|Feudal land tenure in England|
Homage (from Medieval Latin hominaticum, lit. "pertaining to a man") in the Middle Ages was the ceremony in which a feudal tenant or vassal pledged reverence and submission to his feudal lord, receiving in exchange the symbolic title to his new position (investiture). It was a symbolic acknowledgement to the lord that the vassal was, literally, his man (homme). The oath known as "fealty" implied lesser obligations than did "homage". Further, one could swear "fealty" to many different overlords with respect to different land holdings, but "homage" could only be performed to a single liege, as one could not be "his man" (i.e., committed to military service) to more than one "liege lord".
There have been some conflicts about obligations of homage in history. For example, the Angevin monarchs of England were sovereign in England, i.e., they had no duty of homage regarding those holdings; but they were not sovereign regarding their French holdings. Henry II was king of England, but he was merely duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and count of Anjou and Poitou. The Capetian kings in Paris, though weaker militarily than many of their vassals until the reign of King Philip Augustus, claimed a right of homage. The usual oath was therefore modified by Henry to add the qualification "for the lands I hold overseas."The implication was that no "knights service" was owed for the English lands.
After King John of England was forced to surrender Normandy to Philip in 1204, English magnates with holdings on both sides of the Channel were faced with conflict. John still expected to recover his ancestral lands, and those English lords who held lands in Normandy would have to choose sides. Many were forced to abandon their continental holdings. Two of the most powerful magnates, Robert de Beaumont, 4th Earl of Leicester, and William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, negotiated an arrangement with the French king that if John had not recovered Normandy in a year-and-a-day, they would do homage to Philip. At first that seemed to satisfy John, but eventually, as a price for making peace with the French king to keep his lands, Pembroke fell out of favour with John. : 103–104
The conflict between the French monarchs and the Angevin kings of England continued through the 13th century. When Edward I of England was asked to provide military service to Philip III of France in his war with Aragon in 1285, Edward made preparations to provide service from Gascony (but not England – he had not done "homage", and thus owed no service to France for the English lands). Edward's Gascon subjects did not want to go to war with their southern neighbours on behalf of France, and they undoubtedly appealed to Edward that as a sovereign, he owed the French king no service at all. A truce was arranged, however, before Edward had to decide what to do. But when Philip III died, and his son Philip IV ascended the French throne in 1286, Edward dutifully but reluctantly performed "homage" for the sake of peace. In doing so, Edward added yet another qualification – that the duty owed was "according to the terms of the peace made between our ancestors". : 321–323
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 considered an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom.
Philip II, byname Philip Augustus, was King of France from 1180 to 1223. His predecessors had been known as kings of the Franks, but from 1190 onward, Philip became the first French monarch to style himself "King of France". The son of King Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne, he was originally nicknamed Dieudonné (God-given) because he was a first son and born late in his father's life. Philip was given the epithet "Augustus" by the chronicler Rigord for having extended the crown lands of France so remarkably.
An oath of fealty, from the Latin fidelitas (faithfulness), is a pledge of allegiance of one person to another.
A fief was the central element of feudalism. It consisted of heritable property or rights granted by an overlord to a vassal who held it in fealty in return for a form of feudal allegiance and service, usually given by the personal ceremonies of homage and fealty. The fees were often lands or revenue-producing real property held in feudal land tenure: these are typically known as fiefs or fiefdoms. However, not only land but anything of value could be held in fee, including governmental office, rights of exploitation such as hunting or fishing, monopolies in trade, and tax farms.
A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch, in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. While the subordinate party is called a vassal, the dominant party is called a suzerain. While the rights and obligations of a vassal are called vassalage, and the rights and obligations of a suzerain are called suzerainty. The obligations of a vassal often included military support by knights in exchange for certain privileges, usually including land held as a tenant or fief. The term is also applied to similar arrangements in other feudal societies.
The Kingdom of France in the Middle Ages was marked by the fragmentation of the Carolingian Empire and West Francia (843–987); the expansion of royal control by the House of Capet (987–1328), including their struggles with the virtually independent principalities that had developed following the Viking invasions and through the piecemeal dismantling of the Carolingian Empire and the creation and extension of administrative/state control in the 13th century; and the rise of the House of Valois (1328–1589), including the protracted dynastic crisis against the House of Plantagenet and their Angevin Empire, dominated by the Kingdom of England, cumulating in the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453), compounded by the catastrophic Black Death epidemic (1348), which laid the seeds for a more centralized and expanded state in the early modern period and the creation of a sense of French identity.
The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte between King Charles III of West Francia and the Viking leader Rollo. The duchy was named for its inhabitants, the Normans.
The Treaty of Paris was a treaty between Louis IX of France and Henry III of England, agreed to on 4 December 1259, ending 100 years of conflicts between the Capetian and Plantagenet dynasties.
In medieval and early modern Europe, the term tenant-in-chief denoted a person who held his lands under various forms of feudal land tenure directly from the king or territorial prince to whom he did homage, as opposed to holding them from another nobleman or senior member of the clergy. The tenure was one which denoted great honour, but also carried heavy responsibilities. The tenants-in-chief were originally responsible for providing knights and soldiers for the king's feudal army.
The Angevin Empire describes the possessions of the House of Plantagenet during the 12th and 13th centuries, when they ruled over an area covering roughly half of France, all of England, and parts of Ireland and Wales, and had further influence over much of the remaining British Isles. It may be described as an early example of a composite monarchy. The empire was established by Henry II of England, who succeeded his father Geoffrey Plantagenet as Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou. Henry married Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1152, becoming her royal consort, and inherited his mother Empress Matilda's claim to the English throne, succeeding his rival Stephen, in 1154. Although their title of highest rank came from the Kingdom of England, the Plantagenets held court primarily on the continent at Angers in Anjou, and at Chinon in Touraine.
The House of Plantagenet was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The family held the English throne from 1154 to 1485, when Richard III died in battle.
An overlord in the English feudal system was a lord of a manor who had subinfeudated a particular manor, estate or fee, to a tenant. The tenant thenceforth owed to the overlord one of a variety of services, usually military service or serjeanty, depending on which form of tenure the estate was held under. The highest overlord of all, or paramount lord, was the monarch, who due to his ancestor William the Conqueror's personal conquest of the Kingdom of England, owned by inheritance from him all the land in England under allodial title and had no superior overlord, "holding from God and his sword", although certain monarchs, notably King John (1199–1216) purported to grant the Kingdom of England to Pope Innocent III, who would thus have become overlord to English monarchs.
The Treaty of Falaise was a forced written agreement made in December 1174 between the captive William I, King of Scots, and Henry II, King of England.
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.
England in the High Middle Ages includes the history of England between the Norman Conquest in 1066 and the death of King John, considered by some to be the last of the Angevin kings of England, in 1216. A disputed succession and victory at the Battle of Hastings led to the conquest of England by William of Normandy in 1066. This linked the crown of England with possessions in France and brought a new aristocracy to the country that dominated landholding, government and the church. They brought with them the French language and maintained their rule through a system of castles and the introduction of a feudal system of landholding. By the time of William's death in 1087, England formed the largest part of an Anglo-Norman empire, ruled by nobles with landholdings across England, Normandy and Wales. William's sons disputed succession to his lands, with William II emerging as ruler of England and much of Normandy. On his death in 1100 his younger brother claimed the throne as Henry I and defeated his brother Robert to reunite England and Normandy. Henry was a ruthless yet effective king, but after the death of his only male heir William Adelin in the White Ship tragedy, he persuaded his barons to recognise his daughter Matilda as heir. When Henry died in 1135 her cousin Stephen of Blois had himself proclaimed king, leading to a civil war known as The Anarchy. Eventually Stephen recognised Matilda's son Henry as his heir and when Stephen died in 1154, he succeeded as Henry II.
In the feudal system of the European Middle Ages, an ecclesiastical fief, held from the Catholic Church, followed all the laws laid down for temporal fiefs. The suzerain, e.g. bishop, abbot, or other possessor, granted an estate in perpetuity to a person, who thereby became his vassal.
The Hundred Years' War was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of England and France during the Late Middle Ages. It originated from disputed claims to the French throne between the English House of Plantagenet and the French royal House of Valois. Over time, the war grew into a broader power struggle involving factions from across Western Europe, fuelled by emerging nationalism on both sides.
Feudalism as practiced in the Kingdoms of England during the medieval period was a state of human society that organized political and military leadership and force around a stratified formal structure based on land tenure. As a military defense and socio-economic paradigm designed to direct the wealth of the land to the king while it levied military troops to his causes, feudal society was ordered around relationships derived from the holding of land. Such landholdings are termed fiefdoms, traders, fiefs, or fees.
Feudalism in the Holy Roman Empire was a politico-economic system of relationships between liege lords and enfeoffed vassals that formed the basis of the social structure within the Holy Roman Empire during the High Middle Ages. In Germany the system is variously referred to Lehnswesen, Feudalwesen or Benefizialwesen.
Feudal duties were the set of reciprocal financial, military and legal obligations among the warrior nobility in a feudal system. These duties developed in both Europe and Japan with the decentralisation of empire and due to lack of monetary liquidity, as groups of warriors took over the social, political, judicial, and economic spheres of the territory they controlled. While many feudal duties were based upon control of a parcel of land and its productive resources, even landless knights owed feudal duties such as direct military service in their lord's behest. Feudal duties were not uniform over time or across political boundaries. And in their later development also included duties from and to the peasant population, such as abergement.