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Arthur and the assembled magnates took their reciprocal oaths. With
the Bretons now in open rebellion, Richard launched a more substantial
military campaign, led by Robert de Thornham, to seize Arthur and,
failing that, to punish the Bretons.
Thwarting Richard, however, the Bretons succeeded in getting
Arthur out of the duchy and into the custody of Philip Augustus.
According to William the Breton, Guethenoc, bishop of Vannes, was
charged with delivering Arthur to the Capetian court, where he would
spend the next few years.68 Clearly, Arthur was not delivered to Philip
Augustus until after the assembly of August 1196. Since the bishop of
Vannes seems to have played a prominent role in this assembly, he must
have left Brittany with Arthur soon afterwards.69
It was possibly the knowledge that Arthur was beyond his reach that
led Richard to make peace, notwithstanding the con¯icting (and
partisan) opinions of Le Baud (Richard sought peace because his forces

had suffered such heavy losses in the Vitre campaign) and William of
Newburgh (the Bretons sought peace because of the devastation
in¯icted by the royal forces). If custody of Arthur was Richard's aim in
1196, the outcome was anything but a triumph for him.70 Further
punishment of the Bretons would not yield Arthur if he was no longer
in their possession. It made more sense for Richard to pursue hostilities
with Philip Augustus.
With Arthur's custody settled for the time being, the peace negotia-
tions involved only two matters, Constance's release and future relations
between Richard and the Breton barons. The date of Constance's
release is unknown, but peace must have been made in the summer of
1197 when Richard took the allegiance of the men of Champagne,

William the Breton, `Philippidos', p. 131, lines 161±5.
68


The charter for Andrew de Vitre made at Saint-Malo de Beignon was under Guethenoc's
69


episcopal seal (Le Baud, Chroniques de Vitre, p. 30).
For the misgivings of a contemporary commentator, possibly Bertrand de Born, see above, note
70

65.

165
Brittany and the Angevins
Flanders and Brittany from Philip Augustus.71 Maurice, bishop of
Nantes (who had been at the Saint-Malo de Beignon assembly) and
Robert of Thornham were both at Richard's court at Tours on 1 April
1197, perhaps in this connection.72
Howden's assertion that Richard had bought the allegiance of the
Bretons is supported by a document setting out the terms of the peace
which is preserved in Le Baud's `Chroniques de Vitre'.73 Richard

restored all of Duchess Constance's lands, pardoned the rebellious
barons, and allowed them to continue to serve Duchess Constance as
they had previously. He also restored lands and rights outside the
authority of Duchess Constance which individuals had forfeited or
merely claimed to be entitled to. The king was particularly generous to

the Vitre family. All his castles and his lands on both sides of the
Channel would be restored to Andrew. His younger brother, Robert, a
secular canon, was to receive not only the revenues he had lost, but also
`bene®ces' in England to the value of 100 marcs.74 Their mother,
Emma de Dinan, would be restored to seisin of her lands and her dower
lands as she had held them before the war.75 William de Loheac would

be granted the land in the barony of Rays to which he was entitled by
reason of marriage, which the king had kept in his own hand.76 Alan de
Ã
Chateaugiron would receive all his rights and lands in England as his
father had possessed them. Geoffrey Spina would receive the rights to
which he was entitled, on both sides of the Channel, by reason of his
marriage to the heiress of Alan ®tzJordan, the hereditary seneschal of

Dol. William de la Guerche and Alan de Acigne were also included in
77
this peace. The same document records the giving of hostages: Peter,

the son and heir of William de Loheac, Philip, the brother of Alan de
Ã
Chateaugiron, and Ralph de Montfort, probably the younger brother of
Amaury de Montfort.78 Some or all of the hostages given in 1196 for
Constance's release may also have remained in Richard's custody.79
As part of the settlement, Duchess Constance promised, on behalf of
the barons and knights, that they would keep the peace, and that she
would expel from her lands any who wished to break it. Duchess
Constance, Herbert bishop of Rennes, Peter bishop of Saint-Malo and

