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Medieval Sourcebook:
Roger of Hoveden:
The Revolt of 1173-74, from The Chronicle

Roger of Hoveden was a royal clerk who compiled a History of England in the early years of the thirteenth century.  As a royal clerk he was well-placed to gather information from members of the royal court, and he also included many documents, especially letters, into his history.  I have condensed his chronicle for the years 1173-4.

The account is divided by year.  Note that Roger began the year on Christmas Day, not January 1.

In the year of grace 1173, being the nineteenth year of the reign of king Henry, son of the empress Matilda, the said king was, on the day of the Nativity of our Lord, at Chinon, in Anjou, and queen Eleanor was there with him, while the king, his son, and his wife were in Normandy. …
After this, the king of England, the father, and the king, the son, came together to Limoges; and thither Raymond, earl of Saint Gilles, came, and there did homage to both the kings of England, and to Richard, earl of Poitou, for Toulouse, to hold the same of them by hereditary right, by the service of appearing before them at the summons, and staying with them and serving for forty days, without any cost on their part; but if they should wish to have him longer in their service, then they were to pay his reasonable expenses. And further, the said earl of Saint Gilles was to give them from Toulouse and its appurtenances one hundred marks of silver, or else ten chargers worth ten marks apiece.
There also came to Limoges the earl of Maurienne and desired to know how much of his own territory the king of England intended to grant to his son John; and on the king expressing an intention to give him the castle of Chinon, the castle of Lodun, and the castle of Mirabel, the king, his son, would in nowise agree thereto, nor allow it to be done. For he was already greatly offended that his father was unwilling to assign to him some portion of his territories, where he, with his wife, might take up their residence. Indeed, he had requested his father to give him either Normandy, or Anjou, or England, which request he had made at the suggestion of the king of France, and of those of the earls and barons of England and Normandy who disliked his father: and from this time it was that the king, the son, had been seeking pretexts and an opportunity for withdrawing from his father. And he had now so entirely revolted in feeling from obeying his wishes, that he could not even converse with him on any subject in a peaceable manner.
Having now gained his opportunity, both as to place and occasion, the king, the son, left his father, and proceeded to the king of France. However, Richard Barre, his chancellor, Walter, his chaplain, Ailward, his chamberlain, and William Blund, his apparitor, left him, and returned to the king, his father. Thus did the king’s son lose both his feelings and his senses; he repulsed the innocent, persecuted a father, usurped authority, seized upon a kingdom, he alone was the guilty one, and yet a whole army conspired against his father; "so does the madness of one make many mad." For he it was who thirsted for the blood of a father, the gore of a parent!
In the meantime, Louis, king of the Franks, held a great council at Paris, at which he and all the principal men of France made oath to the son of the king of England that they would assist him in every way in expelling his father from the kingdom, if he should not accede to his wishes: on which he swore to them that he would not make peace with his father, except with their sanction and consent. After this, he swore that he would give to Philip, earl of Flanders, for his homage, a thousand pounds of yearly revenues in England, and the whole of Kent, together with Dover castle, and Rochester castle; to Matthew, earl of Boulogne, for his homage, the soke of Kirkeketon in Lindsey, and the earldom of Mortaigne, with the honor of Hay; and to Theobald, earl of Blois, for his homage, two hundred pounds of yearly revenues in Anjou, and the castle of Amboise, with all the jurisdiction which he had claimed to hold in Touraine and he also quitted claim to him of all right that the king his father and himself had claimed in Chateau Regnaud. All these gifts, and many besides that he made to other persons, he confirmed under his new seal, which the king of France had ordered to be made for him.
Besides these, he made other gifts, which, under the same seal, he confirmed, namely, to William, king of Scotland, for his assistance, the whole of Northumberland as far as the river Tyne. To the brother of the same king he gave for his services the earldom of Huntingdon and of Cambridgeshire and to earl Hugh Bigot, for his services, the castle of Norwich.
Immediately after Easter, in this year, the whole of the kingdom of France, and the king, the son of the king of England, Richard his brother, earl of Poitou, and Geoffrey, earl of Bretagne, and nearly all the earls and barons of England, Normandy, Aquitaine, Anjou, and Brittany, arose against the king of England the father, and laid waste his lands on every side with fire, sword, and rapine: they also laid siege to his castles, and took them by storm, and there was no one to relieve them. Still, he made all the resistance against them that he possibly could: for he had with him twenty thousand Brabanters who served him faithfully, but not without large pay which he gave them.
