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England And Its Rulers M. T. Clanchy Notes

History Notes > History of the British Isles II: 1042-1330 Notes

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England'and'its'Rulers'(106631307)'-'M.'T.'Clanchy (Oxford:)Blackwell)Publishing,)2006) pp.)1A305 England's'Place'in'Medieval'Europe?

Dominated*by*men*from*overseas Norman*dynasty*failed*in*the*male*line*with*the*death*of*Henry*I*in*1135
*
~*Civil*war*between*Stephen*and*Matilda

? Extension*of*power*under*Henry*II*?*'Angevin*Empire'???

*
~*England,*Ireland,*Wales,*Normandy,*Anjou,*Aquitaine*and*Poitou
*
*
~*'Angevin'*implies*an*overlordship*of*Anjou*over*England Richard*I*(1189P99)*led*Christendom*in*a*crusade*against*Saladin Henry*III*hoped*to*construct*a*huge*system*of*alliances Pope*Alexander*IV*in*1255*-*'We*wish*to*exalt*the*royal*family*of*England,*which*we*view*
with*special*affection,*above*the*other*kings*and*princes*of*the*world' Rebellion*of*1258*against*Henry's*Poitevins*and*papal*ambitions*compelled*both*the*
king*and*the*barons*to*recognise*the*separateness*of*England
*
~*The*king*conceded*the*Norman*and*Angevin*lands*to*Louis*IX*of*France*in*1259
*
~*The*barons*formed*their*revolutionary*commune
*
*
~*Even*led*by*a*foreigner*-*Simon*de*Montfort
*
*
*
~*This*rebellion*marked*a*turning*point*in*English*identity Rulers*continued*to*pursue*overseas*ambitions*but*now*as*heads*of*an*English*nation Different*periods
*
~*Normans*-*William*the*Conqueror,*William*Rufus*and*Henry*I
*
~*Angevins*-*Stephen,*Henry*II*and*Richard*I
*
~*Poitevins*-*John*and*Henry*III

England'and'its'conquerors:
? 10th*century*-*created*a*single*kingdom*?*precocious*development*of*a*settled*identity
*
~*Common*identity*in*the*face*of*adversity
*
*
~*e.g.*Wulfstan's*Sermon'of'the'Wolf'to'the'English*-*king's*misfortunes*were*
*
*
due*to*sinfulness*of*the*people*rather*than*shortcomings*of*political*system
? Orderic*Vitalis,*a*monk,*criticised*the*Norman*atrocities*-*they*'did*not*ponder*
contritely*in*their*hearts*that*they*had*conquered*not*by*their*own*strength*but*by*the*
will*of*almighty*God*and*had*subdued*a*people*that*was*greater,*richer*and*older*than*
they*were'
? This*Englishness*emerged*as*a*political*force*in*the*13th*century
? AngloPSaxon*Chronicle*1107*-*'fortyPfirst*of*French*rule*in*this*country'
? Unity*of*the*English*kingdom*at*the*time*of*the*Conquest*shows*antiquity*-*centralised*
government*based*on*imperial*Rome*and*the*Carolingian*empire
*
~*Tendency*of*10th*and*11th*centuries*away*from*royal*centralisation*and*towards*
*
aristocratic*feudalism
? Clergy*were*also*beginning*to*question*royal*power*over*them
? Pope*Gregory*VII*in*1081
*
~*'Who*does*not*know*that*kings*and*dukes*originated*from*those*who,*being*
*
ignorant*of*God,*strove*with*blind*greed*and*insufferable*presumption*to*dominate*
*
their*equals,*that*is*their*fellow*men,*by*pride,*violence,*treachery*and*murder?*

????

