of Boquen, which was under the patronage of Rolland de Dinan.51
Another manifestation of ducal authority is the power to levy military
service from the barons. Duke Geoffrey mustered an `exercitus' for his
campaign against Leon in 1179, and in January 1183, he assembled a
`magnus . . . exercitus . . . hominum terrarum suarum'.52 It is unclear,
however, whether the `exercitus' in these instances included barons and
their men, or whether it was composed exclusively of the tenants of
ducal domains. At least some of the latter held their lands of the duke
with speci┬®c military obligations.53 Geoffrey also used his revenues
from the ducal domains to hire mercenaries. In January 1183, for
Appendix 1. 48 Charters, nos. Ge 28, and 29.
See Charters, no. Ge 27. 50 Charters, nos. Ge19, and 20.
Charters, nos. Ge25, and C7; AE, iii, p.205; AD Cotes-d'Armor, h210; Preuves, col. 602.
Gesta, pp. 239, and 292┬±3.
An undated charter of Duke Conan IV records a grant of land in Brittany to Henry son of
Harvey (a Richmond tenant) for a quarter of one knight's service, `in exercitu et chevalche'
(EYC, iv, no. 58).
Duke Geoffrey and Brittany, 1166┬±1186
instance, Geoffrey's great `exercitus' included Brabancons and other
Although evidence is lacking for Duke Geoffrey's reign, by the end
of the century there is evidence that barons acknowledged not only the
duke's right to levy the host, but also their speci┬®c military obligations
in this respect. In the Inquest of Dol (1181), it is recorded that the lord
of Combour holds twelve knights' fees of the archbishop of Dol. Such
an arrangement could have existed independently, and in the absence,
of any speci┬®c military obligations to the duke, and may re┬»ect the
Norman in┬»uence in the region. In 1226, however, evidence given at
an inquest into the knight-service owed by the archbishop to the duke
of Brittany indicates that the speci┬®c military obligations were not a
recent development and dated from the 1190s if not earlier.55 An
agreement between the lord of Goulaine and the priory of Saint-Martin
de Vertou, dated 1189, refers to obligations owed to the `dominus
Nannetensis', `vel de exercitu, vel de custodia castelli'.56 In 1198, the
lord of Fougeres acknowledged that his fee of Martigne-Ferchaud owed
two knights for `exercitus', `ad servitium ejus qui dominium habebit
Britannie'.57 There is no direct evidence that Henry II or Duke
Geoffrey systematically imposed or reorganised military obligations in
Brittany, although it is possible that evidence only exists from after 1186
because of the increase in the use of writing by laymen at that time.
The extension of ducal authority is, however, clearly manifested in
Geoffrey's exercise of jurisdiction in matters involving subject-matter
which was not within the ducal domains. This represented a departure
from the experience of the native dukes of Brittany, but a continuation
of the exercise of such jurisdiction by Henry II's seneschals.
Under Duke Geoffrey, the ducal curia heard and determined disputes
involving property which pertained to Rolland de Dinan,58 Andrew de
Vitre.59 the `viscount of Poudouvre'60 and Geoffrey de La Guerche.61
Gesta, pp. 292┬±3. 55 Enquete, p. 39; Preuves, col. 857┬±8.
Preuves, col. 711. 57 Preuves, cols. 729┬±30.
`Cart. St-Melaine', f. 186r, publ. Actes inedits, no. lviii. The grant by Hamo Spina of the `abbatia
de Cancaura' to Mont Saint-Michel in 1182, in the presence of Duke Geoffrey and Rolland de
Dinan (BN ms latin 5430A, pp. 38, and 197┬±8; BN mss fr. 22325, pp. 666, and 22357, fol. 46r;
Preuves, col. 695), may also have been the consequence of determination of a legal dispute by
the ducal curia.
Charters, no. Ge25.
A charter of Alan son of Brient, dated 1184, records that a dispute between Saint-Magloire de
Lehon and the heirs of the toll-collectors of Corseul, over the tithe of the parish of Corseul
which was given to the abbey by his ancestors, the viscounts of Poudouvre, was settled `per
industriam et solicitudinem' of Duke Geoffrey (Preuves col. 701; AE, iv, p. 360). See
H. Guillotel, `Des vicomtes d'Alet aux vicomtes de Poudouvre (Ille-et-Vilaine)', Annales de la
Societe d'histoire et d'archeologie de l'arrondissement de St-Malo (1988), 201┬±213.
