Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION II.: THE TWELFTH CENTURY: ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNE OF AMIENS. * - The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France vol. 2
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SECTION II.: THE TWELFTH CENTURY: ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNE OF AMIENS. * - Augustin Thierry, The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France vol. 2 
The Formation and Progress of the Tiers État, or Third Estate in France, translated from the French by the Rev. Francis B. Wells, Two volumes in One (London: Henry G. Bohn, 1859).
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THE TWELFTH CENTURY: ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMUNE OF AMIENS.*
The great municipal revolution, which broke out in the first years of the twelfth century, had been a long time in a state of preparation; the causes of this revolution have been traced in the preceding pages, for the wrongs which the city of Amiens suffered from the seigneurial government were common to all others. In the cities, as well as in the rural districts, the feudal organisation had encroached upon and transformed the ancient social governments, whatever might be their nature and origin. It had more or less entirely destroyed the old urban institutions; and the cities parcelled out into different seigniories, deprived of political unity and civil jurisdiction, found themselves governed, under the name of domains, by great or small feudatories. During the eleventh century no means existed to remedy the disorders and sufferings of every kind which resulted from such a state of things—neither the Institutions of Peace, nor the complaints and remonstrances of the bourgeois, joined to those of the clergy, nor the royal power of the Capets, too weak and undecided to make its attempt at interference of any effect or benefit.
At the commencement of the twelfth century the population of the cities, throughout the whole extent of France, was agitated in various ways and different degrees by a deeply-felt necessity of a political reform.* The design of this movement—whatever might be the symptoms of it—was the same everywhere, and its tendency may be thus defined:—to revive the traditions of the ancient civil government, and to rally all the scattered remains of the municipal existence; to complete and establish them by means of a new constitution; to seize again, by force or otherwise, the right of urban jurisdiction, and to substitute elective magistracies for feudal offices; to regain the useful rights of the ancient municipality, its revenues, its common property, its dependencies; lastly, to erect the whole body of the citizens into a free corporation, invested with political rights, and having the power of delegating its administrative and judicial functions. With regard to the external character of this revolution, the occasional causes which made it burst out simultaneously, or propagated it step by step, the political instrumentalities by which it was assisted, the events which accompanied it, and its social consequences, there were great differences, according to the condition of the cities in one or another portion of the country; and in this respect two great zones may be marked out—that of the south and that of the north. We shall only speak in this place of the last, in which Amiens is situated.
In the case of the cities of the north of France, the means of civil regeneration, the revolutionary mainspring, if we may so express it, was the confederated association, the Guild derived from the German usages, and employed in the course of the eleventh century as an instrument of public peace under the religious inspiration and authority of the Church. The application of this powerful instrument to the municipal organisation had this new feature—that it was entirely political. Besides, its object was not only to establish peace in the cities, but to reconstitute society in them from its foundation; to institute a mutual assurance in behalf of all interests and all rights; to make a public power, exercised for and by all, emanate from the association of the citizens.
Such is the meaning of the words conjuration and commune in the documents of the twelfth century;* it is a mutual guarantee, organised under the pledge of an oath, for an object of social reform and constitutional renovation. The members of the city formed into a commune took the name of jurés, sworn collectively as a body, and individually in respect of one another; and this name was sometimes also specially applied to the municipal magistrates, on account of the particular oath which they took after their election. The communal constitution embraced and guaranteed three kinds of rights,—first, the political right, one entirely new in regard to its basis and its form, with the exception of the old titles of offices which were preserved or re-established—such as those of échevins and mayor;* secondly, the civil, an ancient right founded on the local custom; thirdly, the criminal right, partly ancient, and resulting from the law of custom, partly remodelled, in order to meet offences proceeding from the new order of things, such as the crime of treason against the commune.
It appears that the revolution of Amiens was determined, or at least accelerated, by an impulse received from without, by the example of many neighbouring cities. From the year 1100 to the year 1112 communes jurées were successively established, with various circumstances and results, at Noyon, Beauvais, Saint-Quentin, and Laon. In this last city the bishop was sole seigneur, and the gradua, abolition of the ancient municipal powers had taken place to his benefit, and in his name; it was in opposition to his rights that the commune was formed, or, in other terms, that the bourgeois of Laon were associated for the mutual defence of their persons and properties, and for the establishment of a new constitution and an elective magistracy. The revolution, peaceably commenced, met with resistances which soon caused all the popular passions to be let loose; there was a civil war, attended with pillage and incendiarism, the bishop was slain in a tumult, and the bourgeois, in revolt, defended themselves against the king in person. These events, however sad and violent they might be, were well calculated to sow, by their very violence, the revolutionary spirit in the country bordering on Laon. We know, by the experience of our own times, what a part this kind of excitement plays in political movements, and how the flame is kindled step by step where the fuel is prepared. It was in the year 1113, at the height of the revolution of Laon, that the bourgeois of Amiens undertook to erect their city into a commune.
