Gisors campaign of 1198 according to Roger of Howeden.

Originally translated by Henry T. Riley, The Annals of Roger of Hoveden (London, 1853)

Summary of events 1193-1198

1193-94: while Richard was a captive, Philip Augustus with the aid of Prince John seized the English fortifications in the Vexin that had been built by Henry II. In spring 1193 Gisors and other frontier castles including Neufles surrendered to Philip.


March 1194 Richard returned to England; May took a 100 ship fleet from Portsmouth to Normandy.


1194-96    Richard recovered most of the lost castles on the Norman frontier with the Vexin.


Jan 1194 Peace of Louviers: favors Richard. Philip recognizes that Richard, as duke of Normandy, is owed homage and service by the counts of Poitiers.


Spring 1196 Richard invaded Brittany and his nephew Arthur received asylum with Philip. New coalition formed against Richard, including Count of Flanders. Richard renounced claim to Toulouse and made a marriage alliance with its count, Raymond VI. Richard imposed embargo on trade with Flanders (England supplied both wool and grain to Flanders)


1196-99 Richardís goal was the conquest of the Vexin rather than the defense of Normandy.


1196-98: construction of Chateau-Gaillard and the fortifications at Andelys.


1197: renewal of hostilities. Richard raided port of St. Valery, burned town, and hanged English sailors found on English ships in the harbor loaded with grain in defiance of the embargo. Ships burned and cargo confiscated. In July Count Baldwin of Flanders and Richard made a treaty, after which Richard and Baldwin coordinated attacks on lands held by Philip. Sept 1197:truce between Richard and Philip. Richard continued to build castles and coalitions and prepared for war. Richard supported election of his nephew Otto of Brunswick (Welf) to kingship of Germany (vs. Hohenstaufen claimant Philip of Swabia)


Dec 1197 Richard raised forces for renewed war with Philip, requiring that the barons of England provide him with 300 knights supplied at their own expense for a yearís service. Towns were to supply 500 men-at-arms.


Sept 1198: War began with Count Baldwin of Flanders invading Artois to the south. In response Philip invaded the Norman Vexin, but was outmaneuvered by Richard and his mercenary captain Mercadier. Philip retreated to Vernon as Richard now invaded the French Vexin, capturing castles at Dangu, Boury, and Courcelles.French relief army came north from Mantes. Richard detected army through patrols and decided to attack army as it was in marching order. This was the battle of Gisors. Philip fled to the castle of Gisors, and so many of his men crowded on the bridge leading to the castle that the bridge collapsed. Twenty knights drowned. Philip was dunked. Richard took 100 knights prisoner, but did not have siege equipment to take Gisors, so retreated to Dangu.

††† Rigord, Philipís court poet, attributed Philipís defeat to the displeasure of God for Philip having allowed Jews into his domain.