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Title: Architectural Antiquities of Normandy
Author: Turner, Dawson, 1775-1858, Cotman, John Sell, 1782-1842
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Architectural Antiquities of Normandy" ***

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by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at





                  JOHN SELL COTMAN;

                   ACCOMPANIED BY

                  VOLUME THE FIRST.

  [Illustration: Coat of arms of the Duchy of Normandy.
  Emblems of the towns of Rouen and Caen.]


             AND J. S. COTMAN, YARMOUTH.




An artist, engaged in the illustration of the Architectural Antiquities
of England, could scarcely do otherwise than often cast a wistful look
towards the opposite shores of Normandy; and such would particularly be
the case, if, like Mr. Cotman, to a strong attachment to his profession
and the subject, he should chance to add a residence in Norfolk. This
portion of the kingdom of the East-Angles, in its language and in its
customs, but especially in the remains of its ancient ecclesiastical
architecture, abounds in vestiges of its Teutonic colonists. The richly
ornamented door-ways of its village churches have, in particular, long
been the theme of admiration among antiquaries. Bred up in the midst of
these, and warmly partaking in the admiration of them, Mr. Cotman
devoted his pencil and his graver to the diffusion of their fame. Common
report, aided by the suffrages of the learned, and in some degree by
locality, designated them as Saxon: at the same time, when they were
compared with what is left in Britain, of workmanship avowedly Norman,
the points of dissimilarity appeared trifling or altogether vanished.
Was it then to be inferred that, between Norman and Saxon architecture,
there was really no difference; and, carrying the inference one step
farther, that the hordes of barbarians denominated by these different
appellations, although they might not have embarked at the same port,
were only cognate tribes of one common origin, if not in reality the
same? The solution of the first of these questions, the only one
immediately in view, seemed best to be sought in that province of
France, where the Norman power had been most permanently established,
and where it was therefore reasonably to be expected, that genuine
productions of Norman art might, if any where, be found. With this view,
Mr. Cotman crossed the channel; and the result of three successive
journies, in the years 1817, 1818, and 1820, is here submitted to the

Those who find pleasure in inquiries of this description, will join in
the regret, that an undertaking like the present was so long delayed.
Incalculable had been the advantages, had it but commenced previously
to the period of the French revolution. That fearful storm burst with
tremendous violence upon the castles of barons, the palaces of kings,
and the temples of religion. Many of the most sumptuous edifices, which
had mocked the hand of time, and had been respected amidst the ravages
of foreign or domestic warfare, were then swept from the face of the
earth. Others, degraded, deserted, neglected, and dilapidated, are at
this moment hastening fast to their decay. Yet no small portion of what
is valuable has been happily left. The two royal abbeys of Caen, though
shorn of much of their former grandeur, are still nearly entire. Château
Gaillard, the pride of Richard's lion heart, and the noble castles of
Arques and of Falaise, retain sufficient of their ancient magnificence,
to testify what they must have been in the days of their splendor: the
towns and châteaus, which were the cradles of the Harcourts, Vernons,
Tancarvilles, Gurneys, Bruces, Bohuns, Grenvilles, St. Johns, and many
others of the most illustrious English families, are still in existence;
and, of more modern date, when the British Edwards and Henrys resumed
the Norman sceptre, numerous buildings of the highest beauty are every
where to be met with. In his researches after these, Mr. Cotman had the
advantage of being assisted by the kindness of three of the most
distinguished antiquaries of the present day, M. le Prevost, M. Rondeau,
and M. de Gerville, but particularly by the last, whose friendly help
has likewise extended towards the preparing of the letter-press for many
of the articles from the western part of the province. It were
ungrateful not to acknowledge the assistance derived from Mr. Cohen, in
the same department. The value of his aid, which has been most freely
contributed, can be duly appreciated by those alone who have had
opportunities of judging of the accuracy and extent of his knowledge.

In the selection of subjects for engraving, attention has been
principally paid to two points, excellence in the objects themselves,
and certainty as to dates; but the greatest stress has been laid upon
the latter. The author of a work which professes to be in any degree
didactic, can never impress too strongly upon his mind the value of the
Roman precept, "prodesse quàm delectare;" and an artist, accustomed by
his habits to the contemplation of the beautiful and the picturesque,
requires above all men to be warned on this head. Many of the buildings
here represented, might easily have been exchanged for others, more
perfect, more elegant, or more ornamented; but it is hoped that they
could not have been exchanged for those that would have been more
instructive. The main object of the publication has been to exhibit a
series of specimens of Norman architecture, as they actually exist in
Normandy itself; and, by taking those whose dates are best defined, to
enable the antiquary and the amateur of other countries, not only to
know the state of this extraordinary people, as to their arts, at the
epoch of their greatest glory, but also to compare what is in Normandy
with what they find at home. Another volume, devoted to the illustration
of the same description of architecture, in the south of France, in
Italy, and in Sicily, would fill a hiatus, whose existence has long been
regretted. In Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, it is to be feared that
little remains; and, thanks to the spirit of English artists and to the
patronage of the English public, what is in this country is already in
a great measure recorded. To an Englishman, it is hoped it may be a
source of venial self-congratulation, that the first publication upon
Norman architecture originates in his own island: he will likewise
probably not be displeased to find, that this collection of the finest
remaining specimens of Norman art upon the continent, contains nothing
which he cannot rival, indeed surpass, at home.

But, at the same time that the principal end proposed in this work has
been to set before the public those edifices, whether sacred, military,
or domestic, which were erected during the age most properly designated
as Norman, the æra anterior to the union of the ducal coronet with the
crown of France, it has been felt that, in whatever light the
publication might be regarded, it would be incomplete without the
addition of other buildings of a subsequent period. A farther number of
specimens has therefore been admitted, conducting the series through the
style of architecture, commonly termed Gothic, down to the time when
that style finally disappeared before an Italian model, more or less

In the descriptive portion of these volumes, attention has been almost
exclusively directed to two points, the historical and the
architectural. On the latter of these, so much has been said under each
separate article, that whatever might be added in this place could be
little more than repetition; and the history of Normandy, from the
establishment of the dukedom to the beginning of the thirteenth
century, is so interwoven with that of England, that it has been
considered needless here to insert an epitome of it, as had at first
been intended. In lieu of this, a Table is subjoined, exhibiting the
succession, marriages and progeny of the Norman Princes, copied from Du
Moulin; and such Table can scarcely be regarded otherwise than useful,
as bringing the whole under the eye in a single point of view: a
Chronological Index, it is hoped, may in a great measure answer the same
purpose as to architecture. It is only justice, however, to add, that,
in this Index, much has necessarily been left to conjecture; and, where
it is so, the author naturally expects that others will occasionally
differ from him in opinion; especially as no opportunity is afforded him
of detailing the grounds whereby he has formed his own. Upon the subject
most likely to create doubts and difficulties, the very early date
assigned to the employment of the pointed arch, he begs the attention of
the reader to those authorities, which, in his judgment, warrant the
conclusion he has drawn. If mistaken in this, or in any other point, he
will be most thankful for correction; and, in the language of that
author, who is, as he long has been and probably always will be, more
than any other the object of quotation, he takes leave, with the
well-known valedictory lines,

    "Vive, vale; si quid novisti rectius istis,
    Candidus imperti; si non, his utere mecum."



In the following list, an Obelisk is affixed to the dates which depend
upon conjecture. Those preceded by an Asterisk denote the year of the
dedication of the building.

  NO. OF PLATES.                                                 DATE.

       53. _Rouen_, Crypt in the Church of St. Gervais   before + 1000
       13. _St. Sauveur le Vicomte_, Castle              before + 1000
       69. _Lillebonne_, Castle                                 + 1000
       48. _Caen_, Chapel in the Castle                         + 1000
   89, 90. _Falaise_, Castle--Keep of                           + 1000
       83. _St. Sanson sur Rille_, Church                       + 1020
       67. _Anisy_, Church                                      + 1030
       68. _Perriers_, Church--Nave of                          + 1030
       97. _Cerisy_, Abbey Church                                 1040
       95. _Mount St. Michael_, Abbey Church--Nave of             1048
   87, 88. _St. Lo_, Church of the Holy Cross--(some
           of the sculpture probably of the ninth century)      + 1050
        1. _Arques_, Castle                                     + 1050
       84. _Foullebec_, Western door-way of the Church          + 1050
       70. _Briquebec_, Castle--(the multangular tower
           probably of the fourteenth century)                  + 1050
     5-10. _St. Georges de Bocherville_, Abbey Church             1050
    92-94. _Coutances_, Cathedral                               * 1056
       17. _Tamerville_, Church                                 + 1060
    44-46. _Léry_, Church                                       + 1060
       54. _Rouen_, Church of St. Paul                          + 1060
    73-75. _Lisieux_, Church of St. Peter                         1060
   55, 56. _Caen_, Church of St. Nicholas                         1066
    24-33. _Ditto_, Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity            * 1066
       82. _Montivilliers_, Abbey Church--Towers and door-way   + 1066
     2, 3. _Jumieges_, Abbey Church                             * 1067
   60, 61. _Fontaine-le-Henri_, Church                          + 1070
    21-23. _Caen_, Abbey Church of St. Stephen                  * 1077
       57. _Cheux_, Church                                      + 1080
       98. _Oyestraham_, Church                                 + 1080
   58, 59. _Bieville_, Church                                   + 1080
     * 33. _Caen_, Tombstone of Queen Matilda                     1083
       37. _Haute Allemagne_, Tower of Church                   + 1100
       16. _Than_, Church                                       + 1100
       18. _Caen_, Tower of the Church of St. Michel de
           Vaucelles                                            + 1100
       12. _Grâville_, Church                                     1100
  99, 100. _Séez_, Cathedral                                    * 1126
       14. _St. Sauveur le Vicomte_, Abbey Church               + 1130
       96. _Mount St. Michael_, Knights' Hall                     1130
    39-41. _Gournay_, Church of St. Hildebert--Interior of
           the nave, and capitals of columns                    + 1140
       20. _Statue of William the Conqueror_                    + 1150
       91. _Creully_, Church                                    + 1150
       11. _St. Georges de Bocherville_, Sculpture in
           the Chapter House                                      1170
   42, 43. _Rouen_, Chapel of the Hospital of St. Julien        + 1190
   80, 81. _Château Gaillard_                                     1195
   51, 52. _Rouen Cathedral_, West front--Northern Tower          1200
       47. _Colomby_, Church                                    + 1200
       68. _Perriers_, Church--Choir                            + 1230
       38. _Gournay_, Church of St. Hildebert--West front       + 1250
        4. _Jumieges_, Entrance to the Knights' Hall            + 1280
       76. _Rouen_, Church of St. Ouen                            1340
       71. _Fécamp_, Southern entrance of the Church of
           St. Stephen                                          + 1340
       35. _Dieppe_, Church of St. Jacques--Western
           front--(the tower probably fifty years earlier)      + 1350
       72. _Eu_, Screen in the Church of St. Lawrence           + 1360
       66. _Tréport_, Church                                      1370
       19. _Caen_, South Porch of the Church of
           St. Michel de Vaucelles                              + 1380
       82. _Montivilliers_, Abbey Church--Chapter-House           1390
       36. _Dieppe_, Eastern end of the Church of St. Jacques   + 1400
       79. _Louviers_, South porch of the Church                + 1420
   85, 86. _Tancarville_, Castle                                + 1420
   89, 90. _Falaise_, Castle--Talbot's Tower                      1430
       34. _Dieppe_, Castle                                     + 1450
   51, 52. _Rouen Cathedral_, Western front--Southern Tower       1485
       95. _Mount St. Michael_, Abbey Church--Choir               1500
       78. _Rouen_, Palace of Justice                             1500
       77. _Ditto_, Fountain of the Stone Cross                   1500
       68. _Caen_, House in the Rue St. Jean                    + 1500
   62, 63. _Fontaine-le-Henri_, Château                         + 1500
   49, 50. _Rouen Cathedral_, Southern Transept                   1500
   51, 52. _Ditto_, Western Front--Porch                          1509
       15. _Andelys_, Great House                               + 1530
       64. _Rouen_, House in the Place de la Pucelle            + 1540



   1. Castle of Arques                                     to face page 1
   2. Abbey Church of Jumieges, West Front                              2
   3.  --    --   --     --     Parts of the Nave                       3
   4.  --    --   --     --     Arch on the West Front                  3
   5. Abbey Church of St. Georges de Bocherville, West Front            4
   6.  --    --   --     --      --      --       General View          4
   7.  --    --   --     --      --      --       West Entrance         5
   8.  --    --   --     --      --      --       South Transept        5
   9.  --    --   --     --      --      --       Sculptured Capitals   5
  10.  --    --   --     --      --      --       Ditto                 6
  11.  --    --   --     --      --      --       Sculptures in the
                                                  Cloisters             6
  12. Church of Grâville                                                7
  13. Castle of St. Sauveur le Vicomte                                  8
  14. Abbey Church of St. Sauveur le Vicomte                           11
  15. Great House at Andelys                                           13
  16. Church of Than                                                   16
  17. Church of Tamerville                                             17
  18. Tower of the Church of St. Michel de Vaucelles, Caen             18
  19. North Porch of Ditto                                             18
  20. Statue of William, Duke of Normandy                              20
  21. \ Abbey Church of St. Etienne, Caen, West Front                  21
  22. /
  23.   --    --     --      --         Compartments of the Nave       24
  24. Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity, Caen                           27
  25.   --    --     --      --         East End                       32
  26.   --    --     --      --         East End of Interior           32
  27.   --    --     --      --         North Side of the Choir        32
  28.   --    --     --      --         Arches under the central Tower 33
  29.   --    --     --      --         East Side of South Transept    33
  30.   --    --     --      --         Interior of the Nave           33
  31.   --    --     --      --         South Side of the Nave         34
  32.   --    --     --      --         Crypt                          34
  33.   --    --     --      --         Capitals                       34
  33.* Inscription on the Tomb of Queen Matilda                        35
  34. Castle of Dieppe                                                 35
  35. Church of St. Jacques, at Dieppe, West Front                     38
  36.   --    --     --      --         East End                       38
  37. Tower of the Church of Haute Allemagne, near Caen                39
  38. Collegiate Church of St. Hildebert, at Gournay, West Front       39
  39.   --    --     --      --      --      --       View across
                                                      the Nave         41
  40.   --    --     --      --      --      --       Capitals         42
  41.   --    --     --      --      --      --       Capitals         42
  42. Chapel in the Hospital of St. Julien, near Rouen, South Side     43
  43.   --    --     --      --      --      --         Interior       44
  44. Church of Léry, near Pont de l'Arche, General View               45
  45.   --    --     --      --      --     West Front                 46
  46.   --    --     --      --      --     Interior                   46
  47. Elevation of the Church of Colomby, near Valognes                47
  48. Chapel in the Castle at Caen                                     48
  49. \ Cathedral Church of Notre Dame, of Rouen, South Transept       50
  50. /
  51. \ --    --     --      --      --      --   West Front           51
  52. /
  53. Crypt in the Church of St. Gervais, at Rouen                     56
  54. Church of St. Paul, at Rouen, East End                           57

                          GENEALOGY OF THE NORMAN DUKES.

                            N. PRINCE OF LOWER DENMARK.
                             |                      |
                             |                    GOURIN, killed
                             |                    in Denmark.
  2nd wife, POPPEIA,      ROLLO, 1st Duke = 1st wife, GISLA, daughter
  daughter of Berenger, = of Normandy.      of Charles the Simple,
  Count of the Bessin.  | A.D. 911.         King of France.
                            |                       |
  SPROTE, daughter of  = WILLIAM, LONGA-SPATHA,    GERLOC, wife to
  the Count of Senlis. | 2nd Duke of Normandy.     William, Count of
                       | A.D. 917.                 Poitiers.
  1st wife, EMMA, daughter = RICHARD I. 3rd    = 2nd wife, GONNOR,
  of Hugues le Grand, Duke   Duke of Normandy. | originally his
  of France.                 A.D. 944.         | concubine.
    |     |                 |           |             |             |
    |   ROBERT,           MAUGER,      EMMA,        HAVOISE,      MATILDA,
    |   Archbishop of     Count of     Queen of     wife of       wife of
    |   Rouen, Count      Corbeil.     England.     Geoffrey,     Eudes,
    |   of Evreux.                                  Duke of       Count of
    +---------------------+                         Brittany.     Chartres.
          2nd wife,  = RICHARD II. called = 1st wife, JUDITH, da.
          PAPHIE, or | THE GOOD, 4th      | of Geoffrey, Duke of
          POPPEA.    | Duke of Normandy.  | Brittany.
                     | A.D. 996.          |
        +------------+-+                  |
        |              |                  |
     MAUGER,        WILLIAM OF ARQUES,    |
     Archbishop     Count of Talou.       |
     of Rouen.                            |
         |            |         |            |        |        |  |
     RICHARD III.  WILLIAM,   ALICE,     ELEANOR,   PAPIE,     | N. died
     5th Duke of   Monk at    wife of    wife of    wife       | unmarried.
     Normandy.     Fécamp.    Rinaldo,   Baldwin,   of Guibert |
     A.D. 1026.               Count of   Count of   of St.     |
          |                   Burgundy.  Flanders.  Vallery.   |
          |                                                    |
       NICOLAS, Abbot of St. Ouen: and two daughters, one      |
       of them married to Walter of St. Vallery, the other     |
       to the Viscount of Bayeux:--all illegitimate.           |
                             ROBERT, 6th = ARLETTE,
                             Duke of     | daughter
                             Normandy.   | of Foubert,
                             A.D. 1028.  | citizen of
                                         | Falaise.
                       WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, = MATILDA, daughter
                       7th Duke of Normandy,  | of Baldwin, Count
                       and King of England.   | of Flanders.
                       A.D. 1035.             |
  |       |             |              |       |      |      |      |     |
  |   RICHARD,      WILLIAM RUFUS,     |    CECILIA.  |      |      |     |
  |   killed in     King of England.   |          CONSTANCE. |      |     |
  |   the New                          |                   ALICE.   |     |
  |   Forest.          +---------------+                         AGATHA.  |
  |                    |                                                  |
  |  N. his    = ROBERT, COURT-HOSE, = SIBILLA,                           |
  |  MISTRESS. | 8th Duke of         | daughter                           |
  |            | Normandy.           | of William,                        |
  |            | A.D. 1087.          | Count of                           |
  |            |                     | Conversans.                        |
  |   +--------+------+--------+     +----------------------------+       |
  |   |               |        |                                  |       |
  | RICHARD,      WILLIAM,    N. wife to    N. da. of Marquis = WILLIAM,  |
  | died from a   killed in   Hélie de      Renier, and sister  Count of  |
  | surfeit, in   the         St. Saen.     to the Queen of     Flanders. |
  | hunting.      Crusades.                 France.          +------------+
  |                                                          |
  |                                                       ADELA. = STEPHEN,
  |                                                              | Count of
  |                                                              | Blois.
  |                +------------+----------+---------------------+--+
  |                |            |          |                        |
  |               WILLIAM.   THEOBALD,   HENRY,       STEPHEN, = MATILDA of
  |                          Earl of     Bishop of    King of  | Boulogne.
  |                          Blois.      Winchester.  England. |
  |                                            +---------------+
  |                                            |
  |                                         EUSTACE, 10th Duke of
  |                                         Normandy. A.D. 1135.
                     1st wife,    = HENRY I. King = 2nd wife,
                     MATILDA, da. | of England,     ADELIZA,
                     of Malcolm,  | and 9th Duke    daughter of
                     King of      | of Normandy.    the Duke of
                     Scotland.    | A.D. 1107.      Louvain.
                        |                           |
                  WILLIAM ADELIN,      1st hus. = MATILDA. = 2nd hus.
                  drowned after his    HENRY V.            | GEOFFREY,
                  marriage.            Emperor.            | Count of
                                                           | Anjou, and
                                                           | 11th Duke of
                                                           | Normandy.
                                                           | A.D. 1143.
                          |                   |            |
       Countess of  | 12th                 Count of
       Poitiers and | Duke of Normandy.    Nantes.
       Duchess of   | A.D. 1150:
       Aquitaine.   | Count of Anjou,
                    | Touraine,
                    | and Maine, and King
                    | of England.
       |           |               |                |           |
      WILLIAM.     |             RICHARD COEUR-     |  JOHN LACKLAND, King
                   |             DE-LION, King of   |  of England, 14th
     MARGARET, = HENRY THE       England, and 13th  |  and last Duke of
     of France.  YOUNG,          Duke of Normandy.  |  Normandy. A.D. 1199.
                 crowned King    A.D. 1189.         |
                 of England.                  +-----+
                                           GEOFFREY, Count = CONSTANCE,
                                           of Brittany.    | daughter of
                                                +----------+ Conan, Duke of
                                                |            Brittany.
                                             ARTHUR, Duke of Brittany,
                                             killed by his uncle John.




  [Illustration: Plate 1. CASTLE OF ARQUES.]

The town of Arques, situated in the immediate vicinity of Dieppe, is a
spot consecrated by the historical muse, and one upon which a Frenchman
always dwells with pleasure, as the place that fixed the sceptre in the
hands of the most popular monarch of the nation, Henry IV.

The sovereign, fleeing from the superior forces of the league, here, in
the very confines of his kingdom, finally resolved to make his last
stand; urged to the measure by the Marshal de Biron, but doubtful in his
own mind, whether it would not be the wisest as well as the safest plan,
to seek refuge in the friendly ports of England. Reduced to the utmost
extremity, "a king without a kingdom, a husband without a wife, and a
warrior without money," he stopped at Arques, in a state bordering upon
despair; and yet, when the Count de Belin, who was brought in prisoner
shortly before the battle, assured his majesty, that, in two hours, an
army of forty thousand men would be upon him, and that he saw no forces
there to resist them, the king replied, with that gaity of mind that
never forsook him, "You see not all, M. Belin, for you reckon not God,
and my just claim, who fight for me."

Henry's whole army consisted of only three thousand infantry and six
hundred cavalry: the hostile forces amounted to more than thirty
thousand, commanded by the Duke of Mayenne, one of the ablest leaders of
the league, but the Fabius rather than the Marcellus of the party. The
occasion, however, needed the sword rather than the buckler: Henry's
soldiers fought with the courage of desperation; but every thing seemed
lost, when, according to the account given by Sully, the fog, which had
been very thick all the morning, cleared suddenly away, and afforded the
garrison in the castle of Arques a full view of the enemy's army,
against which they discharged four pieces of artillery with such effect,
as to kill great numbers of them. Their progress was thus effectually
stopped; and the guns from the castle continuing to play upon them, they
were soon thrown into disorder, and retreated to their original

From this time, the aspect of the king's affairs changed: his well-known
laconic epistle to Crillon, "hang thyself, brave Crillon, for we have
fought at Arques without thee," shewed his own sense of the important
results that might be expected from the battle. The most important of
all was, that he was immediately joined by an auxiliary force of four
thousand English and Scotch, sent by Queen Elizabeth to his aid; and
that, almost immediately afterwards, another, still more considerable
reinforcement, was brought him by the Count of Soissons, Henry of
Orleans, Duke of Longueville, D'Aumont, and Biron; so that the Duke of
Mayenne was obliged to retreat in his turn, and Henry saw himself within
a few days under the walls of the capital; in a situation to dictate
terms to his rebellious subjects.

The castle of Arques had on this occasion essentially served the royal
cause; but it seems to have been suffered from that time forwards to
fall into decay. All mouldering, however, and ruined as it is, its
walls and towers may yet for many centuries bid defiance to wind and
weather, unless active measures are used for their demolition.

At the revolution the castle became national property, and as such was
sold: it has now fallen into the hands of a lady who resides in the
neighbouring town.

The present plate, which represents the principal entrance, will serve
to convey some idea of the general character of the building, as well as
of the immense size of the massy towers, and of the crumbling appearance
of their surface. Two piers only remain of the draw-bridge, by which
they were approached; and the three successive arches of the gateway are
torn into little more than shapeless rents. It would be very difficult
to convey, by means of any engraving, an adequate idea of the grand
character of the whole ruin, or of its imposing situation. Still more
difficult would be the attempt to represent its masonry. The walls have
certainly been in most places, and probably in all, covered with a
facing of brick, of comparatively modern date; and in some parts this
facing still remains, or, where it is torn off, nothing but rubble is
visible. In other places they appear to have been constructed of
alternate layers of brick and flint, disposed with the same regularity
as in Roman buildings; and the thin form of these bricks leads also to
the impression that they are of Roman workmanship.

If such a supposition may be allowed to be well founded, the first
establishment of a fortress in this situation is probably but little
posterior to the Christian æra; and many antiquarians are disposed to
believe that such was really the case. At the same time, even allowing
the truth of this surmise in its fullest extent, it is most probable
that the Roman castle had fallen into ruin and disuse long before the
Norman conquest.

Both William of Jumieges and the chronicle of St. Wandrille expressly
mention, that William, son to Duke Richard II. received from his nephew,
the conqueror, the earldom of Arques, and built a castle there. Other
writers ascribe the origin of the fortress to the eighth century, and
others to the latter part of the twelfth. Nothing is now left
sufficiently perfect to determine the point, nor any thing that can
justly be considered decisive of the style of its architecture.

The situation of the castle is very bold: it crowns the extremity of a
ridge of chalk hills of considerable height, which commencing to the
west of Dieppe, and terminating at this spot, have full command of the
valley below. The fosse which surrounds the walls is wide and deep. The
outline of the fortress is oval, but not regularly so; and it is varied
by towers of uncertain shape, placed at unequal distances. The two
entrance towers, and those nearest to them to the north and south, are
considerably larger than the rest. One of these larger lateral towers[1]
is of a most unusual form. It appears as if the original intention of
the architect had been to make it circular; but that, changing his
design in the middle of his work, he had attached to it a triangular
appendage, probably by way of a bastion. Three others adjoining this are
square, and indeed appear to partake as much of the character of
buttresses as of towers.

The castle is internally divided into two wards, the first of which, on
entering, is every where rough with the remains of foundations: the
inner, which is by far the largest, is approached by a square gate-house
with high embattled walls, and contains towards its farther end the
quadrangular keep, whose shell alone is standing. The walls of this are
of great height: in their perfect state they were carefully faced with
large square stones, but these are principally torn away. The crypts
beneath the castle are spacious, and may still be traversed for a
considerable length.


[1] See _Account of a Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 37, t. 3.



Before the revolution despoiled France of her monastic institutions, the
right bank of the Seine, from Rouen to the British Channel, displayed an
almost uninterrupted line of establishments of this nature. Within a
space of little more than forty miles, were included the abbeys of St.
Wandrille, Jumieges, Ducler, and St. Georges de Bocherville.

  [Illustration: Plate 2. ABBEY CHURCH OF JUMIEGES.
  _West Front._]

The most illustrious of these was Jumieges; it occupied a delightful
situation in a peninsula, formed by the curvature of the stream, where
the convent had existed from the reign of Clovis II. and had, with only
a temporary interruption, caused by the invasion of the Normans,
maintained, for eleven centuries, an even course of renown; celebrated
alike for the beauty of its buildings, the extent of its possessions,
and the number and sanctity of its inmates. Philibert, second abbot of
Rebais, in the diocese of Meaux, was the founder of this monastery. He
migrated hither with only a handfull of monks; but the community
increased with such surprising rapidity, that in the time of Alcadrus,
his immediate successor, the number was already swelled to nine hundred,
and, except upon the occasion just mentioned, this amount never appears
to have experienced any sensible diminution.

The monastery of Jumieges reckoned among its abbots men of the most
illustrious families of France. In early times, Hugh, the grandson of
Charlemagne, held the pastoral staff: it afterwards passed through the
hands of Louis d'Amboise, brother to the cardinal, and of different
members of the houses of Clermont, Luxembourg, d'Este, and Bourbon.

The abbatial church, as it now stands, (if indeed it does now stand, for
in 1818, when drawings were made for these plates, its demolition was
proceeding with rapidity,) was chiefly built in the eleventh century, by
Robert the Abbot, who was translated from Jumieges to the bishopric of
London, and thence to the archiepiscopal throne of Canterbury. The
western front (_see plate 2_) is supposed to be certainly of that
period, and all very nearly of the same æra, though the southern tower
is known to be somewhat the most modern. The striking difference in the
plan of these towers, might justly lead to the inference, that there was
also a material difference in their dates, and that they were not both
of them part of the original plan; but there do not appear to be any
grounds for such a supposition. On the other hand, the contrary seems to
be well established; and those who are best acquainted with the
productions of Norman architects, will scarcely be surprised at
anomalies of this nature.

  [Illustration: Plate 3. ABBEY CHURCH OF JUMIEGES.
  _Parts of the Nave._]

The interior of the nave (_plate 3_) is also a work of the same period,
except the lofty pillars that support the cornice, and the symbols of
the evangelists that are placed near the windows of the clerestory.
These were additions made towards the latter end of the seventeenth
century. The pillars were rendered necessary by the bad state of the
roof: the symbols were added only by way of ornament. They are of
beautiful sculpture, and, as such, have lately been engraved upon a
larger scale, in an _Account of a Tour in Normandy, in 1818_, (II. p.
27) which work also contains a general view of the ruins of Jumieges,
and a representation of some ancient trefoil arches that are very

Of the square central tower one side only is now remaining. This tower
was despoiled of its spire in 1557. The Choir and Lady-Chapel are almost
entirely gone. They were of pointed architecture; and it appears that
they were erected during some of the latter years of the thirteenth
century, or at the commencement of the fourteenth.

In the Lady-Chapel lay the heart of Agnes Sorel, who died at the
neighbouring village of Mesnil, on the ninth of February, 1450, while
her royal lover, Charles VII. was residing at Jumieges, intent upon the
siege of Honfleur. Her body was interred in the collegiate church of
Loches in Touraine. Upon her monument at Jumieges was originally placed
her effigy, in the act of offering her heart to the Virgin. But this
statue was destroyed by the Huguenots, who are said to have been guilty
of the most culpable excesses in this monastery. Agnes' tomb remained
till the revolution, when it was swept away with all the rest, and,
among others, with one of great historical curiosity in the neighbouring
church dedicated to St. Peter; for the convent of Jumieges contained
two churches, the larger under the invocation of the Holy Virgin, and a
smaller by its side, sacred to the chief of the apostles.

The tomb here alluded to was called by the name of _le tombeau des
Enerves_, or _de Gemellis_; and so much importance was attached to it,
that it has even been supposed that the Latin name of Jumieges,
_Gemeticum_, was a corruption from the word _gemellis_. Upon the
monument were figures of two young noblemen, intended, as it is said, to
represent twin sons of Clovis and Bathilda, who, for sedition, were
punished by being hamstrung and confined in this monastery.

  [Illustration: Plate 4. ABBEY OF JUMIEGES.
  _Arch on the West Front._]

The third plate of Jumieges, which is copied from a drawing by Miss
Elizabeth Turner, represents a noble arch-way, the entrance to a porch
that leads to a gallery adjoining the former cloisters, and known by the
name of the _Knight's Hall_. It is a remarkably fine specimen of a very
early pointed arch, still preserving all the ornaments of the
semi-circular style, and displaying them in great richness and beauty.
There is no authority for the date of this gallery: nor does it appear
that any historical record is preserved respecting it. The style of the
architecture would lead to the referring of it, without much hesitation,
to the latter part of the thirteenth century.



  _West Front._]

In a work like the present, devoted expressly to the elucidation of the
Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, and more particularly intended to
illustrate that style of architecture which prevailed during the time
when the province was governed by its own Dukes, it has appeared
desirable to select one or two objects, and to exhibit them, as far as
possible, in their various details.

Under this idea, the abbey church of St. Georges de Bocherville has been
taken from the upper division of the province, and that of the Holy
Trinity at Caen from the lower. Both of these are noble edifices; both
are in nearly the same state in which they were left by the Norman
architects; and both of them are buildings whose dates may be cited with
positive certainty.

The abbey of St. Georges was situated upon an eminence on the right bank
of the Seine, two leagues below Rouen. It owed its origin to Ralph de
Tancarville, lord of the village, about the year 1050. A rage for the
building and endowing of monastic establishments prevailed at that
period throughout Normandy; and this nobleman, who had been the
preceptor to Duke William in his youth, and was afterwards his
chamberlain, unwilling to be outdone by his compeers in deeds of piety
and magnificence, founded this monastery and built the church in honor
of the Virgin and St. George. Both the conqueror and his queen assisted
the pious labour by endowments to the convent; and Ordericus Vitalis
relates how, upon the decease of the monarch, the monks of St. Gervais,
at Rouen, where he died, made a solemn procession to the church of St.
Georges de Bocherville, there to offer up their prayers for the soul of
their departed sovereign.

At the revolution the abbatial church was fortunate enough to become
parochial, and it thus escaped the ruin in which nearly the whole of the
monastic buildings throughout France were at that time involved. Its
previous good fortune in having been so very little exposed to injury or
to alteration, is even more to be wondered at.

  _General view._]

The general view of the church, (_plate 6_) for the drawing of which the
author is indebted to Miss Elizabeth Turner, is calculated to convey a
faithful idea of the effect of the whole. Whatever is here seen is
purely Norman, except the spire; and upon the subject of spires
antiquaries are far from being agreed: some regarding them as a
comparatively modern invention, while others, on the contrary, believe
that the use of them may be traced to a very remote period. The
semi-circular east end, with a roof of high pitch, the windows separated
by shallow buttresses, or by slender cylindrical pillars, and the
grotesque corbel-table, are, all of them, characteristics of the early
Norman style: a greater peculiarity of the present building, and one
indeed that is found in but few others, lies in the small semi-circular
chapels attached to the sides of the transepts.

The west front (_plate 5_) exhibits a deviation from the general style
of the church, in the two towers with which it is flanked. The shape of
the arches in these plainly indicates a later æra; but they are early
instances of pointed architecture. The grand entrance is displayed upon
a larger scale in the seventh plate. The ornaments to this door-way are
rich and varied, and there are but few finer portals in Normandy. But in
specimens of this description the duchy is far from being able to bear a
comparison with England. It would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to
assign a satisfactory reason for this circumstance; and yet the fact is
so obvious, that it cannot fail to have occurred to every one who has
paid any attention to the architecture of the two countries.

In the interior of the church there is scarcely an architectural anomaly
to be discovered. The only alterations are those which were rendered
necessary by the injuries done to the building in the religious wars,
during the sixteenth century; and the repairs on that occasion extended
only to a portion of the roof, and of the upper part of the wall on the
south side of the nave. As a satisfactory specimen of the character of
the whole of the inside, the south transept has been selected for the
subject of the eighth plate. In this, however, as well as in the
opposite one, there is a peculiarity which requires to be noticed; that,
within the church, at the distance of a few feet from the end wall, is
placed a column, from which an arch springs on either side, occupying
the whole width of the transept, and thus forming an open screen. The
screen terminates, above, in a plain flat wall, which is carried to but
a very short distance higher than the arches, so as to be nearly on a
line with the triforium. The same arrangement exists also in some other
churches in Normandy; as in that of the royal abbey of St. Stephen at
Caen, in the abbey church at Cerisy, in the abbey church at Fécamp, and
in the cathedral at Séez. In the two last mentioned buildings, it is
found connected with the pointed architecture. At Cerisy, a church,
erected A.D. 1030, by Robert, father to the Conqueror, the screen is
surmounted by a row of seventeen semi-circular arches, which rise to
about half the height of the columns of the triforium, and form an
elegant parapet. It is possible that there may have been originally some
decoration of the same kind at St. Georges. At Fécamp, the screen is
carried up to the roof by three tiers, each consisting of three arches;
and the recess thus made, is still used as a chapel, having an altar at
the east end, and, in the centre, an ancient font. Such may have been
originally the case at St. Georges; and thus we may account for the
small semi-circular additions to the transepts, one of which is visible
in the general view of the church. Mr. Cotman, however, suggests another
idea, which may have entered into the mind of the architect of St.
Georges; that, by means of this screen at the end of the transepts, the
aisles of the nave would receive apparent length; from the columns,
which form the screen, ranging in a line with those of the outer walls
of the church. Among our English ecclesiastical buildings, there are
similar screens in the transepts of Winchester cathedral[2], where the
portion of the church that remains in its original state, greatly
resembles, in its architecture, the church of St. Georges de
Bocherville, and is known to have been erected at nearly the same

  _West entrance._]

  _South Transept._]

  _Sculptured Capitals._]

Within the spandrils of the arches, just mentioned, are two highly
curious bas-reliefs, figured here in the _tenth plate_, and marked A and
B. They are on square tablets, cut out of the solid stone, in the same
manner as the blocks of a stone engraving; the rims being left elevated,
so as to form rude frames. One of them represents a prelate, who holds a
crozier in his left hand, while the first two fingers of the right are
elevated in the action of giving the blessing. Below him are two small
heads; but it would be as difficult to conjecture what they are intended
to typify, or why they are placed there, as it would be to state the
meaning of the artist, in having represented the whole of his vestment
as composed of parallel diagonal lines. In the opposite bas-relief, are
seen two knights on horseback, in the act of jousting; as rude a piece
of sculpture, especially with respect to the size and form of the
steeds, as can well be imagined; and yet it possesses a degree of
spirit, worthy of a better age. The shields of the riders are oblong;
their tilting spears pointless; their conical helmets terminate in a
nasal below, like the figures in the Bayeux tapestry. "This
coincidence," as has been observed elsewhere[4], "is interesting, as
deciding a point of some moment towards establishing the antiquity of
that celebrated relic, by setting it beyond a doubt, that such helmets
were used anterior to the conquest; for it is certain, that these
basso-relievos are coeval with the building that contains them."

The nave of the church of St. Georges is, in its height, divided into
three compartments: the lowest consists of a row of square, massy piers,
varied only by a few small columns attached to their angles, and
connected by wide arches, which are generally without any other ornament
than plain fluted mouldings; the second compartment, or triforium, is
composed of a uniform series of small arches, broken, at intervals, by
the truncated columns; which, supporting the groinings of the roof
above, terminate abruptly below, nearly upon a level with the capitals
of the lowest arches; in the clerestory, the arches are also simple and
unornamented; their size nearly intermediate between those of the first
and second tiers. It is almost needless to mention, that, in a perfect
building, of such a date, the whole of the arches are semi-circular. The
same is equally the case in the choir; but this part of the edifice is
considerably richer in its architectural decorations; and the noble
arch, which separates it from the nave, is surrounded with a broad band
of the embattled moulding, inclosing two others of the chevron moulding.
A string-course, of unusual size, formed of what is called the cable
ornament, goes round the whole interior of the building.

The general effect of the semi-circular east end, shews a striking
resemblance between the church of St. Georges and Norwich cathedral; and
those who take pleasure in researches of this description, will do well
to trace the points of similarity through other parts of the edifices.
The two kingdoms can scarcely boast more noble, or more perfect
buildings, of the Norman style; and there is the farther advantage, that
the difference between the periods of their respective erection is but
small. Our English cathedral rose in the early part of the reign of
William Rufus, when his follower, Herbert de Losinga, who, not content
with having purchased the bishopric for £1900, bought also the abbacy of
Winchester for his father, for £1000, was cited before the Pope for this
double act of simony, and, with difficulty, retained his mitre, upon the
condition of building sundry churches and monasteries. Norwich has,
indeed, a superiority in its tower, in regard to which, it may safely be
put in competition with any edifice of the same style, in Normandy or in
England. For beauty, richness, variety, and purity of ornament, there is
nothing like it. On the other hand, Norwich has undergone various
alterations, as well in its interior, as its exterior[5], and it has no
decoration of the same description comparable with the capitals in the
church of St. Georges. These are so curious, that it has been thought
right to devote to them the _ninth_ and _tenth plates_ of this work[6].
The capitals near the west end of the church, are comparatively simple:
they become considerably more elaborate on advancing towards the choir;
and it is most interesting to observe in them, how the Norman architects
appear, in some instances, to have been intent upon copying the Roman
model, or even adding to it a luxury of ornament, which it never knew,
yet still preserving a classical feeling and a style of beauty, of which
the proudest ages of architecture need not be ashamed; while, in other
cases, the rudeness of the design and execution is such, that it can
scarcely be conceived, but that they were executed by a barbarous
people, just emerged from their hyperborean woods, and equally strangers
to the cultivation of art, and the finer feelings of humanity. And yet,
even in some of those of the latter description, attentive observation
may lead to traces of classical fables, or representations of the holy
mysteries of Christianity. Thus, one of the capitals[7] seems designed
to portray the good Shepherd and the Lamb; another[8] appears to allude
to the battle between the followers of Æneas and the Harpies. It would
not, perhaps, be going too far, to say, that many of the others have
reference to the northern mythology, and some of them, probably, to
Scandinavian history.


  _Sculpture in the Cloisters._]

In the chapter-house, which stands between the church and the monastic
buildings, the capitals are decidedly historical, and exhibit an
apparent connection very unusual in similar cases. The _eleventh plate_
contains some of these[9]. Another, and of the greatest curiosity, now
lost, has been etched in Mr. Turner's _Tour in Normandy_, from a drawing
by M. Langlois, a very able and indefatigable artist of Rouen. It
represents a series of royal minstrels, playing upon different musical
instruments. This part of the building is known to have been erected
towards the close of the twelfth century, and is consequently an hundred
years posterior to the church. It is now extremely dilapidated, and
employed as a mill. The capitals here figured, are taken from three
arches that formed the western front. The sculpture in the upper line,
and in a portion of the second, most probably refers to some of the
legends of Norman story: the remainder seems intended to represent
the miraculous passage of Jordan and the capture of Jericho, by the
Israelites, under the command of Joshua. The detached moulding on the
same plate, is copied from the archivolt of one of these arches: the
style of its ornament is altogether peculiar. To the pillars that
support the same arches, are attached whole-length figures, in high
relief, of less than the natural size. Two of them represent females;
the third, a man; and one of the former has her hair disposed in long
braided tresses, that reach on either side to a girdle. All of them hold
labels with inscriptions, which fall down to their feet in front. The
braided locks, and the general style of sculpture, shew a resemblance
between these statues and those on the portals of the churches of St.
Denys and Chartres, as well as those which stood formerly at the
entrance of St. Germain des Prés, at Paris, all which are figured by
Montfaucon, in his _Monumens de la Monarchie Française_, and by him
referred to the sovereigns of the Merovingian dynasty; but have been
believed, by subsequent writers, to be the productions of the eleventh
or twelfth century, an opinion which the statues at St. Georges may be
considered to confirm.


[2] See _Britton's Winchester Cathedral_, ground plan and plate 12.

[3] _Milner's Winchester_, I. p. 194.--Other authors, I am well aware,
and those of great weight, have said much with regard to the _Saxon
work_ at Winchester; but, though I have examined the building itself,
and the various publications respecting it, with some care, I confess I
have met with no portion that did not appear to me to be truly Norman.

[4] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 10.

[5] The complete uniformity of style throughout the church of St.
Georges, joined to the absence of all screens or other objects whatever,
that might intercept the sight from west to east, produces an effect,
not only grand, but altogether deceptive. It is impossible not to admit
the superior judgment of the French, in thus keeping their religious
edifices free from incumbrances; it is scarcely possible, too, not to
feel persuaded, that the Norman church is larger than the English,
though their respective dimensions are in reality as follows:

                                        NORWICH.    ST. GEORGES.

  Length of nave                        200 feet    135 feet
   -------- choir                       183          92
   -------- transepts                   180         102
  Width of the nave with aisles          70          64-1/2

[6] In the former of these plates, the capitals, marked Nos. 1, 6, 8, 9,
10, and 12, are taken from the exterior of the east end; Nos. 2, 6, and
7, from the nave; and Nos. 3, 4, and 11, from the door-way. In the
latter plate, the exterior of the east end has supplied Nos. 1, 2, 3, 6,
7, 8, and 10; the nave, Nos. 4 and 9; and the door-way, No. 5.

[7] Plate 10, No. 8.

[8] Plate 10, No. 5.

[9] It may be well to remark, that this plate contains five capitals,
the extent of each of which may be distinguished by the small crosses




  [Illustration: Plate 12. CHURCH OF GRÂVILLE.]

The church of Grâville, like that of St. Georges de Bocherville, though
now parochial, was, before the revolution, monastic, being attached to
the priory of the same name, beautifully situated on an eminence near
the mouth of the Seine, at the distance of half a league from Havre de
Grâce. The origin of this monastery is referred, in the _Neustria
Pia_[10], to about the year 1100; but nothing is known with certainty
respecting it till 1203, when Walter, Archbishop of Rouen, confirmed, by
his approbation, the foundation of regular canons established here by
William Malet, lord of the village, which is called in the Latin of
those times, _Girardi Villa_, or _Geraldi Villa_. The modern name of
Grâville is supposed to be an abbreviation of these. The canons thus
fixed here, had been brought from St. Barbe in Auge, and were endowed by
the founder with all the lands he possessed in Normandy and England. By
subsequent deeds, one of them dated as late as the end of the fifteenth
century, different members of the same family continued their donations
to the priory. The last mentioned was Louis Malet, admiral of France,
whose name is also to be found among the benefactors to Rouen cathedral,
as having given a great bell of six hundred and sixty-six pounds weight,
which, previously to the revolution, hung in the central tower.

William Malet, the founder of Grâville, was one of the Norman chieftains
who fought under the Conqueror at the battle of Hastings[11]; and he is
said to have been selected by his prince, on that occasion, to take
charge of the body of Harold, and see it decently interred. Writers,
however, are not agreed upon this point: Knighton, on the authority of
Giraldus Cambrensis, asserts that, though Harold fell in the battle, he
was not slain; but, escaping, retired to a cell near St. John's church,
in Chester, and died there an anchoret, as was owned by himself in his
last confession, when he lay dying; in memory whereof, they shewed his
tomb when Knighton wrote. Rapin, on the other hand, in his _History of
England_ observes, that an ancient manuscript in the Cottonian library,
relates, "that the king's body was hard to be known, by reason of its
being covered with wounds; but that, it was at last discovered by one
who had been his mistress, by means of certain private marks, known only
to herself; whereupon the duke sent the body to his mother without
ransom, though she is said to have offered him its weight in gold."
Nearly the same story is told in the _Gesta Gulielmi Ductis_[12],
written by William, archdeacon of Lisieux, a contemporary author.
Ordericus Vitalis[13] mentions William Malet two years afterwards, as
commanding the Conqueror's forces in York, when besieged by the Danes
and a large body of confederates, under the command of Edgar Atheling
and other chieftains; and we find that his son, Robert, received from
the same king, the honor of Eye, in Suffolk, together with two hundred
and twenty-one lordships in the same county; and many others in
Hampshire, Essex, Lincoln, Nottingham, and York. This Robert held the
office of great chamberlain of England, in the beginning of the reign of
Henry I; but, only in the second year of it, he attached himself to the
cause of Robert Curthose, for which he was disinherited and banished.
With him appears to have ended the greatness of the family, in England.

The church of Grâville was dedicated to St. Honorina, a virgin martyr,
whose relics were preserved there in the times anterior to the Norman
invasion; but were then transported to Conflans upon the Marne. Peter de
Natalibus, copious as he is in his Hagiology, has no notice of Honorina,
whose influence was nevertheless most extraordinary in releasing
prisoners from fetters; and whose altars were accordingly hung round
with an abundance of chains and instruments of torture. The author of
the _Neustria Pia_, who attests many of her miracles of this
description, relates, that her sanctity extended even to the horse which
she rode, insomuch, that, when the body of the beast was thrown, after
its death, as carrion to the dogs, they all refused to touch it; and the
monks, in commemoration of the miracle, employed the skin for a covering
to the church door, where it remained till the middle of the seventeenth

Except towards the west end, which is in ruins, and has quite lost the
portal and towers that flanked it, the church of Grâville still
continues tolerably entire: in its style and general outline, but
particularly in its central tower and spire, it bears a considerable
resemblance to that of St. Georges de Bocherville. Architecturally
regarded, however, it is very inferior to that noble edifice; but the
end of the north transept, selected for the subject of the present
plate, will, in point of interest, scarcely yield to any other building
in Normandy. The row of sculptures immediately above the windows, is
probably unique: among them is the Sagittary, very distinctly portrayed;
and near him, an animal, probably designed for a horse, whose tail ends
in a decided fleur-de-lys, while he holds in his mouth what appears
intended to represent another. The figure of the Sagittary is also
repeated upon one of the capitals of the nave, which are altogether of
the same style of art, as the most barbarous at St. Georges, and not
less fanciful. The interlaced arches, with flat surfaces, that inclose
the windows immediately beneath the sculptures, may be matched by
similar rows in the exterior of the abbey church of St. Stephen, at
Caen, and on the end of the north transept of Norwich cathedral. It
appears likewise, from Mr. Carter's work on _Early English
Architecture_, (_plate 23_) that others, resembling them, line the
lowest story of the east end of Tickencote church, in Rutlandshire. This
circumstance is the rather mentioned here, as that able antiquary
regards the church as a specimen of true Saxon architecture; whereas it
may safely be affirmed, that there is no part of it, as figured by him,
but may be exactly paralleled from Normandy. The same may also be said
of almost every individual instance that he has produced as
illustrations of the style in use among our Saxon progenitors. In
Grâville, a series of similar arches is continued along the west side of
the north transept; and, judging from the general appearance of the
church, it may be believed that it is of a prior date to any of the
others just mentioned.

A considerable portion of the monastic buildings is still remaining; but
they are comparatively modern.--A lithographic plate of this monastery
was published at Paris, by Bourgeois, in 1818.


[10] P. 861.

[11] _Bankes' Extinct Peerage_, I. p. 126.

[12] _Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, p. 204.

[13] Ibid. p. 512.



The origin of the castle, here figured, is coeval with the establishment
of the Normans, in the province which now bears their name. The
inventory of the ancient barony of St. Sauveur, shews that, in 912, the
year when Charles the Simple ceded Normandy to Rollo, the new duke
granted this great lordship, under the common obligations of feudal
tenure, to Richard, one of the principal chieftains who had attended him
from Norway. In 913, Richard founded in his castle a chapel, which, in
the following year, was dedicated to the Holy Trinity, by Herbert,
Bishop of Coutances. Many of the descendants of Richard bore the name of
Néel; and it was upon the first of those so called, that Duke William
Longue Epée conferred the title of viscount, about the year 938. In 998,
Richard, the second of that name, established in his castle of St.
Sauveur, with the sanction of Hugh, Bishop of Coutances, a collegiate
church, consisting of four prebends. At the beginning of the reign of
William the Conqueror, Néel de St. Sauveur took up arms against the
disputed title of that sovereign, in consequence of which, his lands
were confiscated, and he himself compelled to seek an asylum in
Brittany. This is supposed to have happened in 1047; but the anger of
the offended duke was short-lived; for the very next year, there is an
account of William's restoring to Néel the lordship of St. Sauveur, "in
consideration of the services he had rendered him." The same lenity,
however, was not shewn with regard to Néel's lordship of Nehou; for this
was permanently alienated, and was granted to the family of Riviers, or
Redvers, who, some years afterwards, became powerful in England, where
they had a grant of the Isle of Wight, in fee, and were created, by
Henry I. Earls of Devonshire. The collegiate church, founded in the
castle of St. Sauveur during the preceding century, was suppressed in
1048, on account of some umbrage taken by the chieftain at the conduct
of the canons; and he established, in their room, a convent of
Benedictines, whose successors, removing without the precincts of the
fortress, erected the abbey, the subject of the following plate.

  [Illustration: Plate 13. CASTLE OF ST. SAUVEUR LE VICOMTE.]

The name of St. Sauveur is to be found in the list of officers who
accompanied the Conqueror to England; and the records of those times
also preserve the remembrance of one Néel, who was slain at Cardiff, in
1078. The troops, however, of the Côtentin, were at the conquest,
commanded by Robert, Count of Mortain, half-brother to the duke, who,
most probably, was indebted to this near degree of relationship for so
proud a mark of distinction. The family of Néel did not retain much
longer possession of St. Sauveur: the lord of the castle died in 1092,
leaving only a daughter, named Lætitia, who married Jourdain Taisson, or
Tesson, and brought to him these possessions as her dowry. After the
expiration of about a century, a similar event deprived the Taissons of
St. Sauveur. Jane, the last of that family, formed an alliance with the
Harcourts, and with them the lordship remained till the middle of the
fourteenth century, when the domains of Géoffroy d'Harcourt were
confiscated for felony, and the castle would have passed into the hands
of a new master, had not the successes of our sovereign, Edward III.
interfered, and stopped the effects of the confiscation.

History, from this time forward, speaks more decidedly as to the
strength of the fortress: at the time of the battle of Poitiers,
Géoffroy d'Harcourt maintained himself here, at the head of a numerous
garrison, composed of troops from England and Navarre, and, not only
bade defiance to the superior force of the French generals, but extended
his ravages over the whole of Lower Normandy. The abbey of Lessay, and
cathedral of Coutances, particularly suffered from his attacks. To the
latter, he had actually laid siege, when a detachment sent against him,
by the regent and the states of the kingdom, obliged him to turn his
attention homeward; and his forces were defeated, and himself slain. The
castle, on this occasion, afforded safe shelter to the fugitives; and,
in consequence of Harcourt's death, passing into the hands of the King
of England, was, by him, supplied with a garrison of four hundred men,
under the command of Jehan Lisle, and was almost immediately afterwards
bestowed, by Edward, upon Sir John Chandos, as a reward for his eminent
services. The fortifications, under the care of this able captain,
underwent a thorough repair in the year 1360; and it is believed that,
upon this occasion, the keep was principally, if not altogether,
rebuilt; the same broad square tower, which is now standing, and is the
principal feature in the ruins. The labor thus bestowed upon St.
Sauveur, rendered it one of the principal posts of the duchy. Rymer, by
whom it is repeatedly mentioned, expressly states, that our countrymen
maintained in it a numerous garrison, who, after the battle of Auray,
lorded it without restraint over the neighboring parts, and were guilty
of such excesses, that, in 1374, Charles V. then King of France, was
induced to send against them a powerful armament, both by sea and land,
under Sir John of Vienne, admiral of the kingdom, assisted by all the
barons and knights of Brittany and Normandy. St. Sauveur was, at that
time, in the hands of Sir Aleyne Boxhull, to whom Edward had given it,
after the death of Sir John Chandos; but he, himself, was then in
England; and, according to Froissart[15], he had left there as governor
a squire, called Carenton, or Katrington, with Sir Thomas Cornet, John
de Burgh, and the three brothers Maulevriers, with whom there might be
about six score companions, all armed, and ready for defence. This
handful of men made a long and obstinate resistance, which, at length,
terminated in a truce for six weeks, accompanied with a stipulation,
that, unless previously relieved, the fortress should be surrendered
upon a certain day of July, 1375. The time came; no relief arrived; and
the French took possession of St. Sauveur; though not without many
remonstrances on the part of the besieged, who contended, that the
treaty of Bruges, which had been signed in the interim by the two
sovereigns, and had established a general truce, ought also to have the
effect of superseding all partial treaties.

Mention is made, upon this occasion, of a considerable sum of money,
which was to be paid to the garrison, upon their evacuating the castle.
The fact, though unnoticed by Froissart and Holinshed, could not but
have been notorious; for it appears, that John of Vienne assembled the
three states of the province at Bayeux, for the purpose of raising the
money; and Rymer tells us, that the papal legates were appointed by the
respective parties, as depositaries, both of the money and the castle,
till all the stipulations should be fulfilled. In this circumstance, we
find an explanation of the death of Katrington, on which Holinshed
dwells at considerable length, giving a most curious and interesting
account of the circumstances attending it[16]. Sir John Anneslie, who
had married the niece of Sir John Chandos, and, on that account, claimed
the inheritance of St. Sauveur, with the lands appertaining to the
castle, charged Katrington with treason, in the matter of the surrender;
and, after considerable difficulties, prevailed upon King Richard II in
the third year of his reign, to suffer the point to be established by
single combat. The event of the contest was considered to make good the
charge. According to Holinshed, Katrington, who was a very strong man,
while his adversary was much the contrary, was so grievously wounded in
the fight, that he died the following day. Dugdale and Fabian, however,
state, that he was dragged to Tyburn, and there hanged for his treason.

The King of France, upon recovering possession of St. Sauveur, conferred
the lordship upon Bureau de la Riviere, his chamberlain: from him, it
passed, in 1392, into the hands of John Charles, Lord of Evry, who still
held it in 1417, when our King Henry once more brought it under the sway
of the English sceptre. During the succeeding unfortunate reign, this
castle shared, in 1450, the fate of all the other British possessions in
Normandy; and, like most of the rest, it offered but a feeble resistance
to the victorious arms of France. A few days' siege was sufficient to
induce its garrison, of two hundred men, to surrender, what the
contemporary historians admit to have been one of the finest and
strongest places in the duchy. St. Sauveur, from this time, is no longer
celebrated in history, as a fortress; nor, indeed, does it even appear
to be mentioned as such, except in the Memoirs of Marshal de Matignon,
where a demand is stated to have been made for thirty men to garrison
it. In all probability, the change produced in the art of warfare, by
the introduction of cannon, caused it silently to pass into
insignificance, and then gradually to sink into its present wretched
state of dilapidation. Towards the close of the seventeenth century, an
hospital was established within its walls; and the same still subsists,
but in great poverty, in consequence of the funds having been alienated,
or lost, during the revolution.

Of the ancient fortifications of the castle, the greater part exists,
either entire, or sufficiently so to be traced. The most important of
all, the keep, is perfect in its exterior, but has been so completely
gutted within, that the original situation of the floors and beams is
not to be discovered without difficulty. The two ballia likewise remain:
the larger, which defended the keep; the lesser, in the form of a
crescent, designed to oppose the approach of an enemy on the side of the
town. Towards the north, the small river, the Ouve, formed a natural
defence. On the south, are still to be seen two gates, of which, that
leading to the dungeon was considerably the stronger. It was defended by
the works, commonly employed from the fourteenth to the sixteenth
century, for the protection of the entrances to fortresses; and, under
it, there yet remain, on either side, freestone seats, designed for the
guard, capable of containing from fifteen to twenty persons. The rest
of the outworks, which were many, have now disappeared; but people are
still living in the town, who remember to have seen the fosses filled
with water. At present they are obliterated; and their site is occupied
by houses and gardens.

The following is a list of the lords of St. Sauveur, from the year 1450,
to the revolution.--Charles VII. when first he wrested the castle from
the English, conferred it, together with its extensive domain, upon
Andrew de Villequier, and his heirs male; and it remained in this family
till 1536, when, from default of such heirs, it reverted to the crown,
and was kept in the hands of Francis I. and his successors, till 1572.
At that time Charles IX. granted it to Christopher de Bassompierre, from
whom it passed to Francis de Bassompierre, Marshal of France. In 1612,
it again returned to the throne, then filled by Mary of Medicis, widow
of Henry IV. whose son, Louis XIII. alienated it in 1620, to John
Phélipeaux de Villesavey, and he held it till 1631. After him, the
families of De la Guiche and Géran were, for thirty-eight years,
possessors of St. Sauveur. At the expiration of this term, the lordship
became once more incorporated in the royal domain, till Louis XIV. in
1698, conferred it upon his natural son, the Count of Toulouse, whose
son, Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duc de Penthievre, succeeded to it, by
inheritance, in 1727. He shortly after gave it, in part of her portion,
to his daughter, who married Louis Philippe Joseph d'Orleans, Duc de
Chartres; and it thenceforward continued in the possession of the
Orleans family, till the period of the revolution.


[14] The author has to express his acknowledgments, and he begs to do it
in the strongest terms, to the kindness of M. de Gerville of Valognes,
for very many communications towards the furtherance of this work; but
particularly for those relating to the church and abbey of St. Sauveur
le Vicomte, which have been so copious, that little has been necessary,
but to translate them into English.

[15] _Johnes' Translation_, octavo edit. IV. p. 268.

[16] Quarto edit. II. p. 726.




  [Illustration: Plate 14. ABBEY CHURCH OF ST. SAUVEUR LE VICOMTE.]

The remains of the abbey of St. Sauveur le Vicomte, are situated within
a very short distance of the castle of the same name, in the department
of La Manche, near the western extremity of Normandy, about eighteen
miles south of Valognes, and fifty north of Coutances. The addition of
the term _Vicomte_, to the appellation of this domain, may have been
owing to a two-fold cause;--to denote the importance of its possessor,
and to distinguish the monastery from other religious establishments in
the duchy, also dedicated to the Holy Savior, especially from the
nunnery of St. Sauveur, at Evreux.

It has been necessary, under the preceding article, briefly to allude to
the establishment of this convent, which took its rise from the
collegiate church, founded in the year 998, in the castle of St.
Sauveur, by Richard Néel, the second viscount; a foundation, which, only
fifty years afterwards, was suppressed, and replaced by a society of
Benedictines from Jumieges. Changes of this description were by no means
unfrequent in those unsettled times: indeed, regarding the character of
the chieftains and the clergy, it is rather matter of surprise, that
they did not occur more commonly; and greater astonishment may be
entertained at the Viscount of St. Sauveur having suffered a body of
men, naturally imperious, and necessarily guided by interests different
from his own, to remain about a century under his roof, than to find him
afterwards removing them to the spot which they subsequently continued
to occupy. The original charter, granted by Néel to the monks from
Jumieges, is preserved among the documents in the _Gallia Christiana_.
His brother, Roger, is said to have superintended the erection of the
new monastery, in which pious task, he was assisted by Lætitia, his
niece, sole heiress of Néel, and now married to Jourdain Taisson, who
had, in her right, become lord of St. Sauveur. This Jourdain, with his
wife, and their three sons, was present at the dedication of the church;
so that the building of it may safely be referred to the early part of
the twelfth century. M. de Gerville, upon the authority of the Memoirs
of the Harcourt Family, states, that some of these latter also assisted
in the construction; and yet he is unwilling to admit that any portion
of it was erected in the following century, when the Harcourts became
possessed of the domain. He contends, that "the whole style of the
building indicates a period approaching the year 1100; at which time the
struggle existed between the pointed and the semi-circular
architecture." Setting aside the long-contested question concerning the
date of the introduction of the pointed arch, I cannot help, for my own
part, suspecting, that the Lady-Chapel was a subsequent erection, and,
probably, of the æra of the Harcourts. Its narrow trefoil-headed windows
above, and the plainer ones below, seem decisively to indicate such a
period; and the deep buttresses afford another, not less positive, mark.
The lower part of this portion of the church, exhibits an architectural
peculiarity deserving of notice: the wall is considerably widest, where
it unites with the ground; after which, it gradually decreases in size,
by successive tiers, for a few feet upwards, and then it rises

What remains of the western portal, is of the earlier style. It was
entered by a semi-circular arch, bordered by a fillet of the nail-head
moulding. In the nave, the lower arches, with the columns and their
capitals, as well as the false row of arches in the triforium, are
wholly Norman; while the windows of the clerestory and their
accompanying ornaments, are as completely gothic. The transepts and the
choir shew a similar medley.

The Harcourts, who held St. Sauveur till the middle of the fourteenth
century, bestowed much pains upon the preservation of the abbey; but the
last of this noble family was scarcely dead, when the convent was
exposed to all the calamities of war. It was repeatedly pillaged by the
contending parties, and was finally almost destroyed by the orders of
King Edward III. who foreseeing, from the unfortunate complexion of
affairs, that the French would be likely soon to besiege the castle, was
desirous at least to deprive them of the advantage they might derive
from having possession of the monastery. The heterogeneous character of
the architecture of the church, is attributable to the injuries received
on this occasion, and to those inflicted during the wars in the
following century. The lower portion of the building, most probably,
remained for a considerable length of time in the same ruined and
neglected state in which it had been left after the execution of the
orders of Edward III.; the clerestory and arches above, were not added
till the return of a tranquil æra.

