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English Historical Review Vol. CXXVIII No. 534
© Oxford University Press 2013. All rights reserved.

Who Went on the Albigensian Crusade?*
The Albigensian Crusade (1209–29) was a formative event in European
history. At the medieval apogee of its power, the Roman Church called
for the extirpation of heresy in southern France. The crusading energies
that had galvanised the aristocracy of Latin Christendom for more than
a century against Islam, the pagans of northeast Europe, and other
external enemies, were now directed against the inhabitants of a region
in the heart of Christendom. Twenty years of campaigning broke the
power of the nobility of Occitania, allowing the Capetian monarchy to
extend its sway to the Mediterranean and so paving the way for French
supremacy in western Europe. This political revolution made possible
the establishment of the Inquisition to root out heresy. These two
decades of warfare in Languedoc and Provence therefore contributed to
a much broader refiguration of religious authority and temporal power
across the continent.
Despite extensive research into the history of the crusading
expeditions to Languedoc between 1209 and 1229, as well as that of
ensuing royal campaigns until 1244,1 relatively little has been written
about their participants. For instance, two major recent histories of the
Albigensian Crusade devote scant attention to identifying crusaders
or to considering the ties between them that may have assisted
recruitment and contributed to the organisation of the crusades.2 The
* A preliminary version of this paper was given at the sixteenth Leeds International Medieval
Congress (2009), the theme of which was Heresy and Orthodoxy, and subsequent versions have
been given at seminars at the Universities of Glasgow, Reading, St Andrews and Swansea. I am
grateful to the audiences at these events for their comments; to the British Academy and the
Research Institute in Arts and Humanities at Swansea University for funding the research upon
which the article is based; to Natasha Hodgson, Rebecca Rist and the two anonymous readers for
the English Historical Review, for their comments upon earlier drafts and to Hélène Débax, Andrew
Jotischky, Laurent Macé and Carolyn Muessig for assistance with various aspects of the Albigensian
Crusade. The following institutions kindly supplied me with reproductions of deeds cited below: the
B[ibliothèque] N[ationale de] F[rance], the A[rchives] N[ationales de France], and the A[rchives]
D[épartementales] of Aisne, Ardennes, Cher, Creuse, Côte-d’Or, Essonne, Eure-et-Loir, HauteGaronne, Haute-Marne, Haute-Vienne, Indre-et-Loire, Marne, Nièvre, Pas-de-Calais, Saône-etLoire, and Yonne. The principal published narrative sources and their English translations are Petri
Vallium Sarnaii Monachi Hystoria Albigensis, ed. P. Guébin and E. Lyon (3 vols., Paris, 1926–39)
[hereafter PVC]; Peter of Les-Vaux-de-Cernay, The History of the Albigensian Crusade, tr. W.A. and
M.D. Sibly (Woodbridge, 1998) [hereafter PVC (trans.)]; La Chanson de la croisade albigeoise, ed.
and tr. E. Martin-Chabot (3 vols., Paris, 1931–61) [hereafter CCA]; and The Song of the Cathar Wars:
A History of the Albigensian Crusade, tr. J. Shirley (Aldershot, 1996) [hereafter SCW ].
1. See M. Meschini et al., eds., Bibliografia delle Crociate Albigesi (Florence, 2006), and the
bibliographies in M. Roquebert, L’ épopée cathare (5 vols., Paris, 1970–98, repr. 2007), especially
i. 798–804.
2. L.W. Marvin, The Occitan War: A Military and Political History of the Albigensian Crusade
(Cambridge, 2008); M.G. Pegg, A Most Holy War: The Albigensian Crusade and the Battle for
Christendom (Oxford, 2008). Marvin’s work does name many of the recruits mentioned in the
main narrative sources: see, for example, pp. 33–6 for the campaign of 1209.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1048 only extensive research concerning the participants in the Albigensian
Crusade has concentrated upon the small number who joined the
campaigns for a lengthy duration, particularly the associates of Simon
de Montfort (d. 1218) who dominated the enterprise until 1224,
when Louis VIII of France effectively took over its leadership from
Montfort’s son Amaury. Christine Keck-Woehl, Claire Dutton and
Jean-Louis Biget, among others, have demonstrated how Montfort
relied on a tight knot of crusaders from the Île-de-France, many of
whom were already bound to him by ties of kinship, neighbourhood
and association, as well as on individual adventurers from Burgundy,
Champagne, Normandy and elsewhere. These studies have also
traced the endeavours of the long-term participants in the crusade to
establish themselves in the lands of dispossessed southern landowners
and to govern a vast territory, demonstrating how new connections
between the crusaders were forged in the turmoil of a long and bitter
However, the vast majority of crusaders joined the crusade for
only a brief period, often no more than forty days, which became the
standard term of service at an early stage of the campaign; these shortterm participants have received very little attention from historians.4
Most research about them has been limited to brief prosopographical
studies concerning particular regions of France and Belgium, which
provide little more than simple lists of crusaders, mostly gleaned
3. C. Keck, ‘L’entourage de Simon de Montfort pendant la Croisade albigeoise et l’établissement
territorial des crucesignati’, in M. Roquebert, ed., La Croisade Albigeoise: Actes du Colloque du
Centre d’Etudes Cathares Carcassonne, 4, 5, et 6 octobre 2002 (Carcassonne, 2004), pp. 235–43;
C. Woehl, Volo vincere cum meis vel occumbere cum eisdem. Studien zu Simon von Montfort und
seinen nordfranzösischen Gefolgsleuten während des Albigenskreuzzugs (1209 bis 1218) (Frankfurt
am Main, 2001); N. Civel, La fleur de France. Les seigneurs d’Île-de-France au XIIe siècle
(Turnhout, 2006), especially pp. 185–6; J.-L. Biget, ‘La dépossession des seigneurs méridionaux.
Modalités, limites, portée’, in Roquebert, ed., La Croisade Albigeoise, pp. 261–99; C. Dutton,
‘Aspects of the Institutional History of the Albigensian Crusades, 1198–1229’ (Royal Holloway and
Bedford New College Ph.D. thesis, 1993), especially pp. 275–99. For settlers in the final stages and
aftermath of the crusade, see Biget, ‘La dépossession’, and A. Friedlander, ‘The Administration
of the Seneschalsy of Carcassonne: Personnel and Structure of Royal Provincial Government in
France 1226–1230’ (University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. thesis, 1982); id., ‘Heresy, Inquisition,
and the Crusader Nobility of Languedoc’, Medieval Prosopography, iv (1983), pp. 45–67. For these
long-term participants, see below.
4. After the initial expedition in 1209, almost all crusaders returned home, leaving only thirty
knights: PVC, i. 119 (§ 115); PVC (trans.), pp. 63–4. Simon de Montfort complained to Innocent
III that ‘a terra enim illa proceres terrarum qui ibi in expeditionem super hæreticos confluxerant,
me fere solum inter inimicos Christi per montes et scopulos vagantes cum non multo milite
reliquerunt’: R[ecueil des] H[istoriens des Gaules de la] F[rance], ed. D. Bouquet et al. (24 vols. in
25, Paris, 1738–1904), xix. 524–5. Although William de Tudela, writing in 1210, claimed that the
original participants in 1209 aimed to serve for forty days, that period was apparently established
as the minimum term for the crusade by papal legates only during the siege of Termes (July–
Nov. 1210): CCA, i. 52 (laisse 18, line 9); SCW, 20; PVC, i. 187 (§ 184); PVC (trans.), p. 97;
Dutton, ‘Aspects’, pp. 211–17; L.W. Marvin, ‘Thirty-Nine Days and a Wake-Up: The Impact of
the Indulgence and Forty Days Service on the Albigensian Crusade, 1209–1218’, The Historian, lxv
(2002), pp. 75–94; R.A. Rist, ‘Salvation and the Albigensian Crusade: Pope Innocent III and the
Plenary Indulgence’, Reading Medieval Studies, xxxvi (2010), pp. 95–112.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
from the main narrative sources. There are a few more developed
studies of participation, but these concentrate on certain campaigns
or recruit from specific areas: they include a recent analysis of the size
and membership of the army that notoriously massacred the citizens
of Béziers in 12096 and surveys of the English role in the crusade, all
of which place recruitment to the crusade from England within the
broader context of the troubled lordship of the kings of England in
southwest France in this period.7 In view of the restricted character
of these studies, even some basic questions remain difficult to answer
about this broader mass of participants: who went on the crusade, where
they came from, how and why they were recruited to the expeditions
and how they funded their campaigns.8
One likely reason for the neglect of the vast majority of participants
is, ironically, the richness of the narrative sources. Two texts in
particular, the Latin prose Historia Albigensis by Peter des Vauxde-Cernay and the Occitan canso usually known as the Chanson de
la Croisade Albigeoise, begun by William of Tudela and continued
by an anonymous author, have dominated modern histories of the
expeditions, and the cessation of these compelling narratives in
1218 and 1219, respectively, has acted as a major hindrance to our
understanding of the second half of the crusade; later narratives
such as William de Puylaurens’ chronicle, written in the 1270s, are
much less informative.9 By and large, documentary evidence for
the crusaders has received far less attention, especially charters and
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 5
5. E.g. M. de Sars, ‘Les croisés du Laonnois et de la Thiérache (ancien diocèse de Laon)’,
Mémoires de la Fédération des Sociétés Savantes du Département de l’Aisne, i (1953–54), pp. 38–50, at
pp. 49–50; G. Despy, ‘Des nobles hainuyers à la croisade contre les Albigeois’, in J.-M. Cauchies
and J.-M. Duvosquel, eds., Recueil d’études d’histoire hainuyère offertes à Maurice A. Arnould (2
vols., Mons, 1983), i. 51–8; N. Lenau, ‘Les croisés artésiens et picards dans la guerre contre les
Albigeois’, Dossiers archéologiques, historiques et culturels du Nord et du Pas-de-Calais, xv (1983),
pp. 12–18; J.-C. Cassard, ‘“L’affaire de paix et de foi” vue de Bretagne armorique. Quelques notes
d’hérésiologie virtuelle’, in P. Boucheron and J. Chiffoleau, eds., Religion et société urbaine au
Moyen Âge: études offertes à Jean-Louis Biget par ses anciens élèves (Paris, 2000), pp. 141–63, at
pp. 142–9.
6. M. Alvira Cabrer, ‘La croisade des Albigeois: une armée gigantesque?’, in M. Bourin, ed.,
En Languedoc au XIIIe siècle. Le temps du sac de Béziers (Perpignan, 2010), pp. 163–89, especially
pp. 174–8, 183–8 (Table II).
7. C. Tyerman, England and the Crusades 1095–1588 (Chicago, 1988), pp. 90, 164, 166;
C. Taylor, ‘Pope Innocent III, John of England and the Albigensian Crusade (1209–1216)’, in J.C.
Moore, ed., Pope Innocent III and his world (Aldershot, 1999), pp. 205–28; N. Vincent, ‘England
and the Albigensian Crusade’, in B.K.U. Weiler and I.W. Rowlands, eds., England and Europe in
the Reign of Henry III (1216–1272) (Aldershot, 2002), pp. 67–97.
8. For a consideration of several of these issues, see Dutton, ‘Aspects’, pp. 171–298.
9. Guillaume de Puylaurens, Chronique 1145–1275, ed. and tr. J. Duvernoy (Paris, 1976, repr.
1996); The Chronicle of William of Puylaurens: The Albigensian Crusade and its Aftermath, tr.
W.A. Sibly and M.D. Sibly (Woodbridge, 2003). The Albigensian Crusade is mentioned in many
other narrative and literary sources: see M. Aurell, ‘Les sources de la croisade albigeoise: bilan et
problématiques’, in Roquebert, ed., La Croisade Albigeoise, pp. 21–38, and K. Wagner, ‘Les sources
de l’historiographie occidentale de la croisade albigeoise entre 1209 et 1328’, in ibid., pp. 39–54, for
an exhaustive list of chronicle references.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1050 administrative records from the crusaders’ homelands, and much of it
remains unpublished.10
This neglect of non-narrative sources, especially those issued on
behalf of the participants themselves, stands in stark contrast to the
study of the crusades to Jerusalem. In 1953, a groundbreaking article
by Giles Constable drew attention to charters as a hitherto unused
source for the crusades.11 Since then, numerous historians, notably Jean
Longnon, James M. Powell and Jonathan Riley-Smith and his protégés,
have carried out extensive research into the identity of crusaders and
the connections between them (such as kinship and lordship) that may
have aided recruitment, and they have focussed on charters as alternative
sources to the crusading narratives: in the process they have uncovered
new evidence for how the expeditions to the Levant were understood
at the time.12 The neglect of important documentary sources for the
Albigensian Crusade means that in many ways the historiography of
these expeditions is still at a stage that the study of the First Crusade
reached more than half a century ago.13 Yet, these sources offer very
different perspectives on the expedition and its participants from the
better-known narrative accounts. Indeed, the standard critical editions
of the Historia Albigensis (1926–39) and the Chanson de la Croisade
Albigeoise (1958–61) recognised as much, providing extensive references
to charters and other documentary sources for participants which have
been more or less ignored since their publication.14
10. Aurell, ‘Les sources de la croisade albigeoise’, pp. 21–7, briefly discusses various nonnarrative sources, including southern French charters, papal correspondence, inquisitorial
records and Capetian inquests concerning Languedoc; for the latter, see also M. Dejoux, ‘Après
la conquête: les enquêtes? L’exemple des Querimoniae Biterrensium de 1247–1248’, in Bourin,
ed., En Languedoc au XIIIe siècle, pp. 269–88. E. Graham-Leigh, The Southern French Nobility
and the Albigensian Crusade (Woodbridge, 2005), pp. 10–41, provides an extended discussion of
Languedocian charters, the narrative sources for the crusade and the value of troubadour poetry
and biographies (known as vidas). A small minority of crusaders came from the regions targeted
by the expeditions, but the vast majority of them were from outside Languedoc.
11. G. Constable, ‘The Second Crusade as Seen by Contemporaries’, Traditio, xi (1953),
pp. 213–79, at pp. 241–3; id., ‘The Financing of the Crusades in the Twelfth Century’, in B.Z.
Kedar, R.C. Smail and H.E. Mayer, eds., Outremer (Jerusalem, 1982), pp. 64–88; id., ‘Medieval
Charters as a Source for the History of the Crusades’, in P.W. Edbury, ed., Crusade and Settlement:
Papers Read at the First Conference of the Society for the Study of Crusades and the Latin East and
Presented to R.C. Smail (Cardiff, 1985), pp. 73–89.
12. J. Longnon, Les compagnons de Villehardouin: recherches sur les croisés de la quatrième
croisade (Geneva, 1978); J.M. Powell, Anatomy of a Crusade, 1213–21 (Philadelphia, PA, 1986);
J. Riley-Smith, The First Crusade and the Idea of Crusading (London, 1986), pp. 22–4, 36–41,
45–7, 126–9; id., The First Crusaders: 1095–1131 (Cambridge, 1997). Among the work of RileySmith’s protégés, see especially M. Bull, Knightly Piety and the Lay Response to the First Crusade:
The Limousin and Gascony, c.970–c.1130 (Oxford, 1993), especially pp. 15–16, 155–66, 171–91,
13. For brief considerations of charters as evidence for the crusade, see C. Thouzellier, Hérésies
et hérétiques. Vaudois, Cathares, Patarins, Albigeois, Raccolta di Studi e Testi 116 (Rome, 1969),
p. 245; Dutton, ‘Aspects’, pp. 4, 174–8; C. Tyerman, God’s War: A New History of the Crusades
(London, 2006), p. 584.
