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1175, 1177 and 1179.27 Possession of most of Brittany gave Geoffrey
suf®cient revenue and manpower to launch military campaigns outside
the duchy for the ®rst time.28 Geoffrey used his new-found power
within months of his accession, in attacking Rennes when it was
occupied by Henry II's men and sacking Becherel. His assistance was
undoubtedly crucial to the Young King Henry's revolt of 1183.
Perhaps, in the later months of 1181, Geoffrey began to assert that,
since he was now married to Constance, he was entitled jure uxoris to
the honour of Richmond and the county of Nantes. For both ®nancial
and strategic reasons, Henry II was not ready to deliver them to him.
This would explain the military con¯ict in the county of Rennes,
between Geoffrey and Henry II's troops, described so obtusely by
Robert de Torigni around 1182.29
Geoffrey was reconciled with his father by June 1182 and possibly
spent the rest of that year with him.30 In this period, Geoffrey continued
to press his case and Henry II did not show any signs of acceding to his
demands.
J. Gillingham, Richard the Lionheart, 2nd edn, London, 1989, p. 51.
25

W. L. Warren, Henry II, London, 1973, p. 597.
26


RH, ii, p. 166; Gesta, p. 207; P. Meyer (ed.), L'histoire de Guillaume le Marechal, Paris,
27

1891±1901, i, lines 4841, 4919 and iii, p. 63.
Warren, Henry II, pp. 592, 596.
28

RT, ii, p. 115.
29

Chronicle of Geoffrey de Vigeois (RHF, xviii, p. 212); Actes de Henri II, no. dcxvii; RH, ii,
30

p. 273; Gesta, p. 291; RT, ii, p. 117.

131
Brittany and the Angevins
It was in these circumstances that, by January 1183, Geoffrey had
transferred his loyalty to the Young King Henry. The actual events of
the 1183 rebellion, so far as they concerned Geoffrey, are dif®cult to
reconstruct, since the various chroniclers' accounts are dif®cult to
collate into a coherent sequence of events. The account given by
Professor John Gillingham in his recent (1999) biography of Richard I is
extremely valuable for the course of the rebellion, and hence the
following narrative focuses principally on Geoffrey's participation. A
crisis was developing between the Young King Henry and Richard
before Christmas 1182. Geoffrey may have started to conspire with the
Young King as early as mid-1182, when both were in Aquitaine. In
January 1183, Richard left Henry II's court having refused to render
homage for Aquitaine to the Young King. The latter immediately
despatched Geoffrey to Brittany to muster troops.31 This was accom-
plished so rapidly as to suggest that arrangements had been made in
advance. According to Roger of Howden, Geoffrey's forces attacked
Richard's territory, burning and taking booty. Richard reciprocated by
doing the same to the lands of Geoffrey's men and executing any
members of their households (`familia') who fell into his hands.32
According to Gerald of Wales, Geoffrey led this force himself, attacking
land on the borders of Normandy and Anjou.33 These accounts are
contradictory in that Richard's territory lying adjacent to Brittany was
Poitou, not Normandy and Anjou. The latter location is more plausible,
since without the county of Nantes, the Bretons under Geoffrey would
not have had access to Poitou. They did, however, have ample access to
the borders of Normandy and Anjou, from the frontier baronies of
Á ‚ Ã
Fougeres, Vitre, La Guerche and Chateaubriant. This action would
have been effective as a diversion of Henry II and Richard's forces to
enable the Young King to consolidate his position in Poitou. This
certainly occurred, the Young King having hastened to Poitou in the
meantime and seized several castles.34
This con¯ict was brought to a halt by Henry II, who convened a
meeting at Angers at which the brothers made peace. It was felt that this
peace would have no lasting effect unless the rebellious Aquitanian
barons were made party to it, and Henry II proposed a meeting to be
held at Mirebeau for this purpose. He then despatched Geoffrey to
Aquitaine to summon the barons to this meeting and arrange a truce in
the meantime.35
The rebellion now entered its second and more serious stage. Instead
RH, ii, p. 274; Gesta, p. 293. 32 Gesta, pp. 292±3.
31

