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Jean de Berry et l’écrit

 | 
Olivier Guyotjeannin
, 
Olivier Mattéoni

The Chancery of the duke of Brittany around 1400: personnel, practices and policy

Michael Jones

Texte intégral

  • 1 5 volumes, Nantes, Société des bibliophiles bretons, 1889-1895.
  • 2 Michael Jones, “The Chancery of the Duchy of Brittany from Peter Mauclerc to Duchess Anne, 1213-151 (...)
  • 3 Recueil des actes de Jean IV, duc de Bretagne, Paris/Bannalec, Klincsieck/Imprimerie régionale, 198 (...)
  • 4 Michael Jones, “Memory, Invention and the Breton State: The First Inventory of the Ducal Archives ( (...)

1It has long been recognized that the decades either side of the year 1400 witnessed significant institutional and procedural developments in the chancery of the Montfort dukes of Brittany. These were first discussed in detail as long ago as 1889 in a remarkable introduction by René Blanchard to his monumental edition of the Lettres et mandements de Jean V, duc de Bretagne.1 In this he not only described at length the physical characteristics of that duke’s surviving acta, their diplomatic and the organisation of his chancery, but he also set these in context by discussing the earlier history of the chancery from the days of Peter of Dreux (Mauclerc), duke of Brittany (1213-1237), in an account that remains largely authoritative.2 In this short communication, which will concentrate on the period 1379-1416 – from the return of Duke John IV (1364-1399) from exile in England to the death of Hervé Le Grant, the first keeper of the ducal Trésor des chartes –, I shall merely reinforce most of his conclusions. My remarks are based mainly on evidence from the editions of the acta of John IV and of his predecessors, Charles of Blois and Jeanne of Penthièvre, duke and duchess of Brittany (1341-1364), and on that of the first inventory of the Trésor des chartes produced by Le Grant in 1395, which I have published since 1980.3 This evidence allows us to be more precise about some matters which Blanchard treated with such mastery. It also poses questions about the political and ideological uses to which documents produced or kept in the Breton chancery were put, themes which in general Blanchard did not address, but which have greatly interested more recent historians.4

  • 5 Xavier Hélary et al. (dir.), Les archives princières xiie-xve siècles, Arras, Artois Presses Univer (...)
  • 6 Michael Jones, “The Chancery of the Duchy Of Brittany…”, art. cité, p. 152-154.
  • 7 Michael Jones, Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., p. 29-41 for Le Grant’s career.
  • 8 Michael Jones and Philippe Charon, Comptes ducaux bretons 1262-1514, t. I: Comptes, inventaires et (...)

2As far as institutional developments are concerned, it is worth pointing out that the word “chancery” rarely occurs in Breton records before 1400. Its functions and personnel were still largely under the control of the ducal household and council, and developments, in comparison with some other principalities, hesitant.5 The office of chancellor had existed from at least the late twelfth century, although before the reign of Charles of Blois and Jeanne of Penthièvre establishing the identity and succession of ducal chancellors is problematic. It is only from that of John IV that a complete list can be suggested with any confidence. Interestingly, of the six known chancellors of this duke, three were laymen though the default position, as John V’s reign confirmed, was to appoint a bishop as chancellor.6 A vice-chancellor is mentioned for the first time in 1415. And, as already indicated, from at least 1395, a keeper of the ducal archives, le Trésor des chartes, Hervé Le Grant, a senior ducal secretary and notary, was in post. He had joined John IV’s service as a young man fresh from university immediately on the duke’s return from exile in 1379, only being finally replaced in 1416.7 As for those who drafted ducal letters, mandates and a wide range of other documents, fragmentary household accounts from the end of the reign of John II (1286-1305) provide the names of seven clerks, some of whom probably served as chancery clerks.8 But before 1341 the absence of names, “hors teneur”, of those responsible for drawing up individual ducal acta limits what can be known about most clerks, notaries or secretaries in the embryonic chancery, especially since no serious paleographic study of the different hands of possible chancery clerks has yet been attempted.

  • 9 This growth in the number of ducal secretaries closely parallels a comparable expansion in another (...)