14. See especially PVC, ii. ii, n.3 and iii. xxvii, n.17.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
The present study aims to demonstrate the importance of nonnarrative sources as evidence for the Albigensian Crusade and its
participants. It first identifies the various types of documentary sources
from the crusaders’ homelands and discusses the problems that they
pose as evidence for participation in the crusade. It then assesses the
broader significance of these largely untapped sources for the expedition.
In particular, it considers what they reveal about the participants’
understandings of the campaigns that they were joining, as well as
about their views of the heretics whom they were seeking to eradicate.
The documentary sources provide crucial evidence for the participants’
belief that they were going on a ‘pilgrimage’ directed against a people
called ‘Albigensians’. These documents therefore challenge a recent
trend in the historical literature, exemplified most clearly in the works
of Jean-Louis Biget and Mark Pegg, which maintains that the term
‘Albigensian’ was not used as the main term for Languedocian heretics
until some time after the crusade had begun; instead, the evidence
examined here indicates that from the outset, ‘Albigensian’ was the
principal term used by its opponents to describe the heresy in the
region.15 Hence, the present article uses documentary sources not only
to identify crusaders but also to cast a much broader light upon the
nature of the Albigensian Crusade.
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? I
Documentary sources concerning the Albigensian Crusade fall into
several groups, including charters, fiscal accounts, judicial records
and inquests and letters. A great number of documents that mention
the crusade are charters, most of which recorded transactions in the
crusaders’ homelands, especially grants to religious houses. Some of
the charters mentioning the Albigensian Crusade have been printed
in modern critical editions, but the majority remain unpublished.
Excluding the charters of the Montfort dynasty, which form a special
group since they were issued by the crusade’s long-term leaders,16
approximately 160 charters referring to participants in the Albigensian
Crusade have been identified during the preparation of the present study,
and more than three quarters of them are cited here. They are scattered
across the archives of modern France and Belgium, a distribution
which reflects the way in which the crusade attracted recruits from
across the medieval kingdom of France and adjacent territories of the
(Holy Roman) Empire. Some charters survive as original deeds, but
many are known only from later medieval and antiquarian transcripts
or early printed editions; a significant number of copies are preserved
in cartularies, the registers of title deeds that were compiled by religious
15. See below, nn. 98–9.
16. For the Montforts’ acts, see below, nn. 62–3.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1052 houses and occasionally by lay dynasties, such as the rulers of the
county of Champagne.17
In the central middle ages, charters were the principal means of
recording contracts and grants in northern and western Europe. Most
often their stated purpose was to record endowments for prayers for the
souls of the benefactor and their relatives, which imposed constraints
upon their ‘diplomatic’ form; nevertheless, charters could refer to
crusades in several ways, although these altered over time.18 At the
time of the First Crusade (1096–99), charters usually included clauses
explaining the purpose of the transaction being recorded (the narratio),
a description of the transaction—such as the conveyance of property
(the dispositio) and clauses putting the act into effect (the corroboratio)
and often imposing spiritual or secular penalties for anyone infringing
the terms of the transaction (the sanctio). They also sometimes noted
the consent of the issuer’s relatives (the laudatio parentum) and might
end with a list of witnesses (the attestatio) and a clause giving the date
and place of the act. All of these clauses could include references to a
crusade or crusader if it was relevant to the transaction in some way.
Many deeds recorded grants, pledges or leases of property that were
directly related to the crusade, for instance, when crusaders were raising
funds for the expedition or resolving disputes before departure: the
narratio or dispositio might well mention the crusade when explaining
the terms and context of such grants. Other charters were issued by
crusaders while they were on crusade: these do not always concern the
expedition itself, in which case their significance for the crusade usually
comes from the witness-list, which provides evidence of participants, or
from a locative dating clause. Some relevant charters were not issued by,
or on behalf of, a crusader but mention third parties as participants in
a crusade, usually in the narratio or dispositio (for instance, where gifts
were made for the soul of a deceased crusader, or if an absent crusader
would be required to ratify the act in question upon his return). Finally,
other acts cannot be described as ‘crusade charters’, in so far as they were
neither issued during an expedition nor mentioned directly, but they
are nevertheless informative, for instance, by revealing pre-existing ties
between members of crusading armies, often in the laudatio parentum,
which recorded the relatives who gave their consent to the transaction
in the charter.19
17. For medieval cartularies, see O. Guyotjeannin, L. Morelle and M. Parisse, eds., Les
Cartulaires (Paris, 1993). For the cartularies of the counts and countesses of Champagne, see
Littere Baronum. The Earliest Cartulary of the Counts of Champagne, ed. T. Evergates (Toronto,
2003) and The Cartulary of Countess Blanche of Champagne, ed. T. Evergates (Toronto, 2010).
18. For a summary of the structure and content of charters, see O. Guyotjeannin, J. Pycke
and B.-M. Tock, eds., Diplomatique médiévale (Turnhout, 1993); the editors’ introductions to the
English Episcopal Acta series (41 vols. to date, Oxford, 1980–) are also exceptionally useful.
19. M. Bull, ‘The Diplomatic of the First Crusade’, in J. Phillips, ed., The First Crusade:
Origins and Impact (Manchester, 1997), pp. 35–54, provides a useful introduction to crusading
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
The documentary sources for the Albigensian Crusade have certain
advantages over the deeds arising from the early crusades to Jerusalem.
Charters were far more numerous in the early thirteenth than the late
eleventh century, and by 1200, a great many of them were being issued
on behalf of minor landowners, burgesses and clerks, rather than just
the greater nobility, in part because of the rise of the new religious
orders to whom these social groups were particularly attached.20 Early
thirteenth-century charters are also much more likely to be dated than
their counterparts of a century earlier. Some were also produced in
princely or aristocratic chanceries, which means that the statements of
intent are less likely to reflect monastic or other ecclesiastical discourses.
On the other hand, thirteenth-century charters have certain
disadvantages compared with the deeds from the early crusades to the
Levant. The acts of participants in the First Crusade are often very
narrative in quality, in accordance with the diplomatic conventions of
their day: they are relatively formless and much less formulaic than their
thirteenth-century counterparts. This allowed the drafter of the charter
to offer a long explanation in the narratio of what the crusader was
believed to be doing by setting off on the expedition. Although most of
these texts must have been written by the ecclesiastical beneficiary, they
nevertheless offer a strictly contemporary understanding of crusading
motives and aspirations: those from 1096, for instance, are not ‘tainted’
by the hindsight of the capture of Jerusalem and so they offer a unique
insight into the participants’ attitudes before they left their homelands.21
They also usually have long witness-lists which can play an important
role in identifying participants and the connections between them.
Early thirteenth-century charters are very different in style and content.
They are much less prolix than a century earlier, meaning that they have a
less ‘narrative’ character, and they are also more tightly formulated, with
a conventional order of clauses and more standardised formulae than was
the case at the time of the First Crusade.22 The narratio in a thirteenthcentury charter was normally brief and provided little explanation of
the specific purpose of the transaction; the less narrative quality of acts
also meant that they were less likely than those of a century earlier to
refer to events such as crusades, or to name third parties such as absent
or deceased crusaders. Moreover, from the beginning of the thirteenth
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 20. Bull, ‘The Diplomatic of the First Crusade’, p. 36, notes that lesser landowners were already
prominent in eleventh-century charters. Nevertheless, charters issued by such people are rare
when compared to the thirteenth century. For increasing charter evidence at a local level, see, for
example, A. Chédeville, Chartres et ses campagnes (XIe–XIIIe siècles) (Chartres, 1973), pp. 20–23.
21. Riley-Smith, The First Crusade, pp. 20–24, 36–40; id., The First Crusaders, pp. 54–66; Bull,
‘The Diplomatic of the First Crusade’, pp. 36–7, 41.
22. A comprehensive study of these significant changes in charter diplomatic remains to be
written for western Europe as a whole. Useful regional studies include M. Clanchy, From memory
to written record: England 1066–1307 (2nd edn., Oxford, 1993) and D. Barthélemy, La société dans
le comté de Vendôme de l’an mil au XIVe siècle (Paris, 1993), pp. 64–83.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1054 century, northern French charters increasingly lacked witness-lists, a
major shortcoming for reconstructing sociopolitical connections.23
In contrast to the charters of previous centuries, dating clauses rarely
referred to great events and so they usually mentioned the Albigensian
Crusade only if they were issued during a particular siege.24
Given the more constrained form of charters by 1209, it is not
surprising that references to the Albigensian Crusade in charters of
departing crusaders appear very arbitrary. The mention of the crusade
in a charter’s narratio may have served as an aide mémoire for the parties
to the transaction in question and as an explanation for its purpose,
and it could also highlight the crusader’s piety as one part of the scribe’s
explanation of gifts to religious houses. Yet, while about 100 known
acts of departing crusaders from France and neighbouring territories
refer to the Albigensian Crusades and its aftermath between 1209 and
the 1240s, hundreds of other extant deeds must have been drawn up by
crusaders as they prepared to set off but do not mention that context.25
Ducal charters in Burgundy reveal just how haphazard the references
to the crusade often were. In the spring and early summer of 1209,
the duke and duchess of Burgundy issued at least ten, and possibly as
many as twenty-eight, acts before Duke Odo departed as one of the
leaders of the first campaign against the heretics. Only six mention the
impending expedition, although most of the others dealt either with
raising cash or with putting ducal affairs in order, and so they, too,
reflected the context of the duke’s imminent departure.26
23. For the abandonment of the witness-list in the early 1200s, which requires further
investigation, see M. Arnoux, ‘Essor et déclin d’un type diplomatique: les actes passés coram
parrochia en Normandie (XIIe–XIIIe siècles)’, Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes, cliv (1996),
pp. 323–57, at pp. 338–9. It is noticeable that witnesses disappeared from Simon de Montfort’s acts
for his lands in northern France at this time, but not those concerning his affairs in Languedoc.
24. For Montfort acts during the crusade, many of which are dated by sieges, see below, nn.
62–3. For the First Crusade as a reference point, see Bull, ‘The Diplomatic of the First Crusade’,
pp. 43–4, 51–2. For two rare examples of acts from outside the Midi dated by the Albigensian
Crusade, see: (i) British Library, Add. MS 19887, fo. 54v, a grant by Gerald Aimois to the abbey
of Le Palais (dioc. Limoges), ‘anno incarnati uerbi. mo. cc. nono. in quo exercitus Christianorum
perrexit in terra Albigencium [sic]’; (ii) E. Laurain, ‘Du style chronologique en usage dans le BasMaine au commencement du XIIIe siècle’, Bulletin philologique et historique (1908), pp. 291–301,
at p. 301 (pièces, no. VII), an accord between Dreux de Mello and Évron Abbey, ‘anno … quo
dominus Ludovicus, rex Francorum, contra Albigenses iter arripuit, millesimo ducentesimo sexto,
tertio kalendas aprilis’.
25. E.g. Milo, count of Bar-sur-Seine, was a crusader in 1209: PVC, i. 81–2 (§ 82); PVC (trans.),
p. 47. He made two grants to Clairvaux, but they do not mention the crusade: Troyes, AD Aube,
3 H 724 (June 1209); Dijon, AD Côte-d’Or, 13 H 161 (1209). Bouchard de Marly sold property to
the abbey of Saint-Denis for 152 li. parisis in June 1209 (AN, LL 1157, pp. 500–01) and was with
Simon de Montfort in Languedoc by September 1209: C. Devic and J. Vaissete, eds., H[istoire]
g[énérale de] L[anguedoc] (16 vols., Toulouse, 1872–1905), viii, col. 578; cf. Patrologia Latina, ed.
J.-P. Migne (221 vols., 1844–55), ccxvi, col. 156; Regesta pontificum romanorum inde ab a. post
Christum natum MCXCVIII ad a. MCCCIV, ed. A. Potthast (2 vols., Berlin, 1874–5), i, no. 3836;
for Bouchard’s later participation, see Woehl, Volo vincere cum meis, pp. 144–8, 286–7.
26. Troyes, AD Aube, 3 H 9, p. 154 and E. Petit, Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne de la race
capétienne (9 vols., Paris, 1885–1905), iii, nos. 1208–9 (Dijon, AD Côte-d’Or, 11 H 66, fos. 3v–4v),
1210 (BNF, Coll. Bourgogne VI, fo. 96r–v), 1213 (A. Bernard and A. Bruel, eds., Recueil des chartes
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
Moreover, charters from 1209 onwards frequently refer to ‘crusaders’
(crucesignati) or ‘pilgrims’ (peregrini) without stipulating whether they
were on their way to the Albigensian Crusade or one of the other
contemporary theatres of holy war such as the Levant, Spain or the
Baltic.27 In July 1210, an act of the Flemish lord, Eustace de Campagne,
described him merely as crucesignatus, but we know from other acts
that he was going to the Albigeois.28 By contrast, when the monks of
the abbey of Séry in Ponthieu gave 20 livres tournois to a knight called
Hugh de Saint-Hilaire ‘to perform his pilgrimage against unbelievers’,
it is impossible to know from this undated act where Hugh intended
to fight.29 Chronological, geographical and family considerations may
help us to decide whether crusaders were going to the Albigeois rather
than elsewhere. Some time after 1206, Thomas du Hommet, son of the
constable of Normandy, issued two acts on the eve of a ‘pilgrimage’,30
and it is tempting to link his proposed journey to the participation of
his brother, Bishop Jordan of Lisieux, in Simon de Montfort’s siege of
Lavaur in 1211.31
The nature of the Albigensian Crusade itself may have reduced the
likelihood of the expedition appearing in charters, compared with
crusades to the Holy Land. The journey from northern France to
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? de l’abbaye de Cluny [6 vols., Paris, 1876–1903], v, no. 4453), 1216 (AD Côte-d’Or, 15 H 190, no. 2).
Nos. 1196, 1199, 1200 and 1207 also date from the eve of Odo’s departure; nos. 1181–6, 1189–91,
1193, 1195, 1197–8, 1201–2, 1204, 1209 and 1211–212 also date from 1209. No. 1194 is a well-known
royal ordinance, dated to 1 May 1209 (H.-F. Delaborde et al., eds., Recueil des actes de Philippe
Auguste, roi de France [6 vols., Paris, 1916–2006], iii, no. 1083) concerning the partition of fiefs,
which Philip Augustus issued at Villeneuve-le-Roi with Duke Odo and the counts of Nevers and
Saint-Pol, among others, and which must also reflect the context of the imminent crusade.
27. For Normans joining the Iberian campaign which culminated in the great Christian
victory at Las Navas de Tolosa, see BNF, ms. lat. 5441, II, p. 164 (Bartholomew Chesnel, knight,
for Sacey Priory, ‘cum essem crucesignatus et apud Hispaniam in auxilium Christiane fidei
contra paganos uellem proficisci’, 1212; confirmed by William, bishop of Avranches, 2 May 1212);
Antiquus Cartularius Ecclesiæ Baiocensis (Livre Noir), ed. Abbé V. Bourrienne (2 vols., Rouen
and Paris, 1902–03), ii, no. CCXI (the canons of Bayeux give Richard de Graye 20 li. tournois ‘ad
peregrinationem meam faciendam in Hispaniam, cum crucesignatus essem contra Sarracenos’, 2
Apr. 1212).