Indeed, it is matter of historical notoriety, that the finances of the
monastery were, at this period, in the same state of dilapidation as the
walls; insomuch, that Thomas du Bigard, who was elected abbot in 1376,
and held the post for fourteen years, lay all that time under a papal
interdict for the non-payment of his annats; nor did his successor,
Denis Loquet, venture to accept the crozier, till he had made a journey
to Avignon, and obtained, from Clement VII. the remission of what was
due, as well on the election of his predecessor, as on his own. In 1422,
the official of Valognes was charged by the three states of Normandy,
assembled at Vernon, with the consent of the Duke of Bedford, to make
inquiry into the losses sustained by the abbey. His report upon the
subject is a curious historical document, little known, and,
unfortunately, nearly twenty feet long. M. de Gerville has kindly
supplied the following extracts from it. "Sylvester de la Cervelle, Yvon
de Galles, and Bertrand de Glesquin, were, with the admiral, John de
Vienne, in command of the army, at the siege of the castle of St.
Sauveur, A.D. 1375.--The English had, previously to the siege, destroyed
the abbey and the adjacent buildings, lest their enemies should
establish themselves there, and annoy them.--The monks of St. Sauveur
had, at first, taken refuge in the abbey of the Vow, near Cherbourg, and
afterwards in Jersey, where the convent had some property: certain among
them had also retired to foreign monasteries, there to seek a
subsistence, which their own could no longer afford them.--At their
return, the abbot and the clergy found their buildings destroyed; and,
at the period of the inquisition, notwithstanding all their efforts and
the money they could raise, they were still obliged to celebrate divine
service in the refectory.--The monks and abbot, who had sought shelter
at Jersey, had been obliged to quit that retreat, because the King of
England put their property there under sequestration.--Those who
returned first to the monastery, built themselves sheds against a wall,
and there made a fire to dress, their victuals, while, for
lodging-places, they had recourse to some vaults that were still
left.--So great was their poverty, that it is stated by one of the
witnesses, in his deposition, that they had not wherewithal to buy
_peciam mutonis vel aliarum carnium_.--Another deposes that, during the
siege, the French fired with such violence at one of the towers, that it
was destroyed, _fueruntque combustæ novæ campanæ, quarum una habebat
octo buccellos ad mensuram Sti. Salvatoris_."

After the final expulsion of the English, John Caillot, who was
appointed abbot in 1451, "rebuilt," to use the words of the _Gallia
Christiana_, the monastery destroyed by our countrymen; and the credit
must be given him of having endeavoured to make his additions in a style
conformable to the original. But the difference in the workmanship is
obvious to the eye; and various ornaments have been added, inconsistent
with the simplicity of early times.

The length of the church was about two hundred French feet.--A list of
forty-three abbots is given in the _Gallia Christiana_;[17] and, from
the time of the publication of that work, till the breaking out of the
revolution, there were two others, of whom M. de Nicolai was the last.


[17] XI. p. 923.



  [Illustration: Plate 15. GREAT HOUSE.

About forty miles, in a south-westerly direction from Rouen, upon the
right bank of the Seine, and on the western frontiers of the ancient
duchy of Normandy, stands the town of Great Andelys, so called, not by
reason of its own positive magnitude, but to distinguish it from a
village of the same name, situated in its immediate vicinity.

In early times, few places could boast to a greater degree than Andelys,
"the odor of sanctity." It was indebted for its celebrity, and, probably
also, for its existence, to a nunnery, founded here by St. Clotilda,
which, in the seventh century, the time of the venerable Bede, enjoyed
the highest reputation. But its fame was short-lived: it fell during the
incursions of the Normans, and, unlike most others, seems to have
possessed none of the phoenix-power of reviviscence. In its place, arose
afterwards, a collegiate church, which M. de Harlay, Archbishop of
Rouen, by a formal act, dated 1634, honored with the title of first
collegiate church of the diocese. The distinction, thus obtained, was
due not only to its antiquity, but to the unusual number of its
ecclesiastics, particularly those who composed its chapter.

Though St. Clotilda's convent, however, was destroyed, the inhabitants
of Andelys continued to enjoy her especial protection. The church was
under her invocation; but her favor was more eminently vouchsafed to an
ancient chapel and an adjacent fountain, both of which bore her name.
The latter was, from the earliest times, celebrated for its miraculous
qualities in the cure of various disorders; and it continues to be so to
the present day. St. Clotilda, at the period of the erection of the
monastery, turned its waters into wine, for the benefit of the fainting
workmen. The clergy of Andelys, in commemoration of the miracle, used
annually, before the revolution, upon the return of her festival, to
pour large pitchers of wine into the spring. During the revolutionary
fervor, St. Clotilda, together with the rest of the Romish hierarchy,
lost her credit in France. She is now rapidly recovering it: miracles
are again wrought at her shrine; and, in all probability, the time is
not far distant, when the belief will be as strong, the processions as
splendid, the throng of votaries as great, and the cures as certain, as
ever. It is only to be hoped, that the good sense and the superior
morality of the age, may prevent the recurrence of those indecent and
scandalous scenes, which, we are told by eye-witnesses, were formerly
too often practised on the occasion. Human nature must be strangely
altered, before the mind of man will cease to prefer the surfeit of
superstition, to the wholesome diet of sound religion: no one, but a
fool or a rogue, would ever advise it to have recourse to the starvation
of infidelity.

At the close of the eleventh century, Andelys appears with some
historical notoriety, in the well-known exchange made between Richard
Coeur-de-Lion and Walter, Archbishop of Rouen; when the king, desirous,
as he states, to prevent the incursions of the enemy into his duchy,
purchased of the prelate the town and manor of Andelys, by the cession
of the towns of Dieppe, Bouteilles and Louviers, together with the
forest of Aliermont, and the mills of Rouen. The bargain was a hard
one; but the erection of Château Gaillard, in the immediate vicinity of
Andelys, proved the correctness of the monarch's views. A subsequent
treaty,[18] executed in the year 1200, between King John and the same
archbishop, confirmed the exchange.

In modern times, Andelys has been celebrated on no other account, than
as the birth-place of Poussin and Adrian Turnebus, and as the
burial-place of Corneille.

The _Great House_ at Andelys, the subject of the plate, existed in 1818,
as it is here represented, shorn, indeed, of much of its ancient
splendor, reduced from the residence of a nobleman to a granary, and
most probably curtailed of full two-thirds of its size, as retaining
apparently little more than that portion of the square which fronted the
court-yard, together with a small part of one of its wings. It can now
(in 1821) only be spoken of as a building that did exist: last year saw
it levelled with the ground. The following description of it is
transcribed from Mr. Turner's _Tour in Normandy_:[19] "Andelys possesses
a valuable specimen of ancient domestic architecture. The _Great House_
is a most sumptuous mansion, evidently of the age of Francis I.; but I
could gain no account of its former occupants or history. I must again
borrow from my friend's vocabulary, and say, that it is built in the
'Burgundian style.' In its general outline and character, it resembles
the house in the _Place de la Pucelle_, at Rouen. Its walls, indeed, are
not covered with the same profusion of sculpture: yet, perhaps, its
simplicity is accompanied by greater elegance.--The windows are disposed
in three divisions, formed by slender buttresses, which run up to the
roof. They are square-headed, and divided by a mullion and transom.--The
portal is in the centre: it is formed by a Tudor arch, enriched with
deep mouldings, and surmounted by a lofty ogee, ending with a crocketed
pinnacle, which transfixes the cornice immediately above, as well as in
the sill of the window, and then unites with the mullion of the
latter.--The roof takes a very high pitch.--A figured cornice, upon
which it rests, is boldly sculptured with foliage.--The chimneys are
ornamented by angular buttresses.--All these portions of the building
assimilate more or less to our Gothic architecture of the sixteenth
century; but a most magnificent oriel window, which fills the whole of
the space between the centre and the left-hand divisions, is a specimen
of pointed architecture in its best and purest style. The arches are
lofty and acute. Each angle is formed by a double buttress, and the
tabernacles affixed to these are filled with statues. The basement of
the oriel, which projects from the flat wall of the house, after the
fashion of a bartizan, is divided into compartments, studded with
medallions, and intermixed with tracery of great variety and beauty. On
either side of the bay, there are flying buttresses of elaborate
sculpture, spreading along the wall.--As, comparatively speaking, good
models of ancient domestic architecture are very rare, I would
particularly recommend this at Andelys to the notice of every architect,
whom chance may conduct to Normandy.--This building, like too many
others of the same class in our own counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, is
degraded from its station. The _great house_ is used merely as a
granary, though, by a very small expense, it might be put into habitable
repair. The stone retains its clear and polished surface; and the massy
timbers are undecayed.--The inside corresponds with the exterior, in
decorations and grandeur: the chimney pieces are large and elaborate,
and there is abundance of sculpture on the ceilings and other parts
which admit of ornament."


[18] Copies of both these instruments are preserved in the _Gallia
Christiana_, XI. _Inst._ pp. 27 and 30.

[19] II. p. 55.--In a note to this passage, Mr. Turner states an
intention, on the part of Mr. Cotman, to devote a second plate to this
building, for the purpose of doing more justice to the beauty and
elaborate decorations of the oriel window; and it is very much to be
desired that such should be the case; but it is feared that the number
and importance of other subjects, will prevent the intention from being




  [Illustration: Plate 16. CHURCH OF THAN.
  _Elevation and details._]

The small village of Than lies about ten miles distant from Caen, in a
north-easterly direction, in a valley washed by the diminutive stream,
the Meu, a little to the north of the road which leads to Bayeux. Of its
"short and simple annals," few have come to the knowledge of the writer
of this article; and for those few, he is wholly indebted to the
kindness of M. de Gerville, who, last year, discovered at Mortain the
book containing the charters of the abbey of Savigny, many of which make
mention of the church of Than. The following is an extract from the most
important among them: the deed itself is without a date, but is clearly
of the time of Henry I. Its being anterior to 1135, is distinctly proved
by the title of Earl of Mortain, which it gives to Stephen of
Blois.--"In nomine Ste et individue trinitatis, notum sit universis tam
presentibus quam futuris, qd. ego Guillelmus de Sto Claro, concedente
Hamone fratre meo et cis, dono et concedo in perpetuam elimosinam ecclie
Ste trinitatis de Savigneio et monachis ibidem Deo servientibus totam
possessionem de Thaun, quam ego et antecessores mei, sive in terra
dominica sive in hominibus sive in quibuslibet aliis rebus, unquam
habuimus omnino quietam, ab omni consuetudine absolutam, perpetuo jure
ab eadem ecclesia possidendam. Predictam autem donacionem concessit et
ab omnib. consuetudinibus absolutam confirmavit Stephanus Comes
Moritonii, ad cujus feodum predicta possessio pertinet, &c."--In
addition to the information contained in the above charter, there is
only to be added, that Cardinal Le Moine, when dean of Bayeux, at the
close of the thirteenth century, founded here a chapel, dedicated to St.
John; and that a lord of Than was among the companions of the Conqueror
in his descent upon England.

The church has been selected by Mr. Cotman as a specimen of a religious
edifice in the true Norman style, unaltered, and also uninjured, except
by the loss of the southern aisle; and the removal of this is so far
fortunate, as it affords an opportunity of shewing the form and
disposition of the columns and arches of the nave, seen, as they are, in
the lower part of the left-hand side of the plate, imbedded in the
modern wall, which now constitutes the exterior of the building.
Subjects like this, however necessary for a work expressly devoted to
architectural antiquities, obviously afford no room for picturesque
beauty, or for an attempt, on the part of the artist, to produce what is
called _effect_. Horace's line is altogether applicable to them, that

    "Ornari res ipsa negat, contenta doceri."

The great hope to be entertained is, that they may be rendered
intelligible; and this, it is trusted, will be effected by means of the
following references; though the multitude of parts that it seemed
necessary to introduce, may have given rise to an appearance of
confusion, which the author could only have avoided, by subjecting his
subscribers to the expense of an additional plate.

       *       *       *       *       *

A.A.A. _Elevation of the tower, nave, and chancel._

The roof of the tower is of stone; and the angles are faced with slender
cylindrical columns, as in the part below, terminating, in both
instances, in little hooks, beneath which, the pillars are banded to the
part adjoining. This kind of termination, or, as it might almost be
denominated, decoration, is in itself remarkable, and perhaps unique;
but it is rendered considerably more interesting, if regarded as the
probable origin of the crocket, one of the most distinguished ornaments
in the decorated style of pointed architecture. The date of the
introduction of the crocket, and the source whence it sprung, have been
the subject of many inquiries among antiquaries: neither Mr Cotman, nor
the writer of these remarks, recollects to have seen any other approach
to it in Norman buildings; though the towers of many churches in Lower
Normandy are capped with stone roofs of similar form, and of undoubted
antiquity. Such, in particular, are those of Haute Allemagne, of Basse
Allemagne, and of St. Michel de Vaucelles, at Caen: such also is the
roof at the east end of the church of St. Nicholas, in the same town;
and, in the three last-mentioned specimens, the angles are edged with
the same small pillars by way of moulding.

It is farther to be observed of this church, that the windows of the
tower are simple, bold, and, for the elegance of their proportions,
scarcely to be surpassed by those of any other Norman building; that the
capitals of the pillars throughout the church are destitute of
sculpture; and that the walls of the clerestory are altogether without
buttresses. This last peculiarity is likewise observable in the nave of
the church at Tollevast, an edifice of the plainest and earliest
architecture. At Than, the clerestory is externally decorated with
twenty-nine arches, of which every sixth (reckoning from the westward,)
is narrower than the rest, and is pierced with a window. The surface of
the blank ones is cut into squares, which are alternately depressed. On
the corbels are not only represented grotesque heads, but some of the
simplest heraldic charges, as the chief, chief indented, pale, bend,
bendlets undy, fess, saltier, crosses of various kinds, chevron, &c.
Such ordinaries occasionally occur in similar situations on other Norman
religious edifices, but only on the most ancient. They are to be seen at
Tollevast, Martinvast, the church of St. Croix at St. Lo, St. Matthieu,
and Octeville. At St. Matthieu, they are found in conjunction with other
sculptures, fit only for a temple dedicated to Priapus; and at
Octeville, with what is probably the earliest representation of the
Lord's Supper, that is known to exist from the hand of a Norman artist.

B. _Elevation of the west front._

The lower part of the door-way is considerably sunk in the ground.

C. _Elevation of the east end._

The irregularity of the architecture of this part of the building
requires to be noticed. In the two lower compartments, the southern
portion is left quite plain, while the northern is decorated with a
double tier of arches, very much resembling those which still exist in
the outer wall of the chancel, and which, most probably, were originally
continued along the wall of the nave that is now destroyed. The broad
shallow buttress which divides the east end into two parts, is not
placed in the centre. Here, and indeed throughout the building, each
small arch is hewn out of a single block of stone. One of the upper ones
in this front, is surmounted with a broad square band, made in the
imitation of a drip-stone, composed of quatrefoils, of a form not known
to exist in Norman architecture, though of common occurrence in the
succeeding style.

D. _Portion of the clerestory in the nave._

E. _Portion of the clerestory in the chancel._

F. _Capital and part of the arch of the western door-way._

G.G.G. _String-mouldings._



  [Illustration: Plate 17. CHURCH OF TAMERVILLE.]

This church is situated at the distance of half a league from the town
of Valognes, near the road which leads to Barfleur and La Hougue.

The whole building is ancient, with the exception of the western portal
and a chapel to the north of the choir. Its general style of
architecture, the columns which support the tower, the buttresses, the
corbels, and the small windows of the nave, especially those fronting
the north, are all indicative of a production of the early days of
Norman rule, and, probably, of the period immediately preceding the
descent upon England. This period of comparative peace and tranquillity
was a time, when, to use the language of two nearly contemporary
historians, "the noblemen of Normandy emulated each other in erecting
churches upon their domains: they thus filled their continental
territory; and they shortly afterwards did the same in England."

The steeple represented in the plate is in excellent preservation: it is
of beautiful proportions; and, to an architect, is peculiarly
interesting for the cylindrical buttress, which runs nearly to the top
of the first story on the southern side, and is probably the only
instance of the kind known to exist.[20] To an English antiquary,
however, it may be allowed to have a claim to greater interest, on
account of its general shape and proportions. In these respects it
forcibly recalls the round-towered churches of Norfolk and Suffolk, most
of them surmounted by octagonal lanterns. Two of the churches of the
former county, those at Toft-Monks, and at Bokenham,[21] preserve the
octagonal shape down to the ground; but, in both instances, it is in
conjunction with early pointed architecture; and the church of
Tamerville, it is feared, would not be of itself sufficient, as being an
insulated specimen, to justify the assigning of a Norman origin to those
just mentioned. No churches with round towers have yet come under the
author's knowledge in Normandy; and yet they might certainly have been
expected in the duchy, if there be any truth in the tradition which
ascribes those in England to the Danes. On the other hand, supposing
such report to be altogether void of foundation, it seems quite
unaccountable that not one of them probably exists, which does not
retain some traces of Norman architecture.

In early times, the barons of this great province seldom, if ever, used
a family name. Like the chieftains of the Scottish clans of our own
days, they generally adopted for their surname, that of their parish or
fief. The fief or manor of Tamerville had, from before the conquest,
borne the appellation of Cyfrevast, or Sifrevast, (Sifredi Vassum;) and
down to the period of the revolution, the possessors of that fief were
patrons of the advowson of the parochial church. One of them, and,
probably, the very one who built the church now standing, followed the
Conqueror into England, and obtained from him considerable grants in
Oxfordshire and in Dorsetshire. In the latter county, the family
continued long to flourish. Hutchins states, that the branch of them,
established at More-Crichel, bore for their arms, _argent, three bars
gemels azure_; and he quotes the epitaph of one of them, who died in
1581, from which the following is an extract:--

    "Intombed here one Cyfrevast does lie,
    Whom nature caused by death to yealde his due.

       .    .    .    .    .    .    .

    Lord of More-Crichel was he by ----
    _Three hundred yeares possessed by line and descent._"

Another of the same family, named John Cyfrevast, represented
Dorsetshire in parliament, during the seventh, sixteenth, and eighteenth
years of Edward II.; and Robert Cyfrevast had the same honor in the
eighteenth and twentieth years of the following reign. About 1424, the
fief of Chiffrevast at Tamerville, passed, by marriage, into the house
of Anneville, which had also supplied a companion to the Conqueror; and
this family continued to possess it till the moment of the revolution,
the epoch of the abolition of all feudal rights.

In the burial-ground at Tamerville, have been found many coffins made of
volcanic tuff: similar ones are by no means of unfrequent occurrence
throughout the diocese of Coutances; but they are never met with, except
in places which were formerly held in particular veneration.


[20] The reader will observe, that this pillar is probably imperfect;
for that there seems reason to believe, that it was originally
surmounted by a capital, which united with the moulding above.

[21] See _Cotman's Architectural Antiquities of Norfolk_, plate 37.





The Abbé De la Rue, in his excellent publication upon the town of
Caen,[22] does not furnish the satisfactory information which might have
been hoped, relative to the date of the erection of the church of St.
Michael, in the suburb of Vaucelles. He contents himself with
observing,[23] that it is a work of different æras: that the tower and
its supporting pillars belong to a primitive church, of which no account
remains; that a part of the nave may be seen, from the circular form of
the arches having been obviously altered into pointed, to have belonged
to the same church; that the choir was raised and increased during the
sixteenth century; that the aisles are partly of the same century, and
partly of the preceding; and that the other portion of the nave and the
new tower, are productions of our own days.

In all this there is nothing definite; and, unfortunately, our knowledge
of Norman architecture is not such as will justify us in attempting to
fix precise æras to the different specimens which are left us of it. As
far, however, as it may be allowed to judge from corresponding edifices,
Mr. Turner seems correct in his opinion, that "the circular-headed
arches in the short square tower, and in a small round turret which is
attached to it, are _early Norman_."[24] He subjoins the observation,
that "they are remarkable for their proportions, being as long and as
narrow as the lancet-windows of the following æra." The conical
stone-roofed pyramid is, with the exception of its lucarne windows, most
probably of the same date. With regard to the porch,[25] the subject of
the _nineteenth plate_, its general resemblance in style to the southern
porch of the church of St. Ouen, and its having, like that, its inner
archivolt fringed with pendant trefoils, are circumstances that have
likewise been pointed out in the work just referred to. Both porches may
probably be of nearly the same date, the latter part of the fourteenth,
or beginning of the fifteenth century. Caen, but a short time before the
revolution, contained another very similar architectural specimen in the
western portal of the church of St. Sauveur du Marché,[26] now replaced
by an entrance altogether modern. The nave of the church of St. Sauveur
was built, according to De la Rue, in the fourteenth century; and it may
fairly be inferred, that the portal was also of the same date; but this
porch wanted the pendant trefoils, and was altogether less ornamented
than that of St. Michael, as the latter was than that at Rouen. Both
those at Caen, however, agreed in the wall above the arch rising into a
triangular gable covered with waving tracery, a very peculiar, and a
very beautiful style of decoration.

  [Illustration: Plate 19. CHURCH OF ST. MICHEL DE VAUCELLES, CAEN.
  _North Porch._]

Vaucelles is at this time the largest of the five parishes that compose
the suburbs of Caen. It is separated from the town by the great canal of
the Orne, the formation of which has somewhat circumscribed its limits;
for these formerly extended into the Rue St. Jean, and included the
hospital, called the Hôtel Dieu, as well as that which derives its name
from the Conqueror. During the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the
presentation to the living of Vaucelles lay alternately between the two
royal abbeys of Caen. Queen Matilda, previously to the year 1066,
purchased a moiety of the patronage and of the tythes, together with a
mill at Montaigu, and gave them to her abbey of the Trinity; and about
eleven years afterwards, Ralph, the curate of Vaucelles, the hereditary
proprietor of the other half, ceded his share to the abbey of St.
Stephen, on condition of being himself received into that monastery. The
latter establishment, within less than one hundred and fifty years,
obtained the exclusive patronage, upon the consideration of their making
the nuns an annual payment of twenty sols, and ninety-six bushels of

In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the parish of Vaucelles was in
the hands of lords of its own; among whom, the most conspicuous were the
Fitz-Herberts. An illegitimate son of Prince Henry, afterwards Henry I.
by a daughter of Robert Corbet, was the origin of this family. To his
own name, Herbert, he added that of Fitz-Henry: his sons became
Fitz-Herberts; and each of their descendants, in every successive
generation, commonly adopted the baptismal appellation of his respective
father, by way of a family name; till, towards the close of the
thirteenth century, the whole of them agreed upon Fitz-Herbert as a
patronymic. Their possessions were extensive in Caen and the
neighborhood; and the records of those early times make frequent mention
of their riches and liberality. Thus, according to the Abbé De la Rue,
from whom these historical particulars are derived, this noble family,
still represented in our own country by the Earls of Pembroke, was not
only derived from the town of Caen, but had an origin different from
what is assigned to it by Dugdale, Collins, and Edmondson.[27] The first
of the family noticed in England, appears to have lived in the time of
King Stephen. In 1302, Vaucelles seems to have become exempt from all
feudal conditions. It was in that year, that Philip le Bel sent William
de Gilly to Caen, to liberate his own vassals and those of the lords,
and to grant them all the privileges of burghers.

Among the ministers of this parish, was Roger, one of the most
distinguished of our British prelates in the time of Norman rule. The
tradition relates, that, during the wars for the succession among the
Conqueror's sons, Henry, chancing to enter Caen with his small army upon
a Sunday, stopped to hear mass at the church of Vaucelles; and that
Roger performed the service with such spirit and rapidity, that the
officers were unanimous in their wish that he should accompany the army.
The invitation was accordingly given, and the priest consented; and he
so completely gained the confidence of the prince, by recommending
economy as the surest means of carrying his point, that he was soon
appointed superintendant of the finances; and, in 1102, was honored with
the mitre of Salisbury. At a subsequent period, he was created
Chancellor of England; and, during the absence of the king in Normandy,
constantly filled the high office of regent of the kingdom. William of
Malmesbury, who dwells at much length, and with equal satisfaction, upon
his history, states, that many of our noblest edifices arose from his
munificence. In this respect, his greatest works were at Salisbury and
Malmesbury: the former, long since levelled with the ground; the latter,
still lovely and venerable in its ruins, and exhibiting, even in our
days, one of the most noble remains of Norman architecture.


[22] _Essais Historiques sur la Ville de Caen et son arrondissement.
Caen, 1820._ In 2 vols. 8vo.

[23] I. p. 279.

[24] _Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 181.

[25] Over the door-way within this porch is sculptured a figure of St.
Michael, in high relief, of apparently the same date as the porch.

[26] Engraved in _Ducorel's Tour in Normandy_, p. 74.

[27] See _Bankes' Extinct Baronage_, I. p. 301.



The statue here figured, has been introduced into this work altogether
as an historical curiosity; and, though it may seem to be somewhat
misplaced in a publication devoted to the elucidation of the
Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, it is hoped, that a single
deviation, and in favor of such a subject, may not only be deemed
admissible, but may also be acceptable to the reader.

At the time when De Bourgueville wrote his _Antiquités de la Ville de
Caen_, near the close of the sixteenth century, this statue was attached
to the gate adjoining the church of St. Stephen: it has since been
transferred to the wall of the church itself. The worthy old magistrate
says of it, that "it represented William the Conqueror on horseback, as
if in the act of entering the town, having under the feet of his horse
the figure of the body of a young man; while, before him, are kneeling a
man and woman, apparently in the act of demanding explanation respecting
the death of their son." He adds, that "it is a remarkable piece of
antiquity; but that he can tell nothing more of its history, than is
represented by the figures." From the above account, the only one
apparently left us, it is plain how much the statue, or rather group,
has suffered in modern times; but at what particular period, or on what
occasion, is unknown. It is equally plain, that the supposing of it to
be intended to represent the greatest of the dukes who swayed the Norman
sceptre, is by no means a fiction of the present day. This circumstance,
however, and its age likewise, have of late been much disputed. The
leading opinions upon these subjects, have been collected by Mr.
Turner,[28] who inclines to think that it is really of the period of
Norman dominion, and was actually designed for Duke William. He
parallels it with a very similar piece of sculpture from the
chapter-house of the abbey of St. Georges de Bocherville,[29] a
performance of unquestionable antiquity. His remarks upon the subject
are as follows:--"One of the most learned antiquaries of the present
time has found a prototype for the supposed figure of the Duke among the
sculptures of the Trajan column. But this, with all due deference, is
far from a decisive proof that the statue in question was not intended
for William. Similar adaptations of the antique model, 'mutato nomine,'
frequently occur among the works of the artists of the middle ages; and
there is at least a possibility that, had the face been left us, we
might have traced some attempt at a portrait of the Norman duke. Upon
the date of the sculpture, or the style of the workmanship, I dare not
venture an opinion. There are antiquaries, I know, (and men well
qualified to judge,) who believe it Roman: I have heard it pronounced
from high authority, that it is of the eleventh century; others suspect
that it is Italian, of the thirteenth or fourteenth centuries; while M.
Le Prevost and M. De Gerville maintain most strenuously that it is not
anterior to the fifteenth. De Bourgueville certainly calls it 'une
antiquité de grand remarque;' but we all know that any object which is
above an hundred years old, becomes a piece of antiquity in the eye of
an uncritical observer; and such was the good magistrate."

  [Illustration: Plate 20. STATUE OF WILLIAM DUKE OF NORMANDY.
  _South side of the Parish Church of St. Etienne at Caen._]

The parish of St. Stephen, at Caen, is generally distinguished by the
epithet of _the old_, whence an opinion has commonly prevailed, that its
church was one of those founded by St. Regnobert, in the middle of the
fourth century; and that the present edifice, if not actually in part
the same, is at least raised upon its foundations, and is certainly one
of the most ancient in Caen. This belief has been, in a measure,
countenanced by De Bourgueville and Huet, relying upon what appears to
have been an inaccurate translation from Robert Cenalis[30] But, on the
contrary, it appears from the Abbé De la Rue, that the author in
question makes no mention whatever of this parish, and that the
appellation was first given it by the Conqueror, by way of
distinguishing its church from the more sumptuous one erected by
himself, and also dedicated to the protomartyr; a circumstance, from
which the Abbé justly observes, that nothing more is to be deduced, than
that a church existed here anterior to his time; but by no means
necessarily of great antiquity. The present building is of the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries; a medley of debased Gothic and
corrupted Roman.


[28] _Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 174.

[29] See plate 11, of this work, right-hand figures in the upper line;
see also _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 11, with a figure.

[30] _Essais Historiques sur Caen_, I. p. 225.




  [Illustration: Plates 21-22. ABBEY CHURCH OF ST. ETIENNE, CAEN.]

The two royal Abbeys of Caen, long the pride of the town, while France,
not yet revolutionized, suffered them to exist in their glory, and while
her sons felt honored by the monuments of the piety and greatness of
their ancestors, are still, in their present state of degradation, among
the most interesting edifices which the province or the kingdom can
boast The building and the endowment of them are often mentioned with
admiration by the monastic historians of Normandy, one of whom, William
of Jumieges, gives the following account of their origin.

The marriage of Duke William with Matilda, daughter of Baldwin, Count of
Flanders, the son of his father's sister,[31] was within the prohibited
degrees of consanguinity, and greatly scandalized the clergy of the
duchy. They frequently remonstrated with their sovereign upon the
subject, and at length they succeeded so far, that he was induced to
dispatch ambassadors to Rome, to consult the Pope upon the steps
necessary to be adopted. His Holiness, prudently considering that a
divorce would in all probability be followed by war between the Flemings
and Normans, determined to have recourse to a more pacific expedient;
and consented to grant them absolution, upon condition of their
performing penance. The penance enjoined upon the occasion was the
erection of two monasteries; one for the religious of either
sex.--Gratefully, we are told, did the noble pair accept the proffered
terms; and instantly did they apply themselves to the fulfilment of
their task.

The abbey, undertaken by the Duke, the subject of these plates, is
stated by Huet, and authors in general, to have been completed in 1064,
two years prior to the conquest of England:[32] according to Ordericus
Vitalis, it was not dedicated till 1077. But upon this latter point
authors are not agreed: some say that the dedication took place in 1073;
and others, in 1081. However this may be, it seems certain that the
foundation-charter was granted subsequently to the year 1066; for in it
William takes the title of king, and among his many princely donations
are enumerated various properties and privileges in different parts of
Britain; decisive proofs that he was at that time in possession of the
island, and considered himself firmly fixed upon its throne. The abbey
thus raised, was, during the whole of the monarch's life, honored with
his especial favor; and at his death, he bequeathed it other lands,
together with his sceptre, the crown he wore upon occasions of the
highest solemnity, his hand of justice, a cup made of precious stone,
his golden candlesticks, and all the royal ornaments which usually
appertain to the crown. Still further to manifest his gracious regard,
he directed that the abbatial church should be the depository of his
mortal remains; and that a foundation, so rich in worldly wealth, might
not lack the more precious possessions of sanctity, he bought, as we
are told by the early writers,[33] _at no small price_, a portion of the
relics of the proto-martyr, consisting of a part of his arm, which was
preserved in the city of Besançon, and a small phial containing some
drops of blood, averred to have flowed from the same limb. At a
subsequent time, the King added to these a lock of the Saint's hair,
together with a portion of the skin of his head, and the stone with
which he was killed.[34] The hair was white, and as fresh as if it had
only then been severed; and it was kept in a beautiful crystal vessel;
so that, to use the words of a contemporary manuscript, "totum fuit
pulchrum: capilli albi et pulchri; lapis etiam unde percussus fuit
albus; vas pulchrum et album; et aspicientibus rem adeo pulchram magnam
faciunt admirationem."

The first abbot of the convent was Lanfranc, a native of Italy, who had
established himself in the neighboring monastery of Bec, where the fame
of his talents had acquired him a most extensive celebrity; and the zeal
with which he had applied himself to the task of education,[35] had
increased it to a degree, of which, in these days, we have little idea.
But he held the pastoral staff only a very short time, for he was, as
early as the year 1070, translated to the more important post of
Archbishop of Canterbury; and it was reserved to his successor, William
de Bonne Ame, to have the honor of presiding over the community, at the
period when John of Avranches, Archbishop of Rouen, assisted by his
suffragan bishops, as well as by Lanfranc himself, with Thomas, his
brother metropolitan, and many abbots, and a wonderful throng of people,
performed the ceremony of the dedication.[36]

The Conqueror's sons confirmed the various donations made to the abbey
by their parent. The eldest of them, Robert, his successor in the
dukedom, added the privilege of a fair and a weekly market at Cheux.
William Rufus, the second, entered into a negociation with the monks, to
re-purchase his father's royal ornaments, in exchange for the parish of
Coker, in Somersetshire; but he died before the completion of the
treaty; and this was finally carried into effect by Henry I. with one
only difference, that Brideton, (now called Burton) in Dorsetshire, was
substituted for Coker. It was Henry, according to the Abbé De la
Rue,[37] who raised the superb monument over his father's remains; but
Ordericus Vitalis expressly attributes the work to William Rufus.[38]
Respecting its splendor, all writers are unanimous: the shrine placed
upon the mausoleum, was a "mirificum memoriale, quod ex auro et argento
et gemmis competentèr splenduit." The care of building the tomb was
committed to a goldsmith at Caen, of the name of Otto, who had received
from the Conqueror a grant of land in Essex; and whose descendants,
under the name of Fitz-Othon, had the principal direction of the English
mint, till the death of Thomas Fitz-Othon, the last of the family, in

Henry II. in a very long charter, confirmed the various endowments and
privileges previously bestowed upon the convent, and added others of his
own. From this time forward, it continued to increase in wealth and
power. In the year 1250, its revenues, in Normandy, amounted to four
thousand livres, a sum equivalent to eighty-two thousand and sixteen
livres of the present day. In 1668, when money in France was of about
half its present value, the abbot and monks divided an income of
sixty-four thousand and four livres: and in 1774, this income had
swelled to one hundred and ninety-two thousand livres, notwithstanding
the immense losses suffered by the suppression of the alien priories in
England. Thus an increase had taken place of nearly one hundred and ten
thousand livres, in about five hundred and twenty years. The
ecclesiastical patronage of the abbey, at the time of the revolution,
extended over twelve churches. Its monks, who were of the order of St.
Benedict, continued till the year 1663 to belong to the class of
Benedictines, called _unreformed_; but the Duchess of Longueville, wife
of the then abbot, introduced at that period the brethren of the
congregation of St. Maur.

The privileges and immunities granted to the convent of St. Stephen, are
detailed at considerable length by Du Moustier,[39] who has also
carefully collected the particulars of the life of Lanfranc, and has
given a catalogue, accompanied with short biographical notices, of the
rest of the abbots. By far the greater number of these were men eminent
for their rank or talents; and some of them were subsequently promoted
to higher dignities. William de Bonne Ame, the second abbot, succeeded
John de Bayeux in the metropolitan throne of Rouen; Hugh de Coilly,
grandson of King Stephen, after being elected to preside over this
monastery, was almost immediately transferred to the archbishopric of
York;[40] and Charles de Martigni, abbot of St. Stephen's in the
fifteenth century, was successively honored with two episcopal mitres.
It was by him that the prelacy was first held _in commendam_, an example
too tempting not to be followed; and the abbey, thus constantly gaining
in the dignity of its superiors, as constantly lost in their real value.
Seven cardinals, (among whom were the celebrated Cardinals of Richelieu,
Mazarine and Fleury,) a natural son of King Henry IV. an archbishop of
Lyons, two of Aix, and one of Rouen, were among its most modern abbots.
Another of them, John Le Got,[41] was present at the abjuration of Henry
IV. in the church of St. Denys, on the twenty-fifth of July, 1593; and
by virtue of his office as apostolical prothonotary, subscribed his name
to the letter from the bishops to the Pope, declaring that nothing had
taken place in the transaction, inconsistent with the reverence due to
his holiness. A list of considerable length might also be made from
among the monks of the convent, of those who have been ennobled by their
talents or dignities.

The monastic buildings appertaining to the Abbey of St. Stephen were
begun in 1704, and completed after a period of twenty-two years. They
are now attached to the royal College of Caen, to which establishment
they were appropriated at the revolution; and, provided as they were
with noble gardens, they were an accession of the utmost importance to
the institution. But the value of the gift has, within the ten last
years, been considerably lessened, by the municipality having robbed the
college of the greater part of the gardens, for the purpose of
converting them into an open square. The plan of the buildings was
furnished by a lay-brother of the Benedictine order, named William De la
Tremblaye, who also erected those of the sister Convent of the Trinity,
at Caen; and those of the Abbey of St. Denis. During the storms of the
revolution, the abbatial church happily suffered but little. Fallen,
though it be, from its dignity, and degraded to parochial, it still
stands nearly entire. Not indeed as it came from the hands of the Norman
architect, but as it was left by the Huguenots in the sixteenth century,
when, with the violence which marked the transactions of that æra,
doors, windows, floors, wood-work, lead, iron, marble, manuscripts, and
books, were given up to indiscriminate destruction: bells were broken,
roofs stripped, altars profaned, the very tombs opened; and, as if no
point had been gained, so long as aught was suffered to remain, the
central tower was undermined, in the hope that its fall would involve
the ruin of the whole edifice. And fall, indeed, it did; but happily
only carried away with it a portion of the eastern end. From this
circumstance, however, have arisen discrepancies of style, for which it
would be difficult, without such knowledge, to account. The nave and the
transepts are the only pure remains of the original building: the choir
and aisles are of pointed architecture, and are, consequently, not of
equal antiquity. Even the western front partakes, in a measure, of the
same mixture. All, to the top of the towers, is genuine Norman, and of
the eleventh century: the spires, with their surrounding turrets, are
of a later æra.[42] At the same time it may reasonably be doubted how
far the Abbé De la Rue is right in ascribing them to the fourteenth
century. To differ from so able an antiquary and so competent a judge in
matters of this description, is always hazardous; but the author of this
article must, nevertheless, be allowed to hesitate before he gives a
full assent. It is known that the choir was enlarged, and the apsis
built as it now exists, during the prelacy of Simon de Trevieres, which
extended from the year 1316 to 1344; but history is silent as to any
other additions made at that period to the church; and the style of the
architecture of the spires does certainly appear to be earlier than that
of the parts just mentioned. No argument is to be drawn from the general
aspect of the building; for such is the great excellence of the Caen
stone, and so little has it suffered in an atmosphere untainted by coal
smoke, and in a climate probably superior to our own, that all the parts
appear to be in equally good preservation, and the whole looks as fresh
as if but yesterday hewn from the quarry. An opinion has commonly
prevailed, that an epitaph, still visible on the exterior of the apsis,
is that of the builder of the church. Facsimiles of it have been given
by Ducarel[43] and Gough,[44] the former of whom seems to have no doubt
of the fact. Such, however, cannot be the case; the very shape of the
characters sufficiently disproves it: they are altogether unlike those
used on Queen Matilda's tomb, a relic, whose authenticity was never
called in question. The character of the architecture of the chapel
affords a still more decisive contradiction. Indeed, after what has
already been said, it needs scarcely be added, that the building itself
did not exist at the period assigned by Ducarel to the epitaph, which is
most probably that of the person who erected the apsis, and made the
other alterations in the fourteenth century.

The western front of the church exhibits two different characters:
below, all is simple, almost to meanness: the upper part abounds in
ornament; and here the good sense of the architect, who added the
pinnacles and spires, merits commendation, in having made them
correspond so well in their decorations with the towers. The plate
sufficiently explains all that is to be said of this part of the
building, excepting as to the more minute ornaments of the door-ways,
which deserve to be exhibited in detail. The architrave is composed of
several bands of the simplest moulding, inclosed within three of a
different style; the two outermost being formed of the chevron ornament,
with its angles unusually acute; the inner, of the billet moulding. The
capitals of the pillars are studded with small heads, placed under the
Ionic volute, exhibiting a mixture of classical and barbarous taste,
which is likewise to be found at Cérisy, and upon one of the capitals in
the abbey church of the Trinity.

Along the exterior of the upper part of the nave, runs a row of
twenty-four semi-circular arches, with imposts and bases, and all
uniform, except that eight of them are pierced for windows. This portion
of the building is entirely without buttresses. Upon the extremity of
the north transept are three very shallow buttresses, which rise from
the ground to the bottom of the clerestory windows, unbroken by any
interruption whatever, but here meet with a string-course, beyond which
the two outer ones are continued, unchanged in form and appearance, to
the summit of the ends of the gable, while the centre one, though it is
raised to an equal height, loses more than half its width, and is also
much reduced in depth. Over this latter buttress is a window; and
between the buttresses are six others, arranged in a double row. Each
pair differs in size from the rest: those nearest the ground are the
largest, and those immediately above them the least. The lowest pair on
each side is inclosed within a spacious arch, which occupies nearly
two-thirds of the gable. Eastward of the transepts is a series of blank
intersecting arches, remarkable for their mouldings, which consist of a
flat, wide, and very shallow band;[45] and here the mixture of the
pointed with the semi-circular architecture commences. This portion of
the building altogether resembles the cathedral of Coutances in the
disposition of its parts.

  [Illustration: Plate 23. ABBEY CHURCH OF ST. ETIENNE, CAEN.
  _Elevation of compartment of the Nave._]

It would be difficult to describe the interior of the church in clearer
or more comprehensive terms, than has been done by Mr. Cohen in Mr.
Turner's Tour,[46] from which work the following account is, therefore,
extracted.--"Without doubt, the architect was conversant with Roman
buildings, though he has Normanized their features, and adapted the
lines of the basilica to a _barbaric_ temple. The Coliseum furnished the
elevation of the nave;--semi-circular arches surmounted by another tier
of equal span, and springing at nearly an equal height from the basis of
the supporting pillars. The architraves connecting the lower rows of
pillars are distinctly enounced. The arches which rise from them have
plain bold mouldings. The piers between each arch are of considerable
width. In the centre of each pier is a column, which ascends as usual to
the vault. These columns are alternately simple and compound. The latter
are square pilasters, each fronted by a cylindrical column, which of
course projects farther into the nave than the simple columns; and thus
the nave is divided into bays. This system is imitated in the gothic
cathedral at Sens. The square pilaster ceases at about four-fifths of
its height: then two cylindrical pillars rise from it, so that, from
that point, the column becomes clustered. Angular brackets, sculptured
with knots, grotesque heads, and foliage, are affixed to the base of
these derivative pillars. A bold double-billeted moulding is continued
below the clerestory, whose windows adapt themselves to the binary
arrangement of the bays. A taller arch is flanked by a smaller one on
the right or the left side, as its situation requires. These are
supported by short massy pillars: an embattled moulding runs round the
windows.--In the choir the arches become pointed, but with Norman
mouldings: the apsis is a reconstruction. In that portion of the choir
which seems original, there are pointed windows formed by the
interlacing of circular arches: these light the gallery.--The effect
produced by the perspective of the interior is lofty and palatial. The
ancient masonry of the exterior is worthy of notice. The stones are all
small, perhaps not exceeding nine or twelve inches: the joints are about
three-quarters of an inch."

To this description, it may be well to add the following particulars
concerning the dimensions of the church, taken from the exterior:--

  Length from east to west                                        871
  Height of western towers                                        145
   ----------------------- with their spires                      262
   -------- nave on the western front, to the point of the gable   98
   -------- northern transepts                                     84
  Width of ditto                                                   42

It may also not be amiss to observe, that the nave is on either side
divided into nine compartments, the second and third of which, reckoning
from the west, on the south side, form the subject of the _twenty-third
plate_. The rest, though diversified in their ornaments, are uniform in
their plan, except only the one on either side, immediately adjoining
the entrance: each of these contains a slender shallow arch, not pierced
to the transepts, and rising from the pavement nearly to the top of the
upper windows. In that part of the church, two peculiarities will not
fail to be remarked: the greater width of the arches of the triforium,
than that of those below; and the balustrade of quatrefoils, which is
continued throughout this portion of the building. Immediately upon
entering the church, a doubt involuntarily suggests itself, how far this
balustrade may not be an addition of comparatively modern date. But,
upon the whole, there seems no reason to consider it so. Precisely the
same ornament is found upon the tomb of Berengaria, wife to Richard
Coeur-de-Lion, which Mr. Stothard has lately figured, and believes to be
coeval with the queen whom it commemorates.

The monument raised to William the Conqueror, in the middle of the choir
of this church, was violated and broken to pieces by the Calvinists, and
its contents wantonly destroyed, towards the close of the sixteenth
century. The account of the outrages then committed are given at length,
and with great naïveté, as well as feeling, by De Bourgueville,[47] who
was present on the occasion; and they have lately been translated into
English,[48] with the addition of some interesting details that
accompanied the death and funeral of the monarch. Nearly a hundred years
before that time, a cardinal, upon a visit to Caen, had opened the tomb
through curiosity. After the tumults caused by the Huguenots had
subsided, the monks of the convent, who had gotten possession of one of
the thigh-bones that had been preserved by the Viscount of Falaise,
re-interred it, and, out of gratitude to their founder, raised, in 1642,
a new monument of black marble, at great expense. One side of it bore
the original metrical epitaph, composed by Thomas, Archbishop of York,
beginning with the following line:--

    "Qui rexit rigidos Normannos atque Britannos;"

on the other side, was an inscription[49] commemorative of the
circumstances attendant on the tomb; but this second tomb was also taken
away in 1742, by virtue of an order from Louis XV. empowering the
governor of Caen to remove the monarch's remains into the sanctuary, as
interfering, in their original position, with the ceremonies of the
church. A flat stone, in front of the high altar, succeeded to the
monument; and even this, the democrats of 1793 tore up. It was, however,
replaced by General Dugua, while Prefect of Caen, and it still holds its
situation.[50] There are no other monuments of any kind in the church.

Extensive buildings were attached to the abbey of St. Stephen; and,
among the rest, what was generally supposed to have been a royal palace,
and passed commonly under the name of the Palace of the Conqueror. As
every thing connected with the abbey was naturally referred by the
public to that sovereign, it will not appear surprising that this
edifice was so likewise, however little ground there may have been for
the appellation. Its having been called a palace, arose probably from
the circumstance of the French monarchs always residing in this
monastery, during their visits to Caen. The names of St. Louis, of John,
of Henry V. and of Francis I. are to be found in the list of those who
honored it with their presence. The greater part of the palatial
buildings were destroyed by the Huguenots; but portions of them were
standing in 1752, when Ducarel made his tour in Normandy; and he has
figured them. Among these was the most interesting part of the whole,
the great hall, the place in which the States of Normandy used to
assemble, as often as they were convened at Caen; and where the
Exchequer repeatedly held its sittings, after the recapture of Normandy,
by the kings of France, from its ancient dukes. This hall even escaped
the fury of revolutionists as well as Calvinists; but it was in the year
1802 altered by General Caffarelli, the then prefect, into rooms for the
college; and its superb painted windows were destroyed, together with
its pavement of glazed tiles, charged with heraldic bearings. The tiles
have long afforded scope for the learning and ingenuity of antiquaries,
some of whom have believed them coeval with the Conqueror; while others,
who hesitate about going quite so far, have regarded them as bearing the
arms of his companions. In the _Gallia Christiana_, the placing of them
is attributed to Robert de Chambray, who is there stated to have been
abbot from 1385 to 1393, a fact which the Abbé De la Rue utterly
disbelieves. He, however, is of opinion, that the tiles are of nearly
the same date, or a little earlier; and he considers them as belonging
to the families who had supplied abbots and monks to the convent.


[31] _Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, pp. 277 and 282.

[32] So says Huet, in his _Origines de Caen_, p. 175, upon the authority
of the Chronicle of the _Abbey of Bec_; and no attempt was made to
controvert this fact, till the recent publication of the Abbé De la
Rue's _Essais Historiques_, in which it is attempted to be proved, from
various indirect testimonies, that the building could not have been
finished till after the year 1070; indeed, that it could not even have
been begun at the time fixed by Huet for its completion, inasmuch as the
foundation charter, which must be of a date posterior to 1066, uses the
following expression.--"Ego Guillelmus, Anglorum Rex, Normannorum et
Coenomanorum princeps, Coenobium in honorem Dei ac Beatissimi
prothomartyris Stephani, intra Burgum, quem vulgari nomine vocant,
Cadomum, pro salute animæ meæ, uxoris, filiorum ac parentum meorum,
_disposui construendum_."

[33] See _Neustria Pia_, p. 639.

[34] Dom Blanchard, a Benedictine Monk, who left an unpublished history
of this monastery, says, "that the Conqueror obtained about the same
time from Constantinople, St. Stephen's skull; and that the translation
of it into the abbatial church was celebrated by an annual festival on
the eighth of October." The Cathedral of Soissons boasted of the
possession of the same relic; and of having also procured it from
Constantinople.--"Too much confidence," it is prudently observed by a
catholic writer on this subject, "must not be placed in the authenticity
of those relics, which cannot be traced to the date of St. Gregory of
Tours, the sixth century!"

[35] Lanfranc, after having for some time directed at Bec the first
school ever established in Normandy, upon his translation to Caen,
opened another in that town. In the _Lives of the Abbots of Bec_,
written in latin verse, in the twelfth century, by Peter, a monk of the
convent of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives, particular honor is given to Lanfranc
on the subject of his school at Caen, which had produced many men
eminent for their proficiency in sacred and secular literature, and was
at that time flourishing. The Abbé De la Rue gives a long list of them.
_Essais Historiques_, II. p. 70.

[36] _Ordericus Vitalis_, in _Duchesne's Scriptores Normanni_, p. 549.

[37] _Essais Historiques_, II. p. 64.

[38] _Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, p. 663.

[39] _Neustria Pia_, p. 640.

[40] _Gallia Christiana_, II. p. 425.

[41] His name is not to be found in the list of abbots given in the
_Neustria Pia_; but the authors of the _Gallia Christiana_ say, (XI. p.
480,) "that he was nominated to the prelacy upon the resignation of the
thirty-fourth abbot, Charles d'O, and was confirmed in it by the States
of Blois. It is admitted, however, that, notwithstanding his appointment
in 1596, his predecessor continued to receive the emoluments of the
office, till 1624, and enjoyed a large pension arising from them, till
his death, in 1627."

[42] In speaking of these, the Abbé De la Rue takes occasion to lay down
a general rule, (_Essais Historiques_, II. p. 61) that "on ne trouve
ordinairement en Normandie, que des arcades semi-circulaires dans les
Xe. XIe. et XIIe. siècles; au contraire, les arcades en pointes des
nefs, des fenêtres et des portes des églises, autrement les arcades en
ogive, n'ont eu lieu chez nous que dans le XIIIe. siècle et les suivans.
On trouve également ces deux styles en Angleterre et aux mêmes époques,
et leur différence est une des principales règles qui servent aux
antiquaires Anglois, pour discerner les constructions Normandes et
Anglo-Normandes, des constructions d'un autre genre."--But Mr. Turner,
in his inquiries respecting the former cathedral of Lisieux, (_Tour in
Normandy_, II. p. 131) appears to have proved that the pointed arch must
have had existence at a considerably earlier period in France; and it is
expected, that some instances which will be adduced in the sequel of the
work, will have the effect of confirming his opinion.

[43] _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, p. 57.

[44] _Sepulchral Monuments_, I. p. 247, t. 30.--The epitaph, which, in
the original, is full of contractions, it is supposed by the Abbé De la
Rue, should be read as follows:--

    "Guillelmus jacet hic, petrarum summus in arte:
    Iste novum perfecit opus; det premia Christus.

[45] A similar row of arches is found on the north transept of Norwich
Cathedral, between the first and second tier of windows.--See _Britton's
Norwich Cathedral_, plate 10.

[46] II. p. 195.

[47] _Antiquités de Caen_, p. 171.

[48] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 203.

[49] See _Neustria Pia_, p. 656.

[50] The inscription upon it, which details the various events that had
befallen the tomb, is given in _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 197.



  [Illustration: Plate 24. ABBEY CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY, CAEN.
  _West front._]

Mention has already been made, under the preceding subject, of the
origin of the convent of the Holy Trinity, whose church, though not an
equally extensive building as that of the monastery of St. Stephen, is
infinitely more rich in its decorations, and has been left almost
entirely in its original form. A more perfect example of a Norman
abbatial church, is perhaps no where to be found; and, as this edifice
had the farther advantage of having been raised at the period when the
province was at the acme of its power, of having been erected by an
individual of the highest rank, and of having owed its existence to an
occasion peculiarly calculated to call forth the exercise of the utmost
liberality and splendor, it has been conceived that the object of a work
like the present, could not be better answered, than by exhibiting such
a building in its fullest details.

With the churches of the Trinity and of St. Georges before him, the
reader will best be enabled to judge what Norman architecture really
was: no difficulty or doubt can arise as to the history or the date of
either; and he may rest satisfied, that whatever has been selected from
them, is, as far as human observation can decide, exactly in the state
in which it was left by the original builder.

The abbey of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1066, by Matilda of
Flanders, wife to William II. Duke of Normandy; and its church was
dedicated on the eighteenth of June of the same year, by Maurilius,
Archbishop of Rouen, assisted by the bishops and abbots of the province,
and in the presence of the duke and duchess, together with their
principal barons. The sovereign, upon the same day, presented at the
altar his infant daughter, Cecilia, devoting her to the service of God
in this monastery, in which she was accordingly educated, and was its
first nun and second abbess. History has recorded the name of the first
abbess, Matilda, and relates that she was of one of the most noble
families of the duchy; but no farther particulars are known respecting
her. The foundation-charters of this convent, which bear date in the
years 1066 and 1082, are full of donations in every respect princely;
and these, not only on the part of the sovereign, but also of his
nobles, whose signatures are likewise attached to the instruments. The
queen, also, at her decease, left the monastery her crown, sceptre, and
ornaments of state;[51] thus setting the example, which was shortly
afterwards followed by her royal consort, with regard to the abbey of
St. Stephen. Robert, the Conqueror's successor in the dukedom, was not
behind-hand with his father in his liberality to the convent of the
Trinity. The latter, in his charter, dated 1083, had reserved to himself
the right of the fishery of the Orne, together with sundry possessions
outside the walls of the town, in the direction of the suburb of
Vaugeux. All these were ceded by the new duke to his sister; and out of
the various grants, on the part of the father and son, was formed what
was denominated the _Bourg l'Abbesse_, or _Barony of St. Giles_. Duke
Robert did yet more; for, after having distinguished himself at the
capture of Jerusalem, and refused the crown of the Holy Land, he
brought home with him, on his return to France, and deposited in the
abbatial church founded by his mother, the great standard of the
Saracens, wrested from them by his valor in the field of Ascalon.

Among the privileges conferred upon the abbey of the Trinity, by the
Norman princes, was the right of holding a fair upon Trinity-Sunday and
the days that immediately preceded and followed it. The abbess, during
these days, was entitled to all the town dues; and, to leave no doubt of
her right, she was in the habit of sending some of her officers at
vespers time on the Friday, to affix her armorial bearings to every
entrance of the town. The same officers also attached their own boxes
for the receipt of customs to the gates, in lieu of those of the
farmer-general. Water alone could be brought in without payment of toll.
As long as the fair lasted, the abbess was likewise treated with
military honors; the commandant of the garrison, whatever his rank, was
bound to apply to her, in person, for the parole of the day. The Abbé De
la Rue, from whose work most of the historical facts concerning this
convent are extracted, states, that he has himself seen the Maréchal de
Harcourt, while governor of Normandy, wait upon the abbess for the
purpose; and he is of opinion, that the custom existed from the very
foundation of the monastery.

It will not be matter of surprise, that an establishment, thus gifted
and distinguished, should have been tenanted by the children of those
who had contributed to the endowment. The names of the daughters and
nieces of the chief Norman barons, will be found in the catalogue of the
first nuns. Such, however, was at that period the state of society, that
even an abbey, so founded, endowed, and occupied, was doomed to afford a
remarkable instance of the capricious barbarity of the times. No sooner
was the death of the Conqueror known, than the very nobles, who, but a
few years previously, had been foremost as benefactors to the convent,
assumed the opposite character, and did every thing in their power to
despoil, and to destroy it. They had themselves subscribed the following
denunciation:--"Si quis verò horum omnium, quæ prædictæ S. Trinitatis
ecclesiæ data ostensa sunt, temerariâ præsumptione aliquando, (quod
absit) violator effectus, in suâ impudenti obstinatione perstiterit:
Noverit ille se anathema factum a Domino, sanctâ ac beatâ fidelium
omnium communione privatum Divino judicio, perpetualitèr esse
plectendum."--But no consideration, human or divine, could restrain
their rapacity: they pillaged the lands; seized the corn and cattle
belonging to the monastery; imprisoned some of the tenants and vassals,
and put others to the sword. These, and many other facts, most curiously
illustrative of the manners of the age, are to be found in the
collection of the charters of the abbey. They prove indisputably, (if
such a fact needs proof) that the days of chivalry were far from being
days of honesty. But they also shew, what the reader may not be equally
prepared to see, that among these plunderers was Henry himself, the
Conqueror's youngest son, who did not scruple to lay waste the lands
given to the abbey by his mother; and who, as the Abbé de la Rue
remarks, had probably, even at that early period, conceived the
intention of seizing upon his paternal territory, and might be engaged
in the amassing of those pecuniary resources, by the aid of which he
ultimately succeeded in his usurpation of the throne.

Among the possessions of the abbey of the Holy Trinity, were several
estates[52] and advowsons in England; for the better administration of
which, the presence of the abbess was occasionally required on this side
of the water. The names of more than one of the holy ladies are on
record, who honored our island with their presence. The journal of the
tour of the abbess, Georgette du Molley Bacon, states her to have
embarked at Caen, on the sixteenth of August, 1570, with fifteen persons
in her suite, and to have landed in London, and proceeded to her
manor-house at Felsted, in Essex, from which she did not return to
Normandy till Trinity-Sunday in the following year.

Hence it may be easily inferred, that the rules of the convent were not
of the strictest description. The establishment indeed was, from its
origin, under the regulation of the order of St. Benedict, but the nuns,
though they lived under the same roof, were not bound by vows: they were
accustomed to receive their friends in their own apartments; and many of
them had nieces or other relations with them, whom they brought up. The
refectory was common; and they ate meat several days in the week. There
were also stated times, on which it was allowable for them to take the
air in a garden at a short distance from the convent. The abbess herself
had her Country-house at Oistreham, where she frequently resided; and
upon the occasion of those festivals which are distinguished by public
processions, the whole body of the community used to go in procession to
each of the different churches of Caen. Sometimes too the abbess
attended with a party of her nuns at the performance of any mystery or
similar scenical representation. The account of the revenues of the
monastery in 1423, shews how Nicole de Rupalley, then abbess, was
present at the acting of the _Miracle of St. Vincent_, and rewarded the
performers with a gratuity of ten sols, a sum equivalent, at that time,
to ten bushels of wheat.

About the year 1515, an attempt was made by the superior, Isabel of
Bourbon, to curtail the indulgences of the sisterhood, by keeping them
more closely confined, increasing the number of fast-days, and generally
introducing a system of greater rigor. But the nuns remonstrated against
the innovation, and had recourse to the Bishop of Bayeux, alledging the
injustice of their being called upon to submit themselves to
regulations, to which they had not originally subscribed. The prelate,
who felt the point to be a delicate one, refused to decide; and the
matter ended in an appeal to the Pope, who, finally, allowed the nuns to
retire into other convents, where they might enjoy the freedom they

When, after the capture of Caen by Edward, in 1346, the inhabitants
resolved upon fortifying the town anew, the abbeys of St. Stephen and of
the Trinity, both of which lay in the suburbs, were excluded from the
line of circumvallation; and the consequence was their exposure to
insults and pillage. The monks and nuns were therefore obliged to look
to their own defence; and, upon King John's coming to Caen, eight years
afterwards, they obtained from him letters patent, authorizing them to
encircle their convents with walls, towers, and fosses of their own.
Hence originated the strange anomaly of a fortress and nunnery within
the same precincts. The sisterhood, alarmed at their situation, sold
their plate, and even the shrines of their relics, to provide for their
safety; and permission was afterwards granted them to levy contributions
upon their vassals, for the purpose of expediting and completing the
task.--In the reign of Henry VI. during the wane of the British power in
France, orders were issued by the monarch for the dismantling of the
fort of the Trinity, lest it should be seized by the inhabitants of the
neighborhood, who were endeavoring to get possession of Caen. But the
abbess resisted the royal edict; and, under an apprehension, lest the
attempt to carry it into effect should induce her to open the gates to
the insurgents, her resistance was allowed to be effectual.--King
Charles repeatedly took up his quarters in this monastery, while his
army was laying siege to Caen, in 1450, and mention continues to be made
of the fortress till the commencement of the following century; but
after that time, it appears to have been suffered to go to ruin.

M. De la Rue rejects, as unfounded, the statement of the Bishop of
Avranches, which has obtained general credence, that the spires of the
western towers of the abbey were destroyed in 1360, by Charles the Bad,
on account of their use for the detecting of the approach of an enemy.
His principal argument against the fact is, that the King of Navarre was
at that very time at peace with France; and therefore, supposing it to
be certain that they were taken down by that prince, he is of opinion,
that their demolition must have been ordered to prevent them from
serving as landmarks to the English. At the same time, he is evidently
inclined to think that the towers were never surmounted by spires at
all; and he observes, with much apparent justice, that, if there really
were any, and if they were really destroyed at the period alledged, the
towers must have been left for a long time in a ruined state, as their
present termination is known to be the work of the eighteenth century.

The original charters and title-deeds of the abbey of the Trinity were
lost during the revolution. They perished in consequence of the extreme
care of the last abbess, who, full of anxiety for their preservation,
secured them in trunks, and hid them in the ceiling of the church. But,
in those disastrous times, the lead that covered the churches was among
the earliest objects of plunder; and the consequence was, that the roof
was stripped; the boxes exposed to the rain; the wood and paper wholly
destroyed; and the tin cases that held the charters so eaten by rust,
that their contents were rendered illegible. It was in this state that
they were found by the Abbé De la Rue, who was in possession of the
secret, and who, on his return to France, after the cessation of the
troubles and the death of the abbess, obtained permission from the
prefect for the search to be made.

The church of the abbey of the Trinity had its own peculiar rites; and,
till the period of the revolution, the community were in the habit of
printing their liturgy annually in latin. A very beautiful quarto
volume, containing the ritual, was published at Caen, in 1622, by the
order of Laurence de Budos, then abbess. It was probably from pride at a
privilege of this nature, and from a confidence in their strength, that
the nuns persisted in celebrating the ridiculous, or, it might almost be
called, blasphemous _Fête des Fous_, for a hundred years after the
Council of Basle had decreed the suppression of it throughout
Christendom. In imitation too of the Boy-Bishops of Bayeux, Salisbury,
and other churches, the nuns of the Holy Trinity had their
Girl-Abbesses. The ancient rolls of the monastery make mention, under
the head of expenses in 1423, of six sols given, by way of offering, on
Innocents'-Day, "_aux petites Abbesses_." This was the day on which the
Girl-Abbess was elected: the superior of the convent resigned to her the
abbatial stall and crozier at vespers, as soon as they came to the verse
of the _Magnificat_, beginning "_Deposuit potentes de sede_;" and the
farce was kept up till the same hour the succeeding evening. The Abbé De
la Rue, who mentions this fact, observes with justice, that another
circumstance, which appears from these accounts, is still more
extraordinary;--that, even as late as 1546, the abbess was in the habit
of making an annual payment of five sols to the cathedral of Bayeux, for
its Boy-Bishop. The entry is in the following terms: "_Au petit évêque
de Bayeux, pour sa pension, ainsi qu'il est accoutumé, V. sous._" During
the early part of the preceding century, the abbot of St. Stephen was
also accustomed to pay twenty sols per annum, on the same account; but
his payment was probably discontinued immediately after the edict of the
Council of Basle, though the ceremony of the Boy-Bishop was not
suppressed at Bayeux till 1482. Indeed, only six years before that time,
the inventory of the sacristy of the cathedral enumerated, among its
other valuables,

  "Two mitres for the Boy-Bishop,
  The crozier belonging to the Boy-Bishop,
  The Boy-Bishop's mittens,
  And four small copes of scarlet satin, for the use
  of the singing-boys on Innocents'-Day."

