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The Maintenance of Ducal Authority in Gascony: The Career of Sir Guy Ferre the Younger 1298-1320In the letters patent by which Edward II informed the constable of Bordeaux that Sir Guy Ferre the Younger had been appointed to the seneschalsy of Gascony, the king clearly articulated that the seneschals primary responsibility was to maintain the jus et honor of the king-duke throughout the duchy of Aquitaine.1 As the income Edward II derived from his tenure of the duchy exceeded that of all the English shires combined,2 he not surprisingly exerted great effort to maintain his administrative and judicial presence in what remained to him of the so-called Angevin empire. Continuing disputes, however, over the nature and performance of the liege homage owed since 1259 to the Capetian monarchs made residence in the duchy problematic for the kings of England. As a consequence, both Edward I and his son, Edward II, elected to administer Gascony by delegating their ducal authority to household retainers or clients, official representatives, and salaried ministers. At various times from 1298 to 1320, Sir Guy Ferre the Younger served in Gascony in all of these capacities, as both comital administrator and advocate for the maintenance of ducal authority. Rather than focus on the mechanical details involved in the actual administration of the duchy, this study, by following the career of a model ducal representative, examines the strengths and weaknesses of the policy adopted by the absentee Plantagenet king-dukes for maintaining ducal authority against their increasingly invasive Capetian over-lords. The present essay supplements previous historiographical work on early fourteenth-century Gascon administration, a topic which has captured the scholarly attention of several capable authors. The most exhaustive treatment of this sometimes difficult subject is J. P. Trabut-Cussacs magisterial book on Gascony during the period from 1254 to 1307. Trabut-Cussac narrates the course of political events in Aquitaine and provides a thematic analysis of the financial and judicial administration of the duchy. The political narrative of an earlier study by Eleanor Lodge, Gascony under English Rule, has been superseded by the accounts offered in Trabut-Cussac and the more recent book by Malcolm Vale, but Lodges commentary on administrative matters still offers some useful insights. In his works onthe governance of medieval England, T. F. Tout contrasts the peculiarities of Gascon administration with domestic practice.3 Charles B mont and Pierre Chaplais have further contributed to our understanding of this topic, as have a number of other scholars whose contributions are cited below.4 To synthesize their conclusions briefly, it was Edward I who created the administrative machinery required to govern the duchy in the king-dukes absence. Ducal authority was divided among three officials–the royal lieutenant, the constable of Bordeaux, and the seneschal of Gascony–who were appointed by the king-duke and served at pleasure. Royal lieutenants were named irregularly (usually during or after periods of crisis) and contributed little to the daily administration of the duchy. Rather, they personified ducal authority by fulfilling the king-dukes mandates and directing the activities of his subordinates. During the reign of Edward II, the royal lieutenancy as a distinct office appeared with less frequency and his authority devolved upon the seneschals of Gascony, some of whom were styled senescallus et locum tenans (seneschal and lieutenant). The constable of Bordeaux administered the finances of the duchy and presented his accounts annually at the royal exchequer in Westminster. Although he performed a crucial function in the administration of the duchy, the constables personal role in maintaining ducal presence in Gascony, particularly after the advent of Edward II, was subordinate to that of the seneschal, who wielded vice-ducal powers. The extent to which the latter officials authority approximated the prerogatives enjoyed by a sovereign medieval prince is apparent in Sir Guy Ferres letters of appointment. Edward II empowered Guy Ferre to perform a large number of tasks ranging from the adjudication of disputes to the leading of armies in the field.5 Guy Ferres exercise of these prerogatives will be discussed more fully in due course, but first let us examine the historical circumstances that resulted in the king-dukes absenteeism and consequent delegation of his ducal authority. The Plantagenet policy of non-residence in Gascony was a by-product of the feudal relationship created between the kings of France and England in the treaty of Paris of 1259.6 By the terms of that treaty, Henry III, in exchange for minor territorial concessions within Gascony itself, renounced his claims to Normandy, Poitou, Maine, Touraine, and Anjou; furthermore, Henry III agreed to hold what remained to him of the Angevin duchy of Aquitaine as an hereditary fief of the French crown, an arrangement which made the king-duke a subject of the king of France. Thus, the Plantagenets, sovereign princes in England, nevertheless were obliged to perform liege homage in order to gain tenure of their continental possessions. Liege homage in this case entailed not only the vassals acknowledgement of his subservient position in relation to his lord, but