As we have seen above, Amiens was not in the same condition as Laon in regard to the seigniory of the city; the bishop there not only did not possess the whole temporal authority, but his power in the civil affairs was much inferior to that of the count; his right of jurisdiction did not extend beyond the peculiar domains of the Church, either within or without the city; and even within these limits it was continually encroached upon. On the contrary, the jurisdiction of the count of Amiens embraced the whole extent of the city and of its precincts, with some particular exceptions. By means of the count, and for his benefit, had been effected the gradual destruction of the municipal jurisdiction, the more or less complete abolition of the ancient urban administration, the transformation of the municipal appointments, elective and for life, into hereditary feudal offices, and the substitution of peers holding their office in fief, and named viscounts, in the place of the elected judges, or Scabins, of the Carlovingian period. The seigniory of the count having thus absorbed all the political, civil, and judicial powers, the association, confederated under the name of commune by the inhabitants of Amiens, was nothing else in reality than a conspiracy against that seigniory.
In 1113 the county of Amiens was in the possession, with but slight legal claims, as far as appears, of Enguerrand de Boves, seignior of Coucy; and Geoffrey, who is reckoned as a saint by the Church, filled the episcopal chair. This man, full of zeal for the public welfare, and as enlightened as the spirit of his age allowed, perceived the lawfulness of the desire for independence and guarantees, both of life and property, which induced the bourgeois to unite themselves in a political body under its own government, capable of resistance and action. Less disinterested motives contributed to incline the bishop Geoffrey towards the party of the bourgeoisie; for, as we have already said, the revolutionary undertaking of the inhabitants of Amiens tended to create in the city a new power, entirely hostile to that of the count.
It is true that this power, once constituted, could, and indeed must, be turned against the episcopal seigniory; but this was a distant danger, which the bishop either did not foresee, or judged less important than the present danger. According to the words of a contemporary historian, he gave his countenance to the commune without any constraint, and although he was well aware of what had taken place at Laon, the frightful murder of one of his colleagues, and all the disasters of that city. By his mediation, probably, the bourgeois of Amiens entered into negotiations with the crown, and obtained, on payment of a sum of money, from Louis le Gros, the verbal or written sanction of what they had instituted; that is, of the association or commune, and of the new magistracies, which, emanating from it, were destined to maintain it, to give it the force of law and a form of government.*
This adhesion of the king determined the state of parties at Amiens, between whom an armed struggle was inevitable. On one side the commune, the bishop, the royal officers, and the vidame of the episcopal church; on the other, the count, Enguerrand de Boves, at first alone, but afterwards assisted by the governor, who, although he was not his liege-man, but the king’s, joined his cause, and opened to him the fortress of the Chatillon.* Such were the actors and such the parts taken in the civil war which resulted from the erection of Amiens into a commune, parts the distribution of which agreed closely with the old reminiscences of its municipal history. The events which marked the revolution of Amiens have been recounted with prejudice and with a feeling of hatred by a contemporary, Guibert, abbé of Nogent. This account, however, when compared with other original documents, and stripped of its excessive partiality by the hand of criticism, gives some valuable information on the position of the two parties, on their claims, their efforts, and the various incidents of the struggle.
