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English miles, Louis XIV., there are handsome quays, slips for building, is not more than 1300 ft. The coast of Bretagne is of great and extensive storehouses, rope-walks, and barracks; also length, first extending westward from the mouth of the little a building for the reception of the convicts who are sen riv. Couésnon (which separates this province from Nortenced to the galleys, called Le Bagne. This last-mentioned mandie) to the headlands opposite the Isle of Ouessant; building is on the summit of a hill, and large enough for and then running S.E. to the neighbourhood of the Isles of 4000 convicts. The various establishments for the navy Boui and Noirmoutier, which belong to Poitou. The N. occupy nearly the whole of the port; and the commerce of coast runs parallel to and not very far from the northern Brest is trifling compared with what it might become. It slope of the Ménez mountains. This coast is very irreguhas been projected to form a harbour for merchant vessels, lar in its form, being indented by a succession of bays, by cutting a canal from the naval port to the road so as to those of Cancalle, St. Malo, St. Brieuc, &c., between make the site of the castle an island. It is considered that which the land juts out into headlands. This coast is this project, if executed, would supply a great desideratum ; skirted by a number of small islands and rocks, as the viz., a considerable mercantile harbour between Nantes and Chausey Ísle and Les Minquiers, which are some distance Le Hâvre. Brest has several establishments for the pro- from the coast towards the Isle of Jersey; the Isles of Brehat, motion of knowledge, a botanic garden, a marine library, les Sept Iles (the Seven Isles), les Meloines, and the Isle an observatory, and a museum of natural history. The of Bas. At the western extremity of Bretagne we have the pop. in 1832 was 29,860,
two deep bays, the Brest Road and the Bay of Douarnenez; The bay or road of Brest is perhaps one of the finest and off the coast are the Isle of Ouessant (Ushant) and natural harbours in the world. The passage, Le Goulet, by several smaller ones, as Balance, Beniguet, and the Isle of which it is entered is less than a mile in width, but within Saint or Sein. The S.W. coast has an outline as irregular there is room for 500 vessels of the line. The road may be as the N. coast. The bays of Audierne, Benodet, and considered as the æstuary of several small streams which Forest, with the points or headlands of Raz, Penmarch, flow into it, none of which however are of any importance and Trevignon, succeed one another; these are followed except the riv. of Châteaulin, which forms part of the sys- after an interval of many miles marked only by the outfall of tem of inland navigation connecting Brest with Nantes. the riv. Blavet, forming the harbours of l'Orient and Port There are two main arms or branches of the bay, each of Louis, by the pen. of Quiberon, by the bay of Morbihan, and which penetrates several miles inland; and several smaller by the embouchures of the Vilaine and the Loire. The isles indentations.
along this coast exceed in importance those of the N. coast; Brest is the chief town of an arrond., containing in 1832 among them are included Groix and Belle-Ile, with the 156,810 inh.
several smaller isles of Glenan, Houat, Hædik, and Dumet. BRETAGNE, or according to the English manner of The rivers of Bretagne rise for the most part in the Ménez writing it, BRITTANY, one of the most important of the mountains. From the proximity of the mountains to the prov. into which France was divided before the revolution, northern shore the streams which flow from them on that side is at present divided into the five dep. of Ille et Vilaine, hare too short a course to become of magnitude. The princiLoire Inférieure, Côtes du Nord, Morbihan, and Finistère. pal streams, enumerating them from E. to W., are the Coués.
