Places of Contested Power: Conflict and Rebellion in England and France, 830-1150 1783273739, 9781783273737

The direct contestation of power played a crucial role in early medieval politics. Such actions, often expressed through

948 90 15MB

English Pages 408 [402] Year 2020

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD FILE

Polecaj historie

Places of Contested Power: Conflict and Rebellion in England and France, 830-1150
 1783273739, 9781783273737

Citation preview

Places of Contested Power

Places of Contested Power Conflict and Rebellion in England and France, 830–1150

Ryan Lavelle

THE BOYDELL PRESS

© Ryan Lavelle 2020 All Rights Reserved. Except as permitted under current legislation no part of this work may be photocopied, stored in a retrieval system, published, performed in public, adapted, broadcast, transmitted, recorded or reproduced in any form or by any means, without the prior permission of the copyright owner The right of Ryan Lavelle to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 First published 2020 The Boydell Press, Woodbridge ISBN 978-1-78327-373-7 hardcover ISBN 978-1-78744-801-8 ePDF The Boydell Press is an imprint of Boydell & Brewer Ltd PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 3DF, UK and of Boydell & Brewer Inc. 668 Mt Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620-2731, USA website: www.boydellandbrewer.com A catalogue record of this publication is available from the British Library The publisher has no responsibility for the continued existence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Cover image: A twelfth-century depiction of a siege, perhaps of Edom, illustrating Psalm 59 in the Harley Psalter. © The British Library Board: British Library MS Harley 603, fol. 32v.

Dedicated to the rebels of Bodington Hall

Contents List of Illustrations

ix

Preface xiii Chronology xvii List of Abbreviations Introduction: Lairs and Ramparts of Earthly Pride

xxvii 1

1 Reading Conflict: Varieties of Opposition and Rebellion

44

2 Geography, Topography, and Power

81

3 Contesting Authority in ‘Public’ Space

93

4 Expressing and Resisting Lordship: Land, Residence, and Rebellion

137

5 The Wind, Rain and Storm May Enter but the King Cannot: Fortresses and Aristocratic Opposition

177

6 Unrest in the Urbs 213 7 Sacred Places and Profane Actions

246

8 Moving and Acting: Across Landscapes and Badlands to Battlefields

278

Conclusion 324 Select Bibliography

329

Index 351

Illustrations 1

Key locations discussed in the book, along with regions of England and northern France.

3

2

The Rhine-crossing site at Breisach and surrounding locations mentioned in the text.

6

3

View of what is generally accepted as the site of Bobastro, at Mesas de Villaverde, Ardales (Málaga).

10

4

The late-eleventh-century abbey church (since the early twelfth century, the cathedral) of Ely, located at a central point on the fenland Isle of Ely.

13

(i) John Norden’s 1617 map of Rougemont Castle, Exeter, from G. Oliver, A History of the City of Exeter (London, 1861); (ii) The eleventh-century gatehouse to the castle.

100

The hundreds of Berkeley and Langtree as recorded in Domesday Book (1086), showing the position of Beverstone relative to other important places.

104

7

The river valleys of the landscape around the estates of Trosly and Coucy, with the cities of Soissons, Laon, and Reims.

116

8

Staploe Hundred (Cambs.) and surrounding hundreds at the time of the Domesday survey.

122

9

Detail of The East Prospect of the City of Winchester by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck (1736).

126

5

6

10 The Iron Age hillfort of Badbury Rings, Dorset.

132

11 Badbury Rings, Wimborne Minster, and Twinham (Christchurch), and important sites and royal estates in the vicinity.

132

12 Southern slopes of the Laon massif: a view of the old city (i.e. the castrum) in from the south-west.

155

x  ❧   illustrations

13 Vitry-en-Perthois (dép. Marne) in relation to places discussed in the text.

158

14 The family links of Rothilde.

158

15 Lands bequeathed in the late ninth-century will of King Alfred to his nephews, the sons of King Æthelred I.

165

16 The castle and town of Domfront (Orne), shown from an aerial photograph overlaid on a 3D contour map.

194

17 The region around Arques, with seventeenth-century commune boundaries marked.

206

18 The castle of Arques, showing William of Arques’ likely phase of construction.

208

19 Panoramic view (photographic montage) looking eastward from the castle at Arques.

208

20 The positions of the Earl’s Borough (‘Earlsburgh’) and the two post-Conquest castles in York.

220

21 (i) Plan of the enceinte of the tenth-century castrum of Laon, with the contour of the eastern part of the city’s plateau. (ii) Inset: View of the Porte d’Ardon (also known as the Porte Royale), seen from the walls of the city at the south-east.

225

22 Bernard Gauthiez’s hypothetical reconstruction of Rouen at the end of the eleventh century.

237

23 (i) Remains of the Saint-Symphorien chapel in the north-eastern corner of the castle at Domfront. (ii) Inset: a plan of the layout of the castle. 262 24 The city of Canterbury, redrawn after work by Urry, Canterbury under the Angevin Kings. 274 25 The movement of members of the Godwine family on the south coast of England in 1052.

282

26 (i) Main map: Thames crossing point at Cricklade. (ii) Inset plan: the defences at Cricklade.

294

27 The landscape of Val-ès-Dunes, showing roads and late prehistoric trackways known from modern archaeological surveys, as well as places named in the text. 316

illustrations  ❧ xi

28 The boundary of the ninth-century pagus of the Otlinga Saxonia, with surrounding pagi and the probable location of the Val-ès-Dunes battlefield.

318

Illustration sources and acknowledgements Ancient World Mapping Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, http://awmc.unc.edu/awmc/map_data/ (accessed 15 Nov. 2019): Figure 2 Association pour la Restauration du Château de Domfront (ARCD): Figure 23(ii). Stuart Brookes: Figures 6, 8, 11, and 26(i) (hundredal boundary vector files). Copernicus Land Monitoring Service of the European Environment Agency: European Union Digital Elevation Model (EU-DEM), https://land.copernicus.eu/; Figures 2, 7, 8, 11, 13, 17, 25, 26(i), 27, and 28 (topographical data). Oliver Creighton: Figures 4, 5(ii). Eaufrance SANDRE service, Office Internationale de l’Eau – Original data downloaded from http://services.sandre.eaufrance.fr/telechargement/geo/ETH/BDCarthage/ FXX/2014/arcgis/FranceEntiere/COURS_D_EAU_FXX-shp.zip, updated 13 Nov. 2015.): Figures 7, 13, 17, 27, and 28 (riverine data). Bernard Gauthiez: Figure 22. Institut Géographique Nationale ‘Géoportail’ site, https://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/; ©IGN 2019; screenshot imagery reproduced under public licence: Figure 16 (base map). Gaël Léon: Figure 27 (road and trackway data). Ordnance Survey (© Crown copyright and database right 2018): Figures 11 (rivers and Roman roads), 15 (shire boundaries), and 26(i) (riverine data). Regnum Francorum Online website, http://francia.ahlfeldt.se/index.php> (accessed 11 Nov. 2019): Figure 28 (Pagi boundaries). Julian D. Richards: Figure 20. Maria Angeles Utrero: Figure 3. Wikipedia Commons: Public Domain file under Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike 3.0 license. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7f/ John_Norden%27s_1617_plan_of_Rougemont_Castle.png (accessed 3 Nov. 2019): Figure 5(i). Winchester City Council: ©Winchester City Council collections. Provided by Hampshire Cultural Trust: Figure 9. All other images by the author.

Preface Historians are creatures of their environments. We are often told that works of history have as much to reveal about historians’ own times as about the past. As early plans for this book began to take shape, I was therefore struck by the irony of timing as events of the Arab Spring, a manifestation of the reactions to global political change stemming from economic crisis, began to take place, followed by protests and riots in English cities. With the symbolism of demonstrative action in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and the focus of opposition to Muammar Gaddafi manifesting itself in Libya’s second city, Benghazi, the power of place in contemporary politics became very apparent. That power became yet more apparent at a point when the book itself was well underway in 2016 as Britain’s (at least, England and Wales’) relationships with Continental and Insular neighbours were thrown into confusion by a popular vote to leave the European Union, itself in part a reaction to migration in the wake of the tragic consequences of upheaval and repression following the Arab Spring. This book, however, is in part a product of my longstanding desire to be more than an ‘Anglo-Saxonist’ and to draw out cross-Channel links between the AngloCarolingian kingdom of England and its near neighbours; it was not my intention to provide medieval parallels for the modern world. But if readers wish to draw these comparisons, as indeed they are welcome to do, this sort of explanation would probably make some kind of sense. The inspirations I have been conscious of were somewhat more prosaic, stemming from a reading of a couple of episodes of rebellion (or resistance) in the Anglo-Saxon and Norman worlds. The first is the rebellion of Æthelwold, nephew of King Alfred, whose escapades across Wessex have been part of my understanding of Anglo-Saxon England since I borrowed my parents’ Suzuki Samurai jeep and took some southern English journeys in the summer of 1998, at the instigation of my thesis supervisor, Barbara Yorke, who advised me to get out and understand the places relating to the royal estates of AngloSaxon Wessex. Doing so, seeing something of the landscape and places – and of course, getting out and walking – helped me to better fix them in my head, and the story of Æthelwold and his cousin Edward the Elder became

xiv  ❧  preface

very apparent to me on visits to Wimborne and Badbury Rings. Æthelwold has had a slow burn. The book of my thesis on West Saxon royal estates, which I tried to make as exciting as a study of land tenure can be, was published in 2007. Some of my ideas on Æthelwold, which drew on the parallels and contrasts between him and Carolingian and Ottonian rebels, were delivered at a conference at Southampton University held in memory of the late Tim Reuter in 2004 and subsequently published in a dedicatory volume edited by Trish Skinner, Challenging the Boundaries of the Middle Ages (Turnhout, 2009). Points made there are evident in different chapters in this book as I continue to draw out and discuss Æthelwold’s motivations.1 Time has mellowed the extent to which I would consider Æthelwold an open and shut case of rebellion but he remains there, all the same. That sense of the discovery of how important the landscape could be to the political actions in the early Middle Ages is, I hope, evident in these pages. The second episode of political dissatisfaction is that of William of Arques, the uncle of William ‘the Conqueror’. This arose from teaching a Masters option on ducal Normandy, realising that William of Poitiers’ description of the castle held by Count William drew on a political language of place just as Æthelwold did. William of Poitiers’ attempt to dismiss Count William’s cause by reference to it as ‘this lair, this rampart of earthly pride and madness’ drew attention to the importance of that place. Those words, which reflect a place in the landscape which I was able to better understand when I visited Arques in the spring of 2011, determine the shape of the introductory discussion, but also, like Æthelwold, provide a sustained note throughout this book. This book has gone through a number of permutations since I first began working on it in 2010, and I am indebted to Elizabeth McDonald and Caroline Palmer of Boydell & Brewer for seeing this manuscript through to completion. John Arnold, Matthew Bennett, Patrick Geary, Simon MacLean, Katherine Weikert, and Barbara Yorke have read chapters of the book in various states of completion, as have anonymous readers. I am grateful for the comments that they have all provided; even if I have found myself unable to respond to every suggestion, I have tried to consider them all. I have also benefited from additional discussion with Mark Allen, Karl 1 Sections

of my paper, ‘The Politics of Rebellion: The Ætheling Æthelwold and West Saxon Royal Succession, 899–902’, in Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History: The Legacy of Timothy Reuter, ed. P. Skinner (Turnhout, 2009), form the basis of some of the text in sections discussing Æthelwold in chapters 4 and 8. I am grateful to Brepols for permission to reproduce them here.

preface  ❧ xv

Alvestad, Robin Baker, Cathy Capel, Neil Christie, Catherine Clark, Matt Clement, Carey Fleiner, Sarah Fry, Alban Gautier, Mark Hagger, Leonie Hicks, Roger Hills, Rob Houghton, Joanna Huntington, Charlie Insley, Nick Karn, Courtnay Konshuh, Chris Lewis, David McDermott, Sean McGlynn, Gordon McKelvie, Neil Murphy, Rory Naismith, Rebecca Pinner, Mandy Richardson, Simon Roffey, David Rollason, Simon Sandall, Andrew Wareham, and John Watts, as well as my research student Sue Nightingale, whose premature death meant that her pioneering work on central medieval urban communities could not be completed. Some of these discussions arose from presenting parts of this research at several seminars: at the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, at Southampton University, and on two of the University of Winchester’s Medieval and Renaissance research days. A number of people – Stuart Brookes, Jean-Philippe Cormier, Ollie Creighton, Julio Escalona, Bernard Gauthiez, Alban Gautier, Leonie Hicks, Gaël Léon, Julian D. Richards, and Maria Angeles Utrero – were kind enough to help me with access to images and mapping data. Their rapid responses and helpfulness made the completion of the book an easier prospect than it otherwise might have been. I also wish to give my thanks to Glyn Burgess, who kindly granted permission to reproduce the extract from his translation of Wace’s Roman de Rou discussed in chapter 8,2 and to Nicola King for compiling the index. I remain grateful to the staff of the Martial Rose Library, University of Winchester, and particularly the Inter-Library Loans librarian, Dawn Downes, who seemed to relish the challenge of finding obscure books and articles for me. The University of Winchester has been generous in supporting this work, with the funding of research visits to Normandy and Picardy, and support for a semester’s research leave when this book was at an embryonic stage in 2012, and whilst nearing completion in 2019. The University also provided a student research stipend to Lilly Cespedes at an early stage of this research, and her work on cataloguing Norman and tenth-century French royal charters, which she kindly shared with me, was helpful in establishing my own sense of the political geography of France and Normandy. Finally, I wish to express my deep appreciation for the support of my wife, Janine Lavelle, and my parents, Don and Vee Lavelle. I have drawn on their collective patience and understanding at many times during the course of writing this book. It is something for which I will always be grateful.

2 G. S. Burgess, The History of the Norman People: Wace’s Roman de Rou (Woodbridge,

2004).

Chronology While this chronology provides dates of the reigns of rulers in England and France throughout the period considered by this book, it is not a comprehensive list, particularly with regard to the period prior to the mid tenth century in England. It should also be noted that no attempt has been made to catalogue the rulers of various principalities beyond a small number of eleventh-century Norman dukes. Finally, this does not purport to be a comprehensive list of episodes of rebellion and conflict. Events have usually been included below because they are addressed in the book or because they provide some context. 774–814

Reign of Charlemagne in Francia (after 800, as emperor).

786

Cyneheard attempts to seize power in Wessex.

792

Failure of plot by Charlemagne’s son Pippin ‘the Hunchback’ to seize power in Francia.

802

Overthrow of Beorhtric of Wessex by Ecgberht (r. 802–39), whose dynasty was to rule Wessex (and, from the 920s, England) until 1016.

814–40

Reign of Charlemagne’s son Louis the Pious as Frankish Emperor.

817

Revolt of Bernard of Italy ends with Bernard’s capture and death.

827–40

Reign of Wiglaf in Mercia, interrupted in 829–30 by a brief period of West Saxon overlordship.

830

Unsuccessful attempt to seize power by the sons of Louis the Pious.

xviii  ❧   chronology

833

Seizure of power in Francia by the sons of Louis the Pious at the ‘Field of Lies’, resulting in the imprisonment of Louis at Soissons.

838

Death of Pippin I of Aquitaine, leading to claim by his son, Pippin II.

839–58

Reign of Æthelwulf in Wessex.

840–52

Reign of Beorhtwulf in Mercia.

841

Battle between the sons of Louis the Pious at Fontenoy (dép. Yonne), during a civil war arising after the death of Louis the Pious in 840. Stellinga revolt against Louis the German in Saxony.

843

Partition of the Frankish Empire, resulting in the control of West Francia by Charles the Bald (r. 843–77), East Francia by Louis the German (r. 843–76), and the ‘Middle Kingdom’ (Lotharingia) by Lothar (r. 843–55).

848

Capture of Pippin II; Charles orders his imprisonment at Soissons.

852–74

Reign of Burgred in Mercia. His reign ends in 874 with his departure to Rome under Viking pressure.

856

Attempted overthrow of West Saxon king Æthelwulf on his return from West Francia, resulting in a partition of Wessex; Æthelbald becomes ruler over western Wessex.

858

Rebellion of West Frankish nobles against the ‘tyranny’ of Charles the Bald and his son, leading to Louis the German being invited to rule.

859

West Frankish peasants form a coniuratio to defend themselves against Vikings; this is suppressed by Frankish nobles.

860–6

Reign of Æthelbert in Wessex.

864

Death of Pippin II.

866

Vikings seize York, heralding the beginning of their control of the Northumbrian kingdom.

chronology  ❧ xix

866–71

Reign of Æthelred I in Wessex.

871–99

Reign of Alfred ‘the Great’ in Wessex. Alfred’s reign begins during a period of intense Viking activity in Wessex and Mercia.

872

Rebellion against Viking rulers of York.

874–c.879

Reign of Ceolwulf II in Mercia.

876

Battle between Charles the Bald and his nephew Louis the Younger by the River Rhine at Andernach, resulting in an East Frankish victory.

877–9

Reign of Louis ‘the Stammerer’ in West Francia.

878

Battle between Vikings and West Saxons at Edington, Wilts., leading to (mid-880s?) a division of territory and the establishment of what becomes known as the Danelaw and some form of overlordship by Alfred over Mercia.

879

Boso revolts, invoking a Carolingian claim.

879–82

Reign of Louis III in West Francia.

882–4

Reign of Carloman II in West Francia.

884

Charles the Fat (ruler of East Francia since 881) accedes to West Francia, ruling as Frankish emperor until his death in 888.

885–6

Count Odo leads the Frankish defence of Paris during a Viking siege.

888

Count Odo (r. 888–98) is elevated to the kingship of West Francia.

898–922

Reign of Charles ‘the Simple’ in West Francia.

899

Alfred the Great dies, and his nephew Æthelwold attempts to seize power. Edward the Elder accedes to Wessex.

c.911

An agreement is made by Charles the Simple and a Viking leader, Rollo, allowing Viking control of Rouen.

921

Peace negotiation between Charles the Simple and the East Frankish ruler Henry ‘the Fowler’ at Bonn.

xx  ❧  chronology

922

Charles the Simple is deposed, in a seizure of power by the short-lived Robert I. Charles’ wife, Eadgifu and son, Louis, take refuge at the court of their kinsman, Edward the Elder.

923

Battle at Soissons between Charles the Simple and the followers of Robert I; Robert’s forces win but Robert dies. Robert’s son-in-law, the Burgundian duke Raoul (r. 923–36), accedes to the West Frankish kingdom.

924

Edward the Elder dies during a rebellion in Cheshire. Succession of Edward’s sons: first, briefly, Ælfweard (d. 924), then Æthelstan (r. 924–39), whose control of Mercia and subjugation of Northumbria allows the emergence of a viable ‘Kingdom of the English’ in the late 920s/30s.

927

Count Heribert II of Vermandois refuses to attend an assembly at Compiègne, resulting in the king’s refusal to attend a synod under Heribert’s 6-year-old son, Archbishop Hugh of Reims, at Trosly-Loire.

933

Death of Ætheling Edwin, perhaps marking the end of opposition in Winchester to Æthelstan.

934

Æthelstan attempts to subjugate the Scottish kingdom with a land and naval force. Battle fought against Norman rebels in the suburbs of Rouen, at Pré-de-Bataille (c. 934).

936–54

Reign of Louis IV ‘d’Outremer’ in West Francia.

937

Battle between Æthelstan and a Celtic–Viking coalition at Brunanburh.

939–46

Reign of Edmund I in England; with a resurgent York dynasty, Edmund encounters strong opposition in the Danelaw.

942

Edmund seizes the ‘Five Boroughs’ of the Danelaw. Death of Count William ‘Longsword’ of Normandy.

945

Count Bernard of Senlis attacks Compiègne and the royal castellum at Montigny-Lengrain.

946

Death of Edmund I during a brawl at Pucklechurch (Glos.).

chronology  ❧ xxi

946

Hugh, son of Count Heribert II, is deposed as Archbishop of Reims.

946–55

Reign of Eadred in the English kingdom.

947

Erik ‘Bloodaxe’ (r. 947–8 and 952–4) gains the throne in York.

948

Eadred invades and seizes control of Northumbria for a period until Erik regains power in York in 952.

949

Bishop Roricon prevented from entry to Laon after his consecration at Reims.

951

The West Frankish queen mother, Eadgifu, elopes with Heribert ‘the Old’, son of Count Heribert II.

954–86

Reign of Lothar III in West Francia.

955–9

Reign of Eadwig in England (after 957, Wessex alone); Eadwig begins his reign by displacing his grandmother from a number of her estates.

957–75

Reign of Edgar in Mercia and Northumbria; after 959 ruler of ‘all English’.

969

Edgar orders an attack on the Isle of Thanet (Kent), perhaps in response to an attack on merchants from York.

973

An imperial-style coronation ceremony is held for Edgar and his wife, Ælfthryth, after Edgar’s triumphal procession around part of the British coast.

975

Edward ‘the Martyr’ is elevated to English kingship after a period of unrest following Edgar’s death.

978

Lothar seizes Aachen; in response, Otto II enters West Frankish territory, attacking Compiègne and Chelles. Edward ‘the Martyr’ is murdered at Corfe (Dorset).

978–1016

Reign of Æthelred II over English kingdom.

986

Æthelred II orders an attack on Rochester during a dispute with the bishop.

986–7

Reign of Louis V over West Francia.

xxii  ❧  chro nology

987

Hugh ‘Capet’ (r. 987–96), a chief West Frankish magnate, is elevated to the kingship of West Francia.

988

Charles of Lorraine seizes Laon in a bid for the West Frankish throne.

991

Arrival of large Viking fleet in eastern England; a decision is made to pay tribute following a defeat at Maldon (Essex); significant Viking activities are a constant feature for the rest of Æthelred’s reign.

996–1026

Reign of Richard II in Normandy.

996–1031

Reign of Robert II (‘the Pious’) in West Francia/France.

1003

Siege of Auxerre by Robert II.

1013

Swein ‘Forkbeard’ of Denmark (d.1014) is briefly elected to the English throne, during which period Æthelred is in exile in Normandy.

1014–16

Cnut campaigns in England following an invasion from Denmark.

1015

Edmund rebels against his father in a probable attempt to seize power in England.

1016

Brief reign of Edmund II ‘Ironside’ in England; due to the conflict with Cnut, his reign is effectively confined to Wessex alone. In the autumn, peace is made at Olney (Glos.), resulting in the division of the English kingdom.

1016–35

Reign of Cnut ‘the Great’ in England (from 1019 and 1028 he is also ruler of Denmark and Norway respectively).

1017 or 1020 Eadwig ‘king of the ceorls’ is exiled. 1017×26

Conflict between Hugh of Chalon-sur-Saône and Duke Richard II of Normandy arises from the capture of Richard’s son-in-law, Count Reginald of Bourgogne-outre-Saône. The younger Richard (future Richard III) besieges Chalon, leading to the surrender of Hugh and the release of Reginald.

1023

Unrest in London following the translation of the body of the martyed Archbishop Ælfheah.

chronology  ❧ xxiii

1027

Robert ‘the Magnificent’ (r. 1027–35) seizes power as duke of Normandy at Falaise, deposing his brother Richard III (r. 1026–7). Soon afterwards, William de Bellême uses Alençon to make a bid for control of this region bordering Normandy; Robert defeats what is later seen as a rebellion, as well as other actions taken by nobles, such as Bishop Hugh of Bayeux’s fortification of his castle at Ivry.

1031–60

Reign of Henry I in France.

1035–40

Reign of Harald ‘Harefoot’ in England, including a period of nominal co-rule by his half-brother Harthacnut in 1035–7.

1035–87

Reign of Duke William II in Normandy.

1040–2

Reign of Harthacnut in England.

1041

Harthacnut orders Worcestershire to be ravaged following the death of some of his housecarls; Waleran I of Meulan rebels against the French king (c.1041).

1042–66

Reign of Edward ‘the Confessor’ in England.

1044

Queen Emma is imprisoned by her son, Edward.

1047

A battle is fought between Duke William (with King Henry) and his barons at Val-ès-Dunes (dép. Calvados), resulting in William’s declaration of the Truce of God at Caen.

1050

Marriage of William of Normandy to Matilda of Flanders.

1050–2

Crisis in English kingdom between Edward the Confessor and his earls, resulting in a naval showdown on the Thames at London.

c.1051

Sieges by William of Normandy of Alençon and Domfront; siege of Count Guy at Brionne (dép. Eure).

c.1053

Siege and battle at Arques-la-Bataille (dép. Seine-Maritime).

1060

Death of Robert Giroie through poisoning.

1060–1108

Reign of Philip I over France.

1064

Rebellion of Riwallon of Dol (supported by Duke William of Normandy) against Count Conan of Brittany.

xxiv  ❧  chronology

1065

A hunting lodge, subsequently burnt down by Welshmen, is built at Portskewitt (Monmouths.) by Earl Harold of Wessex. Assault on the earl of Northumbria’s manor in York by northern rebels.

1066

Crisis of succession in the English kingdom after the death of Edward the Confessor, leading to battles at York and Hastings (Sussex) and the crowning of William of Normandy (r. 1066–87) as the English king.

1067–71

Rebellions throughout the English kingdom, culminating in William’s ‘Harrying of the North’ in 1069–70 and a siege of English rebels in Ely (Cambs.).

1075

Revolt by a group of Norman, Breton, and English earls, resulting in the failure of the plot and execution of the English Earl Waltheof in 1076.

1079

Battle at Gerberoy (dép. Oise), between Robert ‘Curthose’ and his father.

1083

Abbot Thurstan violently confronts the monks of Glastonbury Abbey.

1087

Oaths are given to William I by the nobles of the English kingdom at Salisbury (Wilts.), probably in the presence of returns from the Domesday survey.

1087–1100

Reign of William II ‘Rufus’ in England.

1087–1106

Reign of Duke Robert ‘Curthose’ in Normandy (interrupted 1096–1100 by Robert’s participation in the First Crusade).

1087×8

Rebellion by the monks of Saint Augustine’s Canterbury.

1088

Rebellion in Kent, led by Bishop Odo, against William Rufus.

1090

Revolt in Rouen between partisans of William Rufus and Robert Curthose.

1100

Surrender of Le Mans to Count Helias of Maine.

1100–35

Reign of Henry I in England and (after 1106) as duke of Normandy.

chronology  ❧ xxv

1101

Treaty made between Henry I and Robert Curthose at Alton (Hants).

1102

Robert de Bellême fortifies Bridgnorth (Salop.) against Henry I.

1106

Battle between Henry I and Robert Curthose with his ally Robert de Bellême, at Tinchebray (dép. Orne), resulting in the capture of Robert and Henry’s takeover of Normandy.

1108–37

Reign of Louis VI (‘the Fat’) in France.

1112

Urban revolt in Laon.

1119

Battle between Henry I and King Louis (allied with Robert Curthose’s son, William Clito) at Brémule (dép. Eure); in Normandy, Henry ousts Eustace from Breteuil (dép. Eure), which is contested by Juliana, the king’s daughter.

1123

Hugh de Montfort orders the holding of Montfort-sur-Risle as part of a plot against Henry I.

1124

A rebel force led by Waleran of Meulan fights Henry’s forces at Bougthéroulde (dép. Eure).

1127

Murder of the Count of Flanders, Charles the Good in Bruges.

1135–54

Reign of Stephen in England and (to 1144) in Normandy; the claim to the crown is contested by Henry’s daughter Matilda. Stephen’s reign soon descends into a period of civil war (the ‘Anarchy’), which reached its height in the 1140s.

1136

Rebellion of Baldwin de Redvers in Exeter.

1137–80

Reign of Louis VII in France.

1138

Battle of the Standard, between English nobles and King David of Scotland, at Northallerton (Yorks.).

1139

Arrest of Bishop Roger of Salisbury, leading to confiscation of castles. The Empress Matilda, wife of Count Geoffrey of Anjou, lands near Arundel (Sussex), making clear her claim to England and Normandy.

xxvi  ❧   chronology

1141

Battle of Lincoln, leading to the capture and imprisonment of King Stephen. Matilda arrives in London, facing opposition from the townspeople.

1145

Geoffrey of Anjou’s seizure of the castle of Arques marks the high point of his conquest of Normandy, which had otherwise been achieved by 1144.

1153

A treaty agreed at Winchester provides a formal end for the civil war in England.

Abbreviations AB

Annales Bertiani, ed. G. Waitz, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 5 (Hannover, 1883); trans. J. L. Nelson, The Annals of St-Bertin (Manchester, 1991)

ANS

Various editors, Proceedings of the Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies 1978 etc. (Wood­bridge, 1979 etc.); cited by volume number and conference year

ASC

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, general eds D. N. Dumville and S. D. Keynes (Cambridge, 9 vols published, 1983–present); The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Revised Translation, trans. D. Whitelock, with D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (London, 1961); cited by MS where versions differ substantially and, unless otherwise noted, corrected annal year

ASE

Anglo-Saxon England [journal]

Asser Asser, Vita Alfredi: Asser’s Life of King Alfred, together with the Annals of Saint Neots Erroneously Ascribed to Asser, ed. W. H. Stevenson (Oxford, 1906); Alfred the Great: Asser’s Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources, trans. S. D. Keynes and M. Lapidge (Harmondsworth, 1983) Astronomer Astronomus, Vita Hludovici Imperatoris, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 64, ed. E. Tremp (Hannover, 1995); Charlemagne and Louis the Pious: Lives by Einhard, Notker, Ermoldus, Thegan, and the Astronomer, trans. T. F. X. Noble (University Park, PA, 2009)

xxviii  ❧   list of abbreviations

Attenborough, F. L. Attenborough (ed.), The Laws of the Earliest English Laws Kings (Cambridge, 1922) Æthelweard, Chronicon

Chronicon Æthelweardi: The Chronicle of Æthelweard, ed. and trans. A. Campbell (London, 1962)

BAR

British Archaeological Reports

Bates, Acta

D. Bates (ed.), Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum: The Acta of William I (1066–1087) (Oxford, 1998)

Bede, HE Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum: Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed. and trans. B. Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford, 1969) DB

Domesday Book: reference to Greater Domesday (i.e. the ‘Exchequer’ manuscript) unless otherwise indicated); cited accord­ing to the relevant Phillimore county edition (J. Morris [general ed.], Chichester, 1975–86) and manuscript folio

EHD 1

English Historical Documents vol. 1: c. 500–1042, ed. D. Whitelock (London, 1955; 2nd edn, 1979)

EHD 2

English Historical Documents vol. 2: 1042–1189, ed. D. C. Douglas and G. W. Greenaway (London, 1953; 2nd edn, 1981)

EHR

English Historical Review

EME

Early Medieval Europe

Fauroux, Recueil

M. Fauroux (ed.), Recueil des actes des ducs de Normandie de 911 à 1066 (Caen, 1961)

Flodoard, Annales Les Annales de Flodoard, publiées d’après les manuscrits avec une introduction et les notes, ed. P. Lauer (Paris, 1905); trans. B. Bachrach and S. Fanning, The ‘Annals’ of Flodoard of Reims, 919–966 (Peterborough, Ontario, 2004) Flodoard, Hist. Rem.

Flodoard: Historia Remensis Ecclesiae, ed. M. Stratman, MGH Scriptores in folio, 36 (Hannover, 1998)

Gesetze

Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, ed. F. Liebermann (Halle, 3 vols, 1903–16)

list of abbreviations  ❧ xxix

Gesta Herwardi

Gesta Herwardi incliti exulis et militis, in Lestorie des Engles solum La Translacion Maistre Geffrei Gaimar, ed. T. D. Hardy and C. T. Martin, RS 92 (London, 2 vols, 1888–9), vol. 1, pp. 339–404; Three Lives of the Last Englishmen, trans. M. J. Swanton, Garland Library of Medieval Literature, 10 (New York, 1984), pp. 45–88

Glaber

Rodulfus Glaber, Historiarum Libri Quinque (‘Five Books of the Histories’), in Rodulfus Glaber Opera, ed. J. France, N. Bulst, and J. Reynolds (Oxford, 1989)

GND

Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis, and Robert of Torigini, ed. E. M. C. van Houts (Oxford, 2 vols, 1992–5); individual authors and modifications to William of Jumièges’ original chapter numbers noted where appropriate

GS

Gesta Stephani, ed. K. R. Potter and trans. R. H. C. Davis (Oxford, 2nd edn, 1976)

GT, Libri Hist.

Gregory of Tours, Libri Historiarum X, MGH Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum, 1.1, ed. B. Krusch and W. Levison (Hannover, 1951); trans. L. Thorpe, Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks (Harmondsworth, 1974)

Guibert, Monodiae Guibert de Nogent, Autobiographie, ed. and trans. [in French] E.-R. Labande (Paris, 1981); English trans. in J. McAlhany and J. Rubenstein, Guibert of Nogent: Monodies and On the Relics of Saints. The Autobiography and a Manifesto of a French Monk from the Time of the Crusades (London, 2011) HSJ

Haskins Society Journal

JMH

Journal of Medieval History

JW, vol. 2

The Chronicle of John of Worcester, Volume II: The Annals from 450–1066, ed. and trans. R. R. Darlington and P. McGurk (Oxford, 1995)

JW, vol. 3

The Chronicle of John of Worcester, Volume III: The Annals from 1067–1140 with the Gloucester Interpolations and the Continuation to 1141, ed. and trans. P. McGurk (Oxford, 1998)

xxx  ❧   list of abbreviations

LCL

Loeb Classical Library

LE

Liber Eliensis, ed. E. O. Blake, Camden Third Series, 92 (London, 1962); trans. J. Fairweather, Liber Eliensis: A History of the Isle of Ely from the Seventh Century to the Twelfth (Woodbridge, 2005)

MGH

Monumenta Germaniae Historia, with references to series (SRG = Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum)

Nithard

Nithardi Historiarum Libri IIII, ed. G. H. Pertz, rev. E. Müller, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 44 (Hannover, 1907); trans. B. W. Scholz with B. Rogers, Carolingian Chronicles: Royal Frankish Annals and Nithard’s Histories (Ann Arbor, MI, 1970)

OE Orosius

The Old English Orosius, in The Old English History of the World: An Anglo-Saxon Rewriting of Orosius, ed. and trans. M. R. Godden, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 44 (Cambridge, MA, 2016)

Orosius, Libri VII Pauli Orosii Historiarum adversum Paganos libri VII, ed. C. F. W. Zangemeister (Leipzig, 1889); trans. A. T. Fear, Orosius, Seven Books of History Against the Pagans (Liverpool, 2010) OV

Orderici Vitalis Historia Æcclesiastica / The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis, ed. and trans. M. Chibnall (Oxford, 6 vols, 1968–80)

PL

Patrologia Latinae, ed. J. L. Migne, 217 vols (Paris, 1841–55)

Regesta

Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum, ed. H. W. C. Davis, R. H. C. Davis, H. A. Cronne, and C. Johnson (Oxford, 4 vols, 1913–60)

Regino

Reginonis abbatis Prumiensis Chronicon cum continuatione Treverensi, ed. F. Kurze, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 50 (Hannover, 1890); trans. S. MacLean, History and Politics in Late Carolingian and Ottonian Europe: The Chronicle of Regino of Prüm and Adalbert of Magdeburg (Manchester, 2009)

list of abbreviations  ❧ xxxi

Richer

Richer of Saint-Rémi, Histories, ed. and trans. J. Lake, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 10–11, 2 vols (Cambridge MA, 2011); cited by book, chapter, modern vol. and page number

RS

Rolls Series

S

P. H. Sawyer (ed.), Anglo-Saxon Charters: An Annotated List and Bibliography, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 8 (London, 1968); revised version ed. S. E. Kelly, R. Rushforth et al., for the Electronic Sawyer: Online Catalogue of Anglo-Saxon Charters website, King’s College London, http://www.esawyer.org.uk

Simeon, HR

Simeon of Durham, Historia Regum, in Symeonis Monachi Opera Omnia, ed. T. Arnold, RS, 75 (London, 2 vols, 1882–5), vol. 2

Suger Suger, Deeds of Louis the Fat: ed. and trans. [in French], H. Wacquet, Vie de Louis VI le Gros (Paris, 1929); trans. R. C. Cusimano and J. Moorhead, Suger: The Deeds of Louis the Fat (Washington, DC, 1992) Thegan Thegan, Vita Hlodowici, ed. E. Tremp, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 64 (Hannover, 1995); trans. T. F. X. Noble, Charlemagne and Louis the Pious: Lives by Einhard, Notker, Ermoldus, Thegan, and the Astronomer (University Park, PA, 2009) Thietmar

Thietmar of Merseburg, Chronicon, ed. R. Holzmann, MGH SRG nova ser., 9 (Berlin, 1935); trans. D. A. Warner, Ottonian Germany: The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg (Manchester, 2001)

VÆdR

Vita Ædwardi Regis: The Life of King Edward who Rests at Westminster, ed. and trans. F. Barlow (Oxford, 2nd edn, 1992)

Wace

Le Roman de Rou de Wace, ed. A. J. Holden, Société des anciens textes français (Paris, 3 vols, 1970–3); trans. G. S. Burgess, The History of the Norman People: Wace’s Roman de Rou (Woodbridge, 2004); cited by Part and line numbers

xxxii  ❧  list of abbreviations

Widukind

Widukind of Corvey, Rerum Gestarum Saxonicarum libri tres, ed. P. Hirsch and H.-E. Lohmann, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 60 (Hannover, 1935); trans. B. S. Bachrach and D. Bachrach, Widukind of Corvey: Deeds of the Saxons (Washington, DC, 2015)

WJ

William of Jumièges (see GND, above)

WM, GRA

William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum: The History of the English Kings, Volume 1, ed. and trans. R. M. Thomson, M. Winterbottom, and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford, 1998)

WM, HN

William of Malmesbury, Historia Novella: The Contemporary History, ed. E. King, trans. K. R. Potter (Oxford, 1998)

WP

William of Poitiers, The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers, ed. and trans. R. H. C. Davis and M. Chibnall (Oxford, 1998)

Introduction Lairs and Ramparts of Earthly Pride It seems that there were numerous groups with an axe to grind in the early and central Middle Ages. Magnates and disinherited members of royal families, minor nobles caught by the winds of change, disaffected bourgeoisie, and irritated peasants alike were rarely backward in making their feelings known. That much is clear and generally well known from the evidence of the period. Although one might look at the ninth through to the twelfth centuries and see peace, contentedness, and compassion in many quarters, this work focuses on conflicts within groups. It is the central thesis of this book that by considering the conflicts in terms of where those axe-grinders declared their sense of discontent or even where those malcontents faced the axe themselves, we can get closer to understanding the motivations behind the conflicts. And if the motivations themselves cannot be deciphered, then it can be useful to look at the ways in which certain places, both specific locations and wider landscapes, were employed to convey a particular meaning to the conflict, as is the case in other studies of ‘contested space’ from the Middle Ages and beyond.1 Furthermore, the use of these sites could add meaning, sometimes more than one meaning, to the sites themselves. 1 Two

works on the notion of ‘contested space’, considering areas and periods somewhat removed from this study are C. Shepardson, Controlling Contested Places: Late Antique Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy (Oakland, CA, 2014) and B. S. A. Yeoh, Contesting Space in Colonial Singapore: Power Relations and the Urban Built Environment (Oxford, 1996). H. Buhaug and S. Gates, ‘The Geography of Civil War’, Journal of Peace Research, 39 (2002), pp. 417–33, is a practical analysis of later twentieth-century civil war, assessing duration and intensity on geographical factors. A late medieval reading of hunting grounds as ‘contested space’ is A. P. Dowling, ‘Landscape, Politics, and Identity: Countess Mahaut of Artois’ Natural Resource Management, ca. 1302–1329’ (Unpublished PhD thesis, University of

2  ❧  pl aces of contested power

In following this line of enquiry, this book endeavours to grapple with the many different forms that political conflict could take and the many problems that arise from considering these forms. It is difficult, for example, to define what is meant by ‘rebellion’, one of my main concerns in the investigation of in-group conflict. The disparity in power between a ‘legitimate’ authority and the party contesting that authority can determine many actions as rebellion; there is some consensus that such actions as those of the northern English nobility in 1069–70 were rebellion. Of course, what determined other actions as ‘rebellion’ is open to debate. Some parties were evenly matched in terms of political and social capital, such as the ‘Leader of the Franks’ (dux francorum), Count Hugh the Great, and his king, Louis IV (936–54) in tenth-century West Francia. Hugh’s actions were ‘rebellious’ in so far as they competed against an acknowledged political authority but the even standing of the Count – son of King Robert I (d. 923) but also a descendant of the super-magnate Robert ‘the Strong’ – and King Louis more rightly defines the conflict between them as ‘Civil War’. This was a type of conflict which had been defined since before the time of Isidore of Seville (c. 560–636) as one step below conflict between legitimate states.2 Early and central medieval authors were conscious of distinguishing between types of conflict in this manner. Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury’s seventh-century definition of public war ‘with [i.e. alongside] the king’ (cum rege) in reference to a particular type of penance implies that other types of conflict were also recognised; furthermore, the eleventh-century Vita Ædwardi Regis referred to a wish to avoid conflict in 1065 because ‘among this people there was horror at what seemed liked civil war’ (in eadem gente horrebat quasi bellum ciuile),3 suggesting that Isidorian classifications persisted. Indeed, in his commentary on the Maccabees, Ælfric of Eynsham noted such distinctions between just and unjust war, adding that war between ceaster-gewarum was California at Santa Barbara, 2014). I am grateful to Mandy Richardson for drawing my attention to the latter work. 2 The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, trans. S. A. Barney, W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, and O. Berghof, with M. Hall (Cambridge, 2006), XVIII.1, p. 359. 3 VÆdR, pp. 80–1. Liber poenitentialis Theodori archiepiscopi Cantuariensis ecclesiae, §§ 3 and 21, in Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, ed. B. Thorpe (London, 2 vols, 1840), vol. 1, pp. 278–9 and 287–9. For the Anglo-Saxon adaptation of Isidore and the notion of ‘public war’, see J. E. Cross, ‘The Ethic of War in Old English’, in England Before the Conquest: Studies in Primary Sources Presented to Dorothy Whitelock, ed. P. Clemoes and K. Hughes (Cambridge, 1971), pp. 269–82.

introduction  ❧ 3

Figure 1. Key locations discussed in the book, along with regions of England and northern France.

‘very dangerous’ (swyðe pleolic), and that between friends ‘is very miserable, and endless sorrow’ (swiðe earmlic and endeleas sorh).4 Many such definitions are determined in part by the hostility or otherwise of contemporary sources. The title of this introduction alludes to the words of one such source, the Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers, which damned 4 Ælfric’s

Lives of the Saints, ed. W. W. Skeat, Early English Text Soc. [original ser.], 76 (London, 2 vols, 1881–1900), vol. 2, pp. 114–15.

4  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Count William of Arques’ mid eleventh-century use of his castle at Arques-laBataille (dép. Seine-Maritime) as ‘this lair, this rampart of earthly pride and madness’.5 Given that William of Arques was the uncle of Duke William II of Normandy, this could have been defined in Isidorian terms as ‘more than civil war’, as the two belligerents were kindred,6 but there is a paradox in William of Poitiers’ text. That a place which was a hideaway could also be a ‘rampart’, a visible place, might be tacitly acknowledged by his use of ‘madness’, dementia, to describe such a rampart. But William, a former ducal chaplain writing from a perspective that emphasised what he saw as the legitimate authority of the object of his devotion, Duke William of Normandy,7 does a disservice to the motivations behind the use of places like Arques by political opponents. Such sites, or indeed other places from fields to castles and cities, could never be places of madness as far as the motivations of those who used them were concerned, and so my adaptation of William of Poitiers’ words is an acknowledgement of this. But at the heart of so many of the conflicts of this book was ‘earthly pride’ – a term which William of Poitiers used to convey intense disapproval, of course, but which helps us to understand the all-too-human motivations that propelled the many conflicts addressed in this book. Although it is sometimes difficult to draw distinctions between types of internal conflict such as rebellion, civil war, and even ‘feud’, it is appropriate to begin with the premise that conflicts within groups have particular characteristics where the members of that group nominally have some form of connection. For one matter, the notion of legitimacy was at play, often from both sides; secondly, such conflicts were, by their nature, ‘open’, in that protagonists had to make some declarative move in order to justify their position. These might be defined as ‘internal conflict’, to distinguish them from the sorts of bella publica – external wars, even ‘state’-driven wars – cited above, which are often the stock-in-trade of military historians. That does not make these internal conflicts ‘insurgency’ (a word, derived from the Latin insurgentes, now much used in terms of modern warfare) nor does it mean to say that the sort of battles which pique the interest of military historians are not always relevant to this study. 5 ‘[E]as

latebras, id munimentum . . . elationis atque dementiae’. WP, I.24, pp. 34–5. Arques is discussed in detail in chapter 5, below, pp. 201–11. 6 Etymologies, trans. Barney et al., p. 359. 7 R. H. C. Davis, ‘William of Poitiers and his History of William the Conqueror’, in The Writing of History in the Middle Ages: Essays Presented to Richard William Southern, ed. R. H. C. Davis and J. M. Wallace-Hadrill (Oxford, 1981), pp. 71–100.

introduction  ❧ 5

Some battles are certainly very relevant, and their strategies and tactics will be of interest in the following chapters, but they are significant here where they are battles between groups with some close relationship. Thus Val-èsDunes (1047) is relevant because of what it says about the defiance of Duke William’s (limited) authority in western Normandy; the battle of Hastings, though in many ways the culmination of the conflict within a royal family, is peripheral to discussion here because it called upon the resources of two distinct polities with forces whose obligations to fight stemmed from political organisation which might, were one so bold, be referred to in terms of statehood.8 The West Saxons’ tenth-century campaigns against Viking forces and their allies in the midlands and north of England do feature in discussion here because at one level they represented the negotiation of power between groups for whom shared elements of identity were being established, albeit not always willingly. The tenth-century poems on the battle of Brunanburh and, less known, on the ‘Five Boroughs’ in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle are redolent with the imagery of the re-imposition of authority upon groups settled in Britain for some time.9 By comparison, although the West Saxon campaign against Vikings in 878 might on one level be seen in terms of ‘rebellion’ against a force which had imposed itself in southern England and taken hold of royal resources, these ninth-century campaigns against Viking armies are more difficult to define as rebellion or civil war because they stemmed from external invasions which had taken place so recently. Although internal conflict itself is a subject of study and is often linked to such spatial politics as the establishment of Anglo-Norman castles,10 the geographical aspects of conflicts within groups are less often appreciated by the historians who look at ‘late western Carolingian’ and, later, ‘Anglo-Norman’ 8  The

notion of early medieval statehood is considered in papers in Der Frühmittelalterliche Staat – Europäische Perspektiven, ed. W. Pohl and V. Wieser (Vienna, 2009). I discuss the link between ‘state’ and warfare in Alfred’s Wars: Sources and Interpretations of Anglo-Saxon Warfare in the Viking Age (Woodbridge, 2010), particularly in the conclusion, pp. 335–8. 9 For connections between Brunanburh and the ‘Five Boroughs’ poems, and West Saxon legitimation, see D. Scragg, ‘A Reading of Brunanburh’, in Unlocking the Wordhoard: Anglo-Saxon Studies in Memory of Edward B. Irving Jr, ed. M. C. Amodio and K. O’Brien O’Keeffe (Toronto, 2003), pp. 109–22. 10 Two important studies are S. Prior, A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War (Stroud, 2006) and O. H. Creighton and D. Wright, with M. Fradley and S. Trick, The Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict (Liverpool, 2016).

6  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Figure 2. The Rhine-crossing site at Breisach and surrounding locations mentioned in the text. Roman roads are marked on the map, though it has not been possible to determine here which roads were still in use in the ninth and tenth centuries.

zones of influence. This may be apparent by taking a brief glance outside the core region of this book’s focus, where the historiographical traditions of recognising the geographical ‘meaning’ of contested places are well established. The study of political developments in eastern Francia and beyond, in the region that is now Germany, is well-supplied with sources which make conscious links between place and political action, issues which are noted by both primary sources and their modern historical commentators. Karl Leyser noted that Widukind of Corvey wrote of the departure of Liudolf, duke of Swabia, from the wedding celebrations of his father to stay in Saalfeld in Thuringia: ‘in the dark place of counsels’ (in loco consiliis funesto). Saalfeld had presumably received this dubious distinction by being the site of rebellion by Otto I’s brother, Henry, in 939.11 In another tenth-century case, Gerd 11 Widukind

III.9, p. 109 (trans. p. 104) and, for reference to 939, II.15 (trans. p. 76). My translation of III.9 is a slight modification of that of K. Leyser, ‘Ritual, Ceremony and Gesture: Ottonian Germany’, in his Communications and Power in Medieval Europe: The Carolingian and Ottonian Centuries, ed. T. Reuter (London,

introduction  ❧ 7

Althoff, whose paper on Breisach-am-Rhein (Baden-Württemberg) asked whether it was ‘ein Refugium für Rebellen’,12 cited a number of appearances of this important Rhine-crossing point (see Figure 2) in tenth- and eleventhcentury sources. One of the most significant was a description of the fortress of Breisach by the mid tenth-century author Adalbert of Magdeberg in the 953 entry of his continuation of Regino of Prüm’s Chronicle, as ‘always a refuge [latibulum] for those who rebel against king and God’.13 In 953, an archbishop, Frederick of Mainz, had sided with the rebels, but his archiepiscopal standing evidently did not protect Breisach – or Frederick himself – from judgement; Adalbert’s reading of Breisach’s constant role in rebellion seems to be based on actions taken by Eberhard, the son of Duke Arnulf of Bavaria in 939, in which the ‘many heroic and warlike deeds [which] were done [in Otto’s attempted recovery of Breisach] by both sides will not be forgotten by the future succession of generations’ (quam plura utrimque fortia et bellica gesta sint, futura posterorum successio non ignorabit).14 Nonetheless, it is perhaps diagnostic of the power of location that Breisach later played a role in rebellions, in 984, and, Althoff deduces, 1002.15 Evidently landscape 1994), pp. 189–213, at p. 201, who reads it as the ‘place of dark counsels’. See also S. Airlie, Review of J. L. Nelson, Rulers and Ruling Families in Early Medieval Europe: Alfred, Charles the Bald, and Others (Aldershot, 1999), Reviews in History Review no. 150 (2000), http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/150 (accessed 24 Jun. 2019). 12 G. Althoff, ‘Breisach – ein Refugium für Rebellen im früheren Mittelalter?’ in Archäologie und Geschichte des ersten Jahrtausends in Südwestdeutschland, ed. H. U. Nuber et al. (Ostfildern, 1990), pp. 457–71. This is discussed in English by Jinty Nelson in her response to Airlie’s review of her work, http://www.history.ac.uk/ reviews/review/150/response (accessed 24 Jun. 2019). 13 ‘[L]atibulum semper Deo regique rebellantium’. Adalbert, Continuatio, in Regino, s.a. 953, p. 167 (trans. p. 255). Althoff, ‘Breisach – ein Refugium für Rebellen im früheren Mittelalter?’, p. 461, 14 Adalbert, Continuatio, s.a. 939, in Regino, p. 160 (trans. p. 244). The actions at Breisach are also recorded in Widukind, II.24 (trans. p. 84) and by Liudprand of Cremona, Antipodosis IV.27, in Liudprandi Cremonensis Opera Omnia, ed. P. Chiesa, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis, 156 (Turnhout, 1998), pp. 115– 16; trans. P. Squatriti, The Complete Works of Liudprand of Cremona (Washington, DC, 2007), pp. 161–2 (the latter’s account of Breisach in 939 mirrors Adalbert’s melodramatic portrayal of the site in 952). 15 Althoff, ‘Breisach—ein Refugium für Rebellen im früheren Mittelalter?’, pp. 462–5. The rebellion of 984 is recorded (though not specifically located) in Richer, III.98, vol. 2, pp. 168–71, and is named in a letter of Archbishop Adalbero of Reims to Bishop

8  ❧  pl aces of contested power

and places within the landscape counted for something tangible which could be invoked by participants in political actions, and it was recognised by those who wrote about them. Such recognition of the power of place is apparent in the record of the rebellion against Louis the Pious by his sons a century earlier, in 833, in magnum campum between Basel and Strasbourg. The rebellion saw the stepby-step process of groups going away from allegiance to the emperor to his son (also called emperor), resulting in the conscious remembrance of the site, ‘which to this day is called the Field of Lies’ (qui usque hodie nominatur Campus Mendacii).16 Admittedly, without the help of other sources, Thegan alone would not allow us to place that infamous field with more certainty than just some unknown spot along an approximately 120-km stretch of the Rhine, but such imprecision may well have figured in his record of the event. Strasbourg and its environs could hardly have been outside Thegan’s worldview as a suffragan bishop of Trier, but by a broad and arguably deliberately ambiguous reference to its location – perhaps because it was outside the territory of the archdiocese of Trier – Thegan may have attempted to damn its remembrance to its infamous title alone.17 Alternatively, by linking events with Strasbourg, Thegan may have wanted his audience to make an association with a battle there against the Alemanni in 357, which saw a confederation of hot-headed barbarians collapse in the face of the cool-headed assertion of legitimacy by a Roman emperor.18 Such textual allusions were Notker of Lüttich: MGH Briefe der deutschen Kaiserzeit, 2, ed. F. Wegle (Berlin, 1966), no. 39, p. 67. The rebellion of 1002 is recorded in Thietmar V.12, p. 234 (trans. pp. 213–14). Breisach is deduced as the meeting site in 1002 through the context of the ducal seizure of Breisach from the bishops of Strasbourg and Basel in 1002, related in Thietmar V.21, p. 247 (trans. pp. 219–20) (cited by Althoff at p. 464). 16 Thegan, ch. 42, p. 228 (trans. p. 210). 17 The Astronomer is similarly reticent, observing that ‘the place which – from what happened there – has been branded with a name of perpetual infamy, the “Field of Lies”’ (in locum, qui ab eo, quod ibi gestum est, perpetua est ignominia nominis, notatus, ut vocetur Campus-Mentitus); Astronomer, ch. 48, p. 474 (trans. p. 280). However, in not providing a reference point and assuming the reader’s knowledge of the site, Louis’ later ‘other’ biographer is, conversely, more precise. Cf. Angelbert on the battle of Fontenoy, whose wish to expunge the day on which the battle took place from the calendar did not extend to the erasure of the memory of the place: P. Godman (ed.), Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance (London,1985), pp. 264–5. 18 Ammianus Marcellinus, History, Books 14–19, ed. and trans. J. C. Rolfe, LCL, 300 (Cambridge, MA, 1950), XVI.12, pp. 264–303. On the employment of stereotypes

introduction  ❧ 9

not unknown in the Carolingian West, and while this is unlikely to have been Thegan’s only aim, the ready availability of Ammianus’ account in the ninth century certainly makes it likely that he and his audience would have noted the parallel.19 What may be more telling is the fact that Thegan’s ambiguous geographical reference bears comparison with how the same episode appears in another contemporary reference, the Annals of St-Bertin, as the Rotfeld (‘Red Field’, perhaps an allusion to the ferrous soil of the Alsace plain). The ninth-century Saint-Omer manuscript of the Annals contains a marginal note linking the site to the ‘Field of Lies’, and clarifying its position as near Colmar (dép. Haut-Rhin). Colmar’s proximity (less than 6 miles/ 10 km) to Breisach cannot have been coincidental;20 it may indicate a likelihood that Thegan had been deliberately ambiguous. Although obviously the upheavals discussed above which became associated with Breisach then lay in the future, Breisach was the only medieval crossing point of the Rhine between Basel and Strasbourg, as Althoff has observed.21 While a contemporary reader familiar with Rhineland geography would have been aware of that fact, in the case of the Annals of St-Bertin the need for a more distant reader in this Pas-de-Calais monastery to link the Rotfeld with a place in the historical memory could have become more pressing once the memory of the Rotfeld itself began to fade.22 The locational record of a ‘Field of Lies’ may not be as strong an indication as Adalbert’s take on Breisach but it was nonetheless an indication that location played a role in the act of rebellion. A conscious memory – or lack of memory – of that place was presumably a part of this (and we might

by Ammianus, see G. Halsall, Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376–568 (Cambridge, 2007), p. 146. See below, p. 75, for further comment on cool-headed Romans versus emotional barbarian rebels in Roman sources. 19 On Ammianus and his readers, see R. McKitterick, History and Memory in the Carolingian World (Cambridge, 2004), pp. 40–2. 20 AB 833, p. 6 (trans. p. 26, with note by Nelson at n. 1). 21 Althoff, ‘Breisach – ein Refugium für Rebellen im früheren Mittelalter?’, p. 457. Althoff does not comment on the possible link between Breisach and the events of 833, confining his paper to the period after the ninth century. See above, n. 16, for the axis between Strasbourg, Breisach, and Basel, recorded in Thietmar, V.21. 22 For a discussion of conflicting name memories see P. Morgan, ‘The Naming of Battlefields in the Middle Ages’, in War and Society in Medieval and Early Modern Britain, ed. D. Dunn (Liverpool, 2000), pp. 34–52.

10  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Figure 3. View of what is generally accepted as the site of Bobastro, at Mesas de Villaverde, Ardales (Málaga), showing a church building.

speculate on how far the protagonists were aware of their own roles in the creation of memory).23 Our other initial foray beyond the main area of study relates to politics a little further afield, in al-Ándalus, half a century or so after the ‘Field of Lies’ and another half century before events at Breisach. Here, the mountain site of Bobastro, near Málaga, was used in a declaration and subsequent resistance by the Banu Hafsūn against successive emirs.24 A regional 23 See

here P. J. Geary, Phantoms of Remembrance: Memory and Oblivion at the End of the First Millennium (Princeton, 1994), although Geary does not cover the memory of locations per se. C. M. Booker, Past Convictions: The Penance of Louis the Pious and the Decline of the Carolingians (Philadelphia, 2009), pp. 15–18, deals with the later memory of the Field of Lies, including Auguste-Marie-Pierre Ingold’s nineteenthcentury identification of a field name der Lügner, near Cernay in Alsace, along with associated local legends (A.-M.-P. Ingold, ‘L’Ochsenfeld: Ses antiquités, ses traditions’, Bulletin de la société pour la conservation des monuments historiques d’Alsace, 2nd ser. 1 (1863), pp. 138–43, at p. 142). 24  R. Marín-Guzman, ‘Rebellions and Political Fragmentation of Al-Andalus: A Study of the Revolt of ‘Umar Ibn Ḥafsūn in the Period of the Amīr ‘Abd Allāh (888–912)’, Islamic Studies, 33 (1994), pp. 420–73, provides a useful account of

introduction  ❧ 11

big-man, ‘Umar ibn Hafsūn had resisted the troops sent by the governor of the cora of the province of Rayya – corresponding roughly to that of Málaga – in 880×1. During the 880s, he established a base in the region of his birthplace which took advantage of the inaccessibility of the site and its control of access through the region. For two more decades, he used Bobastro as a base from which to resist the Umayyad forces sent against him before the final defeats of the rebel lord and his sons by the emir (later caliph), ‘Abd al-Rahman III (912–61). He is also said to have declared a conversion to Christianity, the religion of his ancestors. However, just as care must be taken with descriptions of Christian rebels as ‘pagan’ in Christian sources, such a hostile view of a religious declaration by ‘Umar ibn Hafsūn should not be taken in entirely clear-cut terms – churches may have played a role in the establishment of Bobastro but it has also been suggested that ambassadors were received from the Fātimid caliphate as part of a move to ‘create a Shī‘ī power in al-Andalus’; moreover, the exhumation of ‘Umar ibn Hafsūn’s remains at the end of the rebellion by scholars serving ‘Abd al-Rahman may have been just as much due to concerns that the emir’s opponent would not be seen as a martyred Ismā‘īlī as establishing that he had been buried a Christian after his death in 918.25 If the conflict between ‘Umar ibn Hafsūn and his nominal overlords was not specifically about who owned the place itself, Bobastro nonetheless clearly remained a ‘contested place’, where the eminently practical location determined a sense of meaning for the place for the rebellious party as well as, presumably, for the (by now) much-offended emirs. The almost total impregnability of this mountain fortress meant that when ‘Abd al-Rahman finally managed to capture it from one of the surviving sons of ‘Umar ibn Hafsūn in 928 (after, in good storybook fashion, many earlier attempts), the victory was symbolic as much as it was real – ‘Abd al-Rahman’s authority had already the emergence of Bobastro as a centre of resistance. For a summary of events, see M. Fierro, ‘Abd al-Rahman III: The First Cordoban Caliph (Oxford, 2005), pp. 33–48 and, for the possible significance of Christianity at Bobastro, pp. 99–101. J. M. Safran, The Second Umayyad Caliphate: The Articulation of Caliphal Legitimacy in Al-Andalus (Cambridge, MA, 2000), pp. 21–5, addresses the central significance of Bobastro in ‘Abd al-Rahman III’s caliphal declaration. 25 For the ambiguities of religious allegiance, V. Martínez Enamorado, ‘Fātimid Ambassadors in Bobastro: Changing Religious and Political Allegiances in the Islamic West’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 52:2 (2009), pp. 267–300, with quotation at p. 275, and discussion of exhumation at pp. 278–9. For Christian projections of rebels as pagans, see below, chapter 8, p. 291–2.

12  ❧   pl aces of contested power

been reasserted elsewhere in his domain. The meaning of the site became determined by the actions of both resistance and of its eventual defeat. In his initial work on the subject, Joaquín Vallvé proposed a conscious renaming of the site as al-Mansūra (‘Place of Victory’), an act which was typical of Islamic rulers’ declarations of victory over rebels at the time, and may have played a role in ‘Abd al-Rahman’s caliphal declaration in 929.26 Although there are two contenders for the identification of Bobastro – Montes de Marmuyas, preferred by Vallvé, and the generally recognised site of Mesas de Villaverde, near the modern village of Ardales – we can only say with any certainty that it was in Málaga province (see Figure 3).27 The certain identification of a site is only one part of the issue. As with Saalfeld and Breisach, Bobastro shows that the act of rebellion invoked the power of place: it could be well chosen and practical for its qualities of impregnability but a place could also be, and could become, redolent with meaning. In common with the ‘Field of Lies’, that meaning extended to giving form to the legitimation of the party who overcame rebellion. If such confluence of sources, in the words of both contemporaries and those historians who have studied them, provides a rich understanding of the role of place in medieval rebellion in Germany and al-Ándalus, is it possible to be similarly definitive about the role of place in contestations of power in north-western Europe, in France and England? Perhaps the Isle of Ely (Cambs.) is the best English example of a ‘contested place’ which, like Bobastro, fulfils the criteria of near-impregnability and, like Breisach, was a place used over and again in acts of resistance, particularly by those rebelling against William the Conqueror in 1070–1 (Figure 4; see also Figure 8). Given Abbot Leofwine of Ely’s successful campaign to clear charges against himself in Rome in 1022, an earlier conqueror, Cnut, may also have recognised the Isle’s potential for resistance.28 Its status in the 1140s as a place of 26 J.

Vallvé, ‘De nuevo sobre Bobastro’, Andalus, 30 (1965), pp. 137–74, at p. 156. of the debates of the late twentieth century are summarised in J. Vallvé, Abderramán III: Califa de España y Occidente (912–961) (Barcelona, 2003), pp. 186– 7; R. Marín-Guzmán, ‘The Rebel Fortresses in al-Andalus: The Case of Bobastro’, Islamic Studies, 46:1 (2007), pp. 41–71, is less partisan than Vallvé, but notes the uncertainty of identification. 28 Leofwine is recorded in ASC E 1022; M. K. Lawson, Cnut: England’s Viking King [revised edition of Cnut: The Danes in England in the Eleventh Century (London, 1993)] (Stroud, 2004), p. 134, suggests a siege of Ely by Cnut in 1016, but the evidence he cites, LE II.109, does not appear to support this suggestion. 27 Some

introduction  ❧ 13

Figure 4. The late-eleventh-century abbey church (since the early twelfth century, the cathedral) of Ely, located at a central point on the fenland Isle of Ely.

resistance against royal forces by both Bishop Nigel and, a little later, Geoffrey de Mandeville is a determining factor in the perception of the Civil War of the reign of King Stephen as a period of outright anarchy – in that infamous phrase by a writer continuing the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle at the nearby house of Peterborough, this was nineteen years when ‘Christ and His Saints slept’ (Crist slep ⁊ his halechen).29 The model of a memory attributed to a ‘place’, read by Althoff as something in which a layer of meaning could linger long in the imagination of subsequent generations, is fulfilled in the use of the Isle of Ely in the thirteenth century by the remaining de Montfort rebels in 1267. Matthew Paris’s words on Henry III’s objection to the election of Hugh of Balsham in 1256 are also significant, showing disbelief that such a place which, ‘since antiquity’, had been a ‘fortress and refuge’ (munimen et refugium) in times of war could be entrusted to a ‘simple denizen of the cloister, unwarlike and feeble’ (simplici claustrali, imbelli et imbecilli). Matthew, who died in 1259, shows the sense of the history of the island as well as no little prescience of 29 ASC

E 1137 (Whitelock’s translation modified). For the Chronicler’s perspective on these events, see M. Home, The Peterborough Version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Rewriting Post-Conquest History (Woodbridge, 2015), pp. 84–90.

14  ❧  pl aces of contested power

its immediate future.30 In at least three of these cases, in 1070–1, the 1140s, and 1267, royal authority was reasserted through the elimination of these final vestiges of resistance just as modern leaders, despots and democrats alike, project their authority – or at least try to do so – by crushing resistance within contested spaces which became imbued with a sense of resistance, from Barcelona in the 1930s to Fallujah in the 2000s and 2010s.31 That development of a memory of rebellion may be apparent in the references in the contemporary Anglo-Saxon Chronicle to the Isle but also to the later, twelfth-century narratives of the ‘last English hero’, Hereward, in Ely’s twelfth-century historical compilation, the Liber Eliensis. This included the story recorded more extensively in a related text composed before the upheavals of the Anarchy (which claims to have been composed in Old English by Leofric, a priest of Hereward’s household), the Gesta Herwardi. These accounts remembered the responses of the English to their conquerors in the 1070–1 campaign.32 In an episode featured in both the Liber Eliensis and the Gesta Herwardi, in which a captured Norman knight named Deda reports to King William and ‘Earl’ (sic) William de Warenne about what he has seen on the island, a portrayal of bucolic peace is used to convey the independence of the inhabitants of the Isle at a time of siege: 30 Matthew

Paris, Chronica majora, ed. H. R. Luard (London, 7 vols, 1872–83), vol. 5, p. 619. See R. Lovatt, ‘Hugh of Balsham, Bishop of Ely 1256/7–1286’, in Pragmatic Utopias: Ideals and Communities, 1200–1630, ed. R. Horrox and S. Rees Jones (Cambridge, 2001), pp. 60–83, at pp. 61–2; I follow her apt translation of Matthew Paris for ‘denizen of the cloister’. 31 While, to my knowledge, there is not yet a study of the Iraqi-led 2010s campaigns in Fallujah, there is a glut of titles covering the 2004 events. While most titles are concerned with the experience of the US Marine Corps, V. L. Foulk, The Battle for Fallujah: Occupation, Resistance and Stalemate in the War in Iraq (Jefferson, NC, 2007) considers the motivations for resistance and the pressing US need to counter it. Back in the central Middle Ages, the fact that JW, vol. 3, s.a. 1071, pp. 20–1, refers to the blinding and dismemberment of hands in the aftermath of the first Ely campaign, suggests that the king’s reacquisition of control was characterised by brutality. 32 Discussions of identity in the accounts of Hereward’s life include H. M. Thomas, ‘The Gesta Herwardi, the English, and their Conquerors’, ANS, 21 (1999 for 1998), pp. 213–32, and J. Huntington, ‘“The Quality of his Virtus Proved him a Perfect Man”: Hereward “the Wake” and the Representation of Lay Masculinity’, in Religious Men and Masculine Identity in the Middle Ages, ed. P. H. Cullum and K. J. Lewis (Woodbridge, 2013), pp. 77–93.

introduction  ❧ 15 They are not worrying on the Isle, about our blockade [obsidio]: the ploughman is not failing to put his hand to the plough, neither is the huntsman there abandoning his traps, nor is the bird-catcher taking a rest from snaring birds. Rather, they think they are being safely guarded by a militia [tirocinium] of their own men. And what more am I to say? If you wish to hear what I have learnt and seen, I will recount it all to you. The Isle is, in its interior, amply provided with rich resources. It is full of all sorts of crops, and superior to the other parts of England in its very rich soil. It is also very pleasant as a consequence of the loveliness of its fields and pastures, well-known for the hunting of wild animals, a productive breeding-ground for farm-animals and beasts of burden. Yet again, it is equally praiseworthy for its woodlands and vineyards, enclosed by large meres and wide marshlands, as if by a strong wall.33

The account goes on, with the Liber Eliensis providing remarkable details of natural history, emphasising the abundance of food on the island – a theme common to both the Gesta and Liber, linking the island’s resources to the monks’ sharing of the table at Ely with the warriors there. The Gesta Herwardi uses this to emphasise the bellicosity of the monks, though the writer of the Liber Eliensis seems to gather his composure at the last minute, finishing the account with a note on the monks’ piety.34 The common theme of the resistance of the island comes through in both accounts. Such narratives are, of course, constructed by the literary tropes available to medieval authors and it may be noted in passing that the three agricultural tasks referred to in the Liber Eliensis’ account are depicted in the order in which they appear as everyday occupations in the early eleventh-century Colloquies of Ælfric Bata.35 A place might be depicted in a particular fashion in order 33 LE

II.105, pp. 179–81 (trans. pp. 213–14; passage quoted from p. 213); cf. Gesta Herwardi, pp. 380–2 (trans. pp. 72–3). See C. P. Lewis, ‘The Earldom of Surrey and the Date of Domesday Book’, Historical Research, 63 (1990), pp. 329–36, for the comment that referring to William as ‘earl’ prior to his official elevation to the earldom of Surrey in 1088 is not anachronistic, though this is not likely to be something that worried the twelfth-century authors of the account. 34 LE II.105, p. 181 (trans. p. 214). The ‘respectability’ is noted by Fairweather in her translation of LE, p. 211, n. 486, though the description of the guard by a tirocinium in the passage quoted above is an interesting hint at an author’s use of a word to refer to military inexperience – did the author tacitly acknowledge the monks’ military contribution? 35 Ælfric’s Colloquy, ed. G. N. Garmonsway (London, 1939; 2nd edn, 1947), pp. 20–32.

16  ❧  pl aces of contested power

to emphasise an act of defiance that took place within it. At Ely, the natural resources of the site, both its defensibility and what it could provide for the sustenance of the rebels, allowed them to heighten their sense of defiance.36 Such literary construction of rebellion and space is a subject of specific discussion in chapter 8, although it is a theme that relates to much within this volume as a whole. Naturally, there is a practical element in the use of the Isle just as the use of Breisach was probably linked to its situation as one of the main crossing points of the River Rhine. Such practicality means that we need not read every action as ‘coded’ with a deep historical memory in order to engage a place’s significance. If it were, we might expect the 887 abandonment of the last emperor, Charles the Fat, which had strong echoes of that of his grandfather Louis in 833, to have been at the Field of Lies in Colmar rather than where it actually took place in Trebur (Hesse).37 After all, it would be unrealistic to expect every historical actor to behave on their set in an entirely predictable fashion. That issue of the power of location remains meaningful through the physicality of landscape and the responses by people inhabiting it. A durée of greater longuer than that of this volume might stretch the discussion to include notions of resistance imprinted in the East Anglian landscape itself, stretching from the revolt of the Iceni to the putative hostility

36 For

the Ely site, see D. Hall, The Fenland Project No.10: Cambridgeshire Survey: The Isle of Ely and Wisbech, East Anglian Archaeology, 79 (Cambridge, 1994) available at http://eaareports.org.uk/assets/uploads/repository/EAA_Report_79.pdf, pp. 30–40. S. Oosthuizen, The Anglo-Saxon Fenland (Oxford, 2017) is an important new study. For discussions of geographical concepts, see N. Howe, Writing the Map of Anglo-Saxon England (New Haven, 2007) and, with specific reference to the relationship between land and water, K. M. Wickham-Crowley, ‘Living on the Ecg: The Mutable Boundaries of Land and Water in Anglo-Saxon Contexts’, in A Place to Believe In: Locating Medieval Landscapes, ed. C. A. Lees and G. R. Overing (University Park, PA, 2006), pp. 85–110. 37 Regino, s.a. 887 (trans. p. 197). Charles did not steer clear of Colmar, though Simon MacLean notes the presentation of the contrast between imperial stasis at Colmar, a place of assembly, and ducal military action elsewhere, in the entry for 884 in the Mainz continuation of the Annals of Fulda (Annales Fuldenses, ed. F. Kurze, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 7 (Hannover, 1891), pp. 100–1). See S. MacLean, Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century: Charles the Fat and the End of the Carolingian Empire (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 38–9.

introduction  ❧ 17

to Christianity by those who buried the ruler at Sutton Hoo Mound One,38 through to rebellion against both King and Parliament in the English Civil Wars of the seventeenth century. One might even add to that longue durée the resistance, albeit in a non-violent fashion, to a perception of the imposition of European and Metropolitan London authority in the early twenty-first century. Landscape pays, as the work of the Annales School shows, as indeed does the work of English schools of landscape studies, can determine character and actions.39 To East Anglia may be added the isolated nature of landscapes in southwestern England and in parts of Wales, as well as forested regions dotted throughout France. Although outside the principal area of this book’s focus, it should be added that in areas of south-eastern France, where the Corsican term Maquis was applied to the scrubland, forested and mountainous landscapes in the Second World War, determined the sense of a need to resist change and determine one’s own existence, even some independence. It is interesting, however, that places such as the Isle of Ely and East Anglia itself are rarely treated in such a manner when it comes to the early and central Mfiddle Ages; Oliver Creighton and Duncan Wright’s examination of ‘Landscapes of Conflict’ in the ‘Anarchy’, which uses the fenland landscape around Ely as a twelfth-century case study, is perhaps something of an exception.40 It must be said too that literary scholars are increasingly aware of the power of place on the imagination when evoking notions of banditry, forest and wild wood featuring significantly in this, with Robin Hood’s forest landscape, naturally, being the most famous example.41 Some later medieval 38 For

the latter thesis, see M. Carver, Sutton Hoo: Burial Ground of Kings? (London, 1998). 39 A useful work remains F. Braudel, The Identity of France, Volume 1: History and Environment, trans. S. Reynolds (London, 1989); see also Tom Williamson, Environment, Society and Landscape in Early Medieval England: Time and Topography (Woodbridge, 2013); Sutton Hoo and Its Landscape: The Context of Monuments (Macclesfield, 2008). 40 Creighton and Wright, The Anarchy, pp. 251–78. Oosthuizen, Anglo-Saxon Fenland, particularly pp. 50–68, is a rejoinder to assuming the ‘otherness’ of fenland landscape. There is much literature on East Anglian landscape pays: as well as Williamson’s work cited above, see his ‘Explaining Regional Landscapes: East Anglia and the Midlands in the Middle Ages’, in Medieval East Anglia, ed. C. Harper-Bill (Woodbridge, 2005), pp. 11–32. For the Maquis, see below, n. 43. 41 See here the collection edited by Helen Phillips, Bandit Territories: British Outlaws and their Traditions (Cardiff, 2008), and S. Harlan-Haughey, The Ecology

18  ❧  pl aces of contested power

historians dealing with the thirteenth century, whose work is encoded with reading the politics of action in the face of apparent legitimacy in the First and Second Barons’ Wars (1215–17 and 1264–7), have stronger traditions of studying rebellion. However, scholarship on the political aspects of rebellion rarely matches literary studies in terms of consideration of landscape and place.42 In the francophone historical imagination, despite the existence of traditions of the study of political radicalism and resistance (including in the Middle Ages), as well as of the lieux de mémoire, there is no clear historiographical tradition of lieux de rébellion, though there is certainly a sensitivity to the significance of contested space.43 The differences in the preoccupations of source material may be one reason for this difference in historiographical traditions of medievalists but we should not assume that such differences preclude the consideration of locations west of the Rhine. While among the English and French sources for our period there is nothing directly comparable with Adalbert, Widukind, or Thegan’s condemnations of places through reference to their status in an of the English Outlaw in Medieval Literature: From Fen to Greenwood (London, 2016). A useful discussion on the south-west is L. Franklin, ‘Imagined Landscapes: Archaeology, Perception and Folklore in the Study of Medieval Devon’, in Medieval Devon and Cornwall: Shaping an Ancient Countryside, ed. S. Turner (Macclesfield, 2006), pp. 144–58, at p. 147 42 Examples are B. Weiler, Kingship, Rebellion and Political Culture: England and Germany, c.1215–c.1250 (Basingstoke, 2007), J. Burton, P. Schofield, and B. Weiler (eds), Thirteenth Century England XV: Authority and Resistance in the Age of Magna Carta: Proceedings of the Aberystwyth and Lampeter Conference, 2013 (Woodbridge, 2015), and, from the perspective of political tracts in England and France from the late twelfth century onward, L. Sunderland, Rebel Barons: Resisting Royal Power in Medieval Culture (Oxford, 2017). 43 A discussion of notions of modern popular rebellion is F. Gallot and D. Hamelin, ‘Expressions de la rébellion: Institutions, organisation et individus’, Cahiers d’histoire: Revue d’histoire critique, 125 (2014), pp. 13–19. A valuable English-language study of the links between countryside, local identity, and resistance, but more focused on specific conditions than determined by a sense of La longue durée, is H. R. Kedward, In Search of the Maquis: Rural Resistance in Southern France 1942–1944 (Oxford, 1992). On early medieval political space see M. Gravel, Distances, rencontres, communications: Réaliser l’empire sous Charlemagne et Louis le Pieux (Turnhout, 2012), and J. Monnet, ‘Le territoire comme télépouvoir: Bans, bandits et banlieues entre territorialités aréolaire et réticulaire’, in Genèse des espaces politiques (IXe–XIIe siècle): Autour de la question spatiale dans les royaumes francs et post-carolingiens, ed. G. Bührer-Thierry, S. Patzold, and J. Schneider (Turnhout, 2017), pp. 25–33.

introduction  ❧ 19

act of opposition, let alone with Andalusian sources, there are some indications that acts of resistance or rebellion could be linked with place, particularly in the way they were represented by hostile authors: for example, the twelfth-century Gesta Stephani’s reference to Gloucester as a place ‘where all attacked by the king came together as if dregs’ (ubi omnes a rege infestati quasi in sentinam conuenerant; i.e. a cesspit)44 or indeed, as noted above, the phrase adapted for the title of this introduction, William of Poitiers’ eleventh-century reference to Arques-la-Bataille.45 Chronicles from the early and central Middle Ages could be forthright in defining geographical interests, whether relating to their monastic house, their regional or ‘national’ areas of interest, or indeed all three. Medieval chroniclers were often conscious of their invocation of geographical identifiers when they linked an action with a location, as the author of the 878 entry of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle evidently was when referring to various locations associated with King Alfred’s re-appropriation of his West Saxon kingdom in the ninth century. This was a series of events which, although not couched as rebellion, were recorded in terms of authority and space,46 and evoked the control of the Somerset Levels, a similar landscape to that of East Anglia around Ely. That control was evoked in a manner which had much in common with the depictions of Hereward and his fellows two centuries or so later. Political protagonists, whatever their status or office, could be aware of the connotations associated with the use of particular places, so actions associated with or against rebellion may also have been significant, even in cases where the ‘meaning’ of the place was not explicitly conveyed by the narrator. Toward the end of the eighth century, in the eastern part of the Carolingian realm, Charlemagne required Thuringian rebels to swear oaths at saints’ shrines to him ‘and his children’ (we are not told which children, though those from Charlemagne’s marriage to Hildegard are likely). 44 GS,

ch. 47. Note that the author of the GS makes the king, as an attacker of rebels, the agent of the meaningful activity in the sentence. 45 WP, I.24, pp. 34–5. See citation in this chapter, above, pp. 3–4, and discussion in chapter 5, below, pp. 201–11. 46 ASC 878. See R. Lavelle, ‘Geographies of Power in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Royal Estates of Wessex’, in Reading the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Language, Literature, History, ed. A. Jorgensen (Turnhout, 2010), pp. 187–219. See also S. Thompson Smith, ‘Marking Boundaries: Charters and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’, in the same volume, pp. 167–85. For a discussion of Flodoard of Reims’ sense of space and topography in his Historia Remensis ecclesiae, see M. Sot, Un historien et son Église au Xe siècle: Flodoard de Reims (Paris, 1993), pp. 669–707.

20  ❧  pl aces of contested power

The Saint-Nazarius annals, in which the oath-swearing was recorded, do not relate the names of the saints. They do, however, record the regions in which the ceremonies took place, and the rebels’ oaths were linked with their refuge at the shrine of Saint Boniface at Fulda and the act of blinding and exile of some of the rebels at Worms.47 Even without the detail of the occasions or even some of the specific locations, the annalist managed to convey the power of place and, through that, the Carolingian message of unity. Here, we come once more to the wider issue of the contestation of power in the early and central Middle Ages. The limits of defining action as rebellion have already been raised in this introduction and they rear up again in chapter 1. The notion of contested power from a group that was inside the social network rather than outside it (i.e. an internal rather than external enemy) is important here. The frequent disparities of power could, as we have seen, turn the actions of a group into rebellion but actions against rulers also morphed into civil war in the east and north in tenth-century England. There were also conflicts at a level which was different from ‘public war’ at the frontiers of polities, such as where Norman ducal (at that point, comital) authority came up against a slightly lower level of comital authority in Bellême, or where the Burgundian royal power of the newly-installed King Raoul came up against the comital interests of the powerful magnate Heribert II. Raoul owed his own position to the usurpation of his father-inlaw and favourable relations with his brother-in-law, Count Hugh the Great. All these conflicts, along with the in-group conflicts between families such as the Carolingian royal-imperial family’s civil war of 841–3 and the AngloNorman quarrels up to around 1150, are too complicated to define simply in terms of ‘rebellion’. ‘ So there are no hard and fast rules of determining types of action, though different ways in which places were used in in-group conflict are a part of this book’s focus. Furthermore, the issue of reconciliation is significant here, if only because it allows us to consider the motivations of rebels and political opponents as aiming at more than a zero-sum game, i.e. with the aim of drawing attention to a perceived grievance and controlling such factors as could be controlled before coming to an eventual solution (the art of politics, 47 Annales

Nazariani, s.a. 786, ed. G. H. Pertz, MGH Scriptores in folio (Hannover, 1826), p. 42; trans. P. D. King, Charlemagne: Translated Sources (Lambrigg, 1987), pp. 154–5. For the significance of the event in terms of aristocracy, see S. Airlie, ‘Charlemagne and the Aristocracy: Captains and Kings’, in Charlemagne: Empire and Society, ed. J. Story (Manchester, 2005), pp. 90–102, at pp. 98–9.

introduction  ❧ 21

in fact). The matter of reconciliation is also important because there may have been cases when political protagonists did not desire a resolution and it suited them for a conflict to continue for as long as possible. Although the title of this book may give an impression that internal conflicts always specifically contested locations themselves and that the control of these places was what was at stake in political conflict within a group, it is the use of the role of place in and associated with conflict that determines the investigation. While there is a case for removing the question mark in the subtitle of Althoff’s paper on Breisach as ‘a refuge for rebels’, and other ‘places of rebellion’ west of the Rhine can be considered alongside it, this study is also necessarily wide-ranging in terms of what can be considered a ‘place of contested power’. It addresses the link between place and conflict in a fashion which permits consideration of the significance of places in detail, gaining greater depth in the understanding of motivations and interests. The rest of this introductory discussion, along with chapters 1 and 2, is intended to address the dynamics associated with the contest of power in the early and central Middle Ages, as well as the broader significance of the link between action and location, both in primary sources and in modern scholarship. To this end, the chapters contribute to a broader introduction. Thereafter, chapters 3–7 address the contestation of power with regard to space and place in more detail, considering specific places and, in some cases, delineated spaces within those places; of those chapters, chapter 3 is intended to consider the ‘public’ nature of opposition in places which might be determined as sites with some public role, such as those associated with assemblies or fortifications held according to some public duty. However, noting Reuter’s observation on the blurring of boundaries between ‘public’ and ‘private’, where a rebellion might easily appear more like a feud in terms of its prosecution,48 chapter 4 draws on the private notion of landholding. This discussion relates to the determination to establish and protect lordly and familial interests through particular lands associated with familial and/or lordly identity. That theme is developed in chapter 5, which addresses the role of fortification in private hands. Chapter 6, drawing out popular, aristocratic and oligarchical interests in towns, concentrates on urban space, while chapter 7 focuses on the religious significance of space, including sacred and liturgical space, in political action. Aspects of these 48 T.

Reuter, ‘Peace-Breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance: Violence and Peace in the Politics of the Salian Era’, in Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities, ed. J. Nelson (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 355–87, p. 361.

22  ❧  pl aces of contested power

two chapters may be at some variance from chapters 3, 4, and 5 because the choice of place where inhabitants of urban and religious communities might express their discontent was predetermined by dint of the towns’ and monastic centres’ roles as places of residence. If townspeople or disgruntled monks needed to act, they did not have the range of sites from which an aristocrat or royal might choose. However, their inclusion is justified here in part because of the significance of the places within towns and religious centres as sites where power might be contested; furthermore, as we shall see, aristocrats, kings, and princes had their own interests in urban and religious centres which might come into play in contestations of those spaces. Finally, in chapter 8, the notions of movement in space are developed and the dynamic nature of oppositional actions is considered. This consideration is of both the practical exigencies of what could often turn into largescale military campaigns, taking into account the strategic dimensions of the interests of political opponents and the authorities who attempted to suppress them, as well as the implicit ‘meaning’ of movement to those who undertook and witnessed it.49 Taking these movements to the ultimate demonstration of dissatisfaction, the chapter also includes a consideration of the way in which a battle, often fought at a focal point within a landscape, could bring together practical elements of strategic control within a confined area with opposing forces which had moved across a landscape to reach the battlefield. While this thematic approach results in discussion moving from one place and time to another, sometimes quite rapidly, that is a necessary evil. The inclusion in this introduction of an overview of rebellion and civil war from the ninth to the mid twelfth century in the Cross-Channel area is an attempt to help with the negotiation of these themes. These themes are not the only factors which may have come into play when a political course of action was decided upon; the issues chosen for consideration may not have been consciously taken into account by protagonists, and there is always room for debate regarding the themes chosen here. A gendered approach is perhaps the most obvious, as it is not specifically taken as a primary means of assessing places in this study; the relationship between gender and space is addressed on occasions where it has a direct bearing on interpretations, particularly in chapters 4 and 5. With a focus on spaces and places, gendered interpretations can – and indeed do – apply to sites under any of the main headings in this book, however. The most famous of the East Anglian rebels, Boudicca, the 49 See

here Gravel, Distances, rencontres, communications, passim.

introduction  ❧ 23

first-century queen of the Iceni, is naturally outside the chronological limits of this study, just as the Berber queen known as ‘the Sorceress’ (al-Kāhina), who resisted Arab Conquest in the late seventh century, is outside the study’s geographical remit. Yet in the representation of their legitimacy (perhaps revealingly entirely whitewashed from the Old English Orosius in the case of Boudicca50), as widows of their husbands, they show that patterns of political action through gendered identity are part of a wider phenomenon. However, it is perhaps entirely representative of the gendered expectations of a masculine framework of legitimacy that these two figures are represented in such a fashion. The calls upon the authority of female rebels through their husbands are part of the story but they are not all of it. Acts demonstrating political opposition were not inherently masculine, but occasions where a consciously gendered ‘male’ assertion of identity played a part in such conflict are noteworthy. Moreover, cases where actions are explicitly associated with female agency in the source material – particularly apparent when linked with familial identity – and the places of those activities can be located, are relevant at many points throughout this book. After providing an overview of the geographical areas of the study and the histories of their political developments, the rest of the introduction engages with the range of conflicts in western Europe during the period from the ninth to the twelfth century. This allows some initial exploration of the meanings of disputes which arose within groups. ❧  ❧  ❧

The book encompasses western parts of the Frankish empire in what proved to be its later phases in the ninth century, the successor kingdom of Francia Occidentalis in the ninth and tenth centuries (briefly part of a reprised empire in the late ninth century during the reign of Charles the Fat), as well as Wessex and the emergent ‘Kingdom of the English’ in the same period and the successor kingdoms of France and England in the eleventh and early twelfth centuries. While the discussion of internal conflict in England 50 Orosius,

Libri VII, VII.7, p. 247 (trans. p. 335) does not name her specifically though the implication of queenly rebellion remains; the episode has gone entirely from OE Orosius, perhaps fitting with West Saxon expectations of queenship in the late ninth century rather than being a matter of random deletion (see generally P. Stafford, ‘Succession and Inheritance: A Gendered Perspective on Alfred’s Family History’, in Alfred the Great: Papers from the Eleventh-Centenary Conferences, ed. T. Reuter (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 251–64).

24  ❧  pl aces of contested power

encompasses Yorkshire and the area to the south of the Tweed in the northeast, that of France concentrates on its north, from the area south of Flanders to the Loire, occasionally skimming into Brittany (see Figure 1, p. 3). In eleventh-century England, the acts of open rebellion which took place were north of the Thames or in the West Country, mostly in zones which were gradually coming into the control of the West Saxon royal family and their Norman successors during the course of the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. Perhaps in some ways the courses of action could be read as frontier conflicts. To some extent, this pattern contrasts with the contestation of royal authority in twelfth-century England, where the civil war which developed in the reign of King Stephen (1135–54) flared up in many spaces which had formerly been the ‘core’ areas of royal power in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom, in the ‘heartlands’ of Wessex. This may reflect shifts in patterns of authority since the eleventh century, though as resistance against royal power in the twelfth, and indeed the actions of those who resisted ‘Angevin’ power, hardly conformed to the areas of the former West Saxon kingdom, the changes themselves cannot be tied neatly to anything that can be precisely defined. It is harder yet to see political opposition as something which manifested itself as open rebellion in pre-1066 England than is the case after the Norman Conquest. All the same, political conflict manifested itself in forms of action both within the group of the ruling family and its associates in the West Saxon heartlands and in the opposition to dominant forms of West Saxon lordship which had been imposed on the midlands and north of England, particularly during the first half of the tenth century. This difference between core and periphery is even less pronounced in the area looked at in France, which consists largely (though not exclusively) of the areas which were under royal control during the later Carolingian period or which had stemmed from ‘West Frankish’ areas directly under royal control: Normandy, Ponthieu, Flanders, Vermandois, the Île de France, Maine, Blois-Chartres, Troyes, and Anjou.51 These were areas which had not been farmed out as sub-kingdoms to Carolingian rulers’ sons in the way that Aquitaine was, for example,52 but here royal control might be wrested 51 For

the historians’ convenience of ‘West Francia’ and tenth-century uncertainty about what Francia constituted, see J. Dunbabin, France in the Making, 843–1180 (Oxford, 1985), pp. 4–5. I have not followed the late tenth-century Richer of Reims in his classicising use of ‘Gaul’. 52 On the treatment of Aquitaine as a sub-kingdom in the ninth century and the competitition which arose from its disposition to royal/imperial sons, see J. Martindale,

introduction  ❧ 25

at varying degrees and rapidity, often by members of the high aristocracy through comital office. The decision to exclude much of France south of the Loire from the main focus of study is determined in part by this process – an almost complete absence of royal authority in the south beyond the early years of the tenth century makes it difficult to determine rebellion when, by comparison, kings in the north and north-west of France could at least assert some claim to royal authority. Even if they often had considerable difficulties in actually exercising power successfully, rulers such as Louis IV (936–54) or Henry I (1031–60) could lay their claims to authority with some hope or even expectation of success; in the south, kings did not even try.53 Admittedly that might make the south of France a perfect setting for the analysis of oppositional politics, but an authority needed to be present and pushed against to develop a discussion of internal conflict. Furthermore, there is another geographical factor in terms of the relative similarity of temperate landscapes between England and northern France. France north of the Loire basin is roughly equivalent in size to the lowland British zone of England, where many English landscapes are distinct from those of Scotland and Wales by the elevation of terrain and soil types; similarly, the north of France is distinguished from the south by climate and landscape. There are of course exceptions north and south of the Channel to such attempts at geographical determinism but an important factor is the distinctions of landscape and environment. The extent of ‘classic’ bi-partite manorial economies in the north of France from Flanders and Vermandois to the Breton frontier, and in midland and southern England (though often considered in a different framework from Carolingian manorial development) characterises a large proportion of the area of study, where a balance of agrarian returns from estates based on proportions of legumes, cereals, and livestock provides some bases of comparison.54 This may be contrasted ‘Charles the Bald and the Government of the Kingdom of Aquitaine’, in Charles the Bald: Court and Kingdom, ed. J. L. Nelson and M. Gibson, BAR International Ser., 101 (Oxford, 1981), pp. 109–33. 53 M. Zimmerman, ‘Western Francia: The Southern Principalities’, in The New Cambridge Medieval History Volume III, c.900–c.1024, ed. T. Reuter (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 420–55. 54 On this apparent balance in West Frankish regions of the Carolingian realm, see A. Verhulst, The Carolingian Economy (Cambridge, 2002); for England, Williamson, Environment, Society and Landscape in Early Medieval England, provides a useful overview.

26  ❧  pl aces of contested power

with the economy south of the Loire, characterised by the predominance of vines (although these were not absent in northern France and even parts of England) and even the growth of olives in an essentially Mediterranean economy.55 To an extent, it should be admitted that this study is determined by traditions of historical practice. Anglo-Norman interests established in the eleventh and twelfth centuries frame the cross-Channel nature of the book.56 While this means that many, though not all, of the examples discussed in the following chapters come from the Anglophone medievalist’s customary workbench of the ‘Anglo-Norman realm’, this is not because of some sense of uniqueness of an Anglo-Norman Sonderweg or because of the dominance of Anglo-Norman sources of the eleventh and twelfth centuries.57 Rather, it is here that we see the interstices of the Carolingian and Scandinavian worlds in both England and West Francia. Moreover, the broader context of a wider western European framework of political action is the setting for consideration of such examples. Although, as Chris Wickham noted, there are difficulties in Anglo-French historical comparisons prior to the eleventh century – not least because of the differing expectations of historians and differences in the source material – I have endeavoured to make a cross-Channel study because of the natural comparability between northern France and the royal heartlands of southern England in the tenth and early eleventh centuries.58 The modelling of English rulership during the ninth and tenth centuries on the Frankish 55 Braudel,

The Identity of France, Volume 1, pp. 60–3 and pp. 85–103, conveys this with characteristic panache. A general overview is provided by D. Matthew, Atlas of Medieval Europe (Oxford, 1983), pp. 26–7. 56 For the ongoing discussion as to the nature of a cross-Channel polity in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, see D. Bates, The Normans and Empire: The Ford Lectures delivered in the University of Oxford during Hilary Term 2010 (Oxford, 2013). 57 See, for example, the comment on the way in which ‘warfare [in the AngloNorman world] has sometimes been spoken of as though it typifies that of Western Europe’ by John France, in Western Warfare in the Age of the Crusades, 1000–1300 (London, 1999), p. 13. 58 C. Wickham, ‘Problems in Doing Comparative History’, in Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History: The Legacy of Timothy Reuter, ed. P. Skinner (Turnhout, 2009), pp. 5–28. See also George Molyneaux’s warnings against the (apparently) too-comfortable territory of early medieval cross-Channel comparisons in The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century (Oxford, 2015), pp. 234–7.

introduction  ❧ 27

experience of the ninth and the contrasts that emerge from consideration of West Frankish kingship in the tenth, make the comparison a viable proposition for the period before the Norman Conquest. Remarking on the emergence of viceregal powers in West Francia in the tenth century, which infamously limited the powers of kings (an evident contrast with the centralising tendencies of Anglo-Saxon kings), Geoffrey Koziol has stressed the fact that a notion of kingship was still at the centre of French political culture during this period.59 Thus, just as the staatlich precocity of the ‘kingdom of the English’ should no longer automatically be assumed, the sophistication of late Carolingian and Robertian/early Capetian kingship should not be lightly dismissed. The latter issue has implications for considering the contestation of power between relative political equals such as Heribert II of Vermandois against King Raoul in terms of rebellion against legitimate rulers.60 This approach also allows comparison of specific individuals to come into the frame. Two rulers whose experiences were formative in the development of the French and English kingdoms respectively – Louis IV ‘d’Outremer’ (936–54) and Edward ‘the Confessor’ (1042–66) – were members of ruling dynasties who were exiled across the Channel during childhood. In Louis’ case, the exile was north to England, while Edward went first to Flanders and then to the Norman ducal court.61 Both came to power in their ‘birthright’ 59 G.

Koziol, ‘Political Culture’, in France in the Central Middle Ages, ed. M. Bull (Oxford, 2002), pp. 43–76, at pp. 47–51; for a consideration of the sustained note of Carolingian kingship and political relations in the late ninth century, see MacLean, Kingship and Politics, esp. pp. 99–122, and, into the tenth century, R. Le Jan, ‘Le royaume franc vers 900: Un pouvoir en mutation?’ in Les fondations scandinaves en Occident et les débuts du duché de Normandie, ed. P. Bauduin (Caen, 2005), pp. 83–95. 60 We should note here the artificiality of ‘Carolingian’ and ‘Capetian’ as terms to describe ruling families. The notions of familial identity and (occasionally) unity which they encompass, however, are not artificial. 61 For discussions of the significance of these exiles, see S. MacLean, ‘Making a Difference in Tenth-Century Politics: King Athelstan’s Sisters and Frankish Queenship’, in Frankland: The Franks and the World of Early Medieval Europe: Essays in Honour of Dame Jinty Nelson, ed. P. Fouracre and D. Ganz (Manchester, 2008), pp. 167–90, at pp. 173–4, discussing Louis d’Outremer’s position between England and West Francia, and S. Foot, Æthelstan: The First King of England (New Haven, CT, 2011), pp. 46–7, on Louis at Æthelstan’s court in England; on Edward’s Norman connections, see E. M. C. van Houts, ‘Edward and Normandy’, in Edward the Confessor: The Man and the Legend, ed. R. Mortimer (Woodbridge, 2009), pp.

28  ❧  pl aces of contested power

kingdoms with the support of their former hosts, who remained influential while their charges were on the throne. Both faced opposition from a nobility who were unfamiliar to them because of the rulers’ estrangements in exile, and that opposition sometimes manifested itself in open conflict. Although not central to this study, political contestation should also be considered in terms of political zones which were peripheral to those of the West Frankish kingdom and the Wessex-dominated south of England. Such zones included those of northern Northumbria (i.e. Northumberland), the various Welsh kingdoms, and Cornwall in Britain, and Brittany, Burgundy, and Aquitaine in France. The rebellions of these areas are factors which defined them in relation to the larger powers that held them in gravitational thrall. The French examples were regions which were independent kingdoms or counties during the ninth century, whose allegiance to Frankish rulers was nominal, at times non-existent, with the effect that West Frankish territory to the south of the Loire effectively became politically ‘other’ in the tenth century, while Brittany’s control by Frankish kings was always in dispute. At the same time in Britain, Northumbria, Cornwall, and, to a lesser degree, Wales became increasingly tied to the fate of an enlarged English kingdom.62 The same might be said about the emergent Scottish kingdom during the same period but its frequent standing as a near-equal to that of the English places Anglo-Scottish actions on a similar level to the ‘state’-directed conflict of Hastings; thus, notwithstanding questions about Lothian’s ambiguous status, the Tweed provides an approximate northern limit to the study just as the Loire frames it in the south. While the chronological parameters of this book cross a dividing line between common perceptions of the ‘early’ and ‘central’ Middle Ages, they are framed with the intention of comparing developments across time.63 A 63–76; see also S. Keynes, ‘The Æthelings in Normandy’, ANS, 13 (1991 for 1990), pp. 173–205. 62 C. Insley, ‘Kings and Lords in Tenth-Century Cornwall’, History, 98 (2013), pp. 2–22; T. Charles-Edwards, Wales and the Britons, 350–1064 (Oxford, 2012), especially pp. 497–535; on Northumbria, showing the impact of West Saxon/ English power while reflecting on the limits of the kings to influence institutions, see D. Rollason, Northumbria, 500–1100: Creation and Destruction of a Kingdom (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 256–74. 63 On the problems associated with this temporal division, see K. Davis, Periodization and Sovereignty: How Ideas of Feudalism and Secularization Govern the Politics of Time (Philadelphia, PA, 2008); C. West, Reframing the Feudal Revolution: Political and Social Transformation Between Marne and Moselle, c.800–c.1100 (Cambridge,

introduction  ❧ 29

start date in the ninth century takes in the Carolingian empire at its height and the rebellions which arose in it; ending at around the middle of the twelfth century is an acknowledgement of the royal success against princely power in the French kingdom in the final decades of the twelfth century as well as the change of scale of Angevin rule in the later twelfth century.64 Although, as will be seen, the question of definitions of ‘treason’ remains vexed, the need to note changes between the trends of the eleventh and twelfth centuries is indicated by Karen Bosnos’ observations on the relative normality – manifested in a concern for procedure – of treason trials in the Anglo-Norman realm.65 The ultimate manifestations of baronial discontent in thirteenth-century England are not a prime focus here,66 though in order to draw out the change over time the chronological parameters are sometimes treated as permeable boundaries. To provide a full history of the individual episodes considered in the following pages is not the main aim of this book but just as the political 2013), provides a useful rationale. My own readings of the distinctions between early and central medieval history in Britain are in ‘Sous la lumière d’Alfred le Grand ou dans l’obscurité des Vikings? Quelques problèmes et possibilités dans la périodisation de l’histoire anglaise “pre-Conquest”’, in Les âges de Britannia: Repenser l’histoire des mondes britanniques (Moyen Âge–XXIe siècle), ed. J.-F. Dunyach and A. Mairey (Rennes, 2015), pp. 33–54. 64 Dunbabin, France in the Making, pp. 371–9. We should also note here the development of administrative systems in the realms of Angevin rulers which took regional nobles’ control of policy away into more clearly delineated administrative hands (for which, see D. Clementi, ‘Constitutional Development through Pressure of Circumstance, 1170–1258’, in Tradition and Change: Essays in Honour of Marjorie Chibnall Presented by her Friends on the Occasion of her Seventieth Birthday, ed. D. Greenway, C. Holdsworth, and J. Sayers (Cambridge, 1985), pp. 215–37). For the effects of changes in castle-building technology by the later twelfth century, see comments in chapter 1, below, p. 71. 65 K. Bosnos, ‘Treason and Politics in Anglo-Norman Histories’, in Feud, Violence and Practice: Essays in Medieval Studies in Honor of Stephen D. White, ed. B. S. Tuten and T. L. Billado (Farnham, 2010), pp. 293–306. Cf. discussion of sedition in chapter 3, below. 66 See here M. Strickland, War and Chivalry: The Conduct and Perception of War in England and Normandy, 1066–1217 (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 231–2, and Weiler, Kingship, Rebellion and Political Culture; on the Second Barons’ War, J. R. Maddicott, Simon de Montfort (Cambridge, 1994); see also S. T. Ambler, ‘Simon de Montfort and King Henry III: The First Revolution in English History, 1258–1265’, History Compass 11/12 (2013), pp. 1076–87.

30  ❧   pl aces of contested power

developments on either side of the Channel had their own characteristics, the acts of political opposition and internal conflicts that occurred can be characterised in different ways. A short discussion of these events follows, drawing attention to some of the types of conflict which are explored in greater depth in chapter 1.

Contested power in the ‘making of England’: from the ninth century to the Anglo-Scandinavian ‘empire’ In the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of the ninth century, conflict can be traced within the royal houses of Wessex and Mercia as discontented members of royal families made bids for control. The most significant of these are the deposition of Æthelwulf of Wessex by his son Æthelbald in the 850s and, later, the bid for power by the ætheling Æthelwold, nephew of King Alfred, in 899/900. Æthelwold’s actions, including a seizure of Wimborne (Wimborne Minster, Dors.), where he apparently declared an intention to ‘either live there or die there’ (oðer oððe þær libban oððe þær licgan), followed the death of Alfred at the end of October 899 and were presumably an attempt to either pre-empt the expected succession of his son, Edward or directly follow it.67 Æthelwold was a figure who, as the son of Alfred’s predecessor, Æthelred, might have been expected to succeed to the throne. While the places associated with Æthelbald’s rebellion are unknown, the details known of the places used in Æthelwold’s rebellion, as well as our knowledge of the estates which he was denied during the lifetime of Alfred, makes Æthelwold an ideal case study for the discussion of aspects of rebellion. The family lands associated with Æthelwold are discussed in detail in chapter 4. Outside Wessex, in Northumbria around 872, a wider rebellion may have been launched against the new Anglo-Scandinavian rulers of the kingdom of York. These rulers had initially asserted control via the native Northumbrian dynasty but later ejected the native ruler Ecgberht in order to rule directly.68 67 ASC

s.a. 901 (=899/900). discussion of this, see C. Downham, Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland: The Dynasty of Ívarr to A.D. 1014 (Edinburgh, 2007), p. 69 and D. Dumville, ‘Textual Archaeology and Northumbrian History Subsequent to Bede’, in Coinage in NinthCentury Northumbria: The Tenth Oxford Symposium on Coinage and Monetary History, ed. D. M. Metcalf, BAR British Ser., 180 (Oxford, 1987), pp. 43–55. See Whitelock, ASC, p. 47, n. 14, and A. P. Smyth, Scandinavian York and Dublin: The History and 68 For

introduction  ❧ 31

As with mid ninth-century Wessex, it is difficult to know where these rebellions took place or the scale of participation in the acts of rebellion against the rulers. Indeed we cannot be sure whether Ecgberht’s overthrow was part of a rebellion or what precipitated it. The sources are late and problematic; even the most contemporary record of events, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, tells only of Ecgberht’s ejection. It is possible that these were a late ninth-century manifestation of the flashes of rebellion we see in an earlier part of the ninth century as one member of a different ruling house would make a bid to return to power in the face of the overlordship of others. What happened in late ninth-century Northumbria does seem to be commensurate with a pattern that emerged in the tenth century, though. In the early part of the tenth century, the imposition of West Saxon power over other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, by now Anglo-Scandinavian polities, saw the contestation of power between polities nominally subject to West Saxon overlordship. In a sense, Æthelwold’s second stages of rebellion against his cousin during a campaign launched against Wessex from Northumbria – itself affected by disorder at this time – in 902 was a manifestation of such rebellion; the campaigns in the following three decades against Northumbrians, East Angles, and eastern Mercians were arguably a form of civil war, through cycles of surrender to West Saxon suzerainty, defiance, and eventual repression when the Kingdom of York came under English control after the fall of Erik Bloodaxe in 954.69 The development of the internal politics of the West Saxon royal family in the course of the tenth century also seems to have been determined by opposition within the family. It is perhaps only a quirk of the manner in which Æthelstan pushed forward his own legitimacy that his Mercian-derived background was not a fatal problem that might, under other circumstances, have relegated his own position to that of one of the ‘nearly men’ in the manner of Æthelwold. While it is difficult to identify episodes of outright rebellion in Æthelstan’s career, the hints of opposition to Æthelstan in Winchester in the early 930s are perhaps a manifestation of the tensions within the circles Archaeology of Two Related Viking Kingdoms (Dublin, 2 vols, 1975–9), vol. 1, p. 18, citing Symeonis Monachi Opera, ed. T. Arnold, RS, 75 (London, 2 vols, 1882–5), vol. 1, pp. 55, 225 and vol. 2 [Simeon, HR], p. 110. 69 R. Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle: Submission, Rebellion and the Limits of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, c. 899–1065’, in Authority and Gender in Medieval and Renaissance Chronicles, ed. J. Dresvina and N. Sparks (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2012), pp 62–101. Molyneaux, Formation of the English Kingdom, pp. 48–85, provides a different reading of the negotiation of allegiance.

