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are given,163 and it would not be surprising if he served a Norman apprenticeship for his work as judge and Domesday commissioner in England.154 It is clear that, contrary to Freeman's view of the exclusion of ecclesiastics from the Norman curia,155 the bishops took an active part in its proceedings, and it is probably among them, rather than in the office of seneschal, that we should seek the origin of the English justiciarship.156

If, in conclusion, we try to summarize the constitution of Normandy on the eve of the invasion of England, certain features stand out with reasonable clearness. The organization of Norman society is feudal, with the accompaniments of feudal tenure of land, feudal military organization and private justice, but it is a feudalism which is held in check by a strong ducal power. The military service owing to the duke has been systematically assessed and is regularly enforced. Castles can be built only by the duke's license and must be handed over to him on demand. Private war and the blood feud are carefully restricted, and private jurisdictions are restrained by the reserved jurisdiction of the duke and by the maintenance of a public local administration. The duke keeps a firm hand on the Norman Church, in the matter both of appointments and of jurisdiction. He holds the monopoly of coinage, and is able to collect a considerable part of his income in money. The administra

a tive machinery, though in many respects still primitive, has kept pace with the duke's authority. His local representative, the vicomte, is a public officer and not a domanial agent; his revenues are regularly collected; and something has been done toward creating organs of fiscal control and of judicial administration. The system shows strength, and it shows organizing power. In some directions, as in the fixing of military obligations, this organizing force may have been at work before the Conqueror's time, but much must have been due to his efforts. Stark and stern and wrathful, whether we read of him in the classic phrases of William of Poitiers or in the simple speech of the Old English chronicle, the personality of William the Conqueror stands out pre-eminent in the midst of a conquering race, but it does not stand alone. The Norman barons shared the high-handed and masterful character of their leader, and the history of Norman rule in southern Italy and Sicily shows that the Norman genius for political organization was not confined to the dukes of Rouen. For William and for his followers the conquest of England only gave a wider field for qualities of state-building which had already shown themselves in Normandy.

169 Delisle, nos. 36, 42; Round, no. 78. In the first two instances he is at the head of the body. The writ in Round, no. 464, evidently relates to England and not to Normandy, for an examination of the original in the archives of the Calvados shows that the archbishop's initial is not J but L (i. e., Lanfranc).

164 On his work in England see Round, Feudal England, pp. 133-134, 138, 460; Stubbs, Constitutional History, I. 375.

155 Norman Conquest, I. 172, III. 290.

168 Stubbs's view of the derivation of the justiciarship from the seneschalship (I. c., I. 375) has also been criticized by Harcourt, His Grace the Steward, pp. 11-18, but on the untenable ground that William Fitz-Osbern was never dapifer to William ". In addition to the statements of the chroniclers, which Harcourt seeks to explain away, Fitz-Osbern witnesses as dapifer, along with the dapifer Gerold, in a charter for St. Ouen (Collection Moreau, XXII. 110v, from the original; Cartulary of St. Ouen, in archives of the Seine-Inférieure, 28 bis, no. 338), and issues a charter for St. Denis in which he styles himself

ego Willelmus Osberni filius consul et dapifer Willelmi Anglorum regis ” (Archives Nationales, LL. 1158, p. 590). The problem of interest as regards Fitz-Osbern is not so much his seneschalship as his title of comes palatii and magister militum (Ordericus, II. 265; Cartulaire de la Trinité, no. 67) and his father's position as procurator principalis domus (William of Jumièges, ed. Duchesne, p. 268).





In the Europe of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the state created in the Netherlands by the four dukes of Burgundy who succeeded one another from Philip the Bold (1384-1404) to Charles the Bold (1467-1477), and perfected later by Charles V., occupied a unique position, and presented special characteristics which differentiated it so completely from the other political organisms of the time, that it merits more attention from the historian than it has heretofore been accorded. The study both of its formation and of its governing institutions is, in fact, of a nature to throw new light upon the policy of princes at the beginning of modern times: upon the obstacles which this policy had to combat, the circumstances which favored it, and in short, its connection with the social and economic life of that epoch.

But, to begin with, what is meant by the expression, Burgundian state? It is a modern term, and did not make its appearance before the end of the nineteenth century. It was invented to provide an exact designation for the political union in which, between the end of the fourteenth century and the middle of the sixteenth, the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands were joined under the authority of a single princely house. Although for a long time this house possessed the duchy and county of Burgundy as well, these two territories formed no part of the state which it built up, the state we are undertaking to describe. The union between them was simply a personal one, and indeed, the Burgundian state of the North never had anything in common with the two Burgundies; it possessed its own life, entirely independent of theirs, and the institutions by which it was governed did not extend their action beyond its frontiers.

