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Henry I And Stephen Notes

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

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Henry I, Stephen and Henry II Tutorial Define the 'civil war' Earl of Chester is independent - against Stephen's 'sell-out' to Scotland
~ Importance of the north Winchester is briefly brought into the conflict
~ Due to family conflict Stephen was an earl new viewpoint
~ Henry had been the younger brother of a king
~ Had seen the earls as problems Stephen confirms the privileges of the church - does not come from a kingly perspective
~ Subscribing to currents such as Gregorian reform Stephen has a different view of kingship Abbeys have scattered estates - can still manage them in Stephen's reign
idea of anarchy

against the

Why do the chroniclers create 'the anarchy'?
~ Propaganda under Henry II
~ Implicit criticism of the papal sanction Wastage - lack of royal control rather than destruction reality 1162 - abandonment of the Danegeld
~ Not functioning 1148 - survey of Winchester
~ Fire in 1141
~ No evidence of this in 1148

not the underlying economic

Henry I - PS26k per year?
~ Henry II - lower income of around PS10k not a fast restoration
~ Only really restored by the late 1160s/early 1170s For about 16 years there is little change For all the rhetoric, the 1st decade of Henry II's reign is very different from Henry I's Henry I Fought a lot in Normandy against Robert creation of institutions Promises to give up new afforestations Only charge lawful reliefs, not unwillingly marrying heiresses etc.
~ Does not keep these promises Southern wrote much on Henry I

Builds up coterie - Orderic talks of him 'making men from the dust
~ Not paid but get patronage
~ Win in the royal courts e.g. heiresses Locks up his own brother for a quarter of a century 18 illegitimate children Henry II Mercenaries are crucial - Henry II is made to pay his off before his reign Henry II is an absentee king - old men continue to rule little restoration?
System of extortion only reappears in the 1160s and 1170s 1166 - Assize of Clarendon
~ Rhetoric of restoration of forest laws
~ Want to inquire into everything over the last 12 years - not actual evidence that this occurs
~ Manifesto that shows the aspirations of government
~ Do not see much information flowing back Distinguish between manifesto and actual response 1170 - Inquest of Sheriffs wholesale change
~ Important watershed
~ New group of people Push into northern England by the end of Henry II's reign - loyal government has not been here since about Norman times Few actual destructions of castles e.g. Scarborough in 1155

warning to others

Movement away from strong government
~ Restoration is not truly visible until the 1170s - has to wait until then to be similar to Henry I 1154-70 not really disrupting people - unlike Henry I Walter Map - Matilda counselled Henry to delay decisions will always isolate people

England under the Angevins Dr Garnett Richard Malebisse - minor tenant-in-chief and a considerable subtenants during the reigns of Henry II, Richard I and John in Yorkshire
~ Was also at various times the keeper of the king's forest and participant in royal justice
~ Conventional example of the way in which tenants-in-chief became embroiled in the increasingly elaborate mechanisms of government under the Angevin kings Debts that Malebisse had to incur in order to secure his land and positions in administration
~ Seen in Henry II's pipe rolls
~ Also used new legal procedures to gain power - many costs
~ Could not afford to pay these massive costs upfront - had to borrow from Jewish moneylenders
~ Christians could not lend money at interest
~ But Jews were prohibited from bequeathing debts to their heirs - debts reverted to the king in the long run a debt to a Jewish moneylender incurred in paying a debt to the king led to further debt to the king 1190 - Third Crusade was proclaimed with the aim of recapturing Jerusalem
~ Preached widely throughout England
~ Always generated anti-semitism as they were seen as the murderers of Christ 1190 - Jews of the city of York sought refuge in the king's castle but it was stormed by a mob with mass butchery
~ Leader of this mob was Richard Malebisse - king's forester and justice Malebisse then led the mob to Yorkminster where there was a chest with all the Jewish debt bonds - was also burnt
~ Conjuratio - sworn association of local landowners sought to achieve liberation for themselves and many others Malebisse - English version of mala bestia (evil beast) Embodies the paradox of the nobility in Angevin England
~ On one hand, were enthusiastic participants in the elaboration of royal government
~ On the other, the resentment which barons had felt since the Conquest at royal exploitation of feudal bonds was compounded under Henry II
~ Government even more money being drawn from them Characterised their principle aim as liberation Sworn association and liberty reveal the extent to which these men had been educated by their participation in government Malebisse was a practitioner of 'forensic violence'
~ Foreshadows Magna Carta Stephen and Henry 1153 - Stephen made Henry his heir and successor by hereditary right

