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Title: Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy - volume XXV of the "Harvard Historical Studies"
Author: David, Charles Wendell
Language: English
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XXV. Robert Curthose, Duke of Normandy. By Charles Wendell David, Ph.D.,
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Robert Curthose in the act of unhorsing a pagan warrior, the oldest
graphic representation of the duke now extant. From an eighteenth century
engraving of a medallion in a stained-glass window at Saint-Denis, which
was executed at the order of Abbot Suger. The church was dedicated 11
June 1144, and the window must date from about that period.]

                             ROBERT CURTHOSE
                            DUKE OF NORMANDY

                          CHARLES WENDELL DAVID

                          IN BRYN MAWR COLLEGE


                        HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
                        LONDON: HUMPHREY MILFORD
                         OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

                             COPYRIGHT, 1920
                        HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS



Robert Curthose, eldest son of William the Conqueror, had been dead but
a few years when Abbot Suger set about rebuilding the great abbey church
of Saint-Denis, which was dedicated with such pomp and ceremony in 1144.
Among the scenes from the First Crusade which filled one of its famous
stained-glass windows, there was one which portrayed Robert, mounted
upon his charger, in the act of overthrowing a pagan warrior—“Robertus
dux Normannorum Partum prosternit,” ran the inscription beneath it.[1]
It was thus, as a hero of the Crusade, that the great Abbot Suger chose
to recall him, and it was as such that his fame survived in after times.
Robert was not a masterful character, and it cannot be said that as a
ruler he made a deep impression upon his generation. Overshadowed by
his great father, cheated of a kingdom by his more aggressive brothers,
and finally defeated in battle, deprived of his duchy, and condemned to
perpetual imprisonment, his misdirected life offers a melancholy contrast
to the more brilliant careers of the abler members of his family. Yet,
if he was himself lacking in greatness, he was closely associated
with great names and great events; and his unmeasured generosity and
irrepressible bonhomie gained him many friends in his lifetime, and made
him a personality which is not without its attractions to the modern. It
is hoped that a study of his career which attempts to set him in his true
relation to the history of Normandy and England and of the Crusade may be
of interest not only to the specialist but to the general reader.

It is now more than a generation since Gaston Le Hardy published _Le
dernier des ducs normands: étude de critique historique sur Robert
Courte-Heuse_ (1882), the only monograph upon Robert which has hitherto
appeared. In spite of its age, if this were the critical study which its
title implies, the present essay need hardly have been undertaken. But
it makes no use of documentary materials, and is unfortunately a work
of violent _parti pris_, quite lacking in criticism according to modern
standards. “J’ ai entrepris,” says the author in his preface, “à l’aide
de quelques autres chroniqueurs, une lutte contre notre vieil Orderic
Vital, essayant de lui arracher par lambeaux la vérité vraie sur un
personnage dont il ne nous a donné que la caricature.” It may be granted
that Ordericus Vitalis was a hostile critic, who sometimes did Robert
scanty justice; but assuredly there is no occasion for polemics or for
an _apologia_ such as Le Hardy has given us, and I have no intention of
following in his footsteps. My purpose is a more modest one, namely to
set forth a full and true account of the life and character of Robert
Curthose upon the basis of an independent and critical examination of
all the sources. To any one acquainted with the state of the materials
on which the investigator must perforce depend for any study of the late
eleventh and early twelfth centuries, it will not be surprising that
there are many gaps in our information concerning Robert’s life and many
problems which must remain unsolved. I have tried at all times to make my
own researches and to draw my own conclusions directly from the sources
when the evidence permitted, and to refrain from drawing conclusions
when it seemed inadequate. But my indebtedness to the secondary writers
who have preceded me in the field is abundantly apparent in the index
and in the footnotes, where full acknowledgments are made. The works of
E. A. Freeman upon the Norman Conquest and upon the reign of William
Rufus have proved especially helpful for Robert’s life as a whole, as
have also various more recent monographs which bear upon his career at
certain points. Among these are the works of Louis Halphen upon the
county of Anjou, of Robert Latouche upon Maine, and of Augustin Fliche
upon the reign of Philip I of France. For the chapter on the Crusade much
use has been made of the detailed chronology of Heinrich Hagenmeyer and
of the exhaustive notes in his well known editions of the sources for
the First Crusade, as well as of the admirable monograph by Ferdinand
Chalandon upon the reign of the Emperor Alexius I. The appendix _De
Iniusta Vexatione Willelmi Episcopi Primi_ has already been published
in the _English Historical Review_, and is here reproduced by the kind
permission of the editor.

It is more than a pleasure to acknowledge my obligations to those
whose counsel and assistance have been constantly at my disposal in
the preparation of this volume. By the librarians and their staffs in
the libraries of Harvard University, the University of California, the
University of Pennsylvania, and Bryn Mawr College I have been treated
with a courtesy and helpfulness which are beyond praise. Mr. George
W. Robinson, Secretary of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of
Harvard University, has given me much valuable assistance in preparing
the manuscript for the press and in the correction of the proof. Finally,
I have to acknowledge a debt of gratitude which is deeper than can
well be expressed in writing, that which I owe to my teachers. It was
Professor Dana C. Munro, now of Princeton University, who first taught
me to care greatly for the Middle Ages and awakened my interest in
the Crusades. He has followed this volume with kindly interest while
it has been in the making, and has given me much helpful criticism
upon that part which relates to the First Crusade. But above all I am
indebted to Professor Charles H. Haskins of Harvard University, at
whose suggestion this work was first undertaken and without whose help
and counsel it could hardly have been brought to completion. While
the author must accept full responsibility for the statements and
conclusions herein contained, it is proper to say that the documentary
materials which Professor Haskins had collected, as well as the results
of his own researches, were placed at my disposal in manuscript before
their publication in his recent volume entitled _Norman Institutions_,
that separate chapters as they have been prepared have passed through
his hands for detailed criticism, and that his unfailing patience has
extended even to the reading of the proof sheets.

                                                   CHARLES WENDELL DAVID.



[1] See Frontispiece and Appendix G.



                              CHAPTER I

  YOUTH                                                             3-16
    Parentage and birth                                                4
    Tutors and education                                               6
    Initiation into politics                                           7
    Official position under the Conqueror                             10
    Bright promise of Robert’s youth                                  15

                             CHAPTER II

  REBELLION AND EXILE                                              17-41
    Robert’s character and personal appearance                        17
    First rebellion and exile                                         18
    Gerberoy                                                          25
    Robert in the active service of the king                          31
    Second rebellion and exile                                        36
    Death of the Conqueror                                            39

                             CHAPTER III

  INDEPENDENT RULE, 1087-95                                        42-88
    Robert’s accession to the duchy                                   42
    Unsuccessful attempt to gain the English crown                    44
    William Rufus against Robert Curthose                             53
    Robert and William as allies                                      60
    The loss of Maine                                                 69
    Weakness and failure of Robert’s government                       75
    Renewed war with William Rufus                                    83

                             CHAPTER IV

  THE CRUSADE                                                     89-119
    Introduction                                                      89
    The Crusade launched in Normandy                                  90
    Preparations for the Crusade                                      92
    From Normandy to Nicaea                                           96
    From Nicaea to Antioch                                           102
    Antioch, 1097-98                                                 104
    The advance upon Jerusalem                                       108
    The capture of Jerusalem                                         112
    The battle of Ascalon                                            115
    Robert’s return from Jerusalem to Italy                          117
    Estimate of Robert as a crusader                                 118

                              CHAPTER V

  FAILURE TO GAIN THE ENGLISH CROWN                              120-137
    Death of William Rufus and accession of Henry I                  120
    Robert’s return from the Crusade                                 123
    The end of Norman rule in Maine                                  125
    Conspiracy to gain the English crown                             127
    Norman invasion of England                                       130
    The treaty of Alton, 1101                                        134

                             CHAPTER VI

  THE LOSS OF NORMANDY                                           138-176
    Sequel to the treaty of Alton                                    138
    Robert Curthose and Robert of Bellême                            141
    Private war in Normandy and intervention of Henry I              144
    Robert and the church                                            150
    Preparations of Henry I for the conquest of Normandy             155
    English invasion of Normandy, 1105                               161
    The campaign of Tinchebray, 1106                                 171

                             CHAPTER VII

  LAST YEARS AND DEATH                                           177-189
    Settlement of Normandy after Tinchebray                          177
    Disposal of the captives                                         179
    William Clito, last hope of a lost cause                         180
    Robert’s vicissitudes in captivity                               186
    Death of Robert Curthose                                         189

                            CHAPTER VIII

  ROBERT CURTHOSE IN LEGEND                                      190-202
    Early growth of legends concerning Robert                        190
    His legendary exploits on the Crusade                            193
    His refusal of the crown of Jerusalem                            197
    Legends connected with his long imprisonment                     200
    The tale of the scarlet robe                                     201


  A. NOTE ON THE SOURCES                                         205-210



  D. ROBERT’S COMPANIONS ON THE CRUSADE                          221-229

  E. LAODICEA AND THE FIRST CRUSADE                              230-244

  F. THE BATTLE OF TINCHEBRAY                                    245-248

       SAINT-DENIS                                               249-252

  INDEX                                                          253-271


  _Actus Pontificum_              _Actus Pontificum Cenomannis in Urbe
                                    degentium_, ed. G. Busson and A.
                                    Ledru. Le Mans, 1902.

  _A.-S. C._                      _The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_, ed. Charles
                                    Plummer, under the title _Two of the
                                    Saxon Chronicles Parallel_. 2 vols.
                                    Oxford, 1892-99.

  Davis, _Regesta_                H. W. C. Davis, _Regesta Regum
                                    Anglo-Normannorum_, i (1066-1100).
                                    Oxford, 1913.

  _E. H. R._                      _English Historical Review._ London,

  _G. F._                         _Anonymi Gesta Francorum et Aliorum
                                    Hierosolymitanorum_, ed. Heinrich
                                    Hagenmeyer. Heidelberg, 1890.

  Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_       Heinrich Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie de la
                                    première croisade (1094-1100)_.
                                    Paris, 1902. Also in _Revue de
                                    l’Orient latin_, vi-viii (1898-1901).

  Haskins                         Charles H. Haskins, _Norman
                                    Institutions_. Cambridge,
                                    Massachusetts, 1918. _Harvard
                                    Historical Studies_, xxiv.

  _H. C. A._                      _Recueil des historiens des croisades._
                                    Publié pas les soins de l’Académie
                                    des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres.
                                    _Documents arméniens._ 2 vols. Paris,

  _H. C. G._                      _The same._ _Historiens grecs._ 2 vols.
                                    Paris, 1875-81.

  _H. C. Oc._                     _The same._ _Historiens occidentaux._
                                    5 vols. Paris, 1841-95.

  _H. C. Or._                     _The same._ _Historiens orientaux._ 5
                                    vols. Paris, 1872-1906.

  _H. F._                         _Recueil des historiens des Gaules et
                                    de la France_, ed. Martin Bouquet and
                                    others. 24 vols. Paris, 1738-1904.

  _Kreuzzugsbriefe_               _Die Kreuzzugsbriefe aus den Jahren
                                    1088-1100: Eine Quellensammlung zur
                                    Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges_,
                                    ed. Heinrich Hagenmeyer. Innsbruck,

  Le Hardy                        Gaston Le Hardy, _Le dernier des ducs
                                    normands: Étude de critique
                                    historique sur Robert Courte-Heuse_,
                                    in _Bulletin de la Société des
                                    Antiquaires de Normandie_, x (Caen,
                                    1882), pp. 3-184.

  _M. G. H._                      _Monumenta Germaniae Historica._ Hanover,
                                    etc., 1826-.

  Migne                           _Patrologiae Cursus Completus_, ed. J. P.
                                    Migne. Series Latina. 221 vols.
                                    Paris, 1844-64.

  Ordericus                       Ordericus Vitalis, _Historiae
                                    Ecclesiasticae Libri Tredecim_, ed.
                                    Auguste Le Prévost. 5 vols. Paris,

  Round, _C. D. F._               J. H. Round, _Calendar of Documents
                                    preserved in France illustrative of
                                    the History of Great Britain and
                                    Ireland_, i (918-1206). London, 1899
                                    (_Calendars of State Papers_).

  Simeon, _H. D. E._              Simeon of Durham, _Historia Dunelmensis
                                    Ecclesiae_, in his _Opera Omnia_, ed.
                                    Thomas Arnold, i. London, 1882.

  Simeon, _H. R._                 Idem, _Historia Regum_, _ibid._, ii.
                                    London, 1885.

  William of Jumièges             William of Jumièges, _Gesta Normannorum
                                    Ducum_, ed. Jean Marx. Paris, 1914.

  William of Malmesbury, _G. P._  William of Malmesbury, _De Gestis
                                    Pontificum Anglorum Libri Quinque_,
                                    ed. N. E. S. A. Hamilton. London,

  William of Malmesbury, _G. R._  Idem, _De Gestis Regum Anglorum Libri
                                    Quinque_, ed. William Stubbs. 2 vols.
                                    London, 1887-89.

[Illustration: Northwestern France and southern England with principal
places referred to in text]




William of Malmesbury, in his well known sketch of the life and character
of Robert Curthose,[1] relates an interesting episode. He tells us that
Robert, in the heat of youth, and spurred on by the fatuous counsels
of his companions, went to his father, William the Conqueror, and
demanded that the rule of Normandy be forthwith given over into his
hands. William not only refused the rash request, but drove the lad
away with the thunders of his terrific voice; whereupon Robert withdrew
in a rage and began to pillage the countryside. At first the Conqueror
was only convulsed with laughter at these youthful escapades, and said,
emphasizing his words with a favorite oath: “By the resurrection of God!
This little Robert Curthose will be a brave fellow.”[2]

Robert Curthose or ‘Short-Boots’ (_Curta Ocrea_), this was the curious
nickname which his father had given him on account of his diminutive
stature.[3] The name seemed appropriate and was taken up by the
people. In time, however, William of Malmesbury goes on to explain,
Robert’s acts of insubordination became far more serious, and ended by
provoking the Conqueror to a truly Norman burst of wrath, a curse, and
disinheritance.[4] But all this is a matter which must be deferred for
later consideration.

Whether the episode just recounted be fact or legend,[5] the chronicler
in his hurried sketch has, in any event, drawn the picture of an
undutiful, graceless son, often harassing his father with wild acts of
insubordination. This, too, is the impression which is to be gathered
from a cursory reading of Ordericus Vitalis, by far the most voluminous
contemporary writer upon the life and character of Robert Curthose, and
it is the impression which has been preserved in the histories of later
times.[6] A more careful reading of the sources may, however, lead to a
somewhat different view of the character of the Norman duke who forms the
subject of the present essay. It must be owned at the outset, however,
that the sources, especially for Robert’s youth, are exceedingly meagre
and fragmentary, and only a few details can be pieced together.

The date of Robert’s birth is nowhere stated by contemporary writers.
We know that he was the firstborn child of William the Bastard, duke
of Normandy, and of his wife Matilda, daughter of Count Baldwin V of
Flanders.[7] But the date of the marriage of William and Matilda is
also a matter of much uncertainty. It has been generally assigned by
modern writers, but without any early authority, to the year 1053.[8]
It certainly took place after October 1049, for in that year we find
Pope Leo IX and the council of Rheims forbidding it as an act then
in contemplation.[9] It certainly had been performed in defiance of
ecclesiastical authority by 1053, the year in which Countess Matilda
first appears beside her husband among the witnesses of extant legal
documents.[10] So, too, Robert’s birth has been assigned by modern
writers to _circa_ 1054,[11] but this again is conjectural and rests upon
no early authority. Our knowledge of Robert’s later career makes it seem
improbable that he was born later than 1054 and suggests the possibility
that he may have been born a little earlier.[12]

Though the evidence is meagre and fragmentary, it is clear that William
and Matilda were by no means careless about the education of their eldest
son and prospective heir. In an early charter we meet with a certain
“Raherius consiliarius infantis” and a “Tetboldus gramaticus.”[13] And
among the witnesses of a charter by the youthful Robert himself—the
earliest that we have of his—dated at Rouen in 1066, appears one
“Hilgerius pedagogus Roberti filii comitis.”[14] Not improbably this is
the same Ilger who, in April of the following year, attested a charter by
William the Conqueror at Vaudreuil.[15] Robert, therefore, had tutors,
or ‘counsellors’, who were charged with his education, and who formed
part of the ducal entourage and made their way into the documents of the

That these educational efforts were not wholly vain, there is some reason
to believe. Robert has not, like his youngest brother, Henry, received
the flattering title of Beauclerc, and there is no direct evidence that
he knew Latin. Yet some notable accomplishments he did have. Not to
mention his affable manners, he was famed for his fluency of speech, or
‘eloquence’, especially in his native tongue.[16] And if towards the
close of his unfortunate life he became the author, as has been supposed,
of an extant poem in the Welsh language,[17] it may perhaps be allowed
that in his youth he had acquired at least a taste and capacity for
things literary.[18]

The hopes of William and Matilda were early centred upon their oldest
son, and his initiation into the politics of his ambitious father was
not long delayed. As the result of a revolution at Le Mans, the youthful
Count Herbert II with his mother and his sister Margaret had been driven
into exile, and the direct rule of Geoffrey Martel, count of Anjou,
had been established in Maine.[19] William of Normandy, ever jealous
of Angevin expansion, was not slow to realize what his policy should
be in the light of these events. By giving support to the exiles he
might hope to curb the ambition of Geoffrey Martel and to extend Norman
influence, conceivably Norman domination, over Maine. Accordingly, at
an undetermined date between 1055 and 1060—probably between 1058 and
1060[20]—he entered into a treaty of far-reaching significance with
the exiled count. Herbert formally became Duke William’s vassal for
the county of Maine, and agreed that, if he should die childless, the
duke should succeed him in all his rights and possessions. And further,
a double marriage alliance was arranged, according to which William
promised the count one of his infant daughters, and Robert Curthose was
affianced to Herbert’s sister, Margaret of Maine.[21] Thus Robert, while
still a mere child, was made a pawn in the ambitious game which his
father was playing for the possession of a coveted county. Margaret, too,
was young; but the duke brought her to Normandy, and, placing her in the
ward of Stigand de Mézidon, made due provision for her honorable rearing
until the children should arrive at an age suitable for marriage.[22]

Meanwhile, fortune set strongly in Duke William’s favor in Maine.
Charters indicate that Herbert had made at least a partial recovery
of his authority in the county[23]—through the assistance, it may be
presumed, of his powerful Norman overlord. On 9 March 1062[24] Count
Herbert died childless, and under the terms of the recent treaty the
county should have passed immediately into the hands of Duke William.
But the Manceaux, or at least an Angevin or anti-Norman party among
them, had no disposition to submit themselves to the ‘Norman yoke’; and
within a year after Count Herbert’s death they rose in revolt.[25] They
chose as Count Herbert’s successor Walter of Mantes, count of the Vexin,
a bitter enemy of the Normans, who had a claim upon Maine through his
wife Biota, a daughter of Herbert Éveille-Chien.[26] They also obtained
the aid of Geoffrey le Barbu, who had succeeded to the county of Anjou
upon the death of Geoffrey Martel in 1060.[27] Thus they were able to
offer formidable opposition to Norman aggression. But Duke William was
determined not to let slip so good an opportunity of extending his
dominion over Maine, and he took up the challenge with his accustomed
vigor. A single campaign sufficed to accomplish his purpose. Walter of
the Vexin and Biota, his wife, were taken and imprisoned at Falaise; and
soon after they died—it is reported, as the result of poisoning.[28]
The Manceaux were quickly defeated and reduced to submission, and Duke
William entered Le Mans in triumph.[29]

With Geoffrey le Barbu, however, William decided to make terms. The
provisions of the treaty which was concluded between them have not been
preserved; but, in any case, it is clear that Duke William recognized
the Angevin suzerainty over Maine.[30] Doubtless this seemed to him the
most effective way of consolidating his conquest and throwing over it
the mantle of legality by which he always set such great store.[31] At a
formal ceremony in the duke’s presence at Alençon, Robert Curthose and
Margaret of Maine, his fiancée, were made to do homage and swear fealty
to Geoffrey le Barbu for the inheritance of Count Herbert.[32]

This feudal ceremony at Alençon gave formal legal sanction to Robert’s
position as count of Maine. Yet he was still a mere child, and Duke
William clearly had no intention of actually setting him to rule the
newly acquired territory. He could have had no hand in the warfare by
which it had been won, and to impose a foreign yoke upon the Manceaux in
the face of the ardent spirit of local patriotism was a task for stronger
hands than his. Robert’s countship, for the time being at any rate,
remained a purely formal one, and Duke William with the assistance of
Norman administrators and a Norman garrison kept the government of the
county in his own hands.[33] Nevertheless, the new legal status to which
the young prince had been raised found at least occasional recognition
in the documents of the period. In several early charters we meet with
his attestation as count of Maine,[34] and one document of the year 1076
indicates that at that time he was regarded as an independent ruler of
the county.[35]

Meanwhile, if he had grown to feel any affection for his prospective
bride, the beautiful Countess Margaret,[36] his hopes were doomed to
early disappointment; for, before either of the children had reached
a marriageable age, Margaret died at Fécamp, and was buried there in
the monastery of La Trinité.[37] This, however, did not mean that the
Norman plans with regard to Maine had seriously miscarried. Duke William
continued to maintain his hold upon the county; and Robert continued
to be called count[38] and to be designated as his father’s heir and
successor in the government.

Indeed, the assigning of the countship of Maine to Robert was but part
of a general plan which embraced all of Duke William’s dominions, and
under which Robert was early marked out as his successor designate for
the whole. In a charter of 29 June 1063—contemporary, therefore, with the
Norman conquest of Maine[39]—the young prince appears after his parents
with the following significant designation: “Roberti, eorum filii, quem
elegerant ad gubernandum regnum post suum obitum.”[40] Clearly at this
early date Robert had already been definitely chosen as the successor to
his father’s rule.

With Duke William still in the prime vigor of manhood, and menaced by no
particular dangers, such a provision seemed to have no great immediate
importance. But with the death of Edward the Confessor and the inception
of the ambitious plan for the Norman conquest of England, Duke William’s
future took on a far more uncertain aspect. Great and careful though the
preparations were, almost anything might happen in such an enterprise. It
was a grave moment for men with Norman interests as the duke stood upon
the threshold of his great adventure. The prudent abbot of Marmoutier
hastened to obtain from the youthful Robert a confirmation of all the
gifts which his father had made to the abbey.[41] Duke William, too,
felt the uncertainties of the hour and made careful provision against
all eventualities. Summoning the great nobles around him, he solemnly
proclaimed Robert his heir and successor, and had the barons do homage
and swear fealty to him as their lord.[42] Unless the sources are
misleading, King Philip of France, Duke William’s overlord, was present
and gave his consent to the action.[43]

Robert, however, was evidently still too young and inexperienced to be
entrusted with the actual administration of the duchy at such a critical
moment; and the government during the duke’s absence on the Conquest was
placed in the hands of Countess Matilda and a council of regents.[44]
But when in December 1067, after the successful launching of his great
enterprise, the Conqueror found it necessary to go a second time to
England, Robert was called to higher honors and responsibilities, and
was definitely associated with his mother in the regency.[45] From
this same year he begins to appear in occasional charters as ‘count of
the Normans’;[46] and when in the following year Matilda was called to
England for her coronation, there is some reason to believe that he was
charged with full responsibility for the administration of Normandy.[47]

Whether this implied a like responsibility for the government of Maine
is not clear. If it did, Robert certainly proved unequal to the task
of maintaining Norman dominion in that turbulent county. Norman rule
had from the beginning been unpopular in Maine. The citizens of Le
Mans were alert and rebellious, and Duke William’s preoccupation with
the conquest of England offered them a unique opportunity to strike a
blow for independence. Accordingly, in 1069, they rose in revolt[48]
and overthrew the Norman domination more quickly even than it had been
established by Duke William in 1063. During the following three years
Maine passed through a turbulent era, which—interesting as it is for both
local and general history—hardly concerns the life of Robert Curthose;
since, so far as can be discovered, no effort was made during that period
to reëstablish Norman authority in the county. The collapse of the Norman
rule had been as complete as it was sudden.

By the spring of 1073, however, King William had returned to the
Continent and was in a position to turn his attention to the reconquest
of Maine. Assembling a great army composed of both Normans and English,
he marched into the county, reduced Fresnay, Beaumont, and Sillé in
quick succession, and arrived before Le Mans, which surrendered without
a siege.[49] The authority of the Conqueror, perhaps we may even say the
authority of Robert Curthose,[50] was fully reëstablished. The sources
are silent as to the part which Robert played in these events or in the
struggles of the succeeding years by which the Conqueror maintained
the Norman domination in the face of the jealous opposition of Fulk
le Réchin, count of Anjou.[51] Robert certainly continued to enjoy the
formal dignity of count of Maine.[52] Indeed, a charter of 25 August 1076
seems to indicate that he was at that time regarded as an independent
ruler at Le Mans.[53]

Meanwhile, the Conqueror took occasion to reaffirm his intentions
regarding the succession to his dominions. At some time after the
conquest of England but before the outbreak of his unfortunate quarrels
with his eldest son, he fell dangerously sick at Bonneville; and,
fearing for his life, he summoned the barons around him, as he had done
previously upon the eve of the Norman Conquest, and had them renew
their homage and pledge of fealty to Robert as their lord.[54] Again
Robert Curthose was formally designated as the heir of all his father’s

If, therefore, one looks back upon Robert’s life from about the year
1077, far from feeling surprise at the slowness of his development or at
the lateness of his initiation into political and government affairs,
one must rather wonder at the early age at which he became a pawn in
the great game of politics, war, and diplomacy which his father was
playing so shrewdly, and at the rapidity with which at least minor
responsibilities were thrust upon him. Affianced to the prospective
heiress of the county of Maine when little more than an infant, he was
designated as his father’s heir and successor while still a mere child,
and began to give his formal attestation to legal documents at about the
same period. At the age of twelve, or thereabouts, he received the homage
of the Norman barons as their lord and prospective ruler, and soon after
was associated with his mother in the regency during the king’s absence
from the duchy.

Down to the year 1077, there is no evidence of quarrels or disagreement
between the Conqueror and his eldest son.[55] Indeed, the proof seems
almost conclusive that there were no such quarrels until a relatively
late date. Not only do the narrative sources upon careful analysis
yield no evidence of disobedience or rebellion upon Robert’s part, but
positive documentary evidence points strongly in the opposite direction.
A series of charters scattered from 1063 to 1077 reveals Robert on
repeated occasions in close association with his parents and his
brothers, occupying an honored position, and attesting legal acts[56]
almost as frequently as the queen, more frequently than his brothers.
That the family harmony was not disturbed by domestic discord as late as
the autumn of 1077 there is good reason to believe. For, in that year,
Robert joined with his parents and his younger brother William in the
imposing dedication ceremonies of Bishop Odo’s great cathedral church
at Bayeux,[57] and again, 13 September, in the dedication of the abbey
church of the Conqueror’s foundation in honor of St. Stephen at Caen.[58]


[1] _G. R._, ii, pp. 459-463.

[2] “Per resurrectionem Dei! probus erit Robelinus Curta Ocrea.” _Ibid._,
pp. 459-460.

[3] _Ibid._, p. 460; Ordericus, iii, p. 262: “corpore autem brevis et
grossus, ideoque Brevis Ocrea a patre est cognominatus”; _ibid._, iv, p.
16: “Curta Ocrea iocose cognominatus est.” In another passage (ii, p.
295) Ordericus mentions _Gambaron_ (from _jambes_ or _gambes rondes_) as
another popular nickname: “corpore pingui, brevique statura, unde vulgo
Gambaron cognominatus est, et Brevis Ocrea.” In still another place
he calls him ‘Robertus Ignavus.’ _Interpolations d’Orderic Vital_, in
William of Jumièges, p. 193.

[4] _G. R._, ii, p. 460.

[5] It seems to be a sort of an epitome, moved forward somewhat in
Robert’s career, of his rebellious course between 1078 and the death of
the Conqueror.

[6] Cf. Auguste Le Prévost, in Ordericus, ii, p. 377, n. 1; E. A.
Freeman, _History of the Norman Conquest_ (2d ed., Oxford, 1870-76), iv,
pp. 638-646 _et passim_. The defence of Robert by Le Hardy is rather
zealous than critical, and has not achieved its purpose.

[7] Ordericus, ii, p. 294: “Robertum primogenitam sobolem suam.” In
the numerous lists of William and Matilda’s children Robert always
appears first: see, e.g., Ordericus, ii, pp. 93, 188; iii, p. 159;
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 251.

[8] E.g., Thomas Stapleton, in _The Archaeological Journal_, iii (1846),
pp. 20-21; Le Prévost, in Ordericus, v, p. 18, n. 1; Freeman, in _E. H.
R._, iii (1888), pp. 680-681, and _Norman Conquest_, iii, pp. 660-661.
Stapleton, Le Prévost, and Freeman all cite the Tours chronicle (_H. F._,
xi, p. 348) as authority for the date. But in point of fact the Tours
chronicle gives no such date; and so far as it may be said to give any
date at all, it seems to assign the marriage to 1056. Stapleton suggests
in favor of 1053 that the imprisonment of Leo IX by the Normans in that
year may have emboldened the interested parties to a defiance of the
ecclesiastical prohibition.

[9] “Interdixit et Balduino comiti Flandrensi, ne filiam suam Wilielmo
Nortmanno nuptui daret; et illi, ne earn acciperet.” _Sacrorum
Conciliorum Nova et Amplissima Collectio_, ed. G. D. Mansi and others
(Venice, etc., 1759-), xix, col. 742.

[10] _Cartulaire de l’abbaye de la Sainte-Trinité du Mont de Rouen_,
ed. Achille Deville, no. 37, in _Collection de cartulaires de France_
(Paris, 1840: _Documents Inédits_), iii, p. 441; _Chartes de Saint-Julien
de Tours_, ed. J.-L. Denis (Le Mans, 1912), no. 24. Both these charters
are dated 1053, and the attestations of Matilda seem incontestably
contemporary. The Tours charter in addition to the incarnation has
“regnante Henrico rege anno xxviii.” This is unusual and might raise
a doubt, but it pretty clearly refers to the year 1053. No. 26 of the
same collection similarly gives 1059 as the thirty-fourth year of King
Henry. Both evidently reckon the reign as beginning from 1026, when Henry
was probably designated heir to the throne a year before his actual
coronation in 1027. Christian Pfister, _Études sur le règne de Robert le
Pieux_ (Paris, 1885), pp. 76-77. This conclusion seems to be confirmed
by a charter of 26 May in the thirtieth year of Robert the Pious (1026?)
which Henry attests as king, according to Pfister, ‘by anticipation.’
_Ibid._, p. lxxxii, no. 78. But Frédéric Soehnée does not accept
Pfister’s conclusion. _Catalogue des actes d’Henri Iᵉʳ, roi de France,
1031-1060_ (Paris, 1907), no. 10. The original is not extant.

Ferdinand Lot has published two charters—both from originals—dated 1051,
which bear attestations of Countess Matilda and of Robert ‘iuvenis
comitis.’ The attestation of Robert Curthose will save one from any
temptation to carry the marriage of William and Matilda back to 1051 on
the evidence of these documents, for even though the marriage had taken
place as early as 1049, it would clearly be impossible for Robert to
attest a document in 1051. Lot explains, “Les souscriptions de Matilde
… et de son fils aîné Robert ont été apposées après coup, et semblent
autographes.” _Études critiques sur l’abbaye de Saint-Wandrille_ (Paris,
1913), nos. 30, 31, pp. 74-77.

[11] Le Prévost, in Ordericus, v, p. 18, n. 1; Le Hardy, p. 9; Freeman,
_Norman Conquest_, iv, p. 123, n. 3.

[12] William of Malmesbury says of him in 1066 that “spectatae iam
virtutis habebatur adolescens.” _G. R._, ii, p. 459. In a charter of
confirmation by Robert dated 1066 he is described as old enough to give
a voluntary confirmation: “quia scilicet maioris iam ille aetatis ad
praebendum spontaneum auctoramentum idoneus esset.” _Cartulaire de Laval
et de Vitré_, no. 30, in Arthur Bertrand de Broussillon, _La maison de
Laval_ (Paris, 1895-1903), i, p. 45; cf. Davis, _Regesta_, no. 2.

[13] _Cartulaire de la Trinité du Mont_, no. 60. According to Le Prévost
it is of about the year 1060. Ordericus, v, p. 18, n. 1.

[14] Round, _C. D. F._, no. 1173; Davis, _Regesta_, no. 2. Le Prévost
(Ordericus, v, p. 18, n. 1) refers to an early charter by Duke William
in favor of Saint-Ouen of Rouen, in which appears “Hilgerius magister
pueri.” This is probably Cartulary of Saint-Ouen (28 _bis_), MS., p. 280,
no. 345, and p. 233, no. 278, a charter of doubtful authenticity.

[15] Davis, _Regesta_, no. 6a.

[16] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 460: “nec infaceti eloquii
… nec enervis erat consilii”; _ibid._, p. 463: “patria lingua facundus,
ut sit iocundior nullus”, Ordericus Vitalis, who is less flattering,
calls him ‘loquax,’ but he adds, “voce clara et libera, lingua diserta.”
Ordericus, ii, p. 295. Cf. Ralph of Caen, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 666.

[17] _Infra_, pp. 187-188.

[18] If we could attach any importance to a speech which Ordericus
puts into the mouth of Robert apropos of his quarrel with his father,
the young prince would seem to have shared the opinion of many another
headstrong youth about grammarians: “Huc, domine mi rex, non accessi pro
sermonibus audiendis, quorum copia frequenter usque ad nauseam imbutus
sum a grammaticis.” Ordericus, ii, p. 379.

[19] On these events and their sequel see Robert Latouche, _Histoire du
comté du Maine pendant le Xᵉ et le XIᵉ siècle_ (Paris, 1910), pp. 29 ff.;
Louis Halphen, _Le comté d’Anjou au XIᵉ siècle_ (Paris, 1906), pp. 74-80,
178 ff.

[20] Latouche shows that the treaty must be later than the election of
Vougrin, bishop of Le Mans, 31 August 1055, and earlier than the death
of Geoffrey Martel, 1060. He thinks it probably later than the battle of
Varaville, 1058. _Maine_, p. 32, n. 5.

[21] William of Poitiers, in _H. F._, xi, pp. 85, 86; Ordericus, ii, pp.
102, 252. The two sources are not in complete accord. Except at one point
I have preferred the former as being the more strictly contemporary.
William of Poitiers represents the betrothal of William and Margaret
not as a part of the original treaty, but as a later arrangement made
by Duke William after Herbert’s death in order to forestall a possible
controversy as to Norman rights in Maine. But this marriage alliance
looms so large in the narrative of Ordericus Vitalis that it seems hardly
likely that it was a mere afterthought on Duke William’s part. Ordericus
represents it as the fundamental provision of the treaty. According to
his view it was through Margaret that Norman rights in Maine arose.
He does not seem to realize that upon such reasoning they would also
terminate with her death. For William of Poitiers, on the other hand, the
fundamental provision of the treaty was the agreement that Duke William
should be Count Herbert’s heir. This would give the duke permanent
rights after Herbert’s death. It seems not unlikely that both provisions
were included in the treaty and that Duke William regarded them both as
important. At times he dealt with Maine as if of his own absolute right;
at other times he put forward his son as bearer of the Norman rights.

[22] Ordericus, ii, p. 104; William of Poitiers, in _H. F._, xi, p. 86.

[23] Latouche, _Maine_, p. 146, nos. 32, 33.

[24] _Ibid._, p. 33.

[25] Latouche has shown that the date of the revolt falls between 9 March
1062 and 14 March 1063. _Maine_, p. 33, n. 4. The account of Ordericus
Vitalis is confused, and the date (1064) which he gives is impossible.
Ordericus, ii, pp. 101-103. The suit held before the ducal curia at
Domfront, “cum Guillelmus, Normanniae comes, Cenomannicam urbem haberet
adquisitam,” should probably be assigned to 1063 rather than to 1064.
Bertrand de Broussillon, _Maison de Laval_, i, p. 41, no. 28.

[26] Herbert Éveille-Chien was grandfather of Herbert II. Biota,
therefore, was aunt of Margaret, Robert Curthose’s fiancée. The
genealogy of the counts of Maine in the eleventh century has at last
been disentangled by Latouche. _Maine_, pp. 113-115, appendix iii. F.
M. Stenton, _William the Conqueror_ (New York, 1908), pp. 129 ff., and
appendix, table d, is inaccurate.

[27] Halphen, _Anjou_, pp. 137, 293-294, no. 171. Cf. Latouche, _Maine_,
pp. 33-34.

[28] Ordericus, ii, pp. 103, 259. William of Poitiers makes no mention of
the poisoning. Halphen (_Anjou_, p. 179) and Latouche (_Maine_, p. 34,
and n. 6) accept the account of Ordericus as true, the latter explaining
that William of Poitiers, as a panegyrist, naturally passes over such
an act in silence. Freeman, on the other hand, holds the story to be an
unsubstantiated rumor, inconsistent with the character of William the
Conqueror. _Norman Conquest_, iii, p. 208.

[29] Cf. Latouche, _Maine_, pp. 34-35. The primary authorities are
William of Poitiers, in _H. F._, xi, pp. 85-86, and Ordericus, ii, pp.

[30] It is the thesis of Latouche that “pendant tout le cours du XIᵉ
[siècle] le comte du Maine s’était trouvé vis-à-vis de celui d’Anjou
dans un état de vassalité,” and he points out that it was the policy of
William the Conqueror and Robert Curthose to respect “le principe de la
suzeraineté angevine.” _Maine_, pp. 54-56.

[31] _Ibid._, p. 35.

[32] Ordericus, ii, p. 253: “Guillelmus autem Normannorum princeps
post mortem Herberti iuvenis haereditatem eius obtinuit, et Goisfredus
comes Rodberto iuveni cum filia Herberti totum honorem concessit, et
hominium debitamque fidelitatem ab illo in praesentia patris apud
Alencionem recepit.” Ordericus is the sole authority for this homage;
and his account of it is incidental to a brief resumé of the lives
of the counts of Maine, and forms no part of his general narrative
of William’s conquest of the county in 1063. The date of the homage,
therefore, is conjectural. The revolt of the Manceaux took place soon
after the death of Count Herbert; and since Geoffrey le Barbu supported
the revolt, it seems natural to regard the homage as a final act in the
general pacification, and to assign it to 1063. This is the view taken
by Latouche (_Maine_, p. 35) as against Kate Norgate (_England under the
Angevin Kings_, London, 1887, i, p. 217), who places the homage before
the revolt.

[33] Latouche, _Maine_, p. 34.

[34] E.g., [before 1066] charter by Duke William establishing collegiate
canons at Cherbourg (_Revue catholique de Normandie_, x, pp. 46-50);
[before 1066] charter by Duke William in favor of Coutances cathedral
(Round, _C. D. F._, no. 957); 1068 (indiction xiii by error for vi),
confirmation by King William and by Robert of a charter in favor of La
Couture, Le Mans (_Cartulaier des abbayes de Saint-Pierre de la Couture
et de Saint-Pierre de Solesmes_, ed. the Benedictines of Solesmes, Le
Mans, 1881, no. 15; cf. Latouche, _Maine_, p. 147, no. 35); 1074, charter
by King William in favor of Bayeux cathedral (Davis, _Regesta_, no. 76).

[35] A donation by Gradulf, a canon of Saint-Vincent of Le Mans, is dated
as follows: “Igitur hec omnia facta sunt in Bellimensi Castro viiiᵒ
kal. Septembris, currente xivᵃ indictione, et Philippo rege Francorum
regnante Robertoque, Willelmi regis Anglorum filio, Cenomannicam urbem
gubernante.” _Cartulaire de l’abbaye de Saint-Vincent du Mans_, ed. R.
Charles and S. Menjot d’Elbenne (Le Mans, 1886), i, no. 589.

[36] Ordericus Vitalis (ii, p. 104) describes her as “speciosam
virginem”; William of Poitiers (_H. F._, xi, p. 86) is more lavish of
praise: “Haec generosa virgo, nomine Margarita, insigni specie decentior
fuit omni margarita.”

[37] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.
268; William of Poitiers, in _H. F._, xi, p. 86; Ordericus, ii, p. 104.
According to _Gallia Christiana_ (ed. the Benedictines of Saint-Maur and
others, Paris, 1715-75, xi, col. 205) Margaret died 13 December 1060; but
this is clearly an error, since after the death of Count Herbert II (9
March 1062) she joined with Robert Curthose in doing homage to Geoffrey
le Barbu, and this act took place apparently in the year 1063. Ordericus,
ii, p. 253; and cf. _supra_, n. 32. Latouche suggests that the editors of
_Gallia Christiana_ have probably taken the day and the month from some
obituary and are in error, therefore, only as to the year. _Maine_, p.
32, n. 6. It is probably only a desire for literary effect which leads
William of Poitiers to say that Margaret was snatched away by death
shortly before her proposed marriage: “Sed ipsam non longe ante diem quo
mortali sponso iungeretur hominibus abstulit Virginis Filius.” Apparently
at the time of her death Margaret had become a nun. Robert of Torigny
states that she died a ‘virgo Christo devota’, and William of Poitiers
says that she died practising great austerities and wearing a hair shirt.

[38] _Supra_, n. 34.

[39] _Supra_, n. 25.

[40] Charter of Stigand de Mézidon, the same to whom Duke William had
committed the wardship of Margaret of Maine, in favor of Saint-Ouen
of Rouen. _Mémoires et notes de M. Auguste Le Prévost pour servir à
l’histoire du département de l’Eure_, ed. Léopold Delisle and Louis Passy
(Évreux, 1862-69), i, p. 562.

[41] Round, _C. D. F._, no. 1173; Davis, _Regesta_, no. 2. The charter is
dated at Rouen, 1066.

[42] The date of the ceremony is uncertain. It can hardly have been as
early as the charter of 1063 which is cited in n. 40 _supra._ It seems
more likely to have been a measure taken in 1066 when the attack upon
England was in contemplation. Thus Ordericus Vitalis (ii, p. 294) speaks
of it somewhat vaguely as a measure taken “ante Senlacium,” and in
another place (ii, p. 378) he makes Robert say to his father: “Normanniam
… quam dudum, antequam contra Heraldum in Angliam transfretares, mihi
concessisti”; and again (iii, p. 242) he makes the Conqueror on his
deathbed use language of similar import: “Ducatum Normanniae, antequam
in epitumo Senlac contra Heraldum certassem, Roberto filio meo concessi,
quia primogenitus est. Hominium pene omnium huius patriae baronum iam
recepit.” Florence of Worcester, _Chronicon ex Chronicis_, ed. Benjamin
Thorpe (London, 1848-49), ii, p. 12: “Normanniam quam sibi ante adventum
ipsius in Angliam, coram Philippo rege Francorum dederat.” Cf. _A.-S.
C._, _a._ 1079; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of
Jumièges, p. 268.

[43] The question as to the period and manner of this homage is
complicated by the fact that the ceremony was repeated at an undetermined
date after the Norman Conquest on the occasion of the king’s serious
illness at Bonneville. The _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1079) and
Florence of Worcester (ii, p. 12) are the only sources which mention
the assent of King Philip. From Florence it seems to be clear that this
assent was given on the earlier occasion.

[44] William of Poitiers, in _H. F._, xi, p. 103; Ordericus, ii, p. 178.
According to the former the council was headed by Roger of Beaumont,
according to the latter by Roger of Montgomery.

[45] Ordericus, ii, pp. 177, 178. William of Jumièges (p. 139) makes no
mention of Matilda or of the council of regents, but says that the duchy
was committed to Robert: “Rodberto filio suo iuvenili flore vernanti
Normannici ducatus dominium tradidit.”

[46] E.g., 1067, April, Vaudreuil, charter by William I in favor of
the monks of Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire (Davis, _Regesta_, no. 6a); 1082,
June 24, Oissel, two confirmations by William I of grants in favor
of Saint-Martin of Marmoutier (_ibid._, nos. 145, 146); [1079-82],
confirmation by William I of a grant in favor of the abbey of Troarn
(_ibid._, no. 172). Lot publishes two charters of 1051, in which Robert’s
attestation as the ‘young count’ has been interpolated at some later
date. See _supra_, n. 10. He also publishes a charter, “vers 1071,” in
which appears “presente Rotberto comite.” _Saint-Wandrille_, no. 43, pp.
99-100. Lot supposes that this is Count Robert of Eu, but it is more
probably Robert Curthose. See Haskins, p. 66, n. 18.

There is no regular practice with regard to Robert’s title in documents
during the Conqueror’s lifetime. Occasionally, as above noted, he is
called ‘count of the Normans’; occasionally, as has been pointed out in
an earlier note (_supra_, n. 34), he bears the title ‘count of Maine.’
Often he appears without title as ‘Robert the king’s son’ (Davis,
_Regesta_, nos. 73, 92a, 126, 140, 165, 168, 171, 255); but generally he
is called count (_ibid._, nos. 2, 30, 74, 75, 76, 96, 105, 114, 125, 127,
135, 145, 146, 147, 149, 150, 158, 169, 170, 172, 173, 175, 182, 183a,
199); and very frequently his designation is ‘Count Robert the king’s
son’ (_ibid._, nos. 30, 74, 75, 105, 114, 125, 147, 149, 150, 158, 169,

[47] This appears to be the implication of Ordericus, ii, p. 188.

[48] On the date see Latouche, _Maine_, p. 36, n. 1. On the revolt
generally and its sequel see _ibid._, pp. 35-38; Halphen, _Anjou_, pp.
180-181; _Actus Pontificum_, pp. 376-381; Ordericus, ii, pp. 253-254.

[49] _Actus Pontificum_, pp. 380-381; Ordericus, ii, pp. 254-255;
Latouche, _Maine_, p. 38; Halphen, _Anjou_, p. 181. The campaign took
place in 1073 (_A.-S. C., a._ 1073) before 30 March, as is shown by a
confirmation by King William in favor of the monks of La Couture: “Anno
Domini millesimo septuagesimo tercio iii kalendas Aprilis, roboratum est
hoc preceptum a rege Anglorum Guillelmo apud Bonam Villam.” _Cartulaire
de la Couture_, no. 9. Cf. Latouche, _Maine_, p. 38, n. 7, and p. 147,
no. 38.

[50] In a charter by Arnold, bishop of Le Mans, we read: “Acta autem
fuit hec auctorizatio in urbe Cenomannica, in capitulo beati Iuliani,
iiiº kalendas Aprilis … eo videlicet anno quo Robertus, Willelmi regis
Anglorum filius, comitatum Cenomannensem recuperavit.” _Cartulaire de
Saint-Vincent_, no. 175. This charter cannot be certainly dated more
closely than 1066-81. But it seems not unlikely that it belongs to
the spring of 1073, when, as we know, Norman authority had just been
reëstablished at Le Mans by force of arms.

[51] On these events see Augustin Fliche, _Le règne de Philippe Iᵉʳ, roi
de France_ (Paris, 1912), pp. 270-274; Halphen, _Anjou_, p. 182.

[52] He is so styled in 1074 in his attestation of a charter by King
William in favor of Bayeux cathedral. Davis, _Regesta_, no. 76.

[53] “Roberto … Cenomannicam urbem gubernante.” _Supra_, n. 35.

[54] Ordericus, ii, pp. 294, 390; cf. _A.-S. C., a._ 1079; Florence of
Worcester, ii, p. 12. That this ceremony took place twice, once before
and once after the Conquest, seems to be made certain by the specific
phrase of Ordericus, “ante Senlacium bellum et post in quadam sua
aegritudine.” Cf. _supra_, n. 43.

[55] Unless one so regard a speech which Ordericus (ii, p. 259) puts into
the mouths of the rebel earls Roger of Hereford and Ralph of Norfolk in
1074: “Transmarinis conflictibus undique circumdatur, et non solum ab
externis, sed etiam a sua prole impugnatur, et a propriis alumnis inter
discrimina deseritur.” But this speech is probably a work of imagination
on the part of Ordericus, and he seems here to have fallen into an
anachronism. Cf. Le Prévost, in Ordericus, ii, p. 377, n. 1.

[56] Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 2, 4, 6a, 30, 73, 75, 76, 92a, 96, 105, 114;
Round, _C. D. F._, nos. 713, 957, 1165; Le Prévost, _Eure_, i, p. 562;
_Antiquus Cartularius Ecclesiae Baiocensis (Livre noir)_, ed. l’abbé V.
Bourrienne (Paris, 1902), no. 5; _Revue catholique de Normandie_, x, pp.
46-50; _Cartulaire de la Couture_, no. 15; Lot, _Saint-Wandrille_, nos.
30, 31, 38; Bertrand de Broussillon, _Maison de Laval_, i, p. 37, no.
20. Though the authenticity of this last document has been questioned,
Broussillon regards it as “parfaitement authentique.” The attestation
“Rotberti comiti regis Anglorum filii” is inconsistent with the evident
date of the charter (1055), and must be, in part at least, a later

[57] Ordericus, ii, pp. 304-305.

[58] Davis, _Regesta_, no. 96; Round, _C. D. F._, no. 449.



Down to the year 1077 the conduct of Robert Curthose towards the king
had, so far as we can see, been exemplary. Even William of Malmesbury,
while criticising his later insubordination, still pays tribute to
his obedient youth.[1] But difficulties were now at hand. Robert was
rapidly growing to manhood, and his character was unfolding. Reared
among his father’s men-at-arms, residing much about the court, enjoying
the privileged position and the social freedom of the king’s heir and
successor designate, he had developed into a warrior of distinguished
valor,[2] and into a chivalrous knight and courtier considerably in
advance of the rude society of the eleventh century.[3] Short and
thick-set, though probably the coarse full face and enormous paunch[4] of
later years had not yet developed; fluent of speech, affable in bearing,
and of a jovial disposition; generous to the point of prodigality,
giving to all who asked with unstinting hand, and lavish of promises
when more substantial rewards were lacking;[5] he had become the centre
of interest and attraction for the younger set about the Norman court,
and from some points of view a serious rival of his father. His position
was not unlike that of Henry Fitz Henry, the ‘Young King,’ who nearly
a century later created such grave problems for Henry II. He had long
borne the title of count and had enjoyed an official, or semi-official,
position about the court. He had long since been formally recognized as
his father’s heir and successor. The barons had twice done him homage
and sworn fealty to him as their lord and future master. He was titular
ruler of Maine. And if, as two charters seem to indicate, he was in some
way formally invested with the Norman duchy in 1077 or 1078,[6] the
resemblance between his position and that of the Young King after his
coronation in 1170 is even more striking.

Yet, with all these honors, Robert enjoyed no real power and exercised no
active part in affairs of government. It was not the way of the Conqueror
to part with any of his prerogatives prematurely; and if, for reasons
of state, he bestowed formal honors upon his son, it was still his firm
intention to remain sole master until the last within his own dominions.
But for the young prince to continue thus in idleness, surrounded by a
crowd of restless hangers-on of the younger nobility, was both costly and
dangerous. Robert not unnaturally wished for an independent establishment
and an income of his own;[7] but these the king was unwilling to
provide. Robert, therefore, became dissatisfied; and the ambitious
companions by whom he was surrounded were not slow to fan the embers of
his growing discontent.[8] Apparently it was in the year 1078, or late in
1077,[9] that the unfortunate quarrel broke out which culminated in the
siege of Gerberoy and a personal encounter between father and son upon
the field of battle.

Upon the cause of the disagreement we are fortunate in having abundant
testimony,[10] and it is possible to define the issue with some
exactness. Prompted by the rash counsels of his time-serving companions,
Robert went to the king and demanded that immediate charge of the
government of Normandy and of Maine be committed forthwith into his
hands. To Maine he based his claim upon his rights through Margaret,
his deceased fiancée, to Normandy upon the twice repeated grant which
his father had made to him, once before the Conquest, and afterwards at
Bonneville, when the assembled barons had done him homage and pledged
their fealty to him as their lord.[11]

If reliance may be placed upon the account of Ordericus Vitalis,[12]
the Conqueror took some time to reflect upon his son’s demands and
endeavored to reason with him about them.[13] He urged Robert to put
away the rash young men who had prompted him to such imprudence and to
give ear to wiser counsels. He explained that his demands were improper.
He, the king, held Normandy by hereditary right, and England by right
of conquest; and it would be preposterous to expect him to give them up
to another. If Robert would only be patient and show himself worthy, he
would receive all in due course, with the willing assent of the people
and with the blessing of God. Let him remember Absalom and what happened
to him, and beware lest he follow in the path of Rehoboam! But to all
these weighty arguments Robert turned a deaf ear, replying that he
had not come to hear sermons: he had heard such “ad nauseam” from the
grammarians. His determination was immovably fixed. He would no longer do
service to anyone in Normandy in the mean condition of a dependent. The
king’s resolution, however, was equally firm. Normandy, he declared, was
his native land, and he wished all to understand that so long as he lived
he would never let it slip from his grasp.[14] The argument thus came to
a deadlock; yet, apparently, there was no immediate break.[15] Relations
doubtless continued strained, but Robert bided his time, perhaps seeking
a more favorable opportunity for pressing his demands. At times he may
even have appeared reconciled; yet no lasting settlement was possible so
long as the cause of the discord remained.

The actual outbreak of open rebellion followed, it seems, directly
upon a family broil among the king’s sons; and Ordericus Vitalis, with
characteristic fondness for gossip, has not failed to relate the incident
in great detail.[16] The Conqueror, so the story runs, was preparing an
expedition against the Corbonnais and had stopped at Laigle in the house
of a certain Gontier, while Robert Curthose had found lodgings nearby
in the house of Roger of Caux. Meanwhile, Robert’s younger brothers,
William and Henry, had taken umbrage at his pretensions and at the rash
demands which he had made upon their father, and they were strongly
supporting the king against him. While in this frame of mind they paid
Robert a visit at his lodgings. Going into an upper room, they began
dicing ‘as soldiers will’; and presently—doubtless after there had been
drinking—they started a row and threw down water upon their host and
his companions who were on the floor below. Robert was not unnaturally
enraged at this insult, and with the support of his comrades[17] he
rushed in upon the offenders, and a wild scuffle ensued, which was only
terminated by the timely arrival of the king, who, upon hearing the
clamor, came in haste from his lodgings and put a stop to the quarrel by
his royal presence.[18]

Robert, however, remained sullen and offended; and that night,
accompanied by his intimates, he withdrew secretly from the royal forces
and departed. Riding straight for Rouen, he made the rash venture of
attempting to seize the castle by a surprise attack, an action which
seems almost incredible, except on the hypothesis that a conspiracy
with wide ramifications was already under way. However this may be, the
attack upon Rouen failed. Roger of Ivry, the king’s butler, who was
guarding the castle, got word of the impending stroke, set the defences
in order, and sent messengers in hot haste to warn the king of the
danger. William was furious at his son’s treason, and ordered a wholesale
arrest of the malcontents, thus spreading consternation among them and
breaking up their plans. Some were captured, but others escaped across
the frontier.[19]

The rising now spread rapidly among the king’s enemies on both sides of
the border. Hugh of Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais promptly opened the gates
of his castles at Châteauneuf, Sorel, and Rémalard to the fugitives,
and so furnished them with a secure base beyond the frontier from which
to make incursions into Normandy. Robert of Bellême also joined the
rebel cause. Perhaps, indeed, it was through his influence that Hugh of
Châteauneuf was persuaded to give succor to the rebels; for Hugh was his
brother-in-law, having married his sister Mabel. Ralph de Toeny, lord of
Conches, also joined the rebellion, and many others, among them doubtless
being Ivo and Alberic of Grandmesnil and Aimeric de Villeray.[20] The
border war which followed did not long remain a local matter. It was an
event fit to bring joy to all King William’s enemies; and it caused a
great commotion, we are told, not only in the immediate neighborhood of
the revolt, but also in distant parts among the French and Bretons and
the men of Maine and Anjou.[21]

The king, however, met the rebellion with his accustomed vigor and
decision. He confiscated the lands of the rebels and turned their rents
to the employment of mercenaries to be used against them. Apparently he
had been on his way to make war upon Rotrou of Mortagne in the Corbonnais
when his plans had been interrupted by the disgraceful brawl among
his sons at Laigle.[22] He now abandoned that enterprise, and, making
peace with Rotrou, took him and his troops into his own service. And
thus raising a considerable army, he laid siege to the rebels in their
stronghold at Rémalard.[23] But of the outcome of these operations we
have no certain knowledge. One of the insurgents at least, Aimeric de
Villeray, was slain, and his son Gulfer was so terrified by his father’s
tragic fate that he made peace with the king and remained thereafter
unshakably loyal.

We hear, too, vaguely of a ‘dapifer’ of the king of France who was
passing from castle to castle among the rebels.[24] What his business
was we know not; but it seems not unlikely that King Philip was already
negotiating with the insurgent leaders with a view to aiding and abetting
their enterprise against his too powerful Norman vassal.[25] Philip had
made peace with the Conqueror after the latter’s unsuccessful siege
of Dol in 1076,[26] but the friendship of the two kings had not been
lasting. Sound policy demanded that Philip spare no effort to curb
the overweening power of his great Norman feudatory; and William had,
therefore, to count upon his constant, if veiled, hostility.[27] The
rebellion of Robert Curthose and his followers was Philip’s opportunity;
and it seems not improbable that he looked upon the movement with favor
and gave it encouragement from its inception. Clearly he made no effort
to suppress it, though the fighting was going on within his own borders.
And, in any case, before the end of 1078 he had definitely taken Robert
Curthose under his protection and had assigned him the castle of Gerberoy
in the Beauvaisis, close to the Norman frontier.[28] There Robert was
received with his followers by royal castellans and promised every
possible aid and support.

But this evidently was some months, at least, after the outbreak of
Robert’s rebellion. As to his movements in the meantime, we hear little
more than uncertain rumors. The sources are silent concerning the
part which he played in the border warfare which centred around the
castles of Hugh of Châteauneuf. We have it on the express statement
of the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ that Robert fled to his uncle, Robert
the Frisian, count of Flanders;[29] and in this the _Chronicle_ is
confirmed by Ordericus Vitalis, who adds that he also visited Odo, bishop
of Treves.[30] Other writers indicate simply that he withdrew into
France.[31] Ordericus indeed, represents him as wandering much farther,
and visiting noble kinsmen, “dukes, counts, and powerful townsmen
(_oppidani_) in Lorraine, Germany, Aquitaine, and Gascony,” wasting
his substance in dissolute living and reduced to poverty and beggary,
and to borrowing of foreign usurers.[32] But such wanderings, if they
actually occurred, it seems more natural to assign—since we are reduced
to conjecture—to Robert’s second exile.[33] One incident, however, which
concerns his mother, the queen, who died in 1083, must be assigned to
this period.

The singularly happy relations which existed between William and Matilda,
their mutual love, devotion, and confidence, are of course famous.
Once only during their long union were these happy relations seriously
disturbed.[34] For Matilda’s heart was touched by the distresses of her
son, and she did not sympathize with the stern justice of the Conqueror
in this domestic matter. Secretly she undertook to provide Robert out
of her own revenues with funds for the maintenance of a military force.
But the king soon detected her and interfered, declaring, in his wrath,
that he had learned the truth of the adage, “A faithless woman is her
husband’s bane.” He had loved her as his own soul and had intrusted her
with his treasures and with jurisdiction throughout all his dominions,
only to find her giving succor to enemies who were plotting against his
life. But undaunted by this outburst, the queen sought to justify herself
upon the ground of her great love for her eldest son. Though Robert were
dead and buried seven feet under the earth, she declared, she would
gladly die, if by so doing she could restore him to life. Respecting
the spirit of his proud consort, the king turned to vent his rage upon
Samson le Breton, the queen’s messenger, proposing to seize him and have
him blinded. But Samson received timely warning and managed to escape to
Saint-Évroul; and, at the queen’s request, Abbot Mainer received him into
the monastery. There he dwelt in security and led an exemplary life for
twenty-six years, no doubt well known to the chronicler of the house who
records his tale.[35]

Whatever be the truth about Robert’s wanderings and the vicissitudes
of his exile, in the end he returned to France and, as already noted,
gained the support of King Philip, and was established with his followers
in the castle of Gerberoy in the Beauvaisis. There a military force of
considerable proportions began to gather around him in response to his
lavish promises. Adventurers came from France; but in greater numbers
came the malcontents from Normandy. Many who hitherto had kept the peace
and had remained loyal to the king now deserted the royal cause and
went over to swell the ranks of the rebels.[36] King William was now
obliged to turn his attention to this hornet’s nest that was spreading
terror among the peaceful and defenceless population on his northeastern
frontier. Quartering troops in his strongholds opposite Gerberoy, he
endeavored to forestall the destructive raids which the insurgents were
making into his territory.[37] But, vexed that his enemies should seem
to dwell in security at a point so little removed from the borders of
Normandy, he determined to carry the war beyond the frontier; and, though
it was the inclement season, he assembled his forces and laid siege to
Gerberoy itself for some three weeks soon after Christmas (1078-79).[38]

The operations which followed were enlivened in the fashion of the day
by the frequent interchange of challenges and by numerous encounters
between selected bodies of knights from each side,[39] until finally the
besieged garrison brought the contest to an issue by a successful sortie
and a pitched battle in the open before the castle.[40] In the general
mêlée which ensued the Conqueror and Robert met in single combat, and the
elderly king proved no match for his vigorous and skilful antagonist.
He was wounded in the hand or arm, and his horse was shot from under
him.[41] According to one, and perhaps the better, account, Tokig son of
Wigod, a faithful Englishman, hurried to the king with another mount,
only to be himself slain a moment later by a shaft from a crossbow.[42]
According to another account, however, at the supreme moment of his
antagonist’s distress, Robert recognized his father’s voice—armor had
hitherto disguised the king—and, leaping down from his own horse, he
directed him to mount and allowed him to ride away.[43] Many of the
king’s men were slain, others were captured, and many more were wounded,
among them being Robert’s younger brother, William Rufus.[44] The
discomfiture of the royal forces was complete, and they fled from the

This unexpected defeat before the walls of Gerberoy was a deep
humiliation to the Conqueror. William of Malmesbury speaks of it as the
one outstanding misfortune of his long and brilliant career.[46] In the
bitterness of his shame and of his indignation against the son who had
not only rebelled against him, but had actually met him on the field of
battle and wounded and unhorsed him, William is said to have laid on
Robert a terrible curse, vowing to disinherit him forever.[47] Though the
curse was soon lifted and grudging forgiveness granted, one might easily
believe from the misfortunes of Robert’s later years that the baneful
influence of this paternal malediction followed him to his grave more
than half a century later beneath the pavement stones of Gloucester abbey.

The part played by the king of France in the border war around Gerberoy
is puzzling. The narrative sources state specifically that King
Philip had given his support to Robert and the Norman rebels and had
deliberately established them at Gerberoy in order that they might harry
the Norman border. Yet we have a charter of unquestioned validity by King
Philip in favor of the church of Saint-Quentin of Beauvais, which bears
the signatures of both William and Philip and a dating clause which
reveals the fact that it was drawn up at the siege which the two kings
were conducting about Gerberoy in 1079.[48] The evidence is conclusive,
therefore, that, though the French king had previously supported Robert
and had actually established him at Gerberoy, he nevertheless joined
with the Conqueror early in 1079 in besieging the Norman rebels in his
own stronghold.[49] How King William had wrought this change of mind
in his jealous overlord we have no means of knowing. But it is evident
that, while meeting his son’s rebellion by force of arms, he had not been
forgetful of his mastery of the diplomatic art.

The presence of so great an ally, however, could not disguise the fact
of the Conqueror’s defeat; and before the struggle was allowed to go to
further extremes, influences were brought to bear upon the king which
led to a reconciliation. After his humiliating discomfiture William had
retired to Rouen.[50] Robert is said to have gone to Flanders,[51] though
this seems hardly likely in view of his decisive victory over the royal
forces. In any case, intermediaries now began to pass back and forth
between them. Robert was very willing to make peace and be reconciled
with his father. The barons, too, had little mind for a continuation of
this kind of warfare. Robert’s rebellion had divided many a family, and
it was irksome to the nobles to have to fight against “sons, brothers,
and kinsmen.” Accordingly, Roger of Montgomery, Hugh of Gournay, Hugh of
Grandmesnil, and Roger of Beaumont and his sons Robert and Henry went to
the king and besought him to be reconciled with his son. They explained
that Robert had been led astray by the evil counsels of depraved
youth—were the ‘depraved youth’ in question the ‘sons and brothers’ of
our respectable negotiators?—that he now repented of his errors and
acknowledged his fault and humbly implored the royal clemency. The king
at first remained obdurate and complained bitterly against his son. His
conduct, he declared, had been infamous. He had stirred up civil war
and led away the very flower of the young nobility. He had also brought
in the foreign enemy; and, had it been in his power, he would have armed
the whole human race against his father! The barons, however, persisted
in their efforts. Conferences were renewed. Bishops and other men of
religion, among them St. Simon of Crépy,[52] an old friend and companion
of the Conqueror, intervened to soften the king’s heart. The queen, too,
and ambassadors from the king of France, and neighboring nobles who had
entered the Conqueror’s service all added their solicitations. And “at
last the stern prince, giving way to the entreaties of so many persons
of rank, and moved also by natural affection, was reconciled with his
son and those who had been leagued with him.” With the consent of the
assembled barons he renewed to Robert the grant of the succession to
Normandy after his death, upon the same conditions as he had granted it
on a former occasion at Bonneville.[53]

It is not clear over how long a period the foregoing negotiations had
been drawn out, though it is not improbable that they were continued
into the spring of 1080;[54] for on 8 May of that year Gregory VII
wrote Robert a letter of fatherly counsel in which he referred to the
reconciliation as good news which had but recently reached him. The Pope
rejoiced that Robert had acquiesced in his father’s wishes and put away
the society of base companions; while at the same time he solemnly warned
him against a return to his evil courses in the future.[55]

Whether or not the Pope’s admonition had anything to do with it, Robert
seems, for a time at least, to have made an earnest effort to acquiesce
in his father’s wishes. The reconciliation was, so far as can be seen,
complete and cordial. Again Robert’s name begins to appear frequently in
the charters of the period, indicating a full and friendly coöperation
with his parents and his brothers.[56] The king, too, seems so far to
have had a change of heart as to be willing for the first time in his
life to intrust his son with important enterprises.

In the late summer of 1079, King Malcolm of Scotland had taken advantage
of the Conqueror’s preoccupation with his continental dominions to harry
Northumberland as far south as the Tyne,[57] and King William had been
obliged for the moment to forego his vengeance. But in the late summer or
autumn of 1080 he crossed over to England with Robert,[58] and prepared
to square accounts with his Scottish adversary. Assembling a large force,
which included Abbot Adelelm of Abingdon and a considerable number of
the great barons of England, he placed Robert in command and sent him
northward against the Scottish raider.[59] Advancing into Lothian,[60]
Robert met Malcolm at Eccles,[61] but found him in no mood for fighting.
Ready enough for raids and plundering when the English armies were at a
safe distance, the Scottish king had no desire for the test of a decisive
engagement. Unless the language of the Abingdon chronicle is misleading,
he again recognized the English suzerainty over his kingdom and gave
hostages for his good faith.[62] Thus enjoying an easy triumph, Robert
turned back southward. Laying the foundations of ‘New Castle’ upon the
Tyne[63] as he passed, he came again to his father and was duly rewarded
for his achievement.[64]

Charters indicate that Robert remained in England throughout the
following winter and spring;[65] but before the end of 1081 important
events had taken place on the borders of Maine which called both the king
and his son back in haste to the Continent.

Norman rule was always unpopular in Maine, and it created grave problems.
As has already been explained, it had been temporarily overthrown during
the critical years which followed the Norman conquest of England, and
it had been reëstablished only by force of arms in 1073.[66] But the
restoration of Norman domination in Maine was a serious check to the
ambition of Fulk le Réchin, count of Anjou, who seized every opportunity
to cause embarrassment to his Norman rival. Thus, in the autumn of
1076,[67] he assisted the beleaguered garrison at Dol and was at least
in part responsible for the Conqueror’s discomfiture.[68] So, too, he
made repeated attacks upon John of La Flèche, one of the most powerful
supporters of the Norman interest in Maine.[69] Though the chronology
and the details of these events are exceedingly obscure, there is reason
to believe that Fulk’s movements were in some way connected with the
rebellion of Robert Curthose.[70] And while it is impossible to be
dogmatic, it is perhaps not a very hazardous conjecture that upon the
outbreak of Robert’s rebellion, late in 1077, or in 1078, Fulk seized the
opportunity of the king’s embarrassment and preoccupation on the eastern
Norman frontier to launch an expedition against his hated enemy, John of
La Flèche.[71] But Fulk’s hopes were sadly disappointed; for John of La
Flèche learned of the impending stroke in time to obtain reënforcements
from Normandy,[72] and Fulk was obliged to retire, severely wounded,
from the siege.[73] It was probably after these events that a truce
was concluded between King William and Count Fulk at an unidentified
place called “castellum Vallium,”[74] a truce which appears to have
relieved the Conqueror from further difficulties in Maine until after his
reconciliation with Robert Curthose. In 1081, however, taking advantage
of the absence of the king and Robert in England, Fulk returned to the
attack upon Maine; and this time his efforts seem to have met with more
success. Again laying siege to La Flèche, he took it and burned it.[75]

It was apparently this reverse sustained by the Norman supporters
in Maine which caused the king and Robert to hasten back from
England in 1081. Levying a great army—sixty thousand, according to
Ordericus![76]—they hastened towards La Flèche to meet the victorious
Angevins. But when the hostile armies were drawn up facing each other
and the battle was about to begin,[77] an unnamed cardinal priest[78]
and certain monks interposed their friendly offices in the interest of
peace. William of Évreux and Roger of Montgomery ably seconded their
efforts, and after much negotiation terms were finally agreed upon in
the treaty of La Bruère or Blanchelande (1081). Fulk abandoned his
pretensions to direct rule in Maine and recognized the rights of Robert
Curthose. Robert, on the other hand, recognized the Angevin overlordship
of Maine and formally did homage to Fulk for the fief. Further, a general
amnesty was extended to the baronage on both sides. John of La Flèche
and other Angevin nobles who had been fighting in the Norman interest
were reconciled with Fulk, and the Manceaux who had supported the Angevin
cause were received back into the good graces of the king.[79] Finally,
there probably was an interchange of hostages as an assurance of good
faith. The so-called Annals of Renaud, at any rate, assert that the
king’s half-brother and nephew, Robert of Mortain and his son, and many
others were given as hostages to Fulk.[80]

With the conclusion of peace in 1081 the relations between the Conqueror
and the count of Anjou with regard to Maine entered upon a happier
era,[81] though difficulties between them were by no means at an end.
The death of Arnold, bishop of Le Mans, for example, on 29 November
1081, gave rise to a long dispute as to the right of patronage over the
see. Fulk strongly opposed Hoël, the Norman candidate, and it was not
until 21 April 1085 that Hoël was finally consecrated by Archbishop
William at Rouen and the Norman rights over the see of Le Mans definitely
vindicated.[82] During this same period King William had also to contend
with a very troublesome local insurrection among the Manceaux. Under the
leadership of Hubert, _vicomte_ of Maine, the rebels installed themselves
in the impregnable fortress of Sainte-Suzanne and maintained themselves
there for several years against all the king’s efforts to dislodge them.
At last, in 1085, or early in 1086, he practically acknowledged his
defeat, and received Hubert, the leader of the rebels, back into his

If Robert Curthose played any active part in the dispute with Count Fulk
as to the right of patronage over the see of Le Mans, or in the siege of
Sainte-Suzanne, or, indeed, if he had any actual share in the government
of Maine during this period, the record of it has not been preserved.
Whatever intention the king may have had of taking his son into a closer
coöperation in the management of his affairs was evidently short-lived,
and he continued to keep the exercise of all authority directly in his
own hands.

Such a policy, however, was fatal to the good understanding that had been
established after the siege of Gerberoy, and inevitably led to further
difficulties. Indeed, it is altogether possible that Robert was again
in exile before the end of 1083. After the peace of La Bruère he can be
traced in a number of charters of 1082 and 1083. On 24 June 1082, he was
at Oissel in Normandy.[84] Once in the same year he was at Downton in
England.[85] He was certainly back in Normandy in association with the
king and queen and William Rufus as late as 18 July 1083.[86] And then he
disappears from view until after the Conqueror’s death in 1087. Evidently
another bitter quarrel had intervened and been followed by a second

It seems impossible from the confused narrative of Ordericus Vitalis
and the meagre notices of other chroniclers to disentangle the details
of this new controversy. It is clear that the points at issue had
not changed materially since the earlier difficulties.[87] Robert,
long since formally recognized as the Conqueror’s heir and successor
designate, to whom the baronage had repeatedly done homage, could
not remain content with the wholly subordinate position and with the
limitations which the king imposed upon him. His youth, prospects, and
affable manners, his generosity and unrestrained social propensities won
him a numerous following among the younger nobility; and these ambitious
companions in turn spurred him on to make importunate demands upon his
father for larger powers and enjoyments. The king, on the other hand,
could not bring himself to make the desired concessions. It was no part
of the Conqueror’s nature to share his powers or prerogatives with
anyone. Doubtless there was blame on both sides. Even Ordericus Vitalis
hardly justifies the king. Robert, he says, refused to be obedient,
and the king covered him with reproaches publicly.[88] And so the old
controversy was renewed, and Robert again withdrew from Normandy. Knight
errant that he was, he set out to seek his fortune in foreign parts—like
Polynices the Theban in search of his Adrastus![89]

As to the period of these wanderings, we have no indication beyond the
negative evidence of the charters, in which Robert does not appear after
1083. It may, perhaps, be conjectured that the death of the queen (2
November 1083), who had befriended him during his earlier difficulties
with his father, had removed the support which made possible his
continued residence at the court.[90]

Robert’s second exile was evidently longer than the first,[91] and
less filled with active warfare on the frontiers of Normandy. It
seems natural, therefore, to suppose that the distant wanderings and
vicissitudes of which we hear, ‘in Lorraine, Germany, Aquitaine, and
Gascony,’[92] should be assigned to this period. Of more value, perhaps,
than the vague indications of Ordericus Vitalis, and certainly of greater
interest, if true, is the statement of William of Malmesbury that Robert
made his way to Italy and sought the hand of the greatest heiress of
the age, the famous Countess Matilda of Tuscany, desiring thus to gain
support against his father. In this ambitious project, however, the
courtly exile was doomed to disappointment, for Matilda rejected his

Failing of his quest in Italy, Robert seems to have returned to France,
and to the satisfaction of his desires among baser associates. Long
banishment and vagabondage had brought on deterioration of character and
led him into habits of loose living[94] from which the Conqueror was
notably free. At some time during his long exile, he became the father of
several illegitimate children. Ordericus Vitalis puts the story as baldly
as possible, asserting that he became enamored of the handsome concubine
of an aged priest somewhere on the borders of France and had two sons
by her.[95] Both were destined to a tragic death before their father.
One of them, Richard, fell a victim to the evil spell which lay upon the
New Forest, being accidentally slain by an arrow while hunting there in
the year 1100.[96] The other, William, after his father’s final defeat
at Tinchebray in 1106, went to Jerusalem and died fighting in the holy
wars.[97] Robert also had an illegitimate daughter, who lived to become
the wife of Helias of Saint-Saëns, most sturdy and loyal of all the
supporters of Robert Curthose in the victorious days of Henry I.[98]

Whatever the field of Robert’s obscure wanderings and whatever the
vicissitudes through which he passed, he returned eventually to France,
where he enjoyed the friendship and support of King Philip.[99] The
king of France had momentarily fought upon the side of the Conqueror at
Gerberoy in 1079; but such an alliance was unnatural and could not last.
Hostility between the two kings was inevitable; and almost the last act
of the Conqueror’s life was a revival of the ancient feud and an attempt
to take vengeance upon the hated overlord who had given asylum and succor
to his rebellious son.[100]

The struggle this time raged over the debatable ground of the Vexin. In
the late summer of 1087 King William assembled his forces and appeared
suddenly before the gates of Mantes. The inhabitants and the garrison,
scattered about the countryside, were taken completely by surprise;
and as they fled in wild confusion back within the walls, the king and
his men rushed in after them, plundered the town, and burned it to the

But from that day of vengeance and destruction the Conqueror returned
to Rouen a dying man. There, lingering for some weeks at the priory of
Saint-Gervais outside the city, he made his final earthly dispositions.
Robert, his undutiful son, was still in France and at war against
him.[102] Whether from conviction of his incompetence or from resentment
at his treason, the king had arrived at the unalterable decision that
Robert, his firstborn, should not succeed him in England. For that honor
he recommended William Rufus, his second son. Indeed, the dying king, it
seems, would gladly have disinherited his eldest son altogether.[103] But
there were grave difficulties in the way of such a course. Robert had
been formally and repeatedly designated as his heir and successor.[104]
In the last awful moments of his earthly existence the Conqueror
recognized that he did not hold the English kingdom by hereditary
right; he had received it through the favor of God and victorious
battle with Harold.[105] Robert, his heir, therefore—so he is said to
have reasoned—had no claim upon England. But Normandy he had definitely
conceded to him; and Robert had received the homage of the baronage. The
grant thus made and ratified he could not annul.[106] Moreover, there
were men of weight and influence present at the royal bedside to plead
the exile’s cause. Fearing lest their lord should die with wrath in
his heart against the son who had injured him so deeply, the assembled
prelates and barons, Archbishop William being their spokesman, endeavored
to turn the king’s heart into the way of forgiveness. At first he was
bitter and seemed to be recounting to himself the manifold injuries that
Robert had done him; he had sinned against him grievously and brought
down his gray hairs to the grave. But finally, yielding to persuasion and
making the supreme effort of self-conquest, the king called on God and
the assembled magnates to witness that he forgave Robert all his offences
and renewed to him the grant of Normandy[107] and Maine.[108] A messenger
was despatched to France to bear to Robert the tidings of paternal
forgiveness and of his succession to the duchy.[109] And with these
and other final dispositions, William the Conqueror ended his career
upon earth (9 September 1087). His undutiful and rebellious son was not
present at the royal bedside at the end,[110] nor later at the burial in
the church of St. Stephen at Caen.[111]


[1] “Inter bellicas patris alas excrevit primaevo tirocinio, parenti
morem in omnibus gerens.” _G. R._, ii, p. 459.

[2] Practically all the sources bear witness to Robert’s courage and
special prowess in arms. E.g., Ordericus, ii, p. 295; iii, p. 262;
William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 459-460, 463; _Interpolations
de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, pp. 267, 284; Guibert of
Nogent, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 149. For the exaggerations to which this
was carried in later tradition see _infra_, pp. 190-197.