Charters, no. Ge18. In this case, the prior of Saint-Cyr de Rennes had petitioned both Duke
Brittany and the Angevins
In each of these cases, the property had been granted by the baron in
question or his ancestors to a monastery, and the property was now in
dispute. In each case, it was the monastery defending its property which
brought the matter before the ducal curia. The basis of the ducal
jurisdiction in such cases is unclear. Did these monasteries submit their
disputes to the ducal curia because it had some jurisdiction in ecclesias-
tical matters which baronial courts lacked? Were they appealing against
determinations of baronial courts? Whatever the basis for his jurisdic-
tion, Duke Geoffrey succeeded in bringing before his curia the barons
who were involved in these disputes, even as defendants.
Acknowledgement of the extended jurisdiction of the ducal curia was
developing amongst the barons. In an agreement between William de
Fougeres and his great-nephew Geoffrey, made in 1204, one of the
terms was that, if a dispute should be transferred from the court of
William to the court of Geoffrey, and not determined within eight days,
it could be transferred to the `curia comitis Britannie'. If William should
refuse the judgment of his court to any of his men, this default would be
a matter for the duke or his seneschal.62 This agreement, therefore,
contemplates that the ducal curia may have jurisdiction, in certain
circumstances, to deal with matters concerning vassals of the barony of
Fougeres on a regular basis and not only if a particular case is voluntarily
submitted to it, albeit that the curia only has this jurisdiction because the
lords have expressly consented to it by the terms of this agreement.
As discussed above, in the counties of Rennes, Nantes and Cornouaille,
which had now been subject to Angevin administration for some
decades, Geoffrey retained the institutions and even the individuals
employed by Henry II. The seneschal remained the superior of┬®cer of
the ducal administration in each. Individuals such as Laurence Borguel
and Robert son of Rolland, who were inferior of┬®cers or owed suit of
court under Henry II's seneschals, continued to attend the ducal court
Geoffrey and the archbishop of Tours (who seems to have referred the matter to the bishop of
Rennes and the abbot of Saint-Melaine). There is no record of the lord of La Guerche being
summoned, only that, by the counsel of friends, the parties came to an agreement. A postscript
to Geoffrey's charter states that the duke attended to this matter, and con┬®rmed the record with
his seal, `quia res de feodo meo erat'. The case was, in fact, tenuously connected with the ducal
domain of Rennes, since the property in dispute was given to the priory, around 1037, with the
authority of Alan III, count of Rennes (AD Indre-et-Loire, H495; L.-J. Denis (ed.), Chartes de
l'abbaye de St-Julien de Tours (1002┬±1227), Paris, 1912, no. 13).
J. Auberge (ed.), Le Cartulaire de la Seigneurie de Fougeres, connu sous le nom de cartulaire d'Alencon,
Rennes, 1913, nos. xlii┬±xliv.
Charters, nos. Ge28, and 29. See above, p. 82.
Duke Geoffrey and Brittany, 1166┬±1186
In contrast with regions which had been governed by Henry II's
ministers, in the regions brought under ducal control by Geoffrey
himself, Leon (1179) and Treguier (1182┬±3), it appears the duke
pursued a different policy. The evidence, however, is frustratingly
meagre. It should be noted that Map 2 gives a `minimalist' representa-
tion of the new ducal domains. The lords of Leon and Treguier no
doubt had other parcels of seignorial domain, even castellanies, which
became ducal domain when they were taken into ducal hands, but only
those places referred to in contemporary sources are shown on the map.
Only one document has survived regarding the ducal administration
of Leon. In an undated charter, Ivo, bishop of Leon, records a dispute
between the priory of Saint-Melaine de Rennes and the of┬®cers of
Duke Geoffrey over rights in the revenues from bread-ovens at
Morlaix.64 Since there was no pre-existing ducal administration any-
where in Leon, Geoffrey must have established a new administration in
Morlaix. The charter terms the ducal of┬®cers, baillii. The charter also
names a superior ducal of┬®cer, Derian, although it also styles him
`baillius'. Derian had a judicial function, holding the court of the baillii
(in effect, the ducal curia), and had his own seal. From this context, it
would appear that the baillii were of┬®cers ful┬®lling the same functions as
those of a seneschal, prepositus or vicarius. There may have been a
different baillius responsible for each of the ┬®ve castellanies which
comprised the barony of Leon.65
The administration of Treguier corresponds with this, except that
possibly a single superior baillius was responsible for the whole barony.
