|Part of Angevin war of succession (1199–1204)|
Phillip II's successful invasion of Normandy in 1204
|Kingdom of England (Angevin Empire)|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Casualties and losses|
The Normandy Campaigns[ citation needed ] were wars in Normandy from 1202 to 1204. The Kingdom of England fought the Kingdom of France as well as fighting off rebellions from nobles. Philip II of France conquered the Anglo-Angevin territories in Normandy, resulting in the Siege of Château Gaillard. The Normandy Campaigns ended in a victory for France when the Anglo-Angevin territory was greatly diminished.
After Richard the Lionheart's death on 6 April 1199, there were two potential claimants to the Angevin throne: John, whose claim rested on being the sole surviving son of Henry II, and young Arthur of Brittany, who held a claim as the son of Geoffrey, and hence was Henry II's grandson.Medieval law gave little guidance as to how the competing claims should be decided, with Norman law favouring John and Angevin law favouring Arthur; the matter rapidly became an open conflict. John was supported by the bulk of the English and Norman nobility and was crowned king at Westminster, backed by his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Arthur was supported by the majority of the Breton, Maine and Anjou nobles and received the support of Philip II, who remained committed to breaking up the Angevin territories on the continent. With Arthur's army pressing up the Loire valley towards Angers and Philip's forces moving down the valley toward Tours, John's continental empire was in danger of being cut in two.
Warfare in Normandy at the time was shaped by the defensive potential of castles and the increasing costs of conducting campaigns.The Norman frontiers had limited natural defences but were heavily reinforced with castles, such as Château Gaillard, at strategic points, built and maintained at considerable expense. It was difficult for a commander to advance far into fresh territory without having secured his lines of communication by capturing these fortifications, which slowed the progress of any attack. Armies of the period could be formed from either feudal or mercenary forces. Feudal levies could only be raised for a fixed length of time and proved an inflexible asset; mercenary forces, often called Brabançons after the Duchy of Brabant but actually recruited from across Northern Europe, could provide much greater military agility and operate all year long, but cost much more than equivalent feudal forces.
The new peace, the Treaty of Le Goulet, would only last for two years; war recommenced in the aftermath of John's decision in August 1200 to marry Isabella of Angoulême. In order to remarry, John first needed to abandon Isabel, Countess of Gloucester, his first wife; John accomplished this by arguing that he had failed to get the necessary papal permission to marry Isabel in the first place – as a cousin, John could not have legally wed her without this.It remains unclear why John chose to marry Isabella of Angoulême. Contemporary chroniclers argued that John had fallen deeply in love with Isabella, and John may have been motivated by a sexual desire for an apparently beautiful, if rather young, girl. On the other hand, the Angoumois lands that came with Isabella were strategically vital to John: by marrying Isabella, John was acquiring a key land route between Poitou and Gascony, which significantly strengthened his grip on Aquitaine.
Unfortunately, Isabella had already been engaged to be married to Hugh de Lusignan, an important member of a key Poitou noble family and brother of Raoul de Lusignan, the Count of Eu, who possessed lands along the sensitive eastern Normandy border.Just as John stood to benefit strategically from marrying Isabella, so the marriage threatened the interests of the Lusignans, whose own lands currently provided the key route for royal goods and troops across Aquitaine. Rather than negotiating some form of compensation, John treated Hugh "with contempt"; this resulted in a Lusignan uprising that was promptly crushed by John, who also intervened to suppress Raoul in Normandy.
Although John was the Count of Poitou and therefore the rightful feudal lord over the Lusignans, they could legitimately appeal to John's own feudal lord, Philip, in respect to decisions John took within his French lands.Hugh did exactly this in 1201 and Philip summoned John to attend court in Paris in 1202, citing the Le Goulet treaty to strengthen his case. John was unwilling to weaken his authority in western France in this way. He argued that he need not attend Philip's court because of his special status as the Duke of Normandy, who was exempt by feudal tradition from being called to the French court. Philip argued that he was summoning John not as the Duke of Normandy, but as the Count of Poitou, which carried no such special status. When John still refused to come, Philip declared John in breach of his feudal responsibilities, reassigned all of John's lands that fell under the French crown to Arthur – with the exception of Normandy, which he took back for himself – and began a fresh war against John.