Bretagne is situated at the extremity of that part of non, which rises near Fougères, and after separating BreFrance which, jutting out into the sea, forms with the tagne from Normandie, flows into the sea below Pontorson; Spanish coast the Bay of Biscay. On the N. and W. and the Rance, which flows past Dinan, where it becomes naviS.W. sides it is washed by the sea, and on the E. side, which gable, and enters the sea at St. Malo; the Trieux, and the is towards the land, it is bounded by Normandie, Maine, Guer. The space included between the Arrée mountains Anjou, and Poitou. The length of the prov. E. and W., and the Black mountains forms the basin of the Aulne, from opposite the Isle of Ouessant or Ushant to the neigh- which passing Châteaulin (where it becomes navigable), and bourhood of Fougères is about 170 m.; the greatest breadth assuming from it the name of the Châteaulin, falls into the N. and S. from Št. Malo to the neighbourhood of Mache road of Brest
. The rivers which flow from the southern coul S. of the Loire is about 125 to 130 m. The greatest declivity of the Ménez are for the most part larger than dimension that can be taken is from N.W. near Brest to those above named. The Odet indeed is small, but it is S.E. 195 m. Bretagne is usually divided into the Haute navigable up to Quimper ; the Blavet, a longer river, is or Upper Bretagne, and the Basse or* Lower Bretagne. navigable up to Pontivy, which is 35 m. above its outfall. It is traversed froin E. to W. by the chain of the Ménez The Oust, after receiving several tributary streams, falls mountains, which entering the prov. from Maine run to- into the Vilaine, which, though rising just within the wards the sea, before reaching which they part into two boundary of Maine, has the greater part of its course in branches and enclose the road of Brest. The northern Bretagne. It flows W. to Rennes, where it becomes navibranch, called the Arrée mountains, terminates in the gable, and then turning to the S.W. passes Redon and headland opposite Ouessant; the southern branch, the Roche Bernard, and falls into the sea a little below the Black mountains, terminates at the Bay of Douarnenez. latter. Its whole length may be estimated at 110 m., and The highest point of this range of the Ménez mountains the length of its navigation at 70 m. The southern part of
Bretagne is watered by the Loire and by some of its tribu-in some of the districts. Many of the women of the very taries, of which the Sevre Nantaise and the Erdre, small poorest kind wear this dress till it becomes so dirty, patched, streams but navigable for a short distance, are all that de- tattered, and ragged, that you can scarcely trace what it serve mention. Besides the facilities for navigation which had originally been; and I have seen several children so these rivs. afford, Bretagne has one can. (that of the wretchedly off for clothing, that they run about almost in a Ille and the Rance), which runs from Rennes to Dinan; state of nature. The women who appear tolerably respectand a second which runs nearly parallel to the coast, but able, and are dressed decently in their singular costume, several m. inland, from Nantes to Châteaulin, whence the look tlorid and healthy; while those attired in the ragged communication is continued by the riv. Aulne or Châteaulin garments, bear a squalid and meagre aspect-this arises, I to the road of Brest. There is one lake, that of Grandlieu, am induced to believe, from the greater dirt and poverty S.W. of Nantes. (Map of France, by the Society for the of the latter class. Diffusion of Useful Knowledge.)
• The chestnut abounds in Britanny; there are many The soil varies much. In some parts, especially on the large forests composed entirely of that tree: their produce, coast, it is very fertile, but there are some vast landes or boiled in milk, supplying a means of subsistence for the heaths in the interior. The produce of corn, hemp, and poor during the greater part of the year. The people collect fax is considerable. According to Expilly (A.D. 1762) more the chestnuts in sacks, and pile them up within their cabins : corn is raised than can be consumed in the province, and a several families are even so needy, that they seldom taste considerable quantity is exported. A little wine is grown, the luxury of bread; but these are amongst the children of chiefly about Nantes; the common drink of the people is wretchedness in the extreme degree. I am informed that in cider. When the quantity of wine is greater than usual, it the neighbourhood of Brest the lower orders resort to acorns is converted into brandy. There is much pasture land, and as well as chesnuts for food, which have some nutritious quaa considerable number of cattle are raised. The butter, lities when boiled in milk. The Breton houses (excepting especially that made in the neighbourhood of Rennes, is in the towns) are generally built of mud, without order or in good repute. The mineral riches of this province consist convenience. It is absolutely a common thing in Britanny of an abundance of lead, also of iron, tin, antimony, and for men, women, children, and animals, ali to sleep tosome silver; marble and coal. For further particulars of gether in the same apartment, upon no other resting-place the produce of this province, the reader is referred to the than that of the substantial earth, covered with some straw. several departments into which it is now divided.
We once saw, near Josselin, a man drive into his cabin a The pop. of the five depts, into which Bretagne is di- cow and a horse, followed by a pig, and afterwards entering vided was, in 1832, 2,573,935. Expilly, in his Diclion. himself he shut the door.'-p. 253-255. (Paris, 1762), gives the pop. at 1,660,451. Their origin will • The Bretons inhabit a fine country, capable of render.be more particularly noticed in treating of their history. ing them prosperous and wealthy, but little cultivated by The language of Lower Bretagne has for its basis that of their own exertions; and they owe their chief support to the antient Celtæ, but of more modern form and more the abundant forests of chestnut, and the indigenous promixed character than the Welsh, which is another branch | ductions of their soil. Vast tracts of country appear overfrom the same stock. In Upper Bretagne French is spoken. grown with wood, in some parts impenetrably thick and
The following extracts from Mrs. C. Stothard's Letters wild; others, where a richly-laden harvest would amply written during a Tour in Normandy, Britanny, and other repay the labours of the plough, remain totally neglected. parts of France, in 1818,' 4to., 1820, describe the present The Breton grovels on from day to day, and from year to condition of the peasantry of this province.