32  ❧   pl aces of contested power

of power.70 For other reasons it is difficult to see open opposition during the reigns of the later tenth century but the tensions between Edgar and Eadwig could well have been a manifestation of the patterns of patronage. Furthermore, the death of Edgar’s son Edward, albeit in shadowy circumstances rather than open declarations of opposition, probably stemmed from tensions which had been suppressed during the reign of Edgar.71 In the cases of the violent deaths of two English kings in the tenth century, both Edward ‘the Martyr’ in 978 and Edmund I in 946, we are aware of the location of the death, Corfe (Dorset) and Pucklechurch (Glos.). While the death of Edmund is more likely to be manslaughter than assassination, Edward the Martyr was killed at a place which was at the western edge of the central zone of West Saxon royal power, not far from where Æthelwold had launched his 899/900 campaign. Ann Williams has suggested that Edward’s death might be, like that of Edmund, more a matter of accident than design.72 However, even then the focus may have been on western Wessex in reaction to the death of Edward the Martyr, as the cult of the dead king was used against factions in Æthelred’s court, showing that it mattered where a ruler died at the hands of his subjects. The determination of West Saxon control over the rest of lowland Britain and indeed other British kingdoms is a characteristic of the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. During this time we see the use of rule by chevauchée: while Edgar launched an attack on the Isle of Thanet in 969,73 Æthelred used violence as the imposition of rule against Rochester (Kent) in 986; this 70 WM,

GRA, pp. 222–3 and 226–7 and, for the death of an ætheling at sea following perturbatione in the English kingdom, Folcuin, Gesta Abbatu S. Bertini Sithiensium, ch. 107, ed. O. Holder-Egger, MGH Scriptores in folio, 13 (Hannover, 1881), p. 629, discussed in Foot, Æthelstan, pp. 39–43. 71 P. Stafford, ‘The Reign of Æthelred II: A Study in the Limitations of Royal Policy and Action’, in Ethelred the Unready: Papers from the Millenary Conference, ed. D. H. Hill, BAR British Ser., 59 (Oxford, 1978), pp. 15–46. S. Jayakumar, ‘Eadwig and Edgar: Politics, Propaganda, Faction’, in Edgar, King of the English, 959–75: New Interpretations, ed. D. Scragg (Woodbridge, 2008), pp. 83–103. 72 For the possibility of accident in a brawl which could have got out of hand, see Williams, Æthelred the Unready: The Ill-Counselled King (London, 2003), pp. 11–14; Levi Roach reviews the evidence for assassination, though returns a notably open verdict, in Æthelred the Unready (New Haven, CT, 2016), pp. 73–7. 73 ASC DEF, 969; Rogeri de Wendover chronica, sive flores historiarum, ed. H. O. Coxe (London, 5 vols, 1841–5), vol. 1, s.a. 974, pp. 414–15 (trans. EHD 1, p. 284). Roger of Wendover’s detail of the killing of York merchants may provide an explanation

introduction  ❧ 33

may have been similar to the attack on Worcestershire by Harthacnut’s forces in 1041 in response to the killing of two tax-collecting housecarls by the the local populace.74 This was a type of ‘Bissonic’ violence which Timothy Reuter noted as revealing the limits of Anglo-Saxon state power. Citing James Campbell’s own recognition of state-directed violence, Reuter pointed out that this was hardly an ideal means of performing governmental functions.75 Further to that, one might note that the only pre-Conquest ruler, indeed the only ruler between about 900 and 1154, not recorded as having launched some sort of military campaign within a few years of the start of a reign was perhaps Cnut, though the violence he displayed during 1014–16, a time when he could justifiably lay some royal claim in England, was presumably a sufficient display of royal anger.76 All such royal violence is suggestive of opposition of some sort. The attacks on the English kingdom during the ‘Second Viking Age’, which reached their peak late in the reign of Æthelred II, provided opportunities for internal opposition, even if this rarely manifested itself in open rebellion. We can see actions interpreted as treason which may have been the planning stages of open rebellion in the 990s (when plans were allegedly afoot to receive Swein in Essex) and the desertion of the king by magnates pursuing their own interests in the 990s and 1010s. Royal familial rebellion of a sort not seen since the rebellion of Æthelwold in the early tenth century is apparent with the actions of the ætheling Edmund in 1015, who married – without the king’s permission – the widow of his former ally Sigeferth and harried the lands of his rival Eadric Streona in the west midlands. This kind

for the ravaging but the ASC emphasises royal agency. See Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, p. 82. 74 ASC CDE 986; CD 1041; JW, vol. 2, s.a. 1041, pp. 532–3, names the two killed and provides details of the punitive raid. See below, pp. 68–9. 75 T. Reuter, ‘Debate: The “Feudal Revolution”: III’, Past and Present, 155 (1997), pp. 177–95, at p. 191, citing Campbell, ‘Was it Infancy in England?’ p. 6. 76 R. Lavelle, Cnut: The North Sea King (London, 2017), pp. 29–30; this is explored more fully in my ‘Cnut, King of the English, 1017–19’, in Anglo-Danish Empire: A Companion to the Reign of Cnut the Great, ed. A. Finlay, E. Goeres, and R. North (Kalamazoo, MI, forthcoming). Note, however, the executions of English nobles recorded in ASC CDE 1017, and reference to the relationship between Cnut and Ely above, p. 12, which may include potential resistance after 1016 as well as during the year of conquest.

34  ❧  pl aces of contested power

of conflict was a matter for which only the death of Æthelred could provide any form of resolution.77 In the reigns of Cnut and his Anglo-Danish sons Harald ‘Harefoot’ (1035–40) and Harthacnut (nominally co-ruler in 1035–7 and sole ruler in 1040–1), there is some evidence of opposition in the West and South-West of England in the late 1010s, perhaps culminating in open opposition during Cnut’s absence in Denmark in 1019–20. M. K. Lawson reckons that the evidence of the outlawry of a certain Eadwig ‘king of the ceorls’ and the calling of an assembly at Circencester may have been a result of these issues.78 Cnut’s relations with some towns has been noted as fractious; this may have been particularly apparent in the case of London, whose payment of geld in 1018 seems to have been punitive, and in 1023, when the body of the martyred archbishop of Canterbury was translated, perhaps forcibly, from the city. In the latter case, there is some evidence (albeit late) that the people of London resisted violently.79 Elsewhere, Jeremy Haslam has contended that the apparent slighting of walls, noted in particular in regard to his assessments of the early medieval archaeology at Cricklade (Wilts.), but also at, he contended, Wareham (Dorset), Christchurch (now Dors.; formerly Hants), Lydford (Devon), ‘and probably Cissbury [Sussex] and Old Sarum [Wilts.]’, had some serious significance. However, if this is the case (and the readings of the state of the ramparts are contested), it is more likely to relate to the aftermath of campaigns in 1013–16, as Haslam notes, than to opposition after Cnut’s 1016 ascent to power.80 We might also note the withholding of 77 ASC CDE 1015; Roach, Æthelred the Unready, pp. 303–11; Edmund’s motivations

are considered more fully in D. McDermott, ‘A Study of King Edmund II Ironside, with Specific Reference to Æthelinghood, Aspects of Succession and Kingship in Late Anglo-Saxon England’ (Unpublished PhD thesis, Univ. of Winchester, 2018). 78 ASC CDE(F) 1020 for Cirencester; MS C only for Eadwig. For these occasions see Lawson, Cnut, pp. 84 and 90. 79 D. H. Hill, ‘An Urban Policy for Cnut?’, in The Reign of Cnut: King of England, Denmark and Norway, ed. A. Rumble (London, 1993), pp. 101–5, discussing ‘Textual Appendix: Translatio Sancti Ælfegi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi et martiris (BHL 2519): Osbern’s account of the translation of Saint Ælfheah’s relics from London to Canterbury, 8–11 June 1023’, ed. and trans. A. R. Rumble and R. Morris, in the same volume, pp. 283–15; see Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 194–8. 80 J. Haslam, ‘The Towns of Wiltshire’, in Anglo-Saxon Towns in Southern England, ed. J. Haslam (Chichester, 1984), pp. 87–147, at 109–10 (quotation at p. 110); see also Hill, ‘Urban Policy for Cnut?’ who adds London to the areas of potential opposition and raises the possibility of post-1016 rebellion in a way that Haslam does not.

introduction  ❧ 35

tax payments in Worcestershire in 1041 and the death of two housecarls who had been sent to collect the tax. Harthacnut responded to this by sending in housecarls to ravage the shire. Harthacnut’s men hunted down those whom they saw as responsible for the opposition; the act by the people of the town and minster of Worcester may have been more than simple refusal to pay and a deliberate act of opposition to the king at a time when Harthacnut’s sense of control of the kingdom was already precarious.81

Magnates and the ‘decline of royal power’ in West Francia and France: the mid ninth to the eleventh centuries In West Francia during the ninth century, similar dynamics of familial rebellion and the bids for control against Carolingian overlords are apparent but we should remember that the Carolingians themselves had been successful rebels. The attempts by Lothar to launch a coup – in effect a hyper-legitimised rebellion – against his father have already been highlighted but the death of Louis the Pious in 840 provided opportunities for the Frankish nobility to make their discontent known. The civil war that followed the death of Louis may have been less a rebellion than an opportunity for the Frankish nobility to attach themselves to particular claimants to Frankish power. Nonetheless, rebellions seem to have flared up at points following the settlement of 843, particularly against Charles the Bald in West Francia (843–77) as well as Charles the Fat in a briefly reconstituted Carolingian empire (877–87). Open rebellion seems to have been used as the principal form of the contestation of power.82 In tenth-century West Francia there was competition between rulers and over-mighty magnates which spilled over into outright civil war. The overthrow of Charles the Simple in 922, leading to battle in 923 at Soissons, was essentially a coup d’état by the discontented magnate and, briefly, king, Robert of Neustria, whose loss of the claim to land at Chelles (dép. Seine-etMarne) by his son and principal heir Hugh (later ‘the Great’), had spurred

81 ASC

CD 1041; JW, vol. 2, s.a. 1041, pp. 532–3. See below, pp. 68–9. Brunner, Oppositionelle Gruppen im Karolingerreich (Vienna, 1979); for the personal structures of power at large in Charles the Fat’s reign, see discussion in MacLean, Kingship and Politics, esp. p. 48–80. 82 K.

36  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Robert’s rebellious action in seizing the throne.83 While Robert’s death in battle prevented him from enjoying the fruits of his labour for long, the accession to power by his son-in-law Raoul of Burgundy led to a prolonged period of competition for power between West Frankish rulers and their principle magnates, with Count Heribert II of Vermandois acting as gaoler for the imprisoned Charles, at times threatening to release him. We can also see that when Charles’s son Louis IV returned from an English exile in 936, conflict built up between Heribert and Louis and, later, between Louis and the Dux Francorum Hugh the Great.84 In so many of the actions taken against kings whose legitimacy was at least claimed by a coterie of supporters and the counter-actions by the kings themselves or their supporters, places of public power such as Laon or the centres of private power such as ChâteauThierry were used. During the course of the tenth century we see the emergence of friction between the power of a resurgent Ottonian kingship and the authority of West Frankish rulers of the Carolingian line.85 Richer of Reims voices the West Frankish king Lothar’s concern that Hugh Capet, duke of the Franks, might make alliance with Otto II in the late 970s, reflecting the dynamics of such conflicts – an indication that in such a situation magnates might demonstrate their independence from their nominal king.86 That such dynamics were reminiscent of the West Frankish magnates’ rebellion against Charles the Bald in favour of his East Frankish brother in the late 850s is a remarkable indication of the Carolingian-ness of the conflicts that they culminated in the disputed control of Aachen in 978, a place by then significant only for its symbolic importance.87 83 G.

Koziol, ‘Charles the Simple, Robert of Neustria, and the Vexilla of SaintDenis’, EME, 14 (2006), pp. 355–90. 84 M. Bur, La formation du comté de Champagne, v. 950–v. 1150 (Lille, 1977), pp. 95–9; O. Guillot, ‘Formes, fondements et limites de l’organisation politique en France au Xe siècle’, Il secolo di ferro: Mito e realtà del secolo X, Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, 38 (Spoleto, 2 vols, 1991), vol. 1, pp. 57–116, at pp. 80–106; see also MacLean, ‘Making a Difference in Tenth-Century Politics’, pp. 173–4 and pp. 181–2. 85 For the contestation of the ‘Belgae’ (i.e. what is often referred to as the ‘Middle Kingdom’) between Otto II and Lothar in 973, see Richer, III.67, vol. 2, pp. 108–11. 86 Richer, III.78, vol. 2, pp. 128–31. 87 On internal opposition and West Frankish favour toward Louis the German, see J. L. Nelson, Charles the Bald (London, 1992), pp. 181–6. For the later tenth century, see below, pp. 73 and 268.

introduction  ❧ 37

Laon’s importance as a centre where political power might be contested may have reached its apogee with the Capetian takeover of power at the end of the tenth century. In 988, the defeated Carolingian pretender, Charles of Lorraine, made a bid for power in a conflict in which the favour of the bishop of Laon and the control of the city became a touchstone of political legitimacy. It was to no avail. Though beset by familiar enough problems relating to the limits of royal authority among an aristocracy with strong regional interests, the Capetian dynasty had prevailed in transforming the comital power of the descendants of Robert the Strong into claims to hold the royal authority of a lasting dynasty.88 The dynastic cycles of the holding of power that these patterns represent are remarkable, from the Carolingians’ coup d’état of 751, representing the seizure of power by a competitive rival dynasty who could draw on sporadic bouts of power in their familial past, to the Capetians who had similarly been able to draw on kingly power in the form of Robert I and his son-in-law Raoul. The cyclical nature probably ought not to be overstated, however. It is only in retrospect that we can look at the notional continuity of familial lines as ‘royal’, and in many ways the period from Robert I through to the end of the reign of Raoul in 936 was as much of a dynastic break as the events of 987. However, the dynastic shifts and the intent to demonstrate that a royal title was something that stemmed from legitimacy brought out tensions arising from the need to represent something new and the need to draw on the dynamics of existing power structures. In terms of the focus of this book, these manifested themselves in the form of key places, existing churches, and networks of estates and palaces. In the eleventh century, we see the assertion of interests of French royal authority as kings attempted to show their position as rulers within a royal territory. A result of this was conflict at the margins of the French royal domain of the Île de France, in particular with Burgundy in the early part of the century and at the edges of ducal and comital territories such as Normandy and Anjou at the time of the mature kingship of Henry I.89 The rise of first Angevin and then Norman power has tended to obscure the effectiveness of a royal resurgence of power, but that conflict of ducal against royal interests is a significant trend in the period. In some ways the assumption of 88 E.

Hallam and J. Everard, Capetian France, 987–1328 (Harlow, 2nd edn, 2001), pp. 25–31. 89 On Henry I’s assertion of kingship at court, see Dunbabin, France in the Making, p. 165; Dunbabin deals with Henry’s policy toward Normandy after 1051 at p. 205.

38  ❧  pl aces of contested power

a royal title by a powerful ducal dynasty whose interests were in competition with the interests of the French king was not so far from the Carolingian and Capetian coups d’état noted above. The difference in 1066 was that the transformation from a magnate dynasty to a royal one was to take place across the English Channel.

The Anglo-Norman realm: the mid eleventh to the mid twelfth centuries As a trans-Channel Anglo-Norman realm developed between the mid eleventh and mid twelfth centuries, there is a case to be made for the consideration of this as a political region, despite the treatment of individual polities and the interests of isolated groups within it.90 There was, as we have seen, opposition to some political developments during this period, though they were less ideologically driven than is sometimes thought. Even before the Norman Conquest, the actions of particular magnates in England seem to reflect the shape of opposition to come. In a well-known scenario frequently used to explain the tensions leading to the Norman Conquest, the Godwine family acted against the cross-Channel interests of the family of Edward the Confessor in 1051–2, as the people of Dover rebelled against Eustace of Boulogne, Edward’s cousin, in 1051. This took place against a backdrop of dispute regarding the succession to the archbishopric of Canterbury. The king’s hostility to the Godwines led to their refusal to attend an assembly, while individual members of the family led their prosecution of a piratical campaign on the south coast, particularly against royal estates, in order to return to and even augment their earlier positions.91 90 The

maximal interpretation of this is J. Le Patourel, The Norman Empire (Oxford, 1976), though see also Bates, Normans and Empire, and D. Matthew, Britain and the Continent 1000–1300: The Impact of the Norman Conquest (London, 2005). Cf. D. Crouch, ‘Normans and Anglo-Normans: A Divided Aristocracy?’ in England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. D. Bates and A. Curry (London, 1994), pp. 51–67. 91 For events at Dover, see below, chapter 6, pp. 228–31, and for the 1052 campaign, chapter 8, pp. 281–6. Although her calculations can be disputed (below, chapter 3, p. 105, n. 38), the picture provided by R. Fleming, Kings and Lords in Conquest England (Cambridge, 1993), pp. 53–104, is helpful in understanding tensions between the king and the Godwine family. A view of composition and local interests is provided by A. Williams, ‘Regional Communities and Royal Authority

introduction  ❧ 39

Around the same time in Normandy, rebellions against William the Conqueror, at Val-ès-Dunes, near Caen (1047), Brionne (dép. Eure, c.1051), and Arques-la-Bataille (c.1053) show a similar opposition to ducal power, and though the motivations for these rebellions are debatable,92 the contrast between Edward the Confessor apparently capitulating to his chief rival and William determining his own sense of ducal power through putting down opposition could hardly be stronger. Furthermore, as has been noted above, comparisons between the experiences of the former exile Edward the Confessor in eleventh-century England and those of his tenth-century French counterpart, Louis IV, have some value in consideration of the experience of political contestation. Actions at Arques, Dover, and, finally, the battle of Val-ès-Dunes provide useful case studies in later chapters.93 In York on the eve of the Norman Conquest, rebellion was launched against the men of Earl Tostig, a figure who had been implanted into the earldom less than a decade earlier; the Earl’s manor on the north side of the city was burnt and some of Tostig’s housecarls were killed, though Tostig himself was away from York at the time.94 The episode earned York William of Malmesbury’s approbrium as a suffugium of rebels. Though William was well-read enough to have been aware, if second-hand, of Adalbert of Magdeberg’s reading, noted above, of what constituted a latibulum for rebels, it is more likely that he was thinking of York’s post-Conquest reputation when he made his judgement.95 However, the pattern of attacking a place that was the manifestation of the

in the Late Old English Kingdom: The Crisis of 1051–1052 Revisited’, History, 98 (2013), pp. 23–40. 92 M. Hagger, ‘How the West was Won: The Norman Dukes and the Cotentin, c. 987–c. 1087’, JMH, 38 (2012), pp. 20–55; D. Bates and P. Bauduin, ‘Autour de l’année 1047: Un acte de Guillaume, comte d’Arques, pour Fécamp (18 juillet 1047)’, in De part et d’autre de la Normandie médiévale: Recueil d’études en hommage à François Neveux, ed. P. Bouet, C. Bougy, B. Garnier, and C. Maneuvrier, Cahier des Annales de Normandie, 35:1 (2009), pp. 43–52. 93 Below, pp. 201–11, 228–31, and 312–23. 94 ASC CDE 1065; VÆdR, pp. 76–7. 95 Adalbert is not in the ‘List of Works Known to William at First Hand’, catalogued by Rodney Thomson in his William of Malmesbury (Woodbridge, 1987; rev. edn, 2003), pp. 202–14.

40  ❧   pl aces of contested power

delegation of royal authority – earl’s hall or royal castle – made William’s judgement a fair one.96 Following the Norman Conquest, rebellions took place in both England and Normandy; the first few years after the Conquest saw rebellions at the edges of the English kingdom, on the Welsh Marches and west Midlands, Somerset and Devon, Northumbria, and East Anglia. Moreover, the seizure of Dover by Eustace of Boulogne in the immediate aftermath of the 1066 conquest was a classic case of a disgruntled magnate voicing his opposition to a settlement that he may well have perceived as unjust.97 A pattern of rebellions against William in the period from 1067 to 1071, including what seem to have been particularly spectacular uprisings against the castles of the king’s men in the North, in Durham and York in 1068 and 1069–70, was chiefly focused on the interests of the ‘native’ nobility. This chapter has already provided a sense of how the geography of Ely was used to express the opposition of a particular group in 1070–1, though as we shall see in chapter 2, there may have been less of an ‘ethnic’ dimension to such rebellion than is sometimes thought.98 The so-called ‘Earls’ Revolt’ (or ‘Barons’ Revolt’) of 1075 is a case of conspiracy by a new generation of ‘Anglo-Norman’ nobles and in that sense it represents a change from the pattern of opposition to the processes of Conquest by native nobles, to disgruntlement – perhaps rather like that of Eustace – at the way in which a new generation of nobles were treated in the developing regime. But, as may be seen in chapter 3, when we examine the Earls’ Revolt, the significance of legitimacy along pre-Conquest lines of expression becomes apparent. Rebellions against William in Normandy after 1066 are also considered in this volume. William faced opposition from baronial magnates on the borders of Normandy, particularly exacerbated by the relationship between William and his eldest son, Robert Curthose.99 To that end, Robert’s actions 96 WM,

GRA, pp. 462–3; Adalbert, Continuatio, in Regino, s.a. 953, p. 167 (trans. p. 255) (see above, p. 7). 97 Williams, English and the Norman Conquest, pp. 15–16. For an argument for the narrative of forgiveness of Eustace used in the patronage of the Bayeux Tapestry by Bishop Odo, see S. A. Brown, ‘The Bayeux Tapestry: Why Eustace, Odo and William?’ ANS, 12 (1990 for 1989), pp. 7–28. 98 An extreme example of such a reading is P. Rex, The English Resistance: The Underground War against the Normans (Stroud, 2004). 99 W. M. Aird, ‘Frustrated Masculinity: The Relationship between William the Conqueror and his Eldest Son’, in Masculinity in Medieval Europe, ed. D. M. Hadley

introduction  ❧ 41

were like those of Edmund Ironside in England some sixty years earlier, and indeed those in late Carolingian Francia and England in the ninth century. These were cases where opposition to a ruler coalesced around a discontented son from the ruling dynasty whose opportunities to rule were being stifled by the longevity of a surviving father whom they might otherwise expect to succeed.100 The dynamics of those family relations manifested themselves in opposition. William II ‘Rufus’ faced rebellion after the death of his father, as English magnates, particularly the new king’s uncles Robert of Mortain and Odo of Bayeux, used both royal castles (e.g. Rochester) and their own castles (e.g. Pevensey) to express their support for Robert Curthose, duke of Normandy in 1088.101 In Normandy, support for William Rufus against Duke Robert manifested itself in rebellion, particularly in the revolt in Rouen in 1090, an urban revolt which forms a significant case study in chapter 6. This fitted a familiar pattern of disgruntled nobles, and in the case of Rouen, a member of the emergent bourgeosie, attaching themselves to the cause of a particular claimant. Also significant is the confused back-and-forth nature of opposition to Henry in England and Robert in Normandy after Henry’s accession to power in England and Robert’s return from crusade in 1100.102 Though hardly unheard of, actions against Henry were rarer after the 1106 conquest of Normandy, and the sense of their rarity was heightened amongst contemporaries – like those who looked back upon the apparently quiet reign of Edgar ‘the Peaceable’ just over a century and a half before – by the contrast with upheavals in a later reign, here following the accession of his nephew Stephen of Blois in 1135.103 Henry’s ability to exert influence and control over the familial lands of his nobility, potentially preventing (London, 1999), pp. 39–55. 100 The significance of this pattern is examined in more detail in the following chapter, pp. 53–8. 101 R. Sharpe, ‘1088 – William II and the Rebels’, ANS, 26 (2004 for 2003), pp. 139–57. 102 Works on the subject of the ‘divided aristocracy’ and the allegiance to ducal and royal claimants after 1100 are N. Strevett, ‘The Anglo-Norman Civil War of 1101 Reconsidered’, ANS, 26 (2004 for 2003), pp. 159–75 and W. M. Aird, Robert Curthose: Duke of Normandy (c. 1050–1134) (Woodbridge, 2008). 103 See M. Chibnall, The World of Orderic Vitalis: Norman Monks and Norman Knights (Oxford, 1984).

42  ❧  pl aces of contested power

marriage if the circumstances suited, meant that the withholding of rights to certain lands could become casus belli. The opposition which reared its head, ostensibly on behalf of Matilda’s legitimacy, in the middle years of the twelfth century is arguably a result of the tensions which built up during the reign of Henry. This compares with the manner in which the tensions which exploded after the death of Edgar may be attributed, in part, to the inability of a frustrated opposition to vent itself at the court of a ruler who had contained that opposition.104 While the conflict of the Young King Henry against his father Henry II, particularly in 1173–4, is a manifestation of some of the forms of internal opposition typical of the period, the events do not feature in detail, particularly as they have been so well covered recently by Matthew Strickland.105 Nonetheless, Strickland’s observations on the way in which opposition could coalesce around a discontented member of the royal family are a useful indicator of the importance of themes considered in this book. In many ways, by the twelfth century the territorial control of the duchy of Normandy, backed up by the royal power the dukes enjoyed in England, was the high watermark of princely power manifested against the limits of West Frankish royal power. This was part of a pattern where the strength of ducal power elsewhere, particularly in Anjou, was a serious counterweight to royal power. Royal attempts to regain power and influence across the French kingdom were evidently behind some of the most serious contestations of power faced by Norman and Angevin dukes during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Royal interference was famously behind the support for Robert Curthose in the late 1070s and Henry the Young King a century later, as well as the support provided by the king of France to William Clito, son of Robert Curthose, as a means to disrupting the rule of William’s uncle, Henry I of England.106 ❧  ❧  ❧

Rebellion and the open contestation of power clearly mattered, then, and were frequently used as tools in the early and central medieval polities of 104 Jayakumar,

‘Eadwig and Edgar’; for discussion of the landed interests in this period, see chapter 4, p. 143, below. 105 M. Strickland, Henry the Young King, 1155–1183 (New Haven, CT, 2016). 106 Aird, Robert Curthose, pp. 254–3, though also noting the importance of support from other French magnates for William.

introduction  ❧ 43

England and France. Moreover, the variety of internal conflicts discussed in this introduction has shown that forms of opposition changed with the forms of ducal, royal, and imperial power that were being opposed. In the following chapter, we move to a discussion of how internal opposition can be determined according to the different types of action in which it manifested itself, addressing the motivations for those actions and the ways in which they are related in historical sources.

Chapter One

Reading Conflict Varieties of Opposition and Rebellion In his famous and much-quoted definition of a nation, the nineteenth-century historian Ernest Renan referred to the existence of a nation as ‘a daily plebiscite, just as the existence of the individual is a perpetual affirmation of life’ (un plébiscite de tous les jours, comme l’existence de l’individu est une affirmation perpétuelle de vie).1 The idea of the nation – often read in this context as the nation state – as a personal ‘daily plebiscite’ undertaken by all the members of the national society has long captured the imagination of political theorists but Renan’s definition comes with an inherent paradox if transposed to early medieval political order. Devoid of many forms of nationhood and wracked by political opposition, the form that political order took in the early Middle Ages might render impossible Renan’s notion of the ‘daily plebiscite’ for individuals within the polity. At the same time, such oppositional politics as could emerge in the early Middle Ages could be, as Karl Brunner’s study has it, a form of political order which determined the nature of that polity.2 This chapter investigates the nature of that political opposition in terms of how it could have meaning to contemporaries, and ultimately how the paradox of political order could function. The chapter also investigates a shift in the nature of political action during this period, from acts of rebellion which emanated from the grievances of members of royal families to those which were directed by and focused on the 1 E.

Renan, Qu’est-ce qu’une nation? Conférence faite en Sorbonne, le 11 mars 1882 (Paris, 2nd edn, 1882), p. 27. 2 Brunner, Oppositionelle Gruppen im Karolingerreich.

reading conflict  ❧ 45

aristocracy’s interests themselves.3 The nature of popular unrest is also considered, as is the recurring theme of rebellions against overlords. Some observations on the nature of political power and its negotiation are also appropriate here. First, however, although the introductory discussion has established the political importance of the contestation of power and has shone some light on the occasions where authority could be usurped, it is appropriate to establish the ways in which contemporaries recognised this. Our understanding of internal conflict is not just determined by sources which define unsuccessful would-be usurpers as rebels in hindsight alone. To a modern reader, rebellion, resistance, revolt, and riot are similar notions, almost synonymous, and are caught up with radical notions of politics, both of the left and the right.4 But while medieval rebellions are tied up with a sense of conflict and opposition, they were not necessarily associated with radical change in our period; as Stuart Airlie put it, ‘[a]ristocrats did not want to depose kings and set up a republic of nobles.’5 For those aristocrats who fought against their peers, such as in a ‘feud’, the intention of overturning a political order was even less likely. Feud, in so far as it can be defined in a field of scholarship which is often contentious,6 3 This

shift is noted by T. Reuter, Germany in the Early Middle Ages, c. 800–1056 (London, 1991), pp. 199–200, and by M. Strickland, ‘Against the Lord’s Anointed: Aspects of Warfare and Baronial Rebellion in England and Normandy, 1075–1265’, in Law and Government in Medieval England and Normandy: Essays in Honour of Sir James Holt, ed. G. Garnett and J. Hudson (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 56–79. In the latter collection, see also J. Gillingham, ‘1066 and the Introduction of Chivalry into England’, pp. 31–55, at pp. 45–9. 4 See e.g. J. C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven, 1992). I am grateful to Simon Sandall for this reference. 5 S. Airlie, ‘“Not Rendering unto Caesar”: Challenges to Early Medieval Rulers’, in Der Frühmittelalterliche Staat, ed. Pohl and Wieser, pp. 489–501, at p. 490. For the social and political conservatism of rebellion in a classic anthropological study, see M. Gluckman, ‘Rituals of Rebellion in South-East Africa’, in his Order and Rebellion in Tribal Africa: Collected Essays with an Autobiographical Introduction (London, 1963), pp. 110–36. Exceptions in a much earlier period, in which the Ardurni, Aedui, and Helvetii saw the expulsion of royalty by magnates (unlike the Carolingians, without the assumption of royal authority by the magnates assuming power), are noted by M. J. Enright, Lady with a Mead Cup: Ritual, Prophecy and Lordship in the European Warband from La Tène to the Viking Age (Dublin, 1996), p. 149. 6 Two important discussions of the last two decades are G. Halsall, ‘Reflections on Early Medieval Violence: The Example of the ‘Blood Feud’, Memoria y Civilización,

46  ❧  pl aces of contested power

consisted of activity which was private in intention, though not always so in nature. Both feud and rebellion involved infractions of accepted order to a lesser or greater degree but while contesting control of the order they did not necessarily undermine the expectation that the order itself would continue to exist.7 The prosecution of feud is too tricky to pin down as a specific strand of this study but rebellion – as an activity which was effectively public and open, drawing attention to grievances – seems to have had more in common with feud than with the essentially secret nature of the seizure of power through the disposal, often the murder, of a ruler or lord in coups d’état.8 Rebellion, treason, and what became known as lèse-majesté, even to the extent of the violent elimination of a ruler,9 were obviously not mutually exclusive but a defining issue in this book is those actions which had some declarative, open element. As will be seen in chapter 3, secret planning was often an inherent part of many oppositional actions but it is perhaps testament to the need for the legitimacy of opposition to be seen as open that the accusations used to suppress them made much of the conspiratorial nature of the plots. It should be added that oppositional actions did not actually need to be physically violent: implied threat was often as important as violence

2 (1999), pp. 7–29; P. R. Hyams, Rancor and Reconciliation in Medieval England (Ithaca, NY, 2003), pp. 71–110. Warren C. Brown’s introduction to his Violence in Medieval Europe (London, 2011), pp. 1–30, provides a justification for avoiding imposing the terminology where contemporary sources do not support it. 7 For a recent study of the regulation of ‘hostility’, encompassing notions of ‘feud’, see R. Bartlett, ‘“Mortal Enmities”: The Legal Aspect of Hostility in the Middle Ages’, in Feud, Violence and Practice, ed. Tuten and Billado, pp. 197–212. T. Lambert, Law and Order in Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 2017), pp. 224–31. On what may amount to a self-regulation of rebellion, see Airlie, ‘“Not Rendering unto Caesar”’ and, in the period up to the end of the eighth century, P. Fouracre, ‘The Incidence of Rebellion in the Early Medieval West’, in Making Early Medieval Societies: Conflict and Belonging in the Latin West, 300–1200, ed. K. Cooper and C. Leyser (Cambridge, 2016), pp. 104–24. 8 Although to my present knowledge there is no work specifically addressing early or central medieval seizures of power in terms of coup d’état, some useful observations can be found in J.-P. Genet, ‘Le coup d’état, ou les légitimités contrariées’, in Coups d’état à la fin du Moyen Âge? Aux fondements du pouvoir politique en Europe occidentale, ed. F. Foronda, J.-P. Genet, and J. M. Nieto Soria (Madrid, 2005), pp. 1–17. 9 M. Billoré, ‘Introduction’, in La trahison au Moyen Age: De la monstruosité au crime politique, ed. M. Billoré and M. Soria (Rennes, 2009), pp. 15–34, at pp. 15–22.

reading conflict  ❧ 47

itself, and an action only had to be perceived as hostile in order for it to have been defined in terms of hostility.10 Of course (and this is an abiding theme), in many cases the very absence of recognition of the legitimacy of the right to wield authority was a direct factor in many internal conflicts. Nonetheless, in taking action against some authority or other, some rebels could be said to have undertaken acts which, if they did not involve explicit recognition of ‘legitimate’ authority, were, by implication, an acknowledgement of the disparities of power between the parties involved.11 In some ways this was a recognition that their contestation of authority stemmed from membership of the very group which contained the party against which they were rebelling. The extent to which such disparaties came into play may have depended upon whether the ruling authority facing opposition was royal or simply a lord – whether ducal, comital, or ecclesiastical – without a royal title. Lords who did not enjoy royal titles are considered later in this chapter but in cases of action taken against a king, such recognition of the disparity between royal authority and that of the rebel could be made manifest in the recording of actions. Robert of Torigni marked those of Juliana, illegitimate daughter of Henry I, and her husband Eustace, at Breteuil (dép. Eure) in 1119, as ‘contra uoluntatem et fidelitatem regis’ (‘against the king’s will and fealty’), while Raoul Glaber recorded the actions of Odo II of Blois in the seizure of the lands of Count Stephen of Troyes in the early eleventh century as ‘contra regis uoluntatem’ (‘against the king’s will’).12 Although the normative expectations of loyalty to a ruler were an apparent expectation of the period studied here and across the Middle Ages more broadly, conflict could still take place within the parameters of

10 It

is appropriate to cite here the notion of symbolic violence presented by Pierre Bourdieu, in Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. R. Nice (Cambridge, 1977), pp. 190–2, as something which is recognised by the one on the receiving end of that action, while it may not be recognised as such by others. 11 On the question of the ‘distributive’ nature of power, see M. Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume 1: A History of Power from the Beginning to AD 1760 (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 6–7. See also the notion of resentment associated with a perceived lack of power in M. Ferro, Resentment in History (London, 2010), although the limits of Ferro’s work for this study must be noted as he says less about resentment between social groups which were close in ‘class’ terms. 12 Robert of Torigni, GND, vol. 2, VIII.15, p. 230; Glaber, III.2.5, pp. 104–5.

48  ❧  pl aces of contested power

expected loyalty.13 Timothy Reuter, following Fritz Kern’s early twentieth-century readings of legitimacy, noted that in many cases in Ottonian and Salian Germany the legitimacy of rebellion could be acceptable to contemporaries.14 This was apparent, Reuter noted, in the work of Thietmar of Merseburg, whose conflicted view of authority and political justice was not far from the surface in his account of the early eleventhcentury rebellion of Margrave Henry against King Henry II. Although making a conventional statement of support for the divine majesty of the derivation of dominion from God, Thietmar acknowledged that Anyone aware of the cause of the margrave’s stubbornness would say that his actions were necessary: the higher powers [sublimiores potestates] may not withdraw something firmly promised to a faithful servant [cuiquam fideliter servienti] without alienating the devotion of others.15

13 A

collection of essays edited by Jörg Sonntag and Coralie Zermatten, Loyalty in the Middle Ages: Ideal and Practice of a Cross-Social Value (Brepols, 2015), provides a sense of the breadth of the subject, though see especially the essay by Rosamund McKitterick, ‘The Oaths of Strasbourg (842) and their Implications in the Light of Recent Scholarship’, pp. 141–59. M. David, La souveraineté et les limites juridiques du pouvoir monarchique: De IXe au XVe siècle (Paris, 1954), esp. pp. 21–33 and pp. 112–30. 14 F. Kern, Gottesgnadentum und Widerstandsrecht im früheren Mittelalter: zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Monarchie (Leipzig, 1914), trans. S. B. Chrimes as Kingship and Law in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1948), pp. 81–97. Reuter, ‘Peace-Breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’. A recent discussion of these themes is P. Geary, ‘Felix Dahn’s Deutsche Treue: Loyalty and its Alternatives in the Tenth Century’, in Loyalty in the Middle Ages, ed. Sonntag and Zermatten, pp. 407–21. 15 ‘Dicat aliquis, non ignorans causam tante presumpcionis, necessario hoc eum fecisse: sublimioribus potestatibus hoc non congruere, tam firmiter promissa cuiquam fideliter servienti subtrahere devocionemque ceterorum abalienare’. Thietmar, V.32, p. 257 (trans. p. 226). Reuter, ‘Peace-Breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’, p. 374, with reference to Thietmar V.32, pp. 256–7, and VI.48, pp. 334–5 (trans. pp. 226–7 and 270–1). See also Warner’s note in discussion of his translation of Thietmar, V.14, at pp. 214–15, n. 43, addressing the undeliverable promises evidently made by Henry II in his campaign for the throne in 1002.

reading conflict  ❧ 49

In his survey of early medieval Germany, Reuter aptly characterised such actions as ‘part of the normal stuff of politics’.16 Reuter’s is a useful motif in consideration of the negotiation of power – not necessarily the zero-sum game of Weberian notions of distributive power in which only one participant could ‘win’ through the exertion of control over another17 but a system by which grievances could be played out, partly by proxy, and far removed from the radicalism that might be associated with later notions of ‘rebellion’. To some extent, the Reuterian model also applies to the polities west of the Rhine from the tenth century onward, although the limits of royal power in the West Frankish kingdom in the tenth century, noted above, must be acknowledged. The relative equality of the French nobility and their kings, notable in terms of the networks that they called upon and the landed resources that both groups could be said to ‘own’,18 may have given nobles the potential to escalate acts of opposition in an ongoing civil war. Crucially, hostility to political opponents and potential opponents stemmed from the perception and, often, the reality of the contestation of tangible concepts of power. Richer of Reims, who wrote in the later tenth century, may present a useful counterpoint to Thietmar’s account of the ambiguous position of Margrave Henry. In an account of a dialogue between Hugh Capet and his chief men, Richer alluded to the anticipation of conflicting interpretations of the memory of Hugh Capet’s action against King Lothar around 981. One of Hugh’s men is said by Richer to have spoken of opponents ‘who will deny that we are defending ourselves against our enemies and will instead defame us as rebels and perjurers who have taken up arms against our king’.19 There 16 Reuter,

Germany in the Early Middle Ages, p. 207. See also Airlie, ‘“Not Rendering unto Caesar”’, and R. Le Jan, ‘Élites et révoltes à l’époque Carolingienne: Crise des élites ou crise des modèles?’ in Les Elites au Haut Moyen Age: Crises et Renouvellements, ed. F. Bougard, L. Feller, and R. Le Jan (Turnhout, 2006), pp. 403–23. 17 M. Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellshaft, Part 1, chapter 1, §16, trans. M. A. Henderson and T. Parsons in Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, ed. T. Parsons (Oxford, 1947; repr. New York, 1964), p. 152. The general problems with this model are discussed in Mann, Sources of Social Power, Vol. 1, pp. 6–7. 18 R. Le Jan, ‘Fisc et ressources royales dans le royaume franc au ixe et xe siècles’, in Biens publics, biens du roi: Les bases économiques des pouvoirs royaux dans le haut Moyen Ȃge (VIe–début du XIe siècle) / Beni pubblici, beni del re: Le basi economiche dei poteri regi nell’alto medioevo, ed. F. Bougard and V. Lore (Turnout, 2019), pp. 121–55; Guillot, ‘Formes, fondements et limites’, pp. 81–2. 19 ‘[Q]ui non contra adversarios nos exercere defensionem loquetur, at in rebellione contra regem temerarios atque periuros stare calumniabitur.’ Richer, III.83, vol. 2,

50  ❧  pl aces of contested power

were evidently conflicting views on the legitimacy of a figure who, despite being a ruler by the time that Richer wrote, was evidently perceived by some – or had been perceived – as a rebel. This seems to have been an admission by Richer or by his contemporaries that the balance of power could shift as a result of political action and that, arguably, authority could change hands completely. Presumably the death of Hugh in 996, during the time in which Richer wrote, allowed some revision of his memory and reputation.20 Above all, it was also an indication that the legitimacy of an action was contestable and was indeed contested. Referring to the actions of the West Franks against the son of Charles the Bald in 858, Jinty Nelson has commented on the right of subjects to depose a ‘bad king’.21 Although definitions of ‘bad’ or ‘unjust’ kingship had been evident and disseminated across early medieval Europe since at least the composition of the treatise on the ‘Twelve Abuses’ in the seventh century (of which the rex iniquus, the ‘unjust king’, was number 9),22 we might also note that acts of resistance against royal authority were not always direct. Sometimes they might be manifested, as they were in 1065 in Northumbria, not against the person of the king but against their agent (in this case the earl, Tostig).23 As Matthew Strickland observed with regard to the central Middle Ages, the actions of those who fought against a king often foundered in the face of the king himself.24 Those who made themselves into rebels by their actions prepp. 140–1. 20 Although not specifically discussing this episode, J. K. Glenn, Politics and History in the Tenth Century: The Work and World of Richer of Reims (Cambridge, 2004), pp. 128–65, especially pp. 160–3, discusses the revisions made under changing political circumstances, and proposes three recensions of the Histories in Richer’s autograph manuscripts. 21 J. L. Nelson, ‘Bad Kingship in the Earlier Middle Ages’, HSJ, 8 (1996), pp. 1–26; See also Le Jan, ‘Élites et révoltes’, pp. 410–17 and 420–2, and E. Peters, The Shadow King: Rex Inutilis in Medieval Law and Literature, 751–1327 (New Haven, CT, 1970), although Peters does not discuss the 858 episode specifically. 22 M. Clayton, ‘De Duodecim Abusiuis, Lordship and Kingship in Anglo-Saxon England’, in Saints and Scholars: New Perspectives on Anglo-Saxon Literature and Culture, ed. S. McWilliams (Cambridge, 2012), pp. 141–63. 23 ASC DE 1065. See Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, pp. 86–9. 24 Strickland, ‘Against the Lord’s Anointed’. For further discussion of Strickland’s view of the strength of royal ira against rebels, see his ‘Réconciliation ou humiliation? La suppression de la rébellion aristocratique dans les royaumes Anglo-Normand et

reading conflict  ❧ 51

sumably had to think long and hard before they acted against a royal party, making rebellion a contest for social and political capital. Commenting on the Ottonians, Timothy Reuter argued for the inherent air of ‘kingliness’ expressed through style – if a king acted as king, then he was a king25 – while Strickland notes felicitas as the essential attribute of a successful king.26 This was enhanced by, indeed entwined with, a process of the sacralisation of kingship which made action against a king an act against God, indicated by Adalbert’s notion, noted above, that Archbishop Frederick of Mainz’s act of siding with rebels in 953 invoked a place, Breisach, that was ‘always’ the latibulum of those who rebelled ‘against king and God’.27 The allusion to ‘king and God’ was an indication that the two were, as Ernst Kantorowicz famously observed, inseparable, no less so in the process of legal subjection (a process which had been emerging during the tenth and eleventh centuries).28 Such inseparability arguably reached its apogee in the so-called Norman Anonymous’s statements on the divinity of royal legitimacy made around the beginning of the twelfth century29 but hostility to those who opposed royal power, precisely because the legitimacy of authority was recognised as royal, is evident throughout our period.30 Angevin’, in Images de la contestation du pouvoir dans le monde normand: Xe–XVIIIe siècle: Actes du colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle, 29 septembre–3 octobre 2004, ed. C. Bougy and S. Poirey (Caen, 2007), pp. 65–78. 25 T. Reuter, ‘“Regemque, quem in Francia pene perdidit, in patria magnifice”: Ottonian Ruler Representation in Synchronic and Diachronic Comparison’, in Herrschaftrepräsentation im Ottonischen Sachsen, ed. G. Althof and E. Schubert (Sigmaringen, 1998), pp. 363–80, repr. in Reuter, Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities, ed. Nelson, pp. 127–46, at pp. 128–9. 26 Strickland, ‘Against the Lord’s Anointed’, pp. 60–1. 27 See p. 7, above. 28 E. H. Kantorowicz, The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ, 1957). 29 Published as Tractatus Eboracenses, ed. H. Böhmer, MGH Libelli de Lite Imperatorum et Pontificum saeculis XI. et XII. Conscripti, 2 (Hannover, 1897), pp. 642–79. For discussion, see Kantorowicz, King’s Two Bodies, pp. 42–61. 30 This is relatively well established in later medieval historiography. See, for example, P. Strohm, England’s Empty Throne: Usurpation and the Language of Legitimation, 1399–1422 (New Haven, 1998), and C. Valente, The Theory and Practice of Revolt in Medieval England (Aldershot, 2003). See also the consideration of readings of opposition to kings in J. A. Green, Forging the Kingdom: Power in English Society, 973–1189 (Cambridge, 2017), pp. 112–14.

52  ❧  pl aces of contested power

It is little wonder that in an Old English poetic take on the Book of Genesis, Satan cuts a striking figure as the leader of a rebel band (in some ways not dissimilar from the rebellious West Saxon æthelings discussed below – Cyneheard and Æthelwold).31 Orderic recognised such dynamics in the twelfth century when he emphasised the loyalty of the English to their kings in his account of the 1088 rebellion against William Rufus. Orderic was often happy to conflate the post-Conquest Normans in England with those whose family backgrounds lay in pre-Conquest England when it suited his purposes, but here (in a remarkable parallel with the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s allusion to the loyalty of the English in its 1088 entry) he wished to draw out the historical legacy of the English kingdom: ‘“A people who betrays its prince is utterly despicable”’, he wrote, putting words into the mouths of what he said was an army of 30,000 Englishmen assembling voluntarily to serve King William. ‘“An army that welcomes the ruin of its lord is ripe for destruction. Study the pages of English history: you will find that the English are always loyal to their princes.”’32 The words of Orderic’s crowd were wrong, of course, and Orderic had read and indeed written enough English history to be aware that the English were not always loyal to their kings. However, he does put his finger on what seems to be a shift in the nature of political opposition in England which had become more frequent by the end of the eleventh century – and it was certainly a live issue by the time that Orderic wrote in twelfth-century Normandy.33 All the same, as Strickland observed of the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the Anglo-Norman realm, echoing the sentiments of Reuter on the nature of rebellion, aristocrats could be unruly but the risk of injury against the person of the king, what was defined by the twelfth century as lèse-majesté, presented significant drawbacks: 31 Genesis

B, lines 338–440, in An Edition of the West Saxon Genesis B and the Old Saxon Vatican Genesis, ed. A. N. Doane (Madison, WI, 1978; 2nd edn, 1991), p. 212. I am grateful to Chris Lewis for drawing my attention to such Biblical parallels, though see now D. Thomas, ‘Revolt in Heaven: Lucifer’s Treason in Genesis’, in Treason: Medieval and Early Modern Adultery, Betrayal, and Shame, ed. L. Tracy (Leiden, 2019), pp. 147–69, and J. Fitzgerald, Rebel Angels: Space and Sovereignty in Anglo-Saxon England (Manchester, 2019). 32 ‘“Detestabilis gens est quæ principi suo infida est. Phalanx morti sit uicina quæ domini sui gaudet ruina. Sollerter Anglorum rimare historias inueniesque semper fidos principibus suis Angligenas.”’ OV, vol. 4, pp. 126–7. Cf. ASC E 1088. 33 P. Bouet, ‘La contestation politique chez Orderic Vital’, in Images de la contestation du pouvoir dans le monde normand, ed. Bougy and Poirey, pp. 11–29.

reading conflict  ❧ 53 The high incidence of revolt in the eleventh and twelfth centuries clearly demonstrates that there were many who did not scruple to violate the bonds of homage and fealty, though conversely, the ease with which many rebellions were suppressed and the readiness of many rebels to capitulate swiftly indicates that here was a crucial disparity between the avowed aims of many of the insurrections and the desire to maintain effective opposition against the king.34

Although many of the conflicts which feature in the following chapters ended unhappily for the political actors who contested authority while others ended with some form of mutual agreement, however grudgingly granted by a ruler, it is worth noting the frequency of the conclusion of a dispute or the rehabilitation of an offender as a result of royal forgiveness. If taking action against a political opponent was not necessarily a dangerous ‘zero-sum game’, we should bear in mind the question of whether many actions may have been planned with, or at least eventually redirected toward, the aim of capitulating and receiving princely forgiveness.35 Thus, the cause of the grievance itself could gain recognition while a ruler could retain face through the acceptance of their authority.

Family politics and claims to power Narratives of political development are full of references to statements of intent by parties marginalised by the transmission of power into the hands of particular dynastic groups, those from the Carolingian family in Francia or descendants of Ecgberht in Wessex and southern England.36 Both families 34 Strickland,

‘Against the Lord’s Anointed’, p. 72. For terminology and contemporary notions of definition, see Billoré’s introduction to La trahison au Moyen Ȃge, ed. Billoré and Soria, pp. 15–22. 35 For royal sanctions against rebels and the limits of applying them, see Strickland, ‘Against the Lord’s Anointed’, pp. 74–5. 36 For discussion of the descent of West Saxon kings in the ninth century in a regularised pattern, see R. Abels, ‘Royal Succession and the Growth of Stability in NinthCentury Wessex’, HSJ, 12 (2003 for 2002), pp. 83–97. For wider observations on the difficulties of the transmission of power, see Mann, Sources of Social Power Vol. 1, pp. 68–9, and J. Goody, ‘Introduction’, in Succession to High Office, ed. J. Goody (Cambridge, 1966), pp. 1–56, at pp. 24–5, citing Gluckman, ‘Rituals of Rebellion in South-East Africa’.

54  ❧  pl aces of contested power

were characterised by the increasing significance of exogamous marriage and the links that this custom allowed. Thus we see the development of interests by marginalised groups from within the kindred as strategic or marital interests moved or were perceived as moving against them. Sometimes this was the result of the illegitimacy of a son becoming an issue with the appearance of newly legitimised claimants (and at least one eighth-century case of name-appropriation), but legitimacy itself was not always the main factor in political worlds where remarriage could result in a father moving his interests to the offspring of the new marriage or indeed offspring yet to come. Examples of such disputes may be seen in the actions of Æthelbald, the son of Æthelwulf (856),37 Æthelwold, son of King Æthelred I and nephew of King Alfred (899/900 and 902–3),38 Bernard of Italy, son of Pippin of Italy and nephew of the Emperor Louis the Pious (817),39 Lothar and his brothers (833),40 Pippin II of Aquitaine (at various points between 839 and 864),41 as well as, during the final decade of the eighth century, Pippin ‘the Hunchback’ (792).42 The actions of the ætheling Cyneheard against King Cynewulf (786), 37 Although not outright rebellion, the fact that Asser remarks on it, presumably with

an eye to the dangers of Alfred’s own day of potential rebellion against both father and son, indicates the level of the ‘civil strife’ in the kingdom; Asser, ch. 12, pp. 9–10 (trans. p. 70). See Abels, ‘Royal Succession and the Growth of Stability in NinthCentury Wessex’, pp. 89–90. M. J. Enright, ‘Charles the Bald and Aethelwulf of Wessex: The Alliance of 856 and Strategies of Royal Succession’, JMH, 5 (1979), pp. 291–302, suggests that the marriage was deliberately provocative (against Æthelbald) and that Æthelbald rebelled when Æthelwulf was across the Channel in anticipation of his father’s action. 38 ASC 899/900. 39 Astronomer, chs 29–30, pp. 380–4 (trans. pp. 256–7). 40 For the events of the ‘Field of Lies’, see above, pp. 8–10, and references therein. 41 AB 839, 844, 849, 854, 857, 859, and 864; AB 841 and 848, 852–3, 856, and 858 also give some indication of Pippin’s position, largely vis-à-vis Charles the Bald, indicating that Pippin may not always have been the agent of rebellion; see Martindale, ‘Charles the Bald and the Government of the Kingdom of Aquitaine’. 42 Revised Frankish Annals s.a. 792, in Annales regni Francorum inde a. 741 usque ad 829, qui dicuntur Annales Laurissenses maiores et Einhardi, ed. F. Kurze, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 6 (Hannover, 1895), p. 91; trans. King, Charlemagne: Translated Sources, pp. 124–5. See J. L. Nelson, ‘Charlemagne: pater optimus?’, in Am Vorabend der Kaiserkrönung: das Epos ‘Karolus Magnus et Leo papa’ und der Papstbesuch in Paderborn 799, ed. P. Godman, J. Jarnut, and P. Johanek (Berlin, 2002), pp. 271–83, at pp. 277–8, and p. 273, n. 27, where she casts doubt

reading conflict  ❧ 55

to which the 899/900 rebellion of Æthelwold seems to have been explicitly compared by contemporaries,43 may fall – at least partially – under this category. However, here the death of King Cynewulf as a result of his kinsman’s actions, often seen as typical of the manner in which the ‘kingworthiness’ of members of an extended kin-group was fraught with danger for the reigning king,44 shows that the ‘demonstrability’ of Cyneheard’s actions were directed less against the ruler as a person than towards a very practical end of taking control. In this respect they were more a coup d’état than an open expression of grievance. Notwithstanding long-running debates about the meaning of the Cynewulf–Cyneheard episode in the canon of English literature, the disputes ranged from attempts to negotiate portrayed in hostile terms to outright attempts at regicide. In at least three of these cases, the possession of regnal titles (in one case, a shared imperial title) by the aggrieved parties prior to their actions may temper how far we ought to see these as rebellions in the sense of direct action stemming from political opposition.45 Some cases resulted in the eventual death of the aggrieved party; for others, a clear and perhaps planned-for act of forgiveness was the result. Nonetheless, each of these cases does indicate an act of defiance that stemmed from the perception of a disparity in power by one or more of the participants and the decisions of rebels and other malcontents presumably took into account the possibility or even likelihood that their actions would be perceived as hostile.46 It on whether the renaming of Carloman son of Hildegarde was an attempt to downplay the importance of Pippin son of Himiltrude. 43 B. Yorke, ‘The Representation of Early West Saxon History in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’, in Reading the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ed. Jorgensen, pp. 141–59, at pp. 148–9, who considers the original text to have been composed independently of the Æthelwold annal, with the intention of undermining future attempts to usurp the West Saxon throne. For consideration of Cynewulf and Cyneheard, see T. Bredehoft, Textual Histories: Readings in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (Toronto, 2001), pp. 39–60, and for Æthelwold, pp. 61–3. The textual formula in the entry is discussed further in my ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, pp. 67–8. 44 P. Wormald, ‘The Age of Offa and Alcuin’, in The Anglo-Saxons, ed. J. Campbell (Oxford, 1982), pp. 101–28, at p. 115. 45 M. Costambeys, M. Innes, and S. MacLean, The Carolingian World (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 202–4, citing T. F. X. Noble, ‘The Revolt of King Bernard of Italy in 817: Its Causes and Consequences’, Studi Medievali, 15 (1974), pp. 315–26. 46 Cf. an alternative, somewhat determinist reading of action in the period before the eleventh century, proposed in H. Kleinschmidt, Perception and Action in Medieval Europe (Woodbridge, 2005). Note also the useful consideration of the limits of

56  ❧  pl aces of contested power

should be added that in the most successful of rebellions, the question of legitimacy may have been spun in such a fashion as to prevent later generations from perceiving the hostile actions which may have lain behind an apparently smooth transfer of power. To that end, the seizure by Æthelstan (924–39) of the West Saxon kingdom from the starting point of his Mercian powerbase seems to have run counter to his father’s wishes for the succession of Æthelstan’s half-brother Ælfweard, who reigned briefly in Wessex in 924; the suppressed rebellion of a certain Alfred and subsequent death in exile of another brother, the ætheling Edwin, in the 930s have an added air of ironic tragedy under these circumstances.47 The development of the interests of members of a kin-group who now saw themselves as included in the family through links to the ‘spindle side’ of the royal house could also result in the staking of claims to a regnal title. Jinty Nelson has made a good case for attributing the absence of rebellion in the last years of the reign of Charlemagne to the fact that he kept his daughters unmarried within the royal household, thus limiting the number of potential claimants to Carolingian territory.48 From the later ninth century, potential claimants seem to have been more successful in making good their links to power. Boso of Vienne’s marriage to the Carolingian royal family gave him legitimacy (at least to a degree)49 and, while Robert had other cards to play than Carolingian family connections, his seizure of the throne from Charles the Simple arguably stemmed from such connections. Charles the Simple’s confiscation of the convent of Chelles in order to give it to a Lotharingian nobleman cut across a marital alliance which reasoned argument in disputes by R. V. Colman, ‘Reason and Unreason in Early Medieval Law’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 4 (1974), 571–91. 47 WM, GRA, pp. 222–3 and 226–7. Foot, Æthelstan, pp. 39–43. See also above pp. 31–2. I am grateful here to Barbara Yorke for her advice on this point. 48 J. L. Nelson, ‘Women at the Court of Charlemagne: A Case of Monstrous Regiment?’, in Medieval Queenship, ed. J. C. Parsons (Stroud, 1993), pp. 43–61, at pp. 58–9, reprinted in her The Frankish World, 750–900 (London, 1996), pp. 224–42, at pp. 241–2. For the political motivations of Louis the Pious’s reactions to the remains of Charlemagne’s court – evidently still a powerful force – after the death of Charlemagne, see Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, pp. 199–202. 49 S. Airlie, ‘The Nearly Men: Boso of Vienne and Arnulf of Bavaria’, in Nobles and Nobility in Medieval Europe: Concepts, Origins, Transformations, ed. A. J. Duggan (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 25–41; S. MacLean, ‘The Carolingian Response to the Revolt of Boso, 879–887’, EME, 10 (2001), pp. 21–48.

reading conflict  ❧ 57

Robert had arranged for his son to link him to the Carolingians through a female line which began at least as early as Charlemagne’s sister, Gisela.50 Evidently a Carolingian link could be (and continued to be) something worth fighting for. In this instance, in view of the slight of the promotion of Hagano,51 a Carolingian link probably had to be fought for – as Timothy Reuter observed, ‘the defence of honour was at the same time defence of power and possessions’.52 Such links could be distant but the sense that the legitimacy could drift away can be seen with the actions of someone with a much closer link to the Carolingian house, Charles of Lorraine, who seized Laon in 988 in order to activate that link, despite the irony that the city’s Carolingian identity was not particularly deep-rooted.53 Charles’s actions echo those of the ætheling Æthelwold in Wessex as well as those of the disgruntled royal son Liudolf in the Ottonian Reich; the notion of civil war did not lie far from the horizon, a matter which presumably determined what Patrick Geary terms the ‘political memory’ of protagonists.54 Of course, there were also many who, for whatever reason, did not act when the opportunity presented itself. Stuart Airlie remarked upon the dogs who did not bark in the long nights of the late ninth century, observing in relation to the crises that followed the death of Charles the Fat in 888, that ‘royal blood alone was not sufficient’ for a claim to the throne. Airlie commented on the descent of the house of Vermandois from Bernard of Italy, a claim that was not activated in 888.55 In this respect, it is perhaps telling that when members of that house were willing to resist royal interests in the early tenth century in contestations of power that were, as we have seen, essentially civil wars fought between evenly matched parties, it 50 Koziol,

‘Charles the Simple, Robert of Neustria, and the Vexilla of Saint-Denis’, p. 358. See also below, chapter 4, pp. 158–9, and chapter 7, pp. 266–8. 51 R. Le Jan, ‘Continuity and Change in the Tenth Century Nobility’, in Nobles and Nobility in Medieval Europe, ed. Duggan, pp. 53–79, at p. 54, discussing her Famille et pouvoir dans le monde franc (VIIe–Xe siècle): Essai d’anthropologie sociale (Paris, 1995), pp. 137–8, and Richer, I.15, vol. 1, pp. 46–9. 52 Reuter, ‘Peace-breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’, p. 361. 53 Richer, IV.16, vol. 2, pp. 230–33. See Dunbabin, France in the Making, p. 134. 54 Geary, Phantoms of Remembrance, chapter 5, pp. 134–57, aptly titled ‘Political Memory and the Restructuring of the Past’. 55 Airlie, ‘Nearly Men’, pp. 30–1 (citation at p. 31). See also Airlie’s paper, ‘Les elites en 888 et après, ou comment pense-t-on la crise carolingienne?’, in Les Elites au Haut Moyen Age, ed. Bougard, Feller, and Le Jan, pp. 425–37.

58  ❧   pl aces of contested power

was perhaps less for reasons of their royal descent than for the assertion of regional political interests.56 Motivations rooted in the contestation of power within a ruling household did not disappear in the apparent fragmentation of the Carolingian realm and the growth of a Wessex-dominated ‘English’ kingdom in the tenth century. Arguably, despite the apparently ‘maximal’ picture of English rule traditionally painted of the late Anglo-Saxon state,57 the fragmentation of political interests played a role in the development of both West Francia and England. In West Francia, rulership matching Michael Mann’s model of the ‘intensive power’ enjoyed by the ruling household58 may have diminished but the opportunities for the contestation of power within a ruling household continued to be an issue as the number of non-royal ruling houses proliferated in tenth-century Europe. Although a particularly precocious example, the rulers of Anjou could portray themselves in a fashion which recalled and even imitated royal rule,59 and other polities were not far behind. With the formalisation and often legitimisation of succession at stake, rebellion within a comital or ducal household by a disaffected member of that family could play just as significant a role as royal familial rebellion in the tenth and eleventh centuries (thus in Normandy, Robert I against Duke Richard III; William of 56 See

e.g. below, chapter 3, pp. 114–17. Campbell, ‘Observations on English Government from the Tenth Century to the Twelfth Century’, TRHS 5th ser., 25 (1975), pp. 39–54 is the classic statement on centralised government; a comparative response to Continental scholarship (with a re-statement of Campbell’s main thesis) is ‘Was it Infancy in England? Some Questions of Comparison’, in England and her Neighbours, 1066–1453: Essays in Honour of Pierre Chaplais, ed. M. Jones and M. Vale (London, 1989), pp. 1–17. On the limits of Anglo-Saxon ‘state’ power, see now Molyneaux, Formation of the English Kingdom. 58 Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Vol. 1, p. 7, defined as ‘the ability to organise tightly and command a high level of mobilization or commitment from the participants, whether the area and numbers covered are great or small.’ 59 O. Guillot, Le comte d’Anjou et son entourage au XIe siècle (Paris, 2 vols, 1972), vol. 1, pp. 353ff. discusses ‘la conception du pouvoir’. Work in preparation on the development of ‘comital’ rule by Kathryn Dutton, from her thesis, ‘Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy, 1129–51’ (University of Glasgow, unpubl. PhD thesis, 2011), is addressing the extent to which conceptions of comital power were more than an imitative shadow of royal rule by the twelfth century (See e.g. her ‘The Personnel of Comital Administration in Greater Anjou’, HSJ, 23 (2014 for 2011), pp. 125–53). 57 J.

reading conflict  ❧ 59

Arques, Guy of Brionne, and, closer to the family hearth, Robert Curthose against Duke William II). However, it remains open to question as to where we might draw the line between defining such actions as bids for power within a ruling house and as manifestations of jostling for power amongst distinct familial affinities whose local and regional connections brought in bigger regional players.60

Ethnic ‘otherness’ A type of opposition that remained constant throughout our period was that of a subjected lord and/or group against an overlord perceived to be from a different ethnic group. Ethnicity may have emerged from competing political interests and may have been formed as much by the processes of political competition as by any intrinsic sense of cultural or other identity61 but the notion of competition between different groups is relevant to a reading of opposition because it was often determined by disparities in power and the (nominal) political domination and, with that, cultural dominance by one group over another. The period is characterised by Robert Bartlett in terms of the colonisation processes associated with the assertion of political and cultural dominance as no less than the expansion of Europe.62 We can see such dynamics in the actions taken by Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons against Mercian, West Saxon, and West Frankish rulers in the ninth and tenth centuries, as well as in Welsh revolts against Edward the Confessor and Henry I in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.63 That in some ways these related to patterns of opposition to overlords in the seventh and eighth centuries is an 60 An

example of such intra-familial politics at a minor level is the contestation of the honor of the castellany of L’Île-Bouchard by Geoffrey Foaldus against his nephew Burcardus in 1044. See R. Barton, Lordship in the County of Maine, c.890–1160 (Woodbridge, 2004), p. 147, citing Guillot, Le comte d’Anjou et son entourage au XIe siècle, vol. 1, pp. 330–1. 61 For the problems associated with the attribution of ‘ethnic’ identity, see W. Pohl, ‘Introduction – Strategies of Identification: a Methodological Profile’, in Strategies of Identification: Ethnicity and Religion in Early Medieval Europe, ed. W. Pohl and G. Heydemann (Turnhout, 2013), pp. 1–64. 62 R. Bartlett, The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 950–1350 (London, 1993). 63 E.g. ASC 825; CD 853; AB 837, p. 14 (trans. p. 36). VÆdR, pp. 64–5, and pp. 86–7; Robert of Torigni, GND, vol. 2, VIII.31, pp. 252–3.

60  ❧  pl aces of contested power

indication that cultural political domination was not an entirely new phenomenon by the mid tenth century. Actions taken by subject groups against their nominal overlords were not always recognised in some contemporary sources as stemming from a political grievance within the group. This may have downplayed the political legitimacy of opposition in favour of stereotypes of natural opposition. The demonstrability of the rebellions of subject groups is thus not always apparent, and the actions undertaken to counter such rebellions may have used a different political ‘language’ from that of in-group rebellion. I have suggested elsewhere that the attempts to establish relations between English kings and Anglo-Scandinavian polities in eastern England and Northumbria are demonstrative of such a dynamic: paradoxically, the Scandinavian settlers in England operated on a level of political participation with the southern English while some of the authors of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle attempted to place them on a level more akin to subject peoples like Charlemagne’s rebellious Saxons.64 The perception and portrayal of the ‘ethnic’ dimension of such relations are important here, in some ways demonstrated by the very language of revolt taken against overlords. Although frequently seen from a point of view of hostility, this was often more deterministic, framed in terms of a ‘zero-sum game’ intended to shake an oppressive yoke, an issue which may seem to contrast with the negotiatory/grievance-airing types of rebellious action undertaken by members of a royal family and/or their supporters. The apparent contrast may be false at times, however; even in cases which are, at first sight, a dramatic struggle for freedom against an oppressor, negotiation by rebellion could still occur. Orderic’s description of the claim of ‘liberty’ by the citizens of Exeter (who were actually just some of the citizens of Exeter) is a classic 64 Lavelle,

‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, pp. 79–81; for the flexible nature of political relations in Anglo-Scandinavian England, see D. M. Hadley, ‘Ethnicity and Acculturation’, in A Social History of England, 900–1200, ed. J. Crick and E. van Houts (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 235–46; on Carolingian perceptions, see R. Broome, ‘Pagans, Rebels and Merovingians: Otherness in the Early Carolingian World’, and R. Flierman, ‘Gens perfida or populus Christianus? Saxon (in)fidelity in Frankish Historical Writing’, in The Resources of the Past in Early Medieval Europe, ed. C. Gantner, R. McKitterick, and S. M. Meeder (Cambridge, 2015), pp. 155–72, and 188–205. Though highlighting (p. 138) the brutality of conquest and resistance, J. R. Davis, Charlemagne’s Practice of Empire (Cambridge, 2015), pp. 101–2, emphasises the ‘normalised’ process of integration of Saxony into Charlemagne’s empire.

reading conflict  ❧ 61

example here, with Orderic’s use of the ingredients of ethnic hostility and injustice: the net effect of the rebellion, evident between the lines in Orderic’s narrative as well as Domesday Book’s record of the relatively favourable terms in which the city was able to trade, was simply linked to negotiation.65 There are further complications. In the ‘Celtic’ world it is difficult to determine how Caradog ap Gruffudd ap Rhyddrech’s act of burning Earl Harold’s hunting lodge at Portskewett (Monmouths.) in 1065, recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, may have been intended. On one level, it may have been an act of self-defence and indication of self-determination by his small kingdom of Gwent, even part of Caradog’s attempts to assert dominance within south Wales.66 Caradog may have perceived Harold’s own act of the seizure of Portskewett as an appropriation of Welsh royal tradition and therefore a deliberately provocative act against which a response was necessary.67 However, on another level, Caradog’s burning of what was presumably a hall (even a temporary one – the Chronicle never specifies exactly what Harold ordered constructed)68 may have also been intended as an action taken within a cultural milieu understood by an English earl and king. Thus it blurred the line between legitimate action and rebellion at a time, 65 OV,

vol. 2, pp. 210–14; DB Dev C 4 (fol. 100a). Chibnall, notes DB at p. 212, n. Cf. E. A. Freeman, The History of the Norman Conquest of England, its Causes and its Results (Oxford, 6 vols, 1867–79), vol. 4, pp. 146–7, for a reading of the Exeter episode as the defence of longer-standing rights rather than a result of the city’s resistance in 1068. See chapter 6, below, for further discussion of this episode, and Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 258–60, for its military and strategic implications. 66 K. Maund, The Welsh Kings: The Medieval Rulers of Wales (Stroud, 2002), pp. 72–3. 67 For the sensitivity of obligations to provide food and provision for hunting, albeit slightly further north, with a view to a late twelfth-century source, see T. M. CharlesEdwards and N. A. Jones, ‘Breintiau Gwŷr Powys: The Liberties of the Men of Powys’, in The Welsh King and his Court, ed. T. M. Charles-Edwards, M. E. Owen, and P. Russell (Cardiff, 2000), pp. 191–223, esp. p. 209. 68 The possibility of the erection of a temporary structure is raised by the chronology of the events raised by JW, vol. 2, s.a. 1065, pp. 596–7, which records the orders for construction in July and an attack on Saint Bartholomew’s Day (24 August: a date suggesting that the building was ready but the autumn hunting season not yet begun when it was attacked – or at least that John had a good idea of the timing of medieval hunts). On the high status of tents and temporary structures in the building tradition of Anglo-Saxon architecture, see J. Blair, Building Anglo-Saxon England (Princeton, NJ, 2018), pp. 64–7.

62  ❧  pl aces of contested power

conditioned by the assertive actions of Gruffudd ap Llywelyn of Gwynnedd against the English a few years earlier, when any action taken against an English ‘overlord’ was politically charged and could be interpreted as rebellion. We do not know what Harold’s response in 1066 would have been had he not been faced with other, more pressing circumstances, though William Fitz Osbern’s assumption of Harold’s baton in south Wales after 1066 gives us a good idea, suggesting that Caradog’s position had to continue to be fought for.69 To take an earlier example, a Breton-focused teleology might read the revolt of Nominoë against Charles the Bald in the 840s as part of a drive for self-determination;70 another reading shows a loyal Carolingian count of Vannes with influence as missus over the whole of Brittany, a supporter of the Emperor Lothar who had been appointed by the Emperor Louis the Pious, now seeing his position (and, importantly, that of his son) threatened by the interests of Charles the Bald and his supporters.71 Similarly, the actions of some English rebels after 1066 could be seen on these two levels: on the one hand as actions stemming from frustration and a sense of disenfranchisement, taken by an elite (or former elite) against a class in political power

69 On

the continuity of Harold’s earldom to William Fitz Osbern, see C. P. Lewis, ‘The Early Earls of Norman England’, ANS, 13 (1991 for 1990), pp. 207–23; for the political background of Harold’s actions, see K. DeVries, ‘Harold Godwinson in Wales: Military Legitimacy in Late Anglo-Saxon England’, in The Normans and their Adversaries at War, ed. R. P. Abels and B. S. Bachrach (Woodbridge, 2001), pp. 65–85. 70 J. M. H. Smith, Province and Empire: Brittany and the Carolingians (Cambridge, 1992), p. 87, citing J. Kerhervé, ‘Aux origines du sentiment national: Les chroniqueurs bretons à la fin du Moyen Age’, Bulletin de la société archéologique du Finistère, 108 (1980), pp. 165–207, discusses the consequences of the revolts for the ‘patriotic Breton historiographical tradition.’ 71 H. Guillotel, ‘L’action de Charles le Chauve vis-à-vis de la Bretagne de 843 à 851’, Mémoires de la société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Bretagne, 53 (1975–6), pp. 5–32; this is discussed in B. Merdrignac, ‘Brittany in the Carolingian Orbit’, in P.-R. Giot, P. Guignon, and B. Merdrignac, The British Settlement of Brittany: The First Bretons in Armorica (Stroud, 2003), pp. 155–98, at pp. 173–6 and 179–82, citing (p. 173) Cartulaire de Redon, ed. A. de Courson (Paris, 1863), no. 2. For a discussion of the political framework (‘which had to readjust’ after 840) in which the revolts against Charles the Bald’s reign took place, highlighting the manner in which Breton leaders were ‘never lordless’ in their allegiances to Charles the Bald, see Smith, Province and Empire, pp. 86–115 (quotation at p. 115).

reading conflict  ❧ 63

whom they perceived to be particularly alien.72 On the other hand, certain actions may have been intended to use an existing language of political grievance to return to a more specific status quo ante which was perceived as having been lost, as may have been the case for Waltheof in the so-called Earls’ Revolt of 1075.73

Popular revolts in town and country Popular revolt seems to have become more prevalent during the later part of our period. This may be related to a mutation documentaire in which writers – chroniclers and charter-writers alike – became ever more concerned with the increasingly wealthy landholding interests of their respective institutions, though the cultural shift towards ever more oppressive landholding rights over subject peasantries may have precipitated such revolts.74 There is some evidence for wide-scale popular revolt around the turn of the eleventh century. In Normandy there was a calling – against ducal authority – of peasant assemblies in the early reign of the Norman duke Richard II, around 1000 (conventionally assumed to be 996 but plausibly at any time between 996 and 1008).75 In England there is an enigmatic but tantalising indication of some sort of popular resistance in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle CDE manuscripts’ record of the expulsion of a certain Eadwig ‘king of the ceorls’ (ceorla kyning) from the England of Cnut the Great in 1017 or 1020.76 While there is reason to be sceptical about how far either of these cases 72 For the assessment of ‘a transitional life of plunder in the wilderness’, see D. Wyatt,

Slaves and Warriors in Medieval Britain and Ireland, 800–1200 (Leiden, 2009), pp. 107–10 (quotation at p. 108), noting the common cause of the English and Welsh after 1066, and S. Reynolds, ‘Eadric Silvaticus and the English Resistance’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 54 (1981), pp. 102–5. For an assessment of the noble status of Hereward ‘the Wake’, see P. Dalton, ‘The Outlaw Hereward “the Wake”: His Companions and Enemies’, in Outlaws in Medieval and Early Modern England: Crime, Government and Society, c. 1066–c. 1600, ed. P. Dalton and J. C. Appleby (Farnham, 2009), pp. 7–36. 73 See generally Williams, English and the Norman Conquest, pp. 24–65. 74 A useful discussion of these phenomena is provided by Barton, Lordship in the County of Maine, pp. 146–73. 75 GND, vol. 2, V.2, pp. 8–9. See B. Gowers, ‘996 and All That: The Norman Peasants’ Revolt Reconsidered’, EME, 21 (2013), pp. 71–98, at pp. 82–3. 76 ASC DE 1017. ASC C 1020. See JW, vol. 2, s.a. 1020, pp. 506–7.

64  ❧  pl aces of contested power

represented deliberate infractions of ducal or royal authority – Bernard Gowers and J. G. Gouttebroze have both characterised the Norman peasants’ action as one which was essentially peaceful77 – it is significant to note here the demonstrative nature of at least the Norman peasants’ ‘Revolt’ and the violence (implicit or actual) visited in responses to both actions.78 Eric Goldberg comments on the relative rarity of popular uprisings in the early Middle Ages,79 and it is interesting to note that a twelfth-century reading of the Norman peasants’ revolt, written at a time when popular action entailing violence had perhaps become more common, characterises the peasants’ actions in Richard II’s reign as violent.80 If, as Gowers suggests, Wace brought no new evidence to his interpretation of the Norman peasants’ revolt, Wace’s interpretation would fit well with Thomas Bisson’s model of the increasing implementation of lordly violence: peasant violence was a natural response to such pressure,81 and Wace would naturally assume that violence played a role in any uprising. Goldberg’s interpretations of the Stellinga revolts against Carolingian Frankish overlords in mid ninth-century Saxony cast a different light on the motivations of popular rebellion, however.82 With the violence inherent in the Stellinga revolts a reasonable certainty, Goldberg 77 Gowers,

‘996 and All That’, p. 80; J. G. Gouttebroze, ‘Le duc, le comte et le people: Remarques sur une sédition des paysans en Normandie, autour de l’an mil’, Le Moyen Âge, 101 (1995), pp. 406–23. Cf. the citation of the Libellus de revelatione of the Anonymous of Fécamp, in PL 151, cols 701–23, by M. Arnoux, ‘Classe agricole, pouvoir seigneurial et autorité ducale’, Le Moyen Âge, 98 (1992), pp. 35–60. 78 For Bourdieu’s model of ‘symbolic violence’, see Outline of a Theory of Practice, pp. 190–2. 79 E. Goldberg, ‘Popular Revolt, Dynastic Politics, and Aristocratic Factionalism in the Early Middle Ages: The Saxon Stellinga Reconsidered’, Speculum, 70 (1995), pp. 467–501, at p. 500. A reading of the acceptance ‘of ground-rules of Carolingian society, while contesting their application’, resulting in (very) small-scale resistance in Carolingian Gaul, is provided by C. Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400–800 (Oxford, 2005), pp. 579–81 (quotation at p. 581). The limits of the Stellinga revolt are noted by I. Rembold, Conquest and Christianization: Saxony and the Carolingian World, 772–888 (Cambridge, 2018), pp. 85–140. 80 Wace III.815–958, vol 1, pp. 191–6 (trans. pp. 100–2). 81 T. N. Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship and the Origins of European Government (Princeton, NJ, 2009), passim. 82 AB 841, pp. 25–6 (trans. p. 51). Note that the reference to the revolt includes allegations of the rebels following pagan rites.

reading conflict  ❧ 65

cites the ‘breakdown in aristocratic solidarity’ specific to the conditions of the 840s that led to uprising. At other points, Goldberg asserts, popular rebellion was not specifically prevented; it just did not happen. That may explain why the coniuratio sworn between Frankish peasants in 859 against a group of Vikings should have been interpreted with hostility by Frankish nobles: as Goldberg points out, though it was not directed against Frankish lords, such lords ‘apparently did not see much difference between a self-help coniuratio and a rebellious conspiratio’.83 Little can be found about slave revolts in this era, notwithstanding what is known of slave revolts in ninth-century Iceland. Ruth Mazo Karras observed that these were determined by the nature of the Icelandic landscape and limited extent of settlement in the Landnám (Settlement) era. Karras notes that slave populations were kept small-scale, positing that the control of larger numbers would have been impossible given the small numbers of settlers.84 The Spartacus revolt is not in the Old English Orosius, though it is referred to in the Latin original.85 As with Boudicca, if Archbishop Wulfstan of York’s later pronouncements on the perceived threat to society that escaped slaves represented is anything to go by, the absence of the Spartacus revolt may show a general distaste for the topic.86 A fifth-century BC slave revolt which resulted in the slaves’ seizure of the Capitol, described as the Romans’ ‘chief place’ (heora heafoð stedes), was suppressed in what is rendered in the Old English text (echoing Orosius’ own disdain for the affair) as ‘an inglorious victory’ (heanlicne sige).87 Escaped slaves may have found common cause with Vikings or other outlaws but their actions were evidently never seen in a legitimate light as a form of internal opposition. One may wonder how some popular actions were the exigencies of popular religion manifested in millenarianism which, under other circumstances, such as in southern France, or in the England of Æthelred the Unready, were 83 Goldberg,

‘Saxon Stellinga Reconsidered’, p. 500, discussing AB 859; see also Wickham, Framing the Early Middle Ages, pp. 580–1. 84 R. M. Karras, Slavery and Society in Medieval Scandinavia (New Haven, CT, 1988), p. 125. 85 Orosius, Libri VII, V.24, pp. 182–3 (trans. pp. 258–9). 86 The versions of the Sermo Lupi are in D. Bethurum, The Homilies of Wulfstan (Oxford, 1957), pp. 255–75. 87 OE Orosius, II.6, pp. 132–5 (I have not followed Godden’s translation of stede as ‘citadel’); Orosius, Libri VII, II.12, p. 50 (trans. p. 93). I am grateful to Connor Brown for discussion of this topic.

66  ❧   pl aces of contested power

harnessed to serve the interests of particular ecclesiasts and/or rulers – the Peace of God ‘movement’ in the former case; the Saint Brice’s Day Massacre of 1002 in the latter, though this may only have been an urban/suburban phenomenon.88 Of course, as with other actions, a single explanation need not be necessary to understand popular unrest, which could encompass a variety of individuals and groups from across a wide area. Their interests in and motivations for participating in revolt or general unrest might change over time with the composition of the wider group, as indeed happened in the summer of 2011 during riots in some English cities, and in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ after 2011–12.89 Similar observations can be made about the flurry of popular revolts which took place in urban and aspiring-urban communities in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries. Here, however, the driving motivations may have been more focused, concerned with the interests of communities with a sense of self-identity and as an expression of will (albeit in a dissatisfied fashion) against a force whom they perceived to counter their own interests, such as a bishop, local monastic community, or even a more distant secular lord.90 The townspeople 88 See

T. Head and R. Landes (eds), The Peace of God: Social Violence and Religious Response in France around the Year 1000 (Ithaca, NY, 1992), especially Landes’ own contribution, ‘Between Aristocracy and Heresy: Popular Participation in the Limousin Peace of God, 994–1033’, pp. 184–218; I made a case for the harnessing of a mix of millenarian ethnic hatred by the king and/or his agents in England in 1002, in Aethelred II: King of the English (Stroud, 2002; rev. edn, 2008), pp. 104–9. 89 On the issue of the possible link between peasant unrest and religion over a longer a wider historical and geographical continuum, see the introduction to J. M. Bak and G. Benecke (eds), Religion and Rural Revolt: Papers Presented to the Fourth Interdisciplinary Workshop on Peasant Studies, University of British Columbia, 1982 (Manchester, 1984), pp. 2–13, though it should be noted that the editors are more convinced by the political and economic aspirations of peasants than adherence to religious ideology as a means of analysing the causes of revolts. A recent longue durée reading of popular revolt, focusing on popular mass mobilisation and political selfawareness, is M. Clement, A People’s History of Riots, Protest and the Law: The Sound of the Crowd (Basingstoke, 2017). 90 See generally S. Reynolds, Kingdoms and Communities in Western Europe, 900– 1300 (Oxford, 1986), pp. 155–218, and her An Introduction to the History of English Medieval Towns (Oxford, 1977), pp. 91–117, though Reynolds cautions against assuming a narrative arc in the development of urban independence. The theme of the military implications of urban identity in late Anglo-Saxon towns is dealt with in Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 243–4.

reading conflict  ❧ 67

of Rouen, led by a certain Conan, revolted against Robert Curthose’s control of the city in 1090, an episode which precipitated a particularly violent response, while another town of similar status (if not size), Laon, revolted in 1112 in an assertion of its independent status. Although these episodes are discussed in greater detail below (chapter 6), it is worth commenting here that the distaste in which the Laon inhabitants’ desire for greater independence was held gives us a detailed record of the rebellion by the contemporary monastic writer, Guibert of Nogent.91 Guibert had commented that a certain Thomas of Marle had hijacked a group of rebels for his own purposes, while King Louis VI’s biographer, Abbot Suger, by contrast attributed the revolt directly to his incitement. The difference between Suger and Guibert’s readings of Thomas’ actions may indicate the need for offended authority to attribute blame to apparent ringleaders.92 In both cases there was a sense of shock at the rebellion but Suger’s attribution of blame may be a more conventional reading of the events, an issue which may shed some light upon the motivations behind Orderic’s accusation of the actions of Conan. Urban centres did not have to be large to revolt, however. Hugh of Poitiers, chronicler of the Burgundian abbey of Vézelay (dép. Yonne), recorded an uprising by the town’s oppidani and burgesses (note the distinction) against the monks of the abbey in 1152.93 It may be difficult to determine whether such revolts stemmed from the self-interests of urban communities or whether those communities had in fact formed as a response to ‘Bissonic’ oppressive lordship (though it should be noted that Vézelay had its own significance as 91 Guibert,

Monodiae, III.1–11 (trans. pp. 107–49). See O. Touati, ‘Violence seigneuriale, quelle violence? Le point de vue d’un observateur révolté et partial au début du XIIe siècle: Guibert de Nogent’, in Violence et contestation au Moyen Âge, Actes du Congrès National des Sociétés Savantes. Section d’histoire médiévale et de philologie, 114 (Paris, 1990), pp. 47–57. 92 Suger, ch. 24, pp. 173–9 (trans. pp. 107–8); Guibert, Monodiae, III.11, pp. 363–77 (trans. pp. 143–9). The urban uprising at Laon is discussed by Reynolds, Kingdoms and Communities, pp. 176–7 and Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century, pp. 233–8. Gallot and Hamelin, ‘Expressions de la rébellion’, provides an assesment of the roles of rebel leaders in modern rebellion. 93 Hugh of Poitiers, The Vézelay Chronicle and Other Documents from MS. Auxerre 227 and Elsewhere, ed. and trans. J. Scott and J. O. Ward (Binghamton, NY, 1992), s.a. 1152, pp. 188–9. See Y. Sassier, ‘Une condamnation de la révolte au XIIe siècle: Hugues de Poitiers et la commune de Vézelay’, in Révolte et société: Actes du IVe Colloque d’Histoire au présent, ed. F. Gambrelle and M. Trébitsch (Paris, 2 vols, 1989), vol. 1, pp. 37–43.

68  ❧  pl aces of contested power

a religious centre of pilgrimage, related to Bernard of Clairvaux’ preaching of crusade there in 1146). Indeed, commenting on the largely urban revolts of northern Spain in 1109–36, Bisson himself characterised many of the revolts as conservative in nature, indicating that social and/or political radicalism was not a required ingredient of such revolts.94 Furthermore, although more frequently recorded in the writings of later chroniclers, urban unrest or rebellion was hardly unknown before the later eleventh century, so we should pause before ascribing too much to the effects of social and economic change during this century.95 With the exception of urban uprisings, which arguably had their own dynamics, popular revolt is rarely attributed to a particular place, however. Bernard Gowers has tentatively identified the region of Pîtres with the Norman peasants’ assembly of the early eleventh century, but, while the identification is by no means certain, it is telling that Gowers had to dig hard to propose the location.96 William of Jumièges does not link the revolt with any particular place, while the most contemporary source, Dudo of Saint-Quentin, does not mention the revolt at all.97 There is little, either in Normandy or elsewhere, to compare with the organisational details of the 1381 ‘Peasants’ Revolt’, for example.98 There may be other exceptions indicative of self-organisation. While being on the right bank of the Seine, Pîtres is also characterised by its islands, and if Gowers is right, the fortification of the island of Bevere, close to Worcester, apparently in the course of Harthacnut’s violent response to the killing of two tax-collecting housecarls in May 1041, may be a remarkable comparison 94 Bisson,

Crisis of the Twelfth Century, pp. 258–9. The adjective is borrowed from Reuter, ‘Debate: The “Feudal Revolution”: III’, p. 182. 95 See, for example, WP, I.10, pp. 12–13, on the rebellious metropolitanae of Rouen. 96 Gowers, ‘996 and All That’, pp. 92–5. 97 The absence of an account of the revolt in Dudo’s history of the early Norman dukes need not be read as suggesting he did not know of it, nor should it be assumed that Dudo wrote his account before a revolt took place. Given the official nature of Dudo’s account for Duke Richard II, it is far more likely that its absence from the account indicates its potential for discomfiture. The manner in which history was produced in response to ‘social dramas’ for an unsettled Norman elite is discussed by L. Shopkow, History and Community: Norman Historical Writing in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Washington, DC, 1997); see esp. pp. 173–87. 98 See N. P. Brooks, ‘The Organization and Achievements of the Peasants of Kent and Essex in 1381’, in Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. H. C. Davis, ed. H. Mayr-Harting and R. I. Moore (London, 1985), pp. 247–70.

reading conflict  ❧ 69

with the Norman revolt. Harthacnut’s ravaging took place in November, suggesting that tensions were stoked over a remarkably long period. According to John of Worcester, who wrote some three or four generations later but presumably from local knowledge, a ‘great number of the townspeople had taken refuge [. . .] and defended themselves so strongly against their enemies that when peace had been restored they were allowed to return home freely’.99 Given the circumstances of the pause between the initial killing of housecarls in Worcester, such a move may have been more a case of preparation for resistance than an outright insurrection. The use of Bevere may reveal something of the townspeople as a community, as they are contrasted by John with the country people, who had apparently fled. The urban circumstances of 1041 may have had much to do with self-organisation here, but details such as this are rare. Given the difficulties of locating popular revolts within the landscape beyond urban centres, the outright exclusion of non-royal/ non-aristocratic revolts from this book would be justification enough. However, the main reason for the different direction of focus is that we are considering the ‘language’ of a particular political class. The study here is of a language that was understood across if not one politically active class then closely linked political classes, employed in a political landscape, even if it was a language whose nuances were not always recognised – or were deliberately overlooked – by its chroniclers. If we consider the occasional upwardly mobile upstart, such as Conan of Rouen (described by Orderic Vitalis as the wealthiest man in Rouen100) as taking the opportunity to ‘speak’ in that language, so much the better. It must be understood that the political sense of the landscape and use of location differed between different groups, and the discussion must necessarily focus on royal and aristocratic acts of opposition, though instances where particular places – in the urban landscape, for example – feature in the narrative of popular rebellion are acknowledged as appropriate.

Lords and their opponents We have seen that in the early part of the period rebellious nobles tended to attach themselves to discontented members of ruling dynasties who, in the 99 ‘[C]iuium

uero multitudo [  .] confugerant et, munitio facta, tamdiu se uiriliter aduersus suos inimicos defenderant, quod, pace recuperata, libere domum licuerit eis redire.’ JW, vol. 2, s.a. 1041, pp. 531–2. 100 OV, vol. 4, pp. 220–3; see Aird, Robert Curthose, p. 134, and below, p. 236.

70  ❧  pl aces of contested power

ninth and tenth centuries, and indeed before,101 appear to have been the driving forces of rebellious actions or at least were the figureheads of rebellion. During the eleventh century, as has been discussed in detail by Matthew Strickland and noted by Timothy Reuter, we see the emergence of acts of opposition focused upon – indeed overtly driven by – the nobility themselves.102 This does not mean that tension and rebellion from within a royal house ceased to be an issue, as is shown by the actions of the Young King Henry during the reign of Henry II.103 However, the increasingly ‘middleup’ nature of much rebellion may be a manifestation of the changes in social structures apparent from the ninth century onwards: the beginnings of forms of ‘feudal lordship’ of a model first proposed, albeit for a different region and period, by Otto Brunner104 and, as Norbert Elias read it from a sociohistorical perspective, the emergence of ‘conserving rulers’ without an ability to develop their position ‘who win no new land’.105 If lordly power did indeed manifest itself in a cellularisation of power during the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries, it should hardly be surprising that the protection or assertion of political, social, and economic interests of minor lords could manifest itself in violence. Such a judgement may, of course, involve sweeping generalisations regarding the (potential) violence of the ‘feudal revolution’

101 This

is noted by R. MacMullen, ‘How to Revolt in the Roman Empire’, Rivista Storica dell’Antichita, 15 (1985), pp. 67–76, reprinted in his Changes in the Roman Empire: Essays in the Ordinary (Princeton, 1990), pp. 198-203. I am indebted to Julia Hofmann for this reference. 102 Above, n. 3. Although writing about a different chronological structure, Airlie, ‘“Not Rendering Unto Caesar”’, p. 490–1, has reservations against a focus on kindred by Carolingian rebels. 103 An important discussion of the motivation for rebellion and eventual war, framed within a biographical study, is Strickland, Henry the Young King, 1155–1183 (New Haven, CT, 2016), esp. pp. 119–205. 104 O. Brunner, Land and Lordship: Structures of Governance in Medieval Austria, trans. H. Kaminsky and J. Van Horn Melton (Philadelphia, 1992) (first published – with the geographical circumscription of Südostdeutschland in the 1939 title (revised to Österreich in later editions), betraying the Anschluss-era origins of the work – as Land und Herrschaft: Grundfragen der territorialen Verfassungsgeschichte Südostdeutschlands im Mittelalter [Baden-bei-Wien, 1939]). 105 N. Elias, The Civilizing Process: Sociogenetic and Psychogenetic Investigations, trans. E. F. N. Jephcott and ed. E. Dunning, J. Goudsblom, and S. Mennell (Oxford, rev. edn, 2000), pp. 207–8 (quotation at p. 207).

reading conflict  ❧ 71

or ‘castellan revolution’.106 Nonetheless, the increasing proliferation of the military means by which lords of whatever standing were able to resist or oppose other lords, royal or otherwise, without always needing recourse to a disgruntled member of the ruling family, seems to be a characteristic of the eleventh century in at least the Anglo-Norman realm, as Matthew Strickland has recently noted.107 Moreover, the development of siege technology may bookend the development of lordly rebellion in the way in which it restricted castle-based warfare to well-resourced magnates by the end of the twelfth century.108 Lordly rebellion operated on different levels, too. We might note here that an act against a lord who did not enjoy royal status might differ from one against a lord who was royal. However, actions contesting power might be squabbles for strategic dominance at regional level, as bonds between lord and man might become ever more sharply defined in terms of loyalty and service throughout our period.109 Such violence as that of William de Bellême against Robert the Magnificent of Normandy in the 106 A

useful discussion here remains that of T. N. Bisson, ‘The Feudal Revolution’, Past and Present, 142 (1994), pp. 6–42; Bisson’s article is discussed in ‘Debate’ pieces by D. Barthélemy (‘I’) and S. D. White (‘II’), in Past and Present 152 (1996), pp. 197–223, and by T. Reuter (‘III’), and C. Wickham (‘IV’), with Bisson’s response, in Past and Present, 155 (1997), pp. 177–225; Barthélemy’s later work, La mutation de l’an mil: A-t-elle eu lieu? Servage et chevalerie dans la France des Xe et XIe siècles (Paris, 1997), and West, Reframing the Feudal Revolution, esp. pp. 187–94, provide responses to the notion of ‘feudal transformation’ at both ends of the period covered in the present volume. 107 M. Strickland, ‘Military Technology and Political Resistance: Castles, Fleets and the Changing Face of Comital Rebellion in England and Normandy, c. 1026–1087’, in ‘The Making of Europe’: Essays in Honour of Robert Bartlett, ed. J. Hudson and S. Crumplin (Leiden, 2016), pp. 145–83. 108 Although somewhat overly technologically-deterministic as a reading of castle architecture, D. J. Cathcart King’s discussion of ‘The Introduction of Scientific Fortification’ during the twelfth century in his The Castle in England and Wales: An Interpretative History (London, 1988), pp. 90–106, remains valuable. For developments between the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, determining ‘The Age of Great Kings’, see also J. Bradbury, The Medieval Siege (Woodbridge, 1992), pp. 128–30. The ‘bookending’ here should not be taken as a statement that aristocrats did not rebel from the later twelfth century – merely that their opposition took on a different form to that of the eleventh and early to mid-twelfth centuries. 109 See here D. Crouch, The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France 900 –1300 (London, 2005), pp. 56–62.

72  ❧  pl aces of contested power

late 1020s,110 Riwallon of Dol against Conan of Brittany in the 1060s, or Aylmer of Villeray against Rotrou of la Perche (a side effect of the rebellion against William the Conqueror by Robert Curthose in 1078–9),111 could be perceived by one group as inherently rebellious violence, even if those perceived as the rebels did not see themselves as such. As will be seen in chapter 4, responses to such rebellion could be said to characterise the disparities of power between lords. The confiscation of property was arguably a successful policy taken by kings against rebel lords in the late tenth and eleventh centuries. J. S. Bothwell noted the manner in which Cnut used such a policy with great success.112 Julia Barrow draws attention to the manner in which Anglo-Saxon England may be contrasted with Ottonian Germany as a place in which rebellion, counting as ‘clearly a breach of the oath of loyalty to the ruler’, drew down a far more authoritarian response than in Germany.113 Noting the Ottonian significance of ‘inversions of ritual where magnates usurped royal rituals’, Barrow is more circumspect about what constituted Anglo-Saxon acts of rebellion: ‘magnates simply rebelled.’114 In that manner, it is striking that Anglo-Saxon Winchester was never appropriated as a ‘place of rebellion’ in the manner of late Carolingian Laon. However, we should bear in mind the differing documentary perspectives of those who recorded Anglo-Saxon royal interests principally from the royal court, and the frequent hostility of West Frankish authors to rulers. Again, we return to the question of perception. Were vassals – if we may be allowed that term – rebels because they invoked a notion of opposition to their lords which was intended to rectify a particular perceived wrong?115 (In Reuter’s 110 J.

Boussard, ‘La seigneurie de Bellême aux Xe et XIe siècles’, in Mélanges d’histoire du moyen âge dédiés á la mémoire de Louis Halphen (Paris, 1951), pp. 43–55, at p. 52. 111 K. Thompson, Power and Border Lordship in Medieval France: The County of the Perche, 1000–1226 (Woodbridge, 2002), pp. 41–3; Aird, Robert Curthose, p. 87. 112 J. S. Bothwell, Falling from Grace: Reversal of Fortune and the English Nobility, 1075–1475 (Manchester, 2008), p. 89, discussing P. Stafford, Unification and Conquest: A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (London, 1989), pp. 62–3 and 146, and Lawson, Cnut, p. 209. 113 J. Barrow, ‘Demonstrative Behaviour and Political Communication in Later Anglo-Saxon England’, ASE, 36 (2007), pp. 127–50, at p. 136. 114 Barrow, ‘Demonstrative Behaviour and Political Communication’, p. 149. 115 A comparable sense of idealism is provided by Hyams, Rancor and Reconciliation, p. 39, who draws attention to the manner in which feud was intended to get back to a status quo ante that ‘ought’ have been (rather than to how it was).

reading conflict  ❧ 73

terminology, the ‘normal stuff of politics’.) Or were such rebellions perceived as rebellions because they were seen from the perspective of lordly authority, whether comital, ducal, royal, or indeed imperial? What was seen as a rebellion may well have been a manifestation of the political interests of a group or individual who saw themselves as the equal of the party against whom they acted. Thus, even an action by a king, such as the capture of Aachen in 978 by Lothar of West Francia, might be seen as rebellion from one perspective. In this case, Lothar’s action was taken in direct opposition to Ottonian imperial power.116 However, seen from a functional perspective of the benefit from an action, the capture of Aachen was the manifestation of power politics of the region in operation: one ruler asserting his strategic interests, if only in a symbolic fashion,117 in his sphere of influence. A generation earlier, in the kingdom of England, which was in some ways subject to similar expansionist forces to the German Reich,118 a case may be made for considering the actions of the Anglo-Scandinavian rulers of York as the actions of rebels against a southern English authority to whom they were nominally subject. In that light, the actions may be seen as the renegotiation of positions within existing political frameworks.119

116 Richer,

III.68–71, vol. 2, pp. 111–17. See T. Riches, ‘The Carolingian Capture of Aachen in 978 and its Historiographical Footprint’, in Frankland, ed. Fouracre and Ganz, pp. 191–208. For a Franco-German example a generation or so earlier, we should note here that P. Buc, The Dangers of Ritual: Between Early Medieval Texts and Social Scientific Theory (Princeton, 2001), pp. 15–16, cites Flodoard’s refusal to recognise Henry as ‘king’, despite his actions in West Francia. An example (not cited by Buc) is at Zülpich (North Rhine-Westphalia) in 925 (Flodoard, Annales, s.a.), where the Lotharingian dux Gislebert’s holding of an oppidum against Henry the Fowler could easily have been construed as rebellion had Flodoard so desired. 117 As Jinty Nelson points out, noting the inability to precisely locate Charlemagne’s tomb by 1000, Aachen functioned purely as a symbolic place at this time, and was ‘no longer a base of power’; ‘Aachen as a Place of Power’, in Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages, ed. M. de Jong, F. Theuws, with C. van Rhijn (Leiden, 2001), pp. 217–41, at p. 234. 118  T. Reuter, ‘The Making of England and Germany, 850–1050: Points of Comparison and Difference’, in Medieval Europeans: Studies in Ethnic Identity and National Perspectives in Medieval Europe, ed. A. P. Smyth (Basingstoke, 1998), pp. 53–70. 119 Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’. See above, p. 60.

74  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Furthermore, kings of England after 1066 came from the ducal house of Normandy and, after 1154, from the comital house of Anjou, and were nominally subject to kings of France. Actions taken against this royal authority could be construed as rebellion, although this is an issue which only arose as a factor in particular flashpoints of Anglo-French relations.120 However, the point is worth noting: taken to its logical conclusion, the actions of Duke William II of Normandy against his uncle, William, Count of Arques, were rebellion against King Henry of France, as William of Arques was supported by Henry, Duke William’s nominal overlord.121 The scale difference of lordship may be seen, moreover, in the apparent rebellion of William de Bellême against Robert the Magnificent, Duke of Normandy, which was recognised in 1951 by Jacques Boussard to have been nothing of the sort.122 It simply suited the likes of William of Jumièges to portray the Bellême actions – and their humiliating consequences123 – in rebellious terms by the mid eleventhcentury, by which time the Bellême patrimony was inside the Norman duchy. After 1087 the position and actions of William’s successor Robert de Bellême were much more clearly manifested as acts of rebellion.124 There are limits to interpretations of rebellion by lords of a similar political standing, then, and it is as well to bear in mind Timothy Reuter’s observation that rebellion was usually ‘fought out on both sides like feuds’.125 Similarly, notwithstanding that it is outside the chronological parameters of this book, it would be 120 See

J. Gillingham, ‘Doing Homage to the King of France’, in Henry II, ed. Harper-Bill and Vincent, pp. 63–84. 121 P. Bauduin, La première Normandie (xe–xie siècles). Sur les frontières de la haute Normandie: identité et construction d’une principauté (Caen, 2004), pp. 309–10 discusses William of Arques’ regional political motivations. Arques is discussed in greater detail in chapter 5, below, pp. 201–11. 122 Boussard, ‘Seigneurie de Bellême aux Xe et XIe siècles’, p. 52. 123 GND, vol. 2, VI.4, pp. 50–1, portraying a saddle carried on William’s back at Alençon, a motif repeated in William’s depiction of the humiliation of Hugh of Chalon (vol. 2, V.16, pp. 38–9). 124 Boussard, ‘Seigneurie de Bellême aux Xe et XIe siècles’, pp. 53–4; I gratefully acknowledge Mark Hagger for discussion on these issues. See K. Lack, Conqueror’s Son: Duke Robert Curthose, Thwarted King (Stroud, 2007), pp. 159–60, for the notion of William of Mortain as a rebel in England and p. 166 for his legitimacy in Normandy at the time of the battle of Tinchebray, 1106. 125  Reuter, ‘Peace-Breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’, p. 361, citing G. Althoff, ‘Königsherrschaft und Konfliktbewältigung im 10. und 11. Jahrhundert’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 23 (1989), pp. 265–90, at pp. 288–9.

reading conflict  ❧ 75

perverse to consider the campaigns of King John in defence of his Norman holdings against Philippe Auguste as primarily motivated by rebellion, for example, even if the French narrative was one of the punishment of a disobedient vassal,126 and, as noted, similar comments may be made about the relations between kings of the English and the Scots. Such examples do, however, draw attention to the parameters of this book’s focus. By considering them we may see that there is an observable phenomenon of resistance against authority from within a framework of political relations, whether that be from within a ruling house itself or from a political elite who were subject to a ruler and, importantly, who had previously given their consent to be ruled, even if only through the agency of predecessors. There are no hard and fast means of determining such a definition of rebellion but it provides a useful departure point.

Demonstrative action and historical narrative Naturally, many of these definitions are a matter of perception in primary sources which are often obfuscatory or downright misleading, a problem compounded by the wide range of sources narrating historical events – for some points or areas we are reliant on a small number; for others, a wide range. Roman authors tended to emphasise emotion in acts of rebellion in order to distinguish the rebels’ action from legitimate (Roman) authority.127 This is a tendency which continued in medieval sources. At a basic level, as we have seen, an action which may not have been intended as ‘rebellion’ might be defined as such by a particularly partisan source. Karl Brunner noted that Carolingian ‘oppositional politics’ could be recast in terms which emphasised either the legitimacy of action or illegitimate rebellion through 126 J.

Bradbury, Philip Augustus: King of France, 1180–1223 (London, 1998), p. 141. e.g. Orosius, Libri VII, VI.12, p. 209 (trans. p. 289), emphasising the hotheaded nature of Gaulish rebels in comparison with Caesar’s deprivation of rebels’ water at Uxellodunum (?Puy d’Issolu) in the previous passage (VI.11, trans. p. 287; though note that this episode does not make it into the OE Orosius (the relevant part is V.12, pp. 332–41), which provides an abbreviated account of Caesar’s life and career). MacMullen, ‘How to Revolt in the Roman Empire’, p. 202, cites Cassius Dio’s judgement in his Roman History, Book 80, VII.2, that the leaders of another rebellion, in 218, were ‘out of their minds’ (Dio Cassius, Roman History, Volume IX: Books 71–80, ed. and trans. E. Cary and H. B. Foster, LCL, 177 (Cambridge, MA, 1927), pp. 452–3). 127 See

76  ❧  pl aces of contested power

the choice of legally rooted nouns and verbs used to describe the rebels and their actions.128 Such recasting of contested power could have a territorial dimension, too. Thus the ‘nauseatingly sycophantic’ William of Poitiers, writing during the lifetime of the object of his adulation, emphasised the mid eleventh-century actions of the inhabitants of Alençon and Domfront, which were in favour of Count Geoffrey of Anjou.129 William placed them in terms of their breaking of longstanding expectations of obedience to the successors of ‘Count Richard’ (William does not say which Richard), emphasising the apparent rebellion of the inhabitants.130 The language of William of Poitiers’ record of the events makes such strong use of motifs of landscape and Duke William’s taming of that wild landscape. It is clearly a reference to the perception of rebellion connected with the sense of place: perhaps comparable with what Sarah Harlan-Haughey, though in reference to literary representations of the likes of Hereward, has termed an ‘ecology of the English Outlaw’.131 However, as with William of Jumièges’ perception of Bellême ‘rebellion’ against Robert the Magnificent (effectively a regional power struggle), it should be emphasised here that if the inhabitants of Domfront were actually rebelling, they were doing so against the house of Bellême. That house was influential in the region between Anjou and Normandy but was losing its sense of independence from the Norman ducal house in the mid eleventh century.132 Thus, the people of Domfront (presumably the men of Geoffrey 128 Brunner,

Oppositionelle Gruppen, pp. 14–39. H. Vollrath, ‘Konfliktwahrneh­ mung und Konfliktdarstellung in erzählenden Quellen des 11. Jahrhunderts’, in Die Salier und das Reich, Band 3, ed. Weinfurter, pp. 279–96, addresses sources’ perceptions of forms of conflict more broadly. 129 D. Bates, William the Conqueror (London, 2016), pp. 122–3, notes the potential for these events being in 1049 but opts for the winter of 1051–2 for the siege. 130 WP, I.19, pp. 28–9. GND, vol. 2, VII.7, pp. 122–4, refers to the garrison as ‘seditiosis custodibus’. For the characterisation of WP, see J. Gillingham, ‘William the Bastard at War’, in Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, ed. C. Harper-Bill, C. J. Holdsworth, and J. L. Nelson (Woodbridge, 1989), pp. 141–58. 131 For an outline of her typology of outlaws in their environments, see HarlanHaughey, The Ecology of the English Outlaw in Medieval Literature, pp. 8–18, with a justification of the environmental and ecological focus at pp. 7–8. For this theme, see chapter 8, pp. 298–305, below. 132 J. Dunbabin, ‘Geoffrey of Chaumont, Thibaud of Blois and William the Conqueror’, ANS, 16 (1994 for 1993), pp. 101–16; see also G. Louise, La seigneurie de Bellême, Xe–XIIe siècles. Dévolution des pouvoirs territoriaux et construction d’une seigneurie de frontière aux confins de la Normandie et du Maine à la charnière

reading conflict  ❧ 77

of Anjou) did not rebel against William of Normandy but were caught up in the dispute for control of a key strategic region.133 William of Poitiers’ reading of the memory of the capture of Domfront is significant here. The capture had occurred more than two decades before William wrote, and his omission of a record of atrocities committed against the inhabitants of nearby Alençon (which William of Jumièges, writing at an earlier date than William of Poitiers, was willing to admit to) placed Domfront and Alençon in a milieu of rebellion and response, helping to legitimise William’s control of the territory.134 The link between territory, place, and authority, and the (legitimate) response to a perceived act of rebellion was thus something which could be invoked by a medieval narrator in order to make direct reference to an act of rebellion. A discussion of records for which the term ‘demonstrative behaviour’ may be applied necessarily addresses the possible meaning of primary sources in reference to what I have referred to elsewhere as ‘the coding of political and social relations which manifested themselves in the protagonists’ actions’.135 There is a strong historiographical tradition in the study of action and reaction, with work by, for example, Gerd Althoff and Geoffrey Koziol indicating the ‘ritual’ nature of contemporary rules of action and response.136 The term de l’an Mil (Flers, 2 vols, 1990–1), vol. 1, pp. 292–4, and K. Thompson, ‘Family and Influence to the South of Normandy in the Eleventh Century: The Lordship of Bellême’, JMH, 11 (1985), pp. 215–26. 133 M. Hagger, Norman Rule in Normandy, 911–1204 (Woodbridge, 2017), pp. 127–8. W. S. Jesse, Robert the Burgundian and the Counts of Anjou (Washington, DC, 2000), pp. 35–6. 134 WJ’s account is in GND, vol. 2, VII.8, pp. 124–5 (compare the other account of William’s father Robert’s suppression of revolt at Alençon: GND, vol. 2, VI.4, pp. 50–1). Differences between the two Williams’ accounts are discussed in Gillingham, ‘William the Bastard at War’, pp. 154–5. Matthew Bennett has pointed out to me (pers. comm.) that this may be a misreading of the act of hanging wet animal hides as a precaution against fire in a siege. 135 R. Lavelle, ‘The Politics of Rebellion: The Ætheling Æthelwold and West Saxon Royal Succession, 899–902’, in Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History, ed. Skinner, pp. 51–80, at p. 51. See also Barrow, ‘Demonstrative Behaviour and Political Communication’. 136 G. Koziol, Begging Pardon and Favor: Ritual and Political Order in Early Medieval France (Ithaca, NY, 1992); Gerd Althoff ’s work, represented by his collection Spielregeln der Politik im Mittelalter: Kommunikation in Frieden und Fehde (Darmstadt, 1997), is also influential (see especially ‘Demonstration und

78  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Spielregeln, ‘game rules’, is usefully applied to the field of study by Althoff, as such ‘games’ consisted of codified and mutually-understood dialogues entered into in the undertaking of political actions. As Stephen White indicates, an earlier historiographical tradition of the study of political action, whether violent or theatrical (or both), tended toward reading the apparently capricious and ‘irrational’ in such action. White was responding to the work of Marc Bloch, who had stated that ‘the irrational is an important element in all history’, and J. E. A. Jolliffe’s reading of the politics of Angevin kingship at a time when ‘nerves lay closer to the surface than they do to-day and conventions of restraint were weaker’.137 Subsequent work by Philippe Buc has drawn attention to the apparent ‘dangers’ of reading a historical reality in acts of ceremony and ritual through medieval authors’ texts, many of whom may have been more concerned to draw their readers to the parallels of behaviour apparent in, for example, classical antecedents.138 Buc’s work has drawn trenchant criticism from commentators, especially Koziol, who criticised Buc’s approach for presenting, as Koziol sees them, ‘caricatures’ of the readings of the historians (Koziol predominant amongst them) criticised by Buc.139 Koziol’s criticisms thus have some grounding. However, if Buc’s approach is reductionist, such reductionism must be acknowledged as a necessary rejoinder in a scholarly field which necessarily takes account of the provenance of primary source material. Likewise, if Buc’s alarmist language is overstatement, it is at least useful overstatement. Contemporary authors evidently knew what they invoked when they referred to events and the actions of protagonists; they may have Inszenierung: Spielregeln der Kommunication in mittelalterlicher Öffentlichkeit’, pp. 229–57). 137 M. Bloch, Feudal Society, trans. L. A. Manyon (London, 1961; 2nd edn, 2 vols, 1962), vol. 1, p. 73 and J. E. A. Jolliffe, Angevin Kingship (London, 1955; 2nd edn, 1963), p. 102; both are quoted and discussed by S. D. White, ‘The Politics of Anger’, in Anger’s Past: The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages, ed. B. Rosenwein (Ithaca, NY, 1998), pp. 127–52, at pp. 127 and 129 respectively. On this topic (though relating to an earlier period than that covered by this book), see B. H. Rosenwein, Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages (Ithaca, NY, 2006) and, more specifically on revolts (though across the Middle Ages generally), O. Touati, ‘Révolte et société: L’exemple du moyen âge’, in Violence et contestation au Moyen Âge, pp. 12–14. 138 Buc, Dangers of Ritual. 139 G. Koziol, ‘Review Article: The Dangers of Polemic: Is Ritual Still an Interesting Topic of Historical Study?’ EME, 11 (2002), pp. 367–88.

reading conflict  ❧ 79

attempted to mislead their readers but, in some ways, this should not matter in a study which necessarily acknowledges the social and political values which underpinned contemporary narratives. We need not go as far as to assume that, in effect, events must have transpired exactly as set out when a medieval chronicler records a set of events in the manner of an ancient author.140 However, neither is it necessary to dismiss any allusions by a chronicler as a deliberate attempt to lead his or her reader into interpreting a set of events in a particular manner. When, as noted above, William de Bellême is recorded as wearing a horse’s saddle in Alençon, healthy scepticism is useful for assessing whether this event actually took place.141 However, notwithstanding detailed calculations of the distributed weight of eleventhcentury saddles upon a human spine, we surely should not fret too much about being too sceptical as to whether contemporaries knew that it could have taken place. What matters is what it could have meant, both in the 1030s, at the time of the rebellion and, a generation later, in William of Jumièges’ day. ❧  ❧  ❧

The expression of opposition was important and mattered in the early and central Middle Ages. It mattered to members of ruling families, to those who supported discontented renegades from within those families, and to those aristocrats and lords who attempted, with varying degrees of success, to go it alone. The aims of actions could vary from the expression of a grievance otherwise unknown to us through to attempts to replace a ruler outright. Because there was some open, even public, element to declaring opposition, where it took place clearly mattered. Although the distinction of different types of opposition is made difficult by the problems of source material, and 140 R.