John initially adopted a defensive posture similar to that of 1199: avoiding open battle and carefully defending his key castles.John's operations became more chaotic as the campaign progressed, and Philip began to make steady progress in the east. John became aware in July that Arthur's forces were threatening his mother, Eleanor, at Mirebeau Castle. Accompanied by William de Roches, his seneschal in Anjou, he swung his mercenary army rapidly south to protect her. His turn of speed caught Arthur by surprise and the entire rebel leadership were taken prisoner at the Battle of Mirebeau. With his southern flank weakening, Philip was forced to withdraw in the east and turn south himself to contain John's army.
John's position in France was considerably strengthened by the victory at Mirebeau. The king's treatment of his ally, William de Roches, and his new prisoners quickly undermined these gains. Despite de Roches being a powerful Anjou noble, John largely ignored him, causing considerable offence, whilst the king kept the rebel leaders in such bad conditions that twenty-two of them died.At this time most of the regional nobility were closely linked through kinship, and this behaviour towards their relatives was regarded as unacceptable. In the aftermath of these incidents, William de Roches and other of John's regional allies in Anjou and Brittany deserted him in favour of Philip, and Brittany rose in fresh revolt. John's financial situation was tenuous: once factors such as the comparative military costs of materiel and soldiers were taken into account, Philip enjoyed a considerable, although not overwhelming, advantage of resources over John. In 1202–1203 Philip II maintained an army of 3,307 men on the Norman border. It was composed of 257 knights, 267 mounted sergeants, 80 mounted crossbowmen, 133 foot crossbowmen, 2,000 foot sergeants and 300 mercenaries under Cadoc. This army defended the border and was disbanded after Normandy had been conquered.
Further desertions of John's local allies at the beginning of 1203 steadily reduced John's freedom to manoeuvre in the region.He attempted to convince Pope Innocent III to intervene in the conflict, but the Pope's legate was unsuccessful. As the situation became worse for John, he may have decided to have Arthur killed (though proof is lacking), with the aim of removing his potential rival and of undermining the rebel movement in Brittany. Arthur had initially been imprisoned at Falaise and was then moved to Rouen. After this, Arthur's fate remains uncertain, but modern historians believe he was murdered by John. The annals of Margam Abbey suggest that "John had captured Arthur and kept him alive in prison for some time in the castle of Rouen... when John was drunk he slew Arthur with his own hand and tying a heavy stone to the body cast it into the Seine." Rumours of Arthur's death further reduced support for John across the region. Arthur's sister, Eleanor, who had also been captured at Mirebeau, was kept imprisoned by John for many years, albeit in relatively good conditions.
In late 1203, John attempted to relieve Château Gaillard, which although besieged by Philip was still guarding the eastern flank of Normandy.John attempted a synchronised operation involving land-based and water-borne forces, considered by most historians today to have been imaginative in conception, but overly complex for forces of the period to have carried out successfully. John's relief operation was blocked by Philip's forces, and John turned back to Brittany in an attempt to draw Philip away from eastern Normandy. John successfully devastated much of Brittany, but did not deflect Philip's main thrust into the east of Normandy. Opinions vary amongst historians as to the military skill shown by John during this campaign, with most recent historians arguing that his performance was passable, although not impressive. John's situation began to deteriorate rapidly. The eastern border region of Normandy had been extensively cultivated by Philip and his predecessors for several years, whilst Angevin authority in the south had been undermined by Richard's giving away of various key castles some years before. His use of routier mercenaries in the central regions had rapidly eaten away his remaining support in this area too, which set the stage for a sudden collapse of Angevin power. John retreated back across the Channel in December, sending orders for the establishment of a fresh defensive line to the west of Chateau Gaillard. In March 1204, Gaillard fell. John's mother Eleanor died the following month. This was not just a personal blow for John, but threatened to unravel the widespread Angevin alliances across the far south of France. Philip moved south around the new defensive line and struck upwards at the heart of the Duchy, now facing little resistance. By August, Philip had taken Normandy and advanced south to occupy Anjou and Poitou as well. John's only remaining possession on the Continent was now the Duchy of Aquitaine.
