Maurice II de Craon
|Battles/wars||Revolt of 1173–74|
|Spouse(s)||Isabelle de Meulan|
Maurice II de Craon (c. 1132–1196) was Lord of Craon, Governor of Anjou and Maine under Henry II, a military figure and Anglo-Norman of the 12th century. Maurice II also possessed fiefs in England which he held courtesy of Henry II.
Maurice II, son of Hugues I de Craon and of Marquise, his second wife, succeeded his brother around 1150. Still a minor, he received his knighthood on acceptance of the fief. Maurice II's earliest military action was his participation in the siege staged by Henry II of the city of Thouars, which was taken 10 October 1158.
A few years later, Maurice II left for the Crusade. This act, known from the reference in charter 231 of La Roë Abbey of the first court held by him at Poiltrée at Christmas time, after his return from Jerusalem, is furthermore attested by ten items of the Cartulaire de Craon. Maurice II thus returned to France after the month of March 1170.
He took several risks whilst in the Orient and, in executing an oath made abroad, in Egypto, he established an annuity of two sous for the benefit of the Collégiale Saint-Nicolas de Craon to contribute towards the chapel lamp.
He married Isabelle de Meulan, daughter of Galéran IV de Meulan, widow from her first marriage to Geoffroy III de Mayenne on his return from the Holy Land about 1170 This alliance brought him the double support of the lords of Meulan and those of Mayenne.
From his marriage, contracted around 1170 with Isabelle de Mayenne, Maurice II had four sons and three daughters :
- Avoise, wife of Guy V de Laval;
- Clémence, wife of Pierre de la Garnache;
- Agnès, wife of Thibault II de Mathefelon.
Henry II of England
The time of Maurice II saw the rise of the house of Anjou. From 1152 the Lords of Anjou became vassals of Henry II of England, and, under his standard, obliged to combat France.
In 1174, following the revolt of the sons of Henry II against their father, Maurice II counted amongst the lords that had remained faithful to the King. Charged with leading the Angevins, he seized Chantoceaux and Sablé, destroyed Sablé's two neighbouring fortresses; Saint-Loup and Saint-Brice, and took over the government of Anjou and of Maine, as well as that of the recently constructed fortress at Ancenis.
Richard the Lionheart, successor to Henry II, took with him a great number of his vassals but others were not going to join him until later; Maurice II was amongst these, for, in 1191, he was still in Anjou. We find no acts emanating from him at the time of the departure for his first voyage to the Holy Land. For the second, however, many are known. including a testament dated 1191.
The testament portrays the state of the family of Maurice II in 1191. He identifies six children: three daughters, the eldest, and three sons. The eldest daughter Avoise de Craon, married Guy V de Laval; the second is not named, but Pierre de la Garnache, who held the rank there is evidently her husband. The third, Agnès, is named, her dowry of Craon and Chantocé is specified, but the name of her husband is not given; as for the sons all three figure in their order of primogeniture.
Maurice II returned to France and founded the priory of Bonshommes de Ballots near to Craon. He died 12 July 1196, resulting in the obituary of la Haye-aux-Bons-Hommes. The location of his tomb is not known, but it is known that his heart was taken to Savigny Abbey.
Maurice II was not only a great warrior and a man of faith; he was also a poet and amongst the songs of the trouvères of the Langue d'oïl, which have descended to us, there is one that one can legitimately be considered as being as his work that which begins by the verse:
A l'entrant del doux termine.
Maurice II de Craon is the central character of the anonymous Middle High German verse romance Moriz von Craûn dated between 1187 and 1250. This, in turn, derives from a French fabliau: Du chevalier qui recovra l'amour de sa dame. The story tells of Maurice's attempts to woo "Isabel", depicted as the wife of his neighbour, Richard de Beaumont.