28. L. d’Achéry, ed., Spicilegium sive Collectio veterum aliquot Scriptorum qui in Galliæ
Bibliothecis delituerant (revised edn., ed. L.F.J. de la Barre, 3 vols., Paris, 1721–23), ii. 847–9: ‘dum
nuper cruce signatus essem’ (July 1210), ‘eo videlicet tempore quo ego Eustachius crucesignatus
contra inimicos crucis Christi Albigenses ire proposui’ (Aug. 1210); confirmed by his lords William
de Fiennes (whose act did not call Eustace a crusader) and Count Arnulf of Guînes, ‘eo tempore
quo memoratus Eustachius cruce signatus ad terram Albigensium ire proposuit’, and John, bishop
of Thérouanne, ‘eo videlicet tempore quo idem Eustachius de manu nostra signum crucis accepit
et inimicos crucis expugnare proposuit’ (all Aug. 1210). The acts concerning Eustace de Campagne,
alias Hames (Campagne-lès-Guînes and Hames-Boucres, both dépt. Pas-de-Calais, cant. Guînes),
are known only from copies in the Andres Abbey chronicle (cf. Monumenta Germaniae Historica,
Scriptores [hereafter MGH, SS], xxiv, p. 749).
29. Paris, Bibl. de Ste-Geneviève, ms. 1850, pp. 162–3 (act of Thomas de Saint-Valéry, s.d., 1204
x 1219): ‘ad peregrinationem suam super incredulos faciendam’.
30. BNF, ms. fr. nouv. acq. 21659 (Fr. translation of Cerisy-la-Forêt cartulary), p. 226: ‘ou
par la volonté [divine] je renviendray de mon pelerinage’ (s.d., temp. Robert, bishop of Bayeux,
1206–31). Thomas’s last dated appearances are in 1209; he was certainly dead by the end of 1218.
31. PVC, i. 215 (§ 216); PVC (trans.), p. 112.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1056 Languedoc took only a couple of weeks, and most participants did not
stay long in the Midi: Peter des Vaux-de-Cernay repeatedly complains
about the speedy departure of crusaders after forty days of service,
regardless of the military situation, and occasionally even before the
appointed term was complete.32 Hence, Gaucher de Châtillon, count
of Saint-Pol, was prominent in three campaigns in Languedoc, first
as one of the leaders of the original expedition in 1209 and later as
a companion of Louis of France in 1215 and 1219, but his published
charters make no mention of his involvement in the war against
heresy.33 The relatively cheap cost of joining the Albigensian Crusade
as compared to expeditions to Jerusalem may also have affected the
documentary record. A number of the extant documents for crusades
to Jerusalem relate to cash-raising pledges that were never redeemed,
either because the pledger failed to return or was too impoverished
to redeem the pledge.34 By contrast, the Albigensian Crusades were
much shorter than the expeditions to the Levant and less costly in
money and crusaders’ lives: as Abbot Gervase of Prémontré observed
in a recruiting letter, ‘the pilgrimage is not long either in time or in
distance’.35 Consequently, the number of unredeemed pledges for the
Albigensian expeditions was presumably much lower than for journeys
to the Levant. Credit networks were also more developed by 1200 than
a century earlier, and crusaders to Languedoc may have found it easier
to raise cash from commercial sources or crusading taxation without
needing to make disadvantageous grants to religious houses.36
For the early crusades to Jerusalem, charters in favour of religious
houses are almost the only documentary sources apart from a small
32. PVC, e.g. i. 184–7 (§§ 181–4); PVC (trans.), pp. 96–7: Bishop Philip of Beauvais and the
counts of Dreux and Ponthieu left the siege of Termes (1210) after less than forty days’ service.
33. J.-F. Nieus, ed., Les chartes des comtes de Saint-Pol (XIe–XIIIe siècles) (Turnhout, 2008), nos.
148–83; the edition excludes comital acts which do not concern the county of Saint-Pol. However,
A. Duchesne, Histoire de la Maison de Chastillon sur Marne (Paris, 1621), preuves, p. 36 contains
a letter of Guy, bishop of Carcassonne, and Simon de Montfort (issued at Montauban, 6 June
1215), stating that the count of Saint-Pol had persuaded the abbot of Castres to entrust him with a
relic of Saint Vincent for the abbey of Saint-Vincent de Laon in Picardy; Count Gaucher was then
accompanying Louis’ first expedition.
34. Riley-Smith, The First Crusaders, pp. 3–4, 33–4, 115–17, 137. For pledges as sources of
crusade funding, see Constable, ‘Financing’, pp. 70–88.
35. C.K. Slack and H.B. Feiss, ed. and tr., Crusade Charters 1138–1270 (Tempe, AZ, 2001),
no. 26, p. 158: ‘tempus peregrinationis non multum, et ipsa peregrinatio non longinqua’ (Feb. 1213).
36. For financing of the Albigensian Crusade, see R. Kay, ‘The Albigensian Twentieth of 1221–
23: An Early Chapter in the History of Papal Taxation’, Journal of Medieval History, vi (1980),
pp. 307–15 and Dutton, ‘Aspects’, pp. 235–74; cf. Powell, Anatomy of a Crusade, pp. 89–103, for
the funding of the contemporary Fifth Crusade, and, for crusading finance more generally, see
Riley-Smith, The First Crusaders, pp. 109–35; N. Housley, ‘Costing the Crusade: Budgeting for
Crusading Activity in the Fourteenth Century’, in M. Bull and N. Housley, eds., The Experience
of Crusading, I: Western Approaches (Cambridge, 2003), pp. 45–59, at pp. 45–7; Tyerman, God’s
War, e.g. pp. 276–7, 389–91, 499–500, 600. R. Génestal, Rôle des monastères comme établissements
de crédit (Paris, 1901), pp. 78–86, notes the decline of charters recording pledges of property
to monasteries for cash from the late twelfth century onwards, even though charters were then
rapidly increasing in numbers.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
number of letters of participants and popes, but the same is not true
for the Albigensian Crusade. The papal chancery of Innocent III
(1198–1216) was far more developed than that of his eleventh-century
predecessors, systematically compiling registers of much of his outgoing
correspondence,37 and the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries
also saw an explosion of documentary production by royal and princely
households and administrations across western Europe.38 Much of this
expanding documentation consisted of letters, which served a very
different purpose from charters: whether directed to a single recipient
or a general audience, they did not usually record legal transactions
that had already taken place, but conveyed instructions or news, and
their looser form means that they often provide more context than
charters do. They therefore complement both the narrative sources and
charters, although they were not entirely distinct from these genres:
letters could be retained as evidence of title, while Peter des Vaux-deCernay incorporated numerous copies and summaries of royal, papal
and legatine letters into his history.39 In addition to letters, new types
of evidence were emerging in the institutions of northern France in
this period, including the feudal inquests copied into the registers of
Philip Augustus, the records of judicial cases at the Norman exchequer,
and fiscal records. References to crusaders in these sources are even
more haphazard than in charters, and sometimes frustratingly vague,
but their concern with finance, land tenure or justice mean that they
often mention the Albigensian Crusade in ways that the narrative texts
and charters do not. We also have many references to the crusade in
administrative texts compiled some time after the crusade’s conclusion
in 1229, notably the querimonie submitted to inquests which were held
on behalf of Louis IX in 1247–48, on the eve of the Seventh Crusade.
The documentary sources for crusaders against the Albigensians
therefore have limitations as evidence for the expeditions, but they are
very abundant, and some are rich in detail. They offer an alternative
perspective upon the crusade to the more familiar narrative sources,
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 37. O. Hageneder et al., eds., Die Register Innocenz’ III. (11 vols. to date, Graz, Rome and
Vienna, 1964–2010). This edition currently runs up to February 1209; older editions are used
here for later acts. See also F. Kempf, Die Register Innocenz III: eine paläographisch-diplomatische
Untersuchung, Miscellanea Historiae Pontificiae IX (Rome, 1945); C.R. Cheney, ‘The Letters of
Pope Innocent III’, Medieval Texts and Studies (Oxford, 1973), pp. 16–38; P. Zutshi, ‘Innocent III
and the Reform of the Papal Chancery’, in A. Sommerlechner, ed., Innocenzo III: Urbs et Orbis
(Rome, 2003), pp. 84–111; and, for contemporary papal correspondence and its value as a source
for the Albigensian Crusade, see R. Rist, ‘Papal Policy and the Albigensian Crusades: Continuity
or Change?’, Crusades, ii (2003), pp. 99–108; ead., Papacy and Crusading in Europe 1198–1245
(London and New York, 2009); ead., ‘Salvation’, pp. 97–108.
38. The many studies of these changes include: J.W. Baldwin, The Government of Philip
Augustus: Foundations of French Royal Power in the Middle Ages (Berkeley, CA, 1986); Clanchy,
From Memory to Written Record; T.N. Bisson, The Crisis of the Twelfth Century: Power, Lordship,
and the Origins of European Government (Princeton, NJ, 2009), especially pp. 336–49.
39. See, for instance, his use of a papal letter to narrate the murder of the legate Peter de
Castelnau: PVC, i. 51–65 (§§ 55–65); PVC (trans.), pp. 31–8.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1058 both for identifying participants and for depicting how the participants
viewed the expeditions which they joined.
To assess the significance of the documentary sources for identifying
crusaders, it is first necessary to consider what the narrative accounts
of the Albigensian wars reveal about the identity of participants. These
frequently list provincial groups in the crusading armies. At the siege of
Termes in 1210, William of Tudela describes the besieging crusaders as
consisting of the following groups:
Alaman e Bavier e Saine e Frison,
Mancel e Angevi e Norman e Breton,
Logombart e Lombart, Proensal e Gascon.40
Lists of this kind were written in a venerable vernacular tradition that
can be traced back to the Chanson de Roland’s celebration of the many
peoples whom the Frankish emperor Charlemagne had ruled in the
eighth century and which may also reflect the sense of division among
the ‘Franks’ by the time that the Canso was composed.41 Indeed, William
of Tudela explicitly stated that his poem was intended to imitate one
of the popular crusading epics of the Antioch cycle, which contain
numerous similar lists of alleged participants in the First Crusade.42
Consequently, the poem’s lists cannot be taken at face value as evidence
for participating groups in the Albigensian Crusade, although they
undoubtedly reflect a contemporary sense of the heterogenous character
of the crusading armies in Languedoc.
The naming of individual participants in narrative sources confirms
the geographical diversity of the crusaders’ origins to an extent, but
the authors tended to privilege recruits from ‘France’, in its narrow
sense of the Paris Basin—especially Peter des Vaux-de-Cernay, whose
abbey, near Rambouillet in the modern département of Yvelines,
lay in the heart of that region. Like leading figures among Simon
de Montfort’s long-term companions, many ‘French’ crusaders
who came for only a short time were associated with Montfort by
40. CCA, i. 132–4, laisse 56 (SCW, p. 36): ‘Swabians, Bavarians, Saxons, Frisians, / Manceaux,
Angevins, Normans, Bretons, / Longobards, Lombards, Provençaux, Gascons’.
41. One slightly earlier source, The History of the Holy War: Ambroise’s Estoire de la Guerre
Sainte, ed. and tr. M. Ailes and M. Barber (2 vols., Woodbridge, 2003), i. 137–8 (lines 8459–98),
ii. 145–6 (tr.), explicitly bemoaned internecine strife among the Franks during the Third Crusade,
in contrast to Frankish unity in the time of Charlemagne.
42. CCA, i. 9; SCW, p. 11. The fragmentary Antioch epic in Occitan contains a few generic lists
(The Canso d’Antioca: An Occitan Epic Chronicle of the First Crusade, ed. and tr. C. Sweetenham
and L. Paterson [Aldershot, 2003], e.g. lines 638–40), but they are more common in the fuller Old
French version (La Chanson d’Antioche, ed. S. Duparc-Quioc, [2 vols., Paris, 1976–78], e.g. i, lines
2139–40, 2199–200, 6550, 8777–8, 9101–2).
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
kinship, lordship or neighbourhood, including his stepfather and
half-brother, the two Williams des Barres, and his brother-in-law
Matthew de Montmorency.43 The narratives also list many crusaders
from the Paris region who had no direct connection to the Montforts,
although some had links to Simon’s neighbours such as the lords of
Chevreuse.44 Those from ‘France’ also included a network around the
Capetian dynasty itself. With the very notable exception of Philip
Augustus, nearly all the adult males of the Capetian dynasty joined
the crusade for short periods, including Louis VIII; the counts of
Dreux, Auxerre and Brittany; Bishop Philip of Beauvais and Robert
de Courtenay,45 and the husbands of several Capetian women also
participated.46 The ‘French’ are not the only regional groups visible
in the narrative accounts. A significant number came from Picardy,
notably the lords of Boves, Coucy, Cayeux, and Picquigny, the count
of Soissons, and leading churchmen.47 From the regions of the Lower
Loire came a group of magnates who were closely related by blood and
marriage, namely Juhel de Mayenne, Count Robert of Alençon, and
the seneschals of Anjou, William des Roches and Amaury de Craon.48
Among the humbler participants, a small group of knights from
south-east Normandy stayed on with Simon de Montfort after the
initial campaign of 1209 and attracted attention from the narratives
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 43. PVC, ii. 143–4 (§ 451: William des Barres, junior), 195 (§501: William des Barres, senior),
244 (§550: Montmorency); PVC (trans.), pp. 206, 226, 246. Simon de Montfort’s long-term
companions drawn from his kin and neighbours included Montmorency’s cousins Bouchard and
Matthew de Marly, the brothers Amaury and William de Poissy and their kinsman Simon de
Poissy, Simon and Geoffrey de Neauphle(-le-Château), Guy, abbot of Les Vaux-de-Cernay (later
bishop of Carcassonne) and his nephew Peter (the historian). See Woehl, Volo vincere cum meis,
passim; Civel, La fleur de France, p. 185.
44. Civel, La fleur de France, pp. 185–6, discusses the connections between the families of
Chevreuse, Lévis, Corbeil and probably Voisins, which all furnished recruits for the Albigensian
Crusade. Simon de Chevreuse’s connections among the crusaders also included Robert Mauvoisin
(his brother-in-law), who was in turn the brother or brother-in-law of Evrard de Villepreux and
kinsman of Dreux de Compans and William de Mello: Woehl, Volo vincere cum meis, pp. 140–41.
Chevreuse’s daughter married a cousin of three other short-term crusaders: Peter de Nemours,
bishop of Paris, and his brothers Stephen, bishop of Noyon, and William, chanter of Paris.
45. For Robert II of Dreux and his brother Philip, bishop of Beauvais, see above, n. 32. Peter de
Courtenay, count of Auxerre (1209, 1211): e.g. PVC, i. 216 (§ 217); PVC (trans.), p. 112; CCA, i. 34,
172, laisses 12, 71 (SCW, pp. 16, 42). Peter of Brittany: iii. 288, laisse 212 (SCW, p. 188). Robert de
Courtenay: PVC, i. 212 (§ 213); PVC (trans.), p. 110; CCA, i. 154, laisse 63 (SCW, p. 29).