3Under Charles and Jeanne it appears that at any particular moment there were around four clerks regularly writing documents. This also seems to have been the case during John IV’s “first reign”, that is between his victory over Charles of Blois, at the battle of Auray on 29 September 1364, which ended the Breton War of Succession, and when he was once more driven into exile in England in April 1373 for pro-English policies following the resumption of the Anglo-French war in 1369. Then, after John IV had been invited to return to his duchy by a league of nobles and townsmen alarmed by Charles V’s plans to absorb Brittany into the royal demesne, from 1379 onwards, in a period of two decades during which John IV dramatically consolidated his authority by administrative innovations, financial reforms and the astute exploitation of diplomatic and military opportunities, there was an increase to six or eight regularly active chancery clerks, of whom three or four might be specifically called secretaries9. Several were also fully accredited imperial or apostolic notaries. Although an ordinance issued in 1404 by Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy, regulating the ducal household of the young John V (then in his guardianship) only made allowance for two secretaries with salaries of 50 l. p. a. and “bouche à cour”, one “secretaire et controlle”, paid 80 l. p. a. also with “bouche à cour” for himself and his clerk, and two other secretaries at 40 l. p. a., signatures on surviving ducal acta show that certainly by 1407, usually at least eight and then shortly afterwards as many as a dozen clerks formed the main chancery staff. The names of more than 160 individual clerks occur on acta for John V’s reign, many of the more prominent of whom also employed their own clerks to assist in the task of drafting and writing documents.

  • 10 Michael Jones, Recueil des actes de Charles de Blois, op. cit., p. 32-38 for the organisation of th (...)
  • 11 Id., Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., p. 46-53 for the content and arrangement of the 1395 invento (...)
  • 12 René Blanchard, Lettres et mandements de Jean V…, op. cit., I, p. c-cxv, and see also Jones, Recuei (...)

4In addition to expanding numbers of those employed within the Breton chancery either side of 1400, perhaps more important are signs of the growing professionalism and competence of chancery officials. The very patchy evidence for the institutional history of the chancery prior to 1341 has been mentioned. Under Charles of Blois its records were dispersed in several repositories, and it is clear that some were destroyed during the course of the Breton civil war.10 The establishment of a permanent Trésor des chartes in the Tour Neuve at Nantes in 1395 was an important development, particularly since (perhaps for the first time) an attempt was made to inventory and sort its contents.11 In the next few years, other measures were taken to improve accessibility so that records could be exploited in support of ducal policies. The first surviving register of outgoing ducal lettres de justice dates to 1407, and notes taken in the eighteenth century show that there was also another register of lettres d’office being compiled at the same time, though there are some largely ambiguous hints that the practice of registration of at least some acta might go back to the mid fourteenth century, even the late thirteenth century.12 Sadly, there is then a long break (to 1462) before any more chancery registers survive, though again later extracts from now lost registers in the interim suggest continuities.

  • 13 Olivier Guyotjeannin and Serge Lusignan (eds.), Le formulaire d’Odart Morchesne dans la version du (...)
  • 14 Mention must also be made of the register (AD Loire-Atlantique, E 116), compiled in 1398 by a deleg (...)
  • 15 AD Loire-Atlantique, E 236, fol. 5r: “Cy ensuit la tenour par vidimus et copie de pluseurs des lett (...)
  • 16 Michael Jones, Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., p. 72-74 for a concordance between those documents (...)

5Although there are no surviving formularies from the medieval Breton chancery before 1450, that is collections of model letters (usually anonymised by the elimination of proper names and dates13), cursory study of formulae and diplomatic (discussed in more detail below) suggest that formularies (or now lost registers) of some kind must have been available since the wording of different types of letters remained consistent over quite long periods. At least two other surviving volumes, however, were compiled by Hervé Le Grant and his assistants around 1400 both to serve immediate needs and consciously to provide works of reference for later generations.14 Fortunately their contents have not been seriously abbreviated during transcription. The most impressive is a large folio volume still bound in its original, red morocco leather covered boards that contains copies, made by two notaries under Le Grant’s instruction, of some 150 charters, letters or other documents.15 Some of these had previously been copied specifically from other archives, sometimes even at Le Grant’s own expense, because no copy then existed in the Trésor des chartes. They range in date from 1220 to 1407, when the volume was produced. Among them are no fewer than 117 already listed in the 1395 inventory and now copied out in full pour l’utilité et profit de mondit seignour. The majority concern relations between the duke and the king of France and with the duke’s principal vassals.16

  • 17 AD Loire-Atlantique, E 132.
  • 18 Michael Jones, Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., no 837: “Item le papier de celx qui doyvent host a (...)
  • 19 Cf. ibid., p. 38 and note 83.
  • 20 Ibid., p. 78-84 for a discussion of this and some other notable forgeries; Michael Jones, “Memory, (...)
  • 21 […] absque eo quod recognosceret vel haberat aliquem superiorem super se, cui de dicto Ducatu suo a (...)
  • 22 Barthélemy-Amédée Pocquet du Haut-Jussé, “Les faux États de Bretagne de 1315 et les premiers États (...)
  • 23 AD Loire-Atlantique, E 239, no 1, fos 3v and 4v, for which see Michael Jones, “Ordre ou désordre ? (...)
  • 24 Barthélemy-Amédée Pocquet du Haut-Jussé, Les papes et les ducs de Bretagne, Paris, De Bocard, I, 19 (...)