Cartulaire de Craon
Notes and references
- Charter 72 of La Roë Abbey is thus dated primo an no quo Mauricius credonensis dominas, factus est miles. The age of majority varied according to a person's status. In almost all of the west of France, male commoners attained majority at fifteen years, male nobles at twenty-one years, female commoners 'probably' came of age at twelve years and female nobles at fifteen years (See Viollet, Etablissements de Saint-Louis, vol. I, p. 158, and d'Arbois de Jubainville, Recherches sur la minorité et ses effets dans le droit féodal français, in the Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Chartes, vol. XII, p. 415–440 vol. XIII, p. 136–168, 533–551). The age at which one could become a knight concurred generally with the age of majority, but for orphaned possessors of fiefs the timing was often advanced. An example of a high noble being knighted long before his majority would be Geoffrey Plantagenet, aged only fourteen years when, in 1127, the day after his engagement, he was knighted. (See Célestin Port, vol. II, p. 254).
- This act is attested by the charter 185 de La Roë, which recounts his vain attempt to make La Roë contribute to the share of debts owed by these men.
- These support each other and all originate in 1169. Furthermore, their copies have attached descriptions of the seals which accompanied them and which are not all known. These are the originals of relics brought back by Maurice II and deposited by him at the collégiale Saint-Nicolas de Craon and the priory of La Haye-aux-Bons-Hommes de Ballots. Only one is dated, that of 20 March 1169, v. s., given by the list of patriarchs of Jerusalem. The others came from Philippe de Milly, grand master of the Temple, from Rainauld, abbot of Mont-Sion, from Renaud, bishop of Hébron, from Raoul, bishop of Bethlehem, from the bishop of Sébaste, from Raimond, abbot of Temple, from Stéphanie, abbess of Notre-Dame la Grande, at Jerusalem, from Amaury I of Jerusalem, and finally from Girard de Montclar, master of Saint-Lazare (See No.137–146 of the Cartulaire de Craon). The date of the first accords perfectly with all the others.
- According to M. de Bodard, p. 194, the establishment of this annuity followed his second voyage to the Orient. – He had not understood that the act published by himself, page 642, was executed before this expedition (See Cartulaire de Craon, No.178).
- better known to the end of her days as Isabelle de Mayenne
- M. de Bodard states that Maurice II, following his first voyage to the Holy Land left his four minor children under the tutelage of Isabelle de Meulan but this is a fact absolutely contradicted by all the documents.
- His existence is evidenced by one sole document where it is said that, in 1180, in the time of Lambert, abbot of La Roë, Maurice II made a donation to the Abbey for the repose of the soul of Renaud, his son, and that of Amaury de Meulan, brother of his wife Isabelle. Cartulaire de Craon, No.157.
- He succeeded his father in 1196 and was 'Seigneur de Craon' until 1207.
- It is known, from the testament of Maurice II, that Pierre was destined for an ecclesiastical life and Maurice, whilst reserving if needed be his rights of succession, established for him an annuity of a thousand gold sols taken from the duties on goods on the River Loire at Chantocé, an annuity which would have been suppressed had he not been ordained. He entered holy orders and it is perhaps because of this that he did not become lord of Crean in 1207 on the death of his elder brother, Maurice III. However, even if his ecclesiastical position prevented him from becoming lord of Crean it appears that it still permitted him to be owner of fiefs in England. In effect, after having met Pierre as witness to four French acts in 1205 and 1207, one only finds him in England where, from 31 May 1213, he is the object of numerous manifestations of Royal favour. Finally, in May 1215, he was given possession of the fiefs that Maurice II held in England by the generosity of Henry II. The final command made to his benefit by Jean Sans Terre is that of 9 June 1216. He died in 1216, for the donation of twenty sous under the annuity for the repose of his soul, made by Clemence de la Garnache, is dated 1216.
- Cartulaire de Craon, No.196, 197, 201, 202 et 211–213, 218–230.
- Amaury first succeeded his brother Maurice III and became lord of Craon from 1207 until 12 May 1226.