*
And*when*they*try*to*force*the*priests*of*the*Lord*to*follow*them,*can*kings*not*
*
best*be*compared*to*him*who*is*the*head*over*all*the*children*of*pride?*The*devil.' 2*most*admired*Englishmen*of*the*12th*century
*
~*William*the*Marshal*-*model*of*the*new*knighthood
*
~*Thomas*Becket*-*martyr*of*the*reformed*clergy
*
*
~*Would*scarcely*have*been*comprehensible*to*an*AngloPSaxon*thane*or*
*
*
*
bishop*a*century*earlier England*was*not*unique*in*experiencing*foreign*conquest*at*this*time
*
~*Italy,*Spain*and*Palestine
*
*
~*Due*to*the*superiority*of*mounted*knights*inspired*by*a*militant*clergy
*
*
~*Seen*to*be*a*rabble*of*robbers*by*the*conquered Yet*the*conquerors*established*strong*and*resilient*forms*of*government
*
~*Dependent*upon*force*but*through*the*disciplines*of*feudalism*and*the*idealism*
*
of*the*reformed*clergy Feudal*values*e.g.*Song'of'Roland
*
~*Gave*knights*a*sense*of*hierarchy*and*loyalty*to*their*lords Clerical*idealism*can*be*seen*in*Pope*Urban*II's*sermons*which*launched*the*1st*Crusade
*
~*Militia*fighting*for*Christ Ideology*and*resources*of*the*Church*were*as*essential*to*lordship*as*the*power*of*the*
knights
*
~*e.g.*King*Stephen*and*Henry*of*Blois*-*was*Bishop*of*Winchester*for*over*40*
*
years Power*and*aspirations*of*lordship,*both*clerical*and*lay,*were*also*manifested*in*
buildings*and*works*of*art
*
~*e.g.*illuminated*manuscripts*-*tribute*to*divine*power

Europe'and'the'world
? Clergy*recorded*deeds*in*chronicles*and*histories
? Much*was*inaccurate*and*fictitious*e.g.*Geoffrey*of*Monmouth's*History'of'the'Kings'of' Britain
*
~*History*of*Arthur
*
~*1191*-*monks*of*Glastonbury*discovered*and*exhumed*the*alleged*bodies*of*
*
Arthur*and*Guinevere Did*not*have*any*knowledge*of*Africa*south*of*the*equator*or*of*America*or*Australasia? Jerusalem*centred*maps*-*world*as*planned*by*God
? The*British*isles*were*seen*to*be*in*the*outer*reaches*of*the*world
? Chronicles*exaggerate*the*prosperity*of*England
*
~*1190s*-*Richard*of*Devizes*describes*a*French*Jew*who*is*persuading*a*fellow*
*
Frenchman*to*go*to*England,*that*land*flowing*with*milk*and*honey*where*no*one*
*
who*strives*to*make*an*honest*living*dies*poor
? Better*climate*e.g.*frequent*descriptions*of*vines England's'destiny
? Although*on*the*outside,*it*was*reputed*to*be*rich*in*both*minerals*and*agricultural*
produce
*
~*e.g.*Eadmer*of*Canterbury*told*a*story*of*how*the*Bishop*of*Benevento*thought*
*
he*could*get*the*best*price*for*a*relic*in*England

? 12th*century*-*kings*of*England*were*reputed*to*be*richer*than*the*Capetian*kings*of*??France
*
~*To*display*this*power*the*Norman*kings*built*on*an*unprecedented*scale
*
*
~*Tower*of*London*1097*-*greatest*stone*keep*in*western*Europe
*
~*Belief*that*English*kings*had*dominant*role*to*play*in*European*politics
*
*
~*e.g.*image*of*Rufus*as*a*conquering*Caesar*-*such*images*were*popular
*
*
*
~*Romanesque*writing*style Geoffrey*of*Monmouth's*history*could*be*the*most*popular*of*medieval*histories*-*talks*
of*England*being*prophesised*to*be*a*2nd*Troy
*
~*Was*even*given*credence*by*intellectuals*-*partly*because*he*told*people*what*
*
they*wanted*to*hear
*
~*London*is*seen*as*older*than*Rome*as*it*was*founded*by*the*Trojan*Brutus Believed*that*they*lived*on*the*edge*of*the*world*and*desired*to*reach*its*centre
*
~*e.g.*Richard*I*-*only*6*months/10*year*reign*in*England
*
*
~*Norman*kings*and*Henry*II*had*spent*less*than*1/2*their*time*in*England Crusade*exactions*were*blamed*on*counsellors*rather*than*the*heroic*Richard John*and*Henry*III*spent*much*more*time*in*England*-*were*being*pushed*out*of*their*
continental*lands Norman*victories*of*the*11th*century*developed*into*a*mythology*of*conquest*in*the*12th*
?*linking*of*English*and*Norman*ambitions

Interpretations'of'English'history
? Conquerors*encouraged*English*unity
? Cannot*maintain*Stubbs'*independence*from*Europe
*
~*England's*rulers*were*influenced*by*movements*of*power*and*ideas*from*
*
overseas*-*would*have*been*felt*even*without*the*Norman*Conquest*and*the*
*
Angevin*kings*?*transmitted*by*scholars*and*clergy*as*much*as*by*knights
*
*
~*Yet*being*conquered*by*aliens*helped*to*accelerate*and*reinforce*change

The'Normans'(106631135)

? Normans*were*particularly*formidable*because*they*were*warlords*operating*in*a*???