Then seems to have been fulfilled this prophecy of Merlin which says: "The cubs shall awake and shall roar aloud, and, leaving the woods, shall seek their prey within the walls of the cities; among those who shall be in their way they shall make great carnage, and shall tear out the tongues of bulls. The necks of them as they roar aloud they shall load with chains, and shall thus renew the times of their forefathers."
Upon this, the king wrote letters of complaint to all the emperors and kings whom he thought to be friendly to him, relative to the misfortunes which had befallen him through the exalted position which he had given to his sons, strongly advising them not to exalt their own sons beyond what it was their duty to do. On receiving his letter, William king of Sicily wrote to him to the following effect:
"To Henry, by the grace of God the illustrious king of the English, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and earl of Anjou, William, by the same grace, king of Sicily, the dukedom of Apulia, and the principality of Capua, the enjoyment of health, and the wished-for triumph in victory over his enemies. On the receipt of your letter, we learned a thing of which indeed we cannot without the greatest astonishment make mention, how that, forgetting the ordinary usages of humanity and violating the law of nature, the son has risen in rebellion against the father, the begotten against the begetter, the bowels have been moved to intestine war, the entrails have had recourse to arms, and, a new miracle taking place, quite unheard of in our times, the flesh has waged war against the blood, and the blood has sought means how to shed itself. And, although for the purpose of checking the violence of such extreme madness, the inconvenience of the distance does not allow of our power affording any assistance, still, with all the loving-kindness we possibly can, the expression of which, distance of place does not prevent, sincerely embracing your person and honor, we sympathize with your sorrow, and are indignant at your persecution, which we regard as though it were our own. However, we do hope and trust in the Lord, by whose judgment the judgments of kings are directed, that He will no longer allow your sons to be tempted beyond what they are able or ought to endure; and that He who became obedient to the Father even unto death, will inspire them with the light of filial obedience, whereby they shall be brought to recollect that they are your flesh and blood, and, leaving the errors of their hostility, shall acknowledge themselves to be your sons, and return to their father, and thereby heal the disruption of nature, and that the former union, being restored, will cement the bonds of natural affection."
Accordingly, immediately after Easter, as previously mentioned, the wicked fury of the traitors burst forth. For, raving with diabolical frenzy, they laid waste the territories of the king of England on both sides of the sea with fire and sword in every direction. Philip, earl of Flanders, with a large army, entered Normandy, and laid siege to Aumarle, and took it. Proceeding thence, he laid siege to the castle of Drincourt, which was surrendered to him ...
In the meantime, Louis, king of the Franks, and the king of England, the son, laid siege to Verneuil; but Hugh de Lacy and Hugh de Beauchamp, who were the constables thereof, defended the town of Verneuil boldly and with resolute spirit. In consequence of this, the king of France, after remaining there a whole month, with difficulty took a small portion of the town on the side where his engines of war had been planted. There were in Verneuil, besides the castle, three burghs; each of which was separated from the other and enclosed with a strong all and a foss filled with water. One of these was called the Great Burgh, beyond the walls of which were pitched the tents of the king of France and his engines of war. At the end of this month, when the burghers in the Great Burgh saw that food and necessaries were failing them, and that they should have nothing to eat, being compelled by hunger and want, they made a truce for three days with the king of France, for the purpose of going to their lord the king of England, in order to obtain succor of him; and they made an agreement that if they should not have succor within the next three days, they would surrender to him that burgh. The peremptory day for so doing was appointed on the vigil of Saint Laurence.
They then gave hostages to the king of France to the above effect, and the king of France, the king of England, the son, and earl Robert, the brother of the king of France, earl Henry de Trois, Theobald, earl of Blois, and William, archbishop of Sens, made oath to them, that if they should surrender the burgh to the king of France at the period named, the king of France would restore to them their hostages free and unmolested, and would do no injury to them, nor allow it to be done by others. This composition having been made to the above effect, the burgesses before mentioned came to their lord the king of England, and announced to him the agreement which they had made with the king of France and the king his son.