The abbess of Caen, through the medium of her official, exercised
spiritual jurisdiction over the parishes of St. Giles, Carpiquet,
Oistreham, and St. Aubin-d'Arquenay, by virtue of a privilege granted by
the bishops of Bayeux, as well for herself and her nuns, as for the
vassals of the several parishes. This privilege, however, extended no
farther than to an exemption from certain pecuniary fines, which the
diocesans, in the middle ages, exacted from their flocks; and even in
this confined acceptation, it was more than once the subject of
litigation between the convent and the see. In like manner, the civil
and criminal jurisdiction claimed by the abbess over the same parishes,
brought her occasionally into disputes with the bailiff and viscount of
Caen: her rights were repeatedly called in question, and she was obliged
to have recourse to legal tribunals to establish them. The following
very extraordinary suit is at once illustrative of the fact, and of the
character of the times:--In the year 1480, an infant was eaten up in its
cradle, by a _bestia porcina_, within the precincts of the parish of St.
Giles. The abbess' officers seized the delinquent, and instituted a
process for its condemnation before the seneschal of the convent. During
the time, however, that the question was pending, the king's
attorney-general interfered. He summoned the abbess before the
high-bailiff, and, maintaining that the crime had been committed within
the cognizance of the bailiwick, he claimed the beast, and demanded that
its trial should take place before one of the royal tribunals. Debates
immediately arose as to the limits of their respective jurisdictions:
inquiries were set on foot; memorials and counter-memorials were
presented; and the abbess finally succeeded in carrying her point, only
by dint of proving that she had, some years previously, burned a young
woman in the _Place aux Campions_, for having murdered a man in the
self-same house where the hog devoured the child.

Among the obligations originally imposed upon this convent, was that of
giving a dinner annually, on Trinity Sunday, to such of the inhabitants
of the parish of Vaux-sur-Saulles and their domestics, as had resided
there a year and a day. The repast was served up within the abbey walls,
and in the following manner:--After the guests had washed their hands in
a tub of water, they seated themselves on the ground, and a cloth was
spread before them. A loaf, of the weight of twenty-one ounces, was
then given to each individual, and with it a slice of boiled bacon, six
inches square. To this was added a rasher of bacon, fried; and the feast
concluded with a basin of bread and milk for every person, all of them
having likewise as much beer and cider as they could drink. The dinner,
as may naturally be supposed, lasted from three to four hours; and it
will also not be difficult to imagine, that the entertaining of such a
motley throng on such a day, could not fail to be attended with great
annoyance to the nuns, and with various inconveniences. The convent had
therefore, from a very early date, endeavored to free themselves from
the obligation, by the payment of a sum of money; and, in times of war,
the town of Caen had occasionally interposed, and forced the people to
accept the composition, from an apprehension, lest the enemy should gain
possession of the fort of the Trinity, by introducing themselves into it
among the authorized guests. It appears that, in 1429, the abbess
purchased an exemption at the price of thirty livres, a sum equivalent
to thirty-seven and a half quarters of corn, at a time when wheat sold
for two sols the bushel; and twenty-two years subsequently, Charles VII.
then King of France, granted his letters patent, abolishing the dinner
altogether, upon condition of a like sum being annually paid to the
parochial chest.

To the abbey church of the Trinity were attached several chapels, as
well without as within its walls: the most remarkable of these was that
of St. Thomas, generally known by the name of _St. Thomas l'Abattu_, in
the suburb of St. Giles. It was, in its original state, an hospital, and
was called the Hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr in the fields, whence
De la Rue infers that it was built in commemoration of Thomas-à-Becket,
and was probably erected immediately after his canonization in 1173.
Huet, on the contrary, tells us, that it had existed "from time
immemorial;" and Ducarel, who has described and figured it,[53] appears
to have also regarded it as of very high antiquity. The gradual
disappearance of leprosy had caused it to be long since diverted from
its original purpose. In 1569, it was pillaged by the Huguenots; and, as
no pains were taken to repair the injuries then done, it continued in a
state of dilapidation, imperceptibly wasting away, till the period of
the revolution, when it was sold, together with the other national
property; and even its ruins have now disappeared.

Happily, the abbatial church of the Trinity was at that time more
fortunate: it was suffered to continue unappropriated, till, upon the
institution of the Legion of Honor, Napoléon applied it to some purposes
connected with that body, by whom it was a few years ago ceded for its
present object, that of a workhouse for the department. The choir alone
is now used as a church: the nave serves for work-rooms; and, to render
it the better applicable to this purpose, a floor has been thrown
across, which divides it into two stories.

It has been observed in a recent publication,[54] that "a finer specimen
of the solid grandeur of Norman architecture, is scarcely to be found
any where than in the west front of this church," (the subject of the
_twenty-fourth plate_.) "The corresponding part of the rival abbey of
St. Stephen, is poor when compared to it; and Jumieges and St. Georges
equally fail in the comparison. In all these, there is some
architectural anomaly: in the Trinity none, excepting indeed the
balustrade at the top of the towers; and this is so obviously an
addition of modern times, that no one can be misled by it.[55] This
balustrade was erected towards the beginning of the seventeenth century,
when the oval apertures and scrolls, seen in Ducarel's print,[56] were
introduced."--It may be well to take the present opportunity of making a
general observation, that though, in speaking of this and of other
churches, the term, _west front_, may commonly be applied to the part
containing the principal entrance; yet that this term must be received
with a certain degree of latitude. The Norman religious edifices are far
from being equally regular in their position as the English. With a
general inclination to the west, they vary to every point of the
compass.[57] The church of the abbey of the Trinity fronts the
north-west--The architrave of the central door-way is composed of many
surfaces of great depth: two-thirds of them are flat and plain, and
recede so little, as to afford but small opportunity for light and
shade. Its decorations are few and simple, consisting almost wholly of
the billet and chevron moulding, the former occupying the exterior, the
latter the interior, circles. In the outermost band, the billets form a
single row, and take the curve of the arch; the succeeding circle
exhibits them with an unusual arrangement, placed compound, and all
pointing to the centre of the door. These, with the addition of
quatrefoils, and of some grotesque heads, which serve as key-stones to
the mouldings over the windows of the triforium, are the only ornaments
which this front can boast. The capitals throughout it are of the
simplest forms, being in general little more than inverted cones,
slightly truncated, for the purpose of making them correspond with the
columns below. Some few of them have the addition of small projecting
knobs immediately below the angles of the impost; while those in the
square towers are formed by a short cylinder, whose diameter exceeds
that of the shaft, surmounted by a square block, by way of abacus. The
towers and buttresses decrease in size upwards.--An architectural
peculiarity deserving of notice in this front, lies in the triangular
mouldings, observable in the spandrils of the arches of the clerestory.
The same are occasionally, though rarely, found in other buildings of
unquestionably Norman origin, as in the church at Falaise, and in
Norwich Cathedral[58] in our own country. They are here more
particularly noticed, as serving to illustrate what has been considered
an anomaly in the architecture of some of the round-towered churches in
Norfolk and Suffolk,[59] where the windows are formed with heads of this
shape. Antiquaries, unwilling to admit that the _flat-sided arch_, as it
has been called by a perversion of terms, was introduced into England
prior to the fourteenth century, have labored to prove that such windows
were alterations of that period, contrary to the evidence of every part
of the building.

  [Illustration: Plate 25. ABBEY CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY, CAEN.
  _East End._]

The east-end of the choir (_plate twenty-five_) presents a bold
termination, pierced with ten spacious windows, that give light to the
choir, each of them encircled with a broad band, composed of the same
ornaments as are found in the rest of the exterior of the edifice. This
part of the church is divided in its elevation into three compartments,
the lower containing a row of small blank arches, while in each of the
upper two is a window of an unusual size for a Norman building, but
still without mullions or tracery. The windows ore separated by thick
cylindrical pillars, which rise from immediately above a row of windows
that give light to the crypt. The heads of these windows are level with
the surface of the ground; and the wall, in this subterranean part of
the building, is considerably thicker than it is above. The balustrade
of quatrefoils above appears coeval with the rest, and may be regarded
as tending to establish the originality of that in the nave of the abbey
church of St. Stephen.[60]

  _East end, interior._]

  _North side of the Choir, upper compartment._]

The _twenty-sixth_ and _twenty-seventh plates_ shew the interior of the
choir, as the _thirty-third_ does the most remarkable of its capitals.
This part of the church, in its general arrangement, very much resembles
the same portion in St. Georges and in Norwich Cathedral. The second,
however, of these buildings, retains the original groinings of the roof,
which in our English church have been sacrificed, to make room for large
pointed windows; while in the church of the Trinity they have given
place to a spacious dome, painted with a representation of the
Assumption. In the foreground of this picture, is seen the royal
foundress of the abbey; and, according to common tradition, the portrait
of a female dressed in the habit of a nun, on the north side of the high
altar, is also intended for her. But traditions of this nature are too
vague for much reliance to be placed upon them. The altar-piece itself
is an _Adoration of the Shepherds_, not devoid of merit.--The plain
arches, with their truncated columns, seen in the upper part of _plate
26_, near the front on either side, and repeated in the following plate,
are those which terminate the flat part of the choir. The wide unvaried
extent of blank surface beneath them is attributable to modern masons,
who have filled up and covered arches without mercy or discretion, and
have pierced the walls anew with plain mean door-ways. The windows are
lofty, and of fine proportions. Their glazing is probably of the time of
Louis XIV. when the gorgeous splendor of painted glass gave way
to the less beautiful and less appropriate ornaments, supplied by the
fancy of the plumbers.[61] The narrow passage formed in the thickness of
the wall, with its small arches variously decorated, surrounds the whole
building; choir, nave, and transepts. In the architectural arrangement
of this portion of the edifice, where every large arch of the windows is
flanked by two lesser ones of the triforium, the church of the Trinity
agrees with the cathedral at Oxford, as figured in Mr. Carter's work on
ancient architecture[62] and there treated as a genuine Saxon building,
erected by King Ethelred, after the destruction of the monastery by the
Danes in 1004. But the capitals of the columns in the two churches bear
only a slight resemblance to each other. Those at Oxford[63] are among
the most beautiful left us by early architects, consisting chiefly of
foliage; and, in one instance, of a very elegant imitation of a coronet.
In the abbatial church at Caen, they display the same mixture of Grecian
and barbarous taste, the same beauties, the same monstrosities, and the
same apparent aim at fabulous or emblematic history, as has been
previously remarked at St. Georges. On the angles of one, which contains
four storks, arranged in pairs, will be found an obvious representation
of the heraldic fleur-de-lys. In that, figured below it on the plate, is
a head placed over two lions, commonly believed to be intended for a
portrait of the Conqueror.

  _Arches under the central Tower looking from the South Transept._]

  _East side of the South Transept._]

The _twenty-eighth_ and _twenty-ninth plates_ are devoted to the
transepts: the first of them exhibits two of the arches which support
the central tower. Finer specimens of the kind are scarcely to be seen
in Normandy; and the decoration of them is very peculiar, consisting
altogether of numerous bands of quatrefoils in bas-relief. The sculpture
of the capitals is likewise remarkable: that of one of them represents
entire rams; while the opposite one has only the heads of the same
animal at its angles, accompanied with an ornament, which the writer of
this article does not remember to have met with elsewhere. The arch that
separates the tower from the nave,[64] rises higher than any of the
rest, and is obtusely pointed; but its decorations correspond with those
of the others, and it appears to be of the same date.[65] For the
purpose of more effectually marking the connection of the _twenty-eighth
plate_ with the preceding, it may be well to observe, that the
string-course, seen in the former through the first arch and adjoining
the base of the truncated column, is the same which, in _plate
twenty-seven_, forms the base-line of the windows. The same
string-course in the choir runs immediately below the gallery; but in
the transepts, this gallery is upon a different line, being elevated by
the interposition of a very beautiful range of small blank arches,
between the larger arches below and the windows of the clerestory; and
these latter, in conjunction with the small arches, only occupy the same
space as the windows of the choir. The southern transept has been here
selected for publication, as being the most perfect. Had the opposite
one been equally so, it would have been preferable, from the
curious character of its capitals, many of which are taken from
scripture-history. But these are, unfortunately, much mutilated.

  _Interior of the Nave looking west._]

In the _thirtieth plate_ is given a general view of the upper half of
the interior of the nave, shewing the western extremity, with the three
compartments nearest to it on either side; and here, as in the two
preceding plates, it is impossible not to regret the existence of the
floor, which, by dividing the church into different stories, greatly
injures the effect of the whole. Neither in this nor in any other part
of the building, are there side-chapels or aisles. The architecture of
the nave, in its general arrangement, resembles that of the transepts;
except as to the arches of the second row, which are peculiar. Upon an
attentive examination too, it will be found that, notwithstanding the
apparent uniformity, no two compartments are precisely alike, while the
capitals are infinitely varied. This playfulness of ornament is
remarkable in a building, whose architect appears, at first view, to
have contemplated only grandeur and solidity. At the farther end of the
nave, are seen the five windows of the principal front, together with a
portion of the great arch of entrance. The remaining part of this arch,
as well as of the others of the lower tier, with the pillars that
support them, are concealed by the floor. The gallery, it will be
remarked, sinks at the western end, as in the choir, and is connected
with the sides by a staircase. The roof is only of lath and plaster,
painted in imitation of masonry.

  _South side of the Nave, exterior._]

The _thirty-first plate_ exhibits three of the eight compartments of the
clerestory, on the south side of the nave, as seen externally. The
cloisters and conventual buildings hide the whole of the opposite side
of the church; and, perfect as is the part here represented, there is
nothing to be seen below; for a range of work-shops and of sheds has
obstructed the view of the exterior, as effectually as the floor has of
the corresponding portion within. The corbel-table, with its monsters of
all descriptions, affords a curious specimen of the sculpture of the
age. The string-course above it is rich and beautiful. The same is also
the case with the decorations of the windows, as well as of the blank
arches with which they are flanked, while the intervening flat
buttresses, edged by slender cylindrical pilasters, likewise indicate a
degree of care and of taste which is very pleasing, and which is the
more remarkable, when considered in union with the architecture of the
exterior of the contemporary abbey of St. Stephen.


The crypt (_plate thirty-two_) occupies the space under the choir. The
Abbé De la Rue, who terms it "_une jolie chapelle_," says that, in the
fifteenth century, it was denominated the subterranean chapel of St.
Nicholas; but previously to the revolution, had assumed the name of the
chapel of the Holy Trinity. It was originally entered by two narrow
staircases from the transepts. Its length from east to west is about
thirty feet: its width, about twenty-seven. The simple vaulted roof is
supported by thirty-two slender columns, sixteen of them half imbedded
in the wall, and rising from a stone bench, with which this crypt is
surrounded, in the same manner as that of the church of St. Gervais, at
Rouen. This chapel was, till lately, paved with highly-polished
vitrified bricks, each about two inches square, diversified with very
vivid colors, but of a description altogether unlike those in the
Conqueror's palace. It is lighted by narrow windows, which widen
considerably inwards, the wall being here of great thickness; and,
according to all probability, there were originally eleven of them,
though the greater part are now closed. One of them was lately filled
with bones, and bricked up. Upon the place it occupied is to be seen the
following inscription, placed between a couple of vases of antique
form:--"_Ossemens trouvés dans l'ancien chapitre des dames de la
Trinité, et déposés dans ce lieu le IV. Mars, MDCCCXVIII._"

  _Capitals in the Choir._]

In the same year, at the time when these drawings were made, no tombs
whatever existed in the church of the Trinity. There had formerly been
many here; but the revolution had swept them all away.[66] Among the
rest were those of the royal foundress, of her daughter Cæcilia, the
first abbess, and of two other daughters of English kings, who likewise
wore the ducal coronet of Normandy. The most celebrated of all was that
of Matilda: according to Ordericus Vitalis, it was of exquisite
workmanship, and richly ornamented with gold and precious stones. But
the Calvinists demolished it in 1562; and, not content with plundering
the monument of all that was valuable, tore open the Queen's coffin, and
dispersed her remains. Towards the close of the same century, Anne de
Montmorenci, then abbess, caused the royal bones to be collected, and
again to be deposited in the original stone coffin; and things continued
in this state till the year 1708, when the abbess, Gabrielle Françoise
Fronlay de Tessé, raised a second altar-tomb of black marble, a
representation of which has been preserved by Ducarel. In addition to
this, she inclosed the bones of the princess for greater security in a
leaden box, which she laid in the coffin; and these happily escaped
violation in 1793, when the revolutionists destroyed the monument,
because the arms of Normandy, with which it was ornamented, sinned
against the doctrines of the liberty and equality of man. France being
once more settled under a monarchical form of government, a fresh search
was instituted in March, 1819, by the prefect of the department, in the
presence of the bishop of the diocese and Mr. Spencer Smythe, for the
discovery of Matilda's remains; and they were found and verified, and
re-interred in their original situation.--Another tomb, similar to
that which was destroyed at the revolution, is also raised over them.
The engraved stone in _plate twenty-six_, marks the place which it
occupies. Upon it is laid the original slab with the epitaph, which, by
great good fortune, escaped unhurt from the hands both of democrats and
Huguenots; and, as many of the subscribers to this work have expressed a
desire that a fac-simile of it should be inserted, as illustrative of
the form of the letters, as well as of the manner of writing in use at
that period, Mr. Cotman has had a pleasure in meeting their wishes, at
the same time, that he has not considered it as sufficiently belonging
to the publication, to justify him in making it an object of charge. The
inscription, divided into lines, and written in modern characters, is as

    "Egregie pulchri tegit hec structura sepulcri
    Moribus insigne germen regale Matildem
    Dux Flandrita pater huic extitit Adala mater
    Francor gentis Rotberti filia regis
    Et soror Henrici regali sede potiti
    Regi magnifico Wlllelmo juncta marito
    Presentem sedem presente fecit et edem
    Tam multis terris quam multis rebus honestis
    A se ditatam se procurante dicatam
    Hec consolatrix inopum pietatis amatrix
    Gazis dispersis pauper sibi dives egenis
    Sic infinite petiit consortia vite
    In prima mensis post primam luce Novembris."

  [Illustration: Plate 33*. _A fac simile of the inscription upon the
  tomb of Queen Matilda in the Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity at


[51] The will of the Queen has been printed by the Abbé De la Rue,
(_Essais Historiques_ II. p. 437) from a manuscript in the royal library
at Paris; but the writer of the present article is not aware that it has
ever yet appeared in any English publication; and he therefore considers
it desirable here to reprint it, for the antiquaries of his own
country.--"Ego Mathildis Regina do Sanctæ Trinitati Cadomi casulam quam
apud Wintoniam [Winchester] operatur uxor Aldereti, et clamidem operatam
ex auro quæ est in camera mea ad cappam faciendam, atque de duabus
ligaturis meis aureis in quibus cruces sunt, illam quæ emblematibus est
insculpta, ad lampadem suspendendam coram Sancto altare, candelabraque
maxima quæ fabricantur apud Sanctum Laudum, coronam quoque et sceptrum,
calicesque ac vestimentum, atque aliud vestimentum quod operatur in
Anglia, et cum omnibus ornamentis equi, atque omnia vasa mea, exceptis
illis quæ antea dedero alicubi in vita mea; et Chetehulmum [Quetehou en
Cotentin] in Normannia, et duas mansiones in Anglia do Sanctæ Trinitati
Cadomi. Hæc omnia concessu domini mei Regis facio.

             "Ex cartulario Sanctæ Trin. Bibl. Reg. Paris. no. 5650."

[52] The annual income arising from these, is stated by Odon Rigaud,
Archbishop of Rouen, in the _procés-verbal_ of his visit to this abbey
in 1250, to have amounted to one hundred and sixty pounds sterling; a
sum nearly equivalent to eighty thousand livres of the present day.

[53] _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, p. 75, t. 7.--In this figure, which
represents the south side of the building, a striking resemblance will
be observed with the architecture of the church of Than, figured in this
work, _pl. 16_.--Ducarel, in speaking of the pillars in the inside of
the chapel, says they are of a peculiar construction, and widely
different from all others that have fallen under his consideration; but
he has unfortunately furnished no engraving of them, and has even
omitted to mention wherein their peculiarity lay.

[54] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 184.

[55] Still less can any one be so by the alteration of the arches of
entrance into modern windows, which Mr. Turner did not think it worth
while to mention.

[56] _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, plate 5.

[57] See _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 171.

[58] See _Britton's Norwich Cathedral_, plate 4, F. p. 32.

[59] Hadisco church, figured in _Cotman's Architectural Antiquities of
Norfolk_, plate 38, affords an excellent specimen of these windows.

[60] See plate 23.

[61] See _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 252, under the head of
Bayeux Cathedral, the windows of which are remarkable for the
complicated patterns of the lead-work.--See also _Carter's Ancient
Architecture_, I. plate 79, p. 54, where this laborious author states
himself to have collected nearly all the remains of this description of
art in England. He is inclined to refer it to the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries.--In the second volume of the same work, plate 27,
fig. F. 2, is represented one of the borders of the west window of the
nave in York Cathedral, which almost exactly resembles one of these at

[62] I. plate 28, fig. A.

[63] See _Britton's Oxford Cathedral_, plate 4.

[64] In Mr. Turner's _Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 186, this arch is, by a
_lapsus calami_, called the _eastern_, instead of the _western_.

[65] Mr. Cotman thought that he could discover visible traces of its
having been originally semi-circular, and subsequently raised and
pointed: and it is certainly most probable that such has been the case.

[66] Drawings of them all are fortunately preserved by the Abbé De la
Rue; and it is hoped some French antiquary will be found sufficiently
patriotic to cause them to be engraved.



  [Illustration: Plate 34. CASTLE AT DIEPPE.]

The anonymous author of the _History of Dieppe_,[67] published towards
the close of the last century, traces the origin of the town as high as
the year 809, when Charlemagne visited this part of the coast of his
empire, and, observing how much it was exposed to hostile attacks,
ordered the construction of a fort upon the beach. The fort was honored
with the name of the emperor's daughter, Bertha; and as the protection
thus afforded, joined to the advantageous nature of the position, caused
the fortress, within a short time, to be surrounded by the cottages of
the neighboring fishermen, an establishment insensibly grew up, which
acquired the appellation of Bertheville.

But the irruptions of the Normans, towards the close of the same, or the
commencement of the succeeding, century, gave a new color to affairs in
Neustria: places changed their names with their masters; and, no respect
being paid to the emperor or his descendants, Bertheville ceased to be
known under any other denomination than that of _Dyppe_, a Norman word,
expressive of the depth of water in its harbor. Under Rollo, we are told
that Dieppe became the principal port in the duchy. That politic
sovereign was too well versed in nautical affairs, not to be aware of
the importance of such a station; and he had the interest of his
newly-acquired territory too much at heart, not to labor at the
improving of it. It was at Dieppe that he embarked the troops, which he
dispatched, in 913, for the assistance of his countrymen, the Danes, in
their attempts to conquer England; and the town flourished under his
sway, and then laid the foundation for that maritime greatness to which
it has subsequently risen.

From this time forward, Dieppe is frequently mentioned in history:
William the Conqueror honored it with his presence in 1047, and received
in person the homage of its inhabitants, on his return from Arques, when
the surrender of that important fortress by his uncle, Telo, put an end
to the troubles occasioned by the illegitimacy of his birth. The same
monarch, during the preparations for his descent upon Britain, made a
particular call on the people of Dieppe, to arm their vessels for the
transport of his troops. They obeyed the summons; and they boast that
their ships were the first that arrived at the place of rendezvous. No
port in Normandy derived equal advantage from the conquest: the
intercourse between the sister countries was naturally conducted through
this channel; and such continued the case till 1194, when Richard
Coeur-de-Lion, defeated under the walls of Arques, was compelled to
leave this part of the province a prey to the victorious arms of
Philip-Augustus. Upon this occasion, the French monarch appears to have
singled out Dieppe as an object of particular vengeance, and he
conducted himself towards it with a cruelty for which it would be
difficult to assign an adequate reason. Not content with burning the
town and its shipping, he transported the inhabitants into the ulterior
parts of France, that they might never re-assemble and raise it from its
ashes. Brito, at the same time that he glosses over the more flagrant
part of the transaction, tells enough to leave no doubt of its truth;
and his passage upon the subject deserves attention, particularly as
being decisive with regard to the state of Dieppe at that period:

    "Haud procul hinc portus famâ celeberrimus atque
    Villa potens opibus florebat nomine _Deppen_.
    Hanc primùm Franci sub eodem tempore gazis
    Omnibus expoliant, spoliatam denique totam
    In cinerem redigunt; et sic ditatus abivit
    Coetus ovans, quòd tot villâ non esse vel urbe
    Divitias aut tam pretiosas diceret unquam."--

In the course of the succeeding year, the treaty of Gaillon restored
Dieppe and Arques, with their dependencies, to Richard, who almost
immediately afterwards surrendered the former town to Walter, Archbishop
of Rouen, as one of the articles of compensation for the injury done to
that prelate, by the erection of Château Gaillard upon his territory.
Dieppe appears to have recovered itself with surprising rapidity: a new
church, under the invocation of St. James, was erected in 1250, that of
St. Remi being no longer sufficient for the accommodation of its
inhabitants; and these, however cruelly they had been injured by
Philip-Augustus, were among the foremost in their demonstrations of
loyalty to him as their sovereign, when the cold-blooded tyranny of John
had bereft him of the Norman diadem. In one of the first years of the
succeeding century, John Baliol, more properly called De Bailleul, a
fugitive from Scotland, sought refuge in Dieppe, and finally retired to
his paternal domain in the valley of the Yaulne, five leagues distant
from the port. The remainder of his days were spent here in the village
that bears his name; and the parochial church, which still contains his
ashes, was, till lately, ornamented with his tomb, charged with an
inscription, reciting the various events of his life.

During the wars of Edward III. the ships from Dieppe took the lead in
the great naval engagement in 1337; and their admiral, Béhuchet, so
distinguished himself, as to draw down upon him the marked resentment of
that prince. He was himself made prisoner and hanged; and a detachment
of English and Flemings was dispatched to destroy the harbor. The
injuries, however, now sustained, were repaired with the same rapidity
as before: Philip shewed himself no less ready to reward services, than
his opponent had been to resent offences. His letters patent, bearing
date in February, 1345, exempted the inhabitants from the payment of all
taxes and dues, for the purpose of enabling them to rebuild their
walls.--Dieppe, in 1412, was again attacked by the English, and, on this
occasion, both by land and sea; but the inhabitants made a gallant and
an effectual resistance.

Their opposition, though unavailing, was not at all less spirited in the
following reign, when they were compelled, in common with the rest of
France, to acknowledge the power of the fifth Henry. But they again
disengaged themselves from the English crown in 1431, after having
remained in subjugation to it for eleven years; and the subsequent
siege, conducted by Talbot himself in person, in 1442, only added to
their military character. During this siege, which was of great length,
the English general erected the formidable fortress, known by the name
of the Bastille, in the suburb of Pollet. The following year saw the
French become in their turn the assailants: Louis II. then dauphin,
joined the troops of the Comte de Dunois in Dieppe, and the Bastille
fell, after a most murderous attack. It was afterwards levelled with the
ground in 1689, though, at a period of one hundred and twenty years
after it was originally taken and dismantled, it had again been made a
place of strength by the Huguenots, and was still farther fortified
under Henry IV. The pious dauphin, who ascribed the capture of this
almost impregnable castle to the especial grace of the Virgin Mary,
would not quit Dieppe without leaving behind him an equally signal mark
of gratitude on his part. He accordingly repaired in person to the
church of St. James, there to place the town under her especial
protection; and, not content with this, he instituted the Guild of the
Assumption, charging the members annually to commemorate the day of
their deliverance by a solemn festival.[68]

After this time, Dieppe appears to have been exposed to no farther
calamities from warfare, except what it suffered, in common with a great
part of France, during the religious troubles, and also excepting the
bombardment by the English fleet in 1694. From the earliest rise of
Calvinism in France, the inhabitants of Dieppe had distinguished
themselves in favor of the reformation; and they were already prepared
to go to the utmost lengths in its support, when John Knox, one of the
most devoted apostles of the new faith, landed there in 1560, on his way
from Scotland to Geneva. The presence of such a man produced the effect
which might naturally be expected, of kindling the spark into a flame;
and Dieppe continued for two years in open rebellion to the court. The
inhabitants, in 1562, alarmed by the capture of Rouen, consented to
receive a garrison from our Queen Elizabeth, rather than submit to
renounce their creed; but they were obliged, in the course of the same
year, to surrender to the royal troops. Notwithstanding all this, the
Protestants of Dieppe, through the wisdom and moderation of the
governor, escaped unhurt from the massacre of St. Bartholomew. The town
was nevertheless one of the first in France to declare, in 1589, for
Henry IV. when, pursued by the victorious forces of the league, he
sought shelter in these walls, and here collected the handful of troops,
with which he almost immediately afterwards gained the important victory
of Arques. The same prince also retired hither three years subsequently,
and remained ten days in the midst of _ses bons Dieppois_, as he was in
the habit of styling them, to be cured of the wounds received in the
battle of Aumale.

Among the various royal personages, with whose presence Dieppe has been
honored on different occasions, were Mary of Guise, widow of James V. of
Scotland, and mother to the unfortunate princess of the same name, who
succeeded her on the Scottish throne. She landed here in 1549, and was
immediately joined by Henry II. who was at that time at Rouen. In 1564,
Catherine of Médicis came hither, attended by her son, Charles IX. with
a view of healing the wounds occasioned by the religious dissentions;
and, in 1618, Louis XIII. after holding an assembly of the states of
Normandy at the capital of the duchy, repaired to Dieppe, to visit one
of the most important sea-ports of his kingdom. The same attention was
shewn to the town twenty-nine years subsequently, by Louis XIV. then in
his minority, accompanied by the Queen Regent; and, in our own days, it
has been equally distinguished by Napoléon.

In this short outline of the principal events connected with the history
of Dieppe, no notice has been taken of the honor acquired by its
sailors, who have, however, on all occasions, distinguished themselves.
They did so particularly in the year 1555, when, unassisted by their
king, or by any other part of France, they armed their merchant vessels,
and attacked and defeated, and nearly destroyed, the Flemish fleet,
consisting of twenty-four sail of ships of war. At all times they have
been considered as supplying some of the best men to the French navy, so
that the President de Thou pronounced them to be entitled to the highest
glory in nautical affairs. They lay claim to the honor of having first
planted the standard of Christianity upon the coast of Guinea, where
they established a settlement in the fourteenth century; of having been
the first who discovered the great river of the Amazons; and also the
first who sailed up that of St. Lawrence. Even to the present day, they
carry on a considerable traffic in small ornaments made of ivory, a
humiliating memento of their connection with Senegal: but all the rest
of their commerce is dwindled into the fishery, and a small portion of

The castle, (the subject of _plate thirty-four_,) stands upon a steep
hill; and, on approaching the town from the sea, has a grand and
imposing appearance. Its walls, flanked with towers and bastions, cause
it to retain the look of strength, the reality of which has long since
departed. The earliest portion of the building is probably a high
quadrangular tower, with lofty pointed pannels, in the four walls. Even
this, however, cannot have been erected anterior to the year 1443; for
it is upon record that the Sieur des Marêts, the first governor of the
place, then began to build a castle here, to protect the town from any
farther attacks on the part of the English army. The inhabitants, during
the reign of Henry IV. obtained permission to add to it a citadel; but
the whole was suffered almost immediately afterwards to fell into decay.

  [Illustration: Plate 35. CHURCH OF ST. JACQUES, AT DIEPPE.
  _West front._]

  [Illustration: Plate 36. CHURCH OF ST. JACQUES, AT DIEPPE.
  _East end._]

The church of St. Jacques, figured in the _thirty-fifth_ and
_thirty-sixth plates_, is the largest, and considerably the most
interesting of the two parochial churches of the place. It had the
singular good fortune of escaping, together with the castle, nearly
uninjured from the bombardment, during the reign of our third William,
which laid the town in ashes. It was begun about the year 1260, but was
little advanced at the commencement of the following century; nor were
its nineteen chapels, the works of the piety of individuals, completed
before 1350. The roof of the choir remained imperfect till ninety years
afterwards; while that of the transept is as recent as 1628. Thus it is
a valuable specimen of the ecclesiastical architecture of successive
ages. In the lines of the transepts are traces of the early pointed
style, apparently coeval with the church at Eu: the friezes are
ornamented with small pierced quatrefoils, as in that building; and the
portals, now mutilated, are in the same style.--The nave is of much
later date; and the vaulting, though Gothic, is intermixed with Grecian
members and scrolls.--The triforium in the choir is filled with elegant
perpendicular tracery. The Lady-Chapel is perhaps one of the last
specimens of Gothic art, but still very pure, except in some of the
smaller members, such as the niches in the tabernacles, which end in
scallop-shells, instead of terminating with a groined canopy. The bosses
of the groined roof are of the most delicate filagree work, and the
vaulting is also ornamented with knots pendant from the ribs.--The
pannel-work round the chapel takes circular terminations in each pannel;
but filled within with an elegant tracery, terminating with the
acanthus.--The windows of the chapel are acutely pointed.--The
horizontal mullions, (an unusual feature in French architecture,) are
ornamented on the outside with the ovolo. The nave is supported by
flying buttresses, each filled with tracery of eight mullions.--The
tower at the south angle of the west front is lofty, and in the
_perpendicular style_. In the north aisle of the choir is an elegant
screen, which probably incloses a chantry-chapel, and, like the
lady-chapel, exhibits a singular mixture of pointed forms, interspersed
with Roman members: parts of it resemble the tomb of Bishop Fox, at


[67] _Mémoires Chronologiques pour servir à l'Histoire de Dieppe et à
celle de la Navigation Française, Paris, 1785._--(2 vols. 8vo.)

[68] This festival was attended with ceremonies of the most absurd
description, which were continued till the time of the revolution. They
are detailed at length in the _Histoire de Dieppe_ I. p. 68; and a brief
account has lately been given of them in English, in _Turner's Tour in
Normandy_, I. p. 24.



The village of Haute Allemagne is situated at the distance of about a
league to the south of Caen. Mention of it is to be found in the latin
charters of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, under the appellation of
_Alamannia_, or _Alemannia_; and the older historians contend that it
derived this name from having been the site of a colony of the _Alani_,
a Scythian tribe, who ravaged a portion of Gaul in the early years of
the fifth century, and afterwards, with the consent of the Roman
emperors, established themselves in various parts of the country. This
opinion, in the judgment of the Abbé De la Rue, receives confirmation
from the circumstance of there being another village called _Allemagne_,
in the vicinity of Valence, where it is known that a body of the same
people was fixed; and it may perhaps be adduced as a still farther proof
of its correctness, that the village of Allemagne, near Caen, formerly
embraced a considerably greater extent of country.


Allemagne was one of the domains granted by the Conqueror to his abbey
of St. Stephen; and in the charter, he states that he cedes it "with its
dependencies." The meaning of this latter term is explained in the
subsequent charter from his son Henry, in which four neighboring
villages are expressly said to be _dependent upon Allemagne_. Allemagne
was itself also divided into two parishes, the _upper_ and _lower_.

At present it is only remarkable for its quarries, from which the stones
are dug, known in France by the name of _Carreaux d'Allemagne_, and
commonly used for floors to rooms, not only in the province of Normandy,
but throughout the whole kingdom. There is also a considerable export of
them for the same purpose. It was in these quarries that the fossil
crocodile was discovered in 1817; which, as being extraordinarily
perfect, and the first specimen ever found with scales, has excited an
uncommon degree of interest among naturalists.

Of the history of the parish of Allemagne, nothing is known. The portion
of its church here figured, has been selected for engraving, as an
instance of a Norman tower of unquestionable antiquity, and in the
highest preservation. The pyramidal stone roof, similar to that of the
church of St. Michel de Vaucelles, at Caen, appears to be quite in its
original state. Even the small lucarne window in it looks coeval with
the rest. The row of intersecting arches below is beautiful and



  _West front._]

The town of Gournay is generally supposed to rival, in point of
antiquity, almost any other in this part of France. Tradition refers its
origin to the days of Julius Cæsar, during the latter part of whose
government in Gaul, a dangerous conspiracy broke out among the
Bellovaci, the Caletes, and the Velliocasses, assisted by the
inhabitants of other neighboring districts. This confederacy is supposed
to have given rise to Gournay.

The situation of the town is upon the frontiers of the territories of
the two first tribes just mentioned, the present inhabitants of the Pays
de Caux and of the Beauvaisis, in a marshy spot, subject to frequent
inundations from two small rivers, the Epte and the St. Aubin, whose
waters flow beneath the walls of the place. Hence, an inference has
naturally arisen, that the necessity for communication between people so
near in point of position, and yet so effectually separated, first
suggested the advantages to be derived from a bridge over the Epte, in a
place otherwise impassable; and that the bridge was shortly afterwards
followed by a cause-way, which, in its turn, held out inducements to
settlers, so that the town imperceptibly grew out of the traffic thus

The historical celebrity acquired by Gournay, far exceeds what might
have been expected from its size or importance, and has altogether
arisen from the power and the high military character of its Norman
lords. Rollo, at the time that he parcelled out the lands of his
newly-acquired sovereignty, amongst his companions in arms, bestowed
Gournay, together with the whole of the Norman division of the Pays de
Brai, upon a chieftain of the name of Eudes, to be held as a fief of the
duchy, under the usual military tenure; binding him and his successors
to furnish to the prince, in times of war, twelve of their vassals, and
to arm all their dependents for the defence of the adjacent frontier.
Eudes had a son of the name of Hugh; and he it is who is reported to
have first directed his attention towards making Gournay a place of
strength. The ancient records ascribe to him the erection of a citadel
in the immediate vicinity of the church of St. Hildebert, surrounded
with a triple wall and double fosse; and farther secured by a tower,
which was called after his name, _la Tour Hue_, and which continued in
existence till the beginning of the seventeenth century. Such was the
reported strength of this fortress, that Brito, a chronicler, but, it
must be remembered, a poetical one, declares that it was able to resist
an hostile attack, even without a single soldier within the walls! His
whole account of the place, in the time of Philip-Augustus, and of its
capture by that monarch, in the sixth book of his _Philippiad_, is
curious and interesting.

A second Hugh de Gournay, born after a lapse of about a century from the
death of the son of Eudes, is usually accounted the head of the family,
because it is from him that the regular series of their descent is to be
traced. He was a man of whose military prowess many instances are
recorded: among his other exploits, he is supposed to have been the
chieftain, who, carrying his arms into the district of Beauvais, made
himself master of the four villages there, which, from their subjection
to him, have retained the name of _Les Conquêts_ and which continued for
many centuries under the administration of the lords of Gournay. He also
attended the Conqueror to England, where he was rewarded for his
services by a grant of land which he held from that prince _in capite_.
Upon a former occasion, he had been employed by him in a place of high
trust, having been appointed to command, in conjunction with Taillefer,
half-brother to the duke, and three other Norman nobles, the fleet sent
to the protection of Edward the Confessor, against the claims of Harold.
His name is also found in 1059, among the leaders of the Norman army,
which defeated the French forces at Couppegueule, near Mortimer. At
last, disgusted with earthly affairs, he retired to the abbey of Bec,
and there, in the monastic robe, ended a life which had been devoted to
pursuits of the most opposite tendency.--This Hugh de Gournay had a son
of the name of Girald, who married the sister of William, Earl Warren,
and accompanied Robert, Duke of Normandy, to the Holy Land.--The third,
and last Hugh de Gournay, grandson of Girald, was in the number of those
who followed Richard Coeur-de-Lion in a similar expedition, and was
appointed his commissioner to receive the English share of the spoil
after the battle of Acre. He was also among the barons who rose against
King John. But his attachment to the English cause ultimately lost him
his possessions in Normandy; for no sooner was Philip-Augustus master of
Gournay, than he declared him a traitor, and banished him from France.

Philip added to the fortifications a new castle, in the direction of
Ferrieres. This, however, has been long since destroyed; and indeed the
probability is, that the walls and towers of Gournay were neglected and
suffered to fall into decay, shortly after the annexation of the duchy
to France. There can be little doubt but that the town originally owed
its importance, as a fortress, to its position upon the frontiers of
France and Normandy; and the consequence would therefore naturally
follow, that, as soon as the ducal and regal crowns were united on the
same head, it would cease to be maintained as a place of
strength.--About a hundred years after the capture of Gournay by
Philip-Augustus, Philip the Bold, great grandson of that monarch,
bestowed the town and lordship upon his youngest son, Charles of Valois,
at whose death it became a part of the dower of his widow, Matilda of
Chatillon. Again, in like manner, on the decease of Philip of Valois, in
1350, Gournay was separated from the Crown, and assigned to the widowed
queen, Blanche of Navarre. By this princess it was held for forty-eight
years, when it once more reverted to the royal domains. But early in the
succeeding century, the town fell, together with the rest of France,
under the victorious arms of our sovereign Henry V. and upon his demise,
it was a third time selected as a portion of the dower of the royal
widow, Catherine, daughter of the French monarch, Charles VI. Her death,
in 1438, restored it to England: but only to be held for the short term
of eleven years, at which time, the reverses sustained by the British
troops, occasioned the expulsion of our monarchs from their continental
dominions.--From that period to the revolution, the lordship of Gournay,
with the title of count, was constantly added by the French kings to the
dignities of some one of the principal families of the realm; and in
this manner, it successively passed through different branches of the
houses of Harcourt, Orléans, Longueville, and Montmorenci.

  _View across the Nave into the North transept._]

The church of St. Hildebert,[69] the subject of these plates, was,
previously to the revolution, both parochial and collegiate. Its
foundation is supposed to be of very high antiquity. There is, however,
no proof of the precise period of the establishment of the chapter here.
The earliest records upon the subject, bear date in the year 1180, and
merely mention it as being then in existence; but, according to
tradition, it was first fixed at the neighboring village of Brefmoutier,
and was removed to Gournay by Hugh, the last of the Norman counts. The
same Hugh is generally reported to have commenced the erection of the
present church; but it is sufficiently known with how little accuracy
the early historians are wont to express themselves on these subjects.
The term, "to rebuild," often means no more than to repair; so that it
is in many cases more safe to judge from the style of a building itself,
than from the records preserved to us respecting it. The architecture of
the church of St. Hildebert would lead to the supposition, that a
considerable portion of it was standing in its present state, at least
one hundred years anterior to the time of Hugh; and, even admitting such
to have been the case, there is still sufficient discrepancy in the rest
of the edifice to account for the well attested circumstance, that, at
the close of the thirteenth century, the church yet remained incomplete.
The imperfect state of the building did not prevent its receiving the
honor of a dedication: this ceremony was performed in one of the last
years of the twelfth century, by Walter, Archbishop of Rouen, in person,
attended, as commonly happened, by a great concourse of the nobles and
clergy of the province; and, in the first year of the following century,
Herbert, Archbishop of Canterbury, passed over from England for the
express purpose of doing honor by his presence to the translation of the
reliques of St. Hildebert. The banishment of Hugh de Gournay and
confiscation of his property, which took place shortly after these
events, deprived the canons of their liberal and powerful benefactor.
Poverty caused the progress of the building to be suspended; and it was
only by the aid of repeated indulgences, granted by the popes and
archbishops,[70] that it was finally brought to a state of completion.
The two western towers are of a considerably more recent period: they
were erected in their present state, of wood, roofed with slate, in the
middle of the seventeenth century. The timber was supplied by the
Duchess of Longueville, whose husband was at that time Count of Gournay;
and the rest of the charge was defrayed by the sale of the materials of
a ruined chapel, dedicated to St. Julian, and of a small central tower,
the only one originally attached to the building.

The church is in the form of a cross; consisting of a nave with aisles,
choir, and transepts. The west front (_plate thirty-eight_) is in the
earliest style of pointed architecture, and evidently of the period of
the same Hugh de Gournay, by whom the whole edifice is said to be
raised. If compared with the same portion of the churches known to have
been erected at a similar period in England, the closest resemblance
will be traced between them. That of Salisbury cathedral, the most noble
instance of the kind in Britain, is later, and infinitely more richly
ornamented. But in this at Gournay, the windows are the only portion
that have altogether escaped mutilation or alteration. The side portals
were evidently, in their original state, fronted with porches, which
have now disappeared. Such has likewise been the case with the arches of
entrance; and mention has already been made of the posterior date of the

The _thirty-ninth plate_ exhibits a portion of the older part of the
interior of the church, and displays a style of architecture
considerably prior to the period assigned for its rebuilding; so that no
one can well doubt but that, as has been hinted above, though it may be
said to owe its existence to Hugh de Gournay, this assertion is to be
taken only in a qualified sense. This plate contains the last
compartment of the north side of the nave, and also admits a portion of
the transept. Flanking the nave, on either hand, is a row of seven
columns, supporting six arches. It is scarcely possible for the most
casual observer not to be struck, immediately upon entering the
building, with the extreme massiveness and solidity of the piers. They
are for the most part square, and only varied with a semi-cylindrical
shaft attached to each of the four sides. Similar piers are to be found
in many of the village churches upon the coasts of Sussex and Surrey,
the part of our island which, from its situation nearest to Normandy, is
most likely to retain genuine specimens of the earliest and purest
Norman architecture. But the most remarkable character attending the
piers at Gournay is, that the sculpture upon them, instead of being
confined as usual to the capitals of the pillars, is also continued over
the flat intermediate surface of the piers, extending to the same depth
as the capitals, as if intended, by forming a band round the whole, to
connect it more closely in a kind of architectural unity. The pattern,
however, in general varies as applied to the flat or circular sides. The
arches of the nave of the church are of a shape between what is
generally termed the semi-circular and the horse-shoe arch; their centre
being somewhat higher than the spring, but not remarkably so. The
clerestory windows above are all Norman; and the same is the case with
the great arches, originally intended to support the central tower;
excepting, indeed, in that to the north, which has evidently undergone
an alteration.



_Plates forty_ and _forty-one_[71] are devoted to the capitals, the most
characteristic feature of the building. A more remarkable or a more
interesting set, is not to be seen in any church throughout Normandy.
Their character is by no means altogether the same as that of those at
St. Georges, or in the abbatial church of the Trinity at Caen. There are
indeed monsters among them, but they are of unfrequent occurrence; and,
if the expression may be allowed, they are not equally monstrous. Nor
are they of a description to appear to bear any reference to mythology,
or to history. On the contrary, the sculpture on them is for the most
part of great beauty; and the patterns display a fertile, and an
elegant, if not a classical, taste on the part of the architects. The
greatest peculiarity among them, and one that is believed to be wholly
confined to this church, is, that seven or eight of the pillars have, by
way of capitals, a narrow projecting rim, carved with undulating lines.
So frequent a repetition of the same ornament, and of an ornament so
very singular, removes the idea of accident. It has therefore been
supposed, that the intention of the sculptor was to exhibit a kind of
hieroglyphical representation of water. "Perhaps," as has been observed
elsewhere,[72] "it is the chamber of Sagittarius; or, perhaps, it is a
_fess-wavy_, to which the same signification has been assigned by
heralds.--If this interpretation be correct, the symbol is allusive to
the ancient situation of the town, built in a marsh, intersected by two

The aisles of the church are in all parts ancient: their vaulting
resembles that of Norwich cathedral, an arch springing from each
capital.--Large windows of the decorated English style, and consequently
comparatively modern, have been inserted, at the east end of the church,
and at the extremity of the south transept; but, in both these parts,
sufficient is left to shew the original design of the architect. In the
latter, it is evident that there once were, as there still remain in the
opposite transept, four semi-circular-headed windows, disposed, to speak
in heraldic language, 1, 2, and 1; while, in the former, were seven,
placed 1, 2, and 4. Of the four lowest of these, the two outermost gave
light to the aisles. Each window was separated from the rest by a
shallow undivided Norman buttress, built of squared freestone, and
interrupting the herring-bone masonry, which occupies the rest of the
east end, to the height of about five feet from the ground.


[69] St. Hildebert is a name of rare occurrence in hagiology. He was
bishop of Meaux in the seventh century, but was not honored with a place
in the calendar, till about three hundred years after his decease; at
which time his reliques were carried to different parts of France, and
finally interred at Gournay. The church, on this occasion, changed its
patron, an event which commonly happened in those ages, and placed
itself under the protection of the new saint, instead of the
proto-martyr, to whom it had been originally dedicated.--Peter de
Natalibus, in his _Catalogus Sanctorum_, says, that St. Hildebert ended
his life as Archbishop of Tours; and that he died in that city, and was
there buried, "_ibique jacens in miraculis vivit_." He speaks of him
likewise as an elegant scholar, and the author of a work, _de contemptu
hujus vitæ_, written partly in verse, and partly in prose.

[70] Of the last of these, which bears date in 1278, a copy, translated
from the Archiepiscopal Archives, is printed in the _Concilia
Normannica_, (II. p. 85,) and is here inserted, not only on account of
the information it affords concerning the church, but as a curious
specimen of similar compositions:--


  "Guillelmus permissione divinâ Rotomagensis Archiepiscopus,
  universis præsentes literas inspecturis, salutem in Domino Jesu
  Christo. Cum, sicut accepimus, Ecclesia de Gournayo nostræ
  Diocesis, in qua Corpus B. Hildeverti requiescit, ita graviter sit
  oppressa, quòd ad sustentationem pauperum Clericorum ibi
  deservientium, necnon et ad reædificationem dictæ Ecclesiæ propriæ
  facultates non suppetant nisi fidelium subventionibus adjuvetur,
  maximè cùm prædicta Ecclesia amiserit redditus quos in Anglia
  solebat percipere annuatim. Nos de omnipotentis Dei misericordia
  et B. Mariæ semper Virginis genitricis ejus, beatorum Petri et
  Pauli, ac beatorum Confessorum Romani et Audoëni, et omnium
  Sanctorum meritis et intercessione confisi: Omnibus verè
  poenitentibus et confessis, qui ad dictam Ecclesiam causâ
  peregrinationis Dominicâ in qua canitur: _Isti sunt dies_, et die
  Sabbathi et die Veneris immediatè præcedentibus accesserint, vel
  prænominatæ Ecclesiæ manum suam porrexerint, adjutorium dictis
  diebus vel aliis eleemosynas largiendo, 40 dies de injunctis sibi
  poenitentiis misericorditer relaxamus. Datum Gournaii anno Domini
  1278, die Veneris ante Festum B. Dionysii."

[71] The capitals in the former of these plates are all selected from
the nave; in the latter, those marked E, H, M, are taken from the
columns placed at the intersection of the transepts; and G, I, K, and O,
from the choir. L and N represent consols to ribs in the aisles.

[72] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 44.



  _South side._]

The chapel figured in these plates is all that now remains of a
monastery, which, at the period of the revolution, was one of the most
magnificent in the vicinity of Rouen. It was then likewise almost
altogether new: Farin, in his history of the city, printed in 1731,
states that, at the time when he wrote, the monks of the order of the
Chartreux, the then occupants of the priory, had just began to rebuild
the great cloister, according to a very simple and magnificent
design.[73] But the revolutionary commotions levelled the whole with the
ground, sparing only the unassuming chapel, which has since served as a
wood-house for the neighboring farmer.

The convent itself underwent many changes of owners. It was originally
founded in 1183, by Henry II. King of England and Duke of Normandy, as a
priory, under the invocation of St. Julien, for the reception of
unmarried females of rank, who, having the misfortune to be affected
with leprosy, devoted themselves to a religious life. That terrible
disease, happily almost unknown except by tradition, in our days, was in
those times of so frequent occurrence, that legislative enactments were
repeatedly necessary to restrain its ravages. In the history of the
councils of the Norman church, allusions to the subject are often to be
found. Lepers were forbidden to migrate, even from one lazar-house to
another; they were not allowed to set their foot in any city or
fortress; and, in the event of their transgressing this order, and being
ill-treated in consequence of such disobedience, no redress was to be
afforded them. They could take rest in no inn, even for necessary
refreshment.[74] By an especial order of the church of Bayeux, no one
could give alms to a leper, under pain of excommunication;[75] and the
church of Coutances went still further, enjoining them never to appear
without a particular kind of cope, by way of distinction, and never to
attempt to dispose of the hogs which they were in the habit of fatting,
except to such as labored under the same disease. Disobedience to this
last order, exposed both buyer and seller to a punishment, which sounds
rather strange at this time, being _ad boni viri arbitrium_.[76] In
another case, and nearly at the time of the foundation of the priory of
St. Julien, it is upon record, that lepers were charged as engaged in a
horrible communion of crime with Jews. The latter were expelled from
France in 1321, upon the plea of their having been guilty of
administering to the people potions of a poisonous quality; and the
lepers were accused of having lent themselves as instruments in aiding
and abetting.[77]

In the foundation-charter of the priory of St. Julien, Henry endows it
with an annual rental of two hundred livres, for the clothing and
maintenance of the nuns; and he gives them, in addition, the meadow of
Quevilli, in which parish the convent was situated, together with the
privilege of cutting their fire-wood, and feeding their cattle, in the
forest there. Hence the monastery was indiscriminately known by the name
of _Salle du Roi_, _Salle des Pucelles_, _Notre Dame du Quevilli_, and
_St. Julien du Parc_.

In the year 1366, Charles V. King of France, being then at Rouen,
transferred, by his letters patent, the convent of St. Julien, with all
its appurtenances, which had by that time considerably increased, to the
great hospital of the city, called the Magdalen. The prior of the latter
establishment was enjoined to take charge of the nuns, and to visit them
daily, for the purpose of recommending the soul of the king to their
prayers, in commemoration of the great benefits bestowed by him upon the
monastery. Even down to the time of the revolution, this custom was to a
certain degree maintained. The priest on duty during the week was bound
to pronounce daily, with a loud voice, at the close of the evening
service, "_Ames dévotes priez pour Charles V. Roi de France, et pour nos
autres bienfaiteurs_;" and this was followed by the one hundred and
twenty-ninth psalm, and an appropriate prayer. The same ceremony was at
the same time performed by one of the nuns, among the females.

After the union of the convent of St. Julien to the Magdalen, the
superior of the hospital was in the habit of keeping a monk at the
priory, as a superintendant over the religious duties of the occupants
and temporal possessions of the foundation; and this state of things
continued till 1600, when, upon the destruction of the abbey upon Mont
Ste Catherine, the friars of the latter establishment obtained from the
hospital the cession of the deserted monastery, and occupied it for
sixty-seven years. They then also in their turn resigned it, and it fell
into the hands of the Carthusians of Gaillon, who, uniting with their
brethren of the same order at Rouen, formed a very opulent community,
and resided here till the period when all monastic institutions ceased
throughout France.

Architecturally considered, the chapel is a building of great
interest.[78] A more pure, or more perfect specimen of the Norman æra,
is perhaps no where to be found. Without spire or tower, and divided
into three parts of unequal length and height, the nave, the choir, and
the circular apsis, it resembles one of the meanest of our parish
churches in England. In its design, it is externally quite regular,
being divided throughout its whole length, into small compartments, by a
row of shallow buttresses, which rise from the ground to the eaves of
the roof, without any partition into splays. Those on the south side,
(see _plate forty-two_) are all, except the most eastern, still in their
primeval state; but a buttress of a subsequent, though not very recent,
date, has been built up against almost every one of the original
buttresses on the north side, by way of support to the edifice. Each
division contains a single narrow circular-headed window; beneath which
is a plain moulding, continued uninterruptedly over the buttresses as
well as the wall. Another plain moulding runs nearly on a level with the
tops of the windows, and takes the same circular form; but it is
confined to the spaces between the buttresses. There are no others.--The
entrance was by circular-headed doors, at the west end and south side,
both of them very plain; but particularly the latter. The few ornaments
of the western are as perfect and as sharp, as if the whole were the
work of yesterday. This part of the church has, however, been exposed to
considerable injury, owing to its having joined the conventual

  _Interior. Choir and part of the Nave._]

The interior of the chapel, however degraded from its original purpose,
continues, like the exterior, almost perfect; but it is much more rich,
uniting to the common ornaments of Norman architecture capitals of great
labor. The ceiling is covered with paintings of scriptural subjects,
which still remain. This discrepance of style between the outside of the
building and the inside, might lead to a suspicion that they had been
erected at different times; but there really seems to be no sufficient
ground for such an opinion. Those who attempt to decide upon the dates
of Norman edifices, judging from the character of their ornaments, or
the comparative profusion of their decorations, will do well to reflect,
that almost every building contains in itself a medley of what is
barbarous and classical, while no two can well vary more in the quantity
of their ornaments, than the two abbatial churches of Caen; and yet they
were both of them, beyond dispute, productions of the self-same æra.--It
deserves remark likewise, that two theories of directly opposite
tendency, both of them perhaps equally plausible, have been started upon
this point. The partisans of one of these maintain, that the Normans, on
their arrival in the more southern parts of Europe, found highly
ornamented buildings, and, being themselves altogether ignorant of art,
were content with copying what already existed; so that their progress
in art was in a retrograde direction, from a classical style, to one
comparatively barbarous. On the other hand, it is averred, that these
reputed savages really imported with them the kind of architecture now
generally known by their name; and, in proportion as they improved in
wealth, luxury, and refinement, drew nearer and nearer to the Roman
model, either by dint of their own observations, or by the importation
of Italian artists. The balance of probability appears at the first
glance to incline in favor of the latter of these opinions, as most
consonant to the general march of human affairs. Perhaps, however, upon
a more attentive consideration, the former may appear nearer to the
truth: it is certain, that the style in architecture, which immediately
succeeded what is commonly called Norman, is still farther removed from
the Roman or the Greek; and it is equally certain, that the Norman
itself has different characters in different parts of Europe. That of
England varies to a certain degree from what is seen in Normandy: the
latter still more so from the German, and the German from that of the
south of France; while, in the north of Italy, and in Sicily, it is
again found with features unlike those of other countries, and equally
unlike those of each other. In all, the discrepancies most probably
arise from the styles peculiar to the several nations, previously to the
irruptions of the northern hordes. The subject is, at all events,
deserving of investigation and reflection.


[73] Vol. V. p. 370.

[74] _Concilia Normannica_, II. p. 72.

[75] _Ibidem_, p. 239.

[76] _Ibidem_, p. 545.

[77] _Ibidem_, I. p. 175.

[78] The greater part of what follows is borrowed from _Turner's Tour in
Normandy_, I. p. 128.



  [Illustration: Plate 44. CHURCH OF LÉRY, NEAR PONT-DE-L'ARCHE.
  _General view looking south east._]

It is not in the vicinity of Rouen, nor indeed in any portion of the
district formerly known under the denomination of _Upper Normandy_, that
the curious traveller must seek for the most interesting remains of
early ecclesiastical architecture in the province. The village churches,
throughout this portion of the duchy, are for the most part small and
insignificant, and of comparatively modern erection; while, in the
vicinity of Caen, and indeed in the whole of the departments of Calvados
and of La Manche, a large proportion of them are unquestionably
referable to the times of Norman dominion, and exhibit some of the
purest specimens of real Norman art. The solution of this question must
in all probability be sought for in the political state of the province;
and no more obvious answer seems to present itself, than is afforded by
a reference to the local character of its two great divisions, of which,
Upper Normandy, consisting greatly of a border country, exposed to the
continual ravages of warfare from its more powerful neighbor, with
difficulty preserved such of its public buildings as were defended by
the walls of the fortresses; and often gladly compounded for the secure
existence of these, by the sacrifice of the harvest, the cottage, and
the parochial church.

Yet, even here, some of the ecclesiastical buildings have escaped the
hand of time and violence; and among these, few, if any, more completely
than that of Léry, a village situated upon the right bank of the Eure,
at a distance of about two miles from Pont de l'Arche, and nearly the
same from Louviers.

Léry gives its name to the adjoining _commune_; and it may reasonably be
inferred, that it was in former times a place of more importance, than
would be imagined from its present appearance. The ingenious and
estimable M. Langlois, of Rouen, in a work[79] which he commenced upon
the antiquities of Normandy, and in which he has figured the west front
of this church, tells us, that but a few years since, Léry could boast
of several specimens of domestic architecture of unusual size and
embellishment. Of one of these, an engraving has lately been given by M.
Willemin, in his exquisite _Monumens Inédits de la France_. It was known
by the name of the Palace of Queen Blanche; and if, by the Blanche in
question, is to be understood the Princess of Navarre, consort of Philip
VI. who died in 1350, there is nothing in the exterior of the building
to prevent its being ascribed to that æra. It was entered by a flat
door-way, under a wide, pointed, crocketed arch; the transom-stone
enriched with a trefoil-headed moulding; and the whole portal surmounted
with a balustrade of quatrefoils. But, unfortunately, nothing more can
now be said of the building, than is supplied by the plate in question.
It had, in its earlier time, repeatedly suffered from the effects of
fire; and a similar calamity completed its ruin, during the month of
June, 1814. The lower part of the walls and the gothic portal are all
that are left standing, to attest the original size and magnificence of
the palace.

The church of Léry is referred by M. Langlois to the æra of the
Carlovingian dynasty, a period that extended from the middle of the
seventh century, to the concluding years of the tenth. Its claim to so
extraordinarily high a degree of antiquity, is founded, in his opinion,
upon the resemblance borne by the columns and capitals of the west
front, particularly those of the windows, to the same parts in the crypt
of the abbey of St. Denis, generally supposed to be the joint work of
Pepin and of Charlemagne. But these latter decidedly partake more of the
character of the classical model,[80] while every member throughout the
whole front of Léry, (_see plate forty-five_) may find a parallel in
other Norman churches; or, if an exception is to be made to so sweeping
an assertion, it can only be in favor of the second and largest moulding
in the archivolt of the portal, which is very peculiar. The two lateral
pointed windows are obviously an introduction of a subsequent period;
and a doubt may likewise perhaps be entertained with regard to the
buttresses. This front is small indeed, but elegant: it is more richly
ornamented than that of the chapel in the castle at Caen;[81] and,
though less so than that of the abbey church of St. Georges de
Bocherville, yet can it scarcely be said to be inferior in beauty. A
recent tourist[82] has remarked, with much apparent probability, that
the churches of St. Georges and of Léry may, from the general conformity
in the style of both, reasonably be regarded as of nearly the same
æra,--the time of the Norman conquest; and he goes on to add that,
through these, the English antiquary may be enabled to fix the date to a
specimen of ancient architecture in his own country, more splendid than
either,--the church of Castle-Rising,[83] in Norfolk, whose west front
is so much on the same plan, that it can scarcely have been erected at a
very different period.

The church of Léry (_see plate forty-four_) is built in the form of a
cross, having in the centre a short square tower, to which has been
attached, in modern times, a wretched wooden spire. This Mr. Cotman has
very judiciously omitted, as adding nothing to the interest of the
plate, and merely tending to deform what is otherwise seen in nearly the
same state in which it left the hands of the original builders. The
corbel-table, observable immediately under the top of the tower, and in
some parts of the choir and transepts, exhibits the same description of
monsters, as in the church of St. Paul at Rouen, of the Holy Trinity at
Caen, and other Norman religious buildings.--Two peculiarities attending
upon the exterior of the church are, that the east end is flat, and that
the transepts are altogether without buttresses.

  [Illustration: Plate 45. CHURCH OF LÉRY, NEAR PONT-DE-L'ARCHE.
  _West Front._]

  [Illustration: Plate 46. CHURCH OF LÉRY, NEAR PONT-DE-L'ARCHE.

In the interior (_plate forty-six_) it is impossible not to be struck
with the extraordinary simplicity and solidity of the whole. The only
aim of the architect appears to have been to erect an edifice that
should last for ever. A double row of pillars and arches separates the
nave into three parts of unequal width; and another arch, of greater
span, divides it from the chancel. The arches are in every instance
devoid of mouldings; the capitals are altogether without ornamental
sculpture of any description; and the pillars are even unsupported by
bases. Indeed, the pillars are nothing more than rounded piers; and they
are not less remarkable for their proportions, than for their
simplicity, their diameter being equal to full two-thirds of their
height. Hence it is scarcely possible not to entertain the suspicion
that the floor may have been raised; but there is nothing in the
appearance of the church to justify such an idea. It is scarcely
necessary to mention, that the figures of saints placed upon brackets
against the spandrils of the arches, are all modern. Their execution is
wretched; and its imperfection is rendered but the more apparent, by
their having been painted in imitation of living nature. The
string-course, which runs immediately above their heads, is placed in a
very uncommon situation. It is composed of the nail-head ornament, in
itself a sufficient proof of its antiquity; and also, as is observed by
Mr. Cotman, of such rarity in Normandy, that he does not recollect to
have met with another instance of it.

The windows of the church of Léry were formerly filled with painted
glass, representing very curious subjects, taken from the life of St.
Louis; but every vestige of the kind has now disappeared. From the
church-yard, which stands upon a considerable elevation, immediately
above the banks of the Eure, are seen, upon an opposite hill beyond the
river, the ruins of the once celebrated convent, known by the name of
the _Priory of the Two Lovers_.


[79] _Recueil de quelques vues de sites et Monumens de la France,
spécialement de Normandie, et des divers Costumes des Habitans de cette
Province._--Of this work, the first number, containing eight plates,
appeared in Rouen, in 1816; but, unfortunately, it did not meet with
sufficient encouragement to be ever followed by a second.

[80] See _Howlett's Plan and Views of the Abbey Royal of St. Denis_,
plate 6.

[81] See plate 48.

[82] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 188.

[83] _Cotman's Architectural Antiquities of Norfolk_, plate 35.




The church of Colomby, to use the language of M. de Gerville, is one of
the last of the religious edifices built by those powerful barons, whose
sway extended equally over Normandy and England. No records, indeed, are
left either as to the actual time of its erection, or the name of its
founder. With respect, however, to the former, the style of the
architecture is sufficiently decisive; and there is as little cause for
hesitation in referring its origin to a nobleman allied to the family of
the Conqueror.

Baldwin de Brionis, or de Molis, who accompanied that monarch in his
expedition against England, and was afterwards married to his niece, was
rewarded by him for his services, with the barony of Okehampton, where
he resided, as well as with the custody of the county of Devon, and the
government of Exeter castle, in fee. The earldom of the same county,
together with a grant of the Isle of Wight, was conferred by Henry I.
upon the son of Baldwin, Richard de Redvers; and, either in the same or
the following generation, this powerful family obtained a still farther
accession to its riches and honors, in the possession of Néhou, a
considerable portion of the barony of St. Sauveur le Vicomte, which
Néel, Viscount of the Cotentin, had forfeited in 1047. The domain of
Néhou included a collegiate church; and one of the prebends of this was
attached to the second portion of the church of Colomby.

It appears from three inquiries instituted at different times by the
bishops of Coutances, with a view to ascertain the value of the livings
in their diocese, that, in the years 1255, 1666, and 1737, Colomby was
under two separate ministers; one of them nominated by the lord, the
other by the abbey of Montbourg.[84]

Almost all the noblemen of the family of Redvers, who, after the
conquest of England, commonly assumed the additional name of Vernon,
were distinguished by the baptismal appellation of Baldwin, William, or
Richard. The first of the Richards laid the foundation of the monastery
of Montbourg. He died there in 1107, after having enriched his rising
convent with numerous donations, and, among others, with the second
portion of Colomby. Baldwin, his son and successor, confirmed the
donations: he took arms against King Stephen, and was forced by that
monarch to flee from England in 1136; shortly after which time he
completed the abbey begun by his father, and caused it to be dedicated
in 1152: three years subsequently, he died. A second Richard, who
succeeded him in his honors, as Earl of Devonshire and Lord of Néhou,
died in 1162; and a third of the same name, in 1184. This last, not
content with merely confirming the donations made by his ancestors to
Montbourg, materially increased them: he also added to the collegiate
church of Néhou, a fifth prebend, which he conferred upon one of the
ministers of Colomby; and it was by him, according to the opinion of M.
de Gerville, that the church, the subject of the present article, was

A few years only elapsed after the decease of this chieftain, before
Normandy became re-united to the crown of France; and one of the first
acts of Philip-Augustus, who then sat upon the throne, was to register
the fiefs of his new province, their several possessors, and the service
owed by each. This took place in the year 1207; and Néhou, which was
bound to furnish the monarch with five horse-soldiers, was at that time
in the possession of Richard of Vernon, a nobleman of whom no notice is
to be found in the genealogy of the lords of the Isle of Wight. The
register records the fact in the following terms:--"Ric. de Vernon tenet
baroniam de Neahou per servicium quimque militum. Guillelmus de Vernon
tenet inde duo feoda et dimidium."--

The church of Colomby is in perfect preservation, unspoiled and
undefaced by modern alterations or additions, saving only that of a
porch at the western extremity. For simplicity and uniformity it cannot
be surpassed; nor can any building be better qualified to afford a
specimen of the religious architecture of the times. Though destitute
both of transept and aisles, the tower is central: the east end
terminates in a flat wall. The columns within are clustered and light;
formed of stone, which unites, in an eminent degree, the advantage of
great strength with that of yielding easily to the chisel, and which is
dug from the quarries of Yvetot, near Valognes. The same quarries also
furnished the principal part of the stone employed in the construction
of the cathedral of Coutances. The plate exhibits at C. the elevation of
the south side of the church; to which have been added, for the more
complete understanding of the subject,

  A. _The west front._
  B. _East end._
  D. _South door-way to the chancel._
  E. _A single window._


[84] The words used upon this subject in the Inquisition of 1255, made
by Jean d'Essey, then bishop of Coutances, are as follows:--"Eccliæ de
Colombeo patronus Abbas Montisburgi pro medietate et percipit duas
garbas de portione sua. Rector percipit terciam cum altalagio. Gulielmus
de Rivers patronus pro alia medietate. Rector percipit omnia."--The two
following inquisitions state in express terms, that the first portion
was under the patronage of the lord.



The Castle at Caen was built by William the Conqueror, whose son, Henry
I. though commonly reputed its founder, in reality confined himself to
raising the walls and adding the keep, which latter was levelled with
the ground, by virtue of a decree of the National Convention, dated 6th
August, 1793. By the same decree, it was still farther enacted, that the
castle itself should be demolished; but the wisdom of the
representatives of the sovereign people failed in this, as in many other
instances, by not duly appreciating the difficulties attendant upon the
execution of their edict: these proved to be so great, that the workmen
were compelled to desist, when comparatively but little progress had
been made in the work of destruction.

It is expressly stated in the _Norman Chronicle_, that a castle, though
of smaller size, previously existed upon the same spot. In opposition,
however, to this assertion, we are told by Robert Wace, that at the time
when Henry I. of France, in his expedition against the Conqueror, in
1054, advanced with his army as far as the banks of the Seville, he
traversed the town of Caen without resistance: "it being _sans chastel_,
and the Duke not having yet surrounded it with walls." But may not this
apparent contradiction be reconciled, by admitting that the words of the
historian are only to be taken in a comparative sense? It is possible,
that Wace intended to convey no farther meaning than that the town was
not then fortified, as in his time; and such a supposition would cause
every difficulty to vanish.

The Castle, as early as the eleventh century, was placed under the
superintendance of a constable; and the office was, in 1106, made
hereditary in the family of Robert Fitz-Hamon, Lord of Creuly, by whom,
and his heirs, it continued to be held till the closing year of the same
century. Under the reign of the last of the Norman Dukes, the keep had a
governor of its own, distinct from that of the castle; and he was
dignified with the title of _Constable of the Tower of Caen_; but, upon
the reduction of the province by Philip-Augustus, Caen itself, together
with the castle and its dungeon, was all committed to the charge of a
single officer, denominated the _Captain_. Such also appears to have
continued the case, except during the reign of Louis XI. when one
Raymond d'Argeau is recorded to have been the _Garde particulier du
Donjon_. The timid policy of a suspicious prince might naturally suggest
the idea of greater safety, in not allowing the power over so important
a fortress to be vested in any single hand.

  [Illustration: Plate 48. CHAPEL IN THE CASTLE AT CAEN.]

The Castle at Caen was the place on which the different lordships,
attached to the dignity of Viscount of Caen, directly or indirectly,
depended. Almost all of them were held upon the condition of some annual
contribution, consisting either of arrows, or quivers, or bows, or
swords, or cuirasses, or other description of ancient armor. In time of
war, the vassals of these different lords were likewise bound to mount
guard at the castle; but most of the parishes purchased an exemption
from this service, by means of a pecuniary payment. Thus it is upon
record that, in the year 1383, the parish of Méry compounded for
fifty-six livres annually, and that of Cléville for thirty-two livres
ten sols. By the tenure of others among the dependencies of the
bailiwick, it was stipulated, according to M. de Bourgueville, that they
should supply the castle with provisions, in the event of war.

The sums arising from these various contributions, were employed for the
pay and maintenance of the garrison: in 1369, the salary of the governor
of Caen was fixed at one thousand livres annually; half of it arising
from the revenues of the Viscounty of Caen, the other moiety from those
of the Viscounty of Bayeux. The garrison, during the fourteenth century,
was limited in time of peace to six esquires and ten crossbow-men. Even
during the short period of English power, the governor was allowed for
the defence of the place only thirty heavy-armed soldiers and ninety
archers, half of their number being mounted. Upon the capture of Caen by
Charles VII. in 1450, that monarch left in the castle a garrison
amounting to nearly three hundred soldiers; and this number was not
reduced below one hundred and forty, upon the conclusion of the peace.

The above particulars, translated almost verbatim from the Abbé De la
Rue's recent publication upon Caen,[85] do not place the castle, as a
fortress, in the important light which might reasonably have been
expected, considering its reputed strength and its great extent.
Monstrelet,[86] speaking of it in his own time, says, "it is the
strongest in all Normandy, fortified with high and great bulwarks of a
very hard stone, situated upon a rock, and containing in extent as much
as the whole town of Corbeil." De Bourgueville[87] enters, as might be
expected, more at large into the subject. His description is full and

A short time previously to the revolution, when Caen was visited by
Ducarel,[89] the greater part of the castle was much out of order,
having been altogether neglected; but the dungeon had then lately
undergone a thorough repair, and was used as a place of confinement for
state prisoners, and for such others, as by _lettres de cachet_,
obtained at the joint request of their family, were deprived of their
liberty, in order to prevent their incurring the disgrace, after having
been exposed to the misfortune, of poverty.

On the subject of its present condition, we learn from Mr. Turner,[90]
that, "degraded as it is in its character by modern innovation, it is
more deserving of notice as an historical, than as an architectural,
relic; but that it still claims to be reckoned as a place of defence,
though it retains but few of its original features. The spacious, lofty
circular towers, which flanked its ramparts, known by the names of the
black, the white, the red, and the grey horse, have been brought down to
the level of the platform. The dungeon-tower is destroyed; and all the
grandeur of the Norman castle is lost, though the width of its ditches,
and the thickness of its walls, still testify its ancient
strength."--The same author proceeds to state, that "there are reasons
for supposing that Caen, when first founded, only occupied the site of
the present castle; and that, when it became advisable to convert the
old town into a fortress, the inhabitants migrated into the valley
below."--He adds, upon the authority of De Bourgueville, that "six
thousand infantry could be drawn up in battle array, within the outer
ballium; and that so great was the number of houses and of inhabitants,
inclosed within the area, that it was thought expedient to build in it a
parochial church, dedicated to St. George, besides two chapels."

One of these chapels has been supposed to be the subject of the present
plate; but the high authority of the Abbé De la Rue[91] seems to render
such a supposition at least doubtful. Indeed, the reverend author
enumerates no fewer than six chapels within the precincts of the castle,
without, however, entering upon a description of the remains of any one
of them. At the same time, he particularly notices the religious
building here figured, evidently regarding it as having served formerly
for a parochial church. At present, it is desecrated, and is devoted to
the office of a military storehouse. M. De la Rue regards it as being
not only the oldest architectural relic in Caen, but as an erection of
the tenth century. He founds this opinion upon its construction,
destitute of any tower; upon the circular arches of its door and
windows; upon its zig-zag mouldings; upon the monsters of its
corbel-table; and, above all, upon the peculiarity of its position; the
choir being turned to the west, and the front to the east. It was,
according to him, in the eleventh century, that the practice, now
uniformly adopted, of placing churches in an opposite direction, was
first introduced. The irregularity of the early Norman religious
edifices, in this latter respect, has already been noticed under a
preceding article.[92]


[85] _Essais Historiques_, II. p. 272.

[86] _Chronicles_, (Johnes' Translation) III. p. 472.

[87] _Recherches et Antiquitez de la Ville de Caen_, p. 19.

[88] Indeed, so detailed and curious is this account, that, though
rather long, it appears desirable here to insert it.--"Reste à present à
descrire la situation de ce superbe chasteau, lequel est apparent et
haut eslevé comme une couronne et propugnacle à ceste grande ville, il a
esté de tout tems l'un des premiers de ce royaume en beauté, grandeur,
et forteresse pour estre assis sur un roc naturel, venteux, non sujet à
la mine, ny escalade, accompaigné de son donjon, au mitan duquel est
eslevee une tour carree d'une admirable grosseur et hauteur, circuye de
fortes murailles, et aux coings quatre grosses et hautes tours rondes à
plate forme à plusieurs estages, que l'on a nommees, l'une le cheval
blanc, l'autre le cheval noir, la tierce le cheval rouge, et la quatre
le cheval grix, lesquelles seruent par aucunes fois pour enfermer les
plus insignes voleurs, les fossez de ce donion sont à fonds de cuue
comme ceux de ce chasteau d'une epouuantable profondeur, tellement
qu'ils ne sont suiets à l'escalade, le belle ou basse court de ce
chasteau est de si ample estendue qu'on y peut mettre en ordre de
bataille pour combatre cinq ou six mil hommes de pied, et y peut on
loger nombre de caualerie pour faire des saillies sur un camp
adversaire, les croniques contiennent qu'il y a plusieurs villes en
France moindres que ce chasteau, comme Corbeil et Mont Ferant, i'y
aiousterai Quarantan en basse Normandie, il y a si bon nombre de maisons
et habitans, qu'il contient une eglise parrochiale en son circuit fondee
de saint George, et deux chapeles, l'une de saint Gabriel, et l'autre de
saint Agnen, son contour contient un bon nombre de carneaux de visieres
et de tours, et l'enclos du donion contient aussi nombre de carneaux, et
quatre grosses tours sans celle du parmy, il y a encores au de là du
donjon une grande terrasse, qu'on appele la Roqueste d'une admirable
forteresse de rampars, puis une grande place que l'on appele la garenne
à connins, où l'on peut mettre en seureté un bon nombre de bestaux pour
la fourniture de viures de ce chasteau durant un siege. Et à la verité
les grands seigneurs et chefs de guerre qui ont veu cette place, la
remarquent, et tiennent comme inexpugnables, d'autant même qu'elle est
fortifiee de rampars de trente ou quarante pieds de largeur, et ne se
peut vaincre sans trahison, faute de coeur ou de viures, aussi noz Rois
y ont tousiours pourueus de vaillans seigneurs et capitaines."

[89] _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, p. 49.

[90] _Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 170.

[91] _Essais Historiques sur la Ville de Caen_, I. p. 83.

[92] See the Description of the Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity, at
Caen, p. 30.



  [Illustration: Plates 49-50. CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF NOTRE DAME, AT ROUEN.
  _South transept from the Place de la Calende._]

The merit of first introducing the light of Christianity into that part
of France, which has subsequently been known by the different
appellations of Westria, Neustria, and Normandy, is commonly attributed
to St. Nicaise; whose name is therefore generally permitted to stand at
the head of the prelates of the archiepiscopal see of Rouen. St.
Nicaise, according to the traditions of the Norman church, lived about
the middle of the third century, and was dispatched from Rome, in
company with the more illustrious St. Denis, upon an express mission
from Pope Clement, to preach the gospel at Rouen, then the capital of
the gallic tribe, the Velocasses. But it is admitted on all hands, that
he never reached the place of his destination. The many miracles he
wrought by the way, consisting principally of the destruction of
dragons[93] and conversion of pagan priests, had rendered him obnoxious
to Fescenninus, the Roman governor of the province; and the saint was
consequently doomed to suffer the pains, not without receiving the palm,
of martyrdom.

  [Illustration: Plates 51-52. CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF NOTRE DAME, AT ROUEN.
  _West front from the Place Notre Dame._]

To Nicaise, succeeded St. Mello, a native of England, who, in the
performance of his duty, to carry the annual tribute from Britain to the
Roman emperor, was converted by the pontiff; and, if credit may be given
to the legends recounted by Pommeraye,[94] was, in the presence of the
Pope, invested by an angel from heaven with the pastoral staff; and, at
the same time, enjoined to take upon himself the spiritual jurisdiction
over Rouen and its vicinity. A mission thus constituted, and still
farther verified by the gift of miracles, could not fail of the desired
end. St. Mello not only succeeded in converting the lower class of the
pagans, but he likewise reckoned many of the principal citizens among
his disciples; and one of these, of the name of Precordius, ceded to him
his house, on the site of which was built the first Christian place of
worship known in Rouen. Hence, in the following distich, Ordericus
Vitalis, entirely passing over Nicaise, places St. Mello at the head of
the line of the Norman prelates:--

    "Antistes sanctus Mellonus, in ordine _primus_,
    Excoluit plebem doctrinâ Rothomagensem."--

Of the duration or history of the church thus erected, nothing is known;
but it is certain that, from that time forward, Christianity continued
to gain ground in Normandy, and the annals of the see have preserved an
uninterrupted catalogue of the bishops. Indeed, the conversion of
Constantine, which happened only a few years after the death of St.
Mello, necessarily gave a new aspect to the religion of the Roman

Succeeding prelates are stated in general terms to have manifested their
zeal, in building new churches, as well as in enlarging and ornamenting
that of the capital; and Pommeraye suggests,[95] but only as a matter of
great probability, that a second cathedral was raised by Victrice, or
some one of his immediate successors, in the fifth century. With an
equal, or still stronger degree of probability, it has been inferred
that, admitting a new church had been erected, it could not fail to have
been destroyed during the incursions of the heathen Normans, whose track
throughout Neustria was ever marked by fire and sword, and whose avarice
prompted them, no less powerfully than their superstition, to make the
religious edifices the principal objects of their vengeance. Prior to
the arrival of these barbarians, the archiepiscopal chair had been
filled by four prelates, eminent for their sanctity, St. Godard, St.
Pretextat, St. Romain, and St. Ouen. The second of these, assassinated
before the altar, at the instigation of Fredegond, queen of Chilperic,
holds nearly the same place in the martyrology of the Gallican church,
as Thomas-à-Becket in that of England. St. Ouen was a prelate who had
few rivals in munificence and splendor. Numerous monasteries throughout
the province, and, above all, the splendid one that bore his name,
testify the greatness of his mind, as well as the extent of his power:
his sovereign, Dagobert, honored him with his friendship, and conferred
upon him the dignity of chancellor of the realm.

But the fame of St. Ouen, and of all the others, was eclipsed by that of
St. Romain, by virtue of whose _privilege_, as it was generally called,
the chapter of the cathedral continued till the revolution annually to
exercise the right of delivering a criminal, whatever his offence,
except treason, from the hand of the secular power. This singular
privilege, according to general tradition, had been earned by the
destruction of a dragon, called the _Gargouille_, which was long the
terror of the adjacent country; and in his expedition the saint had been
unable to procure himself any other aid than that of a murderer, already
under sentence of death. Hence, the prelate has commonly been regarded
as little less than the tutelar divinity of the city. Portraits of him,
all of them designated by the attendant dragon and criminal, were to be
seen on the celebrated windows of stained glass in the church of St.
Godard, as well as at the entrance of the town by the _porte Bouvreuil_,
and probably in many other places: a building at the top of the
staircase, leading into the cloth-hall, was called his chapel; another
chapel is to the present day consecrated to him in the cathedral itself;
the northern tower of the same building bears his name; his shrine is
still preserved among the choicest treasures of the sacristy; and even
the bases of some of the pillars of the nave are carved into a fanciful
resemblance of the fabulous _Gargouille_.

Dom Pommeraye, than whom no author was ever more superstitious and more
credulous, at the same time that he terms this privilege one of the most
valuable and most noble rights of the church of Rouen,[96] admits that
the origin of it is lost in obscurity. He adduces, however, an
historical document, to prove its existence during the reign of the
Norman Dukes; and, while he candidly states the difference of opinion
among learned men on the subject, some of them treating the story as
allegorical, others setting it wholly aside, and regarding the privilege
merely as a special act of grace conceded to the church, in honor of the
Ascension, on the anniversary of which festival it was exercised, he
takes care to record his own firm belief in the miracle, and he calls
upon all pious Christians to unite with him in supporting its

Upon the conversion of Rollo to Christianity, and the consequent
erection of Normandy into a distinct dukedom, Rouen, as the metropolis
of the new state, necessarily acquired additional importance, and its
church additional lustre. Questions have arisen as to the spot where the
first church was built, but no doubt is to be entertained of the
existence of the cathedral, during the reign of Rollo, on the same site
which it occupies at present; for that prince himself was buried in it,
as was his son, William Longue-Epée, and their remains continue there
till this time[97]. Richard I. the son of William, and his successor on
the ducal throne, is expressly stated by Dudo of St. Quintin, to have
made great additions, both in length, width, and height, to the
"admirable church" (_mirabile monasterium_) at Rouen, dedicated to the
Holy Virgin.[98] The same author says, in terms which admit of no
misconstruction, that Robert, the son to this Duke, who was archbishop
of Rouen, and by the splendor of his works won to himself the epithet of
the _magnificent_, "completed the church, by the addition of the whole
choir, and by the work on the eastern side."

The church, raised by Robert, was dedicated by Archbishop Maurilius, in
1063; but its term of duration appears to have been unaccountably short;
for it is recorded that, after the lapse of less than a century, the
clergy of the cathedral directed their attention towards the building of
a new one; and that the year 1200 had not arrived before some progress
was already made in the execution of their plan. All precise dates,
however, connected with this subject, are lost: the various wars that
have ravaged this part of France; the numerous sieges to which the city
of Rouen itself has been exposed; and the repeated changes of masters it
has undergone;--these, with the addition of occasional injuries from
fire and pillage, have effectually destroyed the archives of the town
and cathedral.

Authors have differed strangely regarding the remains of the church
erected by the Norman Dukes. Some of them, and indeed the greater
number, assert that no small part of the structure now in existence
belonged to the building consecrated by Maurilius: others maintain, that
not one stone of this latter has been left upon another. The truth seems
to be, that a small portion of the eastern side of the present northern
tower, known by the name of the tower of St. Romain, is really of Norman
workmanship, but that nothing else throughout the cathedral is so,
excepting, possibly, the lateral doorways in the western front. The
whole of the tower just mentioned, up to its highest tier of windows, is
evidently the most ancient part of the building, and is apparently of
the architecture of the latter part of the twelfth century. The church,
considered collectively, is so obviously the work of different æras,
that there can be little risk in hazarding the assertion, that it has
been raised by piece-meal, on various occasions, as may either have been
suggested by the piety of potentates and prelates, or may have been
required by the state of religion or of the edifice itself.

What is known as to the dates of the building is, that the southern
tower was begun in 1485, and completed in 1507; that the first stone of
the central portal was laid in 1509; and that the Lady-Chapel, though
commenced during some of the earliest years of the fourteenth century,
and finished in the middle of the fifteenth, contains work of the year
1538. At this last period, Cardinal Georges d'Amboise restored the roof
of the choir, which had been injured in 1514, by the destruction of the
spire. The square short central tower was erected A.D. 1200: it replaced
one that had been damaged eighty years before, when the original stone
spire of the church was struck by lightning. From that time forward, no
attempt had been made to rebuild the spire, except with wood, of which
material, that now in existence is the second. The first was destroyed
by a fire, occasioned by the negligence of plumbers, in the beginning of
the sixteenth century; the present suffered material injury from a
similar accident, in 1713, and narrowly escaped entire destruction.

The western front of the cathedral, represented in plate _fifty-one_,
offers a _tout-ensemble_ of the most imposing character. The very
discrepancy in the different parts, by increasing the variety, adds to
the effect of the whole. All, with the exception of the northern tower,
is rich, even to exuberance; and the simplicity of this, at the same
time that it appears to lay claim to a certain dignity for itself,
places in a stronger light the gorgeous splendor of the rest. The
opposite tower, the work of the celebrated Cardinal Georges d'Amboise,
and formerly the receptacle of the great bell that bore his name,
commonly passes by the appellation of the _Tour de Beurre_. Tradition
tells, or, to use the words of Dom Pommeraye, "every body knows" that it
obtained this name from its being built with the money raised from the
indulgence granted by the Cardinal, William d'Estouteville, to the pious
catholics throughout the dioceses of Rouen and Evreux, allowing them to
make use of milk and butter during Lent, when oil only could otherwise
have been employed by way of sauce to vegetables and fish. The bull
issued upon the occasion, by Pope Innocent VIII. is stated to be still
in existence.[99] The architecture of this tower may almost be regarded
as the perfection of what has been called the decorated English style:
it is copiously enriched with pinnacles and statues, and terminates in a
beautiful octagonal crown of open stone-work. Its height is two hundred
and thirty French feet.[100]

The central portal, for the erection of which the cathedral is likewise
indebted to its great benefactor, Georges d'Amboise, projects
beautifully and boldly, like a porch, before the rest: every side of it
is filled with niches, tier over tier, all crowded with endless figures
of saints and martyrs. In the middle of it rises a pyramidal canopy of
open stone-work; and upon the wide transom-stone over the door, is
sculptured the genealogical tree of Christ, arising from the root of
Jesse. The carving over the north entrance is yet more peculiar, and
evidently far older. It represents the decapitation of the Baptist, with
"Salome dancing in an attitude, which perchance was often assumed by the
_tombesteres_ of the elder day; affording, by her position, a graphical
comment upon the Anglo-Saxon version of the text, in which it is said,
that she _tumbled_ before King Herod."[101] Four turrets flank the
central portal: one of them only is now capped by a spire: the pinnacles
of the remaining three were swept away by a storm which traversed
Normandy for a considerable extent, on the twenty-fifth of June, 1683,
marking its progress with a devastation that is scarcely to be

The spire of the central tower, however vaunted and admired by the
French themselves, looks to an unprejudiced eye mean and shabby; and
principally from its being made of wood, which ill accords with the
apparent solidity of the rest of the building.

The entrances to the transepts, however inferior in splendor to the
grand western front, are still not such as to disgrace it; and,
considered attentively as to their sculptured medallions, they are even
more curious. The northern one is approached through a passage lined
with rows of the meanest houses, formerly the shops of transcribers and
calligraphists; and hence the singular gate-way that incloses the court,
passes commonly under the name of _Le Portail des Libraires_. The
opposite transept, (see _plate forty-nine_,) is called _Le Portail de la
Calende_, an appellation borrowed from the _Place de la Calende_, upon
which it opens; and which, though in reality far from spacious, appears
altogether so by comparison. On each side of the entrances to both the
transepts, is a lofty square tower, "such as are usually seen only in
the western front of a cathedral; the upper story perforated by a
gigantic window, divided by a single mullion or central pillar, not
exceeding one foot in circumference, and nearly sixty feet in height.
These windows are entirely open; and the architect never intended they
should be glazed. An extraordinary play of light and shade results from
this construction."[103] The rose windows, which are placed as well over
the entrances of the transepts, as over the greater one to the west, are
no less magnificent in their dimensions, than beautiful in their
patterns, and gorgeous in their colors. Much of the stained glass of the
cathedral is also very rich.

Mr. Dibdin, in his splendidly-illustrated Tour,[104] remarks with much
justice, that "a person, on entering the church by the western door,
cannot fail to be struck with the length and loftiness of the nave, and
with the lightness of the gallery which runs along the upper part of it,
and which is continued also throughout the choir." He goes on to add,
"perhaps the nave is too narrow for its length. The lantern of the
central large tower is beautifully light and striking. It is supported
by four massive clustered pillars, about forty feet in circumference;
but the eye, on looking downwards, is shocked at the tasteless division
of the choir from the nave, by what is called a _Grecian screen_; and
the interior of the transepts has also undergone a like tasteless

The cathedral at Rouen was the burial-place of many men of eminence and
distinction. Rollo and William Longue Epée have already been mentioned
as interred here. The church also contained the lion-heart of the first
English Richard, and the remains of his elder brother, Henry; together
with those of William, son of Geoffrey Plantagenet; of the Regent Duke
of Bedford; and of Charles V. of France. The tombs of these, and of
various other individuals of high rank, are described at length by
Pommeraye; but the outrages of the Calvinists and the democrats, added
to the removals occasioned by the alterations made at various times in
the building, have now destroyed nearly the whole of them, excepting
those raised to the two Cardinals D'Amboise, both of them archbishops of
Rouen, and that which commemorates Louis de Brezé, Grand Seneschal of
Normandy. These monuments are placed on opposite sides of the
Lady-Chapel; the former as conspicuous for its many sumptuous ornaments,
as the latter for its chaste simplicity.

The archbishop of Rouen, prior to the revolution, took the title of
_Primate of Neustria_; and his spiritual jurisdiction then extended over
six suffragans, the bishops of Bayeux, Avranches, Evreux, Séez, Lisieux,
and Coutances. Not many years previously, it had also embraced the
Canadian churches, together with the whole of French North-America; but
the appointment of a bishop at Quebec, deprived it of its trans-atlantic
sway; and the concordat, in the time of Napoléon, reduced the number of
the suffragan prelates to four, taking the mitres from Avranches and
Lisieux. A still more important alteration has been occasioned by modern
times, in the archiepiscopal revenues. It had been customary throughout
France, before the recent changes, in speaking of the see of Rouen, to
designate it by the epithet, _rich_; an appellation that would now be
wofully misapplied. The archbishop then possessed, in addition to the
usual sources of ecclesiastical income, a peculiar privilege, entitled
the right of _Déport_; by virtue of which, he claimed the receipt of the
first year's proceeds of every benefice which might become vacant in his
diocese, whether by the resignation or death of the incumbent.[105]

A station so enviable as that of archbishop of Rouen, has been at almost
all times in the hands of some individual belonging to one of the
principal families of the kingdom. Among others, those of Luxembourg,
Bourbon, D'Estouteville, D'Amboise, Joyeuse, Harlay, Colbert, and
Tressan, have successively held it. To sum up the catalogue, in the
words of Pommeraye, "the cathedral has furnished many saints for heaven,
one pope for the apostolic chair, and thirteen cardinals to the church;
nine of its prelates have belonged to the royal family of France; and
many others, eminent for their birth, have been still more so for their
own merit, and for the services they have rendered to the catholic
church and the state."


[93] The destroying of dragons, or fiery serpents, or similar monsters,
appears to have been the most common of all miracles, in the early ages
of Christianity. After the exploits of St. Michael, St. Margaret, and
St. George, ecclesiastical history abounds in similar legends. St.
Romain, St. Marcel, St. Julian, St. Martial, St. Bertrand, St. Martha,
and St. Clement, make but a small proportion of the saints who
distinguished themselves by these acts of pious heroism. The dragons of
Rouen and of Metz were of sufficient celebrity to acquire the distinct
names of the _Gargouille_, and the _Graouilli_.--It has been commonly
supposed, that these various miracles were allegorical, and intended to
typify the confining of rivers within their channels, or the limiting of
the incursions of the sea. Other authors have been inclined to account
for their prevalence, as having reference to the sun, or to astronomical
phænomena; but surely the most simple and satisfactory mode of
explaining them, lies in considering the dragon as the emblem of evil,
and the various victories gained over dragons, as so many conquests
obtained by virtue over vice.--A considerable fund of curious
information, on this subject, will be found in the _Magasin
Encyclopédique_ for _January, 1812_, p. 1-24, in a paper by M. Eusèbe
Salverte, entitled _Légendes du Moyen Age_.

[94] _Histoire des Archevêques de Rouen_, p. 40.

[95] _Histoire de la Cathédrale de Rouen_, p. 19.

[96] _Histoire de la Cathédrale de Rouen_, p. 625.

[97] Not, however, in the identical spot in which they were originally
deposited: they were at first laid in the immediate vicinity of the high
altar, but were, before the close of the eleventh century, removed to
the situations they now occupy, in chapels on opposite sides of the
upper end of the nave. The following account of their tombs, with the
statues and inscriptions, is transcribed from _Gilbert's Description
Historique de l'Eglise de Notre Dame de Rouen_, p. 57:--"Le tombeau de
Rollon est placé dans un enfoncement cintré, pratiqué dans le mur de la
chapelle; il consiste en un sarcophage de stuc, marbre de Portor, sur
lequel se voit la statue couchée de ce prince, dont la tête est appuyée
sur un coussin. Rollon est vêtu d'une longue tunique, par-dessus
laquelle est un manteau couleur de pourpre, ou espèce de chlamyde
attachée à l'épaule droite; il porte sur sa tête une couronne. Cette
statue a été un peu mutilée. Au-dessus de l'arcade dans laquelle est le
tombeau, on lit l'inscription suivante, gravée en lettres d'or sur un
marbre noir:

             AN. MLXIII.

Au-dessus de cette inscription est une urne en stuc, marbre de Portor.
L'archivolte de l'arcade est en stuc blanc veiné de gris, ainsi que le
lambris qui décore le pourtour de la chapelle. Tous ces ouvrages sont
modernes, à l'exception de la statue du duc Rollon, qui paroit avoir été
exécutée dans le treizième siècle.

Dans la chapelle de Saint-Anne, située de l'autre côté de la nef, se
voit le tombeau de Guillaume _Longue-Epée_, fils de Rollon, et second duc
de Normandie, mort victime de la plus infâme trahison, dans l'entrevue
qu'il eut à Pecquigny, le 18 Décembre, 944, avec Arnoul, comte de
Flandres. Le corps du duc Guillaume fut apporté à Rouen et inhumé dans
la cathédrale. [Voyez Servin, _Hist. de Rouen_, tom. I. p. 118 et 119.]

Sur le sarcophage en stuc, marbre de Portor, est placée la statue du
duc, vêtu d'une longue tunique, et tenant à la main un sceptre qui a été
mutilé. Au-dessus de l'arcade enfoncée, dans laquelle est la sépulture
du prince, on lit l'inscription suivante, gravée en lettres d'or sur un
marbre noir:

           DUX NORMANNIÆ
           ANNO MLXIII."

[98] "Rotomagensi namque urbe in honore genetricis Dei ampliavit
mirabile monasterium, longitudinis, latitudinisque, atque altitudinis
honorificæ exspatiatum incremento."--_Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, p.

[99] _Pommeraye, Histoire de l'Eglise Cathédrale de Rouen_, p. 36.

[100] The following are the dimensions of the principal parts of the
cathedral, in French measure, copied from Mr. Turner's _Tour in
Normandy_, I. p. 147:--

  Length of the interior                     408
  Width of ditto                              88
  Length of nave                             210
  Width of ditto                              27
  Ditto of aisles                             15
  Length of choir                            110
  Width of ditto                              35-1/2
  Ditto of transept                           25-1/2
  Length of ditto                            164
  Ditto of Lady-Chapel                        88
  Width of ditto                              28
  Height of spire                            380
  Ditto of towers at the west end            230
  Ditto of nave                               84
  Ditto of aisles and chapels                 42
  Ditto of interior of central tower         152
  Depth of chapels                            10

[101] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 139.--The mention of this
sculpture affords an opportunity of pointing out what appears a singular
error on the part of the late M. Millin, in his _Voyage dans les
Départemens du Midi de la France_. He has figured, in the atlas to that
work, _plate twelve_, a bas-relief of the eleventh century, representing
the assassination of Count Dalmace, by the hands of his son-in-law,
Robert I. Duke of Burgundy; and, in the lower compartment, containing a
banquet, he explains one of the figures (I. p. 190) to be the Earl
falling from the table; whereas, a comparison with the sculpture at
Rouen will scarcely leave a doubt, that it was designed for a
dancing-girl, introduced for the amusement of the company.

[102] _Pommeraye, Histoire de l'Eglise Cathédrale de Rouen_, p. 33.

[103] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 144.

[104] _Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour in France and
Germany_, I. p. 50.

[105] _Pommeraye, Histoire des Archevêques de Rouen_, p. 22.



It has been inferred, and with much apparent probability, from the
silence of Julius Cæsar, that the proud capital of Normandy had either
no existence in the time of that general, or was at most only a place of
small importance. There have not, however, been wanting, among the
historians of Rouen, some, who, jealous, as usual, for the honor of
their city, ascribe to it an antiquity beyond the deluge, and trust to
the latter half of its classical name, for bearing them out in the
assertion, that its foundations were laid by Magus, the son and
successor of Samothes, first king of Gaul. Others, more moderate, have
contented themselves with the belief, that, although Cæsar does not make
mention of Rothomagus, there is still no reason to question its
existence before the Christian æra, or to doubt that it was then the
chief town of the Velocasses, as Lillebonne was of the neighboring tribe
of the Caletes, the inhabitants of the present _Pays de Caux_. It is at
least known with certainty, that, in the division of Gaul, which took
place not very long afterwards, into seventeen provinces, Rouen became
the metropolis of the _Lugdunensis Secunda_; and that, from that time
forwards, it continued gradually to rise in consequence, till the
establishment of Neustria into an independent sovereignty stamped it
with the title of the capital of a nation.

At the present time, Rouen can shew scarcely any remains of Roman
antiquity: "the wide waste of all-devouring years," has effaced those
vestiges which that powerful people seldom failed to have impressed,
wherever their dominion had once been firmly established. The small
church of St. Gervais, derives therefore a peculiar interest, as
exhibiting proofs, sufficiently decided, though far from important, of a
connection with Italy. These proofs rest principally upon the Roman
bricks and other _débris_, some of them rudely sculptured, which have
been employed in the construction of the piers of the crypt, and upon
the sculpture of the capitals of some columns on the exterior of the

The church of St. Gervais is situated at a short distance without the
walls of Rouen, upon a slight eminence, adjoining the Roman road to
Lillebonne, and near a rising ground, commonly called the _Mont aux
Malades_, as having been, in the eleventh century, the site of a
monastery, destined for the reception of lepers. According to
Farin,[106] the church was originally an abbey, and is expressly
recognized as such in a charter of Duke Richard II. dated A.D. 1020; in
which, among other donations to his favorite monastery at Fécamp, he
enumerates, "item _Abbatiam_ Sancti Gervasii, quæ est juxta civitatem
Rothomagum, et quicquid ad ipsam pertinet." The authors of the _Gallia
Christiana_[107] add that, "at the time when this abbey was conferred
upon Fécamp, it was taken from the monks of St. Peter at Chartres." Two
centuries subsequently, St. Gervais appears to have sunk into the rank
of a simple priory, under the immediate control of the monks of Fécamp,
who assumed the title of its priors. In process of time, the still
humbler name and dignity of a parochial church were alone left; but the
period at which this last change took place, is not recorded. The abbot
of Fécamp continued, however, till the period of the revolution, to
exercise spiritual jurisdiction over what was termed the barony of St.
Gervais; including not only this single parish; but some others
dependent upon it. He nominated to the livings, directed the religious
establishments, had entire control over the prisons, and was entitled to
all privileges arising from the fair of St. Gervais, which was annually
held at Rouen, in the Fauxbourg Cauchoise, on the twentieth of June. It
is even on record, that in the year 1400, the abbot ventured upon the
bold experiment of forbidding William de Vienne, then archbishop of
Rouen, either to carry his cross, or to give his benediction within the
precincts of his jurisdiction; but so daring an assumption of power was
not to be tolerated, and the matter was accordingly referred to the
parliament of Paris, who decided in this instance against the abbot.

  [Illustration: Plate 53. CRYPT IN THE CHURCH OF ST. GERVAIS AT ROUEN.]

Adjoining to the church of St. Gervais, stood originally one of the
palaces of the Norman Dukes and it was to this[108] that William the
Conqueror caused himself to be conveyed, when attacked with his mortal
illness, after having wantonly reduced the town of Mantes to ashes.
Here, too, that mighty monarch breathed his last, and left a sad warning
to future conquerors; deserted by his friends and physicians, the moment
he was no more; while his menials plundered his property, and his body
lay naked and deserted in the hall.

The ducal palace, and the monastic buildings, are now wholly destroyed.
Fortunately, however, the church still remains, and preserves some
portions of the original structure, more interesting from their features
than their extent. The exterior of the apsis is very curious: it is
obtusely angular, and faced at the corners with large rude columns, of
whose capitals, some are Doric and Corinthian, others as wild as the
fancies of the Norman lords of the country. None reach so high as the
cornice of the roof; it having been the design of the original
architect, that a portion of work should intervene between the summits
of the capitals and this member. A capital to the north is remarkable
for the eagles carved upon it, as if with some allusion to Roman power.

But the most singular part of this church is the crypt under the apsis,
represented in the plate; a room about thirty feet long, by fourteen
wide, and sixteen high, of extreme simplicity, and remote antiquity.
Round it runs a plain stone bench; and it is divided into two unequal
parts by a circular arch, devoid of columns or of any ornament whatever.
Here, according to Ordericus Vitalis,[109] was interred the body of St.
Mello, the first archbishop of Rouen, and one of the apostles of
Neustria; and here his tomb, and that of his successor, Avitien, are
shewn to this day, in plain niches, on opposite sides of the wall. St.
Mello's remains, however, were not suffered to rest in peace; for, about
five hundred and seventy years after his death, which happened in the
year 314, they were removed to the castle of Pontoise, lest the
canonized corpse should be violated by the heathen Normans. The
existence of these tombs, and the antiquity of the crypt, recorded as it
is by history, and confirmed by the style of its architecture, have
given currency to the tradition, which points it out as the only temple
where the primitive Christians of Neustria dared to assemble for the
performance of divine service. Many stone coffins have also been
discovered in the vicinity of the church. These sarcophagi serve to
confirm the general tradition; they are of the simplest form, and
apparently as ancient as the crypt; and they were so placed in the
ground, that the heads of the corpses were turned to the east, a
position denoting that the dead received Christian burial.


[106] _Histoire de la Ville de Rouen_, v. p. 1.

[107] XI. p. 124. A.

[108] The whole of the remainder of this article is transcribed from
_Turner's Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 125.

[109] _Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, p. 558.



  [Illustration: Plate 54. CHURCH OF ST. PAUL, AT ROUEN.
  _East End._]

Next to the church of St. Gervais, that of St. Paul is the most
interesting relic of ancient architecture among the ecclesiastical
buildings at Rouen. Indeed, it may be considered as the only other of an
early date; the round tower attached to the abbatial church of St.
Ouen[110] being altogether inconsiderable, and indebted for its
principal interest to its connection with an abbey endowed with such
extensive possessions, and gifted with so much reported sanctity.

The foundation of the church of St. Paul is of very remote antiquity: it
is said to have been laid by St. Romain, in memory of his great victory
over heathenism, when, triumphant, he erected the banner of the cross
upon the ashes of the temple of Venus. Impure was the goddess, and most
impure were her rites; so that, to use the words of Taillepied, in
speaking of this same temple, "là dedans la jeunesse, à bride avallée,
souloit se souiller et polluer par ordre luxure et paillardise
abominable, ne ayant égard qu'auprès de ce lieu y avoit un repaire de
malins esprits qui faisoyent sortir une fumée tant puante et infecte que
la mortalité s'en ensuyvoit par après."

This very remark concerning the infectious vapor, seems decisive as to
the feet of the church of St. Paul occupying the site of the pagan fane.
It stands without the walls of the town, upon elevated ground, at a very
short distance to the right of the barrier below Mont St. Catherine, on
the road to Paris, in the immediate vicinity of some mineral springs,
strongly impregnated with iron. Prior to the revolution, the church was
under the jurisdiction of the monastery of Montivilliers. The abbess had
the right of nomination to the vacant benefice; and, till the middle of
the seventeenth century, she was in the habit of regarding St. Paul's as
a priory, and fixing there a colony of her nuns. But they were all
recalled in 1650, and were never afterwards succeeded by a fresh

Respecting the various changes of the edifice, Farin contents himself
with the brief remark, "that it was repeatedly destroyed during the
wars, and rebuilt by the liberality of the Norman Dukes."[111] The
eastern part of what is now standing is evidently of Norman time; and,
architecturally considered, it is a most curious specimen, being
probably the only church in existence which terminates to the east in
three semi-circular compartments. Of these, the central division is
considerably the most lofty, as well as the most prominent; and the
arrangement of the corbel-table, which is carried equally round them
all, proves that it must always have been so. The sculpture of this
corbel-table is viewed by the Norman antiquaries with peculiar interest:
some of the heads, with widely distended jaws, beset with teeth of
enormous size, represent wolves; others, with human features and
whiskered upper lips, are supposed to be intended for the Saxon foe,
who, at the time of the Norman invasion, were induced, we are told, by
the smooth faces of their opponents, to entertain the erroneous belief,
that the approaching host was but an army of priests. Mr. Cotman, who
has observed in similar situations, in many other parts of Normandy,
faces equally shadowed with whiskers, has been led to the suspicion,
that they were intended in derision of the Saxons.

Internally, the triple circular ending of the church is no longer
observable. Both of the lateral divisions are parted off at the
extremity, and formed into distinct apartments: the southern is applied
to the purpose of a sacristy, while the northern serves merely as a
lumber-room. The nave, which is thrice the width of the chancel, and is
clearly of a date comparatively modern, is separated from the more
eastern portion of the building by a semi-circular arch. The sculpture
upon the capitals appears of Roman design: that on one of them, exhibits
a row of graceful figures in a pure classical taste, intent upon some
action, but so much mutilated, that it would be now no easy task to
conjecture the object of the artist. The aisles of the chancel are
divided from the central compartment by double arches, a larger and a
smaller being united together, all of them semi-circular, and all of the
Norman style of architecture. Attached to the eastern end of the church,
within the lumber-room just mentioned, stands a piece of Roman
sculpture, supposed by M. Le Prevost to have served originally for an
altar. Mr. Turner has given a figure of it in his Tour; and he
conjectures, that it was of the workmanship of the fourth century; a
supposition founded upon the resemblance borne by its ornaments, to
those upon the pedestal of the obelisk raised by Theodosius, in the
Hippodrome at Constantinople, as represented in the elaborate
publication of the late M. Seroux d'Agincourt.[112]


[110] Figured in _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 127.

[111] _Histoire de la Ville de Rouen_, v. p. 8.

[112] _Histoire de la décadence de l'Art_, pl. 10, _Sculpture_, fig.





                  JOHN SELL COTMAN;

                   ACCOMPANIED BY

                  VOLUME THE SECOND.

  [Illustration: Coat of arms of the Duchy of Normandy.
  Emblems of the towns of Rouen and Caen.]


             AND J. S. COTMAN, YARMOUTH.




   55. Church of St. Nicholas, at Caen, West End         to face page 59
   56.    --     --     --     --       East End                      60
   57. Church at Cheux, near Caen, from the North-East                62
   58. Church at Bieville, from the North-West                        63
   59.    --     --        Elevations and Details                     64
   60. Church at Fontaine-le-Henri, near Caen, North Side of Chancel  65
   61.    --     --     --     --     --       Elevations             66
   62. Château at Fontaine-le-Henri, near Caen                        67
   63.    --     --     --     --     --       Elevation of
                                               central Compartment    68
   64. House in the Place de la Pucelle, at Rouen                     69
   65. House in the Rue St. Jean, at Caen                             70
   66. Tower of the Church at Tréport, near Caen                      71
   67. Church of Anisy, near Caen                                     73
   68. Church of Perriers, near Caen                                  74
   69. Castle of Lillebonne                                           75
   70. Castle of Briquebec                                            77
   71. Church of St. Stephen's, at Fécamp                             79
   72. Screen in the Church of St. Lawrence, at Eu                    81
   73. \ Church of St. Peter, at Lisieux, West Front                  83
   74. /
   75.    --     --     --     --         South Transept              86
   76. Abbey Church of St. Ouen, at Rouen                             87
   77. Fountain of the Stone Cross, at Rouen                          90
   78. Palace of Justice, at Rouen                                    91
   79. Church of Louviers, South Porch                                93
   80. Château Gaillard, North-East View                              95
   81.    --     --      South-West View                              96
   82. Abbey Church of Montivilliers, West End                        97
   83. Church of St. Sanson sur Rille                                 99
   84. Church of Foullebec, West Door-way                            100
   85. Castle at Tancarville                                         101
   86. Entrance to the Castle at Tancarville                         103
   87. Church of the Holy Cross, at St. Lo, West Door-way            104
   88.    --     --     --     --     --    Sculpture                106
   89. Castle of Falaise, North-West View                            107
   90.    --     --       North View                                 109
   91. Interior of the Church of Creully                             110
   92. \ Cathedral Church of Notre Dame, at Coutances, West Front    111
   93. /
   94.    --     --     --     --     --     --        Elevation of
                                                       the Nave      115
   95. Mount St. Michael, on the Approach from Pontorson             116
   96.    --     --       Interior of the Knights' Hall              120
   97. Abbey Church of Cerisy, Interior of the Choir                 121
   98. Church at Oyestraham, West Front                              122
   99. Cathedral Church of Notre Dame, at Séez, West Front           123
  100.   --     --     --     --     --         Elevation of the
                                                Nave                 125

  The Figure referred to in the Note, p. 117, is inserted at the
  beginning of the Preface.--As a Vignette, at the end of the
  Preface, is introduced a View of the Church of Querqueville, near
  Cherbourg, a building of unquestionable antiquity, and here
  figured, as the only instance in Normandy, or possibly in
  existence, of a church whose transepts, as well as the chancel,
  terminate in a semi-circular form. In these parts, the walls are
  formed of herring-bone masonry, which is not the case with the
  tower or nave, which are more modern. The tower is, however,
  probably of the Norman æra; and the peculiar masonry which
  distinguishes the chancel, is still observable for a few feet
  above its junction with the nave. Its ornaments may be compared
  with those of St. Peter's church, at Barton-upon-Humber, and
  Earl's-Barton church, Northamptonshire, both of them figured in
  the _fifth_ volume of _Britton's Architectural Antiquities_, and
  both evidently Norman. The church of Querqueville has no
  buttresses. Its length, from east to west, is forty-eight feet and
  six inches; from north to south, forty-three feet and four inches;
  the width of the nave is nine feet and nine inches.



  [Illustration: Plate 55. CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS, AT CAEN.
  _West end._]

The Abbé De la Rue, in his _Historical Essays upon Caen_, contents
himself with remarking, with regard to the church of St. Nicholas, that
it is the only specimen of real Norman architecture now left entire in
the town; for that the abbatial church of the Holy Trinity, a building
of the same period and style, has been so disguised by the alterations
made with the view of adapting it to its present purpose, that,
considered as a whole, it is no longer to be recognized as a type of the
religious edifices of the Normans. Such being the case, it is the more
to be lamented that the church here figured, should not only have been
degraded from its original application, but should have been
appropriated to an object eminently liable to expose it to injury. It is
now used as a stable for cavalry; but, fortunately, it has still been
suffered to remain entire; and hopes are entertained, that it may yet be
one day again employed as a place of worship.

The exterior of the building has not altogether escaped uninjured or
unaltered. In the western front, (see _plate fifty-five_,) both the
lateral towers have lost their original terminations, and have been
reduced to a level with the roof of the nave. One of them still remains
in a state of dilapidation: to the other has been added a square tower,
of rather elegant proportions, surmounted by a small crocketed pinnacle,
the workmanship probably of the fourteenth century. The rest of this
part of the church is as it was first built, except that the great
arches of entrance are entirely blocked up. The whole is of extreme
simplicity, and vies in that respect with the same portion of the
adjoining church of the abbey of St. Stephen; the different members of
the two being nearly the same, though disposed in a dissimilar manner.

The central tower of the church of St. Nicholas is square and small, and
so low as to admit only a single tier of semi-circular-headed windows,
four on each side. It terminates in a ridged roof, and apparently, never
was higher; though, as far as may be judged from analogy, a greater
elevation was probably designed by the architect. Along the sides of the
church, immediately beneath the roof, runs a bold projecting cornice, of
antique pattern, formed of numerous horizontal mouldings; and, under
this, the corbel-table presents only a row of plain knobs, instead of
the monsters commonly found in Norman buildings. The clerestory,
throughout both the nave and choir, is filled with narrow arches,
alternately pierced for windows, and left blank. All these arches, as
well as the windows of the transepts and of the projecting aisles below,
are without the accompaniment of pillars or ornaments of any
description, excepting a broad flat moulding of the simplest kind, which
wholly encircles them. The disposition of the windows in the lower part
of the nave, differs from that of those above, in their being separated
from each other by shallow buttresses, which hold the place of the blank
arches. A plain string-course also is continued the whole length of the
church beneath the windows, as in the west front. On the south side is a
door, the only one now in use in the church, which is entered by a very
noble Norman arch, composed of a great number of cylindrical mouldings,
arranged in three broad bands, but without pillars or capitals, and with
no other variation than that of size, and of the addition of the
billet-moulding to the outer row. The transome-stone of this arch is
unquestionably coeval with the arch itself, the sculpture of the masonry
being interwoven with it. Attached to the eastern side of both the
transepts, is a circular chapel, as in the churches of St. Georges, of
St. Taurin at Evreux, of Fécamp, of Cerisy, and in several other ancient
religious buildings in Normandy. Nor is England altogether without
specimens of the same kind: a similar chapel, now in a ruinous state,
and called by Blomefield, "the sexterie or ancient vestry," is joined to
the north transept of Norwich cathedral; and near the eastern extremity
of the same church, are four others. But the principal characteristic of
those at St. Nicholas', is the extremely high pitch of the stone roof, a
peculiarity equally observable in the roof of the choir; and hence the
following remarks on the part of Mr. Turner[113]:--"Here we have the
exact counterpart of the Irish stone-roofed chapels, the most celebrated
of which, that of Cormac in Cashel cathedral, appears, from all the
drawings and descriptions I have seen of it, to be altogether a Norman
building. Ledwich asserts that 'this chapel is truly Saxon, and was
erected prior to the introduction of the Norman and Gothic styles.'[114]
If we agree with him, we only obtain a proof, that there is no essential
difference between Norman and Saxon architecture; and this proposition I
believe, will soon be universally admitted. We now know what is really
Norman; and a little attention to the buildings in the north of Germany,
may terminate the long-debated questions relative to Saxon architecture,
and the stone-roofed chapels in the sister isle."

  [Illustration: Plate 56. CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS, AT CAEN.
  _East end._]

In the east end of the church of St. Nicholas, (see _plate fifty-six_,)
may be remarked a sensible approximation in point of style, to the same
part in the church of the Trinity. The circular apsis is divided into
compartments by slender cylindrical pillars; and each intercolumniation
is filled by a couple of windows of comparatively large size, placed one
above the other, while a row of narrow blank arches occupies the lower
part. The head of each of these smaller arches is hewn out of a single
stone. The height of the roof, in this part of the church, is so much
greater than in the choir, as almost to justify the suspicion that it
was no part of the original plan, but was an addition of a subsequent,
though certainly not of a remote, æra. Were the line of it continued to
the central tower, it would wholly block up and conceal the windows
there. The discrepancy observable in the style of its architecture, may
also possibly be regarded as enforcing the same opinion. But, indeed, as
has already been more than once observed in this work, no inferences
drawn from style must be admitted without the utmost hesitation. A very
sensible discussion upon this point, as illustrated by the church of St.
Nicholas itself, and the two adjoining churches of the Trinity and of
St. Stephen, has lately appeared in one of the most popular English
periodical publications, from the pen of a writer possessed of the
deepest knowledge of the subject, and gifted with the most comprehensive
and clearest views[115]. It were an injustice to the readers of this
work, not to extract it upon the present occasion. It will supersede the
necessity of any labored description of the interior of the building.--

"When a distinct gradation of style is observable, it is natural to
conclude, that these architectural varieties, emanating from one
prototype, each clearly to be discriminated, yet dying into another by
imperceptible shades, were successively developed at certain intervals
of time. This reasoning, though it advances upon legitimate premises,
may be fallacious, as is proved at Caen, where three coeval churches,
probably erected by the same architect, are distinguished by such
remarkable modifications of the Norman Romanesque style, that were we
not acquainted with the facts, we might well suppose that they marked
the progress of architecture during three half centuries.--St. Nicholas,
the first of these edifices, was built by the monks of St. Stephen's
Abbey some time between the years 1066 and 1083. The original lines are
characterized by simplicity and regularity. All the capitals of the
columns, embedded in the side walls, are of one order; and the capitals
of the pier-columns, which nearly resemble the others, are equally
uniform. The east end terminates by an apsis, of which the elevation
resembles the exterior of the cathedral of Pisa. Three circular arches,
supported by Corinthianizing pilasters, form the western portal. The
original cross-vaulting of the side-aisles still remains: it is without
groins, and of Roman construction, and the whole interior shews that the
architect was endeavoring to recollect the models of the great city.--If
we pass from hence to the adjacent abbey church of St. Stephen, erected
at the same period, we shall observe that the conception of the
architect is more Norman than in the church which we have quitted. The
nave is divided into bays by piers, alternating with circular pillars of
smaller diameter. The pier consists of a pilaster fronted by a
cylindrical column, continuing to about four-fifths of the height of the
roof. Two cylindrical columns then rise from it; so that from this point
upwards, the pier becomes a clustered column: angular brackets
sculptured into knots, grotesque heads, and foliage, are affixed to the
bases of the derivative pillars. A bold double-billeted moulding is
continued below the clerestory, whose windows adapt themselves to the
binary arrangement of the bays of the nave; that is to say, a taller
arch is flanked by a smaller one, on its right side, or on its left
side, as the situation requires; these are supported by short massy
pillars; and an embattled moulding runs round the windows. These
features are Norman; but in other portions of the church, the architect
Romanises again, as in St. Nicholas. The piers of the aisle-arches are
of considerable width: the pillars at each angle are connected by an
architrave, distinctly enounced, running along the front of the pier,
and interposed between the capitals and the springing of the well-turned
semi-circular arch. The triforium is composed of a tier of semi-circular
arches, nearly of equal span with those below. The perspective of the
building is grand and palatial. In the evening, when it is illuminated
only by a few faintly-burning tapers, the effect of the gleams of light,
reflected from the returns of the arches and pillars, is particularly
fine. Beyond the central arch which supports the tower, all is lost in
gloom, except that at the extremity of the choir, the star-light just
breaks through the topmost windows above the altar.--In the church of
St. Stephen, the leading ideas of the architect were still influenced by
the Roman basilica; a third and more fanciful modification is to be
observed in the coeval church of the Holy Trinity. Here the piers are
narrower; the columns supporting the aisle-arches are consequently
brought closer together, and the architrave is less prominent than at
St. Stephen's: there the embattled moulding is confined to the
clerestory; in the present church, it runs round the principal arches;
and, instead of the lofty triforium which there surmounts the
side-aisles, the walls which we now describe are threaded by a gallery
supported by misproportioned pillars, whose capitals exhibit every
possible variety of grotesque invention. The bold archivolts beneath the
central tower are chased with the Norman lozenge: they are circular; but
the eastern arch, which runs higher than the others, is obtusely
pointed, though it is evidently of the same date with its companions."

The parish of St. Nicholas is placed without the walls of Caen, in that
portion of the suburbs known by the name of _Le Bourg-l'Abbé_, as having
been, before the revolution, under the jurisdiction of the abbot of St.
Stephen. In the same quarter was also included the parish of St. Ouen,
as was a portion of those of St. Stephen and St. Martin. The two
last-mentioned churches were ceded, in the earliest period of the
history of Caen, by the Chapter of the Cathedral of Bayeux, to Queen
Matilda, in exchange for some other preferment, and were by her bestowed
upon the nuns of her new convent of the Trinity. But the increasing
power of the rival monastery, built by her husband, naturally caused its
occupants to turn a wistful eye towards churches so immediately in their
vicinity. Disputes succeeded; and the monks of St. Stephen erected the
church of St. Nicholas, that their suburb might no longer be without a
religious building which depended wholly upon themselves. Peace was at
length restored by means of a charter from the Duke, dated in the year
1083, whereby St. Nicholas was recognized as parochial, an equivalent
was given to the abbess by the extension of her power in her own quarter
of St. Giles, and the respective parishes of St. Stephen and St. Martin
were allowed to retain all they possessed in the Bourg-l'Abbé, except
five families expressly designated in the charter. These five were
transferred to St. Nicholas; and, to secure to the saint a certain
increase of votaries hereafter, a proviso was added, enacting that every
house which might be built in future, in that suburb, should belong to
his parish. Hence, the two other saints retained nothing more than the
ground covered by the tenements then standing, sixty-seven in number;
and the necessary consequence was, that from that period till the year
1790, when the whole was remodelled, the limits of the several parishes
were confused and irregular in the extreme. Not only did adjoining
dwellings belong to different parishes, but the line frequently ran
between the various apartments of the same house, or even separated the
apartment themselves.

The church of St. Nicholas, as indebted for its existence to the monks
of the abbey of St. Stephen, continued for some time to receive its
pastors from among the brethren of that convent. At a subsequent period,
the monks, after they had transferred to substitutes the performance of
their religious duties, still endeavored to preserve their supremacy;
but they were finally obliged to relinquish it; and the ministers of St.
Nicholas enjoyed the same rights as the other clergy of Caen, though the
ecclesiastical privileges of the abbot remained inviolate.

To the church of St. Nicholas was attached a guild, in the early lists
of whose members were included names of the greatest distinction in the
town and neighborhood. St. Nicholas was in remote times an object of
especial devotion; and the company incorporated under his patronage,
naturally partook of his celebrity. The Abbé De la Rue also states, that
it was from within this church, that what were termed the _Apostolic
decrees_, were delivered in the twelfth century. They derived their name
from being pronounced by commissioners delegated by the Pope, to decide
in matters touching the canon law; and the numerous appeals to the court
of Rome, at that period, rendered the necessity for such decisions of
frequent occurrence.


[113] _Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 176.

[114] _Antiquities of Ireland_, p. 151.

[115] _Quarterly Review for June_, 1821, p. 120.