Abels and S. Morillo, ‘A Lying Legacy? A Preliminary Discussion of Images of Antiquity and Altered Reality in Medieval Military History’, Journal of Medieval Military History, 3 (2005), pp. 1–13, discussing the oeuvre of Bernard Bachrach (especially a contention on continuity discussed in B. S. Bachrach, ‘Medieval Military Historiography’, in Companion to Historiography, ed. M. Bentley (London, 1997), pp. 192–208); Bachrach’s response is ‘“A Lying Legacy” Revisited: The AbelsMorillo Defense of Discontinuity’, Journal of Medieval Military History, 5 (2007), pp. 153–93. 141 On the evidence of practice across Europe, albeit focused on a medieval Welsh case, see J. Hemming, ‘Sellam gestare: Saddle-Bearing Punishments and the Case of Rhiannon’, Viator, 28 (1997), pp. 45–64.

80  ❧  pl aces of contested power

the fact that successful rebellions often ceased to be rebellions as soon as they were overtaken by their own success, we can still make out some kind of meaning. Particular actions could mean something. Rebellion could mean something in itself as an act of defiance, whether that be with the intention of political change or with the intention of negotiation, and actions within a broader narrative of oppositional action had specific meaning, as indeed did the responses to them – thus even the attempts to stop or prevent them. Tied up with the meaning of those actions and the responses to them were the perception and use of the place in which those actions occurred or to which the actions may be related. That is the focus of discussion for much of the rest of this book, but the relationship between place and power needs to be addressed in itself in the following chapter.

Chapter Two

Geography, Topography, and Power In his masterwork The Sources of Social Power, Michael Mann defined power ‘in its most general sense’ as ‘the ability to pursue and attain goals through mastery of one’s environment’.1 Mann was reading ‘environment’ more broadly than in purely geographical terms but geography still played an important part in this definition. In recent decades, a swathe of scholarly work has pursued the link between places and political phenomena. One work, in a volume for the Transformation of the Roman World project, entitled Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages, highlights this issue well for the purposes of the present investigation. ‘Central places’, according to the editors of that volume, should not be defined by ‘the exclusively institutional and economic meanings which have burdened this concept’. Such places defy categorisation as ‘either political, religious, institutional, social or economic. They were all of this at the same time.’2 1 Mann,

The Sources of Social Power, vol. 1, p. 6. de Jong and F. Theuws, ‘Topographies of Power: Some Conclusions’, in Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages, ed. de Jong and Theuws, pp. 533–45, at p. 534; some of the same issues of interconnectivity are raised in Chris Wickham’s introduction to the volume, ‘Topographies of Power: Introduction’, pp. 1–8. See also D. Harrison, ‘Structures and Resources of Power in Early Medieval Europe’, in The Construction of Communities in the Early Middle Ages: Texts, Resources and Artefacts, ed. R. Corradini, M. Diesenberger, and H. Reimitz (Leiden, 2002), pp. 17–37 and (albeit from an area outside the immediate zone of this study but expressing a useful problematisation of the topic), D. Skre, ‘Centrality and Places: The Central Place at Skiringssal in Vestfold, Norway’, Studien zur Sachsenforschung, 1 (2010), pp. 220–31. (I am grateful to Anthony Mansfield for drawing my attention to the latter work.) 2 M.

82  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Taking into account the religious, institutional, social, and economic meaning of places, central and otherwise, the aim of this short chapter is to establish the geographical significance of political phenomena, bringing in the more specific detail of topography as part of the establishment of a rationale and methodology for the volume as a whole. The chapter begins with discussion of the significance of place and landscape in the central Middle Ages, including both the ways in which contemporary sources recorded places and the ways in which modern scholars discuss these issues. There follows a consideration of the manner in which the perceptions of places and landscape have been investigated more broadly, including in related disciplines such as geography, where the phenomenon of the ‘contested space’ has been established,3 and archaeology. Such investigations include phenomenological readings of landscape and lieux de mémoire,4 as well as more conventional readings of geographical proximity. Although it is not my intention to take an exclusively geographical approach to the ‘landscapes’ (both literal and figurative) associated with acts of opposition in this book, the chapter concludes with observations on how the perceptual approaches to medieval place and landscape can be applied.

Place and landscape in the early and central Middle Ages It may be a truism to observe that the perception and experience of places and landscapes by contemporaries may have differed markedly from the manner in which narrators of history at the time recorded places and landscapes. Nonetheless, the observation is worthwhile. As is noted in a landmark book in the study of landscape archaeology, Christopher Tilley’s Phenomenology of Landscape, itself a response to trends in human geography that developed prior to its publication in 1994, the experience of the human in the landscape is a complex issue. Tilley refers specifically to the act of walking, but travel on horseback should probably be added to his reading. It is a simple but fundamental reading: as a person moves, they experience.5 That act of expe3 See

references at p. 1, above. Nora, ‘Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire’, Representations, 26 (1989), pp. 7–24, provides a useful summary of the philosophy behind Nora’s project Les Lieux de mémoire (Paris, 6 vols, 1984–92). 5 C. Tilley, A Phenomenology of Landscape: Places, Paths and Monuments (Oxford, 1994), p. 74. 4 P.

geography, topography, and power   ❧ 83

riencing could include the landscape that linked places, the symbolic meaning and the very physicality of places. These meanings varied according to a range of external and internal phenomena, including previous experience of other places and indeed earlier experiences of the same places. The landscape is thus constructed, both physically and mentally, through the interaction, especially repeated interaction, with places and spaces in that landscape.6 These interactions can allow places to, as Tilley puts it, ‘acquire a history, sedimented layers of meaning by virtue of the actions and events that take place in them’.7 Naturally, many of the thoughts, emotions, and responses of generations of those who interacted with the landscape, imbuing it with their experiences, are lost to us and irrecoverable. Nonetheless, in terms of the partial reconstruction of landscapes and actions tempered with partial knowledge of customs (Tilley uses the term praxis) and a certain knowledge that place meant something, we can go some way toward reconsidering experiences in terms of location. The authors of the chronicles, lives, and histories, on whose descriptions of place and landscape we often rely and on which much of this book is based, also moved around the landscape and experienced the phenomenon of movement within it. After all, there is no record of any of the authors’ experience of travel under conditions of sensory deprivation! Orderic Vitalis’ travels during his career at Saint-Évroul included a brief return to England, and his childhood memories included some vivid and probably exaggerated descriptions of the dangers of travel.8 The influences of William of Malmesbury’s 6 Tilley,

Phenomenology of Landscape, p. 30. Phenomenology of Landscape, p. 27. The literature on the experience of landscape is wide-ranging but, considering a different but not unrelated phenomenon, that of the religious experience of landscape, see C. A. Lees and G. R. Overing, ‘Anglo-Saxon Horizons: Places of the Mind in the Northumbrian Landscape’, in A Place to Believe in, ed. Lees and Overing, pp. 1–26, and F. Benozzo, Landscape Perception in Early Celtic Literature (Aberystwyth, 2004), with his definition of literary perceptions of landscape at pp. ix–x. Beyond medieval studies, useful collections engaging with the ‘spatial turn’ in the humanities are O. Jones and J. GardeHansen (eds), Geography and Memory: Explorations in Identity, Place and Becoming (Basingstoke, 2012), and D. J. Bodenhamer, J. Corrigan, and T. M. Harris (eds), Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives (Bloomington, IN, 2015). I gratefully acknowledge Janet Owen for the latter reference. 8 For Orderic’s career and outside influences, see Chibnall, World of Orderic Vitalis, pp. 3–44. OV’s memory of the ‘evil hedge’ (huvel hegen – in this context referring to a boundary or ‘edge’) (vol. 6, pp. 28–9) is discussed at pp. 12–13. 7 Tilley,

84  ❧  pl aces of contested power

travels – at least in terms of the archives available to him – on his Gesta Pontificum and Gesta Regum are famous as a manifestation of the flowering of history in the twelfth century.9 Other authors experienced travel through their personal links to the politics of the events about which they wrote, notably Flodoard of Reims in the tenth century, and Archbishop Hincmar of Reims and the nobleman Nithard in the ninth.10 Nonetheless, the vocabulary which these authors had available to construct a sense of place and space when they needed to was derived from a conventional range of sources, namely Biblical, Patristic, and classical writings.11 It was exceptional if an author explicitly drew directly on their own experiences or emotions when constructing a sense of place, though that does not mean to say that beneath the employment of the more conventional words and phrases in constructing narrative passages, other topographical descriptions were entirely devoid of a relationship with a physical place. Such depictions of landscape did not exist in a vacuum but they had specific purposes within a narrative. Leonie Hicks has drawn attention to the manner in which chroniclers of Anglo-Norman history could use depictions of the landscape to evoke order. The security of travellers was related to dangerous outbreaks of disorder, as well as the imposition of peace (a common medieval motif, if one considers Bede’s pacific evocation of Northumbria during the reign of King Edwin [616–33]).12 Such evocations of place are 9 Thomson,

William of Malmesbury, pp. 17–19 and 72–5. is dealt with by Sot, Un historien et son église. On Hincmar, see J. L. Nelson, ‘The Bearing of Hincmar’s Life on his Historical Writing’, in Hincmar of Rheims: Life and Work, ed. R. Stone and C. West (Manchester, 2015); on Nithard, see S. Airlie, ‘The World, the Text and the Carolingian: Royal, Aristocratic and Masculine Identities in Nithard’s Histories’, in Lay Intellectuals in the Carolingian World, ed. P. Wormald and J. L. Nelson (Cambridge, 2007), pp. 51–76. I consider the links between the ‘experience’ of landscape and Asser’s authorship in my paper ‘Places I’ll Remember? Reflections on Alfred, Asser and the Power of Memory in the West Saxon Landscape’, in The Land of the English Kin: Studies in Wessex and AngloSaxon England Presented to Professor Barbara Yorke, ed. A. J. Langlands and R. Lavelle (Leiden, 2020), pp. 313–35. 11 For the early part of the period under discussion, see N. Lozovsky, The Earth is our Book: Geographical Knowledge in the Latin West ca. 400–1000 (Ann Arbor, MI, 2000). 12 L. V. Hicks, ‘Comings and Goings: The Use of Outdoor Space in Norman and Anglo-Norman Chronicles’, ANS, 32 (2010 for 2009), pp. 40–56, at pp. 44–6. For Edwin, Bede, HE, II.16, pp. 192–3, and on the Patristic and Biblical tradition 10 Flodoard

geography, topography, and power   ❧ 85

particularly significant in the last chapter of this book. Not only do the geographical aspects of the ‘Harrying of the North’ have relevance but the depictions of the landscape at Ely recorded in the Gesta Herwardi and Liber Eliensis, and the battlefield of Val-ès-Dunes recorded by Wace are important for the understanding of ‘memory’ of rebellion and/or of the suppression of rebellion.13 However, Hicks provides a powerful indication that the records are not the ‘forensic’ detail of individual or collective memory of a place but are the manifestation of a complex set of phenomena which are drawn together to form the description. So, to return to Tilley’s notion of phenomenology, even in cases where the author may have first-hand experience of the place, the description also brought together the range of other experiences, including of other places, and other experiences understood by their informant (not to mention the range of experiences that we, as a modern audience, bring to a reading).

The study of medieval place and action Notwithstanding the wide range of scholarship on place and landscape, a number of studies consider the significance of location in the political machinations of the early and central Middle Ages. These are often focused on the practical aspects of the understanding of place and landscape, with such issues as communication and distance between locations forming a significant factor in the understanding of events. There is a large tranche of studies of warfare which take this approach. Some examples are those of John Baker and Stuart Brookes on Anglo-Saxon defensive systems,14 Stuart Prior on Norman castle-based defence,15 Oliver Creighton and Duncan Wright on the landscapes of warfare during the twelfth-century

drawn on in Bede’s motif, see J. O’Reilly, ‘Islands and Idols at the Ends of the Earth: Exegesis and Conversion in Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica’, in Bède le Vénérable: Entre tradition et postérité / The Venerable Bede: Tradition and Posterity, ed. S. Lebecq, M. Perrin, and O. Szerwiniak (Villeneuve d’Ascq, 2005), pp. 119–45. 13 See chapter 8, pp. 312–23 as well as the brief discussion of Ely in the introduction, above, pp. 12–16. 14 J. Baker and S. Brookes, Beyond the Burghal Hidage: Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence in the Viking Age (Leiden, 2013). 15 Prior, A Few Well-Positioned Castles.

86  ❧  pl aces of contested power

‘Anarchy’,16 and, more generally, in a multi-period study, Paul Hill and Julie Wileman, on Landscapes of War.17 However, a geographical approach does not have to focus purely on the practical issues associated with control, cohesion, and movement, as these were not the only factors considered by contemporaries. As I have attempted to demonstrate in earlier work on Anglo-Saxon warfare, the holding of particular places could have symbolic meaning, often because they were demonstrative of authority.18 Some examples from early medieval Ireland are relevant here. Seán Duffy’s study of the reign of Brian Boru emphasises the use of sites which were associated in contemporary traditions with legend and which had symbolic meaning to contemporaries, even if the sites themselves had long been abandoned as places of permanent occupation. Brian’s challenge to Máel Sechnall’s high kingship in 1000 through the occupation of the prehistoric site of Tara (Co. Meath), seat of the high kingship of Ireland, is probably the most celebrated example.19 We might also note Brian’s use of places associated with the legends of Ulster: Dún Delca (Dundalk, Co. Louth), taken in 1002 because of its role in the defence of the frontier of Ulster by Cú Chulainn; and Navan Fort (Co. Armagh), remembered as Emain Macha, the principal site of the kingdom of Ulster in the Ulster Cycle and used for Brian’s royal camp in 1005. The Munster ruler Brian’s appropriation of the historical memory of the Ulaid thus served to underline – at least symbolically – Brian’s authority as High King over the Ulstermen, ‘to let the men of the north know who was boss’.20 Such an approach does not relate only to armed encounters or demonstrations of power. The liminality of many locations, especially islands in rivers, has long been established as a factor in diplomatic occasions, where neither ruler could concede territorial superiority to another. In many studies the geographical detail supplements the wider perspective of the political message. For instance, relating to another Irish example, Michael 16 Creighton

and Wright, The Anarchy. Hill and J. Wileman, Landscapes of War: The Archaeology of Aggression and Defence (Stroud, 2002). 18 Lavelle, ‘Geographies of Power in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’; see also Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 178–83, and T. J. T. Williams, ‘The Place of Slaughter: Exploring the West Saxon Battlescape’, in Danes in Wessex: The Scandinavian Impact on Southern England, c.800–c.1100, ed. R. Lavelle and S. Roffey (Oxford, 2016), pp. 35–55. 19 S. Duffy, Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf (Dublin, 2013), pp. 129–30. 20 Duffy, Brian Boru, pp. 135–6 and 138–9. 17 P.

geography, topography, and power   ❧ 87

Davidson remarks on the difficulties of communication in ‘a shouted conversation from ship to shore or a powwow in the midst of the surf ’ from a territorial standoff of one ruler who could not leave his ship for loss of face against another who could not leave the shore at Inis na Ríg, eastern Brega, in 784.21 Though Davidson’s comments are made with tongue at least partly in cheek, geography evidently did affect verbal communication. At the junction between the late Carolingian and early Ottonian worlds, Gerd Althoff highlights the use of the River Rhine at Bonn in 921 as the location of a series of riverbank- and boat-based rituals for the forming of the ‘friendship alliance’ between Charles the Simple and Henry I of the East Frankish kingdom.22 In the light of that reading, Barrow reinterprets the record of the English King Edgar on the River Dee in 973: twelfthcentury authors, following a tradition established by the turn of the millennium, read Edgar as rowed by the twelve ‘sub-kings’ of Britain, but Barrow highlighted the Ottonian significance of a meeting on a boat as a means of establishing neutral ‘ground’.23 The location of the political ritual itself is the focus in a small number of works on the early and central Middle Ages. Paul Dalton and Jenny Benham have both demonstrated how particular sites were chosen for their significance in acts of peacemaking,24 21 M.

R. Davidson, ‘The (Non)Submission of the Northern Kings in 920’, in Edward the Elder, 899–924, ed. N. J. Higham and D. H. Hill (London, 2001), pp. 200–11, at pp. 207–8 (quotation at p. 208), discussing The Annals of Ulster (to A.D. 1131), ed. S. Mac Airt and G. Mac Niocaill (Dublin, 1983) (published online at http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G100001A/ [text] and /T100001A/ [trans.]) s.a. 784, pp. 240–1, and F. J. Byrne, Irish Kings and High Kings (London, 1973), p. 124. 22 G. Althoff, Family, Friends and Followers: Political and Social Bonds in Medieval Europe, trans. C. Carroll (Cambridge, 2004), p. 80. 23 J. Barrow, ‘Chester’s Earliest Regatta? Edgar’s Dee-Rowing Revisited’, EME, 10 (2001), pp. 81–93; see also Barrow, ‘Demonstrative Behaviour and Political Communication’ and, for a revised reading (see below, p. 298), L. Roach, ‘Locating Meaning in Later Anglo-Saxon England: Meeting Places of the witan, 924–1016’, in Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages, ed. J. Carroll, A. Reynolds, and B. Yorke (Oxford, 2019), pp. 91–106. Compare here Creighton and Wright’s consideration of siege castles as spaces for negotiation in the twelfth century: Anarchy, p. 62 (see below, p. 131). 24 P. Dalton, ‘Sites and Occasions of Peacemaking in England and Normandy, c. 900–c. 1150’, HSJ, 16 (2006 for 2005), pp. 12–26; focusing, for the most part, on the slightly later period of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, J. E. M. Benham, Peacemaking in the Middle Ages: Principles and Practice (Manchester, 2011), pp.

88  ❧   pl aces of contested power

while other works, including one of my own, consider the legal significance of the choice of location for the promulgation of laws.25 With regard to the West Frankish political sphere, Geoffrey Koziol’s 2012 work on late Carolingian diplomas draws attention to the choice of particular places for assemblies associated with bids for power. Koziol’s contention that the making of a diploma was similar to the act of posing for an early photograph, as a moment deliberately frozen in time, with the expectation of influence on posterity: like a diploma, ‘taking a photograph made a moment special, or signified that we wanted to make it so’.26 Thus all these conscious decisions and performative actions were tied in with the choice of location for the drafting and ratification of a diploma. Reflecting the lieux de mémoire of Pierre Nora in his choice of terminology and citing work by Stéphane Lebecq on the perception of the past in early Anglo-Saxon history, Koziol notes the development of ‘places of memory’: they developed ‘not because a single event made [them] famous or infamous but because significant events kept happening there, over and over for generations’.27 The same places recur in political contexts because of such meaning.

21–43. The geographical implications of Dalton’s paper for pre-Conquest peace agreements in England are discussed in Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 321–2, and Lavelle, ‘Law, Death and Peacemaking in the “Second Viking Age”: An Ealdorman, his King, and Some “Danes” in Wessex’, in Danes in Wessex, ed. Lavelle and Roffey, pp. 122– 43, at pp. 130–1. 25 R. Lavelle, ‘Why Grateley? Reflections on Anglo-Saxon Kingship in a Hampshire Landscape’, Hampshire Studies: Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, 60 (2005), pp. 154–69. Location is considered as part of the analysis of ‘legislation as literature’ in P. Wormald, The Making of English Law: King Alfred to the Twelfth Century, Volume 1: Legislation and its Limits (Oxford, 1999), pp. 430–49. 26 G. Koziol, The Politics of Memory and Identity in Carolingian Royal Diplomas: The West Frankish Kingdom (840–987) (Turnhout, 2012), pp. 409–14 (quotation at p. 409). 27 Koziol, Politics of Memory and Identity in Carolingian Royal Diplomas, p. 537; S. Lebecq, ‘Monasterium constructum in castro quod lingua Anglorum Cnobheresburg vocatur (Bède, HEGA, III.19): De l’attraction exercée par les fortifications romaines sur les fondations monastiques dans l’Angleterre du très haut Moyen Âge’, in L’autorité du passé dans les sociétés médiévales, ed. J.-M. Sansterre (Rome, 2004), pp. 227–96. Another important work (also cited by Koziol, pp. 535–6) is S. Airlie, ‘The Palace of Memory: The Carolingian Court as a Political Centre’, in Courts and

geography, topography, and power   ❧ 89

Taking a view across a wider medieval period up to the sixteenth century, David Rollason has considered the political significance of what he refers to as ‘the power of place’. Rollason, too, remarks on the significance of particular political centres as theatres of action and their centrality in networks of support, assessing the balance between bureaucratic networks and the personal connections that could be made through the control of such nodes.28 There are, of course, broader studies which take into account the relevance of place associated with the notions of process and change (for example in the church and assembly). Though such studies are still often linked to particular events such as specific assemblies or church councils,29 they do not have to be. Fully grounded in the phenomenological school of Tilley, Sarah Semple’s examination of the perception of the prehistoric landscape in Anglo-Saxon England provides an indication of how the recognition of a perceptual understanding of the environment could shape experiences, including the exercise of political power.30

Towards a study of place and contested power A study which addresses the perceptions of geography, central places, and the landscape through the use of primary sources should acknowledge that the primary sources do not always provide full disclosure when it comes to reference to particular places. Occasionally, as Leonie Hicks has observed of Norman chronicles, a chronicler might provide a full detailed description (or Regions in Medieval Europe, ed. S. Rees Jones, R. Marks, and A. J. Minnis (York, 2000), pp. 1–20. 28 D. Rollason, The Power of Place: Rulers and their Palaces, Landscapes, Cities, and Holy Places (Princeton, NJ, 2016). 29 Though mainly covering an ealier period than this study, C. Cubitt, Anglo-Saxon Church Councils c. 650–c. 850 (London, 1995), esp. pp. 27–39, provides a useful discussion of the rationales behind the choices of sites, considering the relevance of place-names for landscape features even when the place itself is now lost; from the point of view of the presiding royal authority, see S. D. Keynes, ‘Church Councils, Royal Assemblies, and Anglo-Saxon Royal Diplomas’, in Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. G. R. Owen-Crocker and B. W. Schneider (Woodbridge, 2013), pp. 17–182. For discussions of the ‘construction of space’ in the diocese of Reims, see Sot, Un historien et son église, pp. 669–707. 30 S. Semple, Perceptions of the Prehistoric in Anglo-Saxon England: Religion, Ritual, and Rulership in the Landscape (Oxford, 2013).

90  ❧   pl aces of contested power

develop that detailed description, as Wace did with his record of the 1047 battlefield of Val-ès-Dunes, recorded over a century later).31 More often, references are laconic, limited to a reference to a place-name, or even, as in the case of many of the tenth-century entries of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, nonexistent. Here is where the limits of the study of the places of conflict and rebellion through the primary sources themselves must be acknowledged. Reconstruction of elements of the political landscape is sometimes necessary, which draws attention to some of the omissions of the contemporary chroniclers. This may involve the consideration of the political and demonstrative landscape, places of assembly and even the physical topography of a site, which might not be apparent through a laconic reference to a place alone. As the reconstruction of that political landscape itself is not a primary aim here, any reconstruction can only be partial and for the reader expecting details of landholding and topography, this book may prove unsatisfactory. Nonetheless, I hope that by considering the interaction between the norms of the usage of a political landscape and the normative subversion of that political landscape, something may still be revealed about both. In many ways the methodology adopted is empirical. There are many recorded instances of acts of political opposition – some more successful than others – from the period from the ninth through to the twelfth century; many (though by no means all) of the records of these instances include a sense of location, as well as the protagonists, and the authority figures who were rebelled against. While it would be unrealistic to expect to be exhaustive in the examination of these locations, I have attempted to be as wideranging as possible in the use of examples from different places and periods within the parameters of study. In some instances where the source material is particularly rich and the landscape ripe for consideration, the physical environs, including the viewshed of the place itself, is analysed, as it is in the discussion of Arques in chapter 5 and Val-ès-Dunes in chapter 8, both sites associated with the assertion of ducal control. Factors that are noteworthy in terms of the geographies of the ‘rebellious places’ include: the ‘type’ of landscape; the proximity of a place to landscape features such as water, forest, or indeed important agrarian resources; the proximity of the site to ‘central’ places such as estate centres, palaces, and/or ecclesiastical centres or, if the place chosen can itself be deemed a ‘central’ place in some way, the importance of that place at other times; and the means and ease of communication with other sites. Although it may hardly be a revelation that no single site 31 Hicks,

‘Comings and Goings’, pp. 49–50. See below, chapter 8, pp. 312–17.

geography, topography, and power   ❧ 91

is representative of all such factors and there is no ‘typical’ contested place or landscape, geographical factors were evidently recognised as important by contemporaries and should be acknowledged as such by us. All the same, the analysis is organised according to the type of contested place and, with it, the type of conflict rather than the type of physical landscape. Once again, we should note here the blurring of boundaries between the attributions of particular sites as, for example, specifically ‘public’ or ‘sacred’: inevitably, the same places must reappear in different chapters for their significance under different headings. Mayke de Jong and Frans Theuws may say that places were everything at the same time32 but a book, at least in its traditional form, cannot be everything at the same time. Factors must be addressed separately, noting connections between them where possible. The treatment of the geographical aspects of political actions (and political, religious, and social factors relevant to geographies) is thus noted where possible so that the factors are considered as appropriate. A final point may be made regarding differences in evidence. Although the differences between types of narrative evidence have already been addressed in the introduction, knowledge of the organisation of the landscape varies between England and France, according to the source material that details it. One significant aspect of this is that our knowledge of the eleventh-century English landscape (and the organisation of the landscape prior to the eleventh century) is aided immeasurably by the records contained in Domesday Book. By comparison, West Frankish and French evidence from estate surveys – though comprehensive where land and the rights to that land and people are surveyed – tends to be patchier, often linked to lands which remained in monastic hands rather than contested royal lands.33 However, the unevenness of Anglo-French comparisons may not be as problematic as first thought. A range of diplomas survive from the West Frankish realm which are useful for understanding and reconstructing the political landscapes, just as the comparatively smaller range of Anglo-Saxon charters allows some reconstruction.34 In many Frankish diplomas the location at which an assembly took place (presumably where the transaction itself took place) is also recorded, 32 Above,

p. 81. nature of the early medieval polyptyques and their significance for economic study is discussed in Y. Morimoto, Études sur l’économie rurale du haut Moyen Âge (Brussels, 2008). 34 P. H. Sawyer, ‘The Royal Tun in Pre-Conquest England’, in Ideal and Reality in Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Society, ed. P. Wormald, D. Bullough, and R. Collins 33 The

92  ❧   pl aces of contested power

which can be useful in recording a site associated with authority in a region, and of course other locations may be recorded in other narrative sources.35 As noted, it is not practical to try to reconstruct the landscapes of England and northern France in the early and central Middle Ages in order to slot particular conflicts into that landscape. Nonetheless, an attempt to consider places within their landscape context is appropriate in order to better understand the significance of the conflicts themselves, both to those igniting the conflicts and those who responded to them.

(Oxford, 1983), pp. 273–99; R. Lavelle, Royal Estates in Anglo-Saxon Wessex: Land, Politics and Family Strategies, BAR British Ser., 439 (Oxford, 2007). 35 An attempt at the reconstruction of estates is J. W. Thompson, The Dissolution of the Carolingian Fisc in the Ninth Century (Berkeley, CA, 1936). See now papers in Lore and Bougard (eds), Biens publics, biens du roi.

Chapter Three

Contesting Authority in ‘Public’ Space If opposition was often expressed with a claim to legitimacy within the framework of existing political systems, the use of ‘public’ space, particularly in attempts to convey some notion of group consensus, could be a part of this process. On numerous occasions, the contestation of power within groups involved the appropriation of public space through assembly or simply the occupation of the space. The Carolingian legacy in England and France is significant here due to the Frankish expression of power in political assemblies and its influence on the conflicts which took place in the early and central Middle Ages.1 After discussing public notions of power and authority, opposition, and the places themselves, this chapter addresses these issues through consideration of the opposition to a place, the use of a place, and the reassertion of power in a place. The work of Timothy Reuter has been instrumental in showing the significance of the ‘politics of assembly’ in the early and central Middle Ages. According to Reuter’s model of rulership, social interactions rested on faceto-face encounters and thus, in turn, political authority – the operation of public authority – rested on a sense of personal authority that was maintained through interpersonal connections.2 Reuter’s readings of rebellion highlight both the divisions and the blurring of these divisions between 1 T.

Reuter, ‘Assembly Politics in Western Europe from the Eighth Century to the Twelfth’, in The Medieval World, ed. P. Lineham and J. L. Nelson (London, 2001), pp. 432–50. 2 Reuter, ‘Assembly Politics in Western Europe from the Eighth Century to the Twelfth’.

94  ❧   pl aces of contested power

rebellion, apparently ‘open’ in nature, and feud, which was necessarily private, at least in its origins (though of course intended to draw attention to making a grievance public).3 In societies in which, as Barton notes, clamor played a significant role in political and social action, public airings of grievance in both feud and rebellion were logical.4 These could be subverted to ensure that grievances were publicly heard and that, ultimately, public authority could itself be subverted in the interests of the party which contested it. Although, as Matthew Strickland has observed, rebellion needed planning – presumably secret planning – in its early stages and was thus treasonous in nature,5 conspiracy had its own ‘open’, even ‘declarative’ element in carrying whispers of discontent to a ruler and furthering the cause of rebellion before an act of rebellion itself took place. We do not have to swallow whole Notker’s late ninth-century account of the treasonous plot of Pippin ‘the Hunchback’ in 792, overheard by a cleric hiding under Regensburg Cathedral’s altar, to appreciate that there were tensions between secrecy and public action involved in establishing a coniuratio. Notker’s account is also useful for the light it sheds on the notion that swearing a coniuratio had a sacral element.6 A twelfth-century example is a coniuratio against Henry 3 Reuter,

‘Peace-Breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’, p. 361. For the balance between calculation and emotion in feud and the pursuit of vengeance, see Hyams, Rancor and Reconciliation, especially pp. 34–68. 4 R. E. Barton, ‘Making a Clamor to the Lord: Noise, Justice and Power in Eleventh- and Twelfth-Century France’, in Feud, Violence and Practice, ed. Tuten and Billado, pp. 213–38. G. Althoff, ‘Colloquium familiare – Colloquium secretum – Colloquium publicum. Beratung im politischen Leben des früheren Mittelalters’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 24 (1990), pp. 146–67, reprinted in his Spielregeln der Politik im Mittelalter, pp. 157–84. 5 Strickland, ‘Against the Lord’s Anointed’. Strickland also develops this theme, with observations on the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in ‘“All Brought to Nought and Thy State Undone”: Treason, Disinvestiture and the Disgracing of Arms under Edward II’, in Soliders, Nobles and Gentlemen: Essays in Honour of Maurice Keen, ed. P. R. Coss and P. Tyerman (Woodbridge, 2009), pp. 279–304. See also the comments on ‘the delicate business of taking soundings’, in MacMullen, ‘How to Revolt in the Roman Empire’, p. 199. Billoré, ‘Introduction’, pp. 15–22, and B. Lemesle, ‘Trahisons et idées de trahison sous les princes angevins et normands (1050–1150)’, in La trahison au Moyen Ȃge, ed. Billoré and Soria, pp. 229–38. 6 Notker, Gesta Karoli Magni, ed. H. F. Haefele, MGH SRG Nova ser. 12 (Berlin, 1959), II.12, pp. 71–2; trans. D. Ganz, Two Lives of Charlemagne (London, 2008), pp. 100–1. For the plot, Nelson, ‘Charlemagne: pater optimus?’, p. 277. Cf.

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 95

I at La Croix-Saint-Leufroy (dép. Eure), made between Waleran II, count of Meulan, and other nobles whose lands lay in Norman frontier regions. The king-duke heard about the plans, but with Waleran’s castle built on the doorstep of the abbey of La Croix-Saint-Leufroy, and the abbey itself perhaps even intended to endorse the plot, it seems unlikely that the conspiracy was intended to remain secret for long.7 A contemporary opinion on such matters may be seen in the letters of Archbishop Lanfranc of Canterbury to the young Earl Roger de Breteuil prior to his rebellion in 1075, which suggest that rumour and perhaps even the threat of action played an important part in rebellion.8 In the first of his letters to Roger, Lanfranc, with a responsibility in the government of England during the absence of the king, was evidently aware of rumours of rebellion, and in the second he clearly saw the association of Roger with his co-conspirator, Earl Ralph de Gael. The airing of grievance prior to an action which may not even have taken place by the time Lanfranc wrote his second letter to Roger may have played some role in giving a legitimacy of sorts to the act of rebellion which had evidently happened by the time of Lanfranc’s declaration of anathema in his third letter to Roger.9 That sedition was apparently unmasked at a feast for a wedding between Roger’s sister Emma and Earl Ralph was presumably only part of the story, and it is revealing that it is this event on which the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle concentrates.10 This focus is typical of the differences between the representation of internal conflict and its realities in manuscripts of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, which seem to use motifs of disloyalty and sedition over what might be construed as open rebellion.11 By contrast, Lanfranc’s exhortations to the young earl suggest that he was aware of genuine grievances. These grievances, as Chris Lewis noted, may have been open wounds associated with the loss not only of familial Widukind, II.15 (trans., pp. 76–7), who deals with the distinctions between open and secret opposition in the tenth century. 7 OV, vol. 6, pp. 330–3. See further below, pp. 200–2. 8 The Letters of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. and trans. H. Clover and M. Gibson (Oxford, 1979), nos. 31, 32, and 33A. 9 Letters of Lanfranc, ed. and trans. Clover and Gibson, 33A. 10 ASC DE 1075. Note that the D manuscript explicitly links the wedding feast with the conspiracy, noting that they ‘agreed there’ (ræddon þær), while the E manuscript makes the link through juxtaposition of the wedding with the conspiracy. Note that JW, vol. 3, s.a. 1074, pp. 24–5, refers to the wedding as being against the king’s will. 11 Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, esp. p. 61–72.

96  ❧   pl aces of contested power

standing but of public authority following the death of Roger’s father, William FitzOsbern.12 Such reactions as those against the ‘Earls’ Revolt’ of 1075 are intimately tied up with the ‘equal and opposite reaction’ that often arose from medieval rebellion. The counterpoint to the subversion of ‘legitimate’ authority by public rebellion in a public space is evidently the reassertion of such authority. This must be seen as an essential element of the study of internal conflict; the type of reaction could, in effect, define an oppositional action as rebellion, as indeed does the use of public space in such reactions. This theme is explored in this chapter with regard to the events of 1075–6 and Edward the Elder’s earlier use of Badbury Rings, Dorset, an assembly site of local and perhaps regional importance, in response to the rebellion of the ætheling Æthelwold in 899/900. However, at this point it is appropriate to address what public space was, at least in terms of the ways in which the ‘public’ functions of places could be utilised in a conflict. There are a range of factors which could define a public function of a space, particularly judicial and administrative functions, but they do not, in themselves, define a space as ‘public’. The definition is, by necessity, very broad, and, as is noted in chapter 2, to define space by its ‘public’ function or even its ‘secularity’ (if it is appropriate to use this term) may create a false dichotomy. It is appropriate, though, to ask here where public space ends and private space begins. ‘Private’ spaces had a public function, too – we might think of the king’s chamber, such as in the account of the audience with King Alfred at Wardour (Wilts.) in a case concerning the theft of a belt in the late ninth century.13 Conversely, access to public spaces could be restricted in a way which made them in some way ‘private’.

12 Lewis,

‘Early Earls of Norman England’. Lewis spells out his position on ‘William fitz Osbern, earl of Wessex’ at p. 223. See also T. S. Purser, ‘William FitzOsbern, Earl of Hereford: Personality and Power on the Welsh Frontier, 1066–1071’, in Armies, Chivalry and Warfare in Medieval Britain and France: Proceedings of the 1995 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. M. Strickland (Stamford, 1998), pp. 133–46. For another consideration of rebellion stemming from the loss of comital power, cf. the discussion of the battle of Val-ès-Dunes in chapter 8, below. 13 S 1445; see S. Keynes, ‘The Fonthill Letter’, in Words, Texts and Manuscripts: Studies in Anglo-Saxon Culture presented to Helmut Gneuss on the Occasion of his SixtyFifth Birthday, ed. M. Korhammer, with K. Reichl and H. Sauer (Cambridge, 1992), pp. 53–97.

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 97

A relevant issue here is the ‘aura’ of palaces, an issue noted by Stuart Airlie with regard to Carolingian texts relating rebellion.14 The Carolingian palace – and indeed the post-Carolingian palace – fulfils many of the criteria of the ‘central places’ referred to in chapter 2, above. They were both private, insofar as they were centres associated with familial functions and identity, and public, not only because assemblies often took place at or near palaces but also because the events of the court were themselves in many ways ‘public’ events in that they were witnessed, at least by those who counted. Much has been written during the last half century on the political significance of palaces and the shifting perceptions of palace spaces – or indeed whether a site held what was read as a palace by one ruler but not by another. This skein running through the historiography of early medieval power has shown the centrality of palatial spaces to the representation and practice of power.15 Fundamentally, the religious, ritual, and indeed thaumaturgical aspects of rule gave the palace a depth of public meaning in a royal or imperial context. The actions of figures who undertook an apparently ‘Loyal Palace Rebellion’ in the reign of Louis the Pious may be the sine qua non examples of the (attempted) palace coup as an affirmation of the legitimacy of the emperor. Their palace was the space through which a group of the Carolingian nobility attempted to demonstrate their allegiance to the emperor, even if their principal interests lay in contesting the power of those who were present at the court.16 Such public declarations of loyalty in rebellion provide a link with the direct use of a palace by the aristocracy themselves as a site from which to launch a coup. While the Anglo-Saxon hall may have been common to both kings and aristocrats in England before 1066, palaces were more frequently 14 Airlie,

‘“Not Rendering unto Caesar”’, p. 500. See also his ‘Palace of Memory’. MacLean, ‘Palaces, Itineraries and Political Order in the Post-Carolingian Kingdoms’, in Diverging Paths? The Shape of Power and Institutions in Medieval Christendom and Islam, ed. J. Hudson and A. Rodriguez (Leiden, 2014), pp. 291– 320. Other works on the perception of palaces include T. Zotz, ‘Palatium et Curtis: Aspects de la terminologie palatiale au Moyen Âge’, in Palais royaux et princiers au Moyen Âge: Actes du colloque international tenu au Mans les 6–7 et 8 octobre 1994, ed. A. Renoux (Le Mans, 1996), pp. 7–15, at pp. 8–11, and P. Riché, ‘Les représentations du palais dans les textes littéraires du haut moyen âge’, Francia, 4 (1976), pp. 166–71. 16 S. Patzold, ‘Eine “Loyale Palastrebellion” der “Reichseinheitspartei”? Zur “Divisio imperii” von 817 und zu den Ursachen des Aufstands gegen Ludwig den Frommen im Jahre 830’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 40 (2006), pp. 43–77. 15 S.

98  ❧   pl aces of contested power

in royal hands than those of the high aristocracy of Continental Europe before the eleventh century.17 It is notable that by the time that they were relatively commonly in non-royal hands on the Continent, other expressions of contestation, particularly the appropriation of smaller castles and indeed the building of one’s own castles, were available to those who were dissatisfied with ducal and comital authority. Castles are traditionally defined as ‘private’ spaces, and their significance in those terms is addressed in chapter 5, but it may be noted that some functioned as public structures. In that sense, drawing a clear distinction is not always possible for us and was probably not always possible for contemporaries either. Exeter Castle (Rougemont Castle), for example, was an enclosure castle (a ‘ring-work’) cited by Oliver Creighton for its function as a public space (see Figure 5).18 This may have been significant in the oath taken there by the men of Baldwin de Redvers not to yield to King Stephen in 1136.19 However, although rebellion against a lord by means of fortifying or taking a castle could be a public declaration of intent, such action often made use of vertical lines of reciprocal obligation. This was a blurred area that contemporaries were aware of and could exploit. Baldwin’s garrison, facing execution for their treasonous activity at Exeter, made a counter-plea of the bonds of lordship, a plea which presumably struck a chord with the English barons. Their influence on King Stephen was instrumental in sparing the garrison.20 The notion of legitimacy of lordship that was 17 See

A. Renoux, ‘Espaces et lieux de pouvoirs royaux et princiers en France (fin IXe–début XIIIe siècle): changement et continuité’, in Palais royaux et princiers au Moyen Âge, ed. Renoux, pp. 17–42. (Renoux notes the complementarity of an aula and ‘hall’ in eleventh-century Rouen at p. 23.) For a comment on the rarity of ‘palaces’ in Anglo-Saxon England and the alternative perception of royal space through means of the collection of render, see Lavelle, ‘Geographies of Power in the AngloSaxon Chronicle’. 18 O. Creighton, Early European Castles: Aristocracy and Authority, AD 800–1200 (London, 2012), pp. 47–8. On a similar issue for Lincoln Castle as a flashpoint in 1140–1, see E. King, King Stephen (New Haven, CT, 2010), pp. 147–8, while on Lincoln and the deprivation of land and liberty in this period, see below, chapter 4, pp. 143–4. 19 GS, ch. 16, pp. 31–5; See Strickland, War and Chivalry, p. 214. King, King Stephen, p. 65, addresses the public claims by Baldwin. 20 Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum: History of the English, ed. Diana Greenway (Oxford, 1996), X.4, pp. 708–9, with criticism of the advice received by the king. See Strickland, War and Chivalry, p. 233. Stephen’s leniency is also

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 99

at play during such a dispute was important. Robert Bearman observes that Baldwin had ‘apparently declined’ to attend Stephen’s Easter court at Westminster on 22 March that year, noting that his name was not on the ‘lengthy’ witness lists of the charters of that year.21 In Normandy in the same period, the refusal by the former chamberlain of Henry I, Hrabel de Tancarville, to come to Stephen’s court resulted in his use of Lillebonne, amongst other castles, which, according to Orderic, put up eighteen months’ resistance to the king.22 Such action may have been perceived as stemming from the strength of Hrabel’s own ‘private’ standing as a lord but, given Hrabel’s public office and the public nature of Lillebonne, a place within an area of ducal demesne, there were evidently further implications.23 As Warren Hollister put it in his biography of Henry I, the man to whom Hrabel owed loyalty even after Henry’s death, such fortresses as Lillebonne ‘were in safe hands [during Henry’s lifetime], for although magnates might shift sides with the winds, knights of the familia regis did not.’24 Although more than a knight, Hrabel’s role as one of the familiares of the late king is an example of the way in which a place could be held because of its ‘public’ function and the intimate tie to a residual personal loyalty could highlight the apparent legitimacy of a cause.

addressed by King, King Stephen, pp. 65–7. Note also the demand of execution of the garrison at Rochester in 1088 under similar circumstances of ‘public’ rebellion: OV, vol. 4, pp. 132–5. 21 R. Bearman (ed.), Charters of the Redvers Family and the Earldom of Devon, 1090– 1217 (Exeter, 1994), p. 6. Easter court charters are Regesta, vol. 3, nos. 46, 341, 451, 521, 944, but Bearman’s reading of a lack of presence of Baldwin at Easter should also be seen in view of the fact that there were a lot of other assemblies: fortyfive charters date from before the report of Baldwin’s rebellion on 26 April 1136. Bearman’s reading is borne out by the index of witnesses in Regesta, vol. 3, p. 388 and the list of charters at pp. xxxix–xl. For the Easter assembly, see King, Stephen, pp. 56–60. I am grateful to Sarah Fry for discussion of this point. 22 OV, vol. 6, pp. 482–5. For Waleran of Meulan’s desire to establish a foundation near Lillebonne, see below, chapter 7, pp. 250–1. 23 Lillebonne is in a list of Henry I’s ducal castles in OV, vol. 6, p. 222–3; Lillebonne’s significance is indicated by Hagger, Norman Rule, maps 5 and 6, pp. xxiii–xxiv, and discussed on pp. 52 and, with regard to OV’s text, p. 639. 24 C. W. Hollister, Henry I (New Haven, CT, 2001), p. 257, although note that Hollister did not make direct reference to Hrabel. For the familia regis in battle, see chapter 8, below.

Figure 5. (i) John Norden’s 1617 map of Rougemont Castle, Exeter, from G. Oliver, A History of the City of Exeter (London, 1861). The map shows the size of the inner bailey as a ‘public’ space within the north-western corner of the city. (ii) The eleventh-century gatehouse to the castle; the Anglo-Saxon style stonework shows that it was probably built, employing English masons, shortly after the 1068 siege of Exeter.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 101

Towns come into this assessment insofar as they contained public spaces in which public participation played a direct role in asserting that urban community’s own legitimacy. However, towns were also characterised by private, often domestic, spaces and the spatial dynamics of action taken within towns are considered in chapter 6. Distinction between ecclesiastical and monastic space is also worth noting. Just as a monastery – typically considered for the notion of separation from the world – could have a public function (especially a legal one), a cathedral, considered as a public space of worship and ritual, could have an inner sanctum.25 Nonetheless, it is the very nature of opposition as something that subverts public space which is the important factor here. Therefore, religious spaces are relevant here insofar as they relate to wider public actions associated with acts of opposition. While the seizure of power expressed through the seizure of a defined site could be closely linked to the fortunes of those in the affinities of ruling families, the most public form of contesting power, the demonstration of opposition to a ruler by means of open battle, is discussed later in this book in relation to military campaigns (chapter 8). The violence – whether actual or symbolic – of open rebellion is an important element of the nature of public opposition, but it is first appropriate to consider what may have been a preliminary, perhaps less obvious (but no less important) stage in rebellion, one which could in itself determine oppositional politics.

Staying away: the politics of absenteeism Whatever the benefits of convening an assembly may have brought – and we shall see below the horizontal social bonds that could be strengthened in such events – rebels evidently needed to be on sure ground in order to convene an assembly themselves. What may be just as common is absence as a phenomenon linked with contestation of authority, as the absence itself could have been a refusal to endorse the legitimacy of a ruler’s authority, perhaps even that exercised through a particular place. The refusal of Hrabel de Tancarville and Baldwin de Redvers to come to the king’s court during the reign of Stephen has already been cited; the subsequent campaign against

25 See

M. de Jong, ‘Monastic Prisoners or Opting Out? Political Coercion and Honour in the Frankish Kingdoms’, in Topographies of Power, ed. de Jong and Theuws, pp. 291–328, at pp. 302–3, on the Merovingian division of space.

102  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Hrabel’s castles indicates that refusal may have been an opening gambit in a carefully staged strategy. Two centuries earlier, we may see the role of place in the assembly politics: the refusal by Count Heribert II of Vermandois to meet with King Raoul at Compiègne in 927 may indicate that the royal summons to assembly was a flashpoint. That summons drew out the hostilities which had developed as a result of a synod at Trosly-Loire, some 19 miles (31 km) away, over which Heribert had evidently held a strong influence. We see more of Trosly below;26 Compiègne had regularly been used as a location for royal assembly during the ninth century, becoming, as ‘Carlopolis’, a favoured residence during the later part of the reign of Charles the Bald,27 and, following in his grandfather’s footsteps, a special place for Charles the Simple (second only to Saint-Denis, which was unavailable to him). As well as having Carolingian echoes, however, it was a site which was invested in meaning for the Robertians since, as Jinty Nelson has noted, Regino of Prüm invented the memory of an assembly at Compiègne in ‘861’. Here, Regino asserts, Robert ‘the Strong’ had been invested with the ducatus – a term which might be translated as the ‘command’ – of Neustria by Charles the Bald; this was, as a modern editor of Regino has suggested, a back-projection of Robert of Neustria’s later position.28 Perhaps explaining the creation of memory associated with 861, Compiègne was the place of elevation to kingship of Robert’s son Odo in 888.29 As Geoffrey Koziol notes with regard to Robertian royal 26 This

chapter, pp. 114–17. Charles the Bald, p. 235, citing recorded sojourns between 867 and 877, and pp. 247–8, on a charter of May 877, which records, in grandiose terms, the foundation of a royal church there (G. Tessier (ed.), Recueil des Actes de Charles II le Chauve, roi de France (Paris, 3 vols, 1943–55), no. 425); for the Carlopolis, see D. Lohrmann, ‘Trois palais royaux de la vallée de l’Oise d’après les travaux des érudits mauristes: Compiègne, Choisy-au-Bac et Quierzy’, Francia, 4 (1976), pp. 121–40, at pp. 126–8. 28 Nelson, Charles the Bald, p. 167–8, discussing Regino, s.a. 861, p. 79 (trans. p. 138). MacLean’s comments are at n. 69. 29 Annals of Saint-Vaast, s.a., in Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini, ed. B. von Simson, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 12 (Hannover, 1909), p. 64. See O. Guillot, ‘Les étapes de l’accession d’Eudes au pouvoir royal’, Media in Francia: recueil de mélanges offert à Karl Ferdinand Werner (Maulévrier, 1989), pp. 199–223. Dunbabin, France in the Making, p. 27, discusses Regino of Prüm’s reading of the momentousness of the occasion, s.a. 888, pp. 129–30 (trans. 199–201, though Regino does not mention Compiègne itself ). 27 Nelson,

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 103

policy in the 920s, Odo’s brother – Raoul’s father-in-law – Robert I took care to associate himself with Compiègne.30 Although the language of legitimacy may have been apparent in Raoul’s attempt to use Compiègne as his father-in-law had done, Heribert’s refusal to attend an assembly called there may well be equated with a refusal to endorse Raoul’s legitimacy as a Robertian. The defeated Charles the Simple’s ‘final betrayal’ had been at Saint-Quentin, at the hands of Heribert, in July 923. This was just days after Charles had issued his final diploma at Compiègne, where the diploma’s sparse text attests to the fact that, as Koziol puts it, Charles had ‘no one to support him, no one to maintain even the fiction of a royal household’.31 King Raoul was to weather stormy relations with Heribert, ruling until 936, but the irony may not have been missed that Heribert’s move to restore Charles from the captivity in which he held the deposed king was preceded by a refusal to attend an assembly at the place that had given the would-be Robertian the legitimacy he so badly needed.32 Similar circumstances are apparent in England in the crisis of 1051–2, with a king – Edward the Confessor – who, like Raoul, was not fully secure in his position with the magnates of the kingdom.33 In Edward’s case the cause was his return from exile less than a decade before, with a limited support base. Although Raoul’s principal rival, Heribert, stemmed from a male lineage that was, as Constance Bouchard has it, ‘undoubtedly Carolingian’,34 there is some similarity between Heribert’s position as Count of Vermandois 30 Koziol,

Begging Pardon and Favor, p. 168. In The Politics of Memory and Identity, pp. 545–6, Koziol also notes the manner in which Compiègne had played a role in Robert’s disgrace and restoration between 900–3. 31 Koziol, Politics of Memory and Identity, p. 548, citing Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, roi de France (893–923), ed. F. Lot and P. Lauer (Paris, 1949), no. 122. 32 The context of the planned alliance with Normans by Heribert as he moved Charles to Eu, is discussed by W. Falkowski, ‘Contra legem regem sibi elegerunt: Les principes régissant l’exercice du pouvoir royal sous le règne de Charles le Simple’, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, 35 (1992), pp. 227–39, at pp. 237–8. A restoration ‘to’ Saint-Quentin is noted in Flodoard, Hist. Rem. IV.21, p. 413. 33 The comparative circumstances of Raoul’s successor, Louis IV, with Edward the Confessor, are noted above, p. 27–8. 34 C. B. Bouchard, Those of My Blood: Creating Noble Families in Medieval Francia (University Park, PA, 2001), p. 21. For the ‘Carolingian’ nature of the county of Vermandois, see R. Fossier, ‘Le Vermandois au Xe siècle’, in Media in Francia, pp. 177–86,

104  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Figure 6. The hundreds of Berkeley and Langtree as recorded in Domesday Book (1086), showing the position of Beverstone relative to other important places. Places noted as belonging to the former royal estate of Berkeley are also indicated. (Information from Walker, ‘Gloucestershire Castles’.)

and Earl Godwine. Heribert had comital interests which were only a generation or so deep while the latter, despite being married to the sister-inlaw of the Anglo-Danish king, Cnut, had similarly shallow roots as earl in the south of England.35 In both cases, contesting the demands of notentirely-secure royal authority showed how much both king and magnate had to prove.

35 On

the origins of the Godwine family, see F. Barlow, The Godwins: The Rise and Fall of a Noble Dynasty (London, 2002), pp. 17–26, though Barlow contended (without much evidence beside supposition, it must be said) that the family was likely to have been related in some way to earlier English kings.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 105

It is open to question whether anyone in the Godwine family had ever read Flodoard,36 but their collective refusal to attend an assembly at Gloucester during the crisis year of 1051 is striking. The D version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, often hostile to the Godwine family, implies that the family had been instigators of a rebellious gathering in Langtree hundred following unrest in Godwine’s town of Dover (discussed below, chapter 6). It also notes, however, that the king ‘was then residing at Gloucester’ (Þa wæs Eadward cyng on Gleawcestre sittende), and had sent for his other earls, Leofric of Mercia and Siward of Northumbria. The pro-Godwine account in the E Chronicle attempts to paint a bid by the Godwine family to meet at Beverston (perhaps so close to Langtree hundred as to explain the discrepency with the D Chronicle), ‘so that they should have the advice and support of the king and of all the councillors as to how they should avenge the insult to the king and to all the people’.37 The sense of a desire for justice is contextualised by Earl Ralph of Hereford’s extension of interests in the territory of the Swein Godwineson described in the 1051 entry, and Godwine’s absence from a royal assembly at Gloucester may have been temporary (he was probably not welcome, of course). However, holding an alternative assembly, at Beverston, which was some 16 miles (25 km) from the location chosen by the king, evidently had political meaning in the circumstances because of its relationship with the Godwine family’s own territory.38 Beverston was 36 The

most recent study of the reading of anyone associated with the family prior to composition of the Vita Ædwardi Regis is on Judith, who went into exile with her husband Tostig Godwineson in 1051: M. Dockray-Miller, The Books and the Life of Judith of Flanders (Farnham, 2016). Dockray-Miller, however, does not seem to have found Flodoard or Richer of Reims among Judith’s influences. 37 ‘[Þ]æt hi þæs cynges ræd hæfdon ⁊ his fultum. ⁊ ealra witena. hu hi mihton þæs cynges bismer awrecan ⁊ ealles þeodscipes.’ ASC E, 1051. 38 JW, vol. 2, s.a. 1016, pp. 486–7, refers to Sherston’s position as in Hwiccia. Although there are some problems with the quantitative methodology used (see S. Baxter, Earls of Mercia: Lordship and Power in Late Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 2007), pp. 128–31, and J. L. Grassi, ‘The Lands and Revenues of Edward the Confessor’, EHR, 117 (2002), p. 251–83), Fleming, Kings and Lords, especially pp. 65–71, allows some comparison between the Godwine family and the royal family’s holdings in Gloucestershire and surrounding shires; D. Walker, ‘Gloucestershire Castles’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 109 (1991), pp. 5–23, at pp. 16–19, provides a useful assessment of the significance of the royal manor and hundred of Berkeley, to which Beverston was attached; A. Williams, ‘The Piety of Earl Godwine’, ANS, 24 (2012 for 2011), pp. 237–68, at p.

106  ❧  pl aces of contested power

some 6 miles (10 km) from Malmesbury and 5 miles (8 km) from Sherston, places which had been important in the crisis years of 1015–16 (see Figure 6). During those years, within Godwine’s lifetime, Sigeferth and Morcar had been murdered at an assembly, following which Sigeferth’s widow had been brought to Malmesbury.39 It is hardly surprising that Godwine would refuse to attend the Gloucester assembly or, later that year, an assembly called by the king in London, for which the king refused to grant the earl ‘safe conduct and hostages’ (griðes ⁊ gisla).40 A perception of rebellion was evidently significant – indeed the C Chronicle records with hostility Godwine’s followers’ later declaration that they would ‘die and live’ (licgan ⁊ lybban) with him in a manner that recalls the rebellions of Cyneheard (786) and Æthelwold (899/900). Such hostility was the price of determining one’s own course of action on one’s own terms.41 The events of 1051 bear comparison with those of 1075 and 1088. Although the events of 1075 and 1088 were rebellion insofar as they were direct challenges to royal authority, refusal to attend assemblies played a role in the sequence of these actions. Orderic’s evocation of the 1075 encounter at Fagadun (probably Fawdon, in Whaddon, Cambs.)42 resounds with a sense of rebellion and retribution but, despite Orderic’s developing sense of narrative of conspiracy, it is the summons ‘to the king’s court’ (ad curiam regis) by the king’s iusticiarii (translated by Marjorie Chibnall as ‘chief ministers’), William de Warenne and Richard de Bienfait, which actually precipitated the armed encounter. Orderic’s reference to ‘open opposition everywhere’ [manifesta contradictio . . . late] is, by comparison, a necessarily vague phrase, presumably intended to evoke the political atmosphere 243, notes the interests of Godwine’s wife Gytha in the welfare of a religious community at Berkeley. However, see E. Mason, The House of Godwine: The History of a Dynasty (London, 2004), p. 31, for later stories (in thirteenth-century Denmark and late twelfth-century England) of Earl Godwine’s origins linked with the aftermath of the battle of Sherston and as Earl of Gloucester, on both occasions helping an important figure who had got lost (a Danish jarl and English king, respectively). 39 ASC CDE 1015. 40 ASC E 1051. 41 ASC C 1052. See Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, pp. 67–8. The movement of these parties is discussed below, in chapter 8. 42 B. Dickins, ‘Fagaduna in Orderic (AD 1075)’, in Otium et Negotium: Studies in Onomatology and Library Science presented to Olof von Feilitizen, ed. F. Sandgren (Stockholm, 1973), pp. 44–5.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 107

which brought about the call to court.43 We might note here, with reference to Matthew Strickland’s consideration of the extreme circumstances of rebellion against the person of the king, that it was less the king’s assembly that the 1075 rebels refused to attend than one which the iusticiarii had been deputed to oversee. This was a rebellion right enough, but in mitigation to the rebels’ cause, the malcontents could surely tell themselves that it was not yet rebellion against the king himself. In the case of non-attendance of assemblies prior to the uprising of 1088 against William Rufus, Aird noted that the ‘first sign of trouble was the absence of many of the rebels from the king’s Easter court’, normally held in Winchester.44 Frank Barlow has attributed this ‘likely’ non-attendance to conspiratorial ‘rumours and suspicions’ implicit in John of Worcester’s account of the organisation of rebellion.45 It is likely that the location of the court played more than a subsidiary role. In view of my comments above about the necessarily public nature of rebellion, it may be open to question how far absence from an assembly was the first sign of trouble for King William, and to be notably absent from an assembly seems unlikely to have done much good in masking a secret conspiracy. There were eminently practical reasons for remaining away from Winchester in the run-up to a planned rebellion, and in his entry for 1088, John relates that the plot ‘quickly came out into the open after Easter, when the conspirators left the king’s court’ (quod cito in palam prorumpi posset post Pasca, nam a regali se subtrahentes curia). Court assemblies naturally came to an end with the dispersal of the nobility in attendance but here was one in which time was of the essence. Leaving promptly, early, or even absenting oneself entirely may have been associated with declarative intentions, a statement of disagreement with the royal legitimacy of the new king through being away from a significant royal centre at a crucial time. Such occasions suggest that the invocation of political consensus – albeit in the case of 1075 in a place or places unknown – was a card that could be and was often played in the highly charged atmosphere of political unrest. Regarding 1088, Barlow notes that the bishop of Durham claimed that he had informed the king of plots before the confiscation of his lands on 12 March, and that rebellions in Dover, Hastings, and London ‘had already 43 OV,

vol. 2, pp. 314–17. Robert Curthose, p. 111. See also Sharpe, ‘1088’, p. 146. 45 F. Barlow, William Rufus (London, 1983), p. 77, discussing JW, vol. 3, s.a. 1088, pp. 48–9. 44 Aird,

108  ❧   pl aces of contested power

collapsed’ before then.46 Barlow perhaps exaggerates – rather than referring to the collapse of rebellions the bishop refers to Dover and Hastings being ‘almost lost’ and London, ‘on the point of rebellion’, being ‘pacified’ by the bishop47 – but the notion of the unrest being in the open prior to the Easter court seems clear. Calling to assembly or court was a means of smoking out one or more political opponents, while in the political theatre of action and response, the refusal to attend, followed in the 1075 and 1088 cases by immediate action (in 1051 the response took a little longer), was a means of ratcheting up the sense of opposition from rebellious parties. Even where direct evidence of a rebellion is lacking, the very absence of evidence may be a useful indication of the refusal to come to assemblies. The consistent absence of people from assemblies may have been linked to the significance of the refusal to affirm the legitimacy of government; this may have been expressed in the records of attestations of charters, especially in Anglo-Saxon England, for which diplomatic practice makes the modern study of witness lists a fine art. However, if such negative evidence is useful, it can only ever be an indication of something deeper. It is difficult to tie such absences with declarations of rebellion per se; indeed, witness lists may have recorded a selection of those who actually attended (as Charles Insley comments, ‘[w]hat imperatives governed the process of selection it is impossible to say’).48 How do we know whether figures who attended a series of assemblies, then effectively disappeared from the sources, did not themselves become personae non gratae, as was likely to have been the case with the queen mother, Eadgifu, during the reign of Eadwig?49 Where the absence 46 Barlow,

William Rufus, p. 75, discussing De Injusta Vexatione, in Symeonis Monachi Opera Omnia, ed. Arnold, vol. 1, pp. 170–95 (trans. EHD 2, no. 84). 47 De Injusta Vexatione, ed. Arnold, p. 189 (trans. p. 664). 48 C. Insley, ‘Assemblies and Charters in Late Anglo-Saxon England’, in Political Assemblies in the Earlier Middle Ages, ed. P. S. Barnwell and M. Mostert (Turnhout, 2003), pp. 47–59, at pp. 51–2, discusses where witness lists could be selected (quotation at p. 52). The assessment of witness lists is a methodology developed by Simon Keynes’ seminal work, The Diplomas of King Æthelred ‘The Unready’, 978–1016: A Study in their Use as Historical Evidence (Cambridge, 1980); see also his ‘Church Councils, Royal Assemblies, and Anglo-Saxon Royal Diplomas’. 49 See M. A. Meyer, ‘Women and the Tenth-Century English Monastic Reform’, Revue Bénédictine, 87 (1977), pp. 34–61, at pp. 42–5; the landed implications for Eadgifu are discussed in my paper ‘The King’s Wife and Family Property Strategies: Late Anglo-Saxon Wessex, 871–1066’, ANS, 29 (2007 for 2006), pp. 84–99. Useful comments on the link between charter production and the tensions in the English

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 109

of attestations by a particular nobleman coincides with episodes of lack of favour (rather than necessarily outright opposition), the assembly politics of the kingdom might be indicative of rebellion, but the nature of the evidence means it does not serve us well. The period in which the places of assembly are – for a time – consistently documented, the reign of Æthelstan (924–39), is one in which the grievances of the nobility are not so obviously recorded, at least not in a manner which allows us to link the grievances with specific names. Although there is likely to be a causal link between Æthelstan’s succession struggle with his half-brother and the absence of the bishop of Winchester from assemblies and Æthelstan’s own absence from Winchester through his reign,50 this may be more of a case of establishment disapproval than a threat of episcopal revolt. The evidence provided by charters falters when attempting read the presence or otherwise of members of Æthelstan’s nobility with a scientific level of consistency. (And, in any case, as Levi Roach notes, there may have been practical issues which determined whether nobles could attend an assembly, which presumably had nothing to do with their emotional disposition toward the king.51) Contrasting somewhat with Æthelstan, the reign of Æthelred II, during which treachery and its punishment was a longstanding motif which can be linked with specific figures in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and in some rather descriptive charters,52 does not, as a rule, see the systematic recording of the locations of assemblies in charters. Therefore, while we might not be able to determine where the actions of a figure perceived as rebellious were affected by the geographical politics of the kingdom, through the evidence of the charters it may be possible to make out the undercurrent of tensions in the kingdom between 1005 and 1007. The tensions manifested themselves in the kingdom (though saying less about witness lists) are in B. Snook, The Anglo-Saxon Chancery: The History, Language and Production of Anglo-Saxon Charters from Alfred to Edgar (Woodbridge, 2015), pp. 154–6. 50 L. Roach, Kingship and Consent in Anglo-Saxon England, 871–978: Assemblies and the State in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2013), pp. 34–5. For the absence from Winchester, see Foot, Æthelstan, pp. 78–9 and Lavelle, Royal Estates, pp. 56–7. 51 Roach, Kingship and Consent, pp. 35–9. 52 S. Keynes, ‘Crime and Punishment in the Reign of King Æthelred the Unready’, in People and Places in Northern Europe, 500–1600: Essays in Honour of Peter Hayes Sawyer, ed. I. N. Wood and N. Lund (Woodbridge, 1991), pp. 67–81. See S 939 (AD 995×99), discussed in N. Brooks, ‘Treason in Essex in the 990s: The Case of Æthelric of Bocking’, in Royal Authority in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. G. R. OwenCrocker and B. W. Schneider, BAR British Ser., 584 (Oxford, 2013), pp. 17–27.

110  ❧  pl aces of contested power

blinding of two noblemen, Wulfgeat and Ufegeat, the death of Ealdorman Ælfhelm (their father, if John of Worcester is to be believed), and the deprivation in 1006 of the property of another nobleman, Wulfheah.53 Although, logically, we see no more of these prominent figures in the witness lists of charters known to date from after 1006, there is a small group of thegns who do not appear in some 1005 charters. These thegns evidently gained ground when they returned to court in 100754 but may have been conspicuous by their absence in those crucial years, including at what is likely to have been the last assembly attended by these unfortunate victims of court politics.55 Ann Williams has also noted the retirement of Æthelmær, ealdorman of the south-western provinces, to Eynsham Abbey (Oxon.) in 1005, only, on his emergence in 1013 ‘from seclusion . . . to lead the submission of the western thegns to Æthelred’s enemy, King Swein Forkbeard of Denmark’.56 Alongside Æthelmær, one of the absentees from the 1005×6 charters was a certain Ælfgar mæw (‘Seagull’), whose interests in the south-west and links with Æthelmær, noted by Williams, may have kept him away from an assembly, perhaps in the south-east, associated with the liberties of a Mercian monastery, Saint Albans.57 Whether the actions of Ælfgar and his associates (if indeed they constituted a group as such) were oppositional in any way is difficult to discern, and it is also difficult to link them directly with the thegns punished in 1006 but evidently their absence had some political meaning in the factional politics of the early eleventh century. Did a lack of assemblies themselves draw attention to a deficit in the legitimacy of power exercised by rulers? In this respect, it is interesting that Nelson notes Charles the Bald’s lack of charters in the run-up to the crisis of 858, perhaps highlighting a perception of a lack of legitimacy amongst the 53 ASC

CDE 1006; JW, vol. 2, s.a. On these events, see Keynes, Diplomas, pp. 210–11. 54 Note particularly Ælfgar’s description as praepositus in S 915 (AD 1007). 55 These were ‘Æthelwold 1’, ‘Ælfgar 2’, Godric, and ‘Leofwine 2’, on Table LXIII(3) of S. D. Keynes, An Atlas of Attestations in Anglo-Saxon Charters c.670– 1066 (University of Cambridge, 2002), online at http://www.kemble.asnc.cam. ac.uk/node/30. Their positions in witness lists move respectively from 8 to 4, 25 to 2, 35 to 6, and 24 to 13. The last charter to record Wulfheah and Wulfgeat is S 912 (AD 1005). 56 A. Williams, The World before Domesday: The English Aristocracy, 900–1066 (London, 2008), p. 15, citing S 911 (AD 1005) and ASC CDE 1013. 57 S 912 (AD 1005).

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 111

West Frankish nobility, leading to Louis the German’s ‘invited’ intervention. As Nelson notes, commenting on the manner in which Viking recruitment had become a cornerstone of Frankish policy in Charles’s realm, ‘touching the pockets of potentes was always a risky business for medieval kings’.58 This does not mean that some assembly was called and that everyone refused to go but that assembly politics could be an indicator of the level of opposition (the mood, if you like) of the nobility at large, and here Charles did not wish to risk his position: a ruler could hold an assembly as a means of reinforcing his position at a time of uncertainty but there were also risks of bringing opposition into the open. This may of course be a lacuna in otherwise comprehensive evidence but the sudden halt at a time of crisis when the charter evidence suggests assemblies were regularly called during the mid 850s may show Charles’ sensitivity to his subjects’ potential and actual opposition around 858.59 If Charles had made a conscious decision, it was not one to take lightly. In the run-up to the battle of Fontenoy (dép. Yonne, 841), Nithard records that Charles assiduously stuck to a known itinerary so that it would not be rumoured that he had run away from a confrontation with his half-brother Lothar.60 In England, some two generations after the death of Charles, the occasional forays by Æthelstan into the midlands and north of England for the collection of an assembly draw to attention the difficulties of his father, Edward the Elder, in the same region during the 910s and 920s.61 Again, while it might rightly be contended that our knowledge of Edward’s assemblies is a result of the vagaries of charter and legal records, his essentially warlike policies in the midlands and north were not matched by an attempt to 58 Nelson,

Charles the Bald, p. 188. The ninth-century Frankish policy is discussed in S. Coupland, ‘From Poachers to Gamekeepers: Scandinavian Warlords and Carolingian Kings’, EME, 7 (1998), pp. 85–114. 59 Tessier, Recueil des Actes de Charles II le Chauve, nos. 198 (21 Mar.) and 199 (27 Nov.) are the only two known diplomas of 858. The breakdown of relations at this time is addressed by Brunner, Oppositionelle Gruppen, pp. 131–2. 60 Nithard, II.9, p. 23 (trans. p. 150). For Nithard’s links with Charles the Bald while writing Book II of his Histories, see J. L. Nelson, ‘Public Histories and Private History in the Work of Nithard’, Speculum, 60 (1985), pp. 251–93. For the circumstances of a similar situation, see also Reuter, ‘“Regemque, quem in Francia pene perdidit, in patria magnifice”’, p. 128, who discusses the politics of Otto I’s decision to go to Aachen rather than Ingelheim during the rebellion of 953. 61 D. H. Hill, An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1984), pp. 87–91, figs 154– 63, with Edward and Æthelstan’s itineraries on p. 87, figs 154–5.

112  ❧  pl aces of contested power

legitimise this power through the bringing together of the nobility; perhaps to this end the lack of charters in the 910s and 920s may be a reflection of this rather than an accident of (non-)survival.62 Chasing places where nothing actually happened may of course stretch the credulity of some readers but we have to be sensitive to the likelihood that such phantoms of potential opposition preyed on the minds of rulers in their decisions on how to exercise power. While it is difficult to ascertain a clear picture of political decisions not to hold assemblies in early tenth-century England, it is more reasonable to speculate on Charles’ position in 858 – we know that his political opponents did harbour disenchantment towards him which manifested itself in open opposition through support for another member of his family. Charles was an astute enough ruler not to have been unaware that this sort of thing mattered.

Assembly places and the politics of consensus If the notion of the assembly was central to medieval rulership, as something which both in itself confirmed the legitimacy and authority of a ruler and was a means through which the ruler operated, then the subversion of the assembly was a key means by which that authority could be subverted. As we have seen, at a fundamental level, this could take place through the refusal to attend an assembly, but it could result in further rebellious action, such as the demonstration of dissent elsewhere. Moving from the less certain ground of the evidence of absence, the subversion of an assembly could be the occupation of a site associated with authority, especially an assembly site, either to call an assembly or simply to demonstrate the apparent lack of legitimate power of a ruler. The fact that assemblies could be suppressed, often with violence or the threat of violence, shows the political charge of assemblies as demonstrations of control. To take a brief exploration of late twelfth-century change, 62 The

lacuna in the charter corpus, with the possible explanation proposed of a lack of ‘occasions when the king and his councillors gathered together to conduct such business’, is addressed by S. D. Keynes, ‘Edward, King of the Anglo-Saxons’, in Edward the Elder, ed. Higham and Hill, pp. 40–66, at 55–6 (quotation at p. 56). On the notion of the perception of groups from the midlands northwards as subject peoples at different stages in the early tenth century and the difficulties faced in converting hegemony to control, see Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, pp. 73–84.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 113

John’s receipt of hostages at Vire in Lower Normandy in 1203, following an apparently illegal assembly, is an example which compares with his ancestor Richard II’s suppression – via his agent, a local count – of illegal assemblies two centuries earlier. In both cases, action was taken using ducal authority, suggesting that the threat was perceived as one against that ducal authority; while the late tenth- / early eleventh-century revolt was that of the peasantry, the action in John’s reign was that of the nobility. Daniel Power has noted that the assembly at Vire (an ‘unlicensed assembly [regarded] as a challenge to his authority’) can be seen in the milieu of gatherings associated with ‘taking a lead in their own affairs in the absence of the duke’.63 The use of violent or at least symbolically violent action against these assemblies belies the normality of the actions by the ‘rebels’. In the case of the unfortunate peasants, assembling to manage their own affairs may have been what they had done through earlier, unrecorded generations. In the case of the early thirteenth-century nobles, what John evidently perceived as rebellion was what the Norman nobles had done through the reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, despite the fact that the means to crack down had long been in place. Charles Homer Haskins noted a century ago that the prohibition of baronial court meetings was ordered at Henry II’s court at Caen in 1182.64 Evidently, from a legal perspective, an assembly would be a means of asserting power through demonstrating authority. As Timothy Reuter argued, making broad observations across western Europe from his work on Ottonian and Salian Germany, and as Levi Roach has shown for Anglo-Saxon England, assembly politics were, by their definition, the essence of politics.65 Assemblies were, in Reuter’s words, . . . almost the only occasions when the polity could represent itself to itself [. . .]. [O]nly at the assembly could this centreless polity define itself and it did so in terms of the ruler.66 63 D.

Power, ‘Henry, Duke of the Normans (1149/50–1189)’, in Henry II, ed. Harper-Bill and Vincent, pp.85–128, at pp. 99–100; for the suppression of peasant assemblies during the reign of Duke Richard II, see discussion in chapter 1, above, pp. 63–4 . 64 C. H. Haskins, Norman Institutions (Cambridge, MA, 1918), p. 183. 65 Reuter’s ideas are usefully expressed in his summary paper ‘Assembly Politics in Western Europe from the Eighth Century to the Twelfth’; a recent treatment of these issues in England is Roach, Kingship and Consent. 66 Reuter, ‘“Regemque, quem in Francia pene perdidit, in patria magnifice”’, p. 144.

114  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Given Reuter’s notion of a ‘centreless polity’ defined by the presence of a ruler and those assenting to their rule, rebels could evidently ‘activate’ the meaning of a site by demonstrating their own presence in (quasi-)legitimate terms. If a rebellious party who wished to contest authority – to appropriate it for their own ends – seized the place in which an assembly occurred, this was significant. We have seen in this book’s introduction how the use of Breisach could signify the ‘activation’ of rebellion. Other aggrieved members of royal families in England and western Francia appear to have used spaces that indicated the legitimacy of power. Around late 899, following the death of King Alfred in Wessex, the act of the appropriation of Wimborne by the ætheling Æthelwold may have made similar use of the landscape of authority associated with the convocation of an assembly, though it should be noted that this move was also significant because it had a particular link with the familial legitimacy of the ætheling (see chapter 4). In an earlier generation, upon the deposition of his father Louis the Pious in 833, the coemperor Lothar similarly used a site associated with royal, if not imperial power in Compiègne, co-opting an assembly in order to demonstrate what he perceived as his rightful authority, while keeping his father out of the way at Soissons.67 The latter was a site traditionally associated with Carolingian king-making, and Louis’ ability to turn the tables on his son may be demonstrative of the power of that place for him, a fact echoed in the use of spaces in and/or in the immediate vicinity of Soissons in its contestation by both Robertians and Carolingians in 923. The significance of religious space in rebellion, including the imprisonment of the deposed emperor, Louis, at the Soissons monastery of SaintMédard, is discussed further in chapter 7. Nonetheless, it is worth noting here that work on Anglo-Saxon assembly politics demonstrates the manner in which an episcopal or archiepiscopal synod or church council often had political implications. The business of government might well be associated with such a meeting.68 Some episocopal synods are notable here because of their invocation of the landscape at a time of rebellion or the direct contestation of power. According to Flodoard, a synod was held at Trosly (apud Trosleium) in 927, attended by six bishops. This was ostensibly under the archiepiscopate of Heribert’s son Hugh, who had been made archbishop 67 See

M. de Jong, The Penitential State: Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2011), pp. 228–49. 68 See particularly Keynes, ‘Church Councils, Royal Assemblies, and Anglo-Saxon Royal Diplomas’. For Saint-Médard, see below pp. 249–50.

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 115

of Reims at the distinctly uncanonical age of five in 925.69 The synod at Trosly (most likely Trosly-Loire [dép. Aisne]) was probably held under the auspices of Heribert II, making use of his young son’s archiepiscopal holding of the adjoining estate centre of Coucy, a formidable hilltop site which we see Heribert treating as his own some three years later.70 Flodoard did not comment directly on Heribert but merely refers to his attendance (given Flodoard’s later history with Archbishop Hugh, this may have been wise71). As Philippe Lauer commented in the notes to his edition of the Annales, Flodoard’s lack of information on the decisions of the synod may have been a tacit indication of his disapproval of the whole affair.72 Trosly had been the site of synods (in 909, 921, and 924),73 so perhaps there is little that is unusual about the choice of site but for the fact that Trosly, in the Soissonais, was the closest that one could be to Coucy, which overlooked it, without being within the jurisdiction of the bishop of Laon (Figure 7). At the same time, Coucy was within the archepiscopal jurisdiction of Reims while remaining within the Laonnois, an area that was claimed against the king’s wishes by Heribert for another son – probably his eldest, Odo, now,

69 H.

Schwager, Graf Heribert II. von Soissons, Omois, Meaux, Madrie sowie Vermandois (900/06–943) und die Francia (Nord-Frankreich in der 1. Hälfte des 10. Jahrhunderts) (Munich, 1994), pp. 114–15. 70 Although Flodoard describes Coucy as a ‘castrum of the bishop of Reims’ (episcopi Remensis castrum) in 927, in Flodoard’s annal for 930 its grant by Heribert to a certain Ansellus, described as a (?former) vassallus of the king’s brother Boso, was recorded, suggesting that Heribert had acquired it by then. Given Coucy’s construction during the archiepiscopate of Hervé (900–22), along with Mouzon and Épernay (Flodoard, Hist. Rem., IV 13, pp. 405–6) and the claim to Mouzon by Heribert in 930 (Flodoard, Annales, s.a.), the Heribertian connection seems to have been a live issue at this point. See chapter 7, below, pp. 248–9, for discussion of the synod held within site of the castrum at Mouzon in 948. 71 S. Lecouteaux, ‘Le contexte de rédaction des Annales de Flodoard de Reims (919–966). Partie 2: présentation des résultats de la relecture critique du début des Annales’, Le Moyen Âge, 116:2 (2010), pp. 283–317, at p. 300. Also Flodoard, Hist Rem. IV.21, p. 413. 72 Lauer, in Flodoard, Annales, p. 38, n. 4. 73 Flodoard, Hist. Rem. IV.16 and IV.19, pp. 409–10, and Annales, s.a. 921 and 924. The acts of the 909 council are discussed by Sot, Un historien et son église, pp. 229–31.

116  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Figure 7. The river valleys of the landscape around the estates of Trosly and Coucy, with the cities of Soissons, Laon, and Reims. (N.B. significant rivers are indicated on the map; although post-medieval canals have been removed from the map, present-day riverine hydrology has not been adjusted.)

Schwager notes, aged about 16.74 Laon’s opposition to Heribert was emphasised by the refusal to grant him entry to the city that year. The king’s soldiers were instrumental in this contestation, Flodoard tells us, but presumably here the bishop of Laon and the king – as well as the newly appointed count of Laon, Roger II, and indeed the king’s wife, Emma – were at one; later in the year the area around Coucy was ravaged by soldiers

74 Although

Coucy was geographically within the diocese of Laon (and Mouzon and Épernay were not), Coucy was evidently outside the control of the bishop as an immunity of Saint-Rémi (a fact noted by Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 927). See J. Lusse, Naissance d’une cité: Laon et le Laonnois du Ve au Xe siècle (Nancy, 1992), pp. 281–2, and, for Coucy’s political importance to Heribert, p. 304. Guibert, Monodiae, I.19, p. 168 (trans. p. 67), notes the significance of the River Ailette, on which Nogent (to the west of Coucy) lay, as demarcating the boundary of the Laon diocese in the twelfth century. On Heribert’s plans to expand his influence, see Schwager, Graf Heribert II, pp. 124–8.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 117

from the city.75 There may also be a certain irony in that an assembly at Trosly in 909 had been an exhortation to kings to do their duties. It had been a reforming assembly. As Michel Sot puts it, ‘the spirit of reform which propelled the council of Trosly was certainly that of the archbishop of Reims’ (l’ésprit de réforme qui anime le concile de Trosly est bien celui de l’archevêque de Reims.).76 In this respect, if the archbishop of Reims was (quite literally) Heribert’s creature, for Heribert to contest royal power in this manner it made sense to invoke this earlier council in reminding the king of his subordination to the archbishop. In cases where rebels were not invoking a synod (and it is probably safe to assume that even in cases where rebels enjoyed religious backing, a first course of action was not normally to call an episcopal synod), what did they do when they met in their conspiratorial coniurationes? As we have seen in earlier chapters, the hostile language of many contemporary sources has nefarious rebels meeting in shadowy places, implying they were plotting their next moves in proto-Machiavellian terms, while a natural predisposition of many modern historians toward the underdog might lead to a view of rebels idealistically discussing the attainment of freedom and the hopes and fears of a new generation. But, as we have seen, rebels were not revolutionaries,77 and the assemblies of those contesting political power were imitative of legitimate assemblies – indeed, in many senses they had to be legitimate assemblies. While the next set of moves might have been discussed by rebels in forums held in ‘normal’ places of assembly, intended to give the meeting an air of legitimacy, it was through the socio-political bonds created by such meetings that rebels could attain the legitimacy they evidently craved. Granting land or rights might be part of this process, though with so many problems in the scholarship of judging the authenticity of diplomas, the notion of identifying a charter from an assembly later judged illegal might be problematic. Geoffrey Koziol remarked in 2015 on the deliberate infelicities introduced into a charter produced by the bishop of Autun, Adalgarius, for the community of Saint-Philibert of Tournus on behalf of the ‘renegade king’ Boso, who made an ill-judged bid for power in 879. Koziol suggests that Adalgarius – formerly ‘something like [Charles the Bald’s] personal secretary’ – and the recipients of the charter knew that Boso’s fiction of kingship had 75 Flodoard,

Annales, s.a. 926 and 927. For further discussion of Heribert’s claim, see chapter 4, p. 153. 76 Sot, Un historien et son église, p. 231. 77 See above, p. 45.

118  ❧  pl aces of contested power

a limited shelf-life.78 Of course our judgement of Boso evidently coincides with that of contemporaries because of hindsight but one of the two charters issued by Edmund Ironside, recording a grant to the Nouum Monasterium, perhaps at Peakirk (Cambs.), refers to him as ‘Ædmundus æðeling rex’. The idiosyncrasies of the diplomatic of this charter have been noted, not least by its most recent editor, Susan Kelly, and this might be enough to assign the charter to the category of ‘later forgery’ in charter studies. Kelly suggests that the word rex is indicative of a copyist’s intrusion in a charter whose earliest manuscript survives from the twelfth century.79 In the light of Koziol’s comments, however, it might be seen in a similar fashion to the Boso charter, perhaps dating the charter to the crisis year of 1015 rather than 1016; this is particularly remarkable given that the charter related to the land of Edmund’s ally Sigeferth, killed in early 1015. In that year, as we have seen, Edmund was to have some limited success in making his royal bid for power a tangible one. Nonetheless, at a time of uncertainty when King Æthelred and his eldest son were probably not reconciled and Cnut, the son of King Swein, was at large, it may have been worth drafting a charter containing elements which could be renounced if the political circumstances made it necessary to do so. The odd diplomatic might be an indication that someone at Peterborough knew that something was up. However, while the issuing of charters might fascinate some medievalists, presumably to many of those attending an assembly, the opportunity to eat and drink, and thus interact, would have been as important then as it is to academics who look forward to the networking opportunities afforded by breaks in the formal proceedings of a conference. There were probably limits 78 G.

Koziol, ‘Making Boso the Clown: Performance and Performativity in a PseudoDiploma of the Renegade King (8 December 879)’, in Rituals, Performatives, and Political Order in Northern Europe, c. 650–1350, ed. L. Hermanson, W. Jezierski, H. J. Orning, and T. Smaberg (Turnhout, 2015), pp. 43–61 (quotation at p. 55), discussing Recueil des actes des rois de Provence (855–928), ed. R. Poupardin (Paris, 1920), no. 19. 79 S 947; the other charter, equally problematic and referring to him as basilei filius, is S 948. For S 947, see S. E. Kelly (ed.), Charters of Peterborough Abbey, AngloSaxon Charters, 14 (Oxford, 2009), pp. 284–7, who provides a careful assessment of the charter and the difficult circumstances in which it would have been produced, though reserves judgement as to whether it ‘is authentic as it stands, or whether it depends on a genuine record’. J. Blair, The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (Oxford, 2004), p. 356, makes the identification with Peakirk rather than Winchester’s New Minster. I am grateful to David McDermott for discussion on these charters.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 119

on what might be achieved. Hunting may have been the sine qua non activity for groups of testosterone-fuelled aristocrats intent on reinforcing homosocial bonds,80 but rebels are not, to my knowledge, recorded in such terms: where hunting is explicitly referred to in acts of opposition, it is in terms of subversion rather than appropriation, although a case recorded by Flodoard in 945 at Montigny (probably Montigny-Lengrain, dép. Aisne) may have been an attempt to seize the king’s means of controlling the hunting there.81 Hunting is discussed in more detail in chapter 8. It may be observed here, however, that hunting is more often recorded in terms of rulers’ endeavours to present themselves in terms of control of a rebellious landscape – the formality and ritual associated with the act of going hunting presumably presented its own difficulties at times of conflict in a contested landscape. Seizing the food to which one felt one was entitled and then distributing it to followers was probably more achievable. In a posthumously published paper, Karl Leyser remarked on the significance of feasting as part of the language of political ritual in Ottonian rebellion. Just as the act of feasting (as something distinct from the mere consumption of food) was an expression of rulership and, with accompanying drinking, showed the convivium between the ruler and his magnates, it showed the same bonds between a rebel and those supporting him. Such action was usurped at Saalfeld in 939 by Henry, the rebellious brother of the newly crowned Otto I, as well as in 953–4 by Otto’s discontented son, Liudolf, and his coniurationes.82 Such rebellious feasting was not, of course, confined to Germany. We have already seen the ætheling Æthelwold’s use of Wimborne in his attempted appropriation of the assembly politics of the West Saxon kingdom but feasting also functioned there because it was one of the more important of the royal estates in western Wessex providing feorm. Wimborne was part of a group of estates designated in Domesday Book as associated with the render known as the ‘Farm of One Night’.83 Such appropriation may have played 80 Rollason,

Power of Place, pp. 155–64. Annales, s.a. 945; see below, chapter 8, p. 301. 82 Widukind, II.15, p. 79 (trans. p. 76); III.9, p. 109 (trans. p. 104). Leyser, ‘Ritual, Ceremony and Gesture’, p. 201; K. J. Leyser, Rule and Conflict in an Early Medieval Society: Ottonian Saxony (London, 1979), p. 20. See also G. Althoff, ‘Zur Frage nach der Organisation von Sächsischen coniurationes in der Ottonenzeit’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 16 (1982), pp. 129–42. 83 See R. Lavelle, ‘The “Farm of One Night” and the Organisation of Royal Estates in Late Anglo-Saxon Wessex’, HSJ, 14 (2005 for 2003), 54–82, and earlier discussion 81 Flodoard,

120  ❧   pl aces of contested power

an important role in Æthelwold’s actions, highlighting his royal aspirations. Feorm was an integral part of Anglo-Saxon kingship;84 it was what was owed to a king from royal lands, and it was this, effectively encompassing entertainment, feasting, and so much that was apparently joyful about elite society, that allowed the bonds of this society to mesh together.85 The fact that feorm was important does not, in itself, determine that this must have been the motivation for Æthelwold’s seizure of land later recorded as providing such renders, of course, but the Chronicle’s link between Wimborne, Æthelwold, and ‘the men who had given allegiance to him’ (þæm monnum þe him to gebugon)86 suggests that the estate itself had a role to play. If Æthelwold acted in the late autumn or winter of 899, the significance of the food render associated with the royal estate is heightened.87 Under such conditions, given the link between early medieval warfare and the gathering of food for an army, any force would have needed to take the render associated with Wimborne, thereby using the practical end to serve the demonstrative action. There are probably hints of such a policy in the actions of the Scandinavians in the north of England in 1069, for which Orderic specifically refers to the Old English term feorm (in its Latinised version, firma).88 Ann Williams of these estates by P. A. Stafford, ‘The “Farm of One Night” and the Organization of King Edward’s Estates in Domesday’, Economic History Review 2nd ser., 33 (1980), pp. 491–502. 84 For the codification of one early royal render, see Ine §70.1 (Attenborough, Laws, pp. 58–9; EHD I, p. 406), from ten hides (over an unspecified period). The implications of this for the development of West Saxon kingship in the pre-Viking period are discussed in R. Lavelle, ‘Ine 70.1 and Royal Provision in Anglo-Saxon Wessex’, in Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Owen-Crocker and Schneider, pp. 259–73. See also Lavelle, Royal Estates, pp. 16–17. 85 The literature on this topic is extensive. Some major studies are: H. Magennis, Anglo-Saxon Appetites: Food and Drink and their Consumption in Old English and Related Literature (Dublin, 1999), pp. 17–50; A. Gautier, Le Festin dans l’Angleterre anglo-saxonne (ve–xie siècle) (Rennes, 2006); S. Pollington, The Meadhall: The Feasting Tradition in Anglo-Saxon England (Hockwald-cum-Wilton, 2003; 2nd edn, Ely, 2010), particularly pp. 20–65; A. Frantzen, Food, Eating and Identity in Early Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2014), pp. 34–47, the latter discussing the distinction between the feast and day-to-day eating. 86 ASC 899/900. 87 For a discussion of the dating of this action, see Lavelle, ‘Politics of Rebellion’, p. 60, n. 41. 88 OV, vol. 2, pp. 230–1.

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 121

notes the very practical measure of the receipt of food as a render (i.e. a rent in kind) from the local peasantry, which was probably the primary motive here,89 though the reference to the Old English term, acknowledged by Orderic, is intriguing, suggesting that the memory of feorm mattered. The uprising of 1069 was itself an affront to the authority of William I but given that the local people supplied feorm which would normally have been intended for the king or those acting with his authority,90 there was an additional factor. It is worth pondering on whether William’s act of crown-wearing, an act which was of considerable political importance, was specifically intended to counter this affront.91 In West Saxon Dorset, Æthelwold’s seizure of the estate centre of Wimborne demonstrated that Æthelwold had seized the royal rights to control of the surrounding area; here too it is surely significant therefore that Wimborne, not Twinham (Christchurch, Hants [now Dorset]), which was also attacked, receives the lion’s share of the Chronicle’s attention. For the moment, this demonstrated Edward’s inability to act as a good lord. The codes implicit in the demonstrative actions of Anglo-Saxon warfare were therefore being explicitly used.92 Rebellion was often portrayed as a plot, as a negative action. In that respect the 1075 feast for the wedding of Roger’s sister to Earl Ralph at Exning, Suffolk, a place where Waltheof had local links, had negative connotations insofar as it was recorded as a seditious event when seen through the AngloSaxon Chronicle’s filter of lordship and the subversion of lordship.93 However, the convivium of even this feast could have had an element of social bonding for the conspirators in the manner of tenth-century Ottonian feasting. Exning was within the hundred of Staploe (Figure 8), linked in Domesday Book with the royal night’s farm manor of Soham, which contributed three nights’ farm ‘of corn, honey and malt, and of everything else’ (de frumento,

89 Williams,

English and the Norman Conquest, p. 38. a much earlier subversion of feorm, recorded in the anonymous Vita Ceolfridi, ch. 34, as presented to Christ on the occasion of the absence of the Northumbrian king (The Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow, ed. and trans. C. Grocock and I. N. Wood (Oxford, 2013), pp. 114–15), see Lavelle, ‘Ine 70.1 and Royal Provision’, pp. 260–1. 91 See this chapter, below, pp. 134–5. 92 See here G. Halsall, Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450–900 (London, 2003), chapter 7, on early medieval campaigns, esp. pp. 137–40. 93 ASC DE 1075. 90 For

122  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Figure 8. Staploe Hundred (Cambs.) and surrounding hundreds at the time of the Domesday survey. Ely and the hundred’s royal estates are marked, along with the route of an eleventh- / twelfth-century causeway across the low-lying fenland.

melle ⁊ brasio ⁊ de omnibus aliis).94 While the Chronicle does not record the wedding party as occurring in Soham itself, it is interesting that vills in both Exning and Soham had the same tenant-in-chief, Eadgifu ‘the Fair’, in 1066. This suggests that there had been some link with the manorial provision in the hundred, perhaps enhanced by a causeway built (or rebuilt?) in 94 DB

Cambs. 1:1 (fol. 189c). LE I.3, p. 13 (trans pp. 15–16) records this as the birthplace of Saint Æthelthryth, daughter of King Anna of the East Angles; even if the twelfth-century memory of the place was simply an elaboration of Bede’s record (HE IV.17(19)), it is not unlikely that this apparent link had enhanced Exning’s royal status in the later eleventh century.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 123

the early twelfth century.95 The link between the subversion of the royal wedding feast for the purposes of rebellion and the night’s farm, a notion associated with the control of royal territory,96 rings with a symbolic demonstration of the (initial) lack of royal control at a time, as we have seen earlier in this chapter, of developing crisis. Furthermore, while we will see the role of the East Anglian landscape in the rebellions of the early 1070s, it is worth noting that the night’s farm at Soham had played a role in the suppression of Hereward’s revolt in 1070–1. While Waltheof had remained loyal to William during that affair and had benefited from it, and had nothing to gain from linking himself to a ‘lost cause’ associated with the pre-1066 order during 1070–1,97 the choice of the site by William could not have failed to have some meaning in respect to the expression of royal authority in the region, indeed across the kingdom. This makes it relevant to the contestation of power in 1075. It is more difficult to link examples of the contestation of the landscape with specific rights to renders in France because of the lack of evidence equivalent to the comprehensive evidence of landholdings provided by Domesday Book, but the political significance of landholdings can still be perceived in narrative accounts of the contestation of power. The receipt of food from the Vermandois by Charles of Lorraine in the late tenth century was a bid for legitimacy after his seizure of Laon.98 Koziol notes the manner in which the landscape was ravaged because of this by Hugh Capet, Charles’s rival,

95 DB

Cambs 1:12 (fol.189d); Cambs. 14:68 (fol. 195c); 14:73 (fol. 195d). LE III.32, pp. 265–6 (trans. 319–20) indicates that Bishop Hervey of Ely built a causeway which linked Exning, Soham, and Ely as a result of a revelation of Saint Edmund. Given the events involved in the capture of Ely in 1070–1 in particular but more significantly in view of the need to link communication in dispersed fenland estates, it seems more likely that the account was one of renewal or maintenance. For the dispersed royal estate centred on Exning, see Oosthuizen, Anglo-Saxon Fenland, pp. 71–4. I am grateful to Rebecca Pinner for discussion of these aspects of East Anglian landscape. 96 Lavelle, ‘Geographies of Power’, pp. 200–10. 97 For useful assessments of Waltheof ’s ‘chequered’ career in the post-1066 order, see E. Mason, ‘Invoking Earl Waltheof ’, in The English and their Legacy, 900–1200: Essays in Honour of Ann Williams, ed. D. Roffe (Woodbridge, 2012), pp. 185–221, and C. Hart, The Danelaw (London, 1992), pp. 636–47. 98 Richer, IV.17, vol. 2, pp. 232–5.

124  ❧   pl aces of contested power

highlighting the personal nature of the competition99 – Hugh’s actions demonstrated the inability of Charles, the would-be Carolingian king, to protect his possessions. However, the very fact that the control of food was contested was also symbolic because it drew to attention the ability of the rebels (or legitimate royal party, as they saw themselves) to feed themselves when bringing opposition together.100

Returning to power: Public space and the reappropriation of authority Having considered the use of assembly as a model of rebelliousness and absenteeism as a form of opposition to assemblies convened by legitimate authority, it is worth commenting here on the use of assemblies and the public face of a ruler’s authority in the face of rebellion. By definition, the topic is one associated with the authority to rule. As reactions themselves were royal or princely, demonstrating the right to rule in the face of opposition, we may talk of a language of hyperlegitimacy in action, in order to return to a status quo or even a status quo that ought to have existed.101 Space and place are significant factors in both the reasons for and the events of the ‘Earls’ Revolt’ of 1075, a series of events which we have already seen in this chapter. It is notable that the Norman rebel, Roger de Breteuil, lost land and was imprisoned as a result of his actions while the Breton Ralph was exiled. With occasional exceptions, such actions would be the stock royal response to rebellion amongst the English nobility until the early fourteenth century.102 More dramatic, and probably more demonstrative of William’s position as king rather than duke or personal lord, was the fate of the Englishman Waltheof, who was executed (beheaded, apparently). The loss 99 Koziol,

Begging Pardon and Favor, p. 149. Richer details Hugh’s response in IV.18, vol. 2, pp. 234–7. 100 See chapter 4, pp. 153–5, below, for a discussion on the significance of the control of vines in French and Lotharingian estates. 101 Hyams, Rancor and Reconciliation, p. 39, addresses similar notions of status quo ante in situations of feud (see above, p. 72, n. 115). 102 J. H. Peltzer, ‘Révoltes en Angleterre au Moyen Âge central et tardif ’, in Revolte und Sozialstatus von der Spätantike bis zur Frühen Neuzeit / Révolte et statut social de l’Antiquité tardive aux Temps modernes, ed. P. Depreux (Munich, 2008), pp. 167–84, at p. 179, noting the execution of Simon de Montfort as ‘un evenement isolé’.

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 125

of land and its meaning to the personal standing of a lord is an issue for the next chapter, while consideration of the circumstances of the execution sheds some light on the response to planned rebellion.103 Waltheof was executed in Winchester in 1076. According to Orderic Vitalis’ reading of Crowland Abbey tradition, this took place just outside the city walls, on Saint Giles’ Hill, east of the city. John Hudson’s consideration of the extreme circumstances of treason manifested in the ‘personal law’ of the execution of Waltheof casts doubt on the details of Orderic’s account104 but the inclusion of Saint Giles’s Hill in the account is an intriguing – and perhaps revealing – local detail. The hill was perhaps already important as the site of an annual fair whose origins are known by its grant of the rights to the fair to the bishop in 1096.105 While this is not the place to discuss whether the origins of the fair lay in Winchester’s function as a ‘royal city’, the king’s reference to the rights of the fair being granted ‘as if the fair were his own’ (si mea propria esset) suggests that some royal jurisdiction was at play at the site. The manner in which public space could be linked to rebellion is relevant to this discussion. If Orderic is right in conveying the tradition that Waltheof was executed on Saint Giles’s Hill, and presuming that the earl was imprisoned at what was then a new royal castle at the west of the city, his assertion that the execution party tried to get on with their task at the crack of dawn, ‘whilst as yet the people slept’ (dum adhuc populus domiret est),106 so as not to raise public clamour, is questionable. Their shortest – and most likely – route was right through the town from the castle at the west, down the high street, out at the east gate and across the River Itchen before ascending the hill, presumably coming in through the place which became the west gate of the

103 OV,

vol. 2, pp. 320–3. On Waltheof and his later reputation, see J. Huntington, ‘The Taming of the Laity: Writing Waltheof and Rebellion in the Twelfth Century’, ANS, 32 (2010 for 2009), pp. 79–95. 104 J. Hudson, ‘The Fate of Earl Waltheof and the Idea of Personal Law in England after 1066’, in Normandy and its Neighbours, 900–1250: Essays for David Bates, ed. D. Crouch and K. Thompson (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 223–35. 105 F. Barlow, M. Biddle, O. von Feilitzen, and D. J. Keene, Winchester in the Early Middle Ages, ed. M. Biddle (Oxford, 1976), pp. 286–7, citing Regesta, vol. 1, no. 377 (William II). The text of the charter is in an Inspeximus charter of 1317: Calendar of Charter Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. 3: Edward I, Edward II (London, 1908), p. 351. 106 OV, vol. 2, pp. 322–3, with a slight modification to Chibnall’s translation.

Figure 9. Detail of The East Prospect of the City of Winchester by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck (1736). The engraving, looking from the top of Saint Giles’ Hill before its slopes were covered with trees in the early twentieth century, shows the hill’s intervisibility with the city of Winchester’s high street (i.e. leading from the West Gate at the top of the picture, marked as ‘22’, to the East Gate) and the castle, marked on the engraving as ‘21’, where Earl Waltheof was likely to have been imprisoned in 1076.

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 127

fair site (see Figure 9).107 Had the king really wanted the earl to be quietly disposed of (and as Hudson points out, the problems with Orderic’s details make this unlikely108) the topography in which the execution took place suggests that this would have been the wrong way to go about it. It is possible that the choice of site was a deliberate departure from local custom in the city. The known Winchester execution site during the ninth– tenth/eleventh centuries was at Harestock, on the Winchester–Silchester road (the archaeological evidence suggesting that Winchester had a tradition of beheadings),109 and gallows remained on the Silchester (now Andover) road, close to the pre-Conquest site until the modern period. Much of Saint Giles’ Hill was intervisible with the interior of the city rather than from a single set of gates, as it was from the Silchester road site. The tree cover on Saint Giles’ Hill, which now obscures much of the hill, has been a feature of its geography only since the early twentieth century, when the annual fair had ceased.110 Thus the choice of an open space outside the city suggests that public viewing was expected, even at the early hour recorded by Orderic (Orderic himself admits to the presence of a small crowd, presumably necessary for witnessing the miracle that took place during the execution). Orderic records the undignified disposal of the earl’s body in a ditch, where it was quickly covered with turf (exhumed – uncorrupted, naturally – a few years later), linking this quiet disposal of a body with the broader theme of the swift and uncelebrated execution, with only the abbot of Crowland’s intervention 107 For

the topography of the later medieval properties on the hill and their links to access routes, see D. Keene, Survey of Medieval Winchester (Oxford, 2 parts, 1985), Part 2, pp. 1091–113. Keene notes (under property no. 1036) the relationship between the steep slope of the hill and post-medieval lime quarrying; with a gentler slope to negotiate, it is worth considering whether eleventh-century access to the top of the hill would have been more direct. I am grateful to my colleague Mark Allen for discussion on the topography of the hill. 108 Hudson, ‘Fate of Earl Waltheof ’. 109 A. Reynolds, Anglo-Saxon Deviant Burial Customs (Oxford, 2009), pp. 118–20. For the execution site at Oliver’s Battery, to the south of Winchester, see A. D. Russel, ‘Hung in Chains: A Late Saxon Execution Cemetry at Oliver’s Battery, Winchester’, Hampshire Studies: Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, 71 (2016), pp. 89–109. 110 For a sense of the sight-lines associated with the ‘twice-hanged’ rebel, William ap Rhys, from the gallows outside the walls of Swansea in 1290, see the City Witness: Place and Perspective in Medieval Swansea project website www.medievalswansea. ac.uk.