The struggle for Normandy was renewed a decade later. In 1214, when Pope Innocent III assembled an alliance of states against France, John registered in. In the Battle of Bouvines, the allied forces met those of Philip II. The French used couched lances to slay the Anglo-Flemish-German army's troops down to a formation of mercenary units.[ citation needed ]
Following this decisive defeat, John faced unrest in his kingdom, and was forced to sign the Magna Carta to appease the English nobility.[ citation needed ]
John was King of England from 1199 until his death in 1216. He lost the Duchy of Normandy and most of his other French lands to King Philip II of France, resulting in the collapse of the Angevin Empire and contributing to the subsequent growth in power of the French Capetian dynasty during the 13th century. The baronial revolt at the end of John's reign led to the sealing of Magna Carta, a document sometimes considered an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom.
Richard I was King of England from 1189 until his death in 1199. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Aquitaine and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, and Count of Poitiers, Anjou, Maine, and Nantes, and was overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine and seemed unlikely to become king, but all his brothers except the youngest, John, predeceased their father. Richard is known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. The troubadour Bertran de Born also called him Richard Oc-e-Non, possibly from a reputation for terseness.
Year 1202 (MCCII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Julian calendar.
Anjou was a French province straddling the lower Loire River. Its capital was Angers and it was roughly coextensive with the diocese of Angers. Anjou was bordered by Brittany to the west, Maine to the north, Touraine to the east and Poitou to the south. The adjectival form is Angevin, and inhabitants of Anjou are known as Angevins. During the Middle Ages, the County of Anjou, ruled by the Counts of Anjou, was a prominent fief of the French crown.
Geoffrey II was Duke of Brittany and 3rd Earl of Richmond between 1181 and 1186, through his marriage with the heiress Constance. Geoffrey was the fourth of five sons of Henry II, King of England and Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine.
Arthur I was 4th Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany between 1196 and 1203. He was the posthumous son of Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany, and Constance, Duchess of Brittany. His father, Geoffrey, was the son of Henry II, King of England.
The Angevin Empire describes the possessions of the Angevin kings of England who held lands in England and France during the 12th and 13th centuries. Its rulers were Henry II, Richard I (r. 1189–1199), and John (r. 1199–1216). The Angevin Empire is an early example of a composite state.
The Saintonge War was a feudal dynastic conflict that occurred between 1242 and 1243. It opposed Capetian forces supportive of King Louis IX's brother Alphonse, Count of Poitiers and those of Hugh X of Lusignan, Raymond VII of Toulouse and Henry III of England. The latter hoped to regain the Angevin possessions lost during his father's reign. Saintonge is the region around Saintes in the centre-west of France and is the place where most of fighting occurred.
William des Roches was a French knight and crusader who acted as Seneschal of Anjou, of Maine and of Touraine. After serving the Angevin kings of England, in 1202 he changed his loyalty to King Philip II of France and became a leading member of his government.
The Treaty of Le Goulet was signed by Kings John of England and Philip II of France in May 1200. It concerned bringing an end to the war over the Duchy of Normandy and finalising the new borders of what was left of the duchy. The treaty was a victory for Philip in asserting his legal claims to overlordship over John's French lands. A consequence of the treaty was the separation of the Channel Islands from Normandy.
Events from the 1200s in England.
Château de Chinon is a castle located on the bank of the Vienne river in Chinon, France. It was founded by Theobald I, Count of Blois. In the 11th century the castle became the property of the counts of Anjou. In 1156 Henry II of England, a member of the House of Anjou, took the castle from his brother Geoffrey, Count of Nantes, after Geoffrey rebelled for a second time. Henry favoured the Château de Chinon as a residence. Most of the standing structure can be attributed to his reign; he died there in 1189.
The crown lands, crown estate, royal domain or domaine royal of France were the lands, fiefs and rights directly possessed by the kings of France. While the term eventually came to refer to a territorial unit, the royal domain originally referred to the network of "castles, villages and estates, forests, towns, religious houses and bishoprics, and the rights of justice, tolls and taxes" effectively held by the king or under his domination. In terms of territory, before the reign of Henry IV, the domaine royal did not encompass the entirety of the territory of the kingdom of France and for much of the Middle Ages significant portions of the kingdom were the direct possessions of other feudal lords.