year, in the same supine idleness and dirt. If you chance The Bretons dwell in huts, generally built of mud; to meet a Breton, and ask him why, when there are so men, pigs, and children live altogether without distinction, many groves of apple-trees, he does not make cider (for the in these cabins of accumulated filth and misery. The greater quantity is imported from Normandy), he will tell people are indeed dirty to a loathed excess, and to this may you, bis father never did so. If you say, why not grow be attributed their unhealthy and even cadaverous aspect. more corn? he answers, I have gathered chestnuts from a Their manners are as wild and savage as their appearance; | boy.'-p. 256. the only indication they exhibit of mingling at all with Bretagne possessed before the revolution a local legislacivilized creatures is, that whenever they meet you they ture (Les États Généraux - States General), once held bow their heads or take off their hats in token of respect. every year, but after 1630 only every two years. The order I could not have supposed it possible that human nature of the nobles and of the clergy formed constituent parts endured an existence so buried in dirt, till I came into of these states: the third part, Le Tiers Etat, consisted of this province. The common people are apparently in the the deputies of the following places, which may be convery lowest state of poverty. In some parts of Britanny sidered as antiently of the greatest importance in the prov. the men wear a goat-skin dress, and look not unlike The pop. is from the returns of 1832. Defoe's description of Robinson Crusoe. The furry part of
POPULATION. this dress is worn outside : it is made with long sleeves, and falls nearly below the knees. Their long shaggy hair hangs Rennes (on the Vilaine)
27,340 29,680 dishevelled about their shoulders, the head being covered Vannes (on the bay of Morbihan) 8,682 10,395 by a broad flapped straw or beaver hat. Some few of the Nantes (on the Loire)
77,992 87,191 Bretons go without shoes or stockings; but the generality St. Malo (on the sea)
9,701 9,981 wear sabots (wooden shoes), and thrust straw into them to Dol (near the sea)
3,098 3,939 prevent the foot being rubbed by the pressure of the wood. St. Brieux (near the sea)
10,420 You frequently see the women, both old and young, saun- Quimper (on the Odet)
9,860 tering along the fields with the distaff, employed in spin- St. Pol de Léon (on the sea)
6,692 ning off the flax. The girls carry milk upon their heads, Tréguier (on the sea)
3,178 in a vessel of rather an elegant form, somewhat resembling La Guerche (near the Seiche, a branch of the common Roman household vessels.'-pp. 195, 196.
2,100 4,219 *The Breton language appears to me, from the number Fougères (on the Couesnon)
7,446 7,677 of French words I continually hear spoken with it, far Hédé (between Rennes and Dinan) more corrupted than the Welsh. I imagine it probably Vitré (on the Vilaine)
7,602 8,856 arises from the people of Britanny holding a freer inter- Guérande (on the sea)
2,041 8,190 course, and having mixed more with the French than the Le Croisic (on the sea)
2,200 2,288 Welsh formerly did with the English: this may be ac Ancenis (ou the Loire)
3,263 3,749 counted for, as Britanny is certainly a country easy of La Roche Bernard (on the Vilaine) access, nor is it defended or insulated by those barrier Chateaubriand (on the Cher, a branch of mountains that characterize Wales.
3,027 3,709 * The Bretons do not resemble in countenance either the Rédon (on the Vilaine)
3,020 4,504 Normans or French, nor have they much of the Welsh Malétroit (on the Oust, a branch of the character. They are a rude, uncivilized, simple people, Vilaine).
1,687 1,781 dirty and idle in their habits. . . . The women are in- St. Gildas de Rhuys (on the sea) variably dressed in the particular costume I have already | Auray (on the Auray, near the sea) 3,734 described.* It differs here and there, but not importantly, Hennebon (on the Blavet)
3,360 4,477 • This description is not quoted here,
Pontivy (on the Blavet)
POPULATION. one of his lieutenants, P. Crassus, with one legion to subdue Town. Commune.
the Armorican states; and so great was the terror of the Quimperlé (on the Aven, near the sea) 3,866 5,275 Lamballe (between St. Brieux and Dinan) 4,390
Roman arms that they submitted without striking a blow.