  [Illustration: Plate 57. CHURCH OF CHEUX NEAR CAEN.
  _From the North East._]

The earliest mention which occurs of Cheux, a small country town, about
nine miles to the west of Caen, is to be found in the charter, granted
about the year 1077, by the Conqueror, for the foundation of his abbey
of St. Stephen. The king, in this instrument, after a pious proem,
reciting that he has been led to the holy task by the expectation of
obtaining remission for his sins and a hundred-fold reward in heaven,
places, as the very first of the gifts destined for the endowment of the
rising monastery, the town of Cheux. He also expressly designates Cheux,
and the four places immediately following, as _villas juris mei_,
thereby meaning, as M. de Gerville justly remarks, to draw a distinction
between those donations which came immediately from himself, and those
which originated with any of his subjects, and stood in need of nothing
more than a ratification on his part. Another remark may, perhaps, not
impertinently be made upon this part of the charter, as curiously
illustrative of the manners of the times as to the nature of feudal
tenures, and the mode of recruiting the army. In the very next
paragraph, a distinction is drawn between the rights of two different
classes of men, the _coloni_ and _conditionarii_, the latter being
explained by the words of the charter itself, to mean _free men_
("_liberos homines_.") The Duke assigns to the abbey, the towns
themselves, together with their inhabitants, mills, waters, meadows,
pastures, and woods; and also with all the revenues and customs
derivable from them, as they have been enjoyed by himself, or any of his
predecessors. He likewise expressly stipulates, that such of the people
of Cheux and Rotz, as do not hold _frank-tenements_, ("_qui francam
terram non tenent_,") should be exclusively devoted to the service of
the church and the monks, so as not to be subject to any call arising
from military expeditions, or other cause, unless the Prince himself
should personally, or by letter, direct the abbot to send them. Even in
the latter case, he binds himself to summon each by name, and never to
call them out, except the province should be invaded by a foreign foe;
nor on any account to require their services beyond the limits of the

At the same time that the Conqueror's children confirmed all the
donations made by their father to the abbey of St. Stephen, Robert, his
successor upon the ducal throne, added the privilege of an annual fair
at Cheux, and a weekly market: the latter was held upon a Sunday, during
the twelfth century, but was afterwards, by an order from King John,
changed to a Tuesday. Upon the accession of Henry II. to the dukedom,
another charter of great length was granted in favor of the royal abbey;
and in this, Cheux is again mentioned. The King not only follows the
example of his predecessors, in renouncing all right to it, but he gives
his royal assent, in the following terms, to two purchases which had
been made in it:--"Concedo emptionem, quam fecit Willelmus Abbas,
Joanni, filii Conani, Canonico Bajocensi, scilicet, totam terram suam de
Ceusio, quæ est de feudo S. Stephani; 23 libr. annual; et emptionem quam
fecit Willelmus Abbas, a Radulpho, fratre Vitalis, scilicet, sex acras
terræ, quam tenebat in feodu de prædicto sancto in Ceusio, pro quibus
faciebat serraturas portarum Ceusii, pro C. solid. census."

From that time to the revolution, Cheux continued to be one of the
principal domains of the abbot of St. Stephen. According to the
territorial division of ancient France, it formed a part of what was
termed the _Election_ of Caen, and was included in the archdeaconry of
Bayeux, and the deanery of Fontenay. The revolution, introducing a new
arrangement, together with a new set of terms, has placed it in the
_arrondissement_ of Caen, and in the _canton_ of Tilly.

The church is a fine specimen of Norman architecture; remarkable as to
its plan, in having the choir of considerably greater width than the
nave. The portion east of the tower is composed of three distinct parts,
unequal in size, the central being the narrowest, as is strikingly the
case in the church at Great Yarmouth; but all of the same height, and
each of the lateral ones exactly equalling in its width the length of
the transept to which it is attached; and thus, also, the choir and
transepts, taken collectively, form nearly a square, except that, to the
end of the middle compartment, is attached a circular apsis, of an
unusually small size; and, seen from the inside of the church, this
disproportion becomes even more conspicuous: the great thickness of the
wall necessarily subtracting much from the space. It even strikes the
eye as being less than it really is, from being subdivided into a number
of small arches; which, with the vaulted roof, lighted by the extremely
narrow windows below, and the larger ones above, give this end of the
church a very peculiar appearance.



  [Illustration: Plate 58. CHURCH OF BIEVILLE NEAR CAEN.
  _From the North West._]

It is only when considered as a curious relic of ancient ecclesiastical
architecture, that the church of Bieville can lay claim to any attention
whatever. History, even in its lowest department, topography, is
altogether silent with regard both, to the building and the parish,
except so far as to record that the church was among the dependencies of
the royal abbey of St. Stephen, at Caen; though even in this character,
it does not appear till the middle of the fourteenth century, when it is
mentioned in one of the registers of the diocese of Bayeux. Its
situation is about four miles north of Caen.

Taken as a whole, the church of Bieville has probably no parallel in
Normandy or in England. The upper story of the tower alone is of a
subsequent æra, and _that_, the earliest style of pointed architecture:
all the rest of the structure is purely Norman, and of extreme
simplicity. The church of St. Peter, at Northampton, said to have been
erected by Simon de St. Liz, during the reign of William the Conqueror,
is encircled at the height of the clerestory by a row of small arches,
similar in their proportions and decorations to those at Bieville; but
they are there continued in an uninterrupted line round the building,
while at Bieville they occupy only a comparatively small portion of it.
In the nave of this latter church, they are disposed regularly in
triplets, the central one only pierced for a window, and each three
separated by a flat Norman buttress.

The western front, represented in _plate fifty-eight_, is divided by
plain string-courses into three stories of irregular height: the
basement contains only the door, which is entered by a richly-ornamented
arch, (see _plate fifty-nine, fig. B_.) surmounted by a broad
drip-stone, decorated with quatrefoils, and terminating at each end in a
human head of classical character. The lowest moulding of this arch is
considerably more flattened than the upper, a peculiarity that is
likewise observable in the interior arch to the great door-way at
Castle-Acre Priory, in Norfolk.[116] In the second story are six arches,
supported by eight pillars, with capitals and bases of ordinary
character: even these, contiguous as they stand, are divided into two
equal sets, by the intervention of a flat space in the centre, so
narrow, as to wear the appearance of a pilaster. Here, too, as in the
nave, the central arch of each compartment is alone pierced for a
window.--The upper story has only a single window, precisely resembling
those below, but flanked on each side by a circular one, similar to that
in the front of the neighboring chapel of the _Délivrande_:[117] or, if
a comparison be sought among Norman edifices in England, to those in the
tower of Norwich cathedral;[118] in the same part of the church of St.
James, at Bury St. Edmunds;[119] and in the east end of the church of
the Hospital of St. Cross.[120] In point of general character, the
western front of the church of Bieville may not unaptly be compared with
that of the chapel of the _Délivrande_, or of the hospital of St.
Leonard, at Stamford, as figured by Carter.[121] The tower of the church
at Bieville is well calculated to serve as a specimen of the towers of
the village churches, comprized in a circuit of twenty miles round Caen.
Among others, those of Soumont, Ifs, Soulangy, Potigny, and the Lower
Allemagne, to the south, and of Lyons, Oyestraham, and several more, to
the north, greatly resemble it.

  [Illustration: Plate 59. CHURCH OF BIEVILLE NEAR CAEN.
  _Elevation and Details._]

_Plate fifty-nine_, as being altogether architectural, will best be
understood by a set of regular references to the different subjects it

A. _Door-way on the north side of the nave_, remarkable for its lintel
or transom-stone in the figure of a pediment, from which the arch rises,
encircled with a single, wide, plain, flat moulding. There is a similar
instance in the church of Martinvast, near Cherbourg; but the pediment
there assumes a form more decidedly conical.[122] Transom-stones occur
frequently in Normandy, and are variously sculptured; from the rude
cross, either alone or encompassed with the cable-moulding, to the
elaborate representations of the crucified Saviour, or other subjects
from holy writ. Profane subjects, which are of so frequent occurrence on
transom-stones in England, are very seldom found in the duchy: the
writer of the present article never recollects to have met with any; and
Mr. Cotman's more extensive researches have brought him acquainted only
with a single instance, a centaur, in the act of discharging his arrow
at a stag, in the church of Urville, near Valognes.

B. _Great western entrance_, (already described.)

C. _First compartment of the nave from the west_, showing the structure
and disposition of the arches, and the very flat buttresses with a
double projection, the first only equalling that of the corbels. The
square-headed door is modern. Several of the sculptures on the corbels
are close imitations of those upon the church of the Holy Trinity, at

D. and E. _Portions of other compartments of the nave_, to obtain a
complete idea of which, it is only necessary to produce the dotted lines
below, to the same length as that at C; the parts and their disposition
being precisely the same, with the exception of the door.

F. _Elevation of the choir_, which is divided into two equal portions by
a flat buttress, flanked on each side by a slender cylindrical column.
Of these parts, one is quite plain, except only the corbel-table and
ornamented frieze below. The other has two arches, recently blocked up,
similar to those of the nave, but with a richer exterior moulding. The
door below these has the same peculiarity, in the drip-stone rising from
sculptured heads, as in the western entrance. The frieze beneath the
corbels very much resembles that in the same situation in the church of
the Holy Trinity, (see _plate thirty-one_,) and is likewise continued
over the buttresses, as well as along the receding part between.


[116] Figured in _Britton's Architectural Antiquities_, III. pl. 2.

[117] Figured in _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 295.

[118] _Britton's Norwich Cathedral_, p. 33, pl. 6.

[119] _Britton's Architectural Antiquities_, III. p. 80.

[120] _Antiquarian and Topographical Cabinet_, V.

[121] _Ancient Architecture_, pl. 24.--In the description of this
building, page 33, Mr. Carter speaks of it as being of _Saxon_ origin;
and, in the chronological table attached to his work, he classes it in
the third of the four æras into which he divides his specimens of
_Saxon_ architecture.

[122] A still more remarkable example occurs in Essington church,
Gloucestershire, figured by Carter, in his _Ancient Architecture_, pl.
XV. fig. X. The transom-stone is there formed of part of an octagon,
rising from an horizontal torus moulding, which finishes in a spiral
direction round two heads. A lion and a griffin fill the space within.



  _North side of the Chancel._]

The parish of Fontaine-le-Henri lies about eight miles north of Caen,
immediately adjoining Than, whose church has already been figured in
this work. The register of the livings appertaining to the diocese of
Bayeux, made about the year 1350, and commonly known by the name of the
_livre pelut_, (_liber pelutus_, or the _parchment book_,) contains only
the following brief notice of it:--"Ecclesia de Fontibus Henrici LX
Libras.--Dnus dicte ville.--Archidiaconatus de Cadomo.--Decanatus de
Dovra." In the _Gallia Christiana_, and other similar works, no mention
whatever is made of this parish.

According to the modern division of France, Fontaine-le-Henri is
included in the canton of Creüilly: the name of the village, to whose
deanery it formerly appertained, cannot fail to strike the ear of an
Englishman, as being the same with that of the celebrated harbor in his
own island, the common landing-place from Calais. But the English Dover,
from having been originally a Roman station, is generally supposed to
have derived its appellation from the Romans; and Darell, in his History
of the castle, published by Grose,[123] gives it as his opinion that,
among the ancient Britons, it was called _Rupecester_, but, on the Roman
invasion, got the new name of _Dofris_, _Dobris_, or _Doris_, "in
consequence of the filling or damming up of the harbor;" "Doafer," as he
observes a few pages before, "signifying, in the language of those
times, a harbor shut up, or of difficult access." A still higher
authority, the learned Bishop Huet,[124] classes the word, Douvres,
among those whose origin is to be sought in the ancient language of
Gaul, and proposes two derivations: one from _Dufyrrha_, a rising
ground; the other from _Dvvr_, the term for water. Thus, without giving
any opinion of his own, he leaves the matter to his reader, with a
"utrum horum mavis elige."

The Norman village of Douvres is celebrated upon more than one account:
it was the birth-place of Thomas of Dover, almoner to the Conqueror, and
by him created archbishop of York in 1070; of Sampson of Dover, his
brother, made bishop of Worcester in 1097; and of a second Thomas of
Dover, nephew to the first of the name, who, in 1109, had the singular
honor of being elected at once to the episcopal throne of London, and
the archiepiscopal throne of York; the latter of which he accepted. His
brother, Richard, wore at the same time the mitre of Bayeux.--Douvres
was the principal place of one of the seven baronies, which formed the
episcopal manse of the bishops of Bayeux. During the thirteenth, and the
two following centuries, it was also selected for their country-seat.
Within its limits stands the chapel of the _Délivrande_,[125] said to
have been founded by St. Regnobert, the second bishop of the diocese,
and still held in the highest repute for its sanctity.

Of the church of Fontaine-le-Henri, the architecture is decidedly
Norman, and is distinguished by a bold and noble style, resembling in
its general character, as well as in its individual features, the
abbatial churches of St. George, and of the Trinity. Hence, though no
record is left of the actual founder, there is little room for doubt as
to the æra of the foundation. It may be observed on this occasion, that
in Normandy, as in England, it very seldom happens that information is
to be obtained on these particulars, when the same individual united in
his person the characters of lord of the village and patron of the
living. It was only where benefices were in the hands of religious
houses, that events so generally unimportant as the building and
repairing of village churches, were considered deserving of being

With regard to the various proprietors of Fontaine-le-Henri, much
information is to be gleaned from Laroque's History of the House of
Harcourt. The laborious author, after having completed his general
account of the Norman nobility, in a single folio volume, devoted four
others to the genealogy and fortunes of this one illustrious family.
From him it appears that, during the period when Normandy was under
the sway of its own Dukes, the parish of Fontaine-le-Henri was in the
hands of the family of Tilly, one of whom is to be found among the
companions of the Conqueror, in his descent upon England. Early in the
thirteenth century, during the reign of King John, they held the
lordship of Fontaine-le-Henri conjointly with the castellany of Tilly.
Mention of them occurs repeatedly in the Ecclesiastical History of
Ordericus Vitalis, as well as in the annals of the abbeys of St.
Stephen and of Ardennes, near Caen; and it was from the baptismal name
of Henry, commonly borne by that branch of them, who were possessors
of Fontaine, that the parish took its present distinctive appellation;
a distinction not a little needed, considering that there are fifteen
other places in Normandy, called by the general name of Fontaine. John
de Tilly, the last of the male line of the family, who were lords of
Fontaine-le-Henri, died about the year 1380: he was succeeded in the
inheritance by his sister, Jane, who, in 1382, married Philip
D'Harcourt, and thus added the property to the immense domains of the

The first of the plates appropriated to this building, embraces only a
portion of the western compartment of the south side of the chancel,
drawn in rapid perspective, the view being taken from immediately
beneath the corbel-table, for the sake of embracing the soffit of the
arches, and the projecting mouldings. Here, as at Bieville, the lintel
or transom-stone of the arch of entrance[126] assumes the form of a
pediment, but rests upon the jambs of the door-way, on a level with the
capitals. To the instances of a similar formation, adduced under the
preceding article, should be added the very remarkable one at Pen
church, in Somersetshire, figured in the _Antiquarian and Topographical
Cabinet_. On the lintel is sculptured the Lamb bearing the Cross,
enclosed within a circle, flanked on either side by a nondescript
animal; the whole supported by two crowned heads placed in niches in the

  _Elevations of the East end of the South side of the Chancel._]

The following is a description of the different parts of _plate

  A. _East end of the chancel._--The central buttress, flanked, like the
  two lateral ones, with cylindrical pillars, divides this portion of
  the church into two equal portions. The general appearance of these
  buttresses, and the circumstance of their being supported upon a
  fillet and plinth, would almost warrant the calling of them pilasters;
  and those upon the northern side of the chancel, _Figure_ B, assume
  that character even more decidedly, having no projection beyond the
  cornice, which they support as an entablature.--It will be remarked,
  that the whole building is raised upon a plinth of a bold character;
  and Mr. Cotman justly observes, that the chancel may be regarded as a
  model for beautiful proportions and exquisite finishing. As respecting
  Norman buttresses, he is of opinion, that the edifices of highest
  antiquity will be found to be altogether without any; and that they
  were first added merely by way of ornament, to break the monotonous
  appearance of a long uninterrupted space of level wall. Indeed, the
  Norman walls, commonly from six to ten feet in thickness, could
  scarcely require any additional strength from extrinsic objects; and
  least of all, could they receive it from a projection of not more than
  the same number of inches. Even where buttress has been added to
  buttress, as in the north side of the chapel of the hospital of St.
  Julien, near Rouen,[128] and in some other instances, it may almost be
  questioned, if support was the only circumstance contemplated by the
  architect. The double buttresses at St. Julien's, could scarcely fail
  to be coeval with the building, as appears from the string-course
  being continued in an unbroken line over them, a fact that was omitted
  to be noticed in the description of the chapel.


[123] _History of Dover Castle_, p. 8.

[124] _Origines de Caen_, p. 315.

[125] See _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 295; where this chapel is
described and figured.

[126] Mr. Cotman observes, that much might be said in connection with
this door-way, upon the subject of the decorations of the
semi-circular-headed arches in Normandy and in England. But, confining
himself to heads of the peculiar grotesque character, sculptured upon
the arch at Fontaine-le-Henri, he remarks, that such, though far from
being very uncommon in Britain, are of extremely rare occurrence in the
duchy; insomuch, that he can recal no other specimens of them, than
those upon a large arch which separates the nave from the chancel, in
the church of Berigny, near St. Lo, and upon another on the south side
of the church of Bracheville près le Grand. The heads, in this last
instance, are precisely like those at Iffley church, in Oxfordshire,
(see _Britton's Chronological and Historical Illustrations of Ancient
Architectures_;) but they are confined to the archivolt alone, while, at
Iffley, they are disposed in a double row, and form broad bands, that
encircle the pillars as well as the top of the arch. In England are the
following instances, most of them figured in the works of Britton and

  South door-way of St. Peter's church, Oxford.
   ---------------- St. Peter's church, at Rasen, in Lincolnshire.
   ---------------- Earls-Barton church, Northamptonshire.
  North door-way of Lullington church, Somersetshire.
  Architrave on the east side of the cemetery-gate,
  Canterbury cathedral.
  West door-way of Kenilworth church.
  South door-way of Moorvinstowe church, Cornwall.
  Arches in the nave of ditto.
   -------------------- Wymondham church, Norfolk.
  West door-way of the church of Barton St. Mary, ditto.

[127] In the title of this plate, it is unfortunately stated to
represent the _East end_ OF _the_ SOUTH _side of the chancel_, instead
of the _East end_ AND _the_ NORTH _side of the chancel_.

[128] See p. 44.






  [Illustration: Plate 62. CHÂTEAU AT FONTAINE-LE-HENRI, NEAR CAEN.]

It neither falls within the scope of this work to attempt any thing in
the form of a dissertation upon the ancient domestic architecture of
Normandy, nor, supposing such an object to be desirable, would the
present state of the duchy afford materials for the purpose. The lover
of researches into architectural antiquity no sooner directs his
attention to that branch of his subject, which, as tending to elucidate
the habits of his forefathers, would be peculiarly interesting, than he
finds an insuperable obstacle opposed to his progress. The zeal of
churchmen and the pride of barons, have preserved us many noble relics
of ecclesiastical and castellated buildings; but the private residence
of the more humble individual has, in no portion of the globe, been able
to secure to itself any thing approaching to a durable existence. What
was raised for comfort alone, was not in itself designed for perpetuity;
and the varying tastes of successive occupants, the changes of fashions,
or, what operate even more powerfully than all, the changes of fortune,
have conspired to subject this portion of human labor, in an eminent
degree, to that mutability which is the general lot of human
undertakings. In early times, also, the state of society operated
powerfully towards the production of the same destructive effect. When
even the monarch could no otherwise provide for the safety of his
palace, than by encircling it with the fortifications of the castle, a
life of continual alarm afforded his subjects no encouragement for the
cultivation of the arts of peace. Society knew no other classes than the
lord and his vassals: the former, enthroned in military state; the
latter, too poor to raise his aim beyond the necessaries of life; or,
where riches existed, too depressed by servitude to dare to let them
appear. Hence, during the prevalence of the feudal system, very little,
if any thing, more is known of domestic architecture, than is to be
collected from the rude illuminations of missals, or the unsatisfactory
descriptions of chroniclers. The monuments themselves have disappeared
from the face of the earth; or, if any instances can be adduced, tending
to disprove so comprehensive an assertion, they are few in number, and
worthless in quality. The utmost to be hoped for are such mutilated
remains, as Winwal-House, in Norfolk, lately figured by Mr. Britton, in
his _Chronological and Historical Illustrations of the Ancient
Architecture of Great-Britain_; remains that are calculated to excite no
other emotions than regret, and to awaken, without being by any means
able to satisfy, curiosity.--Nor indeed have Mr. Cotman's extensive
researches enabled him to meet with any of this description, all poor as
they are, within the limits of Normandy.

At the same time it has appeared right, conformably with the plan that
has been adopted in this work, as to ecclesiastical edifices, to lay
before the reader some specimens of the domestic architecture of the
duchy, which, though far removed from Norman times, are almost equally
so from our own days. Even these are rapidly disappearing; it is more
than possible, that the three subjects here selected for publication
may, in the course of a few years, be recorded only in these plates. One
of them is already levelled with the ground;[129] while the more
interesting house in the Place de la Pucelle, at Rouen, though it has
been suffered to continue in existence, has been so much injured in its
exterior, and is degraded to so mean a purpose, that its demolition
would at no time be matter for surprise.--Specimens, like these, are
curious in the history of the arts: they shew the progress which
architecture had made in Normandy, at one of the most interesting epochs
in French history; they also shew its relative state, as respectively
applied to civil and religious purposes. And, if they be all three
productions of nearly the same æra, they are sufficiently characterised
each from the other, by marks of distinction.

"A history of the civil and domestic architecture of the middle ages, is
yet a desideratum; and unless this task is soon accomplished in England,
the opportunity will be lost for ever." The very sensible author, from
whom this sentence is quoted, goes on to say, "The halls of Elizabeth's
days are almost worn out. The mansions of the time of Charles I. are
falling apace, and in every quarter of a century a class must disappear,
by the conjoined operations of repair and decay. The towns of England
perhaps afford the worst and poorest specimens of the dwelling houses:
the best and richest are found in the Netherlands. We can hardly qualify
this assertion by recollecting the magnificent range of palaces which
bordered the Strand, in the reign of Henry VIII. Our own dwelling-houses
are usually composed of timber frames filled in with plaster. Troyes, in
Champagne, is built entirely in this fashion, every street is the
perfect 'counterfeit' of old Cheapside. Beauvais is built in the same
manner, but the houses are profusely varied with carving, and a good
artist might employ himself there for a twelvemonth. Many of the ancient
houses at Caen are of chesnut timber. The Abbé De la Rue supposes that
they were built by the English, after the place was taken by Henry V. in
1417. His 'bombards' destroyed a great part of the town during the
siege; and after he had regained possession, he granted the sites of the
demolished tenements to his English subjects. In choosing this material,
they may have been guided partly by choice, as being a domestic fashion,
and partly by necessity; for the use of stone was restricted by Henry,
to the building and repairing of 'eglises, chasteaulx, et forteresses.'
The king, by letters-patent, declared that the 'quarries of white stone'
were to remain to him and his heirs for ever: this monopoly proves the
value in which the Caen stone was held."

  _Elevation of Central Compartment._]

Some account has already been given, under the preceding article, of the
changes of proprietors which the domain of Fontaine-le-Henri underwent,
during the reigns of the Norman Dukes, and down to the conclusion of the
fourteenth century. The estate then passed into the possession of the
Harcourts, in whose hands it continued a considerable length of time: it
has since been subject to various owners, and has now finally become the
property of the Viscount de Canisy. The _Château_ (see _plates
sixty-two_ and _sixty-three_) is a noble building, and a very
characteristic specimen of the residences of the French noblesse,
during the latter part of the fifteenth century, at which period there
is no doubt of its having been erected, although no records whatever are
left upon the subject. Fontaine-le-Henri was then still in the
possession of the family of Harcourt, whose fortune and consequence
might naturally be expected to give rise to a similar building.--As
compared with the mansions of the English nobility, the château at
Fontaine-le-Henri may be advantageously viewed in conjunction with
Longleat, in Wiltshire,[130] the noble seat of the Marquess of Bath. The
erection of the latter was not commenced till the year 1567, thus
leaving an interval of at least half a century between them; a period,
probably, much the same as may be presumed from other documents to have
intervened between the introduction of the Italian style of architecture
in France and in England. Longleat was built by John of Padua, who is
stated by Mr. Britton, "to have been an architect of some note at the
time; as is evinced by his being termed _Devizor of his Majesty's
buildings_, and by the grant made him by Henry VIII. and renewed in the
third year of Edward VI." Fontaine-le-Henri was also the production of
trans-alpine architects. Both of them bear decided marks of the nation
to which they owe their origin; but in the English mansion, the Italian
features are most decidedly enounced; while, in the French, they are
strikingly modified by the peculiarities of their adopted country.

The central compartment (_plate sixty-three_) has been selected by Mr.
Cotman for publication, as being the portion of the structure which is
in the purest taste. This also most resembles Longleat. But it is on the
other hand by far the least ornamented. The rest of the front of the
building is covered with the richest profusion of medallions, scrolls,
friezes, canopies, statues, and arabesques, in bas-relief, worked with
extraordinary care, and of great beauty. Their style is that of the
_Loggie_ of Raphael; or, to compare them with another Norman subject of
the same æra, of the sculptures upon the mausoleum raised to the
Cardinal d'Amboise, in Rouen cathedral: indeed, for delicacy of
workmanship, they may almost compete with the ornaments upon this
far-famed monument.[131]

  [Illustration: Plate 64. HOUSE IN THE PLACE DE LA PUCELLE, AT ROUEN.]

For the drawing of the second of the houses here figured, that in the
_Place de la Pucelle_, at Rouen, (see _plate sixty-four_,) Mr. Cotman
has to acknowledge himself indebted to the pencil of Miss Mary Turner.
Rouen abounds in buildings, whose fronts are ornamented in a somewhat
similar manner, but none among them will bear a comparison with this for
the sumptuousness of its decorations.[132] In another and more important
point of view, the house in question stands still more decidedly
unrivalled; for a wing of it, which is not shewn in the present plate,
exhibits a series of representations, illustrative of different events
connected with the chivalrous meeting _in the field of cloth of gold_.
These figures have been already engraved: they were first published by
Montfaucon; then copied by Ducarel; and, very recently, two of them have
again appeared in the publications of Mr. Dibdin[133] and Mr.
Turner.[134] The latter of these gentlemen has been copious in his
description of this building; and the following account of it is
borrowed nearly verbatim from his pages:--

"In the square which has acquired an ill-omened celebrity by the
barbarous execution of the Maid of Arc, stands a house within a court,
now occupied as a school for girls, of the same æra as the _Palais de
Justice_, and in the same _Burgundian style_, but far richer in its
sculptures. The entire front is divided into compartments by slender and
lengthened buttresses and pilasters. The intervening spaces are filled
with basso relievos, evidently executed at one period, though by
different masters. A banquet beneath a window in the first floor, is in
a good _cinque-cento_ style. Others of the basso-relievos represent the
labors of the field and the vineyard; rich and fanciful in their
costume, but rather wooden in their design: the salamander, the emblem
of Francis I. appears several times amongst the ornaments, and very
conspicuously. I believe there is not a single square foot of this
extraordinary building, which has not been sculptured.--On the north
side extends a spacious gallery. Here the architecture is rather in
Holbein's manner: foliaged and swelling pilasters, like antique
candelabra, bound the arched windows. Beneath, is the well-known series
of bas-reliefs, executed on marble tablets, representing the interview
between Francis I. of France, and Henry VIII. of England, in the _Champ
du Drap d'or_, between Guisnes and Ardres. They were first discovered by
the venerable father Montfaucon, who engraved them in his _Monumens de
la Monarchie Française_; but to the greater part of our antiquaries at
home, they are, perhaps, more commonly known by the miserable copies
inserted in Ducarel's work, who has borrowed most of his plates from the
Benedictine.--These sculptures are much mutilated, and so obscured by
smoke and dirt, that the details cannot be understood without great
difficulty. The corresponding tablets above the windows are even in a
worse condition; and they appear to have been almost unintelligible in
the time of Montfaucon, who conjectures that they were allegorical, and
probably intended to represent the triumph of religion. Each tablet
contains a triumphal car, drawn by different animals--one by elephants,
another by lions, and so on, and crowded with mythological figures and
attributes.--A friend of mine, who examined them this summer, tells me,
that he thinks the subjects are either _taken_ from the triumphs of
Petrarch, or _imitated_ from the triumphs introduced in the _Polifilo_.
Graphic representations of allegories are susceptible of so many
variations, that an artist, embodying the ideas of the poet, might
produce a representation bearing a close resemblance to the mythological
processions of the 'mystic dream.'--The interior of the house has been
modernized: so that a beam covered with small carvings is the only
remaining object of curiosity. On the top, a bunch of leaden thistles
has been a sad puzzle to antiquaries, who would fain find some
connection between the building and Scotland; but neither record nor
tradition throw any light upon their researches. Montfaucon, copying
from a manuscript written by the Abbé Noel, says, 'I have more than once
been told, that Francis I. on his way through Rouen, lodged at this
house; and it is most probable, that the bas-reliefs in question were
made upon some of these occasions, to gratify the king by the
representation of a festival, in which he particularly delighted.' The
gallery-sculptures are very fine, and the upper tier is much in the
style of Jean Goujon. It is not generally known that Goujon re-drew the
embellishments of Beroald de Verville's translation of the Polifilo; and
that these, beautiful as they are in the Aldine edition, acquired new
graces from the French artist--I have remarked, that the allegorical
tablets appear to coincide with the designs of the Polifilo: a more
accurate examination might, perhaps, prove the fact; and then little
doubt would remain. The building is much dilapidated; and, unless
speedily repaired, these basso-relievos, which would adorn any museum,
will utterly perish. In spite of neglect and degradations, the aspect of
the mansion is still such that, as my friend observed, one would expect
to see a fair and stately matron standing in the porch, attired in
velvet, waiting to receive her lord."

  [Illustration: Plate 65. HOUSE IN THE RUE ST. JEAN, AT CAEN.]

To the house at Caen[135] (figured in _plate sixty-five_) are attached
no historical mementos; nor is any record preserved as to its founder or
possessor. It is not even honored by the slightest mention in the Abbé
De la Rue's recent publication, or in those of De Bourgueville or Huet.
In all probability it owes its existence to some wealthy citizen, during
the reigns of Charles VIII. or Louis XII. as "it was principally at that
period, that the practice prevailed in France, of ornamenting the fronts
of the houses with medallions. The custom died away under Francis
I."[136]--According to this theory, the houses at Caen and at
Fontaine-le-Henri may be placed in exactly the same æra, and about forty
years anterior to that at Rouen.

Caen can show another remarkable instance of domestic architecture, a
castellated building, which, it has been remarked, might easily mislead
the studious antiquary. This building, commonly known by the name of the
_Château de la Gendarmerie_, but more properly called the _Château de
Calix_, is generally believed by the inhabitants of the town to have
been erected for the purpose of commanding the river, while it flowed in
its ancient, but now deserted, bed. According, however, to the Abbé De
la Rue, no fortification of any description ever existed in the same
place; but the structure, however martial in its appearance, was in its
character altogether pacific, and was built during some of the latest
years of the fifteenth, or earliest of the sixteenth, century, by
Girard de Nollent, then owner of the property.[137] Two statues,
apparently intended to represent heathen divinities, but now absurdly
called _Gendarmes_, frown over its battlements, which, like those of the
adjacent wall, and like the face of the principal tower, are still
charged with medallions, though the ebullition of revolutionary
enthusiasm has destroyed the arms of the Nollents.

Previously to dismissing this subject, it may be worth while to remark,
that the ogee canopy, surmounting the window placed between the two
medallions in the house in the Rue St. Jean, at Caen, is nearly a
fac-simile of that which is still seen over the door that led to what
was once the great hall in the Conqueror's palace, adjoining the abbey
of St. Stephen. The resemblance between them is so great, that it would
be difficult to believe that they are of very different dates. But the
palace was unquestionably the production of more than one æra; and in
the scarcity of materials for the forming of a correct opinion upon the
subject, it is impossible to say, whether the door in question may not
have been inserted some time after its erection, or even whether the
ornamental part may not have been added to it at a period subsequent to
its formation.


[129] The house at Caen, is that which is here alluded to.--It has
already been mentioned, that the _Great House_ at Andelys has suffered
the same fate. Since the account of that circumstance was written, the
author of the present article has been favored with the following
extract from a letter from Lord Compton, dated in August last:--"The
noble _grande maison d'Andelys_, is now, alas, no more! We made a
_détour_ by a horrible road, for the purpose of visiting it; but great
was our mortification to find only a small piece of unornamented wall,
the sole vestige which the barbarians had left standing; and _that_ is
now probably destroyed--and 'green grass grows where Troy-town stood.' I
need hardly say, that I derived a great deal of pleasure from a
three-days' stay at Rouen; after which we made an excursion to St.
Georges de Bocherville and Jumieges, and were highly interested and
pleased by both.--Oh! that the Vandals would leave the abbey of
Jumieges, even in its present state of dilapidation! In a few years,
with the mellowing tints of time, and the ornament of a little ivy and
vegetation, it would be one of the most picturesque and beautiful ruins
in Europe; but, alas! it is in vain to hope it. Cotman's representations
of Jumieges and Andelys will now be doubly valuable."

[130] Figured and described in _Britton's Architectural Antiquities_,
II. p. 105.

[131] See _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 157.

[132] One of the most curious buildings of this description, the ancient
abbey of St. Amand, was not only rich to the greatest degree of
profusion in its decorations, but derived a peculiar interest from their
being almost wholly carved in wood. This building is now nearly
destroyed; but, fortunately, some of its principal features are recorded
in four of the plates of M. de Jolimont's _Monumens de la Normandie_.

[133] _Bibliographical, Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour through
France_, &c. I. p. 101.

[134] _Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 200.

[135] On the front of the new house, which has lately been erected upon
the spot that was occupied by this, have been fastened the two
medallions here represented: these alone were saved from the general

[136] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 170.

[137] _Essais Historiques sur la Ville de Caen_, I. p. 310.



  [Illustration: Plate 66. TOWER OF THE CHURCH OF TRÉPORT, NEAR EU.]

Tréport is an insignificant fishing-town, situated at the mouth of the
small river, the Bresle, near the western extremity of Normandy. But,
however unimportant its present state, most writers agree in regarding
it as venerable for antiquity, assigning to it an existence coeval with
the days of Julius Cæsar. That illustrious general speaks of a harbor,
opening into the British Channel, under the denomination of _Ulterior
Portus_; and by this name he is supposed to have intended to designate
Tréport. The modern Latin historians of France apply the title without
scruple: it is even so used in the charter for the foundation of the
abbey, dated in the middle of the eleventh century. The very sensible
author of the _Description of Upper Normandy_, is, however, of opinion,
that such application is not warranted; and, after discussing the
subject at some length, he inclines to think it more probable that
Tréport may have been termed by the Romans, _Citerior Portus_; though he
candidly admits that he finds no mention of a place so called among
their writers.[138] The modern name of the town he derives from the
Celtic word, _Treiz_; or, as it is sometimes spelt, _Traiz_, _Trais_, or
_Treaz_; a word still in use in Lower Brittany, to signify "_the passage
of an arm of the sea, or of a river towards its mouth_."

According to the same author, there is no reason to believe that Tréport
was a place of note, either during the period of the dominion of the
Gauls, or of the Romans. From the beginning of the twelfth century,
however, it has excited, at different times, a greater or less degree of
interest. Various attempts have been made to raise it into commercial
importance; and, sunk as it is at present, "it once could boast rows of
handsome, well-built streets, a considerable number of inhabitants, and
as many as a hundred vessels, fishing-boats included, belonging to the
port."--Henry I. one of the earliest Counts of Eu, turned in 1101, the
course of the Bresle, so as to bring it more immediately under the walls
of Tréport: it was he also who dug the first harbor. Another of the same
line of Counts, Charles of Artois, repaired this harbor in 1475, and
undertook the greater work of cutting a navigable canal as far as Eu.
The task, however, was suspended long before its completion; but the
vestiges still remain, and even to the present day pass under the name
of the _Canal d'Artois_. In 1154, a fresh attempt was made, and by a far
greater man, to raise the prosperity of Tréport. Henry, Duke of Guise,
caused a basin to be formed here, capable of containing ships of three
hundred tons burthen; and added to it a jetty, defended by strong
palisades. The whole was shortly after swept away; nor did better
success attend the labors of the celebrated Vauban, who, admiring the
situation of the town, undertook, after a lapse of one hundred and
thirty-four years, to repair the works of the Duke of Guise.

But the sea is not the only enemy with which Tréport has had to contend:
its misfortunes have also been in great measure attributable to its
defenceless state, situated as it is, in the immediate vicinity of
England. The British fleet effected a landing in 1330, and destroyed the
town with fire and the sword. In the course of the succeeding year, they
returned with the same design; and again in 1413; on which last
occasion, not content with burning Tréport itself, they likewise set
fire to many neighboring villages. The religious wars during the
following century were the source of almost equal calamities; but
neither the sea nor warfare have inflicted such fatal wounds upon
Tréport, as causes emanating immediately from the prosperity of France.
Its proximity to the flourishing harbor of Dieppe, has naturally
diverted its trade to that quarter: the restoration of Calais to the
French monarchy, caused it a yet more irreparable injury; for,
previously to that time, Tréport was the principal place in the channel,
for the baking of biscuit, and for the landing and curing of the
herrings caught by the fishermen of France in the German Ocean.

Tréport was one of the first French towns that afforded a residence for
the Knights Templars. A colony of them established themselves here in
1141. In the middle of the preceding century, its abbey of Benedictines,
dedicated to the Archangel Michael, had been founded by Robert, Earl of
Eu. The foundation-charter is preserved, both in the _Neustria Pia_ and
_Gallia Christiana_; and a very curious document it is, as illustrative
of the manners of the times. Robert appears in it in the light of a most
liberal, and a most wealthy, benefactor. Not the least extraordinary of
his donations, is the permission which he bestows upon the monks, of
"getting whatever they can in the towns of Eu and of Tréport:"
immediately after this, succeed particular grants relative to sturgeons
and grampuses, fish that are now of extremely rare occurrence in the
channel, but which would scarcely have there been noticed, had not the
case in those times been far different; and had they not also been held
in high estimation.[139]

Just one hundred years subsequently to the foundation of the monastery,
John, Count of Eu, confirmed to it whatever donations it had previously
received; in doing which, he makes use of this singular expression,
"that he places them all with his own hands upon the altar." His piety,
however, appears to have been but short-lived. A few years only elapsed
before the same nobleman was guilty of flagrant sacrilege in the very
abbey that he had sworn to protect. His crime and his penitence are
together recorded in an instrument printed in the _Neustria Pia_.[140]

What is further known relative to the convent, is little and
unimportant. The most remarkable circumstance, is the extreme poverty to
which the monks were reduced in 1384; when, on being called upon to pay
the sum of forty-six shillings and eight-pence, they pleaded their utter
inability, and presented to the king the following piteous
remonstrance:--"Cette Abbaïe, étant frontiere de l'Anglois, n'aïant ni
château ni défense, a été arse et mise en un si chetif point, qu'il y a
peu de lieux où nous puissions habiter, si ce n'est ès demeurans des
anciens edifices, et ès vieilles masures.......... Notre grande Eglise
est arse depuis trente ans, et une autre petite Eglise qu'avions depuis
refaite, à grand meschief est ruinée et chue jusqu'en terre, avec la
closture et tout le dortoir ars, ensemble nos biens et nos lits.... De
plus sommes endettez en Cour de Rome pour les finances dez Abbez
qu'avons eus en brief temps; et devons encore à plusieurs persones de
grosses sommes de deniers que n'avons pu, et ne pouvons encore
acquitter; dont c'est pitié.... finalement pour païer 10 livres sur les
56 livres demandées par le Receveur, avons engagé nos Calices sans les
pouvoir retirer."


[138] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 13.

[139] The whole of the passage is curious.--"Item in _Ulteriori Portu_
et in _Auco_ oppido; decimam denariorum de Vice-comitatibus, et in
utrâque villâ _quicquid abbas et monachi acquirere poterunt_. Quod si
homines Abbatis piscem, qui vocatur _Turium_, capiunt, totus erit S.
Michaelis: crassus piscis si captus fuerit, ala una et medietas caudæ
erit monachis."--From this passage, it is plain what importance was
attached to the _crassus piscis_, under which denomination were probably
included the porpesse, the dolphin, and all kinds of cetaceous animals,
as well as the grampus. Ducange, with his usual ability and learning,
has brought together a considerable quantity of curious matter upon the
subject, under the word, _Craspiscis_. From him it appears that, in the
year 1271, the question was argued before the Norman parliament, to whom
such fish belonged, in the event of its being thrown upon the shore; and
the decision was in the following words.--"Quod consuetudo generalis est
in Normanniâ, quod, quando talis piscis invenitur in littore maris, nec
Baro, nec Miles, nec alius, qui a Rege teneat, talem piscem habet, si
valeat ultra 50 libras, _nisi per cartam eum habeat_."--See also
_Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 21, respecting the existence of a
whale-fishery near Jumieges, upon the authority of the writer of the
_Gesta Sancti Philiberti_.

[140] P. 589.--"Notum sit universis Ecclesiæ Dei filiis, quod ego
Joannes, Comes Auci, pro stipendio militum et servientium, quos tenui
per guerram Regis, invadiavi maximam partem et optimam Thesauri Ecclesiæ
S. Michaëlis de Ulterior-Portu, duos videlicet Textus prætiosos, et duo
Thuribula prætiosa, unum calicem argenteum, et optimè deauratum; cappas
caras viginti quatuor: casulam peratam et bonam: Præterea, tot et tantis
gravaminibus præfatam Ecclesiam tam sæpè gravavi, quàm vices gravaminum
numerare non possem: quare pro multis pauca, pro magnis parua,
rependens, concedo, et in perpetuum do prædictæ Ecclesiæ, avenam et
frumentum de Verleio, quæ pertinet ad Forestagium. Diligenter autem
hæredes exoro, ne Ecclesias terræ suæ gravent, sed honorent et
protegant. Et si quid eis pro salute animæ meæ et parentum meorum dedi,
vel pro ablatis reddidi, in pace stabiliter tenere faciant: recordantes,
quod ipsi morituri sunt: Sicut prædecessores nostri mortui sunt."



  [Illustration: Plate 67. CHURCH OF ANISY, NEAR CAEN.]

The present plate has been introduced into this work, with the view of
exhibiting a Norman village church of unquestionable antiquity, having
its walls, on either side, built of a coarse dark stone, fashioned like
Roman bricks, and disposed in a zig-zag, or, as it is more commonly
termed, a herring-bone direction. A similar disposition of the masonry
is observable in a portion of the church of Perriers, the subject of the
following plate: it is still more conspicuous at the neighboring church
of St. Matthieu, already mentioned in this work.[141] The old church of
St. Croix, at St. Lo, and the lower part of the east end of the church
of St. Hildebert, at Gournai, exhibit the same peculiarity, which,
according to Mr. Turner, likewise exists in portions of the outer walls
of the castle at Arques, as well as in the keep of the castle at
Falaise.[142] These various instances, all of them taken from structures
which are beyond a doubt of Norman origin, will remove any hesitation as
to the Normans having practised this mode of building. Still farther
confirmation will be found in the English castles of Tamworth and
Colchester, both of the same early æra:[143] the stones, in the latter,
are disposed precisely as here figured: in the former, horizontal strata
regularly alternate with the inclined, as if in imitation of various
Roman remains.[144] And, indeed, that they were really constructed with
such an intention, appears highly probable; as, according to Sir Henry
Englefield, whose authority is unquestionable, the same style of masonry
is seen at Silchester, which is most certainly a pure Roman relic: it is
even stated, that the old walls of the city of Rome were so built.[145]

Abstracted from the peculiarity just noticed, there is little in the
church of Anisy to excite interest. A flat moulding, not less wide than
a buttress, and surmounted by a narrow string-course of the plainest
character, is continued round the whole nave, and divides it into two
stories of equal height; while four Norman buttresses, on either side,
separate it into three compartments. In the original state of the
church, the windows were confined to the upper portion alone, and
alternated with the buttresses: they rose from the string-course,
narrow, circular-headed, surrounded with squared freestone, and having
no other ornament than a slender cylindrical moulding above. In
succeeding times, either the want of a sufficient quantity of light, or
a desire for improvement, led to the introduction of larger
cinquefoil-headed windows, occupying equal portions of the upper and
lower stories. Throughout the whole of this part of the church, the
apertures made by the scaffolding are left; and, what is remarkable, are
edged with freestone.

The corbels are grotesque; and the subjects of some indecent.--In the
west front there is nothing remarkable: the door-way and window above
are of the most common character of Norman architecture: neither in this
part of the church, nor in the chancel, is the herring-bone masonry
continued; nor does the horizontal moulding extend over either of them.


[141] P. 16.

[142] _Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 37.

[143] It is hoped, that this assertion is not too bold.--The accounts of
Tamworth castle, as a building, are indeed particularly unsatisfactory:
neither Leland, in his _Itinerary_, nor Shaw, in his _History of
Staffordshire_, throw any light upon the æra of its construction. Yet,
even from the wretched plate given in the latter work, the castle, all
altered as it is, appears to preserve somewhat of the character of its
Norman origin; while the fact of its having belonged to the powerful
family of Marmion, immediately after the conquest, adds historical
probability to the opinion. With regard to Colchester, no one who has
seen it will feel hesitation on the subject, although the quantity of
Roman bricks visible in every part, very naturally lead to the
conclusion, that it was raised upon the ruins of a far earlier edifice.

[144] _Carter's Ancient Architecture_, p. 36, pl. 42, fig. E.

[145] _Strutt's Manners and Customs of the Anglo-Saxons_, &c. I. p. 28.



  [Illustration: Plate 68. CHURCH OF PERRIERS, NEAR CAEN.]

The upper half of this plate exhibits a north-west view of the church of
Perriers: the lower represents it in the opposite direction. From both
it will be observed, that the different parts of the building are the
productions of two different æras, the nave having been erected during
the prevalence of the semi-circular architecture, while the chancel
exhibits a specimen of probably the very earliest period of the pointed
style. In reference to the preceding plate, it is not uninteresting to
remark, that the herring-bone masonry is, in this instance, altogether
confined to the more early portion of the structure, the whole of which
is composed of it, with the exception of the buttresses.

The great western door-way to the church of Perriers is very peculiar.
Mr. Cotman regards it as the only instance, in the duchy, of a real
Norman building having its principal entrance square-headed. Its massive
lintel, shaped, as at Bieville, into a pediment, and surmounted by an
arch, which is rather the segment of an ellipsis than of a circle, is
likewise remarkable. But the very large arch on the northern side of the
nave, adjoining the west end, is by far the most striking architectural
feature of the building. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to
assign any satisfactory reason for its existence. Its situation
precludes the idea of its having been placed there by way of support to
the tower: its size forbids the supposition, that it ever served as an
entrance. Had there been an aisle or chapel beyond, it certainly might
have been the medium of their communication with the main building; but
the buttress contiguous to it, proves that the wall in which it is
inserted, was the outer wall of the church. As it is, it appears a
perfect anomaly, and must remain as a _crux_ for the ingenuity of future

The similar arch, now blocked up, at the western extremity of the
chancel, places it almost beyond a doubt that the church had a central
tower. The windows of the chancel far exceed, in point of length and
narrowness, any others that have yet appeared in this work. They are
wholly destitute of mouldings or decoration of any description; but,
like those at Anisy, are edged with freestone, as are the apertures left
by the scaffolding, which in this building are disposed with unusual
regularity, as if with the intention of their being ornamental. This
introduction of white smooth stone, assorts ill with the dull
reddish-brown mass all around it, and produces a glaring and
disagreeable effect. The indented cornice is similar to that observed by
Mr. Turner upon the gate-tower, leading to the monastery of the Holy
Trinity, at Caen.[146]


[146] _Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 183.



  [Illustration: Plate 69. CASTLE OF LILLEBONNE.]

Julius Cæsar, the principal source of information respecting ancient
Gaul, at the same time that he mentions the Caletes, the inhabitants of
the modern Pays de Caux, is altogether silent with regard to the
principal city of their territory. From Ptolemy, however, and the
Itinerary of Antoninus, it appears, that such city was called
_Juliobona_;[147] and, notwithstanding the attempts of Cluvier and
Adrien de Valois to establish Dieppe as the site of this Caletian
metropolis,[148] the learned of the present day seem unanimously agreed
to fix it at Lillebonne; and there are but few who are not also of
opinion, that the present French name is a corruption of the ancient
Roman one. Some Latin writers of the twelfth century make mention of
_Insula Bona_; and the word, _Lillebonne_, spelt, as it not uncommonly
is, _L'Ilebonne_, might be regarded as originating from that
appellation, of which, indeed, it is a literal translation. But the
point is not worth arguing: it is equally possible, that _Insula Bona_
may be no other than _Lillebonne_ latinized.

Leaving all discussions of this kind, and equally passing by the
attempts which have been made to derive the name of Lillebonne from
Celtic roots,[149] it is at least certain, that the place was a Roman
settlement; and the undoubted fact of no fewer than five Roman roads
branching from it, to different parts of the country,[150] justifies the
inference, that it was likewise a settlement of some importance. The
subterraneous passages and foundations of ancient buildings, scattered
over a wide extent of ground, attest a place of no small size. The
remains of a theatre,[151] added to abundance of vases, cinerary urns,
sepulchral lamps, and coins and medals, both of the upper and lower
empire, which have been from time to time dug up here, prove it to have
been occupied by the Romans during a considerable period. But no records
remain, either of its greatness or overthrow. It fell, in all
probability, in consequence of the irruptions of the northern hordes,
and was swept away, like other neighboring towns,

    "Unknown their arts, and lost their chroniclers."

In the midst of the general destruction, it is possible that some
remains of the city may have been left, that attracted the notice of the
new lords of the country: or, possibly, their choice was fixed by the
lovely situation of Lillebonne, in a valley upon the eastern bank of the
Seine, not far from the mouth of that majestic stream. While Normandy
was ruled by its own princes, Lillebonne was the seat of a ducal palace;
and tradition, whose accuracy in this instance there is no reason to
impugn, teaches that the actual remains of such palace are to be seen in
the building here figured. It even goes farther, and maintains that this
hall is the very spot in which William assembled his barons, for the
purpose of hearing their counsel, and marshalling their forces,
preparatory to his descent upon England.[152] His actual residence at
Lillebonne at various times is clear, from a number of charters which
bear date from this place. In one of these, granted in the year 1074,
for the sake of establishing[153] harmony between the Abbot of St.
Wandrille and the Count of Evreux, the sovereign styles himself
_gloriosus rex Anglorum_ and he dates it a _Castro Julio-Bona_. At
another time, in consequence of a dispute respecting the succession to
the abbacy of St. Evroul, Ordericus Vitalis relates, that one of the
rival competitors repaired to the Duke, "who was then holding his court
at Lillebonne" and who, incensed at the interference of the Pope on the
occasion, exhibited a strong trait of his natural character, by
swearing, that if any monk belonging to his territory, should dare to
calumniate him abroad, he would hang him by his cowl upon the highest
tree in the neighboring wood.[154] This happened in the year 1063: in
1080, there was held here, by order of the same prince, a provincial
synod, which passes in the annals of the Norman churches, under the name
of the _Concilium Julio-Bonense_. Its canons are preserved, and are
reported at length by Bessin, "with the intention," as he remarks, "of
enabling posterity to judge of the character of the laws in Normandy,
during the reign of Duke William."[155]

Lillebonne is at present a poor small country town, whose inhabitants
carry on an inconsiderable trade in tanning, and in the manufacturing of
cotton. The ruins of the castle, however, are far from unimportant. Not
only is the whole plan of the structure still distinctly to be traced;
but there remain, in addition to the great hall, here figured, extensive
portions of other buildings, some of which are altered into a modern
farm-house. A noble circular tower, surrounded by a deep moat, and
approached by a draw-bridge, appears at first view to be the great
character of the ruin; but it is obviously an addition of a subsequent
period, and, indeed, of a time considerably posterior to the hall. The
pointed arches of its windows, and the elegant bosses of its ceiling,
denote an æra when the arts had arrived at a high state of
perfection.--Of the date, or cause of the decay of the castle, nothing
is recorded.

The hall has the appearance of having been erected by Italian
architects. Its features are distinctly Roman; and it may be regarded as
holding, in this respect, the same place among the castellated buildings
of Normandy, as the church of St. Stephen, at Caen, occupies among the
ecclesiastical. The broken cornice at the top of the walls, is a decided
imitation of that upon the tomb of Cæcilia Metella, the arch of
Constantine, and the colosseum at Rome; and the windows may be likened
to those of Mæcenas' villa at Tivoli, in which there is the same
arrangement of arch within arch. But the Norman architect has introduced
a peculiarity, scarcely to be paralleled, in the transom, which, placed
upon a line with the capitals, divides each window into two unequal
parts, and at once supports, and is supported by, the central pillar,
that subdivides the lower moiety.

The Church at Lillebonne is also an object deserving of observation,
especially in the principal entrance: the great arch is flanked by two
square massy projections, in the form of buttresses, each of them faced
by a row of small cylindrical pillars in high relief, broken towards the
centre, to give place for canopied saints, and ending at the top in
ornaments, apparently intended to convey the idea of a series of antique


[147] Ordericus Vitalis, on the other hand, says, but he is borne out by
no classical authority, that Lillebonne occupies the site of an old
Belgic town, called _Caletus_ which was destroyed by Julius Cæsar; who
built on its foundation a new one, and named it _Julio-bona_, after
himself. The passage, which is curious, is as follows:--"Antiqua urbs
fuit, quæ Caletus ab incolis dicta est. Hanc (ut in antiquis Romanorum
legitur gestis) Caius Julius Cæsar obsedit, et pro nimia bellatorum
obstinatione intus acerrimè repugnantium subvertit. Deinde postquam
hostes ibidem ad libitum compressit, considerata opportunitate loci,
præsidium Romanorum providè constituit, et a nomine suo Juliam-bonam
(quam barbari nunc corrupto nomine Ille-bonam nuncupant)
appellavit."--_Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, p. 554.

[148] These authors were led to this opinion by the difficulty of
reconciling the distances, as stated by Antoninus, between Julio-bona
and the adjacent towns, with the actual distance of the same places from
the modern Lillebonne.

[149] See _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 6, where it is
suggested, that the word, _L'Ilebonne_, may be derived from the two
Celtic words, _Ile_, signifying a current of water, and _Bonne_, which
denotes the termination of any thing. The towns of Bonne, upon the
Rhine, and of Libourne, are supposed to have taken their names from
these words.

[150] _Noel, Essais sur le Département de la Seine Inférieure_, II. p.

[151] Figured in the _Voyages Pittoresques et Romantiques dans
l'Ancienne France, par Nodier, Taylor, et De Cailleux_.--In the section
of this publication, comprising Normandy, the authors have devoted nine
plates to the illustration of Lillebonne.

[152] In the _Gallia Christiana_, XI. p. 31, it is said on this subject,
in speaking of Maurilius, archbishop of Rouen, that "adfuit
Juliobonensibus Comitiis pro expeditione Anglicana, in 1066."

[153] See _Neustria Pia_, p. 168.

[154] _Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, p. 488.

[155] _Concilia Normannica_, I. p. 67.



  [Illustration: Plate 70. CASTLE OF BRIQUEBEC, NEAR VALOGNES.]

Briquebec is an extensive parish, situated about seven miles to the
south of Valognes, with a population of four thousand five hundred
inhabitants, a weekly market on Mondays, and several considerable fairs.
Its castle claims an antiquity, nearly, if not altogether, coeval with
the days of Rollo. When that Duke, on gaining peaceable possession of
Normandy, parcelled out the land among his companions in arms, the
portion that included Briquebec was one of the most considerable. The
lord of Briquebec held in the Norman exchequer the third place among the
barons of the Cotentin, the present department of La Manche.[157] His
services and his rank, to which may probably also be added, his
relationship to Rollo, entitled him to this proud distinction.

After the assassination of William Longue Epée, second Duke of Normandy,
in 942, Amlech, or, as he is sometimes called, Lancelot, of Briquebec,
was appointed one of the council of regency, during the minority of the
young prince, Richard, the son to the deceased, and heir to the throne.
In this capacity he was also one of those deputed to receive Louis
d'Outremer, King of France, at Rouen.--Amlech had a son, named Turstin
of Bastenburg, and he left two sons, one of whom, William, was lord of
Briquebec.--The other, Hugh, commonly called _the bearded_, was the head
of the family of Montfort, which produced the famous Count, Pierre,
slain at the battle of Evesham, while commanding the barons in revolt
against Henry III.--The line of the lords of Briquebec was continued in
the posterity of William, whose son, of the same name, attended the
Conqueror into England. Seven of his descendants successively bore the
name of Robert Bertrand, and successively possessed the barony of
Briquebec. The last died in the middle of the fourteenth century,
leaving his extensive domains, including this castle, to his eldest
daughter, Jane, with whom it passed in marriage to William Paisnel,
baron of Hambye.[158]

The name of Paisnel will be found, as well as that of Bertrand, in the
roll of chieftains engaged in the conquest of England. Duke William
recompensed the services of Ralph Paisnel, his companion in arms, with
various domains in different counties of his newly-acquired kingdom, and
particularly in Yorkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Somersetshire. His
descendants, who were numerous in Great Britain, possessed, among other
distinguished lordships, those of Huntley and of Dudley.--In the
Cotentin, their family was equally extensive and powerful. William, son
of Jane Bertrand and of William Paisnel, succeeded his parents as lord
of Briquebec and of Hambye.--He, in his turn, was followed by another
William, who, by a marriage with his cousin, daughter of Oliver Paisnel,
lord of Moyon, united that great barony to a property, which was
previously immense. Upon the death of William, without children, Fulk
Paisnel, his brother, became his heir; and, as he likewise died
childless, the fortune devolved upon a younger brother, Nicholas. This
Nicholas, who was previously lord of Chanteleu, married Jane de la
Champagne, baroness of Gaie, and left an only daughter, by whose
marriage with Louis d'Estouteville, in 1413, the baronies of Gaie,
Moyon, Hambye, and Briquebec, passed at once from the family of Paisnel.

Briquebec, at the same time that it thus again changed masters, was
still possessed by a descendant of one of those powerful barons, who had
shared in the glory of the conquest of England.--Robert de Huteville,
one of the Conqueror's companions in arms, had received from that
sovereign a princely recompense, particularly in the county of York. But
after the death of William Rufus, he espoused the party of the eldest
brother, against Henry I. and was taken prisoner at the battle of
Tinchbray, when his property was confiscated, and given to Néel
d'Aubigny.--The name of his son, Robert, is to be found among the
Yorkshire barons, who defeated the Scotch army at North Allerton; and it
again occurs in the twentieth year of the reign of Henry II. at the
battle of Alnwick, where he made the King of Scotland prisoner.

To return to the possessor of Briquebec, who was destined to afford a
striking example of the mutability of fortune--scarcely had he become by
his marriage the most powerful lord in the Cotentin, or possibly in
Normandy, when Henry V. of England, invaded the duchy, gained the battle
of Agincourt, and shortly afterwards made himself master of the whole
province, except Mount St. Michael. In this trying emergency, Louis
d'Estouteville remained faithful to his sovereign, and was,
consequently, deprived of his possessions.

Henry immediately bestowed Hambye and Briquebec upon one of his favorite
generals, William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk,[159] who, in 1427, still
continued lord of Briquebec, in which capacity he confirmed to the abbey
of Cherbourg, a rent of fifty sols, that had been given by his
predecessor, Robert Bertrand, in 1329. The act of confirmation yet
exists: it is dated in the year just mentioned; two years after which,
the Earl of Suffolk, who had always previously been victorious,
experienced a reverse of fortune, and was made prisoner at Gageau,
together with his brothers, Alexander and John de la Pole. The
consequence was, that he was compelled to sell his lands in the Cotentin
to pay his ransom.

They were purchased by Sir Bertyn Entwyssle, a knight of the county of
Lancaster, who, in the archives of the castle of Briquebec, dated about
the year 1440, is styled Admiral of England; as his brother, Henry
Entwyssle, in the same documents, bears the title of the King of
England's Lieutenant-General in Normandy. In the hands of this nobleman,
Briquebec continued, till the battle of Formigny compelled the British
to evacuate Normandy. Sir Bertyn afterwards took part with Henry VI.
against the Duke of York, and was slain at the battle of St. Albans, in

Upon the restoration of the province to the crown of France, the family
of D'Estouteville were replaced in the lordship of Briquebec. They had
deserved eminently well of the French King, for whom Louis
D'Estouteville had continued to hold possession of Mount St. Michael,
the only fortress that offered an availing resistance to the English.

In succeeding times, Briquebec and Hambye passed, by different
marriages, into the families of Bourbon St. Pol, and of Orleans
Longueville; but at the close of the sixteenth century, Mary of Orleans,
Duchess of Nemours, sold this property to Jaques Gougon de Matignon,
Marshal of France.--The descendants of the marshal continued lords of
Briquebec till the revolution. It had shortly before that event fallen
into the hands of a female, the only survivor of that family, and she
had married the eldest son of the Duke de Montmorency. But the
revolution swept away the whole of their fortune. A few detached
fragments of the property, which had not been alienated, have recently
been restored to them: the rest has long since been sold, including the
castle, the only habitable part of which now serves for an ale-house.
All the remainder is hastening fast to decay.

The walls of the castle inclose a considerable space of ground; and, at
the time when they were perfect, they comprised eight towers, of
different sizes and forms, including the multangular keep, the principal
feature of the plate. This tower, which is a hundred French feet in
height, is still nearly perfect. The sides towards the west and
south-west, from which Mr. Cotman has made his drawing, are entirely
so.--In an architectural point of view, Briquebec offers specimens of
the workmanship of many different epochs.--The case is widely different
between fortresses and churches: the latter, whatever the date of their
construction, commonly exhibit a certain degree of unity in their plan:
in castles, on the other hand, the means provided for defence have
usually had reference to those employed in attack. Both the one and the
other are found to vary _ad infinitum_, according to time and
localities. Briquebec shews some traces of the architecture of the
eleventh century, but many more of the fourteenth, fifteenth, and
sixteenth. The chapel, the magazines, the stables, and the present
dwelling-house, were the parts last built. Of these, the two first have
been for some years destroyed: the others are in a state of extreme
neglect; and, neither in the dwelling-house, nor in the apartments over
the great gate, does there now remain any thing curious.


[156] For the whole of this article, the author has to express his
acknowledgments to his friend, M. de Gerville, from whose manuscript it
is almost verbatim translated.

[157] _Masseville, Histoire de Normandie_, III. p. 46.

[158] While one branch of the Bertrand family continued in possession of
the barony of Briquebec, another branch established itself in
Northumberland, where it received from the Conqueror many manors. Under
the reign of Henry I. William Bertrand, or, as he is called by Tanner,
Bertram, founded the priory of Brinkburn. Roger, one of his descendants,
was conspicuous among the barons who revolted against King John; at the
death of which prince, he espoused the party of Henry III.; but his son,
Roger, took arms against this latter monarch, and was made prisoner at
Northampton. A third Roger succeeded him, and was the last baron of
Brinkburn.--Richard Bertram, who lived under Henry II. had a son called
Robert, baron of Bothal, whose son Richard joined the confederate barons
against King John. A descendant of his, of the name of Robert, lived
under Edward III. and enjoyed the title of Lord Bothal, and was sheriff
of Northumberland, and governor of Newcastle. He was present at the
battle of Durham, where he made William Douglas prisoner. His only
daughter, the heiress to his property, married Sir Robert Ogle; and thus
the family of Bertram became extinct both in France and England nearly
at the same time.

[159] The instrument, which is curious, is still in existence, and is as
follows:--"Henricus dei gracia rex Francie et Anglie et dnus hybernie
oibus ad quos psentes littere puenerint salutem. Sciatis qd de gracia
nostra speciali et ob grata et laudabilia obsequia nobis per carissimum
consanguineum nostrum Guillelmum, Comitem de Suffolk, huc usque
mirabiliter impensa dedimus et concessimus eidem comiti castra et
dominia de Hambye et de Briquebec cum ptinenciis suis una cum oibus
feodis, aliis hereditatibus et possessionibus quibuscumque quas tenuit
fouques Paisnel chevalier defunctus intra ducatum meum Normannie
habendis et tenendis prefato comiti et heredibus suis masculis de
corpore suo nascentibus ad valorem 3500 scutorum per annum, cum omnibus
dignitatibus, libertatibus, franchesiis, juribus, donationibus,
reversionibus, forisfacturis, etallis, proficiis, commoditatibus et
emolumentis quibuscumq. ad pdicta castra et dominia vel altera eorum seu
ad feoda hereditates et possessiones predictas aliqualiter ptinentibus
seu spectantibus intra ducatum nostrum Normannie adeo plene perfecte et
integre et eodem modo sicut pdictus fouques vel aliquis alius tenebat et
possidebat per homagium nobis et heredibus nostris faciendum et reddendo
unum scutum de Armis Sci Georgii ad festum suum apud castrum nostrum de
Cherbourg, singulis annis in perpetuum reservata tamen nobis et heredib.
nostris alta et summa justicia et omni alio jure quod ad nos poterit
pertinere proviso semper qd idem comes et heredes sui predicti sex
homines ad arma et 12 sagittarios ad equitandum nobiscum seu heredibus
nostris vel locum tenente nostro durante presenti guerra qui ad sumptus
suos servire tenebuntur funtaque presenti guerra hujus modi et servicia
in parte debita faciet et supportabit, et ulterius de uberiori gracia
dedimus et concessimus...... in cujus rei testimonium has litteras
nostras fieri fecimus patentes.--Teste meipso apd civitatem nram de
Bayeux, XIII. die Martii, anno regni nri quinto.

