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de Brehier, `Pontchateau', p. 23 no. iii.

Ducal Brittany, 1066±1166
The relative strength of the dukes increased during the long and stable
reigns of Alan IV and Conan III. The latter was able to take punitive
action against some de®ant barons; Conan imprisoned Oliver, the son
of Jarnogon de Pontchateau, disinherited Savary de Donges, and also
pursued a vigorous campaign against Robert de Vitre.14

the ducal domains
Ducal domain was not, of course, permanently ®xed and stable.
Domains, or portions of them, were alienated to the church and to
laymen, who might escape ducal control and hold their lands autono-
mously, although this was unlikely to occur after the early twelfth
century. New domains were added when the duke took baronial lands
into his own hand. Lack of detailed evidence makes it impossible to
determine the exact extent of ducal domains in this period; one can
identify their locations but not their boundaries (see Map 2).
Only within the lands which constituted the ducal domains could the
dukes exercise authority whether seignorial or ducal, such as levying a
general impost (tallia) and summoning the host. A charter of Redon,
albeit probably a twelfth-century forgery, records that the dukes levied
`quandam consuetudinem . . . quam vulgo tallia nuncupatur', in their
domains of Piriac and Guerande.15 Conan III granted immunity to

Savigny from `hostico et tallia et corvea' in ducal forests. Conan IV
granted twenty solidi of the tallia of Guingamp to the abbey of Beaulieu
and also made a grant in respect of the tallia of Cap-Sizun.16 When

Duke Hoel I gave `Treu Ridiern' to Sainte-Croix de Quimperle, he
granted it free from `ostagium', `tali pacto ut quod homines in exercitu
expenderent, ad opus ecclesie reddere non differant'. An inquest held in
Nantes in 1206 describes elaborate customary procedures, dating at least
from the early twelfth century, for the summoning of the ducal host in
the city.17
There was nothing in principle to distinguish the administration of
the ducal domains from baronial administration. The only difference
was that even the greatest of the barons held lands limited to a particular
region of the duchy, whereas, in consequence of the dynastic history of
the ducal family, the ducal domain consisted of parcels of land scattered
Cart. Redon, no. cccxlviii; Preuves, col. 553; H. Guillotel, `Les origines du bourg de Donges',

AB 84 (1977), 541±52 at 544; M. Brand'honneur, `La lignage, point de cristillisation d'une
‚ ‚ ‚ Á
nouvelle cohesion sociale. Les Goranton-Herve de Vitre aux XIe, XIIe et XIIIe siecles',
MSHAB 70 (1993), 65±87 at 74±5.
Cart. Redon, no. ccclxx, Guillotel, `Actes', no. 115.

‚ ‚
Actes inedits, no. xxxix, Guillotel, `Actes', no. 171, Actes inedits, no. LI, Cart. Quimper, pp. 45±6.

Cart. Quimperle, no. lv; Preuves, cols. 802±4.

Brittany and the Angevins
‚ Á
throughout Brittany, excepting Leon and Penthievre in the north-west.
This was particularly advantageous in enabling the dukes to control the
principal routes of transport and communication, both by land and by
The counts had retained control of the principal urban centres in
their counties. Thus the ducal domains featured pro®table rights in and
around the largest towns of Brittany, Nantes, Rennes, and Vannes. In
Nantes, the duke held half of the town in domain, the other half being
held by the bishop.19 The ducal domain was even more extensive in
The county of Cornouaille represented an exception. Here, the
principal town, Quimper, was dominated by the bishop, with the
count/duke possessing only a suburb outside the town walls. Never-
theless, the majority of comital/ducal acta made in Cornouaille were
made at Quimper, which suggests it was the principal seat of the

counts/dukes in that county. Quimperle, originally comital domain,
grew into a substantial town during the eleventh century, but it was
controlled by the abbey of Sainte-Croix, which the counts of Cor-
nouaille had founded there early in the eleventh century.21 On the
other hand, comital rule in Cornouaille had been effective during the
eleventh century, and the count/dukes retained extensive and strategic
domains in the county. For instance, these included the eastern forest of

Carnoet, used to found the abbeys of Sainte-Croix de Quimperle and
Saint-Maurice de Carnoet, and the north-western castellany of Cha-

teaulin, retained as a buffer against Leon to the north.
In contrast, in the county of Rennes, the dukes possessed little
beyond the city of Rennes and its environs, with the forest which
extended to the north-east of the city as far as the frontier baronies of
Á Ã ‚
Fougeres, Chateaugiron and Vitre. By 1066, the counts of Rennes also
possessed the Broerec, where extensive domains were retained. Conse-
quently, the dukes controlled the town of Vannes, which like Nantes
was an important focus for marine and river trade, and the castellanies of
Auray and Ploermel. Most of the extensive coastline of the Broerec was
also comital/ducal domain, but apart from Ploermel and some lesser
baronies (Rochefort, Malestroit, Elven), the hinterland of the BroerecÈ
was occupied by the barony of Porhoet. È
Tonnerre, Naissance de Bretagne, pp. 496, 515, and 538.

Chedeville and Tonnerre, Bretagne feodale, p. 77; Tonnerre, Naissance de Bretagne, p. 525.

Chedeville and Tonnerre, Bretagne feodale, pp. 419±20.

‚ ‚
Charters, no. C3; Cart. Quimperle, no. lxxiv; Actes inedits, no. xxviii.

‚odale, p. 60.

Chedeville and Tonnerre, Bretagne fe

Tonnerre, Naissance de Bretagne, pp. 349±50, 357, 515±20; H. Guillotel, `De la vicomte de

Á ‚ Á
Rennes a la vicomte de Porhoet (®n du Xe-milieu du XIIe siecle)', MSHAB 73 (1995), 5±23.