also the swearing of an oath of personal loyalty to the lord which was subject to renewal each time a different prince inherited either the kingdom of France or the duchy of Aquitaine.7 The king-dukes of Aquitaine, perceiving the homage ceremony as beneath their regal dignity and the personal oath of fealty as detrimental to their royal prerogative,8 attempted with varying success to mitigate the terms of their allegiance either by swearing ambigous oaths of fealty or by avoiding altogether the performance of homage. The former course of action they justified by claiming that Aquitaine had been an allodial fief before 1259 and had not lost that status by the terms of the treaty of Paris; they further argued that the homage performed by Henry III applied only to those lands given him by Louis IX in exchange for Henrys renunciation of Normandy, Poitou, Maine, Touraine, and Anjou.9 Subsequent homage depended, the English maintained, upon complete fulfillment of the terms of the 1259 treaty. Thus when Edward I performed homage in 1273, he swore fealty for those lands which he “ought to hold” fom the king of France;10 by implication, Edward I neither recognized nor owed any feudal obligations (particularly for Aquitaine) because the kings of France had failed to relinquish the lands promised in the treaty of Paris. Edward II, in contrast to his fathers attempts to dispute the terms of allegiance, adopted a Fabian strategy of evasion. After crossing the Channel in 1308 to perform homage to Philip the Fair, the king of England avoided his obligations to Louis X and Philip V from 1314 until 1320, the fourth year of Philip Vs reign; Edward II accomplished this six year postponement by appealing to the real or imagined dangers that would result from his leaving the kingdom during times of unrest. Finally threatened by Philip V with confiscation of the duchy (a punitive measure that had resulted in war in 1294), Edward II appeared before the king of France at Amiens in 1320. Whether or not a resident duke of Aquitaine could have delayed the homage ceremony for six years is and must remain a matter of speculation. It is certain, however, that Edward IIs absence from the continent aided his delaying tactics; furthermore, the king-dukes willingness to allow relations with France to degenerate into threats of forfeiture over the question of liege homage testifies eloquently to the aversion Edward II had for his feudal subordination to the Capetian monarchs. Not surprisingly, the king elected to remain in England and administer Gascony through vice-ducal representatives. What type of men were these representatives? What combination of personal qualities, familial connections, and previous experience recommended them for administrative service in the duchy of Aquitaine? B mont, Renouard, and Trabut-Cussac each offer prosopographical sketches of the English kings ducal officials, but their biographies of these men focus exclusively on the periods of their service in the duchy and are far too skeletal in any event to satisfy these questions.11 Some answers may be formulated by tracing in detail the career of one man, Sir Guy Ferre the Younger, who served the Plantagenets in one capacity or another for over fifty years. Guy Ferre began his administrative career in the household of Queen Eleanor of Provence, widow of Henry III and mother of Edward I, and eventually passed into royal service. He first appeared in the public records in 1271, when he received from Henry III a grant of 50 to accompany Prince Edmund to the Holy Land.12 Nothing more is recorded concerning Guy Ferres previous history and his origins remain obscure. One document states that he was “alien born,”13 while other records reveal that he was perceived by the English as “French.”14 He obviously belonged to the knightly class, for in 1273, Guy Ferre, knight, witnessed a charter issued at Guildford by Eleanor, mater regis. It seems likely that Guy Ferre belonged to the queen mothers household at that time, for in 1275 he appeared as Eleanors steward. Sometime before February 1279, Guy Ferre married Joan, daughter of Thomas, son of Otto. Sir Guy appeared in the public records on 6 January 1280 with the title, “kings yeoman,”15 even though the queen mother retained some claim to Sir Guys service. That same month, for instance, Queen Eleanor dispatched Guy Ferre to France on her own business; Sir Guy returned to England before 1 November 1281, on which date he appeared before the king at Westminster to acknowledge his receipt of a royal annuity.16 In the interim, Edward I had exempted Guy Ferre for life from serving on assizes, juries, commissions, or recognizances; in December 1281 the king further rewarded Guy Ferre with a gift of twelve oaks from the royal forest of Haneleye.17 The public records show that Sir Guy Ferre witnessed a charter for the queen mother in April 1282 (he was still her steward), appeared before the king in December 1282 and in October 1283, and that he witnessed another of Eleanors charters in February 1284.18 Joan, Sir Guy Ferres wife, ded during the summer of 1285, leaving as her heiress Mathilda, her under-aged sister.19The fourteenth year of Edward Is reign, 1285-1286, witnessed Guy Ferres transition from Eleanor of Provences household into exclusive royal service. Letters of protection for going overseas were issued to Guy Ferre on 5 October 1285, but he