[3] These qualities will become more evident in the sequel. Stenton
characterizes Robert as “a gross anticipation of the chivalrous knight of
later times.” _William the Conqueror_, p. 349.

[4] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 459; Ordericus, ii, p. 295;
iii, p. 262.

[5] The inimitable characterization of Ordericus Vitalis is worthy of
reproduction in full. “Omnes ducem Rodbertum mollem esse desidemque
cognoscebant… Erat quippe idem dux audax et validus, multaque laude
dignus; eloquio facundus, sed in regimine sui suorumque inconsideratus,
in erogando prodigus, in promittendo diffusus, ad mentiendum levis et
incautus, misericors supplicibus, ad iustitiam super iniquo faciendam
mollis et mansuetus, in definitione mutabilis, in conversatione omnibus
nimis blandus et tractabilis, ideoque perversis et insipientibus
despicabilis; corpore autem brevis et grossus, ideoque Brevis Ocrea a
patre est cognominatus. Ipse cunctis placere studebat, cunctisque quod
petebant aut dabat, aut promittebat, vel concedebat. Prodigus, dominium
patrum suorum quotidie imminuebat, insipienter tribuens unicuique quod
petebat, et ipse pauperescebat, unde alios contra se roborabat.” _Ibid._,
iii, pp. 262-263. Cf. Ralph of Caen in _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 616, 642;
William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 459-463.

[6] Two charters dated 24 May 1096 at Bayeux, ‘xviiii. anno principatus
domni Roberti Willelmi regis Anglorum filii ducis Normannie,’ the one by
Robert himself and the other by Odo of Bayeux and attested by Robert.
Haskins, pp. 66-67, nos. 3, 4, and n. 19. The style here employed of
dating the reign from 1077-78 is unusual. It is ordinarily dated from
Robert’s actual accession to the duchy upon the death of the Conqueror in
1087. Cf., e.g., Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 308, 310.

[7] Ordericus Vitalis makes Robert say: “Quid ergo faciam, vel quid
meis clientibus tribuam?… Mercenarius tuus semper esse nolo. Aliquando
rem familiarem volo habere, ut mihi famulantibus digna possim stipendia
retribuere.” Ordericus, ii, p. 378. Cf. Achille Luchaire, _La société
française au temps de Philippe-Auguste_ (Paris, 1909), pp. 280-282, where
it is pointed out that such demands and the quarrels and the open warfare
which frequently resulted from them were perfectly characteristic of the
feudal age.

[8] Ordericus, ii, pp. 294, 377 ff.; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii,
p. 459; Registers of Gregory VII, bk. vii, no. 27, in _Bibliotheca Rerum
Germanicarum_, ed. Philipp Jaffé (Berlin, 1864-73), ii, pp. 420-421.

[9] The date at which the quarrel began is uncertain. It must have been
after 13 September 1077, when Robert was present with his parents and
William Rufus at the dedication of Saint-Étienne at Caen. _Supra_, p.
16. The siege of Gerberoy, which marks its termination, took place in
December and January 1078-79. _Infra_, n. 38.

[10] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 316-317, 459-460; _A.-S.C.,
a._ 1079; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 12; _Chronicon Monasterii de
Hyda_, in _Liber Monasterii de Hyda_, ed. Edward Edwards (London, 1866),
p. 297; Ordericus, ii, pp. 294-295, 377 ff.; _Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 268; Registers of Gregory VII, bk.
vii, no. 27, in Jaffé, _Bibliotheca_, ii, pp. 420-421.

[11] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.
268; cf. Ordericus, ii, pp. 294-295, 389.

[12] Ordericus Vitalis is the only early writer who treats in detail
of the quarrels between Robert and the Conqueror. He discusses them at
length in two places (ii, pp. 294-298, 377-390), but unfortunately his
accounts are confused and very difficult to disentangle. There clearly
were two quarrels and two periods during which Robert was in exile.
Ordericus himself (ii, p. 390) is specific with regard to this; and we
know independently that the first quarrel—followed by a relatively short
period of exile—ended in the reconciliation after the siege of Gerberoy
(1079) and that Robert was again in exile at the time of the Conqueror’s
death (1087). Pretty clearly the second exile was for a longer period
than the first. But the two accounts of Ordericus do not deal each with
one of these quarrels. Rather they both purport to relate to the earlier
quarrel and to the banishment which followed it. Yet it is obvious that
Ordericus, lacking contemporary knowledge of the events, has confused
the two episodes and has related incidents of the latter as if they
belonged to the former. For example (ii, p. 381), he represents Robert as
wandering in exile for a period of five years. Clearly this was not after
the first quarrel, to which he relates it, since that could have been
followed by no such extended banishment. In the narrative detail which
follows I have attempted to disentangle the accounts of Ordericus Vitalis
conjecturally, striving to preserve something of the vivacity of style
of the original, without supposing that I have been able to arrive at
rigorous historical accuracy. Ordericus’s own narrative is obviously in a
high degree a work of imagination.

[13] Ordericus, ii, pp. 294-295.

[14] _Ibid._, pp. 378-380.

[15] _Ibid._, pp. 294-295.

[16] Ordericus, ii, pp. 295-296.

[17] Ivo and Alberic of Grandmesnil are mentioned by name.

[18] Ordericus, ii, pp. 295-296.

[19] Ordericus, ii, p. 296.

[20] _Ibid._, pp. 296-298. Elsewhere Ordericus gives another list as
follows: Robert of Bellême, William of Breteuil, Roger de Bienfaite,
Robert Mowbray, William de Moulins, and William de Rupierre. _Ibid._,
pp. 380-381. Robert of Bellême is the only one appearing in both lists,
and it would be rash to assume that all the foregoing supported Robert
Curthose against the king in his first rebellion. But if Ordericus
Vitalis is to be trusted, they were all at one time or another associated
in Robert’s treason.

[21] _Ibid._, p. 297.

[22] _Ibid._, p. 295; cf. p. 297: “cum Rotrone Mauritaniensi comite pacem

[23] Ordericus, ii, pp. 297-298.

[24] _Ibid._, p. 298. Freeman’s interpretation of this passage regarding
Aimeric de Villeray and the dapifer of the king of France, which differs
greatly from that which I have given, appears to be based upon a careless
and absolutely wrong reading of the Latin text. _Norman Conquest_, iv,
pp. 639-640.

[25] This hypothesis would help to explain the vague statement of
Ordericus Vitalis: “Galli et Britones, Cenomanni et Andegavenses, aliique
populi fluctuabant, et quem merito sequi deberent ignorabant.” Ordericus,
ii, p. 297.

[26] _A.-S. C., a._ 1077: “This year a peace was made between the king of
France and William king of England, but it lasted only a little while.”
Henry of Huntingdon, _Historia Anglorum_, ed. Thomas Arnold (London,
1879), p. 206; cf. Fliche, _Philippe Iᵉʳ_, p. 274.

[27] “Philippum … semper infidum habuit, quod scilicet ille tantam
gloriam viro invideret quem et patris sui et suum hominem esse
constaret.” William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 316.

[28] Ordericus, ii, p. 386.

[29] _A._ 1079.

[30] Ordericus, ii, p. 381. Bishop Odo died 11 November 1078. Ordericus
is in error in saying that he was the brother of Robert the Frisian.

[31] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 12: “Franciam adiit, et auxilio
Philippi regis in Normannia magnam frequenter praedam agebat, villas
comburebat, homines perimebat”; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 297.

[32] Ordericus, ii, pp. 381-382.

[33] _Supra_, n. 12.

[34] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 331: “aliquantula simultas
inter eos innata extremis annis fuerit pro Roberto filio, cui mater
militarem manum ex fisci redditibus sufficere dicebatur”; Ordericus (ii,
pp. 382-383) is much more detailed.

[35] Ordericus, ii, pp. 382-383.

[36] _Ibid._, pp. 386-387.

[37] Ordericus, ii, pp. 386-387; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, pp. 12-13.

[38] The _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ seems to place the siege at the end
of 1079, but this is an error. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1079. The siege took
place after Christmas 1078 and in the early weeks of 1079. Ordericus,
ii, p. 387. This is made certain by a charter of Philip I in favor of
Saint-Quentin of Beauvais, dated “in obsidione … circa Gerborredum, anno
… millesimo septuagesimo viiiiⁿᵒ anno vero regni Philippi regis Francorum
ixⁿᵒ xᵐᵒ.” _Recueil des actes de Philippe Iᵉʳ, roi de France_, ed.
Maurice Prou (Paris, 1908), no. 94. Freeman, though having this charter
in hand, still dates the siege in 1079-80. _Norman Conquest_, iv, pp.
642-643. But Prou has shown conclusively that Freeman is in error and
that the correct date is unquestionably January 1079. _Op. cit._, p. 242,
n. 1.

[39] Ordericus, ii, pp. 387-388.

[40] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1079; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 13.

[41] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1079; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 13; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 317; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 206. According
to the _Chronicle_ the king was wounded in the hand, according to
Florence in the arm. The _Chronicon_ in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 279, is still
different, stating that the king was wounded in the foot by an arrow.

[42] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1079. Freeman with patriotic pride makes much of
this exploit of Tokig the Englishman; but there appears to be no valid
reason for accepting, as Freeman does, this version from the _Chronicle_
and rejecting the different version of Florence of Worcester. _Norman
Conquest_, iv, pp. 643-644; cf. pp. 850-852.

[43] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 13.

[44] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 317; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1079;
Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 13; Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 206-207.

[45] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 13.

[46] _G. R._, ii, p. 317.

[47] Henry of Huntingdon, p. 207: “Maledixit autem rex Roberto filio
suo”; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 297: “Cumque sanguinem defluere
cerneret, terribiliter imprecatus est ne unquam Robertus filius suus
haereditatis suae iura perciperet”; _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales
Monastici_, ii, p. 32; cf. William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 460.

[48] Prou, _Actes de Philippe Iᵉʳ_, no. 94.

[49] Friendly relations between the Conqueror and Philip are implied in
the statement of Ordericus (ii, p. 390) that the king of France sent
ambassadors to urge a reconciliation between William and Robert. _Infra_,
p. 29.

[50] Ordericus, ii, p. 388.

[51] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1079.

[52] _Vita Beati Simonis Comitis Crespeiensis Auctore Synchrono_,
in Migne, clvi, col. 1219. We have here chronological data of some
importance. St. Simon was present at Compiègne at the translation of the
Holy Shroud from its ivory casket to the magnificent golden reliquary
which Queen Matilda had presented to the church of Saint-Corneille; and
on the next day (_in crastino itaque solemnitate peracta_) he proceeded
to Normandy, where he acted as mediator between the Conqueror and his
rebellious son. A charter by Philip I informs us that the translation
of the Holy Shroud at Compiègne took place on the fourth Sunday of
Lent. Prou, _Actes de Philippe Iᵉʳ_, no. 126. St. Simon, therefore,
left Compiègne for Normandy on the Monday after Midlent. The year,
however, remains in doubt. Presumably it was 1079 or 1080, probably the
latter. Philip’s charter (dated 1092) refers to the translation only
incidently and gives no information as to the year in which it occurred.
Ordericus Vitalis (ii, p. 389) indicates that the peace negotiations
were protracted: “Frequenti colloquio Normannici proceres regem allocuti
sunt.” It cannot certainly be said that the reconciliation had been
consummated earlier than Easter (12 April) 1080, on which date Robert
joined with the king in the attestation of a charter. Davis, _Regesta_,
no. 123. Gregory VII, writing on 8 May 1080, speaks of it as a recent
event. _Infra_, n. 55. Émile Morel, editor of _Cartulaire de l’abbaye de
Saint-Corneille de Compiègne_ (Montdidier, 1904-09), i, p. 53, says that
the translation of the relic took place on 3 April 1082, but he cites no
authority, and I have been able to find none. Jean Pillet says: “Il est
constant par des manuscrits qui parlent de cette translation, qu’elle a
été faite … en 1081.” _Histoire du château et de la ville de Gerberoy_
(Rouen, 1679), p. 85. But he does not indicate where these ‘manuscripts’
are to be found, and his method of dealing with chronological problems is
so arbitrary as to inspire little confidence.

[53] Ordericus, ii, pp. 388-390.

[54] _Supra_, n. 52. It may also be noted that the raid of King Malcolm,
though it occurred in 1079, did not cause the king to go to England until
1080. _Infra_, p. 31.

[55] Registers of Gregory VII, bk. vii, no. 27, in Jaffé, _Bibliotheca_,
ii, pp. 420-421. The letter is of more than passing interest, since it
throws much light upon the matters which had been in controversy and
is strongly confirmatory of the narrative sources. “Insuper monemus et
paterne precamur, ut menti tuae semper sit infixum, quam forti manu,
quam divulgata gloria, quicquid pater tuus possideat, ab ore inimicorum
extraxerit; sciens tamen, se non in perpetuum vivere, sed ad hoc tam
viriliter insistere, ut eredi alicui sua dimitteret. Caveas ergo, fili
dilectissime, admonemus, ne abhinc pravorum consiliis adquiescas,
quibus patrem offendas et matrem contristeris… Pravorum consilia ex
officio nostro praecipimus penitus dimittas, patris voluntati in omnibus
adquiescas. Data Rome 8 idus Maii, indictione 3.”

It may also be noted that on the same day Gregory wrote letters of
courtesy to William and Matilda. But in both he confined himself to
generalities and said nothing of consequence, tactfully avoiding all
reference to Robert or to the recent family discord. _Ibid._, nos. 25, 26.

[56] E.g., 1080, April 12, [Rouen?] (Davis, _Regesta_, no. 123); 1080,
July 14, Caen (_ibid._, no. 125); 1080, [presumably in Normandy]
(_ibid._, nos. 126, 127); 1081, February, [London] (_ibid._, no. 135);
[1078-83, perhaps 1081], February 2, Salisbury (_Historia et Cartularium
Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriae_, ed. W. H. Hart, London, 1863-67, i,
no. 411); 1081, Winchester (Davis, _Regesta_, no. 140); 1082, June 24,
Oissel (_ibid._, nos. 145, 146); 1082, Downton (_ibid._, no. 147); 1082
(_ibid._, nos. 149, 150); [c. 1082] (_ibid._, no. 158); 1083, July 18
(_ibid._, no. 182); 1083 (_Chartes de S.-Julien de Tours_, no. 37);
[1079-82] (Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 168-173); cf. _ibid._, 165, 175, 183a.

[57] _A.-S.C._, _a._ 1079; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 13.

[58] Presumably they went over together, though we have no record of
their actual crossing. They were still at Caen in Normandy 14 July 1080.
Davis, _Regesta_, no. 125.

[59] _Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon_, ed. Joseph Stevenson (London,
1858), ii, p. 9; Simeon, _H. R._, p. 211.

[60] _Chronicon de Abingdon_, ii, p. 9.

[61] Simeon, _H. R._, p. 211.

[62] “Proinde ut regno Angliae principatus Scotiae subactus foret,
obsides tribuit.” _Chronicon de Abingdon_, pp. 9-10. Simeon of Durham
says rather contemptuously that Robert returned from Eccles “nullo
confecto negotio.” _H. R._, p. 211. But this statement is hardly
inconsistent with the Abingdon account. A Durham writer, thirsting for
vengeance, might very well use it in spite of the results accomplished
by Robert’s peaceful negotiations. William of Malmesbury uses very
similar language of the expedition of William Rufus eleven years
later: “Statimque primo contra Walenses, post in Scottos expeditionem
movens, nihil magnificentia sua dignum exhibuit.” _G. R._, ii, p. 365.
The Abingdon account is circumstantial, and the presence of the abbot
indicates a sure source of information, though perhaps a biassed one.

[63] Simeon, _H. R._, p. 211.

[64] _Chronicon de Abingdon_, ii, p. 10.

[65] Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 135, 140; cf. _Hist. et Cart. S. Petri
Gloucestriae_, i, no. 411, a charter of 1078-83, perhaps of 1081.

[66] _Supra_, p. 14.

[67] On the date (September-October 1076) see Halphen, _Anjou_, p. 182;
Prou, _Actes de Philippe Iᵉʳ_, nos. 83, 84; _Annales dites de Renaud_, in
_Recueil d’annales angevines et vendômoises_, ed. Louis Halphen (Paris,
1903), p. 88.

[68] _Ibid._ On the Norman siege of Dol in general see Fliche, _Philippe
Iᵉʳ_, pp. 271-272.

[69] Ordericus, ii, p. 256.

[70] “Turbulentis tempestatibus, quas a Cenomannensibus et Normannis
permotas esse diximus, fomes (ut ferunt) et causa fuit Rodbertus regis
filius.” _Ibid._, p. 294; cf. p. 297.

[71] Halphen, relying upon the _Annales de Saint-Aubin_, has assigned
Fulk’s first attack upon La Flèche to 1076, suggesting that Fulk launched
it while the Conqueror was engaged in the north at the siege of Dol.
_Anjou_, pp. 182-183. These conclusions, however, seem too dogmatic.
There is no evidence which indicates a connection between the attack
upon La Flèche and the king’s Breton enterprise; and it seems hardly
likely that Fulk would have entered upon an undertaking against La Flèche
which proved beyond his powers, while he was also operating against
the Conqueror in Brittany. Further, the date 1076 from the _Annales
de Saint-Aubin_ (Halphen, _Annales_, p. 5) is not to be relied upon:
because (1) the numeral “mlxxvi” is entered twice in the MS., the entry
concerning La Flèche being the second of the two, and no such repetition
appears elsewhere in these annals. We are, therefore, forewarned of a
scribal error. And (2) the probability of such an error is made stronger
by the fact that MSS. C, A, and B all read “mlxxvii,” while the _Annales
de Saint-Florent_ (_ibid._, p. 119) read “mlxxviii.” Having no other
chronological data than are furnished by these meagre and uncertain
annals, it is impossible to fix the date of the first attack upon La
Flèche. It may have taken place in 1076, 1077, or 1078. On the whole, one
of the later dates seems more probable than 1076, in view of the vague
indications of some connection with Robert’s rebellion (_supra_, n. 70),
and in view of the fact that Fulk was involved in Breton affairs in 1076.

[72] Ordericus, ii, p. 256. Ordericus says that Fulk had the support
of Hoël, duke of Brittany; but his narrative is confused—he apparently
puts together the first and second sieges of La Flèche and treats them
as one—and it is impossible to say whether Breton aid was given during
Fulk’s first or second expedition.

[73] “Blessé grièvement à la jambe, à la suite d’un accident de cheval,
et quittant le siège de la Flèche pour se faire transporter par eau à
Angers.” Halphen, _Anjou_, p. 311, no. 233—from an eighteenth century
copy of an undated notice in the cartulary of Saint-Nicolas of Angers.

[74] “Eo tempore quo Willelmus rex Anglorum cum Fulcone Andegavensi
comite iuxta castellum Vallium treviam accepit.” _Cartulaire de
Saint-Vincent_, no. 99. The document is undated, but it is witnessed
by Abbot William of Saint-Vincent, who was appointed bishop of Durham
5 November 1080 and consecrated 3 January 1081. The ‘trevia’ of this
document, therefore, cannot refer to the treaty of La Bruère (1081) and
it seems probable that it refers to a truce concluded after the failure
of the first attack upon La Flèche.

[75] “MLXXXI… Fulcho Rechim castrum Fisse cepit et succendit.” _Annales
de Saint-Aubin_, in Halphen, _Annales_ p. 5. “MLXXXI. In hoc anno … comes
Andecavorum Fulcho iunior obsedit castrum quoddam quod Fissa Iohannis
dicitur atque cepit necnon succendit.” _Annales dites de Renaud_,
_ibid._, p. 88. Ordericus Vitalis does not admit that La Flèche was
taken, doubtless because of the confusion which he makes between the two
sieges. Ordericus, ii, p. 256.

[76] On the exaggeration of numbers by mediaeval chroniclers, see J. H.
Ramsay, “Chroniclers’ Estimates of Numbers and Official Records,” in _E.
H. R._, xviii (1903), pp. 625-629; and cf. the same, “The Strength of
English Armies in the Middle Ages,” _ibid._, xxix (1914), pp. 221-227.

[77] Ordericus (ii, pp. 256-257) has given a spirited account; but he
manifestly wrote without any clear conception of the geographical or
topographical setting of the proposed engagement, and all efforts to
render his account intelligible have proved in vain. For a discussion of
the problems involved and of the conjectures which have been made, see
Halphen, _Anjou_, p. 184.

[78] Freeman conjectures that this is the “ubiquitous Hubert,” cardinal
legate of Gregory VII. _Norman Conquest_, iv, p. 562.

[79] Ordericus, ii, pp. 257-258.

[80] “Qui et ipse a Fulcone bello lacessitus, obsidibus pacis pro fide
datis fratre suo, consule videlicet Mauritanie, et filio suo et multis
aliis, recessit.” Halphen, _Annales_, p. 88.

[81] “Haec nimirum pax, quae inter regem et praefatum comitem in loco,
qui vulgo Blancalanda vel Brueria dicitur, facta est, omni vita regis ad
profectum utriusque provinciae permansit.” Ordericus, ii, p. 258.

[82] Halphen, _Anjou_, pp. 185-186; Latouche, _Maine_, p. 79.

[83] Halphen, _Anjou_, p. 186; Latouche, _Maine_, p. 39.

[84] Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 145, 146; cf. nos. 149, 150, 158.

[85] _Ibid._, no. 147.

[86] _Ibid._, no. 182. He also attests with the king, queen, and William
Rufus, in 1083, a charter in favor of Saint-Julien of Tours. _Chartes de
S.-Julien de Tours_, no. 37.

Davis cites a “confirmation by William I” in favor of the abbey of
Lessay, which is attested by Robert, along with King William, Bishop Odo
of Bayeux, Henry “the king’s son,” and others, and which he assigns to
1084, remarking, “The appearance of Bishop Odo is strange, considering
that he was at this time in captivity.” _Regesta_, no. 199. It cannot,
of course, be supposed that the Conqueror really gave a confirmation
in company with Odo of Bayeux while he was holding the latter in close
confinement as a most bitter and dangerous enemy; and some other
explanation of the apparent inconsistency must be found. A glance at the
document as printed in full in _Gallia Christiana_ (xi, instr., cols.
228-229) makes it clear that we have to do here not with a single diploma
of known date, but rather with a list of notices of gifts. At the head
of the list stands the record of a grant by Roger d’Aubigny, dated 1084,
and accompanied by a list of witnesses. Then follow no less than six
separate notices of grants, each with its own witnesses; and finally
come the attestations of King William, Bishop Odo, Henry the king’s
son, Count Robert, and others. There is no reason to suppose that these
attestations are of the year 1084—a date which applies certainly only to
the first grant in the list—and they are evidently of a later period,
perhaps of the year 1091, when the abbey of Lessay might naturally seek
a confirmation from the three brothers after the pacification which
followed the siege of Mont-Saint-Michel. The king in question, therefore,
is probably William Rufus rather than the Conqueror. The style of Henry
“filii regis” is certainly surprising, but it can be matched in another
document, also probably of the year 1091. Davis, _Regesta_, no. 320; cf.
The New Palaeographical Society, _Facsimiles of Ancient Manuscripts_,
etc. (London, 1903-), 1st series, pt. 2, plate 45_a_ and text.

[87] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, pp.
265, 267-268; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 332; Ordericus, iii,
p. 268.

[88] “Serenitas pacis diu quaesitae inter regem et filium eius celeriter
obnubilata est. Protervus enim iuvenis patrem sequi, vel ei obedire
dedignatus est. Animosus vero princeps ob ignaviam eius crebris eum
redargutionibus et conviciis palam iniuriatus est. Unde denuo post
aliquod tempus, paucis sodalibus fretus, a patre recessit, nec postea
rediit; donec pater moriens Albericum comitem, ut ducatum Neustriae
reciperet, in Galliam ad eum direxit.” Ordericus, ii, p. 390.

[89] _Ibid._, p. 380.

[90] Robert appears in no reliable charter between the queen’s death and
his own accession to the duchy.

[91] Because of the extended period during which he is not to be found in
the charters, and because Ordericus (ii, p. 381) speaks of his being in
exile “ferme quinque annis.” Cf. _supra_, n. 12.

[92] Ordericus, ii, p. 381.

[93] “Robertus, patre adhuc vivente, Normanniam sibi negari aegre ferens,
in Italiam obstinatus abiit, ut, filia Bonifacii marchionis sumpta,
patri partibus illis adiutus adversaretur: sed, petitionis huiusce
cassus, Philippum Francorum regem contra patriam excitavit.” William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 332.

[94] “Porro ille, quae ab amicis liberalibus ad subsidium sui accipiebat,
histrionibus et parasitis ac meretricibus insipienter distribuebat;
quibus improvide distractis, egestate gravi compressus mendicabat, et aes
alienum ab externis foeneratoribus exul egenus quaeritabat.” Ordericus,
ii, p. 382. Ordericus reserves his worst criticisms for Robert’s later
life, but doubtless the moral decay set in early. Cf. _ibid._, iv, pp.

[95] _Ibid._, iv, pp. 81-82. The author embellishes his account with
a further tale of how the boys were brought up in obscurity by their
mother, who in later years took them to Robert, then become duke, and
proved their parentage by undergoing the ordeal of hot iron.

[96] Ordericus, iv, p. 82; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 45; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 333.

[97] Ordericus, ii, p. 82.

[98] _Ibid._, iii, p. 320.

[99] _Ibid._, ii, p. 390; iii, p. 228; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._,
ii, p. 338.

[100] It is clear that the war grew out of the inevitable antagonism
between the interests of the two monarchs, and particularly out of the
determination on King William’s part to reassert the Norman claim to the
Vexin. Ordericus, iii, pp. 222-225. As to the immediate provocation,
Ordericus explains that the Conqueror’s attack upon Mantes was in
retaliation for predatory incursions which certain lawless inhabitants
of the city had been making across the border into Normandy (_ibid._,
p. 222); William of Malmesbury attributes it to an insulting jest
which Philip had made about William’s obesity (_G. R._, ii, p. 336);
while Robert of Torigny ascribes it to the aid which Philip had been
giving Robert Curthose against his father (_Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 265).

[101] Ordericus, iii, pp. 222-226; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._,
ii, p. 336; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1086; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 20;
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 265.

[102] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 332, 338; Ordericus, iii,
p. 228; cf. _Chronicon_ in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 298. Robert of Torigny
is more specific: “Cum igitur in Pontivo apud Abbatisvillam, cum sui
similibus iuvenibus, filiis scilicet satraparum Normanniae, qui ei, quasi
suo domino futuro, specie tenus obsequebantur, re autem vera novarum
rerum cupiditate illecti, moraretur et ducatum Normanniae, maxime in
margine, excursionibus et rapinis demoliretur.” _Interpolations de Robert
de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 268.

[103] This is the plain inference from Ordericus, iii, p. 242; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 332,337; _De Obitu Willelmi_, in William of
Jumièges, pp. 146-147.

[104] That is, (1) before the Conquest (_supra_, p. 12), (2) after the
Conquest on the occasion of the king’s illness at Bonneville (_supra_,
p. 15), (3) at the reconciliation after the siege of Gerberoy (_supra_,
p. 29). Cf. also the charter of Stigand de Mézidon, 1063, in Le Prévost,
_Eure_, i, p. 562.

[105] Ordericus, iii, pp. 239, 242-243.

[106] _Ibid._, p. 242.

[107] _De Obitu Willelmi_, in William of Jumièges, pp. 146-147.

[108] That Maine was included is clear from the fact that Robert’s right
to rule there was not questioned. Wace, too, is specific:

    E quant Guilleme trespassa,
    Al duc Robert le Mans laissa.

_Roman de Rou_, ed. Hugo Andresen (Heilbronn, 1877-79), ii, p. 416. The
_Annales de Wintonia_ are clearly wrong in stating that the Conqueror
left Maine to Henry. _Annales Monastici_, ii, p. 35.

[109] Ordericus, ii, p. 390: “pater moriens Albericum comitem, ut ducatum
Neustriae reciperet, in Galliam ad eum direxit”; _Interpolations de
Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 268.

[110] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 338.

[111] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.



While William Rufus was hurrying to England to claim the royal crown,
and the young Prince Henry was piously attending his father’s funeral
at Caen, Robert Curthose, hearing the news of the Conqueror’s death,
hastily returned from his long exile, and upon arriving at Rouen took
possession of his inheritance without encountering any opposition.[1]
At last the duchy of Normandy and the county of Maine, so long denied
him by his imperious father, were within his grasp. No doubt the news
of the king’s death was very welcome to the incorrigible exile; yet it
is pleasant to learn that Robert, upon entering into his inheritance,
was not neglectful of filial duty toward his father’s memory or of those
charitable acts which were regarded as necessary for the weal of the
departed soul. The Conqueror upon his deathbed had made provision for
the distribution of his treasures[2] and for the release of prisoners
from his gaols.[3] These dispositions the duke was careful to carry out,
making bounteous distribution of such treasure as he found to monasteries
and churches and to the poor; while two captives of royal descent—Wulf,
son of King Harold, and Duncan, son of King Malcolm—he not only allowed
to go their way in peace, but honored with the arms of knighthood.[4]
Filial piety and the chivalrous impulses of Robert Curthose were never
more happily united. Some of the rare charters of the duke’s early reign
are also indicative of a similar spirit. Thus we find him confirming to
Saint-Étienne of Caen a grant of the manor of Vains which the Conqueror
had made during his last illness.[5] Perhaps not quite the same motive,
though assuredly no spirit of rancor, led him on 7 July 1088 to restore
to La Trinité of Fécamp the lands which his father had taken away in his

The news of the Conqueror’s death spread with incredible swiftness,[7]
and the new duke can hardly have reached Rouen before a new era (_nimia
rerum mutatio_) had dawned in Normandy.[8] The days of stern government,
of enforced peace, of castles garrisoned and controlled by the duke had
passed—at least until Normandy should again be brought under the heavy
hand of an English king. Robert of Bellême was on his way to the royal
bedside, and had got as far as Brionne, when the news of the king’s
death reached him. Instantly he wheeled his horse, and, galloping back
to Alençon, he took the royal garrison by surprise, drove it out, and
established his own retainers in the castle. Then, pressing on, he
repeated this performance at Bellême and at other of his strongholds.
He also turned upon his weaker neighbors, and either expelled their
garrisons and installed his own troops in their stead, or razed their
castles to the ground in order that none might stand against him. So,
too, William of Évreux, William of Breteuil, Ralph of Conches, and
other lords—most of them old friends and supporters of Robert Curthose
in rebellious days—expelled the garrisons of King William from their
fortresses and took them into their own hands.[9] Already the stage was
set for the private warfare, the pillage, and the harrying that were to
reduce Normandy to the verge of chaos. The monk of Saint-Évroul, whose
house was unfortunately located amid the very worst dens of iniquity,
sends up a wail of lamentation. Robert was duke of Normandy and prince of
the Manceaux in name, indeed; but so sunk was he in sloth and idleness
that his government knew neither virtue nor justice.[10] But to these
things it will be necessary to recur in another connection. It was, in
any event, clear from the beginning that the barons were to enjoy a
position of influence, independence, and power under the new régime such
as had been denied them by the Conqueror.

For some four years before the death of the late king, Bishop Odo of
Bayeux had been held a royal prisoner in the castle of Rouen. Very
reluctantly had the Conqueror, as he lay upon his deathbed, been
prevailed upon to release him.[11] But under the new duke the fortunes
of the bishop again rose rapidly. Not only did he enjoy freedom, but all
his former possessions and honors in Normandy were restored to him, and
he took his place among the duke’s chief counsellors.[12] Soon afterwards
he crossed over to England, and was reëstablished in his former earldom
of Kent.[13] And then, with vaulting ambition, he began to plot the
overthrow of William Rufus and the reuniting of England and Normandy
under the rule of Robert Curthose.

The position of Odo of Bayeux, with his broad holdings and honors on both
sides of the Channel, was typical of that of many of the Anglo-Norman
barons. They had been held by William the Conqueror under a tight
rein, but at least they had had a single master. Now, however, the
two realms were divided, and the service of two lords presented grave
inconveniences. “If we do our duty to Robert, the duke of Normandy,”
they said, “we shall offend his brother William, and so lose our great
revenues and high honors in England. On the other hand, if we keep our
fealty to King William, Duke Robert will take from us our patrimonial
estates in Normandy.”[14] Further, the accession of two young and
inexperienced princes, after the stern rule and rigorous repression
of the preceding reign, offered a peculiarly tempting opportunity for
rebellion. And as between the two princes, there could be little doubt
on which side the support of most of the barons would be thrown. Robert
was affable, mild, and pliable—for the turbulent nobles of the eleventh
century such a ruler as they most desired. William, on the other hand,
was arrogant and terrible and likely to be a harsh, unbending master.
Moreover, Robert, as the eldest son, was deemed to have the better
right.[15] William Rufus had gained the kingdom largely by virtue of
his own decisive action and the support of Archbishop Lanfranc. Though
publicly acknowledged, his tenure of the English crown was by no means
unreservedly accepted by the baronage in England.[16] Accordingly, late
in 1087, or more probably early in the spring of 1088,[17] a conspiracy
with wide ramifications was formed for his overthrow and for the transfer
of the kingdom to Robert Curthose. “In this year,” says the Chronicler,
“this land was much disturbed and filled with great treason, so that the
most powerful Frenchmen that were in this land would betray their lord
the king, and would have for king his brother Robert who was count of

The beginnings of this treasonable enterprise are obscure, and it is
impossible to say with certainty on which side of the Channel the plot
was hatched.[19] Bishop Odo of Bayeux was unquestionably its prime
mover, and of his activities we have some knowledge. Having risen to
honor and power in Normandy, he had crossed over to England before the
end of 1087 and was in attendance at the king’s Christmas court,[20]
apparently in the full enjoyment of his English earldom.[21] But he may
even then have been contemplating treason. Certainly the inception of the
great conspiracy both in England and in Normandy can hardly have been
delayed long afterwards. During the early spring secret negotiations were
active, and frequent messages must have been exchanged between England
and the Continent.[22] One after another the great nobles and prelates
were won over. Even William of Saint-Calais, bishop of Durham, who had
been raised by William Rufus to the position of chief trust in the
kingdom, was widely believed to have joined the conspiracy.[23] Before
the close of Lent[24] the greater part of the Anglo-Norman baronage
had strengthened the defences of their castles and broken into open
revolt. The rebellion extended from the south coast to Northumberland
and from East Anglia to the Welsh border.[25] But the centre and heart
of the movement, so far, at any rate, as it concerns the life of Robert
Curthose, lay in the southeast of England, where Bishop Odo and his
immediate supporters had established themselves in strategic positions in
the strongholds of Rochester[26] and Pevensey.[27]

Duke Robert’s connection with the great rebellion of 1088 in its early
stages is by no means clear. According to one of the later writers, upon
learning that his brother had gone to England to claim the royal crown,
Robert had sworn a great oath by the angels of God, declaring that though
he were in distant Alexandria, the English would await his coming and
make him king.[28] Actually, however, he seems to have reconciled himself
to the accomplished fact,[29] and not to have contemplated an attack upon
England until the barons, taking the initiative, informed him of their
plan for the overthrow of William Rufus.[30] Upon hearing this good news,
however, he promptly approved the project and promised the conspirators
every possible aid and support.[31] As an earnest of his intention, he
sent Eustace of Boulogne and Robert of Bellême with their retainers on in
advance to England, where they were installed by Bishop Odo in the great
fortress of Rochester. Meanwhile, he undertook to collect a fleet and to
prepare for an invasion in force.[32]

But the levy and equipment of an expedition for a second Norman conquest
of England was an undertaking for which the resources of the duke were
little able to provide. Careless, prodigal, incurably fond of good
living, Robert was by nature impecunious. The unsettling transformation
that had come over the duchy upon his accession was little likely to
recruit his financial resources. The sudden increase in the power and
independence of the nobility, the disturbed state of the country, the
lavish grant of emoluments to all who asked, the charitable distribution
of the Conqueror’s treasure to religious houses, all these things
inevitably depleted the ducal resources. And further, under the terms of
the late king’s will, 5000 livres had been paid out to make provision for
Prince Henry.[33]

As compared with Robert, who had squandered his treasure in reckless
extravagance, Prince Henry enjoyed a certain opulence. Pious attendance
at the Conqueror’s obsequies had not prevented his having his treasure
weighed out to the last farthing, “in order that nothing should be
lacking,” and putting it in a place of security among friends upon whom
he could rely.[34] Without land which he could call his own, and placed
in a somewhat difficult position between the rival interests of his
brothers, he had stood carefully upon his guard, frugally husbanding his
resources, and holding himself in readiness to take sides with either of
his brothers, or with neither, as his own interests should decide.[35]
He was more drawn to Robert, however, because of his mildness and good
nature,[36] and for a time he remained with him in Normandy.[37] To
Henry, accordingly, Robert appealed in 1088 for funds to be used in
the invasion of England. But gifts without reward Henry would not give.
Soon, however, fresh messengers from the duke brought the welcome news
that Robert was willing to sell him a part of his lands; whereupon Henry
became more pliable, and a bargain was soon struck. For 3000 livres
the duke handed over to him the whole of the Cotentin, Avranches, and
Mont-Saint-Michel, together with the great Norman lordship of Earl Hugh
of Chester.[38] Thus Robert obtained a supply of ready cash to equip his
forces for the invasion of England, though at the expense of alienating
a part of his birthright. This was but the beginning of a policy of
short-sighted expedients in lieu of effective government, which in the
end was to prove fatal to his rule.

Meanwhile, the rebellion had taken a course which was disastrous for
Robert’s cause in England. William Rufus, finding that the greater part
of the Anglo-Norman baronage had deserted him, turned for support to
his native English subjects, and his appeal to them was not made in
vain.[39] Gathering together such forces as he could, he marched straight
upon Tunbridge and took the place by storm. Then he pushed on towards
Rochester, expecting to find Odo of Bayeux and the main body of the rebel
forces. But the bishop had learned of his coming and had slipped out of
Rochester and gone to Pevensey, where he joined Robert of Mortain in the
defence of the castle, while they awaited the arrival of Robert Curthose
with the expedition from Normandy. But the king was informed of the
bishop’s movement, and, abandoning his proposed attack upon Rochester,
he marched southward upon Pevensey and began a protracted siege of the

Meanwhile, the long expected fleet from Normandy did not appear. One
writer complains that the duke dallied away his time with amusements ill
befitting a man.[41] Indeed, so widespread was the English rebellion
that the kingdom appeared to be almost within his grasp, if only he
had bestirred himself to seize it.[42] Yet with William Rufus loyally
supported by an English army and pushing his campaign with the utmost
vigor, everything depended upon the promptness with which the duke could
land troops in England to support the rebels. It was doubtless the
knowledge of this pressing need which induced Robert to send forward a
part of his forces in advance, while he himself remained in Normandy to
make more extended preparations.[43] But the vanguard of the ducal fleet
met with a disaster which proved fatal to the whole insurrectionary
movement. While William Rufus himself maintained a close investment of
Pevensey, he had sent his ships to sea to ward off the threatened attack.
And as the Norman fleet approached the English coast, the rival forces
joined in battle, and the invaders were overwhelmingly defeated. To add
to the catastrophe, a sudden calm cut off every possibility of escape to
the Norman forces. According to contemporary writers the multitude that
perished was beyond all reckoning.[44]

Disaster followed hard upon disaster. Bishop Odo, the count of Mortain,
and the garrison of Pevensey were reduced by starvation and obliged to
surrender after a six weeks’ resistance.[45] The bishop gave himself up,
and solemnly promised upon oath to procure the surrender of Rochester
and then depart the kingdom forever. Upon this understanding the king,
suspecting no ruse or bad faith, sent him off with a small force to
receive the submission of Rochester. But the great fortress, the chief
stronghold of the rebels in southeastern England, was held by a strong
garrison and able leaders whom the duke had sent from Normandy,[46]
such warriors as Eustace of Boulogne and Robert of Bellême and two of
his brothers, men of intrepid courage, who were unwilling to admit the
hopelessness of their cause. And when Odo appeared before the castle with
the royal troops and summoned them to surrender, they suddenly sallied
forth, seized both the bishop and his captors, and carried the whole
party within the walls.[47] Outwitted by this clever ruse, the king was
again obliged to summon his English supporters[48] and lay siege to
Rochester. But still no reënforcements arrived from Normandy, and again
the royal arms enjoyed a triumph. The defenders of Rochester were obliged
to surrender;[49] and the traitor bishop was now at last deprived of
all his revenues and honors in England and driven over sea forever.[50]
Doubtless other rebels were sent into exile with him.[51] But William
Rufus with politic foresight tempered his animosity against many and
admitted them to reconciliation.[52]

With the destruction of Duke Robert’s fleet, the reduction of Pevensey
and Rochester, and the expulsion of Odo of Bayeux from England, the force
of the rebellion had been broken. Whatever plans the duke may have had
to follow with a greater fleet were perforce abandoned. Through his own
weakness and procrastination, coupled with the vigor and resourcefulness
of William Rufus and the loyalty of the native English, the attempt
to place Robert Curthose upon the throne of England, at one time so
promising, had ended in utter failure.

But Robert’s failure did not end the hostility between the two brothers.
No peace negotiations intervened. William Rufus continued to nurse his
indignation and to thirst for vengeance. He professed to fear some
further mischief from the duke.[53] Robert, too, remained suspicious
and apprehensive. Prince Henry, learning of the fall of Rochester, and
eager to conciliate the victor, had hastened across the Channel to visit
the king and crave from him “the lands of his mother” to which he laid
claim.[54] The duke regarded this move with little favor; and when,
soon after,[55] Henry had accomplished his mission and was returning to
Normandy in company with Robert of Bellême, who had also been reconciled
with William Rufus, the duke had him seized at the landing and placed in
custody. Malicious enemies, we are told, had poisoned the duke’s mind
with the belief that Henry and Robert of Bellême had not only made
their peace with the king, but had entered into a sworn agreement to
his own hurt.[56] Henry was released from prison some six months later,
at the solicitation of the Norman barons,[57] and the incident is not,
perhaps, of great importance—for, if Henry and the king had arrived at
any understanding, it must have been of short duration—yet it serves to
illustrate the strained relations which continued to exist between Robert
Curthose and William Rufus.

Meanwhile, the king, at last secure in his possession of the English
throne, began to develop plans for taking vengeance upon the duke. If
we can rely upon the unsupported statement of Ordericus Vitalis in
such a matter, he held a formal assembly of his barons at Winchester,
apparently in 1089,[58] and laid before them proposals for an attack upon
Normandy. He harangued the assembled magnates upon the faithless conduct
of his brother and upon the state of unchecked anarchy into which he had
allowed his duchy to fall. The whole country, he declared, had become
a prey to thieves and robbers, and the lamentations of the clergy had
reached him from beyond the sea. It behooved him, therefore, as the son
of his father, to send to Normandy for the succor of holy church, for
the protection of widows and orphans, and for the just punishment of
plunderers and assassins. Upon being asked their advice, the assembled
nobles promptly approved the king’s project.[59] Perhaps some of the
quondam rebels reasoned that, since the two realms could not be reunited
under the weak and pliable Robert, it would still be worth their while
to attempt to bring about the desired union under his more masterful

The king’s plan evidently did not involve immediate open war upon Robert
Curthose. It was not the way of William Rufus to attempt upon the field
of battle that which might more expeditiously be accomplished through
diplomacy. This was a form of attack which the impoverished duke was
little qualified to combat. Choosing as the field of his activities the
Norman lands lying north and east of the Seine, William Rufus began by
winning over by bribery the garrison of Saint-Valery at the mouth of
the Somme, thus gaining a strong castle and a commodious seaport in a
position most advantageously located for the further prosecution of
his design. It must have been at about the same time that Stephen of
Aumale yielded to the same golden argument, and opened the gates of his
stronghold to the soldiers of King William. From these convenient bases
plundering raids were then carried into the surrounding country.[61]
Soon the contagion spread farther. Gerard of Gournay placed his castles
of Gournay, La Ferté-en-Bray, and Gaillefontaine at the disposal of the
king, and actively devoted himself to the promotion of the English cause
among his neighbors. His example was promptly followed by Robert of Eu
and Walter Giffard, lord of Longueville, and by Ralph of Mortemer. In
short, by an effective blending of bribery and diplomacy, William Rufus
had succeeded in detaching the greater part of the Norman nobles dwelling
upon the right bank of the Seine from their allegiance to the duke.[62]

The single notable exception appears to have been Helias of Saint-Saëns,
to whom Robert had given his illegitimate daughter, and with her the
castles of Arques and Bures and their appurtenant lands as a marriage
portion. Firmly establishing his son-in-law at Saint-Saëns, Arques,
and Bures, the duke intended that he should stand as a counterpoise to
the rapidly growing English influence east of the Seine.[63] And his
expectations were not disappointed. Through every adversity, Helias of
Saint-Saëns remained staunchly loyal to the cause of Robert Curthose and
of his son, long after the final triumph of Henry I at Tinchebray.

Of other measures taken by the duke to combat the insidious aggression of
his more resourceful rival, we have only the most fragmentary knowledge.
From one of Robert’s charters, it appears that he besieged and captured
the castle of Eu in 1089.[64] This, it seems not improbable, was one
of his early and successful efforts against the Norman traitors and
their English ally. We know, too, that in his extreme need he appealed
to his overlord, the king of France. Yet here again our information is
discouragingly fragmentary. Of the relations between the duke and his
overlord after the death of William the Conqueror we know nothing except
that on 24 April 1089 Robert was at Vernon on the Seine frontier, engaged
in some sort of hostile enterprise against France.[65] Certain it is,
however, that before the close of this year he had sought and obtained
the aid of King Philip against his Anglo-Norman enemies in the lands east
of the Seine.[66] Together they laid siege to La Ferté-en-Bray,[67] the
castle of Gerard of Gournay. But again the golden diplomacy of William
Rufus proved more than a match for the vanishing resources of the duke.
“No small quantity of money having been transmitted secretly to King
Philip,” he was readily induced to abandon the siege and return home.[68]

In 1090 difficulties continued to multiply around Duke Robert. In the
city of Rouen itself William Rufus had contrived through bribery to gain
a following, and had set himself to promote civic discord as a means
of undermining the duke’s authority.[69] In November 1090 a factional
conflict broke out in Rouen between two parties of the burghers, the
_Pilatenses_ and _Calloenses_. Of the latter we know no more than that
they were the supporters of the duke and that they were the weaker of the
two factions.[70] The _Pilatenses_ were ably led by a certain Conan, son
of Gilbert Pilatus, described as the wealthiest citizen of Rouen. His
great riches enabled him to maintain a large household of retainers in
opposition to the duke and to draw into his faction the greater part of
the citizens. As a further resource, Conan had covenanted with William
Rufus to deliver up to him the city. An insurrection was planned to take
place on 3 November; and at the appointed hour the king’s hirelings were
to come from Gournay and other neighboring fortresses to support the
rising. Some of the king’s adherents had already secretly been brought
within the walls, ready to join the rebels at the appointed moment.[71]

The duke learned late of the events that were impending and had barely
time to call up reënforcements. Hasty summonses were sent to William of
Évreux, Robert of Bellême, William of Breteuil, and Gilbert of Laigle.
More important still, Prince Henry was induced to forget past wrongs
and come to the duke’s assistance in this hour of need. These measures
were taken barely in time to avert a disaster. Henry, apparently, was
already within the city before the outbreak; but as Gilbert of Laigle
with a troop of horse galloped across the bridge over the Seine and
entered Rouen from the south, Reginald of Warenne with three hundred
supporters of William Rufus was already battering at the western gate.
Meanwhile, within the city the insurrection had broken out amid scenes
of wild confusion. Robert and Henry issued from the citadel and began to
attack the rebels upon front and rear. Robert was personally brave and
a sturdy fighter, and on later occasions he proved himself an excellent
leader in emergencies. But in the wild confusion and uncertainties of
the Rouen insurrection, his friends became alarmed lest some serious
mishap should befall him, and persuaded him to retire to a place of
safety and not expose himself to such grave perils until the issue of the
conflict should be decided. Accordingly, he withdrew by the eastern gate
into the Faubourg Malpalu, and, there taking a boat across the Seine to
Émendreville, he found shelter in the priory of Notre-Dame-du-Pré.[72]
Meanwhile, within the city, Henry and Gilbert of Laigle and their
supporters put down the insurrection with a great slaughter of the
inhabitants. Conan and many other rebels were captured, and the hirelings
of William Rufus were obliged to withdraw in confusion and seek the
shelter of a neighboring wood, until under the cover of darkness they
were able to make good their escape. With the triumph of his forces,
the duke returned to the city, and, with his habitual mildness, was
for throwing Conan into a dungeon and showing clemency to the rest of
the rebels. But his barons had other views, and insisted upon taking a
savage vengeance upon the burghers who had been involved in the treason.
William, son of Ansger, one of the richest men in the city, was led away
into captivity by William of Breteuil and held for a ransom of 3000
livres. As for Conan, the archtraitor, Prince Henry craved leave of the
duke to dispose of him in his own way. Taking him up to the upper story
of the tower of Rouen, where a window commanded a view of the surrounding
country, he called upon the wretch to view the beauties of the landscape
as it stretched away across the Seine; and then, swearing by the soul of
his mother that a traitor should not be admitted to ransom, he thrust him
backwards through the window. The place, says Ordericus Vitalis, is known
as Conan’s Leap “unto this day.”[73]

The failure of William Rufus to overthrow the authority of Robert
Curthose in Rouen by stirring up an insurrection did not put a check upon
his ambitious projects elsewhere. In this same month of November 1090
private war broke out between William of Évreux and Ralph of Conches. The
latter appealed to the duke for aid, but got no encouragement; whereupon
he turned to William Rufus, and found him altogether too alert to let
slip so good an opportunity of extending his influence. The king promptly
directed his Norman allies, Stephen of Aumale and Gerard of Gournay,
to send reinforcements to Conches.[74] And so the English sphere of
influence was extended to the left bank of the Seine. But William Rufus
was now preparing for more direct action against the waning power of the
duke. By long and patient diplomacy, coupled with a liberal expenditure
of English treasure, he had succeeded in undermining his authority in a
large portion of the duchy. At the close of January, or early in February
1091[75] he himself crossed to Normandy with a considerable fleet and
established his headquarters at Eu.[76]

The news of the king’s landing came like a thunderclap to the duke,
who at the moment was engaged with Robert of Bellême in the siege of
Courcy. The siege was immediately abandoned, but the barons, instead
of standing with their own ruler against the invader, departed each to
his own castle; and presently “almost all the great lords of Normandy”
began paying their court to William Rufus, who received them with great
cordiality and gave them handsome presents. But the movement in support
of the English king was not confined to the barons of Normandy alone.
Adventurers from Brittany, France, and Flanders also gathered at Eu to
swell the royal forces.[77] Again, as in 1089, Robert in his extreme
need appealed to his overlord, the king of France. And again King Philip
responded to his call; and together they marched against the invaders at
Eu.[78] But apparently there was no serious fighting. Whether William
Rufus again contrived to weaken the king’s determination, as he had
done on a similar occasion at La Ferté, with a fresh supply of English
gold, we have no knowledge. In any case, a peace[79] was soon negotiated
between the brothers, apparently at Rouen[80] during the month of

The sources are not in complete accord as to the terms of this
pacification; but they seem to be mutually supplementary rather than
contradictory. Apparently William Rufus smoothed the way for the
negotiations with _ingentia dona_[82]—it always seems to have been
beyond the power of Robert Curthose to resist the temptation of such
ephemeral advantages—but it was the duke who made the fatal concessions.
He gave up the abbey of Fécamp,[83] the counties of Eu and Aumale,[84]
and the lands of Gerard of Gournay and Ralph of Conches, together with
their strongholds (_municipia_) and the strongholds of their vassals
(_subjecti_)[85]—in a word, all the lands which the king had won from
the duke and had occupied with his adherents on both banks of the Seine
in eastern Normandy.[86] Further, in the west the king was to have
the important seaport of Cherbourg and the great abbey stronghold of
Mont-Saint-Michel,[87] concessions which looked ominous for Henry, count
of the Cotentin. On his side, William Rufus pledged himself to help
Robert recover the county of Maine,[88] then in revolt against Norman
rule, and all Norman lands which the Conqueror had ever held and whose
lords were then resisting the duke’s authority, except, of course, the
lands just noted which by the terms of the present treaty were ceded
to the king.[89] For the benefit of the barons on both sides who had
treasonably supported the king or the duke in their recent quarrels, a
general amnesty was added. The Norman barons whose defection had brought
about the duke’s downfall and whose allegiance was now being transferred
to the king, were to occupy their Norman fiefs in peace and to be held
guiltless. And all the nobles who had been deprived of their English
lands for supporting the duke were now to receive them back.[90] Further,
an attempt was made to forestall a possible succession controversy by
providing that if either of the brothers should die without a son born
in lawful wedlock, the survivor should become sole heir of all his
dominions.[91] And finally, in order to give the treaty the most solemn
and binding character, it was formally confirmed by the oaths of twelve
great barons on behalf of the king and of an equal number on behalf of
the duke.[92]

It may, perhaps, be doubted whether William Rufus seriously intended to
exert himself to carry out the provisions of this treaty, except in so
far as his own interests dictated; although William of Malmesbury affirms
that the king and the duke in pursuance of their agreement immediately
took in hand the preparation of an expedition against Maine, and were
only turned back from it by the disconcerting action of their younger
brother, Prince Henry.[93] The details of Henry’s movements after the
death of the Conqueror are obscure and uncertain, though the main lines
of his policy and conduct seem clear enough. His relations had not been
uniformly harmonious with either of his brothers. As has already been
pointed out, his early friendship with the duke and his acquisition
of the Cotentin had been followed by a period of imprisonment.[94]
Apparently, too, Duke Robert, after he had squandered the money which
he had obtained from Henry in exchange for the Cotentin, had endeavored
to dispossess the young prince of the lands he had granted him, and had
only been prevented from so doing by a show of force.[95] It was only
a temporary reconciliation which had gained for the duke the important
services of Henry during the insurrection at Rouen in November 1090.
Fresh misunderstandings soon followed, and Henry was again obliged
to retire to his lands in the Cotentin,[96] where he gained the warm
friendship of his father’s old vassals, Hugh of Avranches and Richard
de Redvers, and devoted himself with energy to the strengthening of his
castles at Avranches, Cherbourg, Coutances, and Gavray.[97] With William
Rufus, too, he had a quarrel of long standing. The early hopes raised
by his visit to the king after the fall of Rochester in 1088[98] had
not been fulfilled. The English lands of Matilda to which he laid claim
had been granted to Robert Fitz Hamon, and he had been able to obtain
no redress.[99] It was even said that he had assisted the duke at Rouen
out of a desire for vengeance upon the king.[100] Finally, the treaty of
peace which William and Robert had recently concluded was manifestly
aimed directly against him. They had planned between themselves for
an exclusive partition of all the Conqueror’s dominions, and for a
recovery of ducal authority at all points where it was being defied.
That obviously meant, among other places, in the Cotentin; and the
clauses ceding Mont-Saint-Michel and Cherbourg to William Rufus were not
likely to remain a dead letter. Henry realized the menace and protested
vigorously against the injustice of a plan to deprive him of all share in
the dominions of his glorious father.[101] He collected troops wherever
he could find them in Brittany or Normandy, reënforced the defences of
Coutances and Avranches with feverish energy, and prepared for war.[102]

Whatever the original destination of the expedition which the duke and
the king had prepared, they suddenly turned it against their obstreperous
brother who was presuming to resist them, and soon drove him to the
last extremity.[103] Henry’s resistance was a forlorn hope from the
beginning. Hugh of Avranches and other nobles who had previously been his
enthusiastic supporters against the duke, but who had important holdings
across the Channel, now prudently reflected that it would be unwise
to incur the wrath of William Rufus, and in view of the meagreness of
Henry’s resources they discreetly surrendered their strongholds.[104]
Thus deserted and overwhelmed on every side, Henry was driven from the
mainland; but by favor of some of the monks[105] he gained entrance
to the monastery of Mont-Saint-Michel, and there in the famous abbey
fortress he determined to make a last stand.

For two weeks, about the middle of Lent,[106] William Rufus and Robert
Curthose besieged him.[107] Stretching their forces about the bay of
Mont-Saint-Michel from Genêts on the north past Ardevon to the Couesnon
on the south, they completely invested the Mount upon the landward
side, and, as Henry was without naval resources, this constituted an
effective blockade. The duke had his headquarters at Genêts, while the
king established himself at Avranches.[108] The scene was enlivened
from day to day by the knightly joustings of the opposing forces upon
the sandy beach.[109] William Rufus himself was once engaged in these
feats of arms to his grave humiliation, being unhorsed by a simple
knight.[110] Meanwhile, the besieged garrison was rapidly being reduced
to desperate straits. Though the food supply was adequate, there was
great lack of water. Manifestly a close maintenance of the blockade
would quickly have forced a surrender. But Robert Curthose had too
chivalrous a heart to let his brother suffer from thirst. He directed
the guards to keep their watch a little carelessly in order that
Henry’s servants might occasionally pass through the lines and fetch
water.[111] Wace affirms that he even sent Henry a tun of wine.[112]
Such chivalrous and impractical generosity was beyond the comprehension
of William Rufus, who upbraided the duke and came near disrupting their
alliance and withdrawing from the siege.[113] But Henry soon saw the
hopelessness of his plight, and, “reflecting upon the changing fortunes
of mortals, determined to save himself for better times.” He offered
to capitulate upon honorable terms, and William and Robert readily
agreed to his proposals, and allowed him to march out with his garrison
under arms.[114] Henry’s subsequent fortunes are obscure. Ordericus
Vitalis recounts some heroic details of his wanderings and vicissitudes
in exile.[115] But it is clear that some definite reconciliation was
arranged with his brothers before the end of summer, for early in August
we find him crossing with them to England to join in an expedition
against the king of Scotland.[116]

Meanwhile, having disposed of the factious opposition of the would-be
count of the Cotentin, the allied brothers turned their attention to
other problems within the duchy. Ordericus Vitalis affirms that for
almost two years after the siege of Mont-Saint-Michel Normandy was free
from wars,[117] though it must be confessed that his own more detailed
record on other pages does not bear him out in this general assertion.
The mere fact, however, that William Rufus had changed from an insidious
enemy into an active ally, present in the duchy, was in itself a
guarantee of more vigorous government. But more convincing evidence that
William and Robert had determined upon a programme of greater rigor in
the enforcement of ducal rights, and upon a systematic recovery of the
ducal prerogatives which had been usurped by the baronage during the
recent disorders, has been preserved in a unique document which records
the Norman _Consuetudines et Iusticie_ as they existed under William the
Conqueror. On 18 July 1091, the allied brothers assembled the bishops and
lay barons at Caen and held a formal inquest into the ducal rights and
customs which had prevailed in their father’s lifetime. The prohibition
upon the building of adulterine castles, the ducal right to garrison
private strongholds and take hostages of their holders, the limitations
upon private warfare, all these things and much besides, which had been
firm custom in the Conqueror’s time, were now revived and carefully
reduced to writing.[118] If these measures were not in exact pursuance of
the provisions of the treaty of the previous spring, they certainly were
in accord with its spirit. Manifestly a new régime was in contemplation.

Quite unexpectedly, however, these plans for a restoration of public
order in Normandy were interrupted by the arrival of news from across
the Channel which demanded the immediate presence of the king and his
ally in England.[119] Serious disturbances had broken out on the Welsh
border, and King Malcolm of Scotland had made a destructive raid into
the north of England. The inquest at Caen had been held on 18 July.
Early in August, or perhaps even before the end of July,[120] William
and Robert, accompanied by Prince Henry,[121] departed for England. So
unexpectedly had these changes of plan been made as to provoke general

Of the king’s campaign against the Welsh we know nothing save that he
met with small success,[123] and there is no evidence that Duke Robert
played any part in it. It was the Scotch expedition, coming after it,
which claimed the interest of contemporary writers. Large preparations
were made for a northern war both by land and by sea.[124] But the fleet
which was sent northward in September was wrecked a few days before
Michaelmas;[125] and the land forces led by the king and the duke were
evidently still later in advancing. If we can trust our dating, they did
not reach Durham till 14 November.[126] On that day the king formally
reinstated William of Saint-Calais in the bishopric of Durham.[127]
Then pushing on northward into Lothian,[128] he found that Malcolm had
come to meet him with a formidable army. The situation was strikingly
like that of eleven years earlier when Robert Curthose at the head of
the Conqueror’s forces had crossed the Tweed to avenge King Malcolm’s
raid of 1079.[129] The hostile armies stood facing each other, but again
there was no battle. And again, as formerly, it was Robert Curthose who
procured a peaceful renewal of the Scotch king’s homage. Supported by
Edgar Atheling, scion of the old English royal line, who was then with
Malcolm’s forces, he undertook negotiations.[130] Malcolm, we are told,
was not unmindful of his old friendship for the duke, and even admitted
that, at the Conqueror’s bidding, he had done homage to Robert as his
eldest son and heir.[131] This obligation he would fully recognize;
but to William Rufus, he declared, he owed nothing. This was shrewd
diplomacy, but Robert, unmoved by it, tactfully explained that the
times had changed; and after some further parley, Malcolm consented to
an interview with the English king and to the conclusion of a peace[132]
upon the basis of the old agreement which had bound him to the Conqueror.
To William Rufus he renewed his homage and received from him a regrant of
all his English lands. Florence of Worcester adds that the English king
undertook to pay him an annual pension of twelve marks of gold.[133] It
was never the way of William Rufus to hazard in battle what he could more
surely gain through a politic expenditure of English treasure.

From the meeting with Malcolm in Lothian the allied brothers moved back
southward into Wessex.[134] Robert remained in England almost until
Christmas. He had rendered important services in the negotiations with
Malcolm, and he might justly look to William Rufus for continued friendly
coöperation under the terms of the treaty which they had concluded in
Normandy the previous spring. But he now discovered that the king’s
friendship was “more feigned than real.”[135] William Rufus was no longer
minded to abide by the terms of their alliance—probably, that is, he was
not willing again to cross the Channel with Robert and assist him in
the work of reëstablishing his authority in the lands of Normandy and
Maine which had fallen away from their obedience. Accordingly, the duke
withdrew in dudgeon, and, taking ship from the Isle of Wight, returned to
Normandy, 23 December 1091.[136]

During the four years of Robert’s reign which we have so far passed in
review, his attention had been in the main absorbed by his relations
with William Rufus, first in an effort to overthrow him and obtain the
English crown, then in a struggle to preserve his own duchy from English
conquest, and finally in an effort to coöperate with his brother in a
friendly alliance which, after drawing him away on distant enterprises,
had proved a hollow mockery. During this same period other problems had
pressed upon the duke, in the solution of which he had met with little
better success. Indeed, the county of Maine had already slipped entirely
from his grasp.

The historian of the bishops of Le Mans records that the death of William
the Conqueror produced a ferment throughout the whole of Maine;[137] and
there is some reason for believing that very early in his reign Robert
Curthose had led a Norman army against the Manceaux and had suppressed
an incipient rebellion.[138] In the absence of convincing evidence,
however, it seems more probable that Maine was not disturbed during the
first year of Robert’s rule by more than local disorders, and that his
first expedition into the county did not take place until the late summer
of 1088. Upon the fall of Rochester and the failure of his attempted
invasion of England, the duke—acting, it is said, upon the advice of Odo
of Bayeux,[139] who had now returned to Normandy to pursue his restless
ambition[140]—assembled an army and determined to march into Maine and
assert his authority. Probably the expedition was intended primarily as
a formal progress for receiving the homage of the lords of Maine, for
the county was disturbed by no general revolt at that time. Robert’s
garrison still held the castle of Le Mans securely, and Bishop Hoël and
the clergy and people of the city were loyal.[141] Placing Bishop Odo,
William of Évreux, Ralph of Conches, and William of Breteuil at the head
of his forces, the duke moved southward, apparently in August 1088, and,
encountering no opposition, entered Le Mans, where he was received by
the clergy and people with demonstrations of loyalty.[142] The great
barons, Geoffrey of Mayenne, Robert the Burgundian, and Helias, son of
John of La Flèche, whatever their secret feelings, came forward promptly
with offers of loyal service.[143] Only Pain de Mondoubleau, collecting
his retainers in the castle of Ballon, dared to offer resistance; and
early in September[144] he was reduced to submission. Everywhere Robert’s
authority appeared to be firmly established;[145] and as he returned to
Normandy to wage war against the rebellious house of Talvas, he was able
to recruit his army from the Manceaux as well as from the Normans.[146]

Yet the following year there appear to have been fresh disturbances in
Maine. By this time Robert had his hands full with the hostile activity
of William Rufus and with the growing defection of the Norman barons in
the lands east of the Seine; and as he appealed to his overlord, King
Philip, for aid in Normandy,[147] so he turned to his other overlord,
Fulk le Réchin, for assistance against the Manceaux.[148] If we could
accept the hardly credible account of Ordericus Vitalis,[149] Fulk came
to visit Robert in Normandy, where he found him convalescing after
a serious illness, and revealed to him his passion for Bertrada de
Montfort, niece and ward of Robert’s vassal, William of Évreux. If the
duke would only gain for him the hand of the beautiful Bertrada, he,
Fulk, would keep the Manceaux in obedience. Accordingly, so runs the
account, Robert undertook the delicate negotiations for this famous
amour. But William of Évreux was far from pliable, and not until the duke
had made him enormous concessions[150] did he agree to the marriage of
his ward to the notorious count of Anjou. But with such sacrifices the
hand of Bertrada was won, and, true to his undertaking, Fulk prevented a
revolt of the Manceaux for a year, “rather by prayers and promises than
by force.”

In the year 1090, Robert by this time having become still more deeply
involved in his struggle with William Rufus, new and far more serious
troubles broke out in Maine.[151] Helias of La Flèche, grandson of
Herbert Éveille-Chien through his daughter Paula, set up a claim to the
county, and in furtherance of his ambition seized the castle of Ballon,
which Duke Robert had besieged and taken two years before. Within the
city of Le Mans, however, the cause of Helias made little progress,
thanks mainly to Bishop Hoël, who remained staunchly loyal to Robert
Curthose and used his great influence to keep the citizens true to their
allegiance.[152] But when Helias perceived that the bishop was the chief
obstacle to his plan of throwing off the Norman yoke, he did not scruple
to seize him and hold him in captivity at La Flèche amid circumstances of
great indignity. He could hardly have made a greater mistake. So great
was Hoël’s popularity that the persecution provoked a remarkable popular
demonstration in his favor. Within the city and the suburbs of Le Mans
holy images and crosses were laid flat upon the ground, church doors were
blockaded with brambles in sign of mourning, bells ceased to ring, and
all the customary religious services and solemnities were suspended.
Before such a demonstration Helias yielded and set the bishop free.[153]

Meanwhile, Geoffrey of Mayenne and other revolutionaries had brought
from Italy a third claimant to the county of Maine in the person of Hugh
of Este, another grandson of Herbert Éveille-Chien.[154] And with his
arrival, the rebellion made more rapid progress. Helias of La Flèche,
forgetful for the moment of his own claims, joined with Geoffrey of
Mayenne and other prominent Manceaux in welcoming the new count. Oaths of
fealty to Robert Curthose weighed for nothing.[155]

But Bishop Hoël stood firmly against the revolution. His loyalty could
not be shaken. Withdrawing from Le Mans, he hastened to Normandy and
laid the whole state of affairs before the duke. But Robert was “sunk
in sloth and given over to the pursuit of pleasure,” and showed himself
little worthy of the bishop’s loyalty and devotion. The rebellion in
Maine disturbed him little; and he showed no disposition to act with
vigor for its suppression. It was enough, he thought, if he could
preserve his right of patronage over the bishopric. He directed the
bishop at all costs to avoid making any concessions to the rebels in the
matter of patronage, and with no better satisfaction sent him away.[156]
Returning to Le Mans, Hoël found Hugh in possession of the city and
occupying the episcopal palace. Hugh opened negotiations and tried to
persuade the bishop to receive the temporalities of his office as a grant
from himself; but Hoël remained true to Duke Robert, and would make no
concessions. An agreement proved impossible. Meanwhile Hugh had succeeded
in stirring up a formidable faction against the bishop among the clergy.
Soon the disorders became so aggravated that Hoël was obliged to retire
from his diocese and seek asylum in England, where he received a cordial
welcome from William Rufus and remained for some four months.[157] But
in the spring of the following year (1091) he returned to his diocese,
and, after further controversy, was finally reconciled with Hugh and his
enemies among the clergy, and welcomed back to Le Mans amid much ceremony
and rejoicing (29-30 June).[158] Apparently he had at last come to regard
Duke Robert and his rights with complete indifference.

But by this time the popularity of Count Hugh had vanished among the
Manceaux, who had found him to be “without wealth, sense, or valor.”[159]
And when the soft Italian learned that Robert Curthose and William
Rufus had composed their difficulties and, as allies, were planning the
reëstablishment of Norman rule in Maine,[160] he had no stomach for
remaining longer to cope with the difficulties that were gathering around
him. A few days after he had made peace with Bishop Hoël, he sold all his
rights in Maine to Helias of La Flèche for 10,000 _sous manceaux_, and
departed for Italy.[161] Count Helias now quickly gained the recognition
and support of Hoël and of Fulk le Réchin,[162] and became henceforth the
sole opponent of Norman rights in Maine. Hard fighting was yet in store
for him against William Rufus, and only in the time of Henry I was he to
obtain universal recognition; but for the time being his trials were at
an end. The plans which William and Robert were maturing for a combined
invasion of the county were, as has been seen,[163] suspended by their
sudden departure for England in August 1091. And when Robert returned
to the Continent, he made, so far as is known, no effort to recover
his authority in Maine. Through weakness and inertia he had allowed a
splendid territory, which the Conqueror had been at much pains to win, to
slip from his hands without striking a blow. Indeed, without any formal
abrogation of his rights he seems to have dropped all pretension to
ruling in Maine. In four extant charters he bears the title of count or
prince of the Manceaux.[164] But they all belong to the early period of
his reign (1087-91), and, so far as their evidence goes, it is not clear
that he used the title after 1089.

It was not only in his dealings with William Rufus and in his government
of Maine that Robert’s reign was one long record of weakness and
failure. He showed himself equally incompetent to curb and control the
feudal baronage within the duchy. We have already remarked the general
expulsion of royal garrisons from baronial castles upon the death of the
Conqueror.[165] It is not recorded that Robert made any protest against
this, and his own reckless grants of castles to the barons aggravated
a situation which had been dangerous from the first. He gave Ivry to
William of Breteuil; and for recompense to Roger of Beaumont, who had
previously had castle guard at Ivry, he gave Brionne, “a most powerful
fortress in the very heart of his duchy.”[166] To William of Breteuil,
he also gave Pont-Saint-Pierre, and to William of Évreux, Bavent, Noyon,
Gacé, and Gravençon, apparently for no better reason than to gratify
Fulk le Réchin in the matter of Bertrada de Montfort and gain his
friendly support in Maine.[167] When Robert had reduced Saint-Céneri by a
successful siege, he immediately gave it away to Robert Géré,[168] upon
whom he later had to make war to compel the destruction of an adulterine
castle.[169] He established Gilbert of Laigle at Exmes,[170] and to
Helias of Saint-Saëns he granted several strongholds on the east bank of
the Seine.[171] The almost independent establishment of Prince Henry in
the Cotentin and the Avranchin has been noted elsewhere. Some of these
favored barons, it is true, remained faithful to their trusts; but such
reckless prodigality meant exhaustion of resources, and too often it
meant license for private war, plunder of the unarmed populace, and an
open defiance of ducal authority.

Against rebellious barons, the duke could on occasion act with great
vigor. In 1088 he threw Robert of Bellême into prison,[172] and accepted
the challenge of Roger of Montgomery to a decisive contest. He laid siege
to the impregnable stronghold of Saint-Céneri, and when he had reduced
it by starvation, he blinded Robert Quarrel, the castellan, and had
other members of the garrison condemned to mutilation by judgment of his
_curia_.[173] He also imprisoned Robert of Meulan for factious opposition
to the grant of Ivry to William of Breteuil; and, in the sequel of this
controversy, between three in the afternoon and sunset, he took Brionne
by assault, a great fortress which it had taken the Conqueror three years
to reduce with the aid of the king of France.[174]

But with all this fitful energy, the duke’s love of ease and his desire
‘to sleep under a roof’ called him home too often in mid-campaign.[175]
He lacked the resolution to carry a difficult and laborious enterprise
through to the end. Seeking mere temporary advantages, he was prone to
adopt the easy but fatal expedient of allying himself with the turbulent
barons whose lawlessness it should have been his first concern to curb.
Upon the fall of Saint-Céneri he seemed to be in mid-course of victory
over the notorious house of Talvas. The shocking punishment visited upon
the surrendered garrison had caused fear and consternation to spread
among the supporters of Roger of Montgomery. The garrisons of Bellême and
Alençon are said to have been ready to surrender at the mere approach of
the ducal forces. Yet to the general amazement the war went no further.
The duke suddenly made peace with Roger and released Robert of Bellême
from captivity.[176]

And the peace then made with the rebel was a lasting one. Not again,
until after his return from the Crusade, did the duke fight against
Robert of Bellême. Evidently he had decided that in his future
difficulties it would be better to have the house of Talvas for him
rather than against him. Not a check was placed hereafter by the duke
upon this most notorious tyrant of the age. Robert of Bellême was “a
subtle genius, crafty and deceitful.” His ability challenged admiration.
But his cruelty, avarice, and lawlessness knew no bounds. Plundering
and oppressing all over whom he had power, he came to be regarded by
contemporaries as the veritable incarnation of Satan.[177] He built a
castle in a dominating position at Fourches, and forcibly transferred
the inhabitants of Vignats thither. He also erected Château-Gontier in a
strong position on the Orne, and thus placed his yoke upon the district
of Le Houlme.[178] Against Geoffrey of Mortagne he waged a war for the
possession of Domfront.[179] He did not hesitate to besiege Gilbert of
Laigle, the duke’s loyal vassal, at Exmes.[180] His intolerable violence
drew down upon him a concerted attack by his neighbors in the Hiémois.
But he was able to bring the duke to his aid and to besiege his enemies
at Courcy, in January 1091.[181] Later he waged a successful war against
Robert Géré of Saint-Céneri and a formidable combination of the lords of
Maine. Again on this occasion he gained the assistance of the duke, and
so compelled the destruction of a castle which Géré was attempting to
fortify at Montaigu.[182] He was said to be the possessor of thirty-four
strong castles,[183] and he was, perhaps, more powerful than the duke
himself. Indeed, in his dealings with the duke the relation of lord
and vassal seems at times almost to have been inverted, as when Robert
Curthose acted as his ally in private warfare.

One might perhaps suppose that considerations of policy led the duke
to adopt a conciliatory attitude towards Robert of Bellême, his most
powerful subject. But in his dealings with other barons Robert showed
himself equally weak and vacillating. He made no effort to check the long
and desperate war by which William of Breteuil was seeking to bring his
rebellious vassal, Ascelin Goël, back to his allegiance.[184] Indeed, he
sought rather to gain some temporary financial advantage from it. When
Ascelin, in defiance of feudal right and honor, seized Ivry, the castle
of his lord, Robert did not scruple to take it from him and to compel
William of Breteuil to redeem it by a payment of 1500 livres.[185] And
a little later he took the other side in the struggle, and, in exchange
for ‘large sums’ joined with Robert of Bellême, King Philip of France,
and other hirelings whom William of Breteuil was gathering from every
quarter, in the overthrow of Ascelin at the siege of Bréval.[186] When
a bitter feud broke out between William of Évreux and Ralph of Conches,
Robert sought to avoid becoming involved in the struggle. But his failure
to respond to the appeal of the lord of Conches merely drove the latter
into the arms of William Rufus.[187]

The expulsion of Prince Henry from the Cotentin and the Avranchin after
the siege of Mont-Saint-Michel had been no lasting victory for the
duke. In 1092 Henry suddenly reappeared in western Normandy in secure
possession of the town and castle of Domfront. The inhabitants had
revolted against the intolerable oppression of Robert of Bellême, and,
recalling Henry from exile, had accepted him as their lord.[188] Secure
in the possession of this impregnable stronghold, Henry set himself
to recover the lands from which he had been expelled and to establish
himself in an independent position in the southwest. He defied Robert of
Bellême,[189] and made war upon the duke with much burning, pillage, and
violence.[190] With the aid of Earl Hugh of Chester, to whom he gave the
castle of Saint-James, and of Richard de Redvers, Roger de Mandeville,
and others, he gradually won back the greater part of the Cotentin.[191]

The pages of Ordericus Vitalis are filled with lamentations over the evil
times that had fallen upon the duchy. Through the indolence of a soft and
careless duke all that the Conqueror had created by his vigor and ability
was allowed to fall into decay and confusion. The whole province was in a
state of dissolution. Bands of freebooters overran villages and country,
and plundered the unarmed peasantry. The church’s possessions were wrung
from her by force. Monasteries were filled with desolation, and the
monks and nuns were reduced to penury. Adulterine castles arose on every
hand to become the dens of robbers who ravaged the countryside with fire
and sword. A depopulated country remained for years afterwards a silent
witness to the evil day.[192]

That the indignant outbursts of Ordericus Vitalis are not mere rhetoric,
is amply proved by a more prosaic narrative of the nuns of La Trinité of
Caen.[193] In the cartulary of their abbey they have tersely recorded
the long list of their injuries and losses in men and revenues and lands
and cattle. “After the death of King William,” they say, “William, count
of Évreux, took from Holy Trinity and from the abbess and the nuns seven
arpents of vineyard and two horses and twenty sous of the coinage of
Rouen and the salt pans at Écrammeville and twenty livres annually from
Gacé and from Bavent. Richard, son of Herluin, took the two manors of
Tassilly and Montbouin. William the chamberlain, son of Roger de Candos,
took the tithe of Hainovilla. William Baivel took twenty oxen which he
had seized at Auberville. Robert de Bonebos plundered the same manor
…;” and so the complaint continues through a long list of some thirty
offenders, among them such well known names as Richard de Courcy, William
Bertran, and Robert Mowbray. Even Prince Henry takes his place in this
remarkable catalogue of sinners. It is a little startling to learn that
in his government of the Cotentin he was not altogether worthy of the
polite compliments which have been paid him by the chroniclers. The nuns
complain that he “took toll (_pedagium_) from Quettehou and from all
the Cotentin, and forced the men of Holy Trinity in the said vill and
county to work upon the castles of his men.” It is significant that in
this extraordinary entry in the Caen cartulary the record of violations
of right stands alone. We hear nothing of suits for the recovery of
the alienated lands and goods. The distressed nuns appear to have been
patiently preserving the record of their grievances against the day when
there should be a government and courts to which they could appeal with
some prospect of obtaining redress.

