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163

Á
T. A. M. Bishop, `Stephen de Fougeres ± a chancery scribe', Cambridge Historical Journal (1950),
164

Á Á
106±7; R. A. Lodge (ed.), Etienne de Fougeres, Le Livre des Manieres, Geneva, 1979, `Introduc-
tion', pp. 13±16.

67
Brittany and the Angevins
In his charters, Stephen is consistently styled `episcopus Redonensis et
capellanus regis Anglie'.165 The attestation of one of Stephen's acts by
Henry II's seneschal of Rennes, William de Lanvallay, is probably
merely the isolated surviving record of what must have been an active
partnership between the heads of the civil and ecclesiastical administra-
tions in Rennes, cooperating to consolidate royal authority. When
Stephen died in 1178, however, he was not replaced by another royal
courtier. Stephen's successor was Philip, abbot of the Cistercian abbey
of Clermont.166 Philip's relative detachment from royal politics is
indicated by the fact that he did not attest any acts of Henry II.
As for Quimper, the picture is less clear. From 1159 to 1167, the
bishop was Bernard de Moelan, formerly chancellor of the cathedral of
È
Chartres. The origins of his successor, Geoffrey (c. 1167±84) are
unknown. According to the notice recording Henry II's con®rmation
for the priory of Locmaria, Bishop Geoffrey was present at the royal
curia at Le Mans in 1172, with Stephen, bishop of Rennes, and Robert,
bishop of Nantes. In contrast with the other two bishops, Geoffrey may
have been present only because of his interest in the subject-matter of
the royal act.
Additionally, the Angevins recovered control of some dioceses from
lay-magnates. Henry II certainly exercised the regalian right for the
archbishopric of Dol from 1161, in place of the lords of Combour. After
the defeat of Eudo de Porhoet in 1175, Henry II potentially had
È
authority over the bishop of Vannes. The saintly Breton bishop of
Vannes, Rotald, died in 1177, but the circumstances of the election of
his successor, Geoffrey (1177±82) are unfortunately unknown.167

Thirdly, the bishopric of Saint-Pol de Leon ceased to be controlled by

the lords of Leon, but here the small amount of evidence does not
indicate Angevin interference.168
Even in the dioceses under baronial control, there is evidence that
the bishops supported Henry II's regime. The support of Albert, bishop

E.g. AN mss L967, L977.
165

Since Philip's successor was Herbert, also abbot of Clermont (see pp. 118±19), there seems to
166

have been some connection between the chapter of Rennes and the Angevin abbey. If this was
not the result of the direct in¯uence of Henry II, it is at least further evidence of Angevin
in¯uence in eastern Brittany.
‚ Á

Gallia Christiana, xiv, col. 925; J.-F. Le Mene, Abbayes et prieures du diocese de Vannes, Vannes,
167

1902, p. 109.
According to Robert de Torigni (RT, ii, pp. 47±8), after the assassination of Bishop Hamo, an
168

archdeacon of the chapter was elected, being the popular choice of the clergy and the people
(except Torigni rather contrarily alleges that the election was secured by simony), and sought
consecration from the archbishop of Tours around the time of the death of Archbishop Josce
(1173±4). This was probably Bishop Guy II, who was bishop in 1179 (Gallia Christiana, xiv,
cols. 976±7).

68
Henry II and Brittany
of Saint-Malo (1163±c. 1184) is indicated by his presence at the
ceremonial reception of the young Geoffrey in the cathedral of Rennes
Á
in May 1169, alongside Stephen de Fougeres, bishop of Rennes, and
169
Robert de Torigni. His loyalty is further indicated by his presence at
the royal curia at Chinon in 1182, when he accepted the king's
patronage of the settlement between his church and Marmoutier.
The extent of episcopal support for Henry II is most strikingly
demonstrated by the career of Hamo, bishop of Leon.170 Even though


he was the younger son of Harvey de Leon, instead of following the
family's policy of autonomy from the dukes of Brittany, and active
hostility towards Henry II, Hamo seems to have accepted Angevin
authority. In 1163, he was responsible for the military intervention of
Duke Conan IV in a dispute between his father and a neighbouring
baron. In 1169 or 1170, Hamo was expelled from his see by his brother