“Enguerrand, count of the city, (says the narrator whom I have just named,) seeing that the ancient rights of the country, as appertaining to him, were suppressed by the conspiracy of the bourgeois, treated them as rebels, and attacked them with all the forces at his command. Moreover, he found an auxiliary in Adam the governor, and an advantageous position in the town which he commanded. Driven by the bourgeois from the city, he shut himself up in the tower.”* Such are the hostilities which commenced a civil war of three years’ duration in Amiens. The bourgeois, armed under the direction of the heads of their commune, were supported by all the forces of the bishop, and by the personal assistance of Guermond, seigneur of Picquigny, vidame or hereditary deputy of the bishop. During the whole course of the war, this help never failed them; and, at the commencement, they found an unexpected auxiliary in the very son of Enguerrand de Boves, the notorious Thomas de Marle, the most turbulent and cruel, perhaps, of the barons of the twelfth century. He had taken the side of the commune of Laon, which, no doubt, indicated to the citizens of Amiens that he might possibly become their ally. No doubt, also, large sums were the price of this alliance, on the strength of which Thomas, adopted as seigneur by the bourgeois of Amiens, took the oath of associate to the commune, and took arms against his father and the governor Adam.†
During many months, the count and the governor, fortifying themselves in the tower of the Castillon, and pressed hard by the bourgeois and Thomas de Marle, were reduced to remain on the defensive; but Thomas, having received proposals of alliance and offers of money from his father, was reconciled to him, and bound himself by oath to turn his forces against the bourgeois, the bishop, and the vidame. From that time the face of affairs altered; the besieged assumed the offensive, and Thomas de Marle began to harass the city and to ravage the domains of the episcopal church, joining massacre and incendiarism to pillage.*
It appears that, in this crisis, a party of the bourgeois, and especially the clergy of the city, who adhered to their cause, were seized with great discouragement. Words of blame were heard against a revolution whose success seemed impossible. The bishop was bitterly reproached for having taken part in it, and for having excited troubles which it was not in his power to appease. Geoffrey, depressed by these attacks, and perhaps doubtful himself of the cause which he had embraced, determined to absent himself from Amiens. In 1114 he sent to the archbishop of Rheims the insignia of his episcopal office, and retired into the monastery of Cluny, afterwards to the grande chartreuse, near Grenoble. He returned from that voluntary exile on the injunction of his archbishop, about the beginning of the year 1115.*
On his return he saw, at Beauvais, the celebrated Ives de Chartres, to whom he imparted the deplorable condition of the city and church of Amiens. The city was constantly being attacked by the garrison of the fortress; the fight carried on street by street; and the bourgeois, barricading their houses in order to defend themselves in them, carried all that was most valuable of their property to the monasteries in the neighbourhood.† All the lands of the bishop and chapter had been invaded by Thomas de Marle, and occupied by his troops. Ives de Chartres, when consulted with by the bishop on the best mode of proceeding in such a deplorable state of things, advised him to address the king, and solicit aid and succour, in the name of the public peace; and a letter, which he wrote himself to Louis le Gros, has been preserved to our days.*
The king, already appealed to against Thomas de Marle by the greater part of the bishops of the province of Rheims, marched on Laon, punished this city for the excesses which had stained its revolution, and seized on many castles which belonged to the son of Enguerrand de Boves; he then directed his steps towards Amiens. In interfering in the desperate war which was being carried on between the bourgeois of this city and their count, Louis le Gros had not the pursuit of political projects in view—the execution of a plan conceived for the twofold interest of the crown and the people. On the report of the violences and profanations which were committed by the adversaries of the commune of Amiens, he raised his standard, and took part in the strife as the maintainer of the public peace, the defender of the weak, and protector of the churches.* The crown had not, at that time, conceived that any other part belonged to it; and it is the glory of Louis VI. to have filled this part on every occasion with an admirable courage and an indefatigable activity.