46. E.g. Count William of Ponthieu: PVC, i. 177, 185, 187 (§§ 174, 181, 184); ii. 243 (§550); PVC
(trans.) pp. 93, 96–7, 246) and Count Hervey of Nevers: PVC, i. 82 (§82); PVC (trans.), 47; CCA,
i. 24 laisse 8 (SCW, pp. 14 ff.).
47. Enguerrand de Boves: PVC, ii. 25–6 (§ 326); PVC (trans.), p. 157. Enguerrand de Coucy:
PVC, i. 211–212 (§ 213); PVC (trans.), p.110. William and Eustace de Cayeux: PVC, i. 170, 242–3
(§§ 168, 241); PVC (trans.), pp. 90, 124; CCA, 196–8 laisses 82–3 (SCW p.47). Enguerrand, vidame
of Picquigny: PVC, ii. pp. 25–6 (§ 326); PVC (trans.), p. 157. Count Ralph of Soissons and his
cousin Ralph de Nesle: CCA, iii. 146, 158, laisses 200–01 (SCW, pp. 160, 161). Robert, bishop-elect
of Laon: PVC, ii. 10–11 (§ 310); PVC (trans.), p. 151. An ‘abbot from Soissons’: PVC, ii. 31–2 (§
331); PVC (trans.), p. 159.
48. PVC, i. 83 (§ 82: William des Roches), 212 (§ 213: Juhel de Mayenne); ii. 243 (§ 550: Robert
of Alençon and Sées); PVC (trans.) pp. 47, 110, 246; CCA, iii. 108, laisse 196 (Amaury de Craon).
Other Ligerian magnates in the narratives include Aimery de Blèves and Theobald de Blaison.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
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chiefly because the men of Toulouse massacred a group of them at the
castle of Le Pujol in 1213.49
The documentary evidence significantly qualifies the geographical
emphasis of the main narratives. Charters emphasise the importance of
Capetian involvement, with major spikes in their numbers on the eve
of Louis of France’s expeditions in 1219 and 1226,50 but they offset the
preoccupation of Peter des Vaux-de-Cernay with crusaders from the Îlede-France. They reinforce the impression of Picardy as an important
source of recruits51 but also show Burgundians as particularly prominent
in the earlier stages of the crusade.52 Regions to the north, such as Flanders
and Hainault, also appear furnishing crusaders for many of the campaigns,
at a time when the influence of the French crown was penetrating those
provinces.53 Charters reveal a number of participants from the Western
Loire provinces,54 while the deeds documenting the surrender of the
49. Roger des Essarts, Simon le Sesne and Peter or Simon de Cissey: CCA, i. 88, 92, laisse 36
(SCW, pp. 27–8); PVC, ii. 118–119, 125–6, (§§ 424, 434–5); PVC (trans.), pp. 195, 197–8; Guillaume
de Puylaurens, Chronique, pp. 82–4 and Chronicle of William of Puylaurens, tr. Sibly and Sibly,
p. 44. Other Normans who stayed on in 1209 include Robert de Picquigny (a Norman of Picard
extraction) and Roger d’Andely (pace Woehl, Volo vincere cum meis, pp. 143–4, 270–71, which
links him to Andilly in the Île-de-France).
50. At least 16 acts from spring 1219 and 23 from spring 1226.
51. E.g. in 1226: Theobald de Cressonsacq (Cartulaire de l’abbaye d’Ourscamp, ed. A. PeignéDelacourt [Amiens, 1865], no. 622), Gerald de Fontaine (BNF, ms. lat. nouv. acq. 2591, no. 38),
Renier de Sains (BNF, ms. lat. 18374, fo. 70–71v, nos. 149–50) and Nicholas de Villeroy (L. Vitasse,
Auxi-le-Château [s.l., s.d.,] p. 84). For other Picards, see below, nn. 76 (Chavigny), 79 (Maleterre),
105 (Périer), 120 (Monceau), 123 (Ponches), 153 (Saint-Michel), 154 (Nesle).
52. For Burgundians in 1209 known only from charters, see below, nn. 72 (Saulx, Vergy, Boion),
102 (de Orto, Saint-Romain), 107 (Laignes, Pougues). Later examples include Robert de Marnay,
1213 (below, n. 76); Hugh, lord of Lormes and Château-Chinon, 1219 (Nevers, AD Nièvre, 24
F 55/9 [copy, 1623, of vidimus, 1255], partly ed. in J.-F. Baudiau, Le Morvand [2nd edn., 2 vols.,
Nevers, 1865–67], i. p. 295 n. 1); Humbert du Verney, 1226 (Cartulaire Lyonnais, ed. M.-C. Guigue
[2 vols., Lyon, 1885], i. 292, no. 222); and Count Stephen of Auxonne and Count John of Chalon,
1226 (BNF, ms. lat. 5993A, fo. 381v). I am grateful to Thomas Roche, director of the Archives de la
Nièvre, for supplying me with a critical edition of Hugh’s unpublished act.
53. Flanders: e.g. D. Haigneré, ‘Le prieuré d’Œuf ’, Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires
de Morinie, v (1890–92), pp. 81–2, pièce no. IV (Thomas Quéret, 1213); A. Duchesne, Histoire
généalogique des Maisons de Guînes, d’Ardres, de Gand, et de Coucy (2 vols., Paris, 1631), ii, preuves,
p. 271 (Baldwin de Bainghen, 1219); Het Archief van de Abdij van Boudelo te Sinaai-Waas en te
Gent, ed. G. Asaert and C. Vleeschouwers (2 vols. in 3, Brussels, 1976–83), ii (I), p. 180, ‘Regesten’
no. 18 (Philip van Zomergem, lord of Woestijne, 1219); above, n. 28 (Campagne); below, n. 118
(Méteren); A. Bonvarlet, ‘Chronique de l’abbaye de Ste-Colombe de Blendecques’, Bulletin
historique de la Société des Antiquaires de Morinie, x (1897–1901), p. 129 (summary of grant of
Helenard, lord of Clarques, departing to fight the Albigensians, Oct. 1223). Hainault: below,
n. 91 (Enghien, Trazegnies); G. Lecocq, Histoire de l’abbaye Notre-Dame de Vermand (SaintQuentin, 1875), pp. 39–40 (Walter, lord of Avesnes in Hainault and count of Blois, Nov. 1226,
mentioning an earlier agreement concerning Guise [dépt. Aisne, chef-lieu du cant.] in Picardy,
‘cum proficiscerer in terram Albigensium’). Note that most of Flanders lay in the kingdom of
France, but eastern Flanders and Hainault were in the Empire.
54. Crusaders from the Lower Loire region whose participation is known only from charters
include, from Maine, Paulin Boters, ‘contra Albigenses hereticos tunc cruce signato’ (Chartularium
insignis ecclesiæ Cenomanensis quod dicitur Liber Albus Capituli, ed. Abbé Lottin [Le Mans, 1869],
pp. 29–30, no. LVII, probably 15 Oct. 1211) and the magnate Rotrou de Montfort(-le-Gesnois)
(HGL, viii, col. 611, witness for an act of Simon de Montfort in obsidione Tolose, 20 June 1211);
from Touraine, Renaud de l’Île, ‘in precinctu (sic) itineris mei contra Albigenses’ (May 1219), and
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
count of Foix in 1229, bringing the principal hostilities to a close, show
that his submission was largely achieved by a royal force from Touraine
and adjacent areas of Berry.55 By contrast, very few Norman crusaders are
identifiable from charters; however, royal inquests in 1247 reveal numerous
humble Normans fighting in the final stages of the Albigensian Crusade.56
The documentary records also reveal crusaders from regions that
receive little or no mention in the narratives. The viscount of Aubusson
in Limousin may have taken part in the siege of Toulouse in 1218,57 but
a series of charters for the abbey of Bonlieu (in the diocese of Limoges)
indicate that he led a little band from the county of La Marche to
the Albigeois in 1221, at a time when the crusade was faltering badly.58
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? Boso Ganne, ‘cum ego cruce signatus iter meum vellem arripere versus partes Albigenses’ (May
1226) (BN, Coll. Touraine VI, no. 2482; Cartulaire de l’abbaye de Notre-Dame de la MerciDieu, ed. E. Clouzot [Poitiers, 1905], pp. 71–2, no. LXXIX); and possibly also Peter Savary, lord
of Montbazon in Touraine, ‘cruce signatus contra Albigenses’ in 1213 (Tours, AD Indre-et-Loire,
H 270; BNF, Coll. Touraine VI, no. 2361). However, Peter could conceivably be the same man
as P. Savary, master of the short-lived Order of the Faith of Jesus Christ—formed in 1220–21
to support Amaury de Montfort and to make war on heretics in the ecclesiastical provinces of
Narbonne and Auch—who has hitherto defied identification: Honorii III Opera, ed. C.-A. Horoy
(5 vols., Paris, 1879–82), iii, cols. 865–6, no. CCCCXLIV (Regesta Honorii Papae III, ed. P. Pressutti
[2 vols., Rome, 1888–95], ii, no. 3502); HGL, viii, cols. 743–4; Layettes du Trésor des Chartes, ed.
A. Teulet (5 vols., 1863–1909), v, no. 260 (cf. i, no. 1435); G.G. Meersseman, ‘Études sur les anciennes
confréries dominicains. IV. Les milices de Jésus-Christ’, Archivum fratrum praedicatorum, xxiii
(1953), pp. 275–308, at pp. 285–9; Roquebert, L’ épopée cathare, iii. 251–4; A. Forey, ‘The Military
Orders and Holy War against Christians in the Thirteenth Century’, ante, civ (1989), pp. 1–24, at
pp. 5–7; Rist, ‘Papal Policy’, pp. 105–6. Peter opposed King John in the Loire region in 1214 and
allegedly issued an act for the Hôtel-Dieu de Tours in 1220 (Layettes, i, no. 1083; J.-L. Chalmel,
Histoire de Touraine [4 vols., Paris and Tours, rev. edn. 1841], iii. 185–6), but whether or not he
fulfilled his crusading vows in 1213, it is plausible that a magnate from Touraine joined the crusade
in 1220 and remained in the South to found a military order to fight heretics.
55. Layettes, ii, nos. 2003–4: the force included, from Touraine, the archdeacon of Tours,
Harduin de Maillé, Joibert de Sainte-Maure and Geoffrey de Preuilly; from Berry, William
de Chauvigny, lord of Châteauroux, his brother Andrew and Robert de Bommiers; and from
elsewhere, the dean of Le Mans, the provost of Amiens and some of the longstanding crusaders
from the Île-de-France and Burgundy.
56. Below, nn. 157–60. Normans whose participation is known only from charters include
Richard de la Boissaye (?1209: below, n. 103); John Picot of Nacqueville near Cherbourg (1209:
F. Dubosc et al., Inventaire sommaire des archives de la Manche, Série H [4 vols., 1866–1942],
ii. 383 [H 2448]); Roger Bataille and Hilary de l’Alleu (1219/20: J. Depoin, ed., Abbecourt en
Pinserais, monastère de l’Ordre de Prémontré, recueil de chartes et documents [Pontoise, 1913],
n. 38); and Robert de Poissy of Hacqueville (1226: below, n. 106). All of these, except John Picot,
came from the Franco–Norman borderlands.
57. CCA, iii. 148, 158, 203, laisses 200–01, 205 (SCW, pp. 159, 162, 171): ‘Rainers d’Albusson’.
58. J. Benoist, Histoire des Albigeois et des Vaudois, ou Barbets (2 vols., Paris, 1691), ii. 320–21
and BNF, ms. lat. 9196, pp. 135–6: two acts of Renaud, viscount of Aubusson (Creuse, chef-lieu
d’arr.), ‘cum ego cruce signatus contra Albigenses hereticos arripere vellem’ (Bonlieu, 28 Apr.
1221). Ibid., p. 115: Hugh de Mérinchal, knight, ‘miles crucesignatus contra Albigenses hereticos’
(Bonlieu, 31 May 1221). Ibid., pp. 232–3: Gerald, prévôt of Puy-Malsignat, ‘crucesignatus iter
contra Albigenses arripere volens’ (same date and place). Guéret, AD Creuse, H 288: William,
lord of Gouzon, confirms the grant of Alard de Saint-Julien, ‘crucessignatus [sic] contra hereticos
Albig(e)n(ses) cum iter suum uellet arripere’ (Bonlieu, 9 June 1221); the same liasse contains an act
of the executors of Alard’s will (1 Feb. 1245/6), making restitution to Bonlieu ‘de quibus injuriatus
fuerat eis a die qua crucessignatus [sic] iter arripuit apud Albigensses [sic]’. Later recruits from
Limousin included Raymond de Ligonat, domisellus, who pledged lands for 1500s to go on
crusade, either in the Albigeois or elsewhere (11 June 1226): Limoges, AD Haute-Vienne, 6 H 157.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1062 Most probably, he joined a force sent by Philip Augustus and led
by Archbishop Simon of Bourges and Hugh de Lusignan, count of
La Marche, which received only a cursory mention in French and
English narrative sources.59 East of the Rivers Rhône and Saône in
the Empire, we find charters of recruits from Savoy, including Count
Thomas of Maurienne (d. 1233), from Dauphiné and from the county
of Burgundy, although unfortunately their acts are mostly undated.60
Other regions revealed through the charters of participants include
the county of Forez (between Burgundy and Auvergne) and northern
Lorraine.61 Documentary sources therefore suggest a significantly
different distribution of regional recruitment from that which appears
in the narrative texts.
Among the charters relating to the crusade, a significant number
were issued during the campaigns themselves, chiefly by the leaders
of the crusades or by the small number of crusaders who attempted to
settle in the Midi. Simon de Montfort himself was the author of nearly
59. Dunstable Annals, in H.R. Luard, ed., Annales Monastici, Rolls Series, xxxvi (5 vols.,
1864–69), iii. 220 (s.a. 1220); Continuation of William the Breton’s Gesta Philippi Regis, in
Œuvres de Rigord et de Guillaume le Breton, ed. H. Delaborde (2 vols., Paris, 1882–85), i. 331,
mentioning the despatch by Philip Augustus of 200 knights and 10,000 foot-soldiers (s.a. 1221);
William the Breton, ‘Philippidos’, ibid., ii. 360–61 (Book XII, lines 320–44, especially 333–42),
giving the figure of 600 knights and 10,000 infantry. See A. Cartellieri, Philipp II. August,
König von Frankreich (4 vols., in 5, Leipzig, 1899–1922), iv (II). 556–7. An act of Amaury de
Montfort at Clermont-sur-Garonne near Agen (1 Aug. 1221) provides some corroboration, as
it was witnessed by the archbishop of Bourges and the bishops of Clermont(-Ferrand) and
Langres: E. Martène and U. Durand, eds., Thesaurus novus anecdotorum (5 vols., Paris, 1717),
i, cols. 884–5 (A. Rhein, La seigneurie de Montfort-en-Yveline [Versailles, 1910], ‘Catalogue’,
no. 179; Layettes, v, no. 267), discussed in HGL, vi. 543 and Roquebert, L’ épopée cathare, iii.
