descent, who established himself in the county of Rennes through
landholding and marriage alliances. Ceasing to be seneschal of Rennes,
Reginald Boterel continued as a ducal courtier in the 1180s.34 The
hereditary seneschal, Guy, was last heard of in 1170, still in of┬®ce but
subordinate to Henry II's minister, William de Lanvallay. Between 1181
and 1192, Guy's son William was restored to the of┬®ce of `seneschal of
Similarly, in Cornouaille, Henry son of Henry remained in of┬®ce
until 1185 at least, but was replaced by Harvey Agomar, a courtier of
Fournival (commune in canton Saint-Just-en-Chaussee, arrond. Clermont, dep. Oise). Charters,
nos. Ge 8, and 17; H. C. Maxwell Lyte (ed.), The Book of Fees (commonly called Testa de Nevill),
3 vols., London, 1920┬±31, i, p. 124; VCH, Herts., iii, pp. 124┬±6. Well-known as a courtier of
Richard I and John, Gerard's earlier adherence to Duke Geoffrey does not seem to have been
noted until recently (D. J. Power, `The Norman Frontier in the Twelfth and Early Thirteenth
Centuries', Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge (1994) p. 62; cf. F. M. Powicke, The Loss of
Normandy, 2nd edn, 1961, pp. 71, 125, 221┬±2, 245┬±6). See below, p. 140.
Charters, `Biographical Notes', p. 192
See J. Everard, `The ``Justiciarship'' in Ireland and Brittany under Henry II', Anglo-Norman
Studies 20 (1998), 87┬±105 at 103┬±4.
Charters, pp. 185┬±6.
See Appendix 2.
Duke Geoffrey and Brittany, 1166┬±1186
Duke Geoffrey and a native of Cornouaille, before 1200.36 Thus, in
both Rennes and Cornouaille, after a period of months or even years,
Henry II's seneschals were replaced by men who had close connections
with the territory to be administered, even hereditary rights in the
Duke Geoffrey was less tolerant upon his acquisition of the county of
Nantes, possibly because, as noted in chapter three, Henry II had not
appointed natives of the county to the of┬®ce of seneschal, but men from
elsewhere in his dominions. In 1185, the Norman Eudo ┬®tzErneis was
`seneschal of the king at Nantes'. By the next year, Eudo had been
replaced by Maurice de Lire, a baron of the county.37 The of┬®ce of
seneschal of Nantes having been Henry II's creation, there was no
hereditary seneschal to restore. In 1186, too, the prepositus of Nantes
appears for the ┬®rst time since the 1150s. This had been a hereditary
of┬®ce under the native dukes, but in this instance there is no evidence
connecting the prepositus under Duke Geoffrey, Robert Geraldi, with
any previous holders of the of┬®ce.
On establishing new ducal administrations in regions he brought into
ducal domain, Geoffrey probably appointed local men from the begin-
ning. Nothing is known of the backgrounds of seneschal of the Broerec
or the baillivi of Morlaix and Treguier, but their names, Rodald son of
Derian, Derian and Merian son of Guihomar, indicate their Breton
Innovation: consolidation and extension of ducal authority
Geoffrey's regime was not wholly imitative or derivative of the native
dukes. He also achieved advances in ducal authority which had never
been enjoyed by his predecessors. In exercising extended ducal
For Henry as seneschal under Geoffrey and Constance, see Charters, C3. Harvey Agomar may
be identi┬®ed as a younger son of Haelgomar, the tenant of substantial estates of the abbey of
Sainte-Croix de Quimperle. These were formerly comital domain and the twelfth-century
dukes retained interests in them. Haelgomar was succeeded by his son, Bernard miles (Cart.
Quimperle, nos. xxx, lxxxiii, lxxxiv; Charters, C3). Harvey was a courtier of Geoffrey and
Constance by the end of 1184 (Charters, Ge6, Ge7, Ge20, C4, C18, C19) and seneschal at some
time between 1192 and 1201 (C28).
BN ms latin 5840, p. 118. There are no extant charters made by Maurice as seneschal of Nantes.