6From the point of view of developing ducal authority and ideology, a smaller volume17 (already listed in the 1395 inventory) which contains the earliest surviving copy of the Livre des Ostz,18 a muster of ducal tenants-in-chief in 1294, acknowledging their military obligations, is perhaps of greater historical significance since it also contains a deliberately modified account of the ceremony at which John IV performed homage for his duchy to Charles V in 1366, glossed as “simple homage” in a later hand, reflecting the efforts of the ducal administration from John IV’s reign onwards to avoid recognizing that the homage they owed to the kings of France was liege, a theme already well-treated by several modern historians.19 While another important document in the volume is the earliest-known copy of a pseudo-charter destined to become well-known and much exploited in defence of ducal rights by all subsequent Montfort dukes and even taking in the credulous into modern times. This very patently forged charter, which occurs in several subsequent collections as well as in single sheet copies, is usually attributed to Duke Alan Fergent with the date 1087 or 1088, though other later medieval versions with different attributions and dates also survive. It records how the nine bishops and nine ancient barons of Brittany (the Breton equivalent of the twelve ecclesiastical and lay peers of France) allegedly recognized the sovereignty of the duke.20 He in turn declared that nobody apart from God exercised sovereignty over him, a clear reference to well-known Roman law doctrines.21 A number of other forgeries of a similar kind clearly intended to promote ducal interests, especially emphasising the “regal” and “sovereign” nature of his power, also emerge during our period, among them a pseudo-treaty between Peter Mauclerc and Louis IX (1231) and a pseudo-original relating to a fictitious meeting of the Estates of Brittany in 1315 only finally exposed as recently as 1925!22 They are all listed in the second surviving inventory of the Trésor des chartes which dates to 1430,23 but it was clearly established 90 years ago by Barthélemy-Amédée Pocquet du Haut-Jussé, whose findings have been reinforced by other more recent studies, that most were first drafted in the years immediately following John IV’s return from exile in 1379 and that many of the ideas that they contain also influenced the language and conduct of the duke and his council in their diplomatic contacts, especially with the court of Charles VI and with the papacy. For instance, in one celebrated incident at Avignon in 1394, papal courtiers were surprised to hear two Breton clerks claiming that their duke was “king in his own duchy”, for which temerity they were deprived of their benefices.24

  • 25 Cf. Michael Jones, Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., p. 72-74.

7Following several other historians who have considered the forgeries, intended to reinforce views on the duke’s “regalities”, I have already written about them at considerable length on more than one occasion. So I do not want to pursue that theme further here, but simply to underline that the evidence is compelling that they were produced by men with Breton chancery experience, whether with or without official approval, that the key period in which they were forged coincides almost exactly with that of Hervé Le Grant’s time in the chancery, and that he is the most probable compiler of the Chronicon Briocense, a rambling but pioneering account of the history of the medieval duchy of Brittany from its earliest days to his own time. For the period from the thirteenth century onwards the Chronicon Briocense draws very heavily on documents preserved even today in the Trésor des chartes des ducs de Bretagne in an account designed to reflect the political aspirations to sovereignty and independence of the Montfort dynasty. Most of the 34 documents that are quoted at length in the Chronicon Briocense are, of course, genuine (most are listed in the 1395 inventory or copied into those chancery collections just mentioned).25 Thus its author certainly had access to the forgeries, perhaps had even himself confected some of them and placed pseudo-originals among the genuine records of the chancery. But it is rather to some specific features of the formal language increasingly used by Breton clerks in a routine fashion and to possible royal chancery influences that the rest of this brief paper now turns.

  • 26 AN, K 1152, no 49, peau 8.
  • 27 Michael Jones (ed.), “Some documents relating to the disputed succession to the duchy of Brittany, (...)
  • 28 Michael Jones, Recueil des actes de Jean IV, op. cit., I, no 41.
  • 29 Ibid., no 151.
  • 30 Ibid., no 157. The abbey of Prières had originally been founded by John I in 1252 and generally enj (...)
  • 31 Ibid., no 190, 21 February 1372.