60. S. Guichenon, Histoire généalogique de la royale maison de Savoie (3 vols., Lyon, 1660),
iii preuves, 51: Thomas, count of Maurienne and marquis of Italy, ‘volens ad Dei seruitium, apud
Albigen [sic] iter incipere ac perficere’ (s.d.). Chartularium domus Hospitalis Hierosolymitani
Sancti Pauli prope Romanis, ed. U. Chevalier (Vienne, 1875), p. 35 no. 66: Bernard Meluret,
his brother Antelm and nepos Franco, ‘quando ierunt contra Albigenses’ (issued at Saint-Paullès-Romans, dépt. Drôme, s.d.). J. Delaville Le Roulx, ed., Cartulaire général de l’ordre des
hospitaliers de S.-Jean de Jérusalem (1100–1310) (4 vols., 1894–1906), ii, no. 1830: grant of Guy de
Tremelai, ‘profecturus contra Aubigenses’, concerning Semon (dépt. Saône-et-Loire, cant. and
cne. Cuiseaux, 1226). For Count Thomas, see C.W. Prévité-Orton, The Early History of the House
of Savoy (1000–1233) (Cambridge, 1912), pp. 353–420. An extensive search through published
German and Austrian cartularies and charter collections has so far revealed no acts concerning
the Albigensian Crusade. The acts of Duke Leopold VI of Austria do not mention his role in the
campaigns in the Albigeois and Spain in 1212: A. von Meiller, ed., Regesten zur Geschichte der
Markgrafen und Herzoge Œsterreichs aus dem Hause Babenberg (Vienna, 1850), pp. 109–10. Cf.
PVC, i. 9, n.4, for the narratives describing his crusade.
61. G. Guichard et al., Chartes du Forez antérieurs au XIVe siècle (24 vols. in 25, Mâcon,
1933–80), xxi, nos. 1322 (act of Renaud, archbishop of Lyon, concerning Bertrand and Jarenton
d’Écotay, ‘volens … sibi crucem contra hereticos Albigenses levare’, 1213), 1340 (act of Guigo,
count of Forez, concerning Stephen Arnaud, ‘volens iter arripere contra hereticos Albig[enses]’,
1222). Cartulaire de l’abbaye d’Orval, ed. H. Goffinet (Brussels, 1879), n. CXLIX: Henry, count
of Bar(-le-Duc), announces a grant of Count Louis of Chiny made when dying at Cahors
(presumably during Louis VIII’s third expedition), as reported by Peter de Warcq, James d’Étalle
and Thierry de Ste-Marie (Nov. 1226). Count Louis and the witnesses all hailed from the region
of the Ardennes along the modern Franco–Belgian border.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
seventy acts between 1209 and 1218, and his son Amaury issued at least
thirty-four between his father’s death and the aftermath of his sale of his
rights in Languedoc to Louis VIII in 1224.63 Louis in turn issued about
twenty-five acts during his third expedition against the Albigensians in
1226.64 A handful of charters survive from other long-term crusaders
who established themselves as lords in Languedoc: prominent among
the benefactors of the first Dominican house at Prouille were the
Anglo-Irish exile Hugh de Lacy, who had received Castelnaudary and
the surrounding district of the Lauragais;65 the army’s marshal Guy de
Lévis, who became lord of Mirepoix;66 the Burgundian knight Lambert
de Thury or Crécy, who acquired Limoux; the Franco-Champenois
barons Alan de Roucy, who became lord of Montréal, Termes and Bram,
and Robert Mauvoisin, who received property at Fanjeaux; and the
Picard lord Enguerrand de Boves.67 Despite numerous setbacks, several
of these families held on to lands in the Midi, and their descendants
appear as lords there later in the thirteenth century. Almost alone
among the crusaders against the Albigensians, these men have received
substantial historical attention.68 While most of their acts concerned
the lands that they had acquired in the Midi, occasionally they chose to
endow the houses of Occitania from their ancestral possessions in the
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 62
62. Rhein, Seigneurie de Montfort, ‘Catalogue’, nos. 79, 86–106, 109–10, 112–43, 148–58 (67
acts). The following, issued on crusade, concern his northern French lands: nos. 94–5, 101, 106,
115 (119 may date from before the Crusade), 139; also Rouen, AD Seine-Maritime, 80 HP 4 (at
the siege of Termes, 12 Oct. 1210, but concerning his family’s lost Norman lands), not known to
Rhein. Nos. 144–7 date from his return to France (Apr. 1216) and concern his mother’s legacies.
No. 151 is a forgery; nos. 93, 99, 126, 149, 157–8 were issued at crusader sieges and no. 116 was ‘in
exercitu Domini’; nos. 153, 159 are acts of Simon’s widow Alice concerning her dowry in the Seine
63. Rhein, Seigneurie de Montfort, ‘Catalogue’, nos. 161–70, 172–5, 177–81, 184–96, 198–9, of
which ten (nos. 161–2, 166, 185, 187–8, 190–91, 193, 197) do not concern the Midi; 160–61, 166,
174–5 were issued at named sieges.
64. C. Petit-Dutaillis, Étude sur la vie et le règne de Louis VIII (Paris, 1894), pp. 500–08
(‘Catalogue des actes de Louis VIII’ nos. 382–460) lists twenty-three acts of Louis issued on
crusade concerning the Midi and two concerning northern France. He had issued a number
concerning the Midi prior to his expedition.
65. Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Prouille, ed. J. Guiraud (2 vols., Paris, 1907), ii, nos. 378–9
(acts dated June 1214 and Castelnaudary, 27 Feb. 1218) (cf. i, nos. 2, 78, recording gifts made
by 1213). Hugh also endowed the Hospitallers of Toulouse in Lauragais: A. du Bourg, ed.,
Ordre de Malte: Histoire du Grand-Prieuré de Toulouse (Toulouse, 1883), pp. 86–7 and pièces,
no. XXV (Toulouse, AD Haute-Garonne, Série H, Ordre de Malte, Renneville 1): agreement
between ‘Hugh de Lacy, lord of Lauragais’ (Vgo de Lasces Lauragensis dominus) and B(ernard)
de Capoulège, prior of the Hospitallers in Toulouse (c.1212–15), by which Hugh bequeaths his
body to the Hospitallers of Toulouse or the Order’s nearest convent to his place of death and
which implies that the exiled lord of Ulster was then planning to enter the Order. In fact, Hugh
died in Ireland in 1242 and was most probably buried in the Franciscan Priory of Carrickfergus:
J.T. Gilbert, ed., Chartularies of St Mary’s Dublin, Rolls Series, lxxx (2 vols., London, 1884),
ii. 315.
66. Cartulaire de Prouille, i, no. 2.
67. Cartulaire de Prouille, ii, nos. 278 (Boves), 328 (Mauvoisin, cf. no. 273), 351 (Roucy), 393
(Thury). For Enguerrand de Boves, see below, n. 79.
68. See above, n. 3.
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North. The chief value of these acts is as sources for the activities of
Montfort’s companions named in the narratives, especially the exercise
of lordship in their southern acquisitions.70 Occasionally, too, they
reveal men of humble status overlooked by the crusade narratives, such
as two benefactors of Prouille identified as ‘French-born’ (francigene).71
While acts issued on the campaigns themselves mostly concerned
long-term crusaders, they do sometimes reveal more temporary
participants, such as the act of Robert, cellarer of Cîteaux, confirming
the testament of a dying Burgundian canon at Carcassonne, which was
also witnessed by two of their fellow Burgundians.72 In addition, at least
100 acts are known to have been issued by, or on behalf of, short-term
crusaders prior to departure. The issuers of these acts include many
of the great nobles who joined the expeditions—some of whom were
overlooked by contemporary narrative texts.73 Both Peter des Vaux-deCernay and William of Tudela recorded Juhel de Mayenne, the most
powerful noble in Maine and lord of Dinan in Brittany, at the siege
of Lavaur in 1211, but Juhel’s acts show not only that he went on the
crusade that year but also that he returned to the region with Louis of
France in 1219.74 Yet, one of the chief values of the documentary records
is that they allow us to identify crusaders of more modest status than
the magnates who attracted the eye of contemporary authors. Such
people are unlikely to be named in the narrative sources unless they
made their fortunes in the Midi, distinguished themselves in combat
or experienced a notoriously gruesome death during the campaigns.
69. Cartulaire de l’abbaye de Notre-Dame de Vaux-de-Cernay, ed. L. Merlet and A. Moutié
(2 vols., Paris, 1857), i, no. 450, corrected by PVC, ii. 5 n. 2: record of sale (1246) by the abbot
of Cadouin (dioc. Périgueux) to the abbey of Les Vaux-de-Cernay (dioc. Paris) of 40s parisis per
annum in Francia (probably at Les Ébisoires, dépt. Yvelines, cant. and cne. Plaisir), once granted
to Cadouin by Evrard de Villepreux.
70. E.g. Toulouse, AD Haute-Garonne, 101 H 502, no. 144 (M., provost and F., cellarer, of
Saint-Étienne de Toulouse, 2 May 1215), mentions that Everard de Villepreux had received Lanta,
confiscated from Peter d’Auriac. For Everard, from the same district as Simon de Montfort, see
Woehl, Volo vincere cum meis, pp. 140–41.
71. Cartulaire de Prouille, ii, nos. 327 (Fremis, francigena), 379 (William de l’Essart, francigena,
knight, lord of Villesiscle; the latter was witnessed by Maïs, francigena). No. 271, witnessed by
Amaury de Meulan, francigena, may be the only evidence for this Franco–Norman baron in
Languedoc (for whom, see Power, Norman Frontier, pp. 453, 509).
72. Dijon, AD Côte-d’Or, 11 H 66, fo. 137r–v (cf. Petit, Histoire de Bourgogne, iii. 428,
no. 1217): Robert, cellarer of Cîteaux, announces the deathbed gifts of Huo Boion, canon of
(Saint-Denis de) Vergy (dioc. Autun), ‘laborans in extremis apud Carcassonam’, to his siblings
and Cîteaux, witnessed by the Burgundian barons (Guy) the lord of Saulx and Milo de Vergy
(s.d., most probably 1209).
73. E.g. the Champenois barons Simon de Joinville (1209) and Erard de Brienne (1213):
Chaumont, AD Haute-Marne, 5 H 8 (H.-F. Delaborde, Jean de Joinville et les seigneurs de
Joinville [Paris, 1894], pp. 49, 276, catalogue, no. 151), an act of Simon de Joinville ‘in profectu
peregrinationis mee ad Albigenses’ (1209); below, n. 140. Other high-status crusaders not
mentioned by the narrative accounts of the early campaigns include Hugh, bishop of Coutances
(1209: below, n. 111), Andrew de Vitré (1210: below, n. 102), and Rotrou de Montfort (1211) and
Peter Savary (1213: both above, n. 54).
74. See below, nn. 114–17.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
Some very humble crusaders issued charters on their own behalf before
commencing their journey: William l’Anglais, burgess of Meulan,
granted an annual render of 12d. to the priory of Meulan when he
was ‘about to set off for the Albigeois’ in 1214.75 More often, a third
party such as the lord, bishop or other dignitary issued an act on
behalf of a less distinguished crusader’s behalf, usually confirming the
arrangements being made prior to the crusader’s departure.76
The documentary evidence also includes more oblique references
to people who were absent from ceremonies or court proceedings in
their homelands because they had gone to the Albigeois, and here, too,
it often reveals individuals who were too minor to be noticed by the
chroniclers.77 In 1219, one of the brothers of the Breton lord Oliver de
Coëtquen could not consent to a settlement with a local priory because
he was then ‘in the land of the Albigensians’: presumably, he formed
part of the Breton contingent in Louis of France’s second expedition.78
Another participant in that campaign was a brother of Renaud
Maleterre from near Amiens: Renaud’s lord, Enguerrand de Boves,
who had himself held a lordship in Languedoc for a time, pledged to
ensure that the absent crusader would give his consent to a sale once
he returned.79 Other deeds mention donors or family members who
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 75. Recueil des chartes de Saint-Nicaise de Meulan, prieuré de l’ordre du Bec, ed. É. Houth
(Paris, 1924), no. 85: ‘profecturus in Albigenses’.
76. E.g. Le Cartulaire de Valpriez (1135–1250), ed. J.-M. Lalanne (Paris, 1990), nos. 16 (Crusade
Charters, ed. Slack and Feiss, no. 25), 17: Haimard, bishop of Soissons, and Alice, lady of Coucy,
announce a grant of Simon de Chavigny, ‘in terram Albigensium profecturus’, to the abbey of
Prémontré (July 1210). Mâcon, AD Saône-et-Loire, H 26, no. 53: Robert, bishop of Chalon,
announces a grant by Robert de Marnay, knight, ‘ad partes Albigensium profecturus’, to the
abbey of La Ferté-sur-Grosne (1213). Troyes, AD Aube, 3 H 10, p. 225: Bernard, dean of Barsur-Aube, announces Garnier de Cunfin’s gift to Clairvaux ‘si obierit idem miles antequam de
via Albigenen(si) [sic] reuertatur’ (May 1219). AN, L 846, liasse 12, nos. 31–2: two acts of E.,
archdeacon of Paris, concerning bequests of Adam de Mareil, clerk, to the abbey of Saint-Denis,
‘si forte ipsum A(dam) in terra Albigensium uel itinere eundo aut redeundo mori contigerit’ (May
1219). Bourges, AD Cher, 9 H 3, no. 15: John, abbot of Puy-Ferrand, announces a sale to Benedicta
de Dun by G. Boce, ‘crucesignatus Albigen(se) iter uolens arripere’ (June 1219). BNF, ms. lat.
10943, fo. 300r–v: P, priest of Héricy (Seine-et-Marne, cant. Fontainebleau), recording a grant
of Milo de Fontenailles to the abbey of Barbeaux ‘si in uia Albigensium decesserit’ (May 1226).
77. E.g. Cartulaire de l’ église Notre-Dame de Paris, ed. M. Guérard (Paris, 1850), ii. 312–13:
act of Louis VIII mentioning Guérin Hardi of Corbreuse (dépt. Essonne, cant. Dourdan), ‘in
Albigensibus partibus commorante’ (Nov. 1223). Depoin, ed., Abbecourt en Pinserais, no. 67:
Isabella de Goupillières promises that her son Walter will concede a grant at Carrières-sous-Poissy
(Yvelines, cant. Poissy-nord) when he returns ‘a partibus Albigensium’ (dated June 1230 by editor,
but more probably 1221 or 1225).
78. Angers, AD Maine-et-Loire, H 3358 (extract in H. Morice, Mémoires pour servir de preuves
à l’ histoire écclésiastique et civile de Bretagne [3 vols., Paris, 1742–46], i. 840), act of Oliver, lord of
Coëtquen, for the priory of Pont-de-Dinan: ‘Quia uero Thomas frater meus tunc temporis apud
Albigensses [sic] erat concessi et pepigi quod in reditu ipsius facerem ipsam concedere pacem istam’
(23 July 1219). The same liasse contains an act of John, bishop of Dol (1219), proclaiming the settlement
between Oliver and the priory and stating that it was made with Thomas’s consent, presumably after
his return. For Peter of Brittany’s crusade, see S. Painter, The Scourge of the Clergy: Peter of Dreux,
Duke of Brittany (Baltimore, MD, 1937), p. 26; Cassard, ‘L’affaire de paix et de foi’, pp. 145–6.