On hearing of this, the king of England collected as large an army as he possibly could from Normandy and the rest of his dominions, and came to Breteuil, a castle belonging to Robert, earl of Leicester, which the earl himself, taking to flight on his approach, left without any protection. This the king entirely reduced to ashes, and the next day, for the purpose of engaging with the king of France, proceeded to a high hill, near Verneuil, with the whole of his army, and drew up his troops in order of battle. This too was the peremptory day upon which that portion of Verneuil was to be surrendered if it did not obtain succor.
Upon this, Louis, king of the Franks, sent William, archbishop of Sens, earl Henry, and earl Theobald, to the king of England, the father, who appointed an interview to be held between them on the morrow; and the king of England, to his misfortune, placed confidence in them; for he was deceived. For on the morrow the king of France neither came to the interview, nor yet sent any messenger. On this, the king of England sent out spies to observe the position of the king of France and his army; but while the spies were delaying their return that portion of Verneuil was surrendered to the king of France to which he had laid siege. However, he did not dare retain it in his hands, having transgressed the oath which he had made to the burghers. For he neither restored to them their hostages, nor preserved the peace as he had promised; but, entering the town, made the burghers prisoners, carried off their property, set fire to the Burgh, and then, taking to flight, carried away with him the burghers before-mentioned into France.
When word was brought of this to the king of England, he pursued them with the edge of the sword, slew many of them, and took considerable numbers, and at nightfall arrived at Verneuil, where he remained one night, and ordered the walls which had been levelled to be rebuilt. But, in order that these events may be kept in memory, it is as well to know that this flight of the king of France took place on the fifth day before the ides of August, being the fifth day of the week, upon the vigil of Saint Laurence, to the praise and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by punishing the crime of perfidy, so speedily avenged the indignity done to his Martyr.
On the following day, the king of England, the father, left Verneuil, and took the castle of Damville, which belonged to Gilbert de Tilieres, and captured with it a great number of knights and men-at-arms. After this, the king came to Rouen, and thence dispatched his Brabanters, in whom he placed more confidence than the rest, into Brittany, against Hugh, earl of Chester, and Ralph de Fougeres, who had now gained possession of nearly the whole of it. When these troops approached, earl of Chester and Ralph de Fougeres went forth to meet them. In consequence of this, preparations were made for battle; the troops were drawn out in battle array, and everything put in readiness for the combat. Accordingly, the engagement having commenced, the enemies of the king of England were routed, and the men of Brittany were laid pros. bate and utterly defeated. The earl, however, and Ralph de Fougeres, with many of the most powerful men of Brittany, shut themselves up in the fort of Dol, which they had taken by stratagem; on which, the Brabanters besieged them on every side, on the thirteenth day before the calends of September, being the second day of the week. In this battle there were taken by the Brabanters seventeen knights remarkable for their valour … . Besides these, many others were captured, both horse and foot, and more than fifteen hundred of the Bretons were slain.
Now, on the day after this capture and slaughter, "Rumor, than which nothing in speed more swift exists," reached the ears of the king of England, who, immediately setting out on his march towards Dol, arrived there on the fifth day of the week, and immediately ordered his stone-engines, and other engines of war, to be got in readiness. The earl of Chester, however, and those who were with him in the fort, being unable to defend it, surrendered it to the king, on the seventeenth day before the calends of September, being the Lord’s Day ; and, in like manner, the whole of Brittany, with all its fortresses, was restored to him, and its chief men were carried into captivity. In the fortress of Dol many knights and yeomen were taken prisoners … .
After these victories which God granted to the king of England, the son of the empress Matilda, the king of France and his supporters fell into despondency, and used all possible endeavors, that peace might be made between the king of England and his sons. In consequence of this, there was at length a meeting between Gisors and Trie, at which Louis, king of the Franks, attended, accompanied by the archbishops, bishops, earls; and barons of his realm, and bringing with him Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey, the sons of the king of England. Henry, king of England, the father, attended, with the archbishops, bishops, earls, and barons of his dominions.
