Page images

vas re

this treaty, the English king engaged that Richard his second surviving son, should marry the daughter of Raymond and Petronilla, the King undertaking to give Richard the Duchy of Aquitaine, on the consummation of the marriage. The prospect indeed was remote, for Richard was at this time less than two years old; and it is very possible Henry might justly calculate that a thou would intervene to change his relations with the Count of Barcelona, before the period arrived for fulfilling his engagements. Still the treaty, though it did not prove binding in regard to his arrangements with Raymond, implied a promise to his second son, which might be difficult to evade at an after period.

There can be little doubt indeed that, in this instance, one of the weaknesses and contradictions of Henry's character displayed itself. He was, it would appear, politic, far-seeing, prudent, and cautious even to an excess; and yet, such was the strength of his passions and the vehemence of his desires that, when any object was to be gained which he had very much at heart, he forgot every consideration of the future, rather than forego his purpose. This peculiarity is apparent in a thousand acts which he performed in the course of his lise,

[ocr errors]


ties, he ended his speech, “Proinde malo esse comitum primus quam regum nec septimus.”

one of which we shall have to notice very shortly.

In the present instance, the advantages to be gained by an alliance with the Count of Barcelona overbalanced all those considerations of policy which led him to strive for the augmentation and consolidation of his dominions, and, as we have said, he promised to bestow Aquitaine upon his son Richard. Many other causes, besides the inducement of this alliance, led Raymond of Barcelona to join eagerly in the warfare against his namesake of Toulouse; and while negociating with him, Henry had contrived to encircle the lands which he himself claimed, by persons who were enemies to the actual possessor, and whom he had bound to himself by treaties and promises. One of the principal of these was Trencaval, whom William of Newbury calls Trenchveil, Viscount of Beziers and Carcassonne, who had many ancient causes of hostility towards the Count of Toulouse. It would appear, indeed, that a league had existed between various noblemen in the neighbourhood of the County previous to the assertion of Henry's claim,* and that the English monarch took

* Nothing has been more thoroughly confused and mis-stated than the whole of these transactions. The account which I give in the subsequent paragraphs contains nothing that has not been proved beyond a doubt by Dom Vaissette, in his History of Languedoc. All his surmises, and very often indeed, his deductions,


advantage of that league to secure his operations against his adversary, by binding all the confederates to himself.

I have not admitted, because he evidently wrote with a view to support a preconceived opinion. Various gaps in the chain of cause and effect will therefore be found, where positive proof of the facts could not be obtained, and these the reader must supply as his judgment may suggest. The facts ascertained, however, show Lord Lyttleton's statement to be incorrect in many particulars; though not nearly so much so as that which has since been put forth by Dr. Lingard, for which I can find no authority whatsoever. He says, “The father of Queen Eleanor had possessed the Duchy of Toulouse in right of his wife Philippa, but, under a pretence of a sale or a mortgage, had conveyed it to her uncle Raymond, Count of St. Giles. At his death, the right of succession to all his dominions devolved on his daughter; and Raymond, that he might retain Toulouse, concluded a treaty with her husband, the King of France, by which the territory was secured to him as the dower of his wife Constance, the sister of Louis.” Now, there is not one single assertion contained in the above sentences that irrefragable facts do not prove to be erroneous. William X. Duke of Aquitaine, Eleanor's father, never possessed a foot of ground in the territory of Toulouse, and it is very doubtful whether he ever put in a claim to the county, which was not named a duchy. Next, Eleanor never had an uncle Raymond, Count of St. Giles. Her uncle Raymond was Prince of Antioch, and never, by mortgage or any manner, possessed an acre in the County of Toulouse. The Count of St. Giles here spoken of by Dr. Lingard must either be the famous Raymond of St. Giles, to whom Lord Lyttleton supposed the county mortgaged, or the younger Raymond of St. Giles, who possessed Toulouse when Henry attacked it. Now, if the first be meant, Eleanor's father, William X. of Aquitaine, was four years old when that prince died, William being born in Toulouse, in 1100, and Raymond dying in

The claim put forward by Henry to the County of Toulouse, is one of the most obscure and difficult points in the history of the times; the statements made by many contemporary writers, especially those on the part of the English monarch, being distinctly proved to be erroneous, by the dates of deeds and charters, which show what is false, without giving any direct clue to the truth. The title set forth by Henry was that the grandfather of

Syria, where he had been some years, in February 1105. If it be the Raymond who held the city in the days of Henry II., that prince was born in 1134, and Eleanor's father died in April 1137. No such transaction therefore as a mortgage could have taken place between either of those parties. We are nest told that, “Raymond, that he might retain Toulouse, concluded a treaty with her (Eleanor's) husband, the King of France, by which the territory was secured to him as the dower of Constance, the sister of Louis.” Raymond succeeded his father Alphonso in 1148, being then between thirteen and fourteen years of age: Eleanor was divorced from Louis the Young in 1152, and, on Whitsunday of the same year, gave to Henry of Anjou her hand, and with it her claim upon Toulouse. Thus, if any treaty took place between Raymond and Louis, in regard to the claim of the latter upon Toulouse, it must have been between 1149, when Louis returned from the Crusade, and the spring of 1152, when he divorced Eleanor. However, poor Constance could have no share in the matter; for she was at that time married to Eustace, son of Stephen, King of England, to whom she was united in 1140, and who did not die till the summer of 1153. Thus Louis had no claim whatever to Toulouse, in right of his wife Eleanor, at any period of time when Constance's hand was at liberty, so that the County could not have been given as her dower. Constance did not marry Raymond till 1154, the first year of her widowhood.

his wife, Eleanor, having married the heiress of the County of Toulouse, had afterwards mortgaged that territory to the Count of St. Giles. Neither the mortgager nor his son had ever been able to redeem the mortgage; and the county had still remained in the hands of the Counts of St. Giles, who took also the title of Counts of Toulouse. The rights of Eleanor, however, remained entire, and were transferred to Henry after her divorce from Louis, the King of France. Such was the statement of the English King, and he now determined to advance his claim without further delay; but at the same time he endeavoured to guard against any interference on the part of the King of France, by asserting—it would appear justlythat the same claim had been made by that monarch at the time that Eleanor was his wife; so that he had absolutely recognised her right to the County. How this is to be reconciled with the known facts is difficult to discover ; but the following particulars may serve to show, that some considerable mis-statements were made by the parti. sans of the King of England, in regard to the history of the County of Toulouse.

Pons, Count of Toulouse, left two sons, William and Raymond, the first named of whom succeeded to the County, towards the year 1061. His second son, Raymond, on the decease of his mother, succeeded to the County of St. Giles, and, at the death

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »