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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/413

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John
John
407

anointed. He did not communicate at his coronation. After appointing Geoffrey FitzPeter chief justiciar and Archbishop Hubert chancellor he went the next day to worship at St. Albans, and thence to Canterbury and St. Edmunds. He visited Northampton on 5 June, expecting that William, king of Scots, would meet him and do homage. Instead of coming William demanded Northumberland and Cumberland, and threatened war. John put these shires under the care of William of Stuteville, and on the 20th sailed for Normandy with a large force, crossing from Shoreham to Dieppe. On 24 June he made a truce with Philip at Rouen until 16 Aug., when the two kings had a conference between Boutavant and Le Goulet. Philip demanded the Vexin for himself, and for Arthur Anjou, Maine, Poitou, and Touraine, complaining that John had entered on his brother's continental fiefs without doing homage. John was in a position to refuse. The Count of Flanders had done homage to him, the French lords of Richard's party had accepted him as their head, and his nephew Otto was acknowledged by the pope as the rightful claimant of the empire. War began, and though Philip gained some successes he quarrelled with William des Roches, the leader of the Breton army, and was consequently forced to evacuate Maine. William des Roches received John at Le Mans, and delivered Arthur and Constance into his care. On the same day, 22 Sept., Arthur was secretly warned that his uncle would imprison him. The Viscount of Thouars was with John, and had been forced by him to give up Chinon; he, Arthur, and Constance escaped from Le Mans together in the night.

A truce was made in October, and before it ended the two kings held another conference near Les Andelys in the middle of January 1200. Philip, who had his own embarrassments (Angevin Kings, ii. 395), agreed to easier terms. John's niece Blanche, daughter of his sister Eleanor and Alfonso IX of Castile, was to marry Philip's son Louis, and John was to give with her the city and county of Evreux, all the castles in Normandy held by Philip at Richard's death, and three thousand marks, and he further promised to give no help to his nephew Otto. He returned to England, sailing from Barfleur, and landing at Portsmouth on 27 Feb. Although he had already received the unusually heavy scutage of two marks he demanded a carucage of 3s. on each ploughland to make up the sum to be paid on Blanche's marriage. He went to York to meet the king of Scots, who failed to attend, and there demanded the carucage from certain Cistercian abbots.

On their answering that they must first receive the directions of a general chapter of their order, he bade his sheriffs annoy them by all means in their power and deny them justice. Archbishop Hubert prevailed on him to withdraw this order, and paid him one thousand marks from them, but John was not appeased. In the end of April he again crossed to Normandy, and on 22 May concluded the treaty with Philip at Le Goulet. He was acknowledged king of England and duke of Normandy, with the right to the homage of Brittany, which he then received from Arthur. Besides the concessions already promised he gave certain places in Berry with his niece to Louis; he renounced the alliance of the Count of Flanders and of Otto, and one thousand marks of the money he had promised was remitted. All difficulties with Philip and Arthur seemed at an end, and the peaceable possession of his continental dominions secured.

The fresh difficulties in which John became involved were of his own making. Anxious to form a grander marriage, and perhaps dissatisfied at having no children by Avice, he had obtained a divorce from her from the bishops of Normandy and Aquitaine, on the ground of consanguinity, probably procuring by fraud a sanction from the pope, who was angered at the step when too late (compare Coggeshall, p. 103, and Diceto, ii. 167). He did not give up her inheritance, for he granted the county of Gloucester to William de Montfort, count of Evreux, husband of Avice's elder sister, Mabel, in exchange for the count's own possessions which had been ceded to the French, keeping the rest apparently in his own hands. Avice afterwards married Geoffrey de Mandeville, son of Geoffrey FitzPeter, earl of Essex, the chief justiciar. John sent ambassadors to the king of Portugal to solicit his daughter in marriage, but changed his mind, and it is said, at the suggestion of Philip, proposed to marry Isabella, daughter of Ademar, count of Angoulême [see Isabella of Angoulême]. First he made a progress through his continental dominions in June and July, and on 30 July arrived at Chinon, where his marriage probably took place. Isabella was, however, contracted to Hugh le Brun, eldest son of Hugh IX, count of La Marche, and her father took her from his custody to marry her to John, who thus made a dangerous enemy. John took his young wife, then about twelve years of age, over to England, and had her crowned with himself at Westminster on 8 Oct. While in London he visited Bishop Hugh of Lincoln, then on his deathbed (Magna Vita, pp. 335, 336). He went to Lincoln on the 21st to meet