- The birth of Clémence, who was already married by 1185, followed very soon after that of her sister Avoise. Unlike her brothers and sisters, her name is not mentioned in her father's testament; also her existence has been denied by historians, who have not noted that, in case of the decease of his male inheritors, Maurice II, instructing the sharing of his fiefs, attributed Craon and Châtelais to Avoise, Chantocé to Pierre de la Garnache and the fiefs in England to Agnès. See also: Notice sur les châteaux de la Garnache et de Beauvoir-sur-Mer, by Charles Mourain de Sourdeval, Nantes, 1854, in 8th, and in the Revue de l'Ouest, in the second part of volume 1 (1885) page 18, the Documents pour servir à l'histoire des anciens Seigneurs de la Garnache, by M. de l'Estourbeillon.
- Like her two sisters, Agnès was married in 1191, following the creation of her father's testament. She received as dowry two sitting annuities one in Craon, the other in Chantocé, and was to abandon both had her brothers died and she had become proprietor of the fiefs situated in England. She was betrothed to Thibaut II de Mathefelon, also proven by his gift to the abbaye de Fontaine-Daniel for the repose of her soul, which is not dated but received in 1204 the approval of the Bishop of Angers (See folios 75 and 71 of Cartulaire de Fontaine-Daniel.). Amaury I waited until 1216 to ratify it. By Agnès Thibaut had no sons, thus proven by charter 241 of the Cartulaire de Craon through which, in 1218, Thibaut approved a gift made at Chaloché by his daughter Ysabelle on her death bed, a gift which was ratified by his other daughter Emma.
- Marchegay, Paul; Mabille, Émile (1869). Chronique de Saint-Aubin. Chroniques des Églises d'Anjou. p. 43.
- Cartulaire de Craon, No.149.
- Cartulaire de Craon, No.155.
- Cartulaire de Craon, No.156
- Cartulaire de Craon, No.176–179.
- The date can be determined by juxtaposition with two acts of Maurice II, dated 1191 and given likewise at the time of departure for the third crusade the convention with la Roë of 22 May and the ratification of all the gifts given to la collégiale de Saint-Nicolas de Craon, granted at Tours during his passage there, having already left Anjou, in the presence of his wife and eldest son still a child (adhuc juvene) who had accompanied him as far as there. On reading the text, adhuc Juvene, we find new proof of the youth of Maurice III en 1191 and shows that the lord who stayed at Tours to leave for the crusade was Maurice II. These two latter items also help to date a gift to l'Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jean d'Angers, appearing in 1215.
- IV id Julii, abiit dominus Mauricius de Credone, filius Hugonis,fundator dormis noslrso Bonorum hominium de foresta Credonis (F. F. 22450, fol. 233).
- Another proof is found in the act made in 1197 between Guy VI de Laval and André II de Vitré, to establish a lasting peace between them. André, in enumerating those of his friends who had the right to benefit from this peace named the Craon family but instead of Maurice II he designated "the children of Maurice de Craon" thus Maurice II was no longer living at the time of the act. The original text of this treaty is no longer to be found and is only known via l'Histoire de Vitré of Pierre Le Baud, p. 36; an analysis is to be found in the Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des Chartes, vol. XXX, p. 389
- Cartulaire de Craon, No.185.
- Gaston Raynaud, who made a special study of the songs of the 13th century, wanted to take the trouble to verify the attributions made to the Lords of Craon. Separating three amongst these, he kept back two, that of Maurice II and that which begins "Fière amour claime en moi par éritaige" which he attributes to Amaury II de Craon. The full text is found on page 197 of Chroniques Craonnaises, as such included in the publication by Trébutien, Guillaume-Stanislas, ed. (1843). Chansons de Maurice et de Pierre de Craon, poètes Anglo-Normands du XIIe siècle. Caen. ISBN 9781168001832., originally published in 120 copies, reprinted in 2010.
- Classen, Albrecht (2011). Sexual Violence and Rape in the Middle Ages:Critical Discourse in Premodern German and European Literature. Fundamentals of Medieval and Early Modern Culture Series. 7. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 63–65. ISBN 9783110263374. ISSN 1864-3396.