A conference was accordingly held between him and his sons, for the purpose of establishing peace, on the seventh day before the calends of October, being the third day of the week. At this conference, the king, the father, offered to the king, his son, a moiety of the revenues of his demesnes in England, and four fitting castles in the same territory; or, if his son should prefer to remain in Normandy, the king, the father, offered a moiety of the revenues of Normandy, and all the revenues of the lands that were his father’s, the earl of Anjou, and three convenient castles in Normandy, and one fitting castle in Anjou, one fitting castle in Maine, and one fitting castle in Touraine. To his son Richard, also, he offered a moiety of the revenues of Aquitaine, and four fitting castles in the same territory. And to his son Geoffrey he offered all the lands that belonged, by right of inheritance, to the daughter of duke Conan, if he should, with the sanction of our lord the pope, be allowed to marry the above-named lady. The king, the father, also submitted himself entirely to the arbitration of the archbishop of Tarento and the legates of our lord the pope, as to adding to the above as much more of his revenues, and giving the same to his sons, as they should pronounce to be reasonable, reserving to himself the administration of justice and the royal authority.
But it did not suit the purpose of the king of France that the king’s sons should at present make peace with their father: in addition to which, at the same conference, Robert, earl of Leicester, uttered much opprobrious and abusive language to the king of England, the father, and laid his hand on his sword for the purpose of striking the king; but he was hindered by the bystanders from so doing, and the conference was immediately brought to a close.
On the day after the conference, the knights of the king of France had a skirmish with the knights of the king of England, between Curteles and Gisors; in which fight Ingelram, castellan of Trie, was made prisoner by earl William de Mandeville, and presented to the king, the father. In the meantime, Robert, earl of Leicester, having raised a large army, crossed over into England, and was received by earl Hugh Bigot in the castle of Fremingham, where he supplied him with all necessaries. After this, the said Robert, earl of Leicester, laid siege to Hakeneck, the castle of Ranulph de Broc, and took it; for, at this period, Richard de Lucy, justiciary of England, and Humphrey de Bohun, the king’s constable, had marched with a large army into Lothian, the territory of the king of Scotland. for the purpose of ravaging it.
When, however, they heard of the arrival of the earl of Leicester in England, they were greatly alarmed, and laying all other matters aside, gave and received a truce from the king of Scotland, and, after hostages were delivered on both sides for the preservation of peace until the feast of Saint Hilary, hastened with all possible speed to Saint Edmund’s. Thither also came to them Reginald, earl of Cornwall, the king’s uncle, Robert, earl of Gloucester, and William, earl of Arundel, On the approach of the festival of All Saints, the above-named earl of Leicester withdrew from Fremingham for the purpose of marching to Leicester, and came with his army to a place near St. Edmund’s, which is known as Fornham, situate on a piece of marshy ground, not far from the church of Saint Genevieve. On his arrival being known, the earls, with a considerable force, and Humphrey de Bohun with three hundred knights, soldiers of the king, went forth armed for battle to meet the earl of Leicester, carrying before them the banner of Saint Edmund the king and Martyr as their standard. The ranks being drawn up in battle array, by virtue of the aid of God and of his most glorious Martyr Saint Edmund, they attacked the line in which the earl of Leicester had taken his position, and in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the earl of Leicester was vanquished and taken prisoner, as also his wife and Hugh des Chateaux, a nobleman of the kingdom of France, and all their might was utterly crushed.
There fell in this battle more than ten thousand Flemings, while all the rest were taken prisoners, and being thrown into prison in irons, were there starved to death. As for the earl of Leicester and his wife and Hugh des Chateaux, and the rest of the more wealthy men who were captured with them, they were sent into Normandy to the king the father; on which the king placed them in confinement at Falaise, and Hugh, earl of Chester, with them.
On the feast of Saint Martin, king Henry, the father, entered Anjou with his army, and shortly after Geoffrey, lord of Hay, surrendered to him the castle of Hay. After this there were surrendered to him the castle of Pruilly and the castle of Campigny, which Robert de The had held against him. In this castle there were many knights and men-a-arms taken prisoners …
In the same year, Louis, king of the Franks, knighted Richard, the son of king Henry … .

In the year of grace 1174, being the twentieth year of the reign of king Henry, son of the empress Matilda, the said Henry spent the festival of the Nativity of our Lord at Caen in Normandy, and a truce was made between him and Louis, king of the Franks, from the feast of Saint Hilary until the end of Easter … .
In the meantime, Roger de Mowbray fortified his castle at Kinardeferie, in Axholme; and Hugh, bishop of Durham, fortified the castle of Alverton. After Easter, breaking the truce, Henry, the son of the king of England, and Philip, earl of Flanders, having raised a large army, determined to come over to England.