remained in England until the summer of the following year, at which time he crossed over to the continent with the kings sizeable retinue.20 Sometime before November 1285, Sir Guy Ferre had become a member of the royal household and over a twelve-month period received various payments from the controller of the wardrobe totalling 25 16s. 4d.21 Edward I, who arrived in France on 19 May 1286, remained on the continent until the autumn of 1289; for much of the time the king-duke was in Gascony reforming the duchys administration. Malcolm Vale states that Edward I intended to establish an administrative machinery capable of functioning despite the perpetual absence of the duke.22 Indeed, during this three-year period of activity, Edward I clarified the administrative responsibilities of his two chief representatives in the duchy, the seneschal of Gascony and the constable of Bordeaux. We are unable to ascertain the degree to which Guy Ferre contributed to the king-dukes reforming efforts because Sir Guy does not appear in the surviving records from the time of his departure for France in 1286 until 20 April 1289, the date on which he witnessed a royal charter given in the Agenais. Guy Ferre was still attending the king in Gascony the following month, but had returned to England by November 1289.23Prior to Edward Is 1286-1289 sojourn in Gascony, Guy Ferre divided his allegiance between the king and Eleanor of Provence, the kings mother. By the time Sir Guy returned to England, the queen mother had retired to the convent of Amesbury. Eleanors withdrawal from the world necessitated a drastic reduction in the size of her household staff, a development which freed Guy Ferre for exclusive royal service. Guy Ferres prominence in the queen mothers household had recommended him for a career in royal administration. His last action on Queen Eleanors behalf was to serve as one of her executors, but his primary employer from 1286 had been the king of England. Royal service certainly had its rewards. During the closing months of 1289, Edward I granted Guy Ferre two manors. One was given for the duration of Guy Ferres life and would revert to the crown upon Sir Guys death; the other, Gestingthorpe, was a permanent addition to Guy Ferre the Youngers patrimony and could therefore descend to the “male heirs of his body.”24 The king also rewarded his dependents by granting them temporary custody of those estates which fell into royal hands either due to feudal escheats or to the minority of the propertys lawful heirs. Guy Ferre received two such gifts in January 1291.25It is apparent that Guy Ferre the Younger had firmly established himself in Edward Is confidence by 1291. In January, for instance, Sir Guy not only received two grants of royal patronage, he also accompanied the king to Norham, co. Durham, in order to take part in Edward Is adjudication of the Scottish succession.26 The king knew that Guy Ferre had directed the queen mothers household as her steward, and this experience, combined with Sir Guys long service for the Plantagenet dynasty, no doubt influenced his next appointment. Sometime before Easter 1293, the king attached Guy Ferre to the household of his heir, Edward of Carnarvon, prince of Wales. Sir Guys status in the future Edward IIs familia is uncertain, but in 1293 he secured venison from royal forests to fill the princes table.27 Despite his affiliation with the princes household, Guy Ferre continued to be used on diplomatic business. In April 1294, for example, the king sent Sir Guy and three associates to assess the value of the dower lands assigned in marriage by the count of Bar to Eleanor the kings daughter; if they valued 15,000 Tournois anually, Sir Guy was to take possession of them. The mission was completed and the emissaries were back in England by 1 August.28 When war erupted in Gascony that summer, Guy Ferre received letters of protection authorizing him to join the contingent led by the kings nephew, John of Brittany, earl of Richmond.29 Nevertheless, Sir Guy remained in England with the prince of Wales after the army departed: on 26 December 1295, the sheriff of Norfolk, having previously been ordered to sequester the lands, goods, and chattels of “all alien laymen of the power of the king of France,” was directed to restore such property to Guy Ferre, who was “staying continually in the company of Edward, the kings son, by the kings special order, and who is not of the power of the king of France and who never adhered to him against the king at any time, as appears evident to the king.” In a separate entry on the Close Roll for the same date, we find that the king had heard the testimony of Guy Ferre himself in this matter.30Meanwhile, the fighting in Gascony continued. John of Brittanys forces in Gascony enjoyed little success against the French, and in January 1296 the king dispatched fresh troops to the duchy under the direction of his brother, Edmund of Lancaster.31 Within six months of his landfall in the duchy, however, Edmund died from natural causes in Bayonne. Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, assumed command and led the army to defeat at the hands of Robert of Artois in January 1297. With the English discomfiture and a shifting of the military focus to Flanders, fighting in Gascony ground to a desultory halt. Although Sir Guys initial letters of protection have not survived, and despite the fact that his military contributions failed to attract the attention of contemporary chroniclers, we may be reasonably sure that Guy Ferre joined Edmunds expedition and remained in Gascony throughout the last year of the war, for he received letters of protection on 8 February 1297 to remain in Gascony on the kings business.32 By the end of the summer, however, Guy Ferre the Younger had returned to England, for he witnessed on 27 August the transfer of the great seal from Prince Edward to the chancellor.33 The following spring Guy Ferre received his most important commission to date: Edward I appointed him locum tenans of the duchy of Aquitaine.34Informed by Sir Guy Ferres biography down to 1298, let us isolate those qualifications generally displayed by men who rose in royal service to the point of vice-ducal representation. Firstly, entrance into royal service in a large measure depended upon familial connections, family being defined here in the broader medieval sense of familia, or household, a social grouping whose membership was not confined to blood relatives.35 The head of the familia, whether a clerical or lay magnate, aided his household members promotion into royal service by bringing them into contact with the court and sponsoring their employment on the kings business. In Guy Ferres case, his affiliation with the household of Eleanor of Provence led to royal service. Household connection, of course, was not the only route into the kings administration, but familial membership opened doors normally closed to many others who desired access to the rewards associated with royal service. The vice-ducal representative, in the second place, had already acquired some degree of administrative and/or diplomatic experience, either in the service of his previous lord or on royal errands. Sir Guy the Younger, as we have seen, not only had played important roles in governing the households of the queen mother and the prince of Wales, he also had completed successfully several diplomatic missions prior to his appointment as royal locum tenans in Gascony. Lastly, the king-duke promoted those men whose social status was at least knightly and whose reliability and loyalty to the dynasty were above reproach. It is impossible to quantify the impact of the kings patronage on his servants loyalty and reliability, but there can be no doubt that the two were relate. So long as the royal servant upheld his responsibilities, he reasonably could expect to receive at irregular intervals some manifestation of the kings approbation. Edward Is various grants to Guy Ferre of royal timber, wardships, manors, and promises of justice may be seen as a measure of both Sir Guys loyalty and the kings gratitude. With his appointment as Edward Is lieutenant in Gascony, Guy Ferre the Younger reached the summit of royal service, vice-ducal representation.36 The royal lieutenancy brought its holder great rewards (an annual salary of 500 sterling) as well as heavy responsibilities, the foremost of which was maintaining ducal authority. From 1298 until his retirement from royal service in 1320, Guy Ferre frequently served the English crown as an advocate of ducal authority, and it is primarily that aspect of his career that we shall emphasize hereafter.37 Before examining Guy Ferres exercise of ducal authority, however, something must be said concerning the purpose and limitations of the primary source we are using to chart administrative activity in the duchy of Aquitaine. The Gascon roll, generated and maintained by chancery clerks in London, records only the mandates sent by the king-duke to his representatives in the duchy. The Gascon roll therefore provides no evidence of the lieutenant or seneschals independent administrative decisions, as, for example, an episcopal register does for the corresponding activities of its bishop. We may be certain that the authority of the vice-ducal officials extended to independent exercise of ducal sovereignty, because during his tenure Guy Ferre the Younger had possession and use of the seal of the duchy of Aquitaine;38 this enabled Sir Guy to issue mandates and grants on his own recognizance. If those vice-ducal commands were enrolled in a separate administrative instrument (as the kings were in the close, patent, and Gascon rolls), it is unfortunately no longer extant.39 Thus, the Gascon roll, the sole surviving source for the absentee administration of the duchy of Aquitaine, permits a close examination only of the king-dukes mandates to his subordinates, not the implementation of those communications. Guy Ferre the Younger served as Edward Is locum tenans from April 1298 until November 1299.40 As discussed previously, the royal lieutenant performed few administrative duties. Rather, he personified ducal authority by fulfilling the king-dukes mandates and by directing the activities of subordinates. The following royal instructions illustrate the range of Guy Ferres vice-ducal responsiblities: first, the appointment of certain reputable men to various offices in the duchys administration; second, the assurance that the mayor and jurats (municipal officials who combined administrative and judicial responsibilities) of Bayonne are allowed to enjoy the citys ancient laws and customs; third, the restoration of property seized illegally by ducal officials during the recent war with the king of France; and finally, the