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Vannes, Ploermel, Auray and half the county of Cornouaille,74 the
ducal domains usurped by Eudo pursuant to his claim to the ducal title.
Although they had been recovered by Henry II in 1168, they must have
been seized by Eudo again during the revolt.
Although Henry II did not visit Brittany in this period, his authority
there is con®rmed by contemporary royal acta. In September 1177, at
Verneuil, Henry II made a `statutum' regarding debt, to be observed `in
omnibus villis suis, et ubique in potestate sua, scilicet in Normannia et
Aquitania, et Andegavia et Britannia'. Between 1172 and 1182, a royal
writ was addressed, `omnibus justiciis, vicecomitibus et omnibus pre-
positis et ministris suis Normannie et Andegavie et Aquitanie et Pictavie
et Britannie . . .'.75
Contemporary accounts of the theft of the relics of Saint Petroc
illustrate the exercise of royal authority in Brittany.76 In January 1177,
Martin, a canon of the priory of Bodmin, stole the relics from the

Cornish church and took them to the ancient abbey of Saint-Meen in
Brittany. Henry II was moved to order their return, which he did by
letters addressed to Rolland de Dinan, described by Roger of Howden
as `justiciarius Britannie' and by Robert of Tantona as both `vicecomes
domini Galfridi ®lii regis Anglie comitis Britannie' and `minister
regis'.77 The monks of Saint-Meen were reluctant to give up the relics,

RD, 394. Both versions are published at Actes d'Henri II, nos. ccclxviii and ccclxix.

Gesta, p. 101; RH, ii, p. 72; RT, ii, p. 56.

Gesta, p. 194; Actes d'Henri II, nos. dvii, dlxxxv.

There are three contemporary accounts: RH, ii, p. 136; Gesta, pp. 178±80, and an independent

and more detailed narrative by Robert of Tantona (DRF). I am very grateful to Professor
C.N.L. Brooke for these references.
RH, ii, p. 136; DRF, pp. 178, 183.

Brittany and the Angevins
but they surrendered when Rolland de Dinan threatened to execute his
royal orders using force if necessary.
Henry II and Geoffrey crossed from England together in August 1177
and, according to Robert de Torigni, Henry II despatched Geoffrey

`cum ceteris Brittonibus' to campaign against Guihomar de Leon. What
action Geoffrey took is not recorded, but later in the year Guihomar
came to Henry II and surrendered his lands to the king. In April 1179,
Henry II again ordered Geoffrey to lead a military expedition against
The previous pages have demonstrated the extent to which Henry
II's activities in Brittany between 1158 and 1179 were characterised by
military campaigns against rebellious barons. The king had other ways
of dealing with the Breton barons, involving diplomacy and the exercise
of feudal rights. He offered gifts and rewards to some, including John de
Dol and Eudo de Porhoet.79 He arranged the marriages of heiresses of
Breton baronies to men of assured loyalty from other provinces. Isolde,
the heiress of John de Dol, was married to John de Subligny's son.
Another example is the marriage of the heiress of Rolland de Rieux, to
a younger son of the king's cousin, Roscelin, viscount of Beaumont
(Maine), no later than 1168.80
Henry II's policy also involved winning the loyalty of the ordinary
people, including perhaps lesser barons and knights, by bringing the
peace and prosperity of royal government. `In brevi', William of
Newburgh concluded, `Britannia tota potitus, turbatoribus vel expulsis
vel domitis, eam in cunctis ®nibus suis ita disposuit atque composuit, ut,
populis in pace agentibus, deserta paulatim in ubertatem verterentur'.
The value of the betrothal of Geoffrey to Constance, the rightful
heiress, is explained by Ralph of Diss in similar terms, `. . . rex
Anglorum ®lio suo Gaufrido uxorem accipiens, et in pace passim per
Britanniam statuenda studiosus existens, clerum terre illius sibi con-
ciliavit et populum'.81
It is certainly not the case that all the barons of Brittany were
continually in a state of rebellion against Angevin rule, any more than

RT, ii, pp. 67±8, 71; Gesta, pp. 190, 239; RH, ii, p. 192.