He only appears with this title once (Charters, no. Ge29). See also Charters, nos. Ge28, and C19.
See below, pp. 104, 109. `Derian' occurs often enough, in central Brittany (e.g., Cart. Morb.,
nos. 239, and 244; Cart. Quimperle, no. lx), to discourage identi┬®cation of Rodald son of Derian
as the son of Derian `baillivus'. Likewise Geoffrey son of Derian, prepositus of Broerec in 1208
(Cart. Quimperle, no. LIII). See also Tonnerre, Naissance de la Bretagne: Geographie historique et
structures sociales de la Bretagne meridionale (Nantais et Vannetais) de la ┬®n du VIIIe a la ┬®n du XIIe
siecle, Angers, 1994, p. 382 (`Ruaud'). E.g.. Cart. Morb., no. 194; Cart. Quimperle, nos. lx, lxvii,
lxxv, and cii).
Brittany and the Angevins
authority, though, Geoffrey still did not innovate radically, but rather
used and adapted existing institutions, as Henry II had done in
establishing Angevin rule in Brittany.
Territorial expansion of ducal authority
The territorial expansion of ducal authority was one of Geoffrey's most
conspicuous achievements. He extended his administration to parts of
Brittany where ducal authority had not been effective for over a
century, and which were not subjugated even by Henry II. By military
and diplomatic means, Geoffrey recovered the extensive ducal domains
in the Broerec, and, in seizing Leon and Treguier, acquired control of
the whole north-western quadrant of the duchy. By the end of
Geoffrey's reign, ducal domains existed in all corners of Brittany, so that
no part of the duchy could escape at least the in┬»uence of ducal
authority (see Map 2).
Much of the coast of the Broerec consisted of ducal domains, with
the hinterland occupied by the baronies of Porhoet and Rohan. The
various ducal domains, of course, had a history of ducal administration,
but there is no evidence that there was any ducal administration
pertaining to the Broerec as a whole, nor any ducal seneschal. The
seneschal of the Broerec is ┬®rst recorded only after 1186, when the
of┬®ce was held by Rodald son of Derian.39 It is reasonable to assume,
however, that the of┬®ce had been in existence since the Angevin defeat
of Eudo de Porhoet in 1175.
Next, in 1179, Geoffrey defeated the recalcitrant Guihomar de Leon
and took the barony into his own hands, taking Guihomar's younger
son, Harvey, as a hostage and allowing the elder son, Guihomar,
possession of only eleven parishes. Arthur de la Borderie's assertion that
Geoffrey divided Leon in three, retaining only the castellany of Morlaix
as ducal domain, and dividing the rest of Leon unequally between
Guihomar and Hervey, is ill-founded. The Angevins did, however,
attach particular value to the castellany of Morlaix, strategically situated
at the border with the barony of Treguier and thus useful as a buffer to
contain Leon. In 1186, when Guihomar and Hervey rebelled
following Geoffrey's death, they attacked the castles of Morlaix and
Chateauneuf-du-Faou (at the south-eastern limit of Leon) which were
then held by ducal castellans.
Duke Geoffrey's ┬®nal acquisition was the barony of Treguier. This
Charters, nos. C27, and 28.
RT, ii, p. 81; `Communes petitiones Britonum', pp. 103, and 105; H. Guillotel, `Les vicomtes
de Leon aux XIe au XIIe siecles', MSHAB 51 (1971), 29┬±51 at 33.
Gesta, i, p. 357; Guillotel, `Leon', p. 33.
Duke Geoffrey and Brittany, 1166┬±1186
time, the acquisition was not by military force, but by the purported
exercise of ducal authority. Henry II had restored Treguier to comes
Henry on the death of Conan IV in 1171. Geoffrey appears to have
seized Treguier around the time of Henry's death in 1182/3, refusing to
allow his son to enter his inheritance.42 Whether the duke had any legal
justi┬®cation for this action is not recorded, but there were certainly
good strategic reasons for acquiring Treguier. Combined with Leon, it
created a substantial block of territory in the north-west of the duchy,
where ducal authority had been nonexistent for over two centuries.