payment of the king-dukes numerous debts, especially arrearages of wages.41 The sources say nothing more of Sir Guy Ferre the Youngers activities in the duchy during his tenure of the lieutenancy; the absence of documentation reduces us to cautious speculation. It seems likely, for instance, that Guy Ferre participated up to June 1298 in the diplomatic traffic between Edward I and Boniface VIII, but if Sir Guy indeed submitted to papal arbitration the king-dukes case against the king of France concerning the 1294 sequestration of the duchy, no trace of that involvement survives.42 A much clearer picture of the vice-ducal officials role in maintaining ducal authority emerges after the accession of Edward II in 1307, during whose reign the seneschal, in addition to performing his administrative duties, assumed the symbolic position previously filled by the royal lieutenant. Edward II appointed Guy Ferre seneschal of Gascony in March 1308.43 For seventeen months, Sir Guy wielded an authority that approximated sovereign prerogatives, such as conducting egotiations, adjudicating all disputes and controversies as far as appeals to royal justice, travelling as occasion demanded to the Parlement of Paris to act as proctor in cases involving the kings custody and rule over the duchy, raising and leading armies as necessary to preserve the king-dukes rights and honor, and presenting appropriate persons to ecclesiastical benefices.44 These considerable powers were clearly assigned to Guy Ferre in his various letters of appointment, but the Gascon rolls suggest that he utilized only his judicial rights. Providing equity to ones subjects was the cornerstone of sovereignty in the fourteenth century, and the dispensation of justice was one of Guy Ferres more absorbing tasks. Most legal disputes recorded in the Gascon rolls involve royal commands to investigate a complaint and dispense justice through the royally-appointed Gascon council according to the foros et consuetudines (laws and customs) of the duchy.45 Such cases illustrate the routine operation of the ducal courts. Of more interest to our investigation of the king-dukes maintenance of his influence in Gascony are those mandates concerned with the judicial activities of the Parlement of Paris. Prior to the 1259 treaty, as English jurists reiterated throughout this period, Gascony had been an allodial fief, held by the king-duke in undisputed sovereignty.46 For the king-dukes Gascon subjects, such sovereignty established the ducal court at Bordeaux as their highest court of appeal.47 The Capetian kings of France maintained, however, that the treaty of Paris imposition of liege homage placed the king-dukes courts within the French judicial system, thereby subverting Plantagenet claims to allodial sovereignty and subordinating ducal judicial decisions to the approval of the Parlement of Paris. Philip the Fair actively encouraged Gascons to bring appeals against ducal decisions to the French royal court, where they were assured a favorable response.48 Edward IIs representatives, especially the seneschal, acted on the king-dukes behalf to prevent this deliberate erosion of ducal authority. On 15 March, 1308, Sir Guy Ferre the Younger was ordered to restore to William, lord of Caumonte, his lawfully-sequestered castles, lands, possessions, lordships, and moveable goods, “with the provision that the same William will first renounce his appeals to the court of the king of France.”49 That is to say, if William of Caumonte acknowledged publicly the sovereignty of the English duke, he would immediately enjoy a restoration to his former status. The king-duke relied on this conciliatory tactic in a more serious case in March 1309. At that time, the viscount and men of Anvillars in the seneschalsy of Agenais were persuaded to drop their appeals to the Parlement of Paris and absolve the king from a fine of 10,000 Tournois imposed by the French royal court. In exchange, they were exempted from paying the damages they had inflicted on the king-duke and his servants.50 The case originally had arisen during Edward Is reign when the men of the village (apparently encouraged by French royal agents) rebelled against the English dukes, “committing many homicides and perpetrating great damages.” A dispute between ducal officials and local notables over the territorial limits of the viscounty had provoked the viscount and his men; their actions, which directly challenged Plantagenet authority, were subsequently, and perhaps not surprisingly, approved in the curia Francie, even though the king-duke was without question the aggrieved party. Active judicial intervention in the duchy was the Capetians most effective weapon in their struggle with the Plantagenets over ducal authority. By encouraging appeals against the king-duke (and guaranteeing favorable outcomes to Gascon appelants) the king of France negated the king of Englands claims to sovereignty in Aquitaine. The Plantagenet dukes had no real defense against such attacks on their position. Theoretical arguments over the proper interpretation of the treaty of 1259 had little persuasive force inthe Gascon countryside, and in an attempt to counter French encroachments, the king-dukes adopted a policy of concession which, in the long term, may have further detracted from their prestige.51 Without the ability to enforce punitive judicial measures, the king-dukes of