- Classen, Albrecht (17 December 2004). "Moriz von Craûn". The Literary Encyclopedia.(subscription required)
- This act was only quoted in part by M. Bonneserre de Saint-Denis who one must also reproach for having dated at around 1185 an act made in the presence of the bishop Geoffroy (1162–1178) and having proposed that the seal attached was that of Hamelin d'Anthenaise when the act states formally that the court made its decision in his absence. The sentence was delivered in 1165. M. Beautemps-Beaupré, on p. 262 ov volume I of the second of these Coutumes et institutions de l'Anjou et du Maine, has determined the date.
- Rainauld was already abbot of Mont-Sion when in about 1160 he supported the renunciation of the grand master Gilbert d'Assaly. He was still there in 1178. It is from him that emanated authenticity given to Maurice II (See Familles d'Outre-Mer, p. 827 and Chartes de l'abbaye du Mont-Sion, to vol. XLVIII of the Mémoires des Antiquaires de France and an offprint, which gives a list of the abbots).
- Raimond, abbot of the Temple of Our Lord in Jerusalem, is known from an act of 1169 published in Cart. Sancti Sepulcri, p. 220 (Famille d'Outre-Mer, p. 834).
- Stéphanie, abbess of Notre-Dame-la-Grande of Jerusalem, was only formerly known by an act of 1174 ('Familles d'Outre-Mer, p. 831)
- Dom Martène, Amplissima collectio, vol. I, p. 161
- Foedera, conventiones, litlerse. inter reges Angliie et alios quovis imperatores, reges, ab anno 1101 ad nostra usqnetempora, editio terlia Hagce-Comitum, 1739–1745. 20 parts in 10 volumes. in-fol. In this publication one finds an enormous quantity of documents classified in strict chronological order. Sadly the French names are the most frequently unrecognisable. Furthermore the alphabetical table that terminates the work does not contain all the names cited nor even all the names of the authors or recipients of the documents. One has to go through all the acts of the period to be certain that nothing is overlooked. Each volume is divided into two or three parts, which complicates citation, so, to simplify, the year and page are given here.
- It is this act that Gilles Ménage, on page 144 of his Histoire de Sablé, dated at 1153.
- This charter does not bear a date, but it belongs to the very short episcopal period of Renault, Bishop of Mans, who, elected 1 September 1187, died 2 August 1190. It is impossible to include the name of Amaury, as the son of Maurice II of the same name was still in early childhood.
- In the analysis of this item given in the Commission de la Mayenne, vol. II, p. 135, a singular error dates the document as being the year of departure of Philippe de Landivy for Jerusalem when it is unquestionably that of the departure of the author of the piece, namely Juhel III.
- This charter, which escaped the researches of M. Bonneserre de Saint-Denis, does not figure in the Cartulaire given by him as evidence for his Notice sur la Maison d'Anthenaise. It is important because of the mention that it contains Robert de Sablé which, in dating it before 1190, forces recognition that Savary III was made Seigneur d'Anthenaise twenty years earlier than was believed (See la Notice, p. 24)
- The Cartulaire de Savigny is conserved in the archives départementales de la Manche. It is divided into certain number of chapters each relating to a bishopric. The Archives of Mayenne possess a copy of the chapter which contains the diocese of Mans.
- This notice was previously published, with several gaps, on page 642 of the Chroniques Craonnaises (De Bodard De La Jacopiere (1871). Charpentier, Etienne; de Benoist, Alain (eds.). Chroniques Craonnaises [Craon Chronicles] (in French). ISBN 9781162476889.).
- Célestin Port, in placing this charter in his Cartulaire de l'Hôtel-Dieu d'Angers, dated it c. 1215. It has to be redated at 1191, like the other acts of Maurice II passed at the time of his second voyage to the Holy Land. The act is definitely that of Maurice II. as expressely stated by Amaury I in his approval given 1216. Innocent II, in his bull of 14 April 1208, included the revenues that the hospital possessed at Chantocé in the enumeration of those to which he gave approval (See No.XLIV of Cartulaire de l'Hôtel- Dieu d'Angers). M. de Bodard, having read at the head of the act Mauricius de Creone, Hugonis filius, concluded that Maurice left with his son Hugon.