In the meantime, William, king of the Scots, came into Northumberland with a large force, and there with his Scotch and Galloway men committed execrable deeds. For his men ripped asunder pregnant women, and, dragging forth the embryos, tossed them upon the points of lances. Infants, children, youths, aged men, all of both sexes, from the highest to the lowest, they slew alike without mercy or ransom. The priests and clergy they murdered in the very churches upon the altars. Consequently, wherever the Scots and the Galloway men came, horror and carnage prevailed. Shortly after, the king of the Scots sent his brother David to Leicester, in order to assist the troops of the earl of Leicester; but before he arrived there, Reginald, earl of Cornwall, and Richard de Lacy, justiciary of England, had burned the city of Leicester to the ground, together with its churches add buildings, with the exception of the castle.

In the meanwhile, William, king of the Scots, laid siege to Carlisle, of which Robert de Vals had the safe keeping; and leaving a portion of his army to continue the siege, with the remainder of it he passed through Northumberland, ravaging the lands of the king and his barons. He took the castle of Liddel, the castle of Burgh, the castle of Appleby, the castle of Mercwrede, and the castle of Irebothe, which was held by Odonel de Umfraville, after which he returned to the siege of Carlisle. Here he continued the siege, until Robert decals, in consequence of provisions failing him and the other persons there, made a treaty with him on the following terms, namely, that, at the feast of Saint Michael next ensuing, he would surrender to him the castle and town of Carlisle, unless, in the meantime, he should obtain succor from his master the king of England.
On this, the king of the Scots, departing thence, laid siege to the castle of Prudhoe, which belonged to Odonel de Umfraville, but was unable to take it. For Robert de Stuteville, sheriff of York, William de Vesci, Ranulph de Glanville, Ralph de Tilly, constable of the household of the archbishop of York, Bernard de Baliol, and Odonel de Umfraville, having assembled a large force, hastened to its succor.
On learning their approach, the king of Scotland retreated thence, and laid siege to the castle of Alnwick, which belonged to William de Vesci, and then, dividing his army into three divisions, kept one with himself, and gave the command of the other two to earl Dunecan and the earl of Angus, and Richard de Morville, giving them orders to lay waste the neighboring provinces in all directions, slaughter the people, and carry off the spoil. Oh, shocking times! then might you have heard the shrieks of women, the cries of the aged, the groans of the dying, and the exclamations of despair of the youthful!
In the meantime, the king of England, the son, and Philip, earl of Flanders, came with a large army to Gravelines, for the purpose of crossing over to England. On hearing of this, the king of England, the father, who had marched with his army into Poitou, and had taken many fortified places and castles, together with the city of Saintes, and two fortresses there, one of which was called Fort Maror, as also the cathedral church of Saintes, which the knights and men-at-arms had strengthened against him with arms and a supply of provisions, returned into Anjou, and took the town of Ancenis, which belonged to Guion de Ancenis, near Saint Florence. On taking it, he strengthened it with very strong fortifications, and retained it in his own hands, and then laid waste the adjoining parts of the province with fire and sword; he also rooted up the vines and fruit-bearing trees, after which he returned into Normandy, while the king, his son, and Philip, earl of Flanders, were still detained at Gravelines, as the wind was contrary, and they were unable to cross over. On this, the king of England, the father, came to Barbeflet, where a considerable number of ships had been assembled against his arrival, and, praised be the name of the Lord! as it pleased the Lord, so did it come to pass; who, by His powerful might, changed the wind to a favorable quarter, and thus suddenly granted him a passage over to England. Immediately on this, he embarked, and, on the following day, landed at Southampton, in England, on the eight day before the ides of July, being the second day of the week, bringing with him his wife, queen Eleanor, and queen Margaret, daughter of Louis, king of the Franks, and wife of his son Henry, with Robert, earl of Leicester, and Hugh, earl of Chester, whom he immediately placed in confinement.