Europe*that*was*beginning*to*be*more*settled*and*prosperous
*
~*As*descendants*of*the*Vikings*they*were*the*last*barbarian*invaders Best*monument*to*Norman*military*methods*is*the*Bayeux*Tapestry Normans*were*generally*described*as*Frenchmen*in*England*to*distinguish*them*from*
Northmen
*
~*Were*called*Normans*in*France*itself Norman*coherence*was*essentially*due*to*belief*in*themselves*rather*than*in*genealogy
*
~*Their*greatest*duke*was*generally*known*not*as*the*Conqueror*but*as*William*the*
*
Bastard
*
*
~*Made*war*and*power*all*the*more*important*to*them
*
*
~*Wanted*to*dominate*old*institutions*of*the*Papacy,*the*Byzantine*Empire*
*
*
and*the*AngloPSaxon*kingdom In*contrast*to*their*war,*they*attracted*the*2*greatest*intellectuals*and*churchmen*of*
their*time*-*Lanfranc*and*Anselm*built*up*the*new*monastery*at*Bec*into*one*of*the*
most*famous*schools*in*Europe
*
~*Became*in*succession*archbishops*of*Canterbury Paradox*between*love*of*war*and*advancement*of*religion
*
~*William*of*Malmesbury*-*'by*their*arrival*in*England*they*revived*the*observance*
*
of*religion*which*had*grown*lifeless.*Everywhere*you*see*churches*in*villages*and*
*
monasteries*in*towns*and*cities,*erected*in*a*new*style*of*architecture'
*
*
~*Epitomised*by*Durham*Cathedral Through*their*immense*building*projects,*the*Normans*identified*divine*authority*with*
themselves

The'Norman'Conquest'(1066387)?England*had*experienced*numerous*overseas*invasions
*
~*Ruled*by*the*Danish*dynasty*of*Cnut*1016P42 William's*invasion*was*the*2nd*of*the*year*-*after*Harold*had*been*defeated*at*Stamford*
Bridge William*came*ostensibly*not*as*a*foreign*conqueror*but*as*the*recognised*heir*of*
Edward*the*Confessor
*
~*Not*a*stranger*-*had*introduced*Normans*into*high*places*e.g.*made*Robert*of*
*
Jumieges*bishop*of*London*and*archbishop*of*Canterbury
*
~*William*described*Edward*as*his*kinsman*and*claimed*to*rule*the*'country*of*the*
*
English*by*hereditary*right'

Immediately'after'the'Conquest
? Could*be*surprising*that*the*Battle*of*Hastings*became*so*memorable*-*just*William*
legitimately*removing*a*usurper
*
~*William*of*Malmesbury*-*'that*fatal*day*for*England,*the*sad*destruction*of*our*
*
dear*country'
*
*
~*Due*to*decade*following*coronation*-*Normans*saw*English*to*be*disloyal
*
*
~*AngloPSaxon*Chronicle*-*William*did*not*behave*like*an*English*king*as*he*
*
*
let*his*foreigners*oppress*the*people

? Coronation*did*not*go*well*-*required*new*affirmations*in*different*languages*by*the*????congregation*?*Normans*set*fire*to*London Richard*Fitz*Nigel*in*the*12th*century*-*'What*were*left*of*the*conquered*English*lay*in*
ambush*for*the*suspected*and*hated*race*of*Normans*and*murdered*them*secretly*in*
woods*and*unfrequented*places*as*opportunity*offered'
*
~*e.g.*Robin*Hood
*
~*Normans*responded*with*murder*fines*for*whole*districts*-*crime*of*murder*now*
*
meant*killing*Normans AngloPSaxon*Chronicle*concludes*in*1066*that*Odo*of*Bayeux*and*William*Fitz*Osbern*
'built*castles*far*and*wide*throughout*the*land,*oppressing*the*wretched*people*and*
things*went*continually*from*bad*to*worse' After*1073*William*spent*most*of*his*time*in*Normandy*-*many*wars
*
~*1067P72*had*spent*more*time*in*England*but*primarily*in*order*to*suppress*
*
rebellions
*
*
~*Earliest*in*1067P68*against*Odo*of*Bayeux*in*Kent*and*William*Fitz*Osbern
*
*
~*1068*Exeter*rebelled
*
*
~*1069P70*larger*risings*which*in*retrospect*look*like*a*national*rebellion
*
*
*
~*The*Northumbrians*joined*forces*with*a*Danish*fleet*and*the*Atheling*
*
*
*
Edgar*-*captured*York*where*they*killed*'many*hundreds*of*Frenchmen*
*
*
*
according*to*the*AngloPSaxon*Chronicle 'Harrying*of*the*North'*in*winter*1069
*
~*Wastelands*were*prominent*in*Domesday*Book*15*years*later Continued*rebellion*after*mercy*to*earls*?*more*ruthless*rule*after*1070
*
~*Lanfranc*became*archbishop*of*Canterbury English*was*superseded*by*Latin*as*the*written*language*of*government William's*most*impressive*achievement*was*to*march*up*to*Scotland*as*far*as*Tay*in*
1072*-*compelled*King*Malcolm*to*submit*to*him
*
~*Essential*for*controlling*Northumbria*and*also*helped*Lanfranc's*claims*to*be*
*
primate*of*all*Britain Rebellions*were*later*seen*in*nationalistic*terms
*
~*e.g.*Orderic*Vitalis*described*the*beheading*of*Earl*Waltheof*for*treason*in*1076*
*
as*if*he*were*a*martyr
*
*
~*Later*venerated*as*one
*
*
*
~*Yet*his*father*was*a*Dane*and*he*had*supported*the*Danish*invasion*of*
*
*
*

