The Loss of Normandy

  • Created by: edtc
  • Created on: 19-03-19 16:41

Treaty of Le Goulet - Jan 1200

  • John recognised as Richard's heir to the French lands.
  • Arthur (nephew) to hold Brittany from John, not Philip.
  • Philip kept some lands gained in Normandy, and gained 20,000 marks of feudal relief from John. Significant - first time an Angevin had openly paid this - made Philip's status as overlord more concrete.
  • John agreed to break alliances w/ Flanders and Boulogne + not involve them in conflicts w/ Philip. Significant - only way of placing pressure on French lands - technique relied on by Richard and Henry. 
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Angoulême Marriage - 24th Aug 1200

  • Seemed wise on surface - suitable match for a king - previous marriage to isabella of Gloucester anulled. 
  • Her territory was vital for Angevins if they kept control of Southern France.
  • Father - Count Aymer - long-term troublemaker - marriage secured loyalty.
  • Problem - she was engaged to Hugh le Brun - senior noble of Lusignan family. 
  • Marriage greatly angered the family. John's treatment of them contributed to the loss of Normandy
  • Lusignans alllegedly seized La Marche in 1199 by capturing Eleanor of Aquitaine and extorting it from her - could explain John's attitude towards them.
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Revolt of the Lusignans

  • Denied Lusignans Isabella and failed to compensate them - been interpreted as either oversight or intentional snub. 
  • Led to revolt in lands they held in Aquitaine - didn't help that John ordered seizure of La Marche in spring 1201. Also seized lands of Norman lands of Hugh's kinsman, Ralph of Exoudon. 
  • When they appealed for justice he denied it to them - allowed Philip II to intervene as John was seen to be treating his barons unfairly. 
  • Refusal to allow them anything other than trial by combat led Lusignans to appeal to Philip again. 
  • John summoned to feudal court in Paris - claimed that he didn't have to go as Duke of Normandy as he had the right to meet on their border - Philip retorted he was being summoned as Duke of Aquitaine.
  • Failure to appear in Paris in 1202- Philip able to paint John as contumacious vassal - territories declared forfeit. Normandy confiscated and other territories granted to Arthur of Brittany. 
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Loss of Angevin Heartlands

  • 1202 - Arthur + Lusignans quickly attacked John in territories of Anjou, Maine, Touraine and Poitou.
  • John deprived of allies as a result of 4th Crusade - acted decisively as Eleanor was in danger - Arthur's forces closed around Mirebeau Castle where Eleanor was.
  • John led forces from Le Mans to Mirebeau in 3 days. Allies - Aimery of Thouars & William des Roches. 
  • Arthur caught completely off guard - he and all his key followers captured - should have been a decisive victory. 
  • Not a victory - his fault. 1- didn't accept the counsel of William des Roches - wanted a say in the fate of Arthur 2- mistreated high-status prisoners. 22 starved to death in Corfe Castle. 
  • Alienated families of dead in Corfe and giving William a say may have worked better for John- Arthur disappeared in John's custody and by 1203 it was accepted that he was dead. 
  • HOWEVER makes sense that John didn't wish to hand his dynastic rival to a baron w/ growing power who hadn't always been loyal.
  • Ultimately the death of Arthur meant that des Roches and Thouars rebelled against John - rapidly joined by Bretons, outraged at murder of Duke.
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Loss of Normandy

  • 1203- almost impossible to maintain control of lands south of Normandy. Invasion in East Normandy by Philip II. 
  • Army of mecenaries - sent to rescue Queen Isabella from Chinon - only just made it out - shows John's collapse of authority
  • Wide betrayal - Count of Alencon defected to rebels just after having John to stay. Fortress of Vaudreil suddenly + suspiciously was surrendered by Robert FitzWalter in 1203.
  • Philip dominant - cruised down the Loire valley - heart of old Angevin empire. Aug- laid seige on Chateau Gaillard. John's attempts to relieve it w/ supplies failed - unlucky. 
  • Blame for this loss often blamed on John- claimed he was cowardly, lazy or infatuated w/ his wife. 
  • Use of mecenaries - especially Louvrecaire - partially why people turned against John - complaints that they treated people worse than Philip's forces. 
  • Disputed as to whether Norman barons refused to fight for John b/c he was weak or b/c they were weary of the Angevins.
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