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become hereditary, as in the Bessin, and the Cotentin,110 but the annual farm was still due and the duke's control seems to have been maintained.111 The evidence is not sufficient to enable us to define the relations between the vicecomitatus and the prepositura in the eleventh century, but it seems probable that they were "from the first convertible names for the same description of jurisdiction, however qualified in extent ",112 in somewhat the same way as the offices of prévôt and voyer in contemporary Anjou.113 The scattered prepositi who appear in the charters114 are plainly not men of importance, and, as in the case of the thelonearii115 and gravarii,116 the texts do not always make it possible to distinguish ducal from baronial agents. Beyond the names of various foresters,117 we get no light on the forest administration, but it is evident that the ducal forests are already extensive and important, and are subject to the special jurisdiction which goes back to the Frankish forest ban118 and will develop into the forest code of the Anglo-Norman kings. We hear of pleas of the forest,119 though we do not know by whom they were held; such assaults as are lawful elsewhere are forbidden in the forests,120 and for offences against the forest law even priests cannot claim their exemption.121

The organization of the ducal household is a subject concerning which only provisional statements can be made until the whole body of charters has been collected and the witnesses carefully

110 Stapleton, Magni Rotuli, I. lvii; Lambert, "Les Anciens Vicomtes de Bayeux", Mémoires de la Société d'Agriculture de Bayeux, VIII. 233 ff.; Delisle, Histoire de S. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, ch. 1.

11 Ordericus implies the removability of the local officials when he says of the Conqueror, in 1067: "Optimosque iudices et rectores per provincias Neustrie constituit". II. 177.

112 Stapleton, I. lxi; cf. Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes, XI. 402.

113 Where the prévôt is the more important of the two but exercises the same functions as the voyer. Moyen Age, XV. 297 ff.

114 Le Prévost, Eure, I. 141, 460, II. 393; Round, Calendar, no. 713; Cartulaire de la Trinité de Rouen, nos. 24, 27, 42, 44, 51; MS. Lat. 5443, p. 51.

115 Gallia Christiana, XI. instr. 66; Pommeraye, Histoire de S. Amand, p. 79; Cartulaire de la Trinité, no. 16.

116 Cartulaire de la Trinité, nos. 16, 73, 80; Round, no. 1175; Revue Catholique de Normandie, VII. 432.

117 Round, nos. 1169, 1175; Cartulaire de la Trinité, nos. 7, 28, 47, 49, 51, 64, 79; Le Prévost, Eure, I. 285, 286, 562.

118 Waitz, Deutsche Verfassungsgeschichte, II. 2, 316, IV. 128 ff.; Liebermann, Ueber Pseudo-Cnuts Constitutiones de Foresta, pp. 17, 19; Thimme, in Archiv für Urkundenforschung (1908), II. 114 ff.

119 Charters of Robert and William for The count of Mortain also had forest courts.

XI. 444.

120 Consuetudines et Iusticie, c. 7. 121 Council of Lillebonne, c. 8.

Cerisy, Neustria Pia, pp. 431-432.
Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Chartes,

sifted. Certain great officers are clearly distinguishable, particularly after the Conqueror's accession, but further study is needed to determine their number and relative importance and the succession of those who held them. Ralph of Tancarville the chamberlain, Gerold the seneschal, and Hugh of Ivry the butler are familiar figures at William's court,122 and others appear with the same titles but not always with equal rank. The office of constable, though found as early as Robert I., is apparently of less importance. The clerical element in the household naturally centred in the duke's chapel, which was the point of departure for the development of the secretarial and fiscal sides of the central administration; but while we have the names of several of William's early chaplains,123 many of whom became bishops in Normandy or in England, very little is known of their secular duties. Certain churches seem to have been constituted chapelries for the chaplains' support,124 so that the office had some degree of continuity, and the ducal clerks of these days show something of the skill in acquiring desirable houses and lands which is characteristic of their successors in the twelfth century.125 So far as there was an organized chancery-and this is a question which must, at least for the present, remain open— it was doubtless closely connected with the chapel; but the absence,

122 The three together sign charters in Cartulaire de la Trinité de Rouen, no. 39 (1066); Mabillon, Annales Ordinis S. Benedicti, V. 593 (1070). The growing importance of the household officers as compared with the vicomtes is evident by a comparison of the witnesses to William's charters with the witnesses of his predecessors'. The statements concerning the ducal household in Harcourt, His Grace the Steward (London, 1907), pp. 6-18, need a good deal of correction.