1069 *
*
*
~*Had*already*been*pardoned*twice Resistance*was*not*necessarily*directed*against*a*Norman*oppressor*but*against*the*
English*king
*
~*Edward*had*had*the*same*rebellions*-*yet*the*way*William*suppressed*them*was*
*
retrospectively*felt*to*be*unPEnglish

Debates'about'the'Conquest
? Debate*at*the*time*-*eulogy*by*William*of*Poitiers*v.*harsh*obituary*given*in*the*AngloP Saxon*Chronicle
? Did*William*have*a*legitimate*claim?
*
~*Normans*avoided*this*by*claiming*right*of*conquest*anyway
*
*
~*Trial*by*ordeal*e.g.*Battle*of*Hastings*showed*God's*will

? Appeals*to*the*supernatural*came*to*be*distrusted*in*the*12th*century*?*human*reason

? Opinions*differ*about*what*made*society*distinctively*English*or*Norman
? If*castles,*feudalism,*bureaucratic*government,*foreigners*in*high*places,*monastic*

reform*and*an*active*urban*life*were*all*characteristics*of*AngloPSaxon*England*then*the*
Normans*cannot*have*been*responsible*for*cataclysmic*change*-*already*features*of*
many*European*states*including*England
*
~*Earlier*significant*change*can*be*argued*to*be*under*Cnut*and*the*Danes
*
~*Or*even*earlier*under*Alfred
*
*
~*Or*later*under*Henry*I,*civil*wars*of*Stephen*and*reorganisation*under*
*
*
Angevin*Henry*II

? Radical*change*-*the*Old*English*aristocracy*were*eliminated?

*
~*Domesday*1086*-*only*2*Englishmen,*Thurkill*of*Arden*and*Colswein*of*Lincoln,*
*
held*tenancies*of*the*1st*order*under*the*king*himself Nearly*all*bishops*and*abbots*were*foreigners*by*1086 Cease*of*the*use*of*the*English*language*in*government*and*religion
*
~*Those*who*persisted*with*English*were*making*a*deliberate*attempt*to*preserve*
*
it*e.g.*AngloPSaxon*Chronicle

? Yet*historians*have*demonstrated*that*the*new*Norman*lords*stepped*into*the*place*of*????

their*predecessors*-*did*not*wish*to*change*everything Did*their*best*to*maintain*and*strengthen*AngloPSaxon*institutions*because*they*had*no*
governmental*ideology*of*their*own*-*basics*remained*unchanged Continued*with*the*English*taxation*and*coinage*systems*-*king*thought*that*they*were*
the*best*in*Europe William*could*use*the*strength*of*royal*administration*to*advance*the*Conquest
*
~*e.g.*regular*meetings*of*county*and*hundred*courts*could*discover*opposition Efficiency*and*continuity*most*shown*in*Domesday*Book*-*asked*how*things*stood*on*
the*day*of*Edward*the*Confessor's*death William's*success*was*due*to*initial*victory*at*Hastings*rather*than*administration
*
~*This*success*can*be*attributed*to*the*luck*of*Harold's*exhaustion
*
*
~*Luck*could*be*divine*judgement Idea*of*judgement*on*the*sinful*AngloPSaxons
*
~*William*of*Malmesbury*-*nobility*had*been*drunken*and*lustful*while*the*clergy*
*
enjoyed*food*and*fancy*vestments D.*C.*Douglas*-*'there*can*be*little*doubt*that*England*was*politically*decadent*in*
1066'*(p.*51)
*
~*Normans*saw*themselves*as*superior Depends*on*view*of*change*-*immediate*in*battle*or*slow*change*over*time