Indeed, orderly government and the regular operation of courts of law
seem to have been suspended almost entirely during Robert’s reign.
With the exception of a fragment of a charter of donation in favor of
Saint-Vincent of Le Mans,[194] no single record of an administrative or
judicial act by the duke for Maine has been preserved. And for Normandy
we have nothing but a few scattered references to the _curia ducis_[195]
and one imperfect record of a suit before that court in 1093.[196] The
study of Robert’s charters, which have now at last been collected and set
in order,[197] reveals a state of disorder and of irregularity hardly
conceivable so soon after the reign of the Conqueror. The duke had a
chancellor and evidently some semblance of a centralized administration.
Yet the chancery seems hardly ever to have performed the most common
functions of such an office, viz., the issuing of ducal charters. Most
of Robert’s acts were drawn up locally and according to the prevailing
forms of the religious houses in whose favor they were issued. Evidence
of any systematic taxation is wholly lacking; and the extent to which
Robert was neglectful of ducal customs and rights of justice stands
patently revealed by the inquest of Caen, held when, for a moment,
with the assistance of William Rufus, a more vigorous régime was in
contemplation.[198] Rare occasions when the duke asserted himself to
compel the destruction of an adulterine castle[199] or the submission
of a refractory noble stand out as wholly exceptional in a reign of
weakness, indifference, and indecision.[200]

It was, of course, the clergy who suffered most from this reign of
lawlessness and who were at the same time able to make their woes
articulate. The lamentful narrative of Ordericus Vitalis and the bare
record of the nuns of Caen have already been sufficiently dwelt upon.
Yet it should in justice be noted that Robert Curthose was not a wilful
oppressor of the church. He was no impious tyrant such as William Rufus
or Ranulf Flambard. His offences against the clergy were rather the sins
of weakness than of malice. His sale of lay rights over the sees of
Coutances and Avranches to Prince Henry[201] when he was preparing for
the invasion of England was doubtless dictated by the sudden needs of
the moment. So, too, in 1089 he granted the manor of Gisors, a property
of the church of St. Mary of Rouen, to his overlord, King Philip, “non
habens de proprio quod posset dare.”[202] On the other hand, the duke
often acted in a perfectly just and cordial coöperation with the clergy.
There is every indication of harmony in the relations between Robert
and the bishops and abbots at the synod held at Rouen in June 1091,
for the election of Serlo as bishop of Séez.[203] So, too, soon after,
he gave his willing assent to the election of Roger du Sap as abbot of
Saint-Évroul, and “committed to him by the pastoral staff the care of
the monastery in worldly affairs.”[204] So, also, upon the election of
Anselm, abbot of Bec, as archbishop of Canterbury, he gladly consented to
his resignation of the abbey,[205] and afterwards entirely accommodated
himself to Anselm’s wishes with regard to his successor at Bec. There
is a note of real affection in the words with which Anselm in a letter
to the prior and monks of Bec refers to Robert on this occasion: “By
the grace of God, our lord the prince of the Normans has sent me a most
kindly letter asking pardon if his love of me and his sorrow at my loss
have caused him to think or say of me anything unseemly because of my
election to the archiepiscopate. In the same letter he has graciously
sought my counsel concerning the appointment of an abbot for you, and has
promised to accept it gladly not only in this matter but in other things
as well.”[206]

Of the duke’s relations with the papacy in this period we know almost
nothing, except that his attitude, on the whole, was one of obedience
and accommodation. The violence which Robert had done to the property
of St. Mary of Rouen in granting the manor of Gisors to King Philip
caused Archbishop William to lay the whole province under an interdict.
This, in turn, brought on a controversy between the archbishop and the
abbey of Fécamp, and in the sequel the Pope suspended the metropolitan
from the use of his pallium for having exceeded his authority. At this
point the duke intervened, and at the expense of acknowledging himself
subject to the jurisdiction of the apostolic see, “saving only the
privileges of his ancestors,” he obtained for the archbishop at least
a temporary restoration of his pallium, while further investigations
were pending.[207] The church and clergy often suffered from Robert’s
weakness, or his sudden temptation to gain some temporary advantage, but
rarely, if ever, from his ill will.

Inexcusable weakness and the steady disintegration of ducal authority,
either through his own rash grants, or through the usurpations of his
turbulent subjects, or through the insidious aggressions of William
Rufus, these are the outstanding features of Duke Robert’s unfortunate

Two days before Christmas, 1091, Robert had departed from England and
returned to Normandy, feeling much vexed because the Red King would not
abide by the terms of their alliance.[208] Yet an open breach between the
brothers was long delayed. William Rufus had his hands full with domestic
affairs in 1092 and 1093, and he had little opportunity either for
advancing his own interests in Normandy or for aiding the duke against
his enemies as he had agreed to do. Robert, on his part, so far as can be
seen, did not fail in his obligations under the provisions of the treaty.
In the reservation which he attached to a grant to the abbey of Bec in
February 1092 he was careful to guard the rights of William Rufus as well
as of himself.[209] The readiness with which he accommodated himself to
the king’s wishes in releasing Anselm, abbot of Bec, to become archbishop
of Canterbury in 1093 is indicative of a similar spirit of coöperation.
But it appears that he sought in vain the king’s promised assistance
in Normandy until his patience was exhausted; and when, finally, the
rupture came between them, it was the duke who took the initiative in
terminating an agreement from which he could no longer hope to derive
any good. Towards the close of 1093, he addressed to William Rufus a
formal defiance. “This year at Christmas,” says the Chronicler, “King
William held his court at Gloucester; and there came messengers to him
out of Normandy, from his brother Robert, and they said that his brother
renounced all peace and compact if the king would not perform all that
they had stipulated in the treaty; moreover they called him perjured and
faithless unless he would perform the conditions, or would go to the
place where the treaty had been concluded and sworn to, and there clear

In the spring of 1094, William Rufus took up this challenge and prepared
for an invasion of Normandy. It is characteristic of the Red King that
we hear more of the vast quantities of money which he gathered in from
all sides than of the men whom he brought together for the expedition.
The barons were called upon to contribute heavily to the expenses of the
campaign, and strong pressure was put upon them in order to insure that
their offerings should not be too sparing. Archbishop Anselm thought
to make a contribution of five hundred pounds of silver, but the king
rejected his offer as being too small.[211] On 2 February the forces were
assembled at Hastings for the crossing.[212] But the winds were contrary
and the expedition was delayed for more than a month,[213] and it did not
succeed in sailing till Midlent.[214]

After the landing in Normandy, active hostilities were still further
delayed by negotiations. William and Robert met in a conference, but a
reconciliation proved impossible between them. Then a more formal meeting
was held at an unidentified place called _Campus Martius_, and the
dispute was laid before the great nobles who had confirmed the earlier
treaty with their oaths. Unanimously they gave their decision in favor of
the duke and laid the whole responsibility for the present discord upon
the king. But William Rufus, ‘a fierce king,’ would have none of their
condemnation. He would not accept responsibility for the breach, neither
would he abide by the terms of the treaty. The conference was accordingly
broken off, and the brothers separated in wrath, the king going to his
headquarters at Eu, the duke to Rouen.[215]

Then, or more likely even before this, William Rufus turned to that
brand of diplomacy in which he was so eminently skilful and which had
gained him such successes in his earlier Norman policy. With the treasure
which he had brought from England, he began to collect great numbers of
mercenaries; and also, by lavish expenditure of gold and silver, and by
grants and promises of Norman lands, he succeeded in corrupting more of
the Norman baronage and in winning them away from their allegiance to
the duke. And as rapidly as he gained possession of their strongholds
he filled them with garrisons upon whom he could rely.[216] But he was
not content with mere diplomacy and bribery. He also took the field, and
laying siege to Bures, a castle of Helias of Saint-Saëns, he reduced it,
and took many of the duke’s men captive.[217]

But meanwhile, Robert had not been idle, and the success of his
operations suggests that he had not ventured to defy William Rufus
without making greater preparations than have been recorded by the
contemporary writers. As he had done previously when confronted with an
English invasion, he brought in his overlord, King Philip, and a French
army.[218] Philip and Robert appear to have opened their campaign in
the south and west of Normandy with two remarkable victories. Philip
invested Argentan,[219] and, on the very first day of the siege, Roger le
Poitevin and an enormous garrison of seven hundred knights and fourteen
hundred esquires surrendered without any blood being shed, and were held
by the king to ransom. Soon after, the duke won a victory of almost
equal importance by the reduction of Le Homme and the capture of William
Peverel and a garrison of eight hundred knights.[220]

These reverses came as a staggering surprise to William Rufus.
Immediately he sent off to England and ordered the assembling of a great
army of English foot soldiers—some twenty thousand, it is said—for the
invasion of Normandy. But when they came to Hastings for the crossing,
Ranulf Flambard, at the king’s order, took from each of them the ten
shillings that he had brought for maintenance during the campaign; and
then sent them back home, while he forwarded the money to William Rufus
in Normandy.[221] The king had need of this fresh supply of English
treasure. For by this time Philip and Robert, after their double victory
in the south and west, were advancing on William’s headquarters at
Eu,[222] in the very heart of the district which he had controlled since
1089 or 1090. But at Longueville King Philip halted.[223] William Rufus
had found a way to repeat the measure which had turned the French king
back from La Ferté in 1089, if not from Eu in 1091. “There was the king
of France turned back by craft, and all the expedition was afterwards
dispersed.”[224] Again the resources of Duke Robert had proved unequal
to the greater stores of English treasure which the Red King was able to

Yet the strength of Robert’s resistance was by no means broken. William
Rufus sent to Domfront to call Prince Henry to his aid, and such was
Robert’s strength that it proved impossible for Henry to make his way
by land to Eu. The king sent ships to fetch him.[226] But instead of
proceeding to Eu, he crossed the Channel, and, landing at Southampton
at the end of October, he went to London for Christmas, evidently with
a view to meeting the king upon his return from the Continent.[227]
Meanwhile, William Rufus remained in Normandy almost to the end of the
year. But clearly he met with no great success in his projects. He had
spent vast sums of money, yet little or nothing had come of it—so ran
the contemporary judgment: “Infecto itaque negotio, in Angliam reversus
est.”[228] On 29 December he crossed from Wissant to Dover.[229]

The progress of the Norman war in 1095 is obscure in the extreme. The
king’s whole attention was absorbed by pressing affairs within the
limits of his own realm; and he seems to have committed his continental
interests almost wholly to Prince Henry. Henry remained in England until
Lent, and then crossed over to Normandy ‘with great treasure’; and during
the months which followed, he waged war against Duke Robert.[230] But
in what part of the duchy, or how, or with what success, we have no

The close of the year 1095 saw Robert Curthose in a difficult situation,
but the issue of the contest had not yet been decided. Meanwhile, the
famous sermon of Pope Urban II before the council of Clermont had
thrilled all Europe with a new impulse and turned the course of Robert’s
life into a new and unexpected channel.


[1] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges,
p. 268: “Cum igitur in Pontivo apud Abbatisvillam, cum sui similibus
iuvenibus … moraretur … audito nuntio excessus patris, confestim veniens
Rotomagum, ipsam civitatem et totum ducatum sine ulla contradictione
suscepit”; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 298; cf. Ordericus, ii, p.
374; iii, p. 256; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1086.

[2] “Omnesque thesauros suos ecclesiis et pauperibus Deique ministris
distribui praecepit. Quantum vero singulis dari voluit, callide taxavit,
et coram se describi a notariis imperavit.” Ordericus, iii, p. 228.

[3] _Ibid._, p. 245.

[4] “Rotbertus in Normanniam reversus, thesauros quos invenerat
monasteriis, ecclesiis, pauperibus, pro anima patris sui, largiter
divisit; et Ulfum, Haroldi quondam regis Anglorum filium,
Duneschaldumque, regis Scottorum Malcolmi filium, a custodia laxatos, et
armis militaribus honoratos, abire permisit.” Florence of Worcester, ii,
p. 21.

[5] “Donum de manerio de Vain quod idem pater meus in infirmitate qua
defunctus est eidem ecclesie fecit.” Haskins, p. 285, no. 1.

[6] _Ibid._, pp. 287-288, no. 4 _a_.

[7] “Mors Guillelmi regis ipso eodem die, quo Rotomagi defunctus est, in
urbe Roma et in Calabria quibusdam exheredatis nunciata est, ut ab ipsis
postmodum veraciter in Normannia relatum est.” Ordericus, iii, p. 249.

[8] _Ibid._, p. 261.

[9] _Ibid._, pp. 261-262.

[10] Ordericus, iii, p. 256; cf. pp. 262-263.

[11] _Ibid._, pp. 245-248.

[12] “Postquam de carcere liber egressus est, totum in Normannia
pristinum honorem adeptus est, et consiliarius ducis, videlicet nepotis
sui, factus est.” _Ibid._, p. 263; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p.

[13] _Ibid._; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 21; Henry of Huntingdon,
p. 211.

[14] Ordericus, iii, pp. 268-269. The speech is doubtless imaginary, but
the argument must surely be contemporary.

[15] _Ibid._, p. 269; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 360.

[16] Cf. E. A. Freeman, _The Reign of William Rufus_ (London, 1882), i,
pp. 9 ff.

[17] Ordericus (iii, pp. 268-270) speaks as though the conspiracy was
started late in 1087, but his account lacks convincing precision and
definiteness; and the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1087 for 1088) which
is followed by Florence of Worcester (ii, p. 22), makes the positive
statement that the plot was formed during Lent. Further, we know from
Henry of Huntingdon (p. 211) that the bishop of Bayeux was present at the
king’s Christmas court in 1087.

[18] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087.

[19] Ordericus Vitalis (iii, pp. 268-270) seems to indicate that it was
begun in Normandy at some sort of a secret gathering of the barons; but
the English writers convey the impression that it originated in England.
Cf. William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 360; Florence of Worcester,
ii, p. 21; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 214. It may, of course, have had a
double origin.

[20] Henry of Huntingdon, p. 211.

[21] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 360; cf. Florence of
Worcester, ii, p. 21; Ordericus, iii, p. 270; Freeman, _William Rufus_,
ii, pp. 466-467.

[22] William of Malmesbury _G. R._, ii, p. 360.

[23] The early writers are sharply divided in their account of William
of Saint-Calais in connection with the rebellion of 1088. The southern
English writers believed him guilty of treason. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087;
Florence of Worcester, ii, pp. 21-22; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 214;
William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 360. But a contemporary narrative
by a Durham writer, who was an eyewitness of the bishop’s trial,
represents him as the persecuted victim of malicious enemies who had
poisoned the king’s mind against him. _De Iniusta Vexatione Willelmi
Episcopi Primi_, in Simeon of Durham, _Opera Omnia_, ed. Thomas Arnold
(London, 1882-85), i, pp. 170-195. And it should be remembered that his
condemnation by the _curia regis_ was not for the treason with which he
was charged, but for his refusal to acknowledge the jurisdiction of the
court. On the treatise _De Iniusta Vexatione_ see Appendix B.

[24] The _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1087) and Florence of Worcester
(ii, p. 22) make the positive statement that the revolt broke out after
Easter (16 April); but we know from a more reliable source that William
Rufus took the first active measures against the bishop of Durham on 12
March, and it is clear that the rebellion was already under way at this
time. _De Iniusta Vexatione_, in Simeon, _Opera_, i, p. 171; cf. p. 189.

[25] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 21: “pars etenim nobiliorum
Normannorum favebat regi Willelmo, sed minima; pars vero altera favebat
Rotberto comiti Normannorum, et maxima”; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Henry
of Huntingdon, p. 214. In general on the rebellion of 1088 and all the
problems connected with it see Freeman, _William Rufus_, i, pp. 22 ff.;
ii, appendices b, c, d, e.

[26] Ordericus, iii, p. 272.

[27] Pevensey, of course, was fundamental because on the coast where
Robert’s fleet was expected to make land.

[28] “Per angelos Dei, si ego essem in Alexandria, expectarent me Angli,
nec ante adventum meum regem sibi facere auderent. Ipse etiam Willelmus
frater meus, quod eum presumpsisse dicitis, pro capite suo sine mea
permissione minime attentaret.” _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, p. 268.

[29] “Haec primo dicebat, sed, postquam rei gestae ordinem rescivit, non
minima discordia inter se et fratrem suum Willelmum emersit.” _Ibid._

[30] This is the plain inference from both the Norman and the English
writers. E.g., Ordericus, iii, pp. 269-270; Florence of Worcester, ii, p.

[31] Ordericus, iii, pp. 269-270.

[32] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 22; Henry
of Huntingdon p. 215; cf. William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp.
362, 468; Ordericus, iii, pp. 272-273; Simeon, _H. R._, p. 216; _Des
miracles advenus en l’église de Fécamp_, ed. R. N. Sauvage, in Société de
l’Histoire de Normandie, _Mélanges_, 2d series (Rouen, 1893), p. 29.

[33] Ordericus, iii, p. 244; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, pp. 268-269; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1086; cf. William
of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 468, 337, where it is said that the
Conqueror bequeathed to Henry “maternas possessiones.”

[34] Ordericus, iii, p. 244.

[35] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 468.

[36] _Ibid._

[37] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.
268. His presence is further proved by his attestation of charters,
e.g., 30 March 1088, charter by Ralph Fitz Anseré in favor of Jumièges
(Haskins, pp. 290-291, no. 6; also in _Chartes de l’abbaye de Jumièges_,
ed. J.-J. Vernier, Paris, 1916, i, no. 37); 7 July 1088, charter by
the duke in favor of the abbey of Fécamp (Haskins, pp. 287-289, no. 4
_a_); shortly after September 1087, charter by the duke in favor of
Saint-Étienne of Caen (_ibid._, p. 285, no. 1).

[38] Ordericus, iii, p. 267; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 211. Robert of
Torigny raises a question as to whether Robert conveyed the Cotentin to
Henry outright or whether he only pledged it to him as surety for a loan.
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 269.

[39] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 23; Simeon, _H.
R._, p. 215; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 361, 362; Ordericus,
iii, pp. 273, 277-278.

[40] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Florence of Worcester, ii, pp. 22, 23;
William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 362; Henry of Huntingdon, pp.
214-215; Simeon, _H. R._, pp. 215-216.

[41] “Tunc temporis ultra quam virum deceat in Normannia deliciabatur.”
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 270.

[42] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 22; Simeon, _H. R._, p. 216;
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, pp.

[43] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 23; Simeon, _H.
R._, p. 216; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 215.

[44] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Simeon, _H. R._, p. 216; Henry of Huntingdon,
p. 215; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 362-363.

[45] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Simeon, _H. R._, p. 216; Henry of Huntingdon,
p. 215; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 362.

[46] _Supra_, p. 47.

[47] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Simeon, _H. R._, p. 216; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 362; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 215; _De Iniusta
Vexatione_, in Simeon, _Opera_, i, p. 191. At the trial of William
of Saint-Calais the king says: “Bene scias, episcope, quod nunquam
transfretabis, donec castellum tuum habeam. Episcopus enim Baiocensis
inde me castigavit…”

[48] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 362.

[49] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Simeon, _H. R._, p. 216; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 362; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 215. Ordericus
Vitalis (iii, pp. 273-278) gives a highly embroidered account of the
siege of Rochester and of its surrender, making it the outstanding event
of the period—he knows nothing of the six weeks’ siege of Pevensey—but
Simeon of Durham says that Rochester surrendered “parvo peracto spatio.”

[50] He returned to Normandy and to his see at Bayeux. Ordericus, iii,
p. 278; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p.
362; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 215. According to Simeon of Durham (_H. R._,
p. 216) he was intrusted by Duke Robert with the administration of the
duchy, but this is an error. See Appendix B, _infra_, pp. 214-215.

[51] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1087; Simeon, _H. R._, p. 116.

[52] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 362: “Ceteri omnes in fidem
recepti”; Ordericus, iii, pp. 279-280; cf. pp. 276, 291. We are without
specific information as to the date of the surrender of Rochester.
According to Ordericus (iii, p. 279), it took place “in initio aestatis.”
A charter by Duke Robert in favor of La Trinité of Fécamp is dated 7 July
1088, “quando in Angliam transire debui.” Haskins, p. 288.

[53] At the trial of Bishop William of Durham before the _curia regis_
at Salisbury, 2 November 1088, the king refused to allow the bishop to
depart from the kingdom unless he gave pledges “quod naves meas, quas
sibi inveniam, non detinebit frater meus, vel aliquis suorum, ad dampnum
meum.” _De Iniusta Vexatione_, in Simeon, _Opera_, i, p. 190. Some color
seems to be given to the king’s fears by a statement in _Des miracles
advenus en l’église de Fécamp_: “Adhibuit etiam mari custodes, quos illi
_piratas_ vocant, qui naves ab Anglia venientes caperent, captos si
redderent, capturam suis usibus manciparent.” Société de l’Histoire de
Normandie, _Mélanges_, 2d series, p. 29.

[54] Ordericus, iii, p. 291. William of Malmesbury (_G. R._, ii, 468) is
not in agreement, but the statement of Ordericus seems fully confirmed
by the fact that Henry attested a charter by William Rufus in favor of
the church of St. Andrew at Rochester: “This grant was made to repair the
damage which the king did to the church of St. Andrew, when he obtained
a victory over his enemies who had unjustly gathered against him in the
city of Rochester.” Davis, _Regesta_, no. 301.

[55] “In autumno,” according to Ordericus, iii, p. 291.

[56] Ordericus, iii, pp. 291-292; cf. William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii,
p. 468; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges,
p. 269. According to Ordericus, Henry’s place of confinement was Bayeux,
under the custody of Bishop Odo; according to William of Malmesbury and
Robert of Torigny it was Rouen.

[57] Ordericus, iii, p. 305; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 468.
Ordericus Vitalis recounts the event as if it came just after the death
of Abbot Durand of Troarn, 11 February 1088. Cf. Ordericus, iii, p. 303;
R. N. Sauvage, _L’abbaye de Saint-Martin de Troarn_ (Caen, 1911), p. 288.
But Ordericus has already spoken of Henry’s captivity as beginning “in
autumno,” 1088. _Supra_, n. 55. According to William of Malmesbury, he
was released after a half-year’s detention. If we could rely upon this
statement, and couple it with the earlier statement of Ordericus that the
imprisonment began in the autumn of 1088, we could assign Henry’s release
to the late winter or spring following (1089).

[58] _Infra_, n. 62.

[59] Ordericus, iii, p. 316. The English writers make no mention of the
Winchester council. Ordericus indicates that appeals had been coming to
William Rufus from the Norman church: “Ecce lacrymabilem querimoniam
sancta ecclesia de transmarinis partibus ad me dirigit, quia valde
moesta quotidianis fletibus madescit, quod iusto defensore et patrono
carens, inter malignantes quasi ovis inter lupos consistit.” And in a
later connection (iii, p. 421) he says specifically that Abbot Roger of
Saint-Évroul sought aid from William Rufus.

[60] Freeman, _William Rufus_, i, pp. 225-226.

[61] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1090; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 26; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 363; Ordericus, iii, p. 319.

[62] _Ibid._, pp. 319-320; _De Controversia Guillelmi Rotomagensis
Archiepiscopi_, in _H. F._, xiv, p. 68, and in _Gallia Christiana_, xi,
instr., col. 18. The work of corrupting the Norman baronage and winning
them away from their allegiance to the duke was accomplished in 1089-90.
Freeman assumes the Winchester assembly above mentioned to have been
the Easter Gemot of 1090. _William Rufus_, i, pp. 222, and n. 1. But
Ordericus seems to assign it to 1089—he records the death of William of
Warenne, 24 June 1089, immediately after it—and we know from the _De
Controversia Guillelmi_ that the struggle had already begun in Normandy
in 1089, when Robert Curthose and King Philip besieged La Ferté-en-Bray.
Further, the siege of Eu by Duke Robert in 1089 is probably to be
connected in some way with the activities of William Rufus against him.
Davis, _Regesta_, no. 310.

[63] Ordericus, iii, p. 320.

[64] Davis, _Regesta_, no. 310, a charter of confirmation by Duke Robert
for Bishop Odo of Bayeux, dated 1089, “secundo anno principatus Roberti
Guillelmi regis filii ac Normanniae comitis, dum idem Robertus esset ad
obsidionem Auci ea die qua idem castrum sibi redditum est.” This would
necessarily be not later than September.

[65] _Ibid._, no. 308, a confirmation by Duke Robert in favor of Bayeux
cathedral, dated 24 April 1089, “dum esset idem Robertus comes apud
Vernonem … iturus in expeditionem in Franciam.”

[66] The _De Controversia Guillelmi_ gives the specific date 1089. _H.
F._, xiv, p. 68. William of Malmesbury, though vague, is in agreement.
_G. R._, ii, p. 363. The _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1090) and Florence
of Worcester (ii, p. 26) assign King Philip’s intervention vaguely to

[67] We learn the name of the castle from the _De Controversia
Guillelmi_, in _H. F._, xiv, p. 68. The _Chronicle_ (_a._ 1090) and
Florence (ii, p. 26) both refer to it without name.

[68] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1090; cf. William
of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 363.

[69] Ordericus, iii, p. 351; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 469.

[70] The name is found in the record of a suit before the court of
Henry I in 1111: “in urbe Rothomagensi gravis dissensio inter partes
Pilatensium scilicet et Calloensium exorta est que multa civitatem strage
vexavit et multos nobilium utriusque partis gladio prostravit.” Haskins,
pp. 91-92. Ordericus (iii, p. 252) indicates that the loyalists were
clearly outnumbered by the rebels.

[71] Ordericus, iii, pp. 351-353.

[72] This, at any rate, is the account given by Ordericus Vitalis, who
seems, however, at this point to feel rather more than his usual rancor
towards the duke.

[73] Ordericus, iii, pp. 352-357; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p.

[74] Ordericus, iii, pp. 344-346.

[75] According to Ordericus (iii, pp. 365, 377) the crossing was made in
the week of 19-25 January 1091; the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1091)
dates it 2 February, while Florence of Worcester (ii, p. 27) more vaguely
says “mense Februario.” William Rufus dated a charter at Dover 27 January
1091, probably soon before sailing for Normandy. Davis, _Regesta_, no.
315. The dating clause of this charter, “anno Dominicae incarnationis
mill. xc, regni vero mei iiii, indictione xiii, vi kal. Feb., luna iii,”
is not consistent throughout; but the year of the reign and of the
lunation both compel us to assign it to 1091. Moreover, Ralph, bishop of
Chichester, and Herbert, bishop of Thetford, both of whom attest, were
not raised to their sees till 1091. Cf. Freeman, _William Rufus_, ii, pp.
484-485. Ralph appears to have been consecrated 6 January 1091. Stubbs,
_Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum_.

[76] Ordericus, iii, pp. 365-366, 377; _Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 270; cf. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091;
Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p.

[77] Ordericus, iii, pp. 365-366, 377.

[78] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.

[79] According to Robert of Torigny (_loc. cit._), “adminiculante
Philippo rege Francorum.” It is a plausible hypothesis that William of
Saint-Calais, the exiled bishop of Durham, played a part in these peace
negotiations. Upon his expulsion from England, between 27 November 1088
and 3 January 1089, he went to Normandy and was received by Duke Robert
“rather as a father than as an exile” (Simeon, _H. D. E._, p. 128) and
had the administration of the duchy committed to his charge (_De Iniusta
Vexatione_, in Simeon, _Opera_, i, p. 194); and he remained in Normandy
and enjoyed a position of honor for three years. In 1089 he attested two
of Duke Robert’s charters (Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 308, 310), and he also
attested with the duke a charter by Hugh Painel [1089-91] (Haskins, p.
69, no. 16). Then in the third year of his expulsion, when the king’s men
were being besieged in a ‘certain castle in Normandy’ and were on the
point of being taken, he saved them from their peril, and by his counsel
the siege was raised (Simeon, _H. D. E._, p. 128. Can this refer to the
siege of Eu and to the pacification of February (?) 1091?) See Appendix
B, _infra_, p. 215 and n. 14.

[80] Ordericus, iii, p. 366. Robert of Torigny gives Caen as the meeting
place. _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.
270. But may he not have confused the peace negotiations with the general
inquest into ducal rights and customs which the brothers held at Caen on
18 July of the same year? For this inquest see Haskins, pp. 277-278.

[81] The date of the treaty is not given specifically, but according to
Ordericus Vitalis (iii, p. 378) William and Robert, after they had made
peace, besieged Henry at Mont-Saint-Michel for two weeks in the middle of
Lent—according to Florence of Worcester (ii, p. 27), during the whole of
Lent. The treaty, therefore, could hardly have been concluded later than
the end of February.

[82] Ordericus, iii, p. 366.

[83] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 363; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_,
in William of Jumièges, p. 270.

[84] Ordericus, iii, p. 366; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_,
in William of Jumièges, p. 270; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of
Worcester, ii, p. 27.

[85] Ordericus, iii, p. 366.

[86] Specific mention of all the lordships which we know to have been won
over by the king is not made in our accounts of the treaty, but they are
all covered by general statements. Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 215-216; and
the references given in nn. 83, 84, _supra_.

[87] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091.

[88] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 363.

[89] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; Henry of
Huntingdon, pp. 215-216.

[90] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27. Florence
and the _Chronicle_ both add here a puzzling provision which seems to
indicate that the king undertook to compensate Robert for his losses
in Normandy with lands in England: “et tantum terrae in Anglia quantum
conventionis inter eos fuerat comiti daret.”

[91] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 216.

[92] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 363; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 216.

[93] _G. R._, ii, pp. 363-364; _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales
Monastici_, ii, p. 36.

[94] _Supra_, p. 52.

[95] Henry of Huntingdon, p. 211; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_,
in William of Jumièges, p. 269; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p.
468; cf. Ordericus, iii, p. 350.

[96] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 468.

[97] “Comes Henricus pedagium accepit de Chetelhulmo et de omni
Constantino et super hoc facit operari homines Sancte Trinitatis de eadem
villa et patria ad castella suorum hominum.” Cartulary of La Trinité of
Caen, extract, in Haskins, p. 63.

[98] Ordericus, iii, pp. 350-351, 378.

[99] _Ibid._, p. 350; cf. pp. 318, 378; cf. also William of Malmesbury,
_G. R._, ii, p. 468.

[100] _Ibid._

[101] Ordericus, iii, p. 378; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p.
363-364; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; _Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 270.

[102] Ordericus, iii, p. 378.

[103] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 364; Ordericus, iii, p. 378;
Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27.

[104] Ordericus, iii, p. 378.

[105] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27.

[106] Ordericus, iii, p. 378. Lent in 1091 extended from 26 February
to 13 April. According to Florence of Worcester (ii, p. 27) the siege
continued through the whole of Lent.

[107] Ordericus, iii, p. 378; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, pp. 270-271; _Annales de Mont-Saint-Michel_, in
_Chronique de Robert de Torigni_, ed. Léopold Delisle (Rouen, 1872-73),
ii, pp. 222, 232; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 364, 469-470;
Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27; _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales
Monastici_, ii, p. 36; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ed. Andresen, ii, p. 409.

[108] _Ibid._ Freeman remarks, “We may trust the topography of the
Jerseyman.” _William Rufus_, i, p. 286, n. 1.

[109] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 409; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p.

[110] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 364; Wace, _Roman de Rou_,
ii, p. 410.

[111] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 365; Wace, _Roman de Rou_,
ii, p. 411.

[112] _Ibid._

[113] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 365; Wace, _Roman de
Rou_, ii, p. 412; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of
Jumièges, p. 271; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 27. These sources
do indeed indicate an abandonment of the siege before its object was
accomplished; but against them stands the very positive statement of
Ordericus Vitalis, which is confirmed by the Annals of Winchester
(_infra_, n. 114). Robert and William evidently did not enjoy a very
complete triumph. Still there seems no doubt of Henry’s expulsion from
the Cotentin.

[114] Ordericus, iii, pp. 378-379; _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales
Monastici_, ii, p. 36; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William
of Jumièges, p. 271.

[115] Ordericus, iii, p. 379.

[116] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 365. He attests a charter of
confirmation by William Rufus for the bishop of Durham, evidently while
on the Scottish expedition late in 1091. Davis, _Regesta_, no. 318.

[117] “Fereque duobus annis a bellis Normannia quievit.” Ordericus, iii,
p. 379.

[118] Haskins, pp. 277-284.

[119] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 365; Ordericus, iii, pp.
381,394; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 28; Henry
of Huntingdon, p. 216.

[120] Florence of Worcester (ii, p. 28) gives the date of the crossing as
“mense Augusto”; and Ordericus Vitalis (iii, pp. 366, 377) indicates that
1 August was the date. Roger du Sap was elected abbot of Saint-Évroul on
21 July. Apparently he went immediately to the duke to seek investiture
and found that the latter had already departed. _Ibid._, p. 381. The
_Rotulus Primus Monasterii Sancti Ebrulfi_ dates the crossing of William
and Robert in 1090. _Ibid._, v, p. 189. But this is evidently the error
of a copyist.

[121] _Supra_, p. 65, and n. 116.

[122] “Ambo fratres de Neustria in Angliam ex insperato tranfretaverant,
mirantibus cunctis.” Ordericus, iii, p. 381.

[123] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 365. Freeman rejects
the testimony of William of Malmesbury regarding this Welsh campaign
of 1091. _William Rufus_, ii, pp. 78-79. But I see no reason for so
doing—especially since the statements coupled with it regarding Henry
and the Scottish expedition are demonstrably accurate—; and how else
explain the lateness of the Scottish campaign? William of Malmesbury
says specifically: “Statimque primo contra Walenses, post in Scottos
expeditionem movens.”

[124] Ordericus, iii, p. 394; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 28; _A.-S.
C._, _a._ 1091.

[125] _Ibid._

[126] See Appendix B, _infra_, pp. 215-216.

[127] _De Iniusta Vexatione_, in Simeon, _Opera_, i, p. 195. The bishop
was believed to have regained the king’s favor through services which he
rendered him in Normandy. Simeon, _H. D. E._, p. 128. In any case, under
the amnesty provision of the treaty between Robert Curthose and William
Rufus he was entitled to a restoration of his estates and honors in

[128] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 28. For the
reading ‘Lothian,’ instead of Leeds, see Freeman, _William Rufus_, ii,
p. 541. Ordericus (iii, p. 394), in an obviously embroidered account,
represents the two kings as facing one another from opposite sides of the
Firth of Forth. But the English writers say specifically that Malcolm had
advanced into Lothian to meet the English forces.

[129] _Supra_, p. 31.

[130] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 28; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 366; Ordericus, iii, pp. 394-395.

[131] We have no other record of this homage. Can it have taken place in
1080, when Malcolm made his submission to Robert, who was then leading
the Conqueror’s army against him?

[132] Ordericus, iii, pp. 394-396.

[133] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 28; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091.

[134] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 29; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091. At
some point on the homeward march the three brothers joined with a
distinguished company of nobles and prelates in the attestation of
a charter of the lately restored Bishop William of Durham. Davis,
_Regesta_, no. 318; cf. Freeman, _William Rufus_, i, p. 305; ii, p. 535.

[135] Henry of Huntingdon, p. 216.

[136] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 29.

[137] “In illis namque diebus, Willelmus, Anglorum rex strenuus,
mortuus est, eiusque morte tota Cenomannorum regio perturbata.” _Actus
Pontificum_, p. 385.

[138] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges,
p. 273: “Unde factum est, ut paulo post mortem ipsius regis idem dux
Robertus, de quo nunc sermo est, in principio sui ducatus, iam tunc
rebellionis contumaciam attentantes in ipsis suis finibus ducto exercitu
Normannorum, eos compescuit”; Ordericus, iii, p. 327: “ipso [i.e.,
the Conqueror] mortuo statim de rebellione machinari coeperunt.” The
statement of the _Actus Pontificum_ (_supra_, n. 137) is not convincing
because the next sentence opens with the rebellion of 1090. Robert of
Torigny shows himself poorly informed in these matters. The statement
of Ordericus is vague, and his record elsewhere does not point to any
serious disturbances till later in the reign.

[139] Ordericus, iii, pp. 293, 296.

[140] _Ibid._, pp. 289, 292.

[141] _Ibid._, p. 293.

[142] Ordericus, iii, p. 296. The fragment of a charter by Robert
“Normannie princeps et Cenomannorum comes,” granting the tithe of his
customs and rents at Fresnay to Saint-Vincent of Le Mans, should probably
be assigned to this visit. _Cartulaire de S.-Vincent_, no. 532.

[143] Ordericus, iii, p. 269.

[144] Osmond de Gaprée was killed at the siege on 1 September. Ordericus,
iii, p. 297: Ordericus was probably well informed, since Osmond was
buried at Saint-Évroul. This date makes it possible to say definitely
that this expedition into Maine did not take place in 1087, for William
the Conqueror did not die till 9 September of that year. It is not so
clear that it did not take place after 1088; yet between this and the
successful rebellion of 1090 there were the threatened disturbances which
Fulk is said to have repressed for a year. Cf. Latouche, _Maine_, p. 40,
n. 2.

[145] Ordericus, iii, pp. 296-297.

[146] _Ibid._, iii, p. 297.

[147] _Supra_, p. 55.

[148] Ordericus, iii, p. 320.

[149] _Ibid._, pp. 320-323.

[150] He granted Bavent, Noyon-sur-Andelle, Gacé, and Gravençon to
William of Évreux, and Pont-Saint-Pierre to William of Breteuil, his
nephew. Ordericus, iii, pp. 321-322.

[151] Ordericus, iii, pp. 327-332; _Actus Pontificum_, pp. 385 ff.;
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, pp.

[152] _Actus Pontificum_, p. 385.

[153] Ordericus, iii, pp. 328-329; _Actus Pontificum_, pp. 385-386.

[154] He was the son of Azzo II, marquis of Este, and Gersent, eldest
daughter of Herbert Éveille-Chien.

[155] _Actus Pontificum_, p. 386; Ordericus, iii, pp. 327-328.

[156] “Ipse autem Rotbertus, ultra modum inertie et voluptati deditus,
nichil dignum ratione respondens, que Cenomannenses fecerant, pro eo quod
inepto homini nimis honerosi viderentur, non multum sibi displicuisse
monstravit.” _Actus Pontificum_, p. 386. This is a remarkable
corroboration of Ordericus Vitalis in his view of Robert’s character.

[157] _Actus Pontificum_, pp. 387-390. Hoël’s presence in England early
in 1091 is proved by his attestation of two charters by William Rufus,
at Dover (27 January) and at Hastings. Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 315, 319.
It is not unlikely that Hoël returned to Normandy with the king, who was
evidently about to sail at the time the Dover charter was issued.

[158] _Actus Pontificum_, pp. 391-392. He celebrated Easter (13 April)
and Pentecost (1 June) at Solesmes; and arriving at La Couture 28 June,
he observed the day of the Apostles on the 29th; and the ceremony
in the cathedral church took place the day following. _Chartularium
Insignis Ecclesiae Cenomanensis quod dicitur Liber Albus Capituli_ (Le
Mans, 1869), no. 178; cf. _Cartulaire de S.-Vincent_, no. 117. The
year in which these events occurred requires some further discussion.
Latouche, though admitting with Ordericus Vitalis (iii, p. 327) that
the revolt began in 1090, still believes that Hugh did not arrive in
Maine until after Easter 1091, that Hoël was in England from November
to March 1091-92, and that his return and reconciliation with Hugh took
place at the end of June 1092. _Maine_, pp. 41-44. Latouche bases his
chronological deductions upon a charter by Hugh in favor of Marmoutier,
given at Tours, according to Latouche, on 13 April 1091. Bibliothèque
Nationale MSS., Collection Baluze, 76, fol. 14. Since Hugh does not bear
the title of count in this document, Latouche argues that he had not
yet arrived in Maine, and, therefore, that the subsequent events of the
revolution must be carried forward through 1091 into 1092. The dating
clause of the charter in question, as kindly furnished me by M. Henri
Omont, is as follows: “Factum hoc mᵒ anno et lxxxxi. ab incarnatione
Domini, indictione xiiii. anno xxxiiii. Philippi regis, primo anno
R. archiepiscopatus, secundi Aurelianensis. Aderbal scolae minister
secundarius scriptsit.” Granting that this is a document of the year
1091—which is by no means likely, in view of the year of the reign
and of Ralph, archbishop of Tours—there still appears to be no reason
why Latouche should assign it to the Easter date (13 April); and upon
other evidence it is clear that Hugh arrived in Maine at a much earlier
period: (1) It is not clear from the _Actus Pontificum_ (pp. 386-387),
as Latouche supposes (p. 42, n. 6), that Hoël was already in Normandy
upon Hugh’s arrival in Maine, but quite the contrary. (2) Ordericus
Vitalis (iii, pp. 328, 330) indicates that Hugh was induced to come to
Maine because Robert Curthose and William Rufus were at war, and that a
strong argument in favor of his return to Italy was the fact that they
had recently made peace and were meditating an attack upon Maine. This
we know to have been in the spring and summer of 1091, and not in 1092
after William Rufus had returned to England. (3) A charter by William
Rufus proves the presence of Hoël in England 27 January 1091, and not
November-March 1091-92, as Latouche supposes. Davis, _Regesta_, no. 315.
(4) Finally, two charters in favor of Saint-Julien of Tours, dated 11
November 1091, prove that Helias was already at that time count of Maine
with Hoël’s approval, and incidentally show that Hoël was not then in
England. _Charles de S.-Julien de Tours_, nos. 43, 44.

[159] Ordericus, iii, pp. 329-330; cf _Actus Pontificum_, p. 393.

[160] Ordericus, iii, p. 330. This gives an important synchronism for

[161] _Ibid._, iii, pp. 331-332; _Actus Pontificum_, p. 393; _Cartulaire
de S.-Vincent_, no. 117.

[162] Bishop Hoël and Count Helias join in confirming a charter by
Alberic de la Milesse, 11 November 1091. _Chartes de S.-Julien de Tours_,
nos. 43, 44. Count Helias attests a confirmation by Fulk le Réchin, 27
July 1092. Halphen, _Anjou_, p. 320, no. 262.

[163] _Supra_, pp. 66-67.

[164] Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 308, 310, 324; Haskins, p. 285, no. 1.

[165] _Supra_, p. 43.

[166] Ordericus, iii, p. 263; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, p. 288.

[167] Ordericus, iii, pp. 321-322.

[168] _Ibid._, pp. 297-298.

[169] Castle of Montaigu. _Ibid._, p. 420.

[170] _Ibid._, p. 333.

[171] Castles of Saint-Saëns, Arques, and Bures. _Ibid._, p. 320. These
grants to Helias proved to be a source of strength rather than of

[172] Ordericus, iii, pp. 291-296.

[173] “Verum deficiente alimonia castrum captum est, et praefatus
municeps iussu irati ducis protinus oculis privatus est. Aliis quoque
pluribus, qui contumaciter ibidem restiterant principi Normanniae,
debilitatio membrorum inflicta est ex sententia curiae.” _Ibid._, p. 297.
This is the only instance I have met with where Robert might be charged
with cruelty. The distinction between the blinding of Robert Quarrel
by the duke’s command and the mutilation of others by sentence of the
_curia_ is curious.

[174] _Ibid._, pp. 337-342.

[175] See, e.g., Ordericus, iii, p. 299.

[176] Ordericus, iii, p. 299.

[177] _Ibid._, pp. 299-300.

[178] _Ibid._, p. 358.

[179] _Ibid._, pp. 301-302.

[180] _Ibid._, pp. 333-334.

[181] _Ibid._, pp. 361-366.

[182] _Ibid._, pp. 417-420.

[183] _Ibid._, v, p. 4.

[184] Ordericus, ii, p. 469; iii, pp. 332-333, 335-336, 412-416.

[185] _Ibid._, iii, pp. 332-333, 412.

[186] _Ibid._, pp. 415-416. Robert of Torigny calls this “quamdam rem
dignam memoria.” _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of
Jumièges, p. 290.

[187] Ordericus, iii, pp. 344-348; _supra_, p. 58.

[188] Ordericus, iii, pp. 384-385; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_,
in William of Jumièges, p. 271; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 413.

[189] _Ibid._, p. 414; Ordericus, iii, p. 418.

[190] “Ille vero contra Rodbertum, Normanniae comitem, viriliter arma
sumpsit, incendiis et rapinis expulsionis suae iniuriam vindicavit,
multosque cepit et carceri mancipavit.” Ordericus, iii, p. 385.

[191] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, pp.

[192] Ordericus, iii, pp. 289, 303, 332, 357.

[193] Haskins, pp. 63-64.

[194] _Cartulaire de S.-Vincent_, no. 532.

[195] Ordericus, iii, pp. 297, 303, 381; Milo Crispin, _Vita Willelmi
Abbatis Beccensis Tertii_, in Migne, cl, col. 717.

[196] Round, _C. D. F._, no. 1115; Davis, _Regesta_, no. 342; Haskins, p.
70, no. 36.

[197] Haskins, pp. 66-70.

[198] _Supra_, p. 65.

[199] Ordericus, iii, p. 420; Charter by Duke Robert in favor of La
Trinité of Fécamp, in Haskins, p. 289, no. 4 _c._

[200] For a full discussion of Robert’s government, see Haskins, pp.

[201] _Gallia Christiana_, xi, instr., col. 221.

[202] _H. F._, xiv, p. 68.

[203] Ordericus, iii, p. 379.

[204] _Ibid._, p. 381.

[205] Eadmer, _Historia Novorum in Anglia_, ed. Martin Rule (London,
1884), p. 37; _Epistolae Anselmi_, bk. iii, no. 10, in Migne, clix, col.

[206] _Epistolae Anselmi_, bk. iii, no. 15, in Migne, clix, col. 39; cf.
_ibid._, nos. 8, 14; Milo Crispin, _Vita Willelmi Abbatis_, in Migne, cl,
col. 717.

[207] _De Controversia Guillelmi_, in _H. F._, xiv, pp. 68-69; Heinrich
Böhmer, _Kirche und Staat in England und in der Normandie im xi. und xii.
Jahrhundert_ (Leipsic, 1899), p. 146. According to Böhmer, the suspension
of Archbishop William took place towards the end of 1093. There is an
unpublished tract by the ‘Anonymous of York’ upon the exemption of the
monastery of Fécamp in Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS. 415, pp.
264-265. Cf. Karl Hampe, in _Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere
deutsche Geschichtskunde_, xxii (1897), pp. 669-672; Böhmer, _op. cit._,
pp. 177, 180.

[208] _Supra_, p. 68.

[209] “This power he reserves for his brother, King William, as well as
for himself.” Davis, _Regesta_, no. 327.

[210] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 33, MS. C,
in note; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 217.

[211] Eadmer, p. 43.

[212] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 33, MS. C, in
note; cf. Eadmer, p. 47.

[213] _Ibid._, cf. Davis, _Regesta_, nos. 347, 348.

[214] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 33, MS. C, in
note. In 1094 Lent extended from 22 February to 9 April. If by ‘Midlent’
an exact day is designated, it was probably Sunday, 19 March.

[215] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 33, and MS.
C, in note; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 217. Florence of Worcester is the
sole authority for ‘Campus Martius’ and for the fact that after the
conferences Robert went to Rouen and William Rufus to Eu. Henry of
Huntingdon mentions only the final meeting. A phrase in a letter of
Bishop Ivo of Chartres makes it not improbable that King Philip was
present at this conference: “iturus vobiscum ad placitum quod futurum est
inter regem Anglorum et comitem Normannorum.” _H. F._, xv, p. 82, no. 28;
cf. Fliche, _Philippe Iᵉʳ_, p. 299. But the letter is undated, and proof
is lacking that it refers to the conference of 1094. There is no basis
for Fliche’s assumption that the meeting between William and Robert took
place at Pontoise or at Chaumont-en-Vexin. Ivo’s letter contains no such
evidence. The above mentioned places are named only as a rendezvous for
Philip and Ivo preparatory to proceeding to the meeting between Robert
and William.

[216] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 34.

[217] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 34; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 217.

[218] References as in n. 217, _supra_.

[219] Argentan is pretty clearly, though not certainly, the place
designated. Florence of Worcester (ii, p. 34), who seems generally best
informed on these events, has “Argentinum,” about which there can be no
question. The readings of the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1094) and of
Henry of Huntingdon (p. 217) are “castel aet Argentses” and “Argentes,”
which might refer to Argentan or Argences. Thomas Stapleton says that the
place in question was Argentan. _Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normaniae sub
Regibus Angliae_ (London, 1840-44), ii, p. xxx. I cannot discover that
there was any castle at Argences in the eleventh century.

[220] Florence of Worcester, ii, pp. 34-35; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094; Henry
of Huntingdon, p. 217.

[221] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 35; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 217.

[222] According to Henry of Huntingdon (p. 217), they actually besieged

[223] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094.

[224] _Ibid._, _a._ 1094; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 217.

[225] Fliche sets forth the extraordinary hypothesis that there was
no war between William Rufus and Robert Curthose in 1094, though he
admits the meeting between them and the unsuccessful attempt at a
reconciliation. He bases his hypothesis upon the fact that Ordericus
Vitalis makes no mention of the war of 1094, and that the account of
the campaign of 1094 as set forth in the English sources bears certain
resemblances to that of 1091. He argues that the English writers in
their confusion have assigned events to 1094 which really belong to
1091—in brief, that there was only one campaign, that of 1091: “Et alors
ne faudrait-il pas reporter toute la campagne racontée ici à l’année
1090-1091?” _Philippe Iᵉʳ_, pp. 298-300. In point of fact there is far
less duplication between the events of 1090-91 and 1094 than Fliche
supposes, and such resemblances as exist are readily accounted for by
the fact that William Rufus had his headquarters at Eu on both occasions
and pursued the same general policy throughout his dealings with Robert
Curthose and King Philip. It may be admitted as extraordinary that the
events of 1094 have escaped the attention of Ordericus Vitalis; but to
reject the highly circumstantial accounts of the English writers is to
betray a strange lack of appreciation of the range and accuracy of their

[226] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1094.

[227] _Ibid._ According to Henry of Huntingdon (p. 218), the king’s
original order had been to proceed to London.

[228] Eadmer, p. 52.

[229] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1095; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 35.

[230] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1095; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 218.



The year 1096 marks the beginning of a new era in the history of western
civilization as well as in the life of Robert Curthose. On 27 November
1095,[1] Pope Urban II had preached his momentous sermon before the
assembled multitude at Clermont, and ‘the gates of the Latin world
were opened’[2] upon the East. “It was the miracle of the Lord in our
time,” writes Henry of Huntingdon, “and a thing before unheard of in all
the ages, that such divers peoples and so many distinguished princes,
leaving their splendid possessions, their wives, and their children, set
forth with one accord and in scorn of death to seek the most unknown

It was natural that the stirring words of Pope Urban should find a ready
hearing among the ‘untamed race of the Normans.’[4] The great adventurers
of their age, they were destined to play the most vigorous and
aggressive, if not the most devout and single-minded, part in the supreme
adventure of the Latin world in the Middle Ages. Moreover, the situation
of Duke Robert at home was such that new fields of opportunity and
adventure offered peculiar attractions to him. Lacking the indomitable
energy of his great forbears and the Norman genius for organization,
government, and law, surrounded by enemies both within and without his
dominions, his tenure of the duchy had become a heavy burden. His war
with William Rufus still dragged on. Disloyal barons continued to desert
to the English cause; and twenty Norman castles were said to be in the
Red King’s hands. Prince Henry, long firmly established at Domfront, and
now backed by the strong arm and the long purse of his older brother,
had gained control of ‘a great part of Normandy’; and the ‘soft duke’
had fallen into contempt among his turbulent subjects. Disobedience and
disorder were everywhere on the increase, and the unarmed population
lacked a protector.[5] An expedition to the Holy Land at the head of a
splendidly equipped band of knights, with new scenes and new adventures
and plenary indulgence for past sins, offered a welcome prospect of
escape from the trying situation in which Duke Robert found himself in
the spring of 1096.[6]

Yet the First Crusade was a papal, not a Norman, enterprise.[7] At the
provincial council of Rouen which was convened in February, 1096, for
the purpose of ratifying the canons of the council of Clermont, there
is, oddly enough, no evidence that the projected Crusade was taken under
consideration by the Norman clergy.[8] The initiative of the Pope, on the
other hand, was clear-cut and vigorous, and his activity can be traced
with some fulness. From Clermont Urban proceeded on a tour of western
France; and passing northward through Poitou and Anjou early in 1096, he
arrived at Le Mans in the middle of February and was at Vendôme near the
end of the month. Then turning back southward, he was still occupied with
the Crusade in a council at Tours in March.[9] The Pope seems not to have
entered Normandy at all; but he was close to the border while in Maine
and at Vendôme, and it is not improbable that it was during this period
that he took the first steps towards launching the Crusade in the Norman

Pope Urban’s first duty, if he wished to raise large forces in Normandy
for the Crusade, was obviously the promotion of peace between the
warring sons of William the Conqueror. It was not to be thought of that
Robert Curthose should lead a Norman army to the liberation of the Holy
Sepulchre while William Rufus continued the struggle to deprive him of
his duchy. Accordingly, the Pope sent Abbot Gerento of Saint-Bénigne of
Dijon as his special agent to undertake the delicate task of negotiating
a peace.[10] The abbot was with William Rufus in England at Easter (13
April) 1096.[11] He crossed to Normandy before the end of May;[12] and
remaining there throughout the summer, brought the peace negotiations to
a successful termination, and accompanied the crusading host upon the
initial stages of its journey as it departed in the autumn.[13] It may
be conjectured that during this whole period Gerento was engaged in the
work of promoting the Crusade in Normandy; and this conclusion is fully
in accord with the statements of the chroniclers that Duke Robert took
the cross “at the admonition of Pope Urban”[14] and “by the counsel of
certain men of religion.”[15]

The treaty which had been concluded at the abbot’s instance was wisely
drawn to meet the exigencies of Robert’s situation. Not only did it
bring about the necessary peace, but upon such terms as to provide the
impecunious duke with ample funds for his distant enterprise. Normandy
was to be taken in pledge by William Rufus, and in exchange Robert was
to receive a loan of 10,000 marks of silver.[16] The date at which this
bargain was struck cannot be exactly determined, but, in any case,
it was early enough to allow the king time to extort money from his
unfortunate subjects by means which provoked a general outcry.[17]
An aid (_auxilium_) was demanded of the barons, and an extraordinary
Danegeld was levied at the rate of four shillings to the hide throughout
the kingdom. Though the clergy had from early times been exempted from
this tax, their privileges were not now respected; and they were obliged
to pay their full share along with the lay nobles.[18] Churches were
stripped of their ornaments in order that the sum might be raised.[19]

Meanwhile, in Normandy and the surrounding lands, preparations for the
Crusade had been going steadily forward; though it must be owned that we
have but slight information concerning the measures which were taken,
beyond what may be inferred from the occasional record of a mortgage of
lands to a religious house in exchange for a loan of ready cash for the
journey,[20] or from the names of a relatively small number of men and
women[21]—less than fifty in all—who, stirred by religious impulse, the
spirit of adventure, or the hope of gain, followed the duke’s example and
took the cross.

So far as it is possible to describe it at this distance, Robert Curthose
certainly travelled at the head of an interesting and honorable company,
which, drawn not only from Normandy but from the surrounding lands,
was altogether worthy of the dignity of the Conqueror’s eldest son. To
attempt a comprehensive enumeration would be tedious, but the names of at
least the more important of the duke’s companions should be recorded.[22]
Of the Norman bishops, the only ones who took the cross were Odo of
Bayeux and Gilbert of Évreux. Both had been present at the council of
Clermont as ‘legates’ of their fellow bishops; and Odo, at any rate, had
been in touch with Abbot Gerento in Normandy during the summer of 1096.
Yet it is doubtful whether he was a very active promoter of the Crusade,
for some, at least, believed that he had taken the cross for personal
reasons rather than out of zeal for the Holy War. He had been driven
from England after the failure of the rebellion against William Rufus
in 1088, and the king’s wrath against him had not been appeased. Rather
than remain in Normandy to become the subject of his bitter enemy, he
preferred to undertake the hardships of the distant pilgrimage. Among the
lay nobles from Normandy who accompanied Robert on the Crusade we meet
with no very great names; but it is interesting to note that the list
contains not only such life-long friends of the duke as Ivo and Alberic
of Grandmesnil, but also—a fruit of the recent pacification—his late
enemies Count Stephen of Aumale and Gerard of Gournay. The great house of
Bellême was represented by Philip the Clerk, one of its younger scions.
Mention should also be made of Roger of Barneville, an obscure knight
from western Normandy, who was destined to lose his life in a skirmish
with the Turks at Antioch, and whose noble character and unexampled
bravery made him a great favorite with the army.

The neighboring lands of northern France contributed an equally
distinguished company to Duke Robert’s forces. His cousin, Count Robert
of Flanders, and his less heroic brother-in-law, Count Stephen of Blois
and Chartres, both found it to their advantage to travel with him, as
did also Alan Fergant, duke of Brittany, and a notable list of Bretons.
Among these latter may be mentioned Alan, the steward of Archbishop
Baldric of Dol;[23] Ralph de Gael, the one-time earl of Norfolk whose
treason had caused the Conqueror to drive him forth from England;
Conan de Lamballe, who was killed by the Turks at Antioch; and Riou de
Lohéac, who died while on the Crusade, but sent back to the church of
his lordship a casket of precious relics which included a portion of the
true cross and a fragment of the Sepulchre. From Perche came Rotrou of
Mortagne, son of the then reigning Count Geoffrey. And from the Flemish
border came old Hugh, count of Saint-Pol, and his brave son Enguerrand,
who gave his life for the Christian cause at Marra in Syria; Walter of
Saint-Valery and his valiant son Bernard, who according to one account
was the first to scale the wall of Jerusalem. The forces of Duke Robert
also included a number of Manceaux,[24] but Helias of La Flèche, the
count of Maine, was not among them. Stirred by the common impulse, he had
taken the cross, apparently designing to travel with Robert Curthose.
But when he learned that William Rufus would grant him no peace, but
proposed to bring Maine back under Norman domination by force of arms, he
was obliged to abandon his undertaking and remain at home to defend his

From England, strangely enough, only two crusaders of known name and
history have come to light among the followers of Robert Curthose:
the Norman William de Percy, the great benefactor of Whitby abbey, and
Arnulf of Hesdin, a Fleming. Neither, it will be observed, was a native
Englishman. The Anglo-Saxon chronicler remarks that the preaching of
Pope Urban caused “a great excitement through all this nation,”[26] and
English mariners are known to have coöperated with the crusaders on the
Syrian coast.[27] Yet England still lay largely beyond the range of
continental affairs and the great movements of world history, and the
part played by the English in the First Crusade appears to have been of
minor importance. William of Malmesbury observes truly that ‘but a faint
murmur of Asiatic affairs reached the ears of those who dwelt beyond the
British Ocean.’[28]

The standard-bearer of Duke Robert throughout the Crusade is said to
have been Pain Peverel, the distinguished Norman knight who later was
granted a barony in England by Henry I and became the patron of Barnwell
priory. As his chaplain, or chancellor, Robert took Arnulf of Chocques,
the clever Flemish adventurer who had long served in the ducal family as
preceptor of his eldest sister, Princess Cecilia, and who later rose to
the dignity of patriarch of Jerusalem.[29] And finally mention should be
made of Fulcher of Chartres, the well known historian of the Crusade, who
travelled with the ducal forces as far as Marash in Armenia, and who up
to that point may almost be regarded as the official historiographer of
the northern Norman contingent.

While preparations for the Crusade were being pushed forward in
Normandy and the adjoining lands, William Rufus had completed the work
of collecting English treasure for the Norman loan, and in September
1096[30] he crossed the Channel. Meeting the duke, apparently at
Rouen,[31] he paid over the 10,000 marks which had been agreed upon, and
received the duchy in pledge.[32] Thus was Robert supplied with funds
for his distant journey, and when this most necessary matter had been
arranged, final preparations were speedily brought to an end, and the
duke took his place at the head of his forces.

Near the end of September, or early in October,[33] amid tearful but
courageous leave-takings from friends and loved ones,[34] the crusaders
set forth upon their long pilgrimage. As they moved forward over the
first stages of the march, their numbers were considerably augmented by
additional forces which flowed in from districts along the way.[35] At
Pontarlier on the upper waters of the Doubs, Abbot Gerento of Dijon and
his faithful secretary, Hugh of Flavigny, who had accompanied the host
thus far, and must have viewed with much satisfaction the successful
culmination of their enterprise, took their leave of the leaders and
turned back.[36]

From Pontarlier the route probably lay by the well known road of
pilgrimage and commerce past the great monastery of Saint-Maurice and
over the Alps by the Great St. Bernard to Aosta, and thence across the
valley of the Po and over the Apennines to Lucca.[37] At Lucca the
crusaders were met by Urban II, who conferred with the leaders, Robert of
Normandy and Stephen of Blois, and gave his blessing to the departing
host as it moved on southward and came to Rome ‘rejoicing.’[38] But in
the basilica of St. Peter the crusaders found little joy, for the great
church, with the exception of a single tower, was in the hands of the
men of the anti-Pope, who, sword in hand, seized the offerings of the
faithful from off the altar, and from the roof hurled down stones upon
the pilgrims as they prostrated themselves in prayer.[39] Saddened by
such outrages, but not delaying to avenge them, they pushed on southward,
pausing at Monte Cassino to ask a blessing of St. Benedict as they
passed,[40] and came to the port of Bari.[41]

Already tidings of the great enterprise which Pope Urban had launched
had stirred one of the ablest chiefs of the southern Normans to action.
Bohemond, prince of Taranto, the oldest son of Robert Guiscard, was
engaged in the siege of Amalfi with his uncle, Count Roger of Sicily,
when news reached him that early contingents of French crusaders had
already arrived in Italy. The possibilities of the great adventure fired
his ardent imagination, and, “seized with a divine inspiration,” he took
the cross. Then, dramatically ordering his magnificent cloak to be cut
into crosses, he distributed them among such of the knights present as
were willing to follow his example; and so great was the rush of men to
his standard, that Count Roger found himself almost deserted, and was
obliged to abandon the siege and retire in dudgeon to Sicily.[42] Before
the arrival of Robert Curthose and the northern Normans, Bohemond had
already crossed the Adriatic at the head of a splendid band of knights
and entered upon the road to Constantinople.

The hopes of Robert and his followers to make an immediate crossing and
push on in the footsteps of Bohemond were doomed to disappointment. When
they arrived at Bari, winter was already close at hand, and the Italian
mariners were unwilling to undertake the transport of such an army in
the inclement season.[43] Duke Robert and Count Stephen, therefore, were
obliged to turn aside and winter in Apulia and Calabria.[44] Only the
more active Robert of Flanders with his smaller forces managed to make
the winter passage and push on towards Constantinople.[45] Meanwhile,
Roger Bursa, duke of Apulia, received Robert of Normandy with much
honor “as his natural lord” and supplied him with abundant provisions
for himself and his noble associates.[46] Many of the poorer crusaders,
however, were confronted with a grave problem. To winter peacefully in
a friendly country which they could not plunder seemed quite out of the
question; and, fearing lest they should fall into want, they sold their
bows, and, resuming pilgrims’ staves, turned back ‘ignominiously’ to
their northern homes.[47] Their more fortunate comrades, the nobles,
however, found generous hospitality among friends;[48] and the winter
months must have passed pleasantly for these northern Normans in the
sunny Italian climate among their distinguished kinsmen. Bishop Odo
of Bayeux, still vigorous and active, in spite of his advanced years,
crossed over to Sicily, and paid a visit to Count Roger’s beautiful
capital at Palermo. There he was taken with a fatal illness, and died
early in 1097. His fellow bishop, Gilbert of Évreux, buried him in the
great cathedral church of St. Mary; and Count Roger reared a splendid
monument over his grave.[49]

With the return of spring, in the month of March, Robert of Normandy
and Stephen of Blois assembled their forces at Brindisi and prepared to
push on to Constantinople, the general rendezvous of all the crusading
armies. The embarkation was marred by a tragic accident. One of the
vessels broke up and went to pieces almost within the harbor with some
four hundred souls on board, besides horses and mules and quantities of
money. Overwhelmed by fear in the presence of such a catastrophe, some
of the more faint-hearted landsmen abandoned the Crusade altogether and
turned back homeward, declaring that they would never entrust themselves
to the deceitful waves. Doubtless more would have followed their example,
had it not been discovered that the bodies washed ashore after the wreck
bore upon their shoulders the miraculous imprint of the cross. Encouraged
by this token of divine favor, the crusaders place their trust in the
omnipotent God, and, raising sail on Easter morning (April 5) amid the
blare of many trumpets, pushed out to sea.[50]

Sailing before a gentle breeze, they made the passage without further
accident, and landed on the fourth day at two small ports some ten miles
distant from Durazzo. Thence, passing Durazzo, they advanced along
the ancient Roman road, the Via Egnatia, with few adventures and by
relatively rapid marches towards Constantinople.[51] The route lay up
the valley of the Skumbi and through a mountainous region to Ochrida,
the ancient capital of Bulgaria, and then on past Monastir and across
the Vardar to Salonica on the Aegean, a city ‘abounding in all good
things.’ There the crusaders pitched their tents and rested for four
days, and then pushed on by the coast road through Kavala and Rodosto to
Constantinople, where they encamped outside the city and rested for a
fortnight in the latter half of May.[52]

The magnificent oriental capital with its noble churches and stately
palaces, its broad streets filled with works of art, its abounding
wealth in gold and silver and rich hangings, its eunuchs, and its busy
merchants from beyond sea,[53] made a deep impression upon the minds
of the crusaders, although they were not permitted to view it at great
advantage. For earlier bands who had gone before them had not passed
through the city without plundering, and the Greeks had learned to be
wary. The Emperor Alexius ordered the crusaders to be well supplied with
markets outside the walls, but only in bands of five or six at a time
would he permit them to enter the city of wonders and pray in the various

Meanwhile, the leaders, Robert of Normandy and Stephen of Blois,
were being sumptuously entertained and assiduously flattered by the
Emperor.[55] The real contest between him and the crusading chieftains
had already taken place and been practically settled before the arrival
of the northern Normans.[56] After the greater leaders, Godfrey of
Bouillon and Bohemond, had yielded to the Emperor’s demands and entered
into treaty relations with him, he had clearly gained his point, and
it was not to be supposed that he would meet with serious obstacles
in dealing with the princes who came later. Least of all were such
difficulties to be expected in Robert Curthose and Stephen of Blois.
Both promptly took the oath that was required of them;[57] for,
explains Fulcher of Chartres—evidently voicing a sentiment which had
become general—it was necessary for the crusaders to consolidate their
friendship with the Emperor, since without his support and coöperation
they could not advance freely through his dominions, and it would be
impossible for fresh recruits to follow by the route which they had taken.

When Robert and Stephen had satisfied the demands of the Emperor, he
loaded them with gifts of money and silks and horses, and, providing
ships, had them ferried over with their forces to the Asiatic shore.[58]
As they advanced beyond Nicomedia past the battle field where the forces
of Peter the Hermit had met disaster the previous winter, the Normans
were moved to tears at the sight of the whitening bones which still lay
unburied;[59] but pressing on without pausing, they reached Nicaea in the
first week of June.[60] There they received an enthusiastic welcome from
the crusaders who had preceded them and who, since the middle of May, had
been besieging the city; and, passing around to the southern side, they
took up their position before the walls between the forces of Robert of
Flanders and Raymond of Toulouse.[61]

For the remainder of the expedition the exploits of Robert are for the
most part merged in the general action of the Crusade and must, for want
of detailed information, be narrated briefly. Though a leader of the
first rank, Robert was hardly to be compared with Godfrey of Bouillon,
Bohemond, or Raymond of Toulouse. He has, therefore, received but an
incidental treatment at the hands of the contemporary writers.

It is not recorded that Robert and his forces in any way distinguished
themselves at the siege of Nicaea. They had arrived too late to share in
the splendid victory over Kilij Arslan (Soliman II), sultan of Iconium,
on 16 May.[62] Doubtless they were also too late to play an important
part in the construction of the elaborate siege machinery which formed
so marked a feature in the operations against the city. On 19 June
Nicaea surrendered;[63] and Robert hurried away with the other leaders
to congratulate the Emperor upon the victory and to share in the rich
gifts which Alexius was bestowing upon the Franks as a reward for their

Events moved rapidly after the fall of Nicaea. By 26 June some of the
crusaders were already on the march. Robert with his habitual slackness
took a more leisurely leave of the Emperor[65] and did not advance till
two days later. But he quickly came up with the rest of the forces at
a bridge over a small tributary of the Sangarius; and from that point
the whole crusading host moved forward on the morning of 29 June before
daybreak.[66] Either by accident or design the army was separated into
two divisions,[67] which advanced by different, but roughly parallel,
routes. At the head of the smaller force, mainly composed of Normans,
marched the Norman leaders, Robert Curthose, Bohemond, and Tancred.
Raymond, Godfrey, Hugh of Vermandois, and Adhemar, bishop of Le Puy, with
their followers made up the larger division. As the Normans pitched camp
on the second evening their scouts reported the enemy’s presence ahead,
and special watches were set to guard the tents; but the night passed
without incident. When, however, on the following morning (1 July) the
march was resumed, the way was soon barred by the enemy in force under
the command of Kilij Arslan. The Normans hastily prepared for battle; and
towards eight or nine o’clock an engagement was begun which continued
with uninterrupted fury till well after midday. Though the Normans fought
valiantly, they could not long maintain the unequal contest. The mounted
knights were hurled back in disorder upon the foot soldiers; and the
heroic efforts of Bohemond and Robert to rally their forces and resume
the offensive were of no avail. The crusaders, greatly outnumbered, and
terrified by the outlandish modes of warfare practiced by their enemies,
were overwhelmed and thrown back in wild confusion upon their camp. It
was a desperate moment. The Christian forces were packed together “like
sheep in a fold.” Priests were praying, knights were prostrate confessing
their sins. The panic was general. But suddenly, when all seemed lost,
relief came. Earlier in the day a messenger had been despatched to the
crusaders of the other division, who were advancing at some distance
by a separate route. When they learned of the desperate plight of the
Normans, they rushed to arms, and, by hard riding across country, arrived
upon the scene of battle barely in time to save their companions from
annihilation. Strengthened by these reënforcements, the Normans quickly
re-formed their battle order and renewed the contest; and the Turks,
unexpectedly confronted by an enemy doubled in numbers, turned in flight
and were swept from the field. The crusaders pursued them till nightfall,
plundered their camp, and took quantities of booty.[68]

There can be no doubt that Robert Curthose fought bravely, as befitted
one of his ancestry,[69] on the field of Dorylaeum. But the accounts,
nearly contemporary though they be, which picture him as the supremely
brave leader, whose heroic action checked the rout of the Christians
and saved the day, belong rather to the realm of legend than of sober
history.[70] A just estimate based upon strictly reliable sources must
recognize that Robert divided the honors of Dorylaeum with Bohemond and
the other leaders, but must assign him a part in the battle somewhat
subordinate to that played by the great leader of the southern Normans.

The rout of the Turks at Dorylaeum opened the way through Asia Minor; and
on 4 July,[71] after a two days’ halt to rest and to bury the dead,[72]
the crusaders entered upon the long march to Antioch, the great Seljuk
stronghold in northern Syria.[73] No serious opposition was encountered
from the enemy; and on 20 October,[74] after three and a half months
of varied hardships, they arrived at the so-called Iron Bridge (Djisr
el-Hadid) over the Orontes a few miles above Antioch. Robert Curthose led
the vanguard[75] which encountered outposts of the enemy at the bridge
and defeated them in a sharp engagement; and that night the crusaders
camped beside the river.[76] Next day (21 October) they pushed on to
Antioch and took up their positions before the city.[77]

The siege of Antioch was a problem fit to try the resources, spirit,
and endurance of the greatest commander. Its massive walls and towers,
far superior to anything then known in western Europe, rendered it
impregnable by assault. It was held by a strong garrison under the
command of a resourceful emir; and the besiegers were in constant danger
from a sortie in force. Moreover, the beleaguered garrison was not to be
left without assistance; and more than once the crusaders had to meet
and drive off a relief force in greatly superior numbers. And finally,
the food problem soon became so acute as to threaten the besiegers
with starvation; and to hunger were added the hardships of the winter
season. Plainly this was not the kind of warfare which appealed to the
easy-going, pleasure-loving Robert of Normandy. During the early stages
of the siege, while the abundant supplies of a fertile district still
held out, he played his part with courage and spirit, as, for example,
when he joined with Bohemond and Robert of Flanders in a victorious fight
against the Turks on the Aleppo road near Harim in November.[78] But
when, in December, the crusaders began to feel the pinch of famine,[79]
Robert could not withstand the temptation to withdraw to more pleasant
winter quarters at Laodicea.[80]

Though the preaching of the Crusade had aroused little enthusiasm among
the upper classes in England, it had met with a curious response among
the English seamen. Assembling a considerable fleet, they had passed the
Straits of Gibraltar and arrived off the Syrian coast well in advance of
the crusading forces which were making their way across the highlands
of Asia Minor; and in concert with the Emperor—who, it must not be
forgotten, was coöperating with the crusaders both by land and sea—they
had captured Laodicea and established themselves there before the land
forces had arrived at Antioch. Well stocked with provisions from Cyprus,
and protected from pirates by the English fleet, which secured its trade
communications with the islands, Laodicea offered tempting quarters for
one who had tired of the rigors of the winter siege at Antioch. Moreover,
the English mariners appear to have been menaced in their possession by
wandering bands of the enemy in the surrounding country and in need of
reënforcements. Accordingly, they appealed to Robert of Normandy as their
most natural lord among the crusading chieftains, and besought him to
come to Laodicea as their protector.

Accepting this invitation with alacrity, Robert retired from Antioch in
December 1097, and, joining his friends at Laodicea, gave himself up
to sleep and idleness, content with forwarding a part of the abundant
provisions which he enjoyed to his suffering comrades at the siege. The
situation of the besiegers, however, was precarious, and they could
not long remain indifferent to the absence of so important a leader as
Robert. Soon they summoned him to return; and when their appeal met
with no response, they repeated it and finally threatened him with
excommunication. Thus pressed, Robert had no choice but to yield, and,
very reluctantly turning his back upon the comforts of Laodicea, he
returned to the hardships of the siege.

Robert was back at Antioch for the crisis of 8 and 9 February 1098,
which was brought on by the arrival of Ridwan of Aleppo at the head of
a large Turkish relief force. He attended the war council of 8 February
which determined upon a plan of action;[81] and next day, while Bohemond
and the mounted knights were winning their splendid victory over the
forces of Ridwan,[82] he assumed command, along with the bishop of Le Puy
and the count of Flanders, over the foot soldiers who remained behind
to maintain the siege and guard the camp.[83] And though the Turkish
garrison attempted a sortie in force from three gates, Robert and his
comrades kept up a hard but victorious struggle throughout the day, and
at nightfall drove the enemy back within the walls.[84]

From the defeat of Ridwan of Aleppo until the capture of Antioch, 3 June
1098, we lose sight of Robert completely; and it must remain a matter of
doubt whether he was privy to the secret negotiations by which Bohemond,
corrupting a Turkish guard, succeeded at last in opening the gates of the
impregnable fortress.[85] Robert was certainly present at the capture
of Antioch[86] and played his part honorably in the trying days which

The month of June brought the crusaders face to face with the gravest
crisis with which they had yet been confronted. The citadel of Antioch
still held out against them; and, within two days after their victorious
entrance into the city, advance guards of a vast Moslem army under the
command of Kerboga of Mosul arrived before the gates. By the 8th of
the month the Franks were compelled to burn their outworks and retire
within the walls, themselves to stand a siege.[87] Though not especially
mentioned, Robert doubtless took his part in the all-day struggle of
10 June; and when, next morning, it was discovered that a panic was
spreading through the ranks, and that some of the forces, followers of
Robert among them, had already let themselves down over the wall and
fled,[88] he promptly joined with the other leaders in the solemn oath
by which they mutually bound themselves to stand firm to the end.[89]
And when finally, on 28 June, it was decided to stake all on a battle
with Kerboga in the open, he led the third division[90] in the action
and shared in the greatest victory of the Christians during the First
Crusade. A few days later he attended the council at which it was
determined, in view of the summer heat and the scarcity of water, to
postpone the advance upon Jerusalem until 1 November;[91] and with that
the leaders parted company.

How Robert passed the summer months, it is impossible to say. Probably he
sought cooler and more healthful quarters away from pest-ridden Antioch.
But he was evidently there again on 11 September, for he joined the other
leaders in the letter to Urban II in which they recounted the progress
of the Crusade, reported the death of Bishop Adhemar of Le Puy, and
urged the Pope himself to come and join them.[92] Robert was certainly
at Antioch on 1 November, the day set for the general advance upon

But the advance was again delayed by a bitter quarrel which had broken
out between Bohemond and Raymond of Toulouse over the possession of
Antioch.[94] And now we find Robert, in the rôle of peacemaker, joining
with the other disinterested leaders who desired to respect their pledges
to the Emperor in an effort to arbitrate the difficulties.[95] But all
these efforts were in vain, for when the arbitrators had arrived at a
decision on the merits of the case, they lacked authority to enforce
their judgment, and dared not announce it lest matters should be
made worse. Finally, however, a truce was agreed upon in the hope of
continuing the Crusade;[96] and Robert departed with Raymond and others
to lay siege to Marra.[97] But hardly had this place been taken (11
December),[98] when the quarrel between Bohemond and Raymond flamed up
afresh; and now the controversy spread from the leaders to the ranks,
and the army was divided into two bitter factions.[99] Again Robert
joined the other leaders in council at Rugia in an attempt to bring about
a reconciliation;[100] but again all efforts failed, and Raymond and
Bohemond remained at enmity.