On the day after this, he set out on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Thomas the Martyr, archbishop of Canterbury. On his approach, as soon as he was in sight of the church, in which thc body of the blessed martyr lay buried, he dismounted from the horse on which he rode, took off his shoes, and barefoot, and clad in woollen garments, walked three miles to the tomb of the martyr, with such humility and compunction of heart, that it may be believed beyond a doubt to have been the work of Him who looketh down on the earth, and maketh it to tremble. To those who beheld them, his footsteps, along the road on which he walked, seemed to be covered with blood, and really were so, for his tender feet being cut by the hard stones, a great quantity of blood flowed from them on to the ground. When he had arrived at the tomb, it was a holy thing to see the affliction which he suffered, with sobs and tears, and the discipline to which he submitted from the hands of the bishops and a great number of priests and monks. Here, also, aided by the prayers of many holy men, he passed the night, before the sepulchre of the blessed Martyr, in prayer, fasting, and lamentations. As for the gifts and revenues which, for the remission of his sins, he bestowed on this church, they can never under any circumstance be obliterated from the remembrance thereof. In the morning of the following day, after hearing mass, he departed thence, on the third day before the ides of July, being Saturday, with the intention of proceeding to London. And, inasmuch as he was mindful of the Lord in his entire heart, the Lord granted unto him the victory over his enemies, and delivered them captive into his hands.
For, on the very same Saturday on which the king left Canterbury, William, king of the Scots, was taken prisoner at Alnwick by the above-named knights of Yorkshire, who had pursued him after his retreat from Prudhoe. Thus, even thus; “How rarely is it that vengeance with halting step forsakes the pursuit of the wicked!” Together with him, there were taken prisoners Richard Cumin, William de Mortimer, William de l’Isle, Henry Revel, Ralph de Ver, Jordan le Fleming, Waltheof Fitz-Baldwin de Bicre, Richard Maluvel, and many others, who voluntarily allowed themselves to be made prisoners, lest they might appear to have sanctioned the capture of their lord.
On the same day, Hugh, count de Bar sur Seine, nephew of Hugh, bishop of Durham, effected a landing at Herterpol with forty knights and five hundred Flemings, for whom the before-named bishop had sent, but in consequence of the capture of the king of Scotland, the bishop immediately allowed the said Flemings to return home, having first given them allowance and pay for forty days. Count Hugh, however, together with the knights who had come with him, he made to stay, and gave the castle of Alverton into their safe keeping.
In the meantime, Louis, king of the Franks, hearing that the king of England, the father, had crossed over, and that the king of Scots was taken prisoner, with whose misfortunes he greatly condoled, recalled the king of England the son, and Philip, earl of Flanders, who were still staying at Gravelines; and after they had returned to him, laid siege to Rouen on all sides, except that on which the river Seine flows.
The king, the father, on hearing of the capture of the king of the Scots, rejoiced with exceeding great joy, and after a thanksgiving to Almighty God and the blessed martyr Thomas, set out for Huntingdon, and laid siege to the castle, which was surrendered to him on the Lord’s day following, being the twelfth day before the calends of August. The knights and men-at-arms who were in the castle threw themselves on the king’s mercy, safety being granted to life and limb. Immediately upon this, the king departed thence with his army towards Fremingham, the castle of earl Hugh Bigot, where the earl himself was, with a large body of Flemings. The king, on drawing nigh to Fremingham, encamped at a place which is called Seleham, and remained there that night. On the following day, earl Hugh Bigot came to him, and, making a treaty of peace with him, surrendered to him the castle of Fremingham, and the castle of Bungay, and with considerable difficulty obtained the king’s permission that the Flemings who were with him might without molestation return home. At this place the horse of Tostes de Saint Omer, a knight of the Temple, struck the king on the leg, and injured him considerably. On the following day, namely, on the seventh day before the calends of August, the king departed from Seleham, and proceeded to Northampton; on his arrival at which place William, king of the Scots, was brought to him, with his feet fastened beneath a horse’s belly. There also came to him Hugh bishop of Durham, who delivered to him possession of the castle of Durham, the castle of Norham, and the new castle of Alverton, which he had fortified, and, after considerable difficulty, obtained permission that his nephew, the count de Bar, and the knights who had come with him, might return to their own country. Roger de Mowbray also came thither to him, and surrendered to him the castle of Tresk, and the earl of Ferrers delivered up to him the castles of Tutesbury, and of Duffield; Anketill Mallory also and William de Dive, constables of the earl of Leicester, surrendered to him the castles of Leicester, of Mountsorrel, and of Groby.