But they revolted the next year, having seized the envoys Plöermel (near the Due, a branch of the
whom P. Crassus had sent to procure corn; the Veneti Oust)
2,271 4,851 Josselin (on the Oust)
taking the lead in the revolt and instigating the others. The
2,485 2,654 Montfort (on the Meu, a branch of the
influence of this state, according to Cæsar, far exceeded that
of any other on this part of the coast, not only because they Vilaine) Dinan (on the Rance)
had more ships (in which they traded with Britain), and
8,044 Concurneau (between Quimper and
greater knowledge and experience in naval affairs, but also Quimperlé
because their possession of the few harbours which lined Carhaix (on the Hière, a branch of the
the coast of the wide and tempestuous ocean enabled them Aulne)
to exact tribute from those who frequented that sea. Cæsar
1,939 Lesneven (between Brest and st. Poi de
acted with his usual vigour. He ordered a fleet to be built
on the Loire, and manned with seamen from the coasts of Léon)
2,050 2,404 Landerneau (near Brest)
the Mediterranean; he despatched his lieutenants into Morlaix (near the sea)
different parts to check those who might be inclined to aid
7,797 9,596 Lannion (near the sea)
his enemies, and to detain them at home for the defence of Guingamp (on the Trieux)
their own country. He himself marched into the country
6,100 Quintin (near St. Brieux)
of the Veneti, who trusting to the difficulties which would Noncontour (between Lamballe and
impede his march, to the scarcity of provision, and to the Pontivy)
ignorance of the Romans of their coast, fortified their towns, Brest (on the road of Brest)
collected into them the corn that was out in the country,
29,860 Lorient (on the Blavet, near the sea) 14,396 18,322
allied themselves with other states as far off as the Morini
and Menapii (people of Picardie and the Netherlands), sent For an account of the more important of these towns the for aid over into Britain, and prepared for a stout resistance. reader is referred to their respective articles ; for the others Cæsar describes their vessels as having flatter bottoms than to the dep. in which they are situated.
the Roman, and as being thus better adapted for a coast The staple manufacture of Bretagne is linen and hempen abounding with rocks and shallows, while the height of the cloth of all degrees of fineness: there is a great deal made prow and stern enabled them to withstand the violence of of a half-bleached linen called blanchard, of medium fine
the tempests, and the general strength with which they ness, exported to hot countries. The articles of superior were built secured them from being much injured by the fineness and excellence are exported to Spain, South Ame beaks of the Roman ships. Their sails were of hides, which rica, and the French colonies. The people of the coast are they used either for their strength or because they knew not much employed in fishing: the sardine or pilchard, the the art of manufacturing linen cloth. Their fleet consisted mackerel and the cod, are the fish most taken. That part of 220 vessels. Cæsar stormed their towns, defeated their of the coast which is near the mouth of the Loire has some navy in a great battle, and forced them to submit. To salt marshes, in which a considerable quantity of salt is punish them for violating the law of nations by detaining made. (Malte Brun, Expilly, Encyc. Method.)
the Roman envoys, he put all their senate to death, and sold History of Bretagne. Celtic and Roman periods.- Bre- the rest of the people into slavery. tagne was an early seat of the druidical superstition, and In the general rising of the Gauls, towards the close of contains some vast monuments at Carnac and elsewhere, Cæsar's command, when the different states sent their which tradition represents as consecrated to the purposes of respective contingents to the force destined to raise the siege this antient religion. Invasions of Bretagne from the British of Alesia, the whole of the Armorican states contributed isls, or of the isls. from Bretagne, figure in the accounts of but 6000 men ; and this appears to have been the last effort the early historians, or the traditions of antient times: but they made for independence while Cæsar was in Gaul. little or nothing certain seems to have been known before During the continuance of the Roman government we hear the time of Cæsar's invasion of Gaul.
little of them. One or two revolts served to show either At that time the states along the coast from the Seine to their unsubdued love of freedom, or the intolerable yoke to the Loire had the general epithet of Armorica, a name which they had been forced to succumb: but these revolts which the most probable etymology explains to mean were unsuccessful, and only riveted faster the chains they * maritime,' from the Celtic words Ar Mor, 'on the sea." were intended to burst. In the subdivision of Gaul, BreOf these Armorican states the Rhedones, the Curiosolites
tagne formed part of the prov. Lugdunensis Tertia. (Cæsar), or Cariosuelites (Pliny), the Osismii, Corisopiti It was towards the close of the Roman dominion that those (not mentioned, so far as we know, by Cæsar), and the immigrations from the isl. of Britain are said to have comVeneti, were included in Bretagne. Among the Armori- menced to which this prov. owes many of its peculiarities. can states mentioned by Cæsar are the Lemovices (de B.G., In 284 some Britons, harassed by the piracies of the Sax. vii. c. 75.); but as a people of the same name, whose ons and other Germans, forsook their native land and settled situation (the Limousin) was not maritime had been pre in Armorica, where the Emperor Constantius Chlorus gave viously enumerated, some persons (M. de Valois and them lands. A similar emigration is said to have taken others) have suggested that the original reading was Leo. place in the year 364. These emigrations