8The argument that the duke of Brittany possessed certain “regal” rights was first clearly advanced in 1336 when John III (1312-1341) was in dispute with his aunt, Marie, countess of Saint-Pol, over their succession to John II. At one point his lawyers declared that the duchy (since 1297 a peerage of France) had once been a kingdom and Item, que le Roy et les Roys de Bretaigne pour le temps ne recognoissoyent nul soverain en terre […].26 Similar views were expressed by lawyers arguing the case of John of Montfort the elder against Charles of Blois and Jeanne of Penthièvre in 1341 over the disputed Breton succession.27 Absent from the acta of Charles and Jeanne, tentatively from the start of his reign, John IV adopted some of these claims asserting “sovereignty” to justify more routine actions. In a remission issued to the bishop and inhabitants of Quimper in October 1364 for supporting Blois and for any crimes committed against him or his father during the recent civil war, for example, the new duke promised that they and their goods soint traitez et gouvernez par Nous souverainement et ceulx de notre nacion de Bretagne comme Nous et nostre bon conseill vouldrons ordonner.28 Olivier Gauteron, who had inadvertently killed someone in self-defence, was granted a pardon in 1370 de nostre souveraineté et grace especial.29 An amortissement for the Dominicans of Rennes in 1368 was also given de nostre souveraineté et grace especial, a phrase that would soon become standard in this type of letter where it was also normal for the duke to stress the role of his predecessors as founders or protectors of the church or monastery receiving the grant and his wish to be included in their prayers or have masses said for himself and his family. In lettres de sauvegarde for the abbey of Prières in 1370, it was allegedly the abbot himself who had pointed out that nostre salvegarde soit une de nos grandes nobleces royaulx.30 In letters confirming an alliance with Edward III of England in 1372 and the terms of a commercial accord between Brittany and Guyenne, but recognizing that the king might have to come to terms with his adversaries, John IV reserved all his droiz, seignouries, juridicions, nobleces, franchises, libertez et possessions […] si entierement et franchement comme ils furent onques es temps de noz predecesseurs, rois, duz ou contes de Bretaigne.31

  • 32 Ibid., no 323.
  • 33 Ibid., II, no 1173.
  • 34 Ibid., no 819.
  • 35 Ibid., no 660.

9Following his return from exile, this “regal language” is sometimes yet more insistent. An amortissement for the Austin canons of Lamballe in 1379, for example, mentions a mass pour nous et noz heres et successours de nostre majesté royale et duchale.32 Another for a chapel at Pacé near Rennes in 1399 reserved nos droits de souveraineté et principauté.33 In a mandate to seneschals, alloués and baillis in 1392 to take the nuns of the abbey of Saint-Sulpice-la-Forêt into their protection, the duke recalled that en general, toutes giens de saincte Eglise avesques leurs benefices en nostre duché soint de nostre souveraineté en nostre protection et especiale sauvegarde.34 Recalling in 1388 that his predecessors had founded the abbey of Nostre-Dame de La Joie at Hennebont, his letters of protection emphasised que avons soit et doit appartenir entierement la seigneurie et obboïssance d’icelle abbaie et des appartenances de noz droiz roiaux et duchaux.35

  • 36 Ibid., I, no 347.
  • 37 Ibid., III, no 1266.
  • 38 Ibid., II, no 546: “Savoir faisons que comme a nous entre noz droit, souverainetez et noblesces et (...)
  • 39 Ibid., no 685.
  • 40 Ibid., III, no 1343.

10Letters granting permission for the establishment of fairs, sometimes claimed by the Valois kings as an exclusive royal prerogative, offered another chance to assert ducal claims to comparable sovereignty. Those for a weekly fair at Châtillon-sur-Seiche, for which the abbot and monks of Saint-Melaine de Rennes had asked in 1380, begins faisons savoir a touz que comme a nous de nostre souveraineté et noble seigneurie et nobleces et non a autres de nostre duché appartienge donner et ordrenner foires et marchés.36 Those for a fair at la Poterie de Fontenay on 11 April 1380/1381 (d.s.) differ only marginally: Comme a nous de nostre souveraineté et noblesse et de nostre droit royal et duchal et non autres quieilxconques persones appartienge donner et ottroyer faires et marchiez puppliqe es lieux et places a qui et la ou il nous plaist,37 while two granted only three weeks apart in June 1385 largely repeat the same formulae.38 So does a further concession for a fair at Châtillon-en-Vendelais in 1389, at the request of its secular lord, John of Laval, lord of Châtillon,39 and one for a fair at Ploubalay near Dinan in 1392 at the request of Alan, lord of Perrier, marshal of Bretagne.40

  • 41 Discussed most recently in Michael Jones, “Malo au riche duc?: events at St-Malo in 1384 reviewed”, (...)
  • 42 Michael Jones, Recueil Jean IV, op. cit., II, nos 510 and 511.
  • 43 AN, J 243, no 70, and Michael Jones, “Trahison et l’idée de lèse-majesté dans la Bretagne du xve si (...)