RH, iv, p. 19. 72 Landon (ed.), Itinerary of Richard I, pp. 116±7.
71


Le Baud, Chroniques de Vitre, p. 33±4; Charters, no. C34.
73

See Charters, `Biographical notes', pp. 199±200.
74

See Cart. Laval, i, pp. 283±5.
75

See Charters, `Biographical notes', p. 193.
76

Le Baud, Histoire de Bretagne, p. 204.
77

For Amaury and Ralph de Montfort (or Montauban), see Le Baud, Histoire de Bretagne, p. 202;
78

Preuves, cols. 779, 799, 819, 829±30; Charters, nos. C 33, 55.


For Andrew de Vitre's daughter, see Le Baud, Chroniques de Vitre, p. 35.
79


166
The end of Angevin Brittany, 1186±1203
Robert of Thornham all swore to support the king against the barons
Ã
and knights. Geoffrey de Chateaubriant swore that the king would keep
this peace. Only after these oaths had been taken and the treaty recorded
in a charter under the seal of Herbert, bishop of Rennes, was Constance
freed.80
As far as the barons were concerned, the peace restored the status quo
ante bellum, and the Bretons returned to their customary Angevin

allegiance. Andrew de Vitre attested a royal charter at Ouilly (12 August
1198) and a charter of Robert of Thornham, at Angers (1197), both
concerning Marmoutier's priory of Carbay, in which Andrew probably
had an interest.81
Constance continued to rule Brittany in her own name. Arthur
returned from the Capetian court around the beginning of 1199 and
began to be associated in Constance's government of Brittany.82 At the
time of Richard's death on 6 April 1199 Arthur was in Brittany,
apparently playing host to his uncle, John, count of Mortain. This may
have been more than a social visit. According to Ralph of Coggeshall,
John had recently left Richard's court after a dispute arose between the
two brothers.83 Whatever common interests John and Arthur may have
had with Richard as king, the news of his death turned uncle and
nephew into arch-rivals for the succession to the Angevin dominions.
Arthur's claim to succeed Richard was supported in Anjou, Touraine
and Maine. In the months from mid-April to mid-September 1199,
Arthur concentrated on securing these counties, with the aid of
Duchess Constance and Philip Augustus.
Co-ordinating the operation was the Angevin baron, William des
Roches, immediately appointed by Arthur as his seneschal of Anjou and
Maine.84 William's sudden appearance at Arthur's side is unexplained.

He had Breton connections, in that his barony of Sable was situated on
the Breton frontier, and he was related by marriage to the families of
Craon and Dinan-Becherel (through Juhel de Mayenne), both of which
had supplied seneschals of Brittany, and possibly to Geoffrey de
Chateaubriant, `seneschal of La Mee'.85
à ‚

Le Baud, Chroniques de Vitre, pp. 33±4; cf. Le Baud, Histoire de Bretagne, p. 204.
80

‚ ‚
P. Marchegay (ed.), Archives d'Anjou: Recueil de documents et memoires inedits de cette province,
81

Angers, 1853 and 1854, ii, pp. 13±14.
Charters, pp. 109, 133.
82

D. L. Douie and H. Farmer (eds.), Magna Vita sancti Hugonis: The life of St Hugh of Lincoln, 2
83

vols., London, 1962, p. 156; J. Stevenson (ed.) Ralph of Coggeshall, Chronican Anglicanum,
London, 1875, p. 99.
`Chronicum turonense magnum', in A. Salmon (ed.), Recueil de chroniques de Touraine, Tours,
84

1854, p. 145; Charters, no. A3. For William des Roches, see N. Vincent, Peter des Roches,
Cambridge, 1996, pp. 22±5 and Charters, `Biographical notes'.
Ã
For Geoffrey de Chateaubriant, see below, note 121.
85