Although the name Burgundian state is modern, it is not arbitrary, but is based on historic fact and on tradition. The chroniclers and historians of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries

* This article reproduces, with certain alterations, a paper read before the International Congress of Historical Sciences at Berlin, August 10, 1908, by Professor Henri Pirenne of the University of Ghent.

AM. HIST. REV., VOL. XIV.-31. (477)

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regularly give the name Burgundians to the inhabitants of BelgoNetherland provinces. The briquet of Burgundywas at the same epoch the national emblem of these lands, where it is still to be seen carved on the fronts of their town halls and on the keystones of their churches. Circle of Burgundy is the name given under Maximilian and under Charles the Fifth to the circle of the Empire which embraced these lands. In the early part of the sixteenth century, it is true, the humanists gave up the old appellation and substituted that of Belgica or Belgium, which was supplied to them by antiquity, and which, reappearing after centuries, designates the kingdom of Belgium to-day. Nevertheless, even in the seventeenth century, curious traces of the early state of affairs are to be found. It will be sufficient to call to mind here that at the end of the Spanish régime the vessels of the Catholic Netherlands (the Belgium of to-day) still bore on their flags the arms of the house of Burgundy. The name, indeed, is merely a detail. The essential thing is to

. prove the long duration of this Burgundian state, established at the dawn of modern times between France and Germany, and represented on the map of Europe to-day by the kingdoms of Belgium and Holland. From the fifteenth century until the great upheaval produced by the French conquest at the end of the eighteenth, Burgundian institutions remained at the basis of the institutions of these two countries whose political destinies were so different, and it can be said with absolute truth that both of them, the Republic of the United Provinces and the Catholic Netherlands, retained to the end the clearly defined marks of their common Burgundian origin.

In spite of appearances, then, and notwithstanding the great transformations which it underwent, first at the end of the sixteenth century, through the separation of the Calvinist provinces of the north from the Catholic provinces of the south, and later in the course of the seventeenth century through the conquests of Louis XIV. in Artois, Flanders and Hainaut, the Burgundian state had a very long existence.

This length of life may at first sight appear remarkable, for it would seem that the characteristics which made it a thing unique in Europe, denied to it all the conditions indispensable to the maintenance of a political organism.

It must first be made clear, that although it belonged to the group of territorial states (Territorialstaaten) formed at the end of the Middle Ages, it differed from them in a very noteworthy

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? The name briquet de Bourgogne is used to designate the links of the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece.


manner. Like those states, it was the work of a princely house, and not of a monarchy, and, again like them, it consisted of an agglomeration of lands originally independent of one another. But while the other territorial states were built up of districts subject to the same suzerainty, it united regions dependent on Germany (Brabant, Hainaut, Holland, Zeeland, Luxemburg, etc.) with regions dependent on France (Artois, Flanders). It included within its frontiers a fragment of each of the two great states between which it lay. Its princes, until the reign of Charles V., were at the same time vassals of the emperors and vassals of the Valois. In short, the Burgundian state appears to us as essentially a frontier state, or, to speak more exactly, as a state made up of the frontier provinces of two kingdoms. The Scheldt, the most important of its commercial routes, separated Francia Occidentalis from Francia Orientalis, from the time of the Treaty of Verdun (843).

Of a hybrid nature even from this first point of view, the Burgundian state was still more so if we consider the peoples who dwelt in it. It was crossed not only by a political, but also by a linguistic frontier. Lacking unity of feudal dependence, it lacked, in a manner still more striking, national unity. It united a group of Romanic with a group of Germanic population. Walloons occupied all the southern portions-Namur, Hainaut, Artois, Gallic Flanders and southern Brabant; while people of Netherland speech, of Frankish or Frisian origin, dwelt in the northern provinces. A frontier state between two kingdoms, was still more a frontier state between two tongues. By a singular coincidence, it constituted at the same time the point of contact between the two great states of Western Europe, France and Germany, and the two great peoples that have formed European civilization, the Germanic and the Romanic.

Finally, in addition to these two peculiarities we must mention a third. For the Burgundian state had no more geographic than it had political or linguistic unity. Except in the southeast, where it was protected by the hills of the Ardennes, it was open on all sides. Outlined on the great plain of northern Europe, it presented no natural obstacles, either on the side of Germany or on that of France. Of the three rivers which crossed it, the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt, not one has its source on Burgundian soil.

Thus, from whatever side it is regarded, this state at first sight appears to have been the work of arbitrary will, and of chance.

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