11The most impressive surviving example of John IV standing on his regal dignity following what he openly called lèse-majesté by some of his own subjects is provided by the very theatrical rituals surrounding his pardon for rebellion issued to Bishop Josselin of Rohan, the Chapter and the inhabitants of Saint-Malo, arranged under the aegis of a papal legate in June 1384.41 First, formal letters of remission were issued, setting out how the inhabitants were to process out of the town on foot, then on bended knee recognize that vostre majesté est offendue, petitioning him for pardon and mercy. The bishop and clergy were to follow suit, then nous recepvront comme est acoustumé les Roys, Princes et Ducs de Bretaigne, allowing the duke to appoint a captain to govern the town for the following three years. Letters in which John IV confirmed the privileges of the bishop, Chapter and townsmen followed, again underlining the crimes they had committed contre nous et nostre majesté before re-establishing them in their rights, reserving only noz droiz, nobleces et souveraineté en toutes choses.42 It can hardly be co-incidental that at this very same moment in Paris, the royal council was reminding the duke and his councillors, who were pursuing a case against the count of Alençon as lord of Fougères, that the duke was a par de France, vassal et homme lige a cause du duchié de Bretaigne du roy nostre sire et que le roy et ses predecesseurs ont usé de touz temps des droits de resort et de souveraineté ou duchié de Bretaigne and that cases of lèse-majesté were cas royaux.43

  • 44 The only serious exception is the occasional use of the bi-lateral indenture, a form much employed (...)
  • 45 Michael Jones, Recueil des actes de Charles de Blois, op. cit., nos 5 (6 June 1342, “La duchesse”), (...)
  • 46 Raymond Cazelles (ed.), Lettres closes. Lettres ‘de par le roi’ de Philippe de Valois, Paris, Socié (...)
  • 47 Michael Jones, Recueil des actes de Jean IV, op. cit., I, nos 299 (2 April 1375 x 1379, “Par […] du (...)
  • 48 Ibid., I, p. 29-30.
  • 49 Claude Jeay, Signature et pouvoir au Moyen Âge, Paris, École des chartes (Mémoires et documents de (...)
  • 50 Claude Jeay, “Entre France et Angleterre : Jean IV, duc de Bretagne, et la signature”, Journal des (...)
  • 51 Ibid., p. 48.

12It has not been possible here to examine in any depth the extent to which the Breton chancery at the end of the fourteenth century, in using formulae that sought to enhance the duke’s “regal” or “sovereign” status, was consciously borrowing from royal practice. Nor to make a close comparison between surviving ducal acta and the models provided in the various royal formularies which survive from the reigns of Charles V and Charles VI. A few points may however be made in conclusion. First, recent work confirms that, although rather tardy in comparison with some other French princely chanceries, institutional developments and diplomatic and linguistic practices within Brittany almost exclusively followed French models.44 The occasional use of letters close “De par le duc”, for instance, or simply headed “Le duc” or “La duchesse”, is first found during the reign of Charles of Blois and Jeanne of Penthièvre.45 It may be presumed to be an imitation of the practice of Philip VI, who employed them for a wide range of business.46 A few survive for John IV’s reign,47 but none have been found for John V. It was John IV who, from 1372 (some fifteen years after King John II began the royal tradition of signing documents), also began seriously to imitate royal practice by adding his own autograph to some important letters, also occasionally even a short holograph phrase.48 This development was briefly touched upon in the recently-published version of his thesis by Claude Jeay.49 Even more recently, he has analysed it in exhaustive and illuminating fashion in an article which appeared almost simultaneously with this colloquium in Bourges.50 There he shows convincingly that for diplomatic and financial business John IV adopted a very distinctive form of what he calls “une signature inédite, sorte de signature-souscription, un modèle non figé, original, révélateur de la position des ducs de Bretagne sur l’échiquier politique, entre France et Angleterre”,51 arguments which accord closely with the emphasis on the duke’s regal pretensions which have been the main focus of this paper.

  • 52 Olivier Mattéoni, « Écriture et pouvoir princier… », art. cit., p. 157-167.

13Finally, we may note that more generally the formal structure of different types of letters issued by the Breton chancery (for which, remember, no formularies now survive) seem already, at least for letters of sauvegarde, amortissement, rémission, pardon or granting fairs, as highlighted above, apart from their occasional reference to ducal regality, otherwise to follow fairly closely the phraseology and structure of similar royal letters as found in Odart Morchesne’s famous formulary of 1427 as the two examples offered here in an appendix are intended to show. As with the case of the ducal signature, more detailed study of the extent of such borrowing, as well as study of particular words or phrases, an approach which Olivier Mattéoni has used to good effect, for instance, in the case of Louis II, duke of Bourbon,52 is clearly feasible and would make a good project for future research. This would certainly throw further light on Breton chancery practices in this critical and fascinating period which I have so briefly described here.