During these transactions, Thomas de Marle, in an encounter which he had with the vidame, received some wounds, which rendered him incapable of continuing the war in person; he retired to his castle of Marle, leaving the bravest of his soldiers in the tower of the Castillon, which was considered impregnable.* It was near Palm Sunday, ad 1115, that the royal army, small in number, but consisting of experienced veterans, reached the gates of Amiens. Geoffrey, the bishop, had been restored to all his political energy by the arrival of such assistance; on Palm Sunday he preached before the king, the army, and the citizens, a sermon, in which he promised the kingdom of heaven to all who might perish in the attack upon the fortress. Guibert de Nogent speaks of this discourse with indignation, mixed with classical reminiscences, and says that it was the speech of a Catiline rather than the word of God.†
On the following day the instruments of the siege were prepared against the tower of the Castillon, and the bishop betook himself with bare feet to the tomb of St. Acheul, to implore the divine assistance in favour of the besiegers.‡ The royal troops, together with the most determined and best-armed of the citizens, led by the king in person, made a general attack; but in spite of the enthusiasm of the assailants, and the power of the machines used to batter the walls, the fortress, well defended, resisted the attack. The machines were dismounted by the stones thrown down from the walls; many soldiers and citizens perished, and the king himself was wounded in the breast by an arrow, which pierced his coat-of-mail.* Considering the place too strong to be taken by assault, Louis VI. determined not to attempt another coup de main, but to turn the siege into a blockade; he left Amiens, having left some troops there, who, co-operating with the bourgeois and their party, were to surround the castle until the defenders were compelled, by famine, to surrender.†
The blockade of Amiens lasted nearly two years; it was not till 1117 that it surrendered to the royal officers, and that the commune thus became freed from all hostilities of a warlike character. The tower, and all the works of defence which protected it, were demolished by the king’s order;* but, in spite of the betrayal of his trust by the governor Adam, who, without any personal cause of grievance, had fought against his immediate seigneur, Louis le Gros did not deprive him of his fief nor of his seigneurial rights; but those rights were now attached only to a heap of ruins and to a large extent of land, which, eventually being joined to the city, and comprised within its circumference, retained through after ages, and still retains, the old name of the Castillon.† Enguerrand de Boves and his family were dispossessed of the county of Amiens, and the ancient family of the counts of Raoul reassumed its rights.‡
This family, which, so far from being connected with the struggle against the commune, owed its restoration to its municipal enfranchisement, was disposed to recognise what had been done, and to conclude the revolution by a pacific agreement, a regulation of rights, and a division of the government between the seigniory and the city. With regard to Geoffrey, the bishop, he died in the year 1116;* he did not live to see the organisation and prosperity in the midst of peace of the constitution which was, in part, his work. His memory, encircled with religious veneration, also richly deserved civil honours. Some day, perhaps, (and would that the presentwork might hasten that day!) we shall see raised in the midst of one of the public places in Amiens, the statue of Saint-Geoffrey, holding in his hand the compact of the communal association, and shall read on the unfolded roll those expressive words which formed the first article, and which contained the whole spirit of that civil compact: “Each shall observe fidelity to his confederate, and shall afford assistance and counsel in all that is just.”†
The law of the commune, deliberated upon by the citizens after their association, under oath, was, according to all probability, in 1117, submitted to the acceptance of the family which recovered its seigneurial title, and then undoubtedly it became the object of a formal contract between the body of the citizens and the new count. This treaty, of which no mention has been preserved to our times, but the existence of which it is impossible not to conjecture, was the first charter of the commune of Amiens. The amount of the rights which the city had obtained for itself by its revolution, and the amount of those which, with a view to a lasting peace, it had acknowledged in its ancient seigneurs, were settled in this constitutional charter, in which the urban sovereignty was laid down as the principle and rule, and the seigneurial power as the exception. In the middle ages the supreme jurisdiction was the essential attribute of sovereignty. That of the count passed entirely into the power of the commune, with the exception of the attendance of his provost, who issued the summonses, prepared the cases, watched the judgments, but did not act as judge,* and with the exception of a share of the proceeds from fines, seizures, and judicial confiscations. The jurisdiction of the bishop and of the chapter was preserved intact within their ancient department; that of the vidame and governor seems to have been suppressed in their exercise, and retained in regard to their useful rights and pecuniary profits.* The dues of quit-rents, tolls, the liberty of passing from one part of the country to another, the mills and public ovens, remained in the possession of the seigneur, by virtue of his right over each portion of the communal territory; and, at a later period, when the commune wished to reunite these dues to their own domain, it was necessary to obtain them from each titulary by grant or by purchase.†