~ Stephen did not even try to maintain his previous pretence that he was Duke of Normandy
~ Implicitly recognised Geoffrey of Anjou's conquering of Normandy in 1144 Stephen was nearly totally removed from royal records 1154 charter - much briefer than Henry I's coronation edict
~ Henry abolished all evil customs which Henry I had abolished
~ Confirmed everything that Henry I had granted 'by his charter'
~ Usually seen as an affirmation of Henry I's coronation edict - could alternatively be seen as a blanket confirmation of any grant that Henry I had ever made
~ Seen to be restoring the times of his grandfather Charter of Henry I would not be contested by Henry II William of Newburgh - Henry II had appointed justices and legal officials to remove the wicked and do justice to the litigants Not everyone could produce a charter - dependent on what could be established as the status quo in Henry I's reign
~ Judges could assess the merits of a case After 19 years, there were not many cases where people had survived to be restored simple fact of mortality
~ Restorations tended to be to their rightful successors - king's room for manoeuvre
~ How does one ascertain this?
~ All sorts of subtle compromises - made them appear to fit his official template of the restoration of the status quo of Henry I's reign Numerous charters of confirmation Detailed rigorous procedures - took time for the king and his justices to work out how to respond to demand Bracton - Henry II and his advisers frequently burnt the night oil devising crafty legal fixes Niger - Henry II, like Henry I, was never sated in his quest for gain
~ Issued new laws every year which he called assizes Glanvill - probably written in the 1180s as the chief justiciar of England First new procedure was the breve de recto - writ of right
~ Writ to the lord of whom a plaintiff claimed to hold - ordered to do right or justice to a plaintiff
~ King's officials were to ensure that this occurred Records from 1194 - plaintiff claimed to be the heir 'in the year and on the day that King Henry had died'
~ Early in John's reign a plaintiff failed because he had not specified the day on which Henry I had been alive - uncertain Tempus guerrae - time of war
~ Contrast with the time of peace under Henry I
~ Anything that had happened at this time was ipso facto illegitimate
~ Similar to Harold II's reign - reference to the last day of Edward the Confessor Hardly any reference to Stephen's reign

~ When he was referred to it was as Henry's usurper rather than predecessor Similar to Henry II's own title to England
~ Disregarded the terms for the settlement of 1153 Close correlation between the right to be done to a claimant to land and the king's own claim to the title of the kingdom Grounding of the king's title shaped claims to land
~ Tenure depended on the king The writ of right required royal intervention in the courts of his barons
~ Barons had to make considered decisions when they accepted a tenant
~ If a claimant's claim fitted the writ of right then they should accept this influenced by the dangers of subsequent royal intervention The other assizes did not require the same regularised intervention in the lord's court
~ Removed them from the lord's court all together - brought before specially commissioned royal justices
~ Appointed on a regular basis to hear cases in the localities Most famous example is the assize of novel disseisin
~ Those who had been unjustly been dispossessed would be restored by royal authority Regularisation of royal intervention was new
~ A plaintiff no longer had to seek out the king in person - unlike the first decade of Henry's reign Much cheaper and much more widely accessible
~ Systematic undermining of whatever autonomy barons had previously enjoyed in their courts
~ Common principles of the king's courts had to be accepted in lord's courts establishment of the common law Novel disseisin - what was novel?
~ Unlike writ of right
~ Wasn't concerned with conflicting claims to title but with providing a quick solution to recent dispossession King's presence or absence from the kingdom was deemed to be important
~ Until Richard I's accession
~ King was important in all matters of tenure In responding to demand, Henry II created procedures which would extend royal government at the expense of baronial autonomy Richard de Lucy played a major part in the coronation charter and the Constitutions of Clarendon which aimed to restore the laws of Henry I The original claim of William the Conqueror determined all the tenure of England and in Henry II's succession it shaped the origins of English common law Strengthened the rights of tenants against the barons
~ Reliefs paid by heirs had by the 1180s become fixed on a standard scale for PS5 for every knight's fee By taking his homage the lord formally invested the heir with the land The most relevant assize here is that of mort d'ancestor