Annexes

1. Order of John IV to the seneschal, alloué and other officers of Nantes to publish a safeguard for the nuns of Bourg des Moustiers (Loire-Atlantique), Nantes, 29 August 1392

(AD Loire-Atlantique, H 352, no 155, copy in the court of Nantes, 7 September 1392, and, ibid., copy of 1594)

2. Licence of John IV granting permission, at the request of John of Laval, lord of Châtillon, for the establishment of a weekly market on Wednesdays and three annual fairs in his lordship of Châtillon-en-Vendelais (Ille-et-Vilaine), Vannes, before 26 June 1385

(AN, AA 55, dossier 1516, copy by Pierre Chauvet in the court of Trans [Ille-et-Vilaine], 26 June 1385, very damaged)

Notes

1 5 volumes, Nantes, Société des bibliophiles bretons, 1889-1895.

2 Michael Jones, “The Chancery of the Duchy of Brittany from Peter Mauclerc to Duchess Anne, 1213-1514”, in id., The Creation of Brittany, London, Hambledon, 1988, p. 111-158 for a modern over-view.

3 Recueil des actes de Jean IV, duc de Bretagne, Paris/Bannalec, Klincsieck/Imprimerie régionale, 1980-2001, 3 vols.; Recueil des actes de Charles de Blois et Jeanne de Penthièvre, duc et duchesse de Bretagne, suivi des Actes de Jeanne de Penthièvre (1364-1384), Rennes, PUR, 1996; Le premier inventaire du Trésor des Chartes des ducs de Bretagne (1395), Rennes, Société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Bretagne (SHAB), 2007.

4 Michael Jones, “Memory, Invention and the Breton State: The First Inventory of the Ducal Archives (1395) and the Beginnings of Montfort Historiography”, Journal of Medieval History, 33, 2007, p. 275-296, and “Archives, chancellerie et historiographie dans le duché de Bretagne vers 1400”, in Guido Castelnuovo and Olivier Mattéoni (dir.), « De part et d’autre des Alpes » (II). Chancelleries et chanceliers des princes à la fin du Moyen Âge, Chambéry, université de Savoie, 2011, p. 179-195, for the principal bibliography. It is also worth noting there were no serious attempts to follow up Blanchard’s example within Brittany by editions of the acta of other dukes for many decades. Léon Maître published a brief “Répertoire analytique des actes du règne de Charles de Blois”, Bulletin de la société archéologique de Nantes et de la Loire-Inférieure, 45, 1904, p. 247-273 containing references to a mere 60 documents, while Jacques Levron published a rather more comprehensive “Catalogue des actes de Pierre de Dreux, duc de Bretagne”, Mémoires de la société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Bretagne, 11, 1930, p. 173-266, which included a handful printed in extenso. In 1935 most of the acta of Conan IV (1154-1171) were published by Sir Charles Clay in the first of two volumes which he devoted to “The Honour of Richmond” (Early Yorkshire Charters, IV, Wakefield, The West Yorkshire Printing Co. for the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series, Extra series, 1, 1935), a work which (perhaps not surprisingly) gained little publicity initially within France. Following my two Recueils of ducal acta, I also co-edited with Judith Everard, The Charters of Duchess Constance and her Family, 1171-1221, Woodbridge, Boydell, 1999. Most recently, Marjolaine Lémeillat has edited the Actes de Pierre de Dreux, duc de Bretagne (1213-1237), Rennes, PUR/SHAB, 2013, and the Actes de Jean Ier, duc de Bretagne (1237-1286), Rennes, PUR/SHAB, 2014, while the posthumous edition of Hubert Guillotel’s magisterial Actes des ducs de Bretagne (944-1148), Rennes, PUR/SHAB, 2014, which had first been presented as a doctoral thesis in 1973, was also finally published. As a result most Breton ducal acta between the mid tenth and late thirteenth century and from 1341-1442 are now in print. A digital edition of my Recueil des actes de Charles de Blois has been published by the PUR, which includes a supplement adding more than 50 further entries, https://books.openedition.org/pur/2840.

5 Xavier Hélary et al. (dir.), Les archives princières xiie-xve siècles, Arras, Artois Presses Université, 2016, provides much relevant comparative material.

6 Michael Jones, “The Chancery of the Duchy Of Brittany…”, art. cité, p. 152-154.

7 Michael Jones, Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., p. 29-41 for Le Grant’s career.

8 Michael Jones and Philippe Charon, Comptes ducaux bretons 1262-1514, t. I: Comptes, inventaires et l’exécution des testaments ducaux, 1262-1352, Rennes, PUR/SHAB, 2016, Introduction, p. 18, and xxii, article 245.