Robert of Thornham was an English soldier and administrator. The namesake of his landowner father, he was the younger brother of Stephen of Thornham. Robert made his reputation in connection with the conquest of Cyprus in 1191 during the Third Crusade. On order of King Richard I, he led half the fleet in that battle. Subsequently, he was responsible for controlling the island when the Crusaders moved on, first jointly with Richard de Camville and then independently, when he defeated a group of Cypriot rebels. After he left Cyprus, Robert became more closely identified with Richard I. As the king's familiaris, he carried Richard's equipment from the Holy Land to England. When Richard I was captured in 1192 in Vienna, among the terms of his release was the presentation of men to stand as "pledges" that the ransom would be paid. Robert was among these hostages, though evidently not for long, as he was back by the king's side in 1194 at Poitiers. Appointed Seneschal of Anjou, he served in France with Richard I, primarily in Anjou and Normandy, throughout the rest of Richard's reign. At around the same time, he was also appointed High Sheriff of Surrey, but he did not return to England until after Richard's death. In 1196, he led troops at Richard's behest into Brittany on an unsuccessful attempt to capture the child Duke of Brittany Arthur, whose mother Constance was resistant to Richard's control. In 1197, King Richard arranged for Robert to marry Isabella Fossard, daughter and heiress of the powerful Yorkshire baron William Fossard. The Fossard inheritance included the castle, honor, and lordship of Mulgrave with 34.5 attached knight's fees.
Henry II, also known as Henry Curtmantle, Henry FitzEmpress or Henry Plantagenet, was King of England from 1154 until his death in 1189. He was the first king of the House of Plantagenet. King Louis VII of France made him Duke of Normandy in 1150. Henry became Count of Anjou and Maine upon the death of his father, Count Geoffrey V, in 1151. His marriage in 1152 to Eleanor of Aquitaine, whose marriage to Louis VII had recently been annulled, made him Duke of Aquitaine. He became Count of Nantes by treaty in 1185. Before he was 40 he controlled England, large parts of Wales, the eastern half of Ireland and the western half of France; an area that was later called the Angevin Empire. At various times, Henry also partially controlled Scotland and the Duchy of Brittany.
The Battle of Mirebeau was a battle in 1202 between the House of Lusignan-Breton alliance and the Kingdom of England. King John of England successfully smashed the Lusignan army by surprise.
The Siege of Roche-au-Moine was an engagement of the Anglo-French War (1213-1214). King John of England besieged the castle but had to retreat in the face of King Philip Augustus' son, Prince Louis.
The Angevins were a royal house of French origin that ruled England in the 12th and early 13th centuries; its monarchs were Henry II, Richard I and John. In the 10 years from 1144, two successive counts of Anjou in France, Geoffrey and his son, the future Henry II, won control of a vast assemblage of lands in western Europe that would last for 80 years and would retrospectively be referred to as the Angevin Empire. As a political entity this was structurally different from the preceding Norman and subsequent Plantagenet realms. Geoffrey became Duke of Normandy in 1144 and died in 1151. In 1152 his heir, Henry, added Aquitaine by virtue of his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry also inherited the claim of his mother, Empress Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I, to the English throne, to which he succeeded in 1154 following the death of King Stephen.
The Capetian–Plantagenet rivalry was a series of conflicts and disputes that covered a period of 100 years (1159–1259) during which the House of Capet, rulers of the Kingdom of France, fought the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, to suppress the growing power of the Plantagenet-controlled Angevin Empire. Some historians refer to that series of events as the "First Hundred Years War".
The English invasion of France of 1230 was a military campaign undertaken by Henry III of England in an attempt to reclaim the English throne's rights and inheritance to the territories of France, held prior to 1224. The English did not seek battle with the French, did not invade the Duchy of Normandy and marched south to the County of Poitou. The campaign on the continent ended in a fiasco, Henry made a truce with Louis IX of France and returned to England. The failure of the campaign led to the dismissal of Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent as Justiciar.