There were also reasons of sentiment. Conan IV had successfully
asserted his father's claim and won Treguier from his uncle Henry, then
retained it following his abdication. Duchess Constance is unlikely to
have approved of Henry II restoring Treguier to comes Henry as soon as
her father was dead.
In┬»uence of ducal authority beyond the ducal domains
Much of the evidence for the consolidation and extension of ducal
authority comes from attestations by barons to ducal acts. As noted in
chapter one, the extent to which barons attended, or avoided, the ducal
court is a good measure of ducal authority. The barons who apparently
most often attended Duke Geoffrey's court were Rolland de Dinan,
Ralph de Fougeres and Alan de Rohan.43 These were active supporters
of both Duke Conan IV and Henry II, so their attendance at Duke
Geoffrey's court does not signify any increase in ducal authority. More
signi┬®cantly, Geoffrey enjoyed the loyalty of another great frontier
baron, Andrew de Vitre.44
The in┬»uence of ducal authority throughout the county of Rennes
and beyond is indicated by the attendance at court of barons such as
Alemann d'Aubigny, Waleran de Chateaugiron, William de Loheac,
├‚ ├‚ ├‚
Bonabbe de Rouge and William de Tinteniac, as well as Rolland de
Dinan, Ralph de Fougeres and Andrew de Vitre.45 Perhaps most
striking is the attestation of a ducal charter at Rennes by William
`Vigerius', the lord of Minihi-Briac in Treguier.46 At the session of the
Pipe Roll, 29 Henry II, p. 57; EYC, iv, pp. 88┬±9; `Inquisitio . . . de Avaugour', pp. 112┬±13, 117,
Alan de Rohan attested two of Duke Geoffrey's charters (Charters, nos. Ge4, and 20). He also
attested the `Assize of Count Geoffrey' and acquired a copy of the Assize. Most signi┬®cantly, he
obtained the con┬®rmation of both Geoffrey and Constance for his foundation of the abbey of
Bonrepos (Charters, nos. Ge19, and C5).
See pp. 63, 107 and Charters, `Biographical notes', pp. 195┬±7.
Charters, nos. Ge 6, 7, 18, and 24 and `Biographical Notes' (p. 193) for William de Loheac.
Charters, no. Ge 6. See R. Largilliere, `Le Minihi-Briac', AB: Melanges bretons et celtiques offerts a
M. J. Loth (1927) 99┬±107.
Brittany and the Angevins
ducal curia at Rennes in 1185, when the `Assize of Count Geoffrey' was
promulgated, barons attended from all parts of the duchy, even
Cornouaille. Duke Geoffrey's successes in the Broerec and Treguier are
re┬»ected in the presence of Eudo de Porhoet and Alan, son of comes
As to the county of Nantes, the two charters of Duke Geoffrey made
there probably do not provide a representative sample of the barons
who attended the ducal curia, since all the barons who attested these two
charters were lords of the county's frontier-baronies. Maurice de
Montague's estates were on the borders of the county of Nantes with
Poitou and Anjou. Those of other named barons, Oliver de Vritz,
Brient de Varades, Maurice de Lire and William de Clisson, were all on
the border with Anjou. The signi┬®cance of this will be discussed in
the next chapter. Two other barons of the county were associated with
Duke Geoffrey. Daniel de Pontchateau was involved in a ducal grant,
probably of property which was in contention between the duke and
the baron, to the abbey of La Blanche Couronne, and Geoffrey de
Chateaubriant acquired a copy of the `Assize of Count Geoffrey'.49
Attestations to ducal charters by barons indicate only their presence at
court. Ducal con┬®rmations of baronial transactions provide stronger
evidence for the acknowledgement of ducal authority over baronial
affairs. Duke Geoffrey's acts demonstrate some success in this regard.
Geoffrey con┬®rmed dispositions by barons out of their own estates,
principally the foundation by Alan de Rohan of the abbey of Bonrepos
and the foundation by Rolland de Dinan of the abbey of Beaulieu.50