The commune of Amiens was supreme, for it had the right of governing itself by its own laws, and the right of life and death over all its members. According to the expression of the ancient jurisprudence, it possessed the administration of justice in the superior, mean, and inferior courts (haute, moyenne, et basse justice). Its legislative administration and judicial power were delegated by it to a body of elective magistrates, renewed every year, whose head bore the name of mayeur, and the members that of échevin, or the united titles of échevin and prévôt.* In this manner the old name of the elected judges of the Carlovingian constitution, which had disappeared under the feudal system, reappeared with a much wider signification, and the title of mayor, which was, perhaps, one of antiquity in the city, assumed a political importance of which nothing had been able to give a notion up to that time. The person elected to the office of mayor or échevin was obliged to accept it, under pain of banishment—a remarkable law, inasmuch as it revived and sanctioned, by entirely new guarantees, that principle of Roman legislation which made the municipal offices an obligatory duty.†
In the same manner as the senate of the Roman times, the échevinage regulated the common property and managed the finances of the city; it regulated and administered the urban police; it gave authority to the acts of every kind; and constituted a tribunal charged with the repression of infringements on the ordinances of the police and the municipal regulations; but, as I have already said, its powers did not stop there. It joined the civil and criminal jurisdiction to the ordinary and correctional police; in every matter the common law could be modified by its decrees or by its jurisprudence. Lastly, as exercising the municipal sovereignty in the name of the body of the citizens, it sealed its acts with the seal of the commune, a seal which, for many centuries, bore for the legend, on its reverse, the words—Secretum Meum Mihi.*
Although the charter of agreement by means of which, in the case of the commune of Amiens, the constitutional system succeeded to the revolutionary movement, no longer exists in its authentic character, we are able to give, not only its groundwork, but its probable form, after a subsequent act, in which it is encased, if I may so speak, and simply modified in some of its formulas. I am speaking of the letters accorded by Philippe-Auguste, in 1190, to the bourgeois of Amiens, and granting, or, to speak more exactly, confirming their commune.* We might extract from the royal charter, as still more ancient, all that is found after the first article, which declares the reciprocal duties of the jurés, or members of the commune, up to the forty-fifth article, where we read: “All these rights only exist between the confederated; equality in justice does not exist between the confederated and him who is not confederated.”† I should be warranted in suppressing, in these forty-five articles, the words king and royal, which, in my opinion, were introduced into it in 1190 by the chancery of Philippe-Auguste. The text, thus disengaged from the formulas, which seem to proceed from a revision made at a later period, would, by conjecture, be assigned to the year 1117, as being the original law of the commune of Amiens,—a law deliberated upon and voted at first by the bourgeois; then discussed by their heads and the new counts; lastly, accepted and ratified by the last. But however legitimate the hypothesis would have been in this case, according to my opinion, I shall not have recourse to it; I am saved the necessity, by a document which is undeniable,—by an authentic act of a date prior to 1190, in which, with some variations, are observed fifteen of the forty-five first articles of the charter of Philippe-Auguste. It is the charter of the commune of Abbeville, granted by John, count of Ponthieu, in the year 1184. The following is the preamble:—
“I, John, count of Ponthieu, make known to all present and to come, that my grandfather, the Count William Talevas, having sold to the bourgeois of Abbeville the faculty of making a commune, and that these bourgeois, having no authentic writing of this sale, I have granted to them, at their request, permission to have a commune, and to hold it in perpetuity, according to the rights and usages of the commune of Amiens, or that of Corbie, or that of Saint-Quentin, saving the right of the Holy Church, that which belongs to me, and to my heirs and my barons.”* The last article of the same charter is the following: “Lastly, if a dispute be raised between me and the bourgeois of Abbeville, which cannot be terminated by this writing, it shall be decided by the commune of Saint-Quentin, or that of Corbie, or that of Amiens.”*
In comparing the text of the communal charter of Abbeville with the charters of the three communes which this city took for the model of its constitution and the rule of its penal law, there is no special article of the charters of Saint-Quentin and Corbie found there, but it is not so with regard to the charter of Amiens. With respect to this last, the imitation, not only of the matter, but also of the form, is striking; the division of subjects is preserved, without any attempt to give them more order or method; the order of the articles which were adopted has been followed, and the text of them has passed from one charter to another, with slight variations. In a word, it is evident that the compilers of the charter of Abbeville, granted in 1184, had under their eyes at least fifteen of the fifty-two articles of which the communal charter of Amiens, signed by Philippe-Auguste, in 1190, was composed.
These fifteen articles are the first seven, the 9th, 10th, and 11th, the 14th, 15th, and 16th, the 20th and the 44th. They treat of the duties of the confederated one towards another; of theft committed within the limits of the commune; of the safety of the traders who come to sell their goods in the city; of theft committed by a member of the commune, to the detriment of one of his confederates; of theft committed by one who is a stranger to the commune, to the detriment of a confederate; of blows dealt with the fist or hand; of wounds caused by means of arms, by one confederate to another; of wounds caused, and blows dealt, to a confederate by one who is not; of injurious words between confederates; of dangerous intentions entertained against the commune; of the plaintiff who does not follow up his complaint for the purposes of justice; of resistance to the summonses of the officers of the commune; of the crime of friendly relations with an enemy of the commune; of the imputation of false judgment against the judges of the commune; lastly, of agreements made before two or more members of the échevinage.
[* ]Recueil des Monuments inédits de l’Histoire du Tiers Etat, t. i., p. 25.