Meanwhile, the count of Toulouse, yielding to popular pressure in the
army, determined upon an independent advance to Jerusalem; and in order
to isolate his rival the more effectually, he undertook to hire other
leaders to follow him. To Godfrey of Bouillon and to Robert Curthose
he offered 10,000 _solidi_, to the count of Flanders 6000, to Tancred
5000, and to others in accordance with their dignity.[101] Tancred
definitely closed with the offer,[102] and there is reason for believing
that Robert Curthose also accepted it.[103] In any case, Robert joined
Raymond and Tancred at Kafartab, 14 January 1099, and two days later the
three leaders moved southward with their followers towards Jerusalem,
Robert and Tancred leading the vanguard while Raymond brought up the
rear. As they moved southward up the beautiful valley of the Orontes,
panic-stricken emirs along their line of march sent to purchase peace
at any price and poured out their wealth in gifts, while the plunder
of a fertile countryside supplied the crusaders with still greater
abundance.[104] Crossing the river at a ford a short distance above
Shaizar, they made their way over the mountainous divide and descended
towards the sea into the rich valley of El-Bukeia.[105] Halting there for
a fortnight’s rest and the celebration of the Purification,[106] they
crossed the valley and encamped before the great fortress of Arka on the
northern slopes of Lebanon (14 February). The neighboring port of Tortosa
fell into their hands almost immediately, and when easy communication
with the sea had thus been secured, they settled down to the siege of
Arka.[107] This caused another delay of three months, and though Robert,
Raymond, and Tancred each built siege towers,[108] no progress was made
towards reducing the fortress. Even with the aid of Godfrey and Robert of
Flanders, who came up with their forces 14 March, all their efforts were

Meanwhile, fresh disputes arose within the ranks of the army; and the
Provençals, who at Marra had vented their rage upon Bohemond and his
followers, now turned against Robert and the northern Normans. The
genuineness of the so-called Holy Lance had been called in question.[110]
Many of the Normans believed that the discovery of the Lance at
Antioch had been a mere hoax got up by the vision-loving followers of
Count Raymond; and on this question opinion in the army was sharply
divided.[111] Arnulf of Chocques, Duke Robert’s chaplain, was regarded as
the “chief of all the unbelievers,”[112] and upon him the bitter hatred
of the Provençals was concentrated. An attempt was made to settle the
controversy by an ordeal; but this resulted indecisively, and each side
continued to believe as before. Arnulf was firmly supported by the duke
and the Norman party generally, and the attacks of his enemies met with
no success.[113]

While time was thus being wasted in disputes and recriminations the
season was rapidly advancing; and since Arka showed no signs of
capitulating, the leaders, Duke Robert among them, decided to abandon the
siege and push on forthwith to Jerusalem.[114] Breaking camp 13 May, they
advanced along the coast road by rapid marches, and on 7 June arrived
before the Holy City,[115] ‘rejoicing and exulting.’[116]

Of the multitudes who had set out from Europe three years before,
comparatively few had endured to complete this last stage of the
pilgrimage. Not only were the ranks of the army greatly thinned, but half
of the leaders had either fallen behind or turned back. The bishop of
Le Puy had died at Antioch the previous August; Baldwin, Duke Godfrey’s
brother, had turned aside to become count of Edessa; Bohemond had
remained to pursue his ambitious schemes at Antioch; Hugh of Vermandois
had been sent upon a mission to the Emperor; and Stephen of Blois had
deserted and returned to Europe to face the reproaches of his more heroic
Norman wife.

With forces so diminished, a complete investment of Jerusalem was out
of the question. If the city was to be taken at all, it would have to
be carried by storm. The crusaders, therefore, selected approaches and
prepared for an assault upon the walls. If, as has been suggested, Robert
Curthose had been, since the previous January, in the hire of Raymond of
Toulouse,[117] the connection between them was now severed; and during
the siege of Jerusalem Robert’s operations were strategically combined
with those of Duke Godfrey and Robert of Flanders. With them he took
up his position before the northern wall to the west of St. Stephen’s

The assault upon the city on 13 June failed miserably through the almost
complete lack of siege machinery; and it became clear that far more
elaborate preparations would have to be made. It was decided, therefore,
to construct at all costs two movable wooden siege towers and other
apparatus.[119] Count Raymond assumed responsibility for one of the
towers; the providing of the other was undertaken by Godfrey, Robert
Curthose, and Robert of Flanders.[120] Owing to the barrenness of the
region around Jerusalem, wood for the construction was not to be had
near at hand; but guided by a friendly Syrian Christian, the two Roberts
with a band of knights and foot soldiers made their way to a distant
forest in the hills ‘in the direction of Arabia’, and, loading wood upon
camels, brought it back to Jerusalem, where the building operations
were pushed forward with feverish activity for almost four weeks.[121]
When the work had almost reached completion, Godfrey and his associates
determined upon a sudden change of plan; and, during the night of 9-10
July, they had their tower and other engines taken apart and moved a mile
eastward towards the valley of Jehoshaphat, to a point where level ground
offered a good approach, and where the wall was weaker, not having been
reënforced by the beleaguered garrison.[122]

During the next three days the siege tower and other apparatus were again
assembled and set in order for action; and at dawn 14 July the assault
was begun.[123] All day long it was pressed with vigor, and though the
defenders fought with the heroism of desperation, endeavoring to set fire
to the tower as it was moved forward,[124] all their efforts failed.
Next morning at daybreak the attack was renewed, Robert Curthose and
Tancred operating the mangonels which cleared the way for the tower to
be rolled up close to the wall.[125] The garrison still stood stoutly to
the defence and let down bags filled with straw to break the shock of
the missiles hurled from the mangonels. The Christians were filled with
discouragement.[126] But as the hour approached at which the Saviour was
raised upon the cross (9 A.M.), their mighty effort at last was crowned
with success.[127] With burning arrows they managed to fire the sacks
of straw with which the wall was protected; and as the flames burst
forth the defenders were compelled to retire. Then dropping a bridge
from the tower to the wall, the crusaders rushed across and carried all
before them.[128] Soon the gates were opened and the city was given over
to carnage and plunder.[129] With victory assured, the blood-stained
warriors paused momentarily in their work of destruction, and, “rejoicing
and weeping from excess of joy,” turned aside to render adoration at
the Sepulchre and fulfil their vows;[130] but not for two days were the
pillage and slaughter ended.[131]

It remained for the crusaders to elect a ruler of the newly conquered
city and territory. After two conferences[132] and much discussion the
choice of the leaders fell upon Godfrey of Bouillon, the position having
first been offered to Raymond of Toulouse.[133] “Though unwilling,”
Godfrey was elected “advocate of the church of the Holy Sepulchre.”[134]
A generation later the belief was widely current that the honor had also
been offered to Robert Curthose and declined by him;[135] but it rests
upon no acceptable contemporary authority, and appears to have been a
later invention.

Hardly had Godfrey been raised to his new dignity when he became involved
in a dispute with the count of Toulouse, not unlike the quarrel which
had arisen between Raymond and Bohemond after the capture of Antioch.
Raymond was holding the Tower of David and declined to hand it over to
the new ruler. But Godfrey was strongly supported in his just demand
by Robert Curthose and Robert of Flanders and by many even of Raymond’s
own followers, who were eager to return home and desired the count to
lead them; and under pressure Raymond, always sensitive to popular
opinion, was obliged to yield.[136] It was during this same period
that Duke Robert’s chaplain, Arnulf of Chocques, was raised to the
dignity of acting patriarch of Jerusalem (1 August).[137] Though only a
priest—perhaps not even in subdeacon’s orders—and of obscure birth, he
had contrived by his learning, personality, and eloquence to make himself
the leader of the anti-Provençal party; and his elevation to this high
position was another notable victory for the enemies of Count Raymond.

Meanwhile a new peril arose to menace the crusaders in the enjoyment
of their conquests. Before any of the leaders had completed their
preparations for the homeward journey, news arrived that the emir Malik
el-Afdhal, grand vizier of the caliph of Egypt, was rapidly approaching
at the head of a great army.[138] Once more the crusaders were to be put
to the test of a battle in the open with an enemy in greatly superior
numbers. On 11 August the leaders concentrated their forces in the
vicinity of Ascalon and prepared for battle.[139] Next morning at dawn
they advanced into a pleasant valley near the seashore and drew up their
forces in battle order. Duke Godfrey led the left wing, farthest inland,
Count Raymond the right beside the sea, while the centre was commanded
by the two Roberts, Tancred, and Eustace of Boulogne.[140] When all
was ready, the crusaders moved forward, while the Saracens held their
positions and awaited the attack.[141] As the opposing forces came
together Robert Curthose perceived the standard of the emir—a lance
of silver surmounted by a golden sphere—which served as the rallying
point for the Saracen forces; and charging the standard-bearer at full
speed, he wounded him mortally[142] and caused the standard itself to be
captured by the crusaders. Spurred on by Robert’s brilliant example, the
count of Flanders and Tancred dashed forward to the attack and carried
all before them right into the enemy’s camp. The victory of the centre
was complete; and the Saracens broke and fled, many of them being slain
by the Christians who pursued them. Vast quantities of booty were taken
and borne away by the victors to Jerusalem.[143] Robert of Normandy
purchased for twenty marks of silver the standard of the emir, which
had been captured by his own heroic act, and presented it to Arnulf,
the acting patriarch, to be placed in the church of the Sepulchre as a
memorial of the great victory.[144]

With the battle of Ascalon the contemporary histories of the Crusade come
abruptly to an end, and it becomes more difficult than ever to piece
together a connected account of the exploits of Robert Curthose in the
Holy Land. If the account of Ordericus Vitalis can be trusted, he again
assumed the rôle of mediator, together with Robert of Flanders, in the
fresh quarrel which broke out between Godfrey and the count of Toulouse
over the expected surrender of Ascalon.[145] But his efforts met with no
success, and the Saracens, learning of the dissension among the leaders,
closed their gates. For more than fifty years Ascalon remained in the
hands of the enemy, a constant menace to the peace and prosperity of the
Latin Kingdom.

Nothing now remained to detain longer in the Holy Land Robert Curthose
and Robert of Flanders, and other crusaders who had no personal
ambitions to promote. Having bathed in the Jordan and gathered palms at
Jericho according to the immemorial custom of Jerusalem-farers,[146]
they took leave of Godfrey and Tancred and set forth upon the homeward
journey in company with Count Raymond.[147] As they proceeded northward
by the coast road they learned that Bohemond had taken advantage of their
absence in the south to lay siege to the friendly city of Laodicea. But
making a short halt at Jebeleh, they quickly came to an understanding
with the Laodiceans; and when they had compelled Bohemond to retire from
his disgraceful enterprise, they were received into the city with great
rejoicing.[148] It was then the month of September.[149] Raymond, who by
this time—as Chalandon has made perfectly clear[150]—was acting in close
agreement with Alexius, garrisoned the fortresses in the Emperor’s name
and remained to hold the city against the machinations of Bohemond.[151]

After a brief sojourn at Laodicea, Robert Curthose and Robert of
Flanders and many of their comrades continued their homeward journey
by sea,[152] embarking, apparently, upon imperial ships and sailing
for Constantinople, where they were magnificently received by the
Emperor.[153] To all who would enter his service he offered great rewards
and honors; but the two Roberts desired to push on homeward without
delay. Accordingly, he presented them with rich gifts and granted
them markets and a free passage through his territories; and so they
returned to Italy and were received with great rejoicing by Roger of
Sicily, Roger Bursa, Geoffrey of Conversano, and other relatives and

Here Duke Robert paused and comfortably rested upon his enviable
reputation while he enjoyed the sumptuous entertainment of admiring
friends and made plans for the future. His position during this second
sojourn in Italy was indeed an enviable one. For once in his life he
had played a distinguished part in a great adventure worthy of the best
traditions of the Normans. It is true that he had not displayed so great
energy and resourcefulness as some of the other leaders. Bohemond and
Tancred, had they been present, might in a measure have eclipsed his
fame. But for the moment he stood without a rival; and it is little
wonder that he gained the hand of one of the great heiresses of Norman
Italy together with a dower sufficiently rich to enable him to redeem his

The Crusade had been a fortunate venture in the life of Robert Curthose.
He had set out from Normandy with a record of continuous failure and
a reputation for weakness and incompetence. He was now returning with
all the prestige and glory of a great crusading prince, his past sins
and failures all forgotten. He was soon to become a hero of romance;
and, among modern writers, Freeman has not hesitated to praise him as
a skilled commander, “ever foremost in fight and council.”[156] But a
careful reading of the sources hardly justifies the bestowal of such
praise. Robert had, it is true, shown some fine qualities as a crusader.
He had kept faith with the Greek Emperor and won his lasting gratitude.
His generosity and good-fellowship had gained him many friends and
followers,[157] and it is not recorded that any one was his enemy.
As a warrior he had always fought with distinguished bravery, and in
the battle of Ascalon, at least, he had performed a greater feat of
arms than any of his comrades. He had gone to the Holy Land with no
ulterior ambitions, and in this respect he stands in happy contrast
with the self-seeking Bohemond and the grasping count of Toulouse. His
disinterestedness had gained him a certain distinction enjoyed by no
other crusader, save perhaps his cousin, Count Robert of Flanders; and it
is not without reason that he appears frequently among the peacemakers,
who in the general interest undertook to reconcile the quarrels of
rival leaders. Yet he was still the same indulgent, affable, ‘sleepy
duke,’[158] who had failed in the government of his duchy once and was to
fail again. Though brave and active in the moment of danger, he was in
no sense comparable as a general or as a statesman with such leaders as
Bohemond and Godfrey; and on the whole the judgment of Freeman must be
reversed. Robert was, so far as we know, never foremost in council; he
was rarely foremost on the field of battle; and he showed no particular
capacity for generalship. But with such qualities as he possessed, he was
content to coöperate harmoniously with the more active and resourceful
leaders, persevering on the way until the pagan had been vanquished and
the Sepulchre had been won. Not unnaturally he returned to Europe in the
enjoyment of fame and honor.


[1] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 9.

[2] Matthew of Edessa, _Chronique_, in _H. C. A._, i, p. 24.

[3] P. 219.

[4] “Indomita gens Normannorum.” Ordericus, iii, p. 474.

[5] Ordericus, iii, pp. 475-476.

[6] _Ibid._, p. 476. Ordericus evidently believes that the duke’s
unfortunate situation in Normandy was his chief reason for taking the
cross: “Denique talibus infortuniis, Rodbertus dux, perspectis anxius, et
adhuc peiora formidans, ut pote ab omnibus pene destitutus, … decrevit
terram suam fratri suo regi dimittere; et cruce Domini sumpta, pro
peccatis suis Deo satisfacturus, in Ierusalem pergere.”

[7] Cf. Louis Bréhier, _L’église et l’Orient au moyen âge: les croisades_
(Paris, 1907), pp. 52-62.

[8] Cf. Ordericus, iii, pp. 470 ff.

[9] For the papal itinerary see Philipp Jaffé, _Regesta Pontificum
Romanorum_ (2d ed., Leipsic, 1885-88), i, pp. 681-685.

[10] Hugh of Flavigny, _Chronicon_, in _M. G. H._, Scriptores, viii, p.

[11] _Ibid._

[12] Hugh of Flavigny, the abbot’s companion and secretary, drew up a
charter for Duke Robert at Bayeux 24 May 1096. Haskins, p. 67, no. 4, and
n. 19; cf. p. 76, n. 34; and _supra_, p. 18, n. 6.

[13] Haskins, pp. 75-76, and the sources there cited.

[14] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p 371.

[15] Ordericus, iii, p. 476.

[16] Hugh of Flavigny, in _M. G. H._, Scriptores, viii, p. 475;
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, pp.
274-275; Ordericus, iii, p. 476; iv, p. 16; Eadmer, p. 74; _A.-S. C._,
_a._ 1096; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 40; William of Malmesbury, _G.
R._, ii, p. 371; _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales Monastici_, ii, p.
38. There is disagreement as to the term of the loan. According to Hugh
of Flavigny it was to be for three years, according to Ordericus five,
and according to Robert of Torigny until the duke’s return from the

[17] Eadmer, pp. 74-75; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 40; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 371-372.

[18] _Leges Edwardi Confessoris_, in _Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen_,
ed. Felix Liebermann (Halle, 1898-1912), i, pp. 636-637; “Et hanc
libertatem habuit sancta ecclesia usque ad tempus Willelmi iunioris,
qui de baronibus totius patrie auxilium petiit ad Normanniam retinendam
de fratre suo Rodberto eunte in Ierusalem. Ipsi autem concesserunt ei
quatuor solidos de unaquaque hyda, sanctam ecclesiam non excipientes.

“Quorum dum fieret collectio, clamabat ecclesia, libertatem suam
reposcens; sed nichil sibi profuit.” A later recension adds that the
grant was made, “non lege statutum tamen neque firmatum, sed hac
necessitatis causa.”

[19] It is difficult to see why this should have been such a burden, but
the contemporary writers leave no doubt as to the resentment which it
aroused. William of Malmesbury (_G. P._, p. 432) is very bitter against
the abbot of Malmesbury because of his action on this occasion and very
specific as to the sufferings of his church: “Denique die uno .xii.
textus Evangeliorum, .viiiᵗᵒ. cruces, .viiiᵗᵒ. scrinia argento et auro
nudata et excrustata sunt.” Eadmer (p. 75) tells how Anselm was obliged
to borrow two hundred marks from the cathedral treasury, placing his
demesne vill of Peckham in _vif gage_ for seven years as security.—On
_vif gage_ see R. Génestal, _Rôle des monastères comme établissements de
crédit_ (Paris, 1901), pp. 1-2.

[20] E.g., a charter published by Léopold Delisle in _Littérature latine
et histoire du moyen âge_ (Paris, 1890), pp. 28-29. All such documents as
have come to light are cited in connection with individual crusaders in
Appendix D.

[21] For the women with Duke Robert’s forces see Appendix D, nos. 6, 10,
13, 14.

[22] For a full list of Robert’s known companions on the Crusade, with
all the evidence concerning them, see Appendix D.

[23] It was perhaps through this Alan that the names of so many Breton
crusaders have been preserved in the history of Baldric of Dol, from
which they have been copied by Ordericus Vitalis.

[24] They are mentioned in a general way as taking part in the battle
with Kerboga at Antioch, 28 June 1098: “In tertia Rodbertus dux
Normannorum, cum xv milibus Cenomannorum, Andegavorum, Britonum, et
Anglorum.” Ordericus, iii, p. 555. There is a good deal of documentary
evidence bearing upon crusaders from Maine, which, however, is in no
case quite sufficient to prove that any individual Manceau whom we can
identify actually went on the First Crusade. It will be found in Appendix
D, nos. 22-24, 27, 30, 38, 47. An anonymous work entitled _Noblesse
du Maine aux croisades_ (Le Mans, 1859), pp. 13-14, gives a list of
twenty-five noble Manceaux who answered Pope Urban’s call. The list is
valueless, however, since no evidence or authority is cited in any case,
and the work is obviously based upon no sufficient criticism.

[25] Ordericus, iv, pp. 37-38.

[26] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1096.

[27] See Appendix E, pp. 231-232.

[28] _G. R._, ii, p. 431.

[29] See Appendix C.

[30] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 40.

[31] Cf. Ordericus, iv, p. 37: “Ea tempestate qua Rodbertus dux fratri
suo Normanniam commisit, et ab eo magnam argenti copiam, ad explendum
iter ad sepulchrum Regis nostri, recepit, Helias comes ad curiam regis
Rotomagum venit. Qui, postquam diu cum duce consiliatus fuit, ad regem
accessit, eique humiliter dixit…” Freeman places the meeting “at some
point of the border-land of the Vexin, at Pontoise or at Chaumont,”
citing as authority a letter of Ivo of Chartres (_H. F._, xv, p. 82); but
he has quite arbitrarily assigned to 1096 a letter which clearly does not
belong to that period. _William Rufus_, i, p. 559; cf. _supra_, p. 84, n.

[32] Cf. _supra_, n. 16.

[33] Fulcher of Chartres, _Historia Hierosolymitana_ (1095-1127), ed.
Heinrich Hagenmeyer (Heidelberg, 1913), p. 159, and n. 21. Fulcher first
wrote ‘September’ and later changed it to ‘October.’ Ordericus Vitalis
(iii, p. 483) and William of Malmesbury (_G. R._, ii, p. 402) both place
the departure in September. Hagenmeyer probably explains the discrepancy
correctly when he remarks that all did not depart at exactly the same

[34] Fulcher, pp. 162-163. The passage is highly rhetorical, but Fulcher,
it should be remembered, was an eyewitness.

[35] _Ibid._, p. 161.

[36] Hugh of Flavigny, in _M. G. H._, Scriptores, viii, p. 475.

[37] For the stages of this route see the remarkable itinerary of
Abbot Nicholas Saemundarson of Thingeyrar (in northern Iceland) who
made the pilgrimage to the Holy Land between 1151 and 1154. E. C.
Werlauff, _Symbolae ad Geographiam Medii Aevi ex Monumentis Islandicis_
(Copenhagen, 1821), pp. 18-25. It is summarized by Paul Riant,
_Expéditions et pèlerinages des Scandinaves en Terre Sainte_ (Paris,
1865), pp. 80 ff.

[38] Fulcher, p. 164; cf. Baldric of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 20;
Ordericus, iii, p. 486.

[39] Fulcher, pp. 164-166.

[40] Petrus Diaconus, _Chronica Monasterii Casinensis_, in _M. G. H._,
Scriptores, vii, p. 765; cf. the letter of Emperor Alexius to Abbot
Oderisius of Monte Cassino, in _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, pp. 140-141.

[41] Fulcher, p. 166; Petrus Diaconus, _loc. cit._

[42] _G. F._, pp. 147 ff.; Lupus Protospatarius, in _M. G. H._,
Scriptores, v, p. 62; cf. Ferdinand Chalandon, _Histoire de la domination
normande en Italie et en Sicilie_ (Paris, 1907), i, pp. 301-302.
William of Malmesbury (_G. R._, ii, pp. 390, 453), on the other hand,
represents the crafty Bohemond as responsible for the inception of the
whole crusading movement, a view which is accepted and developed at
great length by Sir Francis Palgrave, _History of Normandy and England_
(London, 1851-64), iv, p. 484 _et passim_. H. W. C. Davis is also tempted
by it. _England under the Normans and Angevins_ (London, 1905), p. 102.
But in the face of the positive testimony of the _Gesta Francorum_ and of
Lupus Protospatarius it is untenable.

[43] Fulcher, p. 167.

[44] _Ibid._, pp. 167-168; Baldric of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 20;
Ordericus, iii, p. 486.

[45] Fulcher, p. 168.

[46] Ordericus, iii, p. 486.

[47] Fulcher, p. 168. But probably many had only intended to make
the pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Nicholas of Bari. Cf. _Miracula
S. Nicolai conscripta a Monacho Beccensi_, in _Catalogus Codicum
Hagiographicorum Latinorum in Bibliotheca Nationali Parisiensi_, ed. the
Bollandists (Brussels, 1889-93), ii, p. 422. Fulcher of Chartres (p. 167)
notes that many of the crusaders turned aside to pray at the church of
St. Nicholas.

[48] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 409.

[49] See Appendix D, no. 29.

[50] Fulcher, pp. 168-171.

[51] Fulcher of Chartres (pp. 172-175) gives a full itinerary: “ante
urbem praefatam [i.e., Durazzo] transivimus. Itaque Bulgarorum regiones
per montium praerupta et loca satis deserta perreximus. Daemonis ad
flumen rapidum tunc venimus omnes… Mane autem aurora clarescente, … iter
nostrum adripuimus conscendendo montem, quem Bagulatum nuncupant. Postea
montanis postpositis urbibusque Lucretia, Botella, Bofinat, Stella,
pervenimus ad flumen, quod vocatur Bardarium… Quo transito, sequenti
die ante urbem Thessalonicam … tentoria tetendimus nostra… Deinde
Macedoniam transeuntes, per vallem Philippensium et per Crisopolim atque
Christopolim, Praetoriam, Messinopolim, Macram, Traianopolim, Neapolim
et Panadox, Rodosto et Eracleam, Salumbriam et Naturam Constantinopolim
pervenimus.” For identification of place names see Hagenmeyer’s notes,

[52] Fulcher, pp. 175-176.

[53] _Ibid._, pp. 176-177.

[54] _Ibid._, pp. 175-176.

[55] Letter of Stephen of Blois to his wife Adela, in _Kreuzzugsbriefe_,
pp. 138-139; cf. Fulcher, p. 178.

[56] For the relations of Alexius with the crusaders see the admirable
discussion by Ferdinand Chalandon, _Essai sur le règne d’Alexis Iᵉʳ
Comnène_ (Paris, 1900), ch. vi, especially pp. 175-186.

[57] Fulcher, p. 178; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 413; Albert
of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 314.

[58] Fulcher, p. 179; letter of Stephen of Blois, in _Kreuzzugsbriefe_,
p. 139.

[59] Fulcher, p. 180.

[60] _Ibid._, pp. 182-183; letter of Stephen of Blois, in
_Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 139; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p.
239; cf. Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 153.

[61] Fulcher, p. 181, and n. 4; _G. F._, pp. 186-187.

[62] Albert of Aix reports Robert as taking part in this battle; but he
is in direct disagreement with the testimony of eyewitnesses, and is
clearly wrong. _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 320.

[63] See the sources collected in Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 160.

[64] Letter of Stephen of Blois, in _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 140; cf. Anna
Comnena, in _H. C. G._, i, 2, p. 46.

[65] Fulcher, p. 189, and n. 3.

[66] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 167.

[67] According to the _Gesta Francorum_ (p. 196) the division was
accidental and due to darkness; and this appears to be the meaning of
Raymond of Aguilers (_H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 240). Fulcher of Chartres (p.
194) confesses that he does not know the cause of the separation. Ralph
of Caen (_H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 620-621) explains that there were two
opinions, but leans to the view that the division was accidental. Albert
of Aix (_ibid._, iv, pp. 328-329), on the other hand, says that it was
intentional. Cf. Hagenmeyer’s note in Fulcher, p. 194; Reinhold Röhricht,
_Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges_, p. 90.

[68] Fulcher, pp. 190-198; _G. F._, pp. 196-205; Raymond of Aguilers,
in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 240; letter of Anselm de Ribemont, in
_Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 145; Ralph of Caen, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, 620-622,
625 ff.; Albert of Aix, _ibid._, iv, pp. 329-332.

[69] Guilbert of Nogent, _ibid._, iv, p. 160; Ralph of Caen, _ibid._,
iii, p. 622.

[70] See Chapter VIII, pp. 193-194.

[71] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 172.

[72] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 332-333; cf. Hagenmeyer,
_Chronologie_, no. 170.

[73] On the route and the events of the march in general see Hagenmeyer,
_Chronologie_, nos. 172, 175-179, 181-204, and the sources there
collected. At Heraclea the army was divided, Baldwin and Tancred with
their followers taking the southern route through the Cilician Gates,
Robert and the other leaders with their forces making a long detour to
the northward through Caesarea Mazaca, Coxon (the ancient Cocussus), and
Marash, and finally approaching Antioch from the northeast. Albert of
Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 357-358: the fact is also implied in the
other sources, especially Fulcher of Chartres, who writes in the first
person until his separation from the Norman forces at Marash and his
departure for Edessa as chaplain of Baldwin.

[74] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 200.

[75] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 362.

[76] _G. F._, pp. 239-241; letter of Anselm de Ribemont, in
_Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 145; Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 362-363.

[77] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 203. On the positions taken up by the
various contingents see Röhricht, _Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges_, p.

[78] Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 242; cf. _G. F._, pp.
245-247; letter of Anselm de Ribemont, in _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 145.

[79] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 214.

[80] Laodicea ad Mare (modern Latakia), the seaport on the Syrian coast
directly opposite the island of Cyprus. For all that follows concerning
Laodicea and Robert’s connection therewith see Appendix E.

[81] Tudebode, _Historia de Hierosolymitano Itinere_, in _H. C. Oc._,
iii, p. 43.

[82] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 233.

[83] Tudebode, _loc. cit._ Albert of Aix (_H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 381, 385)
and Henry of Huntingdon (pp. 223, 224) erroneously make him lead one of
the six divisions of knights under Bohemond.

[84] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 233.

[85] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, nos. 260, 262, 264, 265. According to
Bruno of Lucca, Robert Curthose and Robert of Flanders both had a hand
in the secret negotiations. Letter of the clergy and people of Lucca, in
_Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 166. But Bruno, though present at the capture of
Antioch, was clearly not well informed about these matters, and great
importance cannot be attached to his statement. According to Baldric of
Dol (_H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 55) and Ordericus Vitalis (iii, p. 537), Robert
was among the chiefs to whom Bohemond confided his plans on the eve of
putting them into execution. This is in no way unlikely, but Baldric and
Ordericus are not independent, and it must be acknowledged that they are
a very uncertain authority for such a point as this. The writers who were
on the ground make no mention of Robert Curthose in this connection.

[86] Letter of the clergy and people of Lucca, in _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p.
166; Ralph of Caen, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 657.

[87] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, nos. 267, 269-274, 276, 278.

[88] The brothers William and Alberic of Grandmesnil were among the
fugitives. _G. F._, pp. 332-334; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._,
iii, p. 256; Baldric of Dol, _ibid._, iv, p. 64; Ordericus, iii, p. 545;
Guibert of Nogent, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 194; Ralph of Caen, _ibid._,
iii, p. 662; Tudebode, _ibid._, iii, p. 67; _Historia Belli Sacri_,
_ibid._, iii, p. 200. (In citing the last work I follow the practice
of Hagenmeyer’s _Chronologie_ in retaining the caption of Mabillon’s
edition, though the title given in the Academy edition to which reference
is made is _Tudebodus Imitatus et Continuatus_. The author is conjectured
to have been a Norman from southern Italy who took part in the Crusade
and afterwards settled at Antioch. He wrote after 1131.) William of
Grandmesnil did not set out with Robert from Normandy, but went from
southern Italy. According to Tudebode, Ralph of Caen, and the _Historia
Belli Sacri_, Ivo of Grandmesnil was also among the fugitives. This act
of cowardice made a deep impression upon contemporaries. Ralph of Caen
writes: “At fratres, pudet, heu! pudet, heu! Normannia misit.” Guibert of
Nogent, as a friend of the family, declines to mention the family name in
connection with the incident.

[89] _G. F._, p. 340; Guibert of Nogent, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 196; cf.
Raymond of Aguilers, _ibid._, iii, p. 256. The purpose of the measure was
to restore the morale of the rank and file.

[90] _G. F._, pp. 368-370; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii,
p. 259. Or possibly he led the second division, the count of Flanders
leading the third. The two Roberts evidently fought in close coöperation.
Letter of Anselm de Ribemont, in _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 160; Fulcher, p.
255; Ralph of Caen, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 666; Albert of Aix, _ibid._,
iv, p. 422. During the battle a new division was formed from the forces
of Robert Curthose and Godfrey in order to checkmate an attempt of the
Turks to outflank the crusaders. _G. F._, p. 373.

[91] _Ibid._, pp. 382-385; Guibert of Nogent, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 208;
cf. Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 298.

[92] _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 161.

[93] _G. F._, p. 394-395; Tudebode, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 87; cf.
Raymond of Aguilers, _ibid._, iii, p. 266; Albert of Aix, _ibid._, iv, p.
448; Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 321.

[94] Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 261-268; _G. F._, pp.
379-380, 394-395.

[95] At a series of conferences held in the basilica of St. Peter at
Antioch. _Ibid._, pp. 394-395; Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 434;
cf. Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 323.

[96] _G. F._, pp. 395-396; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp.

[97] Ralph of Caen, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 674; Albert of Aix, _ibid._,
iv, p. 448; cf. _G. F._, pp. 402-403, and n. 9.

[98] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 329.

[99] Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 270-271; _G. F._, p.
410; Fulcher, pp. 267-268.

[100] _G. F._, p. 411; cf. Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 335.

[101] Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 271.

[102] _Ibid._, p. 278.

[103] This is made probable by the fact that Robert alone of all the
important leaders joined Raymond and Tancred in the advance upon
Jerusalem. Robert was still in the company of Raymond at Caesarea. Albert
of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 460. But upon the arrival of the crusaders
before Jerusalem, the point at which the contract should have terminated,
he promptly separated from Raymond; and thereafter during the siege
he acted in close association with Godfrey of Bouillon and Robert of
Flanders. Cf. _infra_, p. 112.

[104] _G. F._, pp. 414 ff.; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp.
272-273; cf. Fulcher, p. 268.

[105] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, nos. 341-345. For a detailed study of
this itinerary see Hagenmeyer’s notes in _G. F._, pp. 414-419.

[106] _G. F._, pp. 419 ff.

[107] _Ibid._, pp. 425-428; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp.

[108] Ralph of Caen, _ibid._, p. 680.

[109] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, nos. 352-354, 359-360.

[110] For the discovery of the Lance at Antioch and the use to which it
was put during the critical days of the struggle between the crusaders
and Kerboga, see Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, nos. 277, 284, 285, 288, 291,
and the sources there cited.

[111] _Ibid._, no. 363.

[112] “Arnulfum, capellanum comitis Normanniae, qui quasi caput omnium
incredulorum erat.” Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 281.

[113] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, nos. 364, 367.

[114] _G. F._, pp. 436-437; Fulcher, pp. 270-271.

[115] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, nos. 371-385. Guibert of Nogent
says that Robert Curthose laid siege to Acre during the advance upon
Jerusalem; but that he was called away by Godfrey. _H. C. Oc._, iv, p.
257. Ibn el-Athir also reports an attack upon Acre as the crusaders
advanced upon Jerusalem. _Kamel-Altevarykh_, in _H. C. Oc._, i, p. 198.

[116] _G. F._, p. 448.

[117] _Supra_, p. 109, and n. 103.

[118] _G. F._, pp. 449-450; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p.
293; Fulcher, p. 297; Ralph of Caen, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 687; Albert
of Aix, _ibid._, iv, p. 463.

It was evidently at this point that, according to Ordericus Vitalis,
Robert was joined by Hugh Bunel, son of Robert de Jalgeio, the fugitive
assassin of Countess Mabel, the cruel wife of Roger of Montgomery. Hugh
had been provoked to the crime in 1082 because Mabel had violently
deprived him of his lawful inheritance, and he had been obliged to
flee for his life. He had gone first to Apulia and Sicily and then to
Constantinople. But still being pursued by the spies whom William the
Conqueror and Mabel’s powerful family had employed to take his life
wherever they might find him, he had fled from Christendom altogether;
and for many years had dwelt among the Moslems, whose language and
customs he had learned. He now offered his services to Robert Curthose,
who received him kindly; and, being an excellent warrior and familiar
with all the deceptions and stratagems which the pagans practised against
the Christians, he was able to be of great service to the crusaders.
Ordericus, iii, pp. 597-598.

[119] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, nos. 388-389, 391.

[120] Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 297; _G. F._, pp.

[121] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 467-468; cf. _G. F._, pp.
462-463; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 297.

[122] _Ibid._, p. 298; _G. F._, pp. 462-463; Albert of Aix, in _H. C.
Oc._, iv, p. 471; cf. Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 399.

[123] _Ibid._, no. 403.

[124] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 476-477.

[125] Ralph of Caen, _ibid._, iii, pp. 692-693.

[126] _G. F._, p. 464; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p.
299; Guibert of Nogent (_ibid._, iv, p. 226) particularizes as to
Robert Curthose and Robert of Flanders: “Est etiam mihi non inferiore
relatione compertum Rotbertum Northmanniae comitem, Rotbertumque alterum,
Flandriarum principem, iunctis pariter convenisse moeroribus, et se cum
fletibus uberrimis conclamasse miserrimos, quos suae adoratione Crucis et
visione, immo veneratione Sepulchri tantopere Ihesus Dominus iudicaret

[127] _G. F._, pp. 464-465, and n. 15.

[128] Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 299-300; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 427.

[129] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 405.

[130] _G. F._, pp. 473-474.

[131] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 407.

[132] _Ibid._, nos. 408-409.

[133] Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 301.

[134] Letter of the leaders to the Pope, in _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 168;
_G. F._, pp. 478-480, n. 12.

[135] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 461; Henry of Huntingdon, p.
236; _Historia Belli Sacri_, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 225; cf. Albert of
Aix, _ibid._, iv, p. 485.

[136] Raymond of Aguilers, _ibid._, iii, p. 301.

[137] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 413; cf. _G. F._, p. 481, n. 14.

[138] _Ibid._, pp. 485-486, and n. 21; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C.
Oc._, iii, pp. 302-303; Albert of Aix, _ibid._, iv, p. 490.

[139] Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 420. Robert Curthose with
characteristic indolence remained in Jerusalem with Raymond until the
enemy was almost at hand, announcing that he would not go out unless he
had more certain assurance that a battle was really to take place. He
and Raymond did not lead their forces out from Jerusalem till 10 August
_G. F._, pp. 486-488; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 305;
Albert of Aix, _ibid._, iv, p. 491.

[140] _G. F._, pp. 493-494; cf. Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 494.

[141] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 494.

[142] _G. F._, pp. 494-495; Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 497;
cf. William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 429-430.

[143] _G. F._, pp. 499-501.

[144] _Ibid._, pp. 498-499; Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 497;
Baldric of Dol, _ibid._, p. 110.

[145] Ordericus, iii, pp. 620-621; cf. Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv,
pp. 497-498; Ralph of Caen, _ibid._, iii, p. 703. Hagenmeyer studies the
whole problem in _G. F._, pp. 500-502, n. 94.

[146] Fulcher, p. 319, and n. 2.

[147] _Ibid._, pp. 319-320; Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv,
p. 499; letter of Dagobert, Godfrey, and Raymond to the Pope, in
_Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 173; Ordericus, iv, p. 69.

[148] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 499-500, 502-503; Ordericus,
iv, pp. 70-72; letter of Dagobert, Godfrey, and Raymond to the Pope, in
_Kreuzzugsbriefe_, P. 173.

[149] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 503; cf. Ordericus, iv, p. 69.

[150] _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, pp. 205 ff.

[151] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 503-504.

[152] _Ibid._, p. 504.

[153] Ordericus, iv, pp. 72-75; Fulcher, pp. 319-320. Though Ordericus
knew the work of Fulcher, which he calls “certum et verax volumen” (iii,
p. 459), he appears at this point to be entirely independent of it.

[154] Ordericus, iv, pp. 75-76, 77-78.

[155] _Ibid._, pp. 78-79; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 461; cf.
_infra_, pp. 123-124.

[156] William Rufus, i, pp. 560, 564. Palgrave goes so far as to
say, “Robert had earned an entirely new reputation. The thoughtless
spendthrift was transiently disciplined into prudence, the dissolute
idler reformed into a happy and affectionate husband.” _History of
Normandy and of England_, iv, p. 673.

[157] Ralph of Caen, in describing the positions at Antioch, says: “Ab
altero autem latere Blesensis, Boloniensis, Albamarensis, Montensis,
Sancti-Paulensis, et Hugo Magnus; nam omnes his comitis Normanni
muneribus, aliqui etiam hominagio obligabantur.” _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 642.

[158] This favorite characterization of Ordericus Vitalis is confirmed by
Ralph of Caen and by Guibert of Nogent. _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 649; iv, p.



While Robert Curthose was loitering in southern Italy, enjoying the
hospitality of Norman friends and kinsmen, events of immense importance
for him were taking place beyond the Alps. On 2 August 1100 William
Rufus was slain while hunting in the New Forest.[1] News of the tragedy
quickly reached the ears of Henry Beauclerc, his younger brother, who
was a member of the royal party; and without a moment’s delay he put
spurs to his horse and galloped away to Winchester, the seat of the royal
treasury, and as lawful heir (_genuinus haeres_) imperiously demanded
the keys of the keepers. But the interests and the superior claims of
Robert Curthose did not go undefended in that hour. William of Breteuil,
son of William Fitz Osbern, had also been a member of the king’s hunting
party; and foreseeing Henry’s design, he had ridden hard upon his heels
to Winchester. Arriving upon the scene before Henry had gained possession
of the treasure, he protested that Robert’s rights should be respected.
Robert, he declared, was beyond a doubt the Conqueror’s eldest son; Henry
had done him homage and sworn fealty to him as his lord; Robert had long
labored in the Lord’s service on the Crusade; and now God was restoring
to him, as if by miracle, the duchy which he had relinquished for the
love of Heaven. But Henry was not to be balked in his purpose by any such
scruples. The crowd which had gathered to witness the altercation clearly
favored “the present heir who was claiming his right”; and with such
encouragement, Henry drew his sword and exclaimed that he would never
permit a “foreigner,” through “frivolous delays,” to anticipate him in
grasping the sceptre of his father. Then friends and prudent counsellors
intervened to allay the dissensions, and, without any serious rupture,
the supporters of the duke gave way, and the castle and the royal hoard
were handed over to Henry.[2] In that moment Robert Curthose lost a

The rapidity with which events now moved forward, and the intelligence
and sureness of judgment which were introduced into the direction of
affairs, are highly indicative of the character and determination of
the man who had grasped the helm. “On Thursday he [William Rufus] was
slain, and on the morning after buried; and after he was buried, those
of the council who were nigh at hand chose his brother Henry for king;
and he straightways gave the bishopric of Winchester to William Giffard,
and then went to London; and on the Sunday after, before the altar at
Westminster, promised to God and all the people to put down all the
injustices that were in his brother’s time; and to maintain the best laws
that stood in any king’s day before him. And then, after that, the bishop
of London, Maurice, hallowed him king; and all in this land submitted to
him and swore oaths and became his men.”[3] “And that nothing might be
wanting to the aggregate of happiness, Ranulf, the dregs of iniquity, was
cast into the gloom of a prison, and speedy messengers were despatched to
recall Anselm.”[4] The news of the king’s death had, it may be supposed,
taken Henry entirely unawares. Yet within less than four days he had
surmounted all the difficulties connected with the seizure of the kingdom
and had sketched out the programme of a reign. To Robert’s claim of
primogeniture he had opposed the fact that he alone had been born within
the realm of England and the son of a king and queen.[5] The very real
argument that Robert was still far away, and that his return could not be
awaited without grave peril to the nation, was also doubtless used with
telling effect.[6] The appointment of William Giffard to the vacant see
of Winchester, the recall of Anselm, and the imprisonment of the infamous
Ranulf Flambard, the chief oppressor of the late reign, were all measures
calculated to announce in unmistakable terms to church and clergy that
the evils from which they had suffered under William Rufus were at an
end.[7] And the issue of the famous Charter of Liberties, in direct
connection with the coronation, was a proclamation to the nation that
better days were at hand.[8] Its publication in the counties must in some
cases have brought almost the first news of the tyrant’s death and of
the inauguration of the new reign. But not content with these measures,
Henry took another step well calculated to strengthen his hold upon the
affections of his English subjects. Giving up ‘meretricious pleasures,’
he married Matilda, “daughter of Malcolm, king of Scotland, and of the
good queen Margaret, King Edward’s kinswoman, of the true royal line of
England.”[9] The marriage was solemnized on Martinmas (11 November). At
Christmas, Henry gained the tacit recognition of his royal title among
the crowned heads of Europe. With King Philip’s full permission, Louis,
the king designate of France, paid him a state visit with a distinguished
suite, and was received with fitting honors at Westminster.[10] But
this was not only an indication that Henry had been received into the
society of kings, it was an earnest of the cordial relations which were
to prevail between the French and English courts until the critical years
of the new reign had passed. The triumph of Henry’s clear-cut, far-seeing
policy could hardly have been more complete. There were rocks ahead, but
at least he had made the vessel seaworthy, and with firm and careful
steering he might hope to avoid all perils.

Henry I had good reason for acting with precipitate haste in making
sure his hold upon the English crown, for the rumor ran that his elder
brother was returning from Italy, and was already close at hand. The
king had well grounded fears that unless he made his position absolutely
secure the English barons might repent of their decision and withdraw
their allegiance.[11]

Robert Curthose was probably already on his way home from southern Italy
when William Rufus came to his tragic end in the New Forest. Late in
August, or early in September,[12] he arrived in Normandy with his newly
won bride, the beautiful Sibyl of Conversano, and was joyfully welcomed
by his subjects.[13] Without encountering any opposition, he entered into
full possession of his duchy,[14] “except the castles which were occupied
by King Henry’s men, against which he had many onsets and contests.”[15]

There were many reasons for the cordial welcome which Normandy extended
her duke upon his return from the Crusade. The old evils and abuses of
his earlier reign had doubtless largely been forgotten, while the rule of
William Rufus, who had “trampled Normandy under his feet”[16] by reason
of his warlike undertakings and the extreme rigor of his justice,[17]
had prepared men’s minds for a milder régime. Robert’s long labors in
the Holy War had brought him much prestige and made him a European
figure. The charms of his fair Italian bride[18] struck the imagination
of the people. Moreover, the death of the late king had been followed
by a fresh outburst of private war in Normandy;[19] and the return of
the legitimate duke, ‘as if by miracle,’ offered at least a hope of the
restoration of peace and order. But most important of all, the critical
state of English affairs left Henry I no time or resources to turn his
attention to the Continent; and, except in so far as his garrisons might
still hold out at Domfront and in the Cotentin, he was powerless to
prevent the restoration.

If Robert’s absence during the critical days of early August had been
fatal to his cause in England, the unexpected death of the late king
had nevertheless been his rare good fortune, so far as the recovery of
Normandy was concerned. Men saw in it the hand of God exercised on behalf
of the crusader.[20] Probably William Rufus had never intended to restore
the Norman duchy upon Robert’s return from the Crusade.[21] In any case,
Robert could not have hoped to recover it except by repayment of the loan
for which it had been pledged. Indeed, we know that while in Italy, by
means of his wife’s dowry and through the gifts of friends, he had taken
pains to provide himself with funds for the redemption of the duchy.[22]
But the tragedy in the New Forest had obviated this unpleasant necessity.
Joyfully welcomed home, the weary crusader entered into possession of his
dominions without the repayment of a single penny.

Robert’s first acts upon his return to Normandy are eminently
characteristic, and they contrast strangely with the unparallelled
energy and decision with which Henry was pressing forward to his goal
in England. Far from giving his undivided attention to the grave
problems of his distracted state, he went with his wife on pilgrimage to
Mont-Saint-Michel to render thanks to God and the archangel for his safe
return from the Crusade.[23] Then, if Wace may be trusted, he went to
Caen to visit his sister, Abbess Cecilia of La Trinité, and presented her
church with a splendid Saracen banner which he had captured in the Holy

While Robert was indulging in devotions and ceremonial and Henry was
absorbed in the affairs of his kingdom, events in Maine were rapidly
approaching a crisis which was to prove fatal to Norman dominion in
the county. During Robert’s absence on the Crusade, William Rufus had
reasserted with the utmost vigor, but with questionable success, the
Norman claim to rule in Maine. Against him Helias of La Flèche had
maintained a stubborn resistance. And although towards the end of the
Red King’s reign he had been forced to retire beyond the frontier into
his own strongholds farther south, no sooner did he receive word of the
king’s death than he pushed forward again and recovered Le Mans. But
the citadel with its Norman garrison still held out against him, and,
obtaining reënforcements from Fulk le Réchin, his Angevin overlord,
Helias began to besiege it.

The events which followed are a perfect illustration of the prevailing
ideas of the feudal age. The commanders of the Norman garrison had been
set to guard the castle of Le Mans by their lord, William Rufus, who
was now dead. And there was a question as to who was his legitimate
successor, and, therefore, as to whom they now owed allegiance. Obtaining
a truce from Helias, they sent to both Robert and Henry to seek aid or
instructions. Going first to Robert, their messenger found him “broken
by the hardships of his long pilgrimage, and preferring the quiet of the
couch to warlike exertions.” The plight of the Norman garrison at Le Mans
and the prospective loss of a county moved him little. “I am wearied
with long labor,” he is reported to have said, “and my duchy of Normandy
is enough for me. Moreover, the barons of England are inviting me to
cross the sea and are prepared to receive me as their king.” Robert,
therefore, advised the commanders of the garrison to make an honorable
peace. Getting no satisfaction from the duke, the envoy hastened to
England to ask aid of the king. But Henry was engrossed in the affairs of
his realm—which Robert’s return had rendered critical—and he prudently
decided not to embark upon a hazardous foreign enterprise at that time.
He thanked the Norman commanders at Le Mans for their loyalty and
consideration, but sent their messenger away empty. And when they had
thus “laudably proved their fidelity,” they surrendered the citadel to
Helias of La Flèche, late in October, and marched out with the honors of

So ended the Norman domination in Maine. Helias of La Flèche was now
completely master of the county; and the betrothal of Eremburg, his only
daughter, to the oldest son of Fulk le Réchin paved the way for its later
union with Anjou. Not until an Angevin count should succeed to the Norman
duchy were the two territories again to be brought under a single ruler.

It has been suggested that Henry I, while declining to aid the Norman
garrison at Le Mans, was already secretly negotiating with Helias of La
Flèche with a view to obtaining his aid against Robert Curthose.[26] But
there is no evidence of any such negotiations; and since it is not until
several years later that Maine and Anjou appear as active supporters of
the king against the duke, this hypothesis seems unwarrantable. In the
autumn of 1100, Henry was in no position to interfere in continental
affairs. He showed his wisdom and his sense of proportion in allowing
Maine to go its way, while he dealt with the more pressing problem of
the investiture controversy with Anselm and the papacy and prepared to
frustrate the projects of disaffected subjects who were already plotting
his overthrow. The interests of Robert Curthose in Maine, on the other
hand, were more immediate, and Ordericus Vitalis charges his inaction to
his habitual indolence. But the real cause of his indifference, it seems,
was the fact that visions of a second Norman conquest of England were
already floating before his unstable mind. Within a few months he was
fairly launched in preparations for an invasion of the island kingdom and
an attempt to gain the English crown.

As soon as Robert’s return from the Crusade became known in England,
“almost all the magnates of the land violated the fealty which they had
sworn”[27] and entered into secret negotiations for his elevation to
the English throne.[28] Robert of Bellême and his two brothers Roger
and Arnulf, William of Warenne, Walter Giffard, Ivo of Grandmesnil, and
Robert, son of Ilbert de Lacy, were the chief conspirators.[29] Accepting
their proposals with alacrity, Robert Curthose promptly relapsed into all
the old extravagant practices which had impoverished him and stripped
him of his inherited dominions during his earlier reign. To Robert of
Bellême he granted the castle of Argentan, the forest of Gouffern, and
lucrative rights attaching to the bishopric of Séez.[30] Upon others he
squandered the treasure which he had brought back with him from Italy,
while to others still he made extravagant promises to be fulfilled out
of the spoils of England.[31] Yet it is doubtless an exaggeration which
pictures the king as deserted by ‘almost all the magnates of the land.’
Some of the ablest and most powerful of the barons remained loyal, among
them Count Robert of Meulan and his brother Henry of Beaumont, earl of
Warwick, Robert Fitz Hamon, Richard de Redvers, Roger Bigot,[32] and
probably many others of less note.

During the autumn and winter the conspiracy smouldered, causing the
king no small concern. In his letter to Anselm immediately after his
coronation, Henry directed him in returning to England to avoid Normandy
and travel by way of Wissant and Dover.[33] And in his negotiations with
Anselm after his arrival in England (23 September 1100), he showed great
anxiety lest the archbishop should go over to the support of Robert, from
whom at that time it would have been easy to get full assurances on the
question of investitures.[34] Clearly the king regarded the situation as
critical; yet an invasion was hardly to be feared before the following
spring or summer.

It was in the spring that an untoward incident occurred, which
contributed not a little to bring the conspiracy to a head and to
precipitate the invasion. On 2 February 1101, Ranulf Flambard, ‘the dregs
of iniquity,’ escaped from the Tower of London and fled to Normandy.[35]
Going straight to the duke, he was received with favor, and, if we may
rely upon Ordericus Vitalis, he was charged with the administration
of the duchy.[36] Henceforth, the sources picture him as the chief
instigator of the attack upon England. Doubtless his well known talents
were turned to good account in the equipment of a fleet and in the
assembling of the “no small multitude of knights, archers, and foot
soldiers” which was gathered at Tréport ready for the crossing.[37]

Meanwhile, in England, the Pentecostal court (9 June) was thrown into
consternation by the news of an imminent invasion.[38] The _curia_ was
honeycombed with treason, and king and magnates regarded one another
with mutual suspicion. Not knowing how far the conspiracy had spread,
Henry was in terror of a general desertion by the barons. They, on the
other hand, feared an increase of royal power and the summary vengeance
that would fall upon them as traitors after the restoration of peace.
At this juncture, all discussion of the investiture controversy was set
aside, and king and barons alike turned to Archbishop Anselm as the
one man whose character commanded universal confidence and who, by his
position as primate of England, was constitutionally qualified to act as
mediator in such a crisis. Apparently the nobles and people renewed their
allegiance by a general oath; and the king, on his part, extending his
hand to the archbishop as the representative of his subjects, “promised
that so long as he lived he would govern the realm with just and holy

When this mutual exchange of assurances had somewhat cleared the air,
already thick with treason, the king proceeded with his accustomed vigor
to take measures to thwart the impending attack. He sent ships to sea to
head off the hostile fleet. He gathered an army from all parts of the
realm, and, marching to Pevensey “at midsummer,” he pitched a permanent
camp there and awaited the invasion.[40] Anselm joined the levy with the
knights due from his fief;[41] but the archbishop’s services were mainly
moral rather than military.

As the duke’s forces for the invasion were being assembled at Tréport,
not far from Saint-Valery—the port from which the Conqueror’s fleet
had sailed in 1066—it was but natural to expect that a landing would
again be attempted at Pevensey. A different plan, however, was adopted.
Buscarls whom Henry had sent to sea to head off the invasion were
corrupted—through the contrivance of Ranulf Flambard, it is said[42]—and,
deserting the royal cause, accepted service with the duke as pilots of
his fleet.[43] With such guides the invaders easily avoided the ships
which the king had sent out against them, and sailing past Pevensey,
where the royal forces were awaiting them, they landed safely at
Portsmouth (21 July),[44] and were welcomed by their confederates
within the kingdom.[45] Sending a defiance to the king,[46] Robert
advanced upon Winchester, the seat of the royal treasury and the chief
administrative centre of the realm, and pitched his camp in a strong
position. Apparently he meant to attack the city;[47] but such a plan, if
entertained, was quickly abandoned, and Robert turned towards London and
advanced as far as the forest of Alton.[48]

It was a trying moment for the king, and the chroniclers describe in
moving terms the terrors which he suffered.[49] Almost despairing of his
kingdom, they declare, he feared even for his life.[50] The successful
landing of the invaders had given the signal for further desertions among
the disaffected barons.[51] Many who until this moment had maintained
the appearance of loyalty now openly aligned themselves with the
duke, seeking to cloak their infamous conduct by demanding unjust and
impossible concessions from the king. To this number belong Robert of
Bellême and William of Warenne,[52] who clearly had been among the chief
conspirators from the beginning, and probably also William of Mortain,
earl of Cornwall.[53] Robert of Meulan, who on every occasion remained
faithful to the king, was for paying these base traitors in their own
coin. He urged the king to conciliate them, “to indulge them as a
father indulges his children,” to grant all their requests, even though
they demanded London and York. When the storm had been weathered, he
insinuated, the king might visit condign punishment upon them and reclaim
the domains which they had wrung from him in his hour of need.[54]

But in this dire hour Henry found a more powerful supporter in Anselm.
As treason thickened around the king, he placed his trust in almost no
one except the archbishop.[55] Their quarrel over investitures was no
longer allowed to stand between them. Eadmer affirms that Henry gave up
his whole contention in that matter, and promised henceforth to obey the
decrees and commands of the apostolic see.[56] And with such assurances
Anselm threw himself heart and soul into the royal cause. Privately he
undertook to inspire the disloyal barons whom the king brought before
him with a holy fear of violating their plighted faith.[57] But he went
further. Mounting a pulpit in the midst of the host, he harangued the
forces upon their obligation to abide by their sworn allegiance. His
voice was like the blast of a trumpet calling the multitude to arms.
Raising their voices, they pledged their goods and their loyalty to the
king, upon condition that he put away the evil customs which had come in
with William Rufus and that he keep good laws.[58]

Thus the church and the English people stood firmly behind the king,[59]
and many of the barons who at first had contemplated desertion seem to
have been held back by the strong personal influence of the archbishop.
And, with such support, Henry moved forward to intercept the
invaders,[60] and came face to face with them at Alton.[61] Yet no battle

    Dote li reis, dote li dus,
    Mais io ne sai qui dota plus.[62]

In this happy couplet Wace has described the situation exactly. In
spite of a very fortunate beginning, resolution failed the duke and
his supporters when it came to pressing their advantage home.[63] The
king, too, notwithstanding the disaffection among his barons, had been
able to muster a formidable army. Probably the desertions from the
royal cause had been less numerous than Robert and his supporters had
anticipated.[64] The battle, if joined, would certainly be a bloody one.
And, on his side, the king was in no position to force the issue: the
loyalty of a considerable portion of his army was too doubtful. Moreover,
it was no part of Henry’s character to seek by arms what he could achieve
by diplomacy, a sphere in which he enjoyed a far greater superiority.
The chief supporters of both sides also hesitated. A fratricidal war
was as little attractive to the barons, whose families were divided
between the two opposing forces, as it was to the two brothers who were
the principals in the contest.[65] And so saner counsels prevailed, and
leading barons from each side opened negotiations for peace.[66]

The text of the treaty which resulted has not come down to us in
documentary form, but it is possible to reconstruct its terms with some
fulness from the narrative sources. Robert gave up all claim to the
English crown, released Henry from the homage which he had done him on an
earlier occasion—probably upon the receipt of the Cotentin in 1088—and
recognized his royal title and dignity.[67] It was not considered fitting
that an English king should remain the vassal of a Norman duke. On his
side, the king undertook to pay Robert an annual subsidy of 3000 marks
of silver[68] and to surrender all his holdings in Normandy except the
great stronghold of Domfront.[69] Long years before, when Henry had been
a wandering exile, his fortunes at their lowest, the men of Domfront
had voluntarily called him in and made him their lord; and on taking
possession of their town and castle he had solemnly sworn never to
abandon them. The binding force of this oath was now invoked as a pretext
for the king’s retention of a solitary outpost in Robert’s dominions. An
amnesty provision was added for the benefit of the barons with holdings
on both sides of the Channel who by supporting one of the brothers had
jeopardized their interests with the other. Robert undertook to restore
all Norman honors which he had taken from the king’s supporters;[70]
and Henry promised the restoration of all English lands which he had
seized from partisans of the duke.[71] A special clause, of which we
would gladly know the full significance, provided that Count Eustace of
Boulogne should have “his paternal lands in England.”[72] Further, it
was agreed that, if either of the brothers should die before the other
and leave no lawful heir, the survivor should succeed to his dominions
whether in England or in Normandy.[73]

So far the provisions of the treaty seem reasonably certain. The
remainder are more doubtful. Ordericus Vitalis asserts—and his whole
defence of Henry’s dealings with Robert down to the latter’s overthrow
at Tinchebray, and after, is founded upon the assertion—that Robert
and Henry entered into a sworn agreement to recover all of the
Conqueror’s domains which had been lost since his death and to visit
condign punishment upon the wicked men who had fomented discord between
them.[74] Wace adds that each undertook, in case the other should be
at war, to furnish him with one hundred knights so long as the war
lasted.[75] According to the Annals of Winchester, Ranulf Flambard gave
up his bishopric of Durham.[76]

The treaty, as finally agreed upon, was duly confirmed in accordance
with a custom of the period by the oaths of twelve great barons on each

Thus ended Robert’s last and greatest effort to gain the English throne.
The royal army was disbanded and sent home. A part of the ducal forces
were sent back to Normandy.[78] But with the rest, Robert remained in
England for several months upon terms of peace and friendship with his
brother.[79] May he possibly have been awaiting the first instalment
of the English subsidy? The Chronicler does not fail to raise a
characteristic lament, though he makes no reference to oppressive gelds:
“and his men incessantly did much harm as they went, the while that the
count continued here in the country.” About Michaelmas Duke Robert
returned to Normandy.[80]

The treaty of Alton has been described as “the most ill considered step
in the whole of Robert’s long career of folly.”[81] It can hardly prove a
surprise, however, to one who has followed Robert’s course through that
long career. The real folly lay not so much in the making of the treaty
as in the whole project of overthrowing Henry I., once he had got fairly
seated on the English throne. It is hard to believe that the crown was
within the duke’s grasp as the two armies stood facing each other at
Alton. Henry had the support of the church and of the mass of his English
subjects. Only a faction of the nobles was against him. And a single
victory gained by the ducal forces would, it seems, hardly have resulted
in disaster for the royal cause. Robert had undertaken a task which was
beyond his power and his resources, a fact which the king’s momentary
weakness cannot disguise.


[1] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1100; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 44; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 378; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 232; Ordericus,
iv, pp. 86-87.

[2] Ordericus, iv, pp. 87-88; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 470;
cf. _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 279.

[3] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1100, Thorpe’s translation.

[4] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 470.

[5] Ordericus, iv, p. 88; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, p. 279.

[6] Suger, _Vie de Louis le Gros_, ed. Auguste Molinier (Paris, 1887), p.
8; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 432:

    E al realme rei estoet,
    Kar sainz rei pas estre ne poet.

But Wace becomes quite incredible when he asserts that the bishops and
barons forced the crown upon Henry, who desired to await Robert’s return.

[7] Cf. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1100; Florence of Worcester, ii, pp. 46-47;
William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 470; Henry of Huntingdon, pp.

[8] See the text in Stubbs, _Select Charters_, 9th ed. (Oxford, 1913),
pp. 117-119.

[9] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1100; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 47; William
of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 470; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 233.

[10] Simeon, _H. R._, p. 232; _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales
Monastici_, ii, p. 41; Ordericus, iv, pp. 195, 196.

[11] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 470.

[12] September, according to Ordericus Vitalis (iv, p. 98). Henry of
Huntingdon (p. 233) gives August, which is his usual rendering of the ‘in
autumn’ of the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (cf. _a._ 1100). The sources agree
that Robert returned soon after Henry’s accession. Cf. _Interpolations de
Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 282.

[13] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1100; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 233; Wace, _Roman de
Rou_, ii, pp. 438-439; cf. Ordericus, v. p. 2.

[14] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 471; _Interpolations de
Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 283; Ordericus, iv, pp.
98-99; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 439.

[15] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1100. Henry had held Domfront since 1092; the
Cotentin had been granted him by William Rufus in 1096.

[16] Ordericus, iv, p. 16.

[17] _Ibid._, p. 98; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 416.

[18] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.
285; Ordericus, iv, p. 78; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 438.

[19] Ordericus, iv, p. 98.

[20] Cf. Ordericus, iv, p. 88.

[21] This is the view of Freeman. _William Rufus_, i, p. 556.

[22] Ordericus, iv, pp. 78-79; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, p. 282.

[23] Ordericus, iv, p. 98.

[24] _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 415. Wace is the only authority to mention
this incident. The trophy in question cannot be the one already mentioned
(_supra_, p. 116), which was taken in the battle of Ascalon and presented
by Robert to the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. But Robert
may very well have captured more than one such trophy, and Wace’s
personal connection with Caen adds more than the usual weight to his
authority on a point of this kind.

There is in the _Miracula_ of St. Thomas Becket a record of a topaz which
was reputed to have been brought back from Jerusalem by Robert, and which
was later presented to the shrine of the martyr at Canterbury by Ralph
Fitz Bernard in gratitude for his healing. _Materials for the History of
Thomas Becket_, ed. J. C. Robertson (London, 1875-85), i, pp. 482-483.

[25] The whole episode is related with much detail by Ordericus Vitalis
in one of his most pleasing chapters. Ordericus, iv, pp. 99-102. His
whole account is in general confirmed by the _Actus Pontificum_ (p. 404),
which, however, make no mention of the envoy sent to Robert, and merely
record that the besieged garrison waited in vain for aid from the king.
The date of the surrender of the garrison can be placed definitely before
1 November 1100 on the evidence of a donation in favor of Saint-Aubin
of Angers. Archives départementales de la Sarthe, H 290 (_Inventaire
sommaire_, iii, p. 127). The document is dated in the year of King
William’s death “et recuperationis Helie comitis Cenomanorum,” 1100,
indiction viii, kalends of November. According to the _Actus Pontificum_,
the garrison held out for more than three months, but this is evidently
an exaggeration, as it would carry us beyond November. The surrender
must, it seems safe to conclude, have taken place on or very shortly
before that date.

[26] Latouche, _Maine_, pp. 51-52.

[27] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 471.

[28] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 48; cf.
_Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales Monastici_, ii, p. 40.

[29] Ordericus, iv, pp. 103-104.

[30] “Tunc Rodberto de Belismo Sagiensem episcopatum et Argentomum
castrum silvamque Golferni donavit.” _Ibid._, p. 104. The meaning of
“Sagiensem episcopatum” is not clear. Le Prévost says: “Nous pensons
que par _episcopatus Sagiensis_ il faut entendre, non pas les revenus
ecclésiastiques de l’évêché de Séez, mais la possession et les revenus
féodaux du pays qui en dépendait et qui est plus connu sous le nom
d’Hiémois.” _Ibid._, p. 104, n. 2. Freeman understands the phrase to mean
the “ducal right of advowson over the bishopric of Séez”—“a claim very
dear to the house of Belesme.” _William Rufus_, ii, p. 396. Ordericus
Vitalis (iv, pp. 104, 162-163, 192) mentions this grant in practically
identical language on three separate occasions.

[31] Ordericus, iv, pp. 104-105.

[32] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 471.

[33] “Laudo ergo et mando ne per Northmanniam venias, sed per Guitsand,
et ego Doveram obviam habebo tibi barones meos.” _Epistolae Anselmi_, bk.
iii, no. 41, in Migne, clix, col. 76.

[34] Eadmer, p. 120.

[35] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 48; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 471; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 234; Ordericus,
iv, p. 109.

[36] Ordericus, iv, p. 110.

[37] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 48.

[38] Eadmer, p. 126; cf. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Henry of Huntingdon, p.

[39] Eadmer, p. 126: “ … actum ex consulto est, ut certitudo talis
hinc inde fieret, quae utrinque quod verebatur excluderet. Sed ubi ad
sponsionem fidei regis ventum est, tota regni nobilitas cum populi
numerositate Anselmum inter se et regem medium facerunt, quatinus ei
vice sui, manu in manum porrecta, promitteret iustis et sanctis legibus
se totum regnum quoad viveret in cunctis administraturum”; William of
Malmesbury, _G. P._, pp. 105-106.

It is probable that the king’s promise to abide by his coronation charter
and the exaction of an oath of obedience from his subjects were extended
to the whole realm by means of writs addressed to the counties. One of
these writs, that addressed to the shire-moot of Lincolnshire, has been
preserved. It reads in part as follows: “Sciatis quod ego vobis concedo
tales lagas et rectitudines et consuetudines, quales ego vobis dedi et
concessi, quando imprimis coronam recepi. Quare volo ut assecuretis michi
sacramento terram meam Anglie, ad tenendum et ad defendendum contra omnes
homines et nominatim contra Rotbertum comitem Normannie fratrem meum
usque ad natale domini; et vobis predictis precipio ut hanc securitatem
recipiatis de meis dominicis hominibus francigenis et anglis, et barones
mei faciant vobis habere hanc eandem securitatem de omnibus suis
hominibus sicut michi concesserunt.” _E. H. R._, xxi, p. 506; facsimile,
_ibid._, xxvi, p. 488.

[40] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 48; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 233; cf. _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William
of Jumièges, p. 282; Eadmer, pp. 126-127.

[41] _Ibid._, p. 127.

[42] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 48.

[43] _A-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 48; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 233; cf. Ordericus, iv, p. 110.

[44] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101: “twelve nights before Lammas”; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 233: “ante kalendas Augusti”; Florence of Worcester,
ii, pp. 48-49: “circa ad Vincula S. Petri”; Ordericus, iv, p. 110: “in
autumno.” The sources agree that the expedition landed at Portsmouth,
though Wace gives the landing place as Porchester. _Roman de Rou_, ii,
p. 439. Freeman explains that Portsmouth is a “vaguer name” referring
to the “whole haven,” and that Wace, wishing to be more specific, names
Porchester as the exact point within the harbor where the landing took
place. _William Rufus_, ii, p. 406, n. 1. But it seems more likely that
Wace’s choice of the word was due to the exigencies of his verse:

    Passa mer e vint a Porcestre,
    D’iloc ala prendre Wincestre.

The _Annales de Wintonia_ places the number of ships in the invading
fleet at two hundred, and record the presence of Ranulf Flambard:
“Dux Robertus venit in Angliam cum cc. navibus, et cum eo Radulfus
Passeflambere.” _Annales Monastici_, ii, p. 41.

[45] Ordericus, iv, p. 110.

[46] _Ibid._

[47] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 49; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 440.

[48] _Ibid._, ii, pp. 440-441. For the identification of Alton, see
Freeman, _William Rufus_, ii, p. 408, n. 2. According to Ordericus (iv,
p. 113) the armies met “in quadam planicie.”

Wace, with his fondness for chivalrous detail, relates that Robert
abandoned his proposed attack upon Winchester because he learned that
the queen was then lying there in childbed. Only a villain, he declared,
would attack a woman in such plight:

    Mais l’on li dist que la reigne,
    Sa serorge, esteit en gesine,
    Et il dist que vilains sereit,
    Qui dame en gesine assaldreit.

_Roman de Rou_, ii. p. 440. J. H. Ramsay remarks, “but Matilda did
not give birth to her child till January or February following.” _The
Foundations of England_ (London, 1898), ii, p. 238, n. 9. He gives no
reference. Henry and Matilda were married 11 November 1100.

[49] Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 311-312 (_Epistola de Contemptu Mundi_).

[50] Eadmer, p. 127; William of Malmesbury, _G. P._, p. 105.

[51] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 49; Eadmer, p. 127; William of
Malmesbury, _G. P._, p. 106.

[52] Ordericus, iv, p. 110.

[53] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 473.

[54] Ordericus, iv, pp. 112-113.

[55] Eadmer, p. 127.

[56] “Ipse igitur Anselmo iura totius Christianitatis in Anglia
exercendae se relicturum, atque decretis et iussionibus apostolicae sedis
se perpetuo oboediturum, summo opere promittebat.” _Ibid._

[57] William of Malmesbury, _G. P._, pp. 105-106.

[58] Eadmer, p. 127; William of Malmesbury, _G. P._, p. 106; cf. _G. R._,
ii, pp. 471-472.

[59] “Omnes quoque Angli, alterius principis iura nescientes, in sui
regis fidelitate perstiterunt, pro qua certamen inire satis optaverunt.”
Ordericus, iv, pp. 110-111; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 49.

[60] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 233; _Chronicon_,
in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 305; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, p. 282.

[61] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 440; cf. _supra_, n. 48.

[62] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 441.

[63] “Rotbertus qui magis aliorum perfidia quam sua fidens industria
venerat, destitit praelio, descivit a negotio.” William of Malmesbury,
_G. P._, p. 106.

[64] Eadmer, pp. 127-128. Eadmer adds that Robert was also deterred by a
threat of excommunication which Anselm held over him: “non levem deputans
excommunicationem Anselmi, quam sibi ut invasori nisi coepto desisteret
invehi certo sciebat, paci adquievit.”

[65] _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 306; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii,
pp. 441-442.

[66] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 472; _A.-S. C._, _a._
1101; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 49; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 233;
_Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 306.

The account of the peace negotiations given by Ordericus (iv, pp.
113-114) differs fundamentally from that of the English sources.
According to him, it was Henry and Robert personally, rather than
their supporters, who came together and made peace: “remotis omnibus
arbitris, soli fratres scita sua sanxerunt.” The noble envoys through
whom they at first attempted to exchange messages turned out to be
base traitors, who desired war rather than peace, and who acted for
their own private advantage rather than for the public good. This led
Henry to seek a personal interview with Robert. Meeting in a great
circle, around which “terribilis decor Normannorum et Anglorum in armis
effulsit,” their hearts were filled with “the sweetness of fraternal
love,” and, talking together for a little while, they made peace and
exchanged “sweet kisses.” Freeman has attempted, without success as it
seems to me, to reconcile this account with that of the English writers.
_William Rufus_, ii, appendix xx: pp. 688-691. I have rejected it as
being essentially untrustworthy for the following reasons: (1) It is in
fundamental disagreement with the English sources, which appear to be
better informed. (2) It has all the appearance of being a fancy picture,
drawn from the author’s notion of what ought to have happened under the
circumstances. (3) It tends greatly to eulogize the king. This last
consideration suggests the need of caution in dealing with Ordericus’s
statement of the terms of the treaty.

Wace says that the mediators between the king and the duke were Robert of
Bellême, William of Mortain, Robert Fitz Hamon, and others whose names he
has not learned. _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 442.

[67] Ordericus, iv, p. 114.

[68] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 49; William
of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 472; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 233;
Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 444; _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales
Monastici_, ii, p. 41. Robert of Torigny places the amount of the subsidy
at 4000 marks (_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of
Jumièges, p. 282); so also does the _Liber Memorandorum Ecclesie de
Barnewelle_ (p. 55); Ordericus Vitalis (iv, p. 114) gives it as 3000

[69] Ordericus, iv, p. 114. The _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1101)
says that the king agreed to relinquish “all that he held by force in
Normandy against the count.” It is possible that the duke had tacitly, if
not actually, recognized Henry’s claim to Domfront as legitimate—he had
held it since 1092—and, therefore, that the statement quoted refers only
to Henry’s possessions in the Cotentin. In that case there would be no
disagreement between Ordericus and the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_. Wace must
surely be mistaken in his statement that Henry retained the Cotentin as
well as Domfront. _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 444.

[70] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 49.

[71] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 49.

[72] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101. This is the only mention of Eustace of
Boulogne in connection with these events, and it is not clear what part
he had played in them.

[73] _Ibid._; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 233.

[74] Ordericus, iv, p. 115. The phrase “omnia patris sui dominia” might
refer, as in the treaty of 1091, to the recovery of Maine; or it might
refer more locally to parts of the ducal demesne in Normandy which Robert
had squandered upon favorites. If it refers to Maine, it must have been
a purely formal provision—perhaps proposed by Henry for the diplomatic
needs of the moment—for there is no evidence that an attack upon Maine
was contemplated. Ordericus (iv, pp. 162-163, 192) in recounting a later
stage of the quarrel between Henry and Robert, applies it to recent
grants which the duke had made to Robert of Bellême in Normandy. The
provision for coöperation in the punishment of traitors, if not actually
inconsistent with the amnesty clause, is, at any rate, of a piece with
Ordericus’s conception of the treaty as made by the brothers in spite
of their followers. It ought, therefore, to be accepted with caution.
Ordericus makes frequent use of it on later occasions to justify Henry’s
course of action toward Robert.

[75] _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 444.

[76] _Annales Monastici_, ii, p. 41.

[77] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 233.

[78] Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 49.

[79] We have some definite evidence concerning Robert’s coöperation
with King Henry during his sojourn in England. Soon after the treaty of
Alton had been concluded Anselm was summoned to appear before the _curia
regis_, and we are told that it was by the advice of Duke Robert and his
friends, who hated the archbishop because he had frustrated their plans,
that Henry demanded of Anselm that he become his man and consecrate
bishops and abbots whom the king had invested, or else quit the realm.
Eadmer, pp. 128, 131. On 3 September at Windsor Robert confirmed two
charters of donation by King Henry, the one in favor of Herbert, bishop
of Norwich, and the other in favor of John, bishop of Bath. W. Farrer,
“An Outline Itinerary of King Henry the First,” in _E. H. R._, xxxiv, pp.
312, 313.

At some time before the battle of Tinchebray (29 September 1106) Bishop
John of Bath obtained a separate charter from Robert confirming donations
of William Rufus and Henry I. _Two Chartularies of the Priory of St.
Peter at Bath_, ed. William Hunt (London, 1893), i, p. 47, no. 44. The
document is undated. It may have been issued during Robert’s sojourn
in England in 1101 or during one of his two later visits, late in 1103
(cf. _infra_, pp. 148-149), or early in 1106 (cf. _infra_, p. 169); or,
indeed, it may have been issued at some other time in Normandy.

[80] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1101: “after St. Michael’s mass”; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 234: “Usque ad festum Sancti Michaelis.” Ordericus Vitalis
(iv, p. 116) is more indefinite: “appropinquante hieme, in Neustriam

[81] Davis, _Normans and Angevins_, p. 124.



Duke Robert’s ambitious attempt to drive Henry I from the throne had
ended in a signal failure. To be sure, he had gained the promise of an
annual subsidy of 3000 marks of silver, and this must have seemed to him
an important consideration. But he had also revealed his weakness and
indecision; and Henry can hardly have looked upon the payment of the
subsidy as more than a temporary measure which would serve his purpose
until he was in a position to adopt a more aggressive course towards
the duke. By accepting a money payment in lieu of his claim upon the
English crown, Robert had inevitably been reduced from the offensive to
the defensive; and his continued failure to give strong and effective
government to Normandy was a standing invitation to Henry to attack him.
The treaty of Alton marked the beginning of a path of disaster which
was to lead the duke to the field of Tinchebray and the prison walls of

From a military standpoint there had been little of the heroic about
Henry’s course in meeting the invasion. But he had won a diplomatic
victory of the first importance, and he was not slow to take full
advantage of his success. Regardless of the amnesty which had been
provided by the recent treaty, he proceeded at once to take summary
vengeance upon his enemies. Robert had not yet left the realm when the
first blow fell upon William of Warenne and several others who were sent
out of the kingdom with him, “disinherited for his sake.”[1] It soon
appeared that a like fate was in store for others of the duke’s late
supporters. King Henry did not proceed against them directly for calling
in the invader—that presumably would have been a needless violation of
the treaty—nor did he court disaster by attacking them all at once. But
one by one, and upon various charges, he had them haled before his
_curia_ and condemned.[2] Ivo of Grandmesnil, the crusader, attempted
to engage in private war, a thing before almost unknown in England, and
was made to pay for his presumption with a heavy fine. Covered with
shame as he was, as a result of his cowardice at Antioch, and convinced
that he would never be able to regain the king’s friendship, he found
it advisable to extricate himself from his difficulties by departing a
second time on crusade.[3] Robert Malet and Robert of Pontefract, son of
Ilbert de Lacy, were also disinherited and made to quit the realm.[4]

Before proceeding against his more powerful enemies of the great house of
Talvas, or Bellême, Henry made more careful preparations. For the best
part of a year he set his secret agents to watch the terrible Robert,
earl of Shrewsbury, and to gather information against him, which was all
carefully reduced to writing.[5] Then suddenly, in 1102, the earl was
summoned to appear before the _curia regis_,[6] accused upon forty-five
separate counts of words spoken or acts committed against the king or
his brother, the duke of Normandy. Tacitly admitting that his case was
hopeless, the great earl fled to his strongholds without pleading, and
was adjudged a public enemy.[7] War followed. One by one, the earl’s
fortresses, Arundel, Tickhill, Bridgenorth, and Shrewsbury, were reduced;
and before Michaelmas[8] Robert of Bellême was driven from England, an
utterly defeated and disinherited outlaw. “Filled with grief and rage,”
he went over sea and “spent his fury on the Normans.”[9]

It was not the king’s way to do things by halves. As soon as he had
finished with Robert, he took action against other members of the Bellême
family. Accusations were brought against Arnulf and Roger, Robert’s
brothers, and they were condemned to the loss of their estates and driven
from the realm.[10] But even then the king’s anger was not appeased or
his appetite for plunder sated; and he proceeded to confiscate the lands
which the nuns of the Norman monastery of Almenèches had received in
England through the generosity of Roger of Montgomery.[11] Their sole
offence lay in the fact that they happened to be presided over by Abbess
Emma, a sister of Robert of Bellême.

