boy left by Richard with the monks was not Herbert, but Humfrey.
It has been said by Sir H. Barkly that “Despite all” researches, Ernulph de Hesding still remains one of “the most mysterious personages in Domesday.” (fn. 78) A tenant-in-chief in ten counties, and a tenant, under bishop Odo, in Kent, it has never been proved where he came from, or how his manors descended. Mr. Eyton established the fact that some of them passed to the Fitz Alans, through the marriage of his daughter Avelina with Alan Fitz Flaald; and he assigned him two other daughters, one of whom, Matilda, married Patrick de Cadurcis, who undoubtedly held in her right (No. 1033) a large proportion of Ernulf's fief. (fn. 79) Later research recognises only Avelina and Matilda, while the editor himself has never found any real proof that Matilda was a daughter of Ernulf. Seeking further light on the problem, he discovered, in a special examination of the cartulary of St. George, Hesdin, a charter of Ernulf hitherto unknown (No. 1326) which not only locates him in France, but mentions his daughter Ava, who was clearly the above “Avelina,” wife of Alan Fitz Flaald. It will probably be found that Matilda and her husband obtained Ernulf's lands otherwise than by inheritance.
So great is the obscurity that still surrounds the origin of some of our feudal houses that the race whose name was Anglicised as Chaworth and Latinised as “de Cadurcis,” “de Chaorciis,” etc., (fn. 80) has been derived diversely by our best authorities, Mr. Ellis (fn. 81) and others identifying its name with that of the town of Cahors, while Mr. W. H. Stevenson traced it to a commune in the Somme. (fn. 82) Its stammhaus, however, was the castle of Chaources, now Sourches, in the commune of St. Symphorien, not far from Le Mans. (fn. 83) Hence they are here found bestowing an English endowment (No. 1033) on the stately abbey of La Couture still standing, as they knew it, at Le Mans. The baronial house they here founded ended in an heiress, who, by her marriage with Henry earl of Lancaster and Leicester, became great grandmother of Henry IV. (fn. 84)
An interesting discovery results from the charter, hitherto unknown, of Henry I. to L'Essay (No. 923) (fn. 85) ; for it proves that the Lincolnshire fief of Robert de Haie had come to him, through his wife Muriel, by inheritance, and not, as has been alleged, (fn. 86) by Crown grant on the forfeiture of Picot, son of Colswegen (the English thegn) of Lincoln. Is it, then, possible that Muriel was a sister of Picot? There is a striking support for such a view in the fact that Picot's charter to Spalding Priory (fn. 87)
mentions his nephew Richard, and his niece Cecily; for Robert de Haie had a son Richard who succeeded him, and a daughter Cecily who carried his honour of Halnaker to the St. Johns.
For the Domesday student there is, probably, no charter in these pages so important as that which grants a Dorset manor to a priory of Marmoutier (No. 1206), liable to the “Guelt quod colligitur per hidas” on four hides only, because “reliquæ sex sunt in dominio et quiete.” The geld-roll of 1084 proves that, in this manor, 5¾ hides did escape payment as being “in demesne.” The reductions of assessment on Loders, Dorset, in favour of the abbey of Montebourg (No. 876) and on Horsley, Gloucestershire, in favour of that of Troarn (Nos. 468, 472) are also deserving of notice. In the latter case Henry I. grants anew the reduction which his predecessor had granted, as if such a concession was not permanently binding.
The chief value, however, of these documents for the illustration of Domesday will be found in their mention of many who appear in the great survey as tenants or under-tenants. We meet, in the earliest of these charters, not only with the fathers of those who obtained lands in England, but with some, like Guihenoc of Monmouth (No. 1135) and Waleran of Essex and London (No. 1409) whose heirs had already succeeded them in 1086. The real interest of the Conqueror's charter in favour of the abbey of Préaux (No. 318) is found in its confirmation of Roger de Beaumont's gift of five hides at Arlscott, Warwickshire. For this was the estate entered in Domesday as: “Ipse comes (de Mellent) tenet in Orla “vescote V. hidas et S. Petrus Pratellensis de eo” (240b.). It has hitherto been assumed that the Warwickshire fief was bestowed, direct, on the count; but this charter proves that, in a part of it, and, therefore, possibly in the whole, he had been preceded by his renowned father Roger de Beaumont. Roger must have surrendered his estate here to his son the count of Meulan, before 1080. “Ælfelmus” appears in Domesday as the previous tenant at Watlington; but the “Extone” of the charter is the “Estone” (Aston, Berks) of Domesday (60) where we read: “Comes Moriton’ tenet Estone et abbatia de “Pratellis tenet de eo. Anschil tenuit T.R.E.”, (“Thorix” being, in the charter, the previous tenant).