167
Brittany and the Angevins
It is instructive to consider Arthur's supporters in April 1199. Arthur's
charter made at Angers on Easter day, 1199, indicates that he had with a
him a strong contingent of Breton barons, in addition to Duchess
Constance and ecclesiastical magnates including the bishops of Nantes
and Vannes and the abbot of Saint-Melaine de Rennes. The barons
Ã
named in this charter are Geoffrey de Chateaubriant, William de la
Guerche, Geoffrey d'Ancenis, Andrew de Vitre and Ivo de la Jaille.86

The attestation of Isabel de Mayenne indicates the allegiance of her son,
Juhel. That this support was valued and enduring is indicated by the fact
that these are the very men rewarded by Arthur in the ensuing weeks
à ‚
with strategic castellanies; Geoffrey de Chateaubriant at Bauge, William
‚ ‚
de la Guerche at Segre, Andrew de Vitre's younger brother Robert at
Langeais, while Juhel de Mayenne received four castellanies in Maine.87
These men were all associated with the Breton-Angevin frontier.
Some of the grants made to them are no doubt what they look like,
Arthur placing trusted supporters in strategic castles, such as Robert de
‚ Ã ‚
Vitre at Langeais and Geoffrey de Chateaubriant at Bauge. But on closer
inspection, others represent the satisfaction of long-held claims by

frontier-barons to Angevin lands, notably the grant of Segre to William
Á Ã
de la Guerche and Gorron, Ambrieres, Chateauneuf-sur-Colmont and
88
La Chartre to Juhel de Mayenne.
Conspicuous by their absence are men from parts north and west of
the Breton-Angevin frontier. The list of baronial witnesses in April
1199 contrasts with the list of barons who supported Arthur against
Richard in August 1196. On that occasion, the frontier-barons were
acting together with (from west to east): Guihomar and Harvey de
‚ Á
Leon, Alan of Penthievre, Henry Salomon de Hennebont, Alan de

Rohan, William de Loheac, Pagan de Malestroit, Amaury de Montfort
and Alan de Chateaugiron.89 Evidently, Arthur's support in 1199 was
Ã
drawn from those Breton barons who already had interests east of the
frontier. With the exception of Alan de Rohan, whose English lands
were taken into the king's hand, the remainder of the Breton barons did
not rally to support Arthur, either because they had no extra-Breton
interests, or because, like Hasculf de Subligny, lord of Combour, and
Á Á
William de Fougeres, guardian of the barony of Fougeres, their interests

Charters, A3. 87 Charters, A5, 8, 9, 13
86

‚ Á
On Segre, see Meuret, Marche Anjou-Bretagne, pp. 323. For the castellanies of Gorron, Ambrieres
88

Ã
and Chateauneuf-sur-Colmont, see D.J. Power, `What did the Frontier of Angevin Normandy
Comprise?', Anglo-Norman Studies, 17 (1994) 181±201 at 186±8, and D. J. Power, `King John
and the Norman Aristocracy', in S. Church (ed.), King John. New Interpretations, Woodbridge,
Suffolk, 1999, 117±36.
Charters, nos. Ar 1, 2.
89


168
The end of Angevin Brittany, 1186±1203
lay in the Anglo-Norman realm and hence with John. Alan of
Penthievre was actually serving John in 1199.90
Á
The events of 1199 were so signi®cant that they were recorded by
numerous contemporary chroniclers, variously recording matters of
interest to the Anglo-Norman realm, the Capetian realm, and the
inhabitants of Greater Anjou who were caught up in the con¯ict.
Consequently, there is much contemporary record of the events of
1199, but with each writer recording different things, and rarely giving
precise dates, it is dif®cult to reconcile them and gain a coherent picture
of the sequence of events. The following account is my attempt to do
this. When news reached John and Arthur of Richard's death, both set
off in the same direction, for the Angevin heartlands. John took the
pragmatic approach; he made straight for Chinon and the royal treasury,
which was delivered to him by Robert of Thornham. Arthur opted for
legitimising his claim to the inheritance. On 16 April, only seven days
after Richard's death, Arthur was at the abbey of Pontron, north-west
of Angers. Two days later, on Easter day, he entered Angers where he
was invested as count by popular assent. Arthur then proceeded to

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