128  ❧   pl aces of contested power

rescuing Waltheof ’s reputation from oblivion. It seems far more likely that the disposal of the body in the ditch was in keeping with the notion of public execution. The nearest ditch marked the edge of the jurisdiction between the site of Saint Giles’s Hill and the city,111 and was a likely place wherein a body might be disposed. The walls of the city itself near the east gate were probably a suitable place where the head of the traitor could be displayed in a show of English royal lordship.112 The rehabilitation and indeed near-sanctification of Waltheof ’s reputation in later years need not detain us here but the execution of Waltheof was probably more than an indication of legal differences between English and Franco-Norman nobles.113 It was also an indication of the perception of the rebellion itself and perhaps, in view of the perception of sedition at a wedding feast discussed above, was an indication of the motivations that may have underlain the rebellion. In this respect, the consideration of the execution site adds to Hudson’s reading of the execution as a decision made in the in extremis circumstances of the demonstration of William’s personal authority. If we do not read an ethnic distinction in the execution of Waltheof, it may even be an aberration in a longer-term English royal trend associated with the ‘introduction of chivalry’ (not, by comparison, in France) which for at least the next two centuries saw execution or mutilation for treasonable offences reserved for people who were demonstrably ‘outsiders’, whether Welsh or Irish noblemen or those perceived as social inferiors.114 111 On the boundary ditch, see Keene, Survey of Medieval Winchester, Part 2, p. 1092. 112 The

urban context of the display of heads of Scottish enemies – rebels, in effect – on the walls of Durham in De Obsessione Dunelmi, is discussed in Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 30–1, alongside the late Anglo-Saxon treatment of the bodies of other perceived deviants. For a discussions of the statements of authority in punishment in Anglo-Saxon law (albeit not that of Waltheof, presumably because of its chronological remit), see papers in J. P. Gates and N. Marafioti (eds), Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England (Woodbridge, 2014), especially A. Rabin, ‘Capital Punishment and the Anglo-Saxon Judicial Apparatus: A Maximum View?’, pp. 181–99. 113 Apparent legal differences are emphasised in F. M. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1943; 3rd edn, 1971), p. 612; for the development of Waltheof ’s reputation, see Huntington, ‘Taming of the Laity’, and, for a potential link with the abbey of Romsey, below, p. 266, n. 77. 114 J. Gillingham, The English in the Twelfth Century: Imperialism, National Identity and Political Values (Woodbridge, 2003), pp. 218–26, and, on clemency, p. 222; on the comparison between France and Anglo-Norman England, Billoré’s introduction

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 129

Comparison may be made with the mutilation of the right feet of prisoners captured in the aftermath of the battle of Fagadun. The battle was the result of an attempt by the 1075 rebels to meet in open battle the men of William de Warenne and Richard de Bienfait, ‘whom the king had appointed as his chief ministers [iusticiarios] for all business in England’ (quos rex præcipuos Angliæ iusticiaros constituerat in regni negotiis).115 Notwithstanding Orderic’s moralistic sense of the righteousness of the punishment of certain rebels – with the notable exception of Waltheof – the punishment seems to have been public in intention and designed to use each body as something for longterm living ‘display’, as had perhaps been intended when Cnut mutilated hostages in 1014.116 The fact that at least some of the 1075 rebels, mutilated warriors with limited means of carrying on their former role, would have been expected to live implies that the punishment was intended as a permanent reminder to others of the consequences of rebellion. Such mutilated men presumably needed to be accommodated and provided for in their families and social groups, or indeed may have needed to enter monastic communities, where the memory of crime and punishment would be kept alive.117 to La trahison au Moyen Ȃge, ed. Billoré and Soria, pp. 30–4, and considering the frequency of royally directed execution in France into the later Middle Ages, C. Gauvard, Condamner à mort au Moyen Âge: Pratiques de la eine capitale en France XIIIe–XVe siècle (Paris, 2018), with consideration of political executions, pp. 178–85. 115 OV, vol. 2, pp. 316–17. See discussion of this subject in Strickland, War and Chivalry, pp. 240–55. 116 ASC CDE 1014. See R. Lavelle, ‘The Use and Abuse of Hostages in Later AngloSaxon England’, EME, 14 (2006), pp. 269–96, at pp. 293–4. Note that Richard de Bienfait’s purgatorial presence on earth as part of a ghostly procession was allegedly witnessed by a young Norman priest (OV, vol. 4, pp. 238–49). Although Orderic did not directly link the vision of the ‘recently’ (nuper) deceased Richard with his actions in England, it is not unlikely that he intended his audience to make this connection. For the possible wider meanings of this episode, see A. J. Hingst, The Written World: Past and Place in the Work of Orderic Vitalis (Notre Dame, IN, 2009), pp. 94–102. 117 See generally here J. Gillingham, ‘Killing and Mutilating Political Enemies in the British Isles from the Late Twelfth to the Early Fourteenth Century: A Comparative Study’, in Britain and Ireland, 900–1300: Insular Responses to Medieval European Change, ed. B. Smith (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 114–34, and D. O’Gorman, ‘Mutilation and Spectacle in Anglo-Saxon Legislation’, in Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Gates and Marafioti, pp. 149–64. On the entry of warriors into monastic life in the central Middle Ages, including the ‘last resort’ for those having suffered injury, see K. Allen Smith, War and the Making of

130  ❧  pl aces of contested power

While William’s actions against his rebellious barons were a long way from the assembly politics underlying this chapter, other cases may be cited to see how the use of assemblies gives an indication of the strong notions of legality in the conflicts that occurred to reappropriate it. Attempts by Edward the Elder to use the landscape of Dorset to reimpose authority in the face of rebellion by his cousin Æthelwold, an event discussed above, are an important example to be cited before we return to William’s reassertions of authority. Æthelwold’s attempts to seize power through reference to lands associated with his family are considered in the next chapter but Edward’s use of public space is pertinent here. Edward’s seizure of Badbury Rings, an Iron Age hillfort some four miles (about 6 km) to Wimborne’s west (Figures 10 and 11), emphasised royal power over the administrative landscape. Badbury is a candidate for Mons Badonnicus, ‘Mount Badon’, the site of the sixth-century battle against the Saxons, recorded by Gildas and famously attributed to ‘Arthur’ by ‘Nennius’ in the ninth century.118 Although we cannot be sure of an Edwardian awareness of this and there are indeed issues concerning the historicity of the accounts of Gildas and ‘Nennius’,119 attributing ‘British’ symbolism to the intent which lay behind actions suggests wider horizons than Edward may have envisioned. Thomas Williams has recently made a case that Edward intended to invoke something of this in the use of the hillfort, noting the symbolism of the pre-Viking notion of a Brytenwalda – ‘Wide Ruler’ – in the meaning of the choice of site (a meaning which was current in ninth-century West Saxon invocations of rulership).120 Williams has a point. Taking this reading into account, we should bear in mind that the perception of legitimate authority (even if reframed into a West Saxon rather than north Welsh perspective) was what counted, if Badon meant anything to an early tenth-century audience. Invocations of Badon notwithstanding, Medieval Monastic Culture (Woodbridge, 2011), pp. 52–4, and on the possible survival of one of the 1014 hostages, see Lavelle, ‘Use and Abuse of Hostages’, p. 294. 118 Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, ed. and trans. J. Morris (Chichester, 1978), ch. 26.1 (pp. 28 and 98); Nennius, Historia Brittonum, ch. 56, in British History and the Welsh Annals, ed. and trans. J. Morris (Chichester, 1980), pp. 35 and 76; K. Jackson, ‘The Site of Mount Badon’, Journal of Celtic Studies, 2 (1958), pp. 152–8. 119 G. Halsall, Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages (Oxford, 2013), pp. 187–204. 120 Williams, ‘Place of Slaughter’, p. 41, responding to my vacillations on the subject in ‘Politics of Rebellion’, pp. 77–8.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 131

Badbury is recorded in the eleventh-century Domesday survey as the name of the hundred in which the estate of Wimborne stood.121 This may show that if Æthelwold called on support through Wimborne, Edward’s actions were an appropriation of the assembly site in the political landscape for the same reasons. Edward arrived at Badbury ‘with an army’, mid fyrde, recalling the legitimacy of assembly politics and the authority of a king to call a military expedition.122 Edward’s use of Badbury Rings as, in effect, a siege castle had a military significance which presaged a strategy used later in Edward’s ‘reconquest’ of the Danelaw but evidently, as so often in early medieval warfare, it probably meant more than this.123 Although the distance from Badbury Rings to Wimborne meant that the fortification did not function precisely in the manner of the much closer siege castles typical of the twelfth-century Anarchy, there are some comparisons to be noted. Oliver Creighton and Duncan Wright have observed that siege castles provided opportunities for communication and negotiation to take place. Such opportunities may not have been straightforward across the four-mile gap between Wimborne and Badbury. Still, it is pertinent to note their observation of a siege castle as a place at which an assembly could take place and government could still function, albeit on a much-reduced scale.124 Perhaps Edward had such considerations in mind. Duke William’s use of the oppidum of Argences in the assembly of his ducal army prior to the battle of Val-ès-Dunes (1047) warrants comment here as it suggests a similar strategy to that of Edward.125 Although none of 121 A.

Williams, ‘Dorset Geld Rolls’, in Victoria History of the County of Dorset, vol. 3, ed. R. B. Pugh (London, 1972), pp. 115–49, at pp. 128–9. 122 See T. Reuter, ‘Plunder and Tribute in the Carolingian Empire’, TRHS 5th ser. 35 (1985), pp. 75–94 and ‘Assembly Politics in Western Europe from the Eighth Century to the Twelfth’. For discussion of the relationship between assemblies and later Anglo-Saxon warfare, see Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 178–86. 123 Ann Williams helpfully drew my attention to this back in 1998, a matter for which I remain grateful to her. For examples of this sort of strategy, see ASC ABCD 912, A 918, A 919 and, for a recent discussion, Baker and Brookes, Beyond the Burghal Hidage. 124 Creighton and Wright, The Anarchy, p. 62. 125 Noting the control of the estate by the Abbot of Fécamp, Argences is referred to as ‘terre amie’ in J.–P. Haughel, C. Lechevalier, and T. Wavelet, Sur les pas de Guillaume en Val ès Dunes (Argences, 2003), p. 6. For Val-ès-Dunes, see below, chapter 8, pp. 312–23.

Figure 10. The Iron Age hillfort of Badbury Rings, Dorset.

Figure 11. Badbury Rings, Wimborne Minster, and Twinham (Christchurch), and important sites and royal estates in the vicinity; the boundaries of respective Domesday-era hundredal units are marked in dark grey and evidence of Roman roads is marked in white.

contesting authorit y i n ‘public’ space   ❧ 133

the Norman ducal charters catalogued by Marie Fauroux suggest that Argences was used as a place of assembly, and indeed its interpretation as an oppidum is not one which I have not been able to find reflected in medieval sources, a number of charters from William’s predecessors suggest that Argences had been ducal demesne. Elements of the land there remained in ducal control, despite donations to the ducal monasteries of Fécamp and Cérisy.126 At the time of the battle of Val-ès-Dunes, a significant part of Argences was evidently in the control of Hugh, bishop of Bayeux, himself a one-time rebel, having been exchanged with Fécamp during the reign of Robert the Magnificent. While Lucien Musset suggested that it remained in the hands of the bishop until after his death in 1049,127 this does not necessarily preclude a link between Argences as a public space and the Norman ducal house itself. A further example of a response to rebellion at Val-ès-Dunes was in its aftermath, with the public display of Norman ducal authority at Caen in 1047 or early 1048.128 Although ultimately resulting in generous endowments to the Abbaye aux Hommes, the use of the Truce of God by a victorious Duke William was as much an expression of this authority as an act of religious significance. While the religious foundations at Caen tapped deeper forces than the suppression of rebellion, the choice of Caen as a place that was as near to a ducal capital as it was possible to get in this period – a place which was arguably supplanting the palace of Fécamp in the Norman political order129 – is linked to the assertion of authority in that assembly in the 126 Fauroux,

Recueil, nos. 4, 34, 70, 85 (Fécamp; no. 4 (A.D. 1025) records a donation of rights of a market), and 64 (Cérisy). 127 Fauroux, Recueil, nos. 70 and 71, citing L. Musset, ‘Actes inédits du XIe siècle: II, une nouvelle charte de Robert le Magnifique pour Fécamp’, Bulletin de la société des antiquaires de Normandie, 52 (1955), pp. 141–53, at p. 151. For discussion of Hugh, see chapter 4, below, pp. 160–1. 128 A ‘council of peace at Caen’ (concilium de pace apud Cadunum) is mentioned as taking place during the lifetime of the abbot of Saint-Wandrille, i.e. before 6 March 1048: Arch. Dép. Eure H 711, fol. 98v., cited by M. de Boüard, in ‘Sur les origins de la Trêve de Dieu en Normandie’, Annales de Normandie, 9 (1959), pp. 169–89, at p. 171. De Boüard provides some certainty of the link of the council with the aftermath of the 1047 victory, a matter which is implicit by the condition of peace referred to in WP’s account (I.10, pp. 12–15) and the mention of William’s reign in the declaration of the 1080 council of Lillebonne (OV, vol. 3, pp. 26–7). 129 On Fécamp, see A. Renoux, Fécamp: Du palais ducal au palais de Dieu: Bilan historique et archéologique des recherches menées sur le site du château des ducs de Normandie,

134  ❧  pl aces of contested power

aftermath of battle. Mark Hagger links the development of Caen to ‘the need for a strong ducal centre in Lower Normandy’ being recognised as a result of the opposition of 1046–7.130 In some ways, the assembly held at Caen in the aftermath of Val-ès-Dunes served as a counterpoint to the rebellious assembly that had come to the fore as an army against the duke on the battlefield. In the north of England in the winter of 1069–70, William’s response as king to the rebellions linked closely to such a display of the reassertion of authority at a central place. The ‘Harrying of the North’ was, in contemporary terms at least, the legitimate response of a king to opposition in his kingdom, in a tradition of actions like Eadred’s destruction of the minster at Ripon in 948131 and ravaging by various kings of the late tenth and early eleventh centuries in response to various transgressions.132 As Timothy Reuter noted some years ago, such demonstrations of ‘state-directed Bissonic violence’ were hardly shining examples of the manifestation of royal authority.133 At the heart of such actions – including that of William – was the demonstration of royal authority in the face of rebellion. The image evoked by Orderic Vitalis of the king sat in his crown in the smoking embers of a city ruined by rebellion seems to owe much to Orderic’s critical take on William’s northern actions, suggesting here they were Orderic’s words rather than those of William of Poitiers. However, the image does draw attention to the king’s real need to assert authority through display, an action which seems also to fit with William’s policy of attempting to demonstrate continuity of legitimacy with Edward the Confessor through seasonal crown-wearing ceremonies – a IIe siècle A.C.-XVIIIe siècle P.C. (Paris, 1991), pp. 656–7, who comments (p. 656) that ‘[s]ocial and political development, with the advance of feudalism, rapidly condemned the palatial system from the 1030s–50s’ (L’évolution sociale et politique, avec le développement de la féodalité, condamné rapidement des les années 1030–1050 le système palatiale). For the emergence of Caen, see also D. Bates, Normandy before 1066 (London, 1982), pp. 130–2 and Hagger, Norman Rule, pp. 131–2. 130 Hagger, Norman Rule, p. 131. 131 ASC D 948. 132 Eadred against Thetford (ASC D 952); Edgar against the Isle of Thanet in 974 (an event not recorded in the eulogistic accounts of Edgar in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle): Rogeri de Wendover chronica, ed. Coxe, vol. 1, s.a. 974, pp. 414–15 (trans. EHD 1, p. 284); Æthelred II against the Rochester diocese (ASC CDE 986), and Harthacnut against Worcestershire (ASC CD 1041). 133 Reuter, ‘Debate: The “Feudal Revolution”: III’, p. 191. See discussion of such actions and the likely role of a military royal household in them in Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, p. 109. ‘Bissonic violence’ in royal government is discussed above, p. 33.

contesting authorit y in ‘public’ space   ❧ 135

policy established during Edward’s reign.134 Furthermore, there was a shortterm need for a response: Orderic (and presumably William of Poitiers) indicates that William’s strategy had been determined by the rumour that ‘these brigands had returned to York to celebrate Christmas and prepare for battle’ (eosdem latrunculos Eborachum aduenire qua Natalem Domincum celebrent, seque ad præliandum præparent). William could hardly allow such a public demonstration of legitimacy by the rebels.135 To return to a theme of assembly politics raised at the start of this chapter, because at this point in Orderic’s narrative he needed to depict a tyrant rather than a conqueror enjoying the support of his men, what Orderic does not acknowledge is the fact that such authority as King William was expressing at York was also expressed through collective consensus. In the competition for legitimacy, such things were crucial. ❧  ❧  ❧

It is striking to observe the manner in which many actions discussed in this chapter conform to Timothy Reuter and Matthew Strickland’s models of one form of rebellion, presented for Germany and post-Conquest England respectively. Such rebellion was the convergence of interests, sometimes the interests of a younger generation, around a member of a ruling house who had himself made some form of declaration of intent.136 Conspiratorial barons were increasingly important as groups who pursued rebellions in their 134 OV,

vol. 2, pp. 230–3, with crown-wearing at pp. 232–3 (it should be noted that OV’s account does not refer to the burning of the city per se but it is certainly implied); see also ASC D 1069. A useful consideration of the context of this event is provided by Michael Hare, in ‘Kings, Crowns and Festivals: The Origins of Gloucester as a Royal Ceremonial Centre’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 115 (1998), pp. 41–78. See also M. Biddle, ‘Seasonal Festivals and Residence: Winchester, Westminster and Gloucester in the Tenth to Twelfth Centuries’, ANS, 8 (1986 for 1985), pp. 51–72. Gloucester’s role in the display of legitimacy is also discussed by Emma Cownie, in ‘The Unusual Fate of St Peter’s Abbey, Gloucester: Religious Patronage in Anglo–Norman England’, in England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. Bates and Curry, pp. 143–57, at p. 146. See now also D. Bates, ‘William the Conqueror and Wessex’, in Land of the English Kin, ed. Langlands and Lavelle, pp. 517–37, esp. pp. 522–7. 135 OV, vol. 2, pp. 230–1. 136 Reuter, Germany in the Early Middle Ages, pp. 199–200; Strickland, ‘Against the Lord’s Anointed’; cf. Peltzer, ‘Révoltes en Angleterre’, p. 184. For a good example of

136  ❧  pl aces of contested power

own interests and focused actions around their own collective interests (rather than necessarily using a member of a ruling house as a proxy) in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. However, many of the ‘public’ spaces associated with legitimacy played a key role in invoking personal and familial interests within a ruling house, as this allowed individual protagonists to demonstrate their legitimacy through action. In the twelfth century the public nature of rebellion could still remain a factor in baronial action, such as that declared by Baldwin de Redvers in Exeter, who apparently acted with his men, without hooking his cause to any obvious royal party (at least not in the immediate vicinity). Central spaces might be appropriated in a political framework of action but the call on loyalty itself seems to have remained a significant factor. In Baldwin’s case, he could use the public space of the castle to call on the loyalty of his men. On a wider scale, as the actions against William I in 1075, against William II in 1088, and, infamously, against Stephen in the 1130s and 40s showed, rebellious conspiracies which were polyfocal in origin and often converged on various points across the countryside within a particular timeframe were a characteristic of ‘open’ rebellion. Such polyfocal action may have had certain strategic advantages when rebels encountered or expected to encounter forces which were disproportionately larger than themselves. In comparison, actions converging on a single public space or area seems to have characterised action taken by multiple factions of rebels focusing on the support of a single cause or party. To that end, owning a place was less important than actually controlling it. But control still conferred status. In the following chapter, the overriding issue is the action taken by single protagonists or single parties united by a familial identity through demonstration of the right to hold particular lands.

younger nobles noted by a contemporary writer, see the account of the young nobles awaiting Robert Curthose at Rochester in 1088: WM GRA pp. 546–7.

Chapter Four

Expressing and Resisting Lordship Land, Residence, and Rebellion Tensions between ‘public’ right and power exercised from a ‘private’ standpoint are at the heart of this volume’s exploration of the contestation of power. While the previous chapter concentrated on the significance of ‘public’ space in contestations of legitimacy, the aim of this chapter is to examine the contestation of authority within frameworks of lordship. The control and dispute of land was one manifestation of the tensions that had emerged as kingdoms with intensive power developed in England and France.1 Lordship, both royal and aristocratic, was expressed most often (though not exclusively) through control of a private domain. Actions which were focused on the familial interests of lords or nobles who wished to express their own interests, either as lords or, in ‘corporate’ terms, as members of a particular family, are the starting point for this chapter. The ways in which these issues drifted into a ‘public’ sphere are nonetheless important, as the permeability of boundaries between ‘public’ and ‘private’ action means that those boundaries were never sharply defined. However, it is important to address cases where lands perceived to be associated with the status of an individual within a family seem to have played a part in conflicts that were ostensibly about a contestation of publicly acknowledged authority. This was the case, for example, in the grievances of the ætheling Æthelwold arising from treatment of family lands by 1 For

the concept of ‘intensive power’ defined by Mann, Sources of Social Power, Vol. 1, p. 7, see above, p. 58.

138  ❧  pl aces of contested power

the Alfredian branch of the West Saxon royal family in the late ninth century, which are considered in detail at the end of this chapter. Naturally, grievances associated with lordship or familial status (or both) might also be expressed through the contested control of a fortification dear to the heart of a rebel or a lord.2 Furthermore, given that privately held fortifications were intrinsically linked to the surrounding landscape, the division between the holding of land and the holding of fortifications, treated in chapter 5, is somewhat artificial. Landholdings that were contested through the fortifications in them are not excluded from this chapter. Insofar as it is possible to provide a rationale for division between this chapter and the next, the current chapter considers fortifications as property in terms of the land with which they were linked, while the next focuses on the fortifications themselves, as places for active opposition. Regine Le Jan’s characterisation of ‘the power to protect, intrinsically linked with the right to a warrior retinue and to the personal obligations that united the leader to his companions’ is appropriate here for our understanding of lordship. She refers to that power as ‘the keystone of social organisation’.3 However, some time before the ninth century, it was not enough for armed bands and other aristocratic groups to operate solely as mobile bands, seizing and distributing treasure: the control of land was the ultimate manifestation of the tensions that emerged.4 Lordship could be both royal and aristocratic, and service was owed to lords who were royal, aristocratic, or ecclesiastical. All such types of lordship are relevant here and, it will be seen, had much in common where rebellion was concerned.

2 Referring

to ‘feud’ in eleventh-century Germany and the Low Countries, Tim Reuter noted that ‘[t]he destruction of a favourite castle counted as a particularly insulting act’ (‘Peace-Breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’, p. 362). 3 Le Jan, ‘Continuity and Change in the Tenth Century Nobility’, p. 63, citing her ‘Satellites et bandes armées dans le monde franc (VIIe–Xe siècles)’, in Le combattant au moyen âge, Actes des congrès de la Société des historiens médiévistes de l’enseignement supérieur public, 18 [1987] (Paris, 1991), pp. 97–105, with discussion at pp. 107–9. 4 J. Campbell, ‘The Sale of Land and the Economics of Power in Early England: Problems and Possibilities’, HSJ, 1 (1989), pp. 23–37, is a useful consideration of the changing dynamics in England during the Anglo-Saxon period.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 139

Land, family, and lordship It is appropriate here to define what lordship could mean in terms of its expression in the landscape. Martin Hansson and, more recently, Katherine Weikert have defined aristocratic culture as a result of its becoming more secluded in spatial terms. Hansson notes seclusion as taking place in the twelfth century, while Weikert has linked it to earlier developments.5 Nonetheless, whether secluded or public, family identity was important and was made manifest through control of particular places.6 Hansson notes that places in the aristocratic landscape of the central Middle Ages that were used over and again were on good quality agricultural land but also had historical meaning for those who identified with that land;7 Regine Le Jan highlights the notion of important familial sites for the Franks in the early Middle Ages, often linked with the memory of the burial of previous generations, an issue which can be seen in the familial politics of the use of Wimborne by the ætheling Æthelwold in 899/900.8 Thus, particular places could be important for invocations of family identity; some of these invocations interlocked with a sense of public status, while some were specific to family groups. While there may have been distinctions between the violence of feud, civil war, and rebellion (for example Hugh Thomas makes a ‘maximum argument’ for the extent

5 M.

Hansson, Aristocratic Landscape: The Spatial Ideology of the Medieval Aristocracy (Lund, 2006). K. Weikert, Authority, Gender and Space in the Anglo-Norman World, 900–1200 (Woodbridge, 2020); Weikert’s spatial assessments of key sites can be found in ‘Place and Prestige: Enacting and Displaying Authority in English Domestic Spaces During the Central Middle Ages’, in From West to East: Current Approaches in Medieval Archaeology, ed. S. Stull (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2014), pp. 96–120, and ‘The Biography of a Place: Faccombe Netherton, c. 900–1200’, ANS, 37 (2015 for 2014), pp. 253–79. Though less directly focused on landscape, see also C. Senecal, ‘Keeping up with the Godwinesons: In Pursuit of Aristocratic Status in Late AngloSaxon England’, ANS, 23 (2001 for 2000), pp. 251–66. 6 Although largely focusing on evidence from the thirteenth century onward, O. H. Creighton, Designs upon the Land: Elite Landscapes of the Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 2009) provides a useful indication of the manner in which the spatial organisation of elite space could encompass a wider landscape. 7 Hansson, Aristocratic Landscape, pp. 105–28. 8 Le Jan, Famille et pouvoir dans le monde franc, pp. 47–8. For Wimborne and Æthelwold, see below, pp. 161–75.

140  ❧  pl aces of contested power

of lordly violence in Stephen’s reign),9 strictly speaking, any action which broke the peace of an earthly king was rebellion or treason. Many actions were permutations of expressions of lordly interest which had practical ends as much as they represented a specific grievance expressed as political opposition.10 But in some ways the refusal of an expression of loyalty obligated by fealty is where rebellion begins and ends – again an issue which shows the importance of lordly ties to rebellion. This was evidently the case in the representation of eleventh-century political relations, at least. When William of Jumièges portrayed the refusal of William, Count of Eu, to fulfil his obligations of fealty to his half-brother Duke Richard II, he seems to have deliberately juxtaposed the account with that of the suppression of obviously rebellious activities of the Norman ‘Peasants’ Revolt’. This juxtaposition showed the different directions in which lordly bonds of obligation were stretched and then corrected – in both cases emphasising the loyalty of Count Rodulf in undertaking this task.11 Lordship was expressed through family identity, legitimacy, and indeed duty, as well as through a lord’s protection of a lesser lord – what Pierre Bauduin has referred to as patrimonialisation,12 a word which loses some of its depth of meaning if read in English. Such issues, as Florien Mazel has shown, related to the localised expression of the interests of an aristocracy who were becoming increasingly linked with their patrimonies in ‘une revolution anthroponomique’.13 Patrimonialisation also determined an official 9 H. Thomas, ‘Violent Disorder in King Stephen’s England: A Maximum Argument’,

in King Stephen’s Reign (1135–1154), ed. P. Dalton and G. J. White (Woodbridge, 2008), pp. 139–70. 10 Reuter, ‘Peace-breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’, p. 361. 11 GND, vol. 2, V.2–3, pp. 8–9. 12 Bauduin, La première Normandie, p. 216. 13 F. Mazel, ‘Des familles de l’aristocratie locale en leurs territoires: France de l’Ouest, IXe–XIe siècles’, in Les élites et leurs espaces: Mobilité, rayonnement, domination (VIe– XIe s.), ed. P. Depreux, F. Bougard, and R. Le Jan (Turnhout, 2007), pp. 361–98 (quotation at p. 393). For examples, see also N. Y. Tonnerre, ‘Les premiers châtelains et la nouvelle géographie politique du comté nantais’, in Les pouvoirs locaux dans la France du centre et de l’ouest (VIIIe–XIe siècles): Implantation et moyens d’action, ed. D. Barthélemy and O. Bruand (Rennes, 2004), pp. 39–59, and C. Groud-Cordray, ‘Le val de Mortain: Morphologie et rôles d’un espace frontière entre Normandie, Bretagne et Maine, Xe siècle–début XIIIe siècle’, in Tinchebray 1106–2006: Actes du Colloque de Tinchbray (28–30 septembre 2006), ed. V. Gazeau and J. Green (Flers, 2009), pp. 189–207.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 141

sense of legitimacy, as we might see with Robert the Magnificent’s expression of authority at Falaise (dép. Calvados) against his half-brother, Richard III. Falaise was evidently becoming a place of legitimacy in the Hiémois, becoming, in effect, a place with an ‘official’ function for Norman ducal power in the 1020s.14 Arguably, an important factor here, as in other cases, was the use of a castle, whose holding not only necessitated the use or threat of violence but also symbolised the control of a physical space, the people within that space, and the area around the castle.15 While holding a castle could provide an invaluable base for rebellion and a castle was a place whose very physical presence could symbolise the apparent legitimacy of a grievance or dispute, a fortified space was not necessarily a pre-requisite for a rebellion based on a demonstration of lordship. An estate centre might equally function in the same manner, as long as it functioned in some way as a centre. Such centres were linked to notions of patrimony and authority within the family or what is sometimes considered the lordly mouvance, suggesting that we are dealing here with a phase of the nucleation of landed resources.

The lord giveth and the lord taketh away: the deprivation of land and its consequences Much of the ‘drama’ of demonstrations of opposition against lords is associated with making a stand at a central place which held meaning to the rebel 14 For

the rebellion, GND, vol. 2, V.2, pp. 44–5; note the use of Falaise in rebellion against Duke William II, VII.3, pp. 102–3. Bauduin, La première Normandie, p. 205, notes the ‘déplacement du centre de gravité’ of the pagus of the Hiémois due to the inclusion of the old pagus of the Otlinga Saxonia within its territory, before 1020×30, ‘sans doute dès la fin du règne de Richard Ier’. For the Otlinga Saxonia, see below, chapter 8, pp. 318–20. 15 These are important considerations in O. H. Creighton, Castles and Landscapes: Power, Community and Fortification in Medieval England (London, 2002); R. Liddiard, Castles in Context: Power, Symbolism and Landscape, 1066 to 1500 (Macclesfield, 2005). See Guillot, Le comte d’Anjou et son entourage au XIe siècle, vol. 1, pp. 325–52 for the notion of rising castellan powers in eleventh-century western France, an issue also discussed in Mazel, ‘Des familles de l’aristocratie locale en leurs territoires’, pp. 389–93. Relating to the twelfth-century phase, with particular consideration of Montreuil-Bellay (dép. Maine-et-Loire), see B. Lemesle, ‘Le comte d’Anjou face aux rébellions (1129–1151)’, in La vengeance, 400–1200, ed. D. Barthélemy, F. Bougard, and R. Le Jan (Rome, 2006), pp. 199–236.

142  ❧  pl aces of contested power

and their family. However, it was when aristocrats or discontented royals had land taken away from them or did not receive land that they expected that a grumbling tension could be tipped into outright rebellion. An indication of the manner in which lands could be associated with status is provided by Regino of Prüm just beyond the West Frankish study area. Regino recorded the desire of Hugh, a claimant to the Lotharingian throne, to hold land that was suitable for growing vines.16 Hugh, eventually blinded by Charles the Fat and shut up in the monastery of Prüm where he could moan to Regino, had an obvious grievance and in some senses the loss of vine-growing estates had been a casus belli. All the same, it was still no mere excuse: in a period in which land was increasingly associated with status, the rights to hold lands, inherit lands, and, of course, dispose of them were crucial. Vines, moreover, were meaningful, associated with royal and even imperial status, an issue that links well with Timothy Reuter’s wider observation on the defence of honour as a tangible, almost measurable phenomenon.17 The imperial significance of Hugh’s example takes his complaints beyond an expression of lordly independence or familial standing and although we do not know exactly which lands they were, Lotharingia does, admittedly, stretch the bounds of this investigation. However, the withholding of lands was similarly a check on lordly status. This check is acknowledged by the bequest to the lord, generally – though not always – the king, at the beginning of practically every pre-Conquest English will,18 and, as we shall see, worked with aplomb by Henry I. It does not seem impossible that just as the non-receipt of land might be taken as a casus belli by a rebel, the withholding of land could have been a strategy used by rulers in order to push an aristocrat into a position such that they were unable to do anything but act (as is perhaps the case with King Alfred and his nephew, discussed below). In other cases, it is worth considering whether the withholding of lands was a means of preventing opposition, in order to ensure that potential rebels 16 Regino,

s.a. 885, p. 123 (trans. p. 192); see Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, p. 64. The significance of vines is considered later in this chapter, pp. 154–6. 17 Reuter, ‘Peace-breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’, p. 361. From a ruler’s perspective, honour may have been related to what Reuter notes in ‘“Regemque, quem in Francia pene perdidit, in patria magnifice”’ as a ‘bank account of legitimacy’ (p. 133). See also Strickland, War and Chivalry, pp. 98–131, and Crouch, The Birth of Nobility, pp. 79–80. 18 L. Tollerton, Wills and Will-making in Anglo-Saxon England (York, 2011), p. 70.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 143

did not have the powerbase that may have been required in order to assert themselves successfully. The seizures of English lands in the generation after 1066, lands which, according to Robin Fleming, were already lost to the principal pre-Conquest nobility by 1075,19 provide the classic case here but it is interesting that lands in the Thames Valley were granted to supporters of Eadwig in the mid tenth century. Perhaps here this was in anticipation of the opposition from the supporters of his brother, Edgar.20 We should not, of course, always assume that the act or threat of rebellion was the cause when land was confiscated or withheld by a ruler from a member of the aristocracy – rulers presumably found many reasons for and benefited from its acquisition but the potential opposition which could result made wilful confiscation a dangerous game. A second set of examples of confiscation and response in Anglo-Norman England is provided in the circumstances leading to and during the escalation of civil war during the reign of King Stephen. Here it was often castles that defined the character of the aristocratic holdings: South Cerney in Gloucestershire was taken from Miles of Gloucester in 1139, for example.21 The Peterborough Chronicler characteristically berates King Stephen’s actions for the ‘great war’ (micel uuerre) that arose between Earl Ranulf of Chester and the king (interestingly at this stage not seeing the Civil War as part of a continuum), ‘not because he [i.e. Stephen] did not give him all that he could ask him, as he did everybody else, but always the more he gave them, the worse they were to him’.22 It is perhaps revealing of contemporary concerns

19 Fleming,

Kings and Lords, pp. 178–80; see also Bothwell, Falling from Grace, p. 90. 20 R. Lavelle, ‘Royal Control and the Disposition of Estates in Tenth-Century England: Reflections on the Charters of King Eadwig (955–959)’, HSJ, 23 (2014 for 2011), pp. 23–50. 21 WM, HN, II.31, rubric. See Walker, ‘Gloucestershire Castles’, p. 15. 22 ‘[N]oht forþi ðæt he ne iaf him al ðæt he cuthe axen him. alse he dide alle othre. oc æfre þe mare he iaf heom. þe wærse hi wæron him.’ ASC E 1140 (trans. p. 201). For this author’s perspective on Stephen and the Civil War, see most recently Home, Peterborough Version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, pp. 84–90. It is worth noting the Chronicler’s use of the Latin loan-word werra rather than the Old English gūþ, is perhaps revealing of the type of ravaging evident in the conflict. For a discussion of Georges Duby’s reading of werra and its distinction from battle in Le dimanche de Bouvines, 27 Juillet 1214 (Paris, 1973; reset edn, 1985), p. 190, see below, chapter 8.

144  ❧   pl aces of contested power

that while the Chronicler begins with specific reference to Ranulf, by the end of the sentence Ranulf is made to stand for the English nobility as a whole.23 The Peterborough Chronicler’s reading of the causes of opposition and action shines a light on the notion of lordly generosity by a king who did not have his predecessor’s aura of parsimoniousness.24 It may seem paradoxical that a king who responded positively to petitions for grants of land could face opposition, but generosity to some while withholding it from others or even depriving them of land could only breed resentment. Indeed, that the Peterborough Chronicler records Ranulf as depriving the king of ‘all that he ought to have had’ in Lincoln is slightly misleading as the fortress was not the king’s sole property. That seizure was one of the touchstones leading to the siege of the city and the battle within it, but the castle was characterised by Edmund King as ‘at the same time both royal and seigneurial’. Ranulf saw it as his own family’s property, due to him through his mother, ‘the countess Lucy’, whom King posits as a daughter of the 1070s sheriff of Lincolnshire, Turold.25 There is a gendered aspect to the seizure of the castle which is relevant to the following chapter but the blurring of boundaries between public office and the perception of land held by a family make the Lincoln case relevant here. The Chronicler’s use of the sense of the king’s deprivation of property is linked with the rebellion against him in the account, which ties ‘every evil in the country’ to the king’s imprisonment as a result of the battle at Lincoln and the action taken by men against their lord (lauerd).26 What happened in England in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest was not a phenomenon unique to the circumstances of apparently interethnic rivalry or the interests of a cross-Channel aristocracy two generations later, however. Æthelredian charters from the turn of the millennium show that policies of confiscation, sometimes associated with notions of perceived

23 For

a comparable situation in Essex during this period, see P. A. Dark, ‘“A Woman of Subtlety and a Man’s Resolution”: Matilda of Boulogne in the Power Struggles of the Anarchy’, in Aspects of Power and Authority in the Middle Ages, ed. B. M. Bolton and C. A. Meek (Turnhout, 2007), pp. 147–64. I am grateful to Katherine Weikert for this suggestion. 24 For an assessment of Stephen’s inability to make himself heard, see King, King Stephen, pp. 320–39. 25 King, King Stephen, pp. 146–8. 26 ASC E 1140. Whitelock’s edition, p. 201, translates this as ‘liege lord’, though lauerd is simply a twelfth-century rendering of the Old English hlaford.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 145

treachery, were already well established.27 Although these confiscations did not inevitably lead to rebellion, an increased perception of the king being able to arbitrarily obtain wealth for himself, his family, or his followers through policies of confiscation can hardly have been a positive phenomenon in the early eleventh century; such perception may provide some context for the developments in private fortification which characterise the thegnly residence in this period.28 When we consider the extent to which enactment of royal will was as much the assertion of the interests of local aristocrats who acted on behalf of rulers as the direction of policy from the centre, this helps us to understand how acts against the royal agents were not always intended as flagrant treachery. In one well-known case, the actions of the widow of a certain Wulfbald against a king’s thegn in Kent were, in one sense, the prosecution of a feud but the actions were rebellious insofar as they ran counter to a legitimate royal authority.29 Wulfbald’s widow was presumably not interested in ‘rebelling’ or ‘resisting’ as such but in making a stand against a royally approved (perhaps even royally appointed) agent, she had to demonstrate the legality of her case. As such, the protection of the Archbishop of Canterbury was important, though perhaps the holding of an as yet unidentified fortified residence could have played a role in the ability of Wulfbald’s widow to make her case so forcibly.30 27 The

charter of Æthelric of Bocking is perhaps the best-known case (S 939 [AD 995×99], discussed by Brooks, ‘Treason in Essex in the 990s’). 28 For some reassessments, see Liddiard, Castles in Context, pp. 15–17, and M. Shapland, ‘Anglo-Saxon Towers of Lordship and the Origins of the Castle in England’, in The Archaeology of the Eleventh Century: Continuities and Transformations, ed. D. M. Hadley and C. Dyer (London, 2017), pp. 104–19. See also A. Williams, ‘“A Bellhouse and a Burh-geat”: Lordly Residences in England before the Norman Conquest’, in Medieval Knighthood, 4: Papers from the Fifth Strawberry Hill Conference, 1990, ed. C. Harper-Bill and R. Harvey (Woodbridge, 1992), pp. 221–40. 29 S 877 (AD 996); see R. P. Abels, ‘“The Crimes by which Wulfbald Ruined Himself with his Lord”: The Limits of State Action in Late Anglo-Saxon England’, in Law’s Dominion in the Middle Ages: Essays for Paul Hyams, ed. D. Postles, Reading Medieval Studies Special Issue, 40 (2015), pp. 42–53. Note that S 1198 records an annual render to Saint Augustine’s from Brabourne, pledged by a certain Ealhburg in the mid ninth century. That the foundation just down the road held an interest in Brabourne (perhaps the same estate?) may explain the archbishop’s interest in protecting the interests of Wulfbald’s widow. 30 It is tempting to consider the unidentified burwarefelda as a fortified site but considering that the witness list of a Kentish charter (S 1506 [A.D. 941×58,

146  ❧  pl aces of contested power

The actions of Odo II of Blois, recorded by the Burgundian chronicler Raoul Glaber, cast some light on this issue from a West Frankish perspective around the same time. Odo is recorded as taking the lands of the recently deceased Stephen, who was count of Troyes and, as a descendant of the Heribertian line, lord of Vermandois. These were lands which would have gone into the royal demesne as Stephen had died without issue. Odo’s action was, Raoul tells us, ‘against the king’s will’ (contra regis uoluntatem).31 A contemporary letter written by Fulbert of Chartres on behalf of Odo to King Robert spells out his position, with Odo swearing that he would choose ‘to die with honour’ than to live dishonourably.32 This was not a statement of rebellion in itself but in a highly charged political atmosphere it cannot be dismissed as hyperbole. Odo’s words were an indication of the seriousness of the issue of entitlement for Odo. This land was evidently imbued with a meaning of honour, of social standing which needed to be defended. It is perhaps revealing of Raoul Glaber’s view of the affair that he relates Odo’s familial standing in the passage.33 It was through the earlier marriage of Odo’s grandfather Theobald ‘the Trickster’ to Stephen of Troyes’ great-aunt, Liégarde, that Odo’s claim to Troyes stemmed, indicating – from Odo’s perspective – a sense of familial legitimacy transmitted through the female line. Perhaps not untypically, it was invoked through a male name and a certain amount of appropriation of identity. Odo named perhaps 958]) refers to ‘the three fellowshops of the townspeople’, ða III geferscipas Innanburwara and the ‘out-townspeople’, utanburhwara, and given the proximity of Nackington to Canterbury, this was probably simply land with a nominal link to the people of Canterbury. Undated earthworks may be associated with land in S 877. These are at Hampton Farm (Grid Ref. TR 075439) and were identified as ‘remains of a homestead moat [  .] probably the site of Hampton manor house’: ‘O. S.’, ‘Researches and Discoveries in Kent’, Archaeologica Cantiana, 78 (1963), pp. 165–203, at p. 190. Without further investigation, any link can only be hypothetical but it is a striking sign of historiographical conditioning that the possession of a fortification would be taken as read had a widow offered resistance to royal agents after 1066 or if we were looking at similar events across the Channel! 31 Glaber, III.2.5, pp. 104–5. 32 ‘Deum et animam meam testor, quod magis eligerem honoratus mori, quam uiuere dishonoratus’. The Letters and Poems of Fulbert of Chartres, ed. and trans. F. Behrends (Oxford, 1976), no. 86. Further discussion of the landholding is provided by S. Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (Oxford, 1994), pp. 134–5. 33 Glaber, III.2.5, pp. 104–5.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 147

his son Stephen and indeed the name was prominent in the house of BloisChampagne thereafter.34 Although we do not know when Stephen was born to Odo, this Stephen’s death in 1048, having sired a child who was old enough to die in England in 1066, suggests that his birth could well have followed the death of his namesake, Count Stephen of Troyes, in 1010×21. Thus the naming could have been associated with Odo II’s acquisition of his kinsman’s land.35 There are, it should be admitted, some problems with such an interpretation, as Emanuelle Santinelli-Foltz shows: although not addressing the BloisChampagne claim to Troyes, she discusses the significance of the name on Odo’s wife Ermengarde’s side of the family, stemming from the county of Clermont, and suggests that its prominence is due to a cadet lineage of the family.36 Such an interpretation would be logical if Count Stephen of Troyes died after his younger namesake, and the chronology of action does not preclude this as a possibility, but even if this were the case, the fact known to Odo II in the 1010s was that his second cousin evidently had no heirs. Given the circling of vultures known in such circumstances (most famously in Lotharingia, where Lothar II’s lack of legitimate children drew the interests of his uncles in the late 850s and 860s),37 Odo could well have named his new child after Stephen as an act of staking his familial legitimacy in circumstances where it was a fair bet that his cousin would die without legitimate heirs. The naming of a family member is a detail in a wider picture of a land dispute with deep meaning to the prestige of a family and its patrimonial claim. Such actions show once more the grey area between rebellion and – from a nobleman’s perspective – legitimate action. If noblemen’s claims had such deep resonance for reputation and standing, it is little wonder that their deprivation ran to the heart of the relationship between the lord and his vassal, as it determined the standing of an

34 Bur,

La formation du comté de Champagne, p. 487. the naming patterns on the genealogical table for the house of BloisChampagne, see Dunbabin, France in the Making, p. 390. 36 E. Santinelli-Foltz, ‘Porter et transmettre le nom de Stephanus dans la famille des comtes de Blois-Champagne de XIe–XIIe siècles’, in Échanges, communications et reseaux dans le haut Moyen Âge: Études et textes offerts à Stéphane Lebecq, ed. A. Gautier and C. Martin (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 243–59. 37 See K. Heidecker, The Divorce of Lothar II: Christian Marriage and Political Power in the Carolingian World, trans. T. M. Guest (Ithaca, NY, 2010). 35 For

148  ❧  pl aces of contested power

individual and indeed their role in their family.38 In this context, it is possible that Great Domesday Book’s role as a public document was directly tied to an attempt to show royal control and the ability to confiscate in the face of potential and actual rebellion. David Roffe proposed in 2000 that Great Domesday was compiled in 1088 after the death of William I, as a result of the upheavals of the reign of his son.39 Although palaeographical and codicological studies have shown that Roffe took a step too far in drawing ‘The Book’ into the reign of Rufus,40 the argument that the material was organised by fief (not so far from Sir James Holt’s reading of the connection with the Salisbury Oaths of 1086 as the tone of Holt’s later response suggests)41 no longer looks quite as radical as it once did. Sally Harvey’s 2014 examination of the Domesday Inquest in the light of the Old Testament notion of judgement highlights the way in which the material could have been employed as a response to potential rebellion in the reign of the Conqueror himself.42 Of course, the perfunctory administrative adjudication provided by Domesday Book was not a prerequisite for the confiscation of lands, as Roger de Breteuil (and, later, his son Rainald) found to his cost, but it surely helped.43 The mechanisms of ‘big government’ were evidently making responses to open opposition far more effective in a realm in which a version of Mann’s model

38 J.

C. Holt, ‘Politics and Property in Early Medieval England’, Past and Present, 57 (1972), pp. 3–52, repr. in his Colonial England (London, 1997), pp. 113–55, is a classic paper on the link between inheritance and ‘fief ’. The terminology of ‘fiefs’ is for this period a historian’s convenience: see Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals, passim. 39 D. Roffe, Domesday: The Inquest and the Book (Oxford, 2000), pp. 242–8. Roffe’s thesis regarding a post-1087 compilation is discussed in more detail in his paper ‘Domesday: The Inquest and the Book’, in Domesday Book, ed. E. Hallam and D. Bates (Stroud, 2000), pp. 25–36, 199–200. 40 C. Thorn and F. Thorn, ‘The Writing of Great Domesday Book’, in Domesday Book, ed. Hallam and Bates, pp. 37–73. 41 J. C. Holt, ‘1086’, in Domesday Studies, ed. J. C. Holt (Woodbridge, 1987), pp. 41–64. Holt states his opinion about Roffe’s thesis in ‘Domesday Studies 2000’, in Domesday Book, ed. Bates and Hallam, pp. 19–24, 199. 42 S. Harvey, Domesday: Book of Judgement (Oxford, 2014), pp. 271–308. 43 Despite service to Henry I, Roger’s son never recovered his patrimony, and the use of the de Ballon surname pertaining to his wife Emmelina suggests that the sins of the father were seen as visited upon the son: K. Keats-Rohan, Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066–1166, II: Pipe Rolls to ‘Cartae Baronum’ (Woodbridge, 2002), p. 878.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 149

of ‘intensive power’ was exercised far more widely and deeply.44 This can be seen pretty clearly by the end of the twelfth century. Although Susan Johns has cautioned against seeing ‘merely as victims of royal authority’ the wives and widows in Henry II’s 1185 Rotuli de Dominabus et pueris et puellas de XII comitatibus (‘Rolls of Widows, Sons and Daughters from 12 Counties’), it is worth considering its very existence from the perspective of familial and indeed lordly identity.45 The fact that the king could call upon the resources of a family should a widow or orphan be made a ward of the crown might have been considered by Henry as a tool against potential rebellion, forcing lords after 1185 to ask the age-old question, so beloved now in the insurance industry: ‘what will happen to them after I’m gone?’ Presumably, in some cases, it caused some wives – potential widows – to counsel caution upon their lordly husbands.46 It is beyond the remit of this book to consider the real application of such a resource against opposition at the end of the twelfth and beginning of the thirteenth centuries but perhaps such mechanisms were in train even before 1085–6. Lucy Marten has highlighted the direct links between the composition of Little Domesday, the book containing the returns for the East Anglian counties, and the need to develop formulae that would allow for the confiscation of land in East Anglia following the rebellions of 1070–1 and 1075.47 Comparison may be made with the Anglo-Saxon noblemen accused of treachery for whom there is evidence of land confiscation, such as the attempt to take the land held by the widow of Æthelric of Bocking in Æthelred II’s reign and of Ealdorman Wulfhere, accused of deserting his lord during Alfred’s reign. In those cases treachery evidently included conspiracy 44 Mann,

Sources of Social Power Vol. 1, pp. 7–10. Noblewomen, Aristocracy and Power, p. 188, with a consideration and tabulation of the survey at pp. 165–93. For intensive power, see above, p. 58. On transformations in the mechanisms of government in the late twelfth century, see Clementi, ‘Constitutional Development through Pressure of Circumstance’, p. 215. 46 Cf. observations on a later period by Jennifer Ward, in English Noblewomen in the Later Middle Ages (London, 1992), p. 48, who notes that there are ‘few signs that either noblewomen or their children were permanently disadvantaged by their families’ involvement in rebellion’. On OV’s representation of rebellions instigated by noble wives, see below, p. 198–9. 47 L. Marten, ‘The Impact of Rebellion on Little Domesday’, ANS, 27 (2005 for 2004), pp. 132–50; see also her ‘The Rebellion of 1075 and its Impact in East Anglia’, in Medieval East Anglia, ed. Harper-Bill, pp. 168–82. 45 Johns,

150  ❧   pl aces of contested power

and ran very close to open rebellion;48 the very fact that the deprivation of lands were disputed after death, and that the alleged traitors had held onto the lands in the face of the accusations against them may evidence the limitations of royal power in responding to contestations of authority. In the Anglo-Norman realm the convenient availability of confiscated land could be employed for purposes that had meaning beyond the circumstances of the mere redistribution of a resource (albeit an essential one).49 The Bellême family had lost land in Arundel (Sussex) as a result of the opposition against Henry I by Robert de Bellême.50 Henry subsequently granted land there to someone who had been instrumental in Henry I’s success in his own place of earlier refuge, Domfront, a place which had itself formerly been a Bellême holding. This suggests that there was a certain symbolism in the action;51 Robert de Bellême’s father, Earl Roger, had been a loyal lieutenant to William I in the holding of the Rape of Arundel – one of the first holdings granted to the Montgomeries (i.e. Robert’s paternal family) in 1067 – so 48 S

939 (AD 995×99) for Æthelric and S 362 (AD 901) for Wulfhere. See discussion of western Wessex in relation to Æthelwold, below, chapter 8, pp. 289–91, and, for Wulfbald’s widow, above, p. 145. 49 For a discussion of the redistribution of lands as rewards for service, see J. A. Green, The Government of England under Henry I (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 191–3; see also R. DeAragon, ‘The Growth of Secure Inheritance in Anglo-Norman England’, JMH, 8 (1982), pp. 381–93. Hollister, Henry I, pp. 333–4, notes baronial stability after 1115, though highlights (p. 334) ‘the considerable number of Norman rebels whom Henry diseised and then restored’. For work on another apparent policy of using confiscated land, see C. West, ‘Royal Estates, Confiscation and the Politics of Land in the Kingdom of Otto I’, Biens publics, biens du roi, ed. Bougard et Loré, pp. 157–77, at pp. 169–73 50 On investment of Arundel as the first stage in a campagn against Robert, see Hollister, Henry I, pp. 158–9; Aird, Robert Curthose, p. 111, citing OV, vol. 4, pp. 124–5, notes the intransigent presence of Robert’s father, Roger of Montgomery, at Arundel during the rebellion of 1088, at a point at which Robert of Bellême was acting against the king, suggesting that Arundel – given to Roger as a reward for service in 1066 (Robert of Torigni, GND, vol. 2, VIII.35, pp. 266–7) – had form as a familial point at which to demonstrate independence. 51 J. A. Green (ed.), The Great Roll of the Pipe for the Thirty-First Year of the Reign of King Henry I: Michaelmas 1130 (Pipe roll 1): A New Edition with a Translation and Images from the Original in the Public Record Office/the National Archives, Pipe Roll Society, 95 (London, 2012), p. 33, recording ‘in gifts by the king’s writ’ (in donis per breve Regis) to Henry of Domfront of 8 s. 4 d. for the mast (paissone) of 100 pigs. For Domfront in Henry’s earlier career, see chapter 7, below, p. 261–4.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 151

the grant of land there had particular significance in terms of the English kingdom.52 Although Timothy Reuter has cast doubt on the certainty that rebels would lose lands as a result of rebellion in tenth-century Germany – he notes that reconciliation was far more common – we should not underestimate the fear that land might be lost. In what can be seen in examples in England and France throughout our period, opponents of kings and princes did indeed lose lands as a result of their actions – at least when those actions failed.53 It should be added, moreover, that although Notker’s portrait of the exiled rebel son of Charlemagne, Pippin ‘the Hunchback’, digging up weeds in a monastic garden, provided a late ninth-century audience with an object lesson in the allegorical advice he allegedly provided to his father, to execute those who plotted against a ruler, there were other lessons. These included the recognition that confiscated land might be freely available to give ‘loyal subjects room to grow and spread, which had previously been occupied by those unprofitable servants’ (fidelibus . . . occupata ab infructuosis loca crescendi et se extendendi causa concessit) – a warning for rebels and potential rebels.54 In the court societies of early and central medieval Europe, the notion and the implicit value-laden disgrace, that a rival’s family could benefit from one’s own land if a rebellion failed, presumably weighed on discontented minds as much as the threat of the loss itself. Thus, as might be expected, the loss of land as a result of failed rebellion had significance beyond the confiscation and the immediate contestation of that loss. The memory of the loss of land resonated beyond the lifetime of the aggrieved parties, and was important both for the family or the lord who lost the land and in the ways in which they were perceived on a wider stage. Wace’s narrative of the rebellion of the Norman lords who acted against Duke William II at Val-ès-Dunes in 1047 includes a record of the land at Le Plessis, lost by the nobleman Grimoult as a consequence of his part in the

52 OV,

vol. 2, pp. 210–11. The gifting of the ‘castellum et comitatem’ of Arundel ‘in dote’ by Henry to his wife Adeliza is recorded in the Chronicle of Robert of Torigni: Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, ed. R. Howlett, RS, 82 (London, 4 vols, 1884–9), vol. 4, p. 137. 53 Reuter, Early Medieval Germany, p. 207. 54 Notker, Gesta Karoli Magni, ed. Haefele, II.12; quotation at p. 74; trans. Ganz, Two Lives, p. 103.

152  ❧  pl aces of contested power

rebellion.55 Wace’s knowledge probably came from a charter granted to Odo of Bayeux in 1074 and a later Bayeux inquest of 1133, which suggests that the confiscated land had been profitably used.56 This was all part of a cycle of legitimately conceived action undertaken by rebels, and the confiscation of landed property chosen by a power reasserting their legitimacy because that property had meaning to the rebels. Although in chapter 8, below, the ‘public’ dimension of the rebels’ action at Val-ès-Dunes is emphasised, it is worth noting Mark Hagger’s point that the impetus for rebellion stemmed from perceived wrongs in the loss of land and, along with that, status by the rebels during the mid 1040s.57 Thus, the response to public action might be the removal of land associated with the patrimony of a noble – i.e. public action drew a response that affected the private standing of the vassal undertaking the injury against a royal or ducal lord.58 It is instructive to consider here what has been suggested as a case of rebellion after the loss of office and prestige. Roger Bigod is named as one of the rebels of 1088 against William II by a number of contemporary narrative sources.59 Roger was removed from office as sheriff of Norfolk before 55 Wace,

III. 4203–5, vol. 2, p. 43 (trans. p. 138). For the estate, see É. Zadora-Rio, ‘L’enceinte fortifiée du Plessis-Grimoult (Calvados): Contribution à l’étude historique et archéologique de l’habitat seigneurial au XIe siècle’, Archéologie médiévale, 3–4 (1973), pp. 111–243, esp. pp. 154–64. 56 Bates, Acta, no. 27. See also Elisabeth van Houts’ reading of the descent of lands to Bayeux in ‘Wace as Historian’, in Family Trees and the Roots of Politics: The Prosopography of Britain and France from the Tenth to the Twelfth Century, ed. K. Keats-Rohan (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 103–32 (repr. in Burgess’s edition of Le Roman de Rou, pp. xxxv–lxii, at p. xxxviii), and Hagger, Norman Rule, pp. 109–10. See also below, chapter 8, pp. 312–23. 57 Hagger, ‘How the West was Won’. 58 OV, vol. 4, pp. 82–5, 209–210. See also a cycle of opposition and dispossession focused on Breteuil, culminating in Juliana’s dispute with her father, Henry I, in Robert of Torigni’s additions to GND, vol. 2, VIII.15, pp. 228–31. See J. Yver, ‘Les châteaux forts en Normandie jusqu’au milieu du XIIe siècle: Contribution à l’étude du pouvoir ducal’, Bulletin de la société des antiquaires de Normandie, 53 (1955–6), pp. 28–115. Note that WP denied the loss of patrimony, while highlighting the loss of other lands, in the case of William of Arques. See below, chapter 5, p. 211. 59 Barlow, William Rufus, pp. 81–2, citing ASC 1088, WM, GRA, pp. 546–7, Simeon, HR, p. 215, and OV, vol. 4, pp. 124–5; note that that JW, vol. 3, s.a. 1088, pp. 49–57, does not name Roger, though, as per the ASC, his name is added to the Oxford Bodleian Lib. Bodley MS 297 (B) recension of JW, vol. 3, p. 56, n. 16.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 153

the rebellion, probably in 1087, precipitating a seizure of the manor of Southwold (Suffolk) by Robert de Curzon, one of Roger’s men, against the interests of the monastery of Bury St Edmunds. Robert’s seizure of Southwold took place alongside Roger’s seizure or fortification of Norwich Castle. Although Hermann, the late eleventh-century biographer of Saint Edmund, frames the account of Southwold in terms of the saint’s protection of his land (a theme explored through other examples in chapter 7), Andrew Wareham notes the significance of these actions in forcing William II to reinstate Roger to his former office. Moreover, as a result, Roger enjoyed an enhanced position within the royal household.60 While the seizure of Southwold may have provided Robert with a good opportunity for enrichment, Roger’s actions had some principles behind them. Considering that Roger had benefited from lands confiscated from Ralph de Gael after the 1075 rebellion, and that Roger’s father had revealed a plot against the duke in 1050s Normandy, the theme of loyalty evidently ran through Roger’s actions like words through a stick of rock.61 A tenth-century West Frankish case, the refusal by Count Heribert II of Vermandois to come to a royally convened assembly at Compiègne in 927 was discussed in the previous chapter in terms of being characteristic of tensions between the royal lord, King Raoul, and the over-mighty magnate; there is much to be said about Heribertian land and family interests.62 Underlying this act of defiance was the desire by Heribert to ensure provision for his son for the comital centre of the city of Laon, vacant since the death of Count Roger I in 926. Heribert’s wish was refused. Those preventing Heribert from having his way were the bishop of Laon and the troops of Queen Emma – the latter being not only Heribert’s sister-in-law but the daughter of Robert I, a figure from whom much of Raoul’s royal authority stemmed. It was not just the city that mattered but the estates that went with it.63 As Jackie Lusse’s study of the early city has shown, Laon itself had not developed a specialised urban economy in the tenth century. Much of Laon’s economic – and indeed 60 A.

Wareham, ‘The Motives and Politics of the Bigod Family, c.1066–1177’, ANS, 17 (1994 for 1993), pp. 223–42, at pp. 225–26. For the Bury Saint Edmunds narrative, see S. Yarrow, Saints and their Communities: Miracle Stories in Twelfth-Century England (Oxford, 2006), pp. 44–6. 61 Barlow, William Rufus, p. 81, n. 141, addresses the difficulties of establishing Roger’s culpability in 1088. 62 Above, chapter 3, pp. 102–3. 63 Laon is discussed as an urban centre in more detail in chapter 6, pp. 222–6, below.

154  ❧   pl aces of contested power

symbolic – value lay in the vines that grew in the area, even as early as the tenth century.64 Indeed, in 988, the last Carolingian pretender to the throne, Charles of Lorraine, is depicted by the Reims historian Richer as attacking the city at night, using the cover of vines.65 Richer’s first editor, Robert Latouche, condemned the historicity of that particular episode because he observed that Richer was recycling Sallust, with a narrative of climbing a hillside in an assault.66 However, the description of the whereabouts of the vines in the Laon episode is precisely where the best vineyards may be found, on the southern slopes of the massif that constituted the fortress-city (see Figure 12). That viticultural importance is heightened in a mid tenth-century account of the contestation of Laon by the deposed archbishop of Reims, Hugh (still, at 26, of an uncanonical age but now lacking the support of his father, Count Heribert II, who had died in 943). According to Flodoard, Hugh made common cause with Theobald ‘the Trickster’, the Count of Tours, using Laon as a base from which to steal grapes from the harvests from ‘various pagi’ relating to Cormicy and ‘other nearby villae’ in 947.67 Given the role of local grapes in the consecration of kings in the Middle Ages, both in Laon and later in Reims (wherever it took place, the archbishop of Reims used the wine), this indicated the demonstrative aspect of the contestation of authority that stemmed from Hugh and the Count of Tours’ use of Laon.68 64 Lusse,

Naissance d’une cité, pp. 249–52. vol. 2, IV.16, pp. 230–3. 66 R. Latouche (ed.), Richer: Histoire de France (885–995), Les classiques de l’histoire de France au moyen âge, 2 (Paris, 2 vols, 1930–7), vol. 2, p. 171, n., noting the episode’s similarity with Sallust, Jugurtha, ch. 94 (Sallust, The War with Catiline. The War with Jugurtha, ed. and trans. J. C. Rolfe, rev. J. T. Ramsey, LCL, 116 (Cambridge, MA, 2013), pp. 374–7). For comments on this sort of problem, see Abels and Morillo, ‘A Lying Legacy?’ (discussed above, p. 79). 67 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 947. Cormicy (dép. Marne), as a dependency of Reims, was noted by Flodoard, s.a. 940, as his own vill, held (‘tenebam’) along with its church. It was seized by Heribert II at the time of Flodoard’s own arrest in 940, so was presumably a significant place to note (as Flodoard recalls the death of ‘almost forty men around the church’ there at the hands of Hugh the Great, in an otherwise general account of Hugh’s ravaging of the area; s.a. 948). For Flodoard’s personal position during the contestation of the archbishopric, see Sot, Un historien et son église, pp. 48–9. 68 I have been unable to find reliable evidence for the tradition of the use of specific wine from the Laonnais, the Clos Saint-Rémy, and Goutte in contemporary coronation ceremonies (for which see P. Jackson (ed.), Ordines coronationis Franciae: Texts 65 Richer,

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 155

Figure 12. Southern slopes of the Laon massif: a view of the old city (i.e. the castrum) in from the south-west.

Writing at the very end of the tenth century regarding the events of 988, it made sense to mention the vines as they added classical depth to Richer’s narrative and a tenth-century West Frankish audience knew of the royal significance of the vines, just as in the actions of the deposed archbishop Hugh in 947. In relating events of 927, mentioning Laon in terms of the viticultural importance that the city evidently had would have been an admission by Flodoard of the royal status of the land claimed by Heribert for his son in the way that Hugh of Lotharingia’s late ninth-century claims to vine-growing estates had constituted a claim to kingship.69 and Ordines for the Coronation of the Frankish and French Kings and Queens in the Middle Ages [Philadelphia, PA, 2 vols, 1995–2000], vol. 1), but some Laonnois wines are noted as being of royal status from the twelfth century. For the ‘maximum’ view of the importance of Laon wines, see R. Doehaerd, ‘Un paradoxe géographique: Laon, capital du vin au XIIe siècle’, Annales: Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, 5:2 (1950), pp. 145–65; cf. A. Saint-Denis, Apogée d’une cité: Laon et le Laonnois aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles (Nancy, 1994), p. 412. More generally, the control of vines seems to have been an issue of major political importance; see Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, p. 64, citing Regino of Prüm s.a. 885, p. 123 (trans. p. 64) for such an issue, and Doehaard, pp. 153–4. 69 Above (this chapter), p. 142.

156  ❧   pl aces of contested power

In the events of 927, Heribert responded to the king’s sanction, taking the imprisoned Carolingian king Charles the Simple to Saint-Quentin, probably from Château-Thierry, where he had been held since 923.70 This could be characterised as an action in a cycle of reciprocity akin to feud. However, there was more to it. Despite, or possibly because of, Heribert’s wishes, Laon was granted (concedente, the verb perhaps indicating the grant was on a limited basis) to the deceased Roger I’s son, Roger II.71 Given that a similarly unpopular action of granting land to a royal favourite in the face of the expectations of another magnate had resulted in Charles the Simple’s imprisonment less than a decade before, it seems likely that Heribert would have been aware of the implications of his action. After an abortive attempt by Heribert to enter the city, prevented by the arrival of royal troops and the king himself, Laon had been left in the hands of Queen Emma and the sons of Count Roger. Therein lies the rub. A grant to the sons of the Count of Laon seems less likely than the association of the place with the queen, especially given that Flodoard records Raoul recalling his wife from Laon in vain in the following year.72 The key is the annal for 938, in which Flodoard records the dowry status of other lands, Tusey on the River Meuse ‘and other villae pertaining to it’, which had been given to the mother of King Louis IV, Eadgifu, by Charles the Simple. These were lands which were, as Simon MacLean notes, ‘pregnant with meaning and could advertise something about the status of their holders’.73 Noting the gendered associations with Frankish royal women, including those of the ninth-century Carolingians, MacLean’s characterisation of these lands is particularly apposite, though one might add that this gendered association was more likely to have been activated when circumstances suited rather than being 70 Flodoard,

Annales, s.a. 927; the imprisonment of Charles in Château-Thierry is recorded under the 923 annal, with a reference s.a. 924 implying that he was still held there the following year. As there are no other references to Charles’ place of imprisonment, it is reasonable to assume that he continued to be held there until 927. For the significance of imprisonment, see A. Eckel, Charles le Simple (Paris, 1899), pp. 127–8. 71 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 927. Schwager, Graf Heribert II, p. 75 for table. On Flodoard’s use of concedere, see Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals, p. 121. 72 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 928. Lusse, Naissance d’une cité, p. 205, links the dowry of West Frankish queens directly with the property of the seventh-century royal saint, Salberga at the abbey of Notre-Dame in Laon. 73 MacLean, ‘Making a Difference in Tenth-Century Politics’, pp. 181–7 (quotation at p. 184).

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 157

a constant refrain for the identity of particular lands. Evidently when female possession of land came into the frame, given the tendentious nature of landholding, the possibility for dispute was ever greater.74 A further example from a few years later serves to illustrate the manner in which links with royal women could be an additional factor in a dispute against a king regarding landholding. Another son of Count Heribert II, Heribert ‘the Old’, eloped with King Louis’ mother, Eadgifu, in 951, an act which, as we might expect, saw the king ‘angered’ (iratus). In the following year, 952, the holder of the castrum of Vitry-en-Perthois (dép. Marne), ‘a certain [quidam] Walter’, who had ‘recently defected from the king’ (nuper a rege defecerat), submitted, with his fortress, to Heribert ‘the Old’.75 Again, the dispute between Heribert’s father, Count Heribert II, and the king and his family is relevant here. During the reign of Louis IV’s predecessor, Raoul, in an annal for 929, Flodoard relates that Vitry had been seized by Heribert II from Count Boso of Perthois, brother of the king. This was in response to the taking by Boso of ‘certain allods’ (quosdam [. . .] alodes) which had pertained to Rothilde, abbess of the royal abbey of Chelles, a figure ‘recently deceased’ (nuper defunctae – a phrase which is not a million miles from ‘nuper . . . defecerat’ in the 952 entry).76 Vitry-en-Perthois, on the River Marne, was some 50 miles (80 km) south east of Reims and yet further from Chelles (93 miles/150 km; see

74 A

study of this issue with regard to a royal estate in the tenth-century Meon valley (Hants), is provided in my ‘King’s Wife and Family Property Strategies’. Note also the case of Brabourne (Kent), noted above (n. 29), where there is evidence a ninthcentury pledge of a render by a noblewoman alongside an eleventh-century dispute by a widow. Women are well represented in the corpus of Anglo-Saxon charters but they are by no means the majority. Was the female agency in disputes in land in the same vill, separated by almost two centuries, more than a coincidence? 75 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 76 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 929. Note that, as alodium refers to land held by hereditary right, ‘heritable and alienable without permission of any superior’, as Susan Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals, p. 77, defines it in terms of the eighth-century Frankish kingdom, noting (p. 135) that comital lands (in discussion of eleventh-century France), are not referred to as alods. Lucien Musset, ‘Reflexions sur allodium et sa signification dans les textes normands’, Revue historique de droits français et étranger, 4e ser., 47 (1969), p. 606, notes the way in which it was beginning to be linked to service in Normandy, at least (Holt, ‘Politics and Property’, p. 6).

Figure 13. Vitry-en-Perthois (dép. Marne) in relation to places discussed in the text (N.B. significant rivers are indicated on the map; although post-medieval canals have been removed from the map, the course of rivers may be reflective of their present-day hydrology).

Charlemagne (d.814)

Pippin, King of Italy (d.810)

Boso of Vienne (d.887)

Richard the ‘Justiciar’, Dk Burg’dy (d.921)

Bernard, King of Italy (d.818)

Count Pippin (d.840x3) Raoul, King and Dk of Burgundy (d.936)

Hugh ‘the Black’, Dk Burgundy (d.952)

Boso, Count of Perthois (d.935) Pippin, Ct of Senlis (d. by 893)

Heribert I, Ct Vermandois (d.900x6)

Louis the Pious (d.814)

Ermentrude (d.869)

Charles the Bald (d.877)

Ct Roger I of Maine (d. c.900)

11 children, incl. kings and abbesses

Count Hugh of Maine (d.939x55)

Count Hugh the Great (d.956)

Rothilde (d.928x9)

daughter

(name unknown; d. c.926)

Count Hugh of Bourges

Richilde (d.910x14)

Unnamed infant (d.875)

Richilde

Heribert II, Ct Vermandois (d.943)

Figure 14. The family links of Rothilde (after information from Schwager, Graf Heribert II, pp. 25, 97, and 133, and Nelson, Charles the Bald, pp. 306–11).

Charles (d.876)

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 159

Figure 13). Vitry was variously referred to as a castellum (929) and castrum (952), suggesting that its status as a fortress mattered. While the gendered significance of landholding associated with fortifications is explored further in chapter 5, it is worth considering here the gendered implications of the Vitry estate itself. We do not know if Vitry itself was one of the ‘certain allods’ among those seized by Boso which were referred to by Flodoard but the notion of allodial land as something which could be inherited is nonetheless significant here.77 Rothilde was mother-in-law of Count Hugh the Great, with whom Heribert II had been acting in concert against Boso, but – an issue which surely later became related to the elopement of Heribert ‘the Old’ with Queen Eadgifu in 952 – Rothilde also happened to be daughter of Charles the Bald (see Figure 14). This is probably an indication that the ‘allods’ seized by Boso were in some way linked to the status of royal women. Heribert II was uncle of Count Hugh the Great through the marriage of his sister Béatrice to Robert I; while this made him part of Boso’s wider family group, it was probably not enough to claim Vitry with any justification as such links were not uncommon in the tenth-century West Frankish nobility.78 If anyone should have been annoyed by the seizure of land pertaining to Rothilde, Hugh the Great would seem a likely candidate. Heribert II’s taking of Vitry in 929 nonetheless appears as more than a random expression of annoyance. Given the familial connections which were then being invoked (Flodoard notes Boso’s fraternity to King Raoul), Heribert and Hugh were acting in concert, at least temporarily. The alliance between Hugh and Heribert broke up later that year but it had done its job – Boso had been forced into a situation in which his kingly brother had been unable to help. There are echoes here of the expectation of lands pertaining to the royal family which had sparked the rebellion of Robert of Neustria in 922, and it is perhaps telling that Hugh was ultimately not to be denied lands which he rightfully expected through a Chelles connection for the second time in a decade.79 In the 929 annal, indeed in the same passage as the reference to Boso’s seizure of land, Flodoard reports that Boso, granted a one-month truce by the two counts, had to swear publicly to peace with the East Frankish king Henry the Fowler, not through the nominally legitimate

77 Schwager,

Graf Heribert II, pp. 134–5. the Bosonid family from which King Raoul and Boso stemmed, see generally Bouchard, Those of My Blood, pp. 74–97. 79 Chelles is discussed in more detail in chapter 7, below, pp. 266–8. 78 On

160  ❧  pl aces of contested power

king, Raoul.80 There was evidently a settlement: Boso received Vitry back in 930 and the fortress evidently remained away from the hands of the counts of the Vermandois during the intervening twenty years, though as we can see this did not place it entirely outside their interests. Walter’s defection from King Louis at a point when Heribert the Old had moved into a position of heightened standing could hardly be coincidental. While Walter’s own reasons for defection are not stated by Flodoard, and his otherwise unknown status is indicated by Flodoard’s reference to him being ‘a certain’ Walter, Walter’s own action nonetheless constituted some form of rebellion; he did not, however, have the luxury of standing alone, and required Heribert the Old’s support in order to act.81 It is perhaps easier to work out this Heribert’s motivations in 951. By eloping with Eadgifu, Heribert presumably came into the control of lands that, were Eadgifu to have remained a royal widow, would have been controlled by her alone.82 Again, such an example may be symptomatic of stages in feuding activity but the contestation of power in the face of the king’s authority is remarkable, especially given that Chelles had been a casus belli for Raoul’s father-in-law, Robert of Neustria. The politics of family and gender underlay the disputes and tensions that developed over the course of two decades in this corner of the West Frankish kingdom and those politics were evidently seen as something that could be drawn on as a means to further individual and group interests. Of course the sense of the loss of family land was an important phenomenon in both England and Normandy from the eleventh century onward, as is particularly apparent in the discussion of Arques-la-Bataille at the end of chapter 5.83 The ability to push and frustrate potential opponents, occasionally pushing them to rebellion, through the confiscation of land and to ensure loyalty by holding the tentative possibility of the recovery of land over the heads of others was an art. It was one for which Henry I was a past master during the early years of the twelfth century; as we have seen, his successor, Stephen, was evidently not.84 In one early eleventh-century Norman case of 80 Flodoard,

Annales, s.a. here the rebellion of Riwallon of Dol, who acted with the support of Duke William of Normandy, against Conan of Brittany in 1064: WP, I.45, pp. 74–7. 82 For a consideration of the lands of Eadgifu, see MacLean, ‘Making a Difference in Tenth-Century Politics’, pp. 182–7. 83 Below, pp. 201–11. 84 Green, Government of England under Henry I, pp. 178–80; on the contrast between policy in Normandy and England, Hollister, Henry I, p. 334. See also DeAragon, 81 Compare

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 161

rebellion linked to the loss of familial land, Veronique Gazeau noted the possible ‘baroud d’honneur’ of Hugh of Bayeux’s attempt to recover lands of Les Préaux, particularly an area known as nouus boscus, as being symptomatic of Hugh’s actions concerning his wider Ivry patrimony (dép. Eure). Gazeau notes that while Bishop Hugh had subscribed a lot of Richard II’s charters and a few of those of Robert the Magnificent (whom Bishop Hugh also opposed – see chapter 5), there were no subscriptions by him of any of Duke William II’s charters.85 This may of course be a result of a lack of any charters to which Hugh had subscribed – we have seen the difficulties of addressing absences from assemblies in the previous chapter – but the evidence still indicates a strong likelihood of tension between Hugh and William. Thus, the possible fate of the bishop’s lands were indicative of their confiscation.86

Æthelwold of Wessex: land and denial We have seen in the discussion of West Frankish lands above that the ‘activation’ of royal status could be a factor in triggering tenth-century acts of opposition; stepping briefly south of the Loire, for Charles the Bald’s nephew, Pippin II, visits to royal villae were a means of reasserting his legitimacy in the disputed kingdom of Aquitaine in 847–8.87 By comparison, the royal ‘Growth of Secure Inheritance in Anglo-Norman England’. On cases of the control of lands, see C. Warren Hollister, ‘The Misfortunes of the Mandevilles’, History, 58 (1973), pp. 18–28, and D. Crouch, ‘Geofrey de Clinton and Roger, Earl of Warwick: New Men and Magnates in the Reign of Henry I’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research, 55 (1982), pp. 113–23. See also above, pp. 143–4, for discussion of Stephen’s reign. 85 V. Gazeau, ‘Le patrimoine de l’évêque Hugues de Bayeux (1011–1049)’, in Les évêques normands du XIe siècle: Colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle (30 septembre–3 octobre 1993), ed. P. Bouet and F. Neveux (Caen, 1995), pp. 139–47. 86 Gazeau, ‘Le patrimoine de l’évêque Hugues de Bayeux’, pp. 145–7. She cites (p. 146) D. Crouch, The Beaumont Twins: The Roots and Branches of Power in the Twelfth Century (Cambridge, 1986), pp. 117 and 189, for the evidence of the holding of William of Arques’ confiscated lands after his rebellion, noting Roger de Beaumont as a vassal of the Bishop of Bayeux, the successor of Hugh. 87 AB 849, p. 37 (trans. p. 68) refers to Pippin II ‘moving about in Aquitaine’ (in Aquitania vagantem). For Pippin’s movements in 847–8 (identifiable via the issuing of diplomas), focused around Poitiers in a northern region of the kingdom, see the appendix in Martindale, ‘Charles the Bald and the Government of the Kingdom

162  ❧  pl aces of contested power

status associated with particular lands could be directly linked to the notion of a royal family precisely because land could determine standing as a family member. The actions of the ætheling Æthewold, nephew of King Alfred and cousin of King Edward the Elder, have already featured in earlier chapters but here it is appropriate to consider the issues associated with the disposition of land which led to the expression of Æthelwold’s grievances after Alfred’s death in 899.88 While associated with West Saxon royal authority, in part (as we have seen) ‘public’ authority, Æthelwold’s grievances concerning landholding also lay in the familial history of the generations of the later ninth century and thus reveal something of the focus on landholding that might drive rebellion in this period. Although Jinty Nelson highlights the strong potential for the division of Alfred’s kingdom between his sons, it should be noted that her suggestion was based on Alfred’s will, which related to family booklands rather than other royal lands, which seem to have been what can only be described as customary in nature.89 Even if, as Nelson suggests, Alfred kept his cards to his chest as much as possible, the apparent indivisibility of Alfred’s Wessex may highlight Æthelwold’s frustrations prior to 899 and indeed after that date. A great deal of work has been undertaken on Alfred’s family in recent decades,90 laying out the relevant details shows of Aquitaine’, p. 133. R. Collins, ‘Pippin I and the Kingdom of Aquitaine’, in Charlemagne’s Heir: New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious, ed. P. Godman and R. Collins (Oxford, 1990) pp. 363–89 makes more relative independence of the kingdom which Pippin II inherited, noting the significance of support for Pippin II in the march centred on Toulouse, ‘forcibly annexed’ by Charles the Bald in 844 (p. 373). 88 The following discussion develops themes first discussed in my paper, ‘Politics of Rebellion’, pp. 55–61. 89 J. L. Nelson, ‘Reconstructing a Royal Family: Reflections on Alfred, from Asser, Chapter 2’, in People and Places in Northern Europe, 500–1600, ed. Wood and Lund, pp. 47–66, at p. 63. On the distinctions between types of lands, see Lavelle, Royal Estates, and P. Wormald, ‘On þa Wæpnedhealfe: Kingship and Royal Property from Æthelwulf to Edward the Elder’, in Edward the Elder, ed. Higham and Hill, pp. 264–79. 90 See, e.g., A. Williams, ‘Some Notes and Considerations on Problems Connected with the English Royal Succession, 860–1066’, ANS, 1 (1979 for 1978), pp. 144– 67, 225–33, at pp. 148–9; D. N. Dumville, ‘The Ætheling: A Study in Anglo-Saxon Constitutional History’, ASE, 8 (1979), pp. 1–33; Wormald, ‘On þa Wæpnedhealfe’; B. Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, in Edward the Elder, ed. Higham and Hill, pp. 25–39; Stafford, ‘Succession and Inheritance’; Abels, ‘Royal Succession’. For a picture of

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 163

the politics of ensuring succession from Alfred to his son and, ultimately, why, like many Carolingian malcontents seen elsewhere in this volume, Æthelwold probably felt aggrieved at being passed over. The evidence indicates that the denial of land was not just about being denied the West Saxon throne but also about Æthelwold’s status within his family. Admittedly, the two issues were essentially inseparable but that very inseparability helps us to understand the landed motivations at the heart of an early medieval rebellion. Alfred’s biographer, Asser, is emphatic regarding the succession to the kingdom after the death of Æthelred I – Alfred’s elder brother and Æthelwold’s father – in 871. As Asser repeatedly points out (on three occasions), Alfred had agreed with Æthelred to become, and was recognised as, secundarius, a term not previously used for Anglo-Saxon succession and which may be translated as ‘heir apparent’.91 Although with the unprecedented danger posed by Vikings in 871 these had been extraordinary circumstances which required an undisputed succession, Asser’s emphasis on Alfred’s apparent capacity for rule as the designated heir to the kingdom nonetheless reflects sensitivity on the subject of Alfred’s succession. Asser was writing on this in the 890s, presumably with one eye upon the presence of Æthelwold (and possibly his elder brother) in Wessex, and he shared his patron’s concern for their possible threat to a patrilineal succession for Alfred’s son, Edward.92 We might reasonably assume from his precedence in the will that Æthelhelm was the elder brother93 and that Æthelwold had been too young to be throneworthy in 871; in 899, Æthelwold, presumably by then the surviving son of Æthelred I, would have had a suitable claim.94 Æthelwold’s royal succession complicated by what are perceived as potential tensions amongst Alfred’s own agnatic kin, see Nelson, ‘Reconstructing a Royal Family’, esp. pp. 63–4. Simon Keynes’ extensive notes on Alfred’s will, in Alfred the Great: Asser’s Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources, ed. S. D. Keynes and M. Lapidge (Harmondsworth, 1983), pp. 313–26, are also important. 91 Asser, chs 29, 38, and 42, pp. 23–4, 29, 42 (trans. pp. 77, 79, and 80–1). See Dumville, ‘Ætheling’, pp. 1–2 and 24. 92 Asser, ch. 42, pp. 32–4 (trans. pp. 80–1). Stafford, ‘Succession and Inheritance’, pp. 258–9. See also Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, pp. 29–31. 93 S 1507 (AD 871×99). For a discussion of the codicil to Alfred’s will, and an edition of the will, see S. M. Miller (ed.), Charters of the New Minster, Winchester, AngloSaxon Charters, 9 (Oxford, 2001), pp. 3–12; trans. Alfred the Great, ed. Keynes and Lapidge, pp. 173–8, 313–26. 94 Dumville ‘Ætheling’, p. 3.

164  ❧   pl aces of contested power

mother, Wulfthryth, as both Barbara Yorke and Pauline Stafford have noted, was recorded as regina, i.e. as a consecrated queen, in a charter of Æthelred I, something which Alfred’s wife (and Edward’s mother) Ealhswith, never was.95 Æthelwold’s sole appearance is in the witness list of an Anglo-Saxon charter, probably from the 890s: Æthelhelm, the elder son, is not there – presumably he was dead by then – but both Æthelwold and Alfred’s son Edward were on the charter. Both are filii regis but Æthelwold receives precedence. This may be a rarity, belying an otherwise obscured importance – at least, as will be suggested below, on a regional basis – during the reign of Alfred.96 However, much had been done to assert Alfred’s agnatic kin at the expense of the descendants of Æthelred I. Again, I follow Stafford and Yorke in noting Asser’s comments on the notion that West Saxon kings’ wives had never been known as queens. Although Asser concedes that it was a ‘disputed and infamous’ (controversiam, immo infamiam) and ‘perverse and detestable custom’ (perversa et detestabilis consuetudo), these comments were presumably made in response to the potential threat posed by Æthelred and Wulfthryth’s sons to the succession of Alfred’s agnatic kin.97 The division of lands in King Æthelwulf ’s will, recorded in King Alfred’s own will at the end of the ninth century, made Alfred the legal heir of the lands of his elder brother, Æthelred, an agreement made at the otherwise unidentified Swinbeorg. Alfred’s claim to the right to allocate these lands agreed – the will is careful to state – at an assembly at Langandene after Æthelred’s death, shows his royal succession. Alfred’s designation of these lands to his eldest son, Edward, was thus an

95 S

340 (AD 868); Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, p. 31; Stafford, ‘Succession and Inheritance’, p. 259. 96 S 356 (AD 871×99); Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, p. 31, following S. D. Keynes, ‘The West Saxon Charters of King Æthelwulf and his Sons’, EHR, 109 (1994), pp. 1109–49, at 1137–9, favours an 890s date for this charter, suggesting that this was evidence of Æthelwold’s senior ranking; cf. Nelson, ‘Reconstructing a Royal Family’, p. 63, who favours a date ‘not many years after 871’ on the basis of the charter’s witness list. 97 Asser, chs 13–15, pp. 10–14 (trans. pp. 70–2). Stafford, ‘Succession and Inheritance’, pp. 259–64; Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, p. 31; cf. Nelson, ‘Reconstructing a Royal Family’, pp. 54–6, who suggests that here Asser was conscious of Alfred’s mother’s unconsecrated status (although it should be said that neither interpretation need exclude the other).

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 165

Figure 15. Lands bequeathed in the late ninth-century will of King Alfred to his nephews, the sons of King Æthelred I. (Positioning of estates after Alfred the Great, ed. Keynes and Lapidge; shire boundaries are pre-1974.)

indication of Edward’s intended succession, despite the relative seniority of Æthelred I’s offspring.98 Edward had been crowned as Alfred’s successor during the old king’s lifetime. Simon Keynes has suggested that the signature of Edward as rex, alongside his own father’s designation as rex Saxonum, on a Kentish single-sheet charter’s witness list, may indicate that just as with his apprenticeship in military experience, Edward was being allowed experience of kingship in a region of the West Saxon kingdom.99 In the manner of a Louis or a Charles, this followed Carolingian precedent, and a king’s role in his successor’s coronation had the added bonus of ensuring an oath of loyalty for the designated successor while the ruler was still alive. (Perhaps under these circumstances it may

98 Yorke,

‘Edward as Ætheling’, p. 30 and, on Edward’s birth between c.874 and 877, pp. 25–6. On land and succession, see also Wormald, ‘On þa Wæpnedhealfe’, pp. 268–70. 99 S. D. Keynes, ‘The Control of Kent in the Ninth Century’, EME, 2 (1993), pp. 111–32, S 350 (AD 898). See also Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, pp. 31–3. For Edward’s military experience, see Æthelweard, Chronicon, pp. 49–50.

166  ❧   pl aces of contested power

also be significant that Edward could count most upon the support of the men of Kent at the battle of the ‘Holme’, a campaign discussed in chapter 8.) Nonetheless, evident complications show that succession was a contentious issue and the familial descent of land was at the heart of this. The first part of King Alfred’s will seems to indicate that a previous version had been disputed at the behest of Alfred’s young kinsmen (mægcild), presumably the sons of the dead Æthelred I – ‘both the elder [Æthelhelm] and the younger [Æthelwold]’ (oððe yldran oððe gingran). Alfred asserts that this was resolved at the Langandene assembly.100 As a result of that assembly, convened before the late ninth-century date of the charter recording Edward as rex, the surviving will reflected a concession by Alfred to the wishes of the dead King Æthelred, who evidently intended that his own sons would inherit lands which he had inherited from Æthelwulf. As ‘bookland’ (i.e. land held by right of charter), there were necessary controls upon the descent of land within the family.101 The case in point is Alfred’s bequest of the estate at Steyning (Sussex) to Æthelwold, amongst just three estates earmarked for the ætheling (see Figure 15). Domesday Book indicates that Steyning had been a comparatively large estate102 and Saint Cuthman’s Church, Steyning, may have been a minster church before the ninth century. That dedication, to a saint with an arguably West Saxon name, is noteworthy here, particularly as the name element suggests a link to Cuthburg, Ine’s sister and founder of the Dorset estate and minster of Wimborne.103 The Annals of St Neots, written in the twelfth century but arguably using an otherwise lost version of the AngloSaxon Chronicle, record Steyning as the burial place of King Æthelwulf, the great patriarch of the West Saxon royal family.104 It is not quite clear why if Æthelwold was, as seems likely, the younger of Æthelred’s sons, he, rather 100 S

1507. Miller, Charters of the New Minster, p. 4 (trans. Keynes and Lapidge, pp. 174–5). 101 Wormald, ‘On þa Wæpnedhealfe’, p. 270. 102 It is assessed in 1066 at just over 99 hides of land in total: DB Sussex 5:2 (fol. 17b); 13:10 (fol. 28a). 103 J. Blair, ‘Saint Cuthman, Steyning and Bosham’, Sussex Archaeological Collections, 135 (1997), 173–92. I am grateful to Barbara Yorke for pointing out that Cuthman’s name may have been related to the West Saxon royal family. Cuthburg’s role in founding Wimborne was recorded in ASC 718: see S. Foot, Veiled Women, Volume II: Female Religious Communities in England, 871–1066 (Aldershot 2000), pp. 233–6. 104 The Annals of St Neots with Vita prima sancti neoti, ed. D. N. Dumville and M. Lapidge, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition 17 (Cambridge, 1985), p. 51.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 167

than his older brother, should have been set to receive his grandfather’s burial place, but Steyning was evidently important. Although, as Pauline Stafford suggests, Æthelwulf ’s son Æthelbald had probably relegated his father’s posthumous status by having him buried at Steyning,105 it is unlikely, as Wormald pointed out, that Alfred would have been willing to give away his father’s resting place.106 Any importance associated with Steyning may have been deliberately reduced during Alfred’s reign. If Alfred’s hand was forced by customary tenure, he was sticking to the letter if not the spirit of the fraternal agreement. Though following Æthelred’s wishes by bequeathing it to Æthelwold, he was denying the place its significance: the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s late ninth-century account records that Æthelwulf ’s body ‘lies at Winchester’ (liþ æt Wintan ceastre), indicating that it had been moved from its original site.107 Evidently, by the time Æthelwold looked set to receive it, Steyning was no longer such an impressive bequest.108 The other two estates bequeathed by Alfred to Æthelwold, at Godalming and Guildford, were in Surrey and, though significant in Domesday Book, do not compare too well with the generosity of bequests to most other members of Alfred’s family.109 Eashing, bequeathed to Æthelhelm and close to Æthelwold’s Godalming estate, was recorded in the early tenth-century Burghal Hidage. The establishment of a fortification there suggests that this was commensurate with a policy, observed by Robin Fleming in 1985, of 105 Stafford,

‘Succession and Inheritance’, p. 258; Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, p. 30. For the rebellion, Asser, ch. 12 (trans. p. 70). 106 Wormald, ‘On þa Wæpnedhealfe’, p. 270. Stafford, ‘Succession and Inheritance’, p. 258, also notes that moving the body removed ‘any stigma attached to the burial’. See B. Yorke, ‘The Burial of Kings in Anglo-Saxon England’, in Kingship and Legislation in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. Owen-Crocker and Schneider, pp. 237–58. 107 ASC 855. 108 Note Bishop Denewulf of Winchester’s complaints to Edward the Elder regarding the ‘stripped bare’ (aburod) state of land at Beddington gifted to the Bishop, which is indicative of an Alfredian capacity for gifting less-than-valuable lands: S 1444 (AD900×9). The closeness to Steyning of Beeding, bequeathed to Æthelwold’s brother Æthelhelm, might also be indicative of a former association between these two estates. 109 Godalming was valued at £25 TRE and hidated at 24 hides, with an appurtenant church at £4 and 3 hides; Guildford was a borough TRE (which was probably the successor to the fortification at nearby Eashing), with 75 hagae worth £18. 0s. 3d. DB Surrey 1:1a; 14 (fols 30a; 30d).

168  ❧  pl aces of contested power

treating all land in which the royal family had an interest as a resource which could be drawn on as a ruler saw fit. If Æthelhelm was dead in the 890s, perhaps Alfred or Edward took the opportunity to re-allocate the use of the land of the estate in the de novo establishment of a burh.110 Although as an ætheling of the royal family he may have expected to receive maintenance from other lands not in Alfred’s will, presumably including some of those lands designated as providing the ‘Farm of One Night’ in Domesday Book or any lands designated for æthelings,111 a marginalisation of Æthelwold seems to be shown in the distance of these bequeathed lands from the heart of power. Indeed, as we see from discussion of Æthelwold’s 902 campaign (chapter 8), the lands were also distant from Æthelwold’s own support base, which seems to have lain in western Wessex. While the east of the kingdom had been a place for the division of power during the reign of Æthelwulf (which explains why the nephews received lands here),112 Æthelwulf ’s burial at Steyning may thus have been, in part, intended as a mid ninth-century posthumous relegation reflective of the ‘otherness’ to this part of the kingdom perceived from a central West Saxon perspective.113 The Weald, on which Steyning lay, had been a place of exile for prominent members of the West Saxon royal family. Cædwalla, a ‘certain exile of noble descent’ (exul nobile genere) had been in the Weald and Chilterns before coming to the throne in 685, according to Stephen of Ripon,114 and Cynewulf, an eighth-century ruler later killed by Cyneheard (a figure with whom Æthelwold was unfavourably compared by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicler), drove Cyneheard’s brother King Sigeberht 110 R.

Fleming, ‘Monastic Lands and England’s Defence in the Viking Age’, EHR, 100 (1985), pp. 247–65; D. Hill, ‘Gazetteer of Burghal Hidage Sites’, in The Defence of Wessex: The Burghal Hidage and Anglo-Saxon Fortifications, ed. D. Hill and A. Rumble (Manchester, 1996), pp. 189–231, at pp. 200–1. It should be noted that the theory that burghal defences evolved in phases runs counter to the thesis that a system was developed in one fell swoop, c.879, argued by Jeremy Haslam in numerous articles, particularly ‘King Alfred and the Vikings: Strategies and Tactics 876–886 AD’, Anglo-Saxon Studies in Archaeology and History, 13 (2006), pp. 122–54. 111 See here Lavelle, ‘“Farm of One Night”’. Dumville, ‘Ætheling’, pp. 5–6; Wormald, ‘On þa Wæpnedhealfe’, p. 268. 112 See Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, p. 30. 113 Stafford, ‘Succession and Inheritance’, p. 258. For Sussex, see P. Brandon, ‘The South Saxon Andredesweald’, in The South Saxons, ed. P. Brandon (Chichester, 1978), pp. 138–59. 114 The Life of Bishop Wilfrid by Eddius Stephanus, ed. and trans. B. Colgrave (Cambridge, 1927; repr. 1985), ch. 42, pp. 84–5.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 169

into the Weald in 757 after he had ‘killed the ealdorman who stood by him longest’.115 One other factor should also be considered in terms of Æthelwold’s own position. If Æthelwold was making a bid for a greater share of power, if not the throne itself, his elder brother evidently was not. This would suggest that Æthelhelm had predeceased Alfred and therefore the lands in Alfred’s will bequeathed to Æthelhelm would have gone elsewhere, to any offspring or to some other party.116 Whether or not Æthelhelm had agreed to designate the future descent of any of these or other lands to his brother, Æthelwold, it was presumably in Alfred and Edward’s interests to prevent this. If Æthelwold was not due to receive his brother’s lands at the death of Alfred, then this too would have been a greater ignominy. Any loss of the control of lands designated for Æthelred’s kin meant a lack of a powerbase and standing, whether or not Æthelwold wished to make a claim for the throne itself. There is a remarkable parallel here with the ‘certain allods’ of Queen Eadgifu of West Francia discussed above, which were an obvious casus belli. Such lands could be bequeathed and at a time when the expectation of bequest and recognition was important, for them to be withheld was a major snub.117 With the pressure ratcheted up against any claim for kingship which could be made by the ætheling, it is possible to understand why Æthelwold acted after Alfred’s death. Rebellion here seems to have been motivated by a combination of desperation and the opportunity offered by interregnum.118 In common with the actions of Pippin II of Aquitaine, nephew of Charles the Bald, in the 830s–60s; Liudolf of Suabia, son of Otto I, in the German Reich in 953–4; and indeed Æthelwold’s uncle Æthelbald in his seizure of power from his father in Wessex in 855–6, Æthelwold’s actions stemmed from 115 ‘[O]fslog

þone aldormon þe him lengest wunode.’ ASC 757. For the unfavourable comparisons in the Chronicle, see above, p. 54–5. The burial at Steyning is outside the tenth- to eleventh-century remit of Nicole Marafioti’s The King’s Body: Burial and Succession in Late Anglo-Saxon England (Toronto, 2014), but she provides a useful consideration of the themes of the geograpical control of a royal body and the status conferred by it. 116 These lands were Aldingbourne (Sussex), Compton (Sussex), Crondall (Hants.), Beeding (Sussex), ?Eastbourne (Sussex), Thunderfield (Surrey), and Eashing (Surrey); Beeding was close enough to Æthelwold’s estate at Steyning (see n. 108) and Eashing close to Guildford and, in particular, Godalming, to suggest a practice of sub-division from larger estates. 117 Above, pp. 157–60. 118 For the chronology of the rebellion, see chapter 8, below, pp. 288–98.

170  ❧  pl aces of contested power

grievances due to a denial of power, perhaps even a fear of being sidelined.119 While acting in common with other royal rebels, this was evidently not a good point of departure for Æthelwold in 899/900, although his actions were well grounded in the art of the possible. Contextualised in the landed politics of the West Saxon royal family, Æthelwold’s seizure of Wimborne emerges as a shrewd and politicised act, which drew attention to the legitimacy of his grievances. Denied control of any mausoleum for Æthelwulf, given that the dead king’s body had been moved since its burial at Steyning, Wimborne’s significance as the burial place of Æthelwold’s father, King Æthelred, must have had additional meaning to Æthelwold.120 Wimborne was arguably well connected with Æthelwold’s line of the royal family, which is probably why it, rather than Twinham, received the Chronicler’s attention as the main object of Æthelwold’s attentions in Wessex.121 The nunnery here had been founded in the early eighth century by a sister of King Ine (a king referred to in Alfred’s lawcode as Alfred’s kinsman), and thus had established connections with Alfred and Æthelred’s branch of the royal house and, as noted above, perhaps also to Saint Cuthman at Steyning.122 In referring to the mid tenth-century rebellion of Liudolf of Suabia, Stuart Airlie highlighted the similarities of these actions with those of Æthelwold. Liudolf ’s actions were enacted within a political landscape at Saalfeld in Thuringia, a place which was resonant with familial rebellion.123 While Widukind’s description of Saalfeld as a ‘dark

119 For

an expression of Pippin II’s sense of injustice after the loss of his right to succeed to Aquitaine in 838–9, see Astronomer, ch. 61, pp. 536–8 (trans. pp. 296–8). For Liudolf ’s rebellion, see Widukind, III.9, p. 109 (trans. p. 104). Asser, ch. 12, pp. 9–10 (trans. p. 70). 120 The role of a king’s body as sanctuary is discussed by N. Marafioti, ‘Seeking Alfred’s Body: Royal Tomb as Political Object in the Reign of Edward the Elder’, EME, 23 (2015), pp. 202–28. 121 For Wimborne’s connections with Æthelred, see P. H. Coulstock, The Collegiate Church of Wimborne Minster (Woodbridge, 1993), pp. 62–3; A. P. Smyth, King Alfred the Great (Oxford, 1995), p. 437; B. Yorke, Nunneries and the Anglo-Saxon Royal Houses (London, 2003), p. 75. 122 ASC 718. See Yorke, Nunneries, pp. 19–20 and Coulstock, Collegiate Church of Wimborne Minster, pp. 52–3. 123 Airlie, review of Nelson, Rulers and Ruling Families in Early Medieval Europe, at http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/paper/airlieSt.html (accessed 20 Dec. 2017).

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 171

place of counsels’ (loco consiliis funesto)124 may not be the first thing that leaps to mind as a description of Wimborne, it is worth adding that, like Liudolf after him, Æthelwold may have used the site to attempt to forge a different path from that of Alfred’s branch of the family, making use of family legitimacy but manipulating it in his own direction. After all, although an emphatically royal place, this was not Winchester, towards which the focus of Alfredian government and royal burial had been shifting during the course of the late ninth century.125 It is possible that the nun seized by Æthelwold, probably from Wimborne, was a member of a branch of the royal family whose control by Æthelwold demonstrated his legitimacy.126 Margaret Clunies Ross has suggested that the nun was taken by Æthelwold as a concubine, probably intending to show his authority over an important royal nunnery.127 However, with the Chronicle’s reference to the abduction (geniman) of this particular woman, there may be good grounds for agreeing with later chroniclers’ assumptions that Æthelwold had actually married her.128 If marriage were intended or 124 Widukind,

III.9, p. 109 (trans. p. 104; N.B. translation modified from Leyser, ‘Ritual, Ceremony and Gesture’, p. 201). 125 B. Yorke, ‘The Bishops of Winchester and the Kings of Wessex’, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, 40 (1984), pp. 61–70, at pp. 65–9. Marafioti, King’s Body, pp. 21–40 and pp. 53–4, discusses the development of the shift toward Winchester culminating in Edward the Elder’s use of New Minster as a mausoleum, noting the contrast with patterns of other burials in the tenth century. 126 See Yorke, Nunneries, pp. 74–5. The assumption that the woman was a nun from Wimborne was made by JW, vol. 2, pp. 356–7. Hart, The Danelaw, p. 512, n. 3; see also Foot, Veiled Women, Volume II, p. 236. Cf. A. Woolf, ‘View from the West: An Irish Perspective on West Saxon Dynastic Practice’, in Edward the Elder, ed. Higham and Hill, pp. 89–101, at pp. 98–9, for the tentative suggestion that Alfred’s daughter Ælfgifu, Abbess of Shaftesbury, was the abducted woman. The geography of the campaign discussed in chapter 8, below, suggests that Æthelwold’s arrival at Shaftesbury is unlikely, albeit not implausible. 127 M. Clunies Ross, ‘Concubinage in Anglo-Saxon England’, Past and Present, 108 (1985), pp. 3–34, at p. 32. 128 JW, vol. 2, s.a. 901, pp. 356–7. Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum, V.14, pp. 298–9. This would be commensurate with the argument of reframing adultery as abduction in central and later medieval England made by Caroline Dunn, in Stolen Women in Medieval England: Rape, Abduction, and Adultery, 1100–1500 (Cambridge, 2012). A later comparison is with the 1160 abduction of the abbess of Romsey, also related to the royal family: see L. D. Brown, ‘Inaudito exemplo: The

172  ❧  pl aces of contested power

even enacted, this may have been because marrying one’s own distant relation could draw the family group together and strengthen it, despite strong ecclesiastical disapproval.129 It is suggestive of the level of control which Alfred may have had over his nephew that Æthelwold needed the occasion of the old king’s death in order to gain a (?new) wife. A reaction against Wimborne’s association with Æthelwold’s branch of the royal family may have been behind the evident low profile of the nunnery at Wimborne after 900.130 A clause in Alfred’s lawcode, presumably made with one eye upon Carolingian experience (as well as the would-be Carolingian experience of eighth-century Mercia), had controlled the position of nuns in the West Saxon kingdom.131 This is perhaps alluded to by the Chronicle’s reference to the woman’s seizure ‘against the king’s permission and contrary to the bishops’ orders’ (butan þæs cinges leafe ⁊ ofer þara bisceopa gebodu). Under such circumstances, it would be logical if the woman had been placed in the nunnery for familial control.132 Abduction of Romsey’s Abbess’, in Gender and Status in the Medieval World, ed. K. Weikert and E. Woodacre, Historical Reflections/Reflexions Historiques special issue, 42:1 (Oxford, 2016), pp. 21–34. 129 This was similarly important in King Eadwig’s attempt to reunite with the kin of Æthelred, by marrying within the prohibited degrees of consanguinity in the midtenth century; see B. Yorke, ‘Æthelwold and the Politics of the Tenth Century’, in Bishop Æthelwold: His Career and Influence, ed. B. Yorke (Woodbridge, 1988), pp. 65–88, at pp. 76–7. This is considered in depth by Shashi Jayakumar in his thesis, ‘The Politics of the English Kingdom, c. 955–c. 978’ (Oxford Univ. unpublished DPhil thesis, 2001), pp. 23–7. Eadwig’s marriage, probably to the sister of Ealdorman Æthelweard, would have fallen well within the prohibited degrees of kinship; for these, see J. Goody, The Development of the Family and Marriage in Europe (Cambridge, 1983), pp. 134–46. 130 Yorke, Nunneries, pp. 74–5. See ASC A 962. 131 Alfred §8: Attenborough, Laws, pp. 68–9; EHD I, pp. 410–11. See also the eighthcentury report of the Papal legates to Pope Hadrian: Alcuini Epistolae, MGH Epistolae Karolini Ævi, 3, ed. E. Dümmler (Hannover, 1895), p. 25. For discussion of the control of royal women, see J. L. Nelson, ‘Women at the Court of Charlemagne: A Case of Monstrous Regiment?’, in Medieval Queenship, ed. J. C. Parsons (Stroud, 1993), pp. 43–60, at pp. 57–8, and P. Stafford, ‘Sons and Mothers: Family Politics in the Early Middle Ages’, in Medieval Women, ed. D. Baker (Oxford, 1978), pp. 96–7. 132 Cf. the confinement of the widow of the dead thegn Sigeferth at Malmesbury (admittedly not a female house) in ASC CDE 1015, who was later seized by a rebelling Edmund Ironside.

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 173

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s reference to the woman’s seizure is the second of two allusions to Æthelwold’s lack of permission. It also records that he did not have the permission of the king or his counsellors in his actions; it is perhaps telling that the later West Saxon (‘A’) manuscript of the Chronicle heightens the sense of transgression expressed in its exemplar (recorded in the other versions), as an act against the ‘will’ of the king and his counsellors. In the early tenth-century re-editing, it becomes an act undertaken without their permission, reflecting the importance attached to this issue.133 However, what the Chronicle does not acknowledge is that this was precisely because by his actions Æthelwold did not need permission. Like the disgruntled ætheling Edmund in Mercia a century later,134 and Charles the Bald’s similarly discontented son in 862, marriage without royal permission seems to have been a means of making a statement of independence.135 Nonetheless, for Æthelwold, Wimborne was arguably as important for being a royal estate as a royal nunnery. After all, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle referred to it, along with Twinham, as þone ham, a term which seems to have highlighted their significance as estate centres, places which could prove logistically beneficial for the attackers.136 By the eleventh century, Wimborne was recorded in Domesday Book as providing a ‘Farm of One Night’, at the centre of a cluster of estates in east Dorset, the name of one of whose elements, Wimborne St Giles, showed some continuity 133 ASC

A s.a. 901 (= 899/900); cf. BCDE MSS. CDE 1015; Stafford, ‘Reign of Æthelred II’, p. 36; C. Insley, ‘Politics and Kinship in Early Eleventh-Century Mercia’, Midland History, 25 (2000), pp. 28–42, at p. 34; D. McDermott, ‘Æthelinghood, Succession and Kingship in Late Anglo-Saxon England, with Specific Reference to Edmund II Ironside’ (Univ. of Winchester, unpublished PhD thesis [in prep. for publication], 2018). 135 For the case of the marriage of Young Charles in 862 (although at the encouragement of another noble, Stephen, son of Count Hugh), see AB 862, p. 58 (trans. pp. 99–100); see Nelson, Charles the Bald, pp. 201–2. See generally S. Kalifa, ‘Singularités matrimoniales chez les anciens germains: Le rapt et le droit de la femme a disposer d’elle-même’, Revue historique de droit français, 48 (1970), pp. 199–225. For a non-royal abduction, see ASC C 1046. 136 R. P. Abels, ‘English Logistics and Military Administration, 871–1066: The Impact of the Viking Wars’, in Military Aspects of Scandinavian Society in a European Perspective, AD 1–1300, ed. A. N. Jørgensen and B. L. Clausen (Copenhagen, 1997), pp. 257–65, at pp. 258–9. 134 ASC

174  ❧  pl aces of contested power

of connection.137 While being mindful of circular arguments in assuming Wimborne’s importance precisely because it was seized by Æthelwold, given the alienation of lands from what was evidently a large land unit and its reorganisation in the tenth and/ or eleventh centuries, it is likely that the organisation of the estate focused upon Wimborne had been of some antiquity for West Saxon rulers.138 Wimborne was not amongst that body of lands in Alfred’s will which Patrick Wormald has suggested were designated for family control.139 Its origins as a minster were important but Wimborne’s significance lay in its place in a relatively large contiguous estate unit among a number of similar lands designated by customary expectation for the maintenance of the royal household.140 As the night’s farm estates recorded in Domesday Book were not assessed in hides as late as the eleventh century, such a body of lands may never have been assessed in this manner. In view of its absence from the booklands of Alfred’s will, a good case can be made for Wimborne being part of the customary body of estates. Therefore we can hardly be surprised that Æthelwold was not bequeathed land at Wimborne by Alfred. If it 137 DB

Dors. 1:3 (fol. 75b). Lavelle, ‘“Farm of One Night”’, pp. 65–6. Cf. Coulstock, Collegiate Church of Wimborne Minster, pp. 63–4, for an interesting, though not altogether convincing, case for the royal tun seized by Æthelwold being a mile north-west in nearby Kingston Lacey, and thus entirely separate from the nunnery. For the topography of Wimborne, see C. C. Taylor, ‘Wimborne Minster’, Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, 89 (1968 for 1967), 168–70 and K. J. Penn, Historic Towns in Dorset, Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society Monograph Series, 1 (Dorchester, 1980), pp. 121–5. The evidence of ‘Kingston’ place-names as parts of networks of royal estates is addressed by Jill Bourne, who notes the link between Badbury and Kingston Lacy in The Place-name Kingston and Royal Power in Middle Anglo-Saxon England: Patterns, Possibilities and Purpose, BAR British Ser. 630 (Oxford, 2017), pp. 22 and 96–7; see also D. Probert, ‘Towards a Reassessment of “Kingston” Place-names’, Journal of the English Place-name Society, 40 (2008), pp. 7–22. 139 Wormald, ‘On þa Wæpnedhealfe’. 140 On the minster status of Wimborne, see Blair, Church in Anglo-Saxon Society, p. 302, who emphasises the minster origins of many later royal estates; for the significance of archaic land units and their relationship to ‘Farm of One Night’ lands recorded in Domesday Book without hidage assessments associated with them, see Lavelle, Royal Estates (p. 32 on Wimborne and its relationship with the Badbury hundred). 138 See

expressing and resisting lordship   ❧ 175

was not bookland but was customarily royal, Æthelwold’s seizure of the tun here could have been demonstrative of kingship itself – an issue which the Chronicler was evidently keen to play down.141 Thus Edward’s legitimacy had to be emphasised: in its record of Æthelwold’s break with the royal will, we see in the Chronicle a vernacular version of an action that later writers might refer to as contra regis uoluntatem. The Chronicler cited the witan (and, in the abduction of a nun, a bishop) as a party whose consent was ignored alongside that of ‘the king’ (i.e. Edward) in Æthelwold’s actions.142 The narrative of rebellion expressed by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle fitted a model of heroic behaviour appropriate to the expression of that vernacular record and thus Æthelwold was made to fit a negative reading of such behaviour.143 All the same, it should be emphasised that when they are analysed, the factors that led to Æthelwold’s actions give an indication of motivations that had a Carolingian context and were just as familiar on the European Continent as in ninth-century Wessex. ❧  ❧  ❧

Wessex and West Francia may have been kingdoms whose structures operated on different scales but the aspirations of rule and the regularisation of familial succession followed similar paths. There is a lot to be said about the Carolingian aspects of the control and the desire for property which characterised Æthelwold’s rebellion, just as there were similarities in the ways in which familial property determined some aspects of opposition to rulers and their agents in tenth-century Francia and late tenth- and early eleventh-century England. The parallels do not run simultaneously, however. Differences emerged where political developments took place at different times. As we will see in the following chapter, where fortresses developed in Francia as private spaces, in England many fortresses were characterised by their public

141 ASC 899/900 (quotation from MS A). See Foot, Veiled Women, Volume II, p. 236. 142 For

this phrase, see above, chapter 1, p. 47. ‘Representation of Early West Saxon History’, pp. 148–9. A recent study of the use of language to portray warfare in formulaic terms, including the representation of Æthelwold, is C. Konshuh, ‘Warfare and Authority in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, c. 891–924’ (Univ. of Winchester, unpublished PhD thesis [in prep. for publication], 2014). 143 Yorke,

176  ❧   pl aces of contested power

function (though note that there were public aspects even in Francia144), and thus the processes of rebellion did not parallel each other so closely again until we reach the middle years of the eleventh century.