Werner (ed.), `De principis instructione', p. 172.
33

Gesta, p. 292. 35 RH, ii, p. 274; Gesta, p. 295.
34


132
Duke Geoffrey, Henry II and the Angevin empire
of carrying out his mission, Geoffrey joined forces with the rebellious
barons. Arriving at Limoges on 2 February 1183, Geoffrey made his
headquarters at the citadel of Saint-Martial there, and was soon joined
by the Young King.36 Again, the events suggests that this was arranged
between the two brothers before Geoffrey left Angers. They had
assembled an impressive force, predominantly of Aquitanian barons and
mercenaries, but also including some of Geoffrey's own courtiers and
household knights.37
The forces assembled against Richard were such that Henry II feared
for Richard's safety and himself travelled to Limoges. On the arrival of
Henry II with a small company, the rebels fought them off with swords
and arrows, one of which hit the king himself.38 Henry II withdrew to
Richard's headquarters at Aixe, his forces not being expected to arrive
for several weeks. Henry II and Richard returned to Limoges on 1
March and besieged the citadel of Saint-Martial.39 From the account of
Roger of Howden, this seems to have proceeded more as a stand-off
than an active siege. Both the Young King and Geoffrey were able to
leave the citadel of Saint-Martial from time to time to plunder the
surrounding area to pay their mercenaries.40
Howden's account is focused on the parties' attempts to negotiate
peace. On one occasion, when Henry II crossed to the citadel of Saint-
Martial to parley with his sons, the defenders once more ®red arrows at
him, this time striking his horse.41 The Young King then went over to
the episcopal citadel to make peace, spending several days with his
father.42 After the Young King had made peace with Henry II, then
broken it, it was Geoffrey's turn. Geoffrey left the citadel of Saint-
Martial, made peace with his father, then asked permission to return
there solely for the purpose of persuading the rebels to make peace.
Instead, Geoffrey plundered the abbey of Saint-Martial and carried the
booty back to his father. Henry II having agreed to a further day's truce,
the next day Geoffrey defected, declared the truce void and used the

Geoffrey de Vigeois (RHF, xviii) p. 213. For the topography of Limoges, with its dual citadels,
36

the castrum of Saint-Martial (occupied by the abbey of Saint-Martial and the viscount of

Limoges) and the civitas of Saint-Etienne (occupied by the bishop of Limoges), see L. Perouas,
Histoire de Limoges, Toulouse, 1989, ch. 3, and Gillingham, Richard I, pp. 54±5. Geoffrey de
Vigeois makes it clear that the support of Ademar, viscount of Limoges, was crucial to the
rebellion.
See pp. 106, 135.
37

RH, ii, pp. 275±6; Gesta, pp. 295±6. cf. Geoffey de Vigeois (RHF, xviii, p. 213E), where it is
38

explained that the attack on the king was unintended.
Geoffrey de Vigeois, p. 215D.
39

RH, ii, p. 276; Gesta, p. 297; Geoffrey de Vigeois (RHF, xviii) p. 217.
40

RH, ii, pp. 275±6; Gesta, p. 296.
41

RH, ii, p. 276; Gesta, p. 297±8.
42


133
Brittany and the Angevins
booty from Saint-Martial to pay his mercenaries.43 One cannot help
feeling that Howden's narrative at this point is missing something, with
too much emphasis on speci®c instances of the Young King and
Geoffrey's treachery and plundering of churches, at the expense of any
explanation of their political goals.
Another source illustrates Geoffrey's role. According to the `Histoire

de Guillaume le Marechal', when Henry II ®rst arrived outside
Limoges, the Young King was thrown into a state of confusion. He met
with Geoffrey and some of the leading Aquitanian barons and asked
Geoffrey for his advice. The poet gives Geoffrey quite a long speech, to
the effect that there is no one he can trust to give good advice. Then
one of the barons, Geoffrey de Lusignan, speaks with Geoffrey,
recommending they seek the aid of the poem's hero, William the
Marshall.44 This anecdote demonstrates not only that the Young King
relied upon Geoffrey's advice, but also that Geoffrey's judgment was
respected to the extent that others discussed matters with him before
putting them to the Young King himself. This role is re¯ected in two
aspects of Howden's account of events at Limoges. Firstly, on making
peace with his father, the Young King claims that whatever he has done
has been on Geoffrey's advice.45 Secondly, there is Geoffrey's offer, on
having made peace with Henry II, to return to the rebel camp in order
to persuade his former allies to submit.46
The rebellion was abruptly terminated by the Young King's death on
11 June 1183.47 Henry II took the citadel of Saint-Martial on 24 June
but there is no record of Geoffrey's movements at this time.48 He had
no choice but to seek reconciliation with his father. According to
Roger of Howden, on Henry II's summons, Geoffrey came to Angers,
probably in July 1183. There he made peace with his father, and took
an oath of ®delity to him. As punishment, Henry II seized all of
Geoffrey's castles and forti®cations in Brittany.49

RH, ii, pp. 277±8; Gesta, p. 299. cf. Geoffrey de Vigeois (RHF, xviii), p. 216, the treasury of
43

Saint-Martial was plundered by the Young King Henry.