  L. S. Per ipsum regem STORGEON."



  [Illustration: Plate 71. CHURCH OF ST. STEPHEN, AT FÉCAMP.
  _Southern entrance._]

Fécamp, like many other towns in Normandy, has fallen from its original
greatness to a state of extreme poverty. The sun of its prosperity has
set, to rise no more. Neglect immediately followed upon the removal of
the ducal throne to England: the annexation of Normandy to the crown of
France, completed the ruin of the town; and the great change in the
habits of mankind, from warlike to commercial, leaves no hopes for the
restoration of the importance of a place, whose situation holds out no
advantages for trade. Hence, Fécamp at present appears desolate and
decayed; and, though the official account of the population of France
still allows the number of its inhabitants to amount to seven thousand,
the great quantity of deserted houses, calculated to amount to more than
a third of all those in the town, impress the beholder with a strong
feeling of depopulation and ruin.[160]

But, in the earliest periods of French history, long before the
foundation of the Norman throne, Fécamp was honored as a regal
residence. The palace is said to have been rebuilt by William
Longue-Epée, with extraordinary magnificence. That prince took great
pleasure in the chace; and he and his immediate successors frequently
lived here. He also selected the castle as a place of retirement for his
duchess, during her pregnancy with Richard. His choice, in this respect,
was probably not altogether guided by his partiality for the place; but,
threatened at that time with a dangerous war, he was desirous of fixing
his wife and infant heir in a situation, whence they might, in case of
necessity, be with ease removed to the friendly shores of
England.--Richard, born at Fécamp, preserved through life an attachment
to the town, and omitted no opportunity of benefiting it. He rebuilt,
endowed, and enriched the abbatial church at vast expense; and he
finally ordered it to be the resting-place for his bones, which,
however, he would not permit to be interred in any spot whatever within
the structure, but, with his dying breath, expressly enjoined his son to
deposit them on the outside, immediately beneath the eaves, in order
that, to use the words put by the monastic historians into his mouth
upon the occasion, "stillantium guttarum sacro tecto diffluens infusio
abluat jacentis ossa, quæ omnium peccatorum tabe foedavit et maculavit
negligens et neglecta vita mea."--A curious question might be raised,
whether the monarch, in this injunction, was solely impressed with the
feeling of his own unworthiness, or whether he had also in view, the
mystic doctrine of the efficacy of water towards the ablution of sins.

Richard II. and the succeeding dukes, appear to have regarded Fécamp
with an equally friendly eye; till, in process of time, the increasing
splendor of its monastery altogether eclipsed the waning honors of the
town; and Henry II. of England, finally sealed its downfall, by making a
regular donation of the town to the abbey, from which period till the
revolution, the latter was every thing, the former nothing.

"Fécamp," as it is remarked by Nodier, "was to the Dukes of Normandy,
what the pyramids were to the Egyptian monarchs,--a city of tombs:
Richard II. rested there by the side of Richard I. and, near him, his
brother Robert, his wife Judith, and his son William."[161]--The list
might be lengthened by the addition of many other scarcely less noble

"The abbey of Fécamp is said to have been founded in the year 664 or
666, for a community of nuns, by Waning, the count or governor of the
Pays de Caux, a nobleman who had already contributed to the endowment of
the monastery of St. Wandrille. St. Ouen, Bishop of Rouen, dedicated the
church in the presence of King Clotaire; and so rapidly did the fame of
the sanctity of the abbey extend, that the number of its inmates
amounted, in a very short period, to more than three hundred. The
arrival, however, of the Normans, under Hastings, in 841, caused the
dispersion of the nuns; and the same story is related of the few who
remained at Fécamp, as of many others under similar circumstances, that
they voluntarily cut off their noses and their lips, rather than be an
object of attraction to their conquerors. The abbey, in return for their
heroism, was levelled with the ground; and it did not rise from its
ashes till the year 988, when the piety of Duke Richard I. built the
church anew, under the auspices of his son, Robert, archbishop of Rouen.
Departing, however, from the original foundation, he established therein
a chapter of regular canons, who soon proved so irregular in their
conduct, that within ten years they were doomed to give way to a body of
Benedictine monks, headed by an abbot, named William, from a convent at
Dijon. From his time the monastery continued to increase in splendor.
Three suffragan abbeys, that of Notre Dame at Bernay, of St. Taurin at
Evreux, and of Ste. Berthe de Blangi, in the diocese of Boullogne, owned
the superior power of the abbot of Fécamp, and supplied the three
mitres, which he proudly bore on his abbatial shield. Kings and princes,
in former ages, frequently paid the abbey the homage of their worship
and their gifts; and, in a more recent period, Casimir of Poland, after
his voluntary abdication of the throne, selected it as the spot in which
he sought for repose, when wearied with the cares of royalty. The
English possessions of Fécamp do not appear to have been large; but,
according to the author of the _History of Alien Priories_, the abbot
presented to one hundred and thirty benefices, some in the diocese of
Rouen, others in those of Bayeux, Lisieux, Coutances, Chartres, and
Beauvais; and it enjoyed so many estates, that its income was said to be
forty thousand crowns per annum."[162]

The work, from which this account of the abbey of Fécamp has been
extracted, also contains some details relative to a few of the principal
miracles connected with the convent, and relative to the _precious
blood_, to the possession of which Fécamp was indebted for no small
portion of its celebrity. But the reader must be referred for all these
to the _Neustria Pia_, where he will find them recorded at great length.
The author of that most curious volume, appears to have treated no
subject more entirely _con amore_ than Fécamp; and if the more
enlightened progeny of the present day incline, in the plentitude of
their wisdom, to "think their fathers fools" for listening to such
tales, let it at least be recollected, that even these tales, with all
their absurdity, are most interesting documents of the progress of the
human mind; and, above all, let it never be forgotten, that books of
this description contain a mass of materials for the elucidation of the
manners and customs of the age, which would in vain be sought for in any
other quarter.

The abbatial church of Fécamp is still standing uninjured, and is a work
of various ages. Some circular chapels attached to the sides of the
choir, are probably remains of the building erected by Duke Richard: the
rest is all of the pointed style of architecture; and the earliest part
is scarcely anterior to the end of the twelfth century.--The church of
St. Stephen, selected here for publication, is undeserving of notice,
except for its southern portal, which is an elegant specimen of what is
called by Mr. Rickman, the decorated English architecture.


[160] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 60.

[161] _Voyages Pittoresques et Romantiques dans l'Ancienne France_, I.
p. 110.--Seven plates in this work are devoted to the illustration of
the religious buildings at Fécamp.

[162] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 62.



  [Illustration: Plate 72. SCREEN IN THE CHURCH OF ST. LAWRENCE, AT EU.]

The town of Eu has, by some writers, been supposed to have been the
capital of the Gallic tribe mentioned in Cæsar's Commentaries, under the
name of the Essui; but a conjecture of this description, founded
altogether upon the similarity of the name, and unsupported by any
collateral testimony, must be allowed to be at best only problematical;
and ancient geography presents so wide a field for the display of
ingenuity and learning, that it is in no department of science more
necessary to be upon the guard against plausible theories.--There are
others who contend for the Teutonic origin of the town, and refer to
etymology with equal zeal, and with greater plausibility. The word _Eu_,
otherwise spelt _Ou_ or _Au_ signifies a meadow, in Saxon; and the same
name was likewise originally applied to the river Bresle,[163] which
washes the walls of Eu, within a distance of two miles from its
confluence with the ocean at Tréport.[164]

The first mention that occurs of Eu in history, is in the pages of
Flodoard, according to whom, the town was in existence in the year 925;
but, whether the Roman or the Saxon derivation of its name be preferred,
in either case etymology would fairly allow the inference, that its
foundation was considerably more ancient. During the reign of Louis XI.
Eu obtained a melancholy celebrity: a report was circulated in the
summer of 1475, that it was the intention of the English to make a
descent upon the coast of France, and to establish themselves there for
the winter. At the same time, this town was confidently mentioned as the
place where they proposed to fix their quarters. To deprive them of such
an advantage, the French monarch had recourse to a measure which could
only be justified by the most urgent necessity: he ordered the Maréchal
de Gamaches to enter the place with four hundred soldiers, on the
eighteenth of July, and to set fire to the houses of the citizens,
together with the castle. His commands were executed; and the whole was
reduced to a heap of ashes, with the exception of the churches. The
neighboring towns of Dieppe, St. Valeri, and Abbeville, profited from
the misfortunes of Eu, which has never recovered its prosperity,
notwithstanding the various privileges subsequently granted to it.--The
present population consists of about three thousand four hundred
inhabitants, whose only trade is a trifling manufactory of lace.

From as early a period as the year 1102, the title of Count was bestowed
by Richard I. Duke of Normandy, upon the lords of Eu, who, in 1458,
received the additional dignity of _Comtes et Pairs_; probably as some
recompense for the misery inflicted upon the place three years before.
In the number of these counts, was the celebrated Duc de Guise, commonly
known by the name of _Le Balafré_. His monument of black and white
marble, in the church of the Jesuits at Eu, was executed by Genoese
artists; as was that of his wife, the Duchess of Cleves. Both of them
have long been subjects of admiration.[165] The last of the line of
counts of Eu, was the Duc de Penthièvre, a nobleman of the most
estimable character: the title was his at the breaking out of the
revolution; and it is not a little to his honor, that a writer of the
most decidedly republican principles could be found, in the midst of
that stormy period, to bear the following testimony in his favor:--"Né
au milieu d'une cour, oú la corruption et les vices avoient pris le nom
de la sagesse et des vertus, il dédaigna leurs délices funestes; il
repoussa l'air empesté de Versailles; supérieur à leurs prestiges, il
oublia sa naissance; il prouva enfin, par de longues années consacrées à
faire le bien, qu'il étoit digne d'être né simple citoyen.[166]"--The
castle, the residence of the counts, is now converted into a military

The abbey of Eu is said to have been founded in 1002,[167] by William,
first count of the place, natural son of Richard _Sans-peur_, Duke of
Normandy. It was at its origin dedicated to the Virgin; but, after a
lapse of somewhat more than two hundred years, was placed under the
invocation of St. Lawrence, archbishop of Dublin. That prelate had, in
the year 1181, crossed into Normandy, with the view of restoring a
friendly understanding between the King of Ireland, his brother, and the
King of England; and, at the moment of his approaching Eu, and beholding
the lofty towers of the abbey, he is said to have exclaimed in strains
of pious fervor, "Hæc requies mea in seculum seculi: hic habitabo,
quoniam elegi eam." Having accomplished the object of his mission, he
died shortly after at the convent, and was there interred; and the fame
of his sanctity attracting crowds of devotees to his tomb, he was
canonized by a papal bull, dated the 11th of December, 1218, since which
time the monastery has borne his name.

The church of St. Lawrence, though no longer abbatial, has been suffered
to exist; even before the revolution, it served at once as the church to
the convent and to the first parish of Eu. The screen here figured, a
beautiful specimen of the decorated English architecture, is placed at
the entrance of one of the chapels. Another chapel contains a _Holy
Sepulchre_, said to be superior, in point of the execution of the
figures, to any other in France. In the south transept is a
spirally-banded column of extraordinary elegance. The church stands upon
the foundations of an earlier building, erected at the close of the
twelfth century, and destroyed by lightning in 1426. According to the
records of the monastery, it was either wholly, or in great measure,
rebuilt by John de Vallier, the twenty-fourth abbot, in 1464.[168]--The
following description of the building is borrowed from the journal of a
very able friend of the writer of this article, who visited Eu in
September, 1819:--"The abbey church of Eu is plain and massy on the
outside of the nave and transepts. The east end of the choir is highly
enriched with flying buttresses, &c. The windows of the nave are
lancet-headed, and very tall: on the outside is a circular arch, which
may be a restoration. The west window has been in three lancet
divisions, which have been filled up with more modern tracery. The nave
is singularly elegant: the triforium, or rather the upper tier of
arches, is new in design, and most extraordinary. In the choir, the
triforium is composed of tracery. The north transept is something like
Winchester, only the arches are pointed: there are two arches. This
arrangement is probably general; as I saw it at Troyes and other places.
In a side-chapel is an entombment: the figures as large as life, or
nearly so, and richly painted; quite perfect. Inscriptions on the hems
of the garments. The _culs de lampe_ are of the most elegant reticulated
work. In the north transept is a circular window filled with late
tracery. No towers at the west end. East end, a polygon, as usual.--This
church, which is well worthy of an attentive study, is quite distinct in
character from the churches in the east of France: it has no marigold
window; no row of niches over the portal; no massed door-way; so that
the general outline of the front agrees wholly with the earliest pointed
style. But the exterior is more chaste than any thing we have in
England; and its architectural unity is better preserved. On the other
hand, its parts are less elaborate."


[163] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 45.

[164] "Le païs d'Auge a tiré son nom de ses prairies. Au, Avv, Avve, et
Ou, en Allemand, signifient un Pré.... Aventin est mon témoin dans son
explication des noms Allemans. La ville d'Eu, située dans des prairies,
a tiré son nom de la même origine. Elle est nommée dans les vieux
Ecrivains, _Auga_, _Augam_, et _Aucum_; et dans les auteurs Anglois
_Ou_, d'où est formé le nom d'Eu. De cette même origine vient le nom
d'_Au_, qu'on a depuis écrit et prononcé _O_, et que portent plusieurs
Seigneuries de Normandie et d'ailleurs, et qui est le même que celui
d'_Ou_. _Ou_ est une Comté qui a appartenue à ce Robert, que Robert du
Mont qualifie Comte d'_Ou_. Ces mots d'_Eu_, d'_Au_, et d'_Ou_, se
trouvent encore dans la composition de plusieurs noms de terres et de
Seigneuries. _Eu_, dans le nom d'_Eucourt_, d'_Eumesnil_, et
d'_Eulande_, terre dans le païs d'Auge, entre le Mare-Aupoix et
Angerville, et ce nom est le même, sans aucune différence, que celui
d'_Oelande_, isle de la mer Baltique, du domaine de la couronne de
Suede. Les Suedois et les Danois prononcent _Oelande_ ce que nous
prononçons _Eulande_. _Au_ dans _Aubeuf_, _Aubose_, _Aumesnil_,
_Aumont_, _Auvillers_. _Ou_ dans _Ouville_. Pour _Auge_ on a dit _Alge_
en quelques lieux; et c'est de là que vient le nom d'une terre au païs
de Bray, qui ne consiste presque qu'en prairies. Le même nom d'_Auge_,
que portent quelques familles, montre assez qu'il a été appellatif. Mais
la chartre de confirmation de la fondation de l'Abbaye de St. Etienne,
donnée par Henry II. Roy d'Angleterre, le montre incontestablement par
ces paroles, "_cum sylvâ et algiâ et cum terris_"."--_Huet, Origines de
Caen_, p. 294.

[165] The church of St. Lawrence likewise contained the monuments of
several distinguished personages, as appears by the following extract
from the _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 72.--"Là sont
inhumez Jean d'Artois, Comte d'Eu, fils de Robert d'Artois, Comte de
Beaumont le Roger, et de Jean de Valois, mort le 6 Avril, 1386: Isabelle
de Melun, son epouse: Isabelle d'Artois, leur fille, dans la chapelle de
Saint Denys, sous une belle table de marbre noir, qui sert de table
d'autel: Charles d'Artois, Comte d'Eu, sous l'autel de la chapelle de
Saint Laurent: Jeanne de Saveuse, sa premiere femme: Helène de Melun, sa
seconde femme, dans la chapelle de Saint Antoine, dite aujourd'hui de
Saint Crepin: le Coeur de Catherine de Cleves, Comtesse d'Eu, au bas du
Sanctuaire, sous une magnifique colonne de marbre noir: N.... de Bourbon,
dit le Duc d'Aumale, fils de Louis-Auguste de Bourbon, legitimé de
France, Duc de Maine, mort le 8 Septembre, 1708: enfin Philippe
d'Artois, Comte d'Eu, et Connétable de France, mort selon son epitaphe à
_Micalice_ en Turquie, c'est-à-dire Nicopoli, le 16 Juin, 1397. Le
Mausolée de celui-ci, qui est de marbre, est enfermé dans une espece de
Cage de fer, dont les barreaux n'empêchent point qu'on ne puisse en
approcher et y porter la main. Le Prince y est representé armé, mais
sans casque et sans gantelets, pour marquer, dit-on, qu'il est mort à la
guerre, mais non dans le combat: il a deux petits chiens à ses pieds,
pour signifier, ajoute-t-on, qu'il est mort dans son lit: enfin la
grille qui l'environne represente, dit-on encore, qu'il est mort en
prison. Le monument, selon l'Ecrivain de qui j'emprunte ces conjectures,
n'a coûté que 100 livres."

[166] _Noel, Essais sur le Département de la Seine Inférieure_, I. p.

[167] _Neustria Pia_, p. 694.

[168] _Neustria Pia_, p. 700.



  [Illustration: Plates 73-74. CHURCH OF ST. PETER AT LISIEUX.]

The effects produced by the French revolution upon the religious state
of the country, were scarcely less important than upon the political. In
both cases, the nation hurried, with the blindest fury, from extreme to
extreme; in both, they followed phantoms of ideal perfection through an
unexampled series of excesses and sufferings; in both, they rested at
length from exhaustion much more than from conviction; and, happily for
mankind and for themselves, they finally attained in both nearly the
same end, reverting indeed to their original constitutions, but
tempering them with a most seasonable mixture of civil and
ecclesiastical liberty. The _concordat_ effected for the church, what
the charter did for the state. The former of these was one of the
master-pieces of Napoleon's policy, and was likewise one of the earliest
acts of his power. It was established in the year 1801, while France yet
retained the name of a republic, and the ambition of its ruler had not
ventured to grasp, at more than the consular dignity. By this
instrument, the whole ecclesiastical constitution was changed; and not
only was all the power placed in the hands of the chief of the state,
but the provinces and dioceses were entirely remodelled; and, instead of
twenty-three archbishoprics and one hundred and thirty-four bishoprics,
the number of the former, notwithstanding the vast extension of the
French territory, was reduced to ten, and that of the latter to fifty.

The archbishop of Rouen was one of those who suffered least upon the
occasion. His dignity was curtailed only by the suppression of two of
his suffragans, the bishops of Avranches and of Lisieux.[169] The
church, here figured, then resigned the mitre, which it had conferred
from the middle of the sixth century, upon an illustrious, though not an
uninterrupted, line of prelates. It is admitted, in the annals of the
cathedral, that either the see must have been vacant for the space of
four hundred years, or at least that the names of those who filled it
during that period, are lost. Ordericus Vitalis, who resided fifty-six
years in the diocese, and has collected, in the sixth book of his
_Ecclesiastical History_, whatever was to be found in his time, relative
to its early state, acknowledges the chasm, and accounts for it by the
following general remarks.--"Piratæ de Daniâ egressi sunt, in Neustriam
venerunt, et christianæ fidei divinique cultûs penitùs ignari, super
fidelem populum immanitèr debacchati sunt. Antiquorum scripta cum
basilicis et ædibus incendio deperierunt, quæ fervida juniorum studia,
quamvis insatiabilitèr sitiant, recuperare nequiverunt. Nonnulla verò,
quæ per diligentiam priscorum manibus barbarorum solertèr erepta sunt,
damnabili subsequentium negligentiâ interierunt."

The city of Lisieux represents the capital of the Gallic tribe,
mentioned by Cæsar, and other almost contemporary writers, under the
name of _Lexovii_; and it is supposed by modern geographers, that the
territory occupied by these latter, was nearly co-extensive with the
late bishopric of Lisieux. On this subject it has been observed, that
"it is to be remarked, that the bounds of the ancient bishoprics of
France were usually conterminal with the Roman provinces and
prefectures."[170] _Neomagus_ or _Noviomagus Lexoviorum_, the capital of
the Lexovii, had always been supposed to have occupied the site of the
present town, till some excavations made in the year 1770, for the
purpose of forming a _chaussée_ between Lisieux and Caen, proved the
ancient and the modern city to have been placed at the distance of about
three quarters of a mile from each other. Extensive ruins of buildings,
situated in a field, called _Les Tourettes_, were then brought to light;
and among them were dug up various specimens of ancient art. The
researches of more modern times, principally conducted by M. Louis
Dubois, a very able antiquary of Lisieux, have materially added to the
number as well as the value of these discoveries; and the quantity of
Roman coins and medals that have rewarded his researches, would have
left little doubt as to the real site of Neomagus, even if the
circumstance had not within a very few years been established almost
beyond a question, by the detection of a Roman amphitheatre in a state
of great perfection.

Tradition, which there is in this instance no reason to impugn, relates
that the Gallo-Roman capital disappeared during the incursions of the
Saxons, about the middle of the fourth century. In farther confirmation
of such opinion, it is to be observed, that none of the medals dug up
within the ruins, or in their vicinity, bear a later date than the reign
of Constantine; and that, though the city is recorded in the _Itinerary
of Antoninus_, no mention of it is to be found in the curious chart,
known by the name of the _Tabula Peutingeriana_, formed under the reign
of Theodosius the Great; so that it then appears to have been completely
swept away and forgotten.

Modern Lisieux is supposed to have risen at no distant period of time
after the destruction of Neomagus. In the writings of the monkish
historians, it is indifferently called _Lexovium_, _Lexobium_,
_Luxovium__, Lixovium_, and _Lizovium_, names obviously borrowed from
the classical appellation of the tribe, as the French word _Lisieux_ is
clearly derived from them. In the early portion of Norman history,
Lisieux is mentioned as having felt the vengeance of these invaders,
during one of their predatory excursions from the Bessin, about the year
877. It was shortly afterwards sacked by Rollo himself, when that
conqueror, elated with the capture of Bayeux, was on his march to take
possession of the capital of Neustria. But the territory of Lisieux was
still the last part of the duchy which owned Rollo as its lord: it was
not ceded to him by Charles the Simple, till 923, at which time he had
for eleven years been the undisputed sovereign of the rest of Normandy.

Neither under the Norman dukes, nor at a subsequent period, does Lisieux
appear to have taken any prominent part in political transactions. Its
central situation, by securing it against the attacks of the French in
former times, and more recently of the English, also prevented it from
obtaining that historical celebrity, which, from its size and opulence,
it could scarcely have failed to have otherwise gained. The principal
events connected with it, upon record, are the following:--It was the
focus of the civil war in 1101, when Ralph Flambart, bishop of Durham,
escaping from the prison to which he had been committed by his
sovereign, fled hither, and raised the standard of rebellion against
Henry, in favor of his brother.--In 1136, Lisieux was attacked by the
forces of Anjou, under the command of Geoffrey Plantagenet, husband of
the Empress Maude, joined by those of William, Duke of Poitiers; and the
garrison, composed of Bretons, seeing no hope of resistance or of
rescue, burned the town.--Thirty-three years subsequently, the city was
honored by being selected by Thomas-à-Becket, as the place of his
retirement during his temporary disgrace. Arnulf, then bishop of
Lisieux, had labored diligently, though ineffectually, to restore amity
between the sovereign and the prelate, espousing, indeed, decidedly the
cause of the latter, but at the same time never forfeiting the
friendship of the former, for whom, after the murder of Becket, he wrote
a letter of excuse to the supreme pontiff, in the joint names of all the
bishops of England.--Lisieux, in 1213, passed from under the dominion of
the Norman dukes, to the sway of the French monarch. It opened its gates
to Philip-Augustus, immediately after the fall of Caen and Bayeux; and
its surrender was accompanied with that of Coutances and Séez, all of
them without a blow, as the king's poetical chronicler, Brito, relates
in the following lines:--

    "Cumque diocesibus tribus illi tres sine bello
    Sese sponte suâ præclari nominis urbes
    Subjiciunt, Sagium, Constantia, Lexoviumque."

In subsequent times, Lisieux suffered severely, when taken by the
English army under Henry V. in 1417. Its recapture by Charles VII.
thirty-two years afterwards, was unstained by bloodshed.

A great part of the preceding account of Lisieux has been borrowed from
Mr. Turner's Tour in Normandy: what follows, relative to the church here
figured, will be entirely so:--"The cathedral, now the parish church of
St. Peter, derived one advantage from the revolution. Another church,
dedicated to St. Germain, which had previously stood immediately before
it, so as almost to block up the approach, was taken down, and the west
front of the cathedral was made to open upon a spacious square.--Solid,
simple grandeur are the characters of this front, which, notwithstanding
some slight anomalies, is, upon the whole, a noble specimen of early
pointed architecture.--It consists of three equal compartments, the
lateral ones rising into short square towers of similar height. The
southern tower is surmounted by a lofty stone spire, probably of a date
posterior to the part below. The spire of the opposite tower fell in
1553, at which time much injury was done to the building, and
particularly to the central door-way, which, even to the present day,
has never been repaired.--Contrary to the usual elevation of French
cathedrals, the great window over the principal entrance is not
circular, but pointed: it is divided into three compartments by broad
mullions, enriched with many mouldings. The compartments end in acute
pointed arches. In the north tower, the whole of the space from the
basement story is occupied by only two tiers of windows. Each tier
contains two windows, extremely narrow, considering their height; and
yet, narrow as they are, each of them is parted by a circular mullion or
central pillar. You will better understand how high they must be, when
told that, in the southern tower, the space of the upper row is divided
into three distinct tiers; and still the windows do not appear
disproportionately short. They also are double, and the interior arches
are pointed; but the arches, within which they are placed, are circular.
In this circumstance lies the principal anomaly in the front of the
cathedral; but there is no appearance of any disparity in point of
dates; for the circular arches are supported on the same slender
mullions, with rude foliaged capitals, of great projection, which are
the most distinguishing characteristics of this style of architecture.

"The date of the building establishes the fact of the pointed arch being
in use, not only as an occasional variation, but in the entire
construction of churches upon a grand scale, as early as the eleventh
century.--Sammarthanus tells us that Bishop Herbert, who died in 1049,
began to build this church, but did not live to see it completed; and
Ordericus Vitalis expressly adds, that Hugh, the successor to Herbert,
upon his death-bed, in 1077, while retracing his past life, made use of
these words:--'Ecclesiam Sancti Petri, principis apostolorum, quam
venerabilis Herbertus, prædecessor meus, coepit, perfeci, studiosè
adornavi, honorificè dedicavi, et cultoribus necessariisque divino
servitio vasis aliisque apparatibus copiosè ditavi.'--Language of this
kind appears too explicit to leave room for ambiguity, but an opinion
has still prevailed, founded probably upon the style of the
architecture, that the cathedral was not finished till near the
expiration of the thirteenth century. Admitting, however, such to be the
fact, I do not see how it will materially help those who favor the
opinion; for the building is far from being, as commonly happens in
great churches, a medley of incongruous parts; but it is upon one fixed
plan; and, as it was begun, so it was ended.--The exterior of the
extremity of the south transept (see _plate seventy-five_,) is a still
more complete example of the early pointed style than the west front;
this style, which was the most chaste, and, if I may be allowed to use
the expression, the most severe of all, scarcely any where displays
itself to greater advantage. The central window is composed of five
lancet divisions, supported upon slender pillars: massy buttresses of
several splays bound it on either side.

  [Illustration: Plate 75. CHURCH OF ST. PETER AT LISIEUX.
  _South Transept._]

"The same character of uniformity extends over the interior of the
building. On each side of the nave is a side-aisle; and, beyond the
aisles, chapels. The pillars of the nave are cylindrical, solid, and
plain. Their bases end with foliage at each corner, and foliage is also
sculptured upon the capitals. The arches which they support are
acute.--The triforium is similar in plan to the part below; but the
capitals of the columns are considerably more enriched, with an obvious
imitation of the antique model, and every arch encircles two smaller
ones. In the clerestory the windows are modern.--The transepts appear
the oldest parts of the cathedral, as is not unfrequently the case;
whether they were really built before the rest, or that, from being less
used in the services of the church, they were less commonly the objects
of subsequent alterations. They are large; and each of them has an aisle
on the eastern side. The architecture of the choir resembles that of the
nave, except that the five pillars, which form the apsis, are slender,
and the intervening arches more narrow and more acute.--The Lady-Chapel,
which is long and narrow, was built towards the middle of the fifteenth
century, by Peter Cauchon, thirty-sixth bishop of Lisieux, who, for his
steady attachment to the Anglo-Norman cause, was translated to this see,
in 1429, when Beauvais, of which he had previously been bishop, fell
into the hands of the French. He was selected, in 1431, for the
invidious office of presiding at the trial of the Maid of Orleans.
Repentance followed; and, as an atonement for his unrighteous conduct,
according to Ducarel, he erected this chapel, and therein founded a high
mass to the Holy Virgin, which was duly sung by the choristers; in
order, as is expressed in his endowment-charter, to expiate the false
judgment which he pronounced.[171]--The two windows by the side of the
altar in this chapel have been painted of a crimson color, to add to the
effect produced upon entering the church; and, seen as they are, through
the long perspective of the nave and the distant arches of the choir,
the glowing tint is by no means unpleasing.--The central tower is open
within the church to a considerable height: it is supported by four
arches of unusual boldness, above which runs a row of small arches, of
the same character as the rest of the building; and still higher, on
each side, are two lancet-windows.--The vaulting of the roof is very
plain, with bosses slightly pendant and carved.

"At the extremity of the north transept is an ancient stone sarcophagus,
so built into the wall, that it appears to have been incorporated with
the edifice, at the period when it was raised. The character of the
heads, the crowns, and the disposition of the foliage, may be considered
as indicating that it is a production, at least of the Carlovingian
period, if it be not indeed of earlier date. I believe it is
traditionally supposed to have been the tomb of a saint, perhaps St.
Candidus; but I am not quite certain whether I am accurate in the
recollection of the name.--Above are two armed statues, probably of the
twelfth or thirteenth centuries. These have been engraved by Willemin,
in his useful work, _Les Monumens Français_, under the title of _Two
Armed Warriors, in the Nave of the Cathedral, at Lisieux_; and both are
there figured as if in all respects perfect, and with a great many
details which do not exist, and never could have existed; though at the
same time the draftsman has omitted the animals at the feet of the
statues, one of which is yet nearly entire.--This may be reckoned among
the innumerable proofs of the total disregard of accuracy which pervades
the work of French antiquaries. A French designer never scruples to
sacrifice correctness to what he considers effect.--Willemin describes
the monuments as being in the nave of the church. I suspect that he has
availed himself of the unpublished collection of Gaignat, in this and
many other instances. It is evident that, originally, the statues were
recumbent; but I cannot ascertain when their position was changed.--No
other tombs now exist in the cathedral: the brazen monument raised to
Hannuier, an Englishman, the marble that commemorated the bishop,
William d'Estouteville; founder of the _Collège de Lisieux_ at Paris,
that of Peter Cauchon in the Lady-Chapel, and all the rest, were
destroyed during the revolution."


[169] The following account of the bishopric of Lisieux, is extracted
from the _Gallia Christiana_, XI. p. 762, to enable the reader to form
an opinion of its extent and importance.--"Ecclesia hæc cæteris Neustriæ
episcopatibus facultatibus haud impar, patronum agnoscit S. Petrum
Apostolorum principem. Episcopus, qui et episcopus est capituli, comes
est et civitatis. Hunc comitatum septem componunt baroniæ, de Nonanto in
Bajocassino, de Thibervilla, de _Glos_ et Courthona, de Gaceio, de
Touqua, de Canapvilla et de Bonnavilla _la Louvet_, omnes in dioecesi.
Episcopus præterea conservator est privilegiorum academiæ Cadomensis.
Dignitates omnes et præbendas ecclesiæ Lexoviensis confert, excepto
decano qui eligitur a capitulo, nec a quoquam confirmatur. Præter
decanum, capitulum octo constat dignitatibus, cantore, qui residere
tenetur, thesaurario, capicerio, magistro scholarum et quatuor
archidiaconis; 1. de Lievino cui subsunt quatuor decanatus rurales,
_Moyaux, Cormeilles, Bernai, et Orbec_, in quibus 139 parochiæ, rectoriæ
vero seu curæ 148; 2. de Algia, cui subsunt tres decanatus,
_Mesnil-Mauger, Beuvron et Beaumont_, in quibus 128 parochiæ, rectoriæ
vero 137; 3. de Ponte Audomaro, cui subsunt tres decanatus, _Touques,
Honfleur, et Pontaudemer_, in quibus 89 parochiæ, rectoriæ 93; 4.
denique de Gaceio, cui subsunt quatuor decanatus, _Gacey, Livarot,
Montreul, et Vimontier_, in quibus 111 parochiæ, et 117 rectoriæ. Post
dignitates sunt 31 præbendæ integræ cum duabus semipræbendis, e quibus
undecim antiquæ fundationis, quas qui tenent barones vocantur. Sunt et
aliæ sex præbendæ _Volantes_ dictæ, quæ quotidianis non gaudent
distributionibus. Sunt adhuc in eadem ecclesia 4 vicarii, quorum tres
revocabiles, et 30 capellani, quorum septem episcopus, et 23 instituit
capitulum. Præter parochias supra memoratas, sunt et aliæ undecim in
urbe et baleuca Lexoviensi, rectoriæ duodecim: quatuor in exemtione de
Nonanto prope Bajocas, quarum sex rectores, et quinque in exemtione S.
Candidi senioris in urbe et dioecesi Rotomagensi, quarum unam, scilicet
S. Candidi senioris collegiatam simul et parochialem administrant
quatuor canonici, qui alternis vicibus parochialia obeunt munia;
decanatus enim annexus est episcopo Lexoviensi qui jurisdictionem
exercet in quinque illas ecclesias. Tota denique dioecesis Lexoviensis
487 parochias continet, rectorias 520."

[170] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 139.

[171] _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, p. 47.



  [Illustration: Plate 76. ABBEY CHURCH OF ST. OUEN, AT ROUEN.
  _North East View._]

The beauty of the church of St. Ouen has been a frequent theme of
admiration among the lovers of ancient ecclesiastical architecture. The
excellencies of the building have been denied by none, while some have
gone so far as to consider it as the very perfection of that style,
which has generally, however improperly, obtained the name of _Gothic_.
A recent English traveller, whose attention was expressly directed to
the different departments of the arts, bears the following testimony in
its favor: "Beyond all comparison, the finest specimen of Gothic
architecture which we have met with in France, is _Saint Ouen_, the
secondary church at Rouen. Contrasted with Salisbury cathedral, it is
small; but it does not, I think, yield to that or any other structure I
have ever seen, in elegance, lightness, or graceful uniformity."[172]

Previously to the suppression of monasteries in France, the church of
St. Ouen made part of the abbey of the same name, one of the most
celebrated and most ancient in Normandy. It is now a parochial church,
and is happily in nearly a perfect state, having suffered comparatively
but little from the mad folly of the Calvinists of the sixteenth
century, or the democrats of the eighteenth; though every studied insult
was offered to it by the former, and in the fury of the revolution it
was despoiled and desecrated--degraded at one time to a manufactory for
the forging of arms, and at another to a magazine for forage.--Different
accounts are given of the foundation of the convent: some writers
contend for its having taken place as early as the last year of the
fourth century, and having been the work of the piety of Saint Victrice,
then bishop of Rouen; others, and these the greater number, are content
with tracing it from the reign of Clothair. Those who adopt the latter
opinion are again divided, as to whether that prince himself was the
actual founder, or only ratified by his royal sanction what was really
the establishment of Archbishop Flavius. In either case, however, they
agree in dating the origin of the abbey from the year 535.

An historian, who lived as early as the middle of the tenth century,
speaks of the original church of St. Ouen, as an edifice deserving of
admiration:--"..... miro opere, quadris lapidibus, manu Gothicâ,.... olim
nobilitèr constructa."[173]--The abbey was at first placed under the
invocation of the Holy Apostles generally: it was afterwards dedicated
to St. Peter alone; but, from the year 692, it has owned no other patron
than St. Ouen,[174] whose body was three years before interred in the
church, which he had protected with his especial favor while living, and
which derived still greater benefits from him after his death, owing to
the concourse of pilgrims attracted by the miracles that were wrought at
his tomb.

Upon the irruption of the Normans in the ninth century, this abbey
shared the common fate of the Neustrian convents; and, like the rest, it
rose from its ashes with greater magnificence, after the conversion of
these barbarians to Christianity. Nicholas, the fourth abbot of the
convent, son of Duke Richard II. and of Judith of Brittany, is said by
Ordericus Vitalis to have commenced "a new church of wonderful size and
elegance." But though he presided over the fraternity nearly sixty
years, he did not live to see the building finished: the bringing of the
task to perfection was reserved for William Balot, the next but one to
him in the succession; and even he died in the very year of the
dedication, which did not take place till 1126.

This church, which it had cost eighty years to build, was suffered to
exist but a short time after its completion: only ten years had elapsed
from its dedication, when it fell a prey to a conflagration, which was
at the same time destructive to the greater part of the city: another
church, built shortly after, and chiefly by the munificence of Richard
Coeur-de-Lion, shared the same fate in 1248. But even these repeated
disasters in no wise abated the spirit of the monks: they had retired
with the wreck of their property to one of their estates near Rouen, and
there, by economy on their own part, and liberality on that of others,
they soon found themselves in a state to undertake the erection of a
fourth convent, of greater extent than any of the former, and to inclose
it with high walls.

The honor of laying the first stone of the new church, the same that is
now standing, is attributed to one of the most celebrated of the abbots,
John Roussel, more commonly known by the name of _Marcdargent_.[175] He
had been elected to the prelacy in 1303; and, fifteen years afterwards,
he commenced the structure. He presided over the monastery thirty-seven
years, and was buried in the Lady-Chapel of the church, which he had
completed as far westward as the transepts. The pomp with which his
funeral was conducted, is recorded at length in the _Neustria Pia_; and
the same work has also preserved the following inscription, engraved
upon his coffin, which describes, with great precision, the progress
made by him in the building:--


The remaining parts of the church were not finished till the beginning
of the sixteenth century, when it was brought to its present state by
the thirty-fourth abbot, Anthony Bohier, who, in the annals of the
convent, bears the character of having been "a magnificent restorer and
repairer of ancient monasteries." Admirable as is the structure, the
original design of the architect was never completed. The western front
remains imperfect; and this is the more to be regretted, as that part is
naturally the first that meets the eye of the stranger, who thus
receives an unfavorable impression, which it is afterwards difficult
wholly to banish. The intention was, that the portal should have been
flanked by magnificent towers, ending in a combination of open arches
and tracery, corresponding with the outline and fashion of the central
tower. An engraving, though a wretched one, of this intended front, is
given in Pommeraye's History of the Abbey, from a sketch preserved among
the records of the convent.

The view of this church, etched by Mr. Cotman, is copied from a drawing
made by Miss Elizabeth Turner. It represents the building, as seen from
a seat in the gardens formerly belonging to the monastery, but now open
to the public; and it is well calculated to convey a general idea of the
character of the exterior of the building, including the central tower,
which is wholly composed of open arches and tracery, and terminates,
like the south tower of the cathedral, with an octangular crown of
fleurs-de-lys. The plate also exhibits a portion of a circular chapel,
now commonly known by the name of _la Chambre des Clercs_, the only
remaining part of the church built by William Balot, in the beginning of
the twelfth century. This chapel, the south porch, the central tower,
and a specimen of ancient sculpture in the church, have been engraved by
Mr. Turner, in his _Tour in Normandy_. The two first, of the same
subjects, together with the western front, a general view of the church
from the south, the curious bas-relief over the southern entrance, and a
representation of the interior, have since been lithographized in M.
Jolimont's _Monumens de la Normandie_. Considerable pains have been
devoted in both these works, to the description and the history of the
building; and to them the reader must be referred, who is unwilling to
engage with the ponderous folio of Pommeraye.


[172] _Milton's Letters on the Fine Arts, written from Paris in the year
1815._ p. 183.

[173] Jolimont, from whom this quotation is borrowed, states, that it is
to be found in the chronicle of an author of the name of Fridegode; and
he proceeds with the following observations:--"The expression appears
remarkable, as warranting the inference, that the style of architecture,
which Fridegode calls _Gothic_, was in use in France as early as the
commencement of the sixth century, the time assigned by him for the
building of the first church of St. Ouen. But it is equally to be
inferred, from the manner in which he notices it, that this style was
not then common; and his subjoining, that it was made of square stones,
(in opposition, most probably, to rubble) serves to point out that such
an edifice was an extraordinary building for Rouen at that period. This
idea receives confirmation, from the reflection, that the materials for
forming the city were originally supplied out of the forests that
inclosed it; so that, not only the houses of individuals, but the public
edifices, were merely of wood. St. Gregory of Tours, speaking, in his
fifth book, of a church at Rouen, dedicated to St. Martin, uses the
following expression:--'_Quæ super muros civitatis ligneis tabulis
fabricata est._'--Indeed, the few stone-buildings then at Rouen, were
almost exclusively devoted to the purposes of fortification, and were of
flint or sand-stone, rather than of free-stone. Every thing too tends to
prove that architecture was then in its infancy in the capital of
Neustria; or, if it ever had been more advanced there, which could have
been only under the Roman sway, that it had retrograded into a barbarous
state.--Moreover, the _Gothic style_, mentioned by Fridegode, was no
other than a degeneration of the Roman, or, more properly, of the
Lombardic architecture, distinguished by the circular arch, by insulated
columns, by a paucity of ornaments, and by a general massiveness. It is
by no means to be confounded with the style which has since passed under
the same name, a style introduced about the beginning of the twelfth
century, immediately after the crusades, with its ogee forms, slender
clustered columns, and every portion of the building characterized by
extreme lightness, yet still loaded with a profusion of crowded
ornaments. If, however, this Lombardic style was practised as early as
the fifth or sixth century, in a town so backward in the science of
architecture as Rouen, what date is to be assigned for its introduction
into other parts of France, where the knowledge of the fine arts
disappeared for a much shorter period?--It must be left to the decision
of antiquaries, whom this passage in Fridegode seems to have escaped, to
determine how far the foregoing observations are just, and may serve to
throw light upon the history of the style of architecture called
_Gothic_, the origin of which in France has always been attended with
great obscurity."

[174] St. Ouen was born A.D. 600, at the village of Sanci, near
Soissons. He was of a noble family, and was educated in the abbey of St.
Médar, at Soissons, whence he was removed, at an early age, to the court
of Clothair II. At the court, he contracted an intimate friendship with
St. Eloi; and, under Dagobert, became the favorite of the monarch, as
well as his chancellor and minister of state. During the whole of his
life, his strong turn to religion rendered him a warm patron of monastic
establishments; and, among others, he founded the celebrated abbey of
Rebais en Brie. He was still young when he renounced the world, embraced
the ecclesiastical state, and devoted himself to the preaching of the
gospel; shortly after which, at the request of the inhabitants of Rouen,
he was appointed to succeed St. Romain, as their pastor. His
consecration took place in 646, and was performed in the church of the
monastery of St. Peter, since-called St. Ouen. It was also at his own
particular desire, that he was there interred. His name occurs among
those of the prelates who were present at the council of Châlons, in
650; he was likewise entrusted by the king with various important
negociations; and, after an earthly career, passed, according to his
historians, in the practice of every civil and apostolic virtue, he died
at Clichy, near Paris, in the year 689.

[175] The following extract from the _Neustria Pia_, p. 35, bears
witness at once to the merits of the abbot, and the light in which the
building was regarded throughout France.--"Hic Abbatiam reperit bonis
omnibus sufficienter munitam, pecunia et commeatu haud indigentem: quam
et ipse sapienter ac religiosè gubernavit, locupletavit, et vehementer
adauxit; tum possessionibus et redditibus, tum ædificiis ac
reparationibus: Basilicam iliam admirabili structura compositam,
totiusque Galliæ speciosissimam, construere coepit, anno 1318, die festo
S. _Urbani_; quam continuavit ad ann. usque 1339, in festo Apostolorum
SS. _Petri_ et _Pauli_: quo in opere expendit 63036 libras argenti, et
quinque solidos Turonensis: (quæ nunc haud posset compleri ædificio pro
663036 libris, etiam aureis) quorum omnium tesserem vetera hujusce domus
inclytæ monimenta nunc usque accuratè continent. De hujusmodi
celeberrima æde, sic quidam neotericus verè locutus est. _Nunc est S._
Audoeni: _cujus mirabilis structura, hodieque dubium relinquit, si alia
per Galliam splendidior et elegantior: Monasterium est tota quidem
Europa, celeberrimum, sed Patroni sui sanctitate magis æstimandum._ cui
alii adstipulantur. Et hoc, consilio et auxilio D. Caroli, Comitis
_Valesii_: cui operi Carolus Valesius VI. Rex ann. 1380, dono dedit tria
millia librarum ad instantiam Burgundiæ Ducis, sui patruelis."



  [Illustration: Plate 77. FOUNTAIN OF THE STONE CROSS AT ROUEN.]

Rouen has long boasted a pre-eminence over the greater part of the
cities of France, with respect to its public fountains. The chalk hills,
with which it is surrounded, furnish an abundant supply of excellent
springs; and the waters of these, led into different parts of the town,
contribute in no less a degree to the embellishment of the city, than to
the comfort of the inhabitants. The form of some, and the ornaments of
others, are well deserving of attention, notwithstanding the injuries
that have inevitably occurred from time, or the more cruel ones that
have been caused by wanton mutilation. It is upon historical record,
that there were several fountains at Rouen, as early as the twelfth
century, but their number, which now exceeds thirty, received its
principal increase towards the beginning of the sixteenth century; and
it was then also that the idea seems first to have been conceived of
making, what was originally designed only for convenience, subservient
to beauty. For this new supply of ornamental fountains, Rouen is
indebted to its great benefactor, the Cardinal Georges d'Amboise, who,
uniting the Norman archiepiscopal mitre to the office of prime minister,
under Louis XII. was no less able than he was willing, to render the
most essential services to the seat of his spiritual jurisdiction. It
was under the auspices of this archbishop, that the fountain here
figured, one of the earliest of that period, was erected. He caused it
to be built in the year 1500. The spot which it occupies, is the
cross-way formed by the union of the streets, called St. Vivien, St.
Hilaire, and Coqueraumont, a spot which, previously to the reign of St.
Louis, was not included within the walls of the town, and which, even at
the distance of one hundred years after that time, had not begun to be

So ancient is the practice of placing stone crosses at the junction of
roads in the vicinity of cities, that it would be difficult to assign
any probable time for the erection of that which was replaced by the
fountain that still bears its name. The waters of this fountain have
their origin in a spring, which flows at the foot of a hill near the
village of St. Léger, at some distance from Rouen. The execution of the
structure unites a happy mixture of boldness in outline, and delicacy in
details: its pyramidal form is graceful. It consists of three stories,
gradually diminishing in height and diameter as they rise, and
terminating in a cross, whose clumsy shape only renders the destruction
of that which it replaces the more to be regretted. The form is octagon
throughout; and upon every compartment in each of the stories, is
carved, at a short distance from its base, a narrow cinquefoil-headed
arch, surmounted by a triangular crocketed canopy. But the crockets and
finials have been in most instances destroyed. The water issues from
four pipes in the basement. Each of the arches of the lower tier serves
as a tabernacle for a wooden statue of a Madonna, or saint, of wretched
execution, a poor substitute for those that occupied the same niches
previously to the troubles of 1792, at which time the religious
character of the fountain marked it out as an object of popular
vengeance. It was suffered to continue in its mutilated and degraded
state, from that period till the year 1816, when the inhabitants of this
part of the town undertook to restore it at their own expense. Their
labors have hitherto proceeded no farther than filling the niches afresh
with images, and doing such repairs as were absolutely necessary to keep
the whole structure from falling into ruin. Even by this, however, they
have secured themselves the good will of the archbishop, who consecrated
the fountain with great pomp anew, on the 24th of August, 1816.

The resemblance between the _Fountain of the Stone Cross_, at Rouen, and
the monumental crosses erected in England by King Edward I. to
perpetuate the memory of his consort, Eleanor of Castillo, will not fail
to strike the British antiquary. It is more than probable, that the idea
of the former was borrowed from the latter, to which, however, it is
very inferior in point of richness of ornaments, or beauty of


[176] It is right to observe, that the accounts here given of this and
the following article, are little more than a translation, in the second
instance materially abridged, of what is published upon the same
subjects, in _Jolimont, Monumens de la Normandie_.



  [Illustration: Plate 78. PALACE OF JUSTICE, AT ROUEN.]

The building here figured was, from its foundation, devoted to the
purpose of the administration of justice; and, notwithstanding the many
mutilations to which it has at different times been exposed, it still
remains an interesting, and, in the city of Rouen, almost a unique
specimen of the sumptuous architectural taste of the age in which it was

Down to as late a period as the year 1499, there existed in Normandy no
stationary court of judicature; but the execution of the laws was
confided to an ambulatory tribunal, established, according to the
chroniclers, by Rollo himself, and known by the name of the _Exchequer_.
The sittings of this Norman exchequer were commonly held twice a year,
in spring and autumn, after the manner of the ancient parliaments of the
French kings; the places of session depending upon the pleasure of the
sovereign, or being determined in general, like the English _Aula
Regia_, by his presence. The inconveniences attendant upon such a mode
of administering justice, became of course the more heavily felt, in
proportion as the country increased in population and civilization.
Accordingly, the states-general of the province, assembled in the last
year of the fifteenth century, under the presidency of the Cardinal
d'Amboise, petitioned Louis XII. who was then upon the throne, to
appoint in the metropolis of the duchy a permanent judicature, in the
same manner as had been previously done in others of the principal
cities of the realm. The king was graciously pleased to accede to their
request; and, by the words of the royal edict, not only was the
exchequer rendered permanent in the good city of Rouen, but permission
was also granted to the members to hold their sittings in the great hall
of the castle, till such time as a suitable place should be prepared for
their reception.

It was on this occasion that the _Palace of Justice_ was built; a piece
of ground was selected for the purpose, that had been known by the name
of the Jews' Close, from the time when Philip-Augustus expelled the
children of Israel from France; and the foundations of the new structure
were laid within a few months after the obtaining of the royal sanction.
The progress, however, of the work, was not commensurate, in point of
rapidity, with the haste with which it was undertaken; even in 1506 the
labors were not brought to a conclusion, though, in that year, the
exchequer was installed by the king in person, with great pomp, in the
new palace. The sitting will long be memorable in the Norman annals, not
only as being the first, but as having been selected by the sovereign,
as an opportunity for bestowing various important favors upon the city
and duchy.

The palace, in its present state, is composed of three distinct
buildings, erected at different times, and forming collectively three
sides of a parallelogram, whose fourth side is merely a wall. The court
thus enclosed is spacious. One of these buildings, the front in the
plate, goes by the name of the _Salle des Procureurs_. Its erection was
six years anterior to that of the right-hand building, more properly
called the _Palace of Justice_; and the object in raising it was,
according to the edict of the bailiff upon the occasion, to serve as an
exchange to the merchants, and put a stop to the impious practice of
assembling, even upon feast-days, in the cathedral, for purposes of
business. At a subsequent time, this hall was added to the Palace of
Justice, and there was then built to it a chapel, now destroyed, in
which mass was regularly celebrated twice a year,--upon the anniversary
of the feast of St. Martin, the day of the meeting of parliament, and
upon Ascension-Day. The service on the first of these days, went by the
name of _la messe rouge_, because the members always attended in their
scarlet robes: on the second, and more important occasion, it was called
_la messe de la fierte_, being performed in commemoration of the
deliverance of the prisoner, by virtue of the privilege of St.
Romain.[177]--The exterior of the _Salle des Procureurs_ is
comparatively simple: the most highly decorated part of it is the
gable, which is flanked by two octangular turrets, ornamented with
crocketed pinnacles and flying buttresses. Within, it consists of a
noble hall, one hundred and sixty French feet in length, and fifty in
width, with a coved roof of timber, plain and bold, and destitute either
of the open tie-beams and arches, or the knot-work and cross-timber that
usually adorn the old English roofs. Below the hall is a prison.

The southern building, erected exclusively for the sittings of the
exchequer, is far more sumptuous in its decorations, both without and
within. The lucarne windows may even vie with those in the house in the
Place de la Pucelle.[178] Those below them find almost exact
counterparts in the _château_ at Fontaine-le-Henri, also figured in this
work.[179] To use the language of the French critics, this front, which
is more than two hundred feet in width, "est decorée de tout ce que
l'architecture de ce temps-là présente de plus délicat et de plus
riche." The oriel or tower of enriched workmanship, which, by projecting
into the court, breaks the uniformity of the elevation, is perhaps the
part that more than any other merits such encomium. But it is only half
the front that has been allowed to continue in its original state: the
other half has been degraded by alterations, or stripped of its
ornaments.--The room in which the parliament formerly met, and which is
now employed for the trial of criminal causes, still remains
comparatively uninjured. Its ceiling of oak, nearly as black as ebony,
divided into numerous compartments, and covered with a profusion of
carving and of gilt ornaments, not only affords a gorgeous example of
the taste of the time, but immediately strikes the stranger as well
suited to the dignity of the purpose to which the apartment was
appropriated. But the open-work bosses of this ceiling are gone, as are
the doors enriched with sculpture, and the ancient chimney, and the
escutcheons charged with sacred devices, and the great painting, by
which, before the revolution, witnesses were made to swear.[180]

The building that fronts the _Salle des Procureurs_, and forms the third
side of the court, was not erected till after the year 1700. Its front
is an imitation of the Ionic order, a style which harmonizes so ill with
the rest of the quadrangle, as to produce an unfavorable effect An
accident which happened to the wood-work of the upper part of this
front, on the 1st of April, 1812, unfortunately involved the destruction
of a painting held in the highest estimation; the representation of
Jupiter hurling his thunderbolts at Vice, executed by Jouvenet, upon the
ceiling of an apartment called _la seconde Chambre des Enquêtes_.
Jouvenet, who commonly passes under the name of the Michelagnolo of
France, was born at Rouen, in 1664; and, in conjunction with Fontenelle
and the great Corneille, forms the triumvirate, of which the city has
most reason to feel proud. The painting in the Palace of Justice was
regarded as one of the happiest efforts of his pencil, and was not the
less remarkable for having been executed with his left hand, after a
paralytic stroke had deprived him of the use of the other.


[177] See p. 51.

[178] See plate 64.

[179] Plate 63.

[180] Upon this subject Mr. Turner is in error: it appears, from his
_Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 193, that he was informed that the painting,
now actually over the judges' bench, is the same by which it was
originally customary to take the oath; but M. Jolimont, who is,
unquestionably, better authority, states the contrary in the following
note:--"Le tableau, sur lequel on faisait jurer les témoins, et qui
avait près de douze pieds d'élévation, consistait en trois portions ou
bandes horizontales réunies dans un grand cadre sculpté à la manière du
temps. La première, et la plus élevée, présentait quatre écussons aux
armes de France, parsemés de fleurs de lis d'or; celle du milieu
offrait, sous cinq arcades en ogives avec fleurons, un Christ entre la
Vierge et saint Jean, et les quatre Evangelistes; au-dessous, un Moyse,
et les tables de la loi: il existait encore au moment de la révolution;
on l'a remplacé, au mois de janvier 1816, par un autre, d'environ quatre
pieds de hauteur, donné (dit l'inscription moderne mise au bas) par
Louis XII à l'Echiquier, lorsqu'il l'établit au palais. Ce second
tableau, recueilli pendant la révolution par les soins de M. Gouel,
graveur, et dont il a bien voulu faire hommage à la Cour royale (voir, à
ce sujet, le Journal de Rouen, du 30 janvier 1816), est composé de deux
parties: l'une renferme un Christ entre saint Jean et la Vierge;
l'autre, en forme de couronnement, présente deux figures à mi-corps,
avec des légendes; mais ces deux parties hétérogènes ne sont que deux
fragmens ajustés ensemble. Le premier, qui représente le Christ, est
évidemment la portion qui remplissait une des cinq arcades du grand
tableau dont nous venons de parler, et l'autre est une partie seulement
du tableau donné par Louis XII, et qui orna, pendant plus de deux
siècles, le manteau de la belle cheminée de la chambre du Conseil que
nous citons ci-après. Les deux figures, aujourd'hui mutilées, étaient en
pied, et représentaient le Roi Louis XII et le Cardinal d'Amboise, avec
ces mots écrits sur des bandelettes, que les deux personnages semblent
s'adresser: _Pontifices, agite: Magistrats, agissez;--et vos Reges,
dicite justa: et vous Rois, soyez justes_. Ces fragmens de deux tableaux
différens, réunis, avec assez d'art, et qui paraissent être seuls
échappés à la destruction, sont encore fort curieux, et l'on doit savoir
gré à M. Gouel de leur conservation, et de la générosité avec laquelle
il les a rendus à leur destination primitive."



  [Illustration: Plate 79. CHURCH OF LOUVIERS.
  _South Porch._]

Louviers is one of the most considerable of the numerous manufacturing
towns which surround Rouen in every direction, depending altogether for
their prosperity upon the state of commerce in the provincial capital.
Its population consists of about seven thousand inhabitants. Its
position is beautiful, in a small island formed by the Eure, which
divides, in the immediate vicinity of the town, into two streams,
flowing through a valley of the most luxuriant fertility, enclosed by
hills covered for the greater part with extensive forests.

The name of Louviers, in Latin _Locoveris_, occurs upon more than one
occasion, in the early Norman chronicles; and the town, though never
fortified, has obtained a considerable degree of historical celebrity.
When Richard Coeur-de-Lion, escaped from his captivity in the east,
hastened to punish the perfidy with which he had been on all sides
assailed during his absence, and Normandy became the theatre of a most
bloody warfare, Louviers had the honor of being selected as the place in
which these differences were composed. The treaty signed upon this
occasion, in 1195, prescribed new bounds to the duchy; and the old
historians, who always delight in consecrating the recital of any
memorable event by a mixture of the marvellous, tell how, at the moment
when the kings were engaged in the conference which led to this treaty,
a serpent of enormous size darted from the foot of the tree beneath
which they were standing, and approached them with marks of great fury,
hissing violently at both, as if in the act to attack them. The
monarchs, who were alone, instantly laid their hands upon their swords;
and the armies, who stood at a short distance on either side arranged in
battle array, alarmed at such hostile demonstrations, had well nigh
joined in a fresh combat.--Only the following year, Louviers was one of
the towns ceded by Richard to Walter, archbishop of Rouen, by way of
compensation for the infringement of the rights of the see, of which he
had been guilty in the erection of Château Gaillard. The possession of
Louviers was peculiarly acceptable to the prelate, as being in the
immediate vicinity of the village of Pinterville, where the archbishops
of Rouen then had their country seat: they continued to occupy the same
till the reign of St. Louis, when that monarch conferred upon them the
castle of Gaillon, which they held till the revolution.

Louviers was taken in 1345, by the English army under King Edward III.
then on his march for Paris, after the battle of Caen; and Froissart, in
relating the circumstance, takes occasion to mention the importance of
the place, stating that the town was then a great one, and "the chief
town of all Normandy for drapery and riches, and full of merchandize.
But, not being closed, the hostile army soon entered it." He goes on to
add, not much to the credit of the invading host, that "they overran,
and spoiled and robbed without mercy; and that they won there great
riches."--In 1360, Louviers was once more chosen as the spot where peace
was signed: the treaty that had been concluded at Bretigny, was
confirmed at Paris by the Regent, and was finally ratified by the Black
Prince in this town.--During the subsequent wars, under Henry V. and VI.
Louviers is repeatedly mentioned; but principally for opposing a
resistance of twenty-six days to the English in 1418.--In the time of
the league, it distinguished itself most unfortunately by its devoted
attachment to the Catholic cause; in consequence of which, it was
pillaged by the royalists shortly after the battle of Ivry.[181]

The church of Louviers is an imposing structure: though materially
injured, and reduced to no more than a nave with its four aisles, it is
still a spacious and handsome building. The great western door is
closed, and the front defaced: the eastern end is likewise altogether
modern. The central tower is handsome, though square and short. Two
windows, very similar to those of the tower of St. Romain, in Rouen
cathedral, light it on either side; and saints, placed under canopies,
ornament the angles behind the buttresses. A second tower, to the west,
is surmounted with a truncated cone. The south porch,[182] here figured,
is the great feature of the exterior; and, for beauty and elegance in
the formation or disposition of its parts, it may safely be put in
competition with any similar portion of an ecclesiastical building,
either in Normandy or in England. Yet, even here, the saints have been
torn from their pedestals by the wanton violence of Calvinists or of

Internally, the church is a fine specimen of the pointed architecture of
the thirteenth century;[183] but, to use the words of Mr. Turner, from
whose Tour[184] a great part of the preceding description has been
borrowed, "the whole is so concealed and degraded by ornaments in the
worst of taste, and by painted saints in the most tawdry dresses, that
the effect is disgusting." In the windows of the church there still
remains a considerable quantity of painted glass; and a bas-relief on
the right of the choir is well deserving of attention. It is placed
under a niche, which in all probability was originally filled with a
statue of St. Hubert; as the sculpture pourtrays a well-known legend,
recorded in his history--the miraculous stag with a cross between his
antlers, seen by the hunter-knight.--The foliage at the base of the niche
is executed with particular elegance and skill.

In the town of Louviers is an old house, said to have belonged to the
Knights Templars. Its gable, pierced with numerous windows, generally in
the form of flatly pointed arches, each of them containing a couple of
arches with trefoil-heads, has given currency to the tale of its
original destination. It was figured some time since by M. Langlois, in
a work commenced to illustrate the Antiquities of Normandy, but of which
the first number only appeared; and it has recently been lithographized
by M. Nodier. But, from the style of its architecture, it does not
appear to have been erected anterior to the fourteenth century, however
confidently it is referred by M. Langlois to the twelfth or


[181] Sully, in his _Memoirs_, I. p. 254, (_English translation_) gives
the following account of its capture:--"The King succeeded better at
Louviers: this town kept a priest in its pay; who, from the top of a
belfry, which he never left, played the part of a spy with great
exactness. If he saw but a single person in the field, he rung a certain
bell, and hung out at the same side a great flag. We did not despair of
being able to corrupt his fidelity, which two hundred crowns, and a
promise of a benefice worth three thousand livres a year, effected.
There remained only to gain some of the garrison; the Sieur du Rollet
took this upon himself, and succeeded. He addressed himself to a
corporal and two soldiers, who easily prevailed upon the rest of the
garrison to trust the guard of one of the gates to them only. Every
thing being thus arranged, the King presented himself before Louviers,
at twelve o'clock in the night. No one rung the bell, nor was there the
least motion in the garrison. Du Rollet entered, and opened the gate,
through which the King passed, without the smallest resistance, into the
centre of the town. Fontaine Martel made some ineffectual efforts to
draw the garrison together: as for the citizens, they were employed in
concealing their wives and daughters. The town, whose chief riches
consisted in its magazines of linen and leather, was wholly pillaged: I
had a gentleman with me, called Beaugrard, a native of Louviers, who was
of great use to us in discovering where these sort of goods were
concealed, and a prodigious quantity of them was amassed together. The
produce of my share amounted to three thousand livres. The King
consigned to Du Rollet the government of Louviers."