144 C.

L. H. Coulson, ‘Fortresses and Social Responsibility in Late Carolingian France’, Zeitschrift für Archäologie des Mittelalters Jahrgang, 4 (1976), pp. 29–36.

Chapter Five

The Wind, Rain, and Storm May Enter but the King Cannot Fortresses and Aristocratic Opposition The case of Lincoln in the previous chapter shows how the holding of particular castles might be a key element in rebellion, and this chapter is specifically linked with the notion of the fortress as a defined space used in acts of opposition.1 The topic is well established, particularly in castle studies. Writers in the Anglo-Norman world of the eleventh and twelfth centuries tended to be pretty clear about the ways in which acts of opposition and the use of fortresses, specifically castles, were linked. Orderic Vitalis’ twelfthcentury commentary, probably stemming from a lost section of William of 1 The

chapter title is adapted from a speech by William Pitt the Elder, quoted in W. P. Brougham, Historical Sketches of Statesmen Who Flourished in the Time of George III (London, 3 vols, 1839–43), vol. 1, pp. 41–2: ‘The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter! – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!’ The use of this phrase owes much to Barbara Rosenwein’s discussion of the subject and its emergence in early modern and modern political discourse in Negotiating Space: Power, Restraint, and Privileges of Immunity in Early Medieval Europe (Ithaca, NY, 1999), pp. 184–212.

178  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Poitiers’ eleventh-century Gesta Guillelmi, on the different fighting strategies of the English and Normans, is a familiar refrain in studies of the period: To meet the danger the king rode to all the remotest parts of his kingdom and fortified strategic sites against enemy attacks. For the fortifications called castles by the Gauls were scarcely known in the English provinces, and so the English – in spite of their courage and love of fighting – could only put up a weak resistance to their enemies.2

The passage is directly referring to the Normans’ establishment of castles as structures used in the suppression of rebellion but numerous commentators have focused on the apparent English unfamiliarity with castles in this passage.3 Because the English did not have castles, Orderic – or rather William of Poitiers (his source for this part of the narrative) – surmised, their opposition to the king and his magnates was ineffective. They did not know how to counter castles, so the logic runs, nor, apparently, did they make use of them in their own rebellions. The axiomatic truth of the former point is clear if we think of the failed attempts to capture castles at York in 1068 and 1069,4 and there are few direct assaults on castles recorded in the years after the Conquest. Beside York, the failed 1069 assault by the men of Dorset and Somerset against Montacute Castle (Som.) may be, as Stuart Prior notes, a rare exception.5 While the places of most effective resistance to William were arguably those which could function as strongholds (albeit not specifically as castles), such as Exeter or Ely, rebels did not use those places to assert their opposition to William on a basis that could have allowed the negotiation of their individual lordship. While it was particularly relevant for Orderic to record William of Poitiers’ narrative on castle rebellion (or the lack of it) in the light of his knowledge 2 ‘Rex

igitur secessus regni prouidentius perlustrauit et opportune loca contra excursions hostium communiuit. Munitiones enim quas castella Galli nuncupant Anglicis prouinciis paucissime fuerant, et ob hoc Angli licet bellicosi fuerint et audaces ad resistendum tamen inimicis extiterant debiliores.’ OV, vol. 2, pp. 218–19. For Orderic’s use of WP at this point, see R. H. C. Davis’s and Marjorie Chibnall’s notes in their edition, p. xxxviii. 3 See e.g. N. J. G. Pounds, The Medieval Castle in England and Wales: A Social and Political History (Cambridge, 1990), pp. 7–8. 4 OV, vol. 2, pp. 223–4. 5 OV, vol. 2, pp. 192–3. Prior, A Few Well-Positioned Castles, pp. 100–5. The religious dimensions of this episode are discussed in chapter 7, below, p. 247.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 179

of twelfth-century campaigns in which the castle featured strongly in the representation of rebellion,6 William of Poitiers’ own position was significant. William had trained as a knight and had served as chaplain in the household of Duke William, and in his own time a castle would normally provide a focus for an act of rebellion.7 His narrative of the 1040s and 1050s is peppered with examples of the use of castles in opposition to the Duke: Brionne (dép. Eure), Alençon and Domfront (Orne), and of course Arques-la-Bataille (dép.Seine-Maritime) are the better-known examples.8 William of Poitiers’ contemporary and namesake, William of Jumièges, shows the manner in which the control of fortresses became perceived as an integral factor in the actions of rebels during the course of the eleventh century. Referring to Duke William II’s victory at Val-ès-Dunes and success against Guy of Brionne, William wrote that ‘after the fortresses had been destroyed everywhere no rebel dared to rise against him any more’ (euersis castellis ubique, nullus ultra ausus est contra eum rebellem animum detegere). Robert of Torigni may have recognised such a motif as he used the downfall of the fortresses of Brionne and Vatteville to describe a state of peace after the battle of Bourgthéroulde (1124).9 To this end, it is worth considering whether the lack of use of castles in rebellions against William after 1066 was less the result of a lack of ‘fortifications known as castles’ in pre-1066 England than the lack of rebellion by a stratum of lords whose status depended on possession of any form of private fortification that could be equated with castles. An indication of the way in which the castellation of England seems to have been built up in contemporary historical memory is provided by a similar sentiment on fortification by William of Jumièges (whose work both Orderic and William of Poitiers used). William notes the building of ‘powerful strongholds’ (tutissima castella) in ‘strategic sites’ (opportuna . . . loca) and the entrusting of them to 6 I

owe this observation to an unpublished paper by Aude Painchault, ‘Les châteaux normands de la première moitié du XIIe siècle dans l’œuvre d’Orderic Vital’, delivered at the International Medieval Congress, Leeds, 12 Jul. 2011. Bouet, ‘La contestation politique chez Orderic Vital’, does not focus on the use of castles in Orderic’s accounts of rebellion. 7 Davis, ‘William of Poitiers and his History of William the Conqueror’; for the significance of William of Poitiers’ military experience, Gillingham, ‘William the Bastard at War’, p. 142. 8 WP, I.9, pp. 10–13, I.15–19, pp. 20–9, II.24–27, pp. 35–43. See also GND, vol. 2, VII.4, p. 102–5, and VII.7–8, pp. 120–1. 9 GND, vol. 2, VII.7, pp. 122–3. VIII.22, pp. 236–7.

180  ❧  pl aces of contested power

garrisons and mercenaries. Here, referring, as Orderic does, to the response to Northumbrian rebellion c.1068, William of Jumièges highlights that the building of castella was a result of the king having ‘surveyed the less fortified places of the realm’ (regni immunita prouidissima dispositione perlustrans).10 It should be noted that William’s words imply that in contrast to immunita places, some sites were munita. Were these all fortified towns, burhs, or were some pre-Conquest lords’ fortified strongholds considered among them? Writing in eleventh-century Normandy, William of Jumièges might well have thought of both in this context. Whatever the case, aristocratic rebellion in England during that brief phase of action between 1067 and 1071 depended on collective action and, often, mobility.11 In those years, sitting in a fortified hall would have achieved little. Elsewhere in our period, the contestation of the ‘private’ fortifications is fundamental to the development of lordship, often tied up with manifestations of familial identity. It is this process, becoming more pronounced during the eleventh century, which is the focus for discussion in the first part of this chapter. This dynamic includes cases of control by noble women such as Emma, wife of the rebellious Ralph de Gael, who held Norwich Castle in her husband’s absence in the ‘Earls’ Revolt’ of 1075.12 Such an emergence of the expression of the legitimacy of family identity through the female side of a house was unlikely to have been an issue particular to the conditions of the eleventh century. The evidence for the importance of women in the running of noble households reaches further back, to the role of the mid ninth-century Septimanian noblewoman Dhuoda in charge of family estates and the representation of domestic authority in keys suspended from châtelaines in high-status female burials in the Viking world.13 What is significant here is that with a more widespread development of fortified manorial centres in north-western Europe during the eleventh century, the 10 GND,

vol. 2, VII.21, pp. 182–3. discussion of mobility in English rebellion on the eve of the Norman Conquest, see below, chapter 8, pp. 279–5. 12 ASC DE 1075; curiously, however, although her return to Brittany with her husband is mentioned in the account, OV, vol. 2, pp. 316–18, does not name her, referring only to the castle’s ‘loyal garrison’ (fides custodibus). 13 For an overview of Scandinavian female burials, see J. Jesch, Women in the Viking Age (Woodbridge, 1991), pp. 9–35, with a brief consideration of the significance of keys at 25–6; V. L. Garver, Women and Aristocratic Culture in the Carolingian World (Ithaca, NY, 2012), pp. 170–223, deals with female estate management. 11 For

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 181

holding of private fortifications allowed rebellion to take place in the ‘private’ space as a manifestation of lordly and familial identity. Thus, women played a direct role as actors in these struggles in a way in which they had not previously been able to do. The chapter closes with a consideration of the links between the familial landed interests in Upper Normandy of William of Talou – also remembered as William of Arques – uncle of Duke William II of Normandy, and the role of the castle of Arques-la-Bataille in William’s actions, perceived by some as rebellion, against his nephew c.1053. To an extent, the forces which drove William as a member of the ruling family are similar to the forces behind the rebellion of the West Saxon ætheling over a century earlier. If, like Robert I’s bid against his brother, Richard III, William of Arques had succeeded against his nephew he would have been able to use his bid to emphasise his legitimacy. In that respect, the political ranking within a ruling kindred meant that William (like Æthelwold) was not directly representative of patterns of a rebellion of a party who was ‘just’ a magnate or noble against a lord. All the same, examining the hyperlegitimacy of his actions and the evidence of the relevance of his own lordship in context remains valuable for themes in this chapter.

Building, seizing and (occasionally) razing castles: opposition and its suppression A comparative consideration of England and France is particularly significant in an assessment of the place of private residences in rebellion because of the nature of the developments of lordly residences as fortified places in both areas during the period, especially the eleventh and twelfth centuries. At the heart of the issue is the vexed nature of the ‘castle’ itself. A comment by the arch-Normanist Allen Brown is relevant to note here, as a statement of his position on the origins of the castle, made with characteristic verve in an article from 1969. According to Brown, there were no castles of any significance in England before 1066. Brown pointed out that there is no indication of the use of castles in the Godwine family’s rebellion in 1052. If there were, he asserts, we would surely have heard of them as we do in similar pre-1066 rebellions in Normandy.14 14 R.

A. Brown, ‘An Historian’s Approach to the Origins of the Castle in England’, Archaeological Journal, 126 (1970 for 1969), pp. 131–48, at p. 140. See below,

182  ❧  pl aces of contested power

While the language of the mid eleventh-century manuscripts of the AngloSaxon Chronicle means that the rarity of reference in them to such things as castles can be a productive way of addressing the Chroniclers’ interests, the wider point raised by Allen Brown half a century ago remains relevant. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s general silence on castles (including in many annals relating to the period immediately after the Norman Conquest)15 stands in contrast to William of Jumièges’ comment on the explosion of castle-building and its eventual suppression during the rebellious times of the minority of Duke William II in Normandy. Indeed, the silence in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle on castles through much of the eleventh century is heightened by the Peterborough author of the Chronicle’s later take on the use of castles by lords as places of local oppression in East Anglia, exemplifying English unrest in the mid twelfth century.16 Although David Bates noted in 1982 that the archaeological evidence of known early eleventh-century castles did not match William of Jumièges’ statement (an assessment which still held up at the start of the twenty-first century),17 the Consuetudines et iusticiae, attributed in the late eleventh century to the reign of William the Conqueror, famously records that this was (retrospectively at least) perceived as an issue:

chapter 8, pp. 281–5, for the relevant actions in the Godwine family’s rebellion, recorded differently in the various manuscripts of ASC s.a. 1052. 15 The castle at Gerberoy is only mentioned in the E MS entry for 1079, though not the D MS; by contrast, this is an event which is framed by Anglo-Norman Chroniclers in terms of the castle (OV, vol. 3, pp. 108–11; JW, vol. 3, s.a.1079). 16 GND, vol. 2, VII.1, pp. 92–3 (note also van Houts’ editorial note at p. 93, commenting on William’s discreet silence on the identities of the protagonists); cf. William of Jumièges’ account of the unrest prior to Val-ès-Dunes, which uses similar motifs, in vol. 2, VII.7, pp. 120–1; ASC E 1137. William of Newburgh has a later, albeit retrospective, reading of events: ‘Numerous castles had been raised in individual areas through the eager action of factions, and in England there were in a sense as many kings, or rather tyrants, as there were lords of castles.’ ([C]astella quippe per singulas provincias studio partium credbra surrexerant; erantque in Anglia quodammodo tot reges vel potius tyranni quot domini castellorum). History of English Affairs Book I, ed. and trans. P. G. Walsh and M. J. Kennedy (Warminster, 1988), pp. 98–9. 17 Bates, Normandy Before 1066, pp. 114–15. A.-M. Flambard Héricher, ‘Fortifications de terre et residences en Normandie’, Château Gaillard 20: Études de castellologie médiévale. Actes du colloque internationale de Gwatt (Suisse) 2–10 septembre 2000, ed. P. Ettel, A.-M. Flambard Héricher, and T. E. McNeill, 20 (Caen, 2002), pp. 87–100.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 183 No-one in Normandy may make a fosse in open country except that which one could have been able to throw earth from the bottom without a shovel [scabello], nor set there a palisade [palacium] except in one line [regula] and that without battlements [propugnaculis] and walkways [alatoriis]. And no one might make a show of strength [facere fortitudinem] on rock or on an island, and no one might raise a castle [castellum] in Normandy, and no one in Normandy might withhold the possession of his castle from the lord of Normandy if he wished to take it into his hand.18

The Consuetudines et iusticiae is a source with many problems relating to its origins and meaning19 but in the case of this fourth clause, it does show that the practical issue of resistance to authority could be connected directly to the symbolic demonstration of independent or at least semi-autonomous authority.20 Wace’s description of the preparations made against Duke William prior to the battle of Val-ès-Dunes cites the establishment of ditches and the raising of palisades in the same order as the Consuetudines et iusticiae.21 Though it is presumably logical to perceive the construction of castles in this manner from the outside in,22 the coincidence of the two sources (albeit without sharing precise terminology) may imply that a formula was drawn on which could show a castle had been constructed in direct contravention of ducal authority. 18 ‘Nulli

licuit in Normannia fossatum facere in planam terram nisi tale quod de fundo potuisset terram iactare superius sine scabello, et ibi non licuit facere palicium nisi in una regula et illus sine propugnaculis et alatoriis. Et in rupe vel in insula nulli licuit facere fortitudinem, et nulli licuit in Normannia castellum facere, et licuit in Normannia fortitudinem castelli sui vetare domino Normannie si ipse eam in manu sua voluit habere’; Haskins, Norman Institutions, p. 282; trans. modified from R. A. Brown, The Norman Conquest, Documents of Medieval History, 5 (London, 1984), p. 152. 19 A recent discussion is provided in Hagger, Norman Rule, pp. 441–61. 20  M. Bennett, ‘Violence in Eleventh-Century Normandy: Feud, Warfare and Politics’, in Violence and Society in the Early Medieval West, ed. G. Halsall (Woodbridge, 1998), pp. 127–39, at pp. 138–9. 21 Wace, III.3639–40, vol. 2, p. 21 (trans. p. 131). 22 This is an order of construction shared with Walter of Thérouanne’s description of castle-building in the Life of Bishop John of Thérouanne, written after 1130: R. Higham and P. Barker, Timber Castles (London, 1992), p. 118, citing Vita Iohannis Episcopi Teruanensis auct: Waltero Archidiacono, ed. O. Holder-Egger, in MGH Scriptores in folio, 15.2 (Hannover, 1888), p. 1145.

184  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Allen Brown’s translation of the definition of the depth of a ditch in the Consuetudines et iusticiae, as ‘a shovel’s throw in depth’ is, admittedly, more elegant than the one I provide above, but the actual text is more restrictive. Using a shovel to dig the fosse defined a prohibited fortification, and the attention to this detail shows a real concern for what could be built and what action undertaken upon a place that could be defined as a contravention of ducal authority. Furthermore, defining a prohibition on the use of an island and its natural defences as a place for a show of fortitudo may have been informed by the experience of Count Guy at his castle of Brionne c.1051 and perhaps even the English rebels’ use of the natural refuge of Ely in 1070–1 – though, as we have seen, the latter was not specifically a ‘castle’. Prohibitions on using islands may have been a logical way of restricting a potential circumvention of the ban on building big ditches.23 But finding a suitable island was in itself a poor substitute for the sheer presence of a castle building. Although military historians are understandably exercised by the military functions of castles, the demonstrative nature of the act of building the castle defined lordship, often in contradistinction to ducal or royal authority.24 There was a visual and demonstrative element in the process of building because it used the labour of what was probably a local population and the continued maintenance defined the control of that population even after the castle had been erected.25 In this respect, it is interesting that the Consuetudines et iusticiae emerges as a document around the time that the debates about what constituted ducal authority in Normandy and what constituted royal authority in France became issues with significant consequences. Although hardly unnecessary before 1066, ducal authority needed to be protected at a point when a resurgent king of France was able to exert authority through rebellion in Normandy by Robert Curthose. Furthermore, if the late eleventh-century dating can be trusted in any way, 23 Brown

translates ‘facere fortitudinem’ as ‘make a fortification’ but, given the context, the building of the fortification was given less emphasis in this clause than the use of the naturally fortified place as a stronghold. WP, I.9, pp. 11–13, deals with Guy of Brionne’s fortification, which was on an island on the Risle prior to the building of the later castle – the ruins of which remain today – on a hill overlooking the town; on Ely, ASC DE 1071, and above, pp. 12–16. 24 See generally here Liddiard, Castles in Context. 25 For a useful assessment of the labour involved in constructing a range of castles in eastern England between the eleventh and twelfth centuries, see Pounds, Medieval Castle in England and Wales, pp. 17–19.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 185

as evidence of a ducal need to establish restrictions on castle-building, the Consuetudines et iusticiae may indicate that the number of castles in early eleventh-century Normandy had been comparatively limited.26 If the control of castellation and indeed even the occupation of a defensible site was meant to be demonstrative of comital, ducal, or royal authority from at least the mid eleventh century (earlier, if we include the tenthcentury actions of Fulk of Anjou in such an assessment27) and permission was thus required, the act of raising a castle or of modifying it in some way often became an action which could be perceived as a rebellion. Precisely because it contested the authoritarian right to establish a castle and determine who else could do so. In many cases castle- or fortress-building was a deliberate action which was the quickest way to demonstrate discontent with a higher authority. The literature on this subject is long and well-established, linked to issues of ‘feudalisation’ and encellulement (‘cellularisation’) as well as the way in which the castle might function as the centre of a lord’s estate.28 Because of that function, the control of castles played a key role in rulers’ strategies against rebellious members of their nobility, as well as in the strategies of rebellion of those nobles themselves.29 The famous Anglo-Norman example is that of the actions of Robert de Bellême, son of Roger of Montgomery, against his royal lord King Henry I with the fortification of the castle at

26 See

Flambard Héricher, ‘Fortifications de terre et residences en Normandie’, for a consideration of the rudimentary nature of these early fortifications. 27 A maximal assessment of castle-building as part of a grand strategy is provided by B. S. Bachrach, Fulk Nerra, the Neo-Roman Consul 987–1040: A Political Biography of the Angevin Count (Berkeley, CA, 1994); Creighton, Early European Castles, pp. 66–73, addresses the architectural evidence of castles of early Anjou. 28 Two of the ‘classic’ works on this subject of ‘feudalisation’ are R. Fossier, L’Enfance de l’Europe (Xe–XIIe siècles): Aspects économiques et sociaux (Paris, 2 vols, 1982), who develops the notion of encellulement as a concept which emerged through lordly initiatives, and J.-P. Poly and E. Bournazel, La mutation féodale, Xe–XIIe siècles (Paris, 1980), trans. C. Higgett as The Feudal Transformation, 900–1200 (New York, 1991); cf. the new orthodoxy (of sorts) presented by Dominique Barthélemy, in La mutation de l’an mil. From the perspective of considering castles as estate centres, see the chapter on this subject in Creighton, Castles and Landscapes, pp. 89–109. 29 See R. Hulme, ‘Henry I and Norman Castles: The Rebellion of 1123–24 and Aspects of Early Twelfth Century Warfare’, The Castle Studies Group Journal, 20 (2006–7), pp. 216–23.

186  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Bridgnorth, Shropshire, ‘compromising the peace of Henry’s kingdom’.30 Hollister characterised the relations between the king and the powerful Montgomery family in terms of the long-lasting animosity of near-equals,31 though he observed that it is the Welsh Brut y Tywysogyon which adds the detail that Bridgnorth castle had been erected without royal permission – a key charge levelled against Robert.32 This tipped tensions stemming from personal rivalry to an act that could be perceived as rebellion against royal authority. Arguably, the declaration against Robert and his subsequent flight made the castle a casus belli. Although Hollister noted the way in which the contemporary sources recording the campaigns of the spring and summer of 1102 differ in the details of the course of campaigns, the Montgomery family castles, Bridgnorth in particular, were key to Robert de Bellême’s actions. John of Worcester’s account of the plundering expedition led by Robert and his brother Arnulf into Staffordshire suggests that the family endowment of Marcher lands was central to their status.33 The actions of Henry I against his magnates suggest that Henry perceived that actions like those of the Montgomery family, if left unchecked, had the potential to be repeated across his realm. Making an apology for something which the king ‘sometimes’ (nonnunquam) did, the twelfth-century additions to the Gesta Normannorum Ducum by Robert of Torigni refer to the king’s seizure of magnates’ castles, with the subsequent fortification of them ‘as if they were his own by surrounding them with walls and towers’ (uelut proprias ambitu murorum et turribus nonnunquam muniebat).34 The attribution of the actions to a desire to prevent the neighbours of Normandy supporting rebellious magnates’ wishes to ‘disturb the peace of the realm’ (contra pacem sui imperii agerent) seems, as Robert implies, sensible enough when one considers that those Norman magnates had vested interests beyond Norman borders which could result in the interference of neighbours within Normandy.35 Nonetheless, in curtailing the power of his rivals, one might 30 Hollister,

Henry I, p. 154. Henry I, pp. 154–6. 32 Brut y Tywysogion or The Chronicle of the Princes Peniarth MS. 20, trans. and ed. T. Jones (Cardiff, 1952), p. 23; see also OV, vol. 6, pp. 20–3, and discussion in Hollister, Henry I, p. 157. 33 JW, vol. 3, s.a. 1102. See Hollister, Henry I, p. 158. 34 GND, vol. 2, VIII.31, pp. 252–3. Van Houts translates ‘nonnunquam’ as ‘often’. 35 These issues have been amply demonstrated in western Normandy by Thompson, Power and Border Lordship in Medieval France, in the eleventh-century Pays de Caux 31 Hollister,

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 187

say that a ‘Bissonic’ element of personal authority masquerading as public protection lay not far beneath the surface in the king-duke’s actions. Indeed, if Robert reflected a contemporary sentiment, it may be revealing of Henry’s unease here that Robert uses the term ‘imperii’ to relate to the realm, as if to make a show that a higher power than personal authority was invoked. Such actions are echoed with a similar sense of legality by William of Malmesbury, who noted words attributed to Archbishop Hugh of Rouen, advising on the case of the arrest of Bishop of Salisbury in 1139. The archbishop noted the rightful possession of castles by lords – including ecclesiastical lords – but added that ‘certainly, as it is a time of uncertainty, all the chief men, in accordance with the custom of other peoples, ought to hand over the keys of their fortifications to the disposal of the king [voluntati regis], whose duty it is to fight for the peace of all’.36 Two generations earlier, we see the fortification of the castle of Alençon in the early eleventh century by the Bellême ancestor of Robert, recorded by William of Jumièges in his mid eleventh-century version of the Gesta Normannorum Ducum.37 Given that William of Bellême may have been able to use Domfront, further west along the Norman frontier and at that point outside Norman ducal control, to supplement his power in the region, his act of fortification at Alençon may have been less a direct act of rebellion against Duke Robert of Normandy than a declaration of independence. The humiliating response by a victorious Robert, which we saw in chapter 1, forcing William and his men to exit the castle with saddles on their backs, indicates that Robert took the act of fortification as a direct affront to his authority. William of Jumièges gives a mid eleventh-century spin to his reading of the events, adding that William of Bellême ‘held’ the castle ‘as a sworn benefice’ (beneficii tenebat iurii). This may be evidence of the manner in which the relations between the duke of Normandy and the counts of Bellême had changed by the middle of the eleventh century. At the start of the century, and surrounding regions by Bauduin, Première Normandie, and in the twelfth century by Daniel Power in The Norman Frontier in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries (Cambridge, 2004). 36 ‘[C]erte, quia suspectum est tempus, secundum morem aliarum gentium, optimates omnes claues munitionum suarum debent uoluntati regis contradere, qui pro omnium pace debet militare.’ WM, HN, II.29, pp. 58–9. On the legality and repercussions of the events of 1139, see K. Yoshitake, ‘The Arrest of the Bishops in 1139 and its Consequences’, JMH, 14:2 (1988), pp. 97–114. 37 GND, vol. 2, VI.4, pp. 48–51. See above, pp. 75 and 79.

188  ❧   pl aces of contested power

William de Bellême had been a less powerful neighbour of Duke Robert but he was nonetheless a peer. His act of fortification underlined his independence but it was not rebellion against Robert himself. When the Bellême lordship had been brought into the orbit of Normandy by the mid eleventh century, the episode was seen as a transgression of a type of social bond that may not have hitherto existed in the earlier part of the century.38 Thus, with regard to the Bellêmes as equals of the Norman dukes in the early eleventh century and as rebellious subordinates of dukes in the late eleventh and early twelfth centuries, castles played a key political role in defining their position. For Robert de Bellême, the frontier may have changed from that of Normandy to that of England,39 but the meaning of the familial possession of castles was still as charged as it had ever been. We can only assume that a fortification of Alençon had been a casus belli in the 1020s, but in William of Jumièges’ next chapter, relating events which may have taken place around the same time, William narrates the rebellion of Ivry, used by Bishop Hugh of Bayeux against Duke Robert.40 The castle was fortified, according to William, with arms and food (clam armis alimoniisque sufficienter muniuit), and the bishop went to ‘France’ to hire soldiers who would be able to ‘manfully’ (uiriliter) resist the duke. It is likely that this action was associated with the loss of familial patrimony discussed in chapter 4, which later resulted in another roll of the dice by Hugh when Duke William II came to power. At Ivry was an apparently clear example of the use of a castle in a classic case of early baronial warfare. One might wonder why Hugh needed to go to France when Ivry was the archetypal example of the large seigneurial castle (a place which was so impressive, so it was said by the early twelfth century, it had resulted in the death of its architect41). Arguably it is only because Hugh could not get to it that the castle was taken, suggesting that here at least, while the rules of surrender that were emerging

38 See

Yver, ‘Les châteaux forts en Normandie’, p. 40, who considers William of Bellême’s actions to have been intended to take away the castle from ducal authority (i.e. that it had been under ducal authority). Cf. Hagger, Norman Rule, pp. 98–9. 39 The Bellêmes’ position is considered by Kathleen Thompson, in ‘Family and Influence to the South of Normandy’, and ‘Robert of Bellême Reconsidered’, ANS, 13 (1991 for 1990), pp. 263–86. 40 GND, vol. 2, VI.5, pp. 52–3. 41 OV, vol. 4, pp. 290–1. See below, p. 198.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 189

in eleventh-century Normandy42 were expected to be adhered to, Robert had exploited them by preventing a lord returning to his patrimonial castle. Hugh may have felt that he had every right to expect Robert to adhere to such rules when going to seek aid but any negotiation would only have held true as long as the castle held its own value as part of the patrimony of Ivry. Hugh had evidently lost his negotiating hand once he was at a sufficient distance from the castle and so Robert’s right to break the rules on which any negotiation had been predicated could come to the fore. Another case where the interests of the French king and the Norman duchy created tension in conflict is relevant here. Gilbert Crispin, a castellan at Tillières-sur-Avres (dép. Eure), is portrayed by William of Jumièges as giving support to Count Waleran I of Meulan in his rebellion of c.1041. Here, the rebellion was against the French king, and Gilbert’s actions may have had less to do with a familial assertion of identity than political opportunism on the Norman frontier. King Henry’s actions against Gilbert Crispin may have had the objective, as Pierre Bauduin has it, of punishing the rebel by neutralising ‘a fortress with the potential to serve the actions of insurgents against the royal domain’.43 According to this reading of events, these were not direct attacks against the Norman duchy but rather were intended specifically to counter the influence of Waleran.44 Hagger takes issue with the reading of royal actions against provincial rebels, suggesting that, as the ducal castle of Argentan (dép. Orne) some 50 miles (80 km) away was itself attacked by King Henry, William himself was the target of royal action.45 In some ways, this is of little consequence to the history of a castle which could be used to make an assertion of power that directly countered royal authority. The king, according to William of Jumièges, was denied entry to the fortress of Argentan (‘munitionis aditum sibi denegari’), and this in itself was surely significant enough.46 42 For

which, see M. Strickland, ‘Slaughter, Slavery or Ransom: The Impact of the Conquest on Conduct in Warfare’, in England in the Eleventh Century: Proceedings of the 1990 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. C. Hicks (Stamford, 1992), pp. 41–59. 43 ‘[D]e châtier le rebelle et de neutraliser une forteresse servant le cas échéant aux enterprises des révoltés contre le domaine royal.’ Bauduin, La première Normandie, p. 191. 44 D. Crouch, The Normans: The History of a Dynasty (London, 2002), p. 62. 45 M. Hagger, William: King and Conqueror (London, 2012), p. 181, n. 7. 46 GND, vol. 2, VII.2, pp. 100–1. Hagger, Norman Rule, pp. 341–2, emphasises the significance of the ducal presence in commanding the handover of the castle of Tillières in the same account.

190  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Most of the acts of opposition discussed in this chapter so far have been concerned with the building or development of castles in one’s own territory, with the issue of contention being associated with the right to hold or establish that fortification. It is worth considering the act of seizing a castle from one’s acknowledged lord. In extremis, the use of a castle could be taken as a demonstration of a position of discontent, legitimacy, or support for another. All three of these issues were arguably demonstrated in the seizure of Rochester by Odo in 1088. Rochester not only provided a secure base for a garrison in support of Robert Curthose’s bid for the English crown following the death of his father in 1087, but also symbolised Odo’s position as a former earl of Kent.47 The absence of a king or royal claimant allowed castellan acts of opposition to be cast as demonstrations of loyalty, as Fergus Oakes has noted in terms of thirteenth-century rebellion, a point when castles were more clearly beginning to be cast as national assets.48 Rochester was an important rebel stronghold in the early thirteenth century held on the side of the king of France as a claimant to the English kingdom, but this dynamic can be discerned in the political noise of 1088, when the rebels of Rochester used the castle there in order to provide a gateway to the English kingdom for Robert Curthose.49 In many ways, this was something of a paradox. Such constructions represented a private authority and interests intrinsic to an individual lord’s identity but their strategic significance and the authority that they might represent took their importance beyond a lord’s individual or even familial identity. Familial identity might be extended, too, a matter which related to the building of a castle in neighbouring territory. Anceins, next to La FertéFrênel (dép. Orne) in territory subject to much dispute in the early twelfth 47 See

OV, vol. 4, pp. 125–6 on the position of the castle. On Odo’s regional interests, see also D. R. Bates, ‘The Character and Career or Odo, Bishop of Bayeux (1049/50–1097)’, Speculum, 50 (1975), pp. 1–19. 48 F. Oakes, ‘King’s Men without the King: Royalist Castle Garrison Resistance between the Battles of Lewes and Evesham’, in Thirteenth Century England XV, ed. Burton, Schofield, and Weiler, pp. 51–68; a Continental comparison for the use of castles as ‘national’ resources is C. Coulson, ‘“National” Requisitioning for “Public” Use of “Private” Castles in Pre-National State France’, in Medieval Europeans: Studies in Ethnic Identity and National Perspectives in Medieval Europe, ed. A. P. Smyth (Basingstoke, 1998), pp. 119–34. 49 For a consideration of the strategic positions of the Medway castles, see below, chapter 8, p. 286–8.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 191

century, provides a case of the extension of familial interests. Orderic, who was evidently well informed due to Richard of Fresnel’s retirement to SaintÉvroul, is concerned with the incitement to rebel by the ‘the foolish outpouring [translated by Chibnall as ‘nagging’] of [Richard’s] wife Emma’ (Emmæ uxoris suæ futili stimulatione infatuatus)50 and the imperilment of souls as a campaign was conducted during Lent, but there was a serious difference of loyalty here. Richard built a fortress (firmatatem construxit) in the neighbouring territory of Anceins, said to be tributary to the king – ‘de censu regis’ (presumably Orderic meant ‘duke’ but such slips were not infrequent when Henry I was concerned!). Here, the wider dispute was between Eustace, husband of Henry’s daughter Juliana, and Henry I; while these were not specifically royal lands, tribute owed to Henry would have been important, nonetheless. There was a wider conflict between the interests of King Louis and the Norman duke at play here, but it is perhaps significant, given the timeframe of the rebellion (the campaigns were during Lent and Orderic reports that Richard died in July that year), that the fortress was presumably erected in a short time. Orderic notes that Saint-Évroul’s lands were among those ‘terrorised’ by the actions of Richard, and a royal inspection of La Ferté-Frênel seems to have been the result. It was perhaps an indication of the relatively small size of the fortification at Anceins that this did not need to be visited to be ‘seen’ (uideret) by the king; this was evidently a confrontation but Richard’s entry to SaintÉvroul and the granting of land to the monastery seems to be an indication of reconciliation.51 We should consider here the converse issue of the ‘slighting’ or even wholesale razing of castles, which symbolised the triumph of public authority over misguided lords. The Angevin aftermath of Stephen’s civil war, in which ‘adulterine’ castles were defined as fortresses established against the crown’s interest, provides the classic narrative here, even if the evidence for the razing of ‘Anarchy’-era castles is more limited than is often assumed.52 50 On

the representation of women and castles, see below, pp. 198–201. vol. 6, p. 222–3. 52 The limits of the written evidence are discussed in Higham and Barker, Timber Castles, pp. 131–3; C. Coulson, ‘Castles of the Anarchy’, in The Anarchy of King Stephen’s Reign, ed. E. King (Oxford, 1994), pp. 67–92, repr. in Anglo-Norman Castles, ed. R. Liddiard (Woodbridge, 2003), pp. 179–202, at pp. 185–6, notes the thirteenth-century origins of the term ‘adulterine’, so ‘dear to the British’, and its 51 OV,

192  ❧  pl aces of contested power

This may relate to an Angevin pattern. As an assertion of Geoffrey of Anjou’s lordship and, in many ways the making of his reputation, the destruction of the castle of Montreuil-Bellay (dép. Maine-et-Loire) in 1151 after a year-long siege was significant in giving rise to late twelfth-century narratives of the suppression of rebellious lordship.53 Such destruction of fortifications which threatened the claim to public authority held by rulers could be said to have much in common with the reassertion of caliphal control in al-Ándalus following the destruction of the fortress of Bobastro discussed at the start of this book. But it is limited evidence; Flodoard provides occasional reference to the destruction of strongholds in the tenth century as part of a narrative of the re-assertion of ‘legitimate’ rights,54 but as Stephen White observed, the control of castles appears to have been an issue concerned with the control of a resource which was, to all intents and purposes, a finite one.55 Destroying a castle may not have been an act which was undertaken lightly. Bobastro probably could not be considered as a tenth-century castle and of course, the boundary between ‘private’ rights and ‘public’ responsibilities is blurring here just as the boundary between private and public authority blurs in cases of open opposition. But in the resistance afforded by ditches and walls, the determination of a site as outside a particular authority and within another belongs to this chapter. The public function of castles within or even immediately without towns is important with regard to the urban space, and they are considered in that context in chapter 6, below, but it is worth noting that urban communities could emerge as significant forces in the rebellion of a castle site. Domfront is an obvious case, as the construction of the castle influence on narratives of ‘The Anarchy’. See also R. Nevell, ‘The Archaeology of Castle Slighting in the Middle Ages’ (Exeter Univ., Unpublished PhD thesis, 2017). 53 Dutton, ‘Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy’, pp. 62–3. Dutton also cites in her Appendix I, no. 19, from P. Marchegay, ‘Recherches sur les cartulaires d’Anjou (Cartularium monasterii Beatae Mariae Caritatis Andegavensis)’, Archives d’Anjou (Angers, 3 vols, 1843–54), vol. 3, no. 87, an 1151 charter referring to the symbolic display of captives from the siege suggestive of the importance of the victory. 54 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 924 (a tower at Château-Thierry), 933 (Charleville), 953 (Vitry – in this case with the king having to demolish his fortification), 955 (Poitiers), and, for unnamed locations, 956 and 959. 55 S. D. White, ‘Service for Fiefs or Fiefs for Service: The Politics of Reciprocity’, in his Re-Thinking Kinship and Feudalism in Early Medieval Europe (Aldershot, 2005), XII, p. 97.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 193

by Henry I at a site which had previously been used by the Bellême family played an important role in Henry’s assertion of his authority in western Normandy (just as the capture of Domfront in the 1050s had played a role in Henry’s father’s own ducal career).56 Although a gully running between the later eastern curtain wall of the castle of Domfront and the western wall of the town is an indication of the manner in which in some ways the castle was quite separate from the town, its situation at the western promontory of a shared outcrop of high ground ensured that the town itself could not have been held without the castle (see Figure 16).57 Indeed, in Orderic’s narrative Henry had been besieged at Mont-Saint-Michel by his brothers prior to his appearance at Domfront – that latter castle was evidently an essential fallback. Orderic’s account has Henry undertaking activities that might, from the pen of a author less sympathetic to Henry, appear as outright rebellion. Orderic’s sympathies for Henry’s cause give an air of natural justice to the young prince’s actions, but he cannot gloss over the fact that Henry’s actions were deliberate statements against the then-ducal power, ‘avenging the injustice of his banishment with fire and plunder, and capturing and imprisoning many men’.58

56 K.

Thompson, ‘From the Thames to Tinchebray: The Role of Normandy in the Early Career of Henry I’, in Henry I and the Anglo-Norman World: Studies in Memory of C. Warren Hollister, ed. D. F. Fleming and J. M. Pope, HSJ Special Volume [HSJ, 17, 2006] (Woodbridge, 2007), pp. 16–26; see also Hollister, Henry I, pp. 91–3, who notes the continuing significance of Domfront for Henry after his coronation and his period of ‘rebellion’. 57 It is considered part of a network of ‘agglomerations castrales’ in Normandy: F. Neveux, ‘Les agglomérations castrales en Normandie (XIe–XVe siècle)’, in Des villes à l’ombre des châteaux: Naissance et essor des agglomérations castrales en France au Moyen Âge, ed. A. Chédeville et D. Pichot (Rennes, 2010), pp. 141–52. On the relationship between towns and castles, see also below, chapter 6, pp. 215–16. 58 ‘[I]ncendis et rapinis expulsionis suæ iniuriam uindicauit, multosque cepit et carceri mancipauit.’ OV, vol. 4, pp. 258–9, with discussion of Henry’s actions at pp. 256–61. The account of Domfront includes a story about the capture of a man from Saint-Évroul which seems to be lifted from a miracle story with the addition of the Henrican-era detail of the distinction between the castle and town (cf. Marjorie Chibnall’s note at p. 258, n. 2: she judges the version of the Life of St Évroul in Bibliothèque Nationale MS lat. 1864 fol. 191r, which contains the same account, as owing its origins to Orderic’s miracle story reported here).

194  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Figure 16. The castle and town of Domfront (Orne), shown from an aerial photograph overlaid on a 3D contour map.

As the Bellêmes had been the holders of Domfront, the grant of a sum of money from land at a Bellême holding to someone at Domfront who was remembered as instrumental to Henry’s position in Domfront is key to this interpretation. Henry of Domfront was later granted money, recorded in 1129 in the Pipe Roll of Henry I under the honor of Arundel, while Orderic records a certain Achard as being responsible for Henry’s ingress to the town.59 Henry granted land in Berkshire to magister meo, Robert Achard, in 1107, a figure who, given the relative rarity of his name, may have been related to the Achard recorded by Orderic, or was even the same person.60 Not much can be known about Robert Achard, apart from the fact that the

59 OV,

vol. 4, pp. 258–9; Great Roll of the Pipe [  .] Henry I, Michaelmas 1130, ed. Green, p. 33; see Lack, Conqueror’s Son, p. 197, n. 36. See also above, p. 150. 60 Marjorie Chibnall notes Achard in OV, vol. 4, p. 258, n. 1; see P. Bouet, ‘Le Domfrontais de 1050 à 1150 d’après les historiens normandes contemporains’, in La légende arthurienne et la Normandie, ed. J. C. Payen (Condé-sur-Noireau, 1983), pp. 73–94, at p. 83 (Bouet discusses the Bellême links to Domfront at pp. 75–6). For Robert Achard, Regesta, vol. 2, no. 1134 (dated 1107), recording a grant at Aldermaston, Finchampstead, Colthrop, Sparsholt, and Challow (Berks.)

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 195

Berkshire lands were probably related to royal demesne by 1107.61 It may be noteworthy that Henry’s grant to Robert Achard was made soon after the events of 1106, and some of the Berkshire lands were in a region of the Berkshire border: given that a treaty made at Alton (Hants), a place some twenty miles (approx. 30 km) to the south, which controlled a route between London and Winchester, determined the peace in 1101, it might be suggested that Henry was thinking strategically in 1107 too. More may be said regarding Arundel, the use of which honor was evidently not more than a convenient source of wealth. It was a particularly significant place for William Rufus and Henry I, who had both besieged it when it was held by the Bellême family. Domfront, a site of frequent conflict which had played an important role in Henry’s early career, thus had a direct link with a place which had been a thorn in the side of his brother, William; indeed Domfront was a place which Henry’s father, Duke William II, had subjugated early in his career. It is worth considering whether Henry retained an obligation to provide for those who had served him in Domfront. If Achard and indeed Henry of Domfront had themselves rebelled against a Bellême lord by giving allegiance to Henry, a figure who was himself then effectively a growing regional lord, Henry had an obligation to retain them. Any land which the likes of Achard may have received from the original lords of Domfront, the Bellêmes, would have been removed from their control after the change of Domfront’s allegiance to Henry, and Henry of Domfront’s subsequent holding at Arundel would make sense in this context. We might note here that disputes regarding castles might not always have been recognition of the transgressions of the holders themselves. In some cases, because of the expectations of good lordship and service, the castles ultimately became caught up in disputes. The castle of Tinchebray in Normandy was a legitimate holding of the Mortain family but it was disputed because Robert de Bellême and William Count of Mortain supported the brother of Henry I (and duke of Normandy), Robert Curthose.62 It is interesting that while being critical of Robert Curthose, Orderic admits to a sense of the legitimacy of the Mortain cause. His account of the 61 Although

not dealing specifically with Robert Achard, for the trend of alienation of royal land, see J. Green, ‘William Rufus, Henry I and the Royal Demesne’, History, 64 (1979), pp. 337–52. 62 Lack, Conqueror’s Son, p. 166; see generally here S. L. Mooers, ‘Backers and Stabbers: Problems of Loyalty in Robert Curthose’s Entourage’, Journal of British Studies, 21:1 (1981), p. 1–17.

196  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Tinchebray siege in Normandy in a wet autumn conveys some admiration for its holder, William of Mortain, even if Orderic ultimately favoured the law and order that Orderic thought Henry I brought to Normandy as a result of the battle.63

Wives, mothers, and their fortresses The role of women in the holding of castles is often presented as a novelty in the order of events, with authors, Orderic Vitalis preeminent amongst them, emphasising the ways in which the ‘man-like’, ‘masculine’ aspects of noblewomen’s behaviour allowed them to function as guardians of fortresses and castles.64 This happened too frequently to be exceptional, however. Whether the women who found themselves holding fortresses in opposition to a lord or king were necessarily political actors in having determined the course of actions that had led to the acts of opposition and rebellion is open to debate but some of these women certainly had political agency. Their roles as holders of fortresses evidently had a political meaning just as we have seen above with the gendered dispute of lands (chapter 4). The death of the wife of the castellan of Melun (dép. Seine-et-Marne) is an indication that women in castles were not immune from the violence of the capture of a castle. The castellan had given fealty to Odo of Blois-Chartres in opposition to the new king, Hugh Capet, toward the end of the tenth century. Evidently this had been the wrong decision. Richer of Reims admits 63 OV,

vol. 6, pp. 83–9. On the legitimacy of the battle, see G. Davy, ‘Autour de la restauration de l’ordre: Les justifications juridiques de la bataille de Tinchebray dans “l’histoire ecclesiastique” d’Orderic Vital’, in Tinchebray 1106–2006, ed. Gazeau and Green, pp. 21–34. 64 M. Chibnall, ‘Women in Orderic Vitalis’, HSJ, 2 (1990), pp. 105–21; Chibnall discusses the martial conduct of women, noting that there was no forcing of readings of behaviour into ‘a single stereotype of womanly conduct’ (pp. 115–16; quotation at p. 116). Susan Johns, in Noblewomen, Aristocracy and Power in the Twelfth-Century Anglo-Norman Realm (Manchester, 2003), pp. 15–16, notes a higher level of disapproval. In an early eleventh-century ‘Middle Kingdom’ account, Alpert of Metz relates the attack on the fortification of Adela (daughter of Count Wichmann of Hamaland), which she escaped with an entourage (Alpert of Metz, On the Variety of Our Times, I.2, trans. D. Bachrach, Warfare and Politics in Medieval Germany, ca. 1000 [Toronto, 2012], pp. 9–12), unfavourably contrasting Adela’s character with that of her sister, the Abbess Liutgard.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 197

that her torture was ‘a novel form of indignity’ (inusitato ludibrii genere), but her death beside her husband as she was ‘hung up by her feet, with her clothing hanging down all around her exposing her nakedness’ (pedibus suspensa, exuviis circumquaque defluentibus nudata, atroci fine iuxta virum interiit) suggests that she was perceived as being in some way culpable, even if we cannot be certain that it was a reflection of her actual agency in this case.65 The city of Laon provides early examples of the role of elite women in determining the prosecution of a dispute through the holding of a fortification, a phenomenon which seems particularly significant in tenth-century West Frankish narratives. In 841, at the height of the Frankish civil war, Charles the Bald’s sister Hildegard had captured one of the king’s men, a certain Adalgar, whose release was negotiated through armed siege.66 According to Nithard, Charles calmed his increasingly angry followers and arranged safe passage for his sister, who was abbess of the royal abbey of Notre-Dame in Laon. Nithard obviously makes much of Charles’ statesmanship in the affair but though she may have been returning one of the king’s men, Laon evidently allowed Hildegard to operate from a position of strength.67 The significance of this strength is indicated by Flodoard’s record of a fortification (arx) constructed within the city by Count Heribert II of Vermandois in 931. Laon was held by Heribert’s wife (normally – though perhaps mistakenly – thought to be named Adela) against King Raoul.68 Earlier, in 927, following the dispute at Trosly-Loire (noted in chapter 3), King Raoul’s wife Emma had held the fortress at Laon after Raoul returned to his original powerbase of Burgundy. Emma did not hold the fortress for long after 927 but the claim to property through the female side of families 65 Richer,

IV.78, vol. 2, pp. 368–9. III.4, pp. 33–4 (trans. pp. 160–1). For the episode as an example of Hildegard’s loyalty to her ‘full’ brother Lothar, see Nelson, ‘Public Histories’, p. 270; D. Polanichka, ‘“As a Brother Should Be”: Siblings, Kinship, and Community in Carolingian Europe’, in Kinship, Community, and Self: Essays in Honor of David Warren Sabean, ed. D. Polanichka (New York, NY, 2015), pp. 23–36, at pp. 31–2, comments on the inclusion of the episode in the account as a demonstration of familial reconciliation. 67 See also above, chapter 4, p. 156, for Laon’s significance for royal women. 68 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. For reservations on identifying Heribert’s wife with the name Adela, see Bouchard, Those of My Blood, p. 111. In a survey written for a general audience, Suzanne Martinet notes the phenomenon of elite women’s interest in Laon: Rois de France, Rois de Laon, Xe siécle (Laon, 1987), pp. 55–8. 66 Nithard,

198  ❧   pl aces of contested power

was evidently important.69 In 931, Raoul was Heribert’s brother-in-law through Heribert’s wife, and Heribert could thus claim Laon for his son, via his wife. Heribert’s wife may not have been the central agent in this rebellion against royal authority but it was evidently important to invoke her name in this situation because it activated a claim to property that was important within Heribert’s family. Given that women evidently had a key role in the maintenance of the household, when the contestation of an estate kicked over into open rebellion through holding what was itself a defensible place, this accrued an extra layer of meaning. In the following century, in Orderic’s account, the castle of Ivry, a site noted above in regard to Hugh of Bayeux’ patrimony, is linked with notions of treachery: Albereda (Aubrée), wife of Hugh’s father Ralph, Count of Bayeux in the early eleventh century, was said by Orderic to have had the architect of the castle executed ‘so he could never design a castle like it anywhere else’ (ne simile opus alicubi fabricaret decolari fecerat). Though the former example is likely to have been a topos, the sense of treachery is gendered by the record of her death at the hands of her husband, justified by Orderic on the basis of her attempt to expel him from the castle.70 Robert Giroie’s death in 1060, caused by an apple given to him by his wife, Adelaide, daughter of Duke William, was, as Marjorie Chibnall put it, ‘as nearly an accusation of poisoning as he would allow himself in writing of founders’ kin’. Given that this account in Book III of a death at the fireside in peacetime conflicts with an account of Robert’s death earlier in the same book, again by poisoned apple but this time when the castle of Saint-Céneri was held by Robert against his duke (his father-in-law), there is more than a hint that the death and the pacification of the castle were rather convenient.71 There are, as Chibnall noted in 1989, stereotypes at play in Orderic’s accounts. Though playing on the apparent vanity of castellans’ wives in the downfall of castles, these stereotypes are focused on a sense of female 69 Note

also the withdrawal of allegiance of Burgundian nobles from King Raoul as a response to the seizure of property, including the castrum of Avallon (dép. Yonne) by Queen Emma in 931 (Flodoard, Annales, s.a.). 70 OV, vol. 2, p. 290–1. For the significance of the castle, see C. Cartwright, ‘Emma of Ivry, c. 1008–1080’, in Medieval Elite Women and the Exercise of Power, 1100– 1400: Moving Beyond the Exceptionalist Debate, ed. H. J. Tanner (Basingstoke, 2019), pp. 91–111, at pp. 93–4. 71 OV, vol. 2, pp. 28–9, and pp. 80–1; Chibnall’s comments are in World of Orderic Vitalis, p. 21, n. 12.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 199

treachery.72 We have already seen the act of the taking of Lincoln Castle by Ranulf of Chester in the context of Stephen’s property distribution policies but there is a gendered meaning of the descent of land through women in the family here. Orderic, writing shortly after the event, though reflecting, as Edmund King put it, the fact that ‘the events that he describes had started to be transformed into legend’,73 recorded that the castle was taken during a ‘friendly visit’ of the wives of Ranulf of Chester and William de Roumare to the wife of the castellan. Ranulf, apparently arriving to escort his wife home, had other plans, and his small group of knights seized the castle.74 Admittedly, this was not an example of a woman holding a castle per se, and the story ought to be taken with a large pinch of salt. Nonetheless, the role of a woman’s claim in the dispute (manifested in the association of ‘the countess Lucy’ with one of the main towers of the castle) may have warranted female agency in the developing memory of what might be seen in some quarters to have been its rightful seizure, and William de Roumare, as we see below, knew of the significance of landholding through the female line. Furthermore, while missing leaves in the Gesta Stephani may contain the ruse de guerre of the capture of the castle by Earl Ranulf, it may be telling of the significance of the role of women as castle-holders that the Gesta records that when Ranulf fled upon the arrival of King Stephen at the gates of the city, he left the newly acquired castle in the hands of his wife and his brother.75 Thus, when we look past the stereotypes and the storytelling, what comes 72 M.

Chibnall, ‘Orderic Vitalis on Castles’, in Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, ed. Holdsworth, Nelson, and Harper-Bill, pp. 43–56. Emma, the wife of the holder of La Ferté-Frênel, in OV, vol. 6, pp. 218–19, is cited by Johns, Noblewomen, Aristocracy and Power, p. 27, as an example of a ‘nagging’ wife who incited her husband to rebel. See above, p. 191. 73 King, King Stephen, p. 146. 74 OV, vol. 6, pp. 538–9. Chibnall translates ‘sic ingressi repente uectes et arma quæ aderant arripuerunt’ as ‘once inside the castle they suddenly snatched crowbars [uectes] and weapons which lay to hand’. Given that Orderic next describes the sudden ingress of William de Roumare in support of his brother, perhaps we should read uectes as the door bolts. On the context of the holding of Lincoln Castle through female property descent and the meaning of ‘Lucy’s Tower’ in this context, see King, King Stephen, pp. 146–7. Such ruses de guerre are discussed in Y. N. Harari, Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100–1500 (Woodbridge, 2007), with events at Lincoln briefly considered at p. 13. 75 GS, ch. 54, pp. 110–11 (and n. 1, on the missing part of the Gesta’s narrative). I am grateful to Katherine Weikert for discussion on this point.

200  ❧  pl aces of contested power

across is the sense that noblewomen were interested in the fate of their castles: whether or not it actually happened, killing an architect was recognised as a strategic action and the control of a castle was ultimately recognised as an end in itself. It is perhaps telling of the manner in which this was established by at least the early twelfth century that Orderic does not doubt the significance of strategic interests as a motive behind the treachery. By comparison, the agency of Adelina, wife of Hugh de Montfort, said by Orderic to have been instructed to hold the castle of Montfort-sur-Risle, seems to have played a key role in a moment of high drama, when opposition was pushed to open rebellion in 1123. According to Orderic, Hugh had been part of a plot against Henry I, in a conspiracy which included Count Waleran II of Meulan and William de Roumare. Orderic records that Hugh also instructed his brother and wife, along with other ‘clientibus’ (retainers?), to hold the castle of Montfort.76 A few lines earlier, he had noted that Adelina was a sister of Count Waleran, and that her marriage had been arranged by Waleran in order to create strategic alliances across the region: To arrange for the lawful marriage of his three sisters, and at the same time to strengthen himself against all his neighbours, he had given the ladies in marriage to three of the leading castellans, who have vassals and fortresses and great riches.77

Given that one of the complaints in the conspiracy had been William de Roumare’s demand for the restoration of his mother’s land, female agency in landholding was evidently featured in the dispute. Orderic explains an attempt at resolution of the dispute with Hugh (Waleran managed to continue to resist Henry a little longer) through the fact that Adelina was a daughter of Waleran’s father, Count Robert of Meulan. Orderic also brought in a favourite subject, the royal magnanimity of Henry I, who offered Adelina ‘the open country [planam tellurem = ?open demesne] on condition that Hugh should return in peace to his obedience and behave like a faithful

76 OV,

vol. 6, pp. 334–7. Hagger, Norman Rule, pp. 175–6, notes the significance of Waleran’s strategic interests here. 77 ‘Tres quippe sorores suas ut illæ legaliter consolarentur, et ipse nichilomnus in omnes undique contribules suos corroboratetur, tribus precipuis dederat oppidanis quibus homines et municipia multæque diuitiæ suppeditantur.’ OV, vol. 6, pp. 332–3.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 201

friend’.78 Orderic is scornful of Hugh’s rejection of Henry and his preference of disinheritance but here may be a sign that the encastelled Adelina – perhaps the elder of Count Waleran’s sisters – had been the agent in a negotiation from a position of strength which prioritised her own familial inheritance over that of her less important husband.79

William, William, and Arques-la-Bataille Count William of Arques’ rebellion provides a valuable case study of the use of a castle in acts of lordly opposition. This was a rebellion by the count against his nephew, Duke William II of Normandy, around 1053, in which Count William is said to have fortified his castle, resulting in a battle which brought in the King of France on his side. The episode may be seen in a similar context to the disgruntled Æthelwold’s landed interests discussed in the previous chapter. The different course of William’s actions, however, reflects differences between the kingdom of Wessex and the later Norman duchy, as well as the ways in which action focused around a castle had become a significant element of lordly rebellion by the eleventh century. Pierre Bauduin has placed William of Arques’ actions within a northern Norman and northern French political milieu as the duke’s relations with his king – on which William of Arques’ relations with his French neighbours were founded – deteriorated. Bauduin suggests that the count had been forced into some sort of declaration of hostility because he had no choice. His action was simply resistance rather than ‘une rebéllion organisée’.80 There is a good deal of logic 78 ‘  .planam

tellurem tali tenore rex concessit si Hugo pacifice ad ipsum repedaret sibique amodo fidelis et familiaris amicus existeret.’ OV, vol. 6, pp. 336–7. I differ from Chibnall’s translation and read ‘Adelinæ uero quia Rodberti de Mellento comitis filia fuit, et filio eius Gualeranno’ as ‘[b]ecause Adelina was the daughter of Robert, count of Meulan, and Waleran, his son’. 79 For a hint of Adelina’s seniority within the family as an unnamed daughter previously betrothed to William, count of Évreux, see OV, vol. 6, pp. 46–7. For Hugh’s position as ‘odd man out’, see Hagger, Norman Rule, pp. 176–7. 80 Bauduin, La prémiere Normandie, p. 309. Antony Mansfield places William of Arques’ actions in the milieu of the North Sea littoral: ‘Lords of the North Sea: A Comparative Study of Aristocratic Territory in the North Sea World in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries’, Networks and Neighbours, 2:1 (2014) pp. 46–70, at pp. 57–9. Bates, William the Conqueror, pp. 129–33, discusses the event in terms of a ‘quarrel, rather than a revolt’ (p. 129), and dates the siege to closer to 1051×2.

202  ❧   pl aces of contested power

to this suggestion. Bauduin debunks William of Poitiers’ reading of William of Arques’ early departure from the siege of Domfront as the first move in a rebellion, the interpretation traditionally accepted in narratives of Duke William’s early reign.81 Instead, William of Arques was portrayed acting thus because there was a conscious damnatio memoriae of the duke’s uncle on the part of William of Poitiers. Though evidently pushed to act by his nephew, William of Arques had some reason to be confident of his position, however. He was supported by the French king and had made diplomatic gestures of his own authority, noted in several contemporary charters. In the understated words of Mark Hagger, he was ‘a little over-mighty’, though Bates points out that his actions were not ‘outright disloyalty’. It is, Bates suggests, ‘reasonable to think of Count William as being loyal to William, albeit rather on his own terms’.82 There is a wider context to the events which helps us to understand that if there was a quarrel, it could easily be read as revolt, and William of Arques could make his grievance felt with some justification. His position was threatened by the ducal marriage to Matilda around 1050. Not only would a marriage have meant an heir to the ducal throne which displaced the claim of William of Arques, thus making his position weaker, but it also brought Baldwin of Flanders into the orbit of northern Norman affairs. As the fatherin-law of Duke William, Baldwin was a powerful ally, and the quasi-royal entry of Matilda into the Norman border town of Eu, just 22 miles (35 km) away to the north-east, which William of Jumièges describes, presumably had powerful and threatening resonances for the duke’s uncle.83 That relationship between Baldwin and Duke William presumably lay behind the willingness of the King of France to support William of Arques, 81 Bauduin,

La première Normandie, p. 309, discussing WP, I.23, pp. 32–5 (an apparent desertion which does not appear in William of Jumièges’ account, GND, vol. 2, VII.4, pp. 102–5. 82 Hagger, William, pp. 20–3 (quotation at p. 20), citing Fauroux, Recueil, nos. 100, 103, 108 and 124. See also Bates, William the Conqueror, pp. 78–80. For the charter of 1047, see Bates and Bauduin, ‘Autour de l’année 1047’. 83 GND, vol. 2, VII.9, pp. 128–9 (Orderic’s interpolation to the GND (VII.(20), pp. 128–9), highlights Eu’s importance by adding a detail of William ‘Busac’s rebellion against Duke William II, which was apparently ended through the ducal capture of Eu; neither WJ nor Orderic’s accounts in the GND are juxtaposed with the account of William of Arques). WP, I.22, pp. 32–3, mentions Ponthieu, in a region outside Normandy, before linking events to Rouen, though juxtaposes the marriage with William of Arques’ hostility in the passage which follows (I.23).

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 203

just half a dozen or so years after proving decisive for Duke William at Valès-Dunes. The king’s support provided ammunition for William of Arques’ cause as a wronged lord, as it had done for his nephew.84 And despite its geographical insignificance to the interests of William of Arques, Val-ès-Dunes is crucial to the interpretation here. If William of Arques made a statement as a legitimate vassal of the King of France, not a rebellious vassal of the Duke of Normandy, that royal support could, under the right circumstances, have been decisive. Given Count William’s attempts at asserting an independent status, he was a good bet for a king who was increasingly concerned to ensure his support in the northern French regions (and Baldwin of Flanders was more of a threat to the king than Duke William). The notional difference between what constituted acts of ‘rebellion’ and what made something else ‘resistance’ was invoked by the medieval editors of the Gesta Normannorum Ducum. Both Orderic and the α-redactor of William of Jumièges’ text transformed a record of ‘rebellion’ by William of Arques (rebellandum) as ‘resistance’ (resistendum) through a minor edit.85 Presumably, William of Arques’ actions were no longer quite as politically volatile as a topic in the early twelfth century as they had been in the mid eleventh but the use of the word raises the issue of the professed legitimacy of William of Arques’ actions, and has led to Bates’s reading of events as a ‘quarrel’. In his own Historia Ecclesiastica, Orderic invokes what Hagger calls ‘Orderic’s stock explanation for rebellion against the duke’, Duke William’s illegitimate birth, as a justification for William of Arques’ rebellion86 – William of Poitiers, understandably, did not. However, if the actions should be talked of, following the interpolations to the Gesta, as ‘resistance’ or even, following Bates, as a ‘quarrel’, it is interesting that the Historia Ecclesiastica uses a more conventional reference to William having ‘rebelled against the duke’ (contra ducem rebellauit).87 To some extent William of Arques was acting through a sense of entitlement, and probably a justified one at that. The politics of William of Arques’ position in northern France were evidently important but the landscape context of the rebellion has something to offer to a consideration of familial politics. A key issue here is the position of William of Arques’ castle. 84 Note

also the possible invocation of Saint Albinus in the king’s actions, discussed in chapter 7, below, pp. 259–60. 85 GND, vol 2, VII.4(7), pp. 102–3, and van Houts’ comment, n. 5. 86 Hagger, William, p. 21 87 OV, vol. 3, pp. 254–5.

204  ❧  pl aces of contested power

For one matter, the Forest of Arques was the place where, as Robert of Torigni’s version of the Gesta Normannorum Ducum relates, Duke Richard I is said to have encountered the future Countess Gunnor, at the cottage of a forester at Saint-Vaast-d’Equiqueville, some 8 miles (13 km) to the southeast of Arques Castle (see Figure 17).88 The story of Gunnor’s familial links is somewhat problematic and is disputed. Although Elisabeth van Houts tentatively notes the historicity of her link with the Pays de Caux, Hagger has since made a persuasive case to link Gunnor with western Normandy and the Cotentin peninsula,89 a matter which makes sense in view of the northern French alliances in the Pays de Caux. However, in many ways the historical Gunnor matters less than the perception of familial legitimacy in the eleventh century, by which time stories of Gunnor and Richard I seem to have been in circulation.90 Gunnor’s place in a ducal family, as second wife of Duke Richard I, was relevant to William of Arques’ status as the son of a second wife of Richard II.91 Here the castle has a wider meaning within its landscape that links it with many of the themes of familial identity discussed in chapter 4. As we have seen in Hagger’s aptly chosen words, William’s apparent illegitimacy is frequently offered by the likes of Orderic as the ‘stock explanation’ for rebellion against the duke but there is some significance to it in this context. By the twelfth century, the story was in circulation – a variant on a well-trodden story – of the replacement of Gunnor’s married sister by the then unmarried Gunnor before the libidinous Duke Richard could commit adultery, a matter for which he was apparently grateful. The story could have had some resounding meaning in the eleventh century. There were further issues arising from the politics of familial patronage. Building a castle c.1040 linked William of Arques with a territory which 88 Robert of Torigni, GND, vol. 2, VIII.36, pp. 266–7. Van Houts, p. 267, n. 8, notes

the possibility of local knowledge from the Bec priory of Saint-Laurent-d’Envermeu. 89 E. M. C. van Houts, ‘Countess Gunnor of Normandy (c. 950–1031)’, Collegium Médiévale, 12 (1999), pp. 7–24; Hagger, ‘How the West was Won’, pp. 27–8. 90 On the notion of the transfer of memory across generations, see E. van Houts, ‘The Memory of 1066 in Written and Oral Traditions’, ANS, 19 (1997 for 1996), pp. 167–80, esp. p. 179. Although van Houts does not cite the case of Gunnor, she closely fits the inter-generational model of memory. 91 WP I.23, pp. 32–5 evokes William of Arques’ familial descent in somewhat critical terms, as one might expect; see E. Searle, Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power, 840–1066 (Berkeley, CA, 1988), pp. 214–15.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 205

was established as ducal demesne.92 As Jean Yver suggested in 1950, that territory was perhaps defined as a Norman pagus by linking of the fortress of Arques to Talou – ‘un des authentiques comtés d’origine franque’. In the circumstances of the contestation of Eu in the later tenth century, it had arguably become the key site in determining the Norman frontier.93 William Fitz Osbern’s receipt of a nearby honor, evidenced in a charter from between 1055 and 1066, may also shed light on any tensions which arise from this.94 Herfast, Gunnor’s brother, was father of Osbern the Steward, killed during Duke William’s minority (hence the relationship with William Fitz Osbern at the ducal court by the late 1040s),95 and Osbern, Bauduin suggests, ‘paraît avoir été solidement implanté dans la région d’Arques’.96 After all, as Bauduin notes, the name of Aubermesnil in the charter suggests a toponym associated with Osbern (see Figure 17). Which Osbern is open to question: was it William Fitz Osbern’s father, Osbern Fitz Herfast, or Osbern de Bolbec, father of William of Arques? Though the sense of loss felt by William of Arques may have been heightened by this place-name.97 William Fitz Osbern’s holding of land in the region may have been enhanced following the defeat of William of Arques, hence his willingness to bequeath land to Saint-Ouen.98 However, if William of Arques felt threatened by the increasingly prominent position of Osbern under Duke William prior to c.1053, this would have had implications in Upper Normandy and may have chipped away at the value of a claim to kinship to Gunnor made by 92 Bauduin,

La première Normandie, p. 289, cites Fauroux, Recueil, no. 69, with its alienation of a church ‘sedis nostre que dicitur Archas’, to Saint-Wandrille in 1033 as indicative of ducal property there. 93 Yver, ‘Les châteaux forts en Normandie’, p. 50. Bauduin, La première Normandie, pp. 161 and 295, notes the disappearance of Eu from the sources for much of the tenth century beyond 927, but notes (p. 295) the installation of a count of Eu around the beginning of the eleventh century as evidence of a re-establishment of power there. Cf. Hagger, Norman Rule, p. 62, who may be read as suggesting that a Norman recovery of Eu around the late 960s ‘or perhaps a few years later’, had taken place prior to the installation of the count. 94 Fauroux, Recueil, no. 212, naming Aubermesnil and Bretevilla; discussed by Bauduin, La première Normandie, p. 221. 95 Bates, William the Conqueror, p. 63. The relationship between Herfast, Gunnor and Osbern is in Robert of Torigni, GND, vol. 2, VIII.37, pp. 272–3. 96 Bauduin, La première Normandie, p. 221. 97 Robert of Torigni, GND, vol. 2, VIII.37, pp. 268–9. 98 Fauroux, Recueil, no. 212.

206  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Figure 17. The region around Arques, with seventeenth-century commune boundaries marked. Note that the Varenne river near Arques is different from the Varenne near Domfront. (Commune boundaries redrawn after P. Gouhier, A. Vallez, and J.-M. Vallez, Atlas Historique de Normandie [Caen, 1967].)

Count William as Duke William’s equal. This may explain why William of Arques did not act until after the rebellions at Val-ès-Dunes (which were presumably unconnected with his immediate interests) or indeed until after actions at Domfront – it was thus not a desertion of a ducal campaign but the coincidence of circumstances that made the action so significant as an act of rebellion. William of Arques’ use of the region may thus have been an expression of family legitimacy. William was count of Arques, holding the pagus of Talou, so it is logical that his rebellion took place at Arques, the most significant place of the pagus, rather than anywhere else. Both William of Poitiers and William of Jumièges linked his act of fortifying his castle with an act of rebellion. Still, one might wonder whether the erection and any subsequent fortification of the castle of Arques-la-Bataille could have been so far

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 207

in contravention of what the late eleventh-century Norman Consuetudines et iusticiae indicates was acceptable for encastellation.99 However many shovels deep the ditch may have been would have been inconsequential if the prohibitions of the Consuetudines et iusticiae had not been in force by the mid eleventh century. Pascal Langeuin’s reading of the earliest phase of the castle, under Count William, suggests that it constituted a stone enceinte from the beginning, with its entranceway ‘fossilised’ in the position of an internal gate tower in later phases of the castle (Figure 18).100 Such architecture would have taken some time to establish, and it seems more likely that the stone castle was built c.1040 during a time of relative ducal weakness. In any case, some form of fortification may have been at Arques since Flodoard recognised its importance in the northern frontier of Normandy in 944.101 William of Poitiers indicated that some form of construction or readying was taking place, and that this was the spur to Duke William’s actions. The Gesta’s reference to the notion that ‘the ramparts, already strong, are made still stronger’ (munimenta prius firma fiora fiunt) may indicate that action took the form of the building of additional outworks around 1053 or simply that the stone castle was finally completed. William of Poitiers adds for good measure that the count was busily firing the region around while equipping the castle with arms and men, but given that the region around Arques was the count of Arques’ domain, one can assume that if this can be read literally, particular contested areas in the region (see below) were meant.102 However, given that the Consuetudines et iusticiae were evidently a response to just the kind of action here at Arques, whether the castle was in direct contravention of ducal legislation is of less significance than the castle’s very existence since around 1040, which was, in some ways, a continuous challenge to ducal authority.103 The Gesta’s account makes much of the fact that Count William had entrusted the castle after its foundation to an unnamed third party as custodes, and that the castle was ‘restored’ to him (reddunt).104 If so, William 99 See

discussion above, pp. 182–5. Langeuin, ‘Les campagnes de construction du château d’Arques-la-Bataille (XIe–XVe siècles)’, Bulletin Monumental, 160 (2002), pp. 345–78, at pp. 352–3. 101 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 102 WP, I.24, pp. 36–7. 103 For William of Arques’ self-representation in a 1047 charter (Fécamp, Musée de la Bénédictine, MS no. 8), see Bates and Bauduin, ‘Autour de l’année 1047’, whose edition and translation of the charter are at pp. 49–52. 104 WP, I.24, pp. 34–5, modifying Davis’s ‘surrendered’. 100 P.

Figure 18. The castle of Arques, showing William of Arques’ likely phase of construction, redrawn after Langeuin, ‘Les campagnes de construction du château d’Arques-la-Bataille’, Fig. 6, with contours and later phases shown in grey.

Figure 19. Panoramic view (photographic montage) looking eastward from the castle at Arques. The lakes are modern but the course of the two rivers can still be made out in the distance.

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 209

of Arques’ action c.1053 was perhaps less about fortification of the castle than a declaration that the castle was his personal property. The castle’s position was naturally more significant than for the singular purpose of defence. William of Poitiers’ statement that the castle was at the ‘summit of the very high mountain of Arques’ (in praealti montis Arcarum cacumine) is, it should be noted, something of an exaggeration.105 With hills to its west, the castle does not control a viewshed of the plains further west, an area which was mostly to be important when the royal relief force came – albeit in a piecemeal fashion – to Saint-Aubin-sur-Scie.106 However, the castle’s situation on a promontory with a view over the landscape to the east linked it to the land over which William of Arques had authority (see Figure 19). This authority, according to William of Jumièges, had apparently been given to William by his nephew. This was evidently not a case of the seizure of a site by an aggrieved William of Arques in the manner in which Æthelwold of Wessex seems to have seized Wimborne in 899/900. However, the family connection is significant and has much in common with the aggrieved sense of familial displacement suffered by Æthelwold, nonetheless, especially if William of Arques’ notion of family interests there were longstanding. The holding of such an important place had strategic significance and as an assertion of lordship, its subsequent history is relevant. Orderic noted that that Arques was given in a grant by Robert Curthose as Duke of Normandy to Helias, son of Lambert of Saint-Saens, along with Bures (dép. Orne) as part of a marriage made to Robert’s daughter (a woman whose name remains unknown, perhaps because of her illegitimacy). Robert bestowed (tribuit) the castle of Arques ‘and the adjoining province as the marriage portion’ (et adiacente prouincia in mariagio) with the expectation that Helias would defend Talou, presumably the successor of the pagus which had been held by William of Arques.107 Orderic links Helias’ holding of this land with service and fidelity to Robert Curthose and, later, to William Clito, although the gendered link can hardly have been unimportant. The fact that the land had been granted in association with Helias’ marriage to the daughter of Robert Curthose with the expectation that it would form the daughter’s dowry, was presumably of some significance 105 WP,

I.24, p. 34; Davis’s translation of ‘hill’ seems to undermine WP’s bombastic language. 106 For local tendencies toward ‘le camp royal’, see Bauduin, La première normandie, p. 310. 107 OV, vol. 4, p. 182–3. Aird, Robert Curthose, p. 126.

210  ❧   pl aces of contested power

in view of the earlier connection with the story of Richard’s marriage to Gunnor and the questions of legitimacy that it entailed. Fundamentally, however, as evidenced by the significance of its apparently loyal holding by Helias, Arques was in a strong strategic position, essential for the maintenance of the frontier of Normandy. Pierre Bauduin comments on the way in which Arques was outside Normandy at the time of the meeting with the historical Gunnor, though, given Flodoard’s record of its control by Normans in 944, drifting in and out of the duchy’s control might be a better interpretation.108 Geoffrey of Anjou dated a charter of 1145 or 1146 by reference to the year when ‘the duke of the Normans [i.e. Geoffrey] seized the castle of Arques, which alone of all the duchy resisted him’ (dux Normanniae Archas castrum adquisivit, quod solum ei de toto ducatu resistebat), suggesting that the taking of the last bastion of resistance to the Angevin takeover was a moment to mark.109 While loyalty to a ruler might have been an important factor in determining the resistance of the castle against various parties over the course of three centuries, it might be suggested that such loyalty was predicated on the coincidence of the interests of castellans at Arques and those of the ruling power. The loyalty of Helias of Saint-Saens to Robert Curthose and, later, William Clito became resistance to Henry I, though Helias’ actions were played out elsewhere, at Bures110 and via his patrimonial castle of Saint-Saens (dép. Seine-Maritime),111 but, seen from a Norman perspective, the resistance against Geoffrey Martel was impressive. Where the interests of the holder of the fortress of Arques and the political direction of the Norman duchy did not coincide, such as in c.1053, the result could be dramatic. Thus rulers had to follow a fine line between having a strong vassal who could ensure the safety of the limits of the polity and ensuring that the strength of that vassal was not too great. It is perhaps in the account most in favour of William the Bastard that we see, conversely, some small measure of success of Count William in his actions:

108 Flodoard,

Annales, s.a. 944. ‘Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy’, p. 210, citing Cartulaire du Chapitre Saint-Laud d’Angers (Actes du XIe et du XIIe siècle), ed. A. Planchenault (Angers, 1903), no. 48 (discussed by Dutton in Appendix I, no. 26). 110 Note that Bures had a similar frontier signficance in a royal defence against Flemings by Henry I, in OV, vol. 6, pp. 190–1. 111 Hollister, Henry I, p. 69 and 227–8. 109 Dutton,

wind, rain, and storm may enter but the king cannot   ❧ 211 The duke, with his praiseworthy clemency, pitying the misfortunes of this man, as before he had pitied Guy [of Brionne], did not wish him, banished and penniless as he was, to be punished more shamefully. Instead he granted him his patrimony, with his favour, and certain extensive land which yielded substantial revenues, thinking it right rather to remember that he was his paternal uncle rather than his enemy.112

Duke William could play up a sense of family loyalty and the clemency of a ducal lord but the contrast in William of Poitiers’ account of clemency here with the supplication of defeated French warriors in I.27, ‘most of them carrying their horse’s saddle on their bowed and weary backs’ (eorum plerique sellam equestrem incuruo languidoque dorso – a standard humiliation topos),113 hints at the notion of a negotiated surrender – or even simple negotiation. William of Arques may have over-played his hand, suffering exile as a consequence, but the conditions of his surrender seem closer to those of Exeter (as we will see in the next chapter) than to the mutilation of prisoners which William ordered after the capture of Alençon. We should not forget that at a point when the Duke was pushing forward his own position, Count William may simply have pushed to maintain the status quo. Ultimately he did not succeed, but his castle could be used in order to make sure that he had a good chance of being heard. ❧  ❧  ❧

Opposition made the private space a public arena, drawing attention to a perceived injustice and flagging up a link to the familial legitimacy of a disgruntled lord. The use of land itself could be a means of conveying the importance of a dispute to an audience. It was not necessarily a declaration in itself but deliberately declarative, in terms of the choice of place and its familial or patrimonial memory, nonetheless. Inasmuch as castles represented expressions of ownership, there was, naturally, a private dimension. However, acts of opposition against dukes/counts and bishops often needed to use castles or castle-like strongholds because of the disparities 112 ‘Miserans

infortunia huius quoque, ut pridem Guidonis, celebranda ducis clementia noluit extorrem et inopem casu magis pudendo cruciari; sed, cum gratia et possessionibus quibusdam amplis atque multorum redituum, patriam ei concessit, aestimans rectum potius in eo patruum reminisci quam aduersarium insectari.’ WP, I.28, pp. 42–3. 113 WP, I.27, pp. 42–3. For this topos, see above, p. 79.

212  ❧   pl aces of contested power

of power in conflicts against those wielding public authority. Such strongholds should have provided the greatest chance of success in cases where the rebellion was a statement by a single party. While rebellions which used castles against kings were by no means rare, such occasions often seem to have needed support (coordination is probably too strong a term) across a wider area, the polyfocused rebellion of 1088 against William Rufus being a prime example. It seems that the castle was ideally suited to isolated outbursts of opposition against those who wielded authority at a ducal or comital level. That a castle could provide some form of military advantage is hardly, of course, news, and making such a castellogical statement is about as medieval as a medievalist can get. But tied with the familial element inherent to the significance of the lands associated with a castle – indeed all that a castle represented – the use of a stronghold may have provided the heightening of legitimacy and indeed status. Such heightening was needed if the language associated with the private/familial land was employed to emphasise a rebel’s near-equality to a figure who was, when all was said and done, primus inter pares.

Chapter Six

Unrest in the Urbs We move on from the phenomenon of lordly expressions of dissatisfaction through defensible locations within a limited space associated with the identity of lords and their families to larger, delineated – though often still defensible – spaces linked with larger corporate bodies, a topic already touched on above, in chapter 5.1 The position of towns and cities as places of corporate action through revolt is a well-established area of study for the late Middle Ages, a phenomenon discussed in the many studies of urban revolts of the period, which have highlighted the success of such actions in achieving their protagonists’ aims.2 Similarly, urban revolts are increasingly recognised as a factor in the development of urban communes in Italy in the central Middle Ages.3 In England and France in our period, the importance of towns as corporate political bodies seems to have increased, and urban rebellion seems to emerge as a significant political phenomenon, particularly in the later eleventh and twelfth centuries.4 1 Above,

pp. 192–5. See, e.g., M. Wolfe, Walled Towns and the Shaping of France: From the Medieval to the Early Modern Era (Basingstoke, 2009), pp. 3–17, and Reynolds, Kingdoms and Communities, pp. 158–218. 2 The success of urban revolts is particularly apparent in S. Cohn, Popular Protest in Late Medieval English Towns (Cambridge, 2013) and Lust for Liberty: The Politics of Social Revolt in Medieval Europe, 1200–1425 (Cambridge, MA, 2006). 3 C. Wickham, Sleepwalking into a New World: The Emergence of Italian City Communes in the Twelfth Century (Princeton, NJ, 2015). 4  This chapter develops discussion of particular towns in my earlier papers: ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, pp. 84–90 (on Dover), and ‘Controlling and Contesting Urban Spaces: Rulers and Urban Communities in Southern England and Northern France from the Later 9th to 11th Century’, in Fortified Settlements in Early Medieval Europe: Defended Communities of the 8th to

214  ❧  pl aces of contested power

While it is not possible to chart the processes of urban-based rebellion in the ninth and tenth centuries, the use of fortifications in northern France and midland England seems to have been linked with the contestation of power in the period. In the so-called ‘Re-conquest’ of the Danelaw, the building as well as the holding of urban fortifications played an important role in the exercise of political power in this region.5 Such contestation of power is not always viewed in a framework of urban revolt but then, equally, the interests of established elites are not always given prominence in readings of eleventh- and twelfth-century urban rebellions, which often foreground the significance of the unrest of communal groups at a time of ‘improved human fertility and growing wealth’.6 Although unrest as an urban phenomenon directed from within, by groups with a sense of self-organisation, is apparent in the early and central Middle Ages, the special interests of particular groups, often those enjoying oligarchical power within particular urban spaces, are important.7 This chapter is an attempt to address the links between urban oligarchies and the expression of unrest in towns. By addressing the role of the urban space within political society, we can consider the interactions between the political actors within urban communities when conflicts occurred, both within the urban communities and when those 10th Centuries, ed. N. Christie and H. Herold (Oxford, 2016), pp. 156–72, at pp. 167–8 (on Laon during the tenth century, and Exeter in the eleventh, the latter having been initially explored in my Alfred’s Wars, pp. 257–60). 5 Fortification-building as a strategic policy is recorded in ASC ABCD 912, 914, A 915, 917, 918, 919, 920; Mercian Register 912, 913, 914, 921; reference to the ‘Five Boroughs’ as part of a narrative of resistance and submission is recorded in a poem in ASC ABCD 942; Lavelle, ‘Controlling and Contesting Urban Spaces’, p. 159. A recent discussion of the role of Danelaw towns is G. Williams, ‘Towns and Identities in Viking England’, in Everyday Life in Viking-Age Towns: Social Approaches to Towns in England and Ireland, c.800–1100, ed. D. M. Hadley and L. Ten Harkel (Oxford, 2013), pp. 14–34; Konshuh, ‘Warfare and Authority in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’ addresses the Chronicle’s references to towns in terms of expressions of Mercian authority. 6 Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century, p. 213. Here, Bisson is writing of revolts more broadly in the late eleventh and twelfth centuries; on pp. 234–67 he provides a framework for consideration of communal revolts in the twelfth century and, perhaps unsurprisingly, says much about the role of lordship. 7 See, for example, King, King Stephen, pp. 314–15, on ‘the lads’ of Aldersgate and Cripplegate, London, and their opposition to the canons of Bishop Roger of Salisbury in the 1140s.

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 215

conflicts encompassed the interests of other political elites. The size of groups of political actors is significant here, and some consideration of the dynamics of popular revolt is especially relevant. Although, to a certain extent, the selection of the source material determines the importance which is attached to a revolt in a particular urban centre, the aim of this chapter is to explore the extent to which the urban geography – and links to the geography of the surrounding countryside – of towns and cities determined the actions. This seems to have particularly been the case during the central Middle Ages. If that all-important decision of where to act – within or immediately outside a town – might have been determined by a choice presented to disgruntled townspeople that was more limited than that enjoyed by the nobility, the extent to which particular urban spaces could be selected for statements of demonstrative action is of some significance here. There is also much that can be related to the issues of ‘private’ fortification discussed in the previous chapter. The tensions between the garrison community of a castle within a city and the wider urban community were particularly significant. This was, of course, heightened when the garrison was based in a castle within (or, more often, outwith) the town, as became more obvious in the twelfth century, such as in Orderic Vitalis’ accounts of the surrender of Le Mans in 1100 and Caen in 1105.8 The surrender of Le Mans to Helias, Count of Maine, after the death of William Rufus shows the way in which different interests might be at play. Here, the urban community was able to determine the town’s position.9 In this case, the decision taken by the citizens of Le Mans – where ‘friends among the people’ (ab amicis omnibus) opened the gates of the city10 – was in contrast to the Norman garrison of the citadel. They continued a final resistance to Helias, though their position became less tenable following the death of William Rufus and the apparent news that neither Henry nor his brother Robert Curthose, recently returned from Crusade but, as duke, having ‘prior claim on [the garrison’s] loyalties’, was not coming to their relief.11 While Orderic was interested in the especially jocular aspects of the siege of the citadel (Orderic seems to have particularly admired the count of Maine), he highlights the notion that a decision 8 OV,

vol. 5, pp. 252–9 and 306–7; vol. 6, pp. 78–9; see C. Urbanski, ‘Apology, Protest, and Suppression: Interpreting the Surrender of Caen (1105)’, HSJ, 19 (2007), pp. 137–53. 9 OV, vol. 5, pp. 302–7; Aird, Robert Curthose, pp. 202–3. 10 OV, vol. 5, pp. 302–3 (translation modified). 11 Aird, Robert Curthose, p. 203.

216  ❧  pl aces of contested power

not to resist could be important. This was perhaps understandable. Although Le Mans was central to the jurisdiction of the County of Maine, Maine was a county whose control by the Normans was, William Aird argues, limited.12 According to Orderic’s account, there was no love lost between the citizens and the Norman garrison, who were protected by Helias from the citizens during the surrender process – a vignette which showed the solidarity of the warrior class with one another.13 Rioting by the inhabitants of London 1023 at the news of the translation of Saint Ælfheah, who had rested in the city since his martyrdom at Greenwich in 1012, has already been noted as possible evidence for a rare case of opposition to Cnut’s rule.14 In the case of London and Ælfheah, Goscelin, professional hagiographer par excellence, may have brought a Continental late eleventh-century reading to the events: if a saint’s remains were moved, the topos of hagiography demanded an account of opposition to show that the relics mattered, and thus Goscelin provided that. Nonetheless, the details provided in his account of housecarls – Danish household troops – lend a certain historicity to the affair, indicating the tensions that might manifest themselves in violence between a garrison and the people of the city. Some years later, William’s occupation of Tower Hill and the building of the White Tower there after 1066 was a demonstration of royal authority in the city of London. Royal castles, of course, were not rare in the immediate aftermath of William’s seizure of power but the people of London had resisted William when he came as conqueror, electing the ætheling Edgar as king (the Carmen de Hastingae proelio spills a remarkable amount of ink on this matter).15 The panic of William’s troops in Westminster, outside the city (which even William of Poitiers considered imprudentia), firing nearby houses when they heard the 12 Aird,

Robert Curthose, p. 203; for the centrality of Le Mans to Maine as ‘an enhancement of comital power’ (albeit referring to the tenth century at this point), see Barton, Lordship in the County of Maine, pp. 58–9 (quotation at p. 59). 13 OV, vol. 5, pp. 306–7; Strickland, War and Chivalry, pp. 137–8. 14 Rumble and Morris (ed. and trans.), ‘Textual Appendix: Translatio Sancti Ælfegi’, discussed here above in the introduction, p. 34. 15 The Carmen de Hastingae proelio of Guy, Bishop of Amiens, ed. and trans. F. Barlow (Oxford, 1999), pp. 38–45. WP, II.34, pp. 161–3, notes William’s building of ‘fortifications’ (firmamenta) in the city ‘as a defence against the inconstancy of the numerous and hostile inhabitants’ (contramobilitatem ingentis ac feri populi perficerentur). Davis and Chibnall (p. 162, n. 1) suggest that these fortifications were the White Tower and ‘possibly’ also Baynard’s Castle and Montfichet.

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 217

shouts of acclamation at the coronation on 25 December 1066, highlights the tensions of the demonstration of royal power in – or here, just outside – a major city.16 Nonetheless, William’s first legal declaration to the people of the city of London in early 1067, expressed in the form of an Old English writ, is notable for its reassurance of the continuity of custom.17 Perhaps where a major city on the scale of Rouen was concerned, William saw it as politic to learn Cnut’s lesson and tread lightly. In comparison, the Londoners’ response to the arrival of the Empress Matilda in 1141, considered in gendered terms by the author of the Gesta Stephani and generations of historians since, is indicative of the unity of opposition. The Gesta Stephani’s author puts the actions of the citizens opposing the Empress in emotional terms: [T]he whole city, with the bells ringing everywhere as a signal for battle, flew to arms, and all, with the common purpose of making a most savage attack on the countess [i.e. the Empress Matilda] and her men, unbarred the gates and came out in a body, like thronging swarms from beehives.18

Of course a bit of urban disorder was not unknown in the city. Beside the occasion in 1023 discussed above, there was also action by ‘some lads’ (as King calls them) reacting to news of the arrest of Bishop Roger of Salisbury in 1139, by confiscating the Aldersgate property of the college of Saint Martin le Grand, for which the bishop acted as dean.19 A hotchpotch of different interests might be at play in the city but such actions were a reminder of the power of the city’s people. London had an element of self-government which could result in its exercise of political power,20 as both William of 16 WP,

II.30, pp. 150–1. Acta, no. 180; Facsimiles of English Royal Writs to A.D. 1100, Presented to Vivian Hunter Galbraith, ed. T. A. M. Bishop and P. Chaplais (Oxford, 1957), no. 15. See Bates, William the Conqueror, p. 269, who notes the writ in the context of WP’s comments on the making of laws for the people of the city: WP, II.33, pp. 158–9. 18 ‘[O]mnis ciuitas sonantibus ubique campanis, signum uidelicet ad bellum progrediendi, ad arma conuolauit, omnesque unum habentes animum in comitissam et suos atrocissime irruere uelle, quasi frequentissima ex apium alueariis examina reseratis portis pariter prodierunt.’ GS, ch. 62, pp. 124–5. 19 King, King Stephen, pp. 314–15. 20 For London between the late tenth and twelfth centuries, see now the consideration of ‘The Making of a Capital City’ by Green, Forging the Kingdom, pp. 198–220. 17 Bates,

218  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Malmesbury and the author of the Gesta Stephani recognised.21 In 1141, we should bear in mind here the context of the arrival of Queen Matilda and the ravaging actions of her troops on the south bank of the Thames, actions that may have awoken civic memories of the damage done on the south bank in late autumn 1066. Moreover, the Empress’s earlier demand for money from the city, though not unreasonable, was probably resonant of Cnut’s demands and with them the long historical memory of the unpopular ‘Danegeld’, a tax much used by the Empress’s father.22 The author of the Gesta Stephani relates the fact that the Empress was waiting for a decision after making demands so there was room for negotiation – indeed William of Malmesbury uses reference to negotiation to gloss over the violence of the affair.23 The population of the city may in this instance have acted as one but just as in 1016 and 1066, there was presumably debate amongst those governing the city while the Empress waited. The arrival of the troops of Stephen’s wife, Queen Matilda, presumably swung the balance, and it is not unlikely that some communication had taken place between the city and the queen, or at least that news of the queen’s approach to the city had reached the citizens quickly (the response at Aldersgate to Roger of Salisbury’s arrest in 1139, noted above, is indicative of how quickly cities – London presumably foremost among them – received news). The damage by the troops on the south bank could hardly have been anything but disquieting but the Bishop of Winchester, who at that point had submitted to the Empress, held land there, and it is likely that he was the target.24 Thus, what might appear as an emotional response by the citizens of the city may have been 21 WM,

HN, chs 48 and, referring to ‘what they call the commune of London’ (commununione quam uocant Lundoniarum), ch. 49, pp. 94–5; GS, ch. 2, pp. 3–4. An early discussion is by R. H. C. Davis, King Stephen, 1135–1154 (London, 1967), pp. 58–9, though Edmund King, in his notes to WM, HN, pp. lviii–lix, is circumspect about Stephen’s recognition of the rights of the city. 22 ASC CDE 1018. For the levy of ‘Danegeld’ in the twelfth century see J. A. Green, ‘The Last Century of Danegeld’, EHR, 96 (1981), pp. 241–58. A useful consideration of the historical memory of ‘Danegeld’ is provided by P. V. Store, ‘Viking “Otherness” in Anglo-Norman Chronicles’ (Univ. of Winchester, unpublished PhD thesis, 2018). 23 WM, HN, chs. 48–53, pp. 94–101. 24 For Henry of Blois’ submission to the Empress, GS, chs 58–9, pp. 118–21. C. N. L. Brooke with G. Keir, London 800–1216: The Shaping of a City (London, 1975), p. 157, highlights the significance of the Bishop of Winchester’s property and diocese south of the river.

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 219

an assessment of the best path to take in difficult circumstances, just as had been the case in the aftermath of the battle of Hastings. London’s wealth probably made the city a special case by the twelfth century but similar dynamics in the tension between a garrison and the people of the surrounding area can be seen in York in 1065. In this case it was a hall rather than a castle which was burnt by the people, and it appears that it was specific (northern) Northumbrians from outside the city – Gamelbearn, Æthelnoth’s son Dunstan, Heardwulf ’s son Glonieorn, with 200 soldiers – rather than the people of the city itself who rose against the Northumbrian earl, Tostig. John of Worcester gives details of Tostig’s chamber and treasury being the target of discontent.25 It is worth remarking how the manor of the ‘earl’ was an identifiable quarter at the edge of the city.26 Such a place, close to a landing stage at the river, was presumably a source of wealth, food, and drink and as such, would have presented a tempting target. We may thus be justified in wondering how deeply rooted in a desire to express urban and communal solidarities the demonstrative action against a politically important space might be. Those who sacked the earl’s manor may have been motivated by a wish for personal enrichment or simply just got caught up in events. In many cases, I suspect these were not entirely unrelated as a course of actions developed. The area later known as the Earl’s Borough in York was probably not established as a site from which to aggressively dominate the city, however. Upriver on the Ouse and on the northern edge of York, its place in the city as the home of Earl Siweard was probably one of influence as a space which could be privately demarcated that was close to the Minster quarter, rather than being an expression of dominant power. The castle now known as Clifford’s Tower was built at the southern edge of the city, and was presumably intended to play a role in controlling access via the confluence of the rivers Foss and Ouse (see Figure 20). Established following a rebellion in 1068, Clifford’s Tower was itself a target of attack in 1069. In the aftermath

25 ASC

C, DE 1065; JW, vol. 2, s.a. 1065. W. M. Aird, St Cuthbert and the Normans: The Church of Durham, 1071–1153 (Woodbridge, 1998), pp. 57–8, suggests this was a response to legal developments imposed by Tostig, questioning the significance of the Cuthbertine community’s role in precipitating revolt. 26 See here R. Higham, ‘The Godwins, Towns and Churches: Comital Investment in the Mid-11th Century’, in Land of the English Kin, ed. Langlands and Lavelle, pp. 467–513.

Figure 20. The positions of the Earl’s Borough (‘Earlsburgh’) and the two postConquest castles in York. Details are mainly from the ninth to eleventh centuries, with the line of the Roman fortress in the northern quarter of the city (around York Minster) and the probably post-Conquest extended wall in the south-east marked with dotted lines; the line of the wall in the west of the city is probably also postConquest. (Base map from J. D. Richards, Viking Age England (London, 1991), p. 47.)

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 221

of the 1069 rebellion, a second castle, Baile Hill, was erected in a western suburb of the city, on the opposite bank of the Ouse from Clifford’s Tower, with the result that the western suburb of the city soon became encompassed within the urban defences. The two castles suggest that protecting the riverine approach to the city as well as its western landward side were strategic priorities.27 Although the second of the post-Conquest rebellions in York is rightly seen as the culmination of wider violence by the people of the north of England, the operation of the people of the city as a collective is significant here too: in its account of the arrival of the Northumbrians in York after the killing of Earl Robert Cumin in Durham, which took place in January 1069, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle refers to the burhmen making a peace (gryðedon) with the would-be-king, the ætheling Edgar.28 It is important here to see the events of 1068 and 1069 as part of a milieu not of resistance to conquerors but as the expression of the political identity and interests of the people of the city, responding as they did in 1065 to wider events and taking advantage of those events. The rest of this chapter focuses on four examples of urban revolt, two from southern England (Dover and Exeter) and two from northern France (Laon and Rouen). Although the discussion of Laon begins with consideration of its political role in a range of events in tenth-century France, the chapter focuses particularly on events in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Laon provides us with a ‘classic’ case of an urban revolt towards the end of our period in the city, in 1112, which at first glance appears as a popular revolt. However, the course of events in Laon highlights the influence of specific urban elites, the likes of whom can be seen more clearly in accounts of the opposition of the townspeople of Dover in 1051, in Exeter in 1068, and Rouen in 1090. The last of these examples provides an opportunity to investigate the roles of specific urban spaces in revolt and in its suppression.

27 The

two rebellions and their links to castle-building are recorded by OV, vol. 2, pp. 216–18 and 222–3. For the building of the castles and the ‘Old Baile’ area, focusing on the riverine defence provided by the castles, see S. Rees Jones, York: The Making of a City 1068–1350 (Oxford, 2013), pp. 43 and 87–8. 28 ASC D 1068 (continuing through to 1069). See F. S. Scott, ‘Earl Waltheof of Northumbria’, Archaeologica Aeliana, 4th ser., 30 (1952), pp. 149–215, pp. 176–8; OV, vol. 2, pp. 222–3, also refers to ‘Robert son of Richard’, castellan in York, being killed in the York uprising of 1069 but it is not impossible that he is conflating the report of the rebellion at York with the death of Robert Cumin in Durham.

222  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Laon: Loss of urban control in the tenth and twelfth centuries Laon has featured in discussions in previous chapters for its royal significance as a centre of power and in many ways it is that, rather than its economic functions as an urban space (somewhat limited in the tenth century),29 which determined its frequent contestation. Such contests for control could be, as we have seen in the previous chapter, effected through the holding of a citadel. In the tenth century, Laon was a royal centre not far from the archiepiscopal centre of Reims, originating from control of the western edge of the former Merovingian kingdom of Austrasia. The city of Laon was in a zone determined by the interests of the counts of Vermandois and Champagne, and influenced by the interests of the former ‘Middle Kingdom’ of Lotharingia (by the tenth century in the control of German rulers) and the Burgundian duchy. Thus, its control often determined conflict effected through dynastic disputes of the Carolingian and Robertian/ Capetian affinities.30 During the eleventh century Laon’s importance declined as royal power shifted to the control of the Île de France region and thus the city was no longer at the heart of royal power, just as, at another edge of a Burgundian zone of influence, the political significance of Aachen declined, as highlighted by Nelson.31 However, as its role as an urban centre and its economic significance in the Laonnois grew, so we can see the internal contestation of power of the city itself at the beginning of the twelfth century. According to Regino of Prüm, Laon had been seized in order to contest Odo’s kingship in both 892 and 895.32 Its seizure was presumably intended there as a statement of Carolingian authority. Perhaps that role of a city as a place linked to the fate of the Franks was becoming apparent around this time, when the punningly titled poem ‘Versus de laude urbis laudensis’ (‘Lines in praise of the city of Laon’) was composed. Although it may have been rewritten in the eleventh century and, Jackie Lusse notes, the events which the poem purports to relate are only known in ‘légendes tardives’, the emergent narrative of the resistance of the city against the fifth-century Hunnish onslaught is relevant here to the notion of Laon as a fortified city.33 29 Lusse,

Naissance d’une cité, pp. 249–52. e.g. above, pp. 153–6. 31 For Laon, Saint-Denis, Apogée d’une cité, pp. 55–7 and 77–9, notes the lack of royal presence in Laon between 991 and 1070. On Aachen, see Nelson, ‘Aachen as a Place of Power’. 32 Regino, s.a., pp. 139 and 143 (trans. pp. 214 and 219). 33 Lusse, Naissance d’une cité, p. 231. 30 See

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 223

As much as it was a place defended by others, Laon is referred to in the poem as an actor itself: ‘Laon alone learnt to defend itself ’ (Laudunum solam sibi comperit sese rebellem – given the feminine ‘solam’ with ‘Laudunum’, normally a neuter noun, this might even be a feminised personification of Laon learning ‘to defend herself’).34 It is perhaps revealing of the elevated sense of the city’s role as a place of resistance and its urban authority that ‘rebellem’ is used as a synonym for defensive resistance.35 The key role of the city in the tenth century is apparent in the work of Flodoard and, later, Richer of Reims, whose records of the contestation of royal power and local magnates’ disputes in the 930s, the 940s, and in Charles of Lorraine’s attempted coup in 988 highlight the centrality of Laon as a contested place.36 We have already seen the role of Laon in demonstrating royal authority in the seizure of vines in the surrounding area, and the former oppidum of Laon’s place in the landscape is clear to anyone moving toward it or looking from its ramparts: it dominates the surrounding plains and provides a striking visual centrality that helps to explain its important role in the consecration of Carolingian kings as well as the city’s longstanding importance.37 There is a strategic significance linked to the physicality of the landscape. One could not control the surrounding area of the Laonnois without controlling Laon itself, but the symbolic importance which went handin-hand with the strategic dominance is striking. Flodoard begins the 949 entry of his Annales with a recollection of the people of Laon, who ‘had striven for the loyalty of King Louis [IV]’ (fidelitati Ludowici regis attendebant).38 However, beneath this, typical of Flodoard’s concise-but-cutting style, is a record that the king’s half-brother Roricon, the new bishop of Laon, was prevented from returning to the city following his 34 The text is quoted by Lusse, Naissance d’une cité, p. 254, from Recueil des Historiens

des Gaules et de la France jusqu’en 1328 (Paris, 24 vols, 1737–1904), vol. 9, pp. 105– 6. There are doubts about the reliability of both the eleventh-century and printed editions of the poem, however. 35 On notions of rebellion in early medieval terminology, see Fouracre, ‘The Incidence of Rebellion’, p. 105. 36 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 935, 938, 941, 946, 948, and 949; Richer, IV.16–19, vol. 2, pp. 231–9. 37 For Laon’s role in royal consecration, see Lusse, Naissance d’une cité, pp. 234–43. 38 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 949. Bachrach and Fanning’s translation (p. 52), that the people had been ‘constant in their loyalty to King Louis’ does not convey the sense that the people of the town had been trying to gain the loyalty of the king (as Flodoard uses a genitive form of ‘Ludowicus Rex’).

224  ❧  pl aces of contested power

recent consecration nearby at Reims.39 Here was a clear example of the collective political participation of the urban community in the late Carolingian body politic. As has been observed of the edges of English towns in this period, political fortune was determined by whether one might gain entry to the urban space and, of course, control access to it.40 In the accounts of Flodoard and Richer we see the townspeople determining entry in more cases than the bishop himself.. Presumably control of the gates themselves was part of such disputes. The dynamics of lordship often determined how such disputes played out. Urban space was often delineated as controlled space and the control of spaces within urban areas could evidently be determined by lordship. Hugh the Great’s involvement in the conflict that boiled over in Laon in 949 suggests that the people of the city were not entirely independent. After Easter in 949, in the aftermath of the Laon inhabitants’ refusal to allow entry to the king’s brother, King Louis IV’s men ‘secretly’ (latenter) attacked the city by scaling a wall and opening the gates to the king. This resulted in the capture of many of the troops in the city, except those who manned the tower of the royal domus (‘turrim regiae domus’) at the gate of the castrum.41 In response, Flodoard relates, Louis built a wall (murus) within the city between the tower and the rest of the city. The domus was probably an early palace associated with the site of the royal abbey of Notre-Dame.42 Given that it was next to the key entry point to the city, the Porte d’Ardon (see Figure 21),43 building a wall here was presumably not an easy task in view of the commanding 39 On

Roricon as one of a range of possible candidates for identifying ‘R.’ the dedicatee of the Historia Remensis ecclesiae, see Sot, Un historien, p. 102. 40 J. Baker and S. Brookes, ‘Outside the Gate: Sub-urban Legal Practices in Early Medieval England’, World Archaeology, 45:5 (2013), pp. 747–61. 41 Bachrach and Fanning (p. 53) translate ‘conscenderant’ as ‘climbed up’, but a sense of ‘boarding’ or ‘ascending’ the tower – i.e. in order to man it – is implicit, with the tower acting in the manner of a last refuge. Whether castrum here was simply a varietal synonym for oppidum, used earlier in Flodoard’s account, or was a separate site, is debatable. 42 The role of royal property in the mid seventh-century foundation of the convent is discussed by Lusse, Naissance d’une cité, pp. 203–5 and D. Harrison, The Age of Abbesses and Queens: Gender and Political Culture in Early Medieval Europe (Lund, 1998), pp. 298–9. 43 Lusse, Naissance d’une cité, p. 230, with consideration of the place of the tower at p. 253, n. 20; see further, Lavelle, ‘Controlling and Contesting Urban Spaces’, p. 170.

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 225

Figure 21. (i) Plan of the enceinte of the tenth-century castrum of Laon, with the contour of the eastern part of the city’s plateau. (Image redrawn after Lusse, Naissance d’une cité, p. 242; the cathedral is marked by the position of the later church.) (ii) Inset: View of the Porte d’Ardon (also known as the Porte Royale), seen from the walls of the city at the south-east.

position of the tower occupied by the resisting guards, but the actual task of erecting a barrier must have itself been an act intended to be demonstrative of Louis’ authority within the urban space. Still, Hugh the Great was able to resupply the tower and reinforce it with his own men, despite Louis’ lordship, and Hugh’s retention of the tower for another year allowed him to negotiate its handover; more widely, it helped to provide Hugh with the opportunity to negotiate his own position within Laon and the wider area.44 44 Note

that this was not simply a contest for the control of Laon; in the same year, the men of Coucy-le-Château, 14 miles (22 km) to the west, switched their allegiance from Hugh to Bishop Artoldus of Laon, suggesting that Hugh’s wider position was undermined.

226  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Such separate defended spaces, perhaps best described as citadels but often referred to as castrae or munitiones, within the urban fortifications allowed the successful contestation or indeed the retention of an urban space and of course they played a tactical role (as places from which missiles could be launched) as well as a strategic one, determining such issues as resupply. Furthermore, in line with Oliver Creighton and Duncan Wright’s reading of twelfth-century English siege castles, they also provided spaces within visual and aural distance from which negotiation might be carried out, thus demonstrating the public nature of a conflict.45 This is nothing new in terms of what has been seen of castles and other fortifications in the previous chapter but it had a role in the demonstration of lordship within an urban space such as Laon. This issue was not always related to the defensibility of a fortified space. Vallation itself could determine status. If the wall built by Louis IV in order to counter the occupation of the domus tower by the men of Count Hugh was the same as the ‘low walls’ described by Richer of Reims in 988,46 this may indicate that Louis’ actions in establishing a wall in 949 were principally symbolic. The height of the walls may also provide an explanation for why Hugh’s men had continued to be able to access supplies for a year in 949–50. The building up of those walls, to create a more defensible citadel within the city, could have stemmed from military developments in the later tenth century, a period when castles were becoming part of the military and lordly landscape. However, given that Charles of Lorraine seemed to wish to appear as a figure with a determined interest in the defensibility of the city, perhaps in order to bolster his lordship over it (and thus his Carolingian claim to the crown), there may yet have been a symbolic significance to what was demonstrated.47 Although we must acknowledge the limits of eleventh-century historical sources which paid scant attention to a city on the periphery of a royal zone that had become focused on a smaller area of the Île de France, and while the castellans in the Laonnois were not averse to violence in the pursuit of their interests, the city itself seems to have been left to its bishops in the course of the eleventh century.48 Violence, however, erupted in the city in the early twelfth century. As in the tenth century, we have an outside witness on the 45 Creighton

and Wright, The Anarchy, p. 62. See also above, chapter 3, p. 131. IV.46, vol. 2, pp. 292–3. 47 On lords’ demonstrable interests in the defences of Laon, see Lavelle, ‘Controlling and Contesting Urban Spaces’, p. 162. 48 Saint-Denis, Apogée d’une cité, pp. 55–7 and 77–9. 46 Richer,

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 227

affairs; while Richer and Flodoard wrote from the perspective of Reims to the east of Laon, Guibert wrote from the abbey of Nogent, in the shadow of the castle of Coucy, some 14 miles (22 km) to the west.49 Like his tenthcentury counterparts, Guibert was anything but a dispassionate observer: his geographical closeness to events reported from the city by those who took part in them gave him an informed insight into the city’s affairs. As with the events that were to transpire in and around 1120s Bruges with the murder of its count, Charles the Good, the murder in Laon of a prominent city figure, Gérard, in 1111 was a prelude to a spiral of urban violence in 1112.50 King Louis VI’s involvement against the bishop of Laon, a ‘courtier of King Henry I of England without clerical qualifications’, elected c.1107, took an affair concerned with local politics onto a wider stage.51 Following a royal plundering of the bishop’s palace – the bishop was not there – and the excommunication by the bishop of those who had attacked his men, a commune was declared within the city.52 This was, as Guibert noted, a novel form of service, establishing a head-tax but abolishing other dues of service. Bishop Gaudry, newly enriched by a trip to England, was reconciled for a time to the commune but Thomas Bisson highlights the way in which a lack of payments or render drove him to invite the king to the city, in Holy Week 1112, ‘with a view to quashing the commune’.53 As with events in the mid tenth century, here was a sign of the importance of controlling ingress to the city. The establishment of the commune cannot be considered as a bottom-up dynamic but, rather, was an enterprise for those with the wealth to buy into it. Furthermore, the popular violence in the city following the king’s entry showed the limitations of control by any one element. 49 J.