Ducal Brittany, 1066±1166
The ducal domain in the county of Nantes was more extensive.
Apart from the city of Nantes, north of the Loire, the dukes possessed

Guerande, with its pro®table salt-works, the castellany of Blain and the
forest of Le Gavre.24 South of the Loire, ducal domains included the
castellany of Le Pallet,25 estates on the south bank of the Loire and
another in the extreme south-west of the county.26 The ducal forest of
Touffou was particularly valuable from a strategic point-of-view, as it
monopolised access to Nantes from the south. At the northern end of
the crossing, entrance to the city of Nantes was secured by the ducal
castle.27 Additionally, the alluvial islands which formed in the lower
reaches of the Loire were a ducal prerogative.28
While control of land was economically important for the proceeds
of agriculture and forestry, towns were also increasingly important as
centres of commercial activity. Tolls were levied on the routes leading
to the towns, by land and by water, and on commercial activity therein,
such as rental for market-stalls and levies on produce traded such as
Also signi®cant was the minting of coins. Coinage was a source of
both revenue and prestige. The only ducal mint for which there is
evidence in the eleventh and twelfth centuries was at Rennes, but coins
minted there were current in Cornouaille. Although there was a mint at
Nantes in the Carolingian period, there is no record of coins being
minted there again until the late twelfth century.30
The ducal administration was rudimentary and centred upon the
itinerant household. Ducal government was largely personal. A tenant
seeking ducal authorisation for a transaction, or ducal determination of a
dispute, could have it on the duke's next visit to the area.31 In addition
to the duke's extended family, the itinerant household comprised
various of®cers and servants. These may be described in general terms as
Tonnerre, Naissance de Bretagne, pp. 415, 488.

Actes inedits, no. xli, p. 86 note 3; see Guillotel, `Actes', no. 161.

Ducal domain near Nantes was used by Conan III to found the abbey of Buzay (`Actes de

Buzay', nos. 1, and 2). Another, near the mouth of the Loire, included Corsept, where Conan
‚ ‚
III founded a priory of Tiron (L. Merlet (ed.), Cartulaire de l'abbaye de la Sainte-Trinite de Tiron,

ed. L. Merlet, Chartres, 1883, nos. clxvi and ccxvi); Actes inedits, no. xl; see Guillotel, `Actes',
no. 160.
M. Lopez, `Un domaine ducal en pays de Retz: La chatellenie de Touffou', Bulletin de la Societe

d'Etudes et de Recherches Historiques du Pays de Retz (1984), 47±52 at 47±9; Tonnerre, Naissance
Á ‚
de Bretagne, pp. 412±5, 538; S. de la Nicolliere, `Une charte de Conan III et le prieure de la
Madeleine des ponts de Nantes', BSAN (1863), 196±209 at 196.
H. Guillotel, `Administration et ®nances ducales en Bretagne sous le regne de Conan III',

MSHAB 68 (1991), 19±43 at 27±8.
Guillotel, `Conan III', pp. 21, 29, and 30.

Guillotel, `Conan III', pp. 24±5; Tonnerre, Naissance de Bretagne, p. 539.

‚ ‚
Cart. Quimperle, no. lxxxv; Actes inedits, no. xli; Guillotel, `Actes', no. 161.

Brittany and the Angevins
`serviens' or `famulus',32 or speci®cally as steward or seneschal, cham-
berlain, pantler, butler, usher, chaplain.33 There was no ducal chancellor
until the reign of Conan IV, but the chaplains performed clerical
functions as required.34
At times the household, wherever situated, was the venue for a
session of the ducal curia, attended by the household of®cers, tenants of
the ducal domain, and any barons, bishops and abbots who felt it was in
their interests to attend. The formality of such occasions varied. The
duke could convene his court to determine a legal dispute whenever
and wherever he chose, assisted by whichever household of®cers,
domainal tenants and other magnates happened to be present. There
also seem to have been more formal sessions of the ducal curia which
were customarily held at particular places, such as Redon.35 Such a
court, attended by lay and ecclesiastical magnates, would have been an
occasion both to discuss important business and to do justice.
While the ducal household itinerated between ducal domains, the
administration of each domain was conducted by a variety of local
of®cials. Sometimes their speci®c titles indicate their functions, such as
`forestarius' and `venator',36 but these local of®cials are typically styled
prepositus and vicarius.
There is so little evidence for the of®ces of prepositus and vicarius that
it is dif®cult to distinguish the two in terms of duties and functions, a
question upon which much ink has been spilt.37 Nevertheless, the two
of®ces were distinguishable by contemporaries, since references to
prepositi and vicarii may occur in the same text.38 The matter has been
satisfactorily resolved by Jacques Boussard, who argues that the prepositus
For example, `Men serviens meus de Garranda' (Preuves, col. 560; Guillotel, `Actes', no. 135),

probably to be identi®ed with Main de Guerande, who attested several acta of Conan III (Actes

inedits, nos. xxxv, xxxvi, xl, xli; Guillotel, `Actes', nos. 166, 168, 160, 161). See Guillotel,

`Conan III', p. 34; Actes inedits, no. xlii; Guillotel, `Actes', no. 151.
‚ ‚
Preuves, cols. 528, and 635; Cart. Quimperle, nos. xliii, lxxv, and lxxvii; Actes inedits, no. xxvii;

Guillotel, `Actes', no. 93; Cart. Quimperle, nos. iv, ix, lxxv, and cxi; Cart. Redon, no. ccxc;

Guillotel, `Actes', no. 99, Actes inedits, nos. i; Preuves, cols. 523 and 617. For seneschals, see
pp. 26±7.

Actes inedits, no. xv; Guillotel, `Actes', no. 79. Preuves, cols. 566±7.

Cart. Redon, nos. ccxc, and ccclxxvii.


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