[182] Mr. Cotman very much regrets that it was not in his power to do
this porch the justice it deserved, in consequence of the continual
interruptions to which he was exposed from the lower class of the

[183] M. Nodier, in his _Voyages Pittoresques et Romantiques_, has
figured the interior of this church, the erection of which he refers (p.
18) to the time of the first crusades; but a comparison of the building
with others of that æra, would scarcely warrant such a conclusion.

[184] Vol. II. p. 287.



  [Illustration: Plate 80. CHÂTEAU GAILLARD.
  _North East View._]

On the building of Château Gaillard, the following account is given by
Masseville, in his _History of Normandy_:[185]--"In the year 1196, a few
months after the treaty of Louviers had been concluded between
Philip-Augustus and Richard Coeur-de-Lion, the Norman Duke, considering
how frequently inroads had been made into his territories, by the way of
Andelys, resolved to strengthen himself by means of a formidable barrier
in that quarter. With this view, he built a fortress upon an island in
the Seine, opposite the village of Lesser Andelys; and, at the same
time, erected upon the brow of the rock that overhung the river, a
castle of the greatest possible strength, without, however, reflecting
how far these works were likely to affect the rights, or to diminish the
revenues, of the see of Rouen, to whom the ground belonged. But Walter,
who then wore the archiepiscopal mitre, was by no means of a character
patiently to submit to an invasion of his privileges. He complained
loudly during the progress of the works, menaced the artificers, and
even the prince himself, with the vengeance of the church; and, finally,
finding his threats and his remonstrances equally disregarded, had
recourse to the bold measure of laying the whole of Normandy under a
spiritual interdict. The king, alarmed at so decisive a step, appealed
to the papal see, and sent the bishops of Durham and of Lisieux, as his
ambassadors to Rome. The archbishop also repaired thither to plead his
own cause; and the affair was finally compromised by an exchange, in
virtue of which, the castles were allowed to stand, and the secular
seigniory of Andelys was ceded to the duke, who, in return for this
acquisition, and to obtain his reconciliation to the church, gave up to
the primate the towns and lordships of Dieppe and Louviers, the land and
forest of Alihermont, the land and lordship of Bouteilles, and the mills
of Rouen."--The contract was considered of so much importance, that the
archbishop of Canterbury, together with several other English prelates,
as well as almost all those of Normandy, and many of the principal
abbots and noblemen of the province, were summoned to sanction the
execution of it by their presence. Such were the benefits it was
supposed to bestow upon the church, that it has passed in ecclesiastical
history, under the significant appellation of the _celebris permutatio_.

But the king also congratulated himself, and not without reason, upon
having opposed an impregnable barrier to the inroads of his more
powerful, and scarcely less active, neighbor. He delighted in Château
Gaillard, the very name of which is said to have had its origin in proud
mockery and defiance; and he himself, in his public acts, designated it
his "_beautiful castle of the rock_." Many of his charters bear date
from this fortress; so that, though only begun three years before the
death of the monarch, it is plain that it was already habitable in his
life-time. It may likewise safely be inferred, that it was then quite
finished; for his dastardly successor, engaged either in distant wars,
or in intrigues at home, from the moment of his mounting the throne, had
bestowed no thought upon the strengthening of his hereditary continental
dominions, till he found himself, in the year 1202, attacked by
Philip-Augustus at the head of an overwhelming army, while his own
subjects were but little disposed to assist a prince, whose hands were
reeking with his nephew's blood.

It was at this time that Château Gaillard supported the siege which will
render its name for ever memorable in history. Long, and curious, and
interesting details of the occurrences connected with the capture of the
castle, are given by Father Daniel: Du Moulin also briefly enumerates a
few of the many stratagems to which the French king was obliged to have
recourse. But those who delight in narratives of this kind, or who
desire to obtain full information relative to the attacks and defence,
combined with a lively picture of the strength of the fortress, must be
referred to Brito, the poetical chronicler of the exploits of
Philip-Augustus. The whole of the seventh book of the _Philippiad_ of
that author, containing no fewer than eight hundred and forty-one lines,
are devoted to this single subject; so eventful was the history of the
siege, and so great the importance attached to the capture of the place.
The fall of Château Gaillard was almost immediately followed by the
total subversion of the power of the Norman Dukes; but, as to the
fortress itself, though its situation was no longer such as to give it
importance, Brito expressly states, that Philip bestowed great pains
upon the restoring of its damaged works, and upon augmenting its
strength by the addition of new ones:--

    "Rex ita Gaillardo per prælia multa potitus,
    Cuncta reædificat vel ab ipso diruta, vel quæ
    Improbus appositis destruxerat ignibus hostis,
    In triplo meliùs et fortiùs intùs et extrà,
    Antea quàm fuerint muros et cætera firmans."

Fortunately for France, the subsequent state of the kingdom rendered
precautions of this description unnecessary; Château Gaillard appears no
more in history as a formidable fortress, except upon the occasion of
the occupation of the Gallic throne by Henry V. and of the expulsion of
his successor. In the former case, the castle did not surrender to the
English army, till after a vigorous resistance of sixteen months;[186]
and even then its garrison, though composed of only one hundred and
twenty men, would not have yielded, had not the ropes of their
water-buckets been worn out and destroyed: in the latter instance, it
was one of the last of the strong holds of Normandy that held out for
the successors of its ancient dukes; and the siege of six weeks,
sustained by a dispirited army, was scarcely less honorable to its
defenders, than the far longer resistance opposed on former occasions.

Even after the final re-union of the duchy, Château Gaillard was neither
purposely destroyed, nor suffered to fall through neglect into decay,
like the greater number of the Norman fortresses. During the religious
wars, it still continued to be a military post, as well as a royal
palace; and it was honored with the residence of Henry IV. whose father,
Anthony of Bourbon, died here in 1562. Its importance ceased in the
following reign. The inhabitants of the adjacent country petitioned the
King to give orders that the castle should be dismantled. They dreaded,
lest its towers should serve as an asylum to some of the numerous bands
of marauders, by whom France was then infested. It was consequently
undermined, and reduced to its present state of ruin.

If the name of this castle is to be found at other times, in "the
historian's ample page," it is only in the comparatively unimportant
character of a place of safe confinement for state prisoners, or, on one
occasion, as a temporary residence for a fugitive monarch. In the latter
capacity, it opened its gates to David Bruce, in 1331, when the Scottish
prince, received by Philip de Valois, with all the honours due to an
exiled sovereign, had this palace assigned him as a regal residence, and
was permitted to maintain here, for a while, the pageantry of a court.
As a prison, Château Gaillard was frequently employed: it was in
particular distinguished with an unenviable preference in one of the
most disgraceful æras of the history of France. Margaret of Burgundy,
the Queen of Louis X. and Blanche, the consort of his brother, Charles
le Bel, were both of them confined here, after having been tried and
convicted of adultery; together with Jane, another princess of the house
of Burgundy, the wife to Philip, brother to Louis and Charles. Margaret
was shortly after murdered in this castle; when Louis, intent upon a
fresh marriage with the princess Clementia of Hungary, found an obstacle
to his wishes in the protracted existence of his former queen.

  [Illustration: Plate 81. CHÂTEAU GAILLARD.
  _South West View._]

Of the extent, the magnificence, the commanding situation, or the
imposing appearance of Château Gaillard, it is almost equally difficult
to convey an adequate idea by the pencil or by the pen. "The faithful
eye" can alone give satisfaction upon such subjects. Mr. Turner's
account of the present state of the ruin, has the merit of being the
most copious that has yet appeared; and the following extract from it
shall therefore conclude this article:--"Our expectations respecting
Château Gaillard were more than answered. Considered as to its
dimensions and its situation, it is by far the finest castellated ruin I
ever saw. Conway, indeed, has more beauty; but Château Gaillard is
infinitely superior in dignity. Its ruins crown the summit of a lofty
rock, abruptly rising from the very edge of the Seine, whose sinuous
course here shapes the adjoining land into a narrow peninsula. The
chalky cliffs on each side of the castle are broken into hills of
romantic form, which add to the impressive wildness of the scene.
Towards the river, the steepness of the cliff renders the fortress
unassailable: a double fosse of great depth, defended by a strong wall,
originally afforded almost equal protection on the opposite side.

"The circular keep is of extraordinary strength, and in its construction
differs wholly from any of our English dungeon-towers. It may be
described as a cylinder, placed upon a truncated cone. The massy
perpendicular buttresses, which are ranged round the upper wall, whence
they project considerably, lose themselves at their bases in the cone
from which they arise. The building, therefore, appears to be divided
into two stories. The wall of the second story is upwards of twelve feet
in thickness. The base of the conical portion is perhaps twice as thick.
It seldom happens that the military buildings of the middle ages have
such a _talus_ or slope, on the exterior face, agreeing with the
principles of modern fortification; and it is difficult to guess why the
architect of Château Gaillard thought fit to vary from the established
model of his age. The masonry is regular and good. The pointed windows
are evidently insertions of a period long subsequent to the original

"The inner ballium is surrounded by a high circular wall, which consists
of an uninterrupted line of bastions, some semi-circular and others
square. The whole of this part of the castle remains nearly perfect.
There are also traces of extensive foundations in various directions,
and of great out-works. Château Gaillard was, in fact, a citadel,
supported by numerous smaller fortresses, all of them communicating with
the strong central hold, and disposed so as to secure every defensible
post in the neighborhood. The wall of the outer ballium, which was built
of a compact white and grey stone, is in most places standing, though in
ruins. The original facing only remains in those parts which are too
elevated to admit of its being removed with ease.--Beneath the castle,
the cliff is excavated into a series of subterraneous caverns, not
intended for mere passages or vaults, as at Arques and in most other
places, but forming spacious crypts supported by pillars roughly hewn
out of the living rock, and still retaining every mark of the workman's

"The keep cannot be ascended without difficulty. We ventured to scale
it; and we were fully repaid for our labor by the prospect which we
gained. The Seine, full of green willowy islands, flows beneath the rock
in large lazy windings: the peninsula below is flat, fertile, and well
wooded: on the opposite shores, the fantastic chalky cliffs rise boldly,
crowned with dark forests."


[185] Vol. II. p. 113.

[186] So says Monstrelet; and he has generally been followed; but,
according to Masseville, (_Histoire de Normandie_, IV. p. 84) the Norman
Chronicle limits the duration of the siege to only seven months.



  [Illustration: Plate 82. ABBEY CHURCH OF MONTIVILLIERS.
  _West End._]

Montivilliers is a town of about four thousand inhabitants, situated in
a beautiful valley upon a small stream, called the _Lezarde_, near the
western extremity of the Pays de Caux, within the distance of six
leagues from Fécamp, and two from Havre de Grace. Its fortifications,
now in ruins, were erected near the close of the fourteenth century,
till which time it was altogether defenceless; but the state of France,
just recovered from one English invasion and threatened with another,
turned the thoughts of the government towards the securing of all
vulnerable points on the northern frontier; and the trade of the place,
though at present trifling, was at that period far otherwise. The cloths
of Montivilliers were then considered to rival those of Flanders; and
the preservation of the manufacture was regarded of so much consequence,
that sundry regulations respecting it are to be found in the royal
ordinances. The two circular towers of one of the gates now standing,
afford a good specimen of the military architecture of the time.

Montivilliers is called in Latin, _Monasterium villare_; and in old
French, _Monstier Vieil_: the present name of the town is obviously a
corruption of these; and the same fact also denotes that the place
derived its importance, if not its existence, from the monastery. Among
the Norman historians, the foundation of Montivilliers is referred to
the seventh century; during the latter half of which, St. Philibert,
abbot of Jumieges, built a convent here for a community of nuns. The
monastery was richly endowed; but no records are left of its history
previously to the incursions of the Normans, under whose hands it at
first suffered the same destruction as the other religious houses in
Neustria, and afterwards rose, like them, from its ashes, with increased
splendor and opulence. The immediate successors of Rollo rebuilt the
abbey, but without restoring it to its original destination. Richard II.
conferred it, with all its dependencies, upon the more favored monks of
Fécamp; and, in the donation, he makes use of the strong expression, "ut
ex eo facerent quicquid vellent, tamquam ex proprio alodo." The union of
the two establishments was, however, but short lived: either under the
same prince, or, as some authors say, under his son Robert,
Montivilliers once more resumed a state of independence, and became once
more the retreat of holy virgins. The duke was moved to this step by the
solicitation of his aunt Beatrice, who retired hither, and took the
veil, and presided over the sisterhood; and the monastery of St. Taurin
at Evreux was, on this occasion, ceded to Fécamp, in exchange for
Montivilliers. A portion of the charter is preserved in the _Neustria
Pia_; and, according to this work, the instrument was subsequently
ratified by the signatures of William the Conqueror, and of Philip le
Bel. At different times, various papal bulls were issued, for the
purpose of placing the abbey of Montivilliers under the especial
protection of the holy see, and of granting it sundry privileges and
immunities. These are also recorded in the same publication. One of
them, originating in a dispute between the archbishop of Rouen and the
abbess of Montivilliers, is but little to the credit of either party. It
represents the lady-abbess as by no means free from irregularities in
the performance of her office; it charges one of her nuns with dissolute
life; and it arraigns the primate himself of being the cause, if not the
immediate instrument, of scandal:--"Siquidem, ex parte abbatissæ fuit
propositum et probatum, quòd quidam, qui cum eodem archiepiscopo et suis
prædecessoribus venerant ad monasterium memoratum, turpia quædam et
illicita commiserunt contra honestatem observantiæ regularis, in
scandalum plurimorum: volumus et mandamus, ut, cùm archiepiscopus
Rothomagensis ad monasterium ipsum, causâ visitationis, accesserit, ab
ingressu claustri aliarumque domorum, in quibus habitant moniales,
familiam suam talitèr studeat coercere, quòd de cætero similia non
contingant. Ipse quoque archiepiscopus, ejusdem monasterii claustrum vel
capitulum intraturus, non nisi cum moderatâ societate accedat, quæ vitâ
et moribus sit honesta; ut per officium visitationis ejusdem, non
dissolutionis vel scandali, sed ædificationis potiùs materia
ministretur."--The instrument, which is of considerable length, goes on
to accuse the prelate of affording protection to some refractory nuns,
and enjoins him never to suffer his clergy to frequent the abbey upon
any pretext, or upon any occasion.

The church of Montivilliers, represented in the present plate, is the
same as before the revolution belonged to the abbey. The portion to the
north is the chapter-house, and is the work of the fourteenth century.
The greater part of the rest of the building, though altered in some
places, may safely be referred to the eleventh; at which time it is upon
record, that Elizabeth, who succeeded Beatrice as abbess, nearly, if not
altogether, rebuilt the whole. At subsequent periods, the church
underwent many considerable repairs and alterations. A sum of seven
hundred florins was expended upon it in 1370, the proceeds of a fine
imposed upon the town, for some injuries done to the nuns; and
Toussaints Varrin, archbishop of Thessalonica, dedicated the edifice, in
1513, under the invocation of the Holy Virgin. Five years subsequently,
the abbess, Jane Mustel, repaired the ceiling and painted windows, and
made the stalls in the choir.[187]--The exterior of the Lady-Chapel
affords a fine example of early pointed architecture; its lofty narrow
windows are separated by slender cylindrical pillars, as in the church
of the Holy Trinity, at Caen. The embattled ornament round the southern
door of the western front, is far from commonly seen in such situations.
In the interior of the nave, the same massive semi-circular architecture
prevails as in the towers; but it is mixed with some peculiarities that
will scarcely be found elsewhere, particularly a flat band in the form
of a pilaster, enriched with losenges, which is attached to the front of
one of the columns, and is continued over the roof, and again down the
pillar on the opposite side. Mr. Turner noticed a small gallery, or
pulpit, of elegant filigree stone-work, at the west end, near the
roof;[188] and, upon the authority of the well-known antiquary, John
Carter, he supposed it most probably intended to receive a band of
singers on high festivals. But some corresponding erections in England
would make it seem more likely that this gallery communicated with the
apartments of the superior, and was placed here for the purpose of
affording her the means of paying her devotions in private, when, either
from the weather, or any other cause, she might not wish to occupy her
throne in the choir.

Mr. Turner has also remarked upon the capitals of the columns at
Montivilliers, which are very peculiar. Some of them are obvious
imitations of the antique pattern, and of great beauty. Others are as
rude and wild as any of those already figured in this work, from the
churches of St. Georges or Gournay. The mysteries of Christianity, and
the fables and allegories of heathenism, the latter, as well in its most
refined as its most barbarous forms, occur in endless variety in almost
every part of the edifice. One of the capitals contains a representation
of the fabulous Sphynx, with her tail ending in a fleur-de-lys: upon
another, is sculptured a figure of Christ in the act of destroying the
Dragon, by thrusting the end of a crosier into its mouth. Two others,
figured in the _Tour in Normandy_, exhibit a group of Centaurs, and the
allegorical _psychostasia_: the remarks of the author of that
publication, upon the latter of these, shall close the present
article:--"In this you observe an angel weighing the good works of the
deceased against his evil deeds; and, as the former are far exceeding
the avoirdupois upon which Satan is to found his claim, he is
endeavoring most unfairly to depress the scale with his two-pronged
fork.--This allegory is of frequent occurrence in the monkish
legends.--The saint, who was aware of the frauds of the fiend, resolved
to hold the balance himself.--He began by throwing in a pilgrimage to a
miraculous virgin.--The devil pulled out an assignation with some fair
mortal Madonna, who had ceased to be immaculate.--The saint laid in the
scale the sackcloth and ashes of the penitent of Lenten-time.--Satan
answered the deposit by the vizard and leafy robe of the masker of the
carnival. Thus did they still continue equally interchanging the sorrows
of godliness with the sweets of sin; and still the saint was distressed
beyond compare, by observing that the scale of the wicked thing (wise
men call him the correcting principle,) always seemed the heaviest.
Almost did he despair of his client's salvation, when he luckily saw
eight little jetty black claws just hooking and clenching over the rim
of the golden basin. The claws at once betrayed the craft of the cloven
foot. Old Nick had put a little cunning young devil under the balance,
who, following the dictates of his senior, kept clinging to the scale,
and swaying it down with all his might and main. The saint sent the imp
to his proper place in a moment; and instantly the burthen of
transgression was seen to kick the beam.--Painters and sculptors also
often introduced this ancient allegory of the balance of good and evil,
in their representations of the last judgment: it was even employed by
Lucas Kranach."


[187] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, II. p. 108.

[188] _Tour in Normandy_, I. p. 69.



  [Illustration: Plate 83. CHURCH OF ST. SANSON SUR RILLE.
  _Remains of & capitals._]

Normandy, throughout the whole of its extent, can scarcely boast a
lovelier stream than the Rille. Originating in the southern part of the
duchy, this little river advances in a northerly direction, rolling its
sparkling waters in rapid course, through a valley of the most brilliant
verdure, till they mingle with the British Channel, at a very short
distance from the west of the mouth of the Seine. The Rille, in every
part of its current, is varied by an infinity of islands, formed by the
division of its waters. Hence its principal beauty, and hence also
considerable benefit for the purpose of manufacture; but the same
circumstance is fatal to the more important objects of commerce; for it
is in a great measure owing to this multiplicity of channels, that the
river is navigable to only a very short way above Pont Audemer; a
distance scarcely exceeding ten miles from its confluence with the

The small village of St. Sanson is situated upon the right bank of the
Rille, within a league of its mouth. Its church, the same most probably
as is figured in this plate, is enumerated among the possessions
confirmed to the Benedictine monastery of St. Martin, at Troarn, by a
bull of Pope Innocent III. dated in the year 1210. In after-times, the
presentation to the living was in the hands of the bishops of Dol, in
Brittany, who likewise continued till the revolution to be both temporal
and spiritual lords of the parish, in right, as they alledged, of the
ancient barony of St. Sanson, which was annexed to their see.[189] Other
writers asserted, that the bishops held their authority here, as
successors to the superiors of an abbey, founded upon this spot in the
middle of the sixth century, by Childebert I. in favor of St. Sanson,
then bishop of Dol. But the monastery fell during the earliest
incursions of the Normans, and never rose again. Old traditions state it
to have been called in French, _Pentale_; and in Latin, _Monasterium
Pentaliense_: a corruption, as it is supposed, of _Poenitentiale_. A
neighboring chapel, under the invocation of _Notre Dame de Pentale_,
gives color to the report.

Of the church of St. Sanson, nothing more is now left than is exhibited
in the plate: the remains consist only of the chancel, and the arch
which separated it from the nave. But even these, inconsiderable as they
appear, have been judged deserving of a place among the more remarkable
of the architectural antiquities of Normandy: the peculiar character of
the capitals, and the small size of the whole, have entitled them to
this distinction. Upon regarding the arch, it is scarcely possible but
to be struck with the impression, that, though in its present state its
height is barely sufficient to allow of a man walking upright through
it, there must originally have been an inner member, which has now
disappeared. The capitals differ materially from any others ever seen by
Mr. Cotman in Normandy; but Mr. Joseph Woods, whose authority is
unquestionable, says that similar ones are to be found in the Temple of
Bacchus, at Teos. There are also several, which in shape resemble these
at St. Sanson, in the very remarkable church of St. Vitalis, at
Ravenna,[190] and in the cloisters of the monastery of St.
Scolastica,[191] at Subiaco: the latter also exhibit a certain degree of
similarity in the sculpture.


[189] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, II. p. 777.

[190] _Seroux d'Agincourt, Histoire de la Décadence de l'Art.
Architecture_, t. 23. f. 7, 8; _and_ t. 69. f. 14.

[191] _Ibid._ t. 29. f. 3, 4.



  [Illustration: Plate 84. CHURCH OF FOULLEBEC.
  _West Door-way._]

The church of Foullebec, a small village situated upon the Rille, nearly
opposite to St. Sanson, is a building of Norman times; but the only
portion of it particularly calculated to recommend it to attention, is
the arch figured in this plate. This arch exhibits two peculiarities,
which it would be difficult, if not impossible, to parallel in Normandy;
the ornamented shafts of the pillars, and the extraordinary width of the
southern capital, which is more than double that of the column below.
The same was also, in all probability, the case with the capital, now
destroyed, on the opposite side of the door-way; and as it is plain that
there never was a second pillar, either on the one side or the other,
the only satisfactory mode of accounting for this singularity, is upon
the supposition, that it was the original intention of the architect to
have placed such, but that circumstances occurred which induced him to
leave his design unfinished.--Ornamented shafts of columns, however
unfrequently found in Normandy, are far from being of very uncommon
occurrence in the specimens that are left of genuine Norman art in
Great-Britain. Mr. Carter, in his elaborate work upon ancient English
architecture, has collected a variety of similar enrichments in his
thirty-third plate; and some of them extremely beautiful. Several others
are to be found in the more splendid volumes of Mr. Britton.--The
sculpture upon the archivolt is also deserving of observation: upon one
of the central stones, is represented the bannered lamb; upon the other,
a figure, probably intended for a representation of our Savior entering
Jerusalem upon an ass. The heads on either side are of an unusual

The church at Foullebec, as well in its nave as chancel, is externally
divided by plain Norman buttresses into a series of regular
compartments, each containing a single circular-headed window. In the
nave are four; in the chancel only two. The tower is square and low: it
is placed at the west end, which is only pierced for the door-way, and
is otherwise quite plain, except a buttress at each corner. Internally,
the only object to be noticed is an ancient cylindrical font; its sides
sculptured with semi-circular arches, and a narrow moulding round the



  [Illustration: Plate 85. CASTLE AT TANCARVILLE.]

M. Nodier, who, in his _Voyages Pittoresques_, has devoted six plates to
the illustration of the noble ruins of the castle at Tancarville,
remarks with great justice, that, magnificent as the building must have
been, "it is one that recals but few historical recollections." At the
same time he gives the following quotation from the old _Norman
Chronicle_:--"During the reign of King Philip le Bel, after the knight
of the green lion had conquered the King of Arragon, a great dissention
arose between two powerful barons in Normandy, the Lord of Harecourt and
the Chamberlain of Tancarville. The cause of their strife was a mill, of
which the Dwarf of Harecourt, assisted by forty of his people in arms,
had taken forcible possession, mistreating the vassals of the
Chamberlain. The latter, incensed at the outrage, summoned his friends
and attendants; and, having collected them to the number of two hundred,
marched upon Lillebonne, where the Lord of Harecourt and the Dwarf, his
brother, were at that time residing. Many and bitter were the reproaches
uttered on either side; and severe was the contest that followed; for
the Lord of Harecourt issued from the barriers with all his forces, and
they defended themselves valiantly; and several lives were lost. The
king, on receiving the tidings, was greatly discomforted, and bade the
Sieur Enguerrand de Marigni summon the offending parties to appear
before him. It chanced most untowardly, that they met as they were
travelling towards the court; and the Lord of Harecourt attacked the
Chamberlain, and with his gauntlet put out his left eye, and then
returned to his own people. No sooner was he of Tancarville healed, than
he repaired to the royal presence, and defied the Lord of Harecourt to
single combat. The pledge was accepted by M. Charles de Valois, brother
of the king, on behalf of his friend. On the other hand, M. Enguerrand
de Marigny, privy counsellor of the monarch, maintained that Harecourt
had been guilty of treason. This was denied by M. Charles, to whom
Enguerrand in consequence gave the lie; and the former took the affront
so cruelly to heart, that Enguerrand, brave man as he was, was
afterwards hanged in consequence of it. When the conditions of battle
were arranged, the Lord of Harecourt came into the field with his armor
emblazoned with fleurs-de-lys; and the combatants fought with the utmost
valor, till the Kings of England and of Navarre, who were present,
besought the monarch of France to stay the fight; for that it would be
great pity that two so valiant chiefs should fall by each other's hand.
Upon this, the king cried 'Ho!' and both parties were satisfied; and
peace was made between them by the foreign sovereigns, in the year

The same circumstance is related, though with some trifling variations
in the details, by Masseville, in his _History of Normandy_, a work of
which almost every volume bears frequent testimony to the greatness of
the house of Tancarville. This family enjoyed the hereditary dignity of
chamberlain to the Norman dukes; but at what period it was conferred
upon them, is lost in the obscurity of early history. Ralph de
Tancarville, who founded the abbey of St. Georges de Bocherville, about
the year 1050,[192] is styled in the _Neustria Pia_, under the account
of that monastry, as "Tancardi-Villæ Toparcha, præfectus hæreditarius
cubiculo Guillelmi secundi." In 1066, the name of the _Count of
Tancarville_[193] is enumerated among those who attended the Conqueror
into England. The chamberlain of Tancarville is recorded both by
Ordericus Vitalis and Masseville, in the list of Norman knights that
distinguished themselves in the wars of Philip-Augustus. William of
Tancarville, the same chieftain, probably, or his immediate predecessor,
had previously suffered himself to be seduced by the arts of Eleanor,
queen of Henry II. to join in the conspiracy of the sons of that
monarch, against their father: he subsequently signalized his valor,
when the banners of the lion-hearted Richard were unfurled upon the
plains of Palestine. In 1197, Ralph of Tancarville was one of the
witnesses to the treaty of exchange, already more than once mentioned in
this work, made between the sovereign and the archbishop of Rouen, in
consequence of the building of Château Gaillard; and when, eight years
afterwards, Philip, having become undisputed master of Normandy,
conciliated the favor of the clergy by important concessions, the
signature and seal of the chamberlain of Tancarville were attached to
the instrument.--The task were easy, by multiplying quotations from
Masseville and the early chroniclers, to extend to a great length the
instances in which the noblemen of the house of Tancarville acted a
prominent part in Norman history. It will be sufficient, upon the
present occasion, to adduce two circumstances, as indisputable proofs of
their importance. The name of Tancarville is found among the seventy-two
members of the nobility, who, in the beginning of the fourteenth
century, were summoned to the Norman exchequer; and, in the same
century, in the year 1320, after Philip VI. upon his accession to the
throne of France, had received at Amiens the homage of Edward III. for
the dukedom of Aquitaine and earldom of Ponthieu, the Count of
Tancarville was selected for the important office of ambassador to
England, in conjunction with the Duke of Bourbon and the Earl of
Harcourt, to obtain from the monarch some explanations that were
considered indispensable for the dignity of the crown of France. As late
as the year 1451, the Lord of Tancarville appears as one of the generals
of the French forces, which, under the command of the Count of
Longueville, finally succeeded in expelling the English from Normandy.
From that time forward, Masseville makes no mention of the family.
Respecting the castle, he is altogether silent, except upon the occasion
of its capture by the French in 1435, and its surrender to them again in

It may have been observed in the preceding brief enumeration of a few
principal facts connected with the family of Tancarville, that the Lords
of that house have, on more than one occasion, been designated as
Counts: the author of the _Description de la Haute Normandie_, however,
expressly states that this property was not raised into an earldom till
the reign of King John of France, who ennobled it with that dignity in
1351; at which time it was composed of all the fiefs, castellanies,
baronies, and other lands of every description, in the duchy of
Normandy, occupied by John de Melun, and Jane Crepin his wife. From the
house of Melun, this same earldom passed into that of Harcourt, by the
union of Jane of Melun with William of Harcourt--their daughter, who
inherited the property, afterwards carried it in dower to John, Count of
Dunois and of Longueville. In the year 1505, when Louis XII. added to
the earls of Longueville the higher honor of the dukedom, Tancarville
was comprised among the dependencies of the new dignity; and when,
shortly afterwards, the duchy of Longueville escheated to the crown, the
earldom of Tancarville, remaining united to Longueville, shared the same
fate. Mary of Orleans, duchess of Nemours and Estouteville, having become
possessed of Tancarville, sold it in September, 1706, to Anthony Crozat,
the king's secretary; and, at the same time, the monarch conferred all
the rights and privileges attached to the domain, upon Louis de la Tour
d'Auvergne, Count of Evreux. Twelve years subsequently, the king, by his
letters patent, separated Tancarville from Longueville, and ordered that
the Lords of Tancarville should thenceforth be summoned to the
parliament at Rouen.

The title of Earl of Tankerville is at the present day to be found in
the English peerage. It is borne by a descendant of Charles Bennet,
second Lord of Ossulston, upon whom it was conferred by George I. in
1714, after he had married the daughter and heiress of Ford, Lord Grey
of Wark, Earl of Tankerville. One of the family of this Lord Grey, Sir
John Grey, Knight, Captain of Maunt, in Normandy, had originally been
rewarded with the title by King Henry V. for his eminent services in the
French wars. But his grandson, Richard, Earl of Tankerville, was
attainted in the thirty-eighth year of the succeeding reign; and the
title remained dormant till re-granted by King William III. to Ford,
Lord Grey, just mentioned, who was lineally descended from the brother
of the first earl.


Different opinions have prevailed with respect to the origin of the name
of Tancarville. Ordericus Vitalis calls it Tanchardi Villa: M. de
Valois, in his _Notitia Galliæ_, is disposed to claim for it the more
imposing appellation of Tancredi Villa. The point will in all
probability never be settled: it is more to be regretted, that no
account is to be found of the building of the castle, whose lofty towers
still frown in the pride of old baronial grandeur, from the summit of a
steep cliff upon the right bank of the Seine, which here, so near its
mouth, rather assumes the character of an estuary than a river. The wide
extent of the ruins sufficiently bespeaks the importance of its former
possessors: at present, nothing can be more forlorn and desolate. Mr.
Dibdin, who visited the remains in 1819, has traced the following
animated sketch of their present appearance with his lively pencil; and
Mr. Lewis, who accompanied him, has enriched his splendid Tour with a
lovely view of the buildings and surrounding scenery:--

"We ascended to the castle: the day grew soft, and bright, and
exhilarating.... but, alas; for the changes and chances of this
transitory world. Where was the warder? He had ceased to blow his horn
for many a long year. Where was the harp of the minstrel? It had
perished two centuries ago, with the hand that had struck its chords.
Where was the attendant guard?--or pursuivants?--or men at arms? They
have been swept from human existence, like the leaves of the old limes
and beech trees, by which the lower part of the building was surrounded.
The moat was dry; the rampart was a ruin:--the rank grass grew within
the area.... nor can I tell you how many vast relics of halls,
banqueting rooms, and bed rooms, with all the magnificent appurtenances
of old castellated architecture, struck the eager eye with mixed
melancholy and surprise! The singular half-circular, and half-square,
corner towers, hanging over the ever-restless wave, interested us
exceedingly. The guide shewed us where the prisoners used to be kept--in
a dungeon, apparently impervious to every glimmer of day-light, and
every breath of air. I cannot pretend to say at what period even the
oldest part of the castle of Montmorenci[194] was built: but I saw
nothing that seemed to be more ancient than the latter end of the
fifteenth century. Perhaps the greater portion may be of the beginning
of the sixteenth; but, amidst unroofed rooms, I could not help admiring
the painted borders, chiefly of a red color, which run along the upper
part of the walls, or wainscots--giving indication not only of a good,
but of a splendid, taste. Did I tell you that this sort of ornament was
to be seen in some part of the eastern end of the abbey of Jumieges?
_Here_, indeed, they afforded evidence--an evidence mingled with
melancholy sensations on conviction--of the probable state of
magnificence which once reigned throughout the castle. Between the
corner towers, upon that part which runs immediately parallel with the
Seine, there is a noble terrace, now converted into garden ground, which
commands an immediate and extensive view of the embouchure of the river.
It is the property of a speculator residing at Havre. Parallel with this
terrace, runs the more modernised part of the castle, which the last
residing owner inhabited. It may have been built about fifty years ago,
and is--or rather the remains of it are--quite in the modern style of
domestic architecture. The rooms are large, lofty, and commodious;--yet
nothing but the shells of them remain. The revolutionary patriots
completely gutted them of every useful and every valuable piece of
furniture; and even the bare walls are beginning to grow damp, and
threaten immediate decay. I made several memoranda upon the spot, which
have been unluckily, and I fear irretrievably, misplaced; so that, of
this once vast, and yet commanding and interesting edifice, I regret
that I am compelled to send you so short and so meagre an account.
Farewell--a long and perhaps perpetual farewell--to the Castle of


[192] According to Masseville, (_Histoire de Normandie_, II. p. 192,)
this abbey was not founded till the year 1114; but such a statement is
irreconcileable with the fact of the dead body of the Conqueror having
been carried there in 1087; and, moreover, both the _Gallia Christiana_
and _Neustria Pia_ expressly state that it was in 1114 that William,
fifth son of the founder, and himself also hereditary chamberlain of
Normandy, removed from St. Georges the canons established there by his
father, and replaced them with monks from St. Evroul.

[193] So called by Masseville, I. p. 205.

[194] Mr. Dibdin uniformly calls this castle, the Castle of Montmorenci;
but on no occasion does he state his authority for so doing; the author
of these remarks never heard it so styled in Normandy, nor can he find
it mentioned under that name by Nodier, or any other author. If, as
appears probable, the people of the neighborhood are in the habit of so
designating it, the probability is, that the modern part (see _plate
eighty-five_) was erected at a period when Tancarville belonged to some
member of the noble family of Montmorenci.




  [Illustration: Plate 87. CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS AT ST. LO.
  _Western Entrance._]

The town of St. Lo is said to owe its origin to the Emperor Charlemagne,
and to have been founded by him in the fifth year of the ninth century.
It is situated in the western part of Normandy, upon the small river,
Vire, about five leagues to the east of Coutances; and at this time it
contains nearly seven thousand inhabitants. Old chroniclers relate that
the name originally given to the place was Ste Croix; but that, soon
after its foundation, it exchanged that appellation for the present,
upon being selected as the spot to be honored with the reception of the
relics of St. Lo, or, as he is called in Latin, St. Laudus, who was the
fifth bishop of Coutances, and presided over that see the greater part
of the sixth century. Of the merits of the saint, the miracles he
performed both living and dead, and the various places that have, at
different times, received his mortal remains, a copious account is given
by M. Rouault, in his History of the Bishops of Coutances. It is
sufficient, in the present instance, to state, that, upon the
translation of the body of St. Lo to the spot now dignified with his
name, a magnificent church was built under his invocation; and the town
was encompassed with fortifications of great strength, to defend it
against the inroads of the Normans. These heathen plunderers had at this
time just begun their ravages in Neustria, when, notwithstanding its new
walls, St. Lo was soon obliged, in common with the rest of the province,
to submit to their sway; and they emptied upon the Christian city the
full phials of pagan wrath, by burning it to the ground.

In subsequent, and probably not distant, times, St. Lo was again
converted into a place of defence; and mention of it as such repeatedly
occurs in the various unquiet periods of French history. Even at the
present day, when fortifications in that part of the kingdom have long
been neglected, there remain sufficient vestiges of them at St. Lo, to
convey the most imposing idea of their original strength, aided as they
must have been, by their situation upon the summit of a lofty and
inaccessible rock.--St. Lo was one of the last towns in Lower Normandy
that opened their gates to the victorious arms of the Empress Maude: it
remained unshaken in its allegiance till 1142, only two years before the
death of the English monarch.--In the third year of the following
century, it surrendered without bloodshed to Philip-Augustus, then on
his march towards the capture of Mount St. Michael; nor does it appear
to have offered more than a trifling resistance to Edward III. by whom
it was taken in 1346. Froissart, upon that occasion, gives the following
details relative to the English army, as well as to the state of the
town and its capture:--"The King of England and Prince of Wales had, in
their battalion, about three thousand men at arms, six thousand archers,
and ten thousand infantry, without counting those that were under the
marshals; and they marched in the manner I have before mentioned,
burning and destroying the country, but without breaking their line of
battle. They did not turn towards Coutances, but advanced to St. Lo, in
Coutantin, which, in those days, was a very rich and commercial town,
and worth three such towns as Coutances. In the town of St. Lo was much
drapery, and many wealthy inhabitants; among them you might count eight
or nine score that were engaged in commerce. When the King of England
was come near the town, he encamped: he would not lodge in it for fear
of fire. He sent, therefore, his advanced guard forward, who soon
conquered it at a trifling loss, and completely plundered it. No one can
imagine the quantity of riches they found in it, nor the number of bales
of cloth. If there had been any purchasers, they might have bought them
at a cheap rate."

In 1379, when the English arms, during the minority of the second
Richard, obtained in France an ephemeral superiority, St. Lo was the
only town in the Côtentin, except Carentan, which the French monarch
considered of sufficient strength to justify him in entrusting it with a
garrison.--It was taken by the English, under Henry V. in 1418; and was
again restored to the French, by capitulation, thirty-one years
subsequently.--In the beginning of the following tumultuous reign, St.
Lo and Valognes were appointed as the places of residence for Clarence
and Warwick, and the other leaders of the Lancastrian party; after their
short-lived success, in favor of the deposed Henry, had been followed by
their own utter defeat, and the final discomfiture of their hopes.

During the religious wars of the sixteenth century, St. Lo was once more
so unfortunate as to act a prominent part. Early in the troubles, it
distinguished itself by a decided devotion to the cause of
Protestantism; and, though often obliged, by the current of affairs, to
yield a reluctant submission to the opposite party, it continued
throughout the whole of the struggle, unshaken in its attachment to the
Huguenots. Hence, when finally summoned to surrender to the Catholics,
in 1574, it rather chose to expose itself to all the miseries of a
siege, as well as to the still greater one of being taken by assault;
and the severity of its sufferings is recorded by the historians of the
conquering party, who themselves admit, that "it was sacked with a
horrible carnage."[195] Its Protestant places of worship were not,
however, finally rased, till 1685, the period of the revocation of the
edict of Nantes.

St. Lo was the seat of an abbey of Augustine friars, said to have been
founded in the middle of the twelfth century, and to have been of such
celebrity, that, according to Quercetanus, the bishops of Coutances were
contented for a time to be styled bishops of St. Lo.[196]The principal
church in the place, that of Notre Dame, greatly resembles the cathedral
of Coutances, of which it is even said to be a copy. It was not begun to
be built till the period of English rule in Normandy, during the
fifteenth century. The older, or clock-tower, was erected in 1430: the
opposite tower and western entrance, in 1464. Other parts of it were not
completed till the following century; and the northern spire is a work
of as late a period as 1685.

The very ancient church of Ste Croix, (the subject of these plates,) was
connected with the abbey, of which little now remains. There is a
tradition in the town, that it was once a temple of Ceres; and such
traditions, however uncritical or even absurd, deserve to be noticed, as
generally originating in a confused knowledge of the remote date of the
building to which they are attached. In the opinion of M. de Gerville, a
portion, at least, of the church, belongs to the edifice raised by
Charlemagne, in 805. The actual erection of such an edifice, and its
dedication to the holy cross, are facts distinctly stated in the
_Neustria Pia_: its identity with the present church does not appear to
be doubted, either by Du Monstier, or the Abbé de Billy, the historian
of St. Lo. At the same time, neither the one nor the other of these
writers was ignorant of the positive assertion in the _Gesta
Normannorum_, that, under those successful invaders--"Sancti Laudi
castrum, interfectis habitatoribus, terræ æquatum est." But, in
opposition to this, M. de Gerville contends that, either this strong
assertion is to be received with a certain degree of latitude, or that,
by the word _castrum_, is to be understood only the citadel; so that,
while that was destroyed, the domestic and religious edifices were
suffered to escape. He even thinks that the parts of the building
ascribable to the period of the Carlovingian dynasty, may be
distinguished by a practised eye, from the reparations of the eleventh
century. He traces them especially in the western front, in its
door-way, (_plate eighty-seven_) and in some herring-bone masonry,
observable over a narrow circular-headed window towards the south. But
he founds his opinion still more upon the bas-relief, representing the
Deity attended by angels, (_plate eighty-eight, fig. B._) now built into
the wall at the end of the nave, on the south side. The character of the
sculpture and the form of the letters appear to him to be almost
decisive. With regard to the latter, he observes;--"it is well known
that the Roman characters were restored by Charlemagne, especially after
he had been proclaimed emperor. This fact is sufficiently attested by
the various monuments still left us of his time, as well as by the
coins which were struck in the latter part of his reign, and during that
of Louis le Débonnaire. Elegance and simplicity in the shape of the
letters, characterized the writing of this epoch; and the latter, at
least, of these qualities, is eminently to be found in the inscription
at St. Lo. On the other hand, correct orthography was not equally one of
the excellencies of the age."

  [Illustration: Plate 88. CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS AT ST. LO.

Pursuing the subject yet farther, M. de Gerville gives it as his
opinion, that the different epochs in the architecture, commonly
designated as Norman, may be determined with some degree of precision;
and he thinks he can trace, in several churches of the vicinity, an
evident imitation of this at St. Lo; while he regards the superior
antiquity of the latter decisively established by the sculpture over the
western entrance; by the medallion of the Deity, already noticed; and by
several of the capitals of the interior; particularly those that have
reference to the legends of St. Eloy, (_plate eighty-eight, fig. F._)
and St. Hubert, (_fig. D._), both at that period quite recent; and two
of the others, (_fig C. and E._) in the latter of which, the devil is
roasting unfortunate sinners, while the former, exhibiting the
_psychostasia_, affords a graphic illustration of two lines of the
well-known hymn of the Roman Catholic church:--

    "Statera facta corporis,
    Prædamque tulit Tartari."

In the western front of the church of Ste Croix have been inserted,
above the door-way, three windows of the earliest pointed style. The
whole of the sculpture over the architraves of the arch, is, both in its
design and execution, curious. The knotted serpents, terminating at
either end in heads of devils; the two men tugging at rings, attached to
a chain twisted round the neck of a decapitated demon, whom, two dogs
are baying; and the structure of the chain itself, are all peculiar; and
scarcely less so is the medallion below.[197]--The church ends at the
east with a large circular arch, which is now closed, and has always
been so since the memory of man; but probably, at some former time, it
led into a chancel or sanctuary. There is a south transept, which
terminates in a similar arch: the arches of the nave, which are likewise
circular, are each of them surrounded with a double architrave of the
zig-zag moulding: the capitals to the pillars supporting these arches,
Mr. Cotman considers as being for the greater part of the best class of
Norman sculpture. He has selected for engraving those that are most
rude: the others commonly exhibit broad interlaced bands, foliage, and
fruits. The abaci, too, though they are in general plain, are in some
instances enriched with similar sculpture, as in the churches of
Grâville, of Cerisy, and of the Holy Trinity at Caen. In the clerestory,
over every arch below, were originally two smaller semi-circular-headed
arches; but these are now closed, and their place is occupied by a
single, narrow, pointed window, that opens into a large recess. The
corbels without, (_plate eighty-eight, fig. A._) may bear a comparison,
in point of singularity, with those of any other Norman church. The
sacred emblem of the Christian faith, the wimpled nun, the whiskered
Saxon, and the wolf, the scourge of Neustria, are found among them, side
by side with the Atlas and Cyclops of heathen mythology; and, as if the
legends of Rome and Greece could not furnish sufficient subjects for the
sculptor's chisel, he appears to have extended his researches into the
more remote regions, bordering upon the Nile, and thence to have
imported a rude imitation of the Egyptian head, and one still more rude,
of the mystic Scarabæus.


[195] St. Lo was then commanded by M. Colombieres, who was so resolute
in the cause, that, rather than surrender, he placed himself in the
middle of the breach, with his two young sons, on either side of him,
each holding a javelin in his hand, and then awaited the attack,
exhorting his children to perish bravely, rather than be left to
infidels and apostates. The Catholic army was headed by M. de Matignon,
who had, on a former occasion, distinguished himself by his lenity
towards the inhabitants of the place. The lordship of St. Lo, with the
title of a barony, continued in his family as late as the year 1722,
when Masseville published his History of Normandy.

[196] For the following details, and indeed the greater part of the
remainder of this article, the author has to express his obligations to
M. de Gerville, whose kind assistance, throughout the whole of the work,
cannot be too often, or too distinctly, acknowledged.

[197] The bas-relief upon this medallion represents the most impressive
of the miracles connected with the history of St. Lo, and one that was
performed at the very moment when he was about to enter upon the duties
of his episcopacy, to which, by a manifest interposition of the Deity,
he had been elected at the early age of twelve years. _Rouault_, in his
_Abrégé de la Vie des Evêques de Coutances_, p. 81, gives the following
details respecting it; and his account, which is curious, is here
inserted, as adding probability to the opinion of M. de Gerville, that
this medallion at least belonged to the original structure, whatever may
be thought of the rest of the church.--"Comme l'élection et la
consécration de S. Lo avoient été miraculeuses, Dieu fit voir par des
signes qui n'étoient pas moins surprenants que tout s'étoit fait selon
sa volonté: car à la première entrée que le jeune Prélat fit dans son
Eglise, la divine Puissance voulut prouver à St. Gildard, aux autres
Prélats qui étoient encore presents, et à toute l'Eglise de Coûtances,
que tout ce qu'ils avoient fait lui étoit très-agréable. Ce qui fut
confirmé par un Miracle des plus éclatans dans la personne d'une Femme
aveugle née, qui s'étant faite conduire à la porte de la Cathédrale, y
attendoit le nouvel Evêque, dans l'esperance de recevoir la vüe par son
intercession. En effet, lorsqu'elle apprit qu'il approchoit, elle le
conjura à haute voix de lui faire voir la lumiere. Le Saint frappé d'une
telle demande en rougit, et crut que c'étoit tenter Dieu que d'attendre
de lui des Miracles. Mais cette pauvre femme ne cessant de crier comme
l'Aveugle de l'Evangile, le Saint poussa un profond soupir, et ayant
plus d'égard à la foi de la suppliante qu'à son propre mérite, il
invoqua le secours du saint Esprit, fit avec confiance le signe de la
croix sur les yeux de l'Aveugle, et au même instant la vüe lui fut
renduë à la grande admiration de tous les assistans, qui bénirent et
remerciérent Dieu de leur avoir donné un Pasteur qui prouvoit sa
vocation par un si grand Miracle, en reconnoissance duquel on éleva au
même lieu deux Statuës, l'une de Saint Lo, et l'autre de la femme
guérie, telles qu'on les voit encore aujourd'hui au Portail de l'Eglise,
où on a aussi conservé fort soigneusement la Pierre sur laquelle étoit
Saint Lo lorsqu'il opera ce Miracle. C'est encore sur elle que les
Seigneurs Evêques de Coûtances s'arrêtent à leur premiere entrée, pour
faire les sermens et promesses accoutumées en pareille Céremonie, et
qu'ils y reçoivent les complimens et applaudissemens de la Ville, pour
conserver la mémoire d'un si grand Miracle."



  [Illustration: Plate 89. CASTLE OF FALAISE.
  _North West View._]

Whoever can take pleasure in the wildest extravagancies of absurd
fiction, displayed in theories destitute of even the slender basis of
tradition, yet raised with plausibility, connected with ingenuity, and
supported by learning, may find abundant gratification in the early
history of Falaise. The town, as stated in a manuscript gazetteer of
Normandy, written in the seventeenth century, was not only among the
most ancient in Gaul, but was founded by one of the grandsons of Noah.
According to another yet more grave authority, its antiquity soars still
higher, and mounts to the period of the deluge itself. It so far exceeds
that of the Roman empire, that, long before the building of the immortal
city, colonies were sent from Falaise into Italy, where they were known
by the Aborigines, under the names of _Falisci_, or _Falerii_. A third
writer, M. Langevin, author of the _Recherches Historiques sur Falaise_,
assures his readers that Falaise was, from time immemorial, a station
consecrated to religion; and, in a dissertation full of the most
recondite information relative to the worship of Belenus and Abrasax,
Isis and Felé, he so connects and intermingles the rites of those
deities with the place and its vicinity, that he can scarcely be said to
do it less honor than his predecessors.

To turn from historians of this sanguine complexion to those of a more
sober temperament, there will appear no reason for believing that the
town of Falaise had existence prior to the incursions of the Saxons, or
the establishment of the Normans, in Neustria. No mention of it whatever
is to be found previous to the latter of these times; and its very name,
obviously derived from the German word for a rock, _fels_, whence the
French subsequently borrowed their appellation for cliffs, _falaise_,
seems decisive as to the foundation of the town by some people of
Teutonic origin. It is at the same time altogether characteristic of its

That Falaise was built by the Saxons, may probably, with justice, be
inferred from the fact of its being casually mentioned during the reign
of Rollo, as one of the places through which he passed in the year 912,
while visiting the different parts of his duchy. The town cannot but
have been of importance in the time of his son, William Longue-Epée; as
that prince is stated to have received great assistance from the
inhabitants of Falaise, and the district of the Hiémois, when engaged in
a war with the people of Brittany. It is more than possible that the
fortifications were added, and the castle erected, by one or the other
of these sovereigns.[198] Their immediate successor, Richard Sans-Peur,
is stated to have made considerable additions to the works of the place,
which, in the early part of the following century, under Richard III.
the fifth of the Norman dukes, was unquestionably one of the strongest
holds of the province. Not long afterwards, Falaise rose into new
importance, as the residence of Robert, father to the Conqueror, and the
birth-place of that sovereign himself, to whom it rendered acceptable
service during his youth, upon the occasion of the formidable conspiracy
of the Norman barons, headed by Guy de Bourgogne, in 1046. The prince,
then at Valognes, escaped with difficulty from the poniards of the
assassins to Falaise, where he was received with open arms. Falaise was
at that time the capital of the Hiémois. In the reign of Henry II. of
England, the castle was used as a state prison, and was selected as the
place of confinement of Robert, Earl of Leicester, when taken prisoner
in 1173, commanding the French forces in England. At a subsequent, but
not far distant period, Brito, the poetical chronicler of the deeds of
Philip-Augustus, in speaking of the final subjection of Normandy to that
king, mentions the town of Falaise and its capture, in the following

    "Vicus erat scabrâ circumdatus undique rupe,
    Ipsius asperitate loci Falæsa vocatus,
    Normannæ in medio regionis, cujus in altâ
    Turres rupe sedent et moenia, sic ut ad illam
    Jactus nemo putet aliquos contingere posse.
    Hunc rex innumeris circumdedit undique signis,
    Perque dies septem varia instrumenta parabat,
    Moenibus ut fractis villâ potiatur et arcâ:
    Verùm burgenses et præcipue Lupicarus,
    Cui patriæ curam dederat rex Anglicus omnem,
    Elegere magis illæsum reddere castrum,
    Omni re salvâ cum libertatis honore,
    Quàm belli tentare vices et denique vinci."

The foregoing was the fourth of the nine sieges that have rendered the
name of Falaise memorable in Norman history. The first of them had taken
place in 1027, when Falaise presumed to shelter Robert, the father of
the Conqueror, during his rebellion against his brother, Duke Richard
III. In point of importance, none of the sieges were equal to those of
1417 and 1589. Upon the former of those occasions, Henry V. flushed by
the success that had unremittingly attended his arms, since his glorious
victory at Agincourt, led his troops in person against the town, which
he expected would fall an easy prey. But it resisted an incessant
bombardment for three months, and did not finally surrender, till the
fortifications had sustained such essential injuries, that the repairing
of them by the besieged, at their own charge, was made one of the
leading articles of the capitulation. It was upon this occasion, that
the lofty circular tower, one of the principal objects in both these
plates, was added to the castle. Tradition ascribes its erection to the
celebrated English general, Talbot, then governor of the town; and, even
to the present day, it bears his name.[199]

The last siege of Falaise, that of December, 1589, was occasioned by the
devoted adherence of the inhabitants to the League, and their consequent
refusal to recognize Henry IV. as their sovereign, on account of his
attachment to the Protestant faith. In defence of their creed, they had
already sustained one siege in the month of July of the same year; and,
headed by the Count de Brissac, governor of the castle, had repulsed the
royal troops under the command of the Duke de Montpensier. But the new
sovereign was not a man to be trifled with; and when Brissac, upon being
summoned to surrender, replied, according to the words of De Thou,
"religione se prohiberi; sumpto quippe Dominici corporis sacramento,
fidem suis obligâsse de deditione se prorsùs non acturum;" the king is
reported, by the same noble historian, to have returned in answer, "se
menses ad totidem dies contracturum, intra quos illum, sed magno suo cum
damno, religione soluturus esset." The garrison, notwithstanding these
threats, did not relax in their opposition, and the town was finally
taken by assault, the frost enabling the assailants to cross the moat.
On this, the Count de Brissac retired to the castle, which he
surrendered about a month afterwards.

Falaise appears in the religious annals of Normandy, as the seat of an
abbey, founded in 1127, and first occupied by regular canons of the
order of St. Augustine, and placed under the invocation of St. Michael,
the Archangel; but shortly afterwards transferred to the
Præmonstratensian friars, and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The
monastery is said to have taken its rise from an hospital, established
by a wealthy inhabitant, in consequence of a beggar having died of cold
and hunger in his barn. A bull from Pope Sextus IV. dated in 1475,
conferred upon the abbots the privilege of wearing the mitre, ring, and
pontifical insignia, together with various other honorary distinctions.
The revolution deprived Falaise of its abbey and eight churches. It now
retains only four; two within the walls, and two in the suburbs. Its
population is estimated at about ten thousand inhabitants.

  [Illustration: Plate 90. CASTLE OF FALAISE.
  _North View._]

The castle of Falaise is with justice regarded by Mr. Turner, as one of
the proudest relics of Norman antiquity. The following description of
it, as more copious than any other that has yet appeared, is transcribed
verbatim from the Tour[200] of that author:--"It is situated on a very
bold and lofty rock, broken into singular and fantastic masses, and
covered with luxurious vegetation. The keep which towers above it is of
excellent masonry: the stones are accurately squared, and put together
with great neatness, and the joints are small; and the arches are turned
clearly and distinctly, with the key-stone or wedge accurately placed in
all of them. Some parts of the wall, towards the interior ballium, are
not built of squared freestone; but of the dark stone of the country,
disposed in a zig-zag, or, as it is more commonly called, in a
herring-bone direction, with a great deal of mortar in the interstices:
the buttresses, or rather piers, are of small projection, but great
width. The upper story, destroyed about forty years since, was of a
different style of architecture. According to an old print,[201] it
terminated with a large battlement, and bartizan towers at the angles.
This dungeon was formerly divided into several apartments, in one of the
lower of which was found, about half a century ago, a very ancient tomb,
of good workmanship, ornamented with a sphynx at each end, but bearing
no inscription whatever. Common report ascribed the coffin to Talbot,
who was for many years governor of the castle; and at length an
individual engraved upon it an epitaph to his honor: but the fraud was
discovered, and the sarcophagus put aside, as of no account. The second,
or principal, story of the keep, now forms a single square room, about
fifty feet wide, lighted by circular-headed windows, each divided into
two by a short and massy central pillar, whose capital is altogether
Norman. On one of the capitals is sculptured a child leading a
lamb,[202] a representation, as it is foolishly said, of the Conqueror,
whom tradition alledges to have been born in the apartment to which this
window belonged: another pillar has an elegant capital, composed of
interlaced bands.--Connected with the dungeon by a stone staircase is a
small apartment, very much dilapidated, but still retaining a portion of
its original facing of Caen stone. It was from the window of this
apartment, as the story commonly goes, that Duke Robert first saw the
beautiful Arlette, drawing water from the streamlet below, and was
enamoured of her charms, and took her to his bed.--According to another
version of the tale, the earliest interview between the prince and his
fair mistress, took place as Robert was returning from the chace, with
his mind full of anger against the inhabitants of Falaise, for having
presumed to kill the deer which he had commanded should be preserved for
his royal pastime. In this offence the curriers of the town had borne
the principal share, and they were therefore principally marked out for
punishment. But, fortunately for them, Arlette, the daughter of one
Verpray, the most culpable of the number, met the offended Duke while
riding through the street, and with her beauty so fascinated him, that
she not only obtained the pardon of her father and his associates, but
became his mistress, and continued so as long as he lived. From her, if
we may give credence to the old chroniclers, is derived our English
word, _harlot_. The fruit of their union was William the Conqueror,
whose illegitimate birth, and the low extraction of his mother, served
on more than one occasion as a pretext for conspiracies against his
throne, and were frequently the subject of personal mortification to
himself.--The walls in this part of the castle are from eight to nine
feet thick. A portion of them has been hollowed out, so as to form a
couple of small rooms. The old door-way of the keep is at the angle; the
returns are reeded, ending in a square impost; the arch above is
destroyed.--Talbot's tower, thus called from having been built by that
general, in 1430 and the two subsequent years, is connected with the
keep by means of a long passage with lancet windows, that widen greatly
inwards. It is more than one hundred feet high, and is a beautiful piece
of masonry, as perfect, apparently, as on the day when it was erected,
and as firm as the rock on which it stands. This tower is ascended by a
staircase concealed within the substance of the walls, whose thickness
is full fifteen feet towards the base, and does not decrease more than
three feet near the summit. Another aperture in them serves for a well,
which thus communicates with every apartment in the tower. Most of the
arches in this tower have circular heads: the windows are square.--The
walls and towers which encircle the keep are of much later date; the
principal gate-way is pointed. Immediately on entering, is seen the very
ancient chapel, dedicated to St. Priscus, or, as he is called in French,
St. Prix. The east end with three circular-headed windows, retains its
original lines: the masonry is firm and good. Fantastic corbels surround
the summit of the lateral walls. Within, a semi-circular arch resting
upon short pillars with sculptured capitals, divides the choir from the
nave. In other respects the building has been much altered. Henry V.
repaired it in 1418, and it has been since dilapidated and restored. A
pile of buildings beyond, wholly modern in the exterior, is now
inhabited as a seminary, or college. There are some circular arches
within, which shew that these buildings belonged to the original
structure.--Altogether the castle is a noble ruin. Though the keep is
destitute of the enrichments of Norwich or Castle-Rising, it possesses
an impressive character of strength, which is much increased by the
extraordinary freshness of the masonry. The fosses of the castle are
planted with lofty trees, which shade and intermingle with the towers
and ramparts; and on every side they groupe themselves with picturesque
beauty. It is said that the municipality intend to _restore_ Talbot's
tower and the keep, by replacing the demolished battlements; but I
should hope that no other repairs may take place, except such as may be
necessary for the preservation of the edifice; and I do not think it
needs any, except the insertion of clamps in the central columns of two
of the windows, which are much shattered."


[198] At the same time that no record whatever has been preserved
relative to the date of the building of the castle at Falaise, the
Norman chroniclers have carefully recorded the æras of the erection of
the other castles in the neighborhood. That of Domfront, according to
them, was built A.D. 1011 and 1014, by the Counts of Alençon; that of
Caen, by William the Conqueror, but much increased by his son, Henry I.;
that of Vignats, a league and a half from Falaise, about the year 1096,
during the dukedom of Robert, by Robert of Montgomery, Count of Alençon,
and Viscount of Hiêmes and of Falaise; and that of Argentan, by Henry I.
King of England, by way of protection against his son-in-law, Geoffrey
Plantagenet.--_Recherches Historiques sur Falaise_, p. 22.

[199] According to Langevin, p. 30, Talbot likewise added to the castle,
some noble apartments, ornamented with paintings, which also passed
under his name, and of which some portions were still standing a few
years ago.

[200] Vol. II. p. 266.

[201] This print has lately been copied into _Mr. Dibdin's Tour_, vol.
II. p. 11.

[202] Mr. Turner appears to be in error with regard to this capital: Mr.
Cotman, who examined it more attentively, found the child to be holding
_two animals_ in a leash; and he supposes them to be greyhounds,
comparing them with a very similar piece of sculpture upon one of the
capitals in the bishop's palace, in the castle at Durham, erected by the
Conqueror.--See _Carter's Ancient Architecture_, I. pl. 17, fig. P.



  [Illustration: Plate 91. INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH OF CREULLY.]

Creully, whose church has been here selected for publication, as a
favorable specimen of genuine Norman architecture, is a small
market-town of the diocese of Bayeux, situated about six miles to the
east of the city of that name, and fifteen miles north-west of Caen. It
is an ancient barony, having been honored with that distinction by Henry
I. in favor of his natural son, the Earl of Glocester, many of whose
descendants, according to Masseville, were still living in Normandy in
the eighteenth century, and bore the name of Creully. The same author
makes mention of the Lords of Creully, on more than one occasion, in the
course of his Norman history.--They are to be found in the list of the
barons that accompanied Duke Robert to the Holy Land, in 1099; and when
the Genoese, in 1390, called upon the King of France for succours
against the infidels of the coast of Barbary, and the pious monarch sent
an army to their relief, under the command of the Duke of Bourbon, the
name of the Seigneur de Creully stands prominent among those who
embarked upon that unfortunate expedition. Again, in 1302, the Baron of
Creully held the fifth place among the nine lords from the bailiwick of
Caen, who were summoned to sit in the Norman exchequer.

From the days of the Earl of Glocester to the breaking out of the French
revolution, the barony of Creully continued to be held by different
noble families. In the early part of the eighteenth century, when
Masseville published his work, it was in the hands of the heirs of M. de
Seigneley-Colbert, who likewise possessed other considerable domains in
Normandy. The last that had the title was a member of the family of
Montmorenci.--His emigration caused the estate to be confiscated, and
sold as national property; but the baronial castle is now standing, and
displays, in two of its towers, and in a chimney of unusual form, a
portion of its ancient character. The rest of the building is modernized
into a spruce, comfortable residence, which, in 1818, was occupied by an
English general of the name of Hodgson.[203]

The writer of this article has met with no records connected with the
church of Creully.--Externally, it is wholly modernized; but within, the
nave, side-aisles, and choir, are all purely Norman, except at the
extremities. The piers are very massy; the arches wide and low; the
capitals covered with rude, but remarkable sculpture, which is varied on
every pillar; and the walls are of extraordinary thickness.


[203] _Turner's Tour in Normandy_, II. p. 264.