9 This growth in the number of ducal secretaries closely parallels a comparable expansion in another princely chancery in this period, that of Louis II, duke of Bourbon (Olivier Mattéoni, “Écriture et pouvoir princier. La chancellerie du duc Louis II de Bourbon [1356-1410]”, in Guido Castelnuovo and Olivier Mattéoni [dir.], « De part et d’autre des Alpes » [II]…, op. cit., p. 151), with two between 1356-1365, seven 1365-1375, nine 1375-1385, and eight for the rest of his reign.

10 Michael Jones, Recueil des actes de Charles de Blois, op. cit., p. 32-38 for the organisation of the chancery under Blois.

11 Id., Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., p. 46-53 for the content and arrangement of the 1395 inventory.

12 René Blanchard, Lettres et mandements de Jean V…, op. cit., I, p. c-cxv, and see also Jones, Recueil des actes de Jean IV, op. cit., I, p. 34 for earlier practice.

13 Olivier Guyotjeannin and Serge Lusignan (eds.), Le formulaire d’Odart Morchesne dans la version du ms. BnF fr. 5024, Paris, École des chartes (Mémoires et documents de l’École des chartes, 80), 2005, p. 30-42 for a discussion of how one important clerk compromised over this issue. René Prigent, “Le formulaire de Tréguier”, Mémoires de la société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Bretagne, IV, 1923, p. 275-413 for an edition of the only known medieval Breton formulary (BnF, Nal 426, early 14th c., 21 folios), compiled in the diocese of Tréguier by someone who had been a student at the university of Orléans, possibly following a course in Ars dictaminis. Among its 157 model letters are many with local references (the ms. even has a few glosses in Breton) but it contains no royal or papal letters.

14 Mention must also be made of the register (AD Loire-Atlantique, E 116), compiled in 1398 by a delegation sent to England to survey the duke’s Honour of Richmond, which contains the transcription of numerous charters from the twelfth century onwards along with other important estate documents.

15 AD Loire-Atlantique, E 236, fol. 5r: “Cy ensuit la tenour par vidimus et copie de pluseurs des lettres de tres excellent prince et seignour monseignour le duc de Bretaingne que maistre Hervé Le Grant, tresorier et garde d’icelles, a fait escripre en ce livre pour l’utilité et profit de mondit seignour desquelles ensuit les rebriches en la forme si aprés contenantes”. It is a volume of 114 folios, 295 × 335 mm with a 19th century index added by the archivist Léon Maître, though it omits some items. Robert-Henri Bautier, “Cartulaires de chancellerie et recueils d’actes des autorités laïques et ecclésiastiques”, in Olivier Guyotjeannin, Laurent Morelle and Michel Parisse (eds.), Les cartulaires. Actes de la Table ronde organisée par l’École des chartes et le G.D.R. 121 du CNRS (Paris, 5-7 décembre 1991), Paris, École des chartes (Mémoires et documents de l’École des chartes, 39), 1993, p. 363-376, at p. 373, briefly sets it in context among many other similar and mainly much earlier examples of chancery registers.

16 Michael Jones, Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., p. 72-74 for a concordance between those documents listed in 1395, transcribed in this volume, or mentioned and transcribed in the Chronicon Briocense (for the importance of which see below).

17 AD Loire-Atlantique, E 132.

18 Michael Jones, Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., no 837: “Item le papier de celx qui doyvent host au duc de Bretaingne et est ledit papier en parchemin.”

19 Cf. ibid., p. 38 and note 83.

20 Ibid., p. 78-84 for a discussion of this and some other notable forgeries; Michael Jones, “Memory, Invention and the Breton State…”, art. cit., p. 296 for an edition of one copy of the pseudo procès-verbal recording the fealty of the bishops of Brittany to “J. duke of Brittany” in the Estates allegedly held at Rennes, 9 May 1062, after the “original”, in AD Loire-Atlantique, E 59, no 3.

21 […] absque eo quod recognosceret vel haberat aliquem superiorem super se, cui de dicto Ducatu suo aliquod obsequium seu obedientiam faceret vel deberet, nisi solum Deum.

22 Barthélemy-Amédée Pocquet du Haut-Jussé, “Les faux États de Bretagne de 1315 et les premiers États de Bretagne”, Bibliothèque de l’École des chartes, 85, 1925, p. 388-406.

23 AD Loire-Atlantique, E 239, no 1, fos 3v and 4v, for which see Michael Jones, “Ordre ou désordre ? L’évidence des premiers inventaires du Trésor des chartes des ducs de Bretagne”, in Hélary et al. (dir.), Les archives princières…, op. cit., p. 132-134.