[* ]Two cities, Cambray and Mans, took the lead of all the rest; their attempts at a revolution date from the eleventh century. (See the Lettres sur l’Histoire de France, Letters xiv. and following.)
[* ]“Communio, novum ac pessimum nomen.”—(Guibert. abbat. de Novigento, de Vita sua, lib. iii., apud Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. xii., p. 250.)—“Communio quoque civium Trevirensium, quæ et conjuratio dicitur.” (Hontheim, Hist. Trevir. Diplomat., t. i., p. 594.)—Communiam juratam. (Charter of Eleanor, queen of England and duchess of Aquitaine; Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. xi., p. 319, note g.)—See the Considérations sur l’Histoire de France, placed at the head of the Récits des Temps Mérovingiens, chap. vi.
[* ]We have remarked above upon the origin of the title of échevins; with respect to that of mayor, the period of its introduction into the nomenclature of the municipal offices is uncertain, and all that can be said is, that it was borrowed from the organisation of the great domains under the first and second races. Its usage, in many cities of the north and centre of Gaul, ascends, probably, to the time when the name and office of the Defenseur disappeared, by the absorption of this office into the seigniory of the bishop; it was the first stage of decline in the ancient municipal government, adopted in spite of this origin, by the communal revolution of the twelfth century, the title of mayor then received political prerogatives much higher than those of the heads of the Roman senate, or the Gallo-Frank municipality.
[* ]“Post funestum excidii Laudunensis eventum, Ambiani, rege illecto pecuniis, fecere communiam, cui episcopus, nulla vi exactus, debuisset præstare favorem, præsertim cum et nemo eum urgeret, et coepiscopi sui eum miserabile exitium, et infaustorum civium confligium non lateret.” (Guiberti abbat. de Novigento, de Vita sua, lib. iii., inter ejus opera omnia, p. 515.)
[* ]“Ipse autem in fidelitate Ingelranni huc usque contra burgenses steterat . . . . et certe Adam regi hominium fecerat, nec ab eo defecerat, rexque eum in sua fide susceperat.” (Ibid., p. 516.)
[* ]“Videns itaque Ingelrannus, urbis comes, ex conjuratione burgensium, comitatus sibi jura vetusta recidi, prout poterat, jam rebelles armis aggreditur. Cui etiam non defuit Adam, sic enim vocatur, et suæ, cui præerat ipse, turris auxilium: a burgensibus ergo urbis pulsus, ab urbe in turrim se contulit.” (Ibid., p. 515.)
[† ]“Qui [burgenses], cum in comitem irremissis assultibus grassarentur, et Thomam, quasi amantiorem suum dominum, ad communiæ illius sacramenta vocantes, contra parentem, ut putatur, suum filium suscitarunt.” (Guiberti abbat. de Novigento, de Vita sua, lib. iii., p. 515.)
[* ]“Exhausto denique Thomas plurimo quem habebat thesauri cumulo, opem quoque Ingelranno spopondit contra burgenses, quibus cum vicedomino adnitebatur episcopus. Thomas igitur et Adam, qui turri præsidebat, cœperunt acerrime insistere vicedomino atque burgensibus. Et quamprimum, quoniam episcopum et clericos factæ cum burgensibus factionis arguebant, res pervasit Thomas ecclesiæ.” (Ibid.)
[* ]“Cum ergo vidisset [Godefridus] suam nec clero nec populo præsentiam esse gratam, quia neminem juvare poterat, assumpto quodam nostro monacho, inconsultis omnibus clero suo ac populo libellum, ut ita dicam, repudii dedit, et archiepiscopo Remensi annulum, sandaliaque remisit, et se in exilium iturum, numquamque deinceps episcopum futurum, utrobique mandavit. . . . . Ipse enim turbam moverat quam sedare non poterat.” (Guiberti abbat. de Novigento, de Vita sua, lib. iii., inter ejus opera omnia, p. 516.)
[† ]“Extra muros urbis Ambianensis est monasterium S. Dionisii. In illud tum cives Ambianenses aurum, argentum aliasque res comportarant, monachisque diligenter asservandas commendarant. Sæviebat enim per id tempus in urbe seditio et bellum intestinum, et sicarii passim toto oppido vagabantur magnum omnibus terrorem afferentes.” (Vita S. Godefridi Ambian. Episc., apud Surium, mens. Novemb., p. 224.)—“Referri non possunt ab aliquo, ne ab eis quidem quorum pars periclitabatur, factæ neces de burgensibus per turrenses, cum ante obsidionem, tum postea crebriores. Nullus enim apud urbanos actus erat, sed passio sola.” (Guiberti abbat. de Novigento, de Vita sua, lib. iii., inter ejus opera omnia, p. 516.)