Rubenstein, Guibert of Nogent: Portrait of a Medieval Mind (New York, 2002), pp. 101–10. 50 Galbert of Bruges, The Murder of Charles the Good, Count of Flanders, ed. and trans. J. B. Ross (New York, 1959; rev. edn, 1967), with the spiralling of murders at chs. 12–17, pp. 111–27. The death of Gérard is recorded by Guibert in his Monodiae, III.5, pp. 296–305 (trans. pp. 117–20). 51 Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century, pp. 234–5 (quotation at p. 234). On Gaudry as Henry’s chancellor, see Hollister, Henry I, p. 432 (although Hollister wrongly identifies Laon as an archbishopric). 52 Guibert, Monodiae, III.6–7 (trans. pp. 121–33) 53 Bisson, Crisis of the Twelfth Century, p. 235, referring to Guibert, Monodiae, III.7. For the actions regarding the commune and its repression, see also Saint-Denis, Apogée d’une cité, pp. 96–108.

228  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Guibert of Nogent’s work showed how specific agency could be directed in the course of an urban revolt. He refers to the flight of the wife of the vidame Adon during the revolt of 1112, which resulted in an attack by townswomen. Guibert’s narrative may have been determined by gendered expectations – ‘Stripped of the valuable clothes she wore’ (precios quas habebat vestibus spoliata) as the townswomen beat her, she managed to escape in a nun’s habit.54 Rich clothes may of course have been the booty of mob violence but the humiliation of a woman from within the urban community who was rich, evidently publicly visible, and well-connected could hardly have been meaningless in this context. Violence against women in urban disorder may rarely surface in early and central medieval sources but the harm to the unnamed vidame’s wife at Laon, as with the fate of the wife of the castellan of Melun just over a century earlier, was likely to be the tip of an iceberg.55 The unrest in Laon was more than a brief flare-up and the city’s recovery was slow. Laon cathedral was, however, aided by a fund-raising campaign which included England, highlighting the fact that the English connections of the bishop of Laon were meaningful. A group of the bishop’s clergy took a number of relics on tour.56 Before concluding with late eleventh-century Normandy, our discussion moves from Laon to England, by way of a staging point that was available to the fund-raisers in their cross-Channel travels in 1113: the port of Dover.

An urban community and its lords: Dover, 1051 Each of the discussions of towns or cities in this chapter links urban revolt to the collective interests of a particular group associated with the urban community; in Dover we might see the opposition to one lord expressed through loyalty to another. Dover was a smaller town than Laon but its strategic significance was determined, like Laon, by its hilltop location. Unlike Laon, its position was coastal: on the narrowest part of the English Channel at a longestablished crossing point from France.57 In Dover, we follow the interests 54 Guibert,

Monodiae, III.9, pp. 348–50 (trans. p. 138). the wife of the castellan of Melun, see chapter 5, above, p. 196–7. 56 Guibert, Monodiae, III.13 (trans. p. 153). 57 The potential strategic dominance of the settlement at Dover is discussed by Brian Philp, The Discovery and Excavation of Anglo-Saxon Dover (Dover, 2003) at p. 2, with details of the late Anglo-Saxon phase at pp. 124–5; for a summary of the 55 For

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 229

of a group associated with the Godwine family in 1051. We have seen the processes of outlawry as a response to the Godwine family’s collective refusal to come to an assembly in 1051 in chapter 3, and the practical implications of the strategies of the family in 1052 are explored later in this book, in chapter 8. What made the actions at Dover relevant was the fact that they took place in the territory of Earl Godwine. The E manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle at this point records the words of an author who can be identified as writing in Kent, if not Saint Augustine’s Canterbury.58 The author provides a local interpretation which is favourable towards the men of Kent and Godwine’s family but it does not skirt around the issue of the violence meted out against Eustace and his men in Dover. At this time, we see a small town, albeit a strategically important one, with the people of Dover resisting a northern French magnate who was invoking some form of authority. Eustace may even have been acting through an earlier grant of authority over Dover in some form. After all, Dover seems to have been up for grabs just over a decade later, a matter indicated by the agreement of the grant of Dover by Harold Godwineson to Duke William of Normandy c.1064, recorded by Eadmer of Canterbury.59 The Chronicler records the donning of mail by Eustace outside the town in the context of his, and his companions’, hostile actions. However, arrival in this fashion may also be read as ceremonial, especially so if Eustace (who appears – like the English – as a figure with a moustache on the Bayeux Tapestry) could be seen as a prince of the English royal family as much as a French magnate.60 Both the D and E versions of the Chronicle record development of the harbour, see D. G. Russo, Town Origins and Development in Early England, c.400–950 A.D. (Westport, CT, 1998), p. 148. 58 See the editorial comments by Susan Irvine in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition: Volume 7: MS E (Cambridge, 2004), p. lxxvi. 59 Eadmeri Historia novorum in Anglia, et opuscula duo de vita sancti Anselmi et quibusdam miraculis ejus, ed. M. Rule, RS, 81 (London, 1884), pp. 7–8, trans. G. Bosanquet, Eadmer’s History of Recent Events in England: Historia Novorum in Anglia (London, 1964), pp. 7–8, and WP, I.42, pp. 70–1. 60 For the significance of Eustace’s close links to the kindred of King Edward, see Williams, The World before Domesday, p. 141; for the mutual interests of Eustace and Edward, see H. J. Tanner, ‘Eustace (II), Count of Boulogne (d. c.1087)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, 2004; online edn, 2017) http://www. oxforddnb.com/view/article/52359 (accessed 8 Dec. 2017). Eustace appears in the Bayeux Tapestry: plate 68 of The Bayeux Tapestry: A Comprehensive Survey, ed. F. Stenton (London, 1957; rev. edn, 1965).

230  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Eustace’s wish to get lodgings (inne [D]; wician [E]), a desire which may simply have been borne of practicality but was more likely to have been a deliberate invocation of authority, given that the townspeople evidently did not wish to fulfil it. While it is not until the twelfth and thirteenth centuries that evidence can be found of the guarding of rights not to provide hospitality against the will of the people or citizens in English towns, these rights may well have their roots in such earlier social frictions as those at Dover.61 Presumably there was an element of deliberate defiance in the townspeople’s actions. It is perhaps most important to note in this instance that the local people had the ability to stand up to Eustace. The violent confrontation may have been no more than an ill-judged brawl which got out of hand, but the Chronicler seems to have been aware of the local population’s interests; presumably Godwine’s lordship was something that could be invoked but this was also the violent demonstration of the rights of community enacted as a community.62 That King Edward seems to have demanded that Godwine punish the townspeople suggests that, whatever Edward might have planned in response to the crisis, Godwine’s lordship still mattered in Dover.63 Comparison may be made here with Philippe Buc’s consideration of the violent corruption of an entry ceremony at Bergamo in northern Italy, following the citizens’ refusal to grant entry to Arnulf of Carinthia in the late 880s, as a textual creation of Liudprand of Cremona.64 Although Buc’s intentions in citing Liudprand’s passage (and others) are to show the apparent dangers to historians of reading real acts of ceremony and ritual in medieval authors’ texts, and it seems unlikely that the author of the E annal for 1051 knew of the events at Bergamo per se, the notion of what constituted a royal entry 61 For

early Anglo-Saxon hospitality as a ‘compulsory’ phenomenon, see A. Gautier, ‘Hospitality in Pre-Viking Anglo-Saxon England’, EME, 17 (2009), pp. 23–44. British Borough Charters, 1216–1307, ed. A. Ballard and J. Tait (Cambridge, 1923), p. 110, records borough rights of the refusal of hospitality. I remain grateful to the late Susan Nightingale for the second of these references. 62 The coherence of urban communities in this period is discussed in C. West, ‘Urban Communities and Associations’, in A Social History of England, ed. Crick and van Houts, pp. 198–207. 63 Godwine’s refusal is in ASC E s.a. F. Barlow, Edward the Confessor (London, 1970), pp. 110–11. 64 Buc, Dangers of Ritual, pp. 40–2, citing Liudprand, Antapodosis, I.23–4 in Liudprandi Cremonensis, ed. Chiesa, pp. 20–1 (trans. Squatriti, Complete Works of Liudprand, p. 63).

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 231

was probably not alien to the Chronicler. Thus here we might detect the Chronicler’s attempts to recast what Eustace saw as a legitimate demonstration of status and authority as the bullying tactics of an elite class – an alien elite class, moreover – against a legitimate political community. The problem for Dover, in comparison to the glimpses of earlier rebellions in London, is that we do not know the dynamics within the town that led to the opposition to Eustace, but it may at least be said that the lordly interest in a town might conflict with the ‘public’ interests of its inhabitants. Dover remained a place of political value, however, and Eustace’s evident sidelining after 1066 meant that he had shifted from being an establishment figure with royal links asserting authority to being the rebel himself. Eustace’s continuing link with Dover is indicated by his attack on the town in 1067, an event which can be cited as the first effective opposition to King William’s new rule.65 This may indicate that Eustace’s interests in Dover predated those of William. Heather Tanner links Eustace’s interests in Dover in 1051 to a trip to England to negotiate in favour of continuing cross-Channel alliances and Eustace’s 1067 attack on Dover, recorded by William of Poitiers, to dissatisfaction with the spoils of Conquest and/or a wish to develop cross-Channel interests.66

Exeter: negotiation of urban power Exeter was another urban centre with links to the Godwine family. Though a larger town than Dover – indeed a city – Exeter had not been under direct comital control by Godwine or, later, his sons in the way that Dover had been specifically an area of comital responsibility. Exeter was, however, a place in which the Godwine family held a great deal of influence, with the foundation of Saint Olave’s church and an earl’s seat in the royal quarter.67 There are parallels here with York, though in Exeter’s case the castle (again in

65 WP,

II.47, pp. 182–5. J. Tanner, Families, Friends, and Allies: Boulogne and Politics in Northern France and England, c. 879–1160 (Leiden, 2004), pp. 92–3, and pp. 101–2, referring to WP, II.47, pp. 182–5. 67 See Higham, ‘Godwins, Towns and Churches’, as well as his ‘William the Conqueror’s Siege of Exeter in 1068’, Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association for the Advancement of Science, 145 (2013), pp. 93–132. 66 H.

232  ❧   pl aces of contested power

a different place from the Earl’s quarter) was not built, according to Orderic, until after the rebellion.68 Thus, the Godwine family’s interests in Exeter could be said to have been a factor in a heterogeneous urban community who opposed William in 1068. That community’s interests seem to have been varied, though what they had in common was that very opposition. The precise reasons for whatever form a declaration of opposition took are not known – we only know of the opposition, related in Orderic’s language of the city ‘groaning for lost liberty’ as well as his reference to the links between the city and what Edward Freeman referred to, not altogether fancifully, as an ‘urban league’.69 There was theatricality, however crude, in the staging of the dispute. Presumably at a point when the urban community had declared their defiance, William blinded a hostage before the walls.70 There are echoes here of the mutilation of English hostages by Cnut at Sandwich in 1014,71 suggesting that the city community had originally sent hostages as a gesture of submission to the king, either at the end of 1066 or in 1067. William of Malmesbury records a gesture of defiance by at least one of the city’s inhabitants, who farted at the king’s army (or perhaps, given that the king is said to have had English soldiers with him, at those English within it).72 Writing some two generations after the Conquest, at a point outside personal memory, William may have been emphasising stereotypes of the crude behaviour of Englishmen which had been emerging by the twelfth century, but under the circumstances of action and reprisal, this was demonstrative behaviour.73 The garrison of a fortress 68 OV,

vol. 2, pp. 214–15. On Exeter castle as a centre for twelfth-century rebellion, see chapter 3, above, p. 98. 69 Freeman, History of the Norman Conquest, vol. 4, pp. 146–8, noting observations made by Francis Palgrave, in The History of Normandy and of England (London, 4 vols, 1851–64), vol. 3, pp. 419, and 426–9; for a more recent discussion, see T. Gale, J. Langdon, and N. Leishman, ‘Piety and Political Accommodation in Norman England: The Case of the South-West’, HSJ, 18 (2007), pp. 110–31. 70 OV, vol. 2, pp. 210–14. 71 ASC CDE 1014; for these mutilations, see above, chapter 3, pp. 129. 72 WM, GRA, pp. 462–3. For English soldiers, OV, vol. 2, pp. 212–13, and also S. Morillo, Warfare Under the Anglo-Norman Kings, 1066–1135 (Woodbridge, 1994), pp. 53–4. 73 On historical memory, see van Houts, ‘Memory of 1066 in Written and Oral Traditions’. The significance of perceived differences between the English and Normans is discussed in H. M. Thomas, The English and the Normans: Ethnic Hostility, Assimilation, and Identity 1066–c.1220 (Oxford, 2003), particularly pp.

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 233

‘across the river’ (trans flumen) from what became the Norman frontier town of Alençon had made gestures of defiance – described by William of Jumièges merely as ‘insults’ (conuitia) but explained in Orderic’s twelfth-century interpolations as the beating of pelts and furs in mockery of the status of Duke William’s maternal grandparents.74 This act – which may have stemmed from a misinterpretation (either by William or indeed by Orderic) of preparations of hanging wet hides on outer ramparts as a preparation against fire in a siege – had cost the Alençonnais mockers their hands and feet in William’s reprisal. Although William needed to move with unusual speed in the circumstances of a double-rebellion just as he was to do in different parts of England in the later 1060s, the cyclical nature to the acts of mocking and mutilation in William’s career are striking.75 In Exeter, although William of Malmesbury does not record the blinding of the hostage, it may be possible to countenance that this was itself a response to the deliberate insult provided by a defiant fart. Considering the reasons for this revolt may help us to understand that it was a series of actions intended from the off to be a means of negotiation rather than simply frustrated defiance. One argument is for a league with the sons of the dead King Harold, who resided in Ireland after 1066; the evidence for this being a later attack on Exeter and, J. O. Prestwich argued, allusions to a request for aid from Dublin and Denmark in Orderic Vitalis’ account of the urban rebellion.76 An alternative reading, which does not exclude the possibility that siding with Harold’s sons was on the table in the minds of both the elders of the city community and William and his councillors, is that Exeter was part of some sort of south-western group of towns. Orderic refers to Exeter’s requests for help from other towns, and the city’s freedoms 50–5. Unfortunately the Exeter/Fart episode is not discussed by Valerie Allen, in On Farting: Language and Laughter in the Middle Ages (Basingstoke, 2007), or by Barrow, ‘Demonstrative Behaviour and Political Communication’. 74 GND, vol. 2, VII.8, and Orderic’s interpolation (VII.[18]), pp. 124–5. An important study here is E. M. C. van Houts, ‘The Origins of Herleva, Mother of William the Conqueror’, EHR, 101 (1986), pp. 399–405. 75 I need to acknowledge once more my gratitude to Matthew Bennett for the rereading of the hanging of hides and the nature of the circumstances of revolt. 76 J. O. Prestwich, The Place of War in English History 1066–1214, ed. M. Prestwich (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. 28–31. B. Hudson, ‘The Family of Harold Godwineson and the Irish Sea Province’, Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 109 (1979), pp. 92–100, repr. in his Irish Sea Studies, 900–1200 (Dublin, 2006), pp. 100–7.

234  ❧  pl aces of contested power

from taxation recorded in Domesday Book suggest that William treated it leniently in the aftermath of revolt: according to Domesday, Exeter only paid tax when London, York, and Winchester also paid, a privilege which may be indicative of the strength of the Exonians’ position at the end of the eleventh century.77 Furthermore, Orderic’s reference to troops (perhaps English troops, given the wider reference to their service in the campaign) posted outside Exeter following the city’s surrender is indicative of the supplicatory nature of the surrender; perhaps the rebellion had served a purpose in allowing the city’s importance to be recognised by the king. The contrast with York is salutary. Although York’s tax privilege may be evident, the city may have been in worse straits at the end of 1069, when it suffered as part of the wider campaign known as the ‘Harrying of the North’ . We have already seen the statement of kingship made by William in the smoking embers of the city in Christmas 1069.78 William is sometimes considered to have had a weak negotiating hand when he made concessions to Exeter but he can hardly have had a weaker hand by comparison with his later position, with lines of communication stretched into Yorkshire and some of his key players killed as a result of uprisings in Durham and York in 1069.79 To that end, William’s concessions to Exeter may compare with the circumstances of the assertion of West Saxon interests in Northumbria a century earlier, during the reign of Eadred, as a result of the Northumbrians’ expulsion of the Viking ruler Erik Bloodaxe. There, the West Saxons’ power in Northumbria was limited and although David Rollason rightly highlights the enmity between York and Bamburgh leading to the betrayal and death of Erik Bloodaxe as he crossed the Pennines in 954,80 there was evident upheaval in York itself. Erik seems to have lost power in York, an issue related to the expulsion of Archbishop Wulfstan in

77 DB

Dev C 4 (fol. 100a). This is noted by Chibnall in OV, vol. 2, p. 212, n. Freeman, History of the Norman Conquest, vol. 4, pp. 146–7, considered such rights to have been longstanding rather than gained by negotiation in 1068. 78 Chapter 3, pp. 134–5. 79 For events in Durham and York, OV, vol. 2, pp. 220–3, which is probably influenced by WP’s lost text. See above, chapter 5, p. 178; GND, vol. 2, VII.19 and 21, pp. 178–9 and 182–3; ASC DE 1069; Simeon, HR, p. 186–8; see also Scott, ‘Earl Waltheof of Northumbria’, pp. 175–6 and Aird, St Cuthbert and the Normans, pp. 70–5. 80 ASC D 954. Rollason, Northumbria, pp. 265–6.

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 235

952, and this tension may have provided the circumstances for negotiation and agreement to be reached.81 Given the evidence for divisions amongst the urban elites of Exeter, it may have taken a signal (as we see in the surrender of London of 1066) that a particular faction was willing to compromise, for that faction to gain the upper hand in circumstances of revolt. Thus a particular faction could benefit from revolt even if they had not been its instigators. In York, the expulsion of Erik Bloodaxe was perhaps such a signal, allowing the retention of liberties for the city under Eadred – indeed in the following decades, in which we should note that the Northumbrians’ choice of king, Edgar, differed from the West Saxon choice, Eadwig.82 In such circumstances, compromise after a face-off could lead to the nurturing of loyalty. When there was unrest in the southwest in 1069, the Godwine family were clearly involved just as in 1068, but the city did not fall to insurrection. If Exeter was not, as Orderic has it, a direct target in 1069 which loyally held firm against rebels (Benjamin Hudson suggests that it was probably near a landing-place but was not itself a battle site), at least it could no longer be considered a place that would support new rebels.83

A ringleader put in his place? Conan and the ‘Rouen Riot’ We can see the manifestation of urban unrest being as much about factionalism as about resisting an external enemy in the case of Rouen. Where we might only be able to link events in Dover in 1051 with a Godwinist affiliation of members of the urban community, the evidence of events in Rouen in 1090 provides us with a sense of the importance of leadership within an urban rebellion as well as the ways in which urban spaces might be used. A conflict in the city was the result of the permeation of English influence into Normandy with the ‘machinations’ of the then English king, William Rufus, who attempted to gain the Norman duchy during the ducal reign of Robert

81 ASC

D 952. useful assessment of the social and political alliances which goes beyond ‘ethnic’ lines is provided by Lesley Abrams, in ‘Edgar and the Men of the Danelaw’, in Edgar, ed. Scragg, pp. 171–91. 83 OV, vol. 2, pp. 228–9. Hudson, ‘Family of Harold Godwinsson’, p. 105, suggests that the geography of the campaign of 1069 makes Exeter’s involvement unlikely. 82 A

236  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Curthose.84 Again we must turn to Orderic Vitalis, who records the attempts of Rouen’s richest citizen, a certain Conan, to undermine ducal authority.85 Orderic’s record of the descent of Conan from an otherwise unknown Gilbert Pilatus – after whom the Pilatenses faction referred to in a later charter were evidently named86 – may have been, on the one hand, a typical means of establishing ancestry in a medieval chronicle; on the other hand it showed that his ancestral descent did not reach particularly far. In a world in which the values of the aristocracy dominated, Conan was an upstart. He ‘arrogantly maintained against the duke a huge permanent household of menat-arms and dependants’ (ingentemque militum et satellitum familiam contra ducem turgidus iugiter pascebat).87 Orderic records a clash within the city, as those supporting the king (i.e. against the duke) entered the city from the west, while another group, under Gilbert of Laigle, serving the duke attempted to come in from the south (see Figure 22). In the meantime, another royal group, within the city, were evidently spoiling for a fight. The episode is well known, and its treatment by Leonie Hicks shows the way in which it reveals much about the topography of the city.88 Orderic’s account of the confusion is telling, and he probably protests a little too much. None of the citizens, Orderic tells us, ‘knew what party to choose’ (sibi partem eligeret),89 though as he tells us in an earlier passage that ‘most of the townsmen leant to [Conan’s] group’ (maxima pars urbanorum eidem adquiescebant), we can probably assume that there is some exaggeration for effect.90 Duke Robert is recorded as escaping the mêlée, not 84 Aird,

Robert Curthose, p. 134. vol. 4, pp. 221–7. 86 Charter of Henry I (1111), edited in Haskins, Norman Institutions, pp. 91–2. 87 OV, vol. 4, pp. 220–1. However, for the limits of Orderic as a source for the identification of a specific bourgeoisie, see L. Jean-Marie, ‘Le terme “bourgeois” dans les sources narratives normandes des XIe–XIIe siècles’, in Les villes normandes au Moyen Âge, ed. P. Bouet and F. Neveux (Caen, 2006), pp. 209–24. 88 L. V. Hicks, ‘Through the City Streets: Movement and Space in Rouen as Seen by the Norman Chroniclers’, in Society and Culture in Medieval Rouen, 911–1300, ed. L. V. Hicks and E. Brenner (Turnhout, 2013), pp. 125–49, at pp. 135–7. 89 OV, vol. 4, pp. 222–3. 90 OV, vol. 4, pp. 220–1. The division evidently took some time to heal, as it was referred to as a ‘serious quarrel between factions, namely of the Pilatenses and the Calloenses’ (gravis dissensio inter partes Pilatensium scilicet et Calloensium) in the charter of 1111 cited above (n. 86). On the divisions of the community, see C. W. Hollister, ‘The Rouen Riot and Conan’s Leap’, Peritia, 10 (1996), pp. 341–50. The citizens 85 OV,

un rest in the

urbs 

❧ 237

Figure 22. Bernard Gauthiez’s hypothetical reconstruction of Rouen at the end of the eleventh century. (Adapted from B. Gauthiez, ‘The Urban Development of Rouen, 989–1345’, in Society and Culture in Medieval Rouen, ed. Hicks and Brenner, pp. 16–74.)

of Rouen are noted as being in rebellion in the crisis of the late 1040s (WP, I.10, pp. 12–13) and their semi-independence is indicated by Robert of Torigni’s claim that Rouen would have been ‘squandered’ (dissipauerat) along with other elements of the ‘paternal inheritance’ (paternam hereditatem) by Robert Curthose around the beginning of the twelfth century had the citizens not prevented it: GND, vol. 2, VIII.13, pp. 220–1 (an addition by Robert of Torigni to a passage derived from the Brevis Relatio de origine Willelmi Conquestoris, in Scriptores rerum gestarum Willelmi Conquestoris, ed. J. A. Giles [London, 1845], pp. 1–23, at p. 13).

238  ❧   pl aces of contested power

wishing to be slain by his social inferiors. Interestingly (and probably not coincidentally), Orderic tells us that he took refuge at the church of NotreDame-du-Pré (‘Sanctæ Mariæ de Prato’). Founded by the sons’ mother, Matilda, and later patronised by Henry, the pré (‘meadow’) name element made this a place which may have been associated with the memory of a battle, Pré-de-Bataille, fought in the suburbs of Rouen against another rebellion, c. 934.91 Thus, even if it was not the precise place itself, Orderic was able to link two unsuccessful rebellions through the meadows on opposite banks of the Seine, bringing out the significance of the young Henry, in many ways Orderic’s hero, as a figure through whom ducal justice flowed. Robert’s refuge left the defence of the duchy to his brother, Henry. In the meantime, as if to emphasise the class difference apparent in the conflict, at a time when aristocratic opponents might reasonably expect to be ransomed,92 a ‘ferocious slaughter’ of the burgenses took place. Those who escaped took shelter in nearby woods, a detail which may just have been a literary motif or indeed simply a logical action in the face of defeat, though there is an interesting parallel with the place of refuge of the rebels of c. 934, who also took shelter in the woods. Conan, meanwhile, was taken by Henry on a mock tour of the castle, and in particular its tower. That account is famous for its depiction of the Norman countryside, as Henry pointed out to his guest, what might now be called a viewshed: Admire, Conan, the beauty of the country you tried to conquer. Away to the south there is a delightful hunting region, wooded and well-stocked with beasts of the chase. See how the river Seine, full of fishes, laps the wall of Rouen and daily brings in ships laden with merchandise of many kinds. On the other side, see the fair and populous city, with its ramparts [menibus] and churches and town buildings, to which the whole of Normandy has rightly

91 De

moribus et actis primorum Normanniae Ducum, ed. J. Lair (Caen, 1865), III.46, p. 191; trans. Dudo of St Quentin: History of the Normans, trans. E. Christiansen (Woodbridge, 1998), p. 68; ‘Pré’ street-names in the area are discussed in N. Periaux, Dictionnaire indicateur et historique de Rouen, revue de ses monuments et de ses établissements publics (Rouen, 1870), pp. 495–7. The interment of Henry’s innards at the church in 1135 is recorded by WM, HN, I.13, pp. 26–7. For the significance of Notre-Dame-du-Pré, see M. Chibnall, ‘The Empress Matilda and Bec-Hellouin’, ANS, 10 (1988 for 1987), pp. 35–48, at pp. 38–9. 92 On this topic, see Strickland, ‘Slaughter, Slavery or Ransom’.

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 239

been subject since the earliest days [cui iure a priscis temporibus subiacet Normannia tota].93

The description draws on locational stereotypes, as Leonie Hicks has noted, and of course Orderic could hardly have been drawing on reportage in his employment of fictive speech; we have already seen the employment of such a speech in evoking a sense of defiance in the depiction of rural tranquillity on the Isle of Ely under siege.94 In the case of Rouen, the cardinal point (‘away to the south’) links the city with the surrounding countryside (perhaps diplomatically, the meadows in which Duke Robert had taken refuge are not mentioned!). Through the contrast, the urban space is highlighted. The contrast between the noble pursuits of the hunt and the merchandise of the city is an indication of the gulf between Henry and the social upstart rebel. Conan is made to suffer, emphasising his difference from the nobility. Despite offering a ransom (we might wonder whether the wealth would have been the duke’s by right, in any case), Orderic’s account has Henry throw Conan to his death from the top of the tower before the urban upstart is allowed to confess his sins, thus putting the young Henry in a role of royal family member most likely to show his temper. We are, of course, reliant on Orderic’s narrative as our guide, under which circumstances the grandiloquence of Henry’s words must be the first casualty of the sceptic. However, the commanding presence of the tower in the public space of the city is an important element for helping us to understand the circumstances of the record; the tower helps us with a reading of the use of space, particularly vertical space, during an urban rebellion. The act of flinging down an adversary from the ramparts of a castle seems to be an acknowledged statement of authority reasserted. It is comparable with similar actions taking place at other northern French locations: the castle 93 ‘Considera

Conane quam pulchram tibi patriam conatus es subjicere. En ad meridiem delectabile parcum patet oculis tuis et saltuosa regio siluestribus abundans feris. Ecce Sequana piscosum flumen Rotomagensem murum allambit nauesque pluribus mercimoniis refertas huc cotidie deuehit. En ex alia parte ciuitas populosa menibus sacrisque templis et urbanis edibus speciosa cui iure a priscis temporibus subiacet Normannia tota.’ OV, vol. 4, pp. 224–5 (Chibnall’s translation modified). OV, vol. 3, pp. 36–7, contains similar purple prose on the virtues of the city. 94 See above, p. 14–16. Hicks considers the Conan episode in ‘Through the City Streets’, as well as in her ‘Magnificent Entrances and Undignified Exits: Chronicling the Symbolism of Castle Space in Normandy’, JMH, 35:1 (2009), pp. 52–69, at pp. 65–6.

240  ❧   pl aces of contested power

of La Roche-Guyon (dép. Seine-et-Oise) in 1109, and, in an urban example, from the castle of Bruges. In the 1127 aftermath of the restoration of authority following the murder of Galbert of Bruges, some thirty captured co-conspirators were flung from the castle’s tower.95 Although in the case of Rouen, Orderic’s narrative may well have been influenced by knowledge of such later actions, Orderic, whose chronicle was less influential in the twelfth century than it is now, is unlikely to have been the originator of the story of Henry’s violence.96 Orderic records the name given to the place of Henry’s act, ‘Conan’s Leap’ (Saltus Conani), a name which, Jacques Le Maho notes, applied to the Tower of Rouen prior to its destruction by fire in 1200.97 The dramatic nature of the event suggests that even if few witnessed Conan’s ejection itself, there would have been many who were party to its aftermath. Presumably that was what Henry intended. Fortified spaces, particularly castles, are again compelling in understanding the dynamics of urban revolt and responses to them. In Rouen, the tower itself seems to have played a role in the urban politics of the affair and its memory. It was built in the style of the tower of Laon, in which the young duke Richard I had been in ‘semi-captivité’ in the mid tenth century;98 the tower at Rouen evidently fulfilled a similar function, as Duke Richard II (996–1026) had imprisoned the rebellious Count Rodulf (a man who had himself been a suppressor of rebels) in the same tower for five years. Rodulf had made his escape ‘by a very long rope hung from the highest window’ (longissimo fune per eminentiorem fenestram).99 Orderic does not relate Rodulf ’s escape in his Historia Ecclesiastica but as he had edited his own version of William of Jumièges’ Gesta Normannorum Ducum, which recorded it, he could hardly have been unaware of the link between this particular 95 Suger,

ch. 17, pp. 122–3 (trans. pp. 76–80); Galbert, Murder of Charles the Good, ed. and trans. Ross, ch. 81, pp. 250–2. On the legitimacy of such actions, see Hollister, Henry I, p. 74. 96 Hollister, Henry I, p. 73, compares the account in WM, GRA, pp. 712–15. A ‘classic’ paper on the influence of Orderic is R. D. Ray, ‘Orderic Vitalis and his Readers’, Studia monastica, 14 (1972), pp. 17–33. 97 J. le Maho, ‘La “Tour de Rouen”, palais du Duc Richard Ier (†996)’, in La Normandie vers l’an mil, ed. F. De Beaurepaire and J.-P. Chaline (Rouen, 2000), pp. 73–6. The site of the former castle is the modern Place de la Haute-Vielle-Tour (see Figure 7.3). 98 Le Maho, ‘La “Tour de Rouen”’, p. 73. 99 GND, vol. 2, V.3, pp. 10–11.

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 241

window and the action of an earlier rebel. For that matter, it is likely that this was relevant to the young Henry, or those around him, too. By 1090, the tower was a venerable location, replete with meaning for the Norman duchy. The control of urban space had developed a third dimension that had, with a few exceptions such as the contestation of Laon discussed above, only been occupied by ecclesiastical architecture. The use of the tower is also at a point where the interstices of public ducal authority, the private space of the duke, and the public space of the burgesses interact. The castle functioned as both a public space and, as the ducal residence in what was then (and remains) Normandy’s premier city, a private one. As has been noted in chapter 3, castles could function as a public space,100 and in public terms, Rouen’s tower functioned within the urban space as a visible indicator of ducal authority that was linked to the building of a tower at Laon, in which Duke Richard I had been held as a youth.101 With regard to the visibility of the tower and its public function, Henry’s was a public action (at this point on behalf of his brother) that followed his act of bursting out from the castle with his brother Robert when action against the rebels began.102 In private terms, the use of the space by Henry may have been an allusion to his great-grandfather, Richard II; not only had he imprisoned his opponent Rudolf there but by the twelfth century he was described in Robert of Torigni’s additions to the Gesta Normannorum Ducum as habitually looking out of the windows of the tower after dinner, ‘observing the city walls, the meadows and the rivers’ (huius urbis menia et prata necnon flumina perspicere).103 Though it relates to a time prior to 1090, Robert’s story is later than that of Orderic, but the notion of the tower as a point from which the duke was able to see the urban community and the space beyond it was evidently important, indicating its position of power, and it is not unlikely that the story was of some meaning in the late eleventh century.104 It seems likely that the literate Henry would have been aware of descriptions of his

100 Noted

above regarding Exeter in the early twelfth century, p. 98. Maho, ‘La “Tour de Rouen”’, p. 73. On the subject of towers as vertical spaces within cities, see Lavelle, ‘Controlling and Contesting Urban Spaces’, p. 170. 102 OV, vol. 4, pp. 222–3. 103 GND, vol. 2, V.13a, pp. 30–1. 104 On the significance of windows within a ducal space and the use of natural backlight as a manifestation of power (though relating to Lillebonne rather than Rouen), see Hagger, Norman Rule, p. 390. 101 Le

242  ❧  pl aces of contested power

great-grandfather, remembered in glowing terms, even by the standards of ducal panegyric, when Henry brought his guest to the tower.105 To this end, the tower, at this interstice between the town and the Norman countryside had some real meaning. Orderic has Henry describe the view from the town and there is some evidence that the tower was on the south wall of the city, in the south-eastern quarter by the river, and by the later eleventh century had been incorporated into a larger intra-mural donjon.106 Henry’s action was one of defending the town from the enemy within, placing a deliberate full stop on the revolt, and reminding the burgesses who survived or who succeeded those who did not survive, of their place in the pecking order. Like other mural ejections of the time, throwing Conan toward the river below – and thus (symbolically at least) out of the city – seems logical in this context, though the symbolic action of tying Conan’s body to the tail of a horse in order to drag it through the streets was needed in order for an urban public to witness the end of a ringleader. Warren Hollister noted the way in which the (re-)naming of the tower, Conan’s Leap, at the heart of Robert Curthose’s duchy, would have been a continuing insult to the duke, whose star was already on the wane. (Although we should note that the tower was never called La Tour d’Henri!)107 As a footnote to this line of thought, if, as I think likely, Henry was aware of the demonstrative actions of his father and the familial echoes of his great-grandfather in an urban setting, Henry’s opponents were aware of the ‘language’ that was used under such circumstances. In the case of royal response to rebellion, this time a response by Louis the Fat, the bodies of those Normanincited and Norman-born ‘traitors’ of the French Vexin of La Roche-Guyon 105 Henry’s Beauclerc nickname is much later, and there is some debate about Henry’s

erudition, but Hollister, Henry I, pp. 33–4 (quotation at p. 34), notes an ‘unmistakable impression’ of learning by the king. Eulogies of Richard II, in WJ’s version of GND, vol. 2, V.1, pp. 6–7, and V.17, pp. 39–41, do not hold back in their praise for a ruler who had set the ball rolling with his commissioning of Dudo’s official history of the dukes, but the notion of a new phase in the dignity of ducal rule is apparent: Crouch, The Normans, pp. 38–9. 106 Le Maho, ‘“Tour de Rouen”’. B. Gauthiez, ‘Hypothèses sur la fortification de Rouen au onzième siècle: Le donjon, la tour de Richard II et l’enceinte de Guillaume’, ANS, 14 (1992 for 1991), pp. 61–76. 107 Hollister, Henry I, pp. 74–5. Although, as Hollister notes (p. 75), Orderic ‘does not include Henry among the captive-takers’, it should be noted that while OV did not name Henry he does state ‘ceterique ducis auxiliari’ and does not actively exclude him. (But presumably, having killed Conan, did Henry need to ransom others?)

unrest in the

urbs 

❧ 243

included some who had been flung from windows of the castle in – according to Suger, at least – acts of divine vengeance. Those bodies were treated like that of Conan, tied to improvised rafts and left to float down the Seine: And if nothing managed to keep them from floating all the way to Rouen, they would exhibit there how their treachery had been avenged. Those who had for a short time befouled France with their filth, now dead, would forever befoul Normandy, their native soil.108

While Franco-Norman rivalry was not an obvious factor in 1090 in the Rouen revolt, the similarities in these acts of rulers’ anger were notable. Henry may not have intended the body of Conan to land in the Seine and so float out from his territory (not least as Rouen is some way inland and Norman land continued downstream), but the sentiment of the ejection of a figure defined as a traitor must have been clear to contemporaries. ❧  ❧  ❧

If the treatment of rebels could be brutal, this was particularly the case when it came to urban communities whose revolts were quashed. Though urban prosperity was an increasingly important factor in late ninth- and tenth-century England and France, even the most well-to-do townspeople may already have been in a liminal position before the first voices raised in anger threatened to marginalise them further. Nonetheless, the survival of the people of Exeter in 1068, the unwillingness of the Earl of Wessex to punish the people of Dover in 1051, and indeed the willingness of King William to make accord with the people of London, were significant. If the treatment of these towns and cities cannot be determined by the differences between England and France in the central Middle Ages, the ability of strong walls to keep out opponents until an agreement had been negotiated is particularly important. In York, where the revolt arose against Normans already in the city, the response was particularly brutal. The distinction between the opposition of a town and that of a castle garrison should be noted here. The defenders of Alençon who stood against William of Normandy c.1051 were not rebels but they were evidently treated as such. The fortress at Alençon, from which 108 ‘[U]t,

si forte usque Rotomagnum fluctuare nam impediantur, prodicionis ultionem ostentent et qui Franciam momentaneo fetare fedaverant, martui Normanniam deinceps tanquam solum fedare non desistant.’ Suger, ch. 17, p. 122 (trans. p. 80).

244  ❧   pl aces of contested power

the captured garrison were mutilated in front of the inhabitants of the town itself, was likely to be an urban castle rather than a simple outwork of the town;109 nonetheless, the circumstances of defiance and indeed the exiguous circumstances facing William that ensured that their fate was to be treated as rebellious townspeople. This was obviously rather less favourable than, say, the Norman garrison of Le Mans surrendering to Helias of Maine in 1100 but perhaps the history of Alençon itself may have played its own part. In c.1051, at the brutal theatre of the maiming of the men of the garrison, the memory that a generation earlier the town’s lord William de Bellême was publicly humiliated in regard to the holding of Alençon’s castle was surely something that the Normans and Alençonnais drew on.110 Whereas Duke William needed to demonstrate to a hostile town (and indeed to Domfront further west) that he was ready to seize it through any force necessary, in the case of Le Mans, Count Helias was ready to demonstrate a reassertion of lordship over his own town through the protection of his vanquished enemies from the townspeople. Whether surrender, mutilation, execution, massacre, or simple negotiation, urban space was evidently becoming a setting for heightened political drama during the course of the tenth to twelfth centuries which brought in a greater range of people but still had elite interests at its heart, sometimes aristocratic, sometimes oligarchical, and sometimes a mixture of the two. It is at towns, increasingly delineated by urban barriers of ditches, ramparts, and walls, that we see the interstices of authority, of the limits of royal or princely authority in the face of a communal assertion of power with the means to show it, as well as the divisions within those communities themselves. Here, access to the town was key. Conflict might end up being at the heart of the town, as was the case in Rouen, and here the limits of the knight’s military strength in the face of urban opposition came into play: even dismounted, the heavily armoured knight was at considerable disadvantage in close quarter fighting in city streets that he was unlikely to be familiar with. Nonetheless, resolution often seems to

109 Although

references exist to a castle at Alençon, WJ, GND, vol. 2, pp. 124–5 is ambiguous as to whether the opposition in ‘municipio trans flumen’ was actually a fortress across the river from Alençon itself or whether William encountered the castle and town from across the river. Given that the ‘Chateau des Ducs’ is some distance from the River Sarthe, it seems that the Briante, a tributary of the Sarthe which passes by the walls of the castle, was meant by WJ. 110 See above, pp. 74, 79 and pp. 187–8.

un rest in the

urbs 

❧ 245

have been determined at the town’s edges – even in the case of Rouen, the ejection of the ‘traitor’ Conan was at the edge of the city. In Normandy, where there is greater evidence of the rituals associated with the humiliation of opponents who had failed in some way, urban space assumed a dramatic significance. It was to Rouen that Richard (later Richard III) ordered the humiliated Hugh, Count of Chalon-sur-Saône and Bishop of Auxerre to go, having sworn an oath to ‘give satisfaction’ (satisfacturum iureiurando) to his father Richard II there in 1017×26.111 William of Jumièges notes that at the ‘city’ (urbs) of Chalon (dép. Saôneet-Loire), Hugh had capitulated to the younger Richard after a Norman siege, carrying a saddle on his back. Elisabeth van Houts notes that there was ‘no confirmation that Bishop Hugh ever came to Rouen’,112 and, given that earlier events in Burgundy in which the Normans were involved were directed by King Robert of France, it is doubtful that Richard really had much agency. But whatever the size of the population of the former Roman city of Chalon by the eleventh century, humiliation needed an audience. This would have been the case too with William de Bellême carrying a saddle on his shoulder following his failed stand at Alençon113 or Henry I’s actions against the rebellious Conan in the tower of Rouen. Whatever the case, these were statements of power, of control, of what Stephen White might refer to as righteous anger.114 Some late medievalists might of course point out that nothing much happens in towns before 1200, but from the tenth century, the rituals and shared identities that held together the urban community were beginning to be more apparent than they were when small urban communities were in development in earlier centuries.115 It was logical that when the bonds of urban society were stretched and damaged under political pressure, the society’s collective will (or at least the collective will of parts of that society) would manifest itself in acts – often traumatic acts – which could take on meanings which outlasted the blood spilled on urban streets.

111 For

the date, Van Houts, GND, vol. 2, p. 39, n.1. Houts, GND, vol. 2, p. 39, n. 4 113 GND, vol. 2, VI.4, pp. 50–1. WJ refers to a ‘fortress’ (castro) at Alençon rather than a town at this point but later context suggests that it was a fortress outwith the town. 114 White, ‘Politics of Anger’. See discussion in the introduction above, p. 78. 115 See Reynolds, Kingdoms and Communities, pp. 158–68. 112 Van

Chapter Seven

Sacred Places and Profane Actions One of the paradoxes of rebellion and other political disputes in the early and central Middle Ages is that religious communities should have been so regularly involved in them. This may hardly be surprising in terms of medieval political thought, given the significance of ecclesiastical criticism of earthly rule as a cause and consequence of Gregorian reform in both the sixth and eleventh centuries.1 All the same, violent manifestations of political dispute – particularly where they concerned the earthly interests of religious leaders – did not preclude the participation of religious houses. In their opposition to secular lords and rulers, political actors frequently needed recourse to religious legitimacy, such as was the case with the monastic imprisonment of Emperor Louis the Pious by his son Lothar in 833, which demonstrated the nature of what Mayke de Jong has termed the ‘Penitential State’.2 Narrative chroniclers of the Middle Ages were adept at ensuring that disputes between secular and religious authority were at the forefront of accounts of violent conflict between ecclesiastical and secular lords; this was about more than representation. As the invocation of Saint

1 Papal

arguents for the deposition of a rex inutilis in the eleventh century are discussed by Peters, The Shadow King, pp. 30–80. For the disputed nature of ‘peace’ in political thought in the central Middle Ages, see J. Y. Malegam The Sleep of Behemoth: Disputing Peace and Violence in Medieval Europe, 1000–1200 (Ithaca, NY, 2013). 2 Thegan, chs 42–3, pp. 228–30 (trans. pp. 210–11); Astronomer, chs 48 (p. 480), 49 (p. 482), ch. 51 (p. 486) (trans. pp. 281–4). For Louis’ incarceration, de Jong, Penitential State, pp. 243–4; see also her ‘Monastic Prisoners or Opting Out?‘

sacred pl aces and profane actions   ❧ 247

Germanus in Raoul Glaber’s account of King Robert’s siege of Auxerre in 1003 demonstrates, the link between sanctity and space could be crucial.3 In another eleventh-century case, if Stuart Prior’s argument for the discovery and use of a site at Montacute (Som.) can be accepted, it was the denial of the sanctity of space that was at stake. Prior suggests that a Somerset hill’s long association with Glastonbury (and possibly Saint Patrick) and twelfth-century evidence for the discovery of a ‘miraculous’ cross there in the mid eleventh century may explain why that particular hill rather than one nearby at a better ‘tactical location’ was chosen for the building of Montacute Castle.4 Prior emphasises the significance of ‘popular veneration’ by the local population, reading the castle as an attempt ‘to graphically portray the Norman lord’s god given right over the biblical facets of dominion’.5 This would explain, Prior posits, why Montacute was ‘one of the few castles in England to ever see military action at the hands of the Saxons’: that it was a popular uprising driven by a ‘massive affront to Saxon pride in the area’ may explain why it was so easily defeated by Geoffrey of Coutances in 1069.6 The twelfth-century evidence which Prior cites from Waltham Abbey is questionable as a reliable source of Somerset traditions and Prior here uses binary readings of post-Conquest ethnicity, which I try to eschew, as explanations of rebellion (in this case there is certainly a wider context to the south-western uprising). Nonetheless, Prior’s thinking on the subject is useful and a reminder of the multi-layered meanings of spatial domination.7 Although, for reasons of the sources as much as anything else, this chapter focuses on the politics of the Christian church it should be noted that the reading of the suppression of a local cult and the popular reaction to it has much in common with actions against local pagan cults. The best example of that is 3 Glaber,

II.8.15, pp. 78–9. This is discussed below, pp. 254–6. A Few Well-Positioned Castles, pp. 100–5 (quotation at p. 101), discussing L. Abrams, Anglo-Saxon Glastonbury: Church and Endowment (Woodbridge, 1996), p. 160, and C. Pooley, A Historical and Descriptive Account of the Old Stone Crosses of Somerset (London, 1877). 5 Prior, A Few Well-Positioned Castles, pp. 103–4. 6 Prior, A Few Well-Positioned Castles, p. 105, discussing OV, vol. 2, pp. 192–3. 7 Compare here the observation made by David Carpenter, The Struggle for Mastery: Britain, 1066–1284 (London, 2003), p. 114, that the building of Carew Castle (Pembrokeshire) around the beginning of the twelfth century, at a site directly overlooking a cross commemorating a ruler of Deheubarth, was ‘intended to be psychologically crushing’. 4 Prior,

248  ❧  pl aces of contested power

the Franks’ recorded destruction of the Irminsul shrine in the land of the Continental Saxons, during Charlemagne’s late eighth-century conquests – a response to rebellion and an incitement to further rebellion.8 This is not the place for a discussion of the meaning of different manifestations of popular belief in European localities and environments, but it is worth observing the general point that the meaning of ‘sacred space’ lay and continues to lie in the investment it is given by people. Thus damage inflicted on that space is harm done to people and reactions to that harm or indeed the infliction of harm upon ‘sacred space’ can, in some circumstances, be read as evidence for discontent felt by political actors. In some other cases, conflict may have been less about a space’s apparent sanctity as the spatial control of religious actions. In the 927 episode, which we have already seen in chapter 3, Heribert’s oversight of a synod, ostensibly convened by the archbishop of Reims, his six-year-old son, at TroslyLoire was an indication of the ways in which a religious occasion could be subverted in order to pursue a political agenda. King Raoul did not attend the Trosly synod, and Heribert returned the favour by refusing to attend a royal assembly at Compiègne later that year.9 Similar observations may be made about Mouzon (dép. Ardennes) in 948, where, according to Flodoard, Archbishop Robert of Trier held a synod, along with ‘some’ bishops from the Reims diocese. Hugh, now an adult but still below canonical age and kept out from the archbishopric of Reims for a second time since his deposition in 946,10 came to the church of Saint Peter, Mouzon, but ‘did not wish to attend the synod’ (synodum noluit ingredi). Hugh would have had understandable concerns about the judgements and potential actions of his erstwhile fellow bishops in an inflamed political situation but, as Flodoard notes, in a manner which resonates with the oversight of the fortification of Coucy over Trosly, the synod at the church took place ‘within sight of the castrum of Mouzon’ (ante prospectum castri Mosomi). Reims evidently held an interest in the site: Archbishop Hervé had constructed the fortification there at the start of the tenth century (900×2) and the father of Archbishop Hugh, Count Heribert II, claimed Mouzon in 930. This was a contested place at the interstices of the zones of influence of the Lotharingian ‘Middle Kingdom’ and the West Frankish kingdom. Following the synod, at which Hugh was excommunicated from the church and formally deprived of his archdiocesan 8 Rembold,

Conquest and Christianization, p. 76. Annales, s.a. 927. See above, pp. 102–3 and 114–19. 10 Sot, Un historien et son église, pp. 286–7. 9 Flodoard,

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 249

authority, Hugh evidently took up arms at Mouzon as he was besieged there by a force led by the Lotharingian bishops. Flodoard’s personal experience of the events is evident by his stay with the bishop of Trier and others during this time; according to Flodoard, the castrum of Mouzon was taken and ‘cleansed’ (recepto Mosomo castro et everso – presumably ‘cleansed’ of Hugh, the would-be archbishop) in the same year.11 The patronage of religious institutions was also a manifestation of familial identity, both from the perspective of royal families and the high nobility as well as from the lesser aristocracy. Where aristocratic or royal landholdings became contested space, a religious space, whether a simple chapel or that inhabited by an entire monastic community, could heighten the sense of legitimacy in a dispute, and this included perceptions of gender, particularly where violence was enacted against female religious. In respect to this we have already seen the role of Wimborne whence the West Saxon ætheling Æthelwold abducted a nun, but Wimborne’s importance also rested on the significance of the group of royal estates in which it lay and a wider concern for the descent of land within a family rather than the religious house and its community alone.12 The experiences of Æthelwold have been compared with those of Pippin II, son of his namesake the Carolingian king of Aquitaine, who failed to hold on to his father’s kingdom in the face of dispossession and opposition from Charles the Bald in the 840s and 850s. Pippin, as we have seen, attempted to declare his kingship in areas of Aquitaine; Geoffrey Koziol, ever sensitive to the declarative language of late Carolingian charters, noted the significance of his act of issuing a diploma in favour of a monastery associated with one of his close supporters, Solignac, in the wake of Pippin I’s death in 838, at Figeac (dép. Lot), ‘the monastery most closely identified with his father’, in the south-west of the kingdom. With the Emperor Louis on his tail at a moment of crisis, Pippin was attempting to invoke both aristocratic and monastic support in the ‘friendliest environment he knew’.13 In the politics of monastic patronage, the royal monastery of SaintMédard, site of Louis the Pious’s imprisonment in 833, was still, as Mayke de Jong puts it, ‘a privileged place of monastic exile for members of the royal 11 Flodoard,

Annales, s.a. I differ from Bachrach and Fanning’s translation of ‘everso’ as ‘destroyed’ in this context. 12 ASC 899/900; see above, pp. 170–5. 13 Koziol, Politics of Memory and Identity, pp. 103–5 (quotation at p. 105), discussing L. Levillain, Recueil des actes de Pépin Ier et de Pépin II, rois d’Aquitaine (814–848) (Paris, 1929), no. 49.

250  ❧  pl aces of contested power

family’ when it functioned for the imprisonment of Pippin in 852. Though de Jong has tended to play down the aspect of physical incarceration for royal family members, she reminds us that two monks were defrocked at a synod in Soissons in 853. It was claimed that they had helped Pippin to escape in the previous year. Such a public act could be a reminder of the actual imprisonment that these recorded periods of exile might have entailed.14 Even where the political circumstances of monastic involvement are less immediately obvious, it is difficult to disregard the way in which pious actions could be tinged with political contestation. In the mid twelfth century, the returning crusader Waleran II of Meulan’s vow to build a Cistercian monastery was at one level a manifestation of the religious interests of a crusade which had begun with preaching at Vézelay by Bernard of Clairvaux but at another level, there was something else going on. Marjorie Chibnall observed in 1994 that the one-time Stephen-loyalist’s intention to bring monks to Le Valasse, founded with land at La Haye-de-Lintot, close to the strategically crucial site of Lillebonne (a ducal estate seen in chapter 3), ‘was at best tactless and may have had political undertones’.15 Waleran’s monks were to come from an abbey at Bordesley (Worcs.), founded during Stephen’s reign and granted royal land on the eve of the battle of Lincoln, presumably as an indication of Waleran’s loyalty.16 Bordesley Abbey was itself disputed: after Lincoln, the Empress founded it (not, re-founded it, tellingly) as a Cistercian abbey in 1141 or 1142 with the count, now sworn to the Empress’s cause, witnessing the making of an Angevin royal monastery where once had stood a place for the glory of 14 AB

852 and 853, pp. 41–3 (trans. pp. 74–6), with the synod’s record in MGH Concilia, 3, ed. W. Hartmann (Hannover, 1984), pp 281–2, ch. 45. See de Jong, Penitential State, p. 265. De Jong also cites the escape of the blind figure of Carloman from Corbie at the Court of Louis the German (AB 873, p. 123 [trans. p. 183]) as an act which caused problems for Charles the Bald. De Jong notes: ‘Compared to the outrage caused by the blinding of Bernard of Italy in 818, one can only conclude that this savage punishment had become more accepted during the next generation.’ (p. 265). Notker’s vignette of a cloistered Pippin ‘the Hunchback’ being asked for advice and responding in horticultural terms is revealing of late ninth-century expectations; Gesta Karoli Magni, ed. Haefele; trans. Ganz, Two Lives, p. 103. For this episode, see P. E. Dutton, Charlemagne’s Mustache and Other Cultural Clusters of a Dark Age (Basingstoke, 2004), p. 53. 15 M. Chibnall, ‘Normandy’, in The Anarchy of King Stephen’s Reign, ed. E. King (Oxford, 1994), pp. 93–115, at p. 112. For Lillebonne, see above, p. 99. 16 King, King Stephen, pp. 149–50, citing Regesta, vol. 3, no. 114.

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 251

Waleran’s own family.17 At the incipient monastery of Le Valasse, Chibnall notes that the Empress’s opposition to Waleran’s interests was manifested in a counter-campaign of patronage, pressing her own interests in the foundation of a Cistercian house with monks from her father Henry I’s foundation at Mortemer. The Empress was to get her way, but not before a long struggle for influence concerning the duchy’s border politics with the French kingdom had been settled, for the moment, in 1154, no doubt helped by the young duke Henry’s accession to the English throne as Stephen’s heir.18 Patronage could, after all, be a microcosm of political disorder and at a time when the Angevin war was shuddering to its drawn-out end, the reverberations of Waleran’s family were evident in the fortunes of this Norman house. The case of Le Valasse may not have involved direct violence at this point but threats of violence and actual violence were never far away from the lands and even churches of communities. Violence against churches and their holdings is a well-known feature of the warfare of the Anarchy, with the perspective of the violence of the period being particularly well studied from an East Anglian perspective, through the houses of Ely and Peterborough. However, given the investment and identity of patrons associated with particular houses, the fact that patrons could be injured via damage to ecclesiastical property associated with them may be an intensification of a phenomenon observable throughout our period.19 In one case, Katherine Allen Smith, following Matthew Strickland, notes the significance of the case of the fortification of the monastery Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (dép. Calvados) as well as its abbot’s employment of mercenary troops during the upheavals of the 1106 invasion of Normandy. In his account of the occasion, Orderic pulls no punches in his criticism of Abbot Robert, noting his simony and, moreover, his opposition to Henry I (a plot to kidnap the king, no less).20 William Aird tentatively links the occasion with cutting criticism by Pope 17 Regesta,

vol. 3, no. 116. Chibnall, ‘Normandy’, p. 112, citing Crouch, Beaumont Twins, pp. 39–40. 18 Chibnall, ‘Normandy’, pp. 112–14. 19 Creighton and Wright, The Anarchy, pp. 185–215, provide a useful assessment of the church during the Anarchy, with their Ely case study at pp. 251–78 (see also above, pp. 12–18). For Peterborough and the Anarchy see Home, Peterborough Version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, pp. 81–99. For damage to religious property as a manifestation of tenth-century English politics, see below, p. 271. 20 OV, vol. 6, pp. 80–3. Smith, War and the Making of Monastic Culture, p. 67; Strickland, War and Chivalry, p. 82.

252  ❧   pl aces of contested power

Paschal II of the condition of the Norman church.21 Still, there is a case to be made for the potential legitimacy of the assertion of the interests of a man who might have been better suited to the days before Gregorian reform – on one level Abbot Robert was acting on behalf of his abbey and the legitimate duke of Normandy, whatever Orderic’s opinions on the matter, and Allen Smith notes that in contemporary philosophy a fortress in monastic hands was still a monastic space.22 Furthermore, the threat the abbot presented was evidently not insubstantial. Orderic refers to Henry’s plan to avoid taking the site with a large army, claiming that ‘the noise of a great multitude will be heard’ (strepitus multitudinis audiantur) but then goes on to record that this apparently small force was some 700 knights. If the numbers may be taken seriously (in this case it is reasonable to do so), given that this was the arrival of a royal army, the knights may not so much have been perceived as a small force as the vanguard of a larger army, rather like the arrival of Otto II’s scouts at Chelles, discussed below.23 Dangers from without were one thing, but religious communities themselves were not immune from acts of violence – sometimes symbolic, sometimes actual – coming from within. In England, this is particularly apparent in the generation following the Norman Conquest, where the tensions manifesting from changes in personnel at the top levels of management determined changes in custom, particularly with regard to liturgy, and often determined which saints were considered holiest within a particular community.24 This book is not the place for discussion of the nature of those changes; suffice it to say that the opposition arising from such changes might be concerned less with the details of ritual than the deep-rooted crisis 21 Aird,

Robert Curthose, p. 238. Smith, War and the Making of Medieval Monastic Culture, p. 67, in a discussion of ‘monastic colonisation of sites of war’, pp. 63–72. 23 Gillingham recognises the significance of vanguard forces in ‘William the Bastard at War’, p. 150. 24 For those changes in personnel, see H. R. Loyn, ‘William’s Bishops: Some Further Thoughts’, ANS, 10 (1988 for 1987), pp. 223–35, and ‘Abbots of English Monasteries in the Period following the Norman Conquest’, in England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. Bates and Curry, pp. 95–103; for the attempts to use saints’ cults in hagiography in response to a hostile audience by English communities in the 1070s and 1080s, see P. A. Hayward, ‘Translation-Narratives in PostConquest Hagiography and English Resistance to the Norman Conquest’, ANS, 21 (1999 for 1998), pp. 67–93. 22 Allen

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 253

of identity that change might bring about.25 The reference to the death of ‘Harold King of the English and very many of our brothers’ (Obit harold[o] rex anglor[um] et qua[m] plurum fr[atre]s n[o]stri) under the entry for the feast day of Pope Callixtus (14 October) in a late eleventh- or early twelfthcentury calendar at Saint Augustine’s Canterbury26 provides a flavour of the sensitivity of the memory of the community and their links with the dead. This was a matter of concern in the community’s relations with Archbishop Lanfranc, as discussed later in this chapter. Reactions were unlikely to be little acts of creative national resistance, the medieval equivalent of scrawling Vive La France Libre on a 1942 street corner. However seductive it may be to connect the calendar entry at Saint Augustine’s Abbey with the Bayeux Tapestry’s depiction of Harold Rex Anglorum, we must be careful of ascribing such narratives to a community’s desire to resist,27 just as in regard to other narratives of resistance elsewhere in this volume, we need to be sensitive to the range of motivations, whether reflecting short-term or long-term interests or simple dissatisfaction. The tensions that arose in Durham between 1083 and the mid twelfth century between the reformed Benedictine monastic cathedral community and the bishop, rooted in the question of the control of landed resources, are a reminder that that we should not leap to ‘national’ or ‘ethnic’ explanations for every post-Conquest dispute in England.28 Though the information available, and therefore the potential to make sense of ‘world’ events, might have been more sophisticated for inhabitants at a place like Saint Augustine’s than for the average nobleman or woman, the key in the calendar entry was not so much the reference to Harold Rex Anglorum 25 Thomas,

English and the Normans, esp. pp. 48–9 and pp. 200–35, provides a valuable consideration of these crises, although he rightly draws attention to the survival of traditions and identity in these conditions. 26 BL MS Cotton Vitellius C.XII/1, fol. 145v. Online at http://www.bl.uk/manu scripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=cotton_ms_vitellius_c_xii!1_f114r (accessed 24 Apr. 2018). 27 For a maximal resistance narrative of hidden meaning associated with Canterbury, either Christ Church or Saint Augustine’s, see D. J. Bernstein, The Mystery of the Bayeux Tapestry (London, 1987), esp. 51–9 and 179–91. Though not addressing the potential Saint Augustine’s connection, P. Bouet, ‘Is the Bayeux Tapestry ProEnglish?’, in The Bayeux Tapestry: Embroidering the Facts of History, ed. P. Bouet, B. Levy, and F. Neveux (Caen, 2004), pp. 197–215, is a useful consideration of the message of reconciliation in the Tapestry. 28 Aird, St Cuthbert and the Normans, p. 164; S. MacLean, ‘Recycling the Franks in Twelfth-Century England: Regino of Prüm, the Monks of Durham, and the Alexandrine Schism’, Speculum, 87:3 (2012), pp. 649–81.

254  ❧   pl aces of contested power

as the reference to the deaths of plurum fratres nostri (probably members of the Saint Augustine’s confraternity). Community identity and the memory which went with it were powerful phenomena, and where they have particular relevance in this chapter are in terms of their links to the ways in which liturgical and sacred space played a role in acts of opposition as well as in their suppression.

‘To resist the ferocity of kings’: invoking spiritual protection The role of saints in legal disputes is well established in early medieval Europe, as the physical presence of saints was manifested in the protection of their property, often on behalf of the Little Man against a major landholder.29 But the presence of saints could be made manifest in political actions and actual violence. As Patrick Geary observed, noting the significance of ritual cursing in central medieval France, religious communities were just as capable of continuing conflict as they were of ending it,30 and the link between saints and these belligerent communities could be a spur to oppositional action. A useful example is the attempt in 1003 by King Robert of France to take the city of Auxerre, a Burgundian diocesan seat on the edge of the zone of direct royal control.31 Given the history of the definition of the West Frankish kingdom during the course of the tenth century, there was good precedent for the French kings’ interest in this zone of control: Auxerre’s strategic importance is evidenced by the fact that Louis IV issued his first charters there in 936 at a point when the zone of Burgundian control by his predecessor Raoul was disputed by the late king’s brother, Hugh the Black.32 With the city refusing to surrender to Robert in 1003, Glaber relates that he directed his efforts against what must have been a softer target in military terms 29 For

such monastic protection, see e.g. P. Geary, Furta Sacra: Thefts of Relics in the Central Middle Ages (Princeton, NJ, 1978), pp. 85ff. 30 P. Geary, ‘Living with Conflict in Stateless France: A Typology of Conflict Regulation Mechanisms from 1050 to 1200’, in his Living with the Dead in the Middle Ages (Ithaca, NY, 1994), pp. 145–59, at pp. 147–50. 31 Dunbabin, France in the Making, p. 180. 32 25–6 July, Recueil des actes de Louis IV, roi de France (936–954), ed. P. Lauer (Paris, 1914), nos. 1–3, pp. 1–8. The Laon assembly referred to by Flodoard in the same year is not represented by any of the surviving charters. For the Burgundian significance of the charters issued by Louis IV, see Koziol, Politics of Memory and Identity, pp. 87–91.

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 255

– the monastery of Saint-Germain, outside the old Gallo-Roman enceinte of the city.33 Raoul Glaber’s reference to the role of the fifth-century bishop Saint Germanus (i.e. Germain) of Auxerre in protecting the community by producing a black fog which resulted in heavy losses – particularly, we are told, among the Normans – is an indication of the manner in which the presence of a saint might be invoked in an earthly conflict in which the rights of that saint’s community were contested.34 In referring to Saint Germanus’ ability to ‘resist the ferocity of kings’ (regum ferocitati resistere), Glaber presumably alluded to one of the earlier Lives of Saint Germanus, which detailed earlier conflicts between religious and earthly authority in the fifth century.35 Glaber’s account ultimately played an important role in showing how Robert was transformed through reconciliation and repentance into the far more sympathetic figure of Robert ‘the Pious’36 but Glaber also shows that one of the principal roles of saints in rebellion was in resistance not against kings per se but against tyrannical rule in particular.37 Germanus himself may not have been a particularly ‘rebellious’ saint, and had indeed been invoked 33 Glaber,

II.8.15, pp. 78–9. A. Chaume, Les origines du duché de Bourgogne (Dijon, 2 vols, 1925), vol. 1, pp. 474–9; also Jesse, Robert the Burgundian and the Counts of Anjou, pp. 17–18. For the position of Saint-Germain on an early modern plan, see F. de Belleforest, La cosmologie universale de tout le monde (Paris, 2 vols, 1575), vol. 1, p. 337, reproduced, with de Belleforest’s incorrect orientation of cardinal points removed, at Histoire des rues d’Auxerre http://auxerre.historique.free.fr/pages_du_ site/site/plans_anciens.htm (accessed 12 April 2017). For the strategic position of the abbey, see R. Louis, Autessiodurum Christianum: Les églises d’Auxerre des origines au XIme siècle (Paris, 1952), pp. 14–15. 34 There was evidently a Norman interest in this affair commensurate with Glaber’s record: William of Jumièges was later to see King Robert as the heir of Auxerre (GND, vol. 2, V.15, pp. 34–7) and thus ‘arrogant and haughty’ (fastu supercilii) Burgundian opposition there against the king was perceived as rebellion. 35 Glaber, II.8.16, pp. 80–1 (editors’ translation modified). See the editorial note, p. 80, n. 2, discussing Glaber’s likely reading of Saint Germanus in Constantius, Vita Germani Episcopi Autissidoriensis, ed. W. Levison, MGH Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum, 7 (Hannover and Leipzig, 1920), pp. 247–83, and Heirico, Vita Sancti Germani, ed. L. Traube, MGH Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 3 (Berlin, 1896), pp. 421–517. 36 For praise of Robert at the time of his death in 1023, see Glaber, IV.4.9, pp. 184–7. 37 Although not explicitly focusing on ‘tyrannical’ rule, Nelson’s reading of ‘bad rulership’ as a recognised phemonemon rather than something conveniently defined

256  ❧  pl aces of contested power

to establish religious sanction against perceived heresy in Cornwall by King Æthelstan in 936, and later played a role in William the Conqueror’s support of the Yorkshire foundation of Selby at a crucial point of the assertion of royal authority against rebels in 1069–70.38 In the latter case, the memory of Germanus’ fifth-century role in ensuring the safety of a reliquary containing dust stained by the blood of Saint Alban and possibly even, according to an Irish tradition, accompanying Saint Patrick to Britain may have made him a useful saint to invoke in a Gallo-British context.39 Of course many of William’s northern English contemporaries might have cast William himself as the tyrannical ruler in the winter of 1069–70. Germanus’ role as a figure of justice is apparent when he was cited in the protection of Selby in the following century.40 In addition, with Heirico’s Vita Sancti Germani indicative of interest in the cult of the saint in the late ninth century, Germanus played a role in Burgundian resistance against the perceived tyrant Louis the German in 858 (who had himself been invited by West Frankish and Aquitainian nobles in the mid 850s because of the apparent tyranny of Charles the Bald).41 in the eye of the beholder; is useful for our purposes: ‘Bad Kingship in the Earlier Middle Ages’, esp. pp. 23–6 38 On Saint Germanus, Cornwall, and Æthelstan, putting paid to the notion that there was a local ‘St German’, see N. Orme, The Saints of Cornwall (Oxford, 2000), pp. 6 and 127–9; Saint Germanus is also discussed by J. Burton with L. Lockyer (eds and trans.), Historia Selebiensis Monasterii: The History of the Monastery of Selby (Oxford, 2013), p. xxiv; for Selby and William the Conqueror, see pp. xxxiii–xxxviii and R. B. Dobson, ‘The First Norman Abbey in Northern England: The Origins of Selby’, in his Church and Society in the Medieval North of England (London, 1996), pp. 30–8. 39 See Louis, Autessiodurum Christianum, p. 14, who cited his ‘Le séjour de saint Patrice à Auxerre’, in Mélanges d’histoire du moyen âge dédiés á la mémoire de Louis Halphen, pp. 445–51. A recent review of the evidence is N. J. Higham, ‘Constantius, St Germanus and Fifth-Century Britain’, EME, 22:2 (2014), pp. 113–37. 40 See Historia Selebiensis, ed. Burton, II.5–9, pp. 99–109 on the protection of the town, and II.10–20, pp. 109–25 on William of Aumale and Henry de Lacey’s dispute during the Anarchy. 41 E. J. Goldberg, Struggle for Empire: Kingship and Conflict under Louis the German, 817–876 (Ithaca, NY, 2006), pp. 250–1, discussing AB s.a. 856 (p. 46; trans. p. 82), and Annales Fuldenses, s.a. 858, ed. Kurze, pp. 49–50 (trans. pp. 41–2); see also Nelson, ‘Bad Kingship in the Earlier Middle Ages’, pp. 22–3; for a date of 873 for the Vita Germani, see P. Janin, ‘Heiric d’Auxerre et les Gesta Pontificum Autissiodorensium’, Francia, 4 (1976), pp. 89–105, at pp. 91–2.

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 257

Of course we should bear in mind the tendency here for ecclesiastical writers to emphasise the role of spiritual elements in a dispute.42 For such authors, the real presence of saints was in a conflict which pitted the righteous side against one which was fundamentally in error, so the role played by a saint in conflict could be heightened in hindsight. A Canterbury narrative emphasised the correct conduct of King Cnut following the translation of Saint Ælfheah of Canterbury from London in 1023 – as noted in chapter 6, this was seen as a move opposed by the citizens and which probably demonstrated the political circumstances of Cnut’s antipathy toward London, which had resisted him in 1015–16.43 King Æthelred II’s conflict with the bishop of Rochester in 986, which laid waste to the diocese (literally ‘doing for’, fordōn), was recorded in a matter-of-fact manner in the AngloSaxon Chronicle, perhaps at that point reflecting the laconic writing practices of earlier entries.44 As with the translation of Ælfheah, there was evidently a very real conflict behind this action, as Levi Roach has recently noted.45 However, the role in the conflict of the patron saint of Rochester, Saint Andrew, mixed with the rising post-Conquest reputation of Saint Dunstan of Canterbury – alive in 986 but not playing a direct role in the conflict according to what is known from contemporary sources46 – provided an irresistible opportunity for late eleventh-century authors. Sulcard of Westminster and Osbern of Canterbury cast the conflict in terms of archiepiscopal authority which would have made sense to their audiences.47 William of Malmesbury’s 42 In

their notes to Glaber’s account of the 1003 siege of Auxerre, the editors note (p. 222) a similar appearance of Odilo of Cluny (later St. Odilo) in persuding King Robert not to attack Saint-Benigne at Dijon: Chronique de l’abbaye de Saint-Bénigne de Dijon: suivie de la Chronique de Saint-Pierre de Bèze ed. E. Bougaud and J. Garnier (Dijon, 1875), p. 173. 43 Above, pp. 34 and 216. 44 ASC CDE 986. 45 Roach, Æthelred, pp. 102–6; see also Keynes, Diplomas, pp. 178–80. 46 Though not discussing the Rochester episode, Nicholas Brooks, in The Early History of the Church at Canterbury from 597 to 1066 (Leicester, 1984), pp. 249–50, noted the difficulties in ascertaining details of Dunstan’s relationship with Æthelred’s regime, observing from the attestations of the archbishop on every surviving royal diploma (p. 250) that ‘[w]hatever his attitude to Ælfthryth and Æthelred may have been previously, the archbishop apparently saw no need or advantage in neglecting to attend court’. 47  B W. Scholz, ‘Sulcard of Westminster: “Prologus de Construccione West­ monasterii”’, Traditio, 20 (1964), pp. 59–91, at pp. 89–90, cited in Keynes,

258  ❧  pl aces of contested power

narrative followed, so the saintly disapproval of Andrew and the prophesying words of the soon-to-be sainted archbishop of Canterbury were made to play a greater role in the developing memory of this conflict in the century after the Norman Conquest.48 In his own day, however, Æthelred used the case of such religious conflicts as that with the bishop of Rochester to show that in the 990s he had broken away from those years of ‘youthful indiscretions’ and from his earlier ‘bad advisors’.49 In some ways this compares with the presentation of conflict in Auxerre discussed above, in which there are elements of creative narrative in the manner in which King Robert developed his reputation as ‘the Pious’ as a result of learning from his conflict with Saint Germanus.50 While direct saintly intervention is rarely considered to be a factor in the success or otherwise of particular campaigns in studies of twentieth-century warfare, it is appropriate to note here an observation made by Guy Halsall that ensuring the right prayers were made before battle was as important to an early medieval warleader as it was to General Montgomery to ensure that the right weight of artillery was brought to bear at the second battle of El Alamein.51 The notion of a saintly presence mattered. The above-mentioned use of the cult of Saint Germanus by William the Conqueror at Selby during his northern campaign in 1069–70 is an example of the role of saints in counter-actions taken against opponents. In another case, William as duke of Normandy may have been intended to be on the receiving end of saintly ire. At Arques-la-Bataille around 1053, the involvement of the king of France, Henry I, on the side of Duke William’s opponent, the rebelling Count William of Arques, shows how a saint might have been used as part of a strategy. If a rebellion was an act which made a statement, a response – a counter-statement – was needed and, in some ways, the statement made by the king of France was one of a king in support of a ‘wronged

Diplomas, p. 178. Osbern, Vita Dunstani, in Memorials of St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. W. Stubbs, RS, 63 (London, 1874), pp. 68–164, at p. 117. 48 William of Malmesbury, Vita Dunstani, ch. 21, in William of Malmesbury: Saints’ Lives, ed. and trans. M. Winterbottom and R. M. Thomson (Oxford, 2002), pp. 274–5. 49 S 876 (A.D. 993) is evidence of, as Keynes puts it, ‘a period which [  .] the king had come to regret.’ Diplomas, pp. 176–7 (quotation at p. 177). 50 Above, p. 255. 51 Halsall, Early Medieval Warfare, p. 7.

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 259

vassal’.52 The arrival of King Henry may indicate that a pincer movement was at play, with a royal attempt to cut off and outflank the ducal forces, but the implicit reference to Saint Aubin may also have some religious significance. Given the reference by Orderic (in a fictive deathbed speech given by the dying William the Conqueror) to Duke William aiming for the ‘open country [rura] between the rivers Scie and Garrenne [i.e. the Varenne]’,53 the ‘Saint-Aubin’ referred to by William of Jumièges was probably Saint-Aubinsur-Scie to the west. Here a predecessor of Count William, Renaud, vicomte of Arques, had given the ecclesia Sancti Albin tota ex integro to the Norman ducal monastery of Fécamp in 1025×6 (see Figure 17 above), and to that end, the king’s interests in that area may have been linked to that important Norman mother house.54 In the context of the conflict, a dedication to Saint Aubin was contemporary and it mattered.55 Although the area was only a few miles from the coast, Saint Albinus of Angers (i.e. ‘Aubin’) was a useful invocation for protection against pirates and may not have been without relevance to a French force fighting the descendants of Nordmanni. However, King Henry was fighting in support of other Normans, so perhaps drawing on that side of Saint Aubin’s story would have been undiplomatic. What may have been more important, given the circumstances of the dispute and the call against Duke William, was the fact that Albinus, whose cult was undergoing a revival at the time of this dispute, was known for his injunctions against incestuous marriage.56 The degree of consanguinity of Duke William to his then new 52 This

is also how William Aird characterised King Philip of France’s support of Robert Curthose in 1079: Robert Curthose, p. 86: below, chapter 8, p. 309. 53 OV, vol. 4, pp. 84–5. 54 Fauroux, Recueil, no. 54. Note William of Arques’ grant to Fécamp in 1047, among the charters cited above, chapter 5, p. 202. Saint-Aubin-le-Cauf, a vill close to the castle at Arques (whose church was perhaps donated to Saint-Wandrille in 1033: Fauroux, Recueil, no. 69), also existed as a separate settlement in the eleventh century, though it was probably related to the same estate as both Saint-Aubin-surScie and the castle itself. 55 On the dedication of the church or chapel here, see C. de Beaurepaire and Dom. J. Laporte, Dictionnaire topographique du département de la Seine-Maritime (Paris, 2 vols, 1982–4), vol. 2, pp. 887–8, accessed online at http://cths.fr/dico-topo/affichevedettes.php?cdep=76&cpage=887 (accessed 23 Mar. 2017). 56 Vita Sancti Albini, ch. 18, in MGH Auctores antiquissimi, 4.2, ed. B. Krusch (Berlin, 1885), p. 32. For the revival of the cult of Saint Albinus in the eleventh century and its relationship to the regularisation of marriage during the later part of that

260  ❧  pl aces of contested power

wife Matilda, daughter of Count Baldwin of Flanders, was of direct concern to King Henry, and indeed was also a matter of concern for William of Arques, as it related to an alliance between the powerful Flemish count and the Norman duke. We might wonder whether, had the course of the battle run differently, more would have been made of the saintly presence. Some comparison can be made here with the record (or at least the tradition) of the mass taken at the church of Saint Brise in Valmeray prior to the battle of Val-ès-Dunes in 1047, where the royal party, on that occasion fighting on the same side as Duke William of Normandy, did prove victorious.57 Had Arques resulted in a victory for King Henry of the magnitude of Val-ès-Dunes, it is possible that Duke William could then have been cast as the rebel straining against royal authority and his uncle, the legitimate count of the area whose independence from the Norman duke had been protected by his royal lord. Of course sober historians are not meant to involve themselves in alternative histories but it is nonetheless a matter which serves to indicate the intense degree of legitimacy tied up in such struggles. King Henry would have been unlikely to have involved himself in the conflict without thinking of – and indeed praying for – a positive outcome, just as Henry’s predecessor Charles the Bald is likely to have done when choosing to fight a battle against his nephew Louis the Younger on the eve of the feast of his patron saint, Saint Denis, in 876.58 As Jinty Nelson comments with reference to 876, ‘by the ninth century it was impossible to claim justice without demonstrable ecclesiastical legitimation; conversely, whatever the outcome, contemporaries could justify it, and render it intelligible, by reference to religious meanings’.59 Although the dates of the events in the eleventh century discussed here cannot be connected with saints in the way in which Andernach can be century, see M. Carrasco, ‘Notes on the Iconography of the Romanesque Illustrated Manuscript of the Life of St Albinus of Angers’, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 47 (1984), pp. 333–48. 57 Wace, III.3831–4, vol. 2, p. 29 (trans. pp. 133–4). See below, pp. 313–23. 58 See J. L. Nelson, ‘Violence in the Carolingian World and the Ritualization of Ninth-Century Warfare’, in Violence and Society in the Early Medieval West, ed. Halsall, pp. 90–107, at pp. 102–3. Although David S. Bachrach may overstate the mission-focused sense of strategic and tactical organisation in commenting on preparatory rites in Carolingian and post-Carolingian warfare (Religion and the Conduct of War c.300–c.1215 (Woodbridge, 2003), pp. 38–43 and 78–95), they remain a useful survey. 59 Nelson, ‘Violence in the Carolingian World’, p. 103.

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 261

linked with a conscious invocation of Saint Denis, Nelson’s words apply to the eleventh-century cases of Val-ès-Dunes and Arques through the power of saintly dedications in the local landscape. The politics of family connections evidently included the declarations of not only what was legitimate but also, through reference to the use of place, what was illegitimate. We should note that a ‘religious space’ and its links to a saintly presence need not have been a place that was intended only to function in terms of religious ritual. Abigail Wheatley has noted the importance of the religious role of castles, noting that castles have been traditionally considered as different phenomena from church buildings even though both fulfilled many of the same spiritual functions.60 The multi-functional aspects of castle life are important for understanding the religious role of castles in rebellion, an issue which supplements the discussion of the lordship associated with castles in chapter 5.61 The castle of Domfront in Lower Normandy, addressed in that chapter, is particularly pertinent here. It should be noted that Warren Hollister had reservations as to whether the building programme in Domfront could be ascribed to the period of Henry’s rebellion (as ‘robber baron’) between 1092 and 1100. He noted that ‘it would be hazardous to conclude too quickly that Henry was the Pericles of late eleventhcentury Domfront’, though in these reservations he did not go as far as to fully endorse Gérard Louise’s assertion that the keep was a product of the period after 1106, when Henry was both duke of Normandy and king of England.62 Nonetheless, the period of Domfront’s importance to Henry in the last decade of the eleventh century needs to be noted; the position of a priory chapel dedicated to Saint Symphorian within the outer wall of the castle may have had a symbolic importance that is appropriate to the period of 1092–1100 or to the period of 1100–6, when Henry was the opponent of his brother Robert, Count of Normandy. Although a priory of the nearby abbey of Lonlay was associated with the castle of Domfront from the days of the Bellême lordship, the castle chapel itself is certainly later than that link. The chapel’s excavator, Anne Nissen Jaubert, notes that it was likely

60 A.

Wheatley, The Idea of the Castle in Medieval England (York, 2004), discussing ‘The Spiritual Castle’ at pp. 78–111. 61 Above, pp. 177–96. 62 Hollister, Henry I, pp. 92–3; see also G. Louise, ‘Châteaux et pouvoirs dans le Domfrontais médiéval (XIe– XIIIe siècles)’, Le Domfrontais médiéval, 9 (1993), pp. 10–28, at pp. 12 and 21.

262  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Figure 23. (i) Remains of the Saint-Symphorien chapel in the north-eastern corner of the castle at Domfront. (ii) Inset: a plan of the layout of the castle.

to have been built quickly.63 The angles of the walls are not square, with commensurate effect on the wall lengths, while the width of the walls varies between the four sides of the nave (see Figure 23). Jaubert suggests an early twelfth-century phase of building commensurate with the view of the building of the keep, hazarding the phase of 1100–6, while stylistic comparisons have been made to the final two decades of the eleventh century, suggesting a case for the late eleventh-century significance of the chapel.64 Its position within the walls of the exterior of the castle may be important: placed on the north and looking toward his brother’s possessions in Lower Normandy rather than overlooking the southern frontiers of Normandy and into Maine and Anjou, the chapel could send a message commensurate with 63 A.

Nissen Jaubert, ‘Fouilles archéologiques du prieuré Saint-Symphorien’, Le Domfrontais médiéval, 8 (1991), pp. 5–13, at p. 10. 64 A. Nissen Jaubert, ‘Le château de Domfront de la fin du XIe au milieu du XIIe siècle. Les vestiges archéologiques et leur contexte historique’, in Tinchebray 1106– 2006, ed. Gazeau and Green, pp. 139–56. M. Baylé, ‘La priorale Saint-Symphorien (Domfront): décors et dates de construction’, Le Domfrontais médiéval, 3 (1985), pp. 9–15,

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 263

Henry’s independent position as lord of Domfront. It was this, as much as the orientation of a high altar, which may have determined its integral construction with the castle of Domfront, even during the period of his brother’s duchy.65 The walls on the north side were thick, showing that it played a practical as well as a spiritual role in the construction of the castle. The dedication to Saint Symphorian is interesting; though it is not an unknown saintly dedication in Normandy, it is certainly not one of the most common.66 Given the limited range of dates when William and Matilda were actually together, it is even possible that Symphorian’s day, 22 August, was the date of Henry’s birth.67 Of course, if an abbey at Lonlay, which existed in the early eleventh century, had a role in establishing some earlier church at Domfront, the dedication may have been a fait accompli (and in support of that, Jaubert notes the rarity of Symphorian dedications after the mid eleventh century).68 But it is worth thinking of the meaning of this saint. If the newly constructed chapel necessitated a new dedication, Symphorian was not an inappropriate one: as a martyr who went to his death at Autun (dép. Saône-et-Loire) with the encouraging words of his mother in his ears,69 the saint could have provided a ringing endorsement for the sense of familial righteousness that Henry probably felt in those years of exile or during his early twelfth-century lordship in the region.70 65 Nissen

Jaubert, ‘Le château de Domfront’, p. 142. undertaken on the inventory at Observatoire du patrimoine religieux http://www.patrimoine-religieux.fr/annuaire_opr/com.bsw.directory.View/View. html?locale=fr (accessed 24 Mar. 2017). There are two Symphorien dedications of churches whose architecture includes elements from the twelfth century or earlier in Basse-Normandie, compared to seven in neighbouring Pays-de-la-Loire, two in the Île-de-France, and, naturally, one in Saint-Symphorien (dép. Eure), in HauteNormandie. These figures might be compared with more common dedications, Saints Aubin and Michel (twenty-five and ten respectively, in Normandy as a whole). 67 For the possible birth of Henry between ‘mid-May and early September 1068 or early February and early May 1069’, with a strong preference for the former date range, see Hollister, Henry I, pp. 30–2 (quotation at p. 31). 68 Nissen Jaubert, ‘Fouilles de Saint-Symphorien’, p. 6. 69 Acts of St Symphorian, ch. 11, trans. G. H. Doble, Saint Symphorian, Martyr: Patron of Veryan, Cornwall, Cornish Saints Series, 27 (Truro, 1931), p. 10. 70 On Matilda’s fondness for Henry and the likelihood of her bequest to him of English estates, see Hollister, Henry I, p. 40. See also Burton, Historia Selebiensis monasterii, pp. xxxiv–xxxvii. A maximal reading of Henry as Queen Matilda’s Benjamin is surely Tracey Borman’s Matilda: Queen of the Conqueror (London, 2011), pp. 136–8, 66 Searches

264  ❧  pl aces of contested power

The chapel of Saint Symphorian at Domfront, if it relates to the political circumstances of Henry’s use of the castle, may be exceptional as architectural evidence of his resistance in Lower Normandy at the tail end of the eleventh century. It is rarely possible to link the construction of a chapel within a castle to a recorded dispute in the period before the mid twelfth century – indeed, in many cases, it is difficult to even identify a chapel.71 Saint Symphorian’s role in political conflicts stemmed from a perception of grievance that was probably justified, given the circumstances in which William and Robert had fought against their brother during the early 1090s,72 but we should not assume exceptionalism. Even if rebels and other disaffected parties were unlikely to have commissioned a chapel to add to their castle or manorial complex as the manifestation of their grievance, we would do well to remember the need to invoke saints, to pray, to swear to the righteousness of an avowed cause. In that way, the apparently private space of the castle might become one of attested and even public declaration – albeit one we only get to see when manifested in the acts of opposition themselves.

Familial patronage We have already seen how particular estates might be linked with a family’s identity, and, through that, lordly status. Religious identity, the generations of patronage and links to the familial protection provided by an ecclesiastical foundation that would be expected as part of their collective identity, was a powerful factor in the precipitation of conflict. With so much tied to the identity of individuals within families, the expectations of those individuals might be raised in cases relating to the control of sites associated with their families. Of course, expectations might also be dashed. In chapter 4, Æthelwold’s seizure of Wimborne was discussed in terms of its significance although the certainties placed on some very uncertain evidence (cf. Hollister, p. 32) limit the value of her reading of the situation. For Henry’s lordship in the region, see Nissen Jaubert, ‘Le château de Domfront’, p. 150. 71 Higham and Barker, Timber Castles, p. 346. It should be noted that Creighton and Wright’s approach to archaeological context in their The Anarchy is useful in bringing building phases into their historical context (see particularly pp. 80–118). 72 OV, vol. 4, pp. 257–9, and pp. 250–2 on an earlier siege, in 1091, of Henry at Mont-Saint-Michel. Note, however, that negotiation and even chivalry played a part in the conflict: Aird, Robert Curthose, pp. 143–4.

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 265

for both the family control of the landed resources of the estates associated with the central place of Wimborne and the place’s religious significance, linked through the burial of Æthelred I and the presence of the nun seized there by Æthelwold. This forced marriage was probably demonstrative of the Wimborne community’s link to Æthelred I and Æthelwold’s side of the West Saxon royal family (a link which, given that Wimborne was associated with West Saxon missions to the Continent, might have been of interest to the Essen abbess, Matilda, the recipient of Æthelweard’s Chronicon in the late tenth century).73 The seizure of women in rebellious actions was frequently the seizure of women religious who were seen as worthy of legal and/or physical protection, often by placement in an institution because the threat existed that they might be married, without approval, for political ends.74 Mayke de Jong suggests that Frankish kingdoms under Merovingian and Carolingian rulers allowed a form of voluntary penance for those who had lost out in competitions for power, whether rebels or those rebelled against.75 Such penance allowed a form of reconciliation and, in view of the limits of royal and imperial authority, it also allowed the recovery of certain places, augmenting the status of some while decreasing that of others. This was a phenomenon that was well established by the ninth century. Regine Le Jan has noted the ways in which convents became the foci of conflicts within and around the Merovingian royal family,76 while Barbara Yorke – noting 73 On

Wimborne and Continental Europe, see B. Yorke, ‘The Bonifacian Mission and Female Religious in Wessex’, EME, 7:2 (1998), pp. 145–72. For the re-writing of history by Æthelweard, who was evidently concerned to avoid contemporary Ottonian parallels of rebellion, see Lavelle, ‘Writing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, p. 70. 74 On the protection of vowesses, who did not necessarily need to be members of a cloistered community, see S. Foot, Veiled Women, Volume I: The Disappearance of Nuns from Anglo-Saxon England (Aldershot 2000), esp. pp. 134–44. Edmund’s seizure of Sigeferth’s widow in Malmesbury, itself not specifically a female community in ASC CDE 1015 and Swein’s seizure of the abbess of Leominster in 1046 (ASC C, s.a.) are relevant examples here. On the pressures upon noble women and their inheritance, see Stafford. ‘Women and the Norman Conquest’, TRHS, 6th ser., 4 (1994), pp. 221–49. 75 De Jong, ‘Monastic Prisoners or Opting Out?’; see also I. Wood, ‘Luxeuil in the Merovingian Kingdom’, in Power and Place in Europe, ed. Carroll, Reynolds, and Yorke, pp. 253–70. 76 R. Le Jan, ‘Convents, Violence, and Competition for Power in Seventh-Century Francia’, in Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages, ed. de Jong and Theuws,

266  ❧   pl aces of contested power

a similar phenomenon to Patrick Geary’s Continental European reading of Phantoms of Memory – has commented on the likelihood that the ninth-century West Saxon dynasty, asserting a degree of southern English hegemony, deliberately distanced itself from particular foundations and perhaps even obliterated them.77 In this manner, Chelles, which we have already seen in chapter 4 in relation to the crisis resulting from the death of its abbess, Rothilde, in the mid tenth century,78 provides comparison with the position of Wimborne. Where we can ascertain some sense of the meaning of Æthelwold’s loss of Wimborne, as well as the Sussex estate of Steyning, through the family property strategies of Alfred alongside the loss of prestige that may have come from Æthelwold’s branch of the royal family’s links to Wimborne,79 less can be made of family property strategies beyond Chelles itself. Familial links with the abbey were crucial for Robert of Neustria in 922. Charles the Simple confiscated Chelles in order to give it to one of his intimates, a certain Hagano.80 Chelles may have been important both to Hagano, the nobleman who received it, and to Robert of Neustria, who expected his son Hugh the Great to receive it, making connections with the Carolingian dynasty through Rothilde. This was more than a casus belli for Robert, however. Rothilde was abbess of Chelles and Charles the Bald’s daughter, and her own daughter was married to Robert’s son. While there was also a connection with Gisela, Chelles had been the seat of Charles the Bald’s maternal grandmother, Heilwig, suggesting that the female link with the Carolingian house was strong.81 Indeed, Henry pp. 285–99. 77 Yorke, Nunneries, pp. 74–6; Geary, Phantoms of Memory (noted above, pp. 9–10). For a suggestion of the early twelfth-century ‘party line’ control of a possible veneration of the body of Earl Waltheof at Romsey, a royal abbey which maintained its prestige, see A. Williams, ‘The Speaking Cross, the Persecuted Princess, and the Murdered Earl: The Early History of Romsey Abbey’, Anglo-Saxon, 1 (2007), pp. 221–38, at pp. 232–6. 78 Above, pp. 157–60. 79 Yorke, Nunneries, p. 75. Foot, Veiled Women, Volume II, pp. 235–6. 80 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. Koziol, ‘Charles the Simple, Robert of Neustria, and the Vexilla of Saint-Denis’, p. 358. S. Lecouteaux, ‘Le contexte de rédaction des Annales de Flodoard de Reims (919–66). Partie 1: une relecture critique du début des Annales à la lumière de travaux récents’, Le Moyen Age, 116 :1 (2010), pp. 51–121, at p. 91. 81 On Robert’s sense of the familial link with Charles the Bald, indicated in a charter of 918 (Recueil Robert Ier, ed. Dufour, no. 51), p. 365, n. 25. On the importance of female kinship at Chelles, see I. Crusius, ‘Im Dienst der Königsherrschaft:

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 267

Mayr-Harting even claims that Chelles, presided over by Charlemagne’s sister Gisela, was central to Charlemagne’s conception of empire.82 Such use of a religious site associated with Carolingian authority compares with a Robertian appropriation of Carolingian authority at Compiègne, a place associated with the legality of the Carolingians, and it is interesting that such Carolingian foundations should have been so useful to the new dynasty.83 However, if Charles the Simple knew the potential of the royal centre for his Robertian rivals, he failed to deal with it effectively. While Alfred the Great’s treatment of his royal nephew resulted in a crisis which Alfred’s son Edward the Elder was able to cope with (if only just), the confiscation of Chelles could be said to have misfired spectacularly. Chelles was evidently a locus belli in terms of its potential to provoke conflict, and there was a history to the site on which to draw, given its long association with royal women. Before the founding of the abbey of SainteBalthilde in the mid seventh century, Fredegund, third wife and widow of the Merovingian king, Chilperic frequently resided there. Chilperic, this ‘Nero and Herod of our Time’ (Nero nostri temporis et Herodis) was assassinated while hunting there in 584, leading to a crisis of succession between Chilperic’s brother Guntram and his nephew Childebert.84 In the Königinnen, Königswitwen und Prinzessinnen als Stifterinnen und Äbtissinnen von Frauenstiften und –klöstern’, in Nonnen, Kanonissen und Mystikerinnen: Religiöse Frauengemeinschaften in Süddeutschland, ed. E. Schlotheuber, H. Flachenecker, and I. Gardill (Göttingen, 2008), pp. 59–77, at pp. 72–3, and J. L. Nelson, ‘Gender and Genre in Women Historians in the Early Middle Ages’, in Nelson, Frankish World, pp. 183–97, at pp. 191–4. For the identification of Rothilde, see J. Dunbabin, ‘West Francia: The Kingdom’, in The New Cambridge Medieval History volume 3, c.900– c.1024, ed. T. Reuter (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 372–97, at p. 379. For Heilwig, see Nelson, Charles the Bald, p. 82, citing criticisms of Louis the Pious in Visio Wettini, lines 756–68, in MGH Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 2, ed. E. Dümmler (Berlin, 1934), p. 328. 82 H. Mayr-Harting, ‘Augustine of Hippo, Chelles, and the Carolingian Renaissance: Cologne Cathedral Manuscript 63’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 45 (2011), pp. 51–75. On the question as to whether Gisela was actually abbess (apparently not – a reference for which I am grateful to Jinty Nelson), see M. Hartmann, ‘Concubina vel regina? Zu einigen Ehefrauen und Konkubinen der karolingischen Könige’, Deutsches Archiv, 63 (2007), pp. 545–67. 83 On Compiègne, see above, chapter 3, pp. 102–3. 84 GT, Libri Hist., VI.46, p. 319 (trans., p. 379); for the presence of the queen’s treasure there, VII.4, p. 328 (trans. p. 390).

268  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Merovingian kingdom, they were already kings but Childebert’s claim to the throne through his father, Sigibert, bears some comparison with later crises, and it would be surprising if contemporaries at Chelles itself were not unaware of such history. The significance of the history was apparent in 978, when Chelles was attacked by Otto II in response to an attack by Lothar, the West Frankish king, upon the palace of Aachen. The late tenth-century Reims commentator Richer is rather dismissive of the attack on Charlemagne’s former palace, which resulted in some rather limited – but symbolic – vandalism and theft;85 by contrast, he highlights the way in which, after reverence to Saint Remy at Reims and Saint Médard at Soissons, the palace at Compiègne and the abbey of Chelles were despoiled.86 The latter, it was claimed, was attacked by an advance guard without the knowledge of the emperor, who ‘grieving deeply, gave generously to rebuild it’ (non mediocriter dolens, multa in eius restaurationemen delegavit). We might allow ourselves a little scepticism for the plausible deniability professed by the apparently grief-struck Otto, particularly in the light of the survival of West Frankish centres closer to the frontier with which Otto might have expected to keep good relations in the future. At Chelles, money given by the emperor was evidently leading to the realignment of the royal monastery away from the West Frankish Carolingian interests, which provides a striking parallel with the destruction of the former ‘Carlopolis’ of Compiègne. In some ways this became academic in the light of the Capetian seizure of power over the course of the following two decades, but the drop in the resources of Chelles during the course of the twelfth century, noted by Bruce Venarde, may be an indication of political winds of change which had already begun to blow: by 1193, when records are available, Venarde notes that King Philippe Auguste was restricting the number of nuns at Chelles, a practice that was happening in other royal nunneries.87 Though one can hardly attribute this to the notion that Chelles was itself some ‘rebellious’ place; other forces were presumably at play in the course of eleventh- and twelfth-century dynastic interests, whereby Saint-Denis rather than Chelles played the role of showing continuity with the Carolingians for the Capetian 85 Richer,

III.71, pp. 116–17. For this episode see Riches, ‘Carolingian Capture of Aachen in 978’, in Frankland, ed. Fouracre and Ganz, pp. 191–208. 86 Richer, III.74, pp. 122–3. 87 B. L. Venarde, Women’s Monasticism and Medieval Society: Nunneries in France and England, 890–1215 (Ithaca, NY, 2004), p. 157.

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 269

monarchy.88 Nonetheless, there is a striking resonance here with the post900 position of the nunnery of Wimborne. Though a minster church and royal estate centre remained there in the eleventh century, as Barbara Yorke notes, in the tenth century its status was unclear – particularly as to whether a female community was still there. It was remembered only in the AngloSaxon Chronicle entry for 962 as the place for ‘what may have been a politically sensitive burial’, of King Sigeferth, probably a king in the Scottish isles who, the Chronicle records, had killed himself.89 Nunneries, their royal links and their histories might be important and that importance could be invoked; furthermore, the nuns within them might even be used in particular circumstances, but their importance could only be invoked as long as the associations with power were maintained. Familial patronage could reach further and have further implications. In some cases, great magnates could exert influence and control over bishoprics in a manner that suggested direct political ends were at stake. Count Heribert’s appointment of his young son Hugh as archbishop of Reims is a prime example of this and is probably exceptional because of the audacity with which it could be carried out at a low ebb of royal power in the mid 920s.90 In eleventh-century England the Godwine family used the appointment of the archbishop of Canterbury as their own casus belli, managing to depose the Norman bishop of London, Robert of Jumièges, into the bargain. Stigand, and even the Godwines’ previous favourite for the incumbancy, Æthelric, may have been less the creatures of the powerful comital family than was Hugh, but Stigand’s high lordly standing in East Anglia presumably meant that he had an interest in the outcome of the affair.91 We have already seen the significance of Dover and the Gloucestershire hundredal centre at which the Godwines assembled;92 Canterbury’s long history and relative sta-

88 On

Saint-Denis and the rivalry with the German dynasty’s use of Aachen, see Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, p. 5. 89 Yorke, Nunneries, p. 75. ASC A 962; for the identification, Whitelock’s notes in her edition of the ASC, p. 75, n. 2, citing the attestation of Sigeferth among subkings in S 566 (A.D. 955). Foot, Veiled Women, Volume II, pp. 236–7. 90 Schwager, Graf Heribert II, pp. 114–15. 91 VÆdR, pp. 30–1. On Stigand as a lord, see M. F. Giandrea, Episcopal Culture in Late Anglo-Saxon England (Woodbridge, 2007), pp. 188–9, though note that she considers Stigand’s position to have been comparatively neutral in 1050–2 (p. 66). 92 Chapter 3, pp. 103–6; chapter 6, pp. 228–35.

270  ❧   pl aces of contested power

bility did not make it immune from the machinations of political intrigue, even if open conflict did not erupt there at that point. It is worth remembering, however, that a religious house may not have always shared the same interests of its principal patron, which should remind us of the need for negotiation and discussion in circumstances of conflict. Julie Potter noted that in the case of Bec-Helluin and the rebellion of Guy of Brionne in the early 1050s, Guy’s castle at Brionne, besieged by Duke William, was so close to Bec that the abbey ‘must have been caught up in these affairs’.93 A religious house might find itself having to distance itself from a rebellious patron once a cause started to go wrong. Bec successfully achieved this through the auspices of its prior, Lanfranc, but not every community had someone like Lanfranc to hand.

Conflict within the community While there is nothing in our period that quite equates with the execution of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Simon Sudbury, during the Great Revolt of 1381, violence visited against spiritual lords played a role in oppositional conflict as frequently as the invocation of a religious cause. The capture of the Archbishop of Ravenna, who had been with Lothar’s troops at the battle of Fontenoy, is an indication that in political disputes ecclesiastical status could not prevent acts of violence against them (or at least in Archbishop George’s case, the property which they brought on campaign). While the role of bishops in battle continues to be much debated,94 the formality of the involvement of prelates in state-organised actions is only part of the story. Conflicts and outright rebellions which emerged within religious communities were often against the earthly powers of religious figures within them. Monastic communities could certainly be seen as oppressive landlords in the ‘Bissonic’ climate of the late eleventh and twelfth centuries, as the revolt at

93 J.

Potter, ‘The Benefactors of Bec and the Politics of Priories’, ANS, 21 (1999 for 1998), pp. 175–92, at pp. 181–2 (quotation at p. 181). 94 The Life of George, Archbishop of Ravenna, is in Agnellus, Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiae Ravennatis, ch. 174, trans. D. M. Deliyannis, The Book of the Pontiffs of the Church of Ravenna (Washington, DC, 2004), pp. 301–4; see the survey of clerical participation in warfare prior to c.1000 in C. Nakashian, Warrior Churchmen of Medieval England, 1000–1250: Theory and Reality (Woodbridge, 2016), pp. 27–63.

sacred pl aces and profane actions   ❧ 271

Vézelay demonstrates, but we see much conflict within religious communities themselves.95 A community itself might rebel in a wider context, as we see with Ely, but there exist examples of different claims of property among different elements in a community. The tensions which may have stemmed from the holding of resources seem to be evident in the traditions of holdings in the bishopric of Durham, wherein the convent of Durham claimed lands held by the bishopric, based, as William Aird notes, on the interpretation of historical tradition.96 As with urban communities, the heterogeneous nature of a religious community and the unequal distribution of access to resources could underlie the tensions within it. Members of a religious community, whose lives were tied to a particular house, may have had even less choice than townspeople in terms of where they could demonstrate their disgruntlement, and so particular spaces could gain a heightened importance. It is not difficult to see the tensions which underlay the Benedictine reform of the mid tenth century in southern England, given their connections to factions which emerged at the court of King Edgar and surfaced violently after his death;97 the fact that violence was evidently used during the reforms of the 960s suggests that tying royal policy to a religious reform movement had political implications – the diminution of factional influence in the Old Minster community at Winchester and elsewhere in certain southern English minsters is likely to have been an aim. It may be more difficult to see overtly political aims in the reform movement in Normandy a century later but the stones thrown at Archbishop John of Rouen at his 1072 council – where he was announcing that priests would have to renounce their wives – is indicative of the passions that could emerge at such occasions.98 The role of a religious space as a place of conflict was sometimes the manifestation of a form of rebellion from within as disenfranchised members of 95 Steffen

Patzold, ‘“Ipsorum necesse est sub hanc dissensionem animas periclitari”: Les révoltes dans la vie monastique médiévale en Europe occidentale’, in Revolte und Sozialstatus, ed. Depreux, pp. 75–92, highlights the control of resources within monastic communities as an issue concerning the defence of the status quo rather than evidence of class struggle within the communities. 96 Aird, St Cuthbert and the Normans, p. 164. See also MacLean, ‘Recycling the Franks in Twelfth-Century England’. 97 See the introduction, above, p. 32. 98 R. Allen, ‘“A Proud and Headstrong Man”: John of Ivry, Bishop of Avranches and Archbishop of Rouen, 1060–79’, Historical Research, 83 (2010), pp. 189–227.

272  ❧   pl aces of contested power

communities rebelled against their lords. The violent actions of Thurstan, the new Norman abbot of Glastonbury against his (presumably) predominantly English monks in 1083 is often cited as an extreme example of a religious leader’s violence against his community within a ‘colonial’ church with all the ethnic tensions that brought with it,99 but we should remember that the monks had gathered in the chapter house, the community’s place of assembly. This smacked of the rebellious usurpation of authority in the monastic space. The modus operandi of English monastic authority was shifting after 1066, but the monks who gathered in the chapter house cannot have been unaware of the shifts. The violence against the monks seems to have made it an extreme example of response to monastic discord but the discord itself was evidently not that uncommon.100 A revealing case of behaviour in a community’s dispute against authority is recorded in the Acta Lanfranci appended in the Parker manuscript (A) of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (which was in Canterbury by the late eleventh century). Reacting to the imposition of a new abbot, Guy, upon Saint Augustine’s in either late 1087 or 1088, during the first year of the reign of William Rufus, there was an outright refusal by the community to accept the incomer: Lanfranc ‘saw that the monks were stubbornly determined to resist and did not wish to come forth to him’ (et cum monachos pertinaciter uideret resistere, nec ei uelle parere).101 We have seen Lanfranc’s sense of authority above, both earlier in this chapter and in terms of his handling of the ‘Earls’ Revolt’ in 1075 (chapter 3); the conflict between the monastic community and the archbishop is no exception to that apparent need to impose archiepiscopal authority in the age of Gregorian reform. Lanfranc apparently attempted to split up the community, sending some to Christ Church while ‘those who were more vehement and had been the ringleaders’ (eos uero qui fortiores, et caput scandali extiterant 99 ASC

E 1083. For the reasons behind the dispute, see D. Hiley, ‘Thurstan of Caen and Plainchant at Glastonbury: Musicological Reflections on the Norman Conquest’, Proceedings of the British Academy, 72 (1986), pp. 57–90, and R. W. Pfaff, The Liturgy in Medieval England: A History (Cambridge, 2009), pp. 112–13. 100 On violence, see H. E. J. Cowdrey, Lanfranc: Scholar, Monk, Archbishop (Oxford, 2003), p. 172; as well as the examples cited above, a discussion of violence used in Norman monastic discipline is in L. Mancia, ‘John of Fécamp and Affective Reform in Eleventh-Century Normandy’, ANS, 37 (2015 for 2014), pp. 161–79. 101 Acta Lanfranci, from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, Volume 3: MS A, ed. J. Bately (Cambridge, 1996), p. 87; trans. modified from EHD 2, p. 679.

sacred pl aces and profane actions   ❧ 273

– lit. ‘those who had stood at the head of the offence’) were sent to the castle – probably the larger ‘new’ castle rather than the ‘Dane John’ mound (see Figure 24).102 Such imprisonment, in a royal castle on land formerly belonging to Saint Augustine’s, may have been an indication of the involvement of Bishop Odo, a figure who was a patron of Saint Augustine’s and who had left Normandy after William I’s funeral around September 1087. This may make Odo’s record in the Acta feasible (presumably this would have been before Odo’s rebellion, discussed elsewhere in this volume [chapters 5 and 8]). Almost all of the monks, we are told, assembled sub castro ‘by the church of Saint Mildrith’ (sub castro secus æcclesiam Sanctae Miltrudae consedisse).103 In the shadow of a royal castle, there was an evident stand-off. Lanfranc addressed the monks, giving them a deadline of the ninth hour to return to the monastery. The Acta’s account has an air of naughty children about it: ‘[w]hen, however, dinner-time came and they were hungry, most of them, regretting their obstinacy, sent to Lanfranc and promised him full obedience’ (Hora autem refectionis cum esurirent, plures ex eis poenitentes suæ pertinaciæ ad Lanfrancum miserunt, et ei omnem oboedientiam promiserunt).104 This was evidently more than a storm in a teacup, however, and we need not take the line that the monks were hungry at face value. Partaking in a meal at the monastery was a mark of the identity of a community. It may have been of no coincidence that the church to which the Acta referred was that of Saint Mildrith (also Mildred), whose relics had been obtained from Minster-in-Thanet with great fanfare between 1030 and 1045.105 With regard to Saint Mildrith there was a new kid on the block, a matter which may have stirred up trouble around the time of the 102 D.

F. Renn, ‘Canterbury Castle in the Early Middle Ages’, in Excavations at Canterbury Castle, vol. 1, ed. P. Bennett, S. S. Frere, and S. Stow (Maidstone, 1982), pp. 70–7, at pp. 71–2, places the monks’ actions at the ‘new castle’ (castellum novem) indicated in a charter of Anselm dating between 1095 and 1107. He notes that the exchange of property from Saint Augustine’s and the demolition of houses implicit in the Domesday survey is evidence of pre-1086 castle-building over a large area of the city. The ‘Danjvn’ property is recorded in a c. 1200 rental, transcribed by R. Urry, Canterbury under the Angevin Kings (London, 1967), D159, p. 275, and identified on Map 2(b), sheet 8. 103 Acta Lanfranci, ed. Bateley, p. 87. I read sub castro as meaning ‘by/at the foot of the castle’, in preference to EHD 2’s ‘at the encampment’ (p. 679). 104 Acta Lanfranci, ed. Bately, p. 88 (trans. EHD 2, p. 679). 105 S. E. Kelly (ed.), Charters of St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury and Minster-inThanet, Anglo-Saxon Charters, 4 (Oxford, 1995), pp. xxx–xxxi.

Figure 24. The city of Canterbury, redrawn after work by Urry, Canterbury under the Angevin Kings. The map (simplifying details in Urry’s survey) shows churches and principal sites c.1200. Extant late eleventh-century places named in the text are marked here.

sacred pl aces and profane actions   ❧ 275

appointment and profession of Abbot Guy. Around 1084 or 1085, Lanfranc had founded the priory of Christ Church Canterbury dedicated to Saint Gregory the Great, which was putting forward a claim to the relics of Saint Mildrith; in late 1086 or 1087, Lanfranc saw fit to give Saint Gregory’s a foundation charter referring explicitly to the presence of the body of Saint Mildrith and witnessed by Guy’s predecessor, Abbot Scotland!106 That a new church, an immediate neighbour to the east of Saint Augustine’s, was dedicated to a saint to whom the community of Saint Augustine’s felt an especial link was bad enough, but for the claim to be made that Saint Mildrith’s relics had come to this newcomer direct from Lyminge (Kent) in 1085 was presumably a cause of dispute. The refutation to the claim, made in the 1090s by the Saint Augustine’s community’s new saint-writing star Goscelin of SaintBertin is some indication of how seriously this was taken, and with such high stakes it does not seem unlikely that the dispute played a role in the immediate conflict by means of Saint Mildrith’s church and the castle. According to Goscelin, Mildrith had been an obstinate saint who had refused to bow to an abbess’s pressure to marry a nobleman.107 This was a story recorded about a decade after the rebellion of 1087×88 and may have developed in Goscelin’s imagination (female refusal of marriage was a saintly topos, after all), but there is something to be said about the invocation of an obstinate saint whose example served to show an unwillingness to go from a religious community to an unwelcome master. We do not know whence Guy had come but it is not unlikely, as H. E. J. Cowdrey surmised, that he was a product of the Christ Church community,108 and thus may have been unwelcome to the monks of Saint Augustine’s. There may be problems with the Acta, as Paul Hayward has argued,109 but there is also much to be said about the interests of the community. It should be noted that the rebellious monks (at 106 Cartulary

of the Priory of St. Gregory, Canterbury, ed. A. M. Woodcock, Camden 3rd ser., 88 (London, 1956), no. 1, pp. 1–3, and notes at p. ix. 107 What is probably a mid eleventh-century Ramsey account of the refusal is in Passio Beatorum Martyrum Etheldredi atque Ethelbricti, ed. D. Rollason, in his The Mildrith Legend: A Study in Early Medieval Hagiography in England (Leicester, 1982), pp. 98–9. Goscelin develops the account of resistance in Vita Deo dilectae virginis Midrethae, in Rollason’s edition at pp. 122–5 (notes on dating at pp. 18–21). 108 Cowdrey, Lanfranc, p. 168. Note that Guy took shelter with Christ Church in a later uprising (Acta Lanfranci, p. 88; trans. EHD 2, p. 680), though this is not in itself proof of his links. 109 P. A. Hayward, ‘Some Reflections on the Historical Value of the So-Called Acta Lanfranci’, Historical Research, 77 (2004), pp. 141–60.

276  ❧   pl aces of contested power

least those whose names were recorded) had pre-Conquest English names.110 We might add that after a second episode of defiance, one of the monks was ‘tied naked in front of the gates of Saint Augustine’s, to be flogged in view of all the people’ (ante portas beati Augustini, spectante populo, ligaretur nudus, flagellis afficeretur).111 As this was a place of public view, this would probably have been near the Burgate at the east of the city;112 thus, given the incitement to rebel against the abbot recorded in the Acta, it was intended as a means of highlighting the reimposition of order – surely significant if the monks’ protest by Saint Mildrith’s Church in 1087×88 had involved a procession through the streets via entry to the city at the Burgate? ❧  ❧  ❧

The key factor to emerge from this chapter is the variety of the involvement of religious factors in conflict and the variety of conflict involving religious and indeed sacred spaces. In many ways this is the result of a methodology of a chapter which has drawn even more broadly from a range of examples and actions that could be loosely defined as ‘conflicts’. In that sense, it has been impossible to draw out a typology of these conflicts – sometimes religious invocation was in support of royal, ducal, or comital rulers imposing their will upon others; sometimes it was used against those rulers in cases which are clearly definable as rebellion. It is difficult to draw a single pattern of development across our period either. Carolingians used royal monasteries as prisons, and, as de Jong has noted, this was tied in with a normalisation of blinding during the ninth century (we have already encountered the blind ‘king’ Hugh of Lotharingia in chapter 4). By the twelfth century the regularisation and indeed proliferation of monastic rule had moved monasteries a long way from a role that they would only see again after the French Revolution but the battles over the influence of patronage had much in common with an early period. The representation of saints in acts of defiance and indeed attack is becoming better understood in studies of medieval warfare but there are occasions, particularly in the eleventh century, when the perceived identity of a saint is 110 Cowdrey,

Lanfranc, p. 169. Lanfranci, ed. Bately, p. 88 (trans. modified from EHD 2, p. 680). 112 For the topography related to the late fourteenth-century Cemetery Gate and its possible predecessors, see D. Sherlock and H. Woods, St Augustine’s Abbey: Report on Excavations, 1960–78 (Maidstone, 1988), pp. 3–4. 111 Acta

sacred pl aces and p rofane actions   ❧ 277

apparent and the sources which recorded their presence can be tied to historical events with some degree of reliability. Whether this is to do with the manifestation of lordly interests in localities being particularly apparent in the eleventh century and thus their interactions with saints being more visible is a moot point. As we have seen in earlier chapters, political discontents used every means available to them to make their point so it should not surprise us that saints should have played their part. Perhaps the emergent forms of rebellion which made use of lordly spaces (particularly but not only castles) were particularly well suited to the appearance of a saint’s protection. Rebellions within communities from the above discussion may be predominantly English examples but they do not appear to be associated with the conditions of foreign conquest per se. This may be a result of an eleventh- and twelfth-century mutation documentaire and/or related to the stresses in monastic societies from wider social change stemming from conquest but these strike me as simplistic explanations. Monastic tensions may also have emerged because of the proliferation of houses and the competition for resources, as well as the range of interests arising within communities. Moreover, the use of particular places for the pursuit of conflicts was linked to a range of differing interests, but running throughout the chapter has been the central issue of the place itself. The sacrality of those places of conflict was often important but it was not always the only factor. The next and final chapter is intended to show where many such factors could coalesce.

Chapter Eight

Moving and Acting Across Landscapes and Badlands to Battlefields The final chapter of this book considers the wider landscape and movement within it. Opposition may have been encompassed in a single act, particularly a public declaration made as a statement of rebellion in a place that played a central role in the landscape, but the outcome of opposition was often played out through a series of actions. Sometimes protagonists consciously linked these actions and sometimes the links might become important in retrospect but the wide geographical area within which actions were played out often has a significance of its own. While some of the links between places, particularly those close together, have been considered in earlier chapters, here we are as much concerned with the actions of individuals and groups taken in the ‘spaces between’ places.1 In the denial of territory to an opponent who might otherwise stake a ‘legitimate’ claim, such appropriation of landscape in the creation of what might now be termed ‘bandit country’ or ‘badlands’ is a phenomenon which may be equated with aspects of modern civil wars, particularly

1 Sometimes

this extended to the stasis of one party and the movement of others – sometimes enforced as a way of demonstrating the authority of the static party such as the early ninth-century Emperor Louis – toward that party, as Martin Gravel has argued in Distances, Rencontres, Communications, pp. 27–94.

mov ing and acting  ❧ 279

‘asymmetrical’ guerrilla warfare where opponents are not evenly matched.2 In terms of the Middle Ages, it should be noted that scholarly consideration of spatial ‘anti-legitimacy’ owes much to the study of the literature of outlawry and ‘otherness’, including the othering of Grendel in the Beowulf poem.3 While such literary othering of space features in this chapter (though Beowulf itself does not), at stake here are the ways in which those contesting power moved across landscapes as part of their strategies of domination. The first part of this chapter is concerned with the balances between practical issues in strategic decision-making. Picking up for a final time the sequence of events in the rebellion of Æthelwold across southern England, the chapter leads on to discussion of the symbolic aspects of the notion of the construction of ‘othered’ space – effectively ‘badlands’ or ‘bandit country’ – in chronicles and narrative sources. The focus is then on ways in which an oppositional movement could centre on a battlefield, making the site, through its relationship with the landscape around it, a centre of rebellion. The chapter concludes with a case study of the site of the battle of Val-èsDunes in 1047, a place of contested power which had a long historical memory in eleventh- and twelfth-century Normandy.

Controlling the landscape The ways in which political actors moved across a landscape to a place can reveal something about intentions. Because we are relatively well informed about the relations between the English king and his nobility in the period immediately prior to the Norman Conquest, much can be read from the movements of rebels from York in 1065. Having killed the men of Earl Tostig of Northumbria and chosen the Mercian nobleman Morcar as their earl, the rebels travelled through midland territory to Northampton, where 2 For

the modern era a useful study is Buhaug and Gates, ‘Geography of Civil War’; beyond consideration of landscapes in campaigns generally, which is a limited field (a recent consideration being T. J. T. Williams, ‘Landscape and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking Campaign of 1006’, EME, 23 (2015), pp. 329–59), I am not aware of a work on the dynamics of movement in campaigns specifically relating to internal opposition. 3 See discussion in the introduction, above, p. 17. The scholarship on Grendel’s ‘otherness’ is vast, but an introduction is provided in A. Orchard, A Critical Companion to Beowulf (Cambridge, 2003), ch. 6.

280  ❧  pl aces of contested power

they were met by Morcar’s brother, the Mercian earl Edwin. Though Stephen Baxter highlights the centripetal tendencies of the English kingdom at this point, it is noteworthy that the eastern and east midland shires recorded in the D and E versions of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Lincolnshire, were what Baxter terms ‘debatable’ shires – not clearly under the authority of the Northumbrian or the midland earldoms. The choice of Northampton as an assembly place may have had some significance here.4 According to the C version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the king was some distance away at Britford, near Salisbury, and authority was exercised in the king’s absence by Earl Harold, who attempted to broker an agreement.5 Morcar’s alliance with the men of the earldom may be brought into question if Northampton was in his brother’s earldom, as the ‘northern men’ (norðerne men – the geographical reference is no doubt relevant here) took the opportunity to raid around Northampton – causing so much damage that the DE version of the Chronicle records that ‘the shire and other neighbouring shires were the worse for it for many years’.6 Clearly ravaging was an opportunity to enforce the political point. It is perhaps telling of these Northumbrian–east midland politics that in having ‘passed over’ the appointment to Northumbria of Earl Waltheof, a Northumbrian earl from Siweard’s Bamburgh dynasty, in the confirmation of the appointment of

4 ASC

DE 1065. See Baxter, Earls of Mercia, p. 79, with maps at pp. 66–7; See also D. Whitelock, ‘The Dealings of the Kings of England with Northumbria in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries’, in The Anglo-Saxons: Studies in Some Aspects of their History Presented to Bruce Dickens, ed. P. Clemoes (London, 1959), pp. 80–8, at pp. 84–5. 5 ASC C 1065; VÆdR, pp. 80–1 notes the significance of this as a moment for potential civil war. See above, p. 2. 6 D MS: ‘swa þæt seo scir ⁊ þa oðra scira þæ ðærn eah sindon wurdon fela wintra ðe wyrsan’. That the D MS’s rendering of ‘ða ryðrenan’ is simply a scribal mistake for ‘ða norðernan’, ‘the northerners’, is apparent in Irvine’s edition of MS E (ASC: Collaborative Edition, p. lxxxiv), though there is a minor linguistic debate as to whether there was a sense of Old Norse terms for infraction inherent in the terms used, which might make sense given the record of the damage done: S. M. Pons Sans, Norse-Derived Vocabulary in Late Old English Texts: Wulfstan’s Works, A Case Study (Odense, 2007), p. 54, n. 35 (who suggests a scribal error is more likely). On the representation of this episode in different manuscripts of the ASC see Lavelle, ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle’, pp. 85–8.

moving and acting  ❧ 281

Morcar, the territorial focus of Morcar’s earldom was on this disputed region of Northampton and Huntingdonshire.7 Just over a decade earlier, in 1052, the movements of members of the Godwine family, what I have referred to elsewhere as a ‘Viking campaign’, reveal something of the intentions to denigrate the reputation of the king and his immediate associates. The Chronicle accounts appear to reflect the legs of journeys, sometimes quite short but at other times as much as 50 nautical miles (approx. 90 km). Perhaps these distances represented the daily legs of journeys by a flotilla as the rebels moved by sea, largely from one royal vill to another across the south-eastern and south-western coasts of England (Figure 25).8 Matthew Strickland has recently highlighted the importance of technological developments in the latter action, emphasising the ways in which such mid eleventh-century Anglo-Saxon (or, rather, Anglo-Scandinavian) rebellion was focused on maritime technology.9 It may be added that while the use of ships was linked to a demonstration of the ultra-rich status of the Godwine family, at the heart of their maritime campaigning was the very practical issue of projecting naval power.10 Beneath that were other practical issues: landing at an estate centre might mean that food from that place could be collected (as we have seen in chapter 2), and rebels were able to eat and drink. Perhaps even more fundamentally, the Godwine family had been in exile in Ireland and Flanders so they had to have some means of getting back to England! Yet that practical issue relevant to the Godwine family’s 1052 campaign raises a significant principle. Rebellions and other acts of opposition could not always have the same access to scouts and intelligence enjoyed by ‘state’resourced forces (the classic case being the opposing forces of the Hastings 7 Williams,

English and the Norman Conquest, pp. 33–4 (quotation at p. 33). CD and E 1052; the places recorded in the different manuscripts annal for 1052 actually complement each other, reflecting differing geographical interests between the chroniclers, with the C MS, from a Mercian perspective, noting ‘major’ places and the DE manuscript noting places locally relevant to Canterbury. See Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 202–7. 9 Strickland, ‘Military Technology and Political Resistance’. 10 For the Godwine family’s campaign, see Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 200–2, discussing the medieval application of the nineteenth-century strategist A. T. Mahan’s theories of naval warfare in J. B. Hattendorf, ‘Introduction: Theories of Naval Power: A. T. Mahan and the Naval History of Medieval and Renaissance Europe’, in War at Sea in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. J. B. Hattendorf and R. W. Unger (Woodbridge, 2003), pp. 1–22. 8 ASC

Figure 25. The movement of members of the Godwine family (Harold from the west; Godwine from Flanders in the east) on the south coast of England in 1052. The map at the top shows the ‘larger-scale’ picture, mostly that recorded in the CD manuscripts, while the account in the E manuscript, seeing events from a Canterbury perspective, is depicted in the lower map. (N.B. Romney was likely to have been at the shore in 1052.)

Figure 25.—(concluded)

284  ❧  pl aces of contested power

campaign in 1066),11 but the urge to make statements of political intent had to be balanced, in the minds of rebellious leaders, with the dangers and obstacles facing them. Some of the practical, logistical, and militarily strategic aspects of rebellion need acknowledgement here in terms of the landscapes in which they took place. While this should not mean going as far as to follow readings of ‘Inherent Military Probability’ employed by some military historians in interpretation of the landscape,12 the symbolism of the political language of acts of opposition, so important in much of the discussion of this book, could not be made apparent without being contextualised by practicality. To that end, a reading of the landscape (and indeed the seascape) as an environment over which political actors moved becomes more apparent. An important factor in the successful prosecution of a rebellion was the ability to be re-supplied, and reinforced by allies. In England, some of the rebellions which achieved at least a degree of initial success were those which could be supported by seaborne forces. Links across the Channel, North Sea, and Irish Sea allowed the success of the Godwine family’s actions in 1052, but the best-known English example of such links is the threat of Danish fleets in Northumbrian and East Anglian rebellions in 1068–71. There is reasonable comparability in terms of coastline length between England (including Cornwall) from the River Tees to the mouth of the Avon near Bristol, at approximately some 1,300 miles (2,100 km) and that of medieval France (including Brittany) from the mouth of the Loire to the eastern frontier of Flanders, which measures some 1,240 miles (approx. 2,000 km).13 Although the island geography of Britain is something of a cliché, perhaps it is the shape of the southern English coastline that is more remarkable when it comes to the question of internal maritime security. Peninsulas and protrusions of landmass abound on the English coastline in areas close to zones that are subject to direct royal control. This geography allowed fleets to go 11 See

my ‘Campagnes et stratégies des armées anglo-saxonnes pendant l’époque viking’, Médiévales, 63 (autumn 2012), pp. 123–44, which develops themes in Alfred’s Wars, chapter 5. 12 See here Halsall, Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, pp. 6–7, and Williams, ‘Landscape and Warfare’, pp. 333–5. 13 These were approximate measurements using the Measure Line tool on QGIS 2.12.0 and the Natural Earth ‘Quickstart Kit’ data at https://www.naturalearthdata. com/downloads/; along with the problems inherent in the ‘coastline paradox’ of accurately measuring coastal lengths, it should be noted that my figures do not take into account differences between modern and medieval coastlines.

moving and acting  ❧ 285

around East Anglia, the south-east and the south-west, with the potential to undertake multiple seaborne strikes inland – either concurrently or consecutively – with the effect of hitting the same target area from different directions, as indeed was the case in 1052. By contrast, along the coast between the Cotentin Peninsula and the islands of northern Flanders, it was only at the mouth of the Seine near Harfleur that a fleet might hope to be able to undertake any sort of seaborne pincer movement. Furthermore, while the zone of direct control exercised by West Frankish and French rulers was more northerly than many of the rest of the territories nominally subject to them (ranging between the Îlle de France, Vermandois, and even Burgundy, depending on the ruler), much of that zone of control lay somewhat further inland from the coast than was the case in Wessex and England. The use of ships in naval campaigns probably provided less of a return for investment when used in internal conflict. We should add to this the significance of investment in large ships stemming from the military cultures of the Second Viking Age and the demonstration of military intent by magnates rich enough to wield them, as well as the long history of Scandinavian involvement in English affairs – which stretched well beyond 1066.14 A culture of using ships to demonstrate the independent power of magnates seems to have been less evident in Normandy. This was despite the fact that the extent of Scandinavian influence in mid eleventh-century Normandy was by no means negligible and the duchy of Normandy was famously able to draw together a massive fleet in 1066 from vessels provided (or at least paid for) by magnates subject to the duke.15 Once the power of Viking warlords such as Harald in Lower Normandy was no longer apparent after the middle years of the tenth century, we do not see such phenomena as ships raiding Fécamp in support of the rebels of 1046–7.16 Beyond the obvious point that raising and training independent hosts and building castles was an expensive business,17 we should also note that the control of ports was a feature of Norman ducal power and the ducal control of a fleet was itself an indication of the independent 14 These

issues are discussed in chapter 4 of my Alfred’s Wars, esp. pp. 143–5. M. C. van Houts, ‘The Ship List of William the Conqueror’, ANS, 10 (1988 for 1987), pp. 159–83. 16 For Harald, see, e.g. Hagger, Norman Rule, pp. 60–1. 17 Not all Norman aristocrats were castellans by the mid eleventh century, of course, but the extent of castellan power by this point is notable. See above, chapter 5, pp. 187–9 15 E.

286  ❧  pl aces of contested power

status of the Norman duke in the face of the authority of a French king whose royal domains had no direct access to the sea. This significance of English coastal and estuarine areas is probably also relevant to accounts of unrest in south-western England, which may have been linked to the seaborne attack from Ireland by the sons of Harold Godwineson in 1069,18 as well as the urban resistance by the city of Exeter in 1068 discussed in chapter 6. Orderic’s account of this included a number of allusions to Exeter’s connections, suggested as including requests for help from Ireland and perhaps also from further afield, in Denmark.19 Maintaining lines of communication could be crucial. Frank Barlow commented on the practical importance of Rochester for Odo in 1088 in terms not only of its geographical location between London and Canterbury but also of the possibility of its reinforcement by water via the Thames and Medway rivers.20 In Sussex, some of the rebels of 1088 used Pevensey as a base; such a landing place with oversight for the Rape of Pevensey compares with the later use of the coastline near Arundel (then in the hands of Henry I’s widow, Adeliza of Louvain) as an area for the Empress Matilda to make landfall, in 1139.21 In 1088, the E manuscript of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle noted Odo’s raids on archiepiscopal estates, an issue which highlights the ways in which rivalries had emerged since the death of William I (a far cry from the evidence of earlier cooperation between Lanfranc and Odo, at Canterbury);22 in his account of the rebellion, Orderic recognised

18 OV,

vol. 2, pp. 224–5 and 228–9; ASC D 1069. vol. 2, pp. 210–13; see Hudson, ‘Family of Harold Godwineson’; Prestwich, Place of War in English History, pp. 29–30. Above, pp. 233–4. 20 Barlow, William Rufus, p. 78. 21 The Warenne (Hyde) Chronicle, ed. and trans. E. van Houts and R. C. Love (Oxford, 2013), chs 15–17, pp. 32–5; ASC E 1088; OV, vol. 5, pp. 208–9 (albeit in a summary of Odo’s life rather than in the main account of the 1088 campaign, vol. 5, pp. 121–35. For Arundel, GS, ch. 41, pp. 86–7, and WM, HN, II.31, pp. 60–1 (though WM makes more of Robert of Gloucester than the Empress who came with him); C. Hanley, Matilda: Empress, Queen, Warrior (New Haven, CT, 2019), pp. 105–7, considers the evidence for landfall in ‘friendly territory’. For the gift of Arundel, in the Chronicle of Robert of Torigni, ed. Howlett, Chronicles, vol. 4, p. 137, see above, p. 151, n. 52. 22 Above, chapter 7, p. 273. 19 OV,

moving and acting  ❧ 287

the significance of communication, highlighting the central location of Rochester, between London and Canterbury.23 Barlow comments on the need for King William II to respond with commensurate skill. A king who, in William of Malmesbury’s words, ‘lacked neither prudence nor good fortune’ (nec prudentia nec fortuna deerat) recognised Odo’s role as the main player in the rebellion; ‘no commander would have considered attacking Rochester by forcing a crossing of the tidal River Medway under the shadow of the walls’.24 Therefore, in a reading which makes sense of the various actions, Barlow notes that William ‘left all the side-shows to local commanders’, looping round, then attacking Tonbridge before moving against Pevensey, where Odo had gone, before finally capturing the turbulent bishop with the help of a royal fleet. The royal castle of Rochester, probably along with the walled city in which it lay, remained in rebel hands: evidently through a trick the garrison recovered the captured Odo, breaking expectations that surrender would be peacefully negotiated.25 Despite the eleventh-hour setback, which resulted in prolonging the siege of Rochester, the campaign has the hallmarks of a royal response successfully undertaken with the strategic positioning of castles accounted for and making appropriate use of naval support.26 That success had been predicated as a necessary response to a war of manoeuvre in which the king’s opponents, acting in concert and – given Orderic’s reference to messengers – communicating well with one another, made use of the resources available to them as well as their own naval support. The only missing factor was Robert’s noshow, referred to with scorn by Orderic, but probably reflecting the limits of Robert’s own resources and potential difficulties within his duchy.27 For King William, it was evidently a close run thing and it was only by William’s

23 OV,

vol. 4, pp. 126–7; Barlow, Rufus, pp. 78–81 on the strategy of the area. WM, GRA, pp. 546–9. 24 Barlow, William Rufus, p. 79. WM, GRA, pp. 546–7 (here using Barlow’s ‘prudence’ rather than Mynors et al.’s ‘policy’ for prudentia). 25 Barlow, William Rufus, p. 80, citing ASC E 1088 and the account of the trial of William of Saint Calais, De Injusta Vexatione, ed. Arnold, p. 191. The failed negotiation is not in OV’s account, though WM, GRA, pp. 546–9, does allude to it. 26 ASC E 1088, which seems to identify pre-Conquest ‘English’, suggests that this was an English naval force. See J. Pullen-Appleby, English Sea Power c. 871 to 1100 (Hockwold-cum-Wilton, 2005), pp. 86–7 . 27 Aird, Robert Curthose, pp. 112–13.

288  ❧  pl aces of contested power

strategic abilities that the rebellion remained a rebellion rather than the opening act of the rightful reign of King Robert of England.28

Travel, communication, and the aims of rebellion: a last look at the ætheling Æthelwold Æthelwold’s campaigning experiences from two centuries earlier provide a comparison with the campaign against William II. That comparison reveals that while at the end of the eleventh century, controlling access to London and the south-east was essential, the geography of Wessex and East Anglia necessitated a different set of strategies for Æthelwold and his cousin Edward the Elder at the turn of the tenth century. The case of Æthelwold also shows that the decision about when to act is a practical one. As we have seen in chapter 3, there is some significance to the point at which the planning of a rebellion (an act of treason while it was done in secret) became public. This is relevant to Chronicle’s order of events in its record of Æthelwold’s actions after the death of Alfred, which is ambiguous, perhaps deliberately so. A reflection on the meaning of that action in the context of the Chronicle’s record is appropriate here. It is possible that Æthelwold had acted after Edward’s coronation in June 900 rather than in the late autumn of 899, but Æthelweard’s record of upheaval in Northumbria at a point before Edward’s coronation is suggestive of the circumstances in which Æthelwold opportunistically came to power there.29 As Vikings had shown to devastating effect during Alfred’s reign, seizing an estate centre was more likely to be successful in late autumn or early winter, when harvests had been gathered in, than in summer when supplies were low.30 Although a post-June 900 date for Æthelwold’s rebellion cannot be ruled out, a preJune 900 date would seem to confirm the language of legitimacy inherent in the conflict, with Æthelwold taking advantage of circumstances. As with the delay before coronation in the circumstances of the accession of Æthelred 28 Useful

parallels may be made here with the successes of the early thirteenth-century invasion of England, a combined-arms campaign by supporters of Louis, the son of the French king Philippe Auguste, a campaign which is detailed in terms of strategic oversight by Sean McGlynn in his Blood Cries Afar: The Magna Carta War and the Invasion of England, 1215–1217 (Stroud, rev. edn, 2015). 29 Æthelweard, Chronicon, p. 51. 30 See Abels, ‘English Logistics and Military Administration’, pp. 258–9.

moving and acting  ❧ 289

II,31 political opposition probably explains the delay in Edward’s coronation. In a politically charged situation in which not only actions themselves but also the memory of those actions could determine political success, it also mattered how the order of events was itself recorded. The order of the Chronicle’s entry places Æthelwold’s arrival at Twinham after the seizure of Wimborne. However, the Chronicle’s allusion to Æthelwold’s departure on horseback (an activity often associated with Viking activities in ninth-century annals32) suggests that he subsequently escaped over land. Therefore, it seems more likely that he arrived at Twinham first: subsequent events are recorded by the Chronicle as having taken place in Wimborne. Indeed, writing in the twelfth century from a version of the Chronicle, John of Worcester records events in this order (see Figure 11, above, p. 132).33 Æthelwold’s act of closing gates was, perhaps infamously, a declaration of opposition and the walls which segregated the nunnery in the eighth century, described (albeit stereotypically) in Rudolph’s Vita Sanctae Leobae, may have afforded the site itself some defensive function.34 However, Wimborne’s position in the wider landscape was also of strategic value. It lay at a key point in the West Saxon kingdom, close to important Roman roads which led directly westward to Dorchester, and north to Salisbury and Wilton. Although there was a route to Winchester by these roads, it did not lead directly there – an issue which may have been of some benefit to Æthelwold if he planned a westward-directed action.35 Wimborne was at a crossing point of the Rivers Allen and Stour, the latter of which, if it were navigable in this period (particularly in late autumn/ early winter when the river’s plain is prone to flooding), may have been a means of travel – albeit slow – from Christchurch 31 See

Keynes, Diplomas, p. 233, n. 7. mounted armies were not limited to the use of Vikings, the AngloSaxon Chronicler is understandably preoccupied with Viking mobility. For references to mounted Viking forces in England and on the Continent, see ASC 866, 870, 871, 881, 885, 893, 895. A valuable paper on this issue remains J. H. Clapham, ‘The Horsing of the Danes’, EHR, 25 (1910), pp. 287–93. 33 JW, vol. 2, s.a. 901, pp. 356–7. 34 Rudolph, Vita S. Leobae, ch. 2, in MGH Scriptores in folio, 15.1, ed. G. Waitz (Hannover, 1887), p. 123, discussed in Blair, Church in Anglo-Saxon Society, pp. 198–9. Blair (p. 331) also compares Wimborne with the use of nearby Wareham by the ‘Great Viking Army’ in 876, which may have functioned as a base because of its walls. 35 I. D. Margary, Roman Roads in Britain (London, 2nd edn, 1967), pp. 106–10. 32 Although

290  ❧  pl aces of contested power

(Twinham) to Wimborne.36 Wimborne was the southernmost point by which Æthelwold could control access to the western half of the kingdom. Even if he did not intend to take over the whole of Wessex, one may wonder whether his plans included a division of the kingdom, something which, as discussed above, was a serious concern. While noting a late ninth-century gravitation towards Winchester, Barbara Yorke has remarked on the evident preferences of Alfred’s predecessors for the diocese of Sherborne (Dorset),37 a trend which may contextualise Æthelbald’s relegation of his father at Steyning. Indeed, there may have been Alfredian interests in the western part of the kingdom.38 Perhaps as with what may have been Viking attempts to cut off the eastern half of the kingdom through seizing the royal estate centre of Chippenham (Wilts.) in 878,39 Æthelwold’s actions may have been intended to reopen such fissures, to become ruler of a significant part of the kingdom. This may have been the area where his father’s interests had lain before the agreement was made with King Æthelberht, as recorded in the first part of Alfred’s will.40 Æthelwold’s sole appearance in a charter’s witness list perhaps reflects such geographical fracture lines. An undated Malmesbury charter in which Æthelwold appears as a witness records a lease by Alfred of four hides of land at Chelworth, some 5 miles (8 km) north-east of Malmesbury, to a layman by the name of Dudig.41 If the records of those at assemblies reflect interests 36 For

discussion on the navigability of rivers generally, see papers in the volume edited by John Blair, Waterways and Canal-Building in Medieval England (Oxford, 2015), esp. D. Hooke, ‘Uses of Waterways in Anglo-Saxon England’, pp. 37–54 and (a later medieval reading), J. Langdon, ‘The Efficiency of Inland Water Transport in Medieval England’, pp. 110–30. 37 Yorke, ‘Bishops of Winchester’, p. 64. 38 For Alfred’s western tendencies, voluntary or otherwise (Alfred’s Somerset exile, hunting in Cornwall, and Asser’s promotion to Sherborne [the latter revealing that Asser was by no means an unbiased commentator]) see Asser, chs 53, 74, 81, pp. 41, 55–6, 67–8 (trans. pp. 83, 89, 96–7). 39 For the seizure of Chippenham as an attempt to divide the kingdom, see B. Yorke, Wessex in the Early Middle Ages (London, 1995), p. 99. 40 S 1507. Miller, Charters of the New Minster, p. 4 (trans. Keynes and Lapidge, Alfred the Great, p. 174). Smyth, King Alfred the Great, p. 437, notes that because Æthelred I had been buried in Wimborne, the men of Dorset may have once held particular loyalty to his father. 41 S 356. There are questions about the authenticity of this charter, though there is likely to be genuine tradition behind it; S. E. Kelly (ed.), Charters of Malmesbury

mov ing and acting  ❧ 291

of local nobles, it may be significant that a charter stemming from an assembly held at Malmesbury in western Wiltshire was the only occasion of the survival of an attestation by Æthelwold. It is perhaps instructive here too that Æthelwold’s 902 assault on Wessex may also have taken advantage of this geography. However, as will be shown, there was by then a wider agenda at play than Æthelwold’s claim to the throne: Æthelwold’s point of entry into Wessex from Mercia was also comparatively far west, at Cricklade (Wilts.).42 Much of Æthelwold’s strategy may have been determined by the likelihood that his support base suffered under years of Alfredian dominance at court. We have seen in chapter 4 how the transmission of estates may be evidence of Æthelwold’s sidelining in the West Saxon royal family. Yorke, for one, has drawn attention to Æthelhelm and Æthelwold’s comparative absence in the subscription lists of the (admittedly small) corpus of Alfredian charters, in comparison to Edward’s more regular appearance.43 However, to turn this suggestion on its head, any support base for Æthelwold – however small – would have meant problems for Edward. As discussed in chapter 1, rebellion often used a member of the ruling family as a focus,44 and Æthelwold compares with the Neustrian Franks’ appeal to Charles the Bald’s brother, Louis the German, or Aquitainian support for a newly escaped Pippin II against the rule of Louis the Younger, son of Louis the German, in 854.45 Of course, it would be over-optimistic to hope to comprehend why Æthelwold seems to have been so successful at rousing forces to his side. Vikings may not have helped his cause in retrospect in terms of legitimacy. However, as with Lothar and Pippin II’s employment of Vikings in the Carolingian Middle Kingdom and Aquitaine respectively, and Liudolf and Conrad’s good relations with Magyar families around 954, perhaps such support helped to even out a political imbalance (and it should also Abbey, Anglo-Saxon Charters, 11 (Oxford, 2005), pp. 196–9, who notes the significance of Æthelwold’s attestation (see chapter 4, p. 164, above). A small estate at Chelworth lay close to Cricklade (DB Wilts.68:30 [fol. 74d]), which could have been relevant to Æthelwold’s Thames crossing in autumn 902, but in view of Malmesbury’s Domesday holdings, the standard identification of land near Crudwell, closer to Malmesbury, is more likely. 42 ASC s.a. 903, probably referring to events in autumn 902. Below, pp. 293–4. 43 Keynes, Atlas of Attestations in Anglo-Saxon Charters, Table XXI. Yorke, ‘Edward as Ætheling’, p. 31. 44 Above, chapter 1, pp. 293–4. 45 AB 854, p. 44 (trans. pp. 78–9).

292  ❧   pl aces of contested power

be acknowledged that hiring Vikings was not a policy which was confined to rebels and renegades in the early medieval West).46 If Æthelwold thereby had to tacitly acknowledge the failure of his West Saxon bid for power, his actions now indicated an altogether different strategy. This was implicitly different because, whether or not Æthelwold employed Vikings in his earlier foray into Dorset, it is surely significant that the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle did not record them: from 901 onwards, the Viking connection was explicit. The perspective taken by the Annals of St Neots also warrants mention here: although it may be a gloss on the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s record that the army in Northumbria made Æthelwold their king, the record of Æthelwold as ‘king of the pagans’ (rex paganorum), and ‘king of the Danes’ (rex danorum) provides a notable acknowledgement of Æthelwold’s position in eastern England.47 This verdict on Æthelwold may have been inherently hostile, but it reflects the manner in which Æthelwold had moved on to an altogether larger political stage. It is perhaps instructive here to note that the while the ‘A’ version of the Chronicle, a manuscript reflecting Edward’s interests, does not record Æthelwold’s position as a king in Northumbria or the submission to him in Essex in 901–2, other manuscripts are more candid in admitting these details.48 Essex was a frontier territory between the West Saxon kingdom and the Danelaw, and 46 Widukind,

III.32, pp. 118–19 (trans. pp. 117–18); see K. Leyser, ‘The Battle at the Lech: A Study in Tenth-Century Warfare’, History, 50 (1965), pp. 1–25, at pp. 9–10. For Lothar’s relationship with Vikings, see AB 841, p. 26 (trans. p. 50); for Pippin’s employment of Vikings in ninth-century Francia, see AB 857, 864, pp. 47 and 67 (trans. pp. 84, 111). For the notion that Pippin’s employment of Vikings in Toulouse in 864 smacked of desperation, see Nelson, Charles the Bald, pp. 202–3. See Simon Coupland, ‘From Poachers to Gamekeepers: Scandinavian Warlords and Carolingian Kings’, EME, 7 (1998), pp. 85–114, for a discussion of royal policies of employing Vikings in late Carolingian Francia. See S. Roffey and R. Lavelle, ‘West Saxons and Danes: Negotiating Early Medieval Identities’, in Danes in Wessex, ed. Lavelle and Roffey, pp. 7–34, at p. 11, for consideration in an English context of Pierre Bauduin’s Frankish model (Le monde franc et les Vikings (Paris, 2009), pp. 47–149) of the enhancement of authority inherent in using Danes in royal service. 47 Annals of St Neots, ed. Dumville and Lapidge, p. 104. Cf. AB 864, p. 67, which relates that Pippin II ‘joined with the Northmen and observed their rituals’ (se Normannis coniungit et ritum eorum servat; Nelson’s translation, p. 111 and n. 3, differs slightly from mine, though she notes that the reference to the Saxon Stellinga revolt (discussed here above, pp. 64–5), AB 841, pp. 25–6 uses a similar verbal formula). 48 ASC 899/900; 902/3.

moving and acting  ❧ 293

though it may not have been under the direct control of the West Saxon king,49 Æthelwold’s actions could still have come as a blow. However, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle also indicates that the events of 902 – an advance from East Anglia across Mercia into Wessex – were not entirely orchestrated by Æthelwold but also reflect a wider attempt to capitalise on the situation across England following the death of Alfred the Great. As Frank Stenton observed, Byrhtsige son of Byrhtnoth, who was recorded with Æthelwold amongst the roll of Anglo-Scandinavian dead after the battle of the Holme, may have been a dispossessed descendant of the Mercian royal family.50 If so, it is therefore surely significant here that Mercia was also a target in the 902 campaign.51 It is appropriate to cite here in full what the Chronicle writes of the campaign: Here Æthelwold enticed the army in East Anglia into hostility, so that they raided across the land of Mercia until they came to Cricklade and there went over the Thames, and took all they they could take, both in Braydon, and round about there, and then turned back homewards.52

While it is not absolutely certain that a burh existed by the early tenth century at Cricklade, a key Thames crossing point, if something was there, there is no record of destruction there in the Chronicle’s account.53 It is not possible to detect whether the presence of the burh had forced the attackers to cross the Thames elsewhere, or whether the burh’s inhabitants had declared 49 R.

P. Abels, Alfred the Great: War, Kingship and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England (London, 1998), p. 164. 50 Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England, p. 322; cf. Smyth, King Alfred the Great, p. 436, who sees this as a purely West Saxon affair, reckoning Byrhtsige to have been a West Saxon descendant of Æthelwulf and Ecgberht. 51 For the dating of these events, see F. T. Wainwright, ‘The Chronology of the “Mercian Register”’, EHR, 60 (1945), pp. 385–92, at pp. 390–1. 52 ASC 902: ‘Her aspon Æðelwald þone here on Eastenglum to unfriðe, þæt hie hergodon ofer Mercna land oð hie comon to Creccagelade, ⁊ foron þær ofer Temese, ⁊ namon ægðer ge on Brædene ge ðær ymbutan eall þæt hie gehentan mehton, ⁊ wendan ða eft hamweard.’ (quotation from MS A). 53 For the defences at Cricklade, Haslam ‘Towns of Wiltshire’, pp. 106–10, provides a useful discussion. Cf. Baker and Brookes, Beyond the Burghal Hidage, pp. 328–30, who are cautious about assuming defences were functioning or even built at Cricklade in 902. A general assessment of the effectiveness of West Saxon defences is Abels, ‘English Logistics and Military Administration’.

294  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Figure 26. (i) Main map: The Thames crossing point at Cricklade. This also shows hundredal boundaries, the Malmesbury estate of Purton and royal land, perhaps associated with what later became the Forest of Braydon. (ii) Inset plan: the defences at Cricklade. (Redrawn after Hill, ‘Gazetteer of Burghal Hidage Sites’.)

for Æthelwold. Given the difficulties in dating the Burghal Hidage record, it may even be the case that the burh was only built in the aftermath of the crossing. All the same, Edward’s Wessex was still penetrated by a hostile force, as the Chronicle’s record of ravaging around Braydon (Wilts.) showed (see Figure 26).54 Braydon’s thirteenth-century royal Forest seems to have much earlier origins, and that royal link suggests symbolism in Æthelwold’s actions as one contesting the control of this area.55 Furthermore, with regard to the crossing of the Thames and the act of entering territory, there is a striking parallel here with the presentation of contested Roman power in Britain, which contemporaries may have drawn on. Given what Thomas Williams has suggested about the use of the Dorset landscape in the contested actions 54 ASC

902–3. Forests’, in Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, vol. 3, ed. E. Crittall (London, 1959), pp. 391–433, at pp. 402–7; the holding of land at Chelworth by a ‘bowman’ in 1086, amongst land of royal serjeants, may indicate the management of the royal Forest here: DB Wilts. 68:30 (fol. 74d); see also the neighbouring royal estate at Lydiard Millicent (DB Wilts. 1:21 [fol. 65b]). 55 ‘Royal

mov ing and acting  ❧ 295

of 899/900,56 it is worth noting here the late Roman writer Orosius’ representation of Julius Caesar’s act of crossing the Thames in his actions against the rebellious British leader, Casivellaunus (an account derived from Caesar’s own account of the conquest of Britain): Caesar then advanced to the river Thames which they say is fordable [transmeabilem] only at one point. A huge force of the enemy under the leadership of Cassovellaunus [sic] had encamped on the far bank and fortified the riverbank and almost all the ford beneath the water with sharp stakes. After the Romans detected and avoided these obstacles, the barbarians were unable to bear the onslaught of the legions and hid themselves in the wood whence they frequently sallied forth, causing severe losses to the Romans.57

A version of this account appears in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s annal for 60 BC, probably following Bede (who had also read his Orosius) with the additional point cribbed from Caesar’s Gallic War that Caesar ‘conquered very many of the major strongholds, and went back to Gaul’ (geeode wel manega hehburh mid mycelum gewinne, ⁊ eft gewat into Galwalum).58 Clearly the control of a river-crossing was a point worth mentioning, and the rendering of the account of the flight of the Britons to þam wudufestenum – ‘wood-fastnesses’ which had the additional meaning of ‘wood fortresses’59 – is salutary in the light of the tactics of Viking opponents. At the point where the Old English Orosius relates these same events, Wallingford (Berks., now Oxon.), a place downstream of Cricklade, fulfilling a similar function as a crossing point of the Thames, appears in the account:

56 Williams,

‘Place of Slaughter’, p. 41 (discussed above, chapter 3, p. 130). Libri VII, VI.9, p. 202 (trans. pp. 280–1). Cf. Caesar, The Gallic War, ed. and trans. H. J. Edwards, LCL, 72 (Cambridge, MA, 1917), V.2, pp. 256–9. 58 ASC DE annal for 60 BC (quotation from E); Bede, HE, I.2, pp. 20–3, with textual similarities noted by the editor at p. 592. On the ASC and Orosius, see now C. Konshuh, ‘Constructing Early Anglo-Saxon Identity in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles’, in Land of the English Kin, ed. Langlands and Lavelle, pp. 154–79. 59 On the latter reading in the OE Orosius and ASC, see Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 187–8 and 233–4; see also B. Yorke, ‘Fortifications in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’, in Landscapes of Defence in the Viking Age: Anglo-Saxon England and Comparative Perspectives, ed. J. Baker, S. Brookes, and A. Reynolds (Turnhout, 2013), pp. 91–109. 57 Orosius,

296  ❧  pl aces of contested power Their third battle was near the river that is called Thames, close to the ford called Wallingford. After that battle, the king and the town-dwellers [burhware] that were in Cirencester submitted to him [i.e. Caesar], and subsequently all the inhabitants of the island.60

Here the Thames frontier burhs were significant. For an Anglo-Saxon audience, Wallingford was a place redolent with royal authority; if the work that went into the Burghal Hidage is considered in terms of being a royal project which emphasised a Roman sense of Anglo-Saxon burghal development, the appearance of Wallingford in a rebellion against Rome makes sense. Wallingford links the landscape of Anglo-Saxon England with the Roman past in a way that the author of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle presumably did not wish to countenance when recording Æthelwold crossing the Thames. Assuming a burh was there, Æthelwold’s entry into Wessex via Cricklade makes more sense when seen through a prism of Roman imperial authority. This is not to say that Æthelwold cast himself as a rebel against Rome, a latter-day Casivellaunus, but that the use of burh sites was important. Edward’s holding of Badbury Rings had been a trump card in 899/900 but Cricklade, with its rectangular layout, is striking as one of the classic Neo-Roman towns of Wessex (Figure 26).61 As a place for the crossing of the Thames, when considered with the use of the other burh, the site of Twinham (i.e. Christchurch) in 899, there may be an indication of the way in which authority could be both controlled and usurped through the use of such sites. The resulting manoeuvres and counter-manoeuvres showed that this attacking Anglo-Scandinavian force controlled territory which could be struck at as a response. Later events in Edward’s conquest of the Danelaw were to show the implications of the change in the manner in which AngloScandinavian politics manifested themselves: tenth-century strategies arguably focused upon conquering specific places under Danish control in order to gain territory.62 Nonetheless, although Æthelwold was seen as a renegade 60 ‘Heora

þridde gefeoht wæs neah þære ea þe man hæt Temese, neah þam forda þa man hæt Welingaford. Æfter þam gefeohte him eode on hand se cyning and burhware þe wæron on Cyrneceastre, and siððon ealle þe on þam iglande wæron’. OE Orosius V.12, pp. 334–5. 61 Haslam, ‘Towns of Wiltshire’, pp. 106–7. 62 Stafford, Unification and Conquest, pp. 31–4. L. Abrams, ‘Edward the Elder’s Danelaw’, in Edward the Elder, ed. Higham and Hill, pp. 128–43, at pp. 138–9; cf. Keynes, ‘Edward, King of the Anglo-Saxons’, pp. 57–9.

mov ing and acting  ❧ 297

by the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, his presence in 901–2 – as well as the presence of the putative dispossessed members of the Mercian royal family – may have lent the Viking coalition in England a legitimacy that they may otherwise have not held. The conflict had arguably become a territorial one. The death of Æthelwold along with many Anglo-Scandinavian kings and nobles seems to have obscured the possibility that the campaign did not go to plan for the West Saxon forces, and that, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle acknowledges, the Anglo-Scandinavian forces probably had the upper hand: they ‘remained in possession of the place of slaughter’ (wæl stowe gewald ahton).63 This notion of the possession, in effect ownership, of a field of battle is significant here as an acknowledgement of the battle’s outcome,64 but it should be noted here that Æthelwold’s cooperation with Vikings may only have discredited his cause after his defeat. If a bid for kingship could depend upon the support of a powerful backer, the Vikings fulfilled that criterion, having assumed the possession of the Northumbrian and East Anglian kingdoms. Insofar as their territorial control had been established for two decades and notwithstanding the West Saxon campaigns which were to hit them in the tenth century, the Vikings of late ninth-century England were even part of a political ‘establishment’. Ultimately, Æthelwold had chosen well. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reflects the remarkable manner in which for some three years the West Saxons’ strategy was dictated by Æthelwold and his allies. Only in the death of Æthelwold can Edward be seen to have gained an upper hand, and even this appears unplanned, suggesting that maxim of early medieval warfare, to avoid battle wherever possible, was applicable when a long way outside one’s own territory.65 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle records that upon his retreat from East Anglia, Edward sent seven messengers to the men of Kent in order to recall them,66 a figure which 63 ASC

902–3; Hart, The Danelaw, pp. 513–15, provide useful insights into the West Saxons’ problems in East Anglia. 64 On the notion of a battlefield’s ‘ownership’, see Williams, ‘Place of Slaughter’, esp. p. 49; see generally discussion of the representation of warfare and dynastic tenure by S. T. Smith, Land and Book: Literature and Land Tenure in Anglo-Saxon England (Toronto, 2012), pp. 150–89. 65 Gillingham, ‘William the Bastard at War’; Cf. C. J. Rogers, ‘The Vegetian Science of Warfare in the Middle Ages’, Journal of Medieval Military History, 1 (2002), pp. 1–19. 66 ASC 902–3; Hart, The Danelaw, p. 515, considers this to have been a strategic error on Edward’s part.

298  ❧   pl aces of contested power

hints at a level of tragedy of legendary proportions that has been lost to us, like an English Chanson de Roland. It is surely under such adversity that reputations were made.67

Badlands and bandits: Contesting time and space Much of the discussion so far has been of the records of rebellious action and the ways in which the interests of particular medieval authors could determine the memory of specific locations in a landscape; this chapter considers ways in which the landscape was read, both upon the page and through the experience of the physical environment, as well as how rebellious groups (and indeed those who made statements of legitimacy in response to rebels) ‘wrote’ the landscape – and were written about. There was a temporal aspect to acts of opposition which allowed the ‘continuous’ nature of hostility to be apparent over time and compared with those moments of intense activity which so often determined the perception of opposition. This temporality could be conveyed in descriptions of the remoteness of locations and the untamed ‘wildness’ of the landscape, by which rebellion might be depicted as something outside the normal continuum of political discourse, on a par with acts of banditry. As a result, the exercise of power could be linked to the wider landscape. For example, if we are to accept the battle of Brunanburh, recorded in a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 937, as having taken place at Bromborough in the Wirral, there may be a link here too with a circumscription of territory in Edgar’s journey around Wales with a naval force to the River Dee at Chester thirty-six years later. This could be read as an action intended to show royal domination over a rebellious north-western province.68 67 Although

he does not discuss the Æthelwold episode itself, C. E. Wright, Cultivation of Saga in Anglo-Saxon England (Edinburgh, 1939), remains a valuable work for the sense of the retelling of the ‘lost’ literature of this period in allusions such as that of the ASC’s account of The Holme. See Lavelle, ‘Politics of Rebellion’, p. 71, for the broader significance of the death of Ealdorman Sigehelm in this account. 68 ASC DE 973 and the elaboration of the account in JW, vol. 2, s.a. 973, pp. 422– 5. Roach, ‘Locating Meaning in Later Anglo-Saxon England’; Roach does not necessarily read an act of circumscription in Edgar’s travel from Bath to Chester but for this see S. Matthews, ‘King Edgar, Wales and Chester: The Welsh Dimension of the Ceremony of 973’, Northern History, 44 (2007), pp. 9–26. Identifying Brunanburh remains problematic, however – see M. Wood, ‘The Spelling of Brunanburh’, Notes and Queries, 64:3 (2017), pp. 1–5, and Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 298–9, for a review

moving and acting  ❧ 299

A further issue is the effect that landscape could have on time itself. We have already visited the question of the choice of a date for actions on a number of occasions, including with regard to Æthelwold’s actions in this chapter, but there are other issues regarding the very perception of time. The length of time of an action – or a series of actions – perceived as a rebellion may well itself be important. The control of a landscape could involve a process which took time and could take place across a long period; as numerous examples in this volume have shown, the nature of opposition might change across time, and this may have affected how a landscape could be perceived, especially when a formerly rebellious party became a legitimate one.69 There is a symbolic significance here. A place might be lent its significance by change or a lack of change; one might also say that a place could exist in a time out of mind, and thus its place within the landscape is determined by its separation from a chronological progression. Consider here the well-trodden case of Ely and even Asser’s evocation of King Alfred’s stand in the Somerset Levels at Athelney in 878 (for which Asser uses rebellavit, curiously enough).70 These might be tied in with the notion of the way in which texts help to create the memory of landscapes, an example being the motif of the protective wolf which appears in both the tenth-century memory of the account of the death of Saint Edmund and in the Gesta Herwardi two centuries later.71 Notwithstanding longue durée readings of the dynasty of the Wuffingas omnipresent in the East Anglian wilds,72 there is something to be said of the literary construction of a place of opposition as metaphorical ‘badlands’. This does not of the evidence. On the problems controlling the region in an earlier generation, see discussion of the Amounderness charter S 407 (AD 934), which may be intended to use the Archbishop of York as a proxy for West Saxon ambitions: Whitelock, ‘Dealings of the Kings of England with Northumbria’, pp. 72–3. 69 See M. S. Phillips, On Historical Distance (New Haven, CT, 2013): his introductory discussion, esp. pp. 7–13, provides a useful meditation on the mellowing of time. 70 Asser, ch. 55 (trans. p. 84). 71 Gesta Herwardi, p. 396 (trans. pp. 82–3); Abbo, Life of Saint Edmund, from MS Cotton Tiberius Bii, in Three Lives of English Saints, ed. M. Winterbottom (Toronto, 1972), pp. 65–87, ch. 12 (p. 81). 72 Although its author’s aim is to demonstrate a literary link, Sam Newton’s The Origins of Beowulf and the Pre-Viking Kingdom of East Anglia (Cambridge, 1993), esp. pp. 105–31, is useful for its maximal account of the royal ‘Wolf ’ pedigree, a topic picked up by Pluskowski in reference to East Anglia, in Wolves and the Wilderness in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 2006), pp. 143–4. For landscape character in this area, see generally, Williamson, Sutton Hoo and its Landscape.

300  ❧  pl aces of contested power

mean to say that such spaces only existed in a perceived space of alterity, especially not just literary landscapes – though of course we need to acknowledge the ways in which authors drew on existing topoi in establishing places of alterity and, in so doing, reinforced the topoi. Nonetheless, the very act of othering space in itself ensured that real political actors, rebels and their opponents, perceived these spaces and acted accordingly. At a place like Ely, opposition was not a single attempt at a coup d’état but could be perceived as a continuous action drawn out across time with, as we have already seen, its echoes resounding across centuries.73 In such a significant location, described in some detail, we see the subversion in the eleventh and twelfth centuries of a place associated with legitimacy and much that had been perceived as good and holy in East Anglia in the period from the seventh to the tenth centuries.74 Rebellion was not ultimately a permanent state of affairs, of course, and the Ely community’s sacrality remained paramount whatever happened around the church itself, but Ely’s role and the role of the landscape around it played a part in the control of resources and the symbolic need to appear legitimate by parties contesting power. In this sense, the description of the receipt of food for feasts, described – if in an exaggerated fashion – in the Gesta Herwardi and Liber Eliensis had much in common with the feorm renders provided to Northumbrian rebels in the campaigning of 1068–9.75 In these episodes of the denial of territorial resources in contests for power, did the creation of othered space that went with it slide into actual banditry? Of course, many might argue that control of property and the descent of ‘legitimate’ rulership is simply a result of some form of legitimation of banditry but here we are concerned with those removed from rulers, described as bandits by hostile sources. Of course, many ‘thieves’ and ‘bandits’ may have been just that – interested in undertaking particular actions 73 Above,

pp. 12–17. King, King Stephen, p. 125, for the comment that the LE III.62, pp. 314–15 (trans. pp. 388–90) is anxious to emphasise the monks’ innocence in 1140, stressing Bishop Nigel’s agency in actions against King Stephen which had much in common with those of 1071–2 75 LE II.105, pp. 179–81 (trans. pp. 213–14); Gesta Herwardi, pp. 380–2 (trans. pp. 72–3); OV, vol. 2, pp. 230–1. Given that the author of the Gesta Herwardi seems to delight in describing ruses de guerre, it strikes me as unlikely that the author was representing a moment of defiant profligacy in the face of adversity, whatever the historical reality of the situation may have been. See above, pp. 120–1. 74 See

moving and acting  ❧ 301

for self-enrichment rather than because they saw themselves as participants in contemporary political society;76 however, opponents of rulers who claimed their actions to be legitimate would point out that they were a long way from being thieves and bandits. Terminological sleight of hand in any language – rebelles as latrones, 反叛者 as 土匪 – has remained a familiar refrain in the ways in which those in authority attempt to downplay those who oppose them. Many of the sources used in this book have done this sort of thing at some point: Flodoard’s disdain for a certain Serlus who had been ‘acting as a brigand’ (latrocinia exercens) while holding a castrum at Montigny (probably Montigny-Lengrain, dép. Aisne) in 938 provides an episode of royal defeat for Louis IV. Serlus’ life was spared by the king, though he razed the oppidum. We will see Montigny again below – evidently the site itself seems to have been brought back into royal service quickly – but the sparing of the otherwise unknown Serlus is an indication of royal forgiveness in conditions where ira regis might be expected. Remoteness from a place perceived to be civilised played its part. In William of Jumièges’ account of northern English rebellion, Durham is depicted in terms of its remoteness, and as a result, he emphasises wildness in the rebels’ withdrawal ‘to the most remote places on the coasts where they spent their time in piracy and robbery’. The Historia Regum, written close at hand, is less damning of the region although the presence of robbers at the time of rebellion is, unsurprisingly, still noted.77 Outside the study area are some interesting places of alterity. The western Icelandic cave system of Surtshellir was inhabited by a tenth-century band of outlaws. This was described some three centuries later in the ‘Book of Settlements’ (Landnámabók) but yielded remarkable archaeological evidence in the twenty-first century. In the eleventh-century Low Countries, Alpert of Metz described Bishop Ansfrid’s campaigns against a ‘thief ’ hiding in forests and swamps.78 These were distant places for those who wrote of them, 76 Note

that we inevitably have to put to one side here judgements as to the nature of the control of property and the notion of rulers as bandits suggested by the nineteenth-century anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. 77 ‘[I]n maritimorum presidiorum remotiora ses receperunt, inhonestas opes piratico latrocinio sibi contrahentes.’ GND VII.21. Simeon, HR, pp. 186–8. 78 Alpert of Metz, On the Variety of Our Times, I.11, trans. Bachrach, Warfare and Politics, p. 23; for Surtshellir, see Guðmundur Ólafsson, K. P. Smith, and T. McGovern, ‘Surtshellir: A Fortified Outlaw Cave in West Iceland’, in The Viking Age: Ireland and the West: Papers from the Proceedings of the Fifteenth Viking Congress, Cork, 18–27 August

302  ❧   pl aces of contested power

but what also contributed to their remoteness was the otherness created by their inaccessibility. We can see these features in the representation of the East Anglian fens, and in the light of such things as the creation of causeways across fenland landscapes, the terrain there obviously made a practical difference to those who encountered it. But these notions of ‘places outside’ played into expectations of opposition outside political society and thus had an effect on marginalising the legitimacy of the causes of political opponents and their categorisation as rebels and outlaws.79 In many cases the margins could be physical. Although the cultivation of forested land in areas of conquest – particularly Saxony – may have dealt with potential places of resistance, the Carolingianised landscape of western Europe itself was characterised by a symbiosis of wild and cultivated land, with a need for there to be wild land at the margins of ‘civilisation’.80 To this end, hunting represented a taming of the wilderness, but it was a taming of the wilderness undertaken within accepted parameters (even in a period which might be seen as ‘pre-parkscaping’),81 and it is little surprise that hunting should feature in actions taken against political opponents. If rulers were entitled to hunt in particular spaces then by exercising that right they were both showing their ability to rule and demonstrating that rebels on the margins of society were at once both further marginalised yet, in some sense, part of the society. Therefore, they might be tamed and eventually brought under control. The ability of rulers to hunt was essential to the homosocial bonds which brought rulers together with their nobility, 2005, ed. J. Sheehan and D. Ó Corráin (Dublin, 2010), pp. 283–97. Cf. the ‘othering’ of the landscape of Bobastro in al-Ándalus, raised in the introduction, above, pp. 10–12. 79 See here Harlan-Haughey, The Ecology of the English Outlaw in Medieval Literature, pp. 12–19, with discussion of fenland environments at pp. 23–68 and specific discussion of Hereward at pp. 69–100. Wyatt, Slaves and Warriors in Medieval Britain and Ireland, pp. 107–10, has commented on the notion of Irish and English rebels as lordless renegades outside the control of law, a matter which puts the rebellious escaped slaves noted in chapter 1 (p. 65) into a territorial context. 80 C. Wickham, ‘European Forests in the Early Middle Ages’, in his Land and Power: Studies in Italian and European Social History, 400–1200 (London, 1994), pp. 155– 99, at pp. 193–8. Costambeys, Innes, and MacLean, Carolingian World, p. 239, provide a useful overview of the economic and cultural symbiosis. For a discussion of the relationship between forests and places of power throughout the Middle Ages, see Rollason, Power of Place, pp. 136–50. 81 Dutton, Charlemagne’s Mustache, pp. 48–9. For the developing of ‘parkscaping’, see Creighton, Designs Upon the Land, pp. 122–66.

mov ing and acting  ❧ 303

demonstrating a right to rule – a right which included places at the margins where rule was contested.82 The representation of William the Conqueror in the Domfrontais – a region of ‘hommes indépendants et farouches’, according to Pierre Bouet83 – during a time when he was besieging the town and its castle, as well as nearby Alençon c.1051, is a quintessential example: ‘[a]ll opposition was so remote that he could, if he wished, spend his time in hunting and falconry’ (Aduersitas imnis procul fuit, adeo ut uenatui et auiu ludo si forte libuit, secure uaceret). Given that William of Poitiers used the same motif in his representation of his hero’s later approach to London in 1066 and that his Gesta is full of such literary embellishments, we probably have to take the Gesta’s reading of the lack of opposition at Domfront with a fair-sized pinch of salt. All the same, with regard to a ruler for whom such acts as hunting were demonstrative of authority, the sentiment could not have been missed by contemporaries.84 The nearby Forêt d’Andaine, recorded in the eighteenth century as one league (3 miles) to the east of Domfront, suggests that opportunities for hunting were likely to have been available.85 In the case of William’s act of hunting in the aftermath of the battle of Hastings, this was said to have taken place at a point when the conquering duke was calling together a council which led to the surrender of English nobles at Wallingford.86 Although royal centres were frequently seized by the opponents of rulers, and acts of opposition must have frequently disrupted the means by which rulers were able to go hunting or hawking, there is surprisingly little said about such disruption in our period. It would be unsurprising if ‘bandits’ did not subsist in afforested areas but tales of Robin Hood’s theft of food from royal Forests would not emerge until the thirteenth century, and the 82 Nelson,

‘Lord’s Anointed’; also Rollason, Power of Place, pp. 150–66. ‘Le Domfrontais de 1050 à 1150’, pp. 86–9. 84 WP, I.17, pp. 24–5, and II.29, pp. 148–9. On the broad significance of hunting, between the ninth and eleventh centuries, to create and develop bonds between rulers and their nobles, see Reuter, ‘“Regemque, quem in Francia pene perdidit, in patria magnifice”’, pp. 140–1, discussing J. L. Nelson, ‘The Lord’s Anointed and the People’s Choice: Carolingian Royal Ritual’, in Rituals of Royalty: Power and Ceremonial in Traditional Societies, ed. D. Cannadine and S. Price (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 137–80. 85 L. Denis, Atlas topographique de l’ancienne province de Normandie et pays limitrophes, ed. H. Brové (Paris, 1770; corrected edn, 1817), map 9. 86 See this chapter, above, pp. 295–6, for Wallingford. 83 Bouet,

304  ❧   pl aces of contested power

deliberate infringement of Forests as acts of actual political rebellion does not seem to have been recorded. This is despite the fact that by the end of the eleventh century, royal law in England was associated with the protection of the chase – acts which demonstrated opposition to rulers who controlled hunting grounds might be thought, if not easy prey, then a tempting button to press.87 Perhaps the absence of evidence for this, or at least the fact that it did not happen in an organised fashion on a level of widespread revolt, shows the extent to which rebellion could be inherently conservative. Rebels may have frequently contested the rights of rulers to rule but they did not contest the system that existed in order to allow them to do so.88 Those cases where hunting does come into an account of political action are telling. We saw in chapter 1 the Welsh destruction of a hunting lodge erected by Earl Harold of Wessex in 1065, an act which was evidently intended to work at different political levels.89 Count Bernard of Senlis’ opposition to Louis IV was manifested in 945 by an attack on Compiègne, described as the ‘town of the royal throne’ (regalis sedis oppidum) and ‘certain of the manors subject to that throne’ (cum quibusdam villis eidem sedi subjectis). The ‘castellum regis’ of Montigny, which had been captured from the ‘bandit’ Serlus in 938, was also attacked by Bernard at Easter: ‘falling upon the king’s hounds and huntsmen, he carried off their horses and whatever else seemed good to him’ (venatores et canes regis invadens, equos eorum vel quaeque sibi visa sunt aufert).90 Writing half a century later and linking the occasion with the attack on Compiègne, Richer included the detail that dogs and hunting spears (venabulum) were amongst the goods seized (capiens) by the errant count.91 We cannot be certain whether this was an imaginative adjustment to Flodoard’s narrative or was simply reflective of knowledge independent of Flodoard. I suspect the former is more likely but what is significant is that the narrative of opposition to a ruler, expressed through opposition to their ability to hunt in a landscape in which they were entitled to exert 87 N.

Sykes, ‘Zooarchaeology of the Norman Conquest’, ANS, 27 (2005 for 2004), pp. 185–97, at p. 193, emphasises the evidence for the strict application of Forest Law in England. 88 See William II’s promise to grant people in England ‘their woods and hunting rights’ in 1088 to win loyalty among English subjects. ‘But’, the Chronicler lamented, ‘it did not last any time’ (ac hit ne stod nane hwile). ASC 1088. 89 Above, pp. 61–2. 90 Flodoard, Annales, s.a. 945. 91 Richer, vol. 1, II.43, pp. 260–1.

moving and acting  ❧ 305

control, was an effective way of showing an affront to royal dignity and countering the ruler’s authority. Disrupting a space for hunting or even controlling it could be a statement against perceived royal illegitimacy, contesting royal authority. Replete with dogs and royal hunting spears, Bernard’s victory and the extent of his opposition to King Louis must have been very apparent to a tenth-century audience who knew the forests and chases in a region that lay only some 50 miles (80 km) from Reims and was closer yet to the royal powerbase of Laon.

To the battlefield Georges Duby’s dictum ‘la bataille n’est pas la guerre’, said of the imposition of peace through battle, specifically at that of Bouvines (1214), is a useful reminder of the exceptionality of battle in medieval warfare.92 Many current works on medieval warfare draw attention to the significance of ravaging the landscape as a means of demonstrating contestation of its possession, and this has been an element of discussion earlier in this chapter.93 To that end the convivium of the redistribution of food which might arise from such ravaging stems from the act of avoiding battle, but battle was, in a sense, an assembly, an action with a public outcome, often in a public space. In this manner, battle draws together the dynamic elements of earlier discussion in this book with the violence of one grand moment in time – a single day in every case that I am aware of – which would resonate for years to come. Thus, in some ways, battle might be said to have had the greatest impact of political actions considered in this book, drawing out the claims of legitimacy of those who contested power and dramatically putting those claims on public display, indeed putting them in the open before divine arbitration. The choice of site – insofar as it was possible to make a deliberate choice – related to more than military tactics alone. Open battles are therefore considered here in terms of the landscape in which they took place, drawing on – at least in the case of Val-ès-Dunes, a 1047 battle in Lower Normandy, which is considered in detail herein – underlying governmental and administrative infrastructure. Duby’s famous consideration of the battle of Bouvines as one of the ‘trente journées qui ont fait la France’ is useful in his focus on the almost sacral 92 Duby, 93 For

Le dimanche de Bouvines, p. 190. some discussion of this, see Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 177–9.

306  ❧   pl aces of contested power

attention to legitimacy by the participants of that battle, whose choice of a Sunday was, Duby argued, not insignificant.94 In the Christian western tradition, battle was, above all else, a trial, a duel with the judgement of God hanging over the protagonists. Thus the loser was, by definition, a rebel who had attempted to fight against the natural order – though that was of course a view which could only be imposed in retrospect. The extent to which the battle of Hastings (for example) may be seen in these terms at the time of the battle or during its build-up is questionable; Harold’s control of large forces through the organs of state gave him a degree of legitimacy which was recognised for some months after the battle and there was little prior recognition of Norman lordship over the English kingdom. On a different level from ‘state-vs-state’ forms of warfare, those battles that stemmed from an act of rebellion which in some way recognised the disparity of power of the party rebelled against are considered here. In such cases the moral arbitration of battle remained an essential component of the contest of power. Notwithstanding the exceptional nature of Bouvines, it must be admitted that military encounters that resulted in open battle are rare in this period, particularly so in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The reasons for this rarity have been the subject of much discussion by military historians in recent decades, especially with regard to the question of whether ‘battle-seeking strategies’ were employed by military leaders.95 I have tended to see strategies appropriate to the limits of military capabilities in early medieval warfare, framing my interpretations of campaigning around such limits;96 my scepticism towards reading entirely strategic objectives has tended to be driven by a sense of the predominantly practical readings of medieval strategies in medieval military historiography. However, in the case of rebellion and internal opposition we may see a number of occasions in which one party or both parties needed to force a decisive encounter. This was because the desire to maintain face or standing took precedence over other factors associated with the causes of warfare in other circumstances. 94 A

recent reassessment of the battle is D. Barthélemy, La bataille de Bouvines (Paris, 2018), though it should be stressed that Duby’s take on the motivations and intent remains invaluable. 95 S. Morillo, ‘Battle Seeking: The Contexts and Limits of Vegetian Strategy’, Journal of Medieval Military History, 1 (2002), pp. 21–41; John Gillingham responds in ‘“Up with Orthodoxy”: In Defense of Vegetian Warfare’, Journal of Medieval Military History, 2 (2003), pp. 148-59. 96 Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 190–1.

moving and acting  ❧ 307

In some cases the need to force a decisive encounter seem to indicate the significance of brinkmanship. The actions which took place on the River Thames in 1052, the culmination of the campaign led by the Godwine family discussed earlier in this chapter, are an indication of the manner in which a military stand-off between parties of relatively equal standing might lead to negotiation. In some ways this was merely a return to the status quo: Godwine and his family returned to their pre-1051 position; the king remained the king, and Godwine did not get his candidate onto the archiepiscopal throne. All the same, the threat of battle which allowed what appeared to be a return to the status quo could be said to have been the culmination of a successful campaign undertaken by the king’s opponents. In his 1983 Ford Lectures on central medieval English warfare, J. O. Prestwich commented on the importance of battles that were not fought in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.97 It is an indication of the relevance of Georges Duby’s dictum that for much of the period, whether a stand-off of opposing forces drawn up in an internal conflict led to the violence of battle or an ultimate negotiation (or indeed both), once that point had been reached, resolution in some form or other seems to have been the likely outcome. Confrontation in open battle required the coordination of alliances of different parties, so the features of the language of legality and assembly, of feasting and convivium fulfilled a practical end of bringing together an army which might grow in strength the longer a leader communicated the ‘aura’ of success that such demonstrative behaviour could provide. This presumably had to be balanced in some cases with the likelihood, increasing with time, that rebels might have to deal with that frequent extinguisher of rebellious ardour, the sight of a confident ruler, king or duke, riding out to face them.98 Changes in the frequency and form of rebellion and other opposition may be apparent during the course of the tenth and eleventh centuries, when, as we have seen, the frequency of the building of private fortifications allowed lords to make their own demands without needing particularly large armies to back them up. All the same, opposition determined by the presence of armies on a battlefield seems to have been a constant feature throughout our period. In ninth-century England, battles against the Viking ‘Great Army’ (or elements thereof ) seem to have been so frequent that they may have been on a relatively small scale, such as was the case in 871, a year when, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, ‘nine’ significant battles (folc gefeoht) took place 97 Prestwich,

98 Strickland,

Place of War in English History, pp. 23–5. ‘Against the Lord’s Anointed’, pp. 62–3.

308  ❧   pl aces of contested power

south of the Thames, often without a clear outcome.99 By contrast, when we see Vikings as having a legitimate stake in English territories, there may have been a need for confrontation in open battle – as opposed to sieges and ravaging campaigns – to be something more than a skirmish. The battles of Edington (878), the Holme (902), Tettenhall (910), and Brunanburh (937) show that Anglo-Saxon rulers were confronting opponents who were perceived as more than sea raiders. Though rulers from the house of Wessex might have been loathe to admit it, such actions were confrontations that were the English equivalents of the civil wars that took place in the West Frankish kingdom. We have already seen Æthelwold and likely dispossessed members of the Mercian royal family at the Holme, an unknown site (an island?) in East Anglia. Elsewhere, the sensitivity to legitimacy in the landscape at Edington and the Brunanburh poet’s act of drawing on a history of a gens anglorum which built on some form of ownership of the land (written at a point when control of the Brunanburh battlefield had been lost to the English rulers, ironically enough)100 were indications that the West Saxon dynasty and its allies were concerned about it, all the same. In West Francia, with occasional Viking exceptions such as Saucourt (882), the battles of the ninth century are more clearly those of a type of civil war, even, given the aspects of kin-conflict, ‘more than civil war’, as defined by Isidore of Seville in the sixth century.101 The would-be battle at the ‘Field of Lies’, with which this book began, was a case of the forcing of a military confrontation by Lothar, a frustrated imperial son, while the battle of Fontenoy (841) was characterised by the attempts by both sides to show their legality – in Lothar’s case with the added attempt to stall proceedings for long enough to get the aid of his nephew, Pippin II, whose forces were some distance from the battlefield.102 Andernach (876), fought by the Rhine between Charles the Bald and his nephew Louis the Younger in an attempt to secure the East Frankish kingdom following the death of Louis the German, 99 ASC

871. On the definition of these folc gefeoht by the Chronicle, who says he does not count those which ‘the king’s brother Alfred and single ealdormen, and king’s thegns often rode on’ (i.e. not the king), and by Asser (ch. 42, trans. p. 81), who puts the number of proeli at eight, see Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 264–5. 100 Lavelle, Alfred’s Wars, pp. 300–1. 101 Isidore, Etymologies, XVIII.1, trans. Barney et al., p. 359. See above, pp. 2–4. 102 Nithard, II.10, p. 24 (trans. p. 152); Nelson, ‘Violence in the Carolingian World and the Ritualization of Ninth-Century Warfare’, pp. 98–101.

moving and acting  ❧ 309

is known for the manner in which both sides drew on a language of sacrality: famously, Charles chose the eve of the feast of Saint Denis on which to attack, albeit without success.103 Penance was imposed after Fontenoy but the language of penance may have, in some way, justified the actions of the victors at Soissons (923), a suburban battlefield close to Saint-Médard, the monastery where Louis the Pious and Pippin of Aquitaine had been imprisoned in the previous century.104 But a need to return to the Anglo-Norman world is justified, and detailed consideration of a couple of examples ends this chapter and indeed this book. The need to face down a rebellious opponent is apparent in the battle of Gerberoy in January 1079, in which the King of the English, William I, faced down his errant son, Duke Robert ‘Curthose’. In such circumstances, the demonstration of loyalty and thus the legitimacy of the recipient/s of that loyalty was paramount. William Aird has usefully characterised the actions of Duke Robert as those of a ‘wronged vassal’, seeking the help of his royal lord, King Philip I of France, who sent Robert to the frontier castle of Gerberoy.105 From Robert’s viewpoint – and indeed that of King Philip – the use of the castle may have been intended to invoke such notions of lordship and personal rights as we have seen in chapter 5. There may indeed have been a practical element at play as, according to Orderic, Gerberoy was a place to which the king encouraged Norman opponents of the duke to go. The castle provided a centre for such resistance which was on the edge of ducal authority, perhaps due to the fact that the castle linked with the vidames of both Beauvais and of Amiens, in regions to the east and north-east of Normandy.106 103 Nelson,

‘Violence in the Carolingian World and the Ritualization of NinthCentury Warfare’, pp. 102–3. 104 See Cross, ‘Ethic of War in Old English’, p. 281. S. Hamilton, The Practice of Penance, 900–1050 (Woodbridge, 2001), pp. 193–6, comments on the pragmatism of the penance imposed after Soissons. 105 Aird, Robert Curthose, pp. 86–7 (quotation at p. 86). The wider implications of the rebellion by Aylemar of Villeray which arose from this conflict are considered by Thompson, Power and Border Lordship in Medieval France, pp. 41–3. 106 See Power, Norman Frontier in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries, pp. 161–2, for debates regarding the customs of the area in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, and p. 220 for the use of Gerberoy by different lineages of vidames. He discusses OV, vol. 3, p. 108, in reference to ‘the castle’s unusual custom of having two lords of equal status’.

310  ❧   pl aces of contested power

The ensuing battle, which followed a period of border warfare and three weeks of winter siege of the castle by William – the fact of it being in winter suggesting ‘that William saw Robert as a serious threat to his authority’107 – was a moment at which the disputes leading to the rebellion came to a head. The battle is well known for the dramatic moment, recorded by John of Worcester and ‘reminiscent of the chansons de geste’, of the unhorsing of William by his son and the last-minute allowance of mercy by Robert, who allowed his father to remount and leave.108 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’s reference to an Englishman, Toki, in the battle is perhaps more important as symbolic of the reading of loyalty through lordship on this occasion, in the face of the rebellion by the errant son. Following the Chronicle’s identification of this figure as Toki, son of Wigod, the latter recorded in a writ as a kinsman of Edward the Confessor,109 Ann Williams and Katherine KeatsRohan, amongst others, note Wigod’s significance in the English kingdom. Both Williams and Keats-Rohan link Wigod’s survival as a figure responsible for Wallingford, which, as we have seen, controlled a strategic crossing-point on the Thames. This survival is an indication that, as Williams puts it, ‘he assisted the passage of the Norman army’ when it crossed there in 1066.110 The apparent legitimacy of William’s lordship is heightened by the inclusion of Toki’s actions in accounts, including his death by a crossbow bolt, very much in a heroic tradition, provide a contrast with the rebellious actions of William’s son, Robert Curthose at this point.111 The E version of the Chronicle, while naming the place of the action, does not mention the name 107 Aird,

Robert Curthose, p. 87. vol. 3, s.a. 1079, pp. 30–3; the quotation is from Aird, Robert Curthose, p. 87. 109 S 1148 (AD 1065×6). On the authenticity of this writ, see F. Harmer, AngloSaxon Writs (Manchester, 1952), pp. 336–7. 110 Williams, English and the Norman Conquest, pp. 100–3. The quotation is at p. 101, discussing Freeman, History of the Norman Conquest, vol. 2, p. 543, and J. Campbell, ‘Some Agents and Agencies of the Late Anglo-Saxon State’, in Domesday Studies: Papers read at the Novocentenary Conference of the Royal Historical Society and the Institute of British Geographers, Winchester, 1986, ed. J. C. Holt (Woodbridge, 1986), pp. 201–18, at p. 204, n. 18. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, ‘The Genesis of the Honour of Wallingford’, in The Origins of the Borough of Wallingford: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives, ed. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan and D. Roffe, BAR British Ser., 494 (Oxford, 2009), pp. 52–67. For Wallingford, see also above, pp. 295–96. 111 See generally Aird, Robert Curthose, pp. 86–8. Aspects of the Gerberoy episode are also discussed in C. Konshuh and R. Lavelle, ‘Chronicles of the Conquered’, History Today, 66:10 (October 2016), pp. 14–20. 108 JW,

moving and acting  ❧ 311

of the man who gave William a replacement horse, though the D Chronicler, perhaps closer to local traditions associated with Evesham or, more likely, Worcester at this time,112 provides the names of both Toki and, tellingly, that of his father. The loyalty of royal troops – the emergent Familia regis – to the crown in the face of rebellion is often seen as an important factor in explaining the success of the Anglo-Norman kingdom,113 though the king’s eventual defeat at Gerberoy often precludes consideration of the death of Toki as an example of the loyalty of the members of this group. Perhaps this could be reconsidered in the light of what can be said about Wigod, which emphasised the royal aspects of the dispute at Gerberoy, a battle in which William stood as a king of an Anglo-Norman regnum rather than as a Norman duke (which was what Robert was essentially trying to be through fighting there).114 The role of the Familia regis in defeating rebellion is often emphasised in accounts of twelfth-century battles, though taken with the descriptions of royal harrying in the pre-Conquest period discussed above, there may be evidence of the continuity of this type of legitimate action taken against rebels.115 Warren Hollister records the battle of Bourgthéroulde (1124) as a triumph of the Familia regis against the more noble and more impetuous rebels.116 A sense of that battle as the imposition of peace was apparent in Robert of Torigni’s local account of the battle, written from the nearby monastery of Le Bec, as heralding a decade of peace is striking.117 In this respect, as in Duby’s reading of the battle of Bouvines mentioned above, the battle was an act of peace rather than war.118 Bourgthéroulde can be seen as the reintroduction of a form of ducal authority which, given Henry’s status in the twelfth century, 112 See

notes by G. P. Cubbin, in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, Volume 6: MS D (Cambridge, 1996), p. lxix and lxxii. DB Warwicks 11:1 (fol. 239b), land at Wixford, Warwicks (admittedly recorded as Witeslavesford rather than Wigotesford), was held by Wigot in 1066, though was held by Evesham Abbey (Worcester’s rivals) in 1086. 113 J. O. Prestwich, ‘The Military Household of the Norman Kings’, EHR, 96 (1981), pp. 1–35; Morillo, Warfare under the Anglo-Norman Kings, pp. 60–6. 114 For this notion of a regnum (though not Gerberoy specifically), see generally Bates, Normans and Empire, passim. 115 Above, Introduction, p. 33. 116 Hollister, Henry I, pp. 298–301 117 Robert of Torigni, GND, vol. 2, VII.22, pp. 236–7. 118 Duby, Le dimanche de Bouvines, p. 190; see above, p. 305.

312  ❧   pl aces of contested power

was almost royal in its manifestation. We may see a similar phenomenon with William’s assertion of authority after the battle of Val-ès-Dunes in 1047.

The place of Val-ès-Dunes in the contestation of western Normandy Many of the battles mentioned above are difficult to situate in a specific geographical milieu or, as in the case of Gerberoy, were in places where the location was linked to the presence of a castle and thus have links to the expressions of lordship discussed in chapters 4 and 5.119 In this respect, the 1047 battle of Val-ès-Dunes may be exceptional but the conspiratorial nature of the rebellion and the sense of the public reassertion of authority, as well as their literary representation, make the case useful for detailed examination as a ‘place of rebellion’. The very landscape of Val-ès-Dunes lends itself to a consideration of the ‘public space’ invoked in the contestation of that public authority discussed in chapter 3. Val-ès-Dunes seems to have had echoes in Norman public memory, given Orderic Vitalis’ use of ‘the eighth year after Val-ès-Dunes’ (octauo anno post Valesdunense) to date the battle of Mortemer (1054).120 However, in terms of the public memory of rebellion, Wace’s late twelfth-century account is perhaps the most significant source. John Gillingham’s laconic comments on Wace regarding the ‘it happened here’ tendencies of battlefield guides remain cautionary, for example,121 and the sheer distance of time between 1047 and the 1160s, when Wace wrote, has been taken as an argument against using him as a serious source. As Matthew Bennett has remarked, Wace may say more about twelfth-century interpretations of warfare than about the realities of warfare in the eleventh,122 but the account nonetheless has some importance. Elisabeth van Houts proposed that memory is created over a period

119 See

the example of the significance of the castle of Tinchebray and the building of a siege castle there in determining the decision for battle in 1106, in OV, vol. 6, pp. 84–5. See also above, pp. 195–6. 120 OV, vol. 4, pp. 88–9. 121 Gillingham, ‘William the Bastard at War’, p. 145; cf. Haughel, Lechevalier and Wavelot, Sur les pas de Guillaume, pp. 8–11. 122 M. Bennett, ‘Wace and Warfare’, ANS, 11 (1989 for 1988), pp. 37–58.

moving and acting  ❧ 313

of four generations.123 Although commenting on the Norman Conquest itself, applying her notion of the creation of memory for the area of Val-èsDunes is an indication of the battle’s significance. It is an indication of that place’s role as a nodal point in the landscape that interests expressed across the wider landscape could converge not just in the acts of violence themselves but in the contestations of public authority that were invoked by the gathering together of opponents of that public authority. Wace’s passage on the events of the battle warrants citing in full. Wace not only emphasises the wider area in which the battle took place, drawing the field into its surroundings, but he also makes much reference to action in choosing to use particular verbs (these are emboldened in the extract): They summoned [manderent] their vassals from all sides and their friends and relatives, calling for [mandez] and summoning [semons] all the vavassours and the barons who were on oath to do their bidding. They crossed [passerent] the Orne at several points and assembled [s’asemblerent] at Val-èsDunes; Val- ès-Dunes is in the Hiémois, between Argences and the Cinglais; from Caen one can reckon about three leagues, by my estimation [kuider]. The plains are long and broad, without great hills or great valleys, very close to Gué [i.e. ditch] Berengier; there is no boscage or rocks, but the land slopes down towards the rising sun. A river surrounds it towards the south and south-west. At the church of Saint-Brise in Valmeray, mass was sung to the king on the day of the battle; the clergy profited greatly from this. In Valmeray, the French armed themselves and prepared for battle; then they entered Val-ès-Dunes and assembled the common troops [communes]. They all occupied [propristrent] the riverbank, fully equipped like fierce troops. William set off from Argences, passing through Gué Berengier and making his way along the river until he joined forces with the French. William’s men were on the right and the French on the left; they turned their faces towards the west, for they knew their enemies were over there. . . .124 123 Van

Houts, ‘Memory of 1066 in Written and Oral Traditions’; ‘Wace as Historian’. 124 ‘De part tot manderent lor genz, / e lor amiz e lor parenz, / les vavassurs e les barons / ont toz mandez e toz semons, / qu’il aveient par serement / de fere lor comandement ; / par plusors leus Ogne passerent, / a Vaslesdunes s’asemblerent, / Valedunes est en Osmés, / entre Argences et Cinguelés, / de Caem i peot l’en conter / treis lieues prof, al mien kuider : / les plaines sunt longues e lees, / n’i a granz monz ne granz valees, / asez prof del gué Bérengier, / n’i a boschage ne rochier, / mais encontre soleil levant / s’estent la terre en avalant ; / une riviere l’avirone / devers miedi e devers none. / A Saint-Brison de Vaumerei / fu la messe chantee al rei / le

314  ❧  pl aces of contested power

Although the reference to the ‘common troops’ reveals Wace’s familiarity with modes of military organisation that might be more fitting to a twelfthcentury than to an eleventh-century context, there is also something to be said in favour of Wace’s account stemming in part from independent sources. The account of the prayers, progress, and deployment of the French forces makes a lot more of the contribution of the French king to the outcome of Val-ès-Dunes than might be expected in an account written for a later French king’s subordinate, Henry II – especially when compared with William of Poitiers’ rather dismissive reference to the king’s presence as merely ‘supporting the victorious cause’ (uictrici causae auxilians).125 In Wace’s account it is the king’s mass which links the description of both groups. A memory of participants which stretched across generations for the participants was important but the memory of a location was created by action; not just the action of violence itself but those actions which brought it about.126 Wace’s account shows an awareness of this in the cycle of description from action (the summoning and assembly of rebels) to place (from Valès-Dunes itself to the church at Valmeray),127 to another action (the mass at the church, leading to the assembly of the ducal and royal forces) to place once again (from Argences to the battlefield). The use of verbs of action are jor que la bataille fu ; / grant pro i ont li cler eü/ A Vaumerei Franceiz s’armerent / e lor batailles conreererent, / pois entrerent en Valesdunes, / la s’asemblerent les communes ; / Tote propristrent la riviere, / bien conreez come gent fiere./ Guilliame, d’Argences torna, / par le gué Berengier passa, / amont la riviere est alez / tant qu’il est as Franceis jostez. / La gent Guilliame fu a destre; /e Franceis furent a senestre ;/ vers occident tornent lor vis / ker la sorent lor enemis.’ Wace, III.3801–48, vol. 2, pp. 28–9 (trans. modified from Burgess’s edition, pp. 133–4). 125 WP, I.8, pp. 10–11 (translation modified here). On the relationship between Henry and the French kings, see J. Gillingham, ‘Doing Homage to the King of France’, in Henry II: New Interpretations, ed. C. Harper-Bill and N. Vincent (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. 63–84. 126 See here Hicks, ‘Comings and Goings’, pp. 49–50. 127 If the dedication was to the Norman Saint Brice, apparently a sixth-century hermit of the Passais, some 50 km (approx. 30 miles) to the south-west, recorded in ninth century, this may have some specifically Norman (or, rather, Neustrian) meaning, though while contemporaries in eleventh-century western Normandy might have been aware, a more conventional reading of Brice as the fifth-century bishop of Tours strikes me as more likely for a French king attempting to assert royal authority. For the Norman Brice, see P. Flament, ‘Les Ermites du Passais’, in La légende arthurienne et la Normandie, ed. Payen, pp. 33–43, at pp. 36–7.

moving and acting  ❧ 315

important in conveying the sense of rebellion: the rebels call for and summon; they cross the river in a co-ordinated fashion; they assemble (Wace’s use of the verb is linked with notions of political as well as military assemblies).128 This construction of a narrative lends a dramatic sense of urgency to the imminent battle but the geographical details are not incidental. Wace evidently knew the area, which is hardly surprising given his Caen connections. Both Elisabeth van Houts and David Bates have drawn attention to the manner in which a charter of King William, dating from 1074, detailing the donation to Bayeux of land at Le Plessis, which had been seized from the rebel Grimoult of Le Plessis, was used by Wace to help construct his narrative.129 It should be added, though, that that Wace evidently knew where to look. Admittedly, Wace’s was an account of rebellion put down by the French king with the help of Duke William but it was also a narrative of rebellion securely located – indeed a rebellion which would not have been located with only the Williams of Jumièges and Poitiers to guide us. A plain without rocks and the high field hedges of boscage was ideal cavalry country, of course, but it is less often acknowledged that such a location could function as a place of assembly: for the rebellious vicomtes to assemble at such a location from various routes meant that even if they had been unable to catch the duke as he made his night journey across Normandy in his pyjamas,130 the rebels had to use the landscape as a means of their organisation. This was a landscape with important communication routes across it (see Figure 27). A number of roads and trackways met in the area, which may have played a part in the choice of site by the rebels.131 William in turn took an indirect route from the River Muance to the battlefield. Again, the question of Wace’s reliability as a narrator of these events raises its head but the notion of travel seems to have been important – Wace has William 128 For

other occasions of gathering, Wace II.2914–15, vol. 1, p. 111 (trans. p. 63); II.3029–44, vol. 1, pp. 114–15 (trans. p. 65), Cf Wace’s description of the peasants’ revolt, III.815–958, vol. 1, pp. 191–6 (trans. pp. 100–2), which also refers to peasants assembling to defend themselves, as well as holding ‘parlemenz’. 129 Bates, Acta, no. 27. Van Houts, ‘Wace as Historian’, p. xxxviii. Wace, III. 4203– 5, vol. 2, p. 43 (trans. p. 138). See above, pp. 151–2. 130 Wace, III. 3817–18, vol. 2, p. 28 (trans. pp. 133–4), with the story of the night escape of the duke – a story resonant with a sense of local legend – at III.3641–36, vol. 2, pp. 22–5 (trans. pp. 131–2). 131 Haughuel, Lechevalier, and Wavelot, Sur les pas de Guillaume, p. 6. Also Searle, Predatory Kinship, p. 201.

Figure 27. The landscape of Val-ès-Dunes, showing (in white) roads and late prehistoric trackways known from modern archaeological surveys, as well as places named in the text. The predecessor of the early modern Route Royale (later modified as the D613) is emphasised with a black outline. Gué Berengier, where William is said by Wace to have crossed en route from Argences, is probably where this road crosses the Sémillon to the east of Bellengreville (marked ‘GB’). The royal force of King Henry may have travelled from Valmeray to the battlefield, with the duke presumably meeting the royal force near Chicheboville. If the rebels travelled from the west, this could place the battlefield in an area some 2–3 km west of Chicheboville. N.B. The map here shows modern hydrology, which reflects some adjustment to the Marais between Bellengreville and Chicheboville. If this land was difficult going, it would explain why William travelled to the north of this area, perhaps along one of the ancient trackways, and Henry to the south.

moving and acting  ❧ 317

circumscribing his territory; his actions are in conjunction with King Henry, whose forces, after (unsurprisingly) partaking in mass, occupy the riverbank. Ducal and indeed royal legitimacy is shown over the territory. Wace’s account raises other issues which may relate more to his twelfthcentury interpretations than to the mid eleventh-century realities of the Norman duchy. How a ruler of Normandy could respond to rebellion in his realm naturally mattered to Henry II. However, there are some issues regarding the organisation of the Norman duchy which need to be taken into account in assessing the eleventh-century significance of the choice of place to assemble for rebellion and responses to it. Although Mark Hagger has made a significant case for noting that not only were Norman vicomtes not the direct successors to Carolingian officials but the grievances that lay behind the rebellion leading to the battle of Val-ès-Dunes were local, concerned with the local interests of the rebelling parties as regional big men, and were not an invocation of their official position.132 The concession of half the rights for omnes consuetudines over the island of Guernsey, granted to Mont-Saint-Michel, was noted by Jean-François Lemarignier as early as 1939.133 That Nigel, the vicomte, was granted the other half, Lemarignier noted, was a limit on Mont-Saint-Michel’s authority,134 but it is worth entertaining the likelihood of tensions between the regional interests of the rebels and their official positions within the Norman duchy. Such tensions may have arisen from, on the one hand, the imposition of ducal castles in the Cotentin, at l’Isle Marie,135 and, on the other, the close relationship between Mont-Saint-Michel and the ducal house.136 132 M.

Hagger, ‘The Norman Vicomte c.1035–1135: What did he do?’, ANS, 29 (2007 for 2006), pp. 65–83; ‘How the West was Won’. 133 J.-F. Lemarignier, ‘La justice sur Guernesey accordée par Robert le Magnifique aux moines du Mont-Saint-Michel 1027/1028–35’, in Travaux de la semaine d’histoire du droit Normand tenue à Guernesey du 8 au 13 Juin 1938 (Caen, 1939), pp. 389–99, at pp. 391–2. 134 J.-F. Lemarignier, ‘La dislocation du “pagus” et le problème des “consuetudines” (Xe–XIe siècles)’, in Mélanges d’histoire du moyen âge dédiés à la mémoire de Louis Halphen, pp. 401–10, at p. 407. 135 Fauroux, Recueil, no. 58 (A.D. 1026×27), recording a castle at Holmus (=L’Isle Marie, dép. Manche) as part of a dowry from Duke Richard III to his wife, Adela. 136 Lemarignier, ‘La justice’, p. 397, notes the concession of the control of islands close to a royal house as part of a broader trend, which included Cnut, of Scandinavian-origin rulers using monks for strategic coastal defences; one does not have to follow his ethnic determinism to see his point.

Figure 28. The boundary of the ninth-century pagus of the Otlinga Saxonia, with surrounding pagi and the probable location of the Val-ès-Dunes battlefield. Identifiable sites in the later vicaria of the Cinglais, recorded in a charter for the Countess Judith (996×1008), are marked with black dots; other locations are marked with squares.

moving and acting  ❧ 319

As we have seen in chapters 4 and 5, personal and familial interests played an important role in the motivations for and the conduct of rebellions but that does not mean to say that the use of the ‘public’ landscape could not also play a role in them.137 We have seen in chapter 3 how the ducal significance of Argences may have played a role in Duke William’s first step of the public act of suppression of rebellion in 1047 but Caen should also be noted here. Caen may have been the rebels’ objective, as it was established by at least the beginning of the second quarter of the eleventh century when it is first mentioned around 1025.138 However, Caen’s importance seems to emerge directly from the suppression of that 1047 rebellion, when William was able to use the Truce of God to invoke his own authority.139 In line with expressions of legitimacy by rebels and the notion that a battle in the early and central Middle Ages tended to ‘mean’ something more than mere strategic exigency or an agreed place for charging horses, it is worthwhile to explore some issues related to the organisation of the landscape (Figure 28).140 A vicaria is recorded in Cingal in a late tenth- or early eleventh-century charter of Richard II. The charter records the grant of a dowry for Richard’s wife, the Countess Judith, ‘in vicariam quoque Cinga[l]ensem’ (i.e. the vicaria of the Cinglais).141 Jean-Pierre Brunterc’h linked the Cinglais to the organisation of a pagus referred to in the ninth century as the Otlinga Saxonia. These may have been an apparently sixth-century grouping referred to by Gregory of Tours as ‘Saxones Baiocassinos’, part of a regional body who became, in Brunterc’h’s words, ‘une éventuelle menace pour les Bretons’. At some point during the eighth and ninth centuries, these Saxons’ territory became part of the pagus of Bayeux, which was itself subdivided into centenae (predecessor 137 We

might add to this the role of Count Rodulf in putting down assemblies of Norman peasant rebels recorded by William of Jumièges, a reassertion of territorial control which is apparent in his account in GND, vol. 2, V.2, pp. 8–9. See Gouttebroze, ‘Le duc, le comte et le peuple’. 138 Caen is first mentioned c.1025, according to Bates, Normandy before 1066, pp. 130–2. 139 See above, chapter 3, p. 133. 140 For a valuable discussion of the evidence for land organisation in the western parts of the Carolingian province of Neustria, see J.-P. Brunterc’h, ‘Le duché du Maine et la marche de Bretagne’, in La Neustrie: Les Pays au nord de la Loire de 650 à 850, ed. H. Atsma (Sigmaringen, 1989), pp. 29–127. 141 Fauroux, Recueil, no. 11 (A.D. 996×1008); extract reproduced by Brunterc’h, ‘Le duché du Maine et la marche de Bretagne’, p. 92.

320  ❧   pl aces of contested power

units of the vicariae).142 The Hiémois, referred to by Wace, covered a wider area. According to Gérard Louise, a county of the Hiémois was formed as a new territory around the earlier eleventh century from older pagi, and showed the implementation of ducal control in the area.143 If, given the presence of Ralph Taisson at Thury-Harcourt in the Cinglais,144 the Taisson family had benefited from this development, it may indicate that Ralph’s apparent reluctance to pitch straight into battle against the duke was not invented by Wace as a literary embellishment.145 In the face of a regional rebellion, Ralph may have needed to avoid being seen as an enemy of the rebels but at the same time he owed enough to the ducal family not to be too prominent in his opposition to Duke William. Cingal and the vicaria of the Cinglais itself were at the edge of the organisation of the landscape that lay behind the choice of the battlefield of Valès-Dunes. Firstly, Wace records the battlefield as being in the Osmeiz, the Hiémois, between Argences and the Cinglais (entre Argences et Cingueleiz), so at least by the twelfth century these were distinct areas. Secondly, the charter 142 Brunterc’h,

‘Le duché du Maine et la marche de Bretagne’, p. 34, discussing GT, Libri Hist., VIII.42, p. 354 (trans. p. 473); see also V.26, p. 232 (trans. pp. 290– 1). Brunterc’h notes the change in terminology to vicariae during the course of the ninth century at pp. 79 and 83–4. For the ninth-century record of Otlinga Saxonia, see Tessier, Recueil des Actes de Charles II le Chauve, no. 84 (A.D. 846; extract reproduced by Brunterc’h at p. 106). The problems of identifying this group are noted in R. Flierman, Saxon Identities AD 150–900 (London, 2017), p. 79. 143 Louise, La seigneurie de Bellême, pp. 118–50. Bauduin, La première Normandie, p. 205, includes a period up to 1020×30 for the inclusion of the Otlinga Saxonia as a distinct territory attached to the Hiémois. See GND, vol. 2, VII.3, pp. 100–3, for an account of Thurstan, vicomte of the Hiémois as attacked by the French king at Falaise, depicted in a similar manner to Robert the Magnificent as count of the Hiémois during the reign of Richard III (Vol. 2, V.17, pp. 38–41, and VI.2, pp. 44–5). For William of Hiémois, Count of Eu, whose rebellion was put down by Rodulf, fresh from his suppression of the peasants’ revolt, see GND, vol. 2, V.3, pp. 8–11. This is discussed by D. C. Douglas, ‘The Earliest Norman Counts’, EHR, 61 (1946), pp. 129–56, and J. Le Patourel, ‘The Norman Succession, 996–1135’, EHR, 86 (1971), pp. 225– 50, at p. 235; see also G. Garnett, ‘Ducal Succession in Early Normandy’, in Law and Government in Medieval England and Normandy, ed. Garnett and Hudson, pp. 80–110, at pp. 91–3, and Fauroux, Recueil, nos. 53 and 55. 144 Searle, Predatory Kinship, pp. 201–2. 145 Wace III.3879–914, vol. 2, pp. 31–2 (trans. p. 134) and III.4051–100, vol. 2, pp. 37–9 (trans. p. 136).

mov ing and acting  ❧ 321

of Richard II to Judith which makes reference to the Cingal vicaria allows a reasonably confident reconstruction of much of that vicaria, as the lands that are identifiable in that charter are close neighbours, if not contiguous. While the Hiémois may have encompassed a wider region than a single vicaria or centena, there are indications that the battlefield constituted a specific space within the Hiémois. Land in Chicheboville is recorded in the hands of the Norman Exchequer c.1180, some twenty years after Wace wrote his Roman de Rou, so presumably there were ducal interests in the area by the twelfth century. As Augustin Le Prévost noted in 1845, in an early historical consideration of the topography of the battlefield, the Exchequer roll recorded that this was land which extended to the Gué Bérengier (in vado Ber[e]ng[arii]), a watercourse which featured strongly in Wace’s narrative.146 This appears logical, and the memory of a local figure called ‘Berengar’ may be relevant; Berengar was a common enough name in ducal Normandy but we might assume that the toponymic tradition had been established by the late tenth century, as a ‘Reinerus de Berengerivilla’, whose by-name presumably related to nearby Bellengreville, is recorded as attesting a charter of Richard II.147 As may be noted from the use of Arques-la-Bataille after the rebellion of the 1050s, estates relating to acts of rebellion could be pulled back into the orbit of the reigning duke to become part of a ducal fisc (or, as we have seen elsewhere, elsewhere, a royal fisc). If the rebels had determined control of the Roman road, the issue of choice and control of the battlefield is debatable. Eleanor Searle observed that because the accounts of the battle emphasise the deaths of the rebels in the River Orne as they retreated, this is an indication that they were ‘unwise in their choice of battlefield’.148 This may lead to the conclusion that the rebels were thus in unfamiliar territory or even that William had chosen the battlefield, though Searle does not go as far as to suggest that. The confusion of defeat may well have heightened the unfamiliarity of land to the east of one’s normal stomping ground but William of Poitiers’ use of motifs of

146 Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae sub Regibus Angliae, ed. T. Stapleton (London,

2 vols, 1840–4), vol. 1, p. 97, which refers to Chicheboville as land of Robert d’Ussy. The implications of this roll, along with Wace’s text, are discussed by A. le Prévost, in his edition of OV, Orderici Vitalis Angligenæ, coenobii uticensis monachi, historiæ ecclesiasticæ libri tredecim (Paris, 3 vols, 1845), vol. 3, pp. 231–2, n. 147 Faroux, Recueil, no. 10 (A.D. 996×1007). 148 Searle, Predatory Kinship, pp. 201–2 (quotation at p. 201).

322  ❧   pl aces of contested power

defeat, echoed by Wace, are stereotypically bloody,149 and cannot be seen as a clear indication that the rebels had been outmanoeuvred in the choice of battlefield. It is entirely possible that the choice of battlefield came about as a result of both sides’ need to represent themselves to each other; underlying this, of course, was the possibility of negotiation and resolution without violence. The ninth-century Frankish nobleman Nithard’s account of the 841 battle of Fontenoy highlights the mutual agreement of the place and even the time at which the battle would commence.150 Given that both Fontenoy and Val-èsDunes were ‘civil war’ battles, there is something to be said about the need for different sides to be seen to talk prior to more violent contact: jaw-jaw was, after all, what prevented war at the ‘Field of Lies’ in 833 and, later, at Southwark in 1052.151 However, in view of the aims of the rebellion, it seems likely that the rebels wished to make a statement for control of a key point in Normandy which represented a convergence of interests rather than the geographical focus of any single party. Ralph Taisson, that would-be Percy of the battle, whose eventual commitment to William was to prove decisive, had his patrimony at Thury-Harcourt, in the Cinglais.152 Guy of Brionne, whose interests lay in the east of Normandy, with his castle at Brionne, could have made a stand in his own region, i.e. in the Risle valley, to the immediate west of the Seine, but it is perhaps indicative of his intentions that he did not. By assembling with rebels at Val-ès-Dunes, he was going west but not so far west that he was too far outside his own sphere of influence. With consideration of the personal and familial interests of the 1047 rebels in mind, the conjunction between public and private interests provides an understanding of the public nature of such an action as that of Val-èsDunes and its suppression. The duke, albeit with significant royal support, had to act in terms of the challenge to his public authority, and the use of public places in the action was essential to this. Matthew Strickland has drawn attention to the ducal actions of Duke William II in the face of the 149 WP,

I.9, pp. 10–11. It is interesting to note the movement of memory and place in one local tradition – elicited to me during a visit to the area in 2011 – which has the Muance, a tributary of the Dives (rather than WP and Wace’s Orne), running red with blood after the battle. 150 Nithard, II.10, pp. 24–7 (trans. pp. 152–4). I gratefully acknowledge Matt Bennett, pers. comm., for discussion of pre-battle agreements. 151 See Prestwich, Place of War in English History, pp. 23–5. 152 Noted by Searle, Predatory Kinship, pp. 201–2.

moving and acting  ❧ 323

rebellion at Arques a few years later (c.1053) as a deliberate attempt to cause his subjects to hesitate to attack the ducal force.153 It is worth remarking here that the exertion of ducal authority could be thought to be on a par with royal authority. Perhaps, despite the intervention of King Henry, William was aware of that need to make his presence felt in 1047. On the part of the rebels, the fact that a range of personal and familial grievances came into play made the rebellion something which went beyond the sum of its parts. The rebels’ use of a public space is important here, and may show how the rebellion could shift, moving here beyond the private grievances – even if these had initially been what had stoked the fires of discontent. ❧  ❧  ❧

Armchair generals can find themselves drawn to a source which happens to be exceptionally detailed, with the result that assessments of a battle or campaign are very much coloured by that source. If this chapter has found me among the ranks of armchair generals in my consideration of Val-ès-Dunes, it is with good reason. Wace’s description is important because of its sense of movement, distance, and time in an act of opposition as well as, ultimately, its suppression, in a defined space within a landscape laden with political meaning. Battle may not have been war but it could be said to have been the ‘purest’ form of opposition, demonstrating the legitimacy of contestation and drawing out demonstrations of loyalty in what might even be a public spectacle. The ‘specialness’ of the medieval battle need not be rehearsed here but in cases in which authority was contested in some form, battles became the final step beyond the declaration of open rebellion, the point at which the forces lined up against an authority claiming to be legitimate pitted themselves violently in order to invoke the judgement of God. The act of going into battle thus required an open space in which the participants were visible. Acts of opposition were written, and were often defined as opposition by being written down, but that writing was borne of an act of remembering. Individual locations, points within the landscape, could be linked with their wider landscape, and the meaning was all the deeper for this.

153 Strickland,

‘Against the Lord’s Anointed’, p. 63.

Conclusion It is sobering to reflect on the extent to which the observations made on places have been led by what has been documented in narrative sources. To that end the narratives of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Flodoard and Richer of Reims, William of Jumièges, and Orderic Vitalis have tended to dominate. The previous chapters have shown how far our source materials determine the perception of the landscape and the places within it. What would we know of English history in the tenth century if a figure like Flodoard had emerged in lowland Britain at some remove from the centre of power, to narrate the history of the unification of the English kingdom in the way that Flodoard narrated the fragmented nature of power in the north and east of what was becoming a kingdom of France? Of course, that question reveals something of the nature of power relationships in England in comparison with West Francia/ France: it might be said that no ‘English Flodoard’ emerged because religious centres in England with traditions of historical writing were all in some way connected with the ruling house or at least ended up with such connections. It is, however, an interesting intellectual exercise. Perhaps the closest candidate might be the western Mercian narrative of the ‘Mercian Register’ of the AngloSaxon Chronicle, though that could be argued to have been a parallel royal (or would-be royal) narrative to that propagated at the West Saxon court. Similarly, going beyond narrative sources, what would we know of the French landscape and our understanding of power relations in that landscape in the eleventh century if a Domesday Book existed for those estates? These questions cannot be answered because Flodoard and Domesday Book – and of course other contemporary sources – have emerged from the political circumstances of the West Frankish and Anglo-Norman polities at times of crisis and change. As Stéphane Lecouteaux has shown for Flodoard and David Roffe for Domesday Book, the apparently unbiased presentation of information in these sources provides a false sense of security in feeling

conclusion  ❧ 325

our way through these blind corridors.1 These sources recorded places in a particular fashion precisely because they mattered. Putting our fingers into the cracks between where different pieces of evidence meet provides some insight, however imperfect, into why places and sites around them mattered. So if particular perceptions of places mattered, can we demonstrate intention in their use? To an extent, yes, but to know precisely what the intentions of political actors were is impossible. This should cause us to remember that contemporaries probably also had difficulties in trying to interpret the intentions of others. In acts seen as demonstrative of opposition, rebellion was sometimes deliberately intended as rebellion, and sometimes simply perceived as such. Various motives came into play when actors made their performances on the political stage: anticipation, hope, even fear. In this respect, the practical point of using one’s own castle was that it gave its occupants a safe space; as Timothy Reuter observed, some actions might be mistaken or misinterpreted by those against whom the actions were aimed.2 Compare Matthew Bennett’s suggestion about the hides hung outside the rebelling fortress at Alençon, discussed above in chapter 6: perhaps Orderic did write up the ‘pelt-mocking’ actions from his knowledge of quite ordinary actions taken by the defenders from sources which are otherwise not recorded from the eleventh century (or at least which did not survive from then). However, even if the story originated and developed when Orderic edited a version of the Gesta Normannorum Ducum in the twelfth century, it is not impossible that knowledge of the practical measure of hanging wet hides outside a fortification could then be framed in a way that suited Orderic’s obsession with William’s illegitimacy. Moreover, it should be borne in mind that hanging hides on the outside of a castle was a practical measure, though defensive, which would have been in some ways an act of aggression. In the context of an anticipated siege, taking such an action closed off avenues of negotiation and resolution. One of the main issues to come out of the discussion has been the change and stasis in the status of sites used in the contestation of power. The understanding of the sites has not necessarily been dependent on whether each one was ‘public’, ‘private’, ‘religious’, or ‘urban’, and, if anything, the discussion in the preceding chapters has shown the mutability of those categories, which have served only as a convenient tool for the consideration of the different 1 See

generally Lecouteaux, ‘Le contexte de rédaction des Annales [parts 1 and 2]’ and Roffe, Domesday. 2 ‘Peace-breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance’.