123 Three witness an early charter in Round, Calendar, no. 1165.

124" Temporibus Ricardi comitis Normannie et Rotberti eius filii et Willelmi filii predicti Rotberti fuit quidam eorum capellanus Baiocis Ernaldus nomine, potens in prediis et domibus infra civitatem et extra civitatem que emerat suo auro atque suo argento. Quo mortuo tempore Willelmi Normannorum ducis Stephanus nepos predicti Ernaldi iure hereditario successit in hereditatem sui avunculi dono Willelmi Normannorum ducis." After Stephen's death and a suit in the king's court the king “accepit in suum dominium possessionem Stephani et dedit eam regine et regina dedit michi concessu regis domos et duodecim acras terre que iam predixi et ortos et omnia que habuerat Stephanus de suo alodio, nam alias res eiusdem Stephani que pertinebant ad ecclesiam sancti Iohannis que erat capella regis dederat iam rex Thome suo clerico nondum archiepiscopo". Notice of Rainaldus the chaplain, MS. Lat. n. a. 1243, f. 80; MS. Fr. 4899, p. 292. This capellaria was later held by Samson (Livre Noir de Bayeux, no. 4), probably the royal chaplain of that name who became bishop of Worcester in 1996. Both Samson and his brother Thomas were canons and treasurers of Bayeux. 123 Cf. Round, "Bernard the King's Scribe", English Historical Review, XIV.


except for two charters of Richard II.,126 of any mention of a chancellor before 1066 does not preclude the existence of a chancery under the Conqueror. Chancery and chapel were not completely differentiated in Frankish days,127 and both at the court of Philip I. and at William's English court the chancellor sometimes attested simply as chaplain.128 It should be remembered that the Conqueror's first chancellor in England, Herfast, had long been his chaplain in Normandy, 129 where he is still called chaplain after his entrance upon the English chancellorship.13


Of the curia in the wider sense before 1066 it is likewise impossible to speak with the definiteness which it deserves as an antecedent of the English curia regis. A comparison of the names of the witnesses to William's charters does not show any great degree of fixity in his entourage. The bishops, when present, sign after the members of the ducal family. Then comes a small group of counts and men of similar rank-the counts of Evreux and Mortain, Roger of Beaumont, Roger of Montgomery, William Fitz Osbern-followed by household officers, vicomtes, and others. These are the elements which constitute the curia, but their function is attestation rather than assent, and, except for the few cases where the charter is expressly declared to be issued in such a gathering,131 it is impossible

128 66 Hugo cancellarius scripsit et subscripsit." Charter of 1027 for Fécamp, Musée de la Bénédictine, no. 2 ter; Neustria Pia, p. 215. "Odo cancellarius scripsit et subscripsit." Charter for Dudo of St. Quentin, Gallia Christiana, XI. instr. 284. The charter of 1011 for St. Ouen (Pommeraye, Histoire de S. Ouen, p. 422) which contains the words "Dudo capellanus composui et scripsi is an evident forgery, but an authentic charter of 1006 for Fécamp (Musée, no. 1) has "Per Widonem notarium meo rogatu scriptum". "Ego frater Robertus scripsi et subscripsi" appears in a charter for St. Wandrille subscribed by the Conqueror before 1066 (original in MS. Lat. 16738, no. 4); this was probably the Robertus scriptor of a charter for St. Amand (Pommeraye, Histoire de S. Amand, p. 78) and the Rodbertus clericus of an early charter for Jumièges (Delisle, S. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, no. 16).


127 On the whole subject of the Frankish chapel see now Lüders, Capella ", Archiv für Urkundenforschung (1908), II. 1–100.

128 For France see Prou, Actes de Philippe I., p. lv; and for England Eyton's note (British Museum, Add. MS. 31943, f. 27v) calling attention to the subscription of Herfast noted below and to that of Maurice as chaplain in 1083 (Monasticon, I. 238), two years after he had been made chancellor. Cf. the destructive criticism respecting the Anglo-Saxon chancery by Stevenson, English Historical Review, XI. 732 (p. 733, n. 5, throws doubt also on the Norman chancery); and by Hall, Studies in English Official Historical Documents, p. 163 ff.

129 Round, Calendar, no. 1165; William of Malmesbury, Gesta Pontificum,

p. 150.

130 Round, no. 77, dated 1069, whereas he is chancellor in 1068 (Monasticon, VIII. 1324).

131 Hariulf, ed. Lot, p. 185; Martène and Durand, Thesaurus, I. 252; Ordericus, II. 40.


to say when the primates or proceres have met as an assembly. Beyond the old custom of holding an assembly at Fécamp at Eastertide,132 our knowledge of the duke's itinerary is too fragmentary to show any such regularity in the court's meetings as we find in England after the Conquest. The curia was brought together for purposes of counsel on matters which ranged from a transfer of relics133 to the invasion of England,134 and for judicial business. As a judicial body the charters reveal its activity chiefly in cases concerning a monastery's title to land for the duke's protection naturally carried with it access to his court-but it plainly has wider functions growing out of the judicial supremacy of the duke. It may try barons for high crimes.136 Disputes respecting the limits of ecclesiastical and baronial jurisdiction must be brought before it,137 and it is the obvious place for the settlement of other difficulties between the greater tenants, so that it may even be agreed in advance that when a case reaches a certain stage it shall be respited until it can come before the duke.138 The curia is a place of record for agreements,139 and may itself order a sworn record to be made and attested.140 It may send officers to partition land. 141 Evidence 132 William of Jumièges, ed. Duchesne, p. 317; Lot, Fidèles et Vassaux, p. 262. We find an Easter court at Fécamp in 1032 (Ordericus, III. 223); 1028 or 1034 (Collection Moreau, XXI. 9); ca. 1056 (Round, no. 1109); 1066 (Le Prévost, Eure, I. 149); 1067 (Duchesne, Scriptores, p. 211); 1075 (Ordericus, II. 303); 1083 (MS. Rouen 1193, f. 30v). No place is mentioned in Cartulaire de la Trinité de Rouen, nos. 28, 82, both issued at Easter. The great privileges. of Richard II. for the Norman monasteries were granted at a curia held at Fécamp in August (Neustria Pia, pp. 215, 398; Le Prevost, Eure, I. 285), and Robert I. held a curia there in January, 1035 (Gallia Christiana, XI. instr. 327). 133 Acta Sanctorum, February, I. 193 (Richard I.).