were however nenses, and that the people dwelt in the country near St. unimportant in their character and influence, unless we Pol de Léon. D'Anville amends the conjecture by sub- suppose that from them the prov. or some portions of it stituting Leonnices for Leonenses; and if this be adopted received the name of Britannia, which is given to it by we must add this people to those included in Bretagne. Sulpitius Severus before any subsequent invasion had taken The remainder of the Armorican states were beyond the place. (Carte, Hist. England, vol. i. p. 6.) The next settlefrontier of Bretagne, chiefly in Lower Normandie. The ment, that which took place under the usurper Maximus, Namnetes, who are not enumerated among the Armorican has been the subject of much dispute. Those writers who states, were included in Bretagne, which also comprehended have engaged in the controversy have had political interests part of the territory of the Pictones (the people of Poitou), to serve ; the native Bretons contending for their provincial acquired by the dukes of Bretagne at a subsequent period. privileges, other writers contending against them on behalf
The names of these antient people, embodied in the names of the crown, and each conceiving that the success of their of their chief towns or other places, have been transmitted
cause depended on their proving or disproving the indepento the present day: thus we trace the Rhedones in Rennes, 1 dence of the early Breton princes of the crown of France. and perhaps in Rédon ; the Curiosolites in Corseult, between The account which has been received by Daru (Histoire Dinan and Lamballe; the Veneti in Vannes; the Nam- de Bretagne, 3 tom. 8vo., Paris, 1826), though contested by netes in Nantes; and the Leonnices or Leonenses, if we many, and among others by Gibbon (Decline and Fall, ch. adopt the conjecture of M. D'Anville or M. de Valois in xxxviii, note 136), Turner (Hist. Anglo-Sax., c. viii.) and St. Pol de Léon.
Vertot (Histoire Critique de l'Etablissement des Bretons In the second year of Cæsar's command in Gaul he sent dans les Gaules), is as follows :—When Maximus, in the • The Slavonic words Po Mor have a similar meaning; whence the German year 383, was chosen emperor by the revolted legions of part of the Baltic coast has the name of Pommern. called by the English | Britain, and passed over into Gaul to dethrone Gratian, who Pomerania. In like manner the coast of the Black Sea had among the an. tients the name of Pontus, abbreviated from Cappadocia ad Poptum. then shared the Western empise with his younger brother
Valentinian II., he took with him a considerable force of Gregory of Tours, and by other testimony brought forward native Britons. Thus much is admitted on all hands; it by Daru, to admit that several succeeding chieftains, and is the following part which is disputed. The commander perhaps Conan himself, took the title of king. The express of these auxiliaries was Conan, a British prince. Maximus testimony of Gregory must be admitted as sufficient to landed with his troops near the mouth of the Rance, de- establish the subjection of Bretagne to Clovis, though it is feated with great slaughter the army of Gratian at Aleth, likely that it was not incorporated with the kingdom of the now Quidallet, near St. Servan, took Rennes and Nantes, Franks, and that it retained its laws and even its native distributed lands to his companions in arms, and bestowed princes, though with a subordinate title. the government of Armorica upon Conan, whom he sent There seems reason to think that in the confusion which back from Paris, to which city he had advanced, to take pos- marked the continuance of the Merovingian dynasty, the session of his government. Upon the defeat of Maximus Bretons recovered a precarious independence, and their by Theodosius the Great (A.D. 388), many of his soldiers princes re-assumed the title of kings, though their dominions took refuge with Conan, who managed to retain the govern- and authority were contracted by the usurpation of the ment which he had received from the usurper, and even nobles.* This has probably led to the supposition that the assumed the title of king. When the further decay of the regal dignity was never in abeyance. With Alain II., empire left the remoter provs. in the possession of indepen- A.D. 690, as noticed above, the title ceased; and Bretagne, dence, the Armoricans were released from the subjection in divided into a number of principalities, became again subwhich they had been held; and in the year 419 the Romans ject to the Franks, about A. D. 800, during the reign of recognized as their allies those who had lately been their Charlemagne, whose predecessors had probably made many subjects. Conan appears to have ruled his states in peace encroachments. In the troubles of the following period, and with considerable ability till the year 421, when he died. the kingdom of Bretagne was more revived by He is usually designated Conan Meriadec, the latter name Nomenoé (A.D. 824-851), who had been nominated governor signifving, according to some,' great king.' His successors of Vannes, by Louis le Debonnaire, son and successor of are said to have borne the title of king till the time of Alain Charlemagne, and had revolted from Charles le Chauve. II., in the 7th century, and were engaged in various wars Erispoe, the son of Nomenoé, A.D. 851-857, acknowledged with the Romans, or with the barbarous nations, Franks, the supremacy of Charles, but maintained his kingly title. Alans, and others, who had obtained settlements in Gaul. Civil dissensions among the Bretons themselves led to the Their dominions, though the extent of them fluctuated with extinction of this kingdom, A.D. 874. The country was circumstances, were for the most part coincident or nearly divided into the counties of Rennes, Vannes, Cornouaille so with the modern Bretagne.
