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Unformatted text preview: in-law, put himself in possession of that principality, and annexed it for the present to his other great dominions. The king had a prospect of making still farther acquisitions; and 1159. the activity of his temper suffered no opportunity of that kind to escape him. Philippa, duchess of Guienne, mother of Queen Eleanor, was the only issue of William IV. count of Toulouse; and would have inherited his dominions, had not that prince, desirous of preserving the succession in the male-line, conveyed the principality to his brother, Raymond de St. Gilles, by a contract of sale which was in that age regarded as fictitious and illusory. By this means the title to the county of Toulouse came to be disputed between the male and female heirs; and the one or the other, as opportunities favoured them, had obtained possession. Raymond, grandson of Raymond de St. Gilles, was the reigning sovereign; and on Henry’s reviving his wife’s claim, this prince had recourse for protection to the king of France, who was so much concerned in policy to prevent the farther aggrandizement of the English monarch. Lewis himself, when married to Eleanor, had asserted the justice of her claim, and had demanded possession of Toulouse;i but his sentiments changing with his interest, he now determined to defend, by his power and authority, the title of Raymond. Henry found, that it would be requisite to support his pretensions against potent antagonists; and that nothing but a formidable army could maintain a claim, which he had in vain asserted by arguments and manifestos. An army, composed of feudal vassals, was commonly very intractable and undisciplined, both because of the independant spirit of the persons who served in it, PLL v5 (generated January 22, 2010) 211 http://oll.libertyfund.org/title/695 Online Library of Liberty: The History of England, vol. 1 and because the commands were not given either by the choice of the sovereign or from the military capacity and experience of the officers. Each baron conducted his own vassals: His rank was greater or less, proportioned to the extent of his property: Even the supreme command under the prince was often attached to birth: And as the military vassals were obliged to serve only forty days at their own charge; though, if the expedition were distant, they were put to great expence; the prince reaped little benefit from their attendance. Henry, sensible of these inconveniencies, levied upon his vassals in Normandy and other provinces, which were remote from Toulouse, a sum of money in lieu of their service; and this commutation, by reason of the great distance, was still more advantageous to his English vassals. He imposed, therefore, a scutage of 180,000 pounds on the knight’s fees, a commutation, to which, though it was unusual, and the first perhaps to be met with in history,*NOTE [O] the military tenants willingly submitted; and with this money, he levied an army which was more under his command, and whose service was more durable and constant. Assisted by Berenger, count of Barcelona, and Trincaval, count of...
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This note was uploaded on 02/12/2011 for the course CHIN 101 taught by Professor Dr.yu during the Spring '08 term at University Of Southern Mississippi .
- Spring '08