Thus then, within the space of three weeks, was the whole of England restored to tranquillity, and all its fortified places delivered into the king’s hands. These matters being arranged to his satisfaction, he speedily crossed over from England to Normandy, and landed at Barbeflet on the sixth day before the ides of August, being the fifth day of the week, taking with him his Brabanters and a thousand Welshmen, together with William, king of the Scots, Robert, earl of Leicester, and Hugh, earl of Chester, whom he placed in confinement, first at Caen, and afterwards at Falaise.
 … After this, on the Lord’s day next ensuing, the king, the father, arrived with his Brabanters and Welshmen at Rouen, which the king of France and the king of England, the son, were besieging on one side, while on the other there was free egress and ingress. On the following morning, the king sent his Welshmen beyond the river Seine; who, making way by main force, broke through the midst of the camp of the king of France, and arrived unhurt at the great forest, and on the same day slew more than a hundred of the men of the king of France.
Now, the king of France had been staying there hardly a month, when, lo! the king of England, the father, coming from England, opened the gates of the city, which the burgesses had blocked up, and sallying forth with his knights and men-at-arms, caused the fosses which had been made between the army of the king of France and the city, to be filled up with logs of timber, stones, and earth, and to be thus made level. As for the king of France, he and his men remained in their tents, and were not inclined to come forth. The rest of the people of the king of England took up their positions for the defense of the walls, but no one attacked them; however, a part of the army of the king of France made an attempt to destroy their own engines of war.
On the following day, early in the morning, the king of France sent the weaker portion of his army into his own territories; and, with the permission of the king of England, followed them on the same day to a place which is called Malaunay and lies between Rouen and the town called Tostes; having first given security by the hand of William, archbishop of Sens, and of earl Theobald, that on the following day he would return to confer with the king of England on mating peace between him and his sons. The king of France, however, did not keep his engagement and his oath, and did not come on the following day to the conference, but departed into his own territories.
However, after the expiration of a few days, he again sent the above-named archbishop of Sens and earl Theobald to the king of England, appointing a day for the conference, to be held at Gisors, on the Nativity of Saint Mary. When they met there they could not come to an agreement, on account of Richard, earl of Poitou, who was at this time in Poitou, besieging the castles and subjects of his father. In consequence of this, they again held another conference between them, upon the festival of Saint Michael, between Tours and Amboise, on which occasion they agreed to a truce on these terms: that the said Richard, earl of Poitou, should be excluded from all benefit of the truce, and that the king of France and the king of England, the son, should give him no succour whatever. Upon these arrangements being made on either side, the king of England, the father, moved on his army into Poitou ; on which, Richard, earl of Poitou, his son, not daring to await his approach, fled from place to place. When he afterwards came to understand that the king of France, and the king, his brother, had excluded him from the benefit of the truce, he was greatly indignant thereat; and, coming with tears, he fell on his face upon the ground at the feet of his father, and imploring pardon, was received into his father’s bosom. These events took place at Poitou, on the eleventh day before the calends of October, being the second day of the week; and thus, the king and his son Richard becoming reconciled they entered the city of Poitou.
After this, they both set out together for a conference held between Tours and Amboise, on the day before the calends of October, being the second day of the week and the day after the feast of Saint Michael. Here the king, the son, and Richard and Geoffrey, his brothers, by the advice and consent of the king and barons of France, made the treaty of peace underwritten with the king their father:
“Be it known unto all present as well as to come, that, by the will of God, peace has been made between our lord the ling and his sons, Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey. on the following terms: Henry, the king, the son of the king, and his brothers aforesaid, have returned unto their father and to his service as their liege lord, free and absolved from all oaths whatsoever which they have made between themselves, or with any other persons, against him, or against his subjects. All liegemen and barons who, for their sake, have abandoned their fealty to their father, they have released from all oaths whatsoever which they have made to themselves; and, freely acquitted from all oaths and absolved from all covenants which they had made to them, the same have returned to their homage and allegiance to our lord the king. Also, our lord the king, and all his liegemen and barons, are to receive possession of all their lands and castles which they held fifteen days before his sons withdrew from him. So, in like manner, his liegemen and barons who withdrew from him and followed his sons, are to receive possession of their lands which they had fifteen days before they withdrew from him. Also, our