(Cornwall), and other portions; and civil discord between In opposition to this history there are writers who deny the rulers of the petty states thus formed conspired with the that any immigration of the insular Britons into Armorica invasion of the Northmen or Normans to afflict the country, took place until the commencement of the 6th century, when The kings of France claimed too a kind of sovereignty over the pressure of the Saxons forced the unhappy islanders to the kings or other rulers of Bretagne, similar perhaps to abandon their native seats and retire, some to the western those which the kings of England claimed over the princes side of the isl., Cornwall, Wales, &c., and others beyond sea of Scotland and Wales; but it is uncertain if this right exinto Armorica. These writers also assert the conquest of tended over the whole of Bretagne or over a part only. Armorica by Clovis; and they cite triumphantly a passage This right of sovereignty was conveyed to the Northmen of Gregory of Tours, the earliest of the French historians, by Charles the Simple, when he ceded to them the country who says,— Semper Britanni sub Francorum potestate post afterwards known as Normandie, A.D. 912. The dukes of obitum regis Clodovei fuerunt, et comites non reges appel- Normandie thus became the feudal superiors of the rulers lati sunt.' The Britons have been always under the power of Bretagne, and themselves did homage for this province of the Franks since the death of the king Clovis, and hare as well as for Normandie to the kings of France. This been called counts, not kings.' (Greg. Tur., 1. iv. c. 4, quoted cession was the cause of long and bloody wars between the by Vertot and Daru.) But this passage of Gregory when people of the two provinces, for the Bretons struggled fiercely carefully examined will rather countenance the supposition against the barbarians, to whose supremacy they were thus of the earlier settlement of the Britons, and of their previous arbitrarily consigned. They seem however at last to have independence under kings of their own ; for the limiting acknowledged the dukes of Normandie as suzerains. expression, since the death of the king Clovis,' intimates The following periods present little else than a confused that antecedently they were independent of the Franks, series of wars, assassinations, and other violences perpe. which is hardly probable if they landed as fugitives only a trated by the turbulent nobles among whom Bretagne was few years before the death of Clovis, which occurred in divided, aided by the neighbouring chiefs, the counts of 511;* and the notice, that since the same epoch their chiefs Anjou and the dukes of Normandie. In 992, Geoffroi, had been counts, not kings,' is an intimation that before count of Rennes, assumed the title of duke of Bretagne. that date they had possessed the regal dignity. The whole Alain, his son, second duke of Bretagne, was, from the year passage, although it does not fully bear out the statements 1035 to his death in 1040, the faithful guardian of the chilla of the Breton writers, is by no means consistent with the hood of William the Bastard (afterwards the Conqueror), representations of Vertot and other historians in what may be duke of Normandie. Several Breton lords accompanied called the French interest.
William into England, A.D. 1066: one of these, Alain, If amidst these conflicting statements we may venture count of Penthièvre, built the castle and town of Richmond to give our own conjecture, we should say that the account on the Swale, in Yorkshire, on the lands granted him by given by Daru, though perhaps a distorted representation the Conqueror: this grant gave to a junior branch of the of facts, is not without foundation. It is likely that the reigning house of Bretagne, at a period long subsequent, British troops, who had followed Maximus into Gaul in 383, the title of Count of Richemont. 'Yet the Saxon nobles, were settled by that usurper in Armorica, and were allowed, who fled from England on the conquest of that island by by the generosity or policy of Theodosius, to retain their the Normans, found an asylum with the then reigning duke lands after the defeat of Maximus. A colony of this kind of Bretagne. Alarmed by the progress of the Norman was much more likely to influence the language and power, the kings of France and the dukes of Bretagne natucustoms of the district in which they settled, than a number rally formed an alliance for their mutual support. Alain of miserable exiles escaping from the pressure of barbarian Fergent, duke of Bretagne, obtained some advantage in invaders, and finding their way as they could to a place of refuge in a foreign land. This infusion of a military popu.