English'feelings'about'the'Normans
? Orderic*Vitalis*-*describes*England*as*being*'subjected'*to*William*and*to*the*foreign*
'robbers'
? Norman*monk*Guitmund*-*told*William*the*Conqueror*to*his*face*that*'the*whole*of*
England*was*like*the*hugest*robbery'
? English*treasures*were*distributed*up*and*down*France
? Different*viewpoints*of*lawful*taxation*v.*theft
*
~*AngloPSaxon*Chronicle*talks*most*of*William's*avarice
*
*
~*Continual*themes*of*arbitrariness*of*taxation*and*injustice

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

~*Yet*the*Chronicle*is*inconsistent*-*criticises*the*collapse*of*law*and*order*in*1086*
yet*praises*William's*harshness*of*law*a*year*later
~*Frequently*talked*of*misfortunes*-*monks*finished*with*an*invocation*to*God
*
~*Alienation*of*the*monks*after*1066*meant*that,*unlike*their*normal*
*
identification*with*the*rulers,*they*came*close*to*a*peasant*or*popular*voice
*
*
~*Unusual*tone*disappears*late*in*the*12th*century*once*Norman*and*
*
*
English*ecclesiastics*had*begun*to*cooperate*-*does*not*reappear*until*
*
*
the*14th*century*with*the*Peasants'*Revolt*and*Piers'Plowman

? A*particular*point*of*resentment*against*William*was*his*introduction*of*the*forest*laws?*
~*Chronicle's*obituary*devoted*its*principal*attention*to*this
*
*
~*Protected*deer*and*wild*boar Both*Cnut*and*Edward*had*maintained*royal*forests*but*strict*regulation*of*areas*like*
the*New*Forest*was*undoubtedly*Norman Forests*were*refuges*of*the*patriots*and*outlaws By*the*end*of*the*12th*century*the*royal*forests*covered*~*1/4*of*England*and*they*can*
therefore*be*seen*as*the*most*important*Norman*innovation
*
~*Gave*the*king*revenue*and*recreation

? Prophecy*from*Edward's*dying*dream*of*the*green*tree*which*symbolised*the*English*??

nation William*of*Malmesbury*1125*-*'We*now*experience*the*truth*of*this*prophecy*as*England*
today*is*made*the*home*of*foreigners*and*the*domain*of*aliens'*?*thought*that*England*
would*never*recover,*the*tree*would*never*grow*back Ailred*of*Rievaulx*in*the*1160s*-*'The*tree*signifies*the*kingdom*of*the*English,*adorned*
in*glory,*fertile*in*riches*and*delights,*excelling*in*the*sublimity*of*royal*dignity'
*
~*Green*top*had*been*restored*by*the*marriage*of*Henry*I*to*Matilda
*
*
~*Had*borne*fruit*in*Henry*II It*seems*that*in*the*latter*1/2*of*the*12th*century*distinctions*between*Normans*and*
English*no*longer*mattered Richard*Fitz*Nigel*-*'nowadays,*when*English*and*Normans*live*together*and*
intermarry,*the*nations*are*so*mixed*that*it*can*scarcely*be*decided*who*is*English*by*
birth*and*who*is*Norman'
*
~*Yet*proviso*that*he*was*speaking*only*of*freemen
*
*
~*Serfs*were*still*a*reminder*that*the*lords*were*essentially*Norman

Names'and'languages
? Difficult*by*Fitz*Nigel's*time*as*freemen*used*nonPEnglish*personal*names*such*as*
'Richard'*and*'Robert'
*
~*e.g.*Winchester*in*1066,*1110,*1148*and*1207
*
*
~*1066*-*29%*property*owners*had*foreign*names
*
*
~*1110*-*62%
*
*
~*1148*-*66%
*
*
~*1207*-*82%
*
~*Canterbury*-*75%*in*the*1160s,*90%*by*1206
*
*
~*Yet*these*were*centres*of*lay*and*secular*government
? Increase*in*foreign*names*in*the*12th*century
? 'William'*became*the*most*common*recorded*name*in*the*12th*century

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