Again, there is only one documentary source, an undated charter of
Duchess Constance which refers to Merian son of Guihomar, `baillivus
meus tunc temporis de Trecor'. Merian's circumscription must have
included Lannion, in the north-west of the barony, as this was the
subject-matter of the charter.66
The apparent substitution of baillii for seneschals and other of┬®cers in
these two territories annexed by Duke Geoffrey may be explained by
the fact that a `seneschal', from the Angevin point-of-view, was the
principal of┬®cer of a county, whereas Leon and Treguier were not
counties but merely baronies which happened to be in the duke's hand
for the time being. The appearance here of baillii corresponds with
Henry II's treatment of the barony of Combour from 1164 and, more
speci┬®cally, the appearance of a `baillivus regis' there in 1174. The baillii
were the of┬®cers charged with exercising the duke's rights while the
`Cart. St-Melaine', f. 89r.; Preuves, col. 705.
A. de la Borderie, Essai sur la geographie feodale de la Bretagne, Rennes, 1889, pp. 46┬±7
Charters, no. C55.
Brittany and the Angevins
barony was in ducal hands, until such time as it should be regranted to
the baronial family or other bene┬®ciary.
Notwithstanding their different titles, the superior baillii of Duke
Geoffrey appear to have had the same functions and responsibilities as
the seneschals of the counties. Within their circumscriptions, Derian
and Merian son of Guihomar, like the seneschals of Henry II, presided
over the ducal curia and conducted inquests upon ducal orders. Any
other functions they may have had were not recorded in writing.
Once his authority was established, Geoffrey issued new coins. As noted
above, initially, Geoffrey's coins were the same as those of Conan IV
with only the duke's name changed. The second issue has a similar
obverse, but on the reverse, instead of the word `DVX' occupying the
whole ┬®eld with `+BRITANNIE' as legend, the ┬®eld is occupied by a
design resembling a ┬»eur-de-lys, and `+DVX BRITANI' as legend.67
The design is unlike any previously issued in Brittany. These coins have
been attributed to Geoffrey, count of Nantes (1156┬±58), principally on
the ground that Duke Geoffrey is unlikely to have made two completely
different issues of coins in his short reign.68 A serious objection to this
theory, however, is that Geoffrey, count of Nantes, would never have
styled himself `dux Britannie' on coins or elsewhere.
Dieudonne asserts that this coin is associated with Nantes, but
without any supporting evidence.69 The place of minting is not stated
on the coins. The appearance of specimens in coin-hoards in Brittany
does not demonstrate any connection with Nantes.70 Furthermore,
Duke Geoffrey had ample opportunity and occasion to change his
coinage. Perhaps it was to celebrate the reunion of Penthievre and/or
Nantes with the rest of the duchy under ducal authority. If the design is
indeed a ┬»eur-de-lys, it may signify Geoffrey's transfer of allegiance to
Philip Augustus in 1186. In any event, such a dramatic change in the
design of ducal coinage would have sent a clear message, within
Brittany and beyond, that Duke Geoffrey had the con┬®dence to assert
his ducal authority.
Bigot, Monnaies de Bretagne, p. 51, plate vii, no. 8; Poey d'Avant, Monnaies, i, p. 53┬±4, plate ix,
Bigot, Monnaies de Bretagne, p. 51; Poey d'Avant, Monnaies, i, p. 53┬±4. Cf. J. Duplessy (Les
├‚ ├‚ ├‚ ├‚
Tresors monetaires medievaux et modernes decouverts en France, i, 751┬±1223, Paris 1985) who attributes
this coin to Duke Geoffrey (nos. 31, 71, 153, 165, 271, 273, 303, 315, and 365).
A. Dieudonne, Manuel de numismatique francaise, iv, Monnaies feodales francaises, Paris, 1936,
Duplessy, Les Tresors, nos. 31 (Bais, arrond. Rennes), 71 (Caro, arrond. Vannes), 271 (Liminec,