• Possibly their independence was never recognized by the Franks: the
words of Eginhard, son-in-law and chancellor of Charlemagne, are,-' Is polation serves also to account for the rise of a free state in pulus, à regibus Francorum subactus ac tributarius factus, impositum sibi Armorica, upon the decay of the Roman power, while the vectigal licet insitus solvere solebat.'-Ann. Eginhard, ad ann. 786, quoted by rest of Gaui tamely bowed to the yoke either of their Vertot
, vol. i. P: 46.: This people," he refers to the Bretons who had, accoming Roman masters or their barbarian invaders. The reality of having been subdued by the kings of the Franks, and rendered tribulary. Conan's existence we see no just reason to doubt; and paid, though unwillingly, the tribute imposed upon them. It may be ob without placing implicit credence in the lists which the previous independence of these Bretons, a fact hardly consistent with their Breton writers furnish, we are led by the language of settlement for ihe first time in the reign or after the death of Clovis, and their
subjugation by that prince or his immediate successors. Eginhard's ex. • Some antient chronicles place the night of those Britons into Armorica, pression licet iuvitus' also implies a disposition, and indeed an attempt, to who were expelled by the Saxons, after the death of Clovis (see Vertot, vol. i. withdraw themselves from the yoke. All the evidence leads us to beliere that p. 86), which is likely enouglı, for the pressure of the Saxons could hardly have the Bretons, whether under regal governmeut or not, paid tribute when a heen very great before that time. If so, the Britanni of Gregory of Tours strong Frankish government obliged them to it, but refused it when the must have been some who had settled at an earlier period.
Franks were weakened by division, civil discord, or other causes.
war over William the Conqueror, A.D. 1085; but he after- decision was referred to the king of France as suzerain, wards made peace with him, married his daughter Con- The case was argued before a court of the peers and stance, and went in the first crusade to the Holy Land; not grandees of the kingdom ; Montfort, who had reason to fear however as a prince with a military force, but as a simple an unfavourable decision, fled secretly from Paris; and a pilgrim. He took part with Henry I., the Conqueror's decree of the king declared Charles de Blois duke of youngest son, in his war with his eldest brother, Robert, Bretagne. Montfort immediately sought the protection of duke of Normandie; and the Breton forces signalized the king of England, who willingly gave him his support ; themselves at the battle of Tinchebrai, which concluded and, by a singular concurrence, Edward III., who claimed the contest by the captivity of Robert. Alain Fergent abdi- the crown of France through a female, supported Montfort cated the ducal coronet in 1112, after a government sig- against a female claim; while Philippe VI., the actual posnalized by the establishment of a supreme court of justice sessor of the crown of France, whose right rested upon the at Rennes, and by the rise of two eminent men, natives exclusion of females from the succession, supported a female of Bretagne, Robert d'Arbrissel, founder of the order of in her claim to the ducal coronet of Bretagne. But interest Fontevrault, and Pierre Abeilard. Conan, the successor of and ambition little regard such inconsistencies, Alain, gave to some of the Breton towns municipal constitu. • This question of political order,' says Daru, ‘once left to tions. He died A.D. 1148.
the decision of fortune, was alternately on the point of being A disputed succession, which led to the dismemberment decided in favour of each party. In the many changes of a of Bretagne, and to a civil war, in which the kings of Eng- war which lasted more than twenty years, the two comland (Henry II.) and France (Louis VII, le Jeune) took petitors became in turn each the captive of the other. It part, followed the death of Conan. The marriage of Con was not merely the dispute of a province, it was the stance, daughter of one of the claimants, with Geoffroi, son struggle of two mighty empires, for the hatred of France of Henry II., added the duchy of Bretagne to the already and England had been renewed, and a struggle of 400 vast possessions of the house of Plantagenet. Geoffroi was years dates from this epoch. These rival nations drew into invested with the ducal coronet in the church of Rennes, the war numerous allies. On the side of Charles de Blois A.D. 1169: he took a busy part in the dissensions of his were seen the dukes of Normandie, Bourgogne, and Lorfamily, and was killed in a tournament at Paris, whither he raine, the king of Navarre, the duke of Athens, and had gone to solicit aid against his father, A.D. 1186, aged 28. Spanish and Genoese auxiliaries. Montfort, on his side, His posthumous son Artur (Arthur) came to the throne an counted, among the defenders of his cause, the king of infant; his early years were troubled by the ambition of his England and Robert d'Artois, brother-in-law of the king of uncle Richard I. (Cour de Lion) of England; and upon France, some German mercenaries, and the greater part of the death of Richard, A.D. 1199, he was involved in new the towns of Bretagne. The nobility was divided between disputes with his uncle John, by whom he was, as it is ge- the two competitors; but, according to the expression of nerally believed, basely assassinated, A.D. 1203. The con- Froissart, Charles de Blois had always on his side five out quest of Normandie, which was declared to be confiscated, of seven. This war was a series of remarkable events. and which was seized by Philippe Auguste, the French king, The kings of France, England, and Navarre took part in it was the consequence of this atrocity; and Bretagne thus personally. The names of Beaumanoir, of Clisson, of became immediately a fief of the French crown. The Duguesclin, throw a brilliancy over these events, which duchy came to Allix, daughter of Constance, by her third were besides important in themselves. The war was carried husband, Gui de Thouars, and in her right to Pierre de on by sea and by land. Negotiations were repeatedly entered Dreux, a younger branch of the royal family of France, to upon and broken off; and in the midst of this strife of whom she was married A.D. 1212.