Tenants-in-chief could not benefit from these new procedures e.g. could not take out a writ of right against the king Aggrieved heir of the tenant-in-chief could not have a writ of mort d'ancestor Heirs of tenants-in-chief continued to pay large reliefs and did not have their homage taken when they were received into wardship so had no guarantee that they would receive their inheritance Legal reforms of Henry II's reign transformed the exercise of lordship for every lord apart from the king Henry had widespread continental possessions - increasingly hard to retain in the face of consistent attack by the French kings
~ Drained the resources of England Burden fell even more heavily on the tenants-in-chief because they were prevented from extracting even more in turn from their tenants due to these new procedures Systems of taxation became ever more elaborate
~ New exemptions or liberties that could be sold by the king Richard was only released in 1194 for an enormous ransom Crisis under John
~ Ingenuity played a key part in his downfall 1204 - loss of Normandy and Anjou expensive attempts to recover them Resentment did not take the simple form of rebellion Baronage was not a clearly defined strata - could be subtenants of others They appropriated the historical justification in terms of Henry I and Edward the Confessor
~ Opposition claimed to resurrect these laws
~ February 1215 - John was reduced to demanding renewed homage to himself against the charter of Henry I Magna Carta - attempted to construct a legal framework which would force the king to exercise his powers as lord as the barons had been forced to exercise theirs
~ Ordered the king to order them to wage war on him if he did not keep to the concessions in the charter - would not be breaking the bond of faith would break this bond only if they failed to make war on him Presented themselves not as the commune of a town or a shire but as representatives of the 'commune of the realm'
~ Shows sophistication of Angevin government

Introductory Notes Henry I 1100-35 Charter of Liberties - linked his rule of law to the Anglo-Saxon tradition
~ Formed a basis for subsequent limitations to the rights of English king and presaged Magna Carta Restored the laws of Edward the Confessor Period of peace and prosperity in England and Normandy Judicial and financial reforms Introduced the tally stick which began as a form of record keeping but evolved into a monetary system - began to circulate as a form of money Established the biannual Exchequer to reform the treasury Used itinerant officials to curb the abuses of power at the local and regional level that had been in Rufus's reign praise of monkish chroniclers Differences between English and Norman populations began to break down Made peace with the church after disputes Succeeded in Normandy in 1106 1103-07 investiture controversy Concordat of London Established a system of royal finances that depended upon 3 key institutions - central royal treasury in London, supported by treasuries in key castles, the exchequer that accounted for payments to the treasuries and a team of royal officials called 'the chamber' that followed the king's travels, spending money as necessary and collecting
revenues along the way Stephen 1135-54 Spent treasure Previously centralised royal coinage system was fragmented - Stephen, the Empress and local lords all minted their own coins By 1147 the country had suffered extensively from the war Anglo-Saxon Chronicle - 'there was nothing but disturbance and wickedness and
robbery' Fighting and raiding had caused serious devastation in areas such as Wiltshire, Berkshire, the Thames Valley and East Anglia Numerous 'adulterine' or unauthorised castles - growth of magnate power bases?
Royal forest law had collapsed in large parts of the country Some parts of the country, however, were hardly touched e.g. south-east and Angevin heartlands around Gloucester and Bristol and David I ruled his territories in the north of England effectively Overall income from estates declined seriously, particularly after 1141 Stephen was often in the south-east - increasingly Westminster rather than the older site of Winchester was used as the centre of royal government Barlow - by the late 1140s 'the civil war was over' excluding the occasional outbreak of
fighting Relationship with the church deteriorated badly towards the end of his reign
~ Dispute originated in 1140 when Archbishop Thurstan of York died Walter Map - 'a fine knight but in other respects almost a fool' wrote during Henry II's

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