24 Barthélemy-Amédée Pocquet du Haut-Jussé, Les papes et les ducs de Bretagne, Paris, De Bocard, I, 1928, p. 420 citing a bull of Clement VII, 23 March 1394.

25 Cf. Michael Jones, Le premier inventaire…, op. cit., p. 72-74.

26 AN, K 1152, no 49, peau 8.

27 Michael Jones (ed.), “Some documents relating to the disputed succession to the duchy of Brittany, 1341”, Camden Miscellany [London, Royal Historical Society], 24, 1972, p. 1-78.

28 Michael Jones, Recueil des actes de Jean IV, op. cit., I, no 41.

29 Ibid., no 151.

30 Ibid., no 157. The abbey of Prières had originally been founded by John I in 1252 and generally enjoyed good relations with his successors, the abbots regularly acting as ducal councillors.

31 Ibid., no 190, 21 February 1372.

32 Ibid., no 323.

33 Ibid., II, no 1173.

34 Ibid., no 819.

35 Ibid., no 660.

36 Ibid., I, no 347.

37 Ibid., III, no 1266.

38 Ibid., II, no 546: “Savoir faisons que comme a nous entre noz droit, souverainetez et noblesces et non a autres en nostre duché appartiene donner et ordrener faires et marchez pupliques et noctaires”; ibid., no 549: “savoir faisons a touz presenz et advenir […] que comme a nous et non a autres de nostre duché de noz droits, souverainetez et nobleces royaux et duchaux appartiegne donner, ordrenner et octroier foyres et marchez es lieux et es places [ms. damaged] pour les bien et proufilt commun”.

39 Ibid., no 685.

40 Ibid., III, no 1343.

41 Discussed most recently in Michael Jones, “Malo au riche duc?: events at St-Malo in 1384 reviewed”, in Philippe Lardin and Jean-Louis Roch (eds.), La ville médiévale en deça et au-delà de ses murs. Mélanges Jean-Pierre Leguay, Rouen, Publications de l’université de Rouen, 2000, p. 229-242, and id., “Malo au riche duc: retour sur les événements à Saint-Malo en 1384”, Annales de la Société d’histoire et d’archéologie de l’arrondissement de Saint-Malo, 2002, p. 131-44.

42 Michael Jones, Recueil Jean IV, op. cit., II, nos 510 and 511.

43 AN, J 243, no 70, and Michael Jones, “Trahison et l’idée de lèse-majesté dans la Bretagne du xve siècle”, in La faute, la répression et le pardon. Actes du 107e Congrès national des sociétés savantes, Brest 1982, Philologie et histoire jusqu’à 1610, I, Paris, CHTS, 1984, p. 91-106 for the way in which John IV and his successors nevertheless claimed and exercised the right to judge such cases.

44 The only serious exception is the occasional use of the bi-lateral indenture, a form much employed in the English royal chancery, though when it was employed, it was usually for an agreement with Englishmen rather than with Breton subjects of the duke.

45 Michael Jones, Recueil des actes de Charles de Blois, op. cit., nos 5 (6 June 1342, “La duchesse”), 130 (15 November 1350, “La duchesse”), 230 (17 May 1359, “Le duc”).

46 Raymond Cazelles (ed.), Lettres closes. Lettres ‘de par le roi’ de Philippe de Valois, Paris, Société de l’histoire de France, 1958.

47 Michael Jones, Recueil des actes de Jean IV, op. cit., I, nos 299 (2 April 1375 x 1379, “Par […] duc de Bretaigne”), 420 (19 August 1382, “Le duc”); II, nos 536 (4 February [1385], “Le duc”), 548 (24 June 1385, “Le duc”), 1151 (7 October [1398], “Le duc”), 1184 (10 July ca 1386-1388 x 1394, “De par le duc”) and 1186 (ca 1372, “De par le duc”).

48 Ibid., I, p. 29-30.

49 Claude Jeay, Signature et pouvoir au Moyen Âge, Paris, École des chartes (Mémoires et documents de l’École des chartes, 99), 2015, p. 374-375. John IV is not mentioned by name in the published “positions” (Claude Jeay, “Du sceau à la signature : histoire des signes de validation en France [xiiie-xvie siècle]”, Positions des thèses, École des chartes, 2000).

50 Claude Jeay, “Entre France et Angleterre : Jean IV, duc de Bretagne, et la signature”, Journal des Savants, 2016/1, p. 33-51.

51 Ibid., p. 48.

52 Olivier Mattéoni, « Écriture et pouvoir princier… », art. cit., p. 157-167.

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