P. Meyer (ed.), Histoire de Guillaume le Marechal, Comte de Stiguil et de Pembroke, Regent
44

Á Á
d'Angleterre de 216 a 1219, poeme francaise, 3 vols., Paris, 1891±1901, i, lines 6408±74 and iii,
Ë
p. 77.
Gesta, p. 297, `quicquid fecerat in hac parte, consilio Gaufridis fratris sui fecerat'.
45

Gesta, p. 299.
46

Geoffrey de Vigeois (RHF, xviii, pp. 217±8); Gesta, p. 301; WN, p. 233; RT, ii, p. 120;
47

Gillingham, Richard the Lionheart, p. 75.
Geoffrey de Vigeois (RHF, xviii, p. 218); Gesta, p. 303.
48

Gesta, p. 304. Unless Geoffrey's castellans and other of®cers in Brittany were prepared to obey
49

the king's orders, it is unlikely that this was more than a symbolic gesture. In any event, the
`seizure' cannot have lasted for long, because by Michaelmas, Henry II had awarded the honour
of Richmond to Geoffrey.

134
Duke Geoffrey, Henry II and the Angevin empire
Exactly what bene®t Geoffrey hoped to gain from his eldest brother
is unclear, but it was certainly not instant reward. The Young King's
problem was that he did not have any lands of his own to dispose of,
and his annual income was insuf®cient even for his own needs. Indeed,
in raising rebellion in Aquitaine in 1183, the Young King sought to oust
Richard in order to occupy Aquitaine himself.50 In the circumstances,
Geoffrey can only have hoped to bene®t from his brother's future
patronage, on the basis that he would soon succeed their father. At the
very least, the Young King must have agreed to deliver Richmond and
Nantes to Geoffrey as soon as it was in his power to do so.
There is, in fact, some evidence connecting Geoffrey's demands for
possession of Richmond and Nantes with his participation in the
rebellion. Some of Geoffrey's courtiers, including Reginald Boterel and
the twins Alan and Richard of Moulton, held lands in the honour of
Richmond which were taken into the king's hand in 1183.51 The fact
that Henry II granted Richmond to Geoffrey in the immediate after-
math of the rebellion also suggests that it had ®gured amongst Geoffrey's
demands.
As to the county of Nantes, Howden relates a story of Geoffrey's ill-
treatment of two of Henry II's men sent to him under truce, Oliver
®tzErneis and `Gerus de Musterol', whom Geoffrey had asked for by
name.52 The former was almost certainly the brother of Eudo ®tzErneis,
Henry II's seneschal of Nantes.53 They met Geoffrey and some of his
men on the bridge at Limoges. In ¯agrant breach of their status as
emissaries, they were attacked while Geoffrey looked on.54 `Gerus de
Musterol' was beaten with a sword, while Oliver was thrown from the
bridge, probably to his death. In the absence of any known connection
Gillingham, Richard I, p. 75.
50

Pipe Roll 29 Henry II, pp. 57±8, gives a list of Richmond tenants whose lands were taken into
51

the king's hand for half of the ®nancial year up to Michaelmas 1183. This time-period would
correspond with the outbreak of the revolt in the early months of 1183. Ralph son of `Maldr'
(p. 57) is Ralph of Middleton, the ducal chamberlain (EYC, iv, p. 142). Ralph the chamberlain,
Reginald Boterel and Richard and Alan the twins are all well attested as courtiers of Duke
Geoffrey, all having previously served Conan IV. The others in this list (with the exception of
William `Pesche') Alan Dulcis/Ducis, Henry Bertram, Alan Rufus (see Charters, no. Ge6), Alan
de la Mota (`Mora') and William de Montborcher (`Munbusch'), attested charters of Conan IV
(EYC, iv, nos. 46, 47, 51, 64). The dower lands of Constance's mother, Margaret, were also
seized at this time (p. 58).
RH, ii, p. 277; Gesta, pp. 298±9.
52

Above, p. 82. The relationship is demonstrated by their English landholdings. Oliver received
53

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