Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 25.djvu/455

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land until 1129, and then pardoned and received into favour. Two rebels who had forsworn themselves were condemned to lose their eyes. A like doom was pronounced against the warrior poet, Luke de Barré, for he had mortally offended the king by his satirical verses, as well as by his repeated attacks upon him. Charles, count of Flanders, who chanced to be at the court, and many nobles remonstrated at this, for, as they pleaded, Luke was not one of Henry's men, and was taken while fighting for his own lord. Henry acknowledged this, but would not remit his sentence, for he said that Luke had made his enemies laugh at him. Luke escaped his doom by dashing out his own brains (Orderic, pp. 880, 881). The king's success was crowned by the publication of a papal decree, obtained by his persuasion, annulling the marriage contract between William Clito and the daughter of the Count of Anjou, on account of consanguinity (ib. p. 838; D'Achery, Spicilegium, iii. 497). The war cost much money, and Englishmen moaned over the burdens which were laid upon them; ‘those who had goods,’ the chronicler writes, ‘were bereft of them by strong gelds and strong motes; he who had none starved with hunger.’ The law was enforced vigorously, and sometimes probably unjustly; at Huncote in Leicestershire the king's justices at one time hanged forty-four men as thieves, and mutilated six others, some of whom, it was generally believed, were innocent. At the end of the year Henry sent from Normandy, commanding that severe measures should be taken against debasers of the coin, which had deteriorated so much that it was said that a pound was not worth a penny in the market. The offenders were punished with mutilation.

On the death of his son-in-law the emperor in 1125, Henry sent for his daughter Matilda, who went back to him, and in September 1126 he returned to England with his queen, his daughter, and his prisoners. Finding that it was unlikely that his queen would have children, he determined to secure the succession for his daughter, and at the following Christmas assembly at Westminster caused the prelates and barons to swear that if he died without a male heir they would receive Matilda as Lady both of England and Normandy. Among those who took this oath were David, king of Scots, who had come to the English court at Michaelmas, and Stephen, count of Boulogne, the king's nephew, and the brother of Count Theobald (Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, sub an. 1127; William of Malmesbury, Historia Novella, i. 2, 3; Symeon, ii. 281; Cont. William of Jumièges, viii. 25). It was afterwards asserted by Bishop Roger of Salisbury that this oath was taken on the king's promise that he would not give his daughter in marriage to any one out of the kingdom without the advice of his chief men; this assertion was probably untrue. Henry's move must have seemed strange to the men of his time, for no woman had hitherto reigned in her own right either over England or Normandy; it was meant to put an end to the hopes of the party which supported William Clito, and so to give stability to Henry's position during the rest of his reign, as well as to secure the succession after his death. By way of answer to this oath of succession, Louis again took up the cause of William, who, since the papal decree against his marriage had been finally enforced, had been forsaken by his friends, gave him to wife Jane of Montferrat, the half-sister of his queen, and invested him with the grant of the French Vexin. Moreover, when Charles, count of Flanders, died on 1 March 1127, he gave the county to William as the heir of Baldwin V. Henry was himself one of the claimants, and sent his nephew Stephen, whose county of Boulogne was a Flemish fief, to press his claim. Stephen was unsuccessful, and the favour shown to William by the French king and the rapid rise in his nephew's fortunes forced him to take measures to prevent another combination being formed against him. Accordingly he made alliance with Fulk of Anjou, and at Whitsuntide sent his daughter and heiress to Normandy, under the charge of her half-brother, Robert, earl of Gloucester, to become the wife of Fulk's son Geoffrey. He also made alliance with Theodoric of Alsace, who claimed to succeed to the county, and with a strong party among the Flemings against William and the French king. In August he crossed over to Normandy, and in order to prevent Louis from giving help to William upheld Amaury of Montfort in a quarrel with the French king (Suger, p. 56); invaded France, though probably without any idea of making conquests; encamped for a week at Epernon, one of Amaury's chief possessions, without being attacked (Henry of Huntingdon, p. 247), and by this means kept Louis from marching into Flanders. At Whitsuntide 1128 he knighted Geoffrey with much ceremony at Rouen, and then proceeded with him and Matilda to Le Mans, where on the octave of the feast Geoffrey and Matilda were married in his presence in the cathedral (Historia Gaufredi ap. Recueil, xii. 520, 521; for date see Angevin Kings, i. 258). The marriage was unpopular in England, Normandy, and Maine; the English were not pleased at the heiress to the crown marrying out of the