While Henry was thus engaged in extirpating his enemies in England,
Normandy under Duke Robert was increasingly a prey to confusion and
anarchy. As we have noted, the death of William Rufus had been the signal
for an outbreak of private war in the duchy. In the very week that the
news of the king’s death was received, William of Évreux and Ralph of
Conches made a hostile incursion into the territory of Beaumont and
plundered the lands of Robert of Meulan. In a like spirit, others who
had been held in check by the rigor of the Red King’s justice now took
up arms and desolated the wretched country.[12] It is probable that the
duke’s return from the Crusade and his attack upon England in some degree
mitigated these conditions of disorder. The expedition against England
could hardly have been fitted out and launched amid such anarchy as
Ordericus describes. And as the turbulent barons prepared themselves for
the foreign enterprise, their minds and hands must necessarily have been
turned away from domestic feuds.

But for the same reason the failure of the attack upon England reacted
disastrously upon Normandy, and brought on disorders hitherto unheard
of. As Henry I expelled the outlaws from England, they invariably sought
a refuge in Normandy and attempted to recoup their damaged fortunes by
indulging in the worst excesses.[13] For a time Robert Curthose showed
some spirit in dealing with the freebooters, though, if one accept
the account of Ordericus Vitalis even with considerable reservations,
his efforts did him little credit. When Henry embarked upon his great
struggle with the house of Bellême in 1102, he appealed to Robert under
the terms of the treaty of Alton to join him in the enterprise. And the
duke so far responded to his call as to assemble the forces of Normandy
and lay siege to the castle of Vignats, a Bellême stronghold, which
was held by Gerard de Saint-Hilaire. It is reported that the garrison
were ready and even eager to surrender, had a vigorous assault been
made to give them a fair excuse. But the duke had little control over
his undisciplined host, and Robert de Montfort and other traitors in
the ranks fired the encampment and threw the whole army into a panic.
The ducal forces fled in wild confusion with none pursuing, and the
astonished garrison of Vignats shouted after them in derision.[14]
Realizing now that they had nothing to fear, they issued from their
stronghold and carried a devastating war throughout the Hiémois, and,
so far as is recorded, the duke made no effort to repress them. Nothing
remained but for the local lords of the district to defend themselves.
Robert of Grandmesnil and his two brothers-in-law, Hugh de Montpinçon
and Robert de Courcy, assembled their vassals and did what they could to
check the freebooters. But their efforts met with small success. Other
Bellême garrisons from Château-Gontier, Fourches, and Argentan joined
with the plunderers from Vignats, and their raids were carried far and
wide. Only the strong could defend themselves, and the homes of the
unarmed peasantry were pillaged and given over to the flames.[15]

If we have here a true account, Robert Curthose had proved unequal to the
task of putting down an insignificant body of Bellême’s retainers and of
keeping peace in the restricted territory of the Hiémois. He was soon
called upon to deal with the arch-enemy of peace and order in person. It
must have been in the autumn of 1102 that Robert of Bellême, utterly
discomfited and overwhelmed in England, crossed over to Normandy and
began to vent his fury upon those of his countrymen who had dared to join
the duke in attacking his garrisons.[16]

The disorders of 1102 were but a prelude to those that followed in
1103. We have only a fragmentary account of the events, but the general
impression of the picture is that of a war of unparalleled violence and
cruelty. Villages were depopulated, and churches were burned down upon
the men, women, and children who had taken refuge in them. “Almost all
Normandy” arose as by common consent against the tyrant of Bellême. But
the movement was rendered ineffective for want of a strong and persistent
leader.[17] Robert of Bellême, on his side, possessed almost unlimited
resources. He is said to have held thirty-four strong castles, all well
stocked with provisions and ready for war. Disregarding the claims of his
brothers Roger and Arnulf, who had suffered outlawry and exile on his
account, he retained the whole family inheritance in his own hands. While
this kept his resources intact, it cost him the support of his brothers.
Roger retired from the conflict and spent the rest of his life upon his
wife’s patrimony at Charroux. But Arnulf in high indignation deserted the
family cause and threw in his lot with Robert Curthose, taking with him
a considerable number of Bellême supporters. Having recently captured
the castle of Almenèches, he turned it over to the duke, who assembled
an army there and prepared to press his advantage.[18] With ‘almost all
Normandy’ in arms against him, with one of his brothers in retirement,
and the other actively supporting the duke, the cause of Robert of
Bellême might well seem desperate. He even doubted the fidelity of his
closest friends. Yet, undismayed, he rushed to Almenèches, and, without a
moment’s hesitation, fired the nunnery and burned it to the ground.[19]
Overwhelming the ducal forces, he captured Oliver de Fresnay and many
others, and subjected not a few of them to horrible punishments. The
duke, admitting his defeat, retired to Exmes.[20]

The necessity of crushing Robert of Bellême now became more imperative
than ever, and for a time there seemed some prospect of success. His
violence and oppression had stirred up against him not only the Normans,
but some of his powerful neighbors across the border. Rotrou of Mortagne
joined forces with William of Évreux and the men of the Hiémois. Robert
of Saint-Céneri and Hugh de Nonant also joined the movement with their
retainers. But even this swarm of enemies was unable to inflict a
crushing defeat upon the lord of Bellême. They could injure him in
numerous small engagements, but to overcome him, or inflict any condign
punishment upon him, was beyond their power.[21]

Robert of Bellême’s future in Normandy was finally determined by a
decisive battle with the duke, but the place and date of the engagement
are not recorded. We are without information as to the duke’s movements
after his retirement from Almenèches to Exmes, though it seems clear
that he reassembled his troops and determined to renew the offensive
against Robert of Bellême. But the lord of Bellême did not wait to be
attacked. Drawing up his forces in battle order as the ducal army was
approaching, he launched a furious onslaught which carried all before it.
The duke was put to flight, and William of Conversano and many others of
his supporters were captured. Then, laments the chronicler, “the proud
Normans blushed for shame that they, who had been the conquerors of
barbarous foreign nations, should now be vanquished and put to flight by
one of their own sons in the very heart of their own country.” Robert
of Bellême is said to have aspired to the conquest of the whole duchy.
Many of the Normans who hitherto had resisted him now felt constrained to
bow their necks beneath the yoke, and joined the tyrant for the sake of
their own safety. Pressing his advantage home, he now gained possession
of Exmes.[22] The discomfiture of the duke was complete, and he had
no choice but to conclude a peace with his too powerful subject upon
humiliating terms.[23]

Bishop Serlo of Séez and Ralph, abbot of Saint-Martin of Séez, unable any
longer to bear the oppression of the tyrant, withdrew from their posts
and crossed over to England, where they were cordially welcomed by Henry
I.[24] They were to be of no small service to the king in the shaping of
his future policy.

While the diocese of Séez was a prey to the indescribable confusion of
the struggle with Robert of Bellême, the Évrecin was not spared the
horrors of a private war. There the death of William of Breteuil[25]
without legitimate issue,[26] and a consequent disputed succession,
had reopened an ancient local feud.[27] While William was being buried
at Lire, a natural son named Eustace seized his lands and occupied the
strongholds.[28] But a nephew named Renaud, of the illustrious Burgundian
house of Grancey, claimed the succession as legitimate heir. Many of the
Normans preferred a fellow countryman, though a bastard, to a foreigner,
and supported Eustace. But the ancient enemies of Breteuil rallied around
the Burgundian. William of Évreux led the movement, and was promptly
joined by Ralph of Conches, Amaury de Montfort, and Ascelin Goël.[29] But
Eustace was supported by loyal and powerful vassals; and when he saw that
he could not win single-handed, he appealed for aid to Henry I, who was
quick to realize the advantages which the Breteuil succession controversy
offered for the inauguration of a far-reaching policy of intervention
in the internal affairs of Normandy. The king not only promised Eustace
the desired assistance, but he gave him the hand of Juliana, one of his
natural daughters, in marriage.[30] And further, he sent his able and
trusted minister, Robert of Meulan—who as lord of Beaumont had special
interests in the disturbed district—to Normandy to deal personally
with the situation and to warn Robert Curthose and the Normans barons
that unless they supported his son-in-law and drove out the foreign
intruder, they would incur his royal displeasure. With such powerful
backing, Eustace of Breteuil gradually got the better of his rival—who
waged the war with such disgusting cruelty that he alienated many of his
adherents—and finally made himself master of the whole of his father’s
honor, and expelled the foreigner from the land.[31]

It was one thing to expel the foreigner; it was quite another to overcome
the local enemies of Breteuil who had rallied around the intruder for
the sake of their own advantage. With these, Robert of Meulan undertook
to deal, and he found them aggressive enemies, if more nearly bandits
and robbers than warriors. Ascelin Goël, whose prison walls at Ivry had
on a former occasion closed around William of Breteuil, ambushed and
captured a certain John of Meulan, a rich burgess and usurer, when he
was returning from a conference with his lord, the count of Beaumont.
For four months the ‘avaricious usurer’ lay in Ascelin’s gaol. Doubtless
the financial resources of the wealthy burgess were of no small concern
to Robert of Meulan, and he made frantic efforts to procure his release.
But try as he might, he could not extract him from the ‘wolf’s mouth.’
Finally he was obliged to conclude a peace with William of Évreux,
betrothing his infant daughter Adelina to William’s nephew Amaury de
Montfort. Ralph of Conches, Eustace of Breteuil, Ascelin Goël, and the
other belligerent lords were included in the pacification, and John of
Meulan, the usurer, was set at liberty.[32]

It is not recorded that Robert Curthose interfered in any way in this
private war, or made any effort to suppress it. Perhaps he was at
the time wholly occupied by the struggle with Robert of Bellême, or
perhaps he may already have been on his way to England on a mission of
intercession for a friend. But before following him again across the
Channel, we must take some account of his domestic affairs.

The Norman heiress, Sibyl of Conversano, whom Robert brought back
with him from Italy to be duchess of Normandy, has been universally
praised for her surpassing beauty, refinement of manners, and excellent
qualities.[33] Though she may have had a few private enemies, she
enjoyed a great popularity; and Robert of Torigny affirms that at times
during the duke’s absence she was entrusted with the administration of
the duchy, and that in this capacity she was more successful than her
husband.[34] But her beneficent career of usefulness was short indeed.
Soon after the birth of her only child,[35] William the Clito, she died
at Rouen,[36] and was buried, amid universal sorrow, in the cathedral
church, Archbishop William Bonne-Ame performing the obsequies.[37]

The cause of Sibyl’s death is shrouded in mystery. William of Malmesbury
reports simply that she died shortly after the birth of her son, as the
result of foolish advice given by the midwife.[38] But Ordericus Vitalis
does not spare us a dark scandal. According to him Agnes de Ribemont,
sister of the distinguished crusader, had recently been left a widow by
the death of her husband Walter Giffard, and, becoming infatuated with
Robert Curthose, had entangled him in the snares of illicit love. By
undertaking to gain for him the aid of her powerful family connections
against his numerous enemies, she obtained from him a promise that,
upon the death of his wife, he would marry her and intrust her with the
administration of the duchy. Soon after, the beautiful Sibyl took to
her bed and died of poison.[39] It seems almost incredible that this
tale should be anything but a malicious libel got up by some of the
duke’s unscrupulous enemies. Duchess Sibyl was probably already dead
before Agnes de Ribemont became a widow. But in the chaotic chronology
of the early chapters of the eleventh book of Ordericus Vitalis, it is
impossible to speak with any assurance, and a dark saying of Robert of
Torigny may possibly lend some color to the scandalous tale.[40]

It would seem that with domestic bereavement, and the distractions
of rebellion and private war, Robert Curthose had enough to occupy
him within the limits of his duchy. Yet it was apparently during this
critical period that a foolish impulse of generosity towards a friend led
him to embark upon an enterprise which resulted in further humiliation
and disaster. William of Warenne, one of the barons who had been deprived
of his possessions and honors in England after the failure of the
invasion of 1101, came to the duke to complain that through loyalty to
his cause he had lost the great earldom of Surrey with its annual revenue
of 1000 pounds, and besought him to intercede with King Henry in order
that he might regain the earldom and the royal favor. Apparently the
duke had not yet realized the character of his unscrupulous brother, or
the hostile plans which Henry was maturing against him, and he readily
consented to William of Warenne’s request.[41]

It must have been towards the end of the year 1103 that Duke Robert
crossed the Channel with a small suite of knights and squires and landed
at Southampton.[42] Henry I was quick to realize the advantages of the
situation, and with perfect unscrupulousness he determined to use them
to the utmost. Feigning great indignation that Robert had presumed to
enter his dominions without permission and a safe-conduct, he sent his
agents—Robert of Meulan seems to have been chiefly charged with the
enterprise[43]—to intimate to him that he was in grave danger of capture
and imprisonment. The duke was taken completely by surprise. He had no
armed force at his back. He was, in fact, at the king’s mercy, although
the externals of an honorable reception were accorded him, and he was
conducted to the royal court, where negotiations were carried on in
private. Henry charged him with a violation of the treaty of Alton in
that, instead of punishing traitors with the rigor befitting a prince,
he had made peace with Robert of Bellême and had confirmed him in the
possession of certain of their father’s domains. The duke, appreciating
his helplessness in the situation in which he found himself, humbly
promised to make amends; but the king now informed him that he desired
something more than this—indeed, that he would not permit him to quit the
realm until he had surrendered his claim to the annual subsidy of 3000
marks which was due him under the terms of the treaty of Alton. In order
that this crowning humiliation might be cloaked in a garb of decency, the
duke was allowed to see the queen, his god-daughter, and to relinquish
the subsidy as if at her request.[44] But this clever play upon his
chivalrous nature could not conceal the character of the transaction.
Robert in his ineffable simplicity had been treacherously taken and
robbed. According to William of Malmesbury, the king had even gone the
length of inducing him to come to England by a special invitation.[45]
However this may be, and whatever the uncertainty about the details of
this episode, the sources are agreed as to the character of the part
which the king had played in it.[46] Wace avers that it was only then
that Robert began to realize that his brother hated him.[47]

William of Warenne was now restored to the royal favor, and recovered his
earldom. And the duke, having given full satisfaction in all that was
demanded of him, was allowed to return to Normandy, a greater object of
contempt than ever among his subjects.[48] It can hardly be doubted that
from this moment the king had formed a deliberate project of depriving
him of his duchy and of reuniting Normandy to England. Step by step
Robert was paving the way to his own destruction, while Henry with equal
sureness was preparing himself for the final triumph. Whatever prestige
the duke had brought back with him from the Crusade must long since
have been dissipated. He had failed lamentably in his attempt to gain
the English crown, he had failed to oust an ever encroaching enemy from
the strongholds of his duchy, he had failed to subdue his most powerful
and lawless subject, Robert of Bellême. He had placed no check upon the
anarchy of private war, he had wasted his fortune upon base associates
and barren enterprises, and he had alienated the Norman church.

Since the duke’s return from the Crusade, government in Normandy seems
to have been almost in abeyance. Nothing could more surely have lost
Robert the support of the church than the unrestrained anarchy and
disorder which prevailed. Yet there were other grounds on which he was
found wanting by the clergy. While dissipating his treasure upon unworthy
favorites and unscrupulous courtiers, he had few favors to bestow upon
religious foundations. Only a single charter by the duke has survived
from the period after his return from the Crusade, a grant of a fair
and a market in the village of Cheux to the monks of Saint-Étienne of

But the church had greater and more positive grievances against Robert
Curthose. His peace and friendship with Robert of Bellême were an
unpardonable offence; and by granting lucrative rights over the bishopric
of Séez to this turbulent vassal,[50] the duke had aroused enemies whose
influence against him was to prove disastrous in the crisis of 1105. As
has already been explained,[51] Serlo, bishop of Séez, and Ralph, abbot
of Saint-Martin of Séez, deemed it intolerable longer to endure the
oppression of the tyrant; and going into voluntary exile, they sought
an asylum in England, where they were warmly welcomed by Henry I.[52]
The value which the king attached to the support and services of Abbot
Ralph may perhaps be judged by the fact that he was promoted to the see
of Rochester in 1108 and made archbishop of Canterbury in 1114; and it
is no mere chance that it was Bishop Serlo who was to welcome King Henry
and his invading army in Normandy in 1105, and to preach the sermon
which was to stand as the public justification of the king’s action in
dispossessing his brother of the duchy.[53]

But the duke had sinned further against the church through the practice
of simony. A peculiarly flagrant case occurred in 1105 in connection with
the abbey of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives. Upon the death of Abbot Fulk, the
duke sold the abbacy for one hundred and forty-five marks of silver to a
certain Robert, a wicked monk of Saint-Denis, who like a devouring wolf
drove out the monks, built a stronghold in the sacred precincts of the
monastery, and garrisoned it with armed retainers whom he hired out of
profits derived from the sale of ecclesiastical ornaments belonging to
the abbey.[54]

More notorious still, and more fatal to the good name of the duke, was
the situation which arose in the bishopric of Lisieux upon the death of
Gilbert Maminot in August 1101. At first Ranulf Flambard, the notorious
bishop of Durham, succeeded in gaining the vacant see for his brother
Fulcher, who, in spite of his illiteracy, had some commendable qualities;
and since he lived but a few months after his consecration, no active
protest was raised against him.[55] But upon his death, Flambard resorted
to a more scandalous measure and obtained the see for his son Thomas,
a youth some twelve years of age.[56] The duke invested the boy with
the sacred office, at the same time agreeing that, if he should die,
another of Flambard’s sons, who was still younger, should succeed to the
bishopric.[57] And meanwhile Flambard himself administered the affairs of
the see, “not as bishop but as steward.”[58]

So matters stood for some three years, until in 1105 the great canonist
and reformer, Ivo of Chartres, intervened, and through his immense
influence elevated what had hitherto been but a flagrant local abuse into
an affair of something like European importance. He wrote to the Norman
bishops demanding that they put an end to such a scandal.[59] Meanwhile,
the serious danger in which Robert Curthose stood of losing his duchy
brought him for a moment to his senses, and, at the urgent warning of
the archbishop of Rouen and of the bishop of Évreux, he had Flambard
and his sons ejected from the see, and gave orders for a canonical
election.[60] The choice of the clergy fell upon William, archdeacon of
Évreux, a worthy man, who went at once to the metropolitan and demanded
consecration;[61] and Ivo of Chartres wrote to congratulate the Norman
bishops upon having purged the church of the ‘dirty boys’ who had been
thrust into the sacred office.[62] But now new complications arose. It
so happened that William Bonne-Ame, archbishop of Rouen, was then under
sentence of excommunication, and therefore incompetent to install the new
bishop elect. Accordingly, the latter wrote Bishop Ivo to inquire whether
under the circumstances he might legitimately receive consecration from
the suffragans of the excommunicated archbishop. Ivo confessed himself
unable to answer the question, and referred the bishop elect to Rome to
deal directly with the Holy See.[63]

During this unexpected delay, Flambard executed another ‘tergiversation.’
He induced the duke, in return for a great sum, to confer the bishopric
upon one of his clerks, a certain William de Pacy.[64] Again the
venerable Ivo wrote to the archbishop of Rouen and the bishop of
Évreux to protest against this new introduction of uncleanness into
the church which they had so recently purged, and to warn them that
unless they acted with vigor to correct this latest abuse, he would
bring the “filthy, fetid rumor to the apostolic ears” to their no small
disadvantage.[65] The threat was not without avail. William de Pacy was
summoned to Rouen to answer before the metropolitan for his conduct, and
was able to make no defence. He freely admitted that he had received the
bishopric neither by election of clergy and people nor by the free gift
of the duke. Judgment upon him, however, was suspended—perhaps because
the archbishop was still under sentence of excommunication—and he was
sent to Rome, there to be condemned for simony.[66] Bishop Ivo wrote to
the Pope setting forth in detail the whole course of the disgraceful

But now Ivo of Chartres went a step farther. He had put the full weight
of the great moral influence which he exerted in Europe upon the Norman
bishops. He had laid the scandal of Lisieux before the Pope. He now
turned his gaze across the English Channel. Writing to Robert of Meulan,
King Henry’s trusted minister, he again protested against the disgraceful
intrusion of Ranulf Flambard into the see of Lisieux. He urged him to
use his well known influence with the king to induce him to do whatever
he could for the liberation of the oppressed church, lest those who
had welcomed Henry’s intervention in the affairs of Normandy, and had
predicted that good would come of it, “should willy-nilly change the
serenity of their praise into clouds of vituperation.” “For,” said he,
“kings are not instituted that they may break the laws, but that, if the
destroyers of laws cannot otherwise be corrected, they may strike them
down with the sword.”[67] Could even a more scrupulous monarch than Henry
I have resisted such a call to arms?[68]

As a returned crusader, Robert Curthose might possibly have looked to the
Holy See for some support against his enemies. Indeed, he had done so.
Before embarking upon the invasion of England in 1101, he had written
to the Pope complaining that Henry had violated his oath in assuming
the English crown; and Pascal had felt constrained to write Anselm a
mild letter[69] in which he recognized the special obligations of the
papacy to one who had labored “in the liberation of the church of Asia.”
He asked Anselm to join with the legates he was sending in mediating
between the warring brothers, ‘unless peace had already been made
between them.’[70] But at best this was only a perfunctory and belated
recognition of an inconvenient obligation, and Pascal can hardly have
seriously expected to influence the situation in Duke Robert’s favor.

And as time elapsed, the attitude of Pascal did not become more favorable
to the duke. In the summer of 1105 the relations between the papacy and
Henry I suddenly improved greatly, and from that time rapid progress was
made towards a definite settlement of the investiture controversy in
England.[71] This removed the last possible consideration which might
have induced the Pope to support the duke against the king in Normandy.
Moreover, a fragment of Pascal’s correspondence with Robert Curthose,
which has recently been brought to light,[72] reveals the fact that at
this very time the Pope was engaged in an investiture struggle with the
duke. We would gladly know more of this controversy, but this single
surviving letter is enough to show that the Pope had complained that,
contrary to the law of the church, Robert was performing investitures
with staff and ring; that, treating the church not as the spouse of
Christ but as a handmaiden, he was giving her over to be ruled by
usurping enemies. Probably Pascal referred to the notorious scandals
of Lisieux and of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives. Something also of the duke’s
reply may be gathered from the papal letter. Taking his stand upon the
rights and customs of his ancestors, he had boldly claimed for himself
the right of investiture. This was sound ducal policy, but it would not
be accepted in Rome from such a prince as Robert Curthose. It could only
serve to complete the breach between the ex-crusader and the Holy See and
leave the duke without support in his hour of need.

Meanwhile, in what striking contrast with the weak and blundering policy
of Robert Curthose, were the careful, methodical preparations which Henry
I was making for the struggle upon which he had determined! With him all
was wisdom, foresight, largeness of view, self-control.

The friendly relations between the courts of France and England,
established at the beginning of Henry’s reign by the state visit of
Louis, the king designate of France, have already been remarked upon.[73]
Henry I took good care to preserve and cultivate this diplomatic
cordiality during the critical years of his struggle for Normandy. And,
as will appear in the sequel, his efforts were abundantly rewarded when
Prince Louis officially recognized his conquest of the duchy shortly
after it was completed.[74] In the same spirit the king prepared for
all eventualities on the side of Flanders. In the archives of the
English exchequer there has been preserved an original chirograph of
a treaty which he concluded, apparently in 1103, with Count Robert of
Flanders.[75] By its terms the count bound himself, in exchange for an
annual subsidy of four hundred marks, to furnish the king with a force
of a thousand knights—for service in Normandy, among other places, be it
noted—and to do his utmost to dissuade the king of France from any attack
upon the king of England. Further, as the decisive struggle approached,
Henry entered into agreements with the princes of Maine, Anjou, and
Brittany for contingents to be furnished from those regions to his army
for the conquest of Normandy. The record of the negotiations has not been
preserved; but we shall meet with these contingents rendering effective
service in the campaigns of 1105 and 1106.[76]

But Henry prepared himself against the duke not only by the careful
manipulation of his relations with foreign powers; he spared no effort to
undermine him in the duchy. His intervention in the war of the Breteuil
succession and the marriage of his daughter Juliana to Eustace of
Breteuil have already been alluded to.[77] A similar purpose must have
prompted him to arrange the marriage of another of his natural daughters
to Rotrou of Mortagne,[78] one of the chief enemies of Robert of Bellême,
and an old companion in arms of Robert Curthose on the Crusade. Some
hint, at least, of the nature of the pacification which Robert of
Meulan was intended to make when he was sent to Normandy as the king’s
special agent in 1103 may be gathered from the efforts which he made to
procure the liberation of the ‘avaricious usurer,’ John of Meulan.[79]
It can hardly be doubted that Henry was making free use of money in the
corruption of the duke’s influential subjects and in the upbuilding of an
English party in Normandy. And in this policy he was very successful. Not
only were important Norman churchmen imploring his aid and working for
his intervention; but many great nobles were either openly or secretly
deserting the duke and offering their services to the English cause. The
movement is well illustrated by the case of Ralph III of Conches. His
father, Ralph II, had been among the Norman barons who upon the death
of William Rufus had taken up arms and plundered the lands of Robert
of Meulan at Beaumont.[80] He was certainly no friend of Henry I. But
upon his death, probably in 1102,[81] his son saw new light. Crossing
to England, he was cordially welcomed by the king, who granted him his
father’s lands and the hand of an English heiress who was connected with
the royal family.[82] Such a shining example was not lost upon other
Norman barons who now deserted the duke and besought King Henry ‘with
tears’ to come to the aid of the suffering church and of their wretched

By the beginning of 1104, Henry I had acquired a strong party, both lay
and ecclesiastical, in Normandy, which eagerly awaited his coming and
stood ready to aid him in the overthrow of Robert Curthose and in the
conquest of the duchy. He had never given up Domfront, and he apparently
retained possession of certain strongholds in the Cotentin,[84] the
treaty of Alton notwithstanding. Upon these he could rely as a secure
base while his friends rallied around him after he had landed on Norman
soil. Henry’s diplomacy, however, could not remove all enemies from his
path, and he sometimes chose to defy them. William of Mortain, earl of
Cornwall, had been among the duke’s most powerful supporters against the
king in 1101. Yet, for some unexplained reason, he did not suffer the
prompt banishment to which the Bellêmes and other traitors were condemned
when the crisis of the invasion had passed. The king temporized and kept
up at least an appearance of friendship. It is even intimated that in
1104 he sent the earl to Normandy to act on his behalf. However this may
be, when William of Mortain arrived in Normandy, he worked against the
king rather than for him, and, as a result, was promptly deprived of all
his English honors.[85] The duke had gained at least one supporter who
would not desert him.

The year 1104 was for Henry I a period of active preparation for an
enterprise which he was not yet ready publicly to avow. His trusted
agents were busy in Normandy preparing the way with English treasure.
Gradually and quietly he was sending men and equipment to reënforce the
garrisons of his Norman strongholds.[86] Indeed, if Ordericus Vitalis
can be trusted,[87] Henry himself crossed the Channel with a fleet and
paid a visit to Domfront and his castles in Normandy in great state, and
was welcomed by Robert of Meulan, Richard earl of Chester, Stephen of
Aumale, Henry of Eu, Rotrou of Mortagne, Robert Fitz Hamon, Robert de
Montfort, Ralph de Mortimer, and many others who held estates in England
and were ready to support him in an attack upon the duchy. The list shows
strikingly the proportions to which the English party in Normandy had
grown. Encouraged by his enthusiastic reception, the king is said to
have taken a lofty tone in his dealings with the duke. He summoned him
to a conference and lectured him upon his incompetence. Again, as the
year before in England, he upbraided him for making peace with Robert of
Bellême and for granting to him the domains of the Conqueror, contrary to
their agreements. He charged him with abetting highwaymen and brigands,
and with dissipating the wealth of his duchy upon the impudent scamps and
hangers-on who surrounded him. He declared him neither a real prince nor
a shepherd of his people, since he suffered the defenceless population to
remain a prey to ravening wolves. This eloquent indictment, we are told,
quite overwhelmed the duke. Though he placed the blame for his misdeeds
upon his turbulent associates, he craved the king’s pardon and offered to
compensate him by surrendering the homage of William of Évreux together
with his county and his vassals. Henry accepted the offer, William of
Évreux agreed, and a formal transfer of the homage was effected, the
duke placing the count’s hands between the hands of the king. And with
this reward for his pains, Henry returned to England “before winter,”
doubtless more than ever convinced of the weakness of Robert Curthose
and of the feasibility of his overthrow and of the conquest of the

Henry’s visit had given a further shock to the duke’s prestige, and his
return to England was followed by a renewed outbreak of anarchy and
disorder in the duchy. Robert of Bellême and William of Mortain, in high
indignation at the new advantages which the king had gained, began to
attack his adherents, and such was the harrying and burning and wholesale
murder which ensued that many of the unarmed peasants fled into France
with their wives and children.[89] Robert Fitz Hamon, lord of Torigny and
Creully, one of the duke’s chief supporters in 1101, had thrown in his
lot with the king, and his treason against the duke had been of so black
a character as to render him particularly odious among loyal subjects
and to arouse intense indignation against him. He now took to plundering
the countryside, and as he was harrying the Bessin, Gontier d’Aunay and
Reginald of Warenne with the forces from Bayeux and Caen managed to cut
him off and surround him in the village of Secqueville. He sought refuge
in the church tower, but the sanctuary did not protect him; for the
church was burned, and he was taken prisoner. As his captors led him away
to Bayeux, they had great difficulty to keep him from the hands of the
mob which crowded after them, shouting

    La hart, la hart al traitor
    Qui a guerpi son dreit seignor![90]

Such were the chaotic conditions in Normandy as they are depicted for us
in the spring of 1105. Yet we should beware of exaggeration. They may
not have been general. Indeed, they probably were not. Our evidence, at
best, is but fragmentary, and it rests in the main upon the testimony of
Ordericus Vitalis, who was no friend of Robert Curthose, and who dwelt in
the debatable region of the south, where the lawless elements were most
unbridled, and where the disturbing influence of English aggression had
made most headway. Even though we accept at its face value the testimony
concerning the diocese of Séez, the Bessin, and the Cotentin, it seems
reasonable, in the absence of such evidence for other parts of the duchy,
to conclude that conditions elsewhere were almost certainly better.

It is impossible to form anything like a complete picture of the state
of the defences of the duchy upon the eve of the English invasion.
Robert of Bellême and William of Mortain, by far the most powerful of
the duke’s supporters, were still in undisputed possession of their
hereditary Norman dominions. Robert d’Estouteville had charge of the
duke’s troops and castles in the pays de Caux.[91] Hugh de Nonant was
in command at Rouen.[92] His nephew Gontier d’Aunay was charged with
the defence of Bayeux;[93] and, apparently, Enguerran, son of Ilbert de
Lacy, with that of Caen.[94] Others of the duke’s chief supporters were
Reginald of Warenne,[95] brother of the earl of Surrey, and William of
Conversano,[96] brother of the late Duchess Sibyl. The ducal forces were
evidently too weak to offer effectual resistance in the open. Robert’s
hope lay in the strength of his fortresses; and it appears that he made a
spirited effort to put them in a state of defence, though his financial
resources were near exhaustion. Wace is specific with regard to the works
which were undertaken at Caen. In his day, it was still possible to trace
one of the great trenches which had been dug

          par la rue Meisine,
    Qui a la porte Milet fine,

and which was connected with the waters of the Orne. So long as the
duke could raise money by laying taxes upon the burgesses, he hired
mercenaries, and for the rest he made promises. But his exactions only
served to stir up the townsmen against him, without being in any way
adequate to keep his forces together. In a steady stream they deserted to
the king, and the helpless duke could only remark characteristically:

                Laissiez aler!
    Ne poon a toz estriver;
    Laissiez aler, laissiez venir!
    Ne poon pas toz retenir.[97]

Meanwhile, Henry I, having fitted out his expedition for the invasion of
Normandy, crossed the Channel in Holy Week 1105,[98] and landed without
opposition at Barfleur in the Cotentin; and on Easter eve he found
quarters in the village of Carentan.[99]

Then, according to the account of Ordericus Vitalis, there followed an
amazing piece of acting. The venerable Serlo, bishop of Séez, “first
of the Normans to offer his services to the king,” came to Carentan
to celebrate Easter in the royal presence. Clothing himself in his
sacred vestments, he entered the church. And while he sat awaiting the
assembling of the people and of the king’s followers before beginning the
service, he observed that the church was filled with all sorts of chests
and utensils and various kinds of gear which the peasants had brought
in for protection from the war and anarchy which were devastating the
Cotentin. It was probably in the main from pillage by the king’s forces
that the frightened peasantry were seeking protection,[100] but this
fact did not prevent the facile bishop from making the scene before him
his point of departure for a ringing appeal to arms, and for a public
justification of Henry’s attack upon Normandy. Observing the king with
a group of his nobles seated humbly among the peasants’ panniers at the
lower end of the church, Serlo heaved a deep sigh for the misery of the
people and rose to speak.

The hearts of all the faithful, he said, should mourn for the distresses
of the church and for the wretchedness of the people. The Cotentin was
laid waste and depopulated. For lack of a governor all Normandy was a
prey to thieves and robbers. The church of God, which ought to be a
place of prayer, was now, for want of a righteous defender, turned into
a storehouse for the peasants’ belongings. There was no room left in
which to kneel reverently or to stand devoutly before the Divine Majesty
because of the clutter of goods which the helpless rustics for fear of
plunderers had brought into the Lord’s house. And so, where government
failed, the church had perforce become the refuge of a defenceless
people. Yet not even in the church was there security; for that very
year, in Serlo’s own diocese of Séez, Robert of Bellême had burned
the church of Tournay to the ground, and men and women to the number
of forty-five had perished in it. Robert, the king’s brother, did not
really possess the duchy or rule his people as a duke who walked in the
path of justice. He was an indolent and an abandoned prince, who had
made himself subservient to William of Conversano, Hugh de Nonant, and
Gontier d’Aunay. He had dissipated the wealth of his fair duchy in vanity
and upon trifles. Often he fasted till three in the afternoon for lack
of bread. Often he dared not rise from bed and attend mass for want of
trousers, stockings, and shoes; for the buffoons and harlots who infested
his quarters had carried them off during the night while he lay snoring
in drunkenness; and then they impudently boasted that they had robbed the
duke. So, the head languishing, the whole body was sick, and a prince
without understanding had placed the whole duchy in peril. Let the king
arise, therefore, in God’s name, and obtain his paternal inheritance with
the sword of justice. Let him snatch his ancestral possessions from the
hands of base men. Let him give rein to his righteous anger, as did David
of old, not from any worldly desire for territorial aggrandizement, but
for the defence of his ‘native soil.’[101]

Moved by this stirring appeal, the king gravely arose. “In the Lord’s
name,” he said, “I will rise to this labor for the sake of peace, and
with your aid I will seek peace for the church.” Robert of Meulan and
other barons present applauded the momentous decision.

And now, behold another wonder! King Henry had become the defender of
the church. In order that his virtue might appear the more transcendent,
he was now to join the ranks of the reformers of morals. The venerable
Serlo, resuming his discourse, proceeded to harangue the king and his
suite upon the evils of the outlandish fashions which had recently
been taken up in high society, to the great scandal of the clergy and
of decent Christians. Like obdurate sons of Belial, the men of fashion
had taken to dressing their hair like women and to wearing things like
scorpion’s tails at the extremities of their feet, so that they resembled
women because of their effeminacy, and serpents by reason of their
pointed fangs. This kind of men had been foretold a thousand years before
by St. John the Divine, under the figure of locusts. Let the king offer
his subjects a laudable example, in order that they might see in his
person a model by which to regulate their own.

Again Henry was convinced by episcopal eloquence and readily assented
to Serlo’s proposal. The bishop had come prepared. Amid a general
consternation which may well be imagined, he drew shears from his wallet
and proceeded to crop the royal locks. Robert of Meulan was the next
victim to be sacrificed to the bishop’s reforming zeal. And by this time
the rest of the royal household and the congregation, anticipating a
positive order from the king, began to vie with one another as to which
should be shorn first; and soon they were trampling under foot as vile
refuse the locks which a few moments before they had cherished as their
most precious possessions.[102]

The reader may, perhaps, be left to judge for himself as to the amount
of credibility to be attached to the highly colored and obviously
strongly prejudiced narrative of Ordericus Vitalis which has here been
paraphrased. It clearly has a significance of its own, quite apart from
the question of strict historical veracity. The speech of Bishop Serlo,
as we have it, is, of course, not his at all, but a literary creation of
the monk of Saint-Évroul. Yet it must pretty faithfully represent the
contemporary point of view of the Norman clergy and of royal apologists
generally. It sets forth the king’s ‘platform,’ to borrow a very modern
term, and contains the grounds on which contemporaries attempted to
justify what was in reality an unjustifiable act of aggression. Moreover,
in spite of much imaginary coloring, there must be a certain residuum of
truth in Ordericus’s narrative, which illustrates again in a striking
manner the extreme care and almost endless detail with which Henry I
prepared his way for the conquest of Normandy. In spite of the mediaeval
trappings, there is something almost modern about this elaborate attempt
to manipulate public opinion and to crystallize a party. Further, it
is not a little significant that the Easter scene at Carentan could
have been enacted at all. That Henry should have been able to land an
invading army at Barfleur, advance without opposition to an unprotected
village, and there delay at will in all security, is a striking proof of
the defenceless condition of the duchy. The duke’s sole reliance was in
his strongholds. There is no evidence that he had any force assembled to
oppose the invader in the open.

King Henry had no need to hurry. While he delayed at Carentan, his
supporters in Normandy rallied around him, and his forces gained greatly
in strength. His landing at Barfleur had been the signal for further
desertions among the duke’s vassals. English gold and silver were
all-powerful.[103] Wace says the king had ‘bushels’ of the precious
treasure. He carried it about with him in ‘hogsheads’ loaded upon carts,
and by its judicious distribution among barons, castellans, and doughty
warriors, he readily persuaded them to desert their lord the duke.[104]
Meanwhile, Henry sent envoys to King Philip of France,[105] and summoned
his allies, Geoffrey Martel and Helias of La Flèche, to join him with
their Angevins and Manceaux.[106]

The military events of the campaign which followed are obscure, and can
be traced with little chronological certainty. We hear of some sort of
hostile encounter at Maromme near Rouen shortly after Easter, but we
know nothing about it, save that a certain knight in the service of
Robert d’Estouteville was slain.[107] The chief military undertaking of
the campaign was undoubtedly the siege of Bayeux. Against Bayeux and its
commander, Gontier d’Aunay, the king had a particular grievance because
of the capture and imprisonment of his supporter Robert Fitz Hamon.[108]
Accordingly, he assembled all his forces, including his allies from Maine
and Anjou, and laid siege to Bayeux.[109] Gontier d’Aunay went out to
meet him and promptly handed over his prisoner, Robert Fitz Hamon. He
declined, however, to make any further concessions, and Henry refused to
raise the siege.[110] But the garrison failed to justify the confidence
which their commander had placed in them,[111] and, in an assault, Henry
managed to fire the city.[112] A high wind carried the flames from roof
to roof, and soon the whole place was swept by the conflagration. Bishop
Odo’s beautiful cathedral and several other churches, the house of the
canons attached to the cathedral, the house of a distinguished citizen
named Conan, almost all the buildings in the town, in fact, except a
few poor huts, were destroyed. Many of the inhabitants, who in their
terror had fled to the cathedral, perished in the flames. The place was
given over to be plundered by the Manceaux and the Angevins, and Gontier
d’Aunay and many of the garrison were taken captive.[113]

Caen was the next important place to fall into Henry’s hands; but here
no siege was necessary. The fate of Bayeux had spread consternation
throughout the duchy, and served as a terrible warning of what might be
expected, if resistance proved unsuccessful; and the burgesses of Caen
had little love for the duke, who had made them feel the weight of his
exactions. Accordingly, a conspiracy was formed among certain of the
leading citizens, Enguerran de Lacy and the ducal garrison were expelled,
and the town was basely surrendered to the English, to the intense
indignation of the common people, among whom the duke appears to have
been popular.[114] Robert Curthose was himself in Caen at the time, and,
learning of the plot at the last moment, he fled headlong to the Hiémois.
His attendants, who followed closely after him, were held up at the gate,
and his baggage was rifled.[115] In grateful appreciation of this easy
conquest, the king conferred the manor of Dallington, in England, upon
the wealthy burgesses who had betrayed the second town of Normandy into
his hands.[116]

Having gained possession of Bayeux and Caen, the king marched upon the
strong castle of Falaise. But at this moment he temporarily lost the
powerful support of the count of Maine. “At the request of the Normans,”
it is not said of what Normans, Helias of La Flèche withdrew from the
contest; and Henry found his forces so weakened that he was obliged to
abandon the attack upon Falaise until the following year. Some desultory
fighting occurred, however, in which one of the king’s knights, Roger of
Gloucester, was mortally wounded by a shaft from a crossbow.[117] Almost
simultaneously, apparently, with the operations about Falaise, Robert and
Henry attempted to make peace. In the week of Pentecost (21-28 May), they
met in conference at the village of Cintheaux near Falaise and endeavored
for two days to arrive at an agreement. But the king was prepared to
offer no terms which the duke could accept, and the negotiations were
broken off.[118]

There was, indeed, no good reason why Henry should have made peace,
except to gain time while he reëquipped himself for the completion of the
enterprise upon which he had embarked. The sources speak specifically
only of the conquest of Bayeux and of Caen during the campaign of 1105.
Yet it is certain that the extension of the king’s domination through the
influence of English gold and through the voluntary surrender of numerous
minor strongholds had gone much further than this.[119] Eadmer, writing
of the situation as he himself saw it in Normandy in July 1105, was
able to say that almost all Normandy had been subjected to the king. The
power of the duke had been reduced to such a point that hardly any one
obeyed him or rendered him the respect due to a prince. Almost all the
barons spurned his authority and betrayed the fealty which they owed him,
while they ran after the king’s gold and silver and surrendered towns and
castles on every side.[120] Yet with all his success, Henry was unable to
complete the conquest of Normandy in a single campaign. Even hogsheads
may be drained, and the method of waging war with gold and silver, as
well as with the sword, had been costly. Before completing his task, he
found it necessary to return to England and replenish his supplies.[121]

But before returning to England, Henry had a diplomatic problem of great
importance to solve. Since 1103 Anselm had been living in exile, and
the investiture controversy had been in abeyance. But the archbishop
had at last grown restive and had decided to resort to the extreme
measure of excommunicating the king. Rumor of the impending sentence
spread throughout France, England, and Normandy, and caused not a
little uneasiness.[122] In the midst of his struggle for Normandy with
Robert Curthose, Henry could not but view this new danger with grave
concern; and he never showed to better advantage than in the broad and
statesmanlike way in which he met the crisis. Through the mediation of
Ivo of Chartres and of the king’s sister, Countess Adela of Blois, a
conference was arranged between him and the archbishop, to be held on 22
July at Laigle on the Norman frontier. There he received Anselm with the
utmost courtesy, and, since he was in no position to drive matters to a
rupture, he showed himself sincerely desirous of arriving at an amicable
adjustment. Anselm, too, was disposed to compromise; and they were soon
able to agree upon the broad lines of a final settlement of the long
controversy. Messengers were despatched to Rome by both the king and the
archbishop to secure the ratification of the Holy See.[123] The details
of a formal concordat had yet to be arranged; but friendly relations were
now completely restored between Henry and Anselm, and the ecclesiastical
crisis was averted. In August[124] the king returned to England, “and
what he had won in Normandy continued afterwards in peace and obedient to
him, except those who dwelt anywhere near Count William of Mortain.”[125]

In point of fact, William of Mortain and Robert of Bellême appear to
have been almost the only really powerful barons in Normandy who still
supported the duke, and the loyalty even of the Bellême interests could
probably have been shaken had the king so desired. Before Christmas
Robert of Bellême paid a visit to England and sought an interview with
the king. It would be hazardous to infer that he, too, was contemplating
a desertion of the ducal cause; but whatever his mission, he failed
to accomplish it, and, departing from the king’s Christmas court
‘unreconciled,’ he returned to Normandy.[126]

It was not long before the king had a more important visitor from beyond
the sea. Early in 1106 Robert Curthose himself crossed the Channel, and,
in an interview with the king at Northampton, besought him to restore
the conquests which he had won from him in Normandy.[127] The duke must
have felt his situation almost desperate, yet it is difficult to imagine
what inducements he expected to offer, or how, in the light of his
past experience, he could have dreamed of gaining a concession or any
consideration from his unscrupulous brother. Henry could well afford to
be obdurate, and he returned a flat refusal to the duke’s demands. Robert
withdrew in anger, and returned to his duchy;[128] and Henry wrote
immediately to Anselm, who was still in Normandy, announcing his own
crossing for 3 May following. It is not quite easy to see why he should
have stated in his letter that Robert had parted with him amicably,[129]
but the ways of diplomacy are often obscure.

Robert Curthose now knew beyond all question what he had to expect, and,
as formerly in the crisis of his struggle with William Rufus, he sought
aid from without. If the unsupported statement of William of Malmesbury
may be accepted, he appealed to his overlord, the king of France, and
to Robert of Flanders in a conference at Rouen;[130] but the far-seeing
diplomacy of Henry I had anticipated him,[131] and he was able to obtain
no assistance.

Meanwhile, Henry had completed his preparations for a second invasion
of Normandy, and “before August”[132] he crossed the Channel. He landed
without opposition, but soon afterwards, apparently, an attempt was
made to take him in an ambush. Abbot Robert of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives,
the notorious simoniac, entered into a secret compact with the duke and
some of his barons at Falaise to betray the king into their hands. Then,
while Reginald of Warenne and the younger Robert d’Estouteville, with a
considerable body of knights, installed themselves in the fortress which
the abbot had constructed within the precincts of his monastery, he paid
a visit to the king at Caen and treacherously agreed to surrender the
fortress to him, at the same time advising him to come quietly with but
a few knights to take it, in order to avoid giving the alarm. But Henry
did not ride blindly into the trap that was set for him. Placing himself
at the head of a force of seven hundred horse, he came suddenly upon the
monastery at daybreak after an all night’s ride; and, as soon as he had
apprised himself of the true situation, he launched an instant attack,
burned both the monastery and the fortress, and took Reginald of Warenne,
Robert d’Estouteville, and many of their men captive. Reënforcements on
their way from Falaise saw the conflagration and turned back in flight.
The attempted ambush had been turned into a notable royal victory. The
treacherous Abbot Robert was also taken. Thrown across a horse ‘like a
sack,’ he was brought before the king, who expelled him from the land
with the declaration that, if it were not for his sacred orders, he would
have him torn limb from limb.[133]

As we have noted, the duke’s power was in the main confined to scattered
strongholds such as Falaise and Rouen.[134] Through the open country
Henry was able to move about practically at will. He went to Bec and
had a cordial interview with Anselm (15 August). Much progress had
been made towards the settlement of the investiture controversy since
their meeting at Laigle the year before, and they were now completely
reconciled. Anselm returned to England disposed to give the king his
full support.[135] Every moral obstacle now seemed removed from Henry’s

Meanwhile, or soon after,[137] the king began operations against
the castle of Tinchebray. Adopting the well known expedient of the
siegecraft of the period, he erected a counter fortress against the
place, and installed in it Thomas de Saint-Jean with a garrison of
knights and foot soldiers. Thereupon William of Mortain, lord of
Tinchebray, collected forces which were more than a match for Thomas de
Saint-Jean and his men, and threw food and necessary supplies into the
stronghold.[138] But by this time the king had been powerfully reënforced
with auxiliary troops from Maine and Brittany, under the command of
Helias of La Flèche and of Alan Fergant,[139] and he began the siege of
Tinchebray in earnest.[140]

Robert Curthose, now reduced to desperate straits, and urged on by the
importunity of William of Mortain,[141] decided to stake all on the issue
of a battle in the open.[142] Collecting all his forces, he marched upon
Tinchebray and challenged the king to raise the siege or prepare for
battle.[143] Again, as at Alton in 1101, the two brothers stood facing
one another, about to engage in a fratricidal struggle. But again there
were negotiations. Certain men of religion, the venerable hermit Vitalis
among them, intervened to prevent the conflict.[144] The king, as always,
was careful to justify himself before the public eye; and, if we can
trust our authority, he offered terms of peace. Protesting loudly that
he was actuated by no worldly ambition, but only by a desire to succor
the poor and to protect the suffering church, he proposed that the duke
surrender to him all the castles in Normandy and the whole financial and
judicial administration of the duchy, reserving for himself one half of
the revenues. Henry, on his side, would undertake to pay the duke, out of
the English treasury, an annual subsidy equal to the other half of the
Norman revenues; and, for the future, Robert might revel in feasts and
games and all delights, in perfect security and in freedom from all care.
Such terms, if indeed they were ever really proposed, were in themselves
an insult. And, moreover, the duke had already had bitter experience
of Henry’s devotion to treaties. The monk of Saint-Évroul, therefore,
becomes quite incredible when he would have us believe that Robert laid
these proposals seriously before his council, and insinuates that he was
inclined to accede to them. In any case, the duke’s supporters rejected
them with violent language, and negotiations were broken off.[145] Both
sides now prepared for battle.

The sources are by no means clear, or in perfect accord, as to the exact
disposition of the forces in the battle of Tinchebray; but the general
plan of the engagement is clear,[146] as is also the very considerable
numerical superiority which the king enjoyed.[147] The forces on either
side were composed of both mounted knights and foot soldiers;[148]
and, so far as it is possible to say from the evidence, they were
arranged in columns of successive divisions, called _acies_, drawn up
one behind another.[149] William of Mortain commanded the vanguard
of the ducal forces, and Robert of Bellême the rear.[150] It is not
clear what position the duke held in the battle formation.[151] Our
information as to the disposition of the royal forces is fuller, but
confusing. The first division, or _acies_, was composed in the main of
foot soldiers from the Bessin, the Avranchin, and the Cotentin—probably
under the command of Ranulf of Bayeux[152]—but they were supported by
a considerable body of mounted knights. The second division, under the
immediate command of King Henry, was likewise made up of both mounted
knights and men fighting on foot, the latter in this case being the king
in person and a considerable number of his barons who had dismounted in
order to give greater stability to the line.[153] A further division
of some sort may have been placed in reserve in the rear.[154] Most
important of all, the auxiliary knights from Maine and Brittany, under
the command of Helias of La Flèche and Alan Fergant, were stationed on
the field at some distance to one side[155] in readiness for a strategic
stroke at the proper moment.

The action was opened by William of Mortain, who charged at the head
of Robert’s vanguard;[156] and for a time the ducal forces gained a
considerable advantage and pushed the royal van back at several points.
But they were unable to gain a decision; and while the opposing forces
were locked together in a great mêlée of hand-to-hand encounters, the
Bretons and the Manceaux charged impetuously from their distant position,
and, falling upon the flank of the ducal forces, cut them in two and
wrought great havoc among the foot soldiers.[157] Robert of Bellême,
seeing which way the battle was going, saved himself by flight; and the
forces of the duke thereupon dissolved in a general rout.[158]

Robert Curthose was captured by Waldric, the king’s chancellor,
who, though a cleric, had taken his place among the knights in the
battle.[159] The Bretons captured William of Mortain and were with
some difficulty persuaded to surrender their prize to the king. Robert
d’Estouteville, William de Ferrières, William Crispin, Edgar Atheling,
and many others were also taken prisoners.[160] Henry pardoned some,
including the Atheling, and set them at liberty, but others he kept in
confinement for the rest of their lives.[161] A considerable number
of the duke’s foot soldiers had been slain, and many more had been
captured.[162] But the casualties among the king’s forces had been
negligible. “Hardly two” of his men had been killed, while “only one,”
Robert de Bonebos, had been wounded.[163] The battle had been joined at
about nine o’clock in the morning, probably on the 29th of September[164]
1106. It had lasted “barely an hour,”[165] yet it deserves to rank among
the decisive battles of the twelfth century, for it had settled the fate
of Normandy and of Robert Curthose.


[1] Ordericus, iv, p. 116.

[2] “Nec simul, sed separatim variisque temporibus, de multimodis
violatae fidei reatibus implacitavit.” Ordericus, iv, p. 161.

[3] _Ibid._, pp. 167-168. He died on the way. For Ivo’s flight from
Antioch during the First Crusade, see _supra_, p. 107, n. 88.

[4] Ordericus, iv, pp. 161, 167.

[5] “Diligenter enim eum fecerat per unum annum explorari, et
vituperabiles actus per privatos exploratores caute investigari,
summopereque litteris annotari.” _Ibid._, pp. 169-170; cf. Florence of
Worcester, ii, p. 50.

[6] Probably the Easter court at Winchester. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1102.

[7] Ordericus, iv, p. 170; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 50.

[8] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1102; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 51.

[9] Ordericus, iv, pp. 161, 169-177; cf. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1102; Florence
of Worcester, ii, pp. 49-50; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 234; William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 472-473; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, pp.
445-446. For a much fuller account of the expulsion of Robert of Bellême,
and for its significance in English history, see Freeman, _William
Rufus_, ii, pp. 415-450.

[10] Ordericus, iv, pp. 177-178; Florence of Worcester, ii, pp. 50-51;
William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 473.

[11] Ordericus, iv, p. 178.

[12] _Ibid._, p. 98.

[13] Cf. William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 473; Ordericus, iv, p.

[14] Ordericus, iv, pp. 171-172.

[15] _Ibid._, p. 172.

[16] Ordericus, iv, pp. 176, 177.

[17] _Ibid._, pp. 178-179.

[18] _Ibid._, p. 179.

[19] Ordericus Vitalis gives the date of these events as “mense Iunio,”
probably 1103. The nuns of Almenèches were dispersed, Abbess Emma
with three of her associates taking refuge at Saint-Évroul. It is not
improbable that Ordericus got much of his information from her. _Ibid._,
pp. 179-180; cf. pp. 182-183.

[20] Ordericus, iv, p. 180. Exmes was in the keeping of Mauger Malherbe,
who had been placed there by Roger de Lacy, the duke’s _magister militum_.

[21] _Ibid._, pp. 180-181.

[22] _Ibid._, pp. 181-182.

[23] Ordericus, iv, p. 192; cf. pp. 162-163, 200. The terms of the treaty
are not recorded, except that apparently the duke conceded to Robert of
Bellême “the castle of Argentan, the bishopric of Séez, and the forest
of Gouffern.” Inasmuch as the duke had originally made this grant before
the expedition against England in 1101 (_supra_, p. 127 and n. 30), it
seems evident that at some time during the struggle with Bellême he had
revoked it, and that now, upon making peace, he was obliged to restore
it or confirm it. Ordericus charges repeatedly that in making this peace
without consulting Henry I, the duke acted in direct violation of the
treaty of Alton. Ordericus, iv, pp. 162, 192, 200.

[24] _Ibid._, p. 192.

[25] He died on 12 January, probably in 1103. _Ibid._, ii, p. 407; iv,
pp. 183, 185. Robert of Torigny gives the date of his death as 9 January
1099. _Chronique de Robert de Torigni_, ed. Léopold Delisle (Rouen,
1872-73), ii, p. 154. But this is clearly an error, since he was present
at the dedication of the church of Saint-Évroul in October 1099, and
since he was at Winchester in August 1100, when Henry I seized the royal
treasure after the death of William Rufus.

[26] Ordericus, iv, p. 185; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, p. 290.

[27] _Supra_, pp. 76, 78.

[28] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.
290; Ordericus, iv, p. 186.

[29] Ordericus, iv, pp. 186-187.

[30] _Ibid._, p. 187; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William
of Jumièges, pp. 290, 308.

[31] Ordericus, iv, p. 190.

[32] Ordericus, iv, p. 191.

[33] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.
285; Ordericus, iv, p. 78; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 461;
Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 438.

[34] _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p.

[35] _Ibid._; Ordericus, iv, p. 78; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 438.

[36] Ordericus Vitalis (iv, p. 184) says she died ‘in Lent,’ probably in
1102. Cf. William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 461; _Interpolations de
Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 285.

[37] Ordericus, iv, pp. 184-185. Her tomb in the nave of the great church
was covered with a slab of white marble bearing her epitaph, which has
been preserved in Ordericus Vitalis.

[38] _G. R._, ii, p. 461.

[39] Ordericus, iv, pp. 184, 473.

[40] “Vixit autem in Normannia parvo tempore, invidia et factione
quorumdam nobilium feminarum decepta.” _Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 285.

[41] Ordericus, iv, pp. 161-162; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 448.

[42] _Ibid._, pp. 448-449; Ordericus, iv, p. 162; _A.-S.C._, _a._ 1103;
Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 52; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 234.

[43] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 449.

[44] The foregoing details have been drawn from Ordericus (iv, pp.
162-163) and from Wace (_Roman de Rou_, ii, pp. 449-454), the only
writers who report this episode with any fulness. They are not in
complete accord, yet on the whole they confirm and support one another
to a remarkable degree. Ordericus endeavors to justify the king at every
point. Wace, on the other hand, sees the king’s action in its true light,
but he adds many details which are probably imaginative. Ordericus
makes no mention of the part played by the queen; but Wace makes this
a leading feature of the episode. Can this be mere embroidery on the
brief statement of William of Malmesbury: “Porro ille, quasi cum fortuna
certaret utrum plus illa daret an ipse dispergeret, sola voluntate
reginae tacite postulantis comperta, tantam massam argenti benignus in
perpetuum ignovit; acclines foeminei fastus preces pro magno exosculatus;
erat enim eius in baptismo filiola”? _G. R._, ii, p. 462.

[45] _Ibid._, p. 474. The same notion finds expression in Wace, not as a
fact, but as a current opinion. _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 448.

[46] Even Ordericus Vitalis cannot conceal it.

[47] _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 451.

[48] Ordericus, iv, p. 163.

[49] Haskins, pp. 286-287, no. 3.

[50] Cf. _supra_, p. 127, and n. 30.

[51] _Supra_, p. 144.

[52] Ordericus, iv, p. 192.

[53] _Infra_, pp. 161-164.

[54] Ordericus, iv, p. 215; _Gallia Christiana_, xi, instr., col. 155.

[55] Ordericus, iv, p. 116. Bishop Fulcher died 29 January 1102.

[56] _Ibid._, pp. 116-117; Ivo of Chartres, _Epistolae_, no. 157, and cf.
no. 149, in _H. F._, xv, pp. 134, 131.

[57] _Ibid._, no. 157.

[58] Ordericus, iv, p. 117.

[59] Ivo of Chartres, _Epistolae_, no. 157, in _H. F._, xv. p. 134.

[60] _Ibid._

[61] Ivo of Chartres, _Epistolae_, no. 157, in _H. F._, xv, p. 134.

[62] _Ibid._, no. 153.

[63] _Ibid._, no. 157.

[64] _Ibid._; Ordericus, iv, p. 117.

[65] Ivo of Chartres, _Epistolae_, no. 153, in _H. F._, xv, p. 133.

[66] _Ibid._, no. 157; Ordericus, iv, p. 117.

[67] Ivo of Chartres, _Epistolae_, no. 154, in _H. F._, xv, pp. 133-134.

[68] It does not appear that the duke was seriously involved in the
ecclesiastical controversy over Thorold, the appointee of William Rufus
to the see of Bayeux after the death of Bishop Odo. On 8 October,
apparently 1104, Pascal II wrote to the clergy and people of Bayeux
announcing the condemnation of Thorold because, among other things, he
had failed to keep his promise to King Henry not to receive investiture
from Duke Robert: “Pro his igitur omnibus pro fide etiam non accipiendi a
Normannorum comite honoris aecclesiastici ante conspectum Anglici regis
data depositionis in eum erat promenda sententia.” “Lettre inédite de
Pascal II,” ed. Germain Morin, in _Revue d’histoire ecclésiastique_,
v (1904), pp. 284-285. But the execution of the sentence was delayed
for a long period, and the Pope satisfied himself that Thorold had not
received investiture from the duke. _Epistolae Paschalis_, in Migne,
clxiii, col. 188. Thorold was deposed, however, upon other grounds,
apparently in 1107. Ordericus, iv, p. 18; Morin, in _Revue d’histoire
ecclésiastique_, v, pp. 286-288. For an exhaustive discussion of all that
is known and for many conjectures about Thorold, see Wilhelm Tavernier,
“Beiträge zur Rolandsforschung,” in _Zeitschrift für französiche Sprache
und Litteratur_, xxxvii, pp. 103-124; xxxviii, pp. 117-135; xxxix, pp.
133-151. Tavernier believes that Thorold was the author of the _Chanson
de Roland_.

[69] _Epistolae Paschalis_, in Migne, clxiii, col. 81.

[70] “Nosti quia eidem comiti debemus auxilium pro laboribus quos
in Asianae Ecclesiae liberatione laboravit. Idcirco volumus ut, si
necdum inter eos pax composita est, te satagente, nostris nuntiis
intervenientibus, componatur.”

[71] _Infra_, pp. 168-169.

[72] A letter discovered by Wilhelm Levison in the British Museum
(Harleian MSS., 633) and published in _Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft
für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde_, xxxv (1909), p. 427. Reprinted by
Léopold Delisle, in _Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes_, lxxi, p. 466.

[73] _Supra_, p. 122.

[74] _Infra_, p. 180.

[75] Thomas Rymer, _Foedera_, ed. Record Commission (London, 1816-69),
i, p. 7, _ex originali_, but incomplete and fragmentary; _Liber Niger
Scaccarii_, ed. Thomas Hearne, 2d ed. (London, 1771), i, pp. 7-15. The
original, though very badly damaged, is still extant in the Public
Record Office. The document itself is dated 10 March at Dover; and a
reference in Eadmer (p. 146) seems to fix it in the year 1103. Cf. J. M.
Lappenberg, _Geschichte von England_ (Hamburg, 1834-37), ii, pp. 240-241;
Freeman, _Norman Conquest_, v, pp. 850-851; Henri Pirenne, _Histoire de
Belgique_, 3d ed. (Brussels, 1909), i, p. 102. The treaty of 1103 is
but one of a series of similar agreements beginning with the original
grant of a money fief by the Conqueror to Count Baldwin V (William of
Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 478) and extending to the reign of Henry
II (_Foedera_, i, pp. 6, 7, 22; _Liber Niger_, i, pp. 7-34). All these
agreements, and especially the one of 1103, are being studied by Dr.
Robert H. George in a work on the relations of England and Flanders.
Harvard doctoral dissertation, 1916.

[76] _Infra_, pp. 164, 165, 167, 172, 174-175.

[77] _Supra_, pp. 145-146.

[78] Ordericus, iv, pp. 187, 418; v, p. 4; _Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 307.

[79] _Supra_, pp. 145-146.

[80] _Supra_, p. 140.

[81] Ordericus, ii, p. 404, n. 6.

[82] _Ibid._, iv, p. 198; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in
William of Jumièges, p. 327.

[83] Ordericus, iv, pp. 198-199.

[84] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, pp. 455-459; cf. p. 444.

[85] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 473-474; _A.-S. C._, _a._
1104; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 53; Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 234-235;
_Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 307; cf. Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p.

[86] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1104; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 234.

[87] Ordericus, iv, p. 199. No other writer mentions the journey of Henry
I to Normandy in 1104; and it is not clear that Ordericus is wholly
trustworthy at this point, though his testimony is too specific to be
rejected. He treats the campaigns of 1105 and 1106 together in a most
confusing manner.

[88] Ordericus, iv, pp. 199-201.

[89] _Ibid._, pp. 201-202.

[90] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 470. He tells the story with much
picturesque detail. He is in the main confirmed by Ordericus, iv, pp.

[91] Ordericus, iv, p. 214.

[92] _Ibid._, p. 206.

[93] _Ibid._, pp. 203, 206, 219, 401; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 469.

[94] Ordericus, iv, pp. 219, 401.

[95] _Ibid._, pp. 203, 222-223.

[96] _Ibid._, p. 206.

[97] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, pp. 461-463.

[98] Ordericus, iv, p. 204; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1105; cf. Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 235; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 53.

[99] Ordericus, iv, p. 204.

[100] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, pp. 460-461.

[101] Normandy now becomes the _solum natale_ of King Henry!

[102] Ordericus, iv, pp. 204-210.

[103] “Omnes igitur ferme Normannorum maiores illico ad regis adventum,
spreto comite domino suo, et fidem quam ei debebant postponentes, in
aurum et argentum regis cucurrerunt, eique civitates castra et urbes
tradiderunt.” Eadmer, p. 165; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 54.

[104] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 460.

[105] Ordericus, iv, p. 210.

[106] _Ibid._; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 461.

[107] Ordericus, iv, pp. 214-215. A charter in favor of St. Mary of Bec,
attested by Hugh d’Envermeu “in obsidione ante Archas,” not improbably
belongs to this year, and indicates that military operations were
undertaken against Arques. Round, _C. D. F._, no. 393.

[108] _Supra_, p. 159.

[109] Ordericus, iv, p. 219; _Annales de Saint-Aubin_, in _Recueil
d’annales angevines et vendômoises_, ed. Halphen, p. 44; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 235; _Versus Serlonis de Capta Baiocensium Civilate_,
in _H. F._, xix, pp. xci, xciii. On this poem and its author see the
exhaustive study by Heinrich Böhmer, “Der sogenannte Serlo von Bayeux und
die ihm zugeschriebenen Gedichte,” in _Neues Archiv_, xxii, pp. 701-738.

[110] Ordericus, iv, p. 219.

[111] _Versus Serlonis_, in _H. F._, xix, p. xciv.

[112] Ordericus, iv, p. 219; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 54; _Annales
de Saint-Aubin_, in Halphen, _Annales_, p. 44; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii,
p. 471.

[113] _Versus Serlonis_, in _H. F._, xix, pp. xci ff.; Ordericus, iv, p.
219; Wace. _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 471; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii,
p. 54. Wace’s account of the siege of Bayeux is elaborate, and credits
the city with a long and stubborn resistance. But in the absence of all
evidence to this effect in the other sources, and in the face of the
positive testimony of the poet Serlo, an eyewitness, that the defence was
weak and cowardly on the part of both garrison and inhabitants, Wace’s
view cannot be accepted.

[114] Ordericus, iv, pp. 219-220; Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, pp. 473-479;
cf. Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii,
pp. 462-463. Wace gives an elaborate account of the conspiracy, which
is perhaps worth summarizing. Thierry, son of Ralph Fitz Ogier, and
several other citizens of Caen had been ambushed and captured by Robert
of Saint-Rémy-des-Landes at Cagny in the Hiémois while travelling home
from Argences; Robert of Saint-Rémy had taken his prisoners to Torigny
and sold them for a great price to Robert Fitz Hamon; who, in turn,
surrendered them to the king, in exchange for the grant of Caen as a fief
to be held by himself and his heirs forever. The king was delighted over
the acquisition of these prisoners, “riches homes de Caan nez,” for he
saw in them the possibility of gaining Caen without striking a blow. A
convention was quickly agreed upon. Henry promised to free the prisoners
and to enrich them with lands and goods; and they undertook to deliver
Caen into his hands. And to seal the bargain, they gave hostages, “filz e
nevoz de lor lignages.” Great precautions were taken to deceive “la gent

    Kar se la povre gent seust
    Que l’ovre aler issi deust,
    La li reis Caan nen eust,
    Que grant barate n’i eust,

though many prominent burgesses were involved in the conspiracy, and
treason was spreading far and wide throughout the city before the duke
got wind of it. Then, with the king’s men from the Bessin close at hand,
and desertion general among the citizens, Robert had no choice but to
flee by the Porte Milet to the Hiémois, leaving his baggage behind to be
ransacked at the gate.

[115] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 478; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._,
ii, p. 463.

[116] Ordericus, iv, pp. 219-220; cf. Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 476.

[117] Ordericus, iv, p. 220; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p.
475. The fact that the attack upon Falaise belongs to the campaign of
1105 is definitely established by a charter of donation by Roger to St.
Peter’s, Gloucester: “Anno Domini millesimo centesimo quinto, Rogerus de
Gloucestria miles, a pud Waleyson graviter vulneratus…” _Hist. et Cart.
S. Petri Gloucestriae_, i, p. 69.

[118] Ordericus, iv, pp. 220-221.

[119] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1105: “and almost all the castles and chief men
there in the land became subject to him”; cf. Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235.

[120] Eadmer, p. 165.

[121] “Rex enim ipse a Normannia digressus, quia earn totam eo quo supra
diximus modo sibi subiugare nequierat, reversus in Angliam est, ut,
copiosiori pecunia fretus rediens, quod residuum erat, exhaeredato fratre
suo, subiiceret.” _Ibid._, p. 171; cf. Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 54.

[122] Eadmer, p. 166.

[123] Eadmer, pp. 165-166; cf. G. B. Adams, _History of England from the
Norman Conquest to the Death of John_ (London, 1905), pp. 141-142.

[124] Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1105.

[125] _Ibid._, _a._ 1105.

[126] _Ibid._, _a._ 1106.

[127] _Ibid._, _a._ 1106; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235; Florence of
Worcester, ii, p. 54. The place of the interview is further established
by Henry’s letter to Anselm which ends: “Teste W. Cancell. apud
Northamptonem.” _Epistolae Anselmi_, bk. iv, no. 77, in Migne, clix, col.

[128] References as in n. 127, _supra_.

[129] _Epistolae Anselmi_, bk. iv, no. 77, in Migne, clix, col. 240.

[130] _G. R._, ii, p. 463.

[131] Cf. _supra_, pp. 155-156.

[132] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1106; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 54; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 235. Though Henry’s original intention had been to cross
at Ascension (3 May) (_Epistolae Anselmi_, bk. iv, no. 77, in Migne,
clix, col. 240), it is clear from the _Chronicle_ that he was still in
England at Pentecost (13 May). The phrase ‘before August’ used by the
sources would seem to point to a crossing in the latter part of July.

[133] Ordericus, iv, pp. 215, 223-224; _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales
Monastici_, ii, p. 42. The chronology of Ordericus is confused. Abbot
Fulk, predecessor of the simoniac Robert, is said to have died at
Winchester 3 April 1105. _Gallia Christiana_, xi, instr., col. 155;
Ordericus, iv, p. 19, and n. 2; p. 215, and n. 2. Henry’s destruction of
the abbey must, therefore, be referred to 1106, since it would have been
impossible for Abbot Robert to have gained possession of the monastery
and to have erected a fortress in it while Henry was still in Normandy in
the previous summer, the king having returned to England in August. This
conclusion is confirmed by the Annals of Winchester: “MCVI. Hoc anno rex
in Normanniam duxit exercitum, et veniens ad Sanctum Petrum super Divam,
abbatiam redegit in pulverem, et centum homines et eo amplius interfecit.”

[134] Cf. _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges,
p. 283: “Rex autem Henricus, non diutius hoc ferens, maximeque indigne
ferens, quod frater suus ita paternam hereditatem, ducatum scilicet
Normanniae, dissipaverat, quod, preter civitatem Rothomagensem, nichil
pene in dominio haberet; quam etiam forsitan alicui ut cetera dedisset,
si hoc sibi licitum propter cives ipsius fuisset.” This is doubtless an
exaggerated statement, but it is not without significance.

[135] Eadmer, pp. 182-183; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 55.

[136] The Pope was clearly no longer supporting the crusader against the
king. William of Malmesbury goes so far as to say that Pascal wrote to
Henry urging him on to the fratricidal conflict. _G. R._, ii, p. 474.

[137] The operations before Tinchebray, such as they are described, must
have extended over a considerable period before the decisive battle,
which was fought on or about 29 September.

[138] Ordericus, iv, pp. 224-225.

[139] _Ibid._, pp. 229-230; letter of a priest of Fécamp to a priest
of Séez, in _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235; Dom
Morice, _Preuves_, i, col. 129; cf. William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii,
p. 478. Henry of Huntingdon mentions the presence also of Angevins, but
this is probably an error.

[140] Ordericus, iv, p. 225; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_,
in William of Jumièges, p. 283; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1106; Florence of
Worcester, ii, p. 55; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235.

[141] Ordericus, iv, p. 225.

[142] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 463: “ad bellum publicum
venit, ultimam fortunam experturus.”

[143] Ordericus, iv, p. 225; cf. letter of Henry I to Anselm, in Eadmer,
p. 184; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1106; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 55; Henry
of Huntingdon, p. 235; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 475;
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 283.

[144] Ordericus, iv, pp. 226-227.

[145] Ordericus, iv, pp. 227-228. Henry did not fail to propitiate the
Almighty. He released Reginald of Warenne from prison—to the great
satisfaction of William of Warenne, his brother, who now became a more
enthusiastic royal supporter than ever—and made a vow to rebuild the
church which he had burned at Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives. _Ibid._, p. 229.
The Hyde _Chronicle_ is doubtless in error in stating that Reginald of
Warenne was captured at Tinchebray and later released at the request of
his brother. _Liber de Hyda_, p. 307.

[146] See Appendix F.

[147] It is hardly worth while to discuss the numbers engaged in the
battle, since mediaeval figures are not to be relied upon. Cf. _E. H.
R._, xviii, pp. 625-629. The estimate of the priest of Fécamp (_E. H.
R._, xxv, p. 296), placing the king’s forces at 40,000 and the duke’s at
6000, of which 700 were knights, is doubtless an exaggeration. It is good
evidence, however, of the king’s numerical superiority, which is also
indicated by Henry of Huntingdon (p. 235). Ordericus Vitalis grants that
the duke was inferior to the king in knights, but asserts that he had
more foot soldiers.

[148] _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296; Eadmer, p. 184; Ordericus, iv, pp. 226,
230; cf. _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges,
p. 283; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235.

[149] See Appendix F.

[150] Ordericus, iv, p. 230.

[151] The statement of J. D. Drummond that he held the foot soldiers
in reserve in the distant rear behind the forces of Robert of Bellême
(_Kriegsgeschichte Englands_, p. 40), is based upon pure conjecture. C.
W. C. Oman (_Art of War_, p. 379), adopting the view of a line formation,
asserts, equally without authority, that Robert Curthose held the centre
between William of Mortain and Robert of Bellême.

[152] “primam aciem rexit Rannulfus Baiocensis; secundam Rodbertus comes
Mellentensis; tertiam vero Guillelmus de Guarenna.” Ordericus, iv, p.
229. It certainly is impossible to reconcile this statement completely
with the letter of the priest of Fécamp, but perhaps the leadership of
the first division may be accepted.

[153] Letter of the priest of Fécamp, in _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296:
“In prima acie fuerunt Baiocenses, Abrincatini, et Constantinienses,
omnes pedites; in secunda vero rex cum innumeris baronibus suis, omnes
similiter pedites. Ad hec septingenti equites utrique aciei ordinate”.
Also Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235: “rex namque et dux, et acies caeterae
pedites erant, ut constantius pugnarent.”

[154] Ordericus, iv, p. 229.

[155] _Ibid._, pp. 229-230: “Cenomannos autem et Britones longe in campo
cum Helia consule constituit”; letter of the priest of Fécamp, in _E. H.
R._, xxv, p. 296: “preterea comes Cenomannis et comes Britonum Alanus
Fregandus circumcingentes exercitum, usque ad mille equites, remotis
omnibus gildonibus et servis”; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235.

[156] Ordericus, iv, p. 230. But cf. Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235: “dux
Normanniae cum paucis multos audacissime aggressus est, assuetusque
bellis Ierosolimitanis aciem regalem fortiter et horrende reppulit.
Willelmus quoque consul de Moretuil aciem Anglorum de loco in locum
turbans promovit.” This statement would seem to give some color to Oman’s
view of a line formation, but it is not convincing in the face of other
evidence. Cf. Appendix F.

[157] Ordericus, iv, p. 230; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 235; cf. Dom Morice,
_Preuves_, i, col. 129.

[158] Letter of the priest of Fécamp, in _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296; Henry
of Huntingdon, pp. 235-236; Ordericus, iv, p. 230; cf. _A.-S. C._, _a._
1106; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 55; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._,
ii, p. 475; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 307.

[159] Ordericus, iv, p. 230; cf. _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 236; Eadmer, p. 184; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1106; Florence of
Worcester, ii, p. 55; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 463; the
same, _G. P._, p. 116; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William
of Jumièges, p. 283; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 307. On Waldric
the Chancellor see H. W. C. Davis, in _E. H. R._, xxvi, pp. 84-89.

[160] Ordericus, iv, pp. 230-231; _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296; Henry of
Huntingdon, p. 236; Eadmer, p. 184; Florence of Worcester, ii, p. 55;
_A.-S. C._, _a._ 1106; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 475;
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 283;
_Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 307.

[161] Ordericus, iv, p. 231.

[162] _Ibid._, p. 230; Eadmer, p. 184. Robert of Torigny places
the number of slain among the duke’s forces at “vix sexaginta.”
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 284.

[163] _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296; cf. Eadmer, p. 184; _Interpolations de
Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 284; _Chronicon_, in
_Liber de Hyda_, p. 307.

[164] _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296: “iii kal. Octobris hora tertia.” The
date usually given by modern writers is 28 September. Le Prévost, in
Ordericus, iv, 228, n. 2; Davis, _Normans and Angevins_, p. 129; Adams,
_History of England from the Norman Conquest to the Death of John_,
p. 145; Le Hardy, p. 164; Fliche, _Philippe Iᵉʳ_, p. 311. It is based
upon the authority of the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1106), which is
copied by Florence of Worcester (ii, p. 55), and upon the _Chronicon
Breve Fontanellense_ (_H. F._, xii, p. 771). But, in view of the explicit
statement of the priest of Fécamp, 29 September is probably the correct
date. William of Malmesbury (_G. R._, ii, p. 475) confusingly dates the
battle “sabbato in Sancti Michaelis vigilia.” Michaelmas in 1106 fell
upon Saturday. A further variation is introduced by Robert of Torigny,
who dates the battle 27 September. _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_
in William of Jumièges, p. 284.

[165] _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296.