79. Cartulaire du chapitre de la cathédrale d’Amiens, ed. J. Roux and A. Soyez (Mémoires de
la Société des Antiquaires de Picardie. Documents inédits XIV et XVIII, 2 vols., Amiens and Paris,
1905–12), i, no. 157: Everard, bishop of Amiens, confirms a sale by Renaud Maleterre, knight, to a
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had perished on the crusade.80 South-east of Paris, Margaret de Vernou
inherited her family’s property when her brothers died in the land of
the Albigensians.81 The viscount of Meulan had to confirm the grants
which his father had made as he was dying in the Albigeois,82 while
in 1242, the will of Henry de Blois, chanter of Vernon in Normandy,
stated that his brother John had died at Bourges on his way home from
Louis VIII’s last crusade sixteen years earlier.83 The absence of figures of
authority who had gone to the Albigeois was also sometimes recorded
in charters by their deputies, subjects or peers.84
The burgeoning records of royal and ecclesiastical government
are also important for documenting the absences of crusaders. One
of the feudal surveys of Philip Augustus (which can be dated to
between 1218 and 1220) stated that Peter de Saint-Denis, a knight
from northeast Normandy, was then in the Albigeois.85 In 1210, a
judgment at the Norman exchequer recorded that the viscount of
Lisieux had complained after his return from the Albigeois that he
had been disseised of some tithes while he was on his ‘pilgrimage’.86
A few months later, a damaging riot at Chartres pitted the cathedral
clerk at Poulainville (Somme, cant. Amiens-nord): ‘Dominus vero Ingelrannus de Bova fidejussit
coram nobis quod, quam cito Matheus, frater sepedicti Renoldi, a peregrinatione sua Albigensi
redierit, eandem concessionem et abjurationem faciet super decima memorata’ (June 1219).
Enguerrand de Boves joined the crusade c.1211 and fought prominently in 1212, receiving much of
Foix, including Saverdun, as reward: Les Registres de Philippe Auguste, ed. J.W. Baldwin, i (texte)
(Paris, 1992), pp. 397–8; PVC, ii. 25–6, 51 (§§ 326, 354); PVC (trans.), pp. 157, 166. He had returned
home by July 1215: Registres de Philippe Auguste, pp. 415–16.
80. E.g. Depoin, ed., Abbecourt en Pinserais, no. 66: quitclaim by the canons of Abbecourt to
the abbey of Coulombs of a tithe at Alemant (Eure-et-Loir, cant. Nogent-le-Roi, cne. Boutigny),
‘de elemosina Symonis Loradin et fratris sui, defunctorum in terra Albigensium’ (July 1229).
81. BNF, ms. lat. 10943, fos. 142r–v, confirmation (by unidentified issuer) for the abbey of
Barbeaux: ‘Nobilis eciam mulier Margareta de Vernoto ad quam deuenerat feodus memoratus
tempore uiduitatis sue de escheeta [sic] Gilonis et Anselli quondam fratrum suorum in Albigensium
partibus defunctorum’ (1234).
82. É. Houth, ed., Recueil des chartes de Saint-Nicaise de Meulan (Paris, 1924), no. 106 (Eustace,
viscount of Meulan, for his father Jakelinus, 1227): ‘cum laboraret in extremis apud Albigenses’.
83. BNF, ms. lat. 5482 (cartulary of Le Jard-lès-Melun), pp. 171–4, act of Odo, chanter and
Master John, capicier, of Saint-Exupéry de Corbeil, executors for Henry le Concierge of Blois,
at p. 171: ‘Johannes uero mortuus fuit apud Bytur’ in reditu ab Albigen. quando Rex Ludouicus
mortuus fuit’.
84. E.g. AN, LL 1158, pp. 390–91: two acts of Robert de Chaumont for Saint-Denis, describing
Robert, archbishop of Rouen, as ‘domino Rothomagensi ad Abigeos [sic] profecto’ (July 1212).
See below, nn. 113 (William, archdeacon of Paris), 144 (Walter, bishop of Tournai). Sometimes
the act does not give the reason for absence, e.g. Corbeil, AD Essonne, G 264, fo. 38v no. 93, an
act of Robert the chanter and Geoffrey, archdeacon of Orléans, ‘cum vices reuerendi patris ac
domini M. Aurelianensis episcopi pro tempore gereremus’ (July 1213); the bishop was in fact on
the Albigensian Crusade: PVC, ii. 113–15, 123–6 (§§ 422, 430–35); PVC (trans.), pp. 194, 197–8.
85. RHF, xxiii. 642f: ‘Petrus de Sancto Dionisio, qui est apud Albigenses, unum feodum de
[comitatu de Clara], apud Belebec’. For Peter at Bolbec (Seine-Maritime, ar. Le Havre, chef-lieu
du canton), see p. 708d. ‘County of Clare’ refers here to the former Norman honour of the earls
of Hertford or Clare (Suffolk).
86. Recueil des jugements de l’Échiquier de Normandie, ed. L. Delisle (Paris, 1864), no. 70
(Easter 1210): ‘Episcopus venit et dixit quod veritas fuit quod Robertus vicecomes, postquam
venit de Aubigeis, ei conquestus fuit quod Hugo Tyrel eum dissaisiaverat postquam ierat in
peregrinatione sua de quibusdam galbis’.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
chapter against the townspeople and officials of the countess of Blois:
it required royal intervention because the bishop of Chartres had
gone to assist Simon de Montfort in his war against heretics, as a
detailed account compiled by the canons related.87 Disputes which
arose when crusaders failed to return from the Midi also left their
traces in legal records. In 1247, Geoffrey de Reux complained to
royal commissioners that, after his father’s death in the ‘land of the
Albigensians’ c.1223, the French crown had confiscated his possessions
in central Normandy.88 The nature of such records meant that it was
sometimes disputed as to when someone had been in the Albigeois,
or indeed whether he had gone on crusade at all. At an inquest in
1224, the archdeacon of Sens could not recall whether his archbishop’s
absence some years earlier had been due to the Albigensian Crusade
or the Fourth Lateran Council.89 In 1247 a Norman knight called
Matthew de Morainville alleged that about forty years earlier, he had
been arrested by a royal bailiff on the charge of being present at the
killing of a squire in Pont-Audemer, and was charged 200 livres tournois
for his release; but he claimed that at the time of the squire’s death,
he had been ‘fighting the Albigensians, when the castle of Termes
was captured by the count of Montfort’.90 Although the chronology
so long after the event is inaccurate, this case demonstrates how the
absence of crusaders sometimes left its mark upon royal records many
years after the campaigns themselves.
It has been noted above that royal and papal letters from the
period are also important guides to the crusaders’ identity, activities
and terms of participation. Some letters name, or are addressed to,
crusaders whose participation is not otherwise known. In May 1219,
Pope Honorius III sent a series of letters to Louis of France and leading
magnates and bishops in his army, admonishing them to ensure that
their impending campaign in Languedoc respected the citizens of
Montpellier and the city’s lord, the young King James I of Aragon,
since he was a papal ward; the participation of several of these magnates
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 87. Cartulaire de Notre-Dame de Chartres, ed. E. de Lépinois and L. Merlet (3 vols.,
Chartres, 1862–65), ii, no. CCIII, at p. 61: ‘absente … episcopo et multis aliis Christi fidelibus,
iter peregrinationis arripientibus ad debellandos quosdam hereticos, quos illustrissimus
comes Simon, Montis Fortis dominus, amicus scilicet et parrochianus suus, strenue et fortiter
88. ‘Querimoniæ Normannorum, 1247’, RHF, xxiv(I), pp. 1–74 [hereafter QN ], no. 20: the
property lay at Saint-Hymer-en-Auge (Calvados, cant. Pont-l’Évêque).
89. E. Menault, Morigny. Son abbaye, sa chronique et son cartulaire (Paris and Étampes, 1867),
Part II, p. 188: ‘cum idem Archiepiscopus Romanam Curiam adisset, aut partes Albigenses, nescit
utrum, credit tamen melius quod Curiam Romanam causa concilii generalis ultimo editi adierat’.
The archbishop, Peter, had joined the original expedition in 1209: PVC, i. 81 (§ 82); PVC (trans.),
p. 47, whereas the Council had taken place in Nov. 1215.
90. QN, no. 102: ‘anno quo fuit [apud?] Albigenses, quando fuit captum castrum Termes
comitis Montis Fortis’ (i.e. July–22 Nov. 1210). The editor proposed ‘contra’ as the lost word, but
the conventional phrase was ‘apud Albigenses’. Matthew was holding Norman property again
c.1220 (RHF, xxiii. 637d).
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1068 is known from these letters alone.91 Since letters were generally written
in response to specific circumstances, those concerning the Albigensian
Crusade are also valuable sources for particular aspects of participation
in the expedition, as two letters written at either end of the campaigns
demonstrate. In May 1208, when the first expedition was being prepared,
a letter of Philip Augustus to the duke of Burgundy and the count of
Nevers demanded that it should comprise only 500 knights under their
leadership and even forbade these two nobles from recruiting anyone
except Burgundians: the king correctly foresaw that a large army risked
stripping him of potential supporters against his enemies, at a time
when his recent truce with the king of England had collapsed.92 The
limited Burgundian campaign envisaged by the king of France when
the crusade was first being prepared contrasted strongly with the vast,
heterogenous armies that marched upon Languedoc in 1209 and so
the king’s letter demonstrates how the expedition swelled in popularity
as the cross was preached against the heretics across western Europe.
Three years after the formal conclusion of the crusade, a letter of
Gregory IX stated that he had asked the monks of the Flemish abbey of
Saint-Bertin to care for a man who had lost his eyes and a hand in the
Albigeois. The pope’s intervention suggests that the unfortunate man
had suffered his injuries while fighting for the Church there, and this
letter provides details about a particular crusader’s experience that is
not available from other sources.93
91. Bullaire de l’Église de Maguelone, ed. J. Rouquette and A. Villemagne (Montpellier,
1911–14), ii, nos. 241–4, 246. The addressees were Louis of France, Count Gaucher of Saint-Pol,
William, bishop of Châlons and count of Perche, the bishops of Cambrai and Noyon and the
lords of Coucy in Picardy and of Enghien and Trazegnies in Hainault. For other papal letters sent
to the bishop of Châlons (1–4 Apr. 1219) and Enguerrand de Coucy (19 Sept.) in relation to the
same campaign, see RHF, xix. 681–2, 690 (Regesta Honorii III, i, nos. 1987, 1995, 2200).
92. Recueil des actes de Philippe Auguste, iii, no. 1035. According to Peter des Vaux-de-Cernay, the
king of France described himself to Innocent III—using a heraldic metaphor—as caught between
two lions, King John and his nephew, the imperial candidate Otto of Brunswick (for whose coat
of arms, see B.U. Hucker, Kaiser Otto IV [Hannover, 1990], pp. 578–88): PVC, i. 73–4 (§ 72);
PVC (trans.), pp. 41–2. The collapse of the two-year truce made in October 1206 is mentioned in
summaries of Philip’s letters to the pope around December 1207 and April 1208 (Recueil des actes de
Philippe Auguste, iii, nos. 1015, 1021) and in the annals of Reinerus of Liège (MGH, SS, xvi. 661), and
Innocent himself endeavoured to arrange a new Angevin–Capetian truce (Die Register Innocenz’
III., xi, no. 28); see Cartellieri, Philipp II, iv, II, pp. 264–5. Philip’s first letter (no. 1015) was probably
responding to a papal letter of 17 November 1207 which had exhorted him to suppress heresy in
the county of Toulouse, but that same day Innocent III sent similar letters to the French aristocracy
as a whole, as well as specifically to the countesses of Champagne, Saint-Quentin, and Blois, the
duke of Burgundy, the counts of Bar(-sur-Seine), Nevers and Dreux and the Champenois magnate
Guy de Dampierre (Die Register Innocenz’ III., x, no. 149). Taken together, these papal letters
suggest that Innocent was then expecting support against southern heresy to come mainly from the
French royal domain, Picardy, Champagne and Burgundy, but the murder of the papal legate Peter
de Castelnau by a follower of the count of Toulouse soon after (January 1208) transformed papal
efforts into a plan for a more general expedition.
93. Les Chartes de Saint-Bertin, ed. D. Haigneré (Saint-Omer, 1886), i. 359, no. 799 (Spoleto,
18 June 1232). In 1233, judges delegate acknowledged that this charge was proving burdensome for
the abbey (ibid., i, pp. 366–7, no. 813). The pope’s act was not recorded in his register, although
he was certainly then at Spoleto (Registres de Grégoire IX, ed. L. Auvray et al. [4 vols., Paris,
1890–1955], i, cols. 497–501).
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
It can be seen that the documentary sources for the Albigensian
Crusade are an important means of identifying crusaders who were
not recorded in narrative texts and for showing the impact of their
absence in the Albigeois upon their communities at home. They also
often reveal otherwise unknown ties between the crusaders. Like the
crusades to the Levant, some family groups provided many recruits to
the Albigensian Crusade: even if they did not all participate at the same
time, their activities over the course of two decades suggest a sustained
commitment to this cause.94 As well as ties of kinship, other longstanding
associations sometimes lay behind recruitment to the crusade. The
western group focussed upon Juhel de Mayenne had been instrumental
in the expulsion of King John of England from Normandy and Anjou in
the early 1200s,95 and there was a strong overlap between the crusaders
against the Albigensians and the men who fought alongside Philip
Augustus at Bouvines in 1214 and joined Louis of France in his invasion
of England in 1216, including French, Picards and Burgundians.96
Comradeship forged in the various Angevin–Capetian conflicts must
have played an important role in recruitment and organisation of the
Albigensian Crusade, even before the direct involvement of the heir to
the French throne from 1215 onwards. Although the narrative sources
sometimes noticed the ties between the participants, others are known
only from the documentary records and can be quite unexpected. For
example, a letter of Philip Augustus reveals that Roger des Essarts, one
of the Norman knights slain at the siege of Le Pujol, had acted as an
envoy from the king of France to Hugh de Lacy in the years before
Hugh’s revolt against King John in Ireland in 1210. It is tempting to
believe that the long-term participation of both men in the Albigensian
Crusade owed something to their acquaintance, which presumably
dated from before the collapse of the Anglo-Norman realm in 1204 and
which was no doubt renewed when Hugh fled from Ireland into exile.97
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 94. Cf. Riley-Smith, The First Crusaders, pp. 81–105, 169–95.
95. D. Power, ‘King John and the Norman aristocracy’, in S.D. Church, ed., King John: New
Interpretations (Woodbridge, 1999), pp. 117–36, at pp. 127–30.
