The Magna Carta Project

Negotiations with Philip Augustus

by Professor Nicholas Vincent

7 September 1214 - 13 September 1214


3, 5-7 Sep 1214

Saint-Maixent-l’École (Deux-Sèvres)

RLP, 121-122, 140; RLC, i, 172-172b, 202b; Foedera, 124

9 Sep 1214

Le Breuil-Bertin (com. St-Ouen-d’Aunis, Charente Maritime)

RLP, 122

9-10 Sep 1214

Niort (Deux-Sèvres)

RLP, 122; RLC, i, 172b

12-13, 20 Sep 1214

Parthenay (Deux-Sèvres)

RC, 200b-201; RLP, 122, 140b; RLC, i, 172b, 202b; Foedera, 124

From Saint-Maixent-l'École, where he perhaps celebrated the feast of the Virgin's nativity on Monday 8 September, the King returned via Le Breuil-Bertin and Niort to Parthenay where he seems to have remained from 12 September until the conclusion of Anglo-French negotiations a week later.  These negotiations remained the principal focus of attention, with renewed credences for English envoys, including the abbot of Westminster and the earl of Chester, on 13 September.1  Using the diplomatic forms of international treaty-making, rather than the conventions of the English royal chancery, letters offered safe conducts to the papal legate bringing any French envoys to the King on Saturday or Sunday, 13 or 14 September.2 A day earlier, on Friday 12 September, the King had issued a charter in favour of William de Clisson and his heirs. William had last been heard of in early August, defending John's interests on the northern frontier between Poitou and Anjou.  He was now promised possession of the customs duty of 12d charged on every measure of wine, grain or salt passing up or down the Loire.  Previously a major source of revenue to the Angevin dynasty, this was now to all and intents and purposes a dead letter, granted to William only in so far as the King was able (sicut illam ei rationabiliter dare possumus).3  On 7 September, another of the King's Angevin knights, Guy de la Possonnière, was instructed to release prisoners as part of the ongoing negotiations for the ransoming of William earl of Salisbury.4  Following the death of the earl of Oxford a week or so earlier, on 9 September instructions were issued for the estate of another baron in the King's army, Hugh de Gournay, who believed himself to be close to death.5  Clearly the long hot summer of southern France had taken its toll on the King and his court.


RLP, 140b.


RLP, 200b.


RC, 200b.


RLP, 122.


RLC, i, 172b.

King John's Diary & Itinerary