Aquitaine, despite their claims to the contrary, were in fact subjects of the king of France. Philip the Fair and his officials, undeterred by ineffectual English attempts to halt the practice, continued to disrupt Gascon judicial administration. In the summer of 1309 a particularly violent clash erupted between the Plantagenet and Capetian representatives. On 11 July, Edward II, in order to maintain “our right in all things,” ordered Guy Ferre to incarcerate Bertrand de Mota, valet of the king of France, Rose de Mota, wife of Bertrand, and many others for the assassination of Arnaud Carbonel, citizen of Bazadais.52 Neither Arnauds political importance nor the circumstances of his murder emerge from the laconic public records, but Edward IIs justification combined with Bertrands association with Philip the Fairs household perhaps explains the French kings determined response to the king-dukes actions. In December, Philip IV, acting as the duke of Aquitaines overlord, ordered Sir John de Hastings, Guy Ferres successor as seneschal of Gascony, to release the prisoners. When Sir John failed to respond, Philip IV commanded the seneschal of Toulouse to obtain the immediate liberation of Bertrand and his followers, either by grace or force.53 At that critical juncture, March 1310, the public records fall silent on this interesting episode. Since no fighting broke out that year, one assumes that John de Hastings, the English seneschal of Gascony, was forced to surrender his prisoners to the French seneschal of Toulouse. Such a surrender would have sent an unmistakable message to Edward II as to the drawbacks of absenteeism. In addition to wielding quasi-ducal powers, Guy Ferre performed a number of administrative tasks which indirectly bolstered the king-dukes position in the duchy. These duties included controlling the exploitation of that ducal demesne land unsuitable for cultivation and collecting the accustomed duties on the export of Gascon wine to England.54 In addition, and as a result of Edward IIs absentee direction of the duchy, his seneschal was directed in the king-dukes name to appoint castellans, the jurats of Bordeaux and Bayonne, and many other ducal officials.55 In March 1308, for instance, Guy Ferre was ordered to appoint Arnaldo Guillelmi to the viscounty of Goure for as long as it took to satisfy a debt of 2500 Tournois; in the following month, Gaillardo Dandos, lord of Mencentz, was placed in custody of the castle of Gavaretto with its appurtenances to hold so long as he respected the laws and lordship of the duke of Gascony. The seneschal also carried out the mandates of the king in miscellaneous administrative matters, such as restoring people to possession of their property or directing the profits of the bailiffship of Montsegure to the repair and maintenance of the gates of that town. Lastly, Guy Ferre the Younger was called upon to confirm the grants and appointments made by previous seneschals. After a tenure in office of nineteen months, Guy Ferre was recalled to England on 24 October, 1309.56The two terms served by Guy Ferre as royal lieutenant and seneschal of the duchy of Aquitaine shaped the course of his subsequent career. From 1310 until 1320, he was relied upon as a ducal commissioner in peace negotiations with French plenipotentiaries at the Process of P rigueux. He was also frequently consulted by king, council, and parliament as an expert on Gascon affairs, and he was sent into the duchy for varying periods of time either to supervise Edward IIs official representatives or to relay messages. It is arguable that Guy Ferre contributed more to the absentee dukes position in Gascony in this later stage of his career than he did as the chief officerof the duchy; such is the impression, at any rate, given by the Gascon rolls. Guy Ferre the Youngers final decade of service can be discussed in three sections corresponding to his assignments in Gascony: 1310-1312, 1312-1314, and 1317-1320. The Process of P rigueux, which met in April 1311, had long been sought by the English as a forum to discuss on neutral ground–that is, anywhere outside Paris–the encroachments made in Gascony by the officials of Philip IV. The French, who had never fully adhered to what the king-dukes believed to be the terms of the peace treaty of 1303,57 exacerbated Anglo-French tensions by encouraging judicial appeals to Paris. Moreover, the kings of France had continued to maintain their own officials in some areas of Gascony occupied by Philips armies since the beginning of the 1294-1297 war. Sir Guy Ferre went to Gascony on the kings orders in August 1310 to join the negotiating commission led by John of Brittany, who was serving for a second time as lieutenant of Aquitaine.58 Among the many goals Edward II hoped his plenipotentiaries would attain were a recognition of appellate supremacy for the Gascon courts and a clarification of the geographical limits of the French s n chaux.59 The claims of sovereignty made by both parties, however, could not be reconciled, and thus the meeting ended in deadlock.60 In addition to his negotiating duties, Guy Ferre performed with his fellow commissioners a variety of administrative and judicial tasks until December 1311, at which time Edward II recalled Sir Guy to England to act on behalf of Plantagenet authority in a much broader sense.61



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