96. For instance, the Burgundian magnate Guichard IV de Beaujeu joined the initial crusading
expedition in 1209 and Louis’ first campaign in 1215 and also the army for the abortive French
invasion of England in 1213 and Louis’ English expedition in 1216; his son Humbert was marshal
of the Capetian army in the Albigeois from 1226 onwards: PVC, i. 83 (§ 82); ii. 243 (§ 550); PVC
(trans.), pp. 47, 246; Œuvres de Rigord et de Guillaume le Breton, ii. 256 (IX, lines 200–01);
Chartes du Forez, i, no. 37, mentioning Guichard’s death in England; Guillaume de Puylaurens,
Chronique, pp. 128, 132–4, 180 (Chronicle of William of Puylaurens, tr. Sibly and Sibly, pp. 74–6,
105). Other prominent nobles involved in all or most of these campaigns included the counts of
Dreux, Brittany and Nevers; Robert de Courtenay; Enguerrand de Coucy; Adam, viscount of
Melun and the Flemish lord Michael de Harnes.
97. Actes de Philippe Auguste, iii, no. 1079; S. Painter, The Reign of King John (Baltimore, MD,
1949), pp. 253–4, noting that Roger also had English lands until 1204; A.A.M. Duncan, ‘John King
of England and the Kings of Scots’, in Church, ed., King John: New Interpretations, pp. 247–71, at
pp. 258–9, showing that Hugh de Lacy was the most likely recipient of the letter. For the defenders
of Le Pujol, see above, n. 49. In April 1214, while campaigning in Aquitaine, King John sent Walter
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
If the documentary records are an important source for identifying
crusaders, they also reveal much about the participants’ understandings
of the campaigns. Three aspects in particular have a broader bearing
upon the historiography of the crusade and of medieval heresy: the
descriptions of the heretics, the designation of the expeditions, and the
crusaders’ stated motives for taking the cross.
The most common term used today for the heretics whom the
Albigensian Crusade sought to eradicate is ‘Cathars’, but many
historians have noted that this term was never used for dualist heretics
in Languedoc in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Jean-Louis Biget
has argued that the town of Albi, from which the word Albi(g)ensis
derived, was one of several places associated with southern French
heresy in the 1140s by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and his Cistercian
entourage and that the connection between the Albigeois and heresy
was strengthened in the minds of late twelfth-century churchmen by
the attempts of the counts of Toulouse to deflect accusations of heresy
to the lands of their enemies, the Trencavel dynasty, who were viscounts
of Albi as well as of Béziers and Carcassonne. Nevertheless, according to
Biget, ‘Albigensian’ did not become the prevalent term for the heretics
(and more generally for the Crusade’s opponents) until after the arrival
of the first crusading expedition in Languedoc in July 1209, when the
reconciliation of Raymond VI of Toulouse with the Church caused
the army to turn against Raymond Roger Trencavel instead. The term
was subsequently popularised by the crusaders in other areas of Europe
but was never used by the inhabitants of the region itself.98 Mark Pegg
has taken this one step further by maintaining that Albigensis did
not become the standard term for heretics and other inhabitants of
the region until 1210 or possibly even 1211, when the crusaders’ chief
opponents were resisting Simon de Montfort, now lord of the district
de Lacy to Narbonne and Montpellier to buy horses and arrange a loan from the citizens, and it
is difficult to believe that Walter did not have contact with his exiled brother Hugh de Lacy as he
crossed Languedoc: Rotuli Litterarum Patentium in Turri Londinensi asservati, ed. T.D. Hardy
(London, 1835), p. 113.
98. J.-L. Biget, ‘“Les Albigeois”: remarques sur une dénomination’, in M. Zerner, ed., Inventer
l’ hérésie? Discours polémiques et pouvoirs avant l’Inquisition (Nice, 1998), pp. 219–55. For other
discussions of the term, see Thouzellier, Hérésie et hérétiques, pp. 223–62; M. Alvira Cabrer, ‘On
the term Albigensians in thirteenth-Century Hispanic Sources’, Imago Temporis. Medium Aevum,
iii (2009), pp. 123–37 (kindly sent to me by the author). For an early usage, by the Limousin
chronicler Geoffrey de Vigeois (d. 1184), in reference to the papal legate Henry de Marcy’s military
campaign against the ‘Albigensian heretics’ at Lavaur in 1181, see RHF, xii. 448e; R.I. Moore,
The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe (London, 2012), p. 217; Biget (pp. 244,
253) notes, however, that this text is known only from a problematic seventeenth-century edition.
For the Trencavels, see H. Débax, La féodalité languedocienne XIe–XIIe siècles (Toulouse, 2003);
Graham-Leigh, The Southern French Nobility, including pp. 45–57 for the diversion of the first
expedition to the Trencavel lands.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
of Albi, and the term then replaced an older idea of the heretics as
In fact, letters and charters indicate that ‘Albigensians’ and ‘the
Albigeois’ were being used as general terms for the heretics and their
country before the first crusading army assembled in June 1209.100
Philip Augustus wrote to the pope discussing whether he might
‘march against the Albigensians’ in the winter of 1207–8,101 and several
Burgundian and Champenois acts from 1209—including at least two
extant original charters—designated the heretics as Albigenses, without
requiring the term heretici.102 Similarly, the land to be attacked was
called the ‘Albigeois’ or ‘Albigensian region’ before the first campaign
was launched.103 Moreover, the term ‘Albigensian’ was being applied
in a very broad fashion before the crusade began: on 22 June 1209,
just before the muster of the first crusading army at Lyon, Count
Hervey of Nevers referred to his proposed campaign as the ‘Albigensian
pilgrimage’.104 In the course of the expeditions the charters of departing
crusaders would describe the ‘Albigensians’ with a variety of hostile
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 99. Pegg, A Most Holy War, pp. 21–2, 117; id., ‘On Cathars, Albigenses, and Good Men of
Languedoc’, Journal of Medieval History, xxvii (2001), pp. 181–95 and id., ‘Heresy, Good Men,
and Nomenclature’, in M. Frassetto, ed., Heresy and the Persecuting Society in the Middle Ages:
Essays on the Work of R.I. Moore (Leiden, 2006), pp. 227–39; Chronicle of William of Puylaurens,
pp. xxviii–xxx.
100. This was noted as long ago as 1969 by Thouzellier, Hérésies et hérétiques, p. 245, using the
acts of the duke of Burgundy and counts of Clermont and Nevers (see below, nn. 102–4).
101. Recueil des actes de Philippe Auguste, iii, no. 1015: ‘pro eundo contra Albigeos’. For this
letter and its likely date, see above, n. 92. It is known only from a summary copied into the royal
register A before 1212, but its content and context make it highly probable that it was inserted into
the register when the letter was sent, i.e. in January 1208 at the latest, pace Biget, ‘Les Albigeois’,
p. 252 n. 83.
102. Act of Simon de Joinville (original, dated 1209): see above, n. 73. Auxerre, AD Yonne,
H 1215: act of Robert, dean and the chapter of Auxerre, concerning a quitclaim by Peter de Orto,
knight, ‘contra Albigenses peregrinaturus’, to the abbey of Saint-Marien d’Auxerre (original,
July 1209). Copies of acts dated to 1209 that refer to heretics as ‘Albigensians’ include Recueil
des chartes de Cluny, v, no. 4452 (R., Sancti Romani castalli (sic) dominus, ‘profecturus contra
Albigenses’, from an early cartulary copy); Petit, Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne, iii. 425, no. 1210
(act of Odo duke of Burgundy, ‘anno MCCIX, cum iter arripuissem super Albigenses’, BNF, Coll.
Bourgogne VI, fo. 96r–v, a seventeenth-century copy). Examples from 1210 include C. Brunel,
ed., Recueil des actes des comtes de Pontieu (1026–1279) (Paris, 1930), no. CCXI (Count William of
Ponthieu, ‘cruce signatus, cum contra Albigenses iter arriperem’) and Morice, Preuves de Bretagne,
i. 816 (Juhel, archbishop of Tours, for Ste-Marie-Madeleine de Vitré: ‘Cum Dominus nobilis
vir Andreas de Vitreio cruce signatus contra Albigenses, ad votum suum persequendum, arrepto
itinere per nos transitum faceret’).
103. Recueil des actes de Philippe Auguste, iii, no. 1015: ‘pro servicio Dei faciendo et mittendo
in Albigeis’ (for the date, see above, n. 92). Registres de Philippe Auguste, pp. 503–4: Guy, count of
Clermont, ‘versus partes Albigenses volens ire contra hereticos’ (copy, post-1220, of act of 2 May
1209). Cf. BNF, ms. lat. 10087, pp. 126–7, no. 363: act of Richard de la Boissaye, knight, for the
abbey of Montebourg, ‘quando cum aliis peregrinis abii in Aubigeis’ (s.d., probably 1209; cartulary
copy, late thirteenth century).
104. Gallia Christiana, ed. D. Sammarthani et al. (17 vols., Paris, 1715–1865), xii, instr. col.
149: ‘usque ad reditum meum a peregrinatione Albigensi’. It is true that the original of this act,
like those cited in the previous note, does not survive, but each one would make less sense if the
reference to the ‘Albigeois’ or ‘Albigensian’ were a later interpolation.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1072 105
epithets, and the destination of the crusade was usually designated
by a phrase such as Albigesium (with a wide variety of semi-vernacular
spellings), apud Albigenses or terra Albigensium.106
It is true that when the Crusade was launched, some Burgundian
charters identified ‘Provençal heretics’ as the target.107 Not only had
heresy often been associated with a vaguely defined ‘Provence’ since
the mid-twelfth century,108 but Innocent III’s own calls to arms in
1208 repeatedly named that region as the home of the heresy.109 For a
105. Charleville-Mézières, AD Ardennes, H 203, fo. 153r: Walter, abbot of Chaumont-Porcien,
confirms a grant to the abbey of Signy by Herbert, son of Herbert Périer, ‘feruore fidei Christiane
contra Albigenses incredulos proficiscens’, with terms ‘si eum in prefata peregrinatione mori
contigerit’ (1210). C. Metais, ed., Chartes vendômoises (Vendôme, 1905), p. 232 n. 2 mentions an
act for Saint-Avit d’Orléans by Theobald de Dangeau and his son H., ‘cruce signati, iter arripientes
contra incredulos Albigenses’ (Aug. 1216). Recueil de pièces pour faire suite au Cartulaire général
de l’Yonne: XIIIe siècle (Auxerre, 1873), no. 340 (Robert de Courtenay, May 1226): ‘accepturus
iter contra iniquos et impios Albigenses’. For the ‘inimicos crucis Christi Albigenses’, see above,
n. 28. Of course, such statements reflected ecclesiastical discourses, as in letters of Innocent III to
the bishops of Auxerre and and Orléans in November 1209 (RHF, x. 525; Regesta pontificum, ed.
Potthast, i, no. 3821): ‘cum principes qui adversus perfidos Albigeos prælium Domini præliantes
Carcassonum expugnaverunt’), and of Honorius III to William, bishop of Châlons in May 1219
(RHF, xix. 681–2; Regesta Honorii III, i, no. 1995: ‘Cum … signo crucis assumpto, irrevocabiliter
proposueris ire contra perfidos Albigenses’).
106. More than fifty known acts refer to the Albigeois as a destination, of which the following
examples are typical (see also a number of charters cited above):
(i) H. Cocheris, Notices et extraits des documents manuscrits conservés dans les dépôts publics de
Paris et relatifs à l’ histoire de la Picardie (2 vols., Paris, 1854–58), ii. 339: cartulary notice (edition
of BNF, ms. lat. 11001, fo. 31r) of a grant by Ralph d’Hénu, ‘iter arripiens apud Albigienses’ [sic],
to the abbey of Froidmont (dioc. Beauvais) (1210).
(ii) G. Desjardins, ‘Rapports des membres du comité sur les communications manuscrits:
section d’histoire et de philologie’, Revue des Sociétés Savantes des Départements, 6e sér., i (1875),
pp. 518–24, at p. 523 (edition of Beauvais, AD Oise, G 751): John, dean of Beauvais, confirms a
grant of William le Turc, canon of Beauvais, ‘Albesium [sic] peregre proximo profecturus’ (1212).
(iii) A. Duchesne, Histoire généalogique de la maison royale de Dreux (Paris, 1631), pp. 244–6
(will of Philip, bishop of Beauvais, 2 Nov. 1217), p. 245: ‘Item do [sic] lego Ecclesiæ B. Petri
quatuor pannos sericos quos emi quando fui in terra Albigensium’.
(iv) In 1226, the Franco-Norman baron Robert de Poissy was appointed as arbiter in a dispute
between his kinsman Henry du Neubourg and the abbot of Bec-Hellouin, with terms ‘si forte
Dominus Robertus apud Albigenses decedat vel remaneat’: BNF, ms. lat. 12884, fo. 308r–v (4
May 1226).
107. Dijon, AD Côte-d’Or, 15 H 190, nos. 1–2: Walter, bishop of Autun (21 June 1209), and
Odo, duke of Burgundy (July 1209: Petit, Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne, iii. 427, no. 1216), confirm
a grant to the abbey of Fontenay by Matthew de Laignes, knight, ‘profecturus peregre contra
Prouinciales hereticos’. Cartulaire du prieuré de la Charité-sur-Loire, ed. R. de Lespinasse (Nevers
and Paris, 1887), no. 45: Geoffrey de Pougues, seneschal of Count Hervey of Nevers, ‘crucesignato
contra Provinciales hereticos’ (1209). AD Côte-d’Or, 15 H 9, fos. 31r–v, ed. in Petit, Histoire des ducs
de Bourgogne, iii. 432–3, no. 1236 (corrected by PVC, i. 216 n. 1): Andrew de Rougemont (Côted’Or, cant. Montbard), ‘in procinctu super Provinciales hereticos constitutus’ (1210).
108. For Provincia as a seedbed of heresy, see PVC, i. 2–3 (§§ 2–4), where the author concludes,
‘in pluribus hujus operis locis Tolosani et aliarum civitatum et castrorum heretici et defensores
eorum generaliter Albigenses vocantur, eo quod alie nationes hereticos Provinciales Albigenses
consueverint appellare’. See Biget, ‘Les Albigeois’, p. 222 (cf. p. 227 for the ill-defined Provincia);
Pegg, A Most Holy War, pp. 12–13. It is regrettable that PVC (trans.), p. 6 repeatedly translates
Provinciales as ‘of the South’.
109. Die Register Innocenz’ III., xi, nos. 10, 25, 28–30; Layettes, i, nos. 841, 843. Innocent
continued to refer sometimes to the affected region as Provincia: see, for instance, a bull of 12
November 1209 (Layettes, i, no. 899; RHF, xix. 528–9), and his suspension of the Crusade in
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
Capetian scribe composing the king’s letter to the duke of Burgundy
and count of Nevers in 1208, the targeted heretics were simply ‘Arians’,
a reminder of the anachronistic framework in which heretics were
discussed in princely courts as well as theological debates, although
such archaic terms were not used in charters.110 Throughout the crusade,
some documents also referred simply to ‘heretics’ as the target.111 Yet
such variations appear to have been a matter of scribal preference. In a
matter of weeks in June 1209, Duke Odo of Burgundy’s clerks issued
acts referring to his forthcoming attack upon ‘Provençal heretics’,
‘Albigensian heretics’, ‘Albigensians’ and simply ‘heretics’.112 Alternatives
to the term ‘Albigensian’ in the crusaders’ charters sometimes show
greater rather than less understanding of the religious and political
situation in the Midi. In 1212, a judgment of two judges delegate in
the diocese of Meaux stated that a third judge, the archdeacon of Paris,
was on pilgrimage against heretics ‘in the region of Toulouse’, at a
time when the focus of crusading activity had shifted to the county of
Toulouse and the Agenais.113 Similarly, an act of Juhel de Mayenne from
1219 states that he was ‘setting off on pilgrimage against the Toulousan
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? January 1213 (RHF, xix. 566 [Regesta pontificum, ed. Potthast, i, no. 4648], tr. in PVC (trans.),
p. 308). So, too, did Honorius III: e.g. Honorii III Opera, iii, cols. 299–300 (RHF xix. 690–91).