lord the king has laid aside all displeasure against his barons and liegemen who withdrew from him, so that by reason thereof he will do no evil to them, so long as they shall faithfully serve him as their liege lord. And, in like manner, the king, his son, has pardoned all, both clerks as well as laymen, who took part with his father, and has remitted all displeasure against them, and has given security into the hand of our lord the king, his father, that he will not do, or seek to do, in all his life any evil or harm to those who obeyed him, by reason of their so doing. Also, upon these conditions, the king gives to the king, his son, two suitable castles in Normandy, at the option of his father, and fifteen thousand pounds, Angevin, yearly revenue. Also, to his son Richard he gives two suitable mansions in Poitou, whence evil cannot ensue to the king, and a moiety of the revenues of Poitou in ready money. To his son Geoffrey he gives, in ready money, the moiety of what he would receive in Brittany on his marriage with the daughter of earl Conan, whom he is to take to wife; and after, by the license of the Roman Church, he shall have taken her to wife, then he shall have the whole of the revenues accruing by that marriage, in such manner as is set forth in the deed executed by earl Conan. But, as to the prisoners who have made a composition with our lord the king before this treaty was made with our lord the king, namely, the king of Scotland, the earl of Leicester, the earl of Chester and Ralph de Fougeres, and their pledges, and the pledges of the other prisoners whom he had before that time, they are to be excepted out of this treaty. The other prisoners are, however, to be set at liberty on both sides; but upon the understanding, that our lord the king shall take hostages as pledges from such of his prisoners as he shal1 think fit, and as shall be able to give the same; and from the rest he shall take security by the assurance and oaths of themselves and of their friends As for the castles which have been built or fortified in the territories of our lord the king since the war began, they are, subject to the king’s wishes thereon, to be reduced to the same state in which they were fifteen days before the war began. Further, be it known, that king Henry, the son, has covenanted with our lord the king, his father, that he will strictly observe all gifts in almoign which he has given, or shall give, out of his lands, and the gifts of lands which he has given, or shall give, to his liegemen for their services. He has also covenanted that he will strictly and inviolably confirm thc gifts which the king, his father, has made to his brother John; namely, a thousand pounds of yearly revenues out of his demesne lands and escheats in England at his own option, together with their appurtenances; also the castle of Nottingham with the county thereof, and the castle of Marlborough with its appurtenances; also, in Normandy, one thousand pounds, Angevin, of yearly revenue, and two castles in Normandy at the option of his father; and in Anjou and the lands which belonged to the earl of Anjou, one thousand pounds, Angevin, of revenue, as also one castle in Anjou, one castle in Touraine, and one castle in Maine. It has also been covenanted by our lord the king, in the love which he bears to his son, that all those who withdrew from him after his son, and offended him by such withdrawal, may return into the territories of our lord the king under his protection. Also, for the chattels which on such withdrawal they carried away, they shall not be answerable: as to murder, or treason, or the maiming of any limb, they are to be answerable according to the laws and customs of the land. Also, as to those who before the war took to flight for any cause, and then entered the service of his son, the same may, from the love he bears to his son, return in peace, if they give pledge and surety that they will abide their trial for those offences of which, before thc war, they have been guilty. Those, also, who were awaiting trial at the time when they withdrew to his son, are to return in peace, upon condition that their trials are to be in the same state as when they withdrew. Henry, the king, the son of our lord the king, has given security into the hands of his father that this agreement shall on his part be strictly observed. And, further, Henry, the king’s son, and his brothers, have given security that they will never demand of our lord the king, contrary to thc will and good pleasure of our lord the king, their father, anything whatever beyond the gifts above-written and agreed upon, and that they will withdraw neither themselves nor their services from their father. Also, Richard, and Geoffrey, his brother, have done homage to their father for those things which he has given and granted unto them: and, whereas his son, Henry, was ready and willing to do homage to him, our lord the king was unwilling to receive the same of him, because he was a king; but he has received security from him for the same.”


Roger wrote originally in Latin.  This translation was made by Henry T. Riley and was published as The Annals of Roger de Hoveden.  2 vols. London:  Bohn, 1853.  I believe this translation is now in the public domain.  The electronic form of this presentation is ©1998 by Scott McLetchie and may not be reproduced for any commercial purposes whatsoever.  It may be reproduced for non-profit educational purposes.

Etext file created for a class by Scott Mcletchie [], and used by permission here.

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© Paul Halsall, October 1998


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