[* ]“Domnus Godefridus Ambianensis episcopus, vir religiosus et honestus, nuper Belvaci hospitatus, ad colloquium nostrum pro humilitate sua venit, importabiles miserias suas et angustias, quibus a violatoribus pacis vexatur, lachrymabiliter nobis aperuit, et consilium quomodo tanta mala mitigare posset, a me anxie quæsivit. Quod cum excederet vires meas, quia consilium sine fortitudine inutile esse solet, hoc unum mihi præ cæteris occurrit, quatinus eum monerem, ut regiam majestatem adiret, apud quam et consilium inveniri, et auxilii fortitudo valeat sociari. Ex jure ergo fidelitatis et dilectionis monemus et rogamus regiam majestatem vestram, quatinus lachrymabiles ejus questiones intenta aure perpendatis, et cor vestrum aculeis doloris ejus, suggerente pietate, compungatis. Decet enim regiam majestatem vestram ut pactum pacis, quod Deo inspirante in regno vestro confirmari fecistis, nulla lenocinante amicitia vel fallente desidia violari permittatis.” (Ivonis Carnot. epist., apud. Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. xv., pp. 164 and 165.)
[* ]“Mala autem ubique tanta egerat [Thomas] ut archiepiscopi et præsules pro ecclesiis quærimonia data ad regem dicerent, se in regno ejus Dei officia non facturos, nisi ulcisceretur in illum . . . . de his ergo ac similibus cum maximis ecclesiarum doloribus, apud regias cum impeterentur aures . . . collecto rex adversus eum exercitu.” (Guiberti abbat. de Novigento, de Vita sua, lib. iii., inter ejus opera omnia, p. 517.)
[* ]“Confossus membra vulneribus etiam in poplite lanceam hostis pedestris accepit. Qui cum alias, tunc in geniculo durissime læsus, vellet nollet, a cœpto desiit. . . . Thomas igitur turri subvenire non potuit intra quam et filiam suam et militum suorum probiores dimiserat. . . . Thomas autem apud Marnam tuebatur se.” (Ibid., pp. 516 and 517.)
[† ]“Igitur, Dominica Palmarum, reversus a Carthusia, Godefridus episcopus, longe alia quam ibi didicerat, incipit propagare. Regem ergo arcessit, et die celebri ac verendo, ipsum et astantem populum adversus Turrenses, sermone habito, non Dei, sed Catilinario, irritare intendit, spondens regna cælorum his qui turrim expugnando perierint.” (Guibert. abbat. de Novigento, de Vita sua, lib. iii., inter ejus opera omnia, p. 517.)
[‡ ]“Postridie pro muro Castellionis (sic enim vocatur) ingentes machinæ porriguntur, eisque milites imponuntur. Turrenses ante cortinis sese protexerant, ne esse eorum proderetur. . . . Episcopus vero nudipes ad Sanctum Aceolum, non tunc pro hoc exaudiendus, abierat.” (Ibid.)
[* ]“Et fervescente jactu missilium . . . etiam regem jaculo in pectore loricato læserunt.” (Guiberti abbat. de Novigento, de Vita sua, lib. iii., p. 517.)
[† ]“Videns igitur rex inexpugnabilem locum, cessit: obsideri jubens dum fame coacti se redderent.” (Ibid.)
[* ]“Regressus, turrim ejusdem civitatis, Adæ cujusdam tyranni, ecclesias et totam viciniam dilapidentis, obsedit: quam fere biennali coarctans obsidione, ad deditionem defensores cogens, expugnavit, expugnatam funditus subvertit, ejusque subversione pacem patriæ, regis fungens officio, qui non sine causa gladium portat, gratantissime reformavit.” (Sugerii abbat., liber de Vita Ludovici Grossi regis, apud. Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. xii., p. 42.)
[† ]One of the parishes of Amiens is named Saint-Firmin en Castillon.
[‡ ]“Et tam ipsum præfatum Thomam nequissimum, quam suos, dominio ejusdem civitatis perpetualiter exhæredavit.” (Sugerii abbat., lib. de Vita Ludov. Grossi, ap. Script. Rer. Gallic. et Francic., t. xii., p. 42.) See above, p. 127, note. Adèle, sister of the Counts Simon, Gui, and Ives, and her husband, Renaud, Count of Vermandois, took possession of the county of Amiens in 1117; they transmitted it, in 1118, to their son-in-law, Charles of Denmark.
[* ]Enguerrand, who succeeded him, held to the party of the commune to the end of the war; he is once named by Guibert de Nogent, whose narrative ends before the taking of the Castillon: “Huc usque perseverat obsidio: et dici non potest quot de Burgensibus solis quotidie pene depereant. Adam vero extra positus, suburbia et Ingelrannum atque vicedominum crebris hostilitatibus urget.” (Guiberti abbat. de Novigent., de Vita sua, lib. iii., inter ejus opera omnia, p. 517.)
[† ]“Unusquisque jurato suo fidem, auxilium, consiliumque per omnia juste observabit.” (Charter of the Commune of Amiens.)—See below the text of this charter.
[* ]This was literally true in regard to criminal cases. In civil cases, especially where debts and obligations were concerned, the provost of the count could judge with the consent of the parties; otherwise the matter was brought before the municipal magistrates.
[* ]The title of Vidame of Amiens, and the seigneurial rights attached to this title, continued in the family of the sires of Picquigny. The title of governor (châtelain) and the privileges retained by Adam continued in his family. They devolved by inheritance on the sires of Vignacourt, who, as co-seigneurs with the bishop, the count, and vidame, added to their Christian names the name d’Amiens.
[† ]The proof of this fact, and the explanation of the terms which serve to specify the various classes of seigneurial dues, are found in a charter of Philip of Alsace, count of Amiens, granted in the years 1161 and 1185. (See this document, text and notes, in the first volume of the Recueil des Monuments inédits de l’Hist. du Tiers Etat, p. 74.)
[* ]We find the title of prévôt in the échevinage of Amiens from the twelfth century, that is to say, two centuries before the acquisition made by that city of the prévôté of the king. (See Ibid., p. 96, a charter of 1177.)
[† ]“. . . . Et convient que chis qui pris est faiche le serment de le mairie, et se il ne veult faire, on abatera se maison et demourra en le merchy du roy, au jugement des esquevins.
[* ]The other side, properly called the seal, has—Sigillum civium Ambianensium. With respect to the money of Amiens, of which a celebrated specimen is the silver denier, which has for its legend—Pax civibus tuis, and which seems to belong to the second half of the eleventh century, there is nothing to show that, at the establishment of the commune, it had passed from its dependence on the count or the bishop to that on the municipal magistrates.
[* ]See below, Section IV.
[† ]“Omma ista jura et precepta que prediximus majoris et communie tantum sunt inter juratos, non est equum judicium inter juratum et non juratum.”
[* ]“Quoniam ea que litteris annotantur, melius memorie commendantur, ego Johannes comes Pontivi, tam presentibus quam futuris notum facio, quod cum avus meus comes Williermus Talevas, propter injurias et molestias a potentibus terre sue burgensibus de Abbatis Villa frequenter illatas, eisdem communiam vendidisset; et super illa vendicione, burgenses scriptum autenticum non haberent, ad petitionem eorumdem burgensium, de assensu uxoris mee Beatricis et fratris mei Guidonis, et consilio hominum meorum, concessi eis communiam habendam, et tanquam fidelibus meis, contra omnes homines in perpetuum tenendam, secundum jura et consuetudines communie Ambianis vel Corbeie vel Sancti Quintini, salvo jure sancte ecclesie et meo et heredum meorum et baronum meorum.” (Rec. des Ordonn. des Rois de France, t. iv., p. 55.) The commune of Corbie was established in the reign of Louis le Gros, by grant of that prince; that of Saint-Quentin was granted at the beginning of the twelfth century, by one of the predecessors of Raoul I., count of Vermandois.
[* ]“Ad hec si forte inter me et dictos burgenses meos, querela emerserit, que per hoc scriptum nequeat terminari, per communiam Sancti Quintini, vel Corbeie, vel Ambianis, terminata fuerit.” (Ibid., p. 58.) The municipal cartulary of Abbeville, entitled the Livre Rouge, states, for the second half of the thirteenth century, and the following centuries to the sixteenth, that the échevinage of Abbeville had recourse to those of Amiens and Saint-Quentin in questions of law of the simplest nature.