In the Pipe Roll of 1158/9, the sheriff of Hampshire accounted for £16 13s. 4d. given to John

de Dol, `de dono' (Pipe Roll 5 Henry II, 1158±1159, p. 45). According to Robert de Torigni (ii,
p. 5) the king gave Eudo generous gifts to secure his loyalty. Eudo may have received a grant of
revenues in Devonshire (Pipe Roll 11 Henry II, 1164±1165, p. 80).
RT, ii, p. 3. On the strategic importance of the barony of Rieux, see Tonnerre, Naissance de

Bretagne, pp. 312, 317, 355±6. Nothing else is known of the heiress of Rieux or her husband,
but no doubt this is due to the fact that, from their marriage, the barony was held for Henry II,
and therefore does not appear in accounts of baronial rebellions.
WN, pp. 146±7; RD, p. 332.

Henry II and Brittany
was the general populace. The signi®cance of the rebellious barons
tends to be exaggerated because contemporary chroniclers often name
them, if only to vilify them. In contrast, barons ®ghting in the royal
host, or doing homage to the king, are seldom named, but merely
referred to in general terms, as `the barons' or `the Bretons', which
makes them easier to overlook and impossible to identify or even
The acceptance of Angevin rule by the majority of the Bretons may
be demonstrated by their actions when Henry II campaigned in
Brittany. The royal force which ousted Ralph de Fougeres from
Combour in 1164 included Bretons. Henry II's order for a tax in aid of
the Holy Land was made in May 1166 with the counsel of magnates
including the bishop of Vannes and barons from various provinces
including Brittany, although at the time the king must have been
preparing his campaign against Ralph de Fougeres. According to
Robert de Torigni, at an early stage of the 1173 revolt, Henry II was
able to summon the barons of Brittany and make them take an oath of
®delity.82 When Geoffrey campaigned in Leon in 1177, his army

consisted of `Britones'. This evidence indicates that there were barons
who supported the Angevins even when called upon to campaign
against one of their own number.
According to William of Newburgh, `Erant autem in Britannia
quidam nobiles tantarum opum et virium, ut nullius unquam dignar-
entur subjacere dominio'.83 Henry II's hostile actions were, when one
analyses them, directed speci®cally against these rebellious barons. Who
were the rebellious barons, and why were they rebellious? It is
obviously an over-simpli®cation to assert that they rebelled because
`like all medieval barons they resented the imposition of effective
authority'. In fact, the particular motivations of each of the known
rebels can be surmised from their personal circumstances.
Eudo de Porhoet had an obvious motive for opposing Henry II; his
attempt to retain the ducal title had been thwarted by his stepson,
Conan IV, with the king's support. Connected with this grievance is
the enmity which apparently existed between Eudo and Ralph de
Fougeres, no doubt stemming from the fact that Ralph championed the
cause of Conan IV in the 1150s. They never united in the common
cause of resisting the Angevins. In fact Eudo was with Henry II at the
siege of Fougeres in 1166 and declined to join Ralph in the 1173 revolt,

Actes d'Henri II, no. cclv, p. 401; RT, ii, p. 42.

WN, p. 146.

Brittany and the Angevins
keeping to his own estates instead.84 Henry II had no need to `divide
and conquer'; the native opposition was divided of its own volition.
Eudo went into exile ®rst in 1156 and did not return to his estates
until 1164.85 At some time between 1158 and early 1162, Eudo met
Henry II at Vitre.86 With Eudo were his brothers Alan de la Zouche

and Josce vicecomes, his cousin Alan de Rohan and his ally Oliver de
Dinan (`Oliverus ®lius alterius'). Conan IV was represented by Alan
®tzRoald, the ducal constable. Henry II was attended by Thomas
Becket, Richard du Hommet, Josce de Dinan, Hamo Boterel and
William ®tzHamo, the last two being the royal ministers who were
most involved in Breton affairs at this date. It is possible that the
occasion was a meeting to negotiate Eudo's return from exile, with the

frontier castle of Vitre being a suitably neutral venue. Eudo's actual
return must have marked a rapprochement with Henry II, who may have
felt that the best way to control Eudo was to win him over as an ally. As
noted above, Eudo was with Henry II at the siege of Fougeres in
1166. I would suggest that, knowing the king had decided to remove
Conan IV as duke of Brittany, Eudo had put himself forward as a
replacement. Eudo's subsequent rebellion, in 1167±8, may then be
explained by Henry's rejection of his candidacy. By August 1167, Eudo