Guihomar, now lord of Leon. On Hamo's petition, probably to Henry

II himself, Conan IV led a military campaign into Leon and defeated
Guihomar in battle in 1170. This only made Hamo's position more
insecure, though, and in January 1171 he was murdered at the behest of
his brother.171 Hamo's reliance upon Angevin authority on two
occasions, once on behalf of his father, the second time on his own
behalf, indicates his desire to abandon his family's policy of autonomy
and accept Angevin rule. Indeed, his Angevin sympathies were probably
the cause of his expulsion and ®nally his death.172
There is thus no reason to presume that Breton bishops were hostile
to Henry II; in fact the contrary is indicated. In 1159, according to
Robert de Torigni, the bishops and abbots of Brittany made ®nancial
contributions towards Henry II's campaign in Toulouse. At Nantes, at
Christmas 1169, at least some of the bishops were present at Henry II's
court, when they are said to have sworn fealty to the king.173
The king's interest in the archbishopric of Dol is a different matter
altogether. Archbishops of Dol had been engaged since the mid-
eleventh century in seeking papal recognition of their metropolitan
status and independence from the archbishop of Tours. If Dol's claim to
metropolitan status was acknowledged, then some, at least, of the other
Breton dioceses would be subject to Dol and be removed from the
jurisdiction of the archbishop of Tours. To diminish the authority of

RT, ii, p. 13. Gallia christiana, xiv, cols. 1003±4. The dates of Albert's episcopacy will indicate
169

that no vacancy occurred in the diocese of Saint-Malo during the period (1166±81) when
Henry II might have intervened in an episcopal election.
Gallia Christiana, xiv, col. 986.
170

‚ ‚
WB, p. 178; RT, ii, p. 25; Cart. Quimperle, p. 108; Guillotel, `Leon', p. 32.
171


Guillotel, `Leon', p. 32. 173 Gesta, p. 3; RT, ii, p. 16.
172


69
Brittany and the Angevins
the archbishop of Tours was to diminish the authority of the king of
France, who exercised the regalian right in Tours.174 It was, therefore,
very much in Henry II's interest to give his active support to the
archbishop of Dol's case.
Dol's fortunes in the case ebbed and ¯owed over the decades,
depending principally on the politics of the pope from time to time. At
the end of 1154, the fortunes of the archbishopric of Dol were at their
very lowest. Having sought consecration in Rome, Archbishop Hugo
was directed by Pope Anastasius IV to go to Tours for his consecration.
The archbishop of Tours could, arguably, have given Hugo a pallium
with which to consecrate Breton bishops as his suffragans.175 Unfortu-
nately, the then archbishop of Tours, Engelbald, was particularly hostile
to Dol, and, in December 1154, Hugo returned from Tours after his
consecration empty-handed. Accounts of the subsequent events vary. It
seems that Hugo returned to Dol and was initially received there by the
clergy, at least. John de Dol was gravely offended, however, and drove
Hugo from the cathedral city. Hugo ®rst retreated to a chapel at La
Fontanelle, near the Norman border, then to Mont Saint-Michel. An
alternative account is that, on the advice of the canons who had
accompanied him to Tours, Hugo avoided Dol and went directly to
Mont Saint-Michel.
At this point, circumstances changed dramatically with the advent of
the English pope, Adrian IV, who was consecrated in December 1154.
By May 1155, Hugo had returned to Rome and received papal
consecration. In a series of letters issued in 1155, Pope Adrian gave his
support to Hugo, exhorted laymen and clergy to respect his authority
and directed the archbishop of Tours to make peace.
According to one canon, William, whilst at Mont Saint-Michel,
Archbishop Hugo had summoned his canons to him, and announced
his intention to return to Rome and obtain papal absolution from the
vows he had made to the archbishop of Tours. First, though, Hugo told
them he intended to seek out Henry II and obtain from him letters
recommending his cause to the new pope. This was what the canons
wanted to hear. Hugo duly obtained letters from the king and presented
them to Adrian IV, with the anticipated successful results.176
This testimony is the only direct evidence of Henry II interfering in
this matter, but although uncorroborated, it was not challenged.
Assuming its veracity, it leaves doubt as to when the idea of interfering

RT, i, pp. 363±4; F. Duine (ed.), La Bretagne et les pays celtiques xvi, Metropole de Bretagne,
174

‚e au XIe siecle et catalogues des dignitaires jusqu'a la revolution, Paris, 1916,
Á Á‚
`Chronique de Dol' compose
p. 131.

