The last of the Normans

King John and Philip Augustus, the loss of Normandy

The death of Richard preceded by some years the dislocation of the Anglo-Norman territories under the onslaught of the King of France. Philip Augustus resumed the tactic against King John 'Lackland' that had been used against Henry II Plantagenet. As a King of France, Philip was in a position to arbitrate in the conflicts between the King of England and his French vassals, and collect homage directly from those who contested the authority of John.

Arthur of BritannyPhilip firstly supported the claims of Arthur of Brittany, nephew of John, who could claim the birthright of his father. Arthur was the son of Geoffrey, placed before John in order of succession, but who died in 1186. War resumed, especially in Normandy but John managed to retain the upper hand.

The conclusion found its pretext outside Normandy. John ravaged the heiress and heritage of the County of Angoulème, which had been promised to Lusignan. The vassals defied by their overlord called upon the supreme jurisdiction of the King of France. Philip called John before his court and in his absence, condemned him and pronounced the confiscation of the fiefdoms that the King of England held from him in the Kingdom of France.

The barons who had been faithful to Richard deserted King John, rallying to the King of France. The latter gathered the forces required to lay siege to the fortress of Château Gaillard in September 1203. In May 1204, the stronghold fell and after it all of Normandy. In June 1204 Rouen surrendered to the King of France.

The definitive victory of the King of France was confirmed in 1214 at Bouvines where he broke the coalition allied to the King of England. John himself was defeated the same year at Roche-aux-Moines.

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