had entered into an alliance with Guihomar de Leon, the most
recalcitrant of Breton barons, sealed by Eudo's marriage to Guihomar's
After Henry II had taken violent action against his possessions in
1168, Eudo's failure to do homage to Henry II at Nantes at Christmas
1169 may be explained by simple grievance against such punishment.
After being defeated once more in a brief campaign undertaken by
Henry II in early 1170, Eudo went into exile for a second time,
returning to Brittany in 1173, when the revolt was at its height. Eudo
was ®nally subjugated by Geoffrey in 1175. There is no further evidence
of his rebelling and, in 1185 at Rennes, he participated in the `Assize of
count Geoffrey'.
Ralph de Fougeres has typically been painted by Breton historians as
Letters of John of Salisbury, ii, no. 173.

This is indicated by a charter dated 1164. The grant recorded was ®rst made at Tours, in the

presence of Eudo's companions, described as his `itineris socios', and con®rmed at Josselin not
long afterwards (Preuves, cols. 653±5; Cart. Morb., no. 227).
BM Lansdowne mss 229, f. 114r and 259, f. 70r. The date of this charter is limited by the

appointment of Alan as constable of Conan IV in 1158 (EYC, v, p. 90) and Thomas Becket's
return to England early in 1162.
Eudo attested a charter of Henry II made at Fougeres `in exercitu' (RT, ii, pp. 285±6, no.xxi;

Actes d'Henri II, no.cclvii), styled `comes Eudo'.
RT, i, p. 367. Guihomar's son was one of Eudo's companions at Tours in 1164 (see note 85


Henry II and Brittany
a staunch Breton nationalist, resisting Plantagenet rule as a matter of
principle.89 There is, however, no evidence that he rebelled before the
mid-1160s. Ralph's ®rst loyalty was to the young Duke Conan. Loyalty
to Conan would have entailed loyalty to Henry II, especially since
Ralph also held lands in England and Normandy.90
The ®rst hint of rebellion by Ralph de Fougeres arose out of his
custody of the barony of Combour. Robert de Torigni merely tells us
that Henry II took the keep of Dol from Ralph after John de Dol's
death, but this does not necessarily mean that Ralph rebelliously with-
held it from the king.91 Ralph's real motive for future rebellion arose
when Henry II dispossessed him of Combour in August 1164, possibly
while Ralph was absent on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.92 Ralph must
have been so aggrieved by this blow to his own and his family's fortunes
that he would have had suf®cient motive for rebellion. Indeed, the ®rst
reference to Ralph being rebellious is the next year, 1165, when he
allegedly conspired with barons of Maine who were taking advantage of
the king's absence in Wales to defy royal authority. This led directly to
a violent campaign against Fougeres in July 1166, and the deposition of
Conan IV. Ralph thus became a bitter enemy of Henry II, on account
of his own personal misfortunes and the fate of Conan.
Ralph must have spent the next few years rebuilding and restoring his
estates, since he is not recorded as having rebelled again until the 1173
revolt; in fact he attested a royal charter at Mortain between 1168 and
1173.93 After the rebels surrendered the keep of Dol to Henry II, Ralph
made peace with the king, pre-empting the treaty of Falaise. Henry II
dealt remarkably leniently with him, allowing Ralph to keep all his
lands in Brittany, and merely requiring him to give his sons as
hostages.94 The king was rewarded by Ralph's future loyalty.95 After
1182, Ralph emerged as an important ®gure in the administration of
Geoffrey and Constance. Thus the period in which Ralph resisted
Henry II was in fact only between 1164 and 1173.
Two members of the baronial family of Dinan, Rolland and Oliver,
rebelled against Henry II from 1167 to 1169. Their motives, and the
E.g., A. de la Borderie, Histoire de Bretagne, iii, Rennes and Paris 1899, pp. 274, 277.

N. Vincent, `Twyford under the Bretons 1066±1250', Nottingham Medieval Studies 41 (1997),

80±99 at 80±3.
RT, i, p. 340. The `turris' to which Torigni consistently refers was a castle within the town of

Dol, constructed, against the archbishop's will, on land forming part of the archiepiscopal
domain, possibly by John II de Dol himself (Enquete, pp. 36±7, 46±7, 66±7; F. Duine (ed.), La
‚ ‚ Á
Bretagne et les pays celtiques. xii, La metropole de Bretagne: `Chronique de Dol' composee au XIe siecle et


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