326  ❧   pl aces of contested power

places. Sometimes, as in the case of Wimborne, a rebellion could mean that a site subsequently ‘lost’ its meaning; in other cases, such as that of Arques, political contest might contribute to the enhancement of the site’s meaning for the victor. For others, such as Laon, the continuing status of the place might carry on, at least for a few generations, despite the upheavals that had taken place in and around it. However, the fact that status could be affected by the events which happened is both symptomatic of the ‘power’ of the political contest and of the power of those places themselves. Changing boundaries and shifts in the geography of polities might be noted here; the lack of importance attributed to Wimborne after 900 – its only moment of significance being as the location of the suicide of a northern king in 962 – may have been a result of the fact that Wessex had moved on and the division of England itself became the issue after that point. This is perhaps apparent at Soissons, which lost some importance as a result of the loss of Carolingian power: the Carolingian Charles the Simple was deposed as a result of actions taken against him at Soissons, where he had attempted to catch a rebel forced ranged against him in 923. Raoul attempted to use the monastery of Saint-Médard at Soissons in support of his own interests in 932,3 but as we saw in chapter 6, Laon seems to have been the preferred Carolingian site under Louis IV. There were only twenty miles or so between the two places but in a region where 60 miles takes you from Compiègne in the west to Reims in the east, political landscapes could shift with alarming rapidity. It is worth reflecting too on the fact that some places do not seem to have seen contestations of power (even in the broadest sense) taking place in them for long periods. Winchester is perhaps the most obvious of these examples in England. The episcopal community’s likely preference for Ælfweard, the son of Edward the Elder who died shortly after his father, is the only hint of the possibilities of Winchester’s potential as a ‘place of rebellion’.4 The tensions evident from violence against the city’s religious communities in the 960s hint at the possibility of what might have happened – kings seem to have been adept at keeping Winchester on a tight leash. The effective imprisonment of Emma after 1044 could indicate that city was less important to Edward the Confessor, an issue which might have resulted from its growth in importance under Cnut and, later, the Godwine family. The relatively quick surrender of the city in 1066, as well as the execution of Waltheof, and 3 Flodoard, 4 See

Annales, s.a. above, chapter 3, p. 109.

conclusion  ❧ 327

indeed the re-coronation of King William at a point when rebellions had been almost wholly crushed, is indicative that the city was part of the political mainstream. That Winchester’s contestation in 1141 was so violent and continued to be a point of contention until 1153 may even serve to underline that mainstream at a point when the geography of civil war had such a strong impact south of the Thames. To what extent were these trends a result of strategic position? The geography of Laon within the plains of Picardy probably allowed any parties holding it to make declarations of resistance with greater expectation of success than any Winchester rebels could even have hoped for. However, confidence in the apparent strength of one’s own city need not have been the driving factor in acts of defiance and opposition. Where a place became important as a centre for opposition, it functioned by facilitating communication with the groups that were being opposed. Whereas in the twelfth century AngloNorman politics were fragmented enough for Winchester to be able to be used in campaigns which ranged across the former kingdom of Wessex, in the tenth and eleventh centuries, sources of political opposition and friction were generally some distance north of the Thames and even the River Humber. Notwithstanding external invasions, the place of Winchester in a landscape that was relatively uncontested for long periods stands in contrast to York, Laon, and London.5 But to end this book on the forerunner of a global city and smaller cities which are famous for their medieval heritage would be to do a disservice to the many ‘minor’ sites, the contested castles and particular hills, rivers, and even fields peppered throughout this book. Such places evidently meant so much to grandstanding figures and their followers that they might choose a site to ‘live there or die there’, to make their political point, whatever that point might be. It would, of course, have been too much to expect political protagonists to have always acted with the aid of such golden sites, ‘portals’, if you like, which had to be used in order to invoke political opposition 5 Rory

Naismith’s Citadel of the Saxons: The Rise of Early London (London, 2018), esp. pp. 180–1, gives a flavour of London’s position on a range of east–west axes and north–south boundaries. I am grateful to Rory for discussion on this subject with me; Paris has been relatively absent from this volume, eclipsed by the frontier-related cities of Rouen and Laon for much of the period, and perhaps more significant for the location of royal monasteries, but Paris’s strategic significance on the Seine is indicated in a contemporary poem on the Viking siege of 885–6: The Viking Attacks on Paris: The ‘Bella parisiacae urbis’ of Abbo of Saint-Germain-des Prés, ed. and trans. N. Dass (Leuven, 2007).

328  ❧   pl aces of contested power

within a group. The use of a particular place was associated with a whole range of factors which may have been dependent on the strategic practicality of circumstances as much as on anything else. Motives and interests, actions and the interpretation of actions, as well as the occasional reaffirmation of legitimacy in response to actions, made complex webs of meaning. Many of those meanings may continue to elude us but by studying the relationship between places and political action, the light cast on a politically charged landscape is revealing.

Select Bibliography Primary sources Abbo, Life of Saint Edmund, from MS Cotton Tiberius Bii, in Three Lives of English Saints, ed. M. Winterbottom (Toronto, 1972) The Abbots of Wearmouth and Jarrow, ed. and trans. C. Grocock and I. N. Wood (Oxford, 2013) Acta Lanfranci, in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, Volume 3: MS A, ed. J. Bately (Cambridge, 1996) ‘Actes inédits du XIe siècle: II, une nouvelle charte de Robert le Magnifique pour Fécamp’, [ed.] L. Musset, Bulletin de la société des antiquaires de Normandie, 52 (1955), pp. 141–53 Acts of St Symphorian, trans. G. H. Doble, Saint Symphorian, Martyr: Patron of Veryan, Cornwall, Cornish Saints Series, 27 (Truro, 1931) Ælfric’s Colloquy, ed. G. N. Garmonsway (London, 1939; 2nd edn, 1947) Ælfric’s Lives of the Saints, ed. W. W. Skeat, Early English Text Soc. [original ser.], 76 (London, 2 vols, 1881–1900) Alcuini Epistolae, MGH Epistolae Karolini Ævi, 3, ed. E. Dümmler (Hannover, 1895) Alfred the Great: Asser’s Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources, ed. and trans. S. D. Keynes and M. Lapidge (Harmondsworth, 1983) Alpert of Metz, On the Variety of Our Times, trans. D. Bachrach, Warfare and Politics in Medieval Germany, ca. 1000 (Toronto, 2012) Ammianus Marcellinus, History, Books 14–19, ed. and trans. J. C. Rolfe, LCL, 300 (Cambridge, MA, 1950) Anglo-Saxon Charters: An Annotated List and Bibliography, ed. P. H. Sawyer, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks 8 (London, 1968); revised version ed. S. E. Kelly, R. Rushforth, et al., for the Electronic Sawyer: Online Catalogue of Anglo-Saxon Charters website, King’s College London http://www.esawyer.org.uk The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition, general eds D. N. Dumville and S. D. Keynes (Cambridge, 9 vols published, 1983–present) The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Revised Translation, trans. D. Whitelock, with D. C. Douglas and S. I. Tucker (London, 1961) Anglo-Saxon Writs, [ed.] F. Harmer (Manchester, 1952)

330  ❧  select bibliography Annales Bertiani, ed. G. Waitz, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 5 (Hannover, 1883) Les Annales de Flodoard, publiées d’après les manuscrits avec une introduction et les notes, ed. P. Lauer (Paris, 1905) Annales Fuldenses, ed. F. Kurze, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 7 (Hannover, 1891) Annales Nazariani, s.a. 786, ed. G. H. Pertz, MGH Scriptores in folio, 1 (Hannover, 1826) Annales regni Francorum inde a. 741 usque ad 829, qui dicuntur Annales Laurissenses maiores et Einhardi, ed. F. Kurze, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 6 (Hannover, 1895) Annales Xantenses et Annales Vedastini, ed. B. von Simson, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 12 (Hannover, 1909) The ‘Annals’ of Flodoard of Reims, 919–966, trans. B. Bachrach and S. Fanning (Peterborough, Ontario, 2004) The Annals of St-Bertin, ed. and trans. J. L. Nelson (Manchester, 1991) The Annals of St Neots with Vita prima sancti neoti, ed. D. N. Dumville and M. Lapidge, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: A Collaborative Edition 17 (Cambridge, 1985) Asser, Vita Alfredi, ed. W. H. Stevenson, Asser’s Life of King Alfred, together with the Annals of Saint Neots erroneously ascribed to Asser (Oxford, 1906) Astronomus, Vita Hludovici Imperatoris, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 64, ed. E. Tremp (Hannover, 1995) The Bayeux Tapestry: A Comprehensive Survey, ed. F. Stenton (London, 1957; rev. edn, 1965) Bede, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum: Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People, ed. and trans. B. Colgrave and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford, 1969) The Book of the Pontiffs of the Church of Ravenna, ed. and trans. D. M. Deliyannis (Washington, DC, 2004) Brevis Relatio de origine Willelmi Conquestoris, in Scriptores rerum gestarum Willelmi Conquestoris, ed. J. A. Giles (London, 1845), pp. 1–23 British Borough Charters, 1216–1307, ed. A. Ballard and J. Tait (Cambridge, 1923) British Library MS Cotton Vitellius C.XII/1. Online at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=cotton_ms_vitellius_c_xii!1 Brougham, W. P., Historical Sketches of Statesmen who Flourished in the Time of George III (London, 3 vols, 1839–43) Brut y Tywysogion or The Chronicle of the Princes Peniarth MS. 20, trans. and ed. T. Jones (Cardiff, 1952) Caesar, The Gallic War, ed. and trans. H. J. Edwards, LCL, 72 (Cambridge, MA, 1917) Calendar of Charter Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, Vol. 3: Edward I, Edward II (London, 1908) The Carmen de Hastingae proelio of Guy, Bishop of Amiens, ed. and trans. F. Barlow (Oxford, 1999)

select bibliography  ❧ 331 Carolingian Chronicles: Royal Frankish Annals and Nithard’s Histories, trans. B. W. Scholz with B. Rogers (Ann Arbor, MI, 1970) Cartulary of the Priory of St. Gregory, Canterbury, ed. A. M. Woodcock, Camden 3rd ser., 88 (London, 1956) Charlemagne and Louis the Pious: Lives by Einhard, Notker, Ermoldus, Thegan, and the Astronomer, ed. and trans. T. F. X. Noble (University Park, PA, 2009) Charlemagne: Translated Sources, ed. P. D. King (Lambrigg, 1987) Charters of Malmesbury Abbey, ed. S. E. Kelly, Anglo-Saxon Charters, 11 (Oxford, 2005) Charters of the New Minster, Winchester, ed. S. M. Miller, Anglo-Saxon Charters, 9 (Oxford, 2001) Charters of Peterborough Abbey, ed. S. E. Kelly, Anglo-Saxon Charters, 14 (Oxford, 2009) Charters of the Redvers Family and the Earldom of Devon, 1090–1217, ed. R. Bearman (Exeter, 1994) Charters of St Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury and Minster-in-Thanet, ed. S. E. Kelly, Anglo-Saxon Charters, 4 (Oxford, 1995) The Chronicle of John of Worcester: Volume II: The Annals from 450–1066, ed. and trans. R. R. Darlington and P. McGurk (Oxford, 1995) The Chronicle of John of Worcester: Volume III: The Annals from 1067–1140 with the Gloucester Interpolations and the Continuation to 1141, ed. and trans. P. McGurk (Oxford, 1998) Chronicles of the Reigns of Stephen, Henry II, and Richard I, ed. R. Howlett, RS, 82 (London, 4 vols, 1884–9) Chronicon Æthelweardi: The Chronicle of Æthelweard, ed. and trans. A. Campbell (London, 1962) Chronique de l’abbaye de Saint-Bénigne de Dijon: Suivie de la Chronique de SaintPierre de Bèze ed. E. Bougaud and J. Garnier (Dijon, 1875) The Complete Works of Liudprand of Cremona, ed. and trans. P. Squatriti (Washington DC, 2007) Constantius, Vita Germani Episcopi Autissidoriensis, ed. W. Levison, MGH Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum, 7 (Hannover and Leipzig, 1920), pp. 247–83 Denis, L., Atlas topographique de l’ancienne province de Normandie et pays limitrophes, ed. H. Brové (Paris, 1770; corrected edn, 1817) Die Gesetze der Angelsachsen, ed. F. Liebermann (Halle, 3 vols, 1903–16) Dio Cassius, Roman History, Volume IX: Books 71–80, ed. and trans. E. Cary and H. B. Foster, LCL, 177 (Cambridge, MA, 1927) Domesday Book [various county volumes], general ed. J. Morris (Chichester, 1975– 86) ‘Dorset Geld Rolls’, ed. A. Williams, in Victoria History of the County of Dorset, vol. 3, ed. R. B. Pugh (London, 1972), pp. 115–49 Dudo of St Quentin, De moribus et actis primorum Normanniae Ducum, ed. J. Lair (Caen, 1865)

332  ❧   select bibliography Dudo of St Quentin: History of the Normans, trans. E. Christiansen (Woodbridge, 1998) Eadmeri Historia novorum in Anglia, et opuscula duo de vita sancti Anselmi et quibusdam miraculis ejus, ed. M. Rule, RS, 81 (London, 1884) Eadmer’s History of Recent Events in England: Historia Novorum in Anglia, ed. G. Bosanquet (London, 1964) An Edition of the West Saxon Genesis B and the Old Saxon Vatican Genesis, ed. A. N. Doane (Madison, WI, 1978; 2nd edn, 1991) English Historical Documents vol. 1: c. 500–1042, ed. D. Whitelock (London, 1955; 2nd edn, 1979) English Historical Documents vol. 2: 1042–1189, ed. D. C. Douglas and G. W. Greenaway (London, 1953; 2nd edn, 1981) The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, trans. S. A. Barney, W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, and O. Berghof, with M. Hall (Cambridge, 2006) Facsimiles of English Royal Writs to A.D. 1100 Presented to Vivian Hunter Galbraith, ed. T. A. M. Bishop and P. Chaplais (Oxford, 1957) Flodoard Remensis: Historia Remensis Ecclesiae, ed. M. Stratman, MGH Scriptores in folio, 36 (Hannover, 1998) Folcuin, Gesta Abbatu S. Bertini Sithiensium, ed. O. Holder-Egger, MGH Scriptores in folio, 13 (Hannover, 1881) Galbert of Bruges, The Murder of Charles the Good, Count of Flanders, ed. and trans. J. B. Ross (New York, 1959; rev. edn, 1967) The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers, ed. and trans. R. H. C. Davis and M. Chibnall (Oxford, 1998) Gesta Herwardi incliti exulis et militis, in Lestorie des Engles solum La Translacion Maistre Geffrei Gaimar, ed. T. D. Hardy and C. T. Martin, RS, 92 (London, 2 vols, 1888–9), vol. 1, pp. 339–404 Gesta Normannorum Ducum of William of Jumièges, Orderic Vitalis and Robert of Torigini, ed. E. M. C. van Houts (Oxford, 2 vols, 1992–5) Gesta Stephani, ed. K. R. Potter and trans. R. H. C. Davis (Oxford, 2nd edn, 1976) Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, ed. and trans. J. Morris (Chichester, 1978) The Great Roll of the Pipe for the Thirty-First Year of the Reign of King Henry I: Michaelmas 1130 (Pipe roll 1): A New Edition with a Translation and Images from the Original in the Public Record Office / the National Archives, ed. J. A. Green, Pipe Roll Society, 95 (London, 2012) Gregory of Tours, Libri Historiarum X, MGH Scriptores Rerum Merovingicarum, 1.1, ed. B. Krusch and W. Levison (Hannover, 1951); trans. L. Thorpe, Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks (Harmondsworth, 1974) Guibert de Nogent, Autobiographie, ed. and trans. [in French] E.-R. Labande (Paris, 1981)

select bibliography  ❧ 333 Guibert of Nogent: Monodies and On the Relics of Saints. The Autobiography and a Manifesto of a French Monk from the Time of the Crusades, ed. and trans. J. McAlhany and J. Rubenstein (London, 2011) Heirico, Vita Sancti Germani, ed. L. Traube, in MGH Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 3 (Berlin, 1896) Henry of Huntingdon, Historia Anglorum: History of the English, ed. Diana Greenway (Oxford, 1996) Historia Selebiensis Monasterii: The History of the Monastery of Selby, ed. J. Burton with L. Lockyer (Oxford, 2013) History and Politics in Late Carolingian and Ottonian Europe: The Chronicle of Regino of Prüm and Adalbert of Magdeburg, trans. S. MacLean (Manchester, 2009) The History of the Norman People: Wace’s Roman de Rou, trans. G. S. Burgess (Woodbridge, 2004) Hugh of Poitiers, The Vézelay Chronicle and Other Documents from MS. Auxerre 227 and Elsewhere, ed. and trans. J. Scott and J. O. Ward (Binghamton, NY, 1992) The Laws of the Earliest English Kings, ed. F. L. Attenborough (Cambridge, 1922) The Letters and Poems of Fulbert of Chartres, ed. and trans. F. Behrends (Oxford, 1976) The Letters of Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. and trans. H. Clover and M. Gibson (Oxford, 1979) Liber Eliensis, ed. E. O. Blake, Camden 3rd ser., 92 (London, 1962) Liber Eliensis: A History of the Isle of Ely from the Seventh Century to the Twelfth, trans. J. Fairweather (Woodbridge, 2005) Liber poenitentialis Theodori archiepiscopi Cantuariensis ecclesiae, in Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, ed. B. Thorpe (London, 2 vols, 1840) The Life of Bishop Wilfrid by Eddius Stephanus, ed. and trans. B. Colgrave (Cambridge, 1927; repr. 1985) Liudprandi Cremonensis Opera Omnia, ed. P. Chiesa, Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Mediaevalis, 156 (Turnhout, 1998) Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae sub Regibus Angliae, ed. T. Stapleton (London, 2 vols, 1840–4) Matthew Paris, Chronica majora, ed. H. R. Luard (London, 7 vols, 1872–83) Memorials of St Dunstan, Archbishop of Canterbury, ed. W. Stubbs, RS, 63 (London, 1874) MGH Briefe der deutschen Kaiserzeit, 2, ed. F. Wegle (Berlin, 1966) MGH Concilia, 3, ed. W. Hartmann (Hannover, 1984) The Mildrith Legend: A Study in Early Medieval Hagiography in England, ed. D. Rollason (Leicester, 1982) Nennius, Historia Brittonum, in British History and the Welsh Annals, ed. and trans. J. Morris (Chichester, 1980) Nithardi Historiarum Libri IIII, ed. G. H. Pertz, rev. E. Müller, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 44 (Hannover, 1907)

334  ❧  select bibliography The Norman Conquest, ed. R. A. Brown, Documents of Medieval History, 5 (London, 1984) Notker, Gesta Karoli Magni, ed. H. F. Haefele, MGH SRG Nova ser. 12 (Berlin, 1959) Observatoire du patrimoine religieux http://www.patrimoine-religieux.fr/annuaire_ opr/com.bsw.directory.View/View.html?locale=fr The Old English History of the World: An Anglo-Saxon Rewriting of Orosius, ed. and trans. M. R. Godden, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 44 (Cambridge, MA, 2016) Orderici Vitalis Historia Æcclesiastica / The Ecclesiastical History of Orderic Vitalis, ed. and trans. M. Chibnall (Oxford, 6 vols, 1968–80) Ordines coronationis Franciae: Texts and Ordines for the Coronation of the Frankish and French Kings and Queens in the Middle Ages, ed. P. Jackson (Philadelphia, PA, 2 vols, 1995–2000) Orosius, Seven Books of History Against the Pagans, trans. A. T. Fear (Liverpool, 2010) Ottonian Germany: The Chronicon of Thietmar of Merseburg, trans. D. A. Warner (Manchester, 2001) Pauli Orosii Historiarum adversum Paganos libri VII, ed. C. F. W. Zangemeister (Leipzig, 1889) Poetry of the Carolingian Renaissance, ed. P. Godman (London, 1985) Recueil des Actes de Charles II le Chauve, roi de France, ed. G. Tessier (Paris, 3 vols, 1943–55) Recueil des actes de Charles III le Simple, roi de France (893–923), ed. F. Lot and P. Lauer (Paris, 1949) Recueil des actes de Louis IV, roi de France (936–954), ed. P. Lauer (Paris, 1914) Recueil des actes de Pépin Ier et de Pépin II, rois d’Aquitaine (814–848), ed. L. Levillain (Paris, 1929) Recueil des actes des ducs de Normandie de 911 à 1066, ed. M. Fauroux (Caen, 1961) Recueil des actes des rois de Provence (855–928), ed. R. Poupardin (Paris, 1920) Recueil des historiens des Gaules et de la France jusqu’en 1328 (Paris, 24 vols, 1737– 1904) Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum, ed. H. W. C. Davis, R. H. C. Davis, H. A. Cronne, and C. Johnson (Oxford, 4 vols, 1913–60) Regesta Regum Anglo-Normannorum: The Acta of William I (1066–1087) (Oxford, 1998) Reginonis abbatis Prumiensis Chronicon cum continuatione Treverensi, ed. F. Kurze, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 50 (Hannover, 1890) Richer of Saint-Rémi, Histories, ed. and trans. J. Lake, Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, 10–11, 2 vols (Cambridge, MA, 2011) Richer: Histoire de France (885–995), ed. R. Latouche, Les classiques de l’histoire de France au moyen âge, 2 (Paris, 2 vols, 1930–7) Rodulfus Glaber Opera, ed. J. France, N. Bulst, and J. Reynolds (Oxford, 1989)

select bibliography  ❧ 335 Rogeri de Wendover chronica, sive flores historiarum, ed. H. O. Coxe (London, 5 vols, 1841–5) Le Roman de Rou de Wace, ed. A. J. Holden, Société des anciens textes français (Paris, 3 vols, 1970–3) Rudolph, Vita S. Leobae, in MGH Scriptores in Folio, 15.1, ed. G. Waitz (Hannover, 1887) Suger, Deeds of Louis the Fat, ed. and trans. [in French] H. Wacquet, Vie de Louis VI le Gros (Paris, 1929) Suger: The Deeds of Louis the Fat, trans. R. C. Cusimano and J. Moorhead. (Washington, DC, 1992) Symeonis Monachi Opera Omnia, ed. T. Arnold, RS, 75 (London, 2 vols, 1882–5) ‘Textual Appendix: Translatio Sancti Ælfegi Cantuariensis archiepiscopi et martiris (BHL 2519): Osbern’s Account of the Translation of Saint Ælfheah’s Relics from London to Canterbury, 8–11 June 1023’, ed. and trans. A. R. Rumble and R. Morris, in The Reign of Cnut: King of England, Denmark and Norway, ed. A. Rumble (London, 1993), pp. 283–15 Thegan, Vita Hlodowici, ed. E. Tremp, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 64 (Hannover, 1995) Thietmar of Merseburg, Chronicon, ed. R. Holzmann, MGH SRG nova ser., 9 (Berlin, 1935) Three Lives of the Last Englishmen, ed. and trans. M. J. Swanton, Garland Library of Medieval Literature, 10 (New York, 1984) Tractatus Eboracenses, ed. H. Böhmer, in MGH Libelli de Lite Imperatorum et Pontificum saeculis XI. et XII. Conscripti, 2 (Hannover, 1897), pp. 642–79 Two Lives of Charlemagne, trans. D. Ganz (London, 2008) Visio Wettini, in MGH Poetae Latini aevi Carolini, 2, ed. E. Dümmler (Berlin, 1934) Vita Ædwardi Regis: The Life of King Edward who Rests at Westminster, ed. and trans. F. Barlow (Oxford, 2nd edn, 1992) Vita Iohannis Episcopi Teruanensis auct. Waltero Archidiacono, ed. O. Holder-Egger, in MGH Scriptores in folio, 15.2 (Hannover, 1888) Vita Sancti Albini, in MGH Auctores antiquissimi, 4.2, ed. B. Krusch (Berlin, 1885) The Warenne (Hyde) Chronicle, ed. and trans. E. van Houts and R. C. Love (Oxford, 2013) Widukind of Corvey, Deeds of the Saxons, trans. B. S. Bachrach and D. Bachrach (Washington, DC, 2015) Widukind of Corvey, Rerum Gestarum Saxonicarum libri tres, ed. P. Hirsch and H.-E. Lohmann, MGH SRG in usum scholarum separatim editi, 60 (Hannover, 1935) William of Malmesbury, Gesta Regum Anglorum: The History of the English Kings, Volume 1, ed. and trans. R. M. Thomson, M. Winterbottom, and R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford, 1998) William of Malmesbury, Historia Novella: The Contemporary History, ed. E. King, trans. K. R. Potter (Oxford, 1998)

336  ❧  select bibliography William of Malmesbury, Saints’ Lives, ed. and trans. M. Winterbottom and R. M. Thomson (Oxford, 2002) William of Newburgh, History of English Affairs Book I, ed. and trans. P. G. Walsh and M. J. Kennedy (Warminster, 1988)

Secondary sources Abels, R. P., ‘English Logistics and Military Administration, 871–1066: The Impact of the Viking Wars’, in Military Aspects of Scandinavian Society in a European Perspective, AD 1–1300, ed. A. N. Jørgensen and B. L. Clausen (Copenhagen, 1997), pp. 257–65 Abels, R., ‘Royal Succession and the Growth of Stability in Ninth-Century Wessex’, HSJ, 12 (2003 for 2002), pp. 83–97 Abels, R., and Morillo, S., ‘A Lying Legacy? A Preliminary Discussion of Images of Antiquity and Altered Reality in Medieval Military History’, Journal of Medieval Military History, 3 (2005), pp. 1–13 Aird, W. M., Robert Curthose: Duke of Normandy (c.1050–1134) (Woodbridge, 2008) Aird, W. M., St Cuthbert and the Normans: The Church of Durham, 1071–1153 (Woodbridge, 1998) Airlie, S., ‘The Nearly Men: Boso of Vienne and Arnulf of Bavaria’, in Nobles and Nobility in Medieval Europe: Concepts, Origins, Transformations, ed. A. J. Duggan (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 25–41 Airlie, S., ‘“Not Rendering unto Caesar”: Challenges to Early Medieval Rulers’, in Der Frühmittelalterliche Staat – Europäische Perspektiven, ed. W. Pohl and V. Wieser (Vienna, 2009), pp. 489–501 Airlie, S., ‘The Palace of Memory: The Carolingian Court as a Political Centre’, in Courts and Regions in Medieval Europe, ed. S. Rees Jones, R. Marks, and A. J. Minnis (York, 2000), pp. 1–20 Airlie, S., Review of J. L. Nelson, Rulers and Ruling Families in Early Medieval Europe: Alfred, Charles the Bald, and Others (Aldershot, 1999), Reviews in History Review no. 150 (2000), http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/150 (accessed 24 Jun. 2019) Althoff, G., ‘Breisach – ein Refugium für Rebellen im früheren Mittelalter?’ in Archäologie und Geschichte des ersten Jahrtausends in Südwestdeutschland, ed. H. U. Nuber et al. (Ostfildern, 1990), pp. 457–71 Althoff, G., Spielregeln der Politik im Mittelalter: Kommunikation in Frieden und Fehde (Darmstadt, 1997) Baker, J., and Brookes, S., Beyond the Burghal Hidage: Anglo-Saxon Civil Defence in the Viking Age (Leiden, 2013) Barlow, F., William Rufus (London, 1983)

sele ct bibliography  ❧ 337 Barrow, J., ‘Demonstrative Behaviour and Political Communication in Later AngloSaxon England’, ASE, 36 (2007), pp. 127–50 Barthélemy, D., La mutation de l’an mil: a-t-elle eu lieu? Servage et chevalerie, dans la France des Xe et XIe siècles (Paris, 1997) Barton, R., Lordship in the County of Maine c. 890–1160 (Woodbridge, 2004) Bates, D., Normandy before 1066 (London, 1982) Bates, D., The Normans and Empire: The Ford Lectures delivered in the University of Oxford during Hilary Term 2010 (Oxford, 2013) Bates, D., William the Conqueror (London, 2016) Bates, D., and Bauduin, P., ‘Autour de l’année 1047: Un acte de Guillaume, comte d’Arques, pour Fécamp (18 juillet 1047)’, in De part et d’autre de la Normandie médiévale: Recueil d’études en hommage à François Neveux, ed. P. Bouet, C. Bougy, B. Garnier, and C. Maneuvrier, Cahier des Annales de Normandie, 35:1 (2009), pp. 43–52 Bates, D., and Curry, A. (eds), England and Normandy in the Middle Ages (London, 1994) Baxter, S., Earls of Mercia: Lordship and Power in Late Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 2007) Billoré, M., and Soria, M. (eds), La trahison au Moyen Ȃge: De la monstruosité au crime politique (Rennes, 2009) Bisson, T. N., The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship and the Origins of European Government (Princeton, NJ, 2009) Bisson, T. N., ‘The Feudal Revolution’, Past and Present, 142 (1994), pp. 6–42 Blair, J., The Church in Anglo-Saxon Society (Oxford, 2004) Blair, J. (ed.), Waterways and Canal-Building in Medieval England (Oxford, 2015) Bothwell, J. S., Falling from Grace: Reversal of Fortune and the English Nobility, 1075– 1475 (Manchester, 2008) Bouchard, C. B., Those of my Blood: Creating Noble Families in Medieval Francia (University Park, PA, 2001) Bouet, P., ‘La contestation politique chez Orderic Vital’, in Images de la contestation du pouvoir dans le monde normand, Xe–XVIIIe siècle, ed. C. Bougy and S. Poirey (Caen, 2007), pp. 11–29 Bouet, P., ‘Le Domfrontais de 1050 à 1150 d’après les historiens normandes contemporains’, in La légende arthurienne et la Normandie, ed. J. C. Payen (Condé-surNoireau, 1983), pp. 73–94 Bougard, F., Feller, L., and Le Jan, R. (eds), Les elites au Haut Moyen Ȃge: Crises et renouvellements (Turnhout, 2006) Bougard, F., and Lore, V. (eds), Biens publics, biens du roi: Les bases économiques des pouvoirs royaux dans le haut Moyen Ȃge (VIe–début du XIe siècle) / Beni pubblici, beni del re: Le basi economiche dei poteri regi nell’alto medioevo (Turnout, 2019)

338  ❧   select bibliography Bougy, C., and Poirey, S. (eds), Images de la contestation du pouvoir dans le monde normand: Xe–XVIIIe siècle: Actes du colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle, 29 septembre–3 octobre 2004 (Caen, 2007) Bourdieu, P., Outline of a Theory of Practice, trans. R. Nice (Cambridge, 1977) Boussard, J., ‘La seigneurie de Bellême aux Xe et XIe siècles’, in Mélanges d’histoire du moyen âge dédiés à la mémoire de Louis Halphen (Paris, 1951), pp. 43–55 Braudel, F., The Identity of France, Volume 1: History and Environment, trans. S. Reynolds (London, 1989) Brooks, N., ‘Treason in Essex in the 990s: The Case of Æthelric of Bocking’, in Royal Authority in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. G. R. Owen-Crocker and B. W. Schneider, BAR British Ser., 584 (Oxford, 2013), pp. 17–27 Brunner, K., Oppositionelle Gruppen im Karolingerreich (Vienna, 1979) Brunterc’h, J.-P., ‘Le duché du Maine et la marche de Bretagne’, in La Neustrie: Les Pays au nord de la Loire de 650 à 850, ed. H. Atsma (Sigmaringen, 1989), pp. 29–127 Buc, P., The Dangers of Ritual: Between Early Medieval Texts and Social Scientific Theory (Princeton, 2001) Bur, M., La formation du comté de Champagne, v. 950–v. 1150 (Lille, 1977) Campbell, J., ‘Was it Infancy in England? Some Questions of Comparison’, in England and her Neighbours, 1066–1453: Essays in Honour of Pierre Chaplais, ed. M. Jones and M. Vale (London, 1989), pp. 1–17 Carroll, J., Reynolds, A., and Yorke, B. (eds), Power and Place in Europe in Europe in the Early Middle Ages (London, 2019) Chibnall, M., ‘Normandy’, in The Anarchy of King Stephen’s Reign, ed. E. King (Oxford, 1994), pp. 93–115 Chibnall, M., The World of Orderic Vitalis: Norman Monks and Norman Knights (Oxford, 1984) Costambeys, M., Innes, M., and MacLean, S., The Carolingian World (Cambridge, 2011) Coulstock, P. H., The Collegiate Church of Wimborne Minster (Woodbridge, 1993) Cowdrey, H. E. J., Lanfranc: Scholar, Monk, Archbishop (Oxford, 2003) Creighton, O. H., Castles and Landscapes: Power, Community and Fortification in Medieval England (London, 2002) Creighton, O. H., Designs upon the Land: Elite Landscapes of the Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 2009) Creighton, O., Early European Castles: Aristocracy and Authority, AD 800–1200 (London, 2012) Creighton, O. H., and Wright, D., with Fradley, M., and Trick, S., The Anarchy: War and Status in 12th-Century Landscapes of Conflict (Liverpool, 2016) Crick, J., and van Houts, E. (eds), A Social History of England, 900–1200 (Cambridge, 2011)

select bibliography  ❧ 339 Cross, J. E., ‘The Ethic of War in Old English’, in England Before the Conquest: Studies in Primary Sources Presented to Dorothy Whitelock, ed. P. Clemoes and K. Hughes (Cambridge, 1971), pp. 269–82 Crouch, D., The Beaumont Twins: The Roots and Branches of Power in the Twelfth Century (Cambridge, 1986) Crouch, D., The Birth of Nobility: Constructing Aristocracy in England and France 900 –1300 (London, 2005) Crouch, D., The Normans: The History of a Dynasty (London, 2002) Davis, R. H. C., ‘William of Poitiers and his History of William the Conqueror’, in The Writing of History in the Middle Ages: Essays Presented to Richard William Southern, ed. R. H. C. Davis and J. M. Wallace-Hadrill (Oxford, 1981), pp. 71–100 de Beaurepaire, C. and Dom. J. Laporte, Dictionnaire topographique du département de la Seine-Maritime (Paris, 2 vols, 1982–4) DeAragon, R., ‘The Growth of Secure Inheritance in Anglo-Norman England’, JMH, 8 (1982), pp. 381–93 Depreux, P. (ed.), Revolte und Sozialstatus von der Spätantike bis zur Frühen Neuzeit / Révolte et statut social de l’antiquité tardive aux temps modernes (Munich, 2008) Duby, G., Le dimanche de Bouvines, 27 Juillet 1214 (Paris, 1973; reset edn, 1985) Duffy, S., Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf (Dublin, 2013) Dumville, D. N., ‘The Ætheling: A Study in Anglo-Saxon Constitutional History’, ASE, 8 (1979), pp. 1–33 Dunbabin, J., France in the Making, 843–1180 (Oxford, 1985) Dutton, K., ‘Geoffrey, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy, 1129–51’ (University of Glasgow, unpubl. PhD thesis, 2011) Dutton, P. E., Charlemagne’s Mustache and Other Cultural Clusters of a Dark Age (Basingstoke, 2004) Flambard Héricher, A.-M., ‘Fortifications de terre et residences en Normandie’, Château Gaillard 20: Études de castellologie médiévale. Actes du colloque internationale de Gwatt (Suisse) 2–10 septembre 2000, ed. P. Ettel, A.-M. Flambard Héricher, and T. E. McNeill, 20 (Caen, 2002), pp. 87–100 Fleming, R., Kings and Lords in Conquest England (Cambridge, 1993) Foot, S., Æthelstan: The First King of England (New Haven, CT, 2011) Foot, S., Veiled Women, Volume I: The Disappearance of Nuns from Anglo-Saxon England (Aldershot 2000) Foot, S., Veiled Women, Volume II: Female Religious Communities in England, 871– 1066 (Aldershot 2000) Fouracre, P., ‘The Incidence of Rebellion in the Early Medieval West’, in Making Early Medieval Societies: Conflict and Belonging in the Latin West, 300–1200, ed. K. Cooper and C. Leyser (Cambridge, 2016), pp. 104–24. Fouracre, P., and Ganz, D. (eds), Frankland: The Franks and the World of Early Medieval Europe: Essays in Honour of Dame Jinty Nelson (Manchester, 2008)

340  ❧   select bibliography Freeman, E. A., The History of the Norman Conquest of England, its Causes and its Results (Oxford, 6 vols, 1867–79) Gallot, F., and Hamelin, D., ‘Expressions de la rébellion: Institutions, organisation et individus’, Cahiers d’histoire: Revue d’histoire critique, 125 (2014), pp. 13–19 Garnett, G., and Hudson, J. (eds), Law and Government in Medieval England and Normandy: Essays in Honour of Sir James Holt (Cambridge, 1994) Gates, J. P., and Marafioti, N. (eds), Capital and Corporal Punishment in Anglo-Saxon England (Woodbridge, 2014) Gazeau, V., ‘Le patrimoine de l’évêque Hugues de Bayeux (1011–1049)’, in Les évêques normands du XIe siècle: Colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle (30 septembre–3 octobre 1993), ed. P. Bouet and F. Neveux (Caen, 1995), pp. 139–47 Gazeau, V., and Green, J. (eds), Tinchebray 1106–2006: Actes du Colloque de Tinchbray (28–30 septembre 2006) (Flers, 2009) Geary, P. J., Phantoms of Remembrance: Memory and Oblivion at the End of the First Millennium (Princeton, 1994) Gillingham, J., ‘William the Bastard at War’, in Studies in Medieval History Presented to R. Allen Brown, ed. C. Harper-Bill, C. J. Holdsworth, and J. L. Nelson (Woodbridge, 1989), pp. 141–58 Gluckman, M., ‘Rituals of Rebellion in South-East Africa’, in Gluckman, M., Order and Rebellion in Tribal Africa: Collected Essays with an Autobiographical Introduction (London, 1963), pp. 110–36 Goldberg, E., ‘Popular Revolt, Dynastic Politics, and Aristocratic Factionalism in the Early Middle Ages: The Saxon Stellinga Reconsidered’, Speculum, 70 (1995), pp. 467–501 Gouttebroze, J. G., ‘Le duc, le comte et le people: Remarques sur une sédition des paysans en Normandie, autour de l’an mil’, Le Moyen Âge, 101 (1995), pp. 406– 23 Gowers, B., ‘996 and All That: The Norman Peasants’ Revolt Reconsidered’, EME, 21 (2013), pp. 71–98 Gravel, M., Distances, rencontres, communications: Réaliser l’empire sous Charlemagne et Louis le Pieux (Turnhout, 2012) Green, J. A., Forging the Kingdom: Power in English Society, 973–1189 (Cambridge, 2017) Green, J. A., The Government of England under Henry I (Cambridge, 1986) Guillot, O., Le comte d’Anjou et son entourage au XIe siècle (Paris, 2 vols, 1972) Guillot, O., ‘Formes, fondements et limites de l’organisation politique en France au Xe siècle’, Il secolo di ferro: Mito e realtà del secolo X, Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, 38 (Spoleto, 2 vols, 1991), vol. 1, pp. 57–116 Hagger, M., ‘How the West was Won: The Norman Dukes and the Cotentin, c.987– c.1087’, JMH, 38 (2012), pp. 20–55 Hagger, M., Norman Rule in Normandy, 911–1204 (Woodbridge, 2017)

select bibliography  ❧ 341 Hagger, M., William: King and Conqueror (London, 2012) Hallam, E. and Bates, D. (eds), Domesday Book (Stroud, 2000) Halsall, G. (ed.), Violence and Society in the Early Medieval West (Woodbridge, 1998) Halsall, G., Warfare and Society in the Barbarian West, 450–900 (London, 2003) Hansson, M., Aristocratic Landscape: The Spatial Ideology of the Medieval Aristocracy (Lund, 2006) Harlan-Haughey, S., The Ecology of the English Outlaw in Medieval Literature: From Fen to Greenwood (London, 2016) Harper-Bill, C. (ed.) Medieval East Anglia (Woodbridge, 2005) Harper-Bill, C., and Vincent, N. (eds), Henry II: New Interpretations (Woodbridge, 2004) Hart, C., The Danelaw (London, 1992) Haskins, C. H., Norman Institutions (Cambridge, MA, 1918) Haslam, J., ‘The Towns of Wiltshire’, in Anglo-Saxon Towns in Southern England, ed. J. Haslam (Chichester, 1984), pp. 87–147 Haughel, J.–P., Lechevalier, C., and Wavelet, T., Sur les pas de Guillaume en Val ès Dunes (Argences, 2003) Hicks, L. V., ‘Comings and Goings: The Use of Outdoor Space in Norman and Anglo-Norman Chronicles’, ANS, 32 (2010 for 2009), pp. 40–56 Hicks, L. V., ‘Through the City Streets: Movement and Space in Rouen as Seen by the Norman Chroniclers’, in Society and Culture in Medieval Rouen, 911–1300, ed. L. V. Hicks and E. Brenner (Turnhout, 2013), pp. 125–49 Higham, N. J., and Hill, D. H. (eds), Edward the Elder, 899–924 (London, 2001) Higham, R., ‘The Godwins, Towns and Churches: Comital Investment in the Mid11th Century’, in The Land of the English Kin: Studies in Wessex and Anglo-Saxon England, Presented to Professor Barbara Yorke, ed. A. J. Langlands and R. Lavelle (Leiden, 2020), pp. 467–513 Higham, R., and Barker, P., Timber Castles (London, 1992) Hill, D. H., ‘Gazetteer of Burghal Hidage Sites’, in The Defence of Wessex: The Burghal Hidage and Anglo-Saxon Fortifications, ed. D. Hill and A. Rumble (Manchester, 1996), pp. 189–231 Hill, D. H., ‘An Urban Policy for Cnut?’ in The Reign of Cnut: King of England, Denmark and Norway, ed. A. Rumble (London, 1993), pp. 101–5 Hollister, C. W., Henry I (New Haven, CT, 2001) Hollister, C. W., ‘The Rouen Riot and Conan’s Leap’, Peritia, 10 (1996), pp. 341–50 Home, M., The Peterborough Version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Rewriting PostConquest History (Woodbridge, 2015) Houts, E. van, ‘The Memory of 1066 in Written and Oral Traditions’, ANS, 19 (1997 for 1996), pp. 167–80

342  ❧  select bibliography Houts, E. van, ‘Wace as Historian’, in Family Trees and the Roots of Politics: The Prosopography of Britain and France from the Tenth to the Twelfth Century, ed. K. KeatsRohan (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 103–32 [repr. in G. S. Burgess, The History of the Norman People: Wace’s Roman de Rou (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. xxxv–lxii] Hudson, B., ‘The Family of Harold Godwineson and the Irish Sea Province’, Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 109 (1979), pp. 92–100 [repr. in B. Hudson, Irish Sea Studies, 900–1200 (Dublin, 2006), pp. 100–7] Hudson, J., ‘The Fate of Earl Waltheof and the Idea of Personal Law in England after 1066’, in Normandy and its Neighbours, 900–1250: Essays for David Bates, ed. D. Crouch and K. Thompson (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 223–35 Hyams, P. R., Rancor and Reconciliation in Medieval England (Ithaca, NY, 2003) Jayakumar, S., ‘Eadwig and Edgar: Politics, Propaganda, Faction’, in Edgar, King of the English, 959–75: New Interpretations, ed. D. Scragg (Woodbridge, 2008), pp. 83–103 Johns, S., Noblewomen, Aristocracy and Power in the Twelfth-Century Anglo-Norman Realm (Manchester, 2003) de Jong, M., ‘Monastic Prisoners or Opting Out? Political Coercion and Honour in the Frankish Kingdoms’, in Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages, ed. M. de Jong, F. Theuws, with C. van Rhijn (Leiden, 2001), pp. 291–328 de Jong, M., The Penitential State: Authority and Atonement in the Age of Louis the Pious, 814–840 (Cambridge, 2011) de Jong, M., Theuws, F., and van Rhijn, C. (eds), Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages (Leiden, 2001) Jorgensen, A. (ed.), Reading the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Language, Literature, History (Turnhout, 2010) Kantorowicz, E. H., The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Mediaeval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ, 1957) Keene, D., Survey of Medieval Winchester (Oxford, 2 parts, 1985) Keynes, S., The Diplomas of King Æthelred ‘The Unready’, 978–1016: A Study in their Use as Historical Evidence (Cambridge, 1980) Keynes, S. D., An Atlas of Attestations in Anglo-Saxon Charters c.670–1066 (University of Cambridge, 2002), online at http://www.kemble.asnc.cam.ac.uk/node/30 Keynes, S. D., ‘Church Councils, Royal Assemblies, and Anglo-Saxon Royal Diplomas’, in Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. G. R. OwenCrocker and B. W. Schneider (Woodbridge, 2013), pp. 17–182 Keynes, S. D., ‘Edward, King of the Anglo-Saxons’, in Edward the Elder, 899–924, ed. N. J. Higham and D. H. Hill (London, 2001) pp. 40–66 King, E., King Stephen (New Haven, CT, 2010) Konshuh, C., ‘Warfare and Authority in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, c. 891–924’ (Univ. of Winchester, unpublished PhD thesis [in prep. for publication], 2014) Koziol, G., Begging Pardon and Favor: Ritual and Political Order in Early Medieval France (Ithaca, NY, 1992)

select bibliography  ❧ 343 Koziol, G., ‘Charles the Simple, Robert of Neustria, and the Vexilla of Saint-Denis’, EME, 14 (2006), pp. 355–90 Koziol, G., The Politics of Memory and Identity in Carolingian Royal Diplomas: The West Frankish Kingdom (840–987) (Turnhout, 2012) Lack, K., Conqueror’s Son: Duke Robert Curthose, Thwarted King (Stroud, 2007) Langeuin, P., ‘Les campagnes de construction du château d’Arques-la-Bataille (XIe– XVe siècles)’, Bulletin Monumental, 160 (2002), pp. 345–78 Langlands, A. J., and Lavelle, R. (eds), The Land of the English Kin: Studies in Wessex and Anglo-Saxon England, Presented to Professor Barbara Yorke (Leiden, 2020) Lavelle, R.,‘Controlling and Contesting Urban Spaces: Rulers and Urban Communities in Southern England and Northern France from the Later 9th to 11th Century’, in Fortified Settlements in Early Medieval Europe: Defended Communities of the 8th to 10th Centuries, ed. N. Christie and H. Herold (Oxford, 2016), pp. 156–72 Lavelle, R., ‘The “Farm of One Night” and the Organisation of Royal Estates in Late Anglo-Saxon Wessex’, HSJ, 14 (2005 for 2003), 54–82 Lavelle, R., ‘Geographies of Power in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: The Royal Estates of Wessex’, in Reading the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Language, Literature, History, ed. A. Jorgensen (Turnhout, 2010), pp. 187–219 Lavelle, R., ‘Ine 70.1 and Royal Provision in Anglo-Saxon Wessex’, in Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England, ed. G. R. Owen-Crocker and B. W. Schneider (Woodbridge, 2013), pp. 259–73 Lavelle, R., ‘The King’s Wife and Family Property Strategies: Late Anglo-Saxon Wessex, 871–1066’, ANS, 29 (2007 for 2006), pp. 84–99 Lavelle, R., ‘The Politics of Rebellion: The Ætheling Æthelwold and West Saxon Royal Succession, 899–902’, in Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History: The Legacy of Timothy Reuter, ed. P. Skinner (Turnhout, 2009), pp. 51–80 Lavelle, R., ‘Representing Authority in an Early Medieval Chronicle: Submission, Rebellion and the Limits of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, c. 899–1065’, in Authority and Gender in Medieval and Renaissance Chronicles, ed. J. Dresvina and N. Sparks (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2012), pp 62–101 Lavelle, R., Royal Estates in Anglo-Saxon Wessex: Land, Politics and Family Strategies, BAR British Ser., 439 (Oxford, 2007) Lavelle, R., ‘The Use and Abuse of Hostages in Later Anglo-Saxon England’, EME, 14 (2006), pp. 269–96 Lavelle, R., and Roffey, S. (eds), Danes in Wessex: The Scandinavian Impact on Southern England, c.800–c.1100 (Oxford, 2016) Lawson, M. K., Cnut: England’s Viking King [revised edition of Cnut: The Danes in England in the Eleventh Century (London, 1993)] (Stroud, 2004) Le Jan, R., ‘Continuity and Change in the Tenth Century Nobility’, in Nobles and Nobility in Medieval Europe: Concepts, Origins, Transformations, ed. A. J. Duggan (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 53–79

344  ❧   select bibliography Le Jan, ‘Élites et révoltes à l’époque Carolingienne: Crise des élites ou crise des modèles?’, in Les Elites au Haut Moyen Age: Crises et Renouvellements, ed. F. Bougard, L. Feller, and R. Le Jan (Turnhout, 2006), pp. 403–23 Le Jan, R., Famille et pouvoir dans le monde franc (VIIe–Xe siècle): Essai d’anthropologie sociale (Paris, 1995) le Maho, J., ‘La “Tour de Rouen”, palais du Duc Richard Ier (†996)’, in La Normandie vers l’An Mil, ed. F. De Beaurepaire and J.-P. Chaline (Rouen, 2000), pp. 73–6 Lecouteaux, S., ‘Le contexte de rédaction des Annales de Flodoard de Reims (919– 966). Partie 1: une relecture critique du début des Annales à la lumière de travaux récents’, Le Moyen Age, 116:1 (2010), pp. 51–121 Lecouteaux, S., ‘Le contexte de rédaction des Annales de Flodoard de Reims (919– 966). Partie 2: présentation des résultats de la relecture critique du début des Annales’, Le Moyen Âge, 116:2 (2010), pp. 283–317 Lees, C. A. and Overing, G. R. (eds), A Place to Believe In: Locating Medieval Landscapes (University Park, PA, 2006) Lemarignier, J.-F., ‘La justice sur Guernesey accordée par Robert le Magnifique aux moines du Mont-Saint-Michel 1027/1028–35)’, in Travaux de la Semaine d’Histoire du Droit Normand tenue à Guernesey du 8 au 13 Juin 1938 (Caen, 1939), pp. 389–99 Lewis, C. P., ‘The Early Earls of Norman England’, ANS, 13 (1991 for 1990), pp. 207–23 Leyser, K., ‘Ritual, Ceremony and Gesture: Ottonian Germany’, in Leyser, K., Communications and Power in Medieval Europe: The Carolingian and Ottonian Centuries, ed. T. Reuter (London, 1994), pp. 189–213 Liddiard, R., Castles in Context: Power, Symbolism and Landscape, 1066 to 1500 (Macclesfield, 2005) Louis, R., Autessiodurum Christianum: Les églises d’Auxerre des origines au XIme siècle (Paris, 1952) Louise, G., La seigneurie de Bellême, Xe–XIIe siècles: Dévolution des pouvoirs territoriaux et construction d’une seigneurie de frontière aux confins de la Normandie et du Maine à la charnière de l’an Mil (Flers, 2 vols, 1990–1) Lusse, J., Naissance d’une cité: Laon et le Laonnois du Ve au Xe siècle (Nancy, 1992) MacLean, S., Kingship and Politics in the Late Ninth Century: Charles the Fat and the End of the Carolingian Empire (Cambridge, 2003) MacLean, S., ‘Making a Difference in Tenth-Century Politics: King Athelstan’s Sisters and Frankish Queenship’, in Frankland: The Franks and the World of Early Medieval Europe: Essays in Honour of Dame Jinty Nelson, ed. P. Fouracre and D. Ganz (Manchester, 2008), pp. 167–90 MacLean, S., ‘Recycling the Franks in Twelfth-Century England: Regino of Prüm, the Monks of Durham, and the Alexandrine Schism’, Speculum, 87:3 (2012), pp. 649–81

select bibliography  ❧ 345 MacMullen, R., ‘How to Revolt in the Roman Empire’, Rivista Storica dell’Antichita, 15 (1985), pp. 67–76 [reprinted in MacMullen, R., Changes in the Roman Empire: Essays in the Ordinary (Princeton, 1990), pp. 198–203] Mann, M., The Sources of Social Power, Volume 1: A History of Power from the Beginning to AD 1760 (Cambridge, 1986) Mansfield, A., ‘Lords of the North Sea: A Comparative Study of Aristocratic Territory in the North Sea World in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries’, Networks and Neighbours, 2.1 (2014) pp. 46–70 Marafioti, N., The King’s Body: Burial and Succession in Late Anglo-Saxon England (Toronto, 2014) Martindale, J., ‘Charles the Bald and the Government of the Kingdom of Aquitaine’, in Charles the Bald: Court and Kingdom, ed. J. L. Nelson and M. Gibson, BAR International Ser., 101 (Oxford, 1981), pp. 109–33 Mazel, F., ‘Des familles de l’aristocratie locale en leurs territoires: France de l’Ouest, IXe–XIe siècles’, in Les élites et leurs espaces: Mobilité, rayonnement, domination (VIe–XIe s.), ed. P. Depreux, F. Bougard, and R. Le Jan (Turnhout, 2007), pp. 361–98 Media in Francia: Recueil de mélanges offert à Karl Ferdinand Werner (Maulévrier, 1989) Molyneaux, G., The Formation of the English Kingdom in the Tenth Century (Oxford, 2015) Morillo, S., Warfare Under the Anglo-Norman Kings, 1066–1135 (Woodbridge, 1994) Nelson, J. L., ‘Aachen as a Place of Power’, in Topographies of Power in the Early Middle Ages, ed. M. de Jong, F. Theuws, with C. van Rhijn (Leiden, 2001), pp. 217–41 Nelson, J. L., ‘Bad Kingship in the Earlier Middle Ages’, HSJ, 8 (1996), pp. 1–26 Nelson, J. L., ‘Charlemagne: Pater optimus?’, in Am Vorabend der Kaiserkrönung: Das Epos ‘Karolus Magnus et Leo papa’ und der Papstbesuch in Paderborn 799, ed. P. Godman, J. Jarnut, and P. Johanek (Berlin, 2002), pp. 271–83 Nelson, J. L., Charles the Bald (London, 1992) Nelson, J. L., The Frankish World, 750–900 (London, 1996) Nelson, J. L., ‘Public Histories and Private History in the Work of Nithard’, Speculum, 60 (1985), pp. 251–93 Nelson, J. L., ‘Reconstructing a Royal Family: Reflections on Alfred, from Asser, Chapter 2’, in People and Places in Northern Europe, 500–1600: Essays in Honour of Peter Hayes Sawyer, ed. I. Wood and N. Lund (Woodbridge, 1991), pp. 47–66 Nelson, J. L., ‘Violence in the Carolingian World and the Ritualization of NinthCentury Warfare’, in Violence and Society in the Early Medieval West, ed. G. Halsall (Woodbridge, 1998), pp. 90–107

346  ❧  select bibliography Nissen Jaubert, A., ‘Le château de Domfront de la fin du XIe au milieu du XIIe siècle: Les vestiges archéologiques et leur contexte historique’, in Tinchebray 1106– 2006. Actes du colloque de Tinchebray (28–30 septembre), ed. V. Gazeau and J. A. Green (Flers, 2009), pp. 139–56 Nissen Jaubert, A., ‘Fouilles archéologiques du prieuré Saint-Symphorien’, Le Domfrontais médiéval, 8 (1991), pp. 5–13 Oosthuizen, S., The Anglo-Saxon Fenland (Oxford, 2017) Owen-Crocker, G. R., and Schneider, B. W. (eds), Kingship, Legislation and Power in Anglo-Saxon England (Woodbridge, 2013) Payen, J. C. (ed.), La légende arthurienne et la Normandie (Condé-sur-Noireau, 1983) Peltzer, H., ‘Révoltes en Angleterre au Moyen Âge central et tardif ’, in Revolte und Sozialstatus von der Spätantike bis zur Frühen Neuzeit / Révolte et statut social de l’Antiquité tardive aux temps modernes, ed. P. Depreux (Munich, 2008), pp. 167– 84 Peters, E., The Shadow King: Rex Inutilis in Medieval Law and Literature, 751–1327 (New Haven, CT, 1970) Pluskowski, A., Wolves and the Wilderness in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 2006) Pohl, W., and Wieser, V. (eds), Der Frühmittelalterliche Staat – Europäische Perspektiven (Vienna, 2009) Pounds, N. J. G., The Medieval Castle in England and Wales: A Social and Political History (Cambridge, 1990) Power, D., The Norman Frontier in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth Centuries (Cambridge, 2004) Prestwich, J. O., The Place of War in English History 1066–1214, ed. M. Prestwich (Woodbridge, 2004) Prior, S., A Few Well-Positioned Castles: The Norman Art of War (Stroud, 2006) Rembold, I., Conquest and Christianization: Saxony and the Carolingian World, 772– 888 (Cambridge, 2018), pp. 85–140 Reuter, T., ‘Assembly Politics in Western Europe from the Eighth Century to the Twelfth’, in The Medieval World, ed. P. Lineham and J. L. Nelson (London, 2001), pp. 432–50 Reuter, T. ‘Debate: The “Feudal Revolution”: III’, Past and Present, 155 (1997), pp. 177–95 Reuter, T., Germany in the Early Middle Ages, c. 800–1056 (London, 1991) Reuter, T., Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities, ed. J. Nelson (Cambridge, 2006) Reuter, T., ‘“Regemque, quem in Francia pene perdidit, in patria magnifice”: Ottonian Ruler Representation in Synchronic and Diachronic Comparison’, in Herrschaftrepräsentation im Ottonischen Sachsen, ed. G. Althof and E. Schubert (Sigmaringen, 1998), pp. 363–80 [repr. in Reuter, Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities, ed. Nelson, pp. 127–46]

select bibliography  ❧ 347 Reuter, T., ‘Unruhestufung, Fehde, Rebellion, Widerstand: Gewalt und Frieden in der Politik der Salierzeit’, in Die Salier und das Reich: Gesellschaftlicher und Ideengeschichtlicher Wandel im Reich der Salier, ed. S. Weinfurter (Sigmaringen, 3 vols, 1992), vol. 3, pp. 297–325 [trans. as ‘Peace-Breaking, Feud, Rebellion, Resistance: Violence and Peace in the Politics of the Salian Era’, in Reuter, Medieval Polities and Modern Mentalities, ed. Nelson, pp. 355–87] Reynolds, S., Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (Oxford, 1994) Reynolds, S., Kingdoms and Communities in Western Europe, 900–1300 (Oxford, 1986) Roach, L., Æthelred the Unready (New Haven, CT, 2016) Roach, L. Kingship and Consent in Anglo-Saxon England, 871–978: Assemblies and the State in the Early Middle Ages (Cambridge, 2013) Roach, L., ‘Locating Meaning in Later Anglo-Saxon England: Meeting Places of the witan, 924–1016’, in Power and Place in Europe in the Early Middle Ages, ed. J. Carroll, A. Reynolds, and B. Yorke (London, 2019), pp. 91–106 Roffe, D., Domesday: The Inquest and the Book (Oxford, 2000) Rollason, D., Northumbria, 500–1100: Creation and Destruction of a Kingdom (Cambridge, 2003) Rollason, D., The Power of Place: Rulers and Their Palaces, Landscapes, Cities, and Holy Places (Princeton, NJ, 2016) Saint-Denis, A., Apogée d’une cité: Laon et le Laonnois aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles (Nancy, 1994) Schwager, H., Graf Heribert II von Soissons, Omois, Meaux, Madrie sowie Vermandois (900/06–943) und die Francia (Nord-Frankreich in der 1. Hälfte des 10. Jahrhunderts) (Munich, 1994) Scott, F. S., ‘Earl Waltheof of Northumbria’, Archaeologica Aeliana, 4th ser., 30 (1952), pp. 149–215 Scragg, D. (ed.), Edgar, King of the English, 959–75: New Interpretations (Woodbridge, 2008) Searle, E., Predatory Kinship and the Creation of Norman Power, 840–1066 (Berkeley, CA, 1988) Sharpe, R., ‘1088 – William II and the Rebels’, ANS, 26 (2004 for 2003), pp. 139– 57 Skinner, P. (ed.), Challenging the Boundaries of Medieval History: The Legacy of Timothy Reuter (Turnhout, 2009) Smith, J. M. H., Province and Empire: Brittany and the Carolingians (Cambridge, 1992) Smith, K. A., War and the Making of Medieval Monastic Culture (Woodbridge, 2011) Smyth, A. P., King Alfred the Great (Oxford, 1995) Sonntag, J., and Zermatten, C. (eds), Loyalty in the Middle Ages: Ideal and Practice of a Cross-Social Value (Brepols, 2015) Sot, M., Un historien et son église au Xe siècle: Flodoard de Reims (Paris, 1993)

348  ❧  select bibliography Stafford, P., ‘The Reign of Æthelred II: A Study in Limitations on Royal Policy and Action’, in Ethelred the Unready: Papers from the Millenary Conference, ed. D. H. Hill, BAR British Ser., 59 (Oxford, 1978), pp. 15–46 Stafford, P., ‘Succession and Inheritance: A Gendered Perspective on Alfred’s Family History’, in Alfred the Great: Papers from the Eleventh-Centenary Conferences, ed. T. Reuter (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 251–64 Stafford, P., Unification and Conquest: A Political and Social History of England in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries (London, 1989) Stenton, F. M., Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1943; 3rd edn, 1971) Strickland, M., ‘Against the Lord’s Anointed: Aspects of Warfare and Baronial Rebellion in England and Normandy, 1075–1265’, in Law and Government in Medieval England and Normandy: Essays in Honour of Sir James Holt, ed. G. Garnett and J. Hudson (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 56–79 Strickland, M., ‘Military Technology and Political Resistance: Castles, Fleets and the Changing Face of Comital Rebellion in England and Normandy, c. 1026–1087’, in ‘The Making of Europe’: Essays in Honour of Robert Bartlett, ed. J. Hudson and S. Crumplin (Leiden, 2016), pp. 145–83 Strickland, M., ‘Slaughter, Slavery or Ransom: The Impact of the Conquest on Conduct in Warfare’, in England in the Eleventh Century: Proceedings of the 1990 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. C. Hicks (Stamford, 1992), pp. 41–59 Strickland, M., War and Chivalry: The Conduct and Perception of War in England and Normandy, 1066–1217 (Cambridge, 1996) Thomas, H. M., The English and the Normans: Ethnic Hostility, Assimilation, and Identity 1066–c.1220 (Oxford, 2003) Thompson, K., ‘Family and Influence to the South of Normandy in the Eleventh Century: The Lordship of Bellême’, JMH, 11 (1985), pp. 215–26 Thompson, K., Power and Border Lordship in Medieval France: The County of the Perche, 1000–1226 (Woodbridge, 2002) Thomson, R. M., William of Malmesbury (Woodbridge, 1987; rev. edn, 2003) Tilley, C., A Phenomenology of Landscape: Places, Paths and Monuments (Oxford, 1994) Tuten, B. S., and Billado, T. L. (eds), Feud, Violence and Practice: Essays in Medieval Studies in Honor of Stephen D. White (Farnham, 2010) Walker, D., ‘Gloucestershire Castles’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 109 (1991), pp. 5–23 Weinfurter, S. (ed.), Die Salier und das Reich, Band 3: Gesellschaftlicher und Ideengeschichtlicher Wandel im Reich der Salier (Sigmaringen, 1991) West, C., Reframing the Feudal Revolution: Political and Social Transformation Between Marne and Moselle, c.800–c.1100 (Cambridge, 2013) White, S., ‘The Politics of Anger’, in Anger’s Past: The Social Uses of an Emotion in the Middle Ages, ed. B. Rosenwein (Ithaca, NY, 1998), pp. 127–52

select bibliography  ❧ 349 Whitelock, D., ‘The Dealings of the Kings of England with Northumbria in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries’, in The Anglo-Saxons: Studies in Some Aspects of their History Presented to Bruce Dickens, ed. P. Clemoes (London, 1959), pp. 80–8 Wickham, C., Framing the Early Middle Ages: Europe and the Mediterranean, 400– 800 (Oxford, 2005) Williams, A., The English and the Norman Conquest (Woodbridge, 1995) Williams, A., The World Before Domesday: The English Aristocracy 900–1066 (London, 2008) Williams, T. J. T., ‘Landscape and Warfare in Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking Campaign of 1006’, EME, 23 (2015), pp. 329–59 Williams, T. J. T., ‘The Place of Slaughter: Exploring the West Saxon Battlescape’, in Danes in Wessex: The Scandinavian Impact on Southern England, c.800–c.1100, ed. R. Lavelle and S. Roffey (Oxford, 2016), pp. 35–55 Williamson, T., Environment, Society and Landscape in Early Medieval England: Time and Topography (Woodbridge, 2013) Williamson, T., Sutton Hoo and Its Landscape: The Context of Monuments (Macclesfield, 2008) Wood, I. N., and Lund, N. (eds), People and Places in Northern Europe, 500–1600: Essays in Honour of Peter Hayes Sawyer (Woodbridge, 1991) Wormald, P., ‘On þa Wæpnedhealfe: Kingship and Royal Property from Æthelwulf to Edward the Elder’, in Edward the Elder, 899–924, ed. N. J. Higham and D. H. Hill (London, 2001), pp. 264–79 Wyatt, D., Slaves and Warriors in Medieval Britain and Ireland, 800–1200 (Leiden, 2009) Yorke, B., ‘The Bishops of Winchester and the Kings of Wessex’, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, 40 (1984), pp. 61–70 Yorke, B., ‘Edward as Ætheling’, in Edward the Elder, 899–924, ed. N. J. Higham and D. H. Hill (London, 2001), pp. 25–39 Yorke, B., ‘The Representation of Early West Saxon History in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle’, in Reading the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: Language, Literature, History, ed. A. Jorgensen (Turnhout, 2010), pp. 141–59 Yver, J., ‘Les châteaux forts en Normandie jusqu’au milieu du XIIe siècle: Contribution à l’étude du pouvoir ducal’, Bulletin de la société des antiquaires de Normandie, 53 (1955–6), pp. 28–115

Index Numbers in bold denote pages with illustrations. Aachen, Germany  36, 73, 222, 268 ‘Abd al-Rahman III  11–12 Achard, Robert  194–5 Acta Lanfranci  272, 273, 275 Adalbert of Magdeberg  7, 39, 51 Adalgarius, bishop of Autun  117 Adelina, wife of Hugh de Montfort 200–1 Ælfgar mæw (‘Seagull’) 110 Ælfheah, saint  216, 257 Ælfric of Eynsham  2–3 Æthelbald, king of West Saxons  30, 54, 167, 169, 290 Æthelhelm, son of King Æthelred I  163, 164, 166, 167, 168, 169, 291 Æthelmær, ealdorman  110 Æthelred II ‘the Unready’, king of English  32, 33–4, 109–10, 257, 258 Æthelric of Bocking  149 Æthelstan, king of English  31–2, 56, 109, 111 Æthelweard 288 Æthelwold, ætheling  161–75, 288– 98, 294 Braydon and  294 Cricklade and  291, 293–4, 296 estates bequeathed to  165, 166–9 family status  162–4

Malmesbury and  290–1 motivations for rebellion  169–70 nun seized by  171–3 rebellion of  30, 31, 114, 119–20, 121 Thames, river, crossing of  294, 295 Twinham and  289, 296 Wallingford and  295–6 Wimborne and  170–1, 173–4, 265, 289–90 Æthelwulf, king of West Saxons  30, 166–7, 168 Aird, William  107, 216, 251–2, 271, 309 Airlie, Stuart  44, 57, 97, 170 Albereda (Aubrée), wife of Ralph, count of Bayeux  198 Alençon (dép. Orne)  76, 77, 187, 233, 243–4 Alfred, king of West Saxons  162–9 Athelney, at  299 estates bequeathed by  165, 166–9 kingdom, re-appropriation of  19 land, division of  162–3 nuns, law for  172 private space of  96 succession of  163, 164–6 allodial land  157, 159, 169 Alpert of Metz  301 alterity, places of  299–300, 301

352  ❧  index Althoff, Gerd  6–7, 9, 77–8, 87 Alton (Hants)  195 Ammianus Marcellinus  8–9 Anarchy of King Stephen  13, 17, 24, 41–2, 143, 191 Anceins (dép. Orne)  190–1 al-Ándalus 10–12 Andernach, battle of (876)  260, 308–9 Andrew, saint  257–8 Anglo-French relations  74–5 Anglo-Norman realm  26, 38–42, 71, 84, 150, 309, 311 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Æthelwold, ætheling  120, 121, 175, 292–3, 297 Æthelwold, nun seized by  172–3 Æthelwold, order of events  288, 289 Æthelwulf ’s body  167 Alfred, king, locations of  19 Anglo-Scandinavian forces  297 Breteuil, Roger de, grievances of  95 Caesar, Thames crossing by  295 Caradog ap Gruffudd and Harold Godwinson 61 castles, as places of local suppression 182 castles, silence on  182 ‘debatable’ shires in the Midlands 280 Dover, revolt at  229–30 Ecgberht, rejection of  31 Edward ‘the Elder’, defeat of  297–8 expulsion of Eadwig ‘king of the ceorls’ 63 Five Boroughs 5 Gerberoy, battle of  310–11 Godwine family  105, 106, 281 ‘Mercian Register’  324 Northampton, raiding of  280 Odo, bishop, raids by  286

Peterborough Chronicle  13, 143– 4, 182 Ralph de Gael, wedding of  95, 121 Rochester, wasting of  257 subject groups  60 Vikings, battles against  307–8 Wimborne, burial of Sigeferth at 269 Wimborne, significance of  173 York, peace of  221 Anglo-Scandinavian rulers  30, 31, 60, 73 Anjou, France  42, 58 Annales Nazariani 20 Annals of St Neots  166, 292 Annals of St-Bertin 9 Aquitaine, France  24–5, 161 Argences (dép. Calvados)  131, 133 Argentan (dép. Orne)  189 aristocracy castles and fortifications of  143, 144 culture and landscape of  139 palaces and  97–8 Arques-la-Bataille (dép. SeineMaritime)  3, 4, 19, 181, 201–7, 206, 208, 209–11, 258, 260 Arundel (W. Sussex)  150–1, 194, 195, 286 assemblies, absence from  101–12 Æthelmær, seclusion of  110 Æthelred II, during reign of  109– 10 Æthelstan, during reign of  109 Charles ‘the Bald’, charters, lack of  110–11, 112 Edward ‘the Elder’, charters, lack of 111 Harold Godwineson, from Gloucester 104–6 Heribert II, from Compiègne 102–4

index  ❧ 353 negative evidence for  108–9 prior to rebellion  106–7, 107–8 assemblies and authority  124–35 Earls’ Revolt (1075), consequences of 124–5 Edward ‘the Elder’ and Badbury Rings 130–1, 132 Harrying of the North  134 punishments 129 Val-ès-Dunes, battle of (1047)  131, 133–4 Waltheof, execution of  125, 127–8 assembly, politics of  93, 112–24 charters, wording of  117–18 feasting and food  119–24 hunting 119 illegal assemblies  112–13 legitimacy of rebellion  117 networking opportunities  118–19 places and legitimation of power 113–14 synods 114–17 Asser  163, 164, 299 Athelney (Som.)  299 Aubermesnil (dép. SeineMaritime) 205, 206 Aubin, saint  259 authority see assemblies and authority; royal authority Auxerre (dép. Yonne)  246–7, 254–5, 258 Badbury Rings (Dorset)  130–1, 132 badlands and bandits  278–9, 298–305 Baldwin V, count of Flanders  202 Barlow, Frank  107–8, 286, 287 Barons’ Wars (1215–17 and 1264–7) 18 Barrow, Julia  72, 87 Bartlett, Robert  59 Barton, R. E.  94 Basel, Switzerland  6, 8

Bates, David  182, 202, 203, 315 Battle of Brunanburh, poem  5 battles  5, 305–12 Andernach (876)  260, 308–9 battlefields 297 ‘battle-seeking strategies’  306 Bourgthéroulde (1124)  179, 311 Bouvines (1214)  305–6 Brunanburh (937)  5, 298, 308 Fontenoy (841)  308, 309, 322 Gerberoy (1079)  309–11 Hastings (1066)  5, 306 ‘Mount Badon’  130 prayers before  258, 260 role of  305–7 Soissons (923)  35, 114, 309 against Vikings  307–8 in West Francia  308 see also Val-ès-Dunes Bauduin, Pierre  140, 189, 201–2, 205, 210 Baxter, Stephen  280 Bayeux, church of  152, 315 see also Odo, bishop; Hugh, bishop Bearman, Robert  99 Bec-Helluin (dép. Eure)  270 Bede 84 Bellême (dép. Orne)  74 Bellême, Robert de, 3rd earl of Shrewsbury  74, 150, 185–6, 188, 189, 195 Bellême, William de  74, 79, 187–8 Benham, Jenny  87 Bennett, Matthew  312, 325 Beowulf 279 Berengar place-names  321 Bergamo, Italy  230 Berkshire, England  194–5 Bernard, count of Senlis  304 Bevere, island (nr. Worcester)  68–9 Beverston (Glos.)  104, 105–6 Bigod, Roger  152–3

354  ❧  index Bisson, Thomas  68, 227 ‘Bissonic’ interpretation of authority and violence  33, 67–8, 134, 187 blinding  232, 250 n.14 Bloch, Marc  78 boats and ships  87 Bobastro, Ardales (Málaga)  10–12, 10, 192 Bonn, Germany  87 Bordesley Abbey (Worcs.)  250–1 Bosnos, Karen  29 Boso of Perthois  157, 159–60 Boso of Vienne  56, 117–18 Bothwell, J. S.  72 Bouchard, Constance  103 Bouet, Pierre  303 Bourgthéroulde, battle of (1124)  179, 311 Boussard, Jacques  74 Bouvines, battle of (1214)  305–6 Braydon (Wilts.)  294, 294 Breisach-am-Rhein (BadenWürttemberg)  6, 7, 9, 51 Breteuil (dép. Eure)  47 Breteuil, Roger de, earl of Hereford  95–6, 124, 148 Brian Boru, high king of Ireland  86 Bridgnorth (Salop.)  185–6 brinkmanship 307 Brionne (dép. Eure)  179, 184, 270 Brittany, France  28, 62 Brown, Allen  181, 184 Bruges, Flanders  227, 240 Brunanburh, battle of  5, 298, 308 Brunner, Karl  44, 75–6 Brunner, Otto  70 Brunterc’h, Jean-Pierre  319 Brut y Tywysogyon 186 Buc, Philippe  78, 230 Bures (dép. Orne)  209, 210 burhs  168, 293–4, 296 burwarefelda  145–6 n.30

Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk)  153 Byrhtsige, son of Byrhtnoth  293 Cædwalla 168 Caen (dép. Calvados)  133–4, 318, 319 Caesar, Julius  295–6 Canterbury (Kent)  145–6 n.30, 269– 70, 272–3, 274, 275–6 Capetian dynasty  37 Caradog ap Gruffudd ap Rhyddrech 61–2 Carolingian family  56–7 Carolingian ‘oppositional politics’ 75–6 castles and fortifications  177–212 archaeological evidence  182 aristocratic nature of  143, 144 Arques-la-Bataille 201–7, 208, 209–11 authority and  184–5, 192–5 building of  5, 179–80, 181–6 conspirators flung from  239, 240, 242, 243 destruction of  191–2 disputes regarding  195–6 English unfamiliarity with  177–8 familial identity and  190–1 private fortifications  180–1 as public spaces  98 religious role of  261 seizure of  186–9, 190 siege castles  131 symbolic value of  141 use of in conflict  40, 41, 71, 240 women and  196–201 central places  81, 91, 97, 141 see also estate centres ‘centreless polity,’ idea of  113–14 Chalon-sur-Saône (dép. Saône-et- Loire)  245

index  ❧ 355 Charlemagne, king of the Franks and emperor  19–20, 56, 247–8, 266–7 Charles, duke of Lorraine  37, 57, 123–4 Charles, son of Charles ‘the Bald’  50, 173 Charles ‘the Bald’, king of West Francia Andernach, battle of (876)  308–9 charters, lack of  110–11, 112 Chelles, links with  266 Laon, siege of  197 prayers before battle  260 rebellions against  35, 36, 62 residence of  102 Charles ‘the Fat’, Frankish emperor  16, 35, 57 Charles ‘the Simple’, king of West Francia Chelles and  56, 266 Compiègne and  102, 267 Henry I of East Franks, meeting with 87 imprisonment of  156 land given by  156 overthrow of  35, 103 charters lack of  110–11, 112 witness lists  99, 108, 110, 164, 165, 290–1 wording of  117–18 see also diplomas Chelles (dép. Seine-et-Marne)  35–6, 56, 157, 160, 266, 267–8 chevauchée, rule by  32–3 Chibnall, Marjorie  198, 250, 251 Childebert II  267–8 Chilperic I, king of Neustria  267 Christ Church priory, Canterbury  275 Christchurch (Hants; now Dors.) see Twinham (Christchurch, Hants) chronicles 19–20 see also Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Cingal (dép. Calvados)  319, 320–1 Cirencester (Glos.)  34 citadels 226 civil war Anarchy of King Stephen  13, 17, 24, 41–2, 143, 191 definition of  2, 31 and families  57–8 geography of  278–9 talk before battle  322 in West Francia  35, 49, 197, 308 West Saxon  308 Clunies Ross, Margaret  171 Cnut, king of England and Denmark  12, 33, 34, 216, 257 Colmar (dép. Haut-Rhin)  6, 9 comital authority, conflicts with  20, 58 communications  87, 131, 286, 317, 318 Compiègne (dép. Oise)  102–3, 114, 248, 267, 304 Conan of Rouen  67, 69, 236, 238–9 conflict, introduction to al-Ándalus, politics of  10–12 in the Anglo-Norman realm  38–42 area covered  23–30 gendered interpretations  22–3 geography of  5–10 landscapes and  16–18 and the making of England  30–5 memory, creation of  9–10, 13–16 reconciliation 20–1 sources, historical  18–20 types of  2–4, 5 in West Francia  35–8 coniurationes  65, 94 ‘conserving rulers’, notion of  70 conspiracies  40, 94–5, 107, 136, 200 Consuetudines et iusticiae 182–3, 184–5, 207

356  ❧  index core and periphery, differences between 24–5 Corfe (Dorset)  32 Coucy (dép. Aisne)  115, 116, 116 coups d’état  35, 37, 55 Cowdrey, H. E. J.  275 Creighton, Oliver  17, 98, 131, 226 Cricklade (Wilts.)  291, 293–4, 294, 296 crown-wearing  121, 134–5 cults, suppression of  247–8 Curzon, Robert de  153 Cyneheard, ætheling  54–5, 168 Cynewulf, king of West Saxons  54–5, 168–9 Dalton, Paul  87 Danelaw, ‘Re-conquest’ of the  214 Danish fleets, threat of  284 Davidson, Michael  86–7 Deda, Norman knight  14–15 Dee, river  87, 298 Dhuoda, noblewoman  180 diplomas  88, 91–2, 103, 117, 249 see also charters Domesday Book and confiscation  148–9 Exeter  61, 234 Farm of One Night  119 and landscape  91 Soham (Cambs.)  121 Wimborne (Dorset)  173 Domfront (dép. Orne) castle 192–4, 194 castle chapel  261–4, 262 link with Arundel  195 as place of refuge  150 rebellion of  76–7, 202 William the Conqueror at  303 Dover (Kent)  38, 40, 107–8, 228–31, 243 Duby, Georges  305–6

ducal authority  20, 37–8, 39, 41, 42, 113, 184, 285, 311, 320 Dudo of Saint-Quentin  68 Duffy, Seán  86 Dún Delca (Dundalk, Co. Louth)  86 Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbury 257–8 Durham, England  253, 271, 301 dynastic cycles  37 Eadgifu, queen mother  108, 156, 157, 159, 160, 169 Eadmer of Canterbury  229 Eadwig, ‘king of the ceorls’  34, 63 Eadwig, king of English  32, 143, 172 n.129, 235 ‘Earls’ Revolt’ (1075)  40, 63, 96, 124–5, 125–9, 180 ‘earthly pride’, notion of  4 Eashing (Surrey)  165, 167–8 East Anglia  12–17, 13, 122, 149, 302 eastern Francia  6–10, 6 Eberhard, duke of Bavaria  7 Ecgberht, king of West Saxons  30–1 economies 25–6 Edgar, ætheling  216, 221 Edgar, king of English  32, 87, 235, 271, 298 Edmund, saint  153, 299 Edmund I, king of English  32 Edmund II ‘Ironside’, king of English  33–4, 118, 173 Edward ‘the Confessor’, king of English  27–8, 39, 59, 103, 230 Edward ‘the Elder’, king of West Saxons and Mercians  56, 111, 130, 131, 164–5, 297–8 Edward ‘the Martyr’, king of English 32 Edwin, earl of Mercia  280 Elias, Norbert  70 Emma, wife of Ralph de Gael  95, 180

index  ❧ 357 Emma of France, wife of King Raoul  153, 156, 197 England area covered  3, 23–4 chronological parameters  29 comparison with France  26–8 core and periphery  24 economies of  25–6 geography of  25 historical background  29–35 peripheral zones  28 entry ceremonies  229, 230–1 Erik Bloodaxe, ruler of York  234–5 estate centres  121, 141, 281, 288 see also central places ethnic ‘otherness’  59–63 Eu (dép. Seine-Maritime)  202 Eustace, Count of Boulogne  38, 40, 47, 229–30, 231 executions  125, 127–8 Exeter (Devon)  60–1, 231–5 Exeter Castle  98, 100, 232 Exning (Suffolk)  121–2, 122 Fagadun (Fawdon, in Whaddon, Cambs.)  106, 129 Falaise (dép. Calvados)  141 Familia regis, role of  99, 311 families bids for power  30 conflicts between  20 dynastic cycles  37 identity and  139 opposition within  31–2, 33–4, 35, 41 politics and claims to power  53–9 see also Godwine family Farm of One Night  119, 174 Fauroux, Marie  133 fealty, obligations of  140 feasting  119–24, 300

Fécamp (dép. Seine-Maritime)  133, 207 n.103, 259 fens 302 see also Isle of Ely (Cambs.) feorm 119–21 feud  45–6, 74, 94 ‘feudal lordship’  70 ‘Field of Lies’  8, 9, 308 Figeac (dép. Lot)  249 Fitz Osbern, William  205 Five Boroughs 5 Flanders 281 see also Bruges Fleming, Robin  143, 167–8 Flodoard of Reims on Arques  207, 210 on Boso, peace sworn by  159 on destruction of strongholds  192 on Laon, grapes of  154, 155–6 on Laon, opposed to Heribert  116 on Laon, people of  223–4 on Laon, women’s land in  156, 197–8 on Montigny, hunting at  119 on Mouzon, synod of  248, 249 on Serlus, disdain for  301 on Trosly, synod at  114–15 on Vitry-en-Perthois, seizure of 157 on Walter, defection of  160 flogging 276 Fontenoy, battle of (841)  308, 309, 322 food  15, 119, 120, 121, 123–4, 300, 305 forests  17, 294, 302, 303–4 fortresses see castles and fortifications France see West Francia/France Fredegund, wife of Chilperic  267 Frederick, archbishop of Mainz  7, 51 Freeman, Edward  232 Fulbert of Chartres  146

358  ❧  index Fulda (Hesse)  20 ‘game rules’  78 Gazeau, Veronique  161 Geary, Patrick  57, 254, 266 gendered interpretations of legitimacy  22–3, 156–7, 159 Geoffrey, count of Anjou  76, 192, 210 geography of civil war  278–9 of coasts  284–5 of conflict  5–10 of study areas  25 George, archbishop of Ravenna  270 Gerberoy, battle of (1079)  309–11 Germanus, saint  246–7, 255–6, 258 Germany 48–9 see also eastern Francia Gesta Guillelmi see William of Poitiers Gesta Herwardi  14–15, 85, 299, 300 Gesta Normannorum Ducum 187, 203, 207, 241, 325 see also William of Jumièges Gesta Stephani  19, 199, 217, 218 Gilbert Crispin  189 Gillingham, John  312 Giroie, Robert  198 Glaber, Raoul  47, 146, 246–7, 254–5 Glastonbury (Som.)  272 Gloucester, England  19, 105 Godalming (Surrey)  165, 167 Godwine, earl of Wessex  103–6, 229, 230 Godwine family assembly at Gloucester, refusal to attend 105 causes of war  269 Dover and  228–9 Exeter and  231–2, 235 ‘Viking campaign’ of  38, 181, 281, 282–3, 284, 285, 307 Goldberg, Eric  64–5

Goscelin of Saint-Bertin  216, 275 Gouttebroze, J. G.  64 Gowers, Bernard  64, 68 Gregory the Great, saint  275 Gregory of Tours  319 Grimoult of Le Plessis  151–2, 315 Guernsey 317 Guibert of Nogent  67, 227–8 Guildford (Surrey)  165, 167 Gunnor, countess of Normandy  204 Guy of Brionne  270, 322 Hagger, Mark  134, 152, 189, 202, 203, 204, 317 Halsall, Guy  258 Hansson, Martin  139 Harald ‘Harefoot’, king of England  34 Harlan-Haughey, Sarah  76 Harold Godwineson, king of England  61–2, 229, 304 ‘Harrying of the North’  134, 234 Harthacnut, king of England and Denmark  33, 34, 35, 68–9 Harvey, Sally  148 Haskins, Charles Homer  113 Haslam, Jeremy  34 Hastings (Kent)  107–8 Hastings, battle of (1066)  5, 306 Hayward, Paul  275 Helias, count of Maine  215–16 Helias of Saint-Saens  209, 210 Henry, margrave of Nordgau  48 Henry I, duke of Bavaria  6, 119 Henry I ‘the Fowler’, king of East Franks 87 Henry I, king of England and Arundel  150, 194, 195 Bridgnorth, used against  185–6 castles, use of  192–4, 261, 264 land control, political use of  41–2, 160 Rouen riot  238–9, 240, 241–2

index  ❧ 359 Welsh revolts against  59 Henry I, king of France  74, 87, 95, 189, 258–9, 260 Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor  48 Henry II, king of England  42, 70, 149 Henry III, king of England  13 Henry ‘the Young King’  42, 70 Hereward  14, 123 Heribert II, count of Vermandois absenteeism of  102, 103–4 conflicts with  20, 36 and Laon  153, 155–6 Laon, held by wife of  197–8 and Mouzon  248 religious appointment  269 synod at Trosly  115, 117, 248 and Vitry-en-Perthois  157, 158, 159 Heribert ‘the Old’  157, 160 Heribertian land and family interests 153–7, 155 Hicks, Leonie  84, 85, 89–90, 236, 239 hides, hung outside fortifications  233, 325 Hiémois territory  320, 321 Hildegard (sister of Charles ‘the Bald’) 197 Historia Regum 301 Hollister, Warren  99, 186, 242, 261, 311 hostages, treatment of  129, 232 Houts, Elisabeth van  204, 245, 312– 13, 315 Hrabel de Tancarville  99, 101–2 Hudson, John  125 Hugh, archbishop of Rouen  187 Hugh, bishop of Bayeux  133, 161, 188, 189 Hugh, count of Chalon-sur-Saône and bishop of Auxerre  245

Hugh, claimant to Lotharingian kingdom  142, 155–6 Hugh Capet, king of France  36, 49–50, 123–4 Hugh ‘the Great’, count of Paris  2, 35–6, 159, 224, 225, 266 Hugh of Balsham, bishop of Ely  13 Hugh de Montfort  200–1 Hugh of Poitiers  67 Hugh of Vermandois, archbishop of Reims  114–15, 117, 154, 248–9, 269 humiliation, punishments of  74, 211, 228, 245, 276 hunting  119, 302–5 hunting lodge, burning of  61, 304 Iceland  65, 301 implied threat  46 Insley, Charles  108 ‘intensive power’, notion of  148–9 internal conflict bids for power  30 definition of  4, 20 and legitimacy of authority  47 by magnates  36, 38, 40, 41 during tenth and eleventh century 33–4 Ireland  86–7, 281 Irminsul shrine, destruction of  247–8 Isidore of Seville  2, 308 islands  68, 86, 184 Isle of Ely (Cambs.)  12–16, 13, 17, 85, 122, 123 n.95, 184, 299, 300 Isle of Thanet (Kent)  32 Ivry (dép. Eure)  161, 188–9, 198 John, archbishop of Rouen  271 John, king of England  75, 113 John of Worcester  69, 107, 186, 219, 289, 310 Johns, Susan  149

360  ❧  index Jolliffe, J. E. A.  78 de Jong, Mayke  91, 246, 249, 250 n.14, 265 Juliana, illegitimate daughter of Henry I  47 Kantorowicz, Ernst  51 Karras, Ruth Mazo  65 Keats-Rohan, Katherine  310 Kelly, Susan  118 Keynes, Simon  165 King, Edmund  144, 199 kingship  27, 50–1, 120, 297 Koziol, Geoffrey  27, 77, 78, 88, 102, 117, 123–4, 249 La Croix-Saint-Leufroy (dép. Eure)  95 La Roche-Guyon (dép. Val-d’Oise) 242–3 land, deprivation of  141–61 in the Anglo-Norman realm  150 as cause of rebellion  142 confiscation policies  72, 144–5 Domesday Book  148–9 fear of  151 Heribertian land and family interests 153–7, 155 by King Stephen of Ranulf of Chester 143–4 memory of  151–2 by Odo II, count of Blois of Stephen, count of Troyes  146–7 to prevent opposition  142–3 rebellion after  152–3 status and land  142 treacherous nobles  149–50 women and  156–7, 159–60 landscapes  82–9, 278–323 Æthelwold, travel of  288–98, 294 badlands and bandits  298–305 battlefields  297, 305–12 character and actions  17

control of  279–81, 282–3, 284–8 and lordship  139–41 motifs of  76–7 phenomenology of  82–3, 85 prehistoric 89 sources, diplomas as  91–2 study of  82–5 Val-ès-Dunes 312–15, 316, 317, 318, 319–23 warfare and  85–6 Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury  95–6, 253, 270, 272–3, 275 Langeuin, Pascal  207 Laon (dép. Aisne) and Heribert II  116, 116, 153–4, 155–6, 155 identity of  57 importance of  37 independence of  67 status of  326, 327 tower in  240, 241 urban revolt  222–8, 225 women and  156, 197 latibulum (refuge)  7, 39, 51 Latouche, Robert  154 Lauer, Philippe  115 laws, sites for promulgation of  88 Lawson, M. K.  34 Le Jan, Regine  138, 139, 265 Le Maho, Jacques  240 Le Mans (dép. Sarthe)  215–16 Le Prévost, Augustin  321 Le Valasse, monastery (dép. SeineMaritime)  250, 251 Lecouteaux, Stéphane  324–5 Lemarignier, Jean-François  317 Leofwine, abbot of Ely  12 lèse-majesté  46, 52 Lewis, Chris  95 Leyser, Karl  6, 119 Liber Eliensis 14–15

index  ❧ 361 lieux de mémoire 18 Lillebonne (dép. Seine-Maritime)  99, 250 liminality of locations  86–7 Lincoln Castle, England  98 n.18, 144, 199 literary studies  17, 279, 299–300 Liudolf, duke of Swabia  6, 119, 169, 170 Liudprand of Cremona  230 London, England Cnut and  257 collapse of rebellion  107–8 Godwine and  106 position of  327 n.158 rioting and unrest in  216–19 violence in  34 William I and  243, 303 longue durée 16–17 lordship expression of  137–8 feudal 70 and fortifications  180, 184, 195 and landscape  139–41 legitimacy of  98–9 opposition to  69–75 and urban spaces  224–6 Lothar I, king of Middle Francia  35, 114, 246, 308 Lothar III, king of West Francia  36, 49, 73, 268 Louis IV ‘d’Outremer’, king of West Francia attacks by Bernard of Senlis  304 compared to Edward ‘the Confessor’  27–8, 39 conflicts with  2, 36 defeat of  301 Laon, wall built at  224 Louis VI ‘the Fat’, king of France  67, 227, 242–3 Louis ‘the Pious’, Frankish emperor

assembly place  114 imprisonment of  246, 249 opportunities after death of  35 rebellion against  6, 8–10, 97 Louis the Younger  260, 308 Louise, Gérard  261, 320 Lusse, Jackie  153, 222 MacLean, Simon  156 magnates, rebellions by  36, 38, 40, 41 Malmesbury (Wilts.)  290–1 Mann, Michael  58, 81, 148–9 al-Mansura (‘Place of Victory’)  12 Maquis 17 marital alliances  56–7 marriage without royal permission 173 Marten, Lucy  149 Matilda, empress  217, 218–19, 250–1, 286 Matilda, queen (wife of King Stephen) 218 Mayr-Harting, Henry  266–7 Mazel, Florien  140 Melun (dép. Seine-et-Marne)  196–7 memory creation of  9–10, 16, 312–13 and the Isle of Ely  13–16 places of  88 political 57 Mercia/midland England  214, 279–80 Mildrith/Mildred, saint  273, 275 millenarianism 65–6 Montacute Castle (Som.)  178, 247 Montfort-sur-Risle (dép. Eure)  200 Montgomery, Roger de, 1st earl of Shrewsbury 150 Montigny-Lengrain (dép. Aisne)  119, 301, 304 Montreuil-Bellay (dép. Maine-et-Loire) 192

362  ❧  index Mont-Saint-Michel (dép. Manche)  193, 317 Morcar, earl of Northumbria  279–81 ‘Mount Badon’, battle site  130 Mouzon (dép. Ardennes)  248–9 Musset, Lucien  133 mutilations  129, 233 naming of family members  147 of sites  8, 9, 12, 242 naval campaigns  285 Navan Fort (Co. Armagh)  86 Nelson, Jinty  50, 56, 102, 110–11, 162, 222, 260 Nissen Jaubert, A.  261–2, 263 Nithard  111, 197, 322 Nominoë, duke of Brittany  62 Norman Anonymous 51 Normandy, France castles  99, 183, 185, 186, 188–9, 195 peasant assemblies  63 rebellions against Duke William II  39, 40–1, 42 ships, use of  285 see also Arques-la-Bataille; Domfront; Val-ès-Dunes Northampton, England  279–80 Northumbria  30–1, 234, 280 Norwich Castle (Norfolk)  153, 180 Notker  94, 151 nunneries/ convents  56, 171, 172, 265–6, 268, 269 nuns 171–3 Oakes, Fergus  190 Odo, bishop of Bayeux  41, 190, 273, 286–7 Odo II, count of Blois/king of West Francia  47, 102, 146–7, 222 Old English Orosius 295–6

oppida, use of  131, 133 Orderic Vitalis on Alençon  233, 325 on Anceins  191 on castles  177–8 on castles and Henry I  193, 194 on castles and women  196, 198–9, 200–1 on Conan of Rouen  236 on Exeter  60–1, 232–3, 234, 286 on Fagadun 106 on feorm/firma 120–1 on Gerberoy  309 on ‘Harrying of the North’  134–5 on Henry I, magnanimity of 200–1 on Le Mans  215–16 on Lillebonne  99 on Mortemer, battle of  312 on Rochester  286–7 on Rouen riot  236, 238–40, 242 on Saint-Aubin  259 on Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives  251–2 on Tinchebray, siege of  195–6 on travel, dangers of  83 on Waltheof, execution of  125, 127 on William of Arques, rebellion of  203, 209 on William Rufus, rebellion against 52 Orosius 295 Osbern of Canterbury  257 ‘otherness’ ethnic 59–63 places of  299–300, 301 Otlinga Saxonia  318, 319 Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor  36, 268 Ottonian kings conflicts with  36, 48 feasting of  119, 121 kingship of  51

index  ❧ 363 response to rebellion  72 overlords, revolt against  11, 31, 59–63, 64 palaces 97–8 Paris, Matthew  13 Paschal II, pope  251–2 patrimonialisation 140–1 patronage  32, 249, 251, 264–70 peacemaking, sites of  87 Peakirk (Cambs.)  118 peasant revolts  63–5, 68 penance  265, 309 peripheral zones  24–5, 28, 37, 40 Peterborough, abbey  118 see also Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Peterborough Chronicle Pevensey (Sussex)  286 phenomenology of landscape  82–3, 85 Philip I, king of France  309 Philip II ‘Augustus’, king of France  75, 268 Pippin I, king of Aquitaine  249 Pippin II, king of Aquitaine  54, 161, 169, 249, 250, 308 Pippin ‘the Hunchback’  54, 94, 151 Pîtres (dép. Eure)  68 place, study of  81–92 and action  85–9 and contested power  89–92 and landscape  82–5 political order  44 popular revolts  63–6 ports, control of  285–6 Portskewett (Monmouths.)  61 Potter, Julie  270 power definition of  81 intensive 148–9 negotiation of  45, 49, 60–1 Power, Daniel  113

prayers before battle  258, 260 prehistoric landscape  89 Prestwich, J. O.  233, 307 Prior, Stuart  178, 247 prisons  273, 276 private space  96, 98, 180–1, 211 public space assemblies as  93 and authority  124–5, 130, 136 castles as  98, 241 definition of  96 palaces as  97 in towns  101, 239, 241 of Val-ès-Dunes  312 Pucklechurch (Glos.)  32 punishments blinding  232, 250 n.14 conspirators flung from castles/ ramparts  239, 240, 242, 243 executions  125, 127–8 flogging 276 humiliation  74, 211, 228, 245, 276 mutilation  129, 233 saddles, with  74 n.123, 79, 211, 245 torture 196–7 Ralph de Gael, earl  95, 121, 124 Ranulf, 1st earl of Chester  143–4, 199 Raoul, king of West Francia  20, 36, 102, 103, 156, 248 rebellion definitions of  2, 140 linked to place  19 nature of  46, 93–4 political aspects of  18 ‘rebellious places’  90–1 Redvers, Baldwin de, 1st earl of Devon  98–9, 136 refuges  7, 13, 39, 51, 150, 238 Regensburg cathedral, Germany  94

364  ❧  index Regino of Prüm  102, 142, 222 religion, popular  65–6 religious communities  246–77 conflict, reasons for  246–9 conflict within  270–3, 274, 275–6 familial patronage of  249–51, 264–70 saints, protection by  254–64 violence against  251–2 violence from within  252–3 religious spaces  101, 114–17 remoteness  298, 301 Renan, Ernest  44 Reuter, Timothy  33, 48–9, 51, 57, 74, 93, 113–14, 134, 142, 151, 325 Rhine, river  6, 9, 87 Richard I, duke of Normandy  204, 240, 241 Richard II, duke of Normandy  63, 113, 140, 240, 241, 246–7 Richard III, duke of Normandy  141, 245 Richard of Fresnel  191 Richer of Reims on Aachen  268 on Hugh Capet  36, 49–50 on Laon  223, 224, 226 on Laon, attacked by Charles of Lorraine  154, 155 on Montigny, attack on  304 on torture of wife of castellan of Melun 196–7 ritual nature of action  77, 78, 86–7 Roach, Levi  113, 257 Robert, abbot of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives 251–2 Robert, archbishop of Trier  248 Robert I, king of France (r. 922– 3)  35–6, 56–7, 102, 103 Robert II ‘the Pious’, king of France  254–5, 258 Robert ‘Curthose’, duke of Normandy

Arques, grant of  209 Gerberoy, battle of (1079)  309, 310 relationship with William I  40–1 and Rochester  190, 287 Rouen riot  41, 66–7, 235–6, 238, 242 support for  42, 195 Robert ‘the Magnificent’, duke of Normandy  74, 141, 187 Robert ‘the Strong’  102 Robert of Jumièges, archbishop of Canterbury 269 Robert of Mortain  41 Robert of Neustria  266 Robert of Torigni  47, 179, 186–7, 204, 241, 311 Robin Hood  17 Rochester (Kent)  32, 190, 257–8, 286–7 Roffe, David  148, 324–5 Roger, bishop of Salisbury  217 Rollason, David  89, 234 Roman authors  75 Roman power in Britain  294, 295–6 Rotfeld (‘Red Field’)  9 Rothilde, abbess of Chelles  157, 158, 159, 266 Rouen (dép. Seine-Maritime)  41, 66–7, 235–6, 237, 238–43, 245 Rougemont Castle, Exeter  98, 100 royal authority challenges to  53–6 divinity of  51 in France  25, 37 loyalty to  52–3 and place  39–40 reassertion of  14 rebellion against  50–1 shifts in patterns of  24 status of rebels  47 royal entries  229, 230–1

index  ❧ 365 Rudolph of Fulda  289 Saalfeld (Thuringia)  6, 6, 119, 170–1 saddles, punishment with  74 n.123, 79, 211, 245 Saint Augustine’s Abbey, Canterbury  253, 272–3, 274, 275–6 Saint Giles’s Hill, Winchester  125, 126, 127 Saint Mildrith, Canterbury  273, 274 Saint-Aubin-sur-Scie (dép. SeineMaritime)  206, 259 Saint-Évroul abbey (dép. Orne)  191 Saint-Germain monastery, Auxerre 254–5 Saint-Médard monastery, Soissons  249–50, 326 Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives monastery (dép. Calvados) 251–2 saints and belligerent communities 254–64 Ælfheah 257 Andrew and Dunstan  257–8 Aubin 258–9 Denis 260–1 Germanus 254–6 Symphorian 261–4, 262 Saint-Vaast-d’Equiqueville (dép. SeineMaritime) 204, 206 Santinelli-Foltz, Emanuelle  147 sea travel  281, 282–3, 284 Searle, Eleanor  321 Selby Abbey (N. Yorks)  256 Semple, Sarah  89 Serlus 301 ships  87, 285 siege castles  131 siege technology  71 Sigeberht, king of West Saxons  168–9 Sigeferth, king of West Saxons  269 Sigeferth, widow of  106, 172–3 n.132

Simeon of Durham  301 slaves, revolts of  65 Smith, Katherine Allen  251, 252 Soham (Cambs.)  121–2, 122, 123 Soissons (dép. Aisne)  116, 249–50, 326 Soissons, battle of (923)  35, 114, 309 sons, discontented  40–1, 42 Sot, Michel  117 sources, historical  18–20, 45–53, 75–9, 89–90, 91–2 Southwold (Suffolk)  153 ‘spaces between’ places  278 Spain 10–12 Spartacus revolt  65 Spielregeln (game rules)  78 Stafford, Pauline  164, 167 statehood   5 Stellinga revolts 64 Stenton, Frank M.  293 Stephen, count of Troyes  47 Stephen, king of England Anarchy  13, 17, 24, 41–2, 143, 191 castles and  98, 143–4 Stephen of Ripon  168 Steyning (Sussex)  166–7, 168 Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury 269 Strasbourg (dép. Bas Rhin)  6, 8 Strickland, Matthew  42, 50, 51, 52–3, 71, 94, 107, 281, 322 Suger, abbot  67, 243 Sulcard of Westminster  257 suppression of assemblies  112–13 castles and fortifications  178, 182, 192 of cults  247–8 use of implied threat  46 Surtshellir (Iceland)  301 Symphorian, saint  261–4, 262

366  ❧  index synods  114–17, 248 Taisson, Ralph  320, 322 Tanner, Heather  231 Tara (Co. Meath)  86 taxes, withholding of  34–5 Thames, river, crossing of  294, 295, 307 Thegan, bishop of Trier  8–9 Theobald ‘the Trickster’, count of Tours 154 Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury 2 Theuws, Frans  91 Thietmar of Merseburg  48 Thomas of Marle  67 Thuringia 19–20 Thurstan, abbot of Glastonbury  272 Thury-Harcourt (dép. Calvados)  318, 322 Tilley, Christopher  82, 83 Tillières-sur-Avres (dép. Eure)  189 time, perception of  299 Tinchebray (dép. Orne)  195–6 Toki, son of Wigod  310, 311 ‘topographies of power’, study of  81 torture 196–7 see also punishments Tostig, earl  39, 219 towns, public and private space  101, 239, 241 travel, by authors  83–4 Trier, Germany  6, 8 Trosly-Loire (dép. Aisne)  102, 114– 15, 116, 117, 248 Troyes (dép. Aube)  146–7 Truce of God  133, 319 Twinham (Christchurch, Hants)  132, 173, 289, 296 ‘Umar ibn Hafsūn 10–11 urban revolts  213–45

Dover 228–31 Exeter 231–5 garrison communities, effect of  215 Laon 222–8, 225 Le Mans  215–16 London  107–8, 216 motivations for  66–9 Rouen 235–6, 237, 238–43 York 219, 220, 221 Val-ès-Dunes, battle of (1047) aftermath of  133, 134, 179, 203 Argences, use of  131 consequential loss of land  151–2 location  3 prayers before  260 relevance of  5, 85 and western Normandy  312–15, 316, 317, 318, 319–23 Vallvé, Joaquín  12 Vatteville (dép. Eure)  179 Venarde, Bruce  268 Vermandois, house of  57–8 Vézelay (dép. Yonne)  67–8 Vikings battles against  307–8 campaigns against  5 coalition with  297 coniuratio of Frankish peasants against 65 cooperation with  297 female burials  180 hiring of  111, 291–2 mounted armies of  289 seizures by  288 ships, use of  285 vines  142, 154–5 violence ‘Bissonic’ violence  33, 67–8, 134 and illegal assemblies  113 implied 46–7 and peasants’ revolts  64

index  ❧ 367 rebellious 71–2 against religious communities 251–2 state-directed violence  32–3 against women  196–7, 228 Vire (dép. Calvados)  113 Vita Ædwardi Regis 2 Vitry-en-Perthois (dép. Marne)  157, 158, 159–60 Wace  64, 85, 151–2, 183, 312, 313– 15, 317, 320, 323 Waleran I, count of Meulan  189 Waleran II, count of Meulan  95, 200–1, 250–1 Wallingford (Oxon.)  295–6, 303, 310 walls building of  224–5, 226 executions outside  125, 127–8 slighting of  34 Walter, guardian of fortress of Vitry-enPerthois  157, 160 Waltheof, earl of Northumbria  121, 123, 124–5, 127–8 war, types of  2–3 Wardour (Wilts.)  96 Wareham, Andrew  153 warfare and landscape  85–6 Weikert, Katherine  139 Welsh revolts  59 West Francia/France area covered  3, 23–4 battles 308 chronological parameters  28–9 comparison with England  26–8 core and periphery  24–5 economies of  25–6 geography of  25 historical background  2, 35–8 legitimacy of rebellion  49–50 peripheral zones  28 ruling households  58

West Saxons battles 308 campaigns of  5, 31 conflict within  30, 31–2 opposition to  24 power in Northumbria  234, 235 and religious foundations  265, 266 rulers of  56 see also Æthelwold Wheatley, Abigail  261 White, Stephen  78, 192 Wickham, Chris  26 Widukind of Corvey  6, 170–1 Wigod  310, 311 wilderness 302 William, count of Arques  3–4, 74, 181, 201–7, 206, 208, 209–11, 258, 260 William, count of Eu  140 William, count of Mortain  195–6 William II, duke of Normandy, and I (‘the Conqueror’), king of England crown-wearing  121, 134–5 at Domfront  303 Dover, grant of  229 Exeter rebellion  232–5 Gerberoy, battle of (1079)  309, 310, 311 Harrying of the North  134 landscapes, taming of  76 in London  216–17 opposition to  39, 231 punishments 232–3 rebellions against  40, 121 resistance against  12 and Saint Aubin  258–60 and Saint Germanus  256 Soham (Suffolk)  123 Val-ès-Dunes, battle of (1047)  131, 133–4, 179, 313, 315, 323 Waleran I, rebellion of  189

368  ❧  index William of Arques, rebellion of  74, 201–7, 206, 208, 209–11, 322–3 William II ‘Rufus’, king of England and Arundel  195 and Caen  235–6 and Hugh of Bayeux  161 and rebellion by Odo  287–8 rebellion under  41, 52, 107 and Roger Bigod  152–3 William of Jumièges on Alençon  233 on Bellême, actions of  74 on Chalon (dép. SaôneetLoire) 245 on Durham  301 on entry of Matilda of Flanders to Eu 202 examples of bonds of obligation 140 on fortifications  179–80, 187 on Gilbert Crispin  189 on Ivry, rebellion at  188 on Normandy peasants revolt  68 on Saint-Aubin  259 on William of Arques, rebellion of  203, 206, 209 William of Malmesbury on castles, possession of  187 on Dunstan  257 on Exeter  232, 233 on London  217–18 travels of  83–4 on William II ‘Rufus’  287 on York rebels  39–40 William of Poitiers on actions of Alençon and Domfront 76–7 on castle, terms used for  3–4, 19 on castles, English unfamiliarity with 177–8 on castles, use of  179

on Eustace of Boulogne and Dover 231 on Val-ès-Dunes, battle of (1047)  313, 321–2 on William I at London  303 on William of Arques, rebellion of  202, 203, 206, 207, 209 William de Roumare  199 Williams, Ann  32, 110, 120–1, 310 Williams, Thomas  130, 294 Wimborne (Dorset) Æthelwold, connections with  170 Æthelwold, importance to  173–4, 265 Æthelwold, seized and controlled by  30, 170–1, 289 Farm of One Night  119–20 nun seized from  171–3 nunnery 269 Saalfeld, parallels with  170–1 space and the legitimacy of power 114 status of  174–5, 249, 326 strategic value of  289–90 and surrounding area  121 Winchester (Hants)  72, 107, 109, 125, 126, 127, 326–7 witness lists see under charters women arrival of Empress Matilda  217, 218–19 burials 180 and castles  180, 196–201 familial links with Chelles  266–7 land associated with  156–7, 159– 60, 204, 209–10 as queens  164 as rebels  22–3 running of households  180 seizure of  171–3, 265 violence against  196–7, 228 as widows  149

index  ❧ 369 Worcester, England  35, 68–9 Wormald, Patrick  167, 174 Worms (Rhineland)  20 Wright, Duncan  17, 131, 226 Wuffingas, East Anglian dynasty  17, 299 Wulfbald, widow of  145 Wulfhere, ealdorman  149 Wulfstan, archbishop of York  65 Wulfthryth, queen  164 York, England destruction of  134–5

Erik Bloodaxe, expulsion of  234–5 fortifications in  219, 220, 221 kingdom of  30–1 rebellion against Anglo-Scandinavian rulers 30 rebellion against southern English authority 73 rebellion against Tostig  39, 219 rebels, movement of  279–80 taxation of  234 Yorke, Barbara  164, 265–6, 269, 290, 291 Yver, Jean  205