Soon after the battle of Tinchebray Henry I wrote exultingly to Anselm,
announcing the great victory and boasting that he had captured four
hundred knights and ten thousand foot soldiers, and that the number of
slain was legion.[1] It was a pardonable exaggeration, for indeed the
battle had ended all resistance and decided the fate of Normandy. The
duke seems to have had no thought of a continuance of the struggle, and
meekly submitted to his conqueror. Henry hastened to the great stronghold
of Falaise, which had successfully defied him the year before, and at the
duke’s own command it was promptly surrendered into his hands.[2] Then he
pressed on with his captive to Rouen, where he received a cordial welcome
from the burgesses, to whom he restored the laws of the Conqueror and
all the honors which their city had previously enjoyed.[3] And, again
at the duke’s command, Hugh de Nonant handed over the citadel to the
king. The duke, too, formally absolved the fortified towns (_municipia_)
throughout all Normandy from their allegiance, and their defenders
hastened to make peace with the victor.[4] Even the king’s most bitter
enemies sought a reconciliation. Ranulf Flambard, the exiled bishop of
Durham, who had caused such a scandal in the see of Lisieux, and who was
still residing there as lord of the city (_princeps in urbe_), humbly
sent to seek peace, and, upon surrendering Lisieux, was restored to his
bishopric of Durham.[5] The terrible Robert of Bellême still boasted the
possession of thirty-four strong castles, and for a moment he seems to
have contemplated further resistance. But an appeal for aid to Helias of
La Flèche met with no encouragement; and at the advice and through the
mediation of the latter, he chose the prudent course of making peace with
Henry upon the best terms possible. By the surrender of all the ducal
domain which he had occupied illegally, he managed to obtain Argentan
and the _vicomté_ of Falaise, together with certain other possessions
which had formerly been held by his father, Roger of Montgomery.[6] But
these temporary concessions to Robert of Bellême were almost the only
ones which the king felt it necessary to make. For, while he favored
the clergy and gave peace and protection to the humble and unarmed
population, he made it his first business to curb the restless baronage.
He ordered the destruction of adulterine castles throughout the duchy.[7]
Summoning a council of magnates at Lisieux in the middle of October, he
proclaimed a royal peace, asserted his title to all the ducal domain
which Robert Curthose through extravagance or weakness had let slip from
his hands, and guaranteed to the churches and other legitimate holders
all the possessions which they had lawfully enjoyed at the time of the
Conqueror’s death.[8] Such measures brought despair to outlaws and evil
men, but they inaugurated a new era of vigorous and orderly government
which was welcomed with the utmost gratitude by all peace-loving
subjects, especially by the clergy.[9] Anselm wrote to the king, saluting
him as ‘duke,’ to congratulate him upon his splendid victory, and to
thank him for the promise of good and considerate government.[10]

Henry remained in Normandy during the autumn and winter to complete the
organization of the new régime. In January 1107 he called the nobles
together at Falaise, and in March he held another council at Lisieux,
and promulgated many important decrees for the administration of the
duchy.[11] And then, in Lent, “when he had either destroyed his enemies
or subdued them, and had disposed of Normandy according to his will,”[12]
he returned to England, and held his Easter court at Windsor.[13]
And there “both Norman and English barons were present with fear and

Apparently the king had sent his prisoners, including the duke, on before
him to England, lest the turbulent Normans, under the guise of aiding
Robert Curthose, should break the peace.[15] And once he had them safely
across the Channel he took good care that they should never escape him.
William of Mortain, at least, was placed in close confinement for the
rest of his life; and, if Henry of Huntingdon can be trusted, he was
blinded.[16] Robert Curthose, it seems, was kept in free custody and
provided with certain comforts and even luxuries;[17] but his confinement
was not made less secure for that. According to the Annals of Winchester,
he was first imprisoned at Wareham;[18] but he was afterwards given into
the custody of the great Bishop Roger of Salisbury, who kept him in his
magnificent castle at Devizes.[19]

In 1107 King Henry’s triumph seemed complete. He was now master both in
England and in Normandy as he had never been before.[20] His conquest
of the duchy had been willingly accepted by both clergy and people. And
even Louis, the king designate of France—contrary, it may be observed,
to his father Philip’s advice—had officially ratified his action.[21]
Yet Henry’s troubles in Normandy had hardly begun, and the following
years were a period of almost incessant warfare for the maintenance of
his conquest. Hostility between him and his continental neighbors was,
indeed, inevitable. With the accession Louis VI (le Gros) to the throne
of France in 1108, the Capetians entered upon an era of royal ascendancy
which necessarily made them look with jealous eyes upon their great
feudatories, particularly the dukes of Normandy. The union of England
and Normandy brought an increase of strength and of ambition to Henry
I which rendered him dangerous not only to his overlord, the king of
France, but also to his neighbors on the north and south in Flanders and
Anjou; while in Normandy itself, the turbulent baronage soon grew restive
under the stern rule of the ‘Lion of Justice,’ and were ever ready to
ally themselves with anyone who would make common cause with them against
him. And, unfortunately for Henry, he had made one fatal mistake in his
settlement of Normandy after Tinchebray, which left a standing temptation
in the way of the disaffected Norman baronage and of his jealous
neighbors beyond the frontier.

The son of Robert Curthose, William surnamed the Clito, had fallen into
the king’s hands at the surrender of Falaise in 1106,[22] and it would
have been possible for Henry to have made away with him or to have
placed him in permanent confinement, just as he had imprisoned the duke.
But William Clito was still a child of tender years, and Henry feared
public sentiment. Rather than bear the responsibility if any evil should
befall the lad while in his hands, he placed him in ward with Helias of
Saint-Saëns, Duke Robert’s son-in-law, to be brought up and educated.[23]
Henry soon repented of this indiscretion, however, and, at the advice
of certain of his counsellors, he gave orders for the Clito to be taken
into custody. But before Robert de Beauchamp, the _vicomte_ of Arques,
who was charged with the execution of the king’s command, could carry out
his mission, friends of the child learned of the impending stroke, and
carried him away sleeping from his bed and hid him; and soon after the
stanch Helias of Saint-Saëns fled with him into exile.[24] Abandoning all
that they had in Normandy,[25] Helias and the Clito’s tutor, Tirel de
Mainières, devoted their lives to their charge,[26] finding a refuge now
here, now there, among King Henry’s enemies in France and Flanders and

It would lead us too far afield to trace in detail the tragic career of
William Clito. But its salient features may, at least, be indicated; for
he was the last hope of the lost cause of Robert Curthose.

The Clito rapidly grew to be a youth of uncommon attractions—“mult fu
amez de chevaliers”[28]—and his pathetic story made an irresistible
appeal to the discontented and ambitious, both in Normandy and beyond the
frontiers.[29] Robert of Bellême, until he was captured in 1112 and sent
to end his days in an English prison,[30] made himself in a special way
the patron and supporter of the Clito;[31] and the cause of the injured
exile, mere child that he was, undoubtedly lay back of much of the
desultory warfare in which King Henry was involved in Normandy and on the
French frontier between 1109 and 1113. Count Robert of Flanders lost his
life fighting in Normandy in 1111,[32] and his successor, Baldwin VII,
gave an asylum to the Clito and conferred on him the arms of knighthood
in his fourteenth year.[33]

It was between the years 1117 and 1120, however, that the opponents of
King Henry’s continental ambitions first organized themselves in support
of William Clito upon a formidable scale. Louis VI had repented of his
earlier friendship for Henry I,[34] and in 1117 he entered into a sworn
alliance with Baldwin of Flanders and Fulk of Anjou to overthrow the
English rule in Normandy and place the Clito on the ducal throne.[35]
Simultaneously, a widespread revolt broke out among the Norman baronage,
and for three years Henry was involved in a formidable war, which he
conducted with characteristic vigor and success.[36] The death of Count
Baldwin eliminated Flanders from the contest.[37] Henry succeeded
in making peace and forming an alliance with Fulk of Anjou in June
1119.[38] And in the decisive battle of Brémule in the same year, the
English overwhelmed the French, and Louis VI fled from the field.[39]
But from arms the French king turned to diplomacy. He appeared with
the Clito before the council of Rheims (October 1119), and laid the
cause of Robert Curthose and of his exiled son before the assembled
prelates with such telling effect[40] that Pope Calixtus set out for
Normandy to deal in person with the English king. But Henry showed
himself as apt at diplomacy as he had been successful in arms. Meeting
the Pope at Gisors (November 1119), he welcomed him with the utmost
courtesy and with an extraordinary show of humility.[41] He provided
elaborately for his entertainment.[42] And when Calixtus arraigned him
for his unjust conduct, and, in the name of the council, called upon
him to release Robert Curthose from prison and to restore him and the
Clito to the duchy,[43] Henry replied in an elaborate speech, placing
the whole responsibility upon the duke. He declared that he had been
obliged to conquer Normandy in order to rescue it from anarchy, and that
he had offered to confer three English counties upon the Clito and to
bring him up in all honor at his court.[44] Strange to say, the Pope
professed himself entirely convinced by Henry’s assertions and declared
that “nothing could be more just than the king of England’s cause.”
But William of Malmesbury explains that the royal arguments were “well
seasoned with rich gifts.”[45] Henry had won the Pope, and through the
latter’s mediation a peace was soon arranged with Louis VI upon the basis
of mutual restitutions; and William Atheling, Henry’s son, did homage
to the king of France for Normandy (1120).[46] The Norman rebels, too,
seeing that their cause was hopeless, hastily made peace with Henry, and
at his command did homage and swore fealty to the Atheling.[47] William
Clito was deserted on almost every hand, and his cause did indeed seem
hopeless. If we can trust the chronicle of Hyde monastery, he sent
messengers to King Henry and humbly besought him to release his father
from captivity, and promised, if his request were granted, to depart with
him for Jerusalem, abandoning Normandy to the king and his heirs forever,
and never again to appear this side the Julian Alps.[48]

King Henry, we are told, treated these overtures with arrogant contempt,
as well he might in view of his victory over all his enemies. Yet before
the end of the year the loss of the Atheling on the _White Ship_ put
all his well laid plans awry, and left William Clito, his bitter enemy,
as the most direct heir of all his dominions both in Normandy and
England.[49] Soon his old enemies began to rally to the Clito’s cause;
and he was again confronted with a formidable revolt of the Norman
baronage (1123-25), which had at least the tacit support of the king
of France.[50] Fulk of Anjou, in league with the rebels, abandoned the
English alliance and conferred the county of Maine, together with the
hand of his younger daughter Sibyl, upon the Clito.[51] Though Henry
succeeded in having this marriage annulled by papal decree in 1124
upon the ground of consanguinity,[52] Louis VI continued to support
the Clito. At his Christmas court in 1126 he called upon the assembled
barons to assist the young prince.[53] Shortly thereafter he gave him the
half-sister of his own queen in marriage and conferred upon him Pontoise,
Chaumont, Mantes, and the whole of the Vexin. Before Lent 1127 the Clito
appeared at Gisors at the head of an armed force, and laid claim to
Normandy.[54] And soon afterwards the foul murder of Count Charles the
Good opened the question of the Flemish succession, and gave the king of
France, as overlord of the county, an opportunity to raise his protégé
to the throne of Flanders, although the king of England was himself a
candidate for the honor.[55] The fortunes of the Clito were now decidedly
in the ascendant, and it behooved Henry I to bestir himself to check his
progress. He crossed the Channel and began active military operations
against the Franco-Flemish alliance.[56] He sent his agents into Flanders
to distribute bribes and build up a combination against the new count.
He freely subsidized the rival claimants to the county.[57] But Henry’s
problem was soon solved for him by a civil war in which, so far as we
know, he had no part or influence. William Clito had allied himself with
the feudal aristocracy of Flanders, but he had failed to comprehend the
spirit of the progressive bourgeoisie, to whom his predecessor, Charles
the Good, had made important concessions.[58] Increasing friction with
the burgesses soon led to an insurrection, and the Clito was wounded at
the siege of Alost, late in July 1128, and died soon after.[59] That
night, Robert Curthose, we are told, lying in his distant English prison,
dreamed that he had himself been wounded in the right arm; and waking,
“Alas!” he said, with telepathic vision, “my son is dead.”[60] It was,
indeed, the end of all hope for the captive duke; and thereafter Henry I
ruled in peace in Normandy as well as England.

Of the vicissitudes of Robert Curthose during the long years of his
imprisonment we know almost nothing. A curious notice in the chronicle
of Monte Cassino for the year 1117 styles him ‘king of the English,’ and
avers that his ‘legates’ had visited the monastery, and, presenting the
monks with a precious golden chalice, had besought their prayers for
himself and his realm.[61] In 1126, upon his return from Normandy, Henry
I transferred the duke from the custody of Bishop Roger of Salisbury to
that of Earl Robert of Gloucester, who placed him in confinement at first
in his great stronghold at Bristol.[62] But later he moved him to Cardiff
castle in his Welsh lordship of Glamorgan;[63] and there, in this wild
frontier stronghold, in full view of the ‘Severn Sea’ Robert Curthose
ended his days. If we can rely upon our evidence, he took advantage of
his long imprisonment to master the Welsh language, and amused himself
with verse-making. And he appears to have left behind him a poem of no
mean order. It was extracted by the Welsh bard, Edward Williams,[64]
“from a MS. of Mr. Thomas Truman, of Pant Lliwydd (Dyer’s valley), near
Cowbridge, Glamorgan, containing, in the Welsh language, ‘An Account of
the Lords Marchers of Glamorgan from Robert Fitz Hamon down to Jasper,
Duke of Bedford,’ and written about the year 1500,”[65] and was published
in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_ in 1794, from which it seems worth while to
quote it in full, together with the attribution of authorship:

    Pan oedd Rhobert Tywysog Norddmanti yngharchar Ynghastell
    Caerdyf, gan Robert ap Amon, medru a wnaeth ar y iaith Gymraeg;
    ac o weled y Beirdd Cymreig yno ar y Gwyliau efe a’u ceris, ac
    a aeth yn Fardd; a llyma englynion a gant efe.

              Dar a dyfwys ar y clawdd,
        Gwedi, gwaedffrau gwedi ffrawdd;
        Gwae! wrth win ymtrin ymtrawdd.

              Dar a dyfwys ar y glâs,
        Gwedi gwaedffrau gwyr a lâs;
        Gwae! wr wrth y bo ai câs.

              Dar a dyfwys ar y tonn,
        Gwedi gwaedffrau a briw bronn;
        Gwae! a gar gwydd amryson.

              Dar a dyfwys ym meillion,
        A chan a’i briw ni bi gronn;
        Gwae! wr wrth ei gaseion.

              Dar a dyfwys ar dir pen
        Gallt, ger ymdonn Mor Hafren
        Gwae! wr na bai digon hên.

              Dar a dyfwys yngwynnau,
        A thwrf a thrin a thrangau;
        Gwae! a wyl na bo Angau.

                              _Rhobert Tywysog Norddmanti ai Cant._

In English thus:

    When Robert, duke of Normandy, was held a prisoner in Cardiff
    castle by Robert Fitz Hamon, he acquired a knowledge of the
    Welsh language; and, seeing the Welsh bards there on the
    high festivals, he became a bard; and was the author of the
    following stanzas:

              Oak that hast grown up on the mound,
        Since the blood-streaming, since the slaughter;
        Woe! to the war of words at the wine.

              Oak that hast grown up in the grass,
        Since the blood-streaming of those that were slain;
        Woe! to man when there are that hate him.

              Oak that hast grown up on the green,
        Since the streaming of blood and the rending of breasts,
        Woe! to him that loves the presence of contention.

              Oak that hast grown up amid the trefoil grass,
        And, because of those that tore thee, hast not attained to
        Woe! to him that is in the power of his enemies.

              Oak that hast grown up on the grounds
        Of the woody promontory fronting the contending waves of the
          Severn sea;[66]
        Woe! to him that is not old enough [to die].

              Oak that hast grown up in the storms,
        Amid dins, battles, and death;
        Woe! to him that beholds what is not death.

                           _The Author Robert Duke of Normandy._[67]

Whether these lines be actually by Robert Curthose or not, they are in
their tragic pathos no inapt epitome of his misdirected career, which had
begun with such bright promise and ended in such signal disaster. ‘Woe
to him that is in the power of his enemies,’ ‘woe to him that is not old
enough to die’—often must these sentiments have haunted him during the
long years of his captivity. But his melancholy longings at last found
satisfaction. Early in February 1134 he died at Cardiff,[68] a venerable
octogenarian, and was buried before the high altar in the abbey church
of St. Peter at Gloucester.[69] Henry I piously made a donation to the
abbey, in order that a light might be kept burning perpetually before the
great altar for the good of the soul of the brother whom he had so deeply


[1] Eadmer, p. 184. The letter was written from Elbeuf-sur-Andelle near
Rouen, according to H. W. C. Davis before 15 October. _E. H. R._, xxiv,
p. 729, n. 4.

[2] Ordericus, iv, pp. 231-232.

[3] “Rex siquidem cum duce Rotomagum adiit, et a civibus favorabiliter
exceptus, paternas leges renovavit, pristinasque urbis dignitates
restituit.” _Ibid._, p. 233.

[4] _Ibid._

[5] _Ibid._, p. 273.

[6] Ordericus, iv, pp. 234-236.

[7] _Ibid._, pp. 236-237.

[8] _Ibid._, pp. 233-234.

[9] Letter of the priest of Fécamp, in _E. H. R._, xxv, p. 296: “Et
nunc pax in terra reddita est, Deo gratias”; Ordericus, iv, p. 232; cf.
William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 476; _Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 284.

[10] _Epistolae Anselmi_, bk. iv, no. 82, in Migne, clix, cols. 242-243.

[11] Ordericus, iv, p. 269; cf. _A-S. C._, _a._ 1107.

[12] Henry of Huntingdon, p. 236; cf. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1107; Eadmer, p.
184; Ordericus, iv, p. 274.

[13] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1107; Eadmer, p. 184. On Henry’s itinerary in
Normandy, cf. Haskins, pp. 309-310; W. Farrer, in _E. H. R._, xxxiv, pp.

[14] Henry of Huntingdon, p. 236.

[15] Ordericus, iv, pp. 232, 237; but cf. _Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 284, where it is stated that the
king took the prisoners to England with him upon his return. Cf. also
_A.-S. C._, _a._ 1106.

[16] Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 236, 255; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._,
ii, p. 475; Ordericus, iv, p. 234.

[17] _Ibid._, p. 237: “Fratrem vero suum … xxvii annis in carcere
servavit, et omnibus deliciis abundanter pavit”; _ibid._, p. 402:
“Fratrem vero meum non, ut captivum hostem, vinculis mancipavi, sed ut
nobilem peregrinum, multis angoribus fractum, in arce regia collocavi,
eique omnem abundantiam ciborum et aliarum deliciarum, variamque
suppellectilem affluenter suppeditavi”; _Interpolations de Robert de
Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 284. Two entries in the Pipe Roll
of 31 Henry I record the king’s expenditures for Robert’s entertainment:
“Et in lib_er_at_ione_ Archiep_iscop_i Rothomag_ensis_, et in pannis
Com_itis_ Norman_norum_ .xxiij. li_bras_ et .x. s_olidos_ nu_mer_o”; “Et
in Soltis, p_er_ br_eve_ R_egis_ Fulcher_o_ fil_io_ Walt_her_i .xij.
li_bras_ p_ro_ estruct_ura_ Com_itis_ Norman_norum_.” _Magnus Rotulus
Pipae de Anno Tricesimo-Primo Regni Henrici Primi_, ed. Joseph Hunter for
the Record Commission (London, 1833), pp. 144, 148; cf. Le Prévost, in
Ordericus, iv, 402, n. 2.

In later years an ugly rumor was current to the effect that Henry had
Robert blinded; but it rests upon no contemporary or early authority. Cf.
_infra_, pp. 200-201.

[18] _Annales Monastici_, ii, p. 42. These annals also state that William
of Mortain was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

[19] Ordericus, iv, p. 486; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1126.

[20] Cf. Henry of Huntingdon, p. 236.

[21] _La Chronique de Morigny_, ed. Léon Mirot (Paris, 1909), p. 21:
“Ludovicus, rex designatus et adhuc adolescens, quorumdam suorum
collateralium consilio deceptus, ut talia gererentur assensit, patre,
sapiente viro, sibi contradicente, et malum, quod postea accidit,
spiritu presago sibi predicente”; Suger, _Vie de Louis le Gros_, p. 47:
“fretusque domini regis Francorum auxilio”; William of Malmesbury (_G.
R._, ii, p. 480) explains that Louis’s favor was gained “Anglorum spoliis
et multo regis obryzo.”

[22] Ordericus, iv, p. 232. William Clito was born in 1101 at Rouen and
was baptized by Archbishop William Bonne-Ame, after whom he was named.
_Ibid._, pp. 78, 98. Cf. _supra_, p. 146.

[23] Ordericus, iv, p. 232.

[24] _Ibid._, pp. 292-293, 473; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 308.

[25] Ordericus, iv, pp. 292-293.

[26] _Ibid._, pp. 464, 477, 482; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 308.

[27] Cf. Ordericus, iv, p. 294.

[28] Wace, _Roman de Rou_, ii, p. 439.

[29] Ordericus, iv, pp. 293-294, 465, 472-473; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de
Hyda_, p. 308.

[30] Ordericus, iv, pp. 305, 376-377; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii,
p. 475; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 238; _A. S.-C._, _a._ 1112.

[31] Ordericus, iv, pp. 293-294.

[32] _Ibid._, p. 290.

[33] Hermann of Tournay, _Liber de Restauratione S. Martini Tornacensis_,
in _M. G. H._, Scriptores, xiv, p. 284; cf. Ordericus, iv, p. 294.

[34] _Supra_, pp. 122, 180.

[35] Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 239-240; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_,
p. 308; Suger, _Vie de Louis le Gros_, pp. 85-86; Ordericus, iv, pp. 315
ff.; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 479.

[36] Ordericus, iv, _passim_.

[37] Ordericus, iv, pp. 291, 316; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p.
479; Suger, _Vie de Louis le Gros_, p. 90; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1118, 1119;
Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 240, 242.

[38] Ordericus, iv, p. 347; Suger, _Vie de Louis le Gros_, p. 91; _A.-S.
C._, _a._ 1119.

[39] Ordericus, iv, pp. 354-363; Suger, _Vie de Louis le Gros_, p. 92;
_A.-S. C._, _a._ 1119; Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 241-242. William Clito
fought among the French forces and lost his palfrey, but it was returned
to him next day by his cousin William Atheling as an act of courtesy.

[40] Ordericus, iv, pp. 376-378 (probably Ordericus was himself present
at the council and heard the king’s speech—_ibid._, p. 372, n. 2);
_Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, p. 310. The archbishop of Rouen arose to
reply, but was howled down and refused a hearing.

[41] Ordericus, iv, pp. 398-399. The purpose of the Pope in going to
Gisors was not merely to support the interests of the Clito but to bring
about a settlement of all the difficulties between the kings of France
and England, and reëstablish peace. The Pope also endeavored, though
without success, to induce King Henry to make some concession in the
ecclesiastical controversy concerning the profession of obedience by
the archbishop of York to the archbishop of Canterbury. _The Historians
of the Church of York and its Archbishops_, ed. James Raine (London,
1879-94), ii, pp. 167-172, 376-377.

[42] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 482.

[43] “Synodus ergo fidelium generaliter decernit, et a sublimitate
tua, magne rex, humiliter deposcit ut Rodbertum, fratrem tuum, quem
in vinculis iamdiu tenuisti, absolvas, eique et filio eius ducatum
Normanniae, quem abstulisti, restituas.” Ordericus, iv, p. 399.

[44] _Ibid._, pp. 399-403.

[45] _G. R._, ii, p. 482.

[46] Achille Luchaire, _Louis VI le Gros: annoles de sa vie et de son
règne_ (Paris, 1890), p. 139, and the references there given.

[47] Ordericus, iv, p. 398; _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, pp. 319-320.

[48] _Ibid._, pp. 320-321.

[49] “Solus regius esset haeres.” Henry of Huntingdon, p. 305 (_Epistola
de Contemptu Mundi_); cf. Ordericus, iv, p. 438; William of Malmesbury,
_G. R._, ii, pp. 497-498.

[50] Ordericus, iv, pp. 438-462; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_,
in William of Jumièges, pp. 294-296; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 245; cf.
Davis, _Normans and Angevins_, p. 150.

[51] “All this hostility was on account of the son of Count Robert of
Normandy named William. The same William had taken to wife the younger
daughter of Fulk, count of Anjou; and therefore the king of France and
all these counts and all the powerful men held with him, and said that
the king with wrong held his brother Robert in durance and unjustly drove
his son William out of Normandy.” _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1124; cf. Ordericus,
iv, p. 440; William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 498.

[52] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, pp. 527-528; _Bullaire du pape
Calixte II_, ed. Ulysse Robert (Paris, 1891), ii, no. 507; Ordericus,
iv, pp. 294-295, 464; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1127. The pair were separated
by eleven degrees of kinship, the Clito being descended in the fifth
and Sibyl in the sixth generation from Richard the Fearless, third duke
of Normandy. The pedigree is given by Ordericus, _loc. cit._ The king
resorted to high-handed bribery in order to bring about the divorce. Cf.
Le Prévost, in Ordericus, iv, p. 295, n. 1.

[53] Ordericus, iv, p. 472.

[54] _Ibid._, p. 474.

[55] _Ibid._, pp. 474-477; Suger, _Vie de Louis le Gros_, pp. 110-112;
_A.-S. C._, _a._ 1127; Galbert of Bruges, _Histoire du meurtre de Charles
le Bon, comte de Flandre_, ed. Henri Pirenne (Paris, 1891), _passim_, cf.
Luchaire, _Louis VI le Gros_, pp. 175-176, and the references there given.

[56] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1128; Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 247-248; letter of
William Clito to Louis VI, in _H. F._, xv, p. 341. On the date of this
letter (March 1128) see Luchaire, _Louis VI le Gros_, p. 188.

[57] _Ibid._; Walter of Thérouanne, _Vita Karoli Comitis Flandriae_, in
_M. G. H._, Scriptores, xii, p. 557; Galbert of Bruges, pp. 144-147;
Ordericus, iv, pp. 480-484; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 249.

[58] Pirenne, _Histoire de Belgique_, i, pp. 183-185. For a full
discussion of the relations between the Clito and the Flemish burghers
see Arthur Giry, _Histoire de la ville de Saint-Omer et de ses
institutions jusqu’au XIVᵉ siècle_ (Paris, 1877), pp. 45 ff.

[59] Ordericus, iv, pp. 481-482; _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1128; Florence of
Worcester, ii, pp. 90-91; Galbert of Bruges, pp. 170-171, and n. 2, where
the chronological problem is fully discussed.

[60] Ordericus, iv, p. 486.

[61] “His porro diebus Robbertus rex Anglorum legatos ad hoc monasterium
direxit, petens ut pro se atque pro statu regni sui Domini clementiam
exorarent, calicemque aureum quantitatis non modicae beato Benedicto per
eos dirigere studuit.” Petrus Diaconus, _Chronica Monasterii Casinensis_,
in _M. G. H._, Scriptores, vii, p. 791. This may very possibly be a
scribal error, and the reference may really be to Henry I.

[62] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1126: “In this same year the king caused his
brother Robert to be taken from the bishop Roger of Salisbury, and
committed him to his son Robert, earl of Gloucester, and had him
conducted to Bristol, and there put into the castle. That was all done
through his daughter’s counsel, and through her uncle, David, the Scots’
king”; cf. _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges,
p. 292.

[63] Ordericus, iv, p. 486; v, pp. 18, 42; Florence of Worcester, ii, p.
95; _Hist. et Cart. S. Petri Gloucestriae_, i, p. 15.

[64] Known as Iolo Morganwg (1746-1826).

[65] The manuscript referred to is apparently no longer extant, the
Truman Collection having been scattered early in the nineteenth century,
and almost every trace of it having now disappeared. We are therefore
solely indebted to Edward Williams for the preservation of this poem and
its brief introduction, which together constitute the only evidence that
Robert became acquainted with the Welsh language and wrote verses. The
poem has been several times printed, but all texts of it derive from a
single source, viz., Williams’s transcript of the Pantlliwyd manuscript.
According to Mr. John Ballinger, librarian of the National Library of
Wales, to whom I am indebted for the foregoing information, Williams’s
statements as to the sources from which he made his copies are usually
accurate, but his deductions are often uncritical and faulty.

[66] “The Severn sea, or Bristol channel, and the woody promontory of
Penarth, are in full view of Cardiff castle, at the distance, in a
direct line, of no more than two miles. There are on this promontory the
vestiges of an old camp (Roman, I believe), on one of the banks or mounds
of which, these verses suppose the apostrophized oak to be growing.”
Williams, in _Gentleman’s Magazine_, lxiv (1794), 2, p. 982.

[67] _Ibid._, p. 981.

[68] Ordericus, iv, p. 486; v, pp. 18, 42; Florence of Worcester, ii, p.
95; _Hist. et Cart. S. Petri Gloucestriae_, i, p. 15. Robert of Torigny
is in error in stating that he died at Bristol. _Interpolations de Robert
de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 292. The date of Robert’s death
is probably 3 February, as stated by the local Gloucester annals, though
Robert of Torigny places it on 10 February.

[69] _Hist. et Cart. S. Petri Gloucestriae_, i, p. 15: “in ecclesia
Sancti Petri Gloucestriae honorifice coram principali altari sepelitur”;
Ordericus, iv, p. 486; v, p. 18; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_,
in William of Jumièges, p. 292. The well known effigy of Robert Curthose
in wood with which his tomb was later adorned is still preserved in
Gloucester cathedral—the abbey church having become the cathedral upon
the institution of the bishopric in 1541. It is no longer in its original
position, but is in the northeast chapel, called Abbot Boteler’s chapel,
off the ambulatory. It was broken into several pieces during the civil
wars of Charles I, but was repaired and restored to the cathedral through
the generosity of Sir Humphrey Tracey of Stanway. It was evidently still
in its original position when Leland saw it in the sixteenth century.
He says: “Robᵗᵘˢ. Curthoise, sonne to K. William the Conquerour, lyeth
in the midle of the Presbitery. There is on his Tombe an Image of Wood
paynted, made longe since his Death.” _The Itinerary of John Leland
the Antiquary_, ed. Thomas Hearne, 3d ed. (Oxford, 1769), iv, p. 80.
According to W. V. Guise the effigy is of “a date not very remote from
the period at which the duke lived.” He bases his opinion upon the fact
that the hauberk of chain-mail and the long surcote, as represented in
the effigy, ceased to be worn after the thirteenth century. _Records of
Gloucester Cathedral_, ed. William Bazeley (Gloucester, n. d.), i, 1, p.
101. Nothing appears to be known as to who provided for the effigy or as
to the circumstances under which it was wrought. See H. J. L. J. Massé,
_The Cathedral Church of Gloucester: a Description of its Fabric and a
brief History of the Episcopal See_ (London, 1910), pp. 85-86.

[70] “Rex Henricus senior dedit Deo et Sancto Petro Gloucestriae manerium
suum de Rodele cum bosco et piscaria ibidem, ad inveniendum lumen ante
altare magnum ibidem iugiter arsurum pro anima Roberti Curthose germani
sui ibidem sepulti tempore Willelmi abbatis.” _Hist. et Cart. S. Petri
Gloucestriae_, i, pp. 110-111. “Willelmi” is probably a scribal error for



Though Robert’s life had been filled with failures and had ended in a
signal disaster, his memory by no means perished with him. As a leader
in the Holy War he had earned an enviable fame, which was early enhanced
by legend; and if modern writers have been guilty of some exaggeration
in their estimates of his merit as a crusader,[2] they have merely
perpetuated unconsciously a tradition which was already well established
in the literature of the later Middle Ages. William of Malmesbury,
writing as early as 1125, declared that Robert gave proof of his valor on
the Crusade by many wonderful feats of arms, for “neither Christian nor
pagan could ever unhorse him,” and he goes on to add details about his
exploits at Antioch and the honor of the kingship which was offered him
at Jerusalem.[3] The more extended account of Wace is equally flattering:

    Robert Ierusalem requist,
    Bel se contint, maint bien i fist;
    A Antioche prendre fu,
    D’armes i a grant pries eu.
    Pois fu a Ierusalem prendre,
    Ne s’i porent paiens deffendre.
    De l’estandart qu’il abati,
    Ou Corberan se combati,
    E des paiens que il ocist
    E de l’enseigne qu’il conquist,
    Qu’il pois a l’iglise dona
    Que sa mere a Chaem funda,
    Out il grant pries e grant enor,
    E mult en parlerent plusor.[4]

And by Geoffrey Gaimar, writing about the middle of the twelfth century,
he is pictured as the supreme leader of the First Crusade, disposing of
the cities and lands of the conquered territory according to his pleasure:

    Suz ciel nen out meillor baron.
    Celui fu duc de Normendie,
    Sur Normans out la seignurie.
    Maint bonte e maint barnage
    E maint estrange vasselage
    Fist i cest duc de Normendie,
    E mainte bele chevalerie.
    Co fu cil ki mult bien fist,
    Ierusalem sur paens prist,
    Il conquist la bone cite,
    Des crestiens fust alose.
    Pur Curbarant kil out oscis
    Entrat li duc si halt pris,
    Ka rei le voleient eslire;
    Esguarde ont kil seit lur sire
    A Antioche la cite,
    La fust tenu pur avoue.
    Il la conquist com ber vaillant;
    Puis la donat a Normant;
    E les altres bones citez,
    Si com li ducs ad divisez,
    Furent parties e donees,
    E les pais e les contrees.
    Duc Godefrai, par son otrei,
    Fust feit en Ierusalem rei;
    Pur co kil ni volt remaneir,
    Lui lessat; si en fist son air.[5]

The foregoing illustrations, written during the duke’s lifetime or within
a generation after his death, offer a convincing demonstration of the
extraordinary rapidity with which legend set to work to rehabilitate
the memory of the vanquished of Tinchebray; and it will not be without
interest to make at least a cursory examination of these unhistorical
traditions, in so far as they reflect the duke’s reputation among the
writers of the later Middle Ages. Gaston Paris has not hesitated to
affirm that Robert, as a crusader, became the hero of a whole poetic
cycle which has since been lost, though not without leaving traces in
the literature of after times.[6] Stated in this sweeping form, the
pronouncement of this distinguished scholar is perhaps an unwarrantable
exaggeration; at any rate, in the present state of the evidence it can
hardly be regarded as more than a bold hypothesis.[7] But if there was
not, properly speaking, a Norman cycle of the Crusade of which Robert
was the hero, there certainly were numerous legends which it seems worth
while to bring together in such order as is possible in the arrangement
of matter so scattered and fragmentary.

William of Malmesbury has sounded the keynote of Robert’s later fame as
a crusader:[8] it was his personal prowess on the field of battle which
most impressed itself upon the imagination of later generations. With one
exception of minor importance,[9] later writers tell us little or nothing
of a legendary character respecting the position and achievements of
Robert at the siege of Nicaea; but his imaginary exploits in the battle
of Dorylaeum (1 July 1097) begin to meet us in accounts which are almost
contemporary. Robert the Monk, writing before 1107, pictures him as the
saviour of the day. The Franks were all but overwhelmed and had turned
in flight, and the contest would surely have ended in disaster for them,
had not the count of Normandy quickly turned his charger and checked the
rout by waving aloft his golden banner and calling out the inspiring
battle cry, _Deus vult! Deus vult!_[10] In the _Gesta Tancredi_ of Ralph
of Caen, written but a few years later, Robert appears as a hero whose
valor surpassed even that of the great Bohemond; for in the crisis of
the battle, remembering who he was and the royal blood which flowed in
his veins, he turned upon his fleeing comrades and shouted: “O Bohemond!
why do you fly? Apulia and Otranto and the confines of the Latin world
are far away. Let us stand fast. Either the victor’s crown or a glorious
death awaits us: glory will there be in either fate, but it will be
the greater glory which makes us sooner martyrs. Therefore, strike, O
youths, and let us fall upon them and die if need be!”[11] And with that
the flight was halted. Henry of Huntingdon puts a similar speech into the
mouth of Robert, and gives an even more wonderful account of his exploits
in the battle. In Henry’s story, when Robert had finished speaking,
he charged upon a paynim king and with one mighty thrust of his lance
pierced his shield, armor, and body; then he felled a second and a third
of the infidels.[12] And from Henry of Huntingdon the account of Robert’s
prowess on the field of Dorylaeum was handed on with slight modification
from writer to writer throughout the mediaeval period.[13]

The further legendary exploits of Robert Curthose are in the main
connected with the great battles at Antioch by which the Christians drove
off the successive relief forces which the Moslems sent against them,
first the army of Ridwan of Aleppo (9 February 1098) and then the host of
Kerboga of Mosul (28 June 1098). Actually Robert seems to have taken no
part in the earlier battle;[14] but in the account of the admiring Henry
of Huntingdon, we find him leading the first division in the action, and,
with a single blow of his mighty sword, splitting head, teeth, neck, and
even the shoulders (_usque in pectora_) of a pagan warrior.[15] And while
this feat of arms, like the exploits at Dorylaeum, appears to be unknown
to the poems of the Godfrey cycle, it was taken up and passed on by
English and Norman writers to the close of the Middle Ages.[16] Indeed,
new and grotesque exaggerations were added to it. Presently we learn that
Robert not only split the paynim’s head and a portion of his body, but
his shield and his helmet also; that he slew him even as one slaughters
a sheep; and that as the body fell to earth the victor cried aloud
commending its blood-stained soul to all the minions of Tartarus![17] One
would have thought this sufficient, surely, but another version tells us
that Godfrey came to Robert’s assistance, and with a second blow cleft
the unfortunate pagan in twain, so that one half of his body fell to the
ground while his charger bore the other in among the infidels![18]

It was however in the later battle with Kerboga that, according to the
legends, Robert performed his greatest feat of arms. The trustworthy
accounts tells us merely that he led the third division in action.[19]
But William of Malmesbury has represented him as attacking the great
Kerboga himself, while the latter was rallying the Moslem forces, and
slaying him.[20] And this tradition was preserved in England and in
Normandy without elaboration throughout the twelfth century.[21] Wace
seems to mention the incident, but without any indication that Kerboga
was killed by Robert;[22] and in this he is in agreement with the
earliest extant version of the Godfrey cycle, the so-called _Chanson
d’Antioche_, which narrates the exploit in truly epic form:

    The count of Normandy was of right haughty mien;
    Full armed he sat upon his steed of dappled gray.
    He dashed into the mêlée like a leopard;
    And his doughty vassals followed him;
    There was wrought great slaughter of accursed Saracens.
    Kerboga was seated before his standard;
    Richly was he armed, he feared neither lance nor dart;
    From his neck a rich buckler was suspended;
    His helmet was forged in the city of ‘Baudart’;
    A carbuncle burned upon the nasal;
    A strong, stiff lance he bore, and a scimitar;
    Upon the shield which swung from his neck a parrot was painted.[23]
    Kerboga advanced with serried ranks.
    When the count saw him he too advanced upon him,
    And smote him such a blow upon his buckler
    That he threw him, legs in air, into the press.[24]
    Now he would have cut off his head, but he was too late;
    For Persians and ‘Acopars’ came to the rescue,
    And bore their lord away to his standard.[25]

The _Chanson d’ Antioche_ also narrates another spectacular exploit in
which Robert overthrew and slew the great emir ‘Red Lion’ during the same
battle;[26] but this episode seems not to have been repeated in other
compilations, and it occupies a far less important place in the _Chanson
d’ Antioche_ than has been supposed by modern writers, who have sought to
trace a connection between it and the Robert medallion in Suger’s famous
stained glass window at Saint-Denis.[27] The later compilation of the
Godfrey matter, edited by Reiffenberg, contains no mention of Robert’s
combat either with Kerboga or with Red Lion; but it relates a very
similar exploit in which he overcame a ‘Saracen king of Tabarie.’ With
his lance at the thrust, and raising the triumphant war cry “Normandy!”,
he bore down upon the Saracen with such force that he pierced his shield
a full palm’s breadth and a half, and wounded him deeply “between lungs
and liver.”[28] Finally, mention must be made of Robert’s prowess in the
legendary battle on the plain of Ramleh before Jerusalem, as told in
the fantastic account of the _Chanson de Jérusalem_. This time it was a
Turkish King Atenas whom he slew, and many others besides, so that the
ground was strewn with the enemy dead. But at last he was surrounded and
all but overborne by numbers. His horse was struck down under him, and
it was only after desperate fighting against almost hopeless odds that
he was finally rescued, when bleeding from many wounds, by his fellow

Thus the Robert Curthose of the legends enjoyed a marvellous repute for
warlike prowess; and when Jerusalem had at last been won, his valor was
rewarded, we are told, with an offer of the crown of the Latin Kingdom,
which he promptly rejected.[30] Resting upon no valid contemporary
authority,[31] this tradition arose very early, and lent itself to
strange distortions as it passed from author to author. It appears
first in William of Malmesbury,[32] but it is also to be found before
the middle of the twelfth century in Henry of Huntington[33] and in the
_Historia Belli Sacri_.[34] In its simplest form it long continued to be
repeated by both English and Norman writers.[35] But it also developed
strange variations. As has elsewhere been explained, the position of
ruler at Jerusalem was actually offered to Count Raymond of Toulouse
and declined by him before the election of Godfrey.[36] Perhaps we have
here the historical basis of the tradition that the crown was offered to
Robert. It seems possible to trace the growth of the legend. By Albert of
Aix it is said that when the honor had been declined by Raymond it was
offered in turn to each of the other chiefs, and that the humble Godfrey
was prevailed upon to accept it only when all the others had refused.[37]
In the _Chanson de Jérusalem_ the matter has gone much further. According
to this version, Godfrey was first elected by general acclamation of
the people, but modestly declined the honor and responsibility. Then
the crown was offered to the count of Flanders, to Robert Curthose, to
Bohemond, and so in turn to the other leaders, until all had declined;
whereupon it was decided to seek divine guidance through the ancient
miracle of the holy fire which was accustomed to descend at Jerusalem
each year at Easter tide. Accordingly the barons assembled in the church
of the Holy Sepulchre, each with an unlighted taper. In the darkness of
the night a single candle burned within the great basilica. At midnight a
fierce storm arose with lightning, wind, and thunder. The sole light was
extinguished. The whole edifice was plunged in darkness. The barons were
filled with fear. Suddenly there was another flash from heaven, and it
was observed that Godfrey’s taper was burning brightly. The divine will
had expressed itself, and the good duke of Bouillon bowed before it.[38]
Clearly it was in Godfrey’s honor that this legend of a miraculous
designation first arose. Yet in the late twelfth or early thirteenth
century it was said by Ralph Niger that it was Robert’s candle which was
lighted by the miraculous flame.[39] And once so told, the legend in
this form was handed on from writer to writer to the close of the Middle
Ages.[40] Langtoft, indeed, declares that Robert was thrice designated by
the holy fire.[41]

The miracle as told in Robert’s favor, however, involved a logical
difficulty which met with a characteristically mediaeval solution.
According to early tradition Robert had refused to accept the crown of
Jerusalem. The explanation offered by the _Historia Belli Sacri_ is
natural and reasonable. Said Robert: “Although I have come hither in
God’s service, yet have I not abandoned my county altogether, in order
to remain here. And now that I have fulfilled my vow, if God permits, I
desire to return to my own dominions.”[42] But if Robert had been chosen
for the kingship of Jerusalem by divine will and favor, as was almost
universally believed, how was it possible that he should reject such a
token of heavenly grace without committing a sin and incurring divine
displeasure? Did not the disasters which so quickly overtook him make
it abundantly clear that the divine favor had departed from him? This,
indeed, was the mediaeval explanation. In refusing the Latin crown,
Robert had contemned and spurned the gift of God. Hence his defeat at
Tinchebray and wellnigh thirty years of incarceration. No feature of the
Robert legends was more persistent or more universally accepted than
this. Appearing first in Henry of Huntingdon, it is repeated again and
again to the close of the mediaeval period.[43]

It remains to notice the legends of pathetic interest which concern
themselves not with Robert’s prowess as a crusader but with the tragedy
of his long imprisonment. It seems clear that Henry I began by keeping
his fallen brother in free custody and treating him with remarkable
liberality.[44] Indeed, one tradition has preserved a not unattractive
picture of the easy conditions under which Robert was allowed to live,
his food and clothing and daily exercise and amusements all bounteously
and richly provided for him.[45] Yet, strange to say, the official
historian of the reign of Henry II makes the statement—if indeed it is to
be found no earlier than this—that the king had his brother blinded;[46]
and this ugly tale soon spread far and wide and came to be very generally
accepted.[47] But how account for such cruel and inhuman treatment from
a king of such eminent justice and virtue as Henry I? Another legend
soon supplied the needed explanation. Geoffrey de Vigeois, writing
before 1184, informs us that Henry had released Robert upon certain
conditions, and that the latter, violating the agreement, had levied a
force against the king and had been captured a second time; and he adds
the significant statement that he did not need to be captured a third
time (_et tertio opus non fuit_).[48] In the versions of Matthew Paris
and in the related _Flores Historiarum_ this legend has been elaborated
into an episode which is not without its ludicrous as well as its tragic
aspects. Friends of Robert, weighty men, had early protested to the king
against the duke’s imprisonment. It would disgrace the king and the realm
of England throughout the world, they said, if a brother should hold a
brother in long incarceration. And so they prevailed upon the king to
grant Robert’s release, upon condition that the latter renounce all claim
to both Normandy and England and depart from the realm within a period of
forty days. But instead of going, Robert took advantage of his liberty
to conspire with the earl of Chester and others, with intent to raise an
army and drive Henry from the throne. But the plot was discovered, and
the king sent messengers to summon Robert before him. When the duke saw
them approaching, he turned and fled, but his palfrey ran into the mire
and stuck fast, and so the unfortunate fugitive was taken. And when the
king learned what had happened, he ordered his brother to be placed in
close and perpetual confinement without any hope of release, and had him
deprived of his sight.[49]

Nevertheless, Henry continued to provide Robert with the best of daily
food and with royal vestments.[50] And this brings us to the tale of the
scarlet robe, with which our account of the Robert legends may fittingly
end. “It so happened that on a feast day, when the king was getting
himself a new scarlet robe, and according to his custom was sending
one of the same stuff to his brother, he tried to put on the hood, and
finding the neck so small that he ripped one of the seams, he said,
‘Take this hood to my brother, for his head is smaller than mine.’ And
when it was brought to Robert, he put it on, and immediately discovered
the rent, which the tailor had carelessly neglected to mend, for it was
very small; and he said, ‘Whence comes this rent which I feel?’ And the
king’s messenger laughingly told him all that had happened. Then the
duke cried aloud, as if he had been deeply wounded, and said, ‘Alas!
alas! now have I lived too long. Why do I still continue to draw out
my unhappy days? Behold my brother, even my betrayer and supplanter,
now treats me with contempt, and holds me so cheap that he sends me for
alms as his dependant his old and torn clothes.’ And weeping bitterly he
vowed thenceforth to take no more food, nor would he drink; but he raged
against himself, and wasted away. And so he died, cursing the day of his


[1] This chapter makes no pretence of being based upon an exhaustive
examination of all the sources. Scattered as these are through the
historical and romantic literature of several centuries, it is not
unlikely that important printed materials have been overlooked, while
many manuscripts of the poetic cycle of the Crusade still lie unprinted.
It is hoped, however, that enough material has been found and used to
give an adequate view of the legendary accretions which gathered about
Robert’s name, and to throw an interesting light upon the repute in which
he was held in after times.

[2] See _supra_, p. 118, and n. 156.

[3] _G. R._, ii, pp. 460-461; cf. the superlatives of William of
Newburgh, writing at the end of the twelfth century: “Qui tamen armis
tantus fuit, ut in ilia magna et famosa expeditione Ierosolymitana in
fortissimos totius orbis procres clarissimae militiae titulis fulserit.”
_Historia Rerum Anglicarum_, ed. H. C. Hamilton (London, 1856), i, p. 15.

[4] _Roman de Rou_, ii, pp. 415-416.

[5] _Lestorie des Engles_, ed. T. D. Hardy and C. T. Martin (London,
1888-89), i, pp. 244-245.

[6] “Le duc de Normandie a été, en tant que croisé, le héros de tout
un cycle poétique qui s’est perdu, mais non sans laisser des traces.”
“Robert Court-Heuse à la première croisade,” in _Comptes rendus des
séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres_, 1890, 4th
series, xviii, p. 208.

[7] Gaston Paris (_op. cit._, p. 211, n. 3) believes that the Robert
legend was extinguished first by Robert’s disastrous and inglorious end,
and second by the growing popularity of the Godfrey cycle. He thinks that
the “lutte des deux traditions poétiques, de provenances différentes,
dont l’une avait pour héros Robert et l’autre Godefroi” can be seen in
an episode of the _Chanson d’Antioche_ which may be briefly paraphrased
as follows. Godfrey, “because he is _preux_ and courageous and of the
lineage of Charlemagne,” has just been chosen to represent the Christian
army in a proposed single combat with a champion from Kerboga’s host; on
hearing which Robert is so incensed at being himself passed over that he
prepares to withdraw with his forces from the crusading army. Compared
with his own splendid lineage, the ancestors of Godfrey, he declares, are
not worth a button. Thereupon the descent of Godfrey from the Chevalier
au Cygne is explained to him. And then Godfrey himself comes and humbles
himself before Robert and expresses his willingness to yield the honor
to him. At that Robert is mollified and consents to remain. _La Chanson
d’ Antioche_, ed. Paulin Paris (Paris, 1848), ii, pp. 177-183. It is
difficult to see where support for Paris’s theory can be found in the
matter thus summarized. All that concerns Robert, it seems clear, exists
not for itself at all, but as a mere literary foil for setting off the
merits of Godfrey and his descent from the Chevalier au Cygne. The
evidence of the Saint-Denis window which Gaston Paris cites must be ruled
out. See Appendix G.

The _Chanson d’ Antioche_, in the form in which we now have it, is held
to have been composed early in the reign of Philip Augustus by Grandor of
Douai, a Flemish _trouvère_, upon the basis of an earlier poem, now lost,
by Richard le Pèlerin, a minstrel who actually took part in the First
Crusade. _Histoire littéraire de la France_, xxii (1852), pp. 355-356;
Auguste Molinier, _Les sources de l’histoire de France_ (Paris, 1901-06),
no. 2154.

[8] _Supra_, p. 190.

[9] _Li estoire de Jérusalem et d’ Antioche_, in _H. C. Oc._, v, pp.
629-630. This chronicle, in old French prose of the second half of the
thirteenth century, is based ultimately upon Fulcher of Chartres, but
it is filled with matter of a purely imaginary character. It seems to
contain almost no points of contact with the other sources from which
the Robert legends are to be drawn. It represents Robert as taking part
in the battle with Kilij Arslan at Nicaea—actually Robert had not yet
arrived at Nicaea—and overthrowing him and taking his horse. It also
portrays Robert as the principal leader at Nicaea, and the one to whom
Kilij Arslan sent the messenger Amendelis to open negotiations.

[10] _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 761; cf. the fifteenth century _Anonymi Rhenani
Historia et Gesta Ducis Gotfredi_, _ibid._, v, p. 454.

[11] _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 622. Ralph’s whole account of the battle is
almost epic in character; cf. the poems (pp. 625-629) devoted to the
exploits of individual heroes, and especially the two lines on p. 627:

    Rollandum dicas Oliveriumque renatos,
    Si comitum spectes hunc hasta, hunc ense, furentes.

[12] P. 221.

[13] _Chronique de Robert de Torigni_, i, pp. 82-83; Ralph de Diceto,
_Opera Historica_, ed. William Stubbs (London, 1876), i, p. 222; Roger of
Wendover, _Flores Historiarum_, ed. H. O. Coxe (London, 1841-44), ii, p.
87; Matthew Paris, _Chronica Maiora_, ed. H. R. Luard (London, 1872-83),
ii, p. 64; idem, _Historia Minor_, ed. Frederick Madden (London,
1866-69), i, pp. 85-86; _Flores Historiarum_, ed. H. R. Luard (London,
1890), ii, p. 29; _Le livere de reis de Brittanie e le livere de reis de
Engletere_, ed. John Glover (London, 1865), p. 166; Robert of Gloucester,
_Metrical Chronicle_, ed. W. A. Wright (London, 1887), ii, pp. 585-586;
Thomas Walsingham, _Y podigma Neustriae_, ed. H. T. Riley (London, 1876),
p. 79.

[14] _Supra_, p. 106.

[15] P. 224.

[16] _Chronique de Robert de Torigni_, i, p. 84; Ralph de Diceto, i, p.
223; Matthew Paris, _Chronica Maiora_, ii, p. 74; _Flores Historiarum_,
ii, p. 29; Robert of Gloucester, ii, p. 591; Walsingham, _Y podigma_, p.
80. See also the references given in nn. 17 and 18 _infra_.

[17] Roger of Wendover, ii, p. 103; Matthew Paris, _Historia Minor_, i,
p. 102.

[18] _Le livere de reis_, p. 168.

[19] _Supra_, pp. 107-108.

[20] _G. R._, ii, p. 460.

[21] Geoffrey Gaimar, in the extract quoted on p. 191, _supra_; _Gesta
Regis Henrici Secundi_, ed. William Stubbs (London, 1867), i, p. 329; cf.
Roger of Hoveden, i, p. 274.

[22] _Roman de Rou_, as quoted on p. 191, _supra_.

[23] The reading and the meaning are here uncertain. I follow the
conjecture of the editor.

[24] “Le trebuche el begart.” According to Godefroy (_Dictionnaire de
l’ancienne langue française_) the meaning of _begart_ is undetermined.
Again I follow the conjecture of the editor.

[25] _Chanson d’ Antioche_, ii, pp. 245-246.

[26] _Ibid._, p. 261. Red Lion is perhaps to be identified with Kilij
Arslan, sultan of Iconium.

[27] Paul Riant and Ferdinand de Mély, in _Revue de l’art chrétien_,
1890, pp. 299-300. Their view has been rightly rejected by Gaston Paris
in _Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres_,
1890, p. 208. See Appendix G. In _Le Chevalier au Cygne et Godefroid de
Bouillon_, ed. F. A. F. T. le Baron de Reiffenburg (Brussels, 1846-59),
ii, pp. 231-232, Red Lion is killed by Count Baldwin.

This version of the Godfrey matter has been assigned to the fourteenth
century both by Paulin Paris (_Histoire littéraire_, xxv, p. 508) and by
Célestin Hippeau (_La conquête de Jérusalem_, p. ix), but A.-G. Krüger,
in a more recent discussion, has placed it as late as the first half of
the fifteenth century. “Les manuscrits de la Chanson du Chevalier au
Cygne et de Godefroi de Bouillon,” in _Romania_, xxviii (1899), p. 426.

[28] _Le Chevalier au Cygne et Godefroid de Bouillon_, ii, p. 212-213.

[29] _La conquête de Jérusalem_, ed. Célestin Hippeau (Paris, 1868),
pp. 308-311. There is as yet no edition of this poem worthy of the
name. Much difference of opinion has been expressed as to the date of
its composition. It has been ascribed by its editor to the thirteenth
century. _Ibid._, pp. xviii, xix, xxv. But Paulin Paris held it to
be a part of the work of Grandor of Douai, compiler of the _Chanson
d’Antioche_, and thought it, too, like the latter, was based upon the
lost work of Richard le Pèlerin. _Histoire littéraire_, xxii, p. 370,
and cf. p. 384. And Molinier has somewhat carelessly assigned it to
_circa_ 1130. _Sources de l’histoire de France_, no. 2154. On the other
hand Henri Pigeonneau, while he would ascribe it to the late twelfth
century, still holds that it certainly is not by the author of the
_Chanson d’Antioche_, and that it is a later composition than the latter.
_Le cycle de la croisade et de la famille de Bouillon_ (Saint Cloud,
1877), pp. 42-55. Certainly one works over the poem with a growing
conviction that it is late rather than early. It is almost wholly a work
of imagination, in which traditions of events centring around Antioch are
hopelessly mingled with others pertaining to the region of Jerusalem. One
can hardly say whether the imaginary battle of Ramleh contains more of
the battle of Ascalon or of the battle against Kerboga.

It may be noted in passing that in the battle of Ascalon Robert performed
an actual feat of arms (cf. _supra_, pp. 115-116) which may perhaps form
the basis of all the legendary exploits which we have been passing in
review. The references to the enemy’s ‘standard’ in Wace (_supra_, p.
190) and in the _Chanson d’Antioche_ (_supra_, p. 195) would seem to
lend some color to this view. But it should be borne in mind that such
exploits of knightly valor are a commonplace of the _chansons de geste_,
and are attributed to Godfrey and to other chiefs as well as to Robert.

[30] Gaimar is specific in his statement that the election of Robert was
due to his reputation for valor (_supra_, p. 191), as is also the author
of an anonymous Norman chronicle of the thirteenth century, excerpted
by Paul Meyer from a Cambridge manuscript in _Notices et extraits des
manuscrits_, xxxii, 2, p. 65: “Li quens Rob., por les granz proesces
que il feseit e qu’il avoit fetes, e por sa grant valor e son grant
hardement, fu eslit a estre roi de Sulie.”

[31] _Supra_, p. 114.

[32] _G. R._, ii, p. 461.

[33] Pp. 229, 236.

[34] _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 225.

[35] _Chronique de Robert de Torigni_, i, p. 87; _Annales de Waverleia_,
in _Annales Monastici_, ii, p. 207; _Gesta Henrici Secundi_, i, p. 329;
Gervase of Tilbury, _Otia Imperialia_, in _H. F._, xiv, p. 13; _Chronique
de Normandie_, _ibid._, xiii, p. 247; Matthew Paris, _Chronica Maiora_,
v, p. 602; _Flores Historiarum_, ii, p. 32; Robert of Gloucester, ii,
pp. 607-608; John Capgrave, _Chronicle of England_, ed. F. C. Hingeston
(London, 1858), p. 133; idem, _Liber de Illustribus Henricis_, ed. F. C.
Hingeston (London, 1858), p. 55.

[36] _Supra_, p. 114.

[37] _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 485.

[38] _La conquête de Jérusalem_, pp. 183-191. The legend is repeated in
substantially the same form in _Le Chevalier au Cygne et Godefroid de
Bouillon_, iii, pp. 81-88.

[39] _Chronica Universalis_, in _M. G. H._, Scriptores, xxvii, p. 334.

[40] An inedited Flemish chronicle of uncertain date, cited by
Pigeonneau, _Le cycle de la croisade_, p. 76; Roger of Wendover, ii, p.
146; Matthew Paris, _Historia Minor_, i, pp. 149-150; Ranulf Higden,
_Polychronicon_, ed. J. R. Lumby (London, 1865-86), vii, p. 424;
_Eulogium Historiarum_, ed. F. C. Haydon (London, 1858-63), iii, p. 64.
Roger of Wendover and Matthew Paris make the explanation that when his
candle had been lighted, Robert secretly extinguished it, meaning to
refuse the crown.

[41] Peter Langtoft, _Chronicle_, ed. Thomas Wright (London, 1866-68), i,
p. 460.

[42] _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 225. The account of the election given in _Li
estoire de Jérusalem et d’Antioche_ appears to have no connection with
any of our other sources. _Ibid._, v, p. 639.

[43] Henry of Huntingdon, pp. 229-230, 236; _Chronique de Robert de
Torigni_, i, pp. 87, 128-129; _Annales de Waverleia_, in _Annales
Monastici_, ii, p. 207; _Gesta Henrici Secundi_, i, pp. 329-330; Roger of
Wendover, ii, p. 146; Matthew Paris, _Chronica Maiora_, ii, pp. 106-107,
132; v, p. 602; idem, _Historia Minor_, i, p. 205; _Flores Historiarum_,
ii, p. 32; Robert of Gloucester, ii, pp. 607-608, 628-629; Capgrave,
_Chronicle of England_, p. 133; idem, _De Illustribus Henricis_, pp. 55,

[44] _Supra_, p. 179.

[45] “Rex autem, memor fraternitatis, eundem comitem Robertum in
libera carceris custodia, sine ciborum penuria vel luminis beneficio
vel preciosarum vestium ornatu, salvo tamen fecit reservari. Liceret
etiam ei ad scaccos et aleas ludere. Robas etiam regis, sicut ipse rex,
accipiebat; pomeria vicina et saltus et loca delectabilia perambulando,
ex regis licentia, visitavit.” _Flores Historiarum_, ii, p. 39.

[46] _Gesta Henrici Secundi_, i, p. 330.

[47] _Annales de Wintonia_, in _Annales Monastici_, ii, p. 50; _Chronicon
Thomae Wykes_, _ibid._, iv, p. 15; _Annales de Wigornia_, _ibid._, iv,
p. 378; Matthew Paris, _Chronica Maiora_, ii, p. 133; idem, _Historia
Minor_, i, pp. 30, 213; _Flores Historiarum_, ii, p. 39; Henry Knighton,
_Chronicon_, ed. J. R. Lumby (London, 1889-95), i, p. 113; _Eulogium
Historiarum_, iii, p. 58; Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_, p. 65.

[48] _H. F._, xii, p. 432.

[49] Matthew Paris, _Historia Minor_, i, pp. 212-213; idem, _Chronica
Maiora_, ii, p. 133; _Flores Historiarum_, ii, p. 39.

[50] Matthew Paris, _Historia Minor_, i, p. 213.

[51] Matthew Paris, _Historia Minor_, i, p. 248. The translation is a
free and somewhat condensed rendering of the original. Cf. the same,
_Chronica Maiora_, ii, pp. 160-161; Capgrave, _De Illustribus Henricis_,
p. 65.




In a field already so well explored as that of Normandy and England in
the eleventh and twelfth centuries, there is little need to enter into a
detailed discussion of primary materials. A brief review, however, of the
sources upon which the present volume is based may be a convenience and
serve a useful purpose.

Among the narrative sources for the life of Robert Curthose, the
_Historia Ecclesiastica_[1] of Ordericus Vitalis is, of course, by far
the most important. One of the greatest historical writers of the twelfth
century, the monk of Saint-Évroul has treated of Robert’s character and
career at great length and with much vivacity and insight. And while one
may admit with Gaston Le Hardy[2] that he was no friend of the duke,
indeed, that as a churchman and as a lover of peace and of strong and
orderly government he was strongly prejudiced against him and sometimes
treated him unfairly, still it must be confessed that in the main his
strictures are confirmed by other evidence and are presumably justified.
Unfortunately, Ordericus Vitalis stands almost alone among early Norman
writers in paying attention to the career of Robert Curthose. Some
assistance, however, has been gained from William of Poitiers[3] and from
the _Gesta Normannorum Ducum_, a composite work once solely attributed to
William of Jumièges, but now at last made available in a critical edition
which distinguishes the parts actually written by William of Jumièges,
Ordericus Vitalis, Robert of Torigny, and others.[4] The _Roman de Rou_
of Wace[5] has also been drawn upon, sometimes rather freely, but it is
hoped always with due caution and discretion, for much picturesque detail
concerning events in western Normandy, about which the author clearly
possessed special information. For Robert’s relations with Maine, the
contemporary _Actus Pontificum Cenomannis in Urbe degentium_[6] have
been an almost constant guide, often confirming and even supplementing
the more extensive but less precise narrative of Ordericus Vitalis.
Matter of much importance has also from time to time been gleaned from
the works of French and Flemish writers, such as the famous _Vie de Louis
le Gros_ by Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis,[7] the anonymous _Chronique de
Morigny_,[8] and the _Histoire du Meurtre de Charles le Bon_ by Galbert
of Bruges.[9]

The English writers of the period have naturally proved invaluable.
Of these, William of Malmesbury,[10] as we should expect, possesses
the keenest insight into Robert’s character; but the _Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle_ treats[11] of the events of Robert’s life with greater fulness
and in more coherent and trustworthy chronological order. Florence
of Worcester[12] is in general dependent upon the _Chronicle_, but
occasionally he presents a different view or supplementary matter of
independent value; and the same may be said of the _Historia Regum_,
which is commonly attributed to Simeon of Durham,[13] in its relation
to Florence of Worcester. Henry of Huntingdon,[14] who is also largely
dependent upon the _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_, professes himself a
first-hand authority from the accession of Robert Curthose and William
Rufus to the ducal and royal thrones in 1087;[15] and his narrative
becomes increasingly valuable as it advances, though he cannot be
considered a really independent writer before 1126, i.e., a score of
years after the close of Duke Robert’s active career at the battle of
Tinchebray. For all the facts bearing upon Robert’s life with which it
deals, the _Historia Novorum in Anglia_ of Eadmer,[16] the companion and
confidential adviser of Archbishop Anselm, is a strictly contemporary
narrative of the highest value, though its specialized character
considerably restricts its usefulness for the purposes of the present
study. The brief chronicle of Hyde abbey,[17] which was compiled during
the reign of Henry I, has often proved helpful, as have also other minor
monastic narratives such as the chronicle of Abingdon[18] and the annals
of Winchester,[19] of Waverley,[20] etc.

The documentary sources for the life of Robert Curthose are very meagre;
but, such as they are, they are now all conveniently accessible. As a
result of prolonged researches in the archives and libraries of Normandy
and in the Bibliothèque Nationale, and after a careful sifting of all the
printed materials, Professor Charles H. Haskins has been able to give
us, in another volume of the _Harvard Historical Studies_, a definitive
edition of seven hitherto unpublished ducal charters, together with a
complete and annotated list of all the charters of the reign.[21] The
best guides to the remainder of the documentary material bearing upon
Robert’s life are the _Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum_ by H. W. C.
Davis[22] and the _Calendar of Documents preserved in France illustrative
of the History of Great Britain and Ireland_ by J. H. Round.[23] While
both these works leave something to be desired, they have proved
invaluable in the preparation of the present study; and it is earnestly
to be hoped that the publication of the second volume of Davis’s work,
containing the charters of Henry I, will not be long delayed.[24] For
the full texts of documents, and for other scattered materials not
calendared by either Round or Davis, it has been necessary to consult
many special collections, e.g., the _Livre noir_ of Bayeux cathedral,[25]
the _Chartes de Saint-Julien de Tours_,[26] the _Cartulaire de l’abbaye
de Saint-Vincent du Mans_,[27] the letters of Pascal II,[28] of Ivo of
Chartres,[29] and of St. Anselm,[30] which are too numerous to be listed
here in detail, and which have been fully cited in their proper places in

The Crusade forms a special chapter in the record of Robert’s life for
which it is necessary to draw upon a different group of sources. Of works
by contemporary or early writers on the Crusade, the anonymous _Gesta
Francorum_[31] is, of course, invaluable for all the facts with which
it deals; but the _Historia Hierosolymitana_ of Fulcher of Chartres[32]
has proved of even greater service in the present study, because of the
author’s close association with Robert Curthose on the Crusade from
the time when the expedition left Normandy until it reached Marash
in Armenia; concerning later events also Fulcher was by no means ill
informed. The _Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem_ of Raymond of
Aguilers[33] is also a first-hand narrative by an eyewitness; and, while
the author is at times rather hostile to Duke Robert and the Normans,
he is nevertheless invaluable as representing the point of view of the
Provençaux. Inferior to any of the foregoing, but still by a writer who
was in the East and who was well informed, the _Gesta Tancredi_ of Ralph
of Caen[34] has proved of great assistance, as has also the voluminous,
but less trustworthy, work of Albert of Aix,[35] which, when it has
been possible to check it with other evidence, has contributed valuable
information. Of western writers on the Crusade who did not actually make
the pilgrimage to the Holy Land, apart from Ordericus Vitalis,[36] who
has already been mentioned, Guibert of Nogent[37] and Baldric, archbishop
of Dol,[38] have been most helpful. The English writers, except William
of Malmesbury,[39]—whose account is based almost wholly upon Fulcher of
Chartres, and, apart from an occasional detail, is of little value—have
not treated the Crusade with any fulness, and are of little service
except for the beginnings of the movement. Of the Greek sources only
the _Alexiad_ of Anna Comnena[40] has been of much assistance. The
Oriental writers are in general too late to be of great importance for
the First Crusade, and they had, of course, no particular interest
in Robert Curthose; but their writings have not been overlooked, and
Matthew of Edessa,[41] Ibn el-Athir,[42] Kemal ed-Din,[43] and Usama ibn
Munkidh[44] have been of service. The contemporary letters bearing upon
the Crusade have been admirably edited, with exhaustive critical notes,
by Heinrich Hagenmeyer.[45] Of charters, or documents in the strict sense
of the word, there are almost none relating to the Crusade; but such as
there are, they have been rendered easily accessible by the painstaking
calendar of documents dealing with the history of the Latin Kingdom of
Jerusalem by Reinhold Röhricht.[46] It would be going too far afield to
describe at this point the scattered materials from which the attempt
has been made to draw up a list of the known associates and followers of
Robert on the Crusade. They are fully cited in Appendix D.

For the chapter on Robert Curthose in legend, with which the narrative
part of the present volume ends, it has been necessary to depart from
the narrow chronological limits within which the rest of our researches
have been conducted, and to explore a wide range of literature extending
to the close of the Middle Ages. Most of the Robert legends make their
appearance early, and can be traced to a certain extent in William of
Malmesbury and Henry of Huntingdon and in Robert the Monk and Ralph of
Caen. But their elaboration was in the main the work of chroniclers and
romancers of a later period. Among Norman and English sources, the works
of Geoffrey Gaimar, Wace, William of Newburgh, Ralph de Diceto, and
Ralph Niger have proved most helpful for the twelfth century; of Roger
of Wendover, Matthew Paris, and Robert of Gloucester, together with the
anonymous _Flores Historiarum_ and _Livere de reis de Engletere_, for
the thirteenth; of Peter Langtoft, Ranulf Higden, and Henry Knighton,
together with the anonymous _Eulogium Historiarum_, for the fourteenth;
while Thomas Walsingham in the fifteenth century has occasionally been
of service. Much material of a legendary character relating to Robert’s
exploits in the Holy War has also been gleaned from the various versions
of the poetic cycle of the Crusade, the most notable of which are the
_Chanson d’Antioche_ of the late twelfth century, the _Chanson de
Jérusalem_, which probably dates from the thirteenth century, and the
_Chevalier au Cygne et Godefroid de Bouillon_, edited by the Baron de
Reiffenberg, which belongs to the fourteenth or fifteenth century. Such
detailed criticism as it has seemed necessary to make of these widely
scattered materials bearing upon Robert Curthose in legend has been
placed in the footnotes of Chapter VIII, where the editions used have
also been fully cited.


[1] Ed. Auguste Le Prévost. 5 vols. Paris, 1838-55. The critical
introduction (i, pp. i-cvi) by Léopold Delisle is definitive.

[2] Cf. _supra_, pp. vii-viii.

[3] _Gesta Willelmi Ducis Normannorum et Regis Anglorum_, in _H. F._, xi,
pp. 75-104.

[4] Ed. Jean Marx. Paris, 1914. Most of the material of value for the
present study comes from the interpolations of Robert of Torigny.

[5] Ed. Hugo Andresen. 2 vols. Heilbronn, 1877-79.

[6] Ed. G. Busson and A. Ledru. Le Mans, 1901 (_Archives historiques du
Maine_, ii).

[7] Ed. Auguste Molinier. Paris, 1887.

[8] Ed. Léon Mirot. Paris, 1909.

[9] Ed. Henri Pirenne. Paris, 1891.

[10] _De Gestis Regum Anglorum_, ed. William Stubbs. 2 vols. London,
1889. _De Gestis Pontificum Anglorum_, ed. N. E. S. A. Hamilton. London,

[11] _Two of the Saxon Chronicles Parallel_, ed. Charles Plummer. 2 vols.
Oxford, 1892-99.

[12] _Chronicon ex Chronicis_, ed. Benjamin Thorpe. 2 vols. London,

[13] Simeon of Durham, _Opera Omnia_, ed. Thomas Arnold, ii. London,
1885. Cf. _infra_, p. 216.

[14] _Historia Anglorum_, ed. Thomas Arnold. London, 1879.

[15] “Hactenus de his quae vel in libris veterum legendo repperimus, vel
fama vulgante percepimus, tractatum est. Nunc autem de his quae vel ipsi
vidimus, vel ab his qui viderant audivimus, pertractandum est.” _Ibid._,
pp. 213-214.

[16] Ed. Martin Rule. London, 1884.

[17] _Chronicon Monasterii de Hyda_, in _Liber de Hyda_, ed. Edward
Edwards, pp. 283-321. London, 1866.

[18] _Chronicon Monasterii de Abingdon_, ed. Joseph Stevenson. 2 vols.
London, 1858.

[19] _Annales Monasterii de Wintonia_, in _Annales Monastici_, ed. H. R.
Luard, ii, pp. 1-125. London, 1865.

[20] _Annales Monasterii de Waverleia_, _ibid._, pp. 127-411.

[21] _Norman Institutions_ (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1918) pp. 285-292,

[22] Vol. i. Oxford, 1913.

[23] Vol. i. London, 1899 (_Calendars of State Papers_).

[24] “An Outline Itinerary of King Henry the First,” by W. Farrer, in _E.
H. R._, xxxiv, pp. 303-382, 505-579 (July, October, 1919), came to hand
just as the present volume was going to press. I am indebted to it for
the location of certain charters which until then had escaped my notice.

[25] _Antiquus Cartularius Ecclesiae Baiocensis_, ed. V. Bourrienne. 2
vols. Paris, 1902-03.

[26] Ed. L.-J. Denis. Le Mans, 1912 (_Archives historiques du Maine_,

[27] Ed. R. Charles and S. Menjot d’Elbenne, i. Le Mans, 1886.

[28] Migne, clxiii.

[29] _H. F._, xv.

[30] Migne, clix.

[31] Ed. Heinrich Hagemneyer. Heidelberg, 1890.

[32] Ed. idem. Heidelberg, 1913.

[33] _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 235-309.

[34] _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 587-601.

[35] _Liber Christianae Expeditionis pro Ereptione, Emundatione,
Restitutione Sanctae Hierosolymitanae Ecclesiae_, _ibid._, iv, pp.

[36] Bk. ix of the _Historia Ecclesiastica_ is devoted to the history of
the First Crusade.

[37] _Gesta Dei per Francos_, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 115-263.

[38] _Historia Hierosolymitana_, _ibid._, pp. 1-111.

[39] _G. R._, ii.

[40] _H. C. G._, i, 2, pp. 1-204.

[41] _Chronique_, in _H. C. A._, i, pp. 1-150.

[42] _Histoire des Atabecs de Mosul_, in _H. C. Or._, ii, 2, pp. 1-375;
_Kamel-Altevarykh_, _ibid._, i.

[43] _Chronique d’Alep_, _ibid._, iii.

[44] _Autobiographie_, French translation by Hartwig Derenbourg. Paris,

[45] _Die Kreuzzugsbriefe aus den Jahren 1088-1100: eine Quellensammlung
zur Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges._ Innsbruck, 1901.

[46] _Regesta Regni Hierosolymitani._ Innsbruck, 1893. _Additamentum._
Innsbruck, 1904.



The anonymous tract _De Iniusta Vexatione Willelmi Episcopi Primi_[2] is
worthy of more attention and of a more critical study than it has yet
received.[3] Since it gives the only detailed account which we possess
of the dispute between William Rufus and William of Saint-Calais, bishop
of Durham, and of the trial of the latter before the _curia regis_ at
Salisbury upon a charge of treason in connection with the rebellion
of 1088, final judgment as to the bishop’s guilt or innocence must in
large measure depend upon a just estimate of its value. Freeman was very
reluctant to recognize its high authority as compared with his favorite
‘southern writers,’ the Anglo-Saxon chronicler, Florence of Worcester,
and William of Malmesbury;[4] but his distrust appears to be unwarranted.

The tract is manifestly made up of two distinct parts: (1) the main
body of an original _libellus_, concerned exclusively with the bishop’s
‘vexation,’ and beginning (p. 171), “Rex Willelmus iunior dissaisivit
Dunelmensem episcopum,” and ending (p. 194), “rex permisit episcopo
transitum”; and (2) introductory and concluding chapters, which contain
a brief sketch of the bishop’s career before and after his unfortunate
quarrel with the king and his expulsion from the realm. The joints at
which the separate narratives are pieced together are apparent upon
the most cursory examination. Not only is there a striking contrast
between the detailed and documentary treatment found in the body of
the _libellus_ and the bare summaries which make up the introductory
and concluding paragraphs, but the reader is actually warned of the
transition in the last sentence of the introduction by the phrase (p.
171), “quam rem _sequens libellus_ manifestat ex ordine.” The two parts
of the tract are evidently derived from different sources and written at
different times by different authors.

The _libellus_ properly so called, i.e., the central portion of
the tract, is a narrative well supplied with documents; it has all
the appearance of being contemporary and by an eyewitness, and is
manifestly a source of the greatest value for the facts with which it
deals. Liebermann, with his unrivalled knowledge of mediaeval English
legal materials, has declared that there is no ground for doubting its
authenticity;[5] and Professor G. B. Adams, who also finds abundant
internal evidence of its genuineness, points out, as an indication that
it was written by an eyewitness in the company of Bishop William, the
fact that no attempt is made to tell what went on within the _curia_
while the bishop and his supporters were outside; and further, he
considers it more “objective and impartial” than Eadmer’s better known
account of the trial of Anselm before the council of Rockingham.[6] The
author, it may be conjectured, was a monk of Durham who stood in somewhat
the same favored position among the intimates of Bishop William as that
occupied by Eadmer with regard to Anselm; and while we know nothing of
his personality, it is perhaps worth remarking in passing that he may
very well be the ‘certain monk’ (_quendam suum monachum_) who acts on
at least two occasions as the bishop’s messenger (pp. 172, 175). The
account in the earlier instance is so intimate and personal as strongly
to support this hypothesis: “Ipsum quoque monachum episcopi, qui de rege
redibat, accepit et equum suum ei occidit; postea peditem abire permisit.”

The introduction and the conclusion of the tract, on the other hand, are
not a first-hand narrative; and fortunately we possess the source from
which they are derived. The introduction (pp. 170 f.), dealing with the
bishop’s career prior to 1088, contains nothing which is not told with
much greater fulness in the opening chapters of the fourth book of the
_Historia Dunelmensis Ecclesiae_ of Simeon of Durham.[7] It is in fact
a mere summary of those chapters; and while the author is no servile
copyist, he evidently had no other source of information. It seems safe
to conclude, therefore, that he was not identical with the author of the
original _libellus_. Judged by style and method, the conclusion of the
tract (pp. 194 f.) appears to be by the same author as the introduction.
It, too, is clearly an abridgment of certain chapters of the _Historia
Dunelmensis Ecclesiae_,[8] though with this notable difference from
the introduction, that it contains some matter not to be found in the
_Historia_, e.g., the statement that the exiled bishop was intrusted by
the duke with the administration of all Normandy, and the notices of
the expedition of William Rufus against King Malcolm in 1091, and of
the presence of the Scottish king at the laying of the first stones in
the foundation of the new cathedral at Durham in 1093. Apparently, for
these more recent events, the writer was drawing upon his own first-hand
knowledge. The date at which the introductory and concluding chapters
were appended to the original Durham _libellus_ cannot be fixed with
exactness. The reference to Anselm as “sanctae memoriae” (p. 195) shows
that they were written after his death in 1109;[9] and since, as will
appear below, they in turn were used in the _Historia Regum_, which is
commonly attributed to Simeon of Durham, the _terminus ad quem_ cannot be
placed much later than 1129.[10]

The relationship between the above mentioned additions to the Durham
_libellus_ and the _Historia Regum_ may be displayed by the following

The introduction to the Durham tract closes with the following sentence
(p. 171):

    … sed orta inter regem et primates Angliae magna dissensione,
    episcopus [i.e., William of Durham] ab invidis circumventus
    usque ad expulsionem iram regis pertulit, _quam rem sequens
    libellus manifestat ex ordine_;

and the conclusion opens as follows (pp. 194 f.):

    _Anno sui episcopatus octavo expulsus est ab Anglia, sed
    a Roberto fratre regis, comite Normannorum, honorifice
    susceptus, totius Normanniae curam suscepit. Tertio autem
    anno, repacificatus regi, recepit episcopatum suum_, ipso rege
    cum fratre suo totoque Angliae exercitu, cum Scotiam contra
    Malcolmum tenderent, _eum in sedem suam restituentibus, ipsa
    videlicet die qua inde pulsus fuerat. Tertio Idus Septembris_,
    secundo anno suae reversionis, ecclesiam veterem, quam Aldunus
    quondam episcopus construxerat, a fundamentis destruxit.

The account of the rebellion of 1088 in the _Historia Regum_—at this
point almost wholly independent of Florence of Worcester—ends with the
expulsion, not of Bishop William of Durham, but of Bishop Odo of Bayeux:

    … et ita episcopus [i.e., Odo] qui fere fuit secundus rex
    Angliae, honorem amisit irrecuperabiliter. _Sed episcopus
    veniens Normanniam statim a Rodberto comite totius provinciae
    curam suscepit; cuius ordinem causae libellus in hoc descriptus
    aperte ostendit. Etiam Dunholmensis episcopus Willelmus, viii.
    anno episcopatus, et multi alii, de Anglia exierunt._[11]

And in a later passage the king’s restoration of Bishop William to his
see is thus recorded:

    _Veniens Dunelmum, episcopum Willelmum restituit in sedem suam,
    ipso post annos tres die quo eam reliquit, scilicet iii. idus

Thomas Arnold, the editor of Simeon’s _Opera_, remarks upon the clause
“cuius ordinem causae libellus in hoc descriptus aperte ostendit” of
the _Historia Regum_, “This ‘libellus,’ describing Odo’s administration
in Normandy, appears to be lost.”[13] Taken by itself the passage is
obscure, and it is perhaps not surprising that the editor wholly mistook
its meaning. But a comparison of it with the clause “quam rem sequens
libellus manifestat ex ordine” of the Durham tract at once reveals
dependence and resolves the difficulty. The verbal similarities are
striking, and the author of course uses the puzzling “causae” because the
source from which he drew was in fact the account of a _causa_, viz., the
trial of William of Saint-Calais before the _curia regis_. It is clear,
therefore, that the _libellus_ to which the author of the _Historia
Regum_ refers his readers is not a lost treatise on the administration of
Bishop Odo in Normandy—as Arnold supposed—but in fact the Durham tract on
the ‘unjust vexation’ of Bishop William, which Arnold had himself already
published in the first volume of Simeon’s works. A further comparison of
all the passages which have been indicated by italics in the foregoing
excerpts fully confirms this conclusion and reveals the extent of the
debt of the _Historia Regum_ to the Durham tract. Not only the verbal
agreements but the close similarities in thought are so marked as to
preclude every possibility of independence.

We are now in a position to see how the author of the _Historia Regum_
worked. Having before him the chronicle of Florence of Worcester—which he
regularly followed—with its dark picture of Bishop William’s treason,
and the elaborate Durham tract in his defence, he chose to suppress all
reference to the bishop of Durham in connection with the rebellion, and
substituted for him Odo of Bayeux as a scapegoat. Then at the end of his
chapter he added, apparently as an afterthought, and borrowing directly
from the Durham tract, that Bishop William ‘departed’ from England in the
eighth year of his episcopate. The statement of the _Historia Regum_,
therefore, that Odo of Bayeux upon his expulsion from England after the
fall of Rochester went to Normandy and had the ‘care’ of the whole duchy
committed to his charge, is valueless. If that honor belongs to any one,
it is to William of Saint-Calais, bishop of Durham, as set forth in the
conclusion of the tract _De Iniusta Vexatione_.[14]

But the author of the _Historia Regum_ was a clumsy borrower, and we have
not yet reached the end of the confusion which has arisen as the result
of his easy way of juggling with his sources. In a later passage in which
he deals with the return of Bishop William to his see at the time of the
expedition of William Rufus against King Malcolm in 1091, he explains
that the restoration of the bishop took place on the third anniversary
of his retirement, “that is, on the 3d before the Ides of September.”
Freeman, relying upon this text, but apparently mistaking Ides for Nones,
states that the arrival of the king in Durham and the reinstatement of
the bishop took place on 3 September.[15] Comparison with the parallel
text of the Durham tract, however, makes it clear that the author of the
_Historia Regum_ has here again made an unintelligent and altogether
misleading use of his source, copying almost verbatim, but detaching the
phrase “iii. idus Septembris” from the next sentence, where it properly
refers to an event of the year 1093. It is necessary, therefore, to
get back to the evidence of the _De Iniusta Vexatione_, which not only
says that Bishop William was reinstated on the third anniversary of his
expulsion, but fixes that earlier date with exactness: “Acceperunt ergo
Ivo Taillesboci et Ernesius de Burone castellum Dunelmense in manus
regis, et dissaisiverunt episcopum de ecclesia et de castello, et de
omni terra sua xviii. kal. Decembr.” (p. 192). The bishop’s restoration,
accordingly, should be dated 14 November 1091. If it cause surprise that
William Rufus should have undertaken a campaign in the northern country
so late in the season, it may be noted that he previously had his hands
full with an expedition against the Welsh,[16] and that Florence of
Worcester in describing the campaign makes the significant statement,
“multique de equestri exercitus eius fame et frigore perierunt.”[17]

It remains to raise a question as to the authorship of the _Historia
Regum_. As is well known, the evidence on which both it and the
_Historia Dunelmensis Ecclesiae_ are attributed to Simeon of Durham is
not contemporary and not conclusive,[18] though a better case can be
made out for the latter than for the former. Without discussing this
evidence anew, and without entering at this time upon the more extended
inquiry as to whether it is credible that two works of such different
character and of such unequal merit can be by a single author, it is
still pertinent here to remark their striking difference in point of
view with regard to the controversy between William Rufus and the
bishop of Durham. The _Historia Dunelmensis Ecclesiae_ speaks of the
quarrel and of the bishop’s expulsion and exile without any reserve;
and, moreover, it contains remarkably full information concerning his
fortunes while in exile.[19] In all this it is freely reproduced in
the additions to the Durham _libellus_ (pp. 171, 194 f.). And they in
turn are used by the author of the _Historia Regum_.[20] Yet with these
additions and the original _libellus_ and Florence of Worcester all
before him, he suppresses every reference to the alleged treason of
Bishop William, persistently declines to use such words as expulsion
and exile in connection with him, and steadily ignores the quarrel. For
him the bishop ‘went out’ of England, although he unconsciously slips
into an inconsistency in a later passage when he notes that the bishop
was ‘restored’ to the see which he had ‘left.’[21] If the _Historia
Dunelmensis Ecclesiae_ and the _Historia Regum_ are by one and the same
author, then assuredly he had a bad memory for what he had himself
previously written, and his point of view had curiously shifted during
the intervening years.


[1] Reprinted with slight revision from _E. H. R._, xxxii (1917), pp.

[2] Published in William Dugdale’s _Monasticon Anglicanum_, new ed.
(London, 1817-30), i, pp. 244-250, and in Simeon of Durham, _Opera
Omnia_, ed. Thomas Arnold (London, 1882-85), i, pp. 170-195. References
are to the latter edition.

[3] Professor G. B. Adams has recently made it the basis of an admirable
article entitled “Procedure in the Feudal Curia Regis” (_Columbia Law
Review_, xiii, pp. 277-293); but he has confined his attention in the
main to forms of procedure, and has dealt only incidentally with the
critical problems involved.

[4] _William Rufus_, i, pp. 28 ff.; ii, pp. 469-474.

[5] _Historische Aufsätze dem Andenken an Georg Waitz gewidmet_ (Hanover,
1886), p. 159, n. 10.

[6] _Columbia Law Review_, xiii, pp. 277 f., 287, 291.

[7] Simeon, _H. D. E._, pp. 119-122, 127 f.

[8] Simeon, _H. D. E._, pp. 128 f., 133-135.

[9] Cf. Arnold’s introduction, p. xxv. The _Historia Dunelmensis
Ecclesiae_ which they abridge was composed between 1104 and 1109.
_Ibid._, p. xix.

[10] On the date of the composition of the _Historia Regum_ see Simeon,
_H. R._, pp. xx-xxi; cf. Simeon, _H. D. E._, p. xv.

[11] Simeon, _H. R._, pp. 216-217.

[12] _Ibid._, p. 218.

[13] _Ibid._, p. 217, n. _a_.

[14] Cf. Simeon, _H. D. E._, p. 128: “quem comes Normannorum non ut
exulem, sed ut patrem suscipiens, in magno honore per tres annos, quibus
ibi moratus est, habuit.” The charters also bear evidence of the honored
position which he enjoyed in Normandy during his exile. See Haskins, p.

[15] _William Rufus_, i, p. 300.

[16] William of Malmesbury, _G. R._, ii, p. 365.

[17] Vol. ii, p. 28. It is also clear from Florence that the king did not
arrive in Durham until after the destruction of the English fleet, which
took place a few days before Michaelmas; cf. _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1091. A
reference to these events in the _miracula_ of St. Cuthbert makes mention
of the summer heat (_tempus aestatis fervidum_), but this evidently is to
be connected with Malcolm’s raid of the previous summer and not with the
later expedition of William Rufus against him. Simeon, _H. R._, p. 340.

[18] For the evidence see Arnold’s introductions, i, pp. xv-xxiii; ii,
pp. x-xi, xx-xxi.

[19] Simeon, _H. D. E._, p. 128.

[20] Simeon, _H. R._, pp. 216 f.

[21] _Ibid._, pp. 217 f.



Arnulf of Chocques, who went on the First Crusade with Robert Curthose
and ended his dramatic career in 1118 as patriarch of Jerusalem, is a
character of more than ordinary interest, and his provenance and early
career are worthy of more careful investigation than they have yet
received.[1] The foundation for such a study was laid in 1904, when, by
the publication in a new and scholarly edition of a little-known text of
the early twelfth century, entitled _Versus de Viris Illustribus Diocesis
Tarvanensis_, the Belgian scholar Charles Moeller identified Arnulf’s
birthplace as the village of Chocques in the diocese of Thérouanne on
the river Clarence, an affluent of the Lys.[2] Thus Moeller returns to
the view of the Flemish annalists Meyer and Malbrancq,[3] who manifestly
knew and used this text; though modern writers upon the Crusades,
overlooking it and relying mainly upon Albert of Aix,[4] have said that
Arnulf was ‘of Rohes, a castle of Flanders,’ which no one has ever been
able to identify.[5] If further evidence were needed to establish the
correctness of Moeller’s conclusion, it is found in a charter of 15
August 1095 by Robert Curthose in favor of Rouen cathedral, among the
witnesses to which appears “Ernulfo de Cioches capellano meo.”[6] This
document is also important as confirming and supplementing the meagre
notices of the chroniclers, on which one is compelled to rely almost
entirely for all that is known about Arnulf of Chocques before he went on
the Crusade and came into prominence and controversy.

As to Arnulf’s family, practically nothing is known; though one may
safely infer that he was of lowly origin from the speech which his friend
and former pupil, Ralph of Caen, puts into his mouth when he makes him
say to the princely leaders of the Crusade, “You have promoted me from
a humble station, and from one unknown you have made me famous, and,
as it were, one of yourselves.”[7] His enemies openly charged that he
was the son of a priest;[8] and that their accusations were not without
foundation is evidenced by a letter of Pope Pascal II, replying in
1116 to complaints which had been made against Arnulf, and reinstating
him in the patriarchal office from which he had been suspended by the
papal legate. While clearing him entirely from two of the charges
which had been brought against him, the pope announced that the third
complaint, viz., the general belief as to a stain upon his birth, was to
be overlooked, ‘by apostolic dispensation,’ in view of Arnulf’s great
services and of the needs of the church.[9] The statement sometimes made
that Arnulf had a niece named Emma, or Emelota,[10] who figures in the
charters of the Latin Kingdom,[11] and who was the wife, first of Eustace
Gamier, lord of Caesarea, and then of Hugh II, count of Jaffa, appears to
rest upon the sole authority of William of Tyre.[12]

Considering the age in which he lived, Arnulf doubtless received an
excellent education,[13] though where it is impossible to say; and while
still a young man he appeared in Normandy as a teacher, presumably at
Caen. Ralph of Caen, who later became the distinguished historian of the
First Crusade, was among his pupils; and upon the completion of his great
work, the _Gesta Tancredi_, dedicated it in grateful remembrance to his
old master.[14]

Far more important for Arnulf’s future, however, was the connection which
he early established with the Anglo-Norman ruling family when he was
made tutor in grammar and dialectic to the oldest daughter of William
the Conqueror, Cecilia, the pious nun of La Trinité at Caen, who later
became the second abbess of her mother’s great foundation.[15] It was
probably through the friendship thus established with the royal princess
that the Flemish schoolmaster succeeded in rising to higher things;
for Cecilia is said to have obtained from her indulgent brother, Duke
Robert, the promise of episcopal honors for Arnulf, in case any of the
Norman bishoprics should fall vacant;[16] and while he never gained that
preferment, it can hardly be doubted that it was through her influence
that he entered the service of the duke as chaplain. The charter to which
attention has been called above furnishes proof that Arnulf already held
that position in August 1096 (_supra_, n. 6). But his official connection
with the ducal court undoubtedly began at least a year earlier, for the
contemporary biographer of Abbot William of Bec states very specifically
that on, or shortly after, 10 August 1094 he went on an important
official errand for the duke in the capacity of ‘chancellor.’[17]

One other fact remains to be noticed as indicating Arnulf’s intimate
relationship with another member of the Conqueror’s family. Although he
was chaplain of the duke before and during the Crusade, he is said to
have set out for the Holy War in the company of Robert’s uncle, Bishop
Odo of Bayeux, who upon his death at Palermo, early in 1097, left him the
greater part of his splendid outfit.[18]


[1] New light has been thrown upon Arnulf’s career in Normandy by the
publication of Professor Haskins’s _Norman Institutions_ (pp. 74-75)
since this Appendix was originally written; but it seems worth while
to let it stand with slight modifications, since it may still serve to
bring together in convenient form all the known facts concerning Arnulf’s
early history. For the fullest treatment of Arnulf’s career as a whole
see Eduard Franz, _Das Patriarchat von Jerusalem im Jahre 1099_ (Sagen,
1885), pp. 8-16. See also the critical and bibliographical notes in
Ekkehard, _Hierosolymita_, ed. Heinrich Hagenmeyer (Tübingen, 1877), p.
264, n. 8; _G. F._, p. 481, n. 14; _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 409, n. 15;
Fulcher of Chartres, _Historia Hierosolymitana (1095-1127)_, ed. Heinrich
Hagenmeyer (Heidelberg, 1913), p. 590, n. 24.

[2] “Les Flamands du Ternois au royaume latin de Jérusalem,” in _Mélanges
Paul Fredericq_ (Brussels, 1904), pp. 189-202. The decisive lines are (p.

    Primus Evremarus sedit patriarcha Sepulchri;
    Post hunc Arnulfus: oriundus uterque Cyokes.

[3] Jacques de Meyer, _Commentarii sive Annales Rerum Flandricarum_
(Antwerp, 1561), _a._ 1099, fol. 34 v; Jacques Malbrancq, _De Morinis et
Morinorum Rebus_ (Tournay, 1639-54), ii, p. 684.

[4] _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 470: “Arnolfus de Zokes castello Flandriae.”

[5] E.g., Riant, Hagenmeyer, and Röhricht at various places in their
well known works. Hagenmeyer in his recent edition (1913) of Fulcher
of Chartres (p. 590, n. 24) accepts Moeller’s conclusion; but Bréhier,
writing in 1907 (_L’église et l’Orient au moyen âge_, p. 83), still says
“Arnoul de Rohez.”

[6] Haskins, p. 70, no. 31; p. 74, n. 28. It is true that the text as
printed from an original now lost has “Emulpho de Croches,” but this
is probably a misreading for Cyoches or Cioches. G. A. de La Roque,
_Histoire généalogique de la maison de Harcourt_ (Paris, 1662), iii,
preuves, p. 34.

[7] _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 699.

[8] Raymond of Aguilers, _ibid._, iii, p. 302; Guibert of Nogent,
_ibid._, iv, p. 233; William of Tyre, _ibid._, i, p. 365.

[9] _Cartulaire de l’église du Saint Sépulchre_, ed. Eugène de Rozière
(Paris, 1849), no. 11.

[10] Du Cange, _Les familles d’outre-mer_, ed. E.-G. Rey (Paris, 1869),
pp. 274-275, 339, 431; T. W. Archer and C. L. Kingsford, _The Crusades_
(London, 1894), pp. 118,193.

[11] Reinhold Röhricht, _Regesta Regni Hierosolymitani_, and
_Additamentum_ (Innsbruck, 1893 and 1904), nos. 104, 112, 147, 102 a, 114

[12] _H. C. Oc._, i, p. 628.

[13] Guibert of Nogent, _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 232: “in dialecticae
eruditione non hebes, quum minime haberetur ad grammaticae documenta
rudis”; Ralph of Caen, _ibid._, iii, p. 604: “nullius etenim liberalis
scientiae te cognovimus exsortem”; cf. the interesting passage (_ibid._,
iii, p. 665) where Arnulf is represented while on the Crusade as
learning astrology from a ‘didascalus.’ The other sources, while not
particularizing, bear unanimous testimony to Arnulf’s learning. Cf. _G.
F._, pp. 479-480; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 281;
Ekkehard, _Hierosolymita_, p. 264.

[14] _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 604: “Praesertim mellita mihi erit quaecumque
erit correctio tua, si, quem sortitus sum praeceptorem puer iuvenem, nunc
quoque correctorem te impetravero vir senem.”

[15] Guibert of Nogent, _ibid._, iv, p. 232: “regis Anglorum filiam
monacham ea … diu disciplina docuerat.” Ordericus Vitalis (ii, p. 303),
without mentioning any particular teacher, remarks upon Cecilia’s unusual
education: “Quae cum grandi diligentia in coenobio Cadomensi educata est
et multipliciter erudita.”

[16] Guibert of Nogent, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 232.

[17] Milo Crispin, _Vita Venerabilis Willelmi Beccensis Tertii Abbatis_,
in Migne, cl, col. 718.

[18] Guibert of Nogent, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 233: “Cuius comitatui
idem Arnulfus sese indidit; et quum huic ipsi episcopo citra, nisi
fallor, Romaniae fines finis obtigisset, ex illo maximo censu quem post
se reliquerat, hunc legatarium, pene ante omnes, suppellectilis suae
preciosae effecit.”



It cannot be said with certainty that every one who appears in the
ensuing list actually went on the First Crusade with Robert Curthose.
Since it was desired to make the list as complete as possible, doubtful
names have been included and marked with an asterisk (*). The evidence is
fully set forth in each case, so that no confusion can arise.

1. ALAN, “dapifer sacrae ecclesiae Dolensis archiepiscopi.” Baldric of
Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 33; Ordericus, iii, p. 507.

2. ALAN FERGANT, duke of Brittany. His presence is recorded at the siege
of Nicaea (Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 316) and at the siege
of Antioch (Baldric of Dol, _ibid._, p. 50, n. 9, being the variant from
MS. G). His absence from Brittany during the Crusade is indicated by his
disappearance from the charters of the period. The latest document which
I have noted in which he appears before his departure is dated 27 July
1096. _Cartulaire de l’ abbaye de Sainte-Croix de Quimperlé_, ed. Léon
Maître and Paul de Berthou, 2d ed. (Paris, 1904), no. 82, pp. 234-235.
He was back again in Brittany 9 October 1101, when he made grants in
favor of the abbey of Marmoutier. P. H. Morice, _Mémoires pour servir
de preuves à l’histoire ecclésiastique et civile de Bretagne_ (Paris,
1742-46), i, cols. 505, 507; cf. col. 504.

3. ALAN, son of Ralph de Gael. He was present with Robert at Nicaea, and
advanced with him from there. Baldric of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 33;
Ordericus, iii, p. 507.

4. ALBERIC OF GRANDMESNIL. Ordericus, iii, p. 484; cf. _supra_, p. 107,
n. 88.

5. ANONYMOUS, engineer of Robert of Bellême: “ingeniosissimum artificem,
… cuius ingeniosa sagacitas ad capiendam Ierusalem Christianis profecit.”
Ordericus, iii, p. 415.

6. *ANONYMOUS, wife of Thurstin, _prévôt_ of Luc. See no. 44 _infra_.

7. *ANONYMOUS, son of Thurstin, _prévôt_ of Luc. See no. 44 _infra_.

8. ARNULF OF CHOCQUES, chaplain of Robert Curthose. Raymond of Aguilers,
in _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 281, 302. Cf. Appendix C.

9. ARNULF OF HESDIN: “Ernulfus de Hednith,” who was accused of complicity
in Robert Mowbray’s conspiracy, and cleared himself by a judicial
duel; but “tanto dolore et ira est commotus, ut abdicatis omnibus quae
regis erant in Anglia, ipso rege invito et contradicente, discederet;
associatus autem Christianorum exercitui, Antiochiam usque devenit,
ibique extremum diem clausit. Cumque ei infirmanti principes medicorum
curam adhibere vellent, respondisse fertur, ‘Vincit Dominus quare
medicus me non continget, nisi ille pro cuius amore hanc peregrinationem
suscepi.’” _Chronicon_, in _Liber de Hyda_, pp. 301-302. Arnulf ceases to
appear in charters from about the period of the First Crusade. Cf. Davis,
_Regesta_, nos. 315, 319; Round, _C. D. F._, no. 1326.

10. *AUBRÉE LA GROSSE. See no. 20 _infra_.

11. BERNARD OF SAINT-VALERY. Baldric of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 33;
Ordericus, iii, p. 507. Ralph of Caen credits him with having been the
first to scale the wall of Jerusalem. _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 693.

12. CONAN DE LAMBALLE, second son of Geoffrey I, called Boterel, count
of Lamballe. He was present with Robert at Nicaea and advanced with him
from there. Baldric of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 28, 33; Albert of
Aix, _ibid._, p. 316; Ordericus, iii, pp. 503, 507. He was killed by the
Turks at Antioch 9 February 1098. Ralph of Caen saw his tomb there years
afterwards. _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 648.

13. EDITH, wife of Gerard of Gournay and sister of William of Warenne.
Her husband died on the Crusade, and she returned and became the wife of
Dreux de Monchy. _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of
Jumièges, pp. 277-278.

14. EMMA, wife of Ralph de Gael and daughter of William Fitz Osbern.
She accompanied her husband on the Crusade. Ordericus, ii, p. 264;
_Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, p. 287.

15. ENGUERRAND, son of Count Hugh of Saint-Pol. He died at Marra in
Syria. Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 372, 451; Raymond of
Aguilers, _ibid._, iii, p. 276.

16. *EUSTACE III, count of Boulogne. It seems impossible to determine the
route taken by Eustace of Boulogne on the First Crusade. According to the
_Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_ (_a._ 1096), Henry of Huntingdon (p. 219), and
Albert of Aix (_H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 314), he went with Robert Curthose;
Baldric of Dol (_ibid._, p. 20), Ordericus Vitalis (iii, pp. 484-485),
and Robert the Monk (_H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 732), on the other hand, all
say that he went with his brother Godfrey of Bouillon. Cf. _G. F._, p.
465, n. 17.

17. FULCHER OF CHARTRES, historian of the Crusade. See the introduction
to Hagenmeyer’s edition of the _Historia Hierosolymitana_.

18. GEOFFREY CHOTARD, one of the barons (_proceres_) of Ancenis: “anno
dedicationis Maioris Monast. ab Urbano papa facte statim post Pascha, cum
dominus abbas noster tunc temporis Bernardus rediret a Nanneto civitate
per Ligerim, anno scilicet ordinationis sue .xiii. venit ad portum
Ancenisi,” and Geoffrey Chotard, “post parum temporis iturus in Ierusalem
cum exercitu Christianorum super paganos euntium,” came to him and
granted to Saint-Martin freedom from customs on the Loire. P. H. Morice,
_Preuves_, i, col. 488.

19. GERARD OF GOURNAY. Ordericus, iii, pp. 484, 507; Albert of Aix,
in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 316; Baldric of Dol, _ibid._, p. 33. He was
accompanied by his wife Edith, and died on the Crusade. _Interpolations
de Robert de Torigny_, in William of Jumièges, pp. 277-278. Cf. no. 13

20. *GILBERT, an architect (?). “Tunc Gislebertus, quidam laicus, de
Ierusalem Rotomagum venit, et a praefato patre [i.e., Abbot Hilgot of
Saint-Ouen, 1092-1112] ad monachatum susceptus, ecclesiae suae digniter
profecit. Opus enim basilicae, quod iamdudum admiranda magnitudine
intermissum fuerat, assumpsit; ibique pecuniam Alberadae Grossae, dominae
suae, quae, in via Dei moriens, thesaurum ei suum commendaverat, largiter
distraxit, et inde, aliorum quoque fidelium subsidiis adiutus, insigne
opus perficere sategit.” Ordericus, iii, pp. 432-433.

21. GILBERT, bishop of Évreux. He was present at the council of Clermont
as _legatus_ of his fellow bishops. Ordericus, iii, p. 470. He was with
Bishop Odo of Bayeux at the time of the latter’s death at Palermo early
in 1097. _Ibid._, iv, pp. 17-18; iii, p. 266. Cf. no. 29 _infra_. If
Gilbert completed the Crusade, he must have returned from Jerusalem far
more quickly than most of his comrades, for he was back in Normandy
by the middle of November 1099. Ordericus, iv, p. 65; cf. v, pp. 159,

22. *GUY, eldest son of Gerard le Duc. He received five _solidi_ from
Saint-Vincent of Le Mans “cum pergeret ad Ierusalem cum Pagano de Monte
Dublelli.” _Cartulaire de S.-Vincent_, no. 666. The editors, without good
reason, date the document “circa 1096.” Cf. no. 30 _infra_.

23. *GUY DE SARCÉ, a knight of Saint-Vincent of Le Mans. He surrendered
his fief to the abbot and monks of Saint-Vincent, and received from them
20 _livres manceaux_ and 300 _solidi_. This was done in the chapter on
22 June 1096, “eo videlicet anno quo Urbanus papa adventu suo occiduas
illustravit partes, quoque etiam innumerabiles turbas populorum
admonitione sua, immo vero Dei suffragante auxilio, Ierosolimitanum
iter super paganos adire monuit.” It is not improbable that Guy’s
brothers, Nicholas and Pain, accompanied him on the Crusade. _Cartulaire
de S.-Vincent_, no. 317. This charter was witnessed, among others, by
William de Braitel, who is no. 47 of our list _infra_.

24. *HAMO DE HUNA. He made a grant to Saint-Vincent of Le Mans on 29 July
1096; and “post non multum vero temporis … antequam Ierusalem iret quo
tendere volebat,” he added another gift, and received from the monks 20
_solidi_. “Hoc actum fuit in domo monachorum apud Bazogers, in adventu
Domini iv die ante natale Domini.” _Cartulaire de S.-Vincent_, no. 460.
This was 22 December, presumably of the year 1096. Hamo, therefore, did
not accompany the other crusaders in the autumn, but he may very well
have overtaken them in Italy the following spring.

25. HERVÉ, son of Dodeman. He is named among those who advanced with
Robert after the capture of Nicaea. Baldric of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._,
iv, p. 33; Ordericus, iii, p. 507; cf. n. 6, _ibid._, where Le Prévost
remarks that ‘Breton chronicles’ name Hervé, son of Guyomark, count of
Léon, in place of Hervé, son of Dodeman.

26. HUGH II, count of Saint-Pol. He set out from Normandy with Robert
in 1096. Ordericus, iii, p. 484. He was present at the siege of Nicaea,
and advanced with Robert from there. _Ibid._, pp. 502-503, 507; Baldric
of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 28, 33. He was present at the siege of
Antioch. Albert of Aix, _ibid._, p. 372.

27. *INGELBAUDUS: “Ego Ingelbaudus illud Sepulchrum volo petere.” In view
of the proposed journey he made various grants to Saint-Vincent of Le
Mans. _Cartulaire de S.-Vincent_, no. 101. The editors date the document
“circa 1096,” but there are no chronological data. Most of the documents
among which this appears are of the late eleventh century.

28. IVO OF GRANDMESNIL. Ordericus, iii, p. 484. Cf. _supra_, p. 107, n.

29. ODO, bishop of Bayeux. He was present at the council of Clermont as
_legatus_ of his fellow bishops. Ordericus, iii, p. 470. He was in touch
with Abbot Gerento of Saint-Bénigne of Dijon, the Pope’s special agent,
who was promoting the Crusade in Normandy during the summer of 1096.
Haskins, pp. 75-76. But it seems probable that he undertook the Crusade
rather to escape the wrath of William Rufus than from any religious
zeal. Ordericus, iv, pp. 16-17. He died at Palermo, in February 1097
according to Ordericus Vitalis (_ibid._), though his obit was celebrated
in Bayeux cathedral on Epiphany (6 January). Ulysse Chevalier, _Ordinaire
et coutumier de l’église cathédrale de Bayeux_ (Paris, 1902), p. 410.
He was buried by his fellow bishop, Gilbert of Évreux, in the cathedral
church of St. Mary at Palermo, and Count Roger reared a splendid monument
over his grave. Ordericus, iv, pp. 17-18; iii, p. 266; cf. Guibert of
Nogent, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 233. Odo’s epitaph is published, from a
late seventeenth century MS., by V. Bourrienne, in _Revue catholique de
Normandie_, x, p. 276.

30. *PAIN DE MONDOUBLEAU. See the quotation from _Cartulaire de
S.-Vincent_, no. 666, in no. 22 _supra_. The editors accept this as
convincing evidence that Pain de Mondoubleau went on the First Crusade,
but in the absence of any definite date there is no proof. And indeed
it seems hardly likely that we have to do here with the First Crusade,
since in 1098, according to Ordericus Vitalis—who, however, is a very
untrustworthy guide in matters of chronology—Pain was in Maine and
handed over the castle of Ballon to William Rufus. Ordericus, iv, p.
47; cf. Latouche, _Maine_, p. 47; Auguste de Trémault, “Recherches sur
les premiers seigneurs de Mondoubleau,” in _Bulletin de la Société
archéologique du Vendômois_, xxv (1886), pp. 301-302. The latter mentions
no evidence of Pain’s having gone on any crusade.

31. PAIN PEVEREL. The distinguished Norman knight who acted as Robert’s
standard-bearer on the Crusade, and who upon his return was granted a
barony in England by Henry I, and became the patron of Barnwell priory.
He is described as “egregio militi, armis insigni, milicia pollenti,
viribus potenti, et super omnes regni proceres bellico usu laudabili.”
He endowed the church of Barnwell with notable relics which he brought
back from the Holy Land: “reliquias verissimas super aurum et topazion
preciosas, quas in expedicione Antiochena adquisierat cum Roberto
Curthose, dum signiferi vicem gereret, necnon quas a patriarcha et rege
et magnatibus illius terre impetraverat.” _Liber Memorandorum Ecclesie
de Barnewelle_, ed. J. W. Clark (Cambridge, 1907), pp. 54, 55, 41, 46.
According to the editor this anonymous work was written in its present
form in 1295-96; the author had access to documents, and probably based
his narrative on the work of an earlier writer (introduction, pp. ix-x,
xiv). The part dealing with our period contains notable chronological
inaccuracies, but for the fundamental facts of the life of Pain Peverel
it may probably be relied upon.

32. PHILIP OF BELLÊME, called the Clerk, fifth son of Roger of
Montgomery. He set out with Robert from Normandy in 1096, and died at
Antioch. Ordericus, iii, pp. 483, 426.

33. *RAINERIUS DE POMERA. “Ista quae narravimus [i.e., the details of a
miracle wrought by St. Nicholas of Bari] a quodam bono et fideli homine,
nomine Rainerio, de villa quae dicitur Pomera, didicimus, qui haec
vidit et audivit et iis omnibus praesens affuit, dum rediret de itinere
Ierusalem.” _Miracula S. Nicolai conscripta a Monacho Beccensi_, in
_Catalogus Codicum Hagiographicorum Latinorum in Bibliotheca Nationali
Parisiensi_, ed. the Bollandists (Brussels, 1889-93), ii, p. 427.

34. RALPH DE GAEL. Baldric of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 28, 38;
Ordericus, iii, pp. 484, 503, 507; _Interpolations de Robert de Torigny_,
in William of Jumièges, p. 287. Emma, his wife, and Alan, his son, went
with him. Cf. nos. 14 and 3 _supra_.

35. RICHARD, son of Fulk, of Aunou-le-Faucon: “quidam miles, genere
Normannicus, vocabulo Ricardus, filius Fulconis senioris de Alnou.” After
the capture of Jerusalem he was saved from shipwreck off the Syrian coast
through the miraculous interposition of St. Nicholas of Bari; and upon
his return to Normandy he became a monk of Bec. _Miracula S. Nicolai
conscripta a Monacho Beccensi_, in _Catalogus Codicum Hagiographicorum
Latinorum in Bibliotheca Nationali Parisiensi_, ed. the Bollandists, ii,
p. 429. On Fulk of Aunou, see Ordericus, ii, p. 75.

36. RIOU DE LOHÉAC. He died while on the Crusade, but sent back to Lohéac
a casket of precious relics, among them a portion of the true Cross and
a fragment of the Sepulchre: “Notum sit … quod Waulterius, Iudicaelis
filius de Lohoac, quidam miles nobilissimus et illius castri princeps
et dominus… Sancto Salvatori suisque monachis quoddam venerandum et
honorabile sanctuarium, quod frater suus, videlicet Riocus, dum iret
Hierosolyman, adquisierat, et post mortem suam, nam in itinere ipso
obiit, per manum Simonis de Ludron sibi transmiserat, scilicet quandam
particulam Dominicę; Crucis et de Sepulchro Domini et de cęteris Domini
sanctuariis, cum maximis donariis quę subter scribentur, honorificę
dedit et in perpetuum habere concessit.” These relics were placed in the
church of Saint-Sauveur at Lohéac in the presence of a great concourse
of clergy and people, among them being the famous Robert of Arbrissel,
“quidam sanctissimus homo.” The document was attested, among others, by
Walter and William, Riou’s brothers, and by Geoffrey his son, Gonnor his
wife, and Simon de Ludron. “Hoc factum est in castello de Lohoac, iuxta
ipsam aecclesiam monachorum, .iii. kal. Iul., in natali apostolorum Petri
et Pauli, anno ab incarnatione Domini millesimo centesimo .i., luna
.xxix., epacte .xviii., Alano comite existente, Iudicahele episcopatum
Sancti Maclovii obtinente, et hoc donum cum suo archidiacono Rivallono
annuente, data .vi. non. Iulii.” _Cartulaire de l’abbaye de Redon_,
ed. Aurélien de Courson (Paris, 1863: _Documents inédits_), nos. 366,
367. Baldric of Dol names him among those who advanced with Robert from
Nicaea. _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 33.

37. ROBERT OF JERUSALEM, count of Flanders. One of the well known
leaders, who was closely associated with Robert Curthose during most of
the Crusade and who returned with him at least as far as southern Italy.
See Chapter IV, _passim_.

38. *ROBERT THE VICAR (_vicarius_). Before he went to Jerusalem
(_priusquam Ierusalem pergeret_) he made donations to Saint-Vincent of
Le Mans—his wife, son, and brothers consenting—and received from Abbot
Ranulf and the monks four _livres manceaux_. _Cartulaire de S.-Vincent_,
no. 522. The document is undated, but the mention of Abbot Ranulf places
it between 1080 and 1106. The editors date it “circa 1096.”

39. ROGER OF BARNEVILLE. _G. F._, p. 185; Ordericus, iii, p. 503. He was
captured and beheaded by the Turks at Antioch early in June 1098; and was
buried amid great sorrow by his fellow crusaders in the church of St.
Peter. _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 159; Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._,
iii, p. 252; Ordericus, iii, pp. 549, 538; Robert the Monk, in _H. C.
Oc._, iii, pp. 808-809; Albert of Aix, _ibid._, iv, pp. 407-408.

40. ROTROU OF MORTAGNE II, son of Geoffrey II, count of Perche. His
father died during his absence, having made provision for Rotrou to
succeed him in the countship upon his return from the Crusade. Ordericus,
iii, p. 483; v, p. 1.

41. SIMON DE LUDRON. It was he who brought back the relics which had been
obtained by Riou de Lohéac while on the Crusade. See the extract from the
Redon cartulary quoted in no. 36 _supra_.

42. STEPHEN, count of Aumale. He was one of the Norman rebels who had
previously sided with William Rufus against Robert Curthose. Ordericus,
iii, p. 475. But he was on friendly terms with the duke by 14 July
1096—doubtless as a result of the pacification which had been brought
about by the Pope—since Robert attested a charter by Stephen on that
date. _Gallia Christiana_, xi, instr., col. 20; cf. Haskins, p. 67, no.
5. Stephen also attested a charter by the duke in 1096. Archives de la
Seine-Inférieure, G 4069 (_Inventaire sommaire_, iii, p. 255). Albert of
Aix records his presence at Nicaea; and Ralph of Caen names him among
those who at Antioch were obligated to Robert Curthose by gifts or
homage. _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 316; iii, p. 642.

43. STEPHEN, count of Blois and Chartres. One of the well known leaders
of the Crusade. He was closely associated with Robert Curthose at least
as far as Nicaea. He became faint-hearted and turned back home after the
expedition had reached Antioch. See Chapter IV, _passim_.

44. *THURSTIN, son of Turgis, _prévot_ of Luc-sur-Mer. In 1096 he
pledged his allod (_alodium_) of forty acres at Luc for four marks and a
mount (_equitatura_): “si ipse Turstinus aut uxor eius vel filius post
vi annos rediret, redderet Sancto Stephano ad finem vi annorum iiiiᵒʳ
argenti marcas.” Probably the Crusade was in contemplation, though it
is not specifically mentioned. R. Génestal, _Rôle des monastères comme
établissements de crédit_ (Paris, 1901), p. 215; cf. pp. 29-30.

45. WALTER OF SAINT-VALERY. Ordericus, iii, pp. 483, 507; Baldric of Dol,
in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 33.

46. WIGO DE MARRA, a crusader from Perche. “Rediens a Ierosolimitano
itinere, tempore profectionis communis Aquilonensium et Occidentalium,”
he passed through Tours; and while he rested there with the monks of
Saint-Julien, he gave them his church at Bellou-sur-Huîne, a gift which
he afterwards confirmed upon reaching home. _Chartes de S.-Julien de
Tours_, no. 51. The document is dated 1099, “regnante Willelmo rege
Anglorum et duce Normannorum,” and is of special interest as indicating
the early date at which some of the crusaders got back to western Europe.

47. *WILLIAM DE BRAITEL (en Lombron), son of Geoffrey the _vicomte_.
With the consent of his brothers he made a donation to Saint-Vincent
of Le Mans in 1096, “eo videlicet anno quo papa Urbanus occidentales
partes presentia sua illustravit.” _Cartulaire de S.-Vincent_, no. 738.
The similarity of dating between this charter and no. 317 of the same
cartulary (cf. no. 23 _supra_), as well as the fact that many of the
witnesses are identical in both, makes it seem not improbable that they
were drawn up on the same occasion. If William actually went on the First
Crusade, his return appears to have been delayed until 1116. In that year
a precious relic which he brought back from Jerusalem for Adam, a Manceau
who had become a canon of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, was presented
to the cathedral church of Le Mans. _Actus Pontificum_, p. 407. Cf.
Samuel Menjot d’Elbenne, _Les sires de Braitel au Maine du XIᵉ au XIIIᵉ
siècle_ (Mamers, 1876), p. 38.

48. WILLIAM, son of Ranulf de Briquessart, _vicomte_ of Bayeux. He is
named among those who advanced with Robert from Nicaea. Baldric of Dol,
in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 33; Ordericus, iii, p. 507.

49. *WILLIAM DE COLOMBIÈRES. On 7 June 1103 Henry de Colombières granted
to Saint-Martin of Troarn “all that his father William had given and
granted before he went on crusade (_Ierosolimam pergeret_).” Round, _C.
D. F._, no. 471.

50. WILLIAM DE FERRIÈRES. He is named among those who advanced with
Robert from Nicaea. Baldric of Dol, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 33; Ordericus,
iii, p. 507.

51. WILLIAM DE PERCY, benefactor of Whitby abbey. He died while on the
Crusade. “Denique nobilissimus Willielmus de Perci Ierosolimam petens,
apud locum qui vocatur Mons Gaudii, qui est in provincia Ierosolimitana,
migravit ad Dominum, ibique honorifice sepultus est.” _Cartularium
Abbathiae de Whiteby_, ed. J. C. Atkinson (Durham, 1879-81), i, p. 2. The
quotation is from the “Memorial of Benefactions,” which, according to the
editor, was written in the second half of the twelfth century, certainly
before 1180. It is probably only a legend that William’s heart was
brought back and buried at Whitby abbey. His son had evidently succeeded
him by 6 January 1100. Davis, _Regesta_, no. 427.

52. WILLIAM DU VAST. On 9 September 1096, “vadens in Ierusalem,” he
pledged his land to the abbey of Fécamp for a loan of three marks until
his return. Léopold Delisle, _Littérature latine et histoire du moyen
âge_ (Paris, 1890), pp. 28-29.



Laodicea, as a commodious port on the Syrian coast directly opposite the
fertile island of Cyprus, was a maritime base of the utmost importance
to the crusaders, and it has a special interest for the life of Robert
Curthose. Its history during the period of the First Crusade is obscure,
and it may be admitted at the outset that it will not be possible to
elucidate it entirely from such meagre and contradictory materials as
have survived. Nevertheless, the problems are by no means hopeless; and
the sources, such as they are, are worthy of a more careful and critical
examination than they have yet received.[1]

From the oriental sources it seems reasonably certain that during the
period immediately preceding the arrival of the crusaders in Syria
Laodicea was in the hands of the Turks. Previous to 1086 it had belonged
to the Munkidhites of Shaizar;[2] but it passed from their hands into
the possession of Malik-Shah when in that year he established himself at
Aleppo.[3] Malik-Shah granted it to Kasim ed-daula Aksonkor, who held it
until his death in 1094.[4] There is no evidence that it passed out of
Turkish control between this date and the arrival of the crusaders and
their associates from the West in 1097; and, in view of the precarious
situation of the Eastern Empire and the preoccupation of the Greek
Emperor with other problems during this period, there seems to be no
ground for such a supposition. According to Kemal ed-Din—who wrote
towards the middle of the thirteenth century, and whose statement would
perhaps deserve little consideration were it not so specific—a fleet of
twenty-two ships came from Cyprus on the 8th of the month of Ramadan
in the year 490 of the Hegira (19 August 1097), entered the port of
Laodicea, pillaged the town, and carried off all the merchandise.[5]

The western sources dealing with Laodicea in 1097-98 are numerous; but
at some points they are contradictory, and at best they yield but scanty
information. It will be well to analyze them separately with some care:—

(1) The letter of Anselm de Ribemont to Archbishop Manasses of Rheims,
written from Antioch near the end of November 1097, states definitely
that Laodicea had been taken—evidently by some one acting in the interest
of the crusaders, and pretty clearly before the arrival of the land
forces at Antioch on 21 October 1097.[6]

This statement is confirmed by the anonymous _Florinensis Brevis Narratio
Belli Sacri_,[7] as it is also by the account of Raymond of Aguilers.

(2) Raymond of Aguilers, who, because of his actual presence in Syria
and his close association with the count of Toulouse, is by all odds
the best and most reliable chronicler dealing with the events now under
consideration, seems to have received but little attention from modern
scholars in this connection. According to his account, which is quite
full, English mariners, who were fired with enthusiasm for the Crusade,
sailed via Gibraltar to the eastern Mediterranean, and with much labor
obtained possession of the port of Antioch (evidently Port St. Simeon
is meant) and of Laodicea before the arrival of the land forces. And
during the siege of Antioch, together with the Genoese, they rendered
important services to the crusaders by means of their fleet, keeping open
commercial intercourse with Cyprus and other islands, and in particular
protecting the ships of the Greeks from attack by the Saracens. Finally,
when the crusaders were about to advance from Syria upon Jerusalem, the
English, finding that their ships had been reduced by wear and tear from
thirty to nine or ten, abandoned them or burned them, and joined the land
forces on the southward march.[8]

Now, of the actual presence of English mariners on the Syrian coast
acting in coöperation with the crusaders, there can be no doubt. Apart
from the foregoing narrative, the fact is proved beyond question (_a_)
by the well known letter of the clergy and people of Lucca in which
they state that their citizen Bruno had journeyed from Italy to Antioch
“with English ships,” had taken part in the siege, and had stayed on for
three weeks after the victory;[9] and (_b_) by the letter of Patriarch
Dagobert, written from Jerusalem in the spring of 1100, which mentions
the presence of English ships, apparently at Jaffa.[10] While the English
ships referred to in these letters are not necessarily, or even probably,
identical with those mentioned by Raymond of Aguilers, the letters are
still of great importance as demonstrating the general fact of the
presence and activity of English mariners at this period in these distant

As will appear below, Raymond’s account receives some further
confirmation from Ordericus Vitalis and from Ralph of Caen.

(3) The narrative of Ordericus differs widely from that of Raymond
of Aguilers. According to him, at the time when the Christians were
themselves being besieged at Antioch (6-28 June 1098), a great number of
pilgrims from England and other islands of the ocean landed at Laodicea
and were joyfully welcomed by the inhabitants, who accepted their
protection against the Turks. The chief among these pilgrims was Edgar
Atheling.[11] Taking Laodicea under his protection, Edgar afterwards
handed it over to Robert Curthose, whom he loved as a brother. Thus
Robert gained possession of Laodicea, and came and dwelt there for some
time with Normans, English, and Bretons. Then, leaving his own garrison
in the fortresses, Robert pursued his way to Jerusalem. But meanwhile
Ravendinos, protospatharius of Emperor Alexius, and other Greek officers
came with an expedition by sea, and laid siege to Laodicea; and the
citizens, sympathizing with the Greeks, their compatriots, expelled the
men from beyond the Alps and admitted imperial governors.[12]

William of Malmesbury is the only other writer who mentions a journey of
Edgar Atheling to the Holy Land, and his account is very different from
that of Ordericus Vitalis. He makes no mention of English mariners, and
he places Edgar’s arrival in the East, in company with a certain Robert,
son of Godwin, at the time of the siege of Ramleh by the Saracens (May

(4) Raymond of Aguilers is authority for the statement that Robert was
absent from Antioch in the third month of the siege, apparently about
Christmas 1097.[14]

A fuller explanation of this absence seems to be supplied by Ralph of
Caen, who says that Robert, disgusted with the tedium of the siege,
withdrew to Laodicea in the hope of ruling there; for the English at that
time were holding it for the Emperor, and being menaced by a wandering
band, had called in Robert as their protector. Robert accordingly went
to Laodicea and gave himself up to idleness and sleep. Yet he was
not altogether useless, for, having come upon opulence, he shared it
generously with his needy comrades at the siege. Laodicea was then the
only city on the Syrian coast which was Christian and which obeyed the
Emperor; and Cyprus had filled it with an abundance of wine, grain, and
cattle. Robert was very loath to turn his back upon such ease and plenty;
and it was only after he had been thrice summoned, and even threatened
with excommunication, that he reluctantly yielded to the entreaties of
his comrades and returned to the hardships of the siege.[15]

From the place which this incident occupies in Ralph’s general narrative
one would judge that it belongs to the spring of 1098; but he does not
date it exactly, and his chronology at best is confused and by no means
trustworthy. It may be conjectured that this account is to be connected
with the above mentioned briefer but more trustworthy statement of
Raymond of Aguilers, thus placing the episode in the winter of 1097-98.
Ralph’s chronology is not to be regarded as impossible, however, since
there is no record of Robert’s presence at Antioch between 9 February
and the end of May, or even the first of June, and he may very well have
enjoyed more than one sojourn in Laodicea.

Further evidence of the duke’s connection with Laodicea is found in a
curious statement of Guibert of Nogent that Robert had once held it, but
that when the citizens were unable to bear his excessive exactions, they
drove his garrison from the fortresses and threw off his domination, and
out of hatred abjured the use of the money of Rouen.[16]

Finally, the twelfth-century poet Gilo remarks that English victors gave
Laodicea to the Norman count.[17]

(5) The problem of Laodicea in its relation to the First Crusade is still
further complicated by a statement of Anna Comnena that the Emperor
wrote—she gives no date—to Raymond of Toulouse, directing him to hand
over the city to Andronicus Tzintzilucas, and that Raymond obeyed.[18]
Both Riant[19] and Chalandon[20] accept this statement and assign the
Emperor’s letter to the first half of 1099. Their reason for so doing
appears to be found in the strange narrative of Albert of Aix, which is
unique among the sources.

(6) According to Albert of Aix, while Baldwin and Tancred were at Tarsus
on the way to Antioch (_circa_ September 1097) a strange fleet approached
the Cilician coast. It proved to be made up of ‘Christian pirates’ from
“Flanders, Antwerp, Frisia, and other parts of Gaul [_sic_],” who under
their commander, a certain Guinemer of Boulogne, had been pursuing their
calling for the past eight years. But when they learned of the Crusade,
they concluded a treaty with Baldwin, and, landing, joined forces with
him and advanced as far as Mamistra. But here they turned back, and,
reëmbarking, sailed away to Laodicea, which they besieged and took. Then
resting there in the enjoyment of ease and plenty, they sent no aid to
their Christian brothers at Antioch. But presently they were attacked and
cut to pieces by ‘Turcopoles’[21] and men of the Emperor, who recovered
the citadel and threw Guinemer into prison, Godfrey and the other chiefs
at Antioch being ignorant of the whole affair. Later Guinemer was
released at the request of Godfrey.[22]

Elsewhere Albert sets forth another version of these curious events.
Guinemer and his pirates, he tells us, had assembled their fleet in
conjunction with the Provençaux of the land of Saint-Gilles under the
dominion of Count Raymond.[23] Then, sailing to Laodicea, they had taken
it and driven out the Turks and Saracens whom they found there. Then,
after the siege of Antioch, they had handed their prize over to Count
Raymond. Still later, Guinemer, the master of the pirates, had been
captured by the Greeks, and after long imprisonment had been released
through the intervention of Duke Godfrey. Then, when the advance to
Jerusalem had been decided upon, Raymond had restored Laodicea to the
Emperor, and so kept his faith inviolably.[24]

Thus, if we could rely upon Albert of Aix, Laodicea came into the hands
of the count of Toulouse after the siege of Antioch, and Alexius might
naturally be expected to write him demanding its restoration to the
Empire, as Riant and Chalandon suppose in accepting the above mentioned
statement of Anna Comnena regarding the Emperor’s letter. It should be
noted, however, that from Albert’s statement that Raymond handed over
Laodicea to Alexius when the advance to Jerusalem had been decided
upon,[25] it follows that the transfer could not have taken place later
than 16 January 1099, the date on which Raymond moved southward from
Kafartab;[26] whereas Chalandon has shown that the letter of which Anna
speaks cannot be earlier than March 1099.[27] Albert of Aix and Anna
Comnena, therefore, are not mutually confirmatory.

(7) Finally, note should be taken of the statement of Cafaro of Genoa—who
passed the winter of 1100-01 at Laodicea, but who wrote as an old man
years afterwards—that, at the time of the capture of Antioch by the
crusaders, Laodicea with its fortresses was held by the Emperor, and was
under the immediate command of Eumathios Philocales, duke of Cyprus.[28]

So much for an analysis of the sources. It remains to consider what
conclusions may reasonably be drawn from them. And since the efforts
which have been made to accept them all as of equal validity and to bring
them into reconciliation have plainly not been successful, it will be
well to begin with a consideration of some things which must probably be

And first, it seems clear that the account of Ordericus Vitalis, which
represents Edgar Atheling as landing at Laodicea between 6 and 28 June
1098 at the head of a great body of English pilgrims, cannot be accepted
without serious modification; for we know from reliable English sources
that towards the end of 1097 Edgar was engaged in Scotland, assisting his
kinsman, another Edgar,[29] to obtain the Scottish throne;[30] and it
would, it seems, have been impossible for him to have made the necessary
preparations for a crusade and to have journeyed from Scotland to
Laodicea within the limitations of time which our sources impose. It is
perhaps conceivable that he should have made a hurried trip to Italy in
the winter of 1097-98 with a small band of attendants, and sailing from
there, have reached the Syrian coast by June. But according to Ordericus
he arrived at the head of “almost 20,000 pilgrims … from England and
other islands of the ocean.” Further, if the account of Ordericus were to
be brought into chronological accord with the other sources which deal
with Robert’s sojourn at Laodicea, the arrival of Edgar Atheling would
probably have to be placed several months earlier, indeed, in the early
winter of 1097-98, almost at the very time he is known to have been in
Scotland. The chronology of Ordericus, therefore—which in general is
notoriously unreliable—seems at this point unacceptable; and William of
Malmesbury, who places Edgar’s arrival in the East in May 1102, appears
to give the necessary correction. In view of the testimony of both
Ordericus Vitalis and William of Malmesbury, it can hardly be doubted
that Edgar Atheling actually went to the Holy Land; but that he reached
Laodicea in time to have anything to do with the calling in of Robert
Curthose seems highly improbable, if not impossible.

The tale of Guinemer of Boulogne and his fleet of Christian pirates, as
told by Albert of Aix, must also meet with rougher handling than it has
yet received, and for the following reasons: (1) The description of this
fleet with its “masts of wondrous height, covered with purest gold, and
refulgent in the sunlight”[31] is not such as to inspire confidence,
particularly in such a writer as Albert of Aix, where one expects at any
time to meet with the use of untrustworthy poetical materials. (2) As
the narrative proceeds it becomes self-contradictory. At one point we
are told that Guinemer was captured by the Greeks during the siege of
Antioch, whereas at another he seems to have held Laodicea throughout
the siege—since he turned it over to Count Raymond after the siege—;
and his capture and imprisonment by the Greeks are placed still later.
(3) Albert of Aix is in direct contradiction with Raymond of Aguilers,
the best of all our authorities, who tells us that the English held
Laodicea during the whole of the siege of Antioch and rendered important
services to the crusaders; whereas, according to Albert’s account,
Guinemer and his pirates held it and refused to aid the crusaders. (4)
Not a scrap of evidence concerning Guinemer and his pirates has come
to light in any source except Albert of Aix—unless perchance their
fleet is to be identified with the ships which, according to Kemal
ed-Din, came from Cyprus 19 August 1097, pillaged Laodicea, and sailed
away;[32] and this seems unlikely. (5) In any case, outside the pages
of Albert of Aix, evidence is lacking that such a piratical fleet held
Laodicea for any considerable period; and apparently the only reason
why Riant and Chalandon have accepted this fantastical tale of Guinemer
and the Christian pirates is the fancied possibility of connecting it
with the letter which, according to Anna Comnena, the Emperor wrote
at an undetermined date to Raymond of Toulouse, directing him to hand
over Laodicea to Andronicus Tzintzilucas. But Riant and Chalandon have
somewhat arbitrarily assigned this letter to the first half of 1099.
If Raymond was directed to hand Laodicea over, he must have possessed
it. Therefore, so the argument seems to run, the Guinemer episode
should be accepted as explaining how Raymond came into possession
of Laodicea. But, as has already been pointed out, this explanation
involves a serious chronological inconsistency. Further, the evidence
is not conclusive that the letter ever existed—it rests upon the sole
statement of Anna Comnena—and, if it did exist, it may with more reason,
and with less violence to Anna’s chronology, be assigned to the period
between September 1099 and June 1100, when Raymond is known to have been
in possession of Laodicea and on terms of close understanding with the

The foregoing considerations are not, it may be conceded, sufficient to
prove that there is no shadow of truth in the tale of Guinemer and the
pirates; but they do constitute a strong case against the narrative as it
stands, and suggest the probability that it is one of the strange pieces
of fiction occasionally to be met with in the pages of Albert of Aix.

Having now somewhat cleared the ground, it is possible to set forth the
probable course of events at Laodicea on the basis of the more reliable

There can be little doubt that Laodicea had already been taken from the
Turks when the crusaders arrived at Antioch, 21 October 1097;[34] and we
may accept without question the statement of Raymond of Aguilers—which
Riant and Chalandon appear to ignore without reason—that it was taken by
the English, who had come by sea, and who held it during the siege of
Antioch and assisted the land forces by protecting commerce and keeping
communications open with Cyprus and the other islands. These English
mariners were unquestionably acting in coöperation with the Emperor,[35]
who at this time, as Chalandon has shown, was supporting the crusaders in
accordance with his treaty obligations.[36]

At some time during the siege of Antioch by the Christians Robert
Curthose was called to Laodicea by the English—probably because
of dangers on the landward side which made their situation there
precarious—and he remained there for a time, in the enjoyment of ease
and plenty, until he was obliged by repeated summonses and by a threat
of ecclesiastical censure to return to Antioch.[37] The date of Robert’s
sojourn at Laodicea cannot be determined with certainty, but it may
probably be assigned to December-January 1097-98,[38] 8 February being
the extreme limit for his return to the siege.[39] Yet there is no record
of his presence at Antioch between 9 February and the beginning of June,
or between the end of June and 11 September; and the possibility of his
having paid more than one visit to Laodicea must be recognized. The
accounts of Ralph of Caen and of Ordericus Vitalis, interpreted strictly,
point to sojourns in the spring and in the summer of 1098; but the
chronology of these authors is not trustworthy, and it is not unlikely
that they have fallen into inaccuracies here, and that they really refer
to Robert’s earlier sojourn at Laodicea, for which we have the indirect
but more reliable evidence of Raymond of Aguilers.

The arrangements which were made at Laodicea upon Robert’s final
departure before his advance to Jerusalem must remain a matter of
doubt. According to Ordericus Vitalis and Guibert of Nogent he left
a garrison, which was later driven out by the citizens. Guibert is
curiously circumstantial. He says that the citizens, unable to bear the
duke’s excessive exactions, drove his men from the citadel, threw off his
domination, and abjured the use of the money of Rouen. But this incident
is confirmed by none of the early writers who were in the East; and in
the absence of any other evidence of Robert’s having attempted to secure
for himself a private possession in Syria, we may well wonder whether
Guibert and Ordericus have not blundered through a misunderstanding
of the actual situation in the East and of the spirit in which Robert
undertook the Crusade.

Finally, what is to be said of the statement of Cafaro of Genoa that,
at the time of the capture of Antioch by the crusaders, Laodicea was
under the rule of Eumathios Philocales, duke of Cyprus? It would not be
surprising if Cafaro, writing long after the event, should be mistaken
on a point of this kind; yet he is by no means to be ignored, and on the
whole his account does not seem inconsistent with established facts.
The sojourn of Robert Curthose at Laodicea was apparently a passing
episode rather than a lasting occupation. But throughout the period under
consideration the Syrian port was clearly in the hands of crusaders,
mainly English mariners, who were acting in coöperation with the Greeks.
Under existing treaty obligations the place might fairly be regarded as
a Greek possession from the moment the Turks were expelled[40]—unless
there were a Bohemond or some other like-minded chief to seize and hold
it in defiance of imperial rights. And the Emperor would most naturally
delegate authority over Laodicea to the head of his administration in
Cyprus. From the Greek standpoint, therefore, it might well be regarded
as subject to Eumathios Philocales, though actually held by the Emperor’s
allies, the crusaders.

Between the departure of the crusaders from northern Syria early in 1099
and their return in September after the capture of Jerusalem, Laodicea
seems to have become definitely a Greek possession; but whether there was
any violent expulsion of the garrison of a crusading chief, as Ordericus
and Guibert suppose, or any formal transfer,[41] must remain uncertain.
When the crusaders moved southward from northern Syria to Jerusalem,
their influence at Laodicea must, it seems, inevitably have declined,
while that of the Greeks increased; and without any formal transfer it
is conceivable that the place might gradually and almost imperceptibly
have passed under full Greek control.

But for this later period there are some further scattered notices in
the chronicles of Albert of Aix and of Raymond of Aguilers and in the
anonymous _Gesta Francorum_, which must now be considered, and which
make it clear that at this time Laodicea was still in Christian hands
and served as a most important base for the further prosecution of the

Albert of Aix, who is the fullest and most specific, explains that the
crusaders still remaining in Syria gathered in council at Antioch on 2
February 1099, and, determining upon an advance to Jerusalem, fixed 1
March as the date for a general rendezvous of all the forces at Laodicea,
a city which was then under Christian dominion.[42] Pursuant to this
decision, Godfrey, Robert of Flanders, and Bohemond assembled their
forces at Laodicea on the appointed day. And from Laodicea Godfrey and
Robert moved on southward to the siege of Jebeleh; but Bohemond, ever
suspicious and anxious lest through some fraud he should lose a city
which was ‘impregnable by human strength,’ returned to Antioch.[43] This
very specific account of Albert of Aix is confirmed by the much briefer
statements of the _Gesta Francorum_, which record the meeting of the
leaders at Laodicea, the advance of Godfrey and the count of Flanders
to the siege of Jebeleh, and the return of Bohemond to Antioch.[44] It
is also clear from Raymond of Aguilers that in the spring and summer of
1099—at least until June—the port of Laodicea was open to the ships of
the Greeks, Venetians, and Genoese who were engaged in provisioning the
crusaders at Arka and at Jerusalem.[45]

There can be little doubt, therefore, that until June 1099, Laodicea
was held in the interest of the crusaders, and that its harbor was
open to the ships of Greeks and Italians without distinction. Albert
of Aix nowhere explains what he means when he says that Laodicea was
“under Christian dominion”; but, in the absence of valid evidence of its
retention by any of the crusading chiefs, or by the fleet of any Italian
city, the most reasonable hypothesis appears to be that it was held by
the Greeks in the interest of the common enterprise.

We get our next information concerning Laodicea when, in September 1099,
Robert Curthose, Robert of Flanders, and Raymond of Toulouse, upon their
return from Jerusalem, found the place undergoing a prolonged siege at
the hands of Bohemond, who was assisted in his nefarious enterprise by a
fleet of Pisans and Genoese.[46] Since the early summer, when ships of
Genoese, Venetians, and Greeks had all enjoyed free entry to the port,
a complete change had come over the situation at Laodicea.[47] What had
happened to produce this? As is well known, it was the fixed policy of
the Emperor to turn the Crusade to his own advantage, and to utilize
the efforts of the Franks for the recovery of the lost provinces which
had formerly belonged to the Greek Empire in Asia. To this end, he had
been on the whole successful in coöperating with the crusaders. But in
Bohemond of Taranto he had encountered opposition from the beginning;
and, since the capture of Antioch by the crusaders, it had been the
little disguised policy of this crafty and ambitious leader to hold it
for himself, and to make it the capital and centre around which he hoped
to build up a Norman state in Syria. It was, of course, inevitable that
the Emperor should set himself to thwart such plans by every means at his
disposal; and when the departure of the main body of the crusaders for
Jerusalem left Bohemond with a free hand in the north, open hostilities
became imminent. Undoubtedly foreseeing what was to come, Bohemond had
separated from Godfrey and Robert of Flanders at Laodicea in March, and
had returned to Antioch to mature his plans.[48] A few weeks later,
ambassadors from the Emperor arrived in the crusaders’ camp at Arka
and lodged a complaint against Bohemond.[49] But the Emperor was in no
position to take vigorous measures at that time. Such a course might
even have endangered his friendly relations with the other leaders. But
neither was Bohemond in a position to resort to an overt act against
Laodicea so long as he was powerless to meet the imperial fleet at sea.
In the late summer of 1099, however, all this was changed by the arrival
of a Pisan fleet under the command of Dagobert, archbishop of Pisa;
for Bohemond, with true Norman adaptability and shrewdness, came to an
understanding with the Pisans and secured their aid for an attack upon
Laodicea.[50] And with this, the slight naval supremacy which the Greek
Emperor had been vainly striving to maintain in the eastern Mediterranean
came to an end.[51]

Such was the situation at Laodicea when in September 1099 Robert Curthose
and the counts of Flanders and Toulouse arrived at Jebeleh on their
way home from the Crusade. The siege had already been going on for
some time and was making progress. The place seemed to be on the point
of falling.[52] But never were the plans of Bohemond to end in more
egregious failure. His unprovoked attack upon a friendly city which had
rendered important services to the crusaders roused the indignation
and jealousy of the returning leaders. The archbishop of Pisa suddenly
discovered that he had been led into a false position by the crafty
Norman, and, deserting Bohemond, he threw his powerful influence on the
side of Raymond, Robert Curthose, and Robert of Flanders. The Greeks
too, who, though hard pressed, were still holding out, well understood
that Bohemond was their real enemy and that it behooved them to make
terms quickly with the leaders who had kept faith with the Emperor.
Accordingly, an agreement was promptly reached among the Pisans, the
Laodiceans, and the returning leaders. An ultimatum was despatched
to Bohemond demanding that he withdraw forthwith; and thus suddenly
confronted with superior force, he had no choice but to yield. Wrathfully
he retired under the cover of darkness; and next morning Robert Curthose
and the counts of Flanders and Toulouse entered Laodicea with their
forces, and were enthusiastically welcomed by the inhabitants.[53]

Count Raymond placed a strong garrison in the citadel, and raising his
banner over the highest tower, took possession of the city[54]—in the
Emperor’s name, it may be supposed, since by this time he clearly had an
understanding with Alexius.[55] A few days later he met Bohemond outside
the city and concluded peace.[56]

After a fortnight’s sojourn at Laodicea the two Roberts and a large
number of humbler crusaders took ship and proceeded on their homeward
way. But Raymond, still suspicious of the prince of Antioch, remained to
keep a close guard upon Laodicea and Tortosa until the following summer,
when he went to Constantinople and entered the Emperor’s service.[57]


[1] In general on Laodicea and the First Crusade see Riant, _Scandinaves
en Terre Sainte_, pp. 132 ff.; Chalandon, _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, pp. 210 ff.;
Röhricht, _Geschichte des ersten Kreuzzuges_, pp. 205-207.

[2] Usama ibn Munkidh, _Autobiographie_, French translation by Hartwig
Derenbourg (Paris, 1895), p. 107.

[3] Ibn el-Athir, _Histoire des Atabecs de Mosul_, in _H. C. Or._, ii, 2,
p. 17.

[4] _Ibid._

[5] _Chronique d’Alep_, _ibid._, iii, p. 578. There is possibly some
confirmation of this in the following statement of Cafaro of Genoa: “In
tempore enim captionis Antiochiae arma manebat [Laodicea], nisi ecclesia
episcopalis ubi clerici morabantur.” _Annales Genuenses_, in _H. C. Oc._,
v, p. 66.

[6] “XII Kalendas Novembris Antiochiam obsedimus, iamque vicinas
civitates Tharsum et Laodiciam multasque alias vi cepimus.”
_Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 145.

[7] _H. C. Oc._, v, p. 371.

[8] “Sed antequam ad reliqua perveniamus, de his praetermittere non
debemus qui, pro amore sanctissimae expeditionis, per ignota et
longissima aequora Mediterranei et Oceani navigare non dubitaverunt.
Etenim Angli, audito nomine ultionis Domini in eos qui terram Nativitatis
Iesu Christi et apostolorum eius indigne occupaverant, ingressi mare
Anglicum, et circinata Hispania, transfretantes per mare Oceanum, atque
sic Mediterraneum mare sulcantes, portum Antiochiae atque civitatem
Laodiciae, antequam exercitus noster per terram illuc veniret, laboriose
obtinuerunt. Profuerunt nobis eo tempore tam istorum naves, quam et
Genuensium. Habebamus enim ad obsidionem, per istas naves et per
securitatem eorum, commercia a Cypro insula et a reliquis insulis.
Quippe hae naves quotidie discurrebant per mare, et ob ea Graecorum
naves securae erant, quia Sarraceni eis incurrere formidabant. Quum vero
Angli illi vidissent exercitum proficisci in Iherusalem, et robor suarum
navium a longinquitate temporis imminutum, quippe quum usque ad triginta
in principio naves habuissent, modo vix decem vel novem habere poterant,
alii dimissis navibus suis et expositis, alii autem incensis, nobiscum
iter acceleraverunt.” _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 290-291.

[9] “Civis quidam noster, Brunus nomine, … cum Anglorum navibus ad
ipsam usque pervenit Antiochiam.” _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 165. The letter
contains a number of chronological data, from which it is clear that
Bruno set out from Italy in 1097 and that he arrived in Syria shortly
before 5 March 1098. Hagenmeyer reasons plausibly that he landed at Port
St. Simeon on 4 March 1098.

[10] _Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 177.

[11] Grandson of Edmund Ironside, and claimant to the English throne upon
the death of Harold in 1066.

[12] Ordericus, iv, pp. 70-71.

[13] _G. R._, ii, p. 310; cf. p. 449. Davis—who by a slip of the pen
names him Baldwin—places this Robert among the native Englishmen who
joined Robert Curthose at Laodicea. _Normans and Angevins_, p. 100. But
William of Malmesbury, who is the sole authority, makes no mention of him
before the siege of Ramleh. Freeman is more careful. _William Rufus_, ii,
p. 122.

[14] “Normanniae comes ea tempore [i.e., in tertio mense obsidionis]
aberat.” _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 243.

[15] “Abscesserant interea ex castris, exosi taedia, comites, Blesensis
in Cyliciam, Laodiciam Normannus; Blesensis Tharsum ob remedium
egestatis, Normannus ad Anglos spe dominationis. Angli ea tempestate
Laodiciam tenebant, missi ab imperatore tutela; cuius fines vagus
populabatur exercitus, ipsam quoque cum violentia irrumpere tentantes.
In hac formidine Angli assertorem vocant praescriptum comitem, consilium
fidele ac prudens. Fidei fuit fidelem domino suo virum, cui se
manciparent, asciscere; iugo Normannico se subtraxerant, denuo subdunt,
hoc prudentiae: gentis illius fidem experti et munera, facile redeunt
unde exierant. Igitur Normannus comes, ingressus Laodiciam, somno vacabat
et otio; nec inutilis tamen, dum opulentiam nactus, aliis indigentibus
large erogabat: quoniam conserva Cyprus baccho, cerere, et multo pecore
abundans Laodiciam repleverat, quippe indigentem, vicinam, Christicolam
et quasi collacteam: ipsa namque una in littore Syro et Christum colebat,
et Alexio serviebat. Sed nec sic excusato otio, praedictus comes frustra
semel atque iterum ad castra revocatur; tertio, sub anathemate accitus,
redit invitus: difficilem enim habebat transitum commeatio, quam comiti
ministrare Laodicia veniens debebat.” _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 649.

[16] _Ibid._, iv, p. 254.

[17] _Ibid._, v, p. 742.

[18] _H. C. G._, i, p. 66.

[19] “Inventaire critique des lettres historiques des croisades,” in
_Archives de l’Orient latin_, i, pp. 189-191.

[20] _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, pp. 208-212.

[21] Turcopoles are defined by Albert as “gens impia et dicta Christiana
nomine, non opere, qui ex Turco patre et Graeca matre procreati [sunt].”
_H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 434.

[22] _Ibid._, pp. 348-349, 380, 447.

[23] “Hi collectione navium a diversis terris et regnis contracta,
videlicet ab Antwerpia, Tila, Fresia, Flandria, per mare Provincialibus
in terra Sancti Aegidii, de potestate comitis Reimundo, associati.”

[24] _H. C. Oc._, iv, pp. 500-501.

[25] “Post captionem Antiochiae, decreto itinere suo cum ceteris in
Iherusalem.” _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 501.

[26] Cf. Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 341.

[27] _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, p. 212.

[28] _Annales Genuenses_, in _H. C. Oc._, v, p. 66.

[29] Son of Malcolm Canmore.

[30] _A.-S. C._, _a._ 1097; Henry of Huntingdon, p. 230. The former
places Edgar’s expedition to Scotland after Michaelmas (29 September),
the latter after Martinmas (11 November). Cf. Florence of Worcester, ii,
p. 41.

[31] “Navium diversi generis et operis multitudinem … quarum mali mirae
altitudinis, auro purissimo operti, in radiis solis refulgebant.” _H. C.
Oc._, iv, p. 348.

[32] _Supra_, p. 230.

[33] Chalandon, _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, pp. 212-214, 217.

[34] _Supra_, p. 231.

[35] This is clear from the accounts of both Raymond of Aguilers and
Ralph of Caen. Cf. _supra_, pp. 231, 233.

[36] _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, ch. vii.

[37] Ralph of Caen, _supra_, pp. 233-234.

[38] Raymond of Aguilers, _supra_, p. 233.

[39] Tudebode, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 43.

[40] On the treaty relations between Alexius and the crusaders see
Chalandon, _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, ch. vi.

[41] Albert of Aix says that it was handed over to the Emperor by Count
Raymond, but, as has been pointed out above, his account is hardly
trustworthy. There is a statement in Raymond of Aguilers to the effect
that during the siege of Arka (spring of 1099) Count Raymond sent Hugh de
Monteil to Laodicea to fetch the cross of the late Bishop Adhemar: “Misit
itaque comes Guillelmum Ugonem de Montilio, fratrem episcopi Podiensis,
Laodiciam, ubi crux dimissa fuerat cum capella ipsius episcopi.” _H.
C. Oc._, iii, p. 287. It is possible that this indicates some closer
Provençal connection with Laodicea at this period than I have allowed.

[42] “Quae Christianae erat potestatis.” _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 450.

[43] _Ibid._, p. 453.

[44] _G. F._, pp. 428-429.

[45] _H. C. Oc._, iii, pp. 276, 295. In the former passage Raymond,
writing from the standpoint of Arka, mentions the arrival of Greek,
Venetian, and Genoese (?) provision ships, which, in the absence of a
port directly opposite Arka, were obliged to turn back northward and
put in at Tortosa and Laodicea; in the latter, recording the disaster
which overtook the Genoese ships at Jaffa in June, he notes that one
escaped and returned to Laodicea, “ibique sociis et amicis nostris, de
nobis qui eramus Iherosolymis, sicuti erat, denuntiavit.” For the date
cf. Hagenmeyer, _Chronologie_, no. 394. For the identification of _naves
nostrae_ or _naves de nostris_ with the ships of the Genoese, cf. _H. C.
Oc._, iii, pp. 294, 298.

[46] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 500; Ordericus, iv, pp.
70, 71; letter of Dagobert, Godfrey, and Raymond, to the Pope, in
_Kreuzzugsbriefe_, p. 173.

[47] Cf. Chalandon, _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, chs. vi, vii.

[48] _Supra_, p. 241.

[49] Raymond of Aguilers, in _H. C. Oc._, iii, p. 286.

[50] _Gesta Triumphalia Pisanorum_, _H. C. Oc._, v, p. 368.

[51] On the decline of the Byzantine fleet in the eleventh century see
Carl Neumann, “Die byzantinische Marine,” in _Historische Zeitschrift_,
lxxxi (1898), pp. 1-23.

[52] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 500.

[53] _Ibid._, pp. 500-503; Ordericus, iv, pp. 70-72; _Kreuzzugsbriefe_,
p. 173.

[54] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 503.

[55] Chalandon, _Alexis Iᵉʳ_, pp. 207 ff.

[56] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 504; cf. Ordericus, iv, p. 72.

[57] Albert of Aix, in _H. C. Oc._, iv, p. 504; Ordericus, iv, pp. 72-75;
Fulcher, pp. 320-321, 342-343; _Translatio S. Nicolai Venetiam_, in _H.
C. Oc._, v, p. 271.



The tactics of the battle of Tinchebray have been the subject of much
discussion among recent writers, including the specialists in military
history. There is general agreement as to the strategical stroke by which
the victory was won, viz., a surprise attack upon the flank of the ducal
forces by a band of mounted knights from Maine and Brittany. But as to
the disposition of the troops in the two main armies, widely different
views are held upon two points.

(1) Oman thinks that the battle formation on each side was an extended
line made up of a right, centre, and left.[2] Ramsay, on the other hand,
holds that the opposing forces were “marshalled in column, in successive
divisions”;[3] and this view is accepted by Drummond,[4] by Delbrück,[5]
and by Davis,[6] the two latter conjecturing a formation in échelon.
Ramsay’s view is pretty clearly supported by the sources. Ordericus
Vitalis (iv, p. 229) designates a first, second, and third _acies_, or
division, on the side of the king, and a first and last (_extrema_)
_acies_ on the side of the duke; and, according to his account, only the
first _acies_, i.e., the leading elements, of the two opposing forces
engaged in the fighting. The contemporary letter of a priest of Fécamp,
which is discussed below, is also specific with regard to the royal
forces, describing a first and a second _acies_.[7]

(2) The larger question in debate between the specialists, however,
turns upon the relative importance of cavalry and infantry in the battle
of Tinchebray. Oman, relying upon a very specific passage in Henry of
Huntingdon (p. 235), and placing a strained interpretation upon Ordericus
Vitalis (iv, p. 229), holds that the battle was almost wholly an affair
of infantry, and therefore almost without precedent in the tactics of the
period.[8] For Ramsay, on the other hand, it was mainly an engagement
of cavalry, the foot soldiers playing but a minor part.[9] Drummond has
gone even further and taken great pains to demonstrate that it was a
“ganze normale Schlacht des XII. Jahrhunderts,” i.e., a battle between
mounted knights, the foot soldiery that happened to be present being held
entirely in reserve;[10] and Drummond’s conclusions have been accepted
without question by Delbrück.[11]

It is surprising that in none of the discussion above noted has any
account been taken of the most important extant source for the tactics
of Tinchebray, viz., a letter from a priest of Fécamp to a priest of
Séez written a very few days after the engagement, and describing with
exactness certain tactical features of the battle. If not actually by an
eyewitness, the letter is still by one who was in touch with the king and
who was well informed as to the disposition of the royal forces. It is,
therefore, entitled to rank as an authority above any of the accounts
in the chronicles. It was first discovered by Paul Meyer in an Oxford
manuscript,[12] and published in 1872 by Léopold Delisle as a note in his
great edition of the chronicle of Robert of Torigny (i, p. 129). But,
strangely overlooked by all the military historians, it remained unused,
and was rediscovered by H. W. C. Davis and published with extensive
comment in 1909 in the _English Historical Review_ (xxiv, pp. 728-732)
as a “new source.” As afterwards turned out, Davis’s transcription of
the letter had been exceedingly faulty—rendering, indeed, a part of
the text which was fundamental for tactics quite unintelligible—and in
a later number of the _Review_ (xxv, p. 296) it was again published
in a corrected text. By a comparison with the original edition of
Delisle[13] it appears that, by an almost unbelievable coincidence, the
same omission of an entire line of the manuscript was made there as in
the edition of Davis. Yet all transcripts have been made from a single
manuscript, viz., Jesus College, Oxford, no. 51, fol. 104. We have, then,
at last, a correct edition of this important source in the _English
Historical Review_, xxv, p. 296.[14]

Davis, in commenting on the tactics of the battle in the light of this
letter, but from his own faulty transcript, maintains that neither of
the extreme views is correct, and suggests “a third interpretation of
the evidence, midway between the two existing theories.”[15] He holds
that infantry played an important part in the action, but still assigns
much prominence to the cavalry. Apropos of the corrected text of the
priest’s letter, however, he remarks: “Taking the omitted words into
consideration, it is clear that the foot soldiers played a larger part in
the battle than I allowed in my article. The second of Henry’s divisions,
like the first, was composite, containing both infantry and cavalry.”[16]
This, indeed, is the correct view. Our conception of the battle of
Tinchebray must be based upon the sources, and not upon a preconceived
theory of the all-importance of the mounted knight in twelfth-century
warfare. Drummond and Delbrück have quite unjustifiably ignored Henry
of Huntingdon in favor of Ordericus Vitalis. Whatever the theorists may
hold, foot soldiers did play an unusually large part in the battle of
Tinchebray. In view of the explicit statement of Henry of Huntingdon (p.
235) and of the priest of Fécamp[17] it cannot be denied that, on the
king’s side at least, some knights were dismounted and fought on foot,
in order that they might stand more firmly (_ut constantius pugnarent_).
On the other hand, Oman, while perfectly justified in pointing out
the unusual prominence given to foot soldiers, certainly exaggerates
in representing the battle as almost wholly an affair of infantry. The
large part played by cavalry is clear both from the explicit statement
of the priest of Fécamp and from the account of Ordericus Vitalis. The
battle of Tinchebray may, therefore, still claim to stand as an important
precedent in the development of mediaeval tactics because of the unusual
combination of infantry and cavalry in the fighting line.


[1] For the recent discussion see C. W. C. Oman, _History of the Art
of War: the Middle Ages_ (London, 1898), pp. 379-381; J. H. Ramsay,
_Foundations of England_ (London, 1898), ii, pp. 254-255; J. D. Drummond,
_Studien zur Kriegsgeschichte Englands im 12. Jahrhundert_ (Berlin,
1905), pp. 35-43; Hans Delbrück, _Geschichte der Kriegskunst_ (Berlin,
1900-07), iii, pp. 411-412; H. W. C. Davis, “A Contemporary Account of
the Battle of Tinchebrai,” in _E. H. R._, xxiv, pp. 728-732; “The Battle
of Tinchebrai, a Correction,” _ibid._, xxv, pp. 295-296.

[2] _Art of War_, p. 379.

[3] _Foundations of England_, ii, p. 254.

[4] _Kriegsgeschichte Englands_, pp. 39-40.

[5] _Geschichte der Kriegskunst_, iii, p. 412.

[6] _E. H. R._, xxiv, p. 732.

[7] See pp. 246-247 and n. 14 _infra_. It would doubtless be
unwarrantable to put a strict technical interpretation upon the language
of our sources, but the designation of numbered _acies_ certainly
suggests successive elements one behind another rather than any other

[8] _Art of War_, p. 379.

[9] _Foundations of England_, ii, pp. 254-255.

[10] _Kriegsgeschichte Englands_, pp. 35-43.

[11] _Geschichte der Kriegskunst_, iii, p. 411.

[12] Jesus College, MS. 51, fol. 104.

[13] _Chronique de Robert de Torigni_, i, p. 129, note.

[14] That part of the letter which is descriptive of tactics reads as
follows, the italics indicating the line omitted from the editions of
Davis and Delisle: “In prima acie fuerunt Baiocenses, Abrincatini, et
Constantinienses, omnes pedites; _in secunda vero rex cum innumeris
baronibus suis, omnes similiter pedites_. Ad hec septingenti equites
utrique aciei ordinati; preterea comes Cenomannis et comes Britonum
Alanus Fergandus circumcingentes exercitum, usque ad mille equites,
remotis omnibus gildonibus et servis, nam totus exercitus regis prope
modum ad xl milia hominum estimabatur. Comes vero ad vi milia habuit,
equites septingentos, et vix una hora prelium stetit, Roberto de Belismo
statim terga vertente, ex cuius fuga dispersi sunt omnes.” Evidently
the error in transcription was due to the fact that the omitted clause
ended in the same word as that immediately preceding it. Davis also wrote
_horum_ for _hominum_ in the last word but one of the following sentence.
Delisle’s edition has this correctly.

[15] _E. H. R._, xxiv, p. 728.

[16] _Ibid._, xxv, p. 296.

[17] See the excerpt in n. 14, _supra_.



A recent writer has described Suger’s reconstruction of the abbey church
of Saint-Denis as “le fait capital de l’histoire artistique du XIIᵉ
siècle”;[1] and certainly among the most remarkable features of that
great achievement were the stained glass windows, which were the abbot’s
pride, and which he caused to be wrought “by the skilful hands of many
masters from divers nations.”[2] The oldest painted windows of known
date which survived from the Middle Ages,[3] most of them were destroyed
during the French Revolution; and there would be no occasion to mention
them in connection with the life of Robert Curthose, were it not that a
series of ten medallions from one window, representing scenes from the
First Crusade, has been preserved for us by the venerable Benedictine,
Bernard de Montfaucon, in copperplate engravings of the early eighteenth
century.[4] The eighth scene in the series has given rise to much
discussion. It portrays a Christian knight in the act of unhorsing
a pagan warrior with a mighty thrust of his lance, and bears the
inscription: R DVX NORMANNORVM PARTVM PROSTERNIT.[5] Clearly we have here
some spectacular victory of Robert Curthose over a Saracen; and it is the
oldest graphic representation of the duke now extant. The only problem
is to identify it either with a historic or with a legendary exploit of
Robert on the Crusade. Ferdinand de Mély, assuming that it had nothing
to do with veritable history, has supposed that it represented Robert’s
legendary combat with the emir ‘Red Lion’ during the great battle of the
Franks against Kerboga, as related in the _Chanson d’Antioche_;[6] and
at Riant’s suggestion he has gone further and proposed that it may offer
a _terminus ad quem_ for determining the date of composition of that
poem.[7] Gaston Paris has very properly rejected both these hypotheses.
But he still holds that the Robert medallion can only be explained by
reference to the _Chanson d’Antioche_, and he identifies the scene
portrayed with Robert’s legendary victory over Kerboga himself rather
than with that over Red Lion.[8] On the other hand, Hagenmeyer, who is
better qualified to speak upon such matters, sees not legend at all but
sober history in the scene in question. Indeed, upon comparison of the
whole series of Montfaucon’s engravings with the original narratives
of the First Crusade, he finds all the scenes portrayed to be in
remarkably close agreement with historic facts. “L’artiste qui a fait
ces peintures,” he says, “a été, sans aucun doute, très au courant des
événements marquants de la première croisade… A proprement parler, aucune
de ces peintures ne contient d’épisode légendaire.” And the scene in the
Robert medallion he considers to be no more than a pictorial rendering
of a text from the _Gesta Francorum_ describing the battle of Ascalon:
“Comes autem de Nortmannia cernens ammiravisi stantarum … ruit vehementer
super illum, eumque vulneravit usque ad mortem.”[9]

Although Mély in quoting Hagenmeyer’s opinion does not accept it,[10]
there can be little doubt of its correctness. The scenes from the Crusade
in Suger’s window do not, it is true, agree in every minute detail
with the primary literary sources, but the deviations are certainly
not greater than should be expected from a mediaeval painter striving
to produce an artistic result within the limitations of his craft. The
arrangement and numbering of Montfaucon’s engravings leave some doubt
as to the original sequence of the medallions, but so far as it is
possible to determine, the outstanding events of the Crusade from the
siege of Nicaea to the battle of Ascalon appear to have been portrayed
in chronological order. About the first six scenes, as arranged by
Montfaucon, there can be practically no doubt. And the great battle
against Kerboga is set in its proper place between the capture of Antioch
and the storming of Jerusalem; and there is no indication that Robert
played a special part in it, any more than there is in the strictly
historical literary sources.

The last four medallions as given by Montfaucon present peculiar
difficulties; and it will be well to describe them briefly, preserving
his numbering.

No. 7. The flight of defeated horsemen through a gate into a walled city.

No. 8. The Robert medallion which has been described above.

No. 9. A single combat between a Christian and a pagan horseman, each
supported by a band of warriors who fill the background. Inscription:

No. 10. A general combat between Christian and pagan warriors fighting
on horseback. Inscription: BELLVM AMITE ASCALONIA IV; and an unfilled
space at the end seems to indicate that it is incomplete. Evidently this
inscription has become corrupt in transmission, and as it stands it is
not wholly intelligible. It seems clear enough, however, that we have
here a representation of the great battle of the Franks against the
Egyptian emir Malik el-Afdhal near Ascalon.

Now if the four medallions in question be taken in the order in which
they have just been described, it is difficult, if not impossible, to
reconcile them with the literary sources as a representation of actual
events in chronological order. But it is very doubtful whether Montfaucon
has placed them in their proper sequence. We have no way of checking him
as to the arrangement of nos. 8 and 9; but a glance at his engravings
reveals the fact that nos. 7 and 10 are not perfectly circular like the
rest, but are considerably cut away, the former in the upper right hand
sector and the latter in the upper left hand sector.[11] Clearly they
were placed side by side at the top of the window in the restricted
space beneath the pointed arch, no. 10 being on the left and no. 7 on
the right. Now the general sequence of the medallions in the window
appears to have been from the bottom to the top; and in that case nos.
10 and 7 must have been the last two of the series. If this arrangement
be accepted the interpretation of the last four medallions does not
seem to offer greater difficulties than that of the first six. All four
have to do with events centring around Ascalon and the great contest of
the Franks with the Egyptian emir. Nos. 8 and 9 portray the individual
feats of arms of Robert Curthose and Robert of Flanders as set forth
in the literary sources.[12] No. 10 (with the corrupt inscription)
probably represents the general engagement in which the exploits of the
two Roberts were such notable features. And no. 7, properly belonging
at the end, represents the flight of the vanquished pagans through the
gate within the protecting walls of Ascalon. It is true that our best
literary sources in describing the pursuit which followed the battle make
no mention of this particular feature. But we know that the inhabitants
of Ascalon closed their gates and successfully bid defiance to the
crusaders;[13] and it certainly does not seem improbable that some of the
fugitive Saracens should have escaped thither. At any rate, the artist
might very well have assumed that they so escaped.


[1] Émile Mâle, in André Michel, _Histoire de l’art_ (Paris, 1905-), i,
p. 786. On the rebuilding of the church see Otto Cartellieri, _Abt Suger
von Saint-Denis, 1081-1151_ (Berlin, 1898), p. 105, and the references
there given; Michel Félibien, _Histoire de l’abbaye royale de Saint-Denis
en France_ (Paris, 1706), pp. 170-176; Paul Vitry and Gaston Brière,
_L’église abbatiale de Saint-Denis et ses tombeaux_ (Paris, 1908), pp.
9-10; and above all Anthyme Saint-Paul, “Suger, l’église de Saint-Denis,
et Saint Bernard,” in _Bulletin archéologique du Comité des Travaux
historiques et scientifiques_, 1890, pp. 258-275.

[2] “Vitrearum etiam novarum praeclaram varietatem, ab ea prima quae
incipit a _Stirps Iesse_ in capite ecclesiae, usque ad eam quae superest
principali portae in introitu ecclesiae, tam superius quam inferius,
magistrorum multorum de diversis nationibus manu exquisita, depingi
fecimus.” _Oeuvres complètes de Suger_, ed. A. Lecoy de la Marche (Paris,
1867), p. 204.

[3] “Les plus anciens vitraux à date certaine qui subsistent encore…
[Ils] furent mis en place de 1140 à 1144.” Michel, _Histoire de l’art_,
i, p. 784. Nevertheless it may be doubted whether all the windows were
actually completed at the time of the consecration of the choir and the
translation of the relics, 11 June 1144. The windows, only fragments of
which have escaped destruction, are most fully described by Ferdinand de
Lasteyrie, _Histoire de la peinture sur verre d’après ses monuments en
France_ (Paris, 1853-57), i, pp. 27-37; ii, planches iii-vii.

[4] _Les monumens de la monarchie françoise_ (Paris, 1729-33), i,
planches l-liv, between pages 390 and 397. Montfaucon says (p. 384):
“Cette première croisade est representée en dix tableaux sur les vitres
de l’église de S. Denis, à l’extrêmité du rond-pont derrière le grand
autel, dans cette partie qu’on appelle le chevet. Ces tableaux qu’on
voit tous sur une même vitre, furent faits par ordre de l’abbé Suger,
qui s’est fait peindre plusieurs fois dans ces vitres du chevet avec
son nom _Sugerius Abbas_.” There seems no reason to doubt Montfaucon’s
identification of this window with one of those executed at Suger’s
order, and modern writers have accepted it without question. It ought to
be noted, however, that no fragment of this particular window appears
to have escaped destruction, and that Suger, although he describes two
of the windows in detail and names a third, makes no specific mention
whatever of this one. And, moreover, it is the very windows which he
does describe which have in part been preserved. But on the other hand,
Suger makes no pretence at a complete list or description of the windows;
and he himself indicates that there were many. _Oeuvres de Suger_, pp.
204-206; Lasteyrie, _Histoire de la teinture sur verre_, i, pp. 27-37;
ii, planches iii-vii.

[5] Montfaucon, _Monumens_, i, planche liii, opposite p. 396.

[6] Vol. ii, p. 261.

[7] “La croix des premiers croisés,” in _Revue de l’art chrétien_, 1890,
pp. 298-300.

[8] “Robert Courte-Heuse à la première croisade,” in _Comptes rendus de
l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres_, 1890, pp. 207-208.

[9] Letter to Riant, printed in _Revue de l’art chrétien_, 1890, pp.
300-301; _G. F._, pp. 494-495.

[10] “M. Hagenmeyer … me semble être allé beaucoup trop loin, dans le
cas qu’il fait de nos cartons pour l’explication des textes qu’ils
représentent. Je ne saurais le suivre sur ce terrain, persuadé que les
détails de faits qui se sont passés en Orient ont incontestablement été
modifiés par des artistes qui n’avaient jamais quitté la France.” _Revue
de l’art chrétien_, 1890, p. 300.

[11] Montfaucon, _Monumens_, i, planches liii, liv, opposite p. 396.

[12] See _supra_, p. 116; cf. _Revue de l’art chrétien_, 1890, p. 300.

[13] _Supra_, p. 116.


Mediaeval names of persons are arranged alphabetically under the English
form of the Christian name.

  Abbeville (Somme), 40, note.

  Abingdon (Berkshire), chronicle of, 31, 207;
    abbey, 31;
    abbot, _see_ Adelelm.

  Absalom, 20.

  Acopars, 196.

  Acre (Palestine), 111, note.

  _Actus Pontificum Cenomannis in Urbe degentium_, 205.

  Adam, canon of the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, 229.

  Adams, G. B., 212.

  Adela, countess of Blois and Chartres, sister of Robert Curthose, 168.

  Adelelm, abbot of Abingdon, 31.

  Adelina, daughter of Robert of Meulan, 146.

  Aderbal, _scolae minister_, 73, note.

  Adhemar, bishop of Le Puy, papal representative on the First Crusade,
      102, 106, 108, 111.

  Administration of Normandy under Robert Curthose, 80-81.

  Adrastus, 37.

  Adriatic sea, 98.

  Aegean sea, 100.

  Agnes de Ribemont, sister of Anselm de Ribemont and wife of Walter
      Giffard, 147.

  Aid (_auxilium_) taken from the English barons by William Rufus
      (1096), 92.

  Aimeric de Villeray, 22, 23.

  Aksonkor, _see_ Kasim ed-daula Aksonkor.

  Alan Fergant, duke of Brittany, 94, 172, 174, 221, 227, 247, note.

  Alan, son of Ralph de Gael, 221, 226.

  Alan, steward of Archbishop Baldric of Dol, 94, 221.

  Alberic, _comes_, 37, note, 41, note.

  Alberic, son of Hugh of Grandmesnil, 21, note, 22, 93, 221.

  Alberic de Milesse, 74, note.

  Albert of Aix, chronicler, 198, 208, 217, 228, 235, 236, 237, 238, 241,

  Aldhun, bishop of Durham, 213.

  Alençon (Orne), 9, 43, 76.

  Aleppo (Syria), 230.

  Aleppo road, 105.

  Alexandria (Egypt), 47.

  _Alexiad_, _see_ Anna Comnena.

  Alexius I Comnenus, Greek emperor, 100, 101, 102, 105, 109, 112, 117,
      118, 230, 233-236, _passim_, 238, 239, 240, 242, 243, 244.

  Almenèches (Orne), abbey, 140, 142, 143;
    abbess, _see_ Emma.

  Alost (East Flanders), 186.

  Alps, mountains, 96, 120, 184, 233.

  Alton (Hampshire), 131, 133, 172;
    treaty of, 141, 144, note, 148, 157.

  Amalfi (province of Salerno), 97.

  Amaury de Montfort, 145, 146.

  Amendelis, reputed messenger of Kilij Arslan, 193, note.

  Ancenis (Loire-Inférieure), 223.

  Andronicus Tzintzilucas, 234, 238.

  Angers (Maine-et-Loire), abbeys at, _see_ Saint-Aubin, Saint-Nicolas.

  Anglo-Flemish relations, 155-156, 181, 182, 185.

  Anglo-French relations during the reign of Henry I, 122, 155, 181,

  _Anglo-Saxon Chronicle_, 24, 45, 83, 95, 136, 206.

  Anjou, relations of Henry I with, 156;
    counts of, _see_ Fulk IV, Fulk V, Geoffrey II, Geoffrey III,
      Geoffrey IV.

  Anna Comnena, daughter of Emperor Alexius I, 209, 234, 236, 238;
    _Alexiad_, 209.

  Annals of Renaud, 34.

  Annals of Winchester, _see_ Winchester.

  ‘Anonymous of York,’ 82, note.

  Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, 81, 83, 84, 92, note, 121, 122,
      127-130, _passim_, 132, 136, note, 154, 168-171, _passim_, 177,
      178, 206, 208, 212, 213.

  Anselm de Ribemont, 231.

  Antioch (Syria), 93, 94, 104, 105, 106-109, _passim_, 111, 112, 114,
      139, 190, 191, 194, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 228, 231-242, _passim_,
    _see_ St. Peter, church of.

  Anti-pope, _see_ Clement III.

  Antwerp, 235.

  Apennines, mountains, 96.

  Apulia, 98, 112, note, 193.

  Aquitaine, 24, 38.

  Arabia, 113.

  Ardevon (Manche), 64.

  Argences (Calvados), 85, note.

  Argentan (Orne), 85, 127, 141, 144, note, 178.

  Arka (Syria), 110, 111, 241, 242.

  Arnold, bishop of Le Mans, 35.

  Arnold, Thomas, 214.

  Arnulf, brother of Robert of Bellême, 127, 140, 142.

  Arnulf of Chocques, chaplain of Robert Curthose, 95, 111, 115, 116,
      217-220, 221.

  Arnulf of Hesdin, 95, 222.

  Arques (Seine-Inférieure), 55, 75, note, 165, note.

  Arundel (Sussex), 139.

  Ascalon (Palestine), 115-116, 119, 125, note, 197, note, 251, 252.

  Ascelin Goël, 78, 145, 146.

  Asia Minor, 104.

  Atenas, legendary Turkish king, 197.

  Athyra (modern Bojuk Tchekmedche, Thrace), 99, note.

  Auberville (Calvados), 79.

  Aubrée la Grosse, 222, 223.

  Aumale (Seine-Inférieure), 60;
    count of, _see_ Stephen.

  Avranches (Manche), 49, 62, 63, 75, 78, 81, 174.

  Azzo, marquis of Este, 72, note.

  Bagora, Mount (Macedonia), 99, note.

  Bagulatus, Mons, _see_ Bagora.

  Baldric, archbishop of Dol, historian of the First Crusade, 208, 221.

  Baldwin, count of Edessa, brother of Godfrey of Bouillon, 104, note,
      111, 196, note, 235.

  Baldwin V, count of Flanders, 4, 155, note.

  Baldwin VII, count of Flanders, 182.

  Ballinger, John, 188, note.

  Ballon (Sarthe), castle, 70, 71, 225.

  Bardarium, _see_ Vardar.

  Barfleur (Manche), 161, 164.

  Bari (province of Bari), 97, 98;
    _see_ St. Nicholas, church of.

  Barnwell (Cambridgeshire), priory, 95, 225.

  Bartholomew, abbot of Marmoutier, 12.

  Bath, bishop of, _see_ John.

  Battle of Ascalon, 115-116;
    of Brémule, 182;
    of Dorylaeum, 103;
    of Gerberoy, 26-27;
    with Kerboga of Mosul, 107;
    of Tinchebray, 173-176, 245-248.

  Baudart, 196.

  Bavent (Calvados), 71, note, 75, 79.

  Bayeux (Calvados), 15, note, 16, 51, note, 53, note, 55, note, 91, note,
      153, note, 159, 160, 165, 166, 167, 225;
    bishop of, _see_ Odo, Thorold.

  Bazoge, La (Sarthe), 224.

  Beaumont-le-Roger (Eure), 140, 145, 156.

  Beaumont-sur-Sarthe (Sarthe), 14.

  Beauvais, abbey at, _see_ Saint-Quentin.

  Bec-Hellouin (Eure), Le, abbey, 81, 83, 165, note, 171, 226.

  Belial, 163.

  Bellême (Orne), 43, 76;
    house of, _see_ Talvas.

  Bellou-sur-Huîne (Orne), 228.

  Bernard, abbot of Marmoutier, 223.

  Bernard, son of Walter of Saint-Valery, 94, 222.

  Bertrada de Montfort, 71, 75.

  Bessin, 159, 160, 166, note, 174.

  Bibliothèque Nationale, 207.

  Biota, daughter of Herbert Éveille-Chien, 8, 9.

  Blanchelande, _see_ La Bruère.

  Blois, count of, _see_ Stephen;
    countess of, _see_ Adela.

  Bofinat, _see_ Vodena.

  Bohemond, prince of Taranto, eldest son of Robert Guiscard, leader of
      the First Crusade, 97-98, 100, 102, 104, 105, 107, 108, 109, 112,
      114, 117, 118, 119, 193, 198, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244.

  Böhmer, Heinrich, 82, note, 165, note.

  Bonneville-sur-Touques (Calvados), 12, note, 14, note, 15, 19, 29,
      40, note.

  Botella, _see_ Monastir.

  Boulogne, counts of, _see_ Eustace II, Eustace III.

  Brémule (Eure), battle of, 182.

  Breteuil succession, war of the, 144-146, 156.

  Bretons on the First Crusade, 94.

  Bréval (Seine-et-Oise), siege of, 78.

  Bridgenorth (Shropshire), 139.

  Brindisi (province of Lecce), 99.

  Brionne (Eure), 43, 75, 76.

  Bristol (Gloucestershire), 186.

  British Museum, 154, note.

  Brittany, relations of Henry I with, 156;
    dukes of, _see_ Hoël, Alan Fergant.

  Bruno, citizen of Lucca, 107, note, 232.

  Bulgaria, 100.

  Bures (Seine-Inférieure), 55, 75, note, 85.

  Caen (Calvados), 31, note, 42, 60, note, 65, 66, 80, 124, 125, note,
      159, 160, 166, 167, 170, 191, 219;
    abbeys, _see_ La Trinité, Saint-Étienne.

  Caesarea (Palestine), 110, note.

  Caesarea Mazaca (Cappadocia), 104, note.

  Cafaro of Genoa, 230, note, 236, 240.

  Cagny (Calvados), 166, note.

  Calabria, 43, note, 98.

  Calixtus II, pope, 183.

  _Calloenses_, 56.

  _Campus Martius_, 84.

  Canterbury, 125, note, 150;
    archbishops of, _see_ Lanfranc, Anselm, Ralph, William.

  Cardiff (Glamorganshire), castle, 138, 186-189, _passim_.

  Carentan (Manche), 161, 164.

  _Cartulaire de l’abbaye de Saint-Vincent du Mans_, 208.

  Castellum Vallium, truce of, 33.

  Caux, pays de, 160.

  Cecilia, daughter of William the Conqueror, abbess of La Trinité at
      Caen, 95, 124, 219.

  Chalandon, Ferdinand, 100, note, 117, 234, 236, 238, 239.

  _Chanson d’Antioche_, 195, 196, 210, 250.

  _Chanson de Jérusalem_, 197, 198, 210.

  _Chanson de Roland_, 153, note.

  Charlemagne, 192, note.

  Charles the Good, count of Flanders, 185.

  Charroux (Vienne), 142.

  Charter of Liberties of Henry I, 122.

  _Chartes de Saint-Julien de Tours_, 207.

  Chartres, bishop of, _see_ Ivo;
    count of, _see_ Stephen;
    countess of, _see_ Adela.

  Château-Gontier (Mayenne), 77, 141.

  Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais (Eure-et-Loir), 22.

  Chaumont-en-Vexin (Oise), 85, note, 96, note, 185.

  Cherbourg (Manche), 60, 62, 63.

  Chester, earls of, _see_ Hugh, Richard.

  Chetelhulmum, _see_ Quettehou.

  Cheux (Calvados), 150.

  Chevalier au Cygne, 192, note.

  _Chevalier au Cygne et Godefroid de Bouillon_, 210.

  Chichester, bishop of, _see_ Ralph.

  Chocques (Pas-de-Calais), 217.

  Chrisopolis, _see_ Pravista.

  Christopolis, _see_ Kavala.

  _Chronique de Morigny_, 206.

  Church, _see_ English church, Norman church.

  Cilicia, 233, note.

  Cilician Gates, 104.

  Cintheaux (Calvados), 167.

  Clarence, river, 217.

  Clement III (Guibert), anti-pope, 97.

  Clermont (Puy-de-Dôme), council of, 88, 89, 90, 93, 223, 224.

  Companions of Robert Curthose on the Crusade, 93-95, 221-229.

  Compiègne (Oise), 29, note;
    abbey, _see_ Saint-Corneille.

  Conan, citizen of Bayeux, 165.

  Conan de Lamballe, son of Geoffrey I, called Boterel, count of Lamballe,
      94, 222.

  Conan, son of Gilbert Pilatus, citizen of Rouen, 56, 57, 58.

  Conan’s Leap, 58.

  Conches (Eure), 58.

  Conquest of Normandy by Henry I, 155-179.

  Constantinople, 98, 99, 100, 112, note, 117, 244.

  _Consuetudines et Iusticie_, 65.

  Corbonnais, 21, 22.

  Cotentin, 49, 62, 63, 64, note, 75, 78, 79, 80, 123, note, 124, 134,
      157, 160, 161, 174;
    count of the, _see_ Henry I.

  Couesnon, river, 64.

  Councils, ecclesiastical, _see_ Clermont, Rheims, Rouen;
    ducal or royal, _see_ Lisieux, Rockingham, Winchester.

  Courcy (Calvados), 59, 77.

  Coutances (Manches), 62, 63, 81.

  Coxon (ancient Cocussus in Cappadocia), 104, note.

  Cross, _see_ Holy Cross.

  Crusade, First, 77, 89-119, 123, 124, 125, 127, 149, 150, 156, 190,
      192-199, 208-209, 217, 218, 219, 220, 221-244, 249-252.

  Crusaders, _see_ Companions of Robert Curthose.

  _Curia ducis_, 76, 80.

  Curse laid upon Robert Curthose by his father, 27.

  Cyprus, island, 105, 230, 231, 232, note, 233, 234, note, 238, 239.

  Daemonis flumen, _see_ Skumbi.

  Dagobert, archbishop of Pisa, patriarch of Jerusalem, 232, 243.

  Dallington (Northampton or Sussex), 167.

  Danegeld, 92.

  Dapifer of Philip I, king of France, 23.

  David, king of Israel, 162.

  David I, king of Scotland, son of Malcolm Canmore, 186, note.

  Davis, H. W. C., 36, note, 97, note, 233, note, 245, 246, 247;
    _Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum_, 207.

  _De Iniusta Vexatione Willelmi Episcopi Primi_, 211-216.

  Delbrück, Hans, 245, 246, 247.

  Delisle, Léopold, 246.

  Devizes (Wiltshire), 180.

  Dijon, abbot of, _see_ Gerento.

  Dol (Ille-et-Vilaine), siege of, 23, 32;
    bishop of, _see_ Baldric.

  Domfront (Orne), 77, 78, 87, 89, 123, note, 124, 134, 135, 157, 158.

  Dorylaeum (Phrygia), battle of, 103, 104, 193, 194.

  Doubs, river, 96.

  Dover (Kent), 58, note, 73, note, 87, 128, 155, note.

  Downton (Wiltshire), 36.

  Dreux de Monchy, 222.

  Drummond, J. D., 245, 246, 247.

  Duncan, son of King Malcolm, 42.

  Durand, abbot of Troarn, 53, note.

  Durazzo (Illyria), 99.

  Durham, 67, 136, 177, 212, 213, 215, 216, note;
    bishops of, _see_ Aldhun, William of Saint-Calais, Ranulf Flambard.

  Eadmer, 132, 167, 212;
    _Historia Novorum in Anglia_, 206.

  East Anglia, 47.

  Easter celebration at Carentan, 161-164.

  Eccles (Berwickshire), 31.

  Écrammeville (Calvados), 79.

  Edessa (Mesopotamia), 104, note, 112;
    count of, _see_ Baldwin.

  Edgar Atheling, grandson of Edmund Ironside, 67, 175, 232, 233, 236, 237.

  Edgar, king of Scotland, son of Malcolm Canmore, 236.

  Edith, sister of William of Warenne, wife of Gerard of Gournay, 222.

  Edward the Confessor, king of England, 12, 122.

  Elbeuf-sur-Andelle (Seine-Inférieure), 177, note.

  El-Bukeia (Syria), valley of, 110.

  Emelota, _see_ Emma.

  Émendreville (modern Saint-Sever, suburb of Rouen), 57.

  Emma, abbess of Almenèches, sister of Robert of Bellême, 140, 142, note.

  Emma (or Emelota), niece of Arnulf of Chocques, 218.

  Emma, daughter of William Fitz Osbern, wife of Ralph de Gael, 222, 236.

  English church, taxed by William Rufus, 92;
    supports Henry I, 132.

  _English Historical Review_, 246, 247.

  English mariners on the First Crusade, 95, 105-106, 231-232, 236-237.

  Enguerran, son of Ilbert de Lacy, 160, 166.

  Enguerrand, son of Count Hugh of Saint-Pol, 94, 222.

  Eraclea, _see_ Eregli.

  Eregli (Thrace), 99, note.

  Eremburg, daughter of Helias of La Flèche, 126.

  Ernest de Buron, 215.

  Eu (Seine-Inférieure), 55, 59, 60, 84, 86, 87;
    counts of, _see_ Henry, Robert.

  _Eulogium Historiarum_, 210.

  Eumathios Philocales, duke of Cyprus, 236, 240.

  Eustace II, count of Boulogne, 47, 51.

  Eustace III, count of Boulogne, 115, 118, note, 135, 222.

  Eustace, natural son of William of Breteuil, 144, 145, 146, 156.

  Eustace Garnier, lord of Caesarea, 218.

  Évrecin, 144.

  Evremar of Chocques, patriarch of Jerusalem, 217, note.

  Évreux, bishop of, _see_ Gilbert;
    count of, _see_ William.

  Exmes (Orne), 75, 77, 143.

  Falaise (Calvados), castle, 9, 167, 170, 171, 177, 178, 180;
    _vicomté_ of, 178.

  Farrer, W., 207, note.

  Fécamp, abbey, _see_ La Trinité;
    letter of a priest of Fécamp to a priest of Séez, 245-248, _passim_.

  Feudal anarchy (or private war) in Normandy, 43-44, 53, 58, 75-80, 123,
      140-146, 159-160.

  Firth of Forth, 67, note.

  Flanders, 28, 59, 155;
    counts of, _see_ Baldwin V, Robert the Frisian, Robert of Jerusalem,
      Baldwin VII, Charles the Good, William Clito.

  Fliche, Augustin, 85, note, 86, note.

  Florence of Worcester, 68, 206, 211, 214, 216.

  _Flores Historiarum_, 201, 210.

  _Florinensis Brevis Narratio Belli Sacri_, 231.

  Fourches (Calvados), castle of Robert of Bellême, 77, 141.

  Freeman, E. A., 4, note, 9, note, 23, note, 26, note, 34, note,
      55, note, 66, note, 67, note, 95, note, 118, 119, 127, note,
      130, note, 134, note, 211, 215.

  Fresnay (Sarthe), 14, 70, note.

  Frisia, 235.

  Fulcher of Chartres, historian of the First Crusade, 95, 101, 209, 223;
    _Historia Hierosolymitana_, 208.

  Fulcher, bishop of Lisieux, brother of Ranulf Flambard, 151.

  Fulcher, son of Walter, 179, note.

  Fulk IV le Réchin, count of Anjou, 15, 32-35, _passim_, 70, 71, 74, 75,
      125, 126.

  Fulk V le Jeune, count of Anjou, son of Fulk le Réchin, 182, 184.

  Fulk of Aunou-le-Faucon, 226.

  Fulk, abbot of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives, 150, 171, note.

  Gacé (Calvados), 71, note, 75, 79.

  Gaillefontaine (Seine-Inférieure), 54.

  Galbert of Bruges, _Histoire du meurtre de Charles le Bon_, 206.

  Gascony, 24, 38.

  Gavray (Manche), 62.

  Genealogy of the counts of Maine, 8, note.

  Genêts (Manche), 64.

  _Gentleman’s Magazine_, 187.

  Geoffrey II Martel, count of Anjou, 7.

  Geoffrey III le Barbu, count of Anjou, 8, 9.

  Geoffrey IV Martel, the Younger, count of Anjou, 164.

  Geoffrey Chotard, baron of Ancenis, 223.

  Geoffrey of Conversano, 118.

  Geoffrey Gaimar, 191, 209.

  Geoffrey, son of Riou de Lohéac, 227.

  Geoffrey of Mayenne, 70, 72.

  Geoffrey of Mortagne II, count of Perche, son of Rotrou I, 77, 94.

  Geoffrey, archbishop of Rouen, 183, note.

  Geoffrey de Vigeois, 201.

  George, Robert H., 155, note.

  Gerard of Gournay, 54, 56, 58, 60, 93.

  Gerard de Saint-Hilaire, 141.

  Gerberoy (Oise), 19, 20, note, 23, 25-28, _passim_, 35, 39, 40, note.

  Gerento, abbot of Saint-Bénigne of Dijon, 91, 93, 96, 225.

  Gersent, daughter of Herbert Éveille-Chien, 72, note.

  _Gesta Francorum_, 208, 241, 251.

  _Gesta Normannorum Ducum_, _see_ William of Jumièges.

  _Gesta Tancredi_, _see_ Ralph of Caen.

  Gibraltar, 231.

  Gilbert, an architect (?), 223.

  Gilbert, bishop of Évreux, 93, 99, 151, 152, 223, 225.

  Gilbert of Laigle, 57, 75, 77.

  Gilbert Maminot, bishop of Lisieux, 151.

  Gilo, poet, 234.

  Gimildjina (Macedonia), 99, note.

  Gisors (Eure), 81, 82, 183, 185.

  Glamorgan, 186.

  Gloucester, 83;
    abbey of St. Peter, 27, 167, note, 189;
    abbot, _see_ Walter;
    cathedral, 189.

  Godfrey, duke of Bouillon, leader of the First Crusade, 100, 102,
      108, note, 109, 110, 112, 113, 119, 192, note, 195, 197, note,
      235, 241;
    ruler of the Latin Kingdom, 114-117, _passim_, 191, 198, 199;
    poetic cycle of the Crusade, 192, note, 194, 195, 196.

  Godfrey of Jumièges, abbot of Malmesbury, 92, note.

  Gonnor, wife of Riou de Lohéac, 227.

  Gontier d’Aunay, 159, 160, 162, 165.

  Gontier, inhabitant of Laigle, 21.

  Gouffern (Orne), forest of, 127, 144, note.

  Gournay (Seine-Inférieure), 54, 56.

  Grandor of Douai, _trouvère_, 192, note, 197, note.

  Gravençon (Seine-Inférieure), 71, note, 75.

  Great St. Bernard, pass over the Alps, 96.

  Gregory VII, pope, 30.

  Guibert, anti-pope, _see_ Clement III.

  Guibert of Nogent, 208, 234, 239, 240.

  Guinemer of Boulogne, pirate chief, 235, 237, 238.

  Guise, W. V., 189, note.

  Gulfer, son of Aimeric de Villeray, 23.

  Guy, son of Gerard le Duc, 223.

  Guy de Sarcé, 224.

  Hagenmeyer, Heinrich, 96, note, 104, note, 209, 250, 251.

  Hainovilla, 79.

  Halphen, Louis, 9, note.

  Hamo de Huna, 224.

  Harim (Syria), 105.

  Harold, king of the English, 12, note, 40, 232, note.

  _Harvard Historical Studies_, 207.

  Haskins, C. H., 81, note, 207, 217, note.

  Hastings (Sussex), 73, note, 84, 86;
    battle of Hastings or Senlac, 12, note, 15, note.

  Helias, count of Maine, son of John of La Flèche, 70, 71, 72, 74, 94,
      95, note, 125, 126, 164, 167, 174, 178, 247.

  Helias of Saint-Saëns, 39, 55, 75, 85, 181;
    his wife a natural daughter of Robert Curthose, 39.

  Henry, earl of Warwick, son of Roger of Beaumont, 28, 128.

  Henry, son of William de Colombières, 229.

  Henry I, king of England and duke of Normandy, 6, 21, 36, note, 39,
      41, note, 42, 49, 52-61, _passim_, 66, 74, 75, 78, 79, 81, 87, 89,
      124, 125, 126, 138-154, _passim_, 177-186, _passim_, 200, 201, 202,
      225, 247;
    at war with William Rufus and Robert Curthose in the Cotentin, 62-65;
    gains the English crown, 120-123;
    his war with Robert Curthose for possession of England, 127-137;
    his conquest of Normandy, 155-176.

  Henry II, king of England, 18, 155, note, 200.

  Henry, count of Eu, 158.

  Henry Fitz Henry, the Young King, 18.

  Henry of Huntingdon, 89, 179, 194, 198, 200, 246, 247.

  Henry Knighton, 210.

  Herbert I Éveille-Chien, count of Maine, 71.

  Herbert II, count of Maine, 7, 8.

  Herbert Losinga, bishop of Thetford or Norwich, 59, note, 136, note.

  Hervé, son of Dodeman, 224.

  Hervé, son of Guyomark, count of Léon, 224.

  Hiémois, 77, 141, 143, 166.

  Hilgot, abbot of Saint-Ouen, Rouen, 223.

  Hippeau, Célestin, 196, note.

  _Histoire du meurtre de Charles le Bon_, _see_ Galbert of Bruges.

  _Historia Belli Sacri_ (same as _Tudebodus Imitatus et Continuatus_),
      107, note, 198, 199.

  _Historia Dunelmensis Ecclesiae_, _see_ Simeon of Durham.

  _Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem_, _see_ Raymond of Aguilers.

  _Historia Hierosolymitana_, _see_ Fulcher of Chartres.

  _Historia Novorum in Anglia_, _see_ Eadmer.

  _Historia Regum_, _see_ Simeon of Durham.

  Hoël, duke of Brittany, 33, note.

  Hoël, bishop of Le Mans, 35, 69, 71-74, _passim_.

  Holy Cross, 113, note.

  Holy fire, _see_ Miracle of the holy fire.

  Holy Lance, 111.

  Holy Land, 90, 116, 119, 208, 233, 237.

  Holy see, _see_ Papacy.

  Holy Sepulchre, 91, 94, 113, note, 114, 119;
    church of the, 114, 116, 125, note, 199.

  Holy shroud at Compiègne, 29, note.

  Holy War, _see_ Crusade.

  Homage of King Malcolm to William Rufus, 67-68;
    of the Norman barons to Robert Curthose, 12, 15, 19, 40;
    of the Norman barons to William Atheling, 184;
    of Robert Curthose to Fulk le Réchin, count of Anjou, 34;
    of Robert Curthose and Margaret of Maine to Geoffrey le Barbu, count
      of Anjou, 9-10;
    of William, count of Évreux, to Henry I, 158.

  Hubert, cardinal legate of Gregory VII, 34, note.

  Hubert, _vicomte_ of Maine, 35.

  Hugh of Amiens, archbishop of Rouen, 179, note.

  Hugh of Avranches, earl of Chester, 59, 62, 63, 79.

  Hugh Bunel, son of Robert de Jalgeio, 112, note.

  Hugh of Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais, 22, 24.

  Hugh d’Envermeu, 165, note.

  Hugh of Este, count of Maine, grandson of Herbert Éveille-Chien, 72,
      73, 74.

  Hugh of Flavigny, 91, note, 96.

  Hugh of Gournay, 28.

  Hugh of Grandmesnil, 28.

  Hugh II, count of Jaffa, 218.

  Hugh de Monteil, brother of bishop Adhemar of Le Puy, 240, note.

  Hugh de Montpinçon, brother-in-law of Robert of Grandmesnil, 141.

  Hugh de Nonant, 143, 160, 162, 177.

  Hugh Painel, 59, note.

  Hugh, count of Saint-Pol, 118, note.

  Hugh of Vermandois, called the Great, brother of King Philip I, 102,
      112, 118, note.

  Ibn el-Athir, 209.

  Ilger, tutor of Robert Curthose, 6.

  Ingelbaudus, 224.

  Inquest of Caen (1091) concerning ducal rights in Normandy, 60, note,
      65-66, 80.

  Insurrection at Rouen, 56-58;
    of the Manceaux at Sainte-Suzanne, 35.

  Investiture controversy in England, 127, 129, 132, 136, note, 154,
      168-169, 171;
    in Normandy, 128, 154-155.

  Iolo Morganwg, _see_ Williams, Edward.

  Iron Bridge (Djisr el-Hadid), 104.

  Isle of Wight, 68.

  Ivo, canonist and bishop of Chartres, 84, note, 85, note, 96, note,
      151-153, 168, 208.

  Ivo, son of Hugh of Grandmesnil, 21, note, 22, 93, 107, note, 108, note,
      127, 139, 224.

  Ivo Taillebois, 215.

  Ivry (Eure), 75, 76, 78, 145.

  Jaffa (Palestine), 232, 241, note.

  Jasper, duke of Bedford, 187.

  Jebeleh (Syria), 117, 241, 243.

  Jehoshaphat, valley of, at Jerusalem, 113.

  Jericho (Palestine), 117.

  Jerusalem, 39, 90, note, 92, note, 94, 95, 108, 109, 110-113, _passim_,
      116, 125, note, 184, 190, 191, 197, 198, 199, 221-226, _passim_,
      229, 233, 235, 236, 241, 242, 251;
    Tower of David at, 114;
    patriarchs of, _see_ Amulf, Dagobert, Evremar.

  Jesus College, Oxford, MS., 247.

  John, bishop of Bath, 136, note.

  John of La Flèche, 32, 33, 34.

  John of Meulan, wealthy burgess, 145, 146, 156.

  Jordan, river, 117.

  Judicaël, bishop of Saint-Malo, 227.

  Julian Alps, _see_ Alps.

  Juliana, natural daughter of Henry I, 145, 156.

  Kafartab (Syria), 110, 236.

  Kasim ed-daula Aksonkor, 230.

  Kavala (Macedonia), 99, note, 100.

  Kemal ed-Din, 209, 230, 238.

  Kent, earldom of Odo, bishop of Bayeux, 44, 46.

  Kerboga of Mosul, 94, note, 108, 111, note, 191, 192, note, 194, 195,
      196, 197, note, 250, 251.

  Kilij Arslan (Soliman II), sultan of Iconium, 101-102, 103, 193, note.

  Krüger, A.-G., 196, note.

  La Bruère (Sarthe), treaty of, 33, note, 34, 35, note, 36.

  La Couture, abbey at Le Mans, 14, note, 73, note.

  La Ferté-en-Bray (Seine-Inférieure), 54, 55, note, 56, 59, 86.

  La Flèche (Sarthe), 33, 34.

  Laigle (Orne), 21, 22, 168, 171.

  Lance, _see_ Holy Lance.

  Lands of Matilda, claimed by Henry I, 52, 62.

  Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, 45.

  Laodicea ad Mare (Syria), 105, 106, 117, 230-244.

  Latakia, _see_ Laodicea.

  Latin Kingdom, 116, 197, 209, 218.

  Latouche, Robert, 7, note, 9, note, 11, note, 73, note.

  La Trinité, abbey at Caen, 62, note, 80;
    cartulary of, 79-80;
    abbess, _see_ Cecilia.

  La Trinité, abbey at Fécamp, 11, 43, 49, note, 51, 60, 81, note, 82, 229.

  Leeds (Yorkshire), 67, note.

  Legends of Robert Curthose on the Crusade, 190-200;
    during his long imprisonment, 200-202.

  Le Hardy, Gaston, 5, note, 205.

  Le Homme (modern L’Ile-Marie, Manche), 205.

  Le Houlme, district, 77.

  Leland, John, antiquary, 189, note.

  Le Mans (Sarthe), 7, 9, 14, 15, 69-73, _passim_, 90, 125, 126;
    bishopric of, 35;
    cathedral of, 229;
    historian of the bishops of, 69;
    right of patronage over the see of, 35, 72;
    abbeys, _see_ La Couture, Saint-Vincent;
    bishops of, _see_ Arnold, Hoël.

  Leo IX, pope, 4.

  Le Prévost, Auguste, 4, note, 127, note.

  Lessay (Manche), abbey of, 36, note.

  Levison, Wilhelm, 154, note.

  Liebermann, Felix, 212.

  Lincolnshire, 129, note.

  Lire (Eure), 144.

  Lisieux (Calvados), simony in connection with the episcopal succession
      to, 151-154, 177;
    councils at, 178;
    bishops of, _see_ Gilbert Maminot, Fulcher.

  _Livere de reis de Engletere_, 210.

  _Livre noir_ of Bayeux cathedral, 207.

  Lohéac (Ille-et-Vilaine), 227.

  Loire, river, 223.

  London, 87, 121, 131, 132;
    Tower of, 128, 179, note;
    bishop of, _see_ Maurice.

  Longueville (Seine-Inférieure), 54, 86.

  Lorraine, 24, 38.

  Lot, Ferdinand, 5, note, 13, note.

  Lothian, 31, 67, 68.

  Louis VI le Gros, king of France, 122, 155, 180, 182, 183, 185.

  Lucca (province of Lucca), 96.

  Luchaire, Achille, 18, note.

  Lucretia, _see_ Ochrida.

  Lys, river, 217.

  Mabel, sister of Robert of Bellême and wife of Hugh of
      Châteauneuf-en-Thymerais, 22.

  Mabel, wife of Roger of Montgomery, 112, note.

  Macra, _see_ Makri.

  Maine, direct rule of Geoffrey Martel established in, 7;
    William the Conqueror adopts a policy of intervention in, 7-8;
    Norman domination established in, 8-11;
    Norman domination overthrown, 14;
    reconquest by William the Conqueror, 14;
    aggressive policy of Fulk le Réchin in, 32-34;
    war between William and Fulk for possession of, 34;
    insurrection against Norman rule at Sainte-Suzanne, 35;
    loss of the county by Robert Curthose, 69-75;
    proposed expedition of Robert Curthose and William Rufus against, 61,
    aggressive policy of William Rufus in, 125;
    end of Norman rule in, 125-126;
    relations of Henry I with, 156;
    counts of, _see_ Herbert I, Herbert II, Robert Curthose, Hugh of Este,
      Helias of La Flèche.

  Mainer, abbot of Saint-Évroul, 25.

  Makri (Thrace), 99, note.

  Malbrancq, Jacques, 217.

  Malcolm Canmore, king of Scotland, 30, note, 31, 65, 67, 68, 213, 215,

  Malik el-Afdhal, grand vizier of Egypt, 115, 252.

  Malik-Shah, Seljuk sultan, 230.

  Malmesbury, abbot of, _see_ Godfrey of Jumièges.

  Malpalu, suburb of Rouen, 57.

  Mamistra (Cilicia), 235.

  Manasses, archbishop of Rheims, 231.

  Manceaux on the Crusade, 94.

  Mantes (Seine-et-Oise), 39, 185.

  Marash (Armenia), 95, 104, note, 208.

  Margaret, heiress of Maine, sister of Herbert II, 7-11, _passim_, 19.

  Margaret, queen of Scotland, sister of Edgar Atheling and wife of
      Malcolm Canmore, 122.

  Marmoutier (Indre-et-Loire), abbey, 73, note, 221, 223;
    abbots of, _see_ Bartholomew, Bernard.

  Maromme (Seine-Inférieure), 164.

  Marra (Syria), 94, 109, 110, 222.

  Marriage of Henry I and Matilda, daughter of Malcolm Canmore, 122;
    of William the Conqueror and Matilda of Flanders, 4-5.

  Matilda, Queen, wife of William the Conqueror, 4-7, _passim_, 13, 24,
      29, 30, note, 36, note, 37, 52, 62.

  Matilda, Queen, wife of Henry I, god-daughter of Robert Curthose, 122,
      131, note, 148.

  Matilda, countess of Tuscany, 38.

  Matthew of Edessa, 209.

  Matthew Paris, 201, 210.

  Mauger Malherbe, 143, note.

  Maurice, bishop of London, 121.

  Meisine, rue (street in Caen), 160.

  Mély, Ferdinand, 250, 251.

  Messinopolis, _see_ Gimildjina.

  Meulan, count of, _see_ Robert.

  Meyer, Jacques de, 217.

  Meyer, Paul, 246.

  Milet, porte (gate at Caen), 160, 166, note.

  Miracle of the holy fire, 198-199.

  Moeller, Charles, 217, 218.

  Monastir (Macedonia), 99, note, 100.

  Mons Gaudii (Palestine), 229.

  Montaigu (Mayenne), castle of, 75, note, 77.

  Montbouin (Calvados), 79.

  Monte Cassino (province of Caserta), abbey, 97.

  Montensis (Baldwin _comes de Monte_), 118, note.

  Montfaucon, Bernard de, antiquary, 249-252, _passim_.

  Mont-Saint-Michel (Manche), abbey, 36, note, 49, 60, 63, 64, 65, 78, 124.

  Morel, Émile, 29, note.

  Mount Bagora, _see_ Bagora.

  Munkidhites, _see_ Shaizar.

  Nantes (Loire-Inférieure), 223.

  National Library of Wales, 188, note.

  Natura, _see_ Athyra.

  Neapolis (probably Malgera, Thrace), 99, note.

  Newcastle upon Tyne (Northumberland) 31.

  New Forest (Hampshire), 38, 120, 123, 124.

  Nicaea (Bithynia), 101, 102, 193, 221, 222, 224, 227, 228, 229, 251.

  Nicholas, brother of Guy de Sarcé, 224.

  Nicholas Saemundarson, abbot of Thingeyrar, 96, note.

  Nicomedia (Bithynia), 101.

  Norgate, Kate, 10, note.

  Norman church under Robert Curthose, 53, 54, note, 81-82, 150.

  Norman Conquest of England, 12, 14, 15, 19, 32.

  Northampton, 169.

  Northumberland, 31, 47.

  Norwich, bishop of, _see_ Herbert Losinga.

  Notre-Dame-du-Pré, priory at Émendreville, 57.

  Noyon-sur-Andelle (modern Charleval, Eure), 71, note, 75.

  Nuns of Almenèches, 140, 142, note;
    of La Trinité at Caen, 79-80, 81.

  Ochrida (Macedonia), 99, note, 100.

  Odo, bishop of Bayeux, 16, 18, note, 36, note, 44, 45, 47, 53-55,
      _passim_, 69, 70, 93, 98-99, 153, 165, 214, 215, 223, 224.

  Odo, bishop of Treves, 24.

  Oissel-sur-Seine (Seine-Inférieure), 36.

  Oliver de Fresnay, 143.

  Oliver, one of the ‘twelve peers’ of Charlemagne, 194, note.

  Oman, C. W. C., 245, 246, 248.

  Omont, Henri, 73, note.

  Ordericus Vitalis, 4, 19, 21, 24, 34, 36, 37, 38, 44, 53, 65, 70, 79,
      81, 116, 127, 128, 135, 140, 141, 147, 158, 159, 161, 163, 164, 173,
      205, 206, 208, 225, 232, 233, 236, 237, 239, 240, 245, 246, 247, 248.

  Orne, river, 77, 160.

  Orontes, river, 104, 110.

  Osmond de Gaprée, 70, note.

  Otranto (province of Lecce), 193.

  Pain de Mondoubleau, 70, 223, 225.

  Pain Peverel, 95, 225-226.

  Pain, brother of Guy de Sarcé, 224.

  Palermo (Sicily), 98, 220, 223, 225;
    cathedral of St. Mary at, 99, 225.

  Palestine, _see_ Holy Land.

  Palgrave, Sir Francis, 97, note, 118, note.

  Panados (Thrace), 99, note.

  Papacy, relations with Henry I, 169;
    with Robert Curthose, 82, 153-155.

  Paris, Gaston, 192, 250.

  Paris, Paulin, 196, note, 197, note.

  Pascal II, pope, 152, 153, 154, 171, note, 208, 218.

  Patronage over the bishopric of Le Mans, 72.

  Paula, daughter of Herbert Éveille-Chien, mother of Helias of La
      Flèche, 71.

  Peckham (Kent), 92, note.

  Penarth (Glamorganshire), promontory of, 188, note.

  Pension paid by Henry I to Robert Curthose, 134, 138, 148;
    by William Rufus to Malcolm, king of Scotland, 68.

  Perche, 94;
    counts of, _see_ Geoffrey, Rotrou.

  Persians, 196.

  Peter the Hermit, 101.

  Peter Langtoft, 199, 210.

  Pevensey (Sussex), 47, 49, 50, 52, 130.

  Pfister, Christian, 5, note.

  Philip of Bellême, called the Clerk, fifth son of Roger of Montgomery,
      93, 226.

  Philip I, king of France, 12, 23, 25-29, _passim_, 38, note, 39, 55, 56,
      59, 70, 73, note, 78, 81-87, _passim_, 122, 164, 170, 180.

  Philip II Augustus, king of France, 192, note.

  Philippensium, _see_ Vallis Philippensium.

  Pigeonneau, Henri, 197, note.

  _Pilatenses_, faction at Rouen, 56.

  Pillet, Jean, 29, note.

  Pirates in the English Channel, 52, note;
    in the eastern Mediterranean, 105, 235, 237-238.

  Pisa, archbishop of, _see_ Dagobert.

  Pledge of Normandy to William Rufus for a loan of 10,000 marks, 91,

  Po, river, 96.

  Poem in the Welsh language attributed to Robert Curthose, 187-188.

  Poitou, 90.

  Polynices the Theban, 37.

  Pontarlier (Doubs), 96.

  Ponthieu, 40, note.

  Pontoise (Seine-et-Oise), 85, note, 96, note, 185.

  Pont-Saint-Pierre (Eure), 71, note, 75.

  Popes, _see_ Leo IX, Gregory VII, Urban II, Pascal II, Calixtus II.

  Porchester (Hampshire), 130, note.

  Porte Milet, _see_ Milet.

  Port St. Simeon (Syria), port of Antioch, 231.

  Portsmouth (Hampshire), 130.

  Praetoria, _see_ Yenidjeh.

  Pravista (Macedonia), 99, note.

  Preparations for the Crusade, 92-96.

  Private war in England, 139;
    in Normandy, _see_ Feudal anarchy.

  Prou, Maurice, 26, note.

  Public Record Office, 155, note.

  Quarrel between Bohemond and Raymond over the possession of Antioch,
    between Godfrey and Raymond over possession of the Tower of David at
      Jerusalem, 114-115;
    quarrels between Robert and his father, 16-41.

  Quettehou (Manche), 62, note, 80.

  Raherius _consiliarius infantis_, 6.

  Rainerius de Pomera, 226.

  Ralph of Caen, 193, 208, 209, 218, 219, 222, 228, 232, 233, 234, 239;
    _Gesta Tancredi_, 193, 208, 219.

  Ralph, bishop of Chichester, 59, note.

  Ralph II of Conches (or de Toeny), 22, 43, 58, 60, 70, 78, 140.

  Ralph III of Conches (or de Toeny), son of Ralph II, 145, 146, 156-157.

  Ralph de Diceto, 209.

  Ralph Fitz Anseré, 49, note.

  Ralph Fitz Bernard, 125, note.

  Ralph de Gael, one time earl of Norfolk, crusader, 16, note, 94, 226.

  Ralph of Mortemer, 54, 158.

  Ralph Niger, 199, 209.

  Ralph, abbot of Séez, 144, 150;
    archbishop of Canterbury, 183, note.

  Ralph II, archbishop of Tours, 73, note.

  Ramleh (Palestine), 197, 233.

  Ramsay, J. H., 34, note, 245, 246.

  Ranulf of Bayeux, 174.

  Ranulf Flambard, bishop of Durham, 81, 86, 121, 122, 128, 130, 136, 151,
      152, 153, 177.

  Ranulf Higden, 210.

  Ranulf, abbot of Saint-Vincent of Le Mans, 227.

  Ravendinos, protospatharius of the Greek emperor, 233.

  Raymond of Aguilers, 208, 231-234, _passim_, 237, 238, 239, 241;
    _Historia Francorum qui ceperunt Iherusalem_, 208.

  Raymond of Saint-Gilles, count of Toulouse, 101, 102, 108-119, _passim_,
      198, 231-244, _passim_.

  Rebellion of 1088 against William Rufus, 45-52;
    of Robert Curthose against William the Conqueror, 3, 19-27, 36-40.

  Reconciliation of Robert Curthose and William the Conqueror, 28-30.

  Red King, _see_ William Rufus.

  Red Lion (perhaps Kilij Arslan, sultan of Iconium), 196, 250.

  Regency of Normandy during the absence of William the Conqueror, 13, 15.

  _Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum_, _see_ Davis, H. W. C.

  Reginald of Warenne, brother of William of Warenne, earl of Surrey, 57,
      159, 160, 170, 171, 173, note.

  Rehoboam, 20.

  Reiffenberg, F. A. F. T. Baron de, 196, 210.

  Rémalard (Orne), 22, 23.

  Renaud of Grancey, 144.

  Revolt of the Manceaux against Norman rule, 13-14.

  Rheims, councils at, 5, 182.

  Riant, Paul, 234, 236, 238, 250.

  Richard, son of Fulk of Aunou-le-Faucon, 226.

  Richard, earl of Chester, son of Hugh of Avranches, 158, 201.

  Richard de Courcy, 79.

  Richard son of Herluin, 79.

  Richard the Fearless, duke of Normandy, 185, note.

  Richard le Pèlerin, ministrel, 192, note, 197, note.

  Richard de Redvers, 62, 79, 128.

  Richard, natural son of Robert Curthose, 38.

  Ridwan of Aleppo, 106, 194.

  Riou de Lohéac, 94, 226, 227.

  Rivallonus, archdeacon of Saint-Malo, 227.

  Robert of Arbrissel, 227.

  Robert de Beauchamp, _vicomte_ of Arques, 181.

  Robert of Bellême, son of Roger of Montgomery, 22, 43, 47, 50, 52, 57,
      59, 76, 77, 78, 127, 131, 134, note, 135, note, 139-150, _passim_,
      156, 158, 159, 160, 162, 169, 174, 175, 177, 221, 247, note.

  Robert de Bonebos, 79, 176.

  Robert the Burgundian, 70.

  Robert de Courcy, 141.

  Robert Curthose, _see_ Contents.

  Robert II d’Estouteville, 160, 165.

  Robert III d’Estouteville, son of Robert II, 170, 171, 175.

  Robert, count of Eu, 54.

  Robert Fitz Hamon, 62, 128, 134, note, 158, 159, 165, 166, note, 187.

  Robert I the Frisian, count of Flanders, 24.

  Robert II of Jerusalem, count of Flanders, son of Robert the Frisian,
      93, 98, 101, 105-119, _passim_, 170, 182, 198, 227, 241, 242, 243,
      251, 252.

  Robert Géré (or of Saint-Céneri), 75, 77, 143.

  Robert of Gloucester, chronicler, 210.

  Robert, earl of Gloucester, natural son of Henry I, 186.

  Robert, son of Godwin, 233.

  Robert, son of Hugh of Grandmesnil, 141.

  Robert Malet, 139.

  Robert, count of Meulan, son of Roger of Beaumont, 28, 76, 128, 131,
      140, 145, 148, 153, 156, 158, 162, 163, 174, note.

  Robert the Monk, chronicler, 193, 209.

  Robert de Montfort, 141, 158.

  Robert, count of Mortain, 35, 49, 50.

  Robert Mowbray (or de Montbray), earl of Northumberland, 22, note, 79,

  Robert of Pontefract, son of Ilbert de Lacy, 127, 139.

  Robert Quarrel, 76.

  Robert of Saint-Céneri, _see_ Robert Géré.

  Robert, abbot of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives, 150, 170, 171.

  Robert of Saint-Rémy-des-Landes, 166, note.

  Robert of Torigny, 146, 147, 205, 246.

  Robert the Vicar (_vicarius_), 227.

  Rochester (Kent), 47, 49-52, _passim_, 62, 69, 150, 215;
    church of St. Andrew at, 52, note.

  Rockingham (Northampton), council of, 212.

  Rodley (Rodele), 189, note.

  Rodosto (Thrace), 99, note, 100.

  Roger d’Aubigny, 36, note.

  Roger of Barneville, 93, 227.

  Roger of Beaumont, 13, note, 28, 75.

  Roger de Bienfaite, 22, note.

  Roger Bigot, 128.

  Roger Bursa, duke of Apulia, son of Robert Guiscard, 98, 117.

  Roger of Caux, inhabitant of Laigle, 21.

  Roger of Gloucester, a knight in the service of Henry I, 167.

  Roger, earl of Hereford, 16, note.

  Roger of Ivry, butler of William the Conqueror and warden of the castle
      at Rouen, 21.

  Roger de Lacy, _magister militum_ of Robert of Montgomery and brother
      of Robert of Bellême, 85, 127, 140, 142.

  Roger, bishop of Salisbury, 180, 186.

  Roger du Sap, abbot of Saint-Évroul, 54, 66, note, 81.

  Roger, count of Sicily, 97, 99, 117, 225.

  Roger of Wendover, 210.

  Rohes, _see_ Chocques.

  Röhricht, Reinhold, 209.

  Roland, one of the ‘twelve peers’ of Charlemagne, 194, note.

  _Roman de Rou_, _see_ Wace.

  Rome, 43, note, 97, 152, 155, 169;
    _see_ St. Peter’s.

  Rotrou of Mortagne I, count of Perche, 22, 23.

  Rotrou of Mortagne II, count of Perche, son of Geoffrey II, 94, 143,
      156, 158, 227.

  Rouen (Seine-Inférieure), 21, 28, 39, 42, 43, 44, 53, note, 60, 84, 95,
      152, 160, 164, 170, 171, 177, 180, note, 223, 234, 239;
    insurrection at, 56-58, 62;
    councils at, 81, 90;
    cathedral of St. Mary, 81, 82, 146;
    archbishops of, _see_ William Bonne-Ame, Geoffrey, Hugh of Amiens;
    abbey, _see_ Saint-Ouen;
    priory, _see_ Saint-Gervais.

  Round, J. H., _Calendar of Documents preserved in France illustrative of
      the History of Great Britain and Ireland_, 207.

  Rugia (Syria), 109.

  St. Andrew, church of, _see_ Rochester.

  Saint-Aubin, abbey at Angers, 126, note.

  St. Benedict, 97.

  Saint-Céneri (Orne), 75, 76.

  Saint-Corneille, abbey at Compiègne, 29, note.

  St. Cuthbert, _miracula_ of, 216, note.

  Saint-Denis (Seine), abbey, 192, note, 196, 249-250.

  Saint-Étienne, abbey at Caen, 16, 19, note, 41, 43, 49, note, 150, 228.

  Saint-Évroul (Orne), abbey, 25, 70, note, 142, note, 144, note;
    abbot of, _see_ Mainer.

  Saint-Gervais, priory at Rouen, 40.

  Saint-Gilles (Gard), 235.

  Saint-James (Manche), 79.

  St. John the Divine, 163.

  Saint-Julien, abbey at Tours, 36, note, 74, note, 228.

  Saint-Malo, bishop of, _see_ Judicaël.

  Saint-Martin of Marmoutier, abbey, _see_ Marmoutier.

  Saint-Martin of Troarn, abbey, 229;
    abbot, _see_ Durand.

  St. Mary of Bec, abbey, _see_ Bec.

  St. Mary, cathedral of, at Palermo, _see_ Palermo.

  St. Mary, cathedral of, at Rouen, _see_ Rouen.

  Saint-Maurice (canton of Valais), abbey, 96.

  St. Nicholas, church of, at Bari, 98, note, 226.

  Saint-Nicolas, abbey at Angers, 33, note.

  Saint-Ouen, abbot of, _see_ Hilgot.

  St. Peter, church of, at Antioch, 109, note, 227.

  St. Peter, abbey of, at Gloucester, _see_ Gloucester.

  St. Peter’s church at Rome, 97.

  Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (Calvados), abbey, 150, 154, 171, note, 173, note;
    abbots of, _see_ Fulk, Robert.

  Saint-Pol, count of, _see_ Hugh.

  Saint-Quentin, abbey at Beauvais, 26, note, 27.

  Saint-Saëns (Seine-Inférieure), 75, note.

  Saint-Sauveur of Lohéac (Ille-et-Vilaine), abbey, 226, 227.

  St. Simon of Crépy, 29.

  St. Stephen, church of, at Jerusalem, 112;
    abbey at Caen, _see_ Saint-Étienne.

  Sainte-Suzanne (Mayenne), 35.

  Saint-Valery-sur-Somme (Somme), 54, 130.

  Saint-Vincent, abbey at Le Mans, 70, note, 80, 223, 224, 227, 228;
    abbot, _see_ Ranulf.

  Salisbury (Wiltshire), 52, note, 211;
    bishop of, _see_ Roger.

  Salonica (Macedonia), 99, note, 100.

  Salumbria, _see_ Silivri.

  Samson le Breton, messenger of Queen Matilda, 25.

  Sangarius, river, 102.

  Saracens, 116, 195, 231.

  Scotland, raid of King Malcolm in Northumberland and the Conqueror’s
      retaliation, 31;
    expedition of William Rufus, Robert Curthose, and Henry I against,

  Secqueville-en-Bessin (Calvados), 159.

  Séez, bishopric of, 127, 144, 150, 160, 162;
    bishop of, _see_ Serlo.

  Seine, river, 54, 56, 57, 58, 60, 70, 75.

  Senlac, _see_ Hastings.

  Sepulchre, _see_ Holy Sepulchre.

  Serlo of Bayeux, poet, 166, note.

  Serlo, bishop of Séez, 81, 144, 150, 161, 162.

  Severn Sea (Bristol Channel), 186, 187, 188.

  Shaizar (Syria), 110;
    Munkidhites of, 230.

  Shrewsbury (Shropshire), 139;
    earl of, _see_ Roger of Montgomery, Robert of Bellême.

  Sibyl, daughter of Fulk le Jeune, count of Anjou, 184, 185, note.

  Sibyl of Conversano, duchess of Normandy, wife of Robert Curthose, 123,
      146, 147.

  Sicily, 98, 112, note.

  Siege of Antioch by the crusaders, 104-107;
    by Kerboga of Mosul, 107-108;
    Arka, 110, 111;
    Bayeux (1105), 165;
    Gerberoy, 26;
    Jerusalem, 112-114;
    Laodicea, 117, 242-243;
    Marra, 109;
    Mont-Saint-Michel, 63-65;
    Nicaea, 101-102;
    Pevensey, 49-50;
    Rochester, 51;
    Tinchebray, 171-172.

  Silivri (Thrace), 99, note.

  Sillé-le-Guillaume (Sarthe), 14.

  Simeon of Durham, _Historia Dunelmensis Ecclesiae_, 212, 213, 216;
    _Historia Regum_, 206, 213-216, _passim_.

  Simon de Ludron, 226, 227.

  Simony practised by Robert Curthose, 150-153.

  Skumbi, river, 99, note, 100.

  Soehnée, Frédéric, 5, note.

  Solesmes (Sarthe), 73, note.

  Soliman II, sultan of Iconium, _see_ Kilij Arslan.

  Sorel (Eure-et-Loir), 22.

  Southampton (Hampshire), 87, 148.

  Stained-glass window at Saint-Denis, 196, 249-252.

  Stapleton, Thomas, 4, note, 85, note.

  Stella, 99, note.

  Stenton, F. M., 17, note.

  Stephen, count of Aumale, 54, 58, 93, 118, 158, 228.

  Stephen, count of Blois and Chartres, brother-in-law of Robert Curthose,
      93, 97-101, _passim_, 112, 118, note, 228.

  Stigand de Mézidon, 8.

  Suger, abbot of Saint-Denis, 196, 249, 250, note, 251;
    his stained-glass window at Saint-Denis, 249-252;
    his _Vie de Louis le Gros_, 206.

  Surrey, earldom of William of Warenne, 147.

  ‘Tabarie,’ Saracen king of, 196.

  Tale of the scarlet robe, 201-202.

  Talvas (or Bellême), house of, 70, 76, 77, 139, 141.

  Tancred, nephew of Bohemond, leader of the First Crusade, 102, 104, note,
      109, 110, 113, 115, 116, 117, 235.

  Tarsus (Cilicia), 231, note, 233, note, 235.

  Tassilly (Calvados), 79.

  Tavernier, Wilhelm, 153, note.

  Taxation, _see_ Aid, Danegeld.

  Tetboldus _gramaticus_, 6.

  Thetford, bishop of, _see_ Herbert Losinga.

  Thiel (province of Gelderland), 235, note.

  Thierry, son of Ralph Fitz Ogier, citizen of Caen, 166, note.

  Thomas, son of Ranulf Flambard, 151.

  Thomas de Saint-Jean, 172.

  Thomas Walsingham, 210.

  Thorold, bishop of Bayeux, 153, note.

  Thurstan, archbishop of York, 183, note.

  Thurstin, son of Turgis, _prévot_ of Luc-sur-Mer, 221, 228.

  Tickhill (Yorkshire), fortress, 139.

  Tila, _see_ Thiel.

  Tinchebray (Orne), 39, 55, 135, 138, 171, 172, 200;
    battle of, 136, note, 173-176, 177, 180, 192, 206, 245-248.

  Tirel de Mainières, tutor of William Clito, 181.

  Title of Robert Curthose before his accession to the duchy of Normandy,
      13, note.

  Tokig, son of Wigod, 26.

  Tomb of Robert Curthose in Gloucester cathedral, 189, note.

  Topaz brought from Jerusalem by Robert Curthose, 125, note.

  Torigny (Manche), 166, note.

  Tortosa (Syria), 241, note, 244.

  Toulouse, count of, _see_ Raymond of Saint-Gilles.

  Tournay-sur-Dive (Orne), 162.

  Tours (Indre-et-Loire), 73, note, 90, 228;
    abbey at, _see_ Saint-Julien;
    archbishop, _see_ Ralph II.

  Tower of David, _see_ Jerusalem.

  Tower of London, _see_ London.

  Tracey, Sir Humphrey, of Stanway, 189, note.

  Traianopolis, 99, note.

  Treaty of Alton, 134-136, 137, 138, 141, 148, 157;
    of La Bruère (or of Blanchelande) between William the Conqueror and
      Fulk le Réchin, _see_ La Bruère;
    between Henry I and Robert of Jerusalem, count of Flanders, 155-156;
    between Robert Curthose and William Rufus (1091), 60-61;
    between Robert Curthose and William Rufus (1096), 91-92;
    between William the Conqueror and Geoffrey le Barbu, count of Anjou, 9;
    between William the Conqueror and Herbert II, count of Maine, 7-8.

  Tréport (Seine-Inférieure), 128, 130.

  Treves, bishop of, _see_ Odo.

  Trial of William of Saint-Calais, bishop of Durham, before the _curia
      regis_ (1088), 52, note, 211, 212, 214.

  Troarn, abbey, _see_ Saint-Martin of Troarn.

  Truce between William the Conqueror and Fulk le Réchin, count of Anjou,
      _see_ Castellum Vallium.

  Truman, Thomas, 187.

  Truman Collection, MSS., 187, note.

  Tunbridge (Kent), 49.

  Turcopoles, 235.

  Tweed, river, 67.

  Tyne, river, 31.

  Urban II, pope, 82, 88-91, _passim_, 94-97, _passim_, 108, 223, 224, 228.

  Usama ibn Munkidh, 209.

  Vains (Manche), 43.

  Vallis Philippensium (probably the valley of the Struma), 99, note.

  Vardar, river, 99, note, 100.

  Vendôme (Loir-et-Cher), 90.

  Vernon (Eure), 55.

  _Versus de Viris Illustribus Diocesis Tarvanensis_, 217.

  Vexin, 39, 95, note, 185.

  Via Egnatia, Roman road, 99.

  _Vie de Louis le Gros_, _see_ Suger.

  _Vif gage_, 92, note.

  Vignats (Calvados), 77, 141.

  Vitalis, a hermit, 172.

  Vodena (Macedonia), 99, note.

  Wace, 64, 124, 133, 149, 160, 164, 165-166, note, 190, 195, 209;
    _Roman de Rou_, 205.

  W. Cancell., _see_ Waldric, chancellor of Henry I.

  Waldric, chancellor of Henry I, 169, note, 175.

  Wales, campaign of William Rufus against the Welsh, 66.

  Walter Giffard, 54, 127, 147.

  Walter, abbot of St. Peter’s, Gloucester, 189, note.

  Walter, son of Judicaël de Lohéac, 226, 227.

  Walter of Mantes, count of the Vexin, 8, 9.

  Walter of Saint-Valery, 94, 228.

  War between Robert Curthose and Henry I for the English crown (1101),
    for possession of Normandy (1104-06), 155-179;
    between Robert Curthose and William Rufus for the English crown
      (1088), 47-52;
    for continental possessions (1089-91), 53-60;
    war renewed (1094-95), 83-88.

  Wareham (Dorsetshire), 179.

  Waverley, annals of, 207.

  Welsh, _see_ Wales.

  Wessex, 68.

  Westminister (Middlesex), 121.

  Whitby (Yorkshire), abbey, 95, 229.

  _White Ship_, 184.

  Wigo de Marra, 228.

  William, son of Ansger, wealthy citizen of Rouen, 58.

  William Atheling, son of Henry I, 182, note, 183, 184.

  William Baivel, 79.

  William, son of Ranulf de Briquessart, _vicomte_ of Bayeux, 229.

  William, abbot of Bec, 219.

  William Bertran, 79.

  William Bonne-Ame, archbishop of Rouen, 35, 40, 82, 146, 151, 152,
      181, note.

  William de Braitel, son of Geoffrey the _vicomte_, 224, 228-229.

  William of Breteuil, son of William Fitz Osbern, 22, note, 43, 57, 58,
      70, 71, note, 75, 76, 120, 144, 145.

  William, chamberlain, son of Roger de Candos, 79.

  William Clito, count of Flanders, son of Robert Curthose, 146, 180-186.

  William de Colombières, 229.

  William of Conversano, brother of Duchess Sibyl, 143, 160, 162.

  William Crispin, 175.

  William I the Conqueror, king of England and duke of Normandy, 3-44,
      _passim_, 48, 55, 65-69, _passim_, 75, 76, 79, 90, 112, note, 120,
      135, 155, note, 158, 177, 178, 189, note, 220.

  William II Rufus, king of England and ruler of Normandy, 16, 19, note,
      21, 27, 36, 40, 42, 44, 45, 47, 49-75, _passim_, 78, 81, 83-95,
      _passim_, 120-125, _passim_, 132, 136, note, 140, 144, note, 153,
      note, 156, 170, 206, 211, 213, 215, 216, 225, 228.

  William, count of Évreux, 34, 43, 57, 58, 70, 71, note, 75, 78, 79, 140,
      143, 144, 146, 158.

  William, archdeacon of Évreux, bishop-elect of Lisieux, 151-152.

  William de Ferrières, 175.

  William Giffard, bishop of Winchester, 121.

  William of Grandmesmil, 107, note.

  William of Jumièges, _Gesta Normannorum Ducum_, 205.

  William, brother of Riou de Lohéac, 227.

  William of Malmesbury, 3, 17, 27, 38, 61, 95, 146, 149, 170, 183, 190,
      193, 195, 198, 206, 208, 209, 211, 233, 237.

  William, count of Mortain and earl of Cornwall, 131, 134, note, 157,
      159, 160, 169, 172, 174, 175, 179.

  William de Moulins, 22, note.

  William of Newburgh, 190, note, 209.

  William de Pacy, 152.

  William de Percy, 95, 229.

  William Peverel, 86.

  William of Poitiers, 205.

  William, natural son of Robert Curthose, 38.

  William de Rupierre, 22, note.

  William of Saint-Calais, bishop of Durham, 33, note, 46, 51, note,
      52, note, 59, 65, note, 67, 68, note, 211-216.

  William of Tyre, 218.

  William du Vast, 229.

  William of Warenne I, 55.

  William of Warenne II, earl of Surrey, son of William of Warenne I, 131,
      138, 147, 148, 173, note, 174, note.

  Williams, Edward (known as Iolo Morganwg), Welsh poet, 187, 188, note.

  Winchester (Hampshire), 33, 55, note, 120, 122, 130, 131, note,
      139, note, 144, note, 171, note; annals of, 136, 207.

  Windsor (Berkshire), 136, note, 179.

  Wissant (Pas-de-Calais), 87, 128.

  Writ of Henry I to the shire-moot of Lincolnshire (1101), 129, note.

  Wulf, son of King Harold, 42.

  Yenidjeh (Macedonia), 99, note.

  York, 132;
    archbishop of, _see_ Thurstan.


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