Duine, Metropole de Bretagne, p. 126. 176 Preuves, cols. 739±40.
175


70
Henry II and Brittany
on behalf of Dol ®rst occurred to the young king. William's testimony
implies that returning to Rome with royal letters of recommendation
was Hugo's own idea. It is more likely, however, that Hugo was
persuaded to take this course by Robert de Torigni, the new abbot of
Mont Saint-Michel. Robert, in turn, may have acted either of his own
volition, or on the instructions of Henry II, who saw an opportunity to
intervene in this contest.
Although it was clearly in his interest to support Dol to the
detriment of the archbishop of Tours and hence the king of France,
since Henry II had no rights in Brittany at this stage, how could such
interference be justi®ed? The explanation lies in the in¯uence of the
dukes of Normandy in the diocese of Dol.177 In the mid-eleventh
century, Rivallon, the ®rst lord of Combour, had allied himself with
William the Conqueror against the count of Rennes. Among other
bene®ts, this alliance had helped to preserve the metropolitan status of
Dol. In 1076, Pope Gregory VII took the unprecedented step of
recognising the metropolitan status of Dol by choosing and conse-
crating archbishop Evan. The pope apparently had more con®dence in
Evan's ability as a reformer than he had in either the then archbishop-
elect of Dol or the archbishop of Tours. In preferring Dol over Tours
at this time, Gregory VII was also manifesting his favour towards the
duke of Normandy and his lack of any particular favour towards the
king of France. Pope Gregory VII wrote two letters to William the
Conqueror on the subject of the archbishop of Dol, which indicate
recognition that William had some authority in the matter. Later, in
the early 1130s, the consecration of Rolland, bishop of Saint-Brieuc, as
a suffragan by Geoffrey archbishop of Dol, was attended by the bishop
of Coutances, `de gratia' of Henry I, king of England and duke of
Normandy.
In contrast with this Norman patronage of the archbishop of Dol,
there is no evidence of involvement in the dispute by the counts of
Rennes/dukes of Brittany from the mid-eleventh to the mid-twelfth
century. This is due to the fact that the counts/dukes did not control
the metropolitan or its suffragans. Dol and its suffragan bishoprics ± Alet
‚ ‚
(later Saint-Malo), Saint-Brieuc, Treguier and Saint-Pol de Leon ±
were all under the control of lay-magnates. Alet (Saint-Malo), which
seems to have been the least subject to lay-control of the four,
abandoned Dol for Tours around 1120, when Bishop Donoal chose not
to wait for his consecration by Archbishop Baldric and travelled to

K. S. B. Keats-Rohan, `The Bretons and Normans of England, 1066±1154: The family, the ®ef
177

and the feudal monarchy', Nottingham Medieval Studies 36 (1992), pp. 51±3.

71
Brittany and the Angevins
Tours instead. Donoal is said to have been persuaded to do this by his
kinswoman Noga, wife of the lord of Combour. At this stage in her life,
Noga appears to have been more interested in advancing her own
family than that of her husband's, since the loss of Alet as a suffragan was

a serious loss to Dol. Leon also abandoned Dol around the same time,
although the circumstances are not known. The most loyal suffragans of

Dol ± Saint-Brieuc and Treguier ± were still under baronial control in
178
1235. This was no coincidence, since there were good relations
between the lords of Saint-Brieuc and Combour, evidenced by the
marriage of Geoffrey Boterel II and Hawise, sister of John de Dol, and
the affection in which their younger son Stephen was held by his
grandmother, Noga, and uncle.179
The role of these barons is indicated by the letters addressed by
various popes to the lay-magnates concerned with the contest. A letter
Á
of 1077 was addressed to the counts of Rennes, Nantes and Penthievre.
Thereafter, none are addressed to counts. For instance, a letter dated
1144 is addressed to Geoffrey Boterel II, lord of Lamballe, and his

brother Henry, lord of Treguier, and to all the barons of the dioceses of

Dol, Saint-Brieuc and Treguier. On the other hand, the bishops whose
dioceses were controlled by the counts/dukes (Rennes, Nantes, Vannes
and Quimper) were all loyal to Tours.
By the twelfth century, the metropolitan of Dol was not a manifesta-
tion of Breton separatism under its native ruler, but of its disunity.
There was no longer consonance between Brittany as a political unit
and as an ecclesiastical province. Although they asserted authority over
Brittany as a political entity, the dukes acknowledged the ecclesiastical
primacy of Tours over the dioceses within their control. The supporters

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