One of the most interesting illustrations of Domesday is that afforded by the death-bed gift of Robert son of Tetbald, “the sheriff,” to St. Martin of Sees (No. 655). To Mr. Eyton belongs the credit of discovering the importance of this tenant of earl Roger of Shrewsbury. (fn. 88) He boldly claimed him as “by far the greatest feoffee” in the earl's Sussex fief, and as the Domesday lord of the honour of Petworth; and he further suggested that it may have been Sussex of which he was the Norman sheriff. Mr. Eyton, however, was not acquainted with this instructive charter, which proves the identity of the Robert who held “Totintune” (Toddington in Lyminster, near Arundel) in Domesday with Robert son of Tetbald. It supplies not only the name of his wife, but the date of his own death (1087) an event referred to in No. 656. This date is the more important because Mr. Eyton held that Robert was still living after 1108, and was not affected by his lord's catastrophe in 1102. But further, the last four witnesses to the charter are “Robertus” de Petehorda presbiter, Corbelinus, Hamelinus, et “Turstinus de Petehorda.” We have clearly here the priest of Petworth, the “Corbelinus” who held under “Robert” in 1086 at Barlavington, the “Hamelinus” who held of him, similarly, at Burton, and probably also the “Turstinus” who held of him at Greatham. We may, therefore, identify him with the “Robert” who appears in Domesday Book as the tenant of these manors, and thus prove the correctness of Mr. Eyton's happy conjecture. Nor is this all that we learn, from these documents, of Robert, for we need not hesitate to say he is the same as that Robert “de Arundello” who gave land at Hardham (“Eringeham”) to the Cluniac Priory of Lewes (No. 1391). Arundel, with which Domesday connects him, would be his official residence as “sheriff,” not as Mr. Eyton believed, of Sussex, but, we may infer, of “the honour of Arundel.” For a Marmoutier charter (No. 1205) affords us the striking phrase “sheriff of the “honour of Pevensey.” We may ask ourselves, therefore, although such a fact has never yet, it would seem, been even suspected by historians, whether, in Norman times, each of the Sussex honours had not its own sheriff. There are indications to that effect, both for Hastings and for Lewes.
It is probable that to ecclesiologists, or at least to hagiographers, the most interesting charters in this volume are those which restore lost invocations of churches on the old Welsh border. Specially striking is that of St. Tadioc, which defied, for a time, identification, but is evidently now Dixton (St. Peter), adjoining Monmouth. It seems to commemorate the (alleged) last British archbishop of York. So too Rockfield, Mon., which had here St. “Kinephaut” for its saint, has now St. Peter; while Welsh Bicknor had then the invocation, not of St. Margaret, but of St. “Custenin,” i.e., of St. Constantine the king (Cystennin Fendigaid). At Monmouth itself we have a chapel dedicated to St. Duellus (No. 1129) whom it would be perhaps rash to identify. All these interesting invocations were unknown to Prof. Rees when he wrote his erudite “Essay on the Welsh Saints.”
A group entry under “Law” will be found in the “Index Rerum”; but the attention of students of legal history may be called to No. 61. The remarkable feature of this charter is the number of justices present among the witnesses. In addition to John's own chancellor, Stephen Ridel, and Richard's justiciar, Geoffrey Fitz Piers, we have the two-well known justiciars Hugh Bardulf and William Briewer, with Robert Fitz Roger, Roger Fitz Reinfrid, Robert de Witefeld, Otho Fitz William, Theobald Walter, Thomas de Husseburne, Hugh Peverell, William Fitz Richard, and Henry de Wichenton, all of whom acted as justices about this time. Such a record is probably unique. (fn. 89) It should also be observed that in this document William de Roumare is recognised as earl of Lincoln and Geffrey Fitz Piers as earl of Essex, the latter style being an anticipation, and the former a solecism.
A charter absolutely unique in this volume is No. 309 granted by Richard I. at Jaffa, 10 January, 1192. Among its eighteen witnesses we recognise leading comrades of the king, Robert earl of Leicester, who heads them, having been concerned, about a fortnight before, with Andrew de Chavigny, Henry de Gray, Peter de Préaux and Warin Fitz Gerold, all of them withnesses, in a desperate affair with the Saracens. (fn. 90) But the special importance of the charter is found in its proof that Richard was present at Jaffa on the above date, although, following the Itinerarium, historians have held that he remained at Beit Nûba till about January 13, and then retired to Ramleh, whence he marched towards Ascalon. His presence at Jaffa on January 10 is irreconciliable with this view.
One of the most difficult questions of chronology occuring in these charters is that which is raised by the words: “In veneris die, id est feria septima (sic), feria “que tunc temporis erat tercia ante Purificationem “S. Mariæ” (No. 1112–3). The right reading is “feria sexta,” as M. Marchegay presumed and as the “Liber Albus” and the Oxford text prove; but the difficulty is that the only year on which Friday could come three days before the Purification (within the limits possible) is 1075, according to the Monasticon, which date, therefore, is given in Dugdale's Baronage etc. M. Marchegay, seeing that the charter must belong to the years 1079–1083, declared that 1080 was the only year in which the 30th January, within this limit, was a Friday. He must have forgotten that, being leap year, it would have fallen on Thursday. The 30th was never, therefore, a Friday within the limits ascertained. The solution propounded by the editor is that “tercia ante” means here, as in the Roman Calender, the second day before. The true date would thus be Friday 31st January, 1080. By connecting this document with No. 1114 which M. Marchegay placed a year later, assigning it to January 7, 1081, we reverse their order and make them part of a single episode comprised within the month of January, 1080, while the actual gift of William de Briouze belongs to an earlier date. The point derives some importance from the fact that it throws light on the movements of the Conqueror and his queen at a time when they are most obscure. According, indeed, to Mr. Freeman, it was in this very month (January 1080) that William was besieging his son at Gerberoy. But he placed that event a year too late: its true date was January 1079. Nor is this the only case in which fresh light is here thrown on the obscure chronology of William's reign.
In what is now known as “Diplomatic” the most interesting document, probably, is No. 1423. Although, at first sight, of singular, indeed extravagant, character, its very peculiarities tend to prove that the original charter was genuine. This opinion is based solely on the masterly paper by Mr. W. H. Stevenson on the Conqueror's charter in favour of St. Martin-le-Grand, (fn. 91) to which this newly-recovered document presents a remarkable affinity. In the former, William describes himself as “Ingelrici peticioni adquiescens”: in the latter we read “Ego Ingelricus ad hoc impetrandum obnixe studui.” Allusion may here be made to the charter immediately preceding (No. 1422), for its mention, not only of the English Æthelings as present at the Norman Court, but of the French king being there also. This allusion, in a charter, to his exile is, perhaps, unique.
The above comments on the documents here calendared will be supplemented by the editor, for want of space, in some other quarter. (fn. 92) But the “Index Rerum” will, it is hoped, call attention to further points. In the “Index Nominum” great labour has been devoted to identifying place-names, but in many cases their corrupt form has rendered the task impossible. On the other hand, the Index of personal names has been made a special feature, and will, it is hoped, as incorporating the editor's genealogical knowledge, be found of service by those who have to deal with Anglo-Norman names.
Lastly, the editor is anxious to acknowledge the assistance he has received in his researches, especially from the Archivistes of France. M. Dolbet, Archiviste of La Manche, was good enough to place at his disposal all the treasures of his Archives, and to give him exceptional facilities for their study. From the learned and wellknown Archiviste of the Maine-et-Loire, M. Port, as from M. Bourbon, Archiviste of the Eure, and M. Chavanon, Archiviste of the Sarthe, he received help without which it would not have been possible to make this collection as extensive as it is. In Paris the services of M. Ch. Bémont, whose name is familiar to English scholars, and M. Couderc, of the MS. Department, Bibliothèque Nationale, call for his grateful recognition. He desires also especially to thank Sir H. Maxwell Lyte, Deputy Keeper of the Records, for the personal interest he has taken in the work and for many valued suggestions while it was passing through the press.