  [Illustration: Plates 92-93. CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF NOTRE DAME, AT
  _West Front._]

The diocese of Coutances, embracing the north-western portion of Celtic
Gaul, appears to have been the last part of the country that was visited
by the light of Christianity; but its historians boast that the tardy
approach of the rays of gospel-truth has been more than compensated by
their subsequent brilliancy; for that in no other of the Norman dioceses
has the sun of revelation blazed with equal splendor, or given birth to
fruits of equal excellence. Thus, according to Rouault,[204] as early as
the fifth century, and during the whole of the two following, and a
portion of the eighth, the Côtentin was so celebrated, by reason of the
great number of saints, who were either natives of the country, or had
retired thither as to a place of safe retreat, that it was regarded as
being honored with the divine favor, beyond any other district in
France. No fewer than fifteen holy men, enshrined in the Roman calendar,
are said to have resided there at or near the same period; and, while
their lustre irradiated the episcopal mitre, its beams extended to the
remote fastnesses of the desert of Scycy, near Granville, then
celebrated for the sanctity of its hermits. At a time not long
subsequent, St. Algeronde and Theodoric, both of them bishops of
Coutances, and the martyrs, Leo, Philip, and Gervais, three natives of
Carentan, became principal instruments towards the conversion of the
heathen Normans. History also records, that it was in the house of St.
Clair, one of the protectors of this diocese, that the treaty was
finally concluded, in conformity with which, the chief of the infidels
was, with his followers, admitted within the pale of the church.

The foundation of the see of Coutances is commonly supposed to have
taken place about the middle of the fifth century, during the latter
years of the papacy of Celestine I. and of the reign of Pharamond, in
France. The see lays claim to the proud distinction of having enriched
the beatified calendar with the names of at least fifteen of its
bishops; of having added one to the list of the successors of St. Peter;
of having supplied six cardinals to the holy college; and of having
produced an equal number of martyrs. And if to this catalogue, already
great, be joined the many anchorites of Scycy and of Nanteuil, who have
been promoted to the episcopal dignity, _a whole legend_, to use the
words of a pious author, may be filled with the lives and the miracles
of the holy men of Coutances.

In turning from the ecclesiastical to the secular annals of the diocese,
the barons of the Côtentin scarcely occupy a less distinguished place.
The histories of the Crusades, in particular, abound with their
exploits. Hauteville, near Coutances, boasts to have given birth and
title to Tancred, of immortal memory; who, either himself, or by his
descendants, founded the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, and reigned over
almost the whole of Italy; while, with their victorious forces, they
exterminated the Saracens, protected the holy see, supported the Cretans
in the east, and carried their conquering arms to the utmost confines of
the Greek empire. To them, also, the chivalrous institution of the
Golden Fleece owes its origin; and so extraordinary were their exploits,
that they might pass for fabulous, had they occurred in a more remote
age, and did not the concurring testimony of historians unite to stamp
them with the seal of truth.

According to the ecclesiastical division of France before the
revolution, the diocese of Coutances was bounded to the south by that of
Avranches, and to the east by that of Bayeux, while, in the two
remaining divisions, its limits were circumscribed by the ocean.[205] At
present, it includes the whole department of La Manche; the suppression
of the bishopric of Avranches having added considerably to its
extent.--In Roman Gaul, Coutances was included in the province called the
_Lugdunensis secunda_: but, on the subject of the foundation or early
history of the city, authors are, as commonly happens, much at variance,
ascribing to it, according to their fancies or their prejudices, very
different degrees of antiquity. Those who are most disposed to do it
honor in this respect, contend that it was the capital of the tribe
mentioned by Cæsar, in his _Commentaries_, under the name of _Unelli_;
and called by Pliny, _Venelli_; and by Ptolemy, _Veneli_. They are
guided in this opinion exclusively by locality. Others, with a greater
appearance of probability, at least as far as any reliance may be placed
upon etymology, maintain that Coutances had no existence before the days
of the Emperor, Constantius Chlorus, father to Constantine the Great.
There have also not been wanting writers who have referred its origin to
Constantine himself, or who have maintained that it was indebted for its
name to its _constant_ and vigorous opposition to the Roman power. The
second of these opinions appears to have obtained general credence in
the time of Ordericus Vitalis, who, in speaking of Constantius,
expressly says, "Hic in Neustriâ civitatem condidit, quam a nomine suo
_Constantiam_ nominavit." Ammianus Marcellinus adds strength to the same
belief, when he calls Coutances, _Constantia castra_. It is probable
that the city was in reality the seat of the Emperor's camp, at the time
when he was about to lead his forces into Britain.

Of the future progress of the town, and the steps by which it rose to
its present eminence, no account whatever is left. History, so profuse
in details respecting many other places in Normandy, far inferior in
size and in distinction, has done little more with regard to the capital
of the Côtentin, than record the bare facts,--that it was pillaged by
the Normans in 888; was sold by Duke Robert to his brother, Henry I. in
1087; was taken by the Count of Anjou, in the twelfth year of the
following century; was, thirty years subsequently, surrendered to the
Empress Maude; was wrested from John, by Philip-Augustus, in 1202; in
1418, opened its gates to the victorious arms of Henry V.; and, after
remaining for thirty-one years in the hands of the English, was finally
re-united to the crown of France. In 1465, Coutances lost its military
character: its walls were then destroyed, and the fortifications rased,
by order of Louis XI. as a punishment upon the inhabitants for their
conduct, in aiding the treasonable attempt of Charles, the brother of
the monarch, to obtain forcible possession of the dukedom of
Normandy.[206] Not long subsequently, Francis I. gladdened the city with
the royal presence, on his return from his pilgrimage to Mont St.
Michel, in 1487; and his grandson, Henry III. bestowed upon it the
distinction of being the capital of the bailiwick; soon after which, it
suffered severely during the religious wars, especially when it fell
into the power of the Calvinists, in 1562. Those merciless religionists
pillaged it with an unsparing hand, even consigning a portion of it to
the flames: they sacked the churches, and carried off the prelate, whom
they forced to accompany them upon an ass, with his face turned to its

Of the bishops of Coutances, it will be sufficient here to mention
three--Richard de Longueuil, who was nominated in 1455, one of the four
commissioners to revise the process of the Maid of Arc, and declared
her innocent; Nicholas de Briroy, who, at the end of the following
century, obtained from the Pope, Paul V. in return for his extensive
charities, the enviable title of _Father of the Poor_; and Geoffrey de
Montbray, a prelate honored with the especial favor of the Conqueror, to
whom he frequently rendered the most essential service, as well in arms
as in peace. He it was, who performed mass in the Norman camp,
preparatory to the battle of Hastings, and who preached at the
coronation of the monarch, from whom he is said, by Ordericus Vitalis,
to have received no fewer than two hundred and eighty manors in England.

The present population of Coutances amounts to between eight and nine
thousand inhabitants. The remains of the noble aqueduct in the
neighborhood, though commonly ascribed to the times of Roman power, are
said to be with more justice referable to a nobleman of the family of
Haye-Paisnel, and to have been erected in the thirteenth century. The
principal feature and great ornament of the city is its noble cathedral,
which, regarded as a whole, may, in the opinion of M. de Gerville,
challenge a comparison with any other in France. Its architecture,
according to the same able antiquary, affords a satisfactory proof that
the pointed arch was really used in France, full half a century before
the epoch generally assigned to its introduction. Upon this latter
subject, there has already been an opportunity of speaking in the
present work, while treating of the Church of Lisieux; and the opinion
there stated by Mr. Turner, must be allowed to derive the strongest
confirmation from the cathedral of Coutances. The point is one that has
frequently exercised the ingenuity of architects, and of the learned:
the concluding portion, therefore, of this article, will be principally
devoted to that subject.[207]

It was, in the twelfth century, according to Mr. Whittington, that "the
pointed arch began to shew itself in the edifices of France and the
neighboring countries;" and, having originated in the east, naturally
followed this direction in its course towards England. On the other
hand, the sentiments of another, at least equally learned, author, the
reverend Dr. Milner, have been given on more than one occasion, that the
architecture, commonly denominated Gothic, really commenced in England,
but did not appear till after the year 1130; the pointed arches in the
church of St. Cross, erected by Henry of Blois, bishop of Winchester,
and brother of King Stephen, being probably the earliest specimen of the
kind that is any where to be found. M. de Gerville combats this latter
opinion, by adducing the churches of Mortain and of Coutances; the first
of them, like St. Cross, an example of the mixed style, its upper arches
being semi-circular, its lower pointed; the other, wholly of the latter
description. The church of Mortain was founded in 1082, and must have
been sufficiently finished for the performance of divine worship, within
nine years after that period; as it is expressly recorded that Geoffrey
de Montbray, bishop of Coutances, who died in 1093, was present at the
ceremony of the consecration. With regard to the cathedral of Coutances,
there is fortunately in existence a highly-curious document, written by
an eye-witness to the building of the church, and printed in the _Gallia
Christiana_[208] from the black book or chartulary of the diocese, which
was compiled by order of John d'Essey, who wore the mitre in the middle
of the thirteenth century. The memoir commences by reciting a portion of
the hardships undergone by the see of Coutances, in common with other
parts of the north of France, from the Norman invasion; and then tells
how Herbert II. who succeeded to the episcopal throne in 1020, expelled,
_as useless and illiterate_, the canons in possession of the church of
Coutances, and took the whole of the ecclesiastical revenues into his
own hands, because "_sibi minùs urbani minùsque faceti videbantur!_" It
goes on to state, that his successor, Robert, far from restoring what
had been seized under so extraordinary a plea, alienated the property by
parcelling it out among his kindred; but that, notwithstanding this, a
beginning was made in his time towards the erection of the church, which
was founded by the Countess Gonora, widow of Duke Richard II. with the
aid of contributions from various quarters.[209]

To Robert, in the year of our Lord, 1048, succeeded the celebrated
Geoffrey de Montbray, who finally completed the great work commenced by
his predecessor. The first stone of the cathedral had been laid in 1030;
the dedication took place in 1056, and was performed in the presence of
the Duke himself, the archbishop, his suffragans, and a large proportion
of the Norman nobility. Some English barons likewise crossed the sea to
attend upon the occasion. The vigor of Geoffrey's character was never
more strikingly exemplified, than in connection with this fabric.[210]
In the earliest years of his prelacy, he undertook a voyage to Apulia,
for the express purpose of obtaining from Robert Guischard, and his
companions in arms, pecuniary assistance towards the building; and,
during the whole course of a long life, he appears to have been
unremitting in his endeavors to add whatever might contribute to its
dignity, its splendour, and its utility.[211] The following lines,
traced by his dying hand, well mark the man himself, and the temper of
the age, and the prevalence of the ruling passion:--"Gaufridus,
misericordia Dei, Constantiensis episcopus, omnibus sub christiana
regeneratione degentibus, tam clericis quam laïcis, salutem,
prosperitatem et pacem. Constantiensem ecclesiam quam hucusque licet
indigne tenueram, tamen miserante Deo, populo meæ pravitatis augmentum
et honorare studui, et extrema...... eam amplius factis adjuvare nequeo
verbis quantum tutari et defensare cupio. Quicumque igitur qui sub
christiana professione vocatus, præfatam ecclesiam honorare, consolari
et defensare voluerit, auctoritate Domini nostri Jesu Christi ejusque
sanctissimæ genetricis, in apostolica nostraque confirmatione
benedictus, ab eodem Domino nostro Jesu Christo omnium bonorum
retributore mercedem recipiat in futuro, et anima ejus inter choros
angelorum et archangelorum, apostolorum et martyrum, confessorum et
virginum requiem possideat in paradiso. Quod si aliquis irreverens et
contumeliosus, avaritiæ vel cupiditatis stimulis agitatus, eam de terris
suis, sive legibus et consuetudinibus, sive ornamentis absque justa et
necessaria eidem ecclesiæ ratione et clericorum assensione, minorari et
decurtare præsumpserit, ab his omnibus suprascriptis ordinibus
maledictus, et perpetuæ damnationis anathemate circumseptus, priusquam
vita decedat terribilissimi divini examinis judicio prosequente, omnibus
in commune tanti sacrilegii violator appareat, et in perpetuum cum Juda
traditore, et Herode, Pilato et Caipha, cunctisque sanctæ ecclesiæ
adversariis ignem æternum possideat, semperque cum diabolo et angelis
ejus crucietur, nec ullam in secula seculorum misericordiæ scintillam
mereatur, nisi priusquam anima illa tenebrosa de corpore exierit
resipuerit, et ad satisfactionem venerit. Fiat, amen."

And the clergy were not wanting in their endeavors to do honor to the
memory of so noble a benefactor. As the Roman historians and the Mantuan
bard concur in attesting the various prodigies that foretold the
approaching end of Julius Cæsar, so the monkish chroniclers relate that
earth and sky united in presaging the death of Geoffrey; and, though
they could not succeed in obtaining for his name admission into the
calendar, they would allow of no doubt as to his reception into heaven;
the details of which were communicated in a vision to one of the monks
of Cerisy.--"There appeared to me," said the monk, "a palace of
transcendent magnificence, in which a queen was seated, of more than
earthly beauty, surrounded by a numerous court; and, while each in his
turn was making his obeisance, suddenly a messenger arrived, exclaiming
aloud, 'Madam, Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, is here, and is at this
moment mounting the steps of the palace.' No sooner were the tidings
heard, than she descended from her seat to meet the prelate; and, having
welcomed him with a most gracious salutation, caused her attendants to
disrobe him of his cope and boots, and then, taking the veil from her
own head, wiped the wounds upon his body, and, leading him by the hand,
conducted him to her room of state, and placed him near to herself upon
the throne." The decease of the prelate, which took place on the
following day, left no doubt as to the interpretation or the inspiration
of the vision.

Of the identity of the church built by Geoffrey with that now standing,
it is impossible to entertain a reasonable doubt. The details, and they
are many, contained in the document above quoted, all correspond with
the present building. A still more decisive proof is afforded by the
silence of succeeding historians, who could never have passed unnoticed
so important a fact as the rebuilding of a cathedral, the repairs of
which they have recorded on various occasions. The principal of these
took place during the prelacy of Sylvester de la Corvelle, and were
occasioned by the wars of Edward III. in the course of which, the
edifice incurred the most imminent danger, and would probably have been
destroyed in 1356, had not the timely arrival of the French troops
caused the invading army to raise the siege of the city. A battering
ram, used upon that occasion, was still shewed in Coutances, in the
beginning of the last century. The king of France bestowed upon the
chapter, in 1372, a sum of six hundred livres, in gold, for the express
purpose of repairing the church, "_bellis attritâ et imminutâ_." At that
time the Lady-Chapel was added; the great windows were inserted in the
aisles; the exterior part of the choir towards the palace was built; and
a portion of the work of the western front, between the towers, was
repaired, and probably altered. This last has in particular tended to
mislead the antiquary;--but to sum up the account, in the words of M. de
Gerville,--"En y regardant plus attentivement, un antiquaire exercé
facilement démêlera l'ancienne partie de l'édifice, qui est encore de
beaucoup la plus considérable. Cette ancienne partie offre un modèle
bien caractérisé de fenêtres en lancettes. C'est surtout aux deux tours
occidentales qu'on en voit des plus étroites. Celles de la tour, ou
lanterne, sont géminées. Ces lancettes, que les antiquaires Anglois
rapportent au regne de Henry II. se montrent ici dans un édifice
antérieur à ce prince de prés d'un siècle; et, ce qui est encore plus
surprénant, elles y sont sans aucun mélange d'architecture Romane ou

  _Elevation of the Nave._]

In the interior of the building, (_plate ninety-four_) the same
uniformity of style prevails as in the exterior; and if, in conjunction
with the cathedral of Coutances, be considered that of Lisieux, a
contemporary building, and so much alike in character, that it may
reasonably be doubted if they were not the production of the same
architect, it will scarcely be assuming too much, to say that the date
of the introduction of the pointed architecture in France, may safely be
placed as early as the middle of the eleventh century.


[204] _Abrégé de l'Histoire des Evêques de Coutances_, p. 48.

[205] At that time, its length was twenty-five leagues, and its width
ten, without comprising the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, over which
it still held a titular sway. In it were included the district of the
Côtentin; the city of Coutances; the towns of St. Lo, Granville,
Carentan, Vallognes, and Cherbourg; twenty-four smaller market towns;
four archdeaconries; twenty-two rural deaneries; ten abbeys; twenty-four
other convents; and five hundred and fifty parishes. The chapter
consisted of twenty-six canons and eight dignitaries.

[206] The following are the words of Robertus Cenalis upon this
subject:--"Carolo, Ludovici XI. germano, quorundam procerum principumque
suggestione ducatum Normanniæ non precario, sed vi impense ambiente, cum
via sibi per posticum episcopalis domus aperta esset, rex idcirco
indignatus incolis qui a fide defecerant, cavit decreto suo in poenam
criminis, quod funditus a solo everterentur civitatis moenia, quæ nulla
vel pretii, vel precum sollicitatione restitui potuerunt."--Cenalis then
proceeds to say,--"Habet in templi sui meditullio merito suspiciendum
spectaculum miræ architecturæ contextum, e cujus abside si quis lapillum
dejecerit, nunquam a puncto designato ultra citrave dimovebitur instar
laternæ vitreæ in sublime erectum: vitream arcem merito dixeris, opus
sane venustum et elegans. Urbem præterea insigniter ornat aquæductus ad
milliaris semissem, ingenti impensa et opera arcuatim suppositis
fornicibus longo ductu protensus, cujus artificii ope civitas alluitur
et rigatur. Denique si moenibus conclusa foret, quis vetet civitatem
illam Constantinopolim Neustriæ maritimæ appellari!"--_Gallia
Christiana_, p. 863.

[207] In the following part of the description of the church of
Coutances, considerable use has been made of a manuscript dissertation,
kindly communicated by M. de Gerville to the author, who only laments
that the limits of this publication would not allow him to insert it

[208] Among the _Instrumenta Ecclesiæ Constantiensis_, p. 218.

[209] "Hujus tamen temporibus incoepta et ex parte constructa est
Constantiensis ecclesia, fundante et coadjuvante Gonorra comitissa,
auxiliantibus etiam canonicis, reditibus medietatis altaris ad tempus
operi concessis, cooperantibus quoque baronibus et parochianis
fidelibus, quod usque hodie contestantur aliquot ipsorum nomina
insculpta lapidibus in ecclesiæ arcubus."--_Gallia Christiana, Inst._ p.

[210] "Anno igitur Dominicæ Incarnationis, MXLVIII. duodecim tantum
diebus ipsius anni restantibus, id est IV idus Aprilis, indictione II,
venerandus Gaufridus post Robertum Constantiensis episcopus Rotomagi
consecratur, nobilium baronum prosapia ortus, statura procerus, vultu
decorus, prudentia consilioque providus, quanquam sæpissime curialibus
negotiis regiisque obsecundationibus irretitus, tamen ad ædificationem
et incrementum ecclesiæ suæ omni nisu et voluntate per noctem erat et
per diem, qui ut eandem ecclesiam celebrem gloriosamque restitueret, in
Apuliam et Calabriam adire Robertum cognomine Guischardum parochianum
suum, aliosque barones consanguineos suos, et alumnos, et notos peregre
profectus, multum in auro, et argento, et gemmis, et palliis variisque
divitiarum donariis acquisivit, tresque asportavit phialas plenas puro
opobalsamo, aliaque pretiosissima quibus postea præfatam ecclesiam intus
et extus locupletavit, majoremque crucifixum largis sumtibus et tempore
longo construxit. Cum autem non haberet in civitate, sive in suburbio
tantum possessionis ecclesia, ubi maneret episcopus, vel proprius equus
ejus posset stabulari, sed neque propriam domum, nisi quoddam
appendicium humile, quod pendebat de parietibus ecclesiæ, ipse prudentia
sua et probitate valentiorem medietatem civitatis, suburbii, et telonei,
et vectigalis, cum molendinis et multa Grimoldi viaca a Guillelmo
invictissimo duce Normannorum, postea quoque glorioso rege Anglorum
trecentis libris comparavit et acquietavit. Postea vero episcopalem
aulam et reliquas officinas construxit, virgultum et vineam non modicam
plantavit, capitium navis ecclesiæ cum area, et hinc inde duo majora
capitia nobiliora et ampliora construxit. Duas turres posteriores a
fundamentis, tertiamque supra chorum opere spectabili sublimavit, in
quibus classicum consonans et pretiosum imposuit, et hæc omnia plumbo
cooperuit."--_Gallia Christiana, Inst._ p. 218.

[211] The instrument, above quoted, abounds in examples of this spirit.
Among the rest, after detailing at length various estates which he had
purchased or obtained as presents for the enriching of his church, it
proceeds to say,--"Cæterum ornamenta ecclesiastica et ustencilia,
calices, cruces, capsas, phylacteria, candelabra, thuribula, bacinos,
siculam et ampullas aurea contulit et argentea, casulas quoque,
dalmaticas, tunicas, planetas, albas, cappas mirifici operis, necnon
dorsalia serica et lanea, cortinas et tapeta, sed et bibliothecas,
passionales, omeliares, missales aureis litteris duos sufficientesque et
competentes libros subrogavit: super hæc omnia pretiosum famosumque
clerum, quo nihil pretiosius in ecclesia et utilius in officium et
servitium divini cultus delegavit, septemque canonicos quos episcopus
Hugo Rotomagi in ecclesia S. Laudi irregulariter constituerat,
apostolica auctoritate ecclesiæ matri revocavit, itemque duos alios
adjecit. Cantorem quoque, et succentorem, et rectorem scholarum, et
custodes ecclesiæ, clericos quoque præbendarios, aurifabros, fabrumque
ferrarium, carpentarios et magistrum coementarium in opus ecclesiæ
constituit. O virum prudentem et domui suæ bene præsidentem, qui de
vivis et electis lapidibus domum suam composuit, et mirabilibus columnis
eam sustentavit!"--_Gallia Christiana, Inst._ p. 219.

[212] The following remarks upon the architecture of the cathedral of
Coutances, transcribed from the journal of a most able friend of the
author's, cannot fail to be acceptable to the reader:--"The cathedral is
most singular in its aspect. It is pointed throughout, except the
circular arches in the vaulting over the side-chapels, and one or two
segments of circles which form the door-ways, within the porches on the
north and south sides. It is really a difficult task to come at any
conclusion respecting the æra of the building, from an inspection of it.
If it is of the Norman age, then the pointed style arose at once from a
transfusion of Arabian or Tartarian architecture. The whole is of a
piece, complete in conception and execution; and there are no
intersecting arches from which a pointed arch may have arisen. The
circles in the spandrils are in the same oriental style as at Bayeux.
The peculiarities of the cathedral are--the side-porches close behind
the towers; the screens of mullioned tracery, which divide the
side-chapels; and the excessive height of the choir, which, having no
triforium, has only a balustrade just before the clerestory windows. The
centre tower is wonderfully fine in the exterior: it is apparently an
expansion of the plain Norman lantern, as at Caen; but most airy and
graceful. There is a double aisle round the ambit and altars are placed
in the bays, as if they were distinct chapels, for which purpose they
were originally intended; but the line continues unbroken. The
perspective of these aisles, and also of the choir, seen from the
Lady-Chapel, is very fine. The round pillars of the choir are double, as
at Canterbury and Senlis. The apsis is half a duodecagon. The pointed
windows above are in two lancet divisions, surmounted by a trefoil; but
the dividing masonry is not a mullion: it is the unperforated part of
the wall. This perhaps is arabesque. There is a second arch within,
which is really divided by a mullion or small pillar. A curious leaf
projects above. Some of the painted glass is in the oldest style:
dispersed patterns in a black outline, on a grey ground. In a
side-chapel are painted tiles, brown and yellow as usual, displaying
knots and armorial bearings. In the same chapel are fresco paintings:
many more are on the east side of the wall that divides the last
choir-aisle from the south transept. They represent St. Michael and the
Devil, the Deity between angels, &c. In all of them, the outline is
formed by a thick black line."



  [Illustration: Plate 95. MOUNT ST. MICHAEL.
  _On the approach from Pontorson._]

Religion, history, poetry, and painting, have all united in giving
celebrity to St. Michael's Mount. The extraordinary sanctity of its
monastery, the striking peculiarities of its form and situation, and the
importance acquired by the many sieges it supported, or the almost
endless pilgrimages it received, have so endeared it to the man of taste
and the philosopher, that scarcely a spot is to be found in Europe, more
generally known, or more universally interesting.

The legendary mist with which St. Michael's Mount is now densely
involved, has continued, from a period of remote antiquity, to float
around its summit. Tradition delights in relating how, in times prior to
the Christian æra, it was devoted to the worship of the great luminary
of heaven, under his Gallic name of Belenus,[213] a title probably
derived from the Hebrew Baal, and the Assyrian Belus. The same tradition
recounts how, at a more recent epoch, it reared its majestic head,
embosomed in a spacious tract of woods and thickets, while the hermits
who had fixed themselves upon its summits, received their daily bread
from the charity of the priest of the neighboring parish of Beauvoir; an
ass spontaneously undertaking the office of conveying it to them, till
on the road he fell a prey to a wolf, who was then constrained by
Providence to devote himself to the same pious labor.

At length, about the year 709, it was decreed that the rock should at
once change its designation and its patron. To the clouds of Paganism,
succeeded the sun of Christianity; and the original heathen appellation,
_Tumba_, was replaced by one of the most elevated names of holy writ.
St. Michael, "the chief of the angels and of the host of heaven, the
protector of the Hebrew synagogue of yore, as now of the Catholic
church, the conqueror of the old serpent, and the leader of souls to
heaven," condescended to be worshipped here upon the western coast, as
on Mount Garganus in the east, and with this view appeared to St.
Aubert, then bishop of Avranches, commanding him to erect a church to
his honor upon the mount. Another legend relates, how there had
previously existed upon the same spot, a religious edifice, which had
passed under the name of the _Monasterium ad duas Tumbas_, being equally
appropriated to the adjoining rock of Tombeleine. However this may have
been, it is admitted on all sides that a church was built, and that the
hill knew thenceforth no other name than that of St. Michael's Mount;
though Aubert, tardy in his belief, had refused to obey the injunction,
till it had been repeated three several times, upon the last of which,
the archangel touched the head of the saint, and left imprinted in his
skull the marks of his fingers, which the author, here quoted, relates
that he himself saw, to his great delight, in the years 1612 and 1641.

To the miraculous vision, succeeded other occurrences of similar import.
A tethered bull pointed out the spot where the holy edifice should be
erected, and at the same time circumscribed its limits; a rock, that
opposed the progress of the workmen, and was immoveable by human art,
spontaneously withdrew at the touch of an infant's foot; and the earth
opening, on being struck with St. Aubert's staff, gave birth to a spring
of water, at once of the utmost use to the inhabitants, and gifted with
the most sanative powers. At about the same period also, the sea
ingulphed the neighboring forests,[214] insulating the rock; so that
three messengers, who had been dispatched to Mount Garganus, thence to
bring a portion of red cloth, the gift of St. Michael, together with a
fragment of the stone on which he himself had sate, found on their
return the aspect of things so changed, that "they thought they must
have entered into a new world."

History, from this period, assumes a character of comparative
authenticity. The Norman conquest threatened for awhile the extinction
of Christianity: the baptism of Rollo, rekindling its dying embers, made
them blaze forth with a light and warmth unknown before. The duke
himself, on the fourth day after he had presented himself at the holy
font, endowed the monastery of St. Michael, then styled "_ecclesiam in
periculo maris supra montem positam_."--No further mention occurs of the
convent, during the reign of this monarch, or of his son, William
Longue-Epée; but their immediate successor, Richard I. amply atoned for
any neglect on their part. He built, according to Dudo of St. Quentin, a
church of wondrous size, together with spacious buildings, for a body of
monks of the Benedictine order, whom he established there in 988,
displacing the regular canons, whose irregular lives had been the
subject of much scandal. This munificence on the part of Richard, has
even caused him to be regarded by some writers as the founder of the
convent.--His son and successor, of the same name, selected St.
Michael's Mount, as the favored spot, where, in the beginning of his
reign, he received the hand of the fair Judith, sister to Geoffrey, one
of the principal counts of Brittany. An opportunity was almost
immediately afterwards afforded him of testifying at once his liberality
and his devotion, as well as his love; for, on the first year of the
eleventh century, the church, which had then been completed only five
years, was burned to the ground. The prince, however, appears to have
been somewhat tardy on the occasion; no attempt was made towards
replacing the loss, till Hildebert II. succeeded as abbot. During his
prelacy, in 1022, the foundations of a new church were laid, upon a
still more extensive scale.--Twenty-six years more were suffered to
elapse, and the abbatial mitre had adorned the brows of four successive
abbots, when Ralph de Beaumont witnessed the completion of the work.

The church then built is expressly stated by the authors of the _Gallia
Christiana_, to be the same as was in existence at the time of the
publication of that work;[215] and M. de Gerville confirms their remark
by his own personal observation, at least as far as relates to the nave.
This indeed has been shortened of late; but he is persuaded, that
whatever still remains is really of the architecture of the days of Duke
Richard.--Robert, the following duke, repaired to St. Michael's Mount,
to superintend his forces, upon the occasion of the revolt of Alain,
Count of Dol; and it was hither, also, that the archbishop of Rouen
brought the humbled count, to make his peace with his offended
sovereign.--At the period of the conquest, the monks of St. Michael
furnished six transports towards that eventful expedition; and when,
after the death of William, the dominion over the mount passed by
purchase from Robert to Henry, they distinguished themselves by their
attachment to their new sovereign, who here supported a siege on the
part of his two elder brothers, and was finally driven to surrender only
by famine. The elder of these brothers, at an advanced period of his
life, re-visited the church in a far different guise; and, to discharge
his vows to the archangel for his safe return from the crusade,
prostrated himself before the shrine which he had erst assaulted with
the fury of his arms.--The year 1158 was, almost above every other,
memorable in the history of St. Michael's Mount. Henry Plantagenet, who,
two years before, had there received the homage of his subjects of
Brittany, then returned in pilgrim weeds, accompanied by Louis VII.
whose repudiated wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, he had married; and the
two monarchs, attended by a numerous throng of secular nobility, as well
as by several cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, kneeled in amity at
the holy altar.

During the reign of the ill-starred John, St. Michael's Mount passed, in
common with the rest of Normandy, under the sceptre of France, and
suffered severely upon the occasion. Guy of Thouars, then in alliance
with Philip-Augustus, advanced against it at the head of an army of
Britons; and, experiencing on the part of the inhabitants but a feeble
resistance, set fire to the palisades, the principal defence of the
place. The flames communicated to the houses; and the church also fell a
prey to them. To use the words of Brito,

                                "vis ignea sursùm
    Scandit, et ecclesiæ decus omne, locumque sacratum,
    Resque monasterii cremat insatiabilis omnes."

Philip lamented the injury, and did all in his power to repair it; but,
considering that one great source of the misfortunes of the holy place
had sprung from the impiety of the Anglo-Norman monarchs, in placing
their trust in ramparts made by human hands, rather than in the
protection of the archangel, he levelled with the ground the few works
of defence that remained.[216] His pious successor, the sainted Louis,
was far from entertaining a similar feeling. On the other hand, when his
devotion led him to the shrine of St. Michael, after returning from his
unfortunate expedition to Damietta, the chronicles expressly state, that
he placed, with his own hand, a considerable sum of money upon the
altar, for the purpose of repairing the fortifications. And it appears
probable that, at a period not very distant, the money thus expended
stood the crown of France in good stead; for, during the war at the
beginning of the fifteenth century, St. Michael's Mount was the only
place that successfully resisted the English arms. The siege it
supported upon that occasion, is one of the few brilliant events that
give lustre to a period of French history, generally dark and gloomy.
Two cannon, of prodigious size, constructed for the discharge of stone
balls, above a foot in diameter, testify to the present moment the
heroic defence of the garrison, and the defeat of the assailants.

At a subsequent period of French history, during the times when party,
under the mask of pious zeal, deluged the kingdom with blood, and
virtuous men of every creed joined in the lamentation, that "tantum
Religio potuit suadere malorum," the Huguenots made many and most brave
and memorable, though vain, attempts to render themselves masters of St.
Michael's Mount. From that time forward, the rock has been suffered to
continue in tranquillity, though still retaining its character as a
fortification. Its designation of late has been a departmental prison:
during the reign of terror, it was applied to the disgraceful purpose of
serving as a receptacle for three hundred ecclesiastics, whose age or
infirmities would not allow of their being transported; and who, with
cruel mockery, were incarcerated within the walls, long gladdened with
the comforts, dignified with the pomp, and sanctified with the holiness
of religion. Prisoners of importance, especially those charged with
crimes against the state, were chiefly confined here before the
revolution, when the iron cage, and the vaults, known by the ominous
names of the _Oubliettes_, or the _In Pace_, gave the mount a melancholy

In this short outline of the history of St. Michael's Mount, mention has
been repeatedly made of French sovereigns who have proceeded thither in
pilgrimage. The task were long to enumerate all those princes and
monarchs who distinguished it with this mark of their veneration. But
there is one other instance too important in its consequences to be
passed over in silence. Louis XI. after having expelled the rebellious
Britons from Normandy in 1463, not content with paying his devotions to
the archangel at his shrine, and bestowing upon the monks a donation of
six hundred crowns of gold, sent them the image of St. Michael, together
with the golden chain that he had himself worn upon his neck; and
directed that the three escalop shells, formerly borne upon the abbatial
shield, should be enriched by the addition of four others, and three
lilies. Nor satisfied with this, he, six years afterwards, still further
testified his devotion, by various privileges granted to the community,
and by the institution of the noble military order of St. Michael,[217]
whose collar was composed of silver escalop shells, while the medal bore
a representation of the archangel trampling upon the dragon, with the
legend, "Immensi tremor oceani."--Even in this enlightened age, the
concourse of pilgrims to the mount is by no means at an end: they are
still to be seen repairing to the church; and, if the female Druids have
ceased for many a century to sell to the sailors their enchanted arrows,
of power to still the angry ocean, when hurled into its waves by a
maiden hand, the Pythonesses of the present day find a no less plentiful
source of emolument in their chaplets, and rosaries, and crosses, and
medals, of St. Michael. The annals of the world abound in details of the
changes of form and feature which superstition has assumed in different
ages; but it is humiliating to human nature to reflect, that the
conquests obtained by philosophy over her great adversary, are in
reality very small. Superstition, like the fabled Proteus, appears under
an endless variety of forms; but she is also, like the god, still one
and the same.

The list of abbots of St. Michael's Mount, contains names of the highest
consequence in France: the Cardinal d'Estouteville, and the still more
illustrious Cardinal de Joyeuse, Henry of Lorraine, son of the Duke de
Guise, and Charles Maurice, of the noble family of Broglio, have, in
times comparatively modern, presided over the community. The privileges
and honorary distinctions attached to the office, were also
considerable. The names of the superiors of the monastery stand recorded
on various occasions, as men selected for important trusts; and they
were formally empowered, by a bull of Pope Clement VII. dated from
Avignon, to bestow the benediction, even in the church of Avranches, and
in the presence of the bishop or the metropolitan himself, and to wear
the mitre, and all other episcopal insignia. The powers and immunities
of the convent were likewise extensive and important. Its annual income
was estimated by the author of the _Alien Priories_, in the middle of
the last century, at forty thousand livres; but it is at the same time
stated in that work, that, at an earlier period, it was far more
considerable. Among the transmarine possessions of the abbey, was its
namesake in Cornwall, which was annexed to it by Robert, Earl of Moreton
and Cornwall, before the year 1085, and was also renowned for its
sanctity at a very remote epoch. The coincidence in form and situation
between the two is most remarkable.

St. Michael's Mount, in Normandy, is situated near the extremity of the
province, towards Brittany; to the south of Granville, the south-west of
Avranches, and the north of Pontorson and Dol. It is a conical mass of
granite, which, from a base of about one-fourth of a league in
circumference, towers to the height of above four hundred feet,
including the buildings that crown its summit. It stands insulated and
alone, except the neighboring rock of Tombeleine, in the midst of a
dreary level of white sand, that presents a surface of more than twelve
square leagues, extending on all sides, almost as far as the eye can
reach, and unvaried, unless where it is intersected with branches of
different rivers. The whole of this space is at high water entirely
covered with the sea, while the receding tide leaves it bare; yet still
so, that it is difficult and dangerous to traverse it without a guide.
The base of the mount is surrounded with high thick walls, flanked with
semi-circular towers all machicolated, and bastions. Towards the west
and north, its sides present only steep, black, bare, pointed rocks: the
portions that lie in an opposite direction, incline in a comparatively
easy slope, and are covered with houses that follow in successive lines,
leaving but a scanty space for some small gardens, in which the vine,
the fig-tree, and the almond, flourish in great luxuriance. The walls of
the castellated abbey impend, and jut out in bold decided masses; and
the whole is crowned by the florid choir of the abbey church. The
architects of the latter time seemed to have wished to adapt this
glorious building to its site. All its divisions of parts, windows, and
pinnacles, are narrower and more lofty than usual; and the projections
are bolder, so as to be distinctly visible from below. The stranger is
admitted to the mount by a gate, of the time of Louis XII. or Francis I.
He proceeds along the walls, which continue leading upwards; and,
traversing desolate towers, and staircases above staircases, hanging on
the sides of the rock, all forlorn, grassy, and mouldering, he is
conducted to the gate of the abbey. The outside of the first gate-way
has round towers: the second has a pointed arch. One pile of buildings
has a row of small arches round the top. The present population of the
town amounts to about two hundred and fifty inhabitants, who derive
their chief support from the fishery.

Of the church itself, a view is given in the Bayeux tapestry; rude
indeed, but curious, as coeval.--The following is a short chronological
summary of the principal events connected with the building:--

In 1103, the roof fell in, and involved in its ruins a portion of the

Ten years afterwards, on the twenty-third of April, 1113, the lightning
set fire to the abbey, which was wholly consumed, except the crypt and
the great columns of the nave, and some other parts of the church.
Roger, then abbot, repaired the injury, rebuilding the refectory and the
dormitory, and the splendid apartment, called the Knights' Hall.

  [Illustration: Plate 96. MOUNT ST. MICHAEL.
  _Interior of the Knights' Hall._]

Bernard, who was abbot from 1135 to 1140, rebuilt the north part of the
church, and erected the tower between the nave and the choir.

Of the works done at the beginning of the thirteenth century, in
consequence of the injuries received by the church during the wars of
Philip-Augustus, no particulars are preserved. It is only said in
general terms, that they were considerable.

Richard Turstin, abbot in 1275, began buildings upon an extensive scale,
between the extremity of the cloisters and the barracks.

On the thirteenth of July, 1300, the lightning again struck the church,
and great part of it was burned, and the bells melted, and many houses
in the town reduced to ashes.

The chapel of St. John the Evangelist was added by John De la Porte, the
twenty-seventh abbot, who died in 1334.

In 1350, a fresh injury was sustained from a tempest; but so great was
the zeal employed in repairing it, that the monastery is said to have
been, a very short time subsequently, in a better state than it had
almost ever been before: it raised its head, however, above these
misfortunes, only to experience new ones, and from the same source, in
1370. The damage was then greater, but was soon repaired; and the chapel
of St. Catherine was erected. This happened during the prelacy of
Geoffrey de Servin. Peter le Roy, the following abbot, is ranked among
the greatest benefactors to the convent: no one contributed more to the
diffusion of its fame, or the increase of learning within its precincts;
but he does not appear to have done any thing to its buildings. His
successor, Robert Jolivet, surrounded the mount with the walls and
towers that now remain, with the view of defending it against the
English, whom he afterwards joined.

In 1421, the whole roof of the choir fell in. The foundations of the new
choir, the remains of which are now standing, were laid by the Cardinal
d'Estouteville, in 1452; and he continued the work till his death,
which happened thirty years afterwards. During his prelacy, the chapels
of the choir were completed, and roofed with lead; and the choir and the
columns that surround the high altar, were raised to the height of the

In 1509, another accident arose from lightning: the steeple, and the
bells, and the wood-work of the nave, were destroyed; but the damage was
soon repaired by William de Lamps, then abbot, who also built the
abbatial palace and alms-house, and raised the part of the church that
was unfinished, as high as the second tier of windows.--The choir was
completed under the prelacy of his brother, John de Lamps, who was next
but one to him in the succession, and wore the mitre from 1513 to 1523.

From that time forward, till the period of the revolution, the abbacy of
St. Michael's Mount was held in commendam; and the abbots, regardless of
a charge in which they did not feel themselves personally concerned,
ceased to bestow care or expense upon the buildings. Some of them even
refused to do the necessary repairs; and more than one instance is on
record, where they resisted the decrees of the Norman parliament to that

From the preceding details, it will easily be imagined, that the church
upon St. Michael's Mount can scarcely fail to present a medley of
different kinds of architecture. Two, however, predominate: in the
choir, which was finished at the beginning of the sixteenth century, all
is pointed and lofty: the naves and transepts are Norman. Beneath are
crypts, which extend under every part of the church, supported upon
short columns with capitals of foliage, &c. the arches mostly ribbed,
and circular.

The shortening of the nave has destroyed the western front. The
cloister, according to the observations of a friend of the author, is
strangely moresque in its appearance. The position of the pillars in it
he regards as quite unique.

The Knights' Hall, (see _plate ninety-six_,) is an arched chamber,
ninety-eight feet in length, by sixty-eight in width, noble and
church-like in its aspect. Its groined stone roof rests upon eighteen
cylindrical columns, with bases and capitals; the latter, in very high
relief, of beautiful design and delicate execution.


[213] It may be allowed, that this idea receives a certain degree of
confirmation from the present name of the neighboring rock,
_Tombeleine_, the natural derivation of which appears to be _Tumba

[214] The tradition of the mount speaks of the monster that haunted the
drowned forest; and when the author's friend, Mr. Cohen, visited St.
Michael's Mount in 1819, his guide, Jacques Du Pont, referred to the
subject, and called the beast "a monster of a Turk that ate the
Christians." The figure represented on the wrapper of this work, was
pointed out as a figure of the _identical_ monster. It was formerly on
the outside of the wall in a niche; it is now just within the gate.
"There," said Jacques, "look at his teeth and his claws; how savage he
is."--The tradition is certain; but the image is nothing more than a
griffin grasping a shield charged with an armorial bearing; its date

[215] A. D. 1759.

[216] Of old, says Brito, the place

    ...... "satis angelicis gaudebat tutus haberi
    Præsidiis, nullo dispendia tempore passus;
    At simul ædificans muros ibi cura Johannis
    Prætulit humanas vires coelestibus armis,
    Quemque tuebatur coelesti milite Christus,
    Munivit sacrum humano munimine montem,
    Ex tunc causa loco pereundi inventa sacrato."

The author goes on to add, that the king

    ...... "ne fiat eis deinceps injuria talis,
    Præcipit ut pereat munitio toto Johannis;
    Et sua militiæ coelesti castra resignans,
    Humanis bonus excubiis locra sacra resignat,
    Largifluâque manu monachos juvat in renovando
    Sarta tecta, libros, et cætera quæ furor ignis
    Solverat in cinerem, quæ nobiliore paratu
    Quàm priùs extiterant jam restaurata videmus."

                                              _Phillip._ lib. 8, l. 114.

[217] In the preamble of the statutes of this order, the monarch
expresses himself in the following terms--"Nous, à la gloire de Dieu,
notre créateur Tout-puissant, et revérence de glorieuse Vierge Marie, et
en l'honneur de Monseigneur St.-Michel Archange, premier Chevalier, qui
pour la querelle de Dieu, d'estoc et de taille, se battit contre
l'ennemi dangereux de l'humain lignage, et du Ciel le trébucha, et qui
en son lieu et oratoire appellé Mont-St. Michel a toujours
particulièrement gardé, préservé et défendu, sans être pris, subjugué,
ni mis ès mains des anciens ennemis de notre royaume, et afin que tous
bons et nobles courages soient excités et plus particulièrement émus à
toutes vertueuses oeuvres; le 1er. jour d'Août de l'an 1469 avons créé,
institué et ordonné, et par ces présentes créons, constituons et
ordonnons un Ordre de fraternité ou amiable compagnie de certain nombre
de Chevaliers, jusqu'à trente six, lequel nous voulons être nommé
l'Ordre de Saint-Michel."



  [Illustration: Plate 97. ABBEY CHURCH OF CERISY.
  _Interior of the Choir._]

Cerisy, a small market-town, upon the road leading from Bayeux to St.
Lo, and equally distant about four leagues from each of those places, is
wholly indebted to its abbey for the celebrity it has enjoyed. In the
secular history of the duchy, its name occurs upon only two occasions.
The lord of Cerisy is enumerated among the companions in arms of Robert,
son of the Conqueror, in his expedition to the Holy Land, in 1009; and
the abbot of Cerisy was one of the twenty-one ecclesiastics from the
bailiwick of Caen, cited by Philip le Bel to the Norman exchequer, in
the beginning of the fourteenth century.

The convent, which was at all times of the Benedictine order, is said to
have been founded as early as the year 560. It was under the invocation
of St. Vigor, ninth bishop of Bayeux; and, according to some authors,
was established by that saint himself. Du Monstier, in the _Neustria
Pia_, recites the history of its origin at great length: how the
prelate, moved by the entreaties of a rich man, of the name of Volusian,
destroyed, by virtue of the sign of the cross, a monstrous serpent that
ravaged the country; and how Volusian, in gratitude, ceded to him the
domain of Cerisy, upon which he immediately erected a monastery, and
endowed it with the revenues of the property. The annals of the convent
being lost, what is recorded of its history is very short. After the
general destruction of religious establishments by the Saxons and
Normans, that of Cerisy appears to have been left in its ruins far
longer than most others. No hand is said to have been lifted towards its
restoration, till the reign of Robert, father of the Conqueror. By him
the monastic writers all agree that a beginning was made towards the
rebuilding of this monastery; and one of them, William of Jumieges,
adds, that his care of it suffered no diminution from time or distance;
for that, during his wars in the Holy Land, when the patriarch of
Jerusalem rewarded his pious zeal with a present of some precious
relics, he immediately directed them to be here deposited. His more
illustrious successor, in one of the first years of his reign, completed
and richly endowed the convent begun by his father, whose remains he
commanded should be brought from Palestine, for the express purpose of
their being interred at Cerisy. But they were allowed to proceed no
further than Apulia. In the _Neustria Pia_ is preserved a charter of
King Charles VI. dated 1398, in which the various donations conferred
upon the abbey of Cerisy, by the Norman Dukes, Robert, William, and
Henry, are enumerated and confirmed. Its annual income, in the middle of
the eighteenth century, was estimated by De Masseville at twenty
thousand livres. The only property it appears ever to have possessed in
England, was a priory of Benedictine monks at West Shirburne, in

Architecturally considered, the church of Cerisy is an interesting relic
of Norman workmanship. The certainty of its date, not far removed from
the year 1032, and the comparatively few alterations it has undergone,
render it one of those landmarks, by the aid of which the observer of
the present day can alone attain to any certainty in his inquiries into
ancient art. And yet, in the portion here selected for engraving, the
upper row of windows is of an æra posterior to the rest; and the great
arch in front has evidently changed its semi-circular form for a pointed
one. Its height is unusual and impressive. Both taken collectively and
in its parts, the church bears a strong resemblance to that nearly
coeval at St. Georges; like which, it is now appropriated to parochial
purposes, and is still of great size,[218] though the whole of the
portion originally parochial, and which extended one hundred and
twenty-four feet beyond what remains of the nave, has been recently
pulled down. The principal front of the building, which faced the north,
its position being north and south, has been consequently destroyed. The
style of the edifice is characterized by a noble and severe simplicity:
the capitals of the columns are, indeed, enriched with sculptured
foliage or animals, or occasionally with small heads placed in the
middle of a surface otherwise plain; but elsewhere the decorations are
very sparingly distributed. They are confined to the chevron and billet
mouldings; the latter the most ancient and most rare among the Norman
ornaments. Both the transepts are parted off, as at St. Georges, by
screens near the extremities: these screens at Cerisy are surmounted by
an elegant parapet of semi-circular arches, a singular and very
beautiful addition.


[218] The following are the dimensions of the church, according to Mr.

  Length of the nave                                         98
  Ditto of choir                                             64
  Ditto of transepts and intervening part of the nave       118
  Width of nave                                              73
  Ditto of transepts                                         31
  Ditto of choir, without the side-chapels                   28
  Height of nave                                             70

Before the demolition of the western extremity, the nave was two hundred
and twenty-six feet long, and the total length of the building two
hundred and ninety feet.



  [Illustration: Plate 98. CHURCH OF OYESTRAHAM.
  _West Front._]

Oyestraham, or, as it is more commonly written, Estreham, is a village
situated upon the left bank of the Orne, near its confluence with the
channel. Its name, derived from the Saxon,[219] seems to point it out as
a settlement made by those daring invaders: its church, one of the first
objects that presents itself to the English traveller, on his
entering France in the direction of Caen, is well calculated to impress
him with a forcible idea of the magnificence of the Norman lords of the
duchy. That it was built in the time of their sway, is a fact which
cannot be doubted; but, in an architectural point of view, it is so full
of anomalies, that opinions would be likely to vary considerably with
regard to the actual date of its erection. And here, unfortunately, no
records remain to guide the judgment. In the western front, indeed!
(_the subject of the plate_) the whole is of the semi-circular style,
and uniform. The upper tier of arches will find a parallel in the towers
of the abbey of Jumieges, built during the reign of the Conqueror; and
most of the other members and decorations are of frequent occurrence in
erections of the same æra. A peculiarity is alone observable in the
smaller arches of the second row, in which the artist has indulged
himself in what may be termed an architectural conceit, lengthening, to
a very disproportionate degree, and almost in the moorish fashion, the
part above the capital, in order that the whole might range in a line
with the larger arch in the centre. The truncated appearance of the wall
on either side, leads to the obvious inference, that either this front
had originally towers, like the church of St. Nicholas, at Caen, or that
it was intended there should have been such. A central tower now alone
remains, of square form, with massive buttresses of unusual size,
projecting towards the south. This tower, as well as the portion of the
church to the east of it, exhibits the Norman and Gothic architecture
mixed in a very uncommon manner. Of three rows of arches, the lowest and
highest belong to the latter style; the central one only to the former.
In the nave, all is Norman, excepting only two lancet windows of the
upper tier, placed near the west end, on the south side, and excepting
also the flying buttresses that extend from between the windows of the
clerestory to the projecting aisles below. Within the choir, the
trefoil-headed arch takes, in some instances, the place of the pointed
in the lower row, which is wholly blank; and the capitals of the
pillars, according to Mr. Cotman, shew an extraordinary playfulness of
design. The arches above them are pierced for windows. Both the
semi-circular ones of the second tier, and the pointed ones above, are
extremely narrow, seen from without, but widen greatly within; the wall
being of more than ordinary thickness. The piers of the nave are six
feet five inches in diameter, while the intervening spaces scarcely
exceed ten feet.


[219] On this subject, see _Huet, Origines de Caen_, p. 299.--"Estreham
est le nom d'un bourg situé à l'embouchure de l'Orne, et d'un autre dans
le Bessin. Mr. Bochart le faisoit, venir d'_Easter_, Déesse des anciens
Saxons. Et comme il avoit entrepris de rapporter les anciennes origines
à la langue et à la doctrine des Phéniciens il prétendoit que cette
Easter étoit la même qu'Astarté. Ses sacrifices se faisoient au
commencement du printems; et de la vient que les Saxons appellerent
Easter le mois auquel se célebre la Pâque. Skinnerus ne s'éloigne pas
beaucoup de ce sentiment dans son Etymologique de la langue Angloise.
Mr. Valois tire le nom d'Estreham du Latin _Strata_, et de l'Allemand
_Hamum_, pour marquer une Demeure bâtie sur un chemin public, ou au bout
d'un chemin public, comme si le bourg d'Estreham étoit sur un grand
chemin, ou au bout d'un chemin public: et qu'il ne fût pas sur une
extrêmité de terre qui ne mene à rien, ayant la mer d'un côté, et
l'embouchure de la riviere d'Orne de l'autre: ou comme si tous les
villages du monde ne pouvoient pas être censez terminer des grand
chemins. Mais ces opinions sont détruites par l'ancienne orthographe du
nom d'Estreham, qui est constamment écrit dans les vieux Titres, et par
Mr. de Bras, Oistreham, pour Westerham, c'est-à-dire, Village
Occidental: car il se trouve placé à l'West de l'embouchure de l'Orne."



  _West Front._]

The city of Séez, though dignified by being the seat of a bishopric, is
in itself small and unimportant, its population not exceeding five
thousand five hundred inhabitants. Of the early history of either the
town or the diocese, little is known with certainty; and authors have
scarcely felt it worth their while to exercise their ingenuity, or to
display their learning, upon a subject ill calculated to add dignity to
their researches. Those who have entered upon the inquiry, have given it
as their opinion, that the _Civitas Sagiorum_, mentioned in the earliest
_Notitia Galliæ_, as the fifth in rank among the cities of the province,
_Lugdunensis Secunda_, was no other than the modern Séez; and, carrying
their conjecture one step farther, they have inferred from locality,
that the _Sagii_, otherwise called _Saii_, must have been the _Sesuvii_
of Cæsar's Commentaries. Hence, in more modern _Latinity_, Séez has
generally acquired the name of _Sagium_; though Ordericus Vitalis
occasionally calls it _Salarium_, and Magno, _Saius_. In some maps it is
likewise styled _Saxia_, whence an idea has arisen that it owed its
origin to the Saxons; and that the words, _Saii_ and _Sagii_, were in
reality nothing more than a corruption of _Saxones_ or _Sassones_.

The favorers of this opinion have brought Séez within the limits of the
_Otlingua Saxonia_, a district in Normandy, whose situation and extent
has been the subject of much literary controversy. The learned Huet,
alluding to this very point,[220] observes, with great justice, that "it
is more easy to tell what is not, than what is; and that, though the
limits of bishoprics serve in general to mark the divisions of the
ancient Gallic tribes, yet length of time has introduced many
alterations. Able men," he adds, "have been of opinion, that Hiesmes was
originally an episcopal see, and that its diocese was afterwards
dismembered into three archdeaconries; one of them fixed at Séez, a
second at Lisieux, and a third at Bayeux." Such, however, he says, is
not his own belief; but he thinks that Hiesmes was originally the seat
of the bishopric of Séez. A report to the same effect will be found in
the _Concilia Normannica_; and it is adopted by Rouault,[221] who argues
in its favor; first, that Séez was too insignificant, at the time of the
preaching of the gospel in Neustria, to be dignified with the presence
of a bishop; the apostles and earliest popes having directed that
bishops should only be appointed to considerable towns: and, secondly,
that Hiesmes was really then a place of importance, and probably
continued so till the nineteenth year of the reign of King Henry I. of
England, when that prince destroyed it, as a punishment upon the
inhabitants for their revolt.

Ecclesiastical history refers the establishment of the bishopric of Séez
to the fourth or fifth century. The earliest, however, of the prelates,
of whom any certain mention is to be found, is Litaredus, whose name
appears, under the title of _Oximensis Episcopus_, subscribed to the
council of Orleans in 511. Azo, who succeeded to the mitre in one of the
last years of the tenth century, erected the first cathedral that is
upon record at Séez. William of Jumieges relates of him, that he
destroyed the walls of the city, and with their stones built a church in
honor of St. Gervais, the martyr, "ubi sedes episcopalis longo post
tempore fuerat." The same author tells that, in consequence of this
church having been turned into a place of refuge by some rebels, about
fifty years afterwards, Ivo, the third from Azo upon the episcopal
throne, set fire to the adjoining houses for the purpose of dislodging
them, and the church fell a victim to the flames. The act, though
unintentional, brought upon the prelate a severe reprimand from the
pope; and Ivo, to repair his fault, undertook a journey to his relatives
and friends in Apulia and Constantinople, whence he returned, loaded
with rich presents, by the aid of which he undertook the erection of a
new church upon so large a scale, that "his successors, Robert, Gerard,
and Serlo, were unable to complete it in fifty years." The cathedral
then raised is said to be the same as is now standing; and, according to
what has already been recorded of the cathedrals of Lisieux and
Coutances, there is nothing in its architecture to discredit such an
opinion. The first stone was laid about the year 1053: the dedication
took place in 1126. Godfrey, archbishop of Rouen, performed the ceremony
in the presence of Henry, then duke, who, at the same time, endowed the
church with an annual income of ten pounds.

The diocese of Séez is surrounded by those of Lisieux, Evreux, Mans, and
Bayeux. According to De Masseville,[222] it extended, before the
revolution, twenty-five leagues in length, and from eight to ten in
width, comprising the districts of _le Houme_, _les Marches_, and a part
of _le Perche_. The towns of Séez, Alençon, Argentan, Falaise, Hiesmes,
Mortagne, and Bellême, together with several smaller towns, and five
hundred villages, were also included in its limits; as were five
archdeaconries, six rural deaneries, and many abbeys and other religious
houses. The episcopal revenue was estimated at only ten thousand livres.
The late concordat, by reducing the number of the Norman dioceses, has
of course added to the extent of those that remained.

Seven of the early bishops of Séez are inscribed among the saints of the
Roman calendar: in later times, no names appear of greater eminence than
those of Frogerius and John de Bertaut. The first of these prelates was
much in the confidence of Henry II. to whom he rendered acceptable
service in his unfortunate disputes with Thomas-à-Becket. He was not
only one of the very few bishops who then preserved their fidelity to
their sovereign inviolate, but he undertook a mission to the French
king, for the purpose of remonstrating upon the favorable reception
given to the primate, on which occasion he received the following
memorable answer:--"Tell your master, that if he cannot submit to the
abolition of the ordinances, which he designates as the customs of his
ancestors, because he thinks it would compromise the dignity of his
crown, although, as it is reported, they are but little conformable to
the will of God, still less can I consent to sacrifice a right that
has always been enjoyed by the kings of France. I mean the right of
giving shelter to all persons in affliction, but principally to those
who are exiled for justice sake, and of affording them, during their
persecution, all manner of protection and assistance."--John de Bertaut
lived in the beginning of the seventeenth century: he was principal
almoner to Mary de Medicis, and was afterwards in high favor with Henry
IV. to whose conversion he is said to have mainly contributed. He
likewise distinguished himself as a poet.--A third bishop of Séez,
Serlo, already mentioned, was a man of such commanding eloquence, that,
when he had the honor of preaching before Henry I. and his court, at
Carentan, in 1106, he declaimed with so much effect against the
effeminate custom of wearing long beards and long hair, that the
sovereign declared himself a convert, and the bishop, "_extractis e
manticâ forcipibus, primo regem tum cæteros optimates attondit_."[223]

  [Illustration: Plate 100. CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF NOTRE DAME, AT SÉEZ.
  _Elevation of the Nave._]

The church of Séez may be compared in its architecture with those of
Coutances and of Lisieux: they are unlike, indeed, but by no means
different. The points of resemblance exceed those of a contrary

                    "facies non omnibus una,
    Nec diversa tamen, qualem decet esse sororum."

Severe simplicity characterizes Lisieux: Coutances is distinguished by
elegance, abounding in decoration: Séez, at the same time that it unites
the excellencies of both, can rival neither in those which are
peculiarly its own. On the first view of the church, its mean and
insignificant western tower strikes the spectator with an unfavorable
impression, which, on a nearer approach, the mutilated and encumbered
state of the western front is by no means calculated to remove. And yet
this western front, all degraded as it is, cannot fail to derive
importance from the great depth of the central door-way, which is no
less than forty-seven feet,[224] a projection exceeding that of the
galilee of Peterborough cathedral. It is in the interior that the beauty
of the church of Séez is conspicuous. The noble lofty arches below; the
moresque ornament, like those at Bayeux and at Coutances, in the
spandrils; the double lancet arches of the triforium placed in triplets;
and the larger pointed arches above, arranged two or three together, and
encircled with arches of the Norman form, though not of the Norman
style;--all these beauties, added to the enrichments of the sculptured
walls and windows of the aisles, render the cathedral, if not the first
of Norman religious buildings, at least in the number of those of the
first class,

    "Extremi primorum, extremis usque priores."


[220] _Origines de Caen_, p. 5.

[221] _Abrégé de la Vie des Evêques de Coutances_, p. 40.

[222] _Etat Géographique de Normandie_, p. 304.

[223] _Gallia Christiana_, XI. p. 684.

[224] The following are the dimensions of the other parts of the

  Length of nave (including a space of sixty-four feet
                  under the towers)                       218
  Ditto of choir                                           57
  Ditto of aisle behind the choir                          14
  Ditto of Lady-Chapel                                     25
  Ditto of each transept                                   39
  Width of nave and choir, including aisles                72
  Ditto of Lady-Chapel                                     20
  Ditto of transepts                                       30
  Height of nave and choir                                 80
  Ditto of north-west spire                               232
  Ditto of south-west ditto                               210





                                                NO. OF PLATE.
  _Andelys_, Great House                                   15
  _Anisy_, Church                                          67
  _Arques_, Castle                                          1
  _Bieville_, Church                                   58, 59
  _Bocherville, St. Georges de_, Church                  5-11
  _Briquebec_, Castle                                      70
  _Caen_, Abbey Church of the Holy Trinity              24-33
   ------ Abbey Church of St. Stephen                   21-23
   ------ Chapel in the Castle                             48
   ------ Church of St. Nicholas                       55, 56
   ------ Church of St. Michel de Vaucelles            18, 19
   ------ House in the Rue St. Jean                        65
  _Cerisy_, Abbey Church                                   97
  _Château Gaillard_                                   80, 81
  _Cheux_, Church                                          57
  _Colomby_, Church                                        47
  _Coutances_, Cathedral                                92-94
  _Creully_, Church                                        91
  _Dieppe_, Castle                                         34
   -------- Church of St. Jacques                      35, 36
  _Eu_, Screen in the Church of St. Lawrence               72
  _Falaise_, Castle                                    89, 90
  _Fécamp_, Church of St. Stephen                          71
  _Fontaine-le-Henri_, Château                         62, 63
   ------------------- Church                          60, 61
  _Foullebec_, Western door-way of Church                  84
  _Gournay_, Church of St. Hildebert                    38-41
  _Grâville_, Church                                       12
  _Haute Allemagne_, Tower of Church                       37
  _Jumieges_, Abbey Church                                2-4
  _Léry_, Church                                        44-46
  _Lillebonne_, Castle                                     69
  _Lisieux_, Church of St. Peter                        73-75
  _Louviers_, South porch of Church                        79
  _Matilda, Queen_, Tombstone of                           33*
  _Montivilliers_, Abbey Church                            82
  _Mount St. Michael_                                  95, 96
  _Oyestraham_, Church                                     98
  _Perriers_, Church                                       68
  _Rouen_, Cathedral                                    49-52
   ------- Chapel in the Hospital of St. Julien        42, 43
   ------- Church of St. Ouen                              76
   ------- Church of St. Paul                              54
   ------- Crypt in the Church of St. Gervais              53
   ------- Fountain of the Stone Cross                     77
   ------- House in the Place de la Pucelle                64
   ------- Palace of Justice                               78
  _St. Lo_, Church of the Holy Cross                   87, 88
  _St. Sanson sur Rille_, Ruins of the Church              83
  _St. Sauveur le Vicomte_, Abbey Church                   14
   ------------------------ Castle                         13
  _Séez_, Cathedral                                   99, 100
  _Tamerville_, Church                                     17
  _Tancarville_, Castle                                85, 86
  _Than_, Church                                           16
  _Tréport_, Church                                        66
  _William the Conqueror_, Statue of                       20


Original spelling, even where inconsistent, and punctuation have been
preserved. Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
In the list of SUBJECTS--CHRONOLOGICALLY ARRANGED, a + has been used in
place of the original obelisk. Typographical errors corrected in the
text (in brackets the original):

  17. Church of Tamerville [Tancarville]
  in the _tenth [ninth] plate_, and marked A and B
  daughters and nieces [neices] of the chief Norman barons
  marking the connection of the _twenty-eighth [twentieth] plate_
  rendered the necessity for such decisions [dicisions]

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