For these texts, see Rist, ‘Papal policy’, pp. 99–102.
110. Recueil des actes de Philippe Auguste, iii, no. 1035: ‘vos volebatis arripere iter contra
Arrianos … si vos contra Arrianos ad servicium Dei ire velletis’. For this letter, see above, n. 92.
References in narratives to the heretics as ‘Arians’ include Chronique de Saint-Martial de Limoges,
ed. H. Duplès-Agier (Paris, 1874), 120 (s.a. 1225, 1226). PVC, ii. 90–91 (§ 394); PVC (trans.),
p. 183 called the crusaders’ opponents ‘Arians’ as a pun upon Castelnaudary, when the crusaders
defended that town in 1213: ‘Castrum Novum Arrii … ita ut pauci catholici infinitam Arrianorum
mutltitudinem effugarent’. ‘Arian’ had been used for heretics in twelfth-century Cistercian circles:
e.g. P. Jiménez-Sanchez, Les catharismes. Modèles dissidents du christianisme médiéval (xiie-xiiie
siècles) (Rennes, 2008), p. 264. In the 1270s, William de Puylaurens referred to Languedocian
heretics before the Albigensian Crusade as ‘Arians, Manichaeans, and Waldensians’ (Guillaume de
Puylaurens, Chronique, pp. 30, 34, 50; Chronicle of William of Puylaurens, tr. Sibly and Sibly, pp. 8,
12, 22). Other terms used for the heretics of Languedoc during the crusade include ‘Beguines’
(Annals of Cologne, s.a. 1210, in MGH, SS, xvii. 825) and ‘Patarenes’ (below, n. 143).
111. E.g. É. Baluze, Histoire généalogique de la maison d’Auvergne (2 vols., Paris, 1708), ii. 82:
will of Guy, count of Clermont, ‘cum jam esset profecturus contra hæreticos’ (27 May 1209).
Actes de Philippe Auguste, iii, no. 1086, referring to Hugh, bishop of Coutances, ‘quamdiu moram
fecerit in servitio Domini contra hereticos’ (July 1209). Alvira Cabrer, ‘On the term Albigensians’,
pp. 130–33 notes that Iberian sources discussing heresy in Languedoc usually simply refer to
‘heretics’ rather than employing a more specific designation.
112. Above, nn. 102, 107 (‘Albigensians’, ‘Provençal heretics’). Recueil des chartes de Cluny, v,
no. 4453: ‘ego Odo, dux Burgundie, cruce signatus contra hereticos Albigenses’. Troyes, AD Aube,
3 H 9, p. 154 (cf. Petit, Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne, iii. 425, no. 1196): ‘usque ad diem qua iter
arripui super hereticos debellandos’ (June 1209). Thouzellier, Hérésie et hérétiques, p. 245, noted the
significance of this equivalence between Provinciales heretici and Albigenses in the earliest charters
from the crusade.
113. AN, J 731, no. 19 (notice in Layettes, i, no. 1023), dispute between the abbey of Faremoutiers
and Count Gaucher of Saint-Pol: ‘in absentia prefati Willelmi archidiaconi, tunc temporis,
peregrinationis causa, moram contra hereticos facientis in Tolosanis partibus’ (29 Oct. 1212).
A letter of Arnaud Amaury, archbishop of Narbonne, to his successor as abbot of Cîteaux after
the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa compared the Moors of that fortress (Tolosa) to the haeretici
Tolosani (RHF xix. 253; D. Smith, Innocent III and the Crown of Aragon [Aldershot, 2004], p. 115).
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1074 heretics’, presumably with Louis of France.114 The modest achievement
of Louis’s second expedition was an ineffectual demonstration before
Toulouse, and Juhel’s act reflects the city’s depiction as the enemy of
the Church in the wake of Simon de Montfort’s death before its walls
the previous year, not least in repeated papal appeals for new crusaders
to shore up the faltering cause.115 Juhel’s act suggests an awareness of
the great shifts in the political situation of the Midi since his previous
crusade in Spring 1211, when the city and count of Toulouse had still
been outwardly aligned on the crusaders’ side, and he had issued acts
referring to the ‘Albigensian heretics’.116 Nevertheless, Juhel’s other acts
of 1219 referred to the enemy in conventional fashion as ‘heretics’ and
Despite the changing political context, the much vaguer (and
misleading) term ‘Albigensian’ remained popular in crusaders’ charters
until the very end of the campaigns against the heretics: in 1240, an act
of a Flemish knight envisaged his return from a journey to the ‘land of
the Albigensians’, where he was most probably going in order to assist
the suppression of the revolt by the dispossessed viscount of Béziers,
Raymond Trencavel.118 The geographical scope of the ‘Albigeois’ in
charters and administrative records was a much broader region than the
diocese of Albi alone: in the Querimoniæ Normannorum and other royal
documents, it included places as far apart as Avignon, Castelsarrasin,
Termes and Toulouse.119 The documentary sources differ from the
narrative sources in an important respect, however, for they did not
114. Laval, AD Mayenne, H 204, p. 572 and H 211, fo. 7r (seventeenth-century copies of an act
for the priory of Berne): ‘ego iter aggrediens contra Tholosanos hæreticos’.
115. E.g. RHF, xix. 669–71 (Regesta Honorii III, i, nos. 1614–615; cf. Actes de Philippe Auguste, iv,
no. 1538), two letters of Honorius III to Philip Augustus (5 Sept. 1218): ‘ad perfidorum Tolosanorum
et suorum complicum malitiam comprimendam … negotium pacis et fidei … in partibus Tolosanis
et convicinis’ and ‘ad succurrendum negotio fidei et pacis in partibus Tholosanis’.
116. AD Mayenne, H 204, pp. 572–3 and H 211, fo. 7r–v: Juhel, lord of Mayenne and
Dinan, compensates the abbey of Évron for damages ‘ante motionem meam contra hæreticos
Albigenses’ (1211). Laurain, ‘Du style chronologique en usage dans le Bas-Maine’, 298–9, no. IV:
‘cum iter peregrinationis arriperem ad debellandum contra hostes fidei nostre, contra videlicet
Albigenses hereticos’ (4 Feb. 1211). Cartulaire de l’abbaye cistercienne de Fontaine-Daniel, ed.
and tr. A. Grosse-Duperon and E. Gouvrion (Mayenne, 1896), no. 65 (1213, referring to his 1211
expedition), ‘pro L solidos quos cum essem in terra Albigensium assignare promiseram’. Juhel
arrived in mid-Lent (c.13 March) 1211 and set off home after the fall of Lavaur on 3 May: PVC,
i. 212, 230 (§§ 213, 230); PVC (trans.), pp. 110, 118.
117. Rouen, Bibliothèque Municipale, Coll. Leber 5636, no. 38: act of Juhel de Mayenne
for the abbey of Savigny (dioc. Avranches), making amends in the Breton lordship of Fougères
(then in his custody) ‘dum iter aggrederer contra hereticos’ (May 1219). Cartulaire Manceau de
Marmoutier, ed. E. Laurain (2 vols., Laval, 1945), i. 295–6 (2 acts, 1219): grants to the priory of
Fontaine-Guérard ‘pro salute anime mee contra Albigenses peregre proficiscens’.
118. F. d’Hoop, ed., Recueil des chartes du prieuré de Saint-Bertin à Poperinghe (Bruges, 1870),
p. 65, no. 67: Baldwin de Méteren promises to resolve his dispute with the monks of Saint-Bertin
within forty days ‘post reditum meum a terra Albigensi’ (8 Sept. 1240).
119. QN, nos. 102 (Termes), 500 (Castelsarrasin), 539 (Avignon); RHF, xxiv (II), p. 730fg
(Toulouse); Les Olim, ou regustres des arrêts rendus par la cour du roi, ed. le comte Beugnot
(4 vols., Paris, 1839–48), i. 461 (Montréal, 1259), 505 (Mirepoix, 1261), 512 (Limoux, 1261). For
discussion of this broad ‘Albigeois’, see Biget, ‘Les Albigeois’.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
always use the term Albigensis negatively. In 1219, an act of the bishop of
Laon stated that the knight, Guy de Monceau, had taken the cross ‘to
aid the Albigensian church’.120 The following year, Henry III of England
stated that Philip Augustus had renewed the Angevin–Capetian truce
of 1214 ‘for the honour of God, the Holy Land across the sea, and the
land of the Albigensians’,121 and soon afterwards, a French royal letter
referred to the levy which the countess of Champagne had raised ‘for
the subsidy of the Albigensian land’.122 The will of Queen Ingeborg of
France (1218), a letter of Archbishop Peter of Sens (1221), and a charter
of Odo de Ponches (1226) all likewise promised to ‘aid the land of the
Albigensians’.123 The non-narrative sources therefore reflect the elasticity
of the concepts surrounding these terms, a quality that helped to fix the
land and its inhabitants in Christian minds across western Europe.
The documentary evidence is also valuable for contemporary views
of the nature of Albigensian Crusade and hence for our understanding
of the crusaders’ purported motives. As various charters cited above have
demonstrated, from the very first campaign in 1209 these documents
frequently described the expeditions in the language of pilgrimage,
using nouns such as iter, peregrinatio and via, or the adverb peregre.
Hence, Theobald, count of Bar(-le-Duc) and Luxembourg, arranged
the division of his inheritance at Easter 1211 ‘when, for the love of God,
we had taken the sign of the holy cross against the Albigensian heretics
and were about to set off on our pilgrimage’.124 On his deathbed three
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 120. Crusade Charters, ed. Slack and Feiss, no. 29 and plate (p. 205). This edition reads
‘crucesignatus pro successu ecclesie Albigensis’ and offers the translation, ‘He was signed with
the cross for the crusade against the Albigensian church’. However, the original charter depicted
in the plate (BNF, Coll. Picardie CCXC, fo. 33r) reads ‘pro succursu ecclesie Albigensis’, and it
was the (Catholic) ‘Church in the Albigeois’, or the ‘Church of Albi’, not a heretical ‘Albigensian
Church’, that required support. Honorius III described the Albigensians, rather, as a ‘synagogue’
(RHF, xix. 681; Regesta Honorii III, i, no. 1987). For Guy, see D. Barthélemy, Les deux âges de la
seigneurie banale: pouvoir et société dans la terre des sires de Coucy (milieu XIe–milieu XIIIe siècle)
(Paris, 1984), pp. 172 n., 524–5.
121. Layettes, i, no. 1387: ‘pro honore Dei et Terre Sancte transmarine et terre Albigeorum’ (Feb.
1220). This statement presumably echoes Philip Augustus’s own terms for the renewed truce, now
122. Actes de Philippe Auguste, iv, no. 1708 (Cartulary of Countess Blanche, no. 283): tax of a
twentieth ‘ad subsidium terre Albigensis’.
123. L. Delisle, ed., Catalogue des actes de Philippe-Auguste (Paris, 1856), no. 1852, pp. 520–21:
Ingeborg promises ‘quadraginta libras ad succursum terre Albigesii’. AN, LL 1157, p. 91: ordinance
of Peter, archbishop of Sens, concerning taxation ‘ad succursum terre Albigencium’. Arras, AD
Pas-de-Calais, 20 H 2, fos. 33r–34r (Odo de Ponches for Saint-Josse-aux-Bois, May 1226): ‘quia
autem in succursu terre Albigensium proficiscebar contra hereticos, dedit mihi predicta ecclesia
charitatis intuitu sexdecim libras parisienses in auxilium vie mee’; this was confirmed by Anselm,
rural dean of Labroye, in identical terms, mutatis mutandis (fos. 34r–35r). Since the Saint-Josse
acts are early modern transcripts, it is impossible to know if the original deeds read ‘Albigensium’
or ‘Albigensis’.
124. A. Lesort, Les Chartes du Clermontois conservées au Musée Condé, à Chantilly (1069–1532)
(Paris, 1904), pp. 63–5, no. IV (M. Grosdidier de Matons, ed., Catalogue des actes des comtes de Bar
de 1022 à 1239 [Bar-le-Duc, 1922], no. 201): ‘cum, amore Dei, crucis sancte signum contra hereticos
Albigenses adsumpsissemus et in procinctu nostre essemus peregrinationis’. He reserved the right
to amend his will ‘si, Deo disponente, de peregrinatione predicta me repatriare contigerit’.
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W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
years later, the count’s revised will referred to the division that he had
made while preparing for the ‘way of the Albigensians’.125
These documents are very important for indicating how the
participants understood the expeditions which they joined. Crusades
to Jerusalem had frequently been depicted as pilgrimages ever since
1095, although historians disagree whether or not crusades and
pilgrimages were considered as distinct forms of spiritual activity in the
twelfth century.126 The nature of crusading was radically altered when
Jerusalem fell once more into Muslim hands in 1187: thereafter, a more
distinctive language for expeditions to recover the Holy City emerged,
designating the holy warriors by new terms such as crucesignati and
its vernacular equivalents, although ambiguities remained and the
language of pilgrimage continued to be used for expeditions which had
the Holy Sepulchre as their goal.127
It was a major ideological step to transfer the ideologies of crusading
to a campaign against inhabitants of a Christian kingdom.128 In the
later twelfth century, when military action against heresy in southern
France was first mooted, the papacy promised spiritual rewards, but
these did not match the benefits offered to crusaders to Jerusalem.
However, Innocent III progressively augmented the spiritual benefits to
be gained by suppressing heresy: in 1198, he put any future campaign in
Languedoc on a par with a pilgrimage to Rome or Compostela, whereas
by 1204 he was promising the king of France the much greater privileges
125. Les Chartes du Clermontois, no. VI (Catalogue des actes de Bar, no. 241): ‘in procinctu
itineris mei existens’, he had issued his first will, namely ‘primam dispositionem illam, in apparatu
vie Albigensium factam’ (Feb. 1214).
126. The bibliography concerning crusades as pilgrimages is very substantial. See especially J.A.
Brundage, Medieval Canon Law and the Crusader (Madison and London, 1969); H.E. Mayer, The
Crusades, tr. J. Gillingham (2nd edn., Oxford, 1988), pp. 14–15, 26–33; J. Riley-Smith, The First
Crusade, especially pp. 19–25, 35–7, 84–5, 108, 111–14, 126–9; id., The Crusades: A Short History
(London, 1987), pp. 7–8, 37, 59, 79, 88–91, 131–2, 152–3, 158–60, 196; Bull, Knightly Piety, pp. 204–
49; C.G. Libertini, ‘Practical Crusading: The Transformation of Crusading Practice, 1095–1221’,
in M. Balard, ed., Autour de la Première Croisade (Paris, 1996), pp. 281–91; C. Tyerman, The
Invention of the Crusades (Basingstoke, 1998), pp. 10–29, 49–55, 60–61; J. Flori, La guerre sