Thursday, 4 September 2014

Map of Normandy

From Powicke: Loss of Normandy

Cassini Map of Bayeaux 1760

Le Duché et Gouvernement General de Normandie. 1708

North France in 1066

In 1150, Geoffrey made Henry the Duke of Normandy and Louis responded by putting forward King Stephen's son Eustace as the rightful heir to the duchy and launching a military campaign to remove Henry from the province.

Henry's father advised him to come to terms with Louis and peace was made between them in August 1151 after mediation by Bernard of Clairvaux.

Under the settlement Henry did homage to Louis for Normandy, accepting Louis as his feudal lord, and gave him the disputed lands of the Norman Vexin; in return, Louis recognised him as duke

The Duchy of Normandy was originally coterminous with the ecclesiastical province of Rouen.

Jean-François Lemarignier.
Review of
Recherches sur l'hommage en marche et les frontières féodales
By Foreville Raymonde
Revue d'histoire de l'Église de France
Year 1949 Volume 35 Issue 126 pp. 228-230

We know that in Normandy more than in other major strongholds, ducal power emerged very early on in almost all of its territory. This is due to the greater age of the Duchy (set in its own boundaries in the first half of the tenth century); it also retaans its character with a clearly defined border, Norman, because it corresponds to the boundaries of the old pagi which were modeled on ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The Duchy of Normandy coincides with the ecclesiastical province of Rouen, except in some areas such as the shared Méresais (lying between the dioceses of Evreux and Chartres), the latter region constituting the counties of Belleme and Mortagne, which under influences at the end of the twelfth century, the movement was back to the crown. More difficult was the situation in the Vexin, bisected by the political boundary of the Epte, while yet under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Rouen. The conflict and opposition between the duke and the king for possession of the Vexin had its effect on ecclesiastical matters. The archbishop of Rouen was in the gift of the Duke and like all the Norman bishops, he was very loyal, especially where distrust of the king of France was against him. Louis VII, supported by Suger, spread deliberately in the Vexin Francais rumours about the archbishop. And  he had churches transferred to the abbey of Saint-Denis including the privilege of jurisdiction (as in the case of Chaumont) or he turned the representative of the archbishop, his archdeacon into a royal function. into a fiefdom of the crown (as had been done in Pontoise) thereby reconciling the requirements of canon law with the requirements of policy. ..  The Vexin Francais escaped the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Rouen.


There was no automatic connexion or right of inheritance to the Duchy of Normandy by the king of England. True, William I had first been Duke of Normandy, claimed England as his inheritance, and used the wealth of the Duchy of Normandy to effect and win that invasion. After he died he gave the Duchy to  his eldest son, Robert Curthose, and England to his second son, William Rufus.

Robert went on the First Crusade in 1096 leasing Normandy to William Rufus as regent for a mortgage of 10,000 marks to fund his campaign. William Rufus later in 1100, died in a highly suspicious hunting accident in the New Forest: many have argued that he was murdered. Henry Beauclerc [later Henry I], the Conqueror's youngest son, who was present at the time saw his opportunity and seized the throne of England being crowned soon after an d taking over the regency of the Duchy. In 1106 Robert returned from crusading intending to marry a wealthy lady and to pay his brother back for the loan. He tried unsuccessfully to seize England. Afterwards he campaigned against his younger brother in Normandy. Henry defeated Robert's army decisively at the Battle of Tinchebray and claimed the Duchy formally as a possession of the English crown, a situation that was to last for almost a century. Captured after the battle, Robert was imprisoned first in Devizes Castle for twenty years and then later  moved to Cardiff, where he was to die in captivity.



Daniel Power (2004). The Norman Frontier in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries. Cambridge University Press. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-521-57172-2.

Normandy, France and the Anglo-Norman Regnum
Author(s): C. Warren Hollister
Source: Speculum, Vol. 51, No. 2 (Apr., 1976), pp. 202-242
Published by: Medieval Academy of America
Stable URL:

Maurice Powicke (1999). The Loss of Normandy: 1189 - 1204 ; Studies in the History of the Angevin Empire. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-5740-3.

David Bates; Anne Curry (1994). England and Normandy in the Middle Ages. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-85285-083-8.

Sir Francis Palgrave (1851). The History of Normandy and of England: General relations of mediaeval Europe, the Carolovingian Empire, the Danish expeditions in the Gauls, and the establishment of Rollo. Volume I. J.W. Parker.

Sir Francis Palgrave (1857). The History of Normandy and of England: The three first dukes of Normandy: Rollo, Guillaume-Longue-Épée, and Richard-Sans-Peur. The Carlovingian line supplanted by the Capets. 1857. Volume II. Macmillan and Company.

Sir Francis Palgrave (1864). The History of Normandy and of England: Richard-Sans-Peur. Richard Le-Bon. Richard III. Robert Le-Diable. William the Conqueror. 1864. Volume III. J. W. Parker and son.

Francis Palgrave (1864). The History of Normandy and of England: William Rufus, accession of Henry Beauclerc. Volume IV. Parker.

The History of Normandy and of England. Volume IV. CUP Archive. pp. 7–

Ordericus Vitalis; Guizot (François, M.); Léopold Delisle (1853). The ecclesiastical history of England and Normandy. Volume 1. H.G. Bohn.

Orderic Vitalis,; Marjorie Chibnall (3 March 1983). The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis: Volume II: Books III & IV. Clarendon Press. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-0-19-822204-0.



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