arms, in these political struggles, three illustrious women Pierre de Dreux, a restless and ambitious prince, reigned manifested a courage worthy of the brightest heroines.'— from 1213 to 1237; first as duke in right of his wife, and (Histoire de Bretagne, vol. ii. p. 86.) then, upon her death in or near 1219), as guardian to his The war had nearly been concluded at its very comson, a minor. He managed to embroil himself with the mencement. The army of Charles de Blois invested Nantes clergy, was excommunicated by the bishop of Nantes and A.D. 1341, in which Jean de Montfort was, and throwing the archbishop of Tours, metropolitan of Bretagne,* and was into the city the heads of thirty Breton prisoners of the only absolved by the pope upon hard conditions. Disputes Montfort party, so frightened the townsmen, that they with the nobles, caused by the attempts of Pierre to depress opened their gates, and Jean was taken, carried to Paris, the counts of Penthièvre, a younger branch of the ducal and shut up in the tower of the Louvre. Jeanne of Flanfamily, led to a civil war; and though Pierre got a victory ders, countess of Montfort, was at Rennes when she heard near Chateaubriand, in 12:23, over the revolted lords and of her husband's captivity; with matchless courage she their allies, he does not appear to have gained much by the reanimated her husband's partizans, raised troops, acquired contest. The rest of his government was passed in a series numerous other partizans by fair speeches, promises, and of disputes or intrigues with the kings of France, Louis VIII. gifts, and throwing herself into Hennebon, a town on the and Louis IX. (St. Louis). On one occasion the duke trans- river Blavet, not far from the coast, awaited the succours ferred his homage to the king of England, Henry III., which she expected from England. whom he recognized as king of France. In 1237 he abdi Upon the departure of the countess from Rennes, that cated his power as guardian of his son, and was intrusted place was invested by the troops of Charles de Blois and by the pope with the conduct of an expedition against the surrendered by the townsmen, and the victorious army infidels beyond sea: in 1248 he accompanied St. Louis in advanced to Hennebon, hoping by the capture of the counhis crusade against Egypt, and was wounded and taken by tess and her son (a child of three years of age) to settle the side of that prince at the battle of Mansoura. He died the matter. But they found this no easy task; Jeanne, on his passage back to Europe in 1250,
attacked vigorously by the besieging army, and having The history of the dukes, Jean I. (1237-1286), Jean II. to counteract within the town the intrigues of the bishop (1286-1305), Artur II. (1305-1312), and Jean III. (1312 of Léon, who wished to persuade the townsmen to sur1341), present few incidents of moment; but the death of render, defended herself with undaunted courage. In a the last-named prince brought on the dispute for the suc- sally during a fierce assault she entered the hostile camp, cesion to the duchy between Jean de Montfort and Charles set the tents on fire, and being unable to re-enter Hennede Blois, and led to the war which forms so important an bon took refuge in the neighbouring town of Auray, reepisode in the wars of England and France under Edward III. cruited her forces, and again made her way into Hennebon. of England and the kings of France of the house of Valois. The siege continued, the bishop of Léon exhorted to surJean sll. left no children : he had two brothers, or rather render, and the heroic countess could only obtain of her one brother, Gui, count of Penthièvre, who died before him, now dispirited soldiers a promise to hold out for three days and one half-brother, the above-mentioned Jean de Mont- longer. Two days passed away ; on the third the befort, who, immediately upon the death of Jean III., took siegers were seen preparing for a last assault, when the possession of the duchy. "Charles de Blois claimed in right English fleet hove in sight, the valiant Sir Walter Manny. of his wife, who was daughter and heiress of Gui, and the landed at the head of the relieving force, and having burned . In the earlier periods of Breton history, the archbishop of Tours was
the machines of the besiegers, entered the town. Whoever metropolitan of Bretagne; but when Nomenoé revolted against the Carlo- then saw the countess,' says Froissart, come down from into a metropolitan see. The rival archbishops appealed to the popes, who the castle and kiss Sir Walter Manny and his companions,
one after the other two or three times, might well say that the solicitation of Philippe Auguste, decided the cause, giving it in favour of she was a valiant lady. The siege was forthwith raised. the archbishop of Tours, who is still metropolitan of this part of France,