124 Freeman, Norman Conquest, III. 290 ff.

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135 Si per illam calumniam damnum aliquod ipsi monachi habuerint, duas reclamationes in mea corte vel curia faciant." Robert I. for Fécamp, Collection Moreau, XXI. 9. See Delisle, S. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, nos. 35, 36, 42; Hariulf, ed. Lot, p. 224; Cartulaire de la Trinité, no. 82; Ordericus, II. 310; Deville, Analyse d'un Cartulaire de S. Etienne de Caen, p. 20; Round, Calendar, nos. 78, 116, 165, 711, 712, 1114, 1170-1172, 1190, 1212.

136 Ordericus, II. 433. Cf. the case of the abbot of S. Evroul, ibid., II. 81. 137 Council of Lillebonne, end.

18% Dum venit in Monte Sancti Michaelis est in respectu donec coram rege." Agreement between the abbot of Mont St. Michel and William Painel, 10701081, English Historical Review, XXII. 647. The passage is somewhat obscure (cf. Round, Calendar, no. 714), but the meaning of coram rege is plain.

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13 Round, nos. 713, 1171, and the charter cited in the preceding note. Cf. the following, from a charter of William as duke: Me petierunt canonici precepique ut coram Geraldo dapifero meo firmaretur eorum conventio, quod factum est". Deville, Essai Historique sur S. Georges de Bocherville (Rouen, 1827), p. 71. 140 Gallia Christiana, XI. instr. 65.

141 Le Prévost, Eure, III. 184. MS. Rouen 1193, ff. 3IV, 54V: 66 Partes . . . quas adquisivit Robertus archiepiscopus iudicio Ricardi comitis et principum

is secured by oath,142 ordeal,143 and the wager of battle,144 and it is altogether probable that the sworn inquest was employed.145 Where the account is at all explicit, we usually find certain members rendering the decision of the court, sometimes merely as Urteilfinder after the case has been heard before the whole curia,146 sometimes as a separate body before which the proceedings are conducted. 147 This does not necessarily involve any stability of organization or specialization of function, but there are indications that more of a beginning had been made in this direction in Normandy than, for example, in the neighboring county of Anjou.148 Among the men who act as judges we regularly find one or more bishops and a vicomte,149 members of the two classes which had most occasion to become acquainted with the law, and while we do not yet hear of a body of justices and a chief justiciar, it is not impossible that something of the sort may have existed. At the very beginning of William's reign the bishop of Bayeux makes complaint before the archbishop of Rouen, Count Odo of Brittany, Neel the vicomte, aliique seniores justiciam regni obtinentes ;150 and in three other cases the archbishop and Roger of Beaumont appear among the judges.151 Bishop Geoffrey of Coutances, described by his biographer as immersed in the business of the king and the curia,152 is found in three of the small number of charters where the names of the judges

eius in appendiciis Doverent ad quarum divisionem et saisionem misit Ricardus comes Goscelinum filium Hecdonis et Ricardum vicecomitem filium Tescelini et Radulfum filium episcopi et Osbertum de Augis ".

142 Livre Noir de Bayeux, no. 21.

143 Round, no. 1172; Ordericus, II. 433; Mémoires de la Société d'Agriculture de Bayeux (1845), III. 125.


144 Neustria Pia, p. 168 (Round, no. 165).

145 Brunner, Schwurgerichte, p. 270; Pollock and Maitland, second edition, I. The existence of the sworn inquest has mainly to be inferred from its appearance in England shortly after the Conquest and in Normandy in the twelfth century. Cf. Haskins, "The Early Norman Jury", AMERICAN HISTORICAL REVIEW, VIII. 613 ff.

146 Round, no. 1190.

147 Delisle, S. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, nos. 36, 42.

145 For Anjou see Halphen, in Revue Historique, LXXVII. 282.

149 Delisle, S. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, nos. 13, 35, 36, 42; Round, no. 1190. The bishops are prominent in Round, no. 78; in no. 1114 the bishops and abbots are the judges; in no. 116, two abbots and five laymen. The curiae in which the vicomte appears may in some cases have been local. Cf. note 104.

150 Livre Noir de Bayeux, no. 21; Delisle, S. Sauveur-le-Vicomte, no. 13. Delisle, p. 3, considers these men to have been regents. Stapleton, I. xxiv,

note o, calls them justiciars.

151 Round, nos. 78, 1190; MS. Lat. n. a. 1243, f. 80.
152 Gallia Christiana, XI. instr. 219.

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