The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042-1216

By Frank Barlow | Go to book overview

4
THE ANGLO-NORMAN KINGDOM

I

THE Anglo-Norman state which was formed gradually after 1066 was unlike both the Anglo-Danish kingdom of Edward the Confessor and the Norman duchy of William II. Nor can it be regarded as merely an amalgam of English, Danish, and Norman elements. The mixture suffered a chemical change; and the result was new and unique. It is not, therefore, always easy to determine the precise filiation of the post-Conquest institutions in England. Norman, Breton, Flemish, 'French', English, and Danish forms, often similar in purpose and little different in appearance, were brought together; and, even when one of them can be seen in the end to have dominated the others, it had often by that time itself been modified by the silent pressure of another custom. The problem of isolating the individual contributions is, moreover, made more difficult by the obscurity of Norman in comparison with English history. It is all too easy when an administrative practice seems to have had no exact Anglo-Danish antecedent to conclude that there must have been a Norman prototype.

The superficial disparities between England and Normandy in 1066 disguise a basic similarity of condition. Normandy was, of course, smaller and only a duchy, and a state with a relatively short history. It had, moreover, been assimilated into the political framework of Gaul, and into the cultural life of Latin Christendom, so that the Normans called themselves 'French' in England. These were important differences. But Normandy and England were geographically alike. The landscape of Normandy and Brittany repeats that of England and its Celtic west; and similar economic conditions generally produce similar social structures. The same Scandinavian

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The Feudal Kingdom of England, 1042-1216
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Introductory Note v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Maps and Charts xii
  • I - England in the Reign of Edward the Confessor 1
  • 2 - The Reign of Edward the Confessor 55
  • 3 - The Norman Conquest of England 77
  • 4 - The Anglo-Norman Kingdom 100
  • 5 England and Normandy, 1066-1100 137
  • 6 - The Zenith and the Nadir of Norman Rule, 1100-1154 171
  • 7 - Social Changes in England 235
  • 8 - The Re-Establishment of the Monarchy Under Henry II 283
  • 9 - The Angevin Empire 331
  • 10 - The Angevin Despotism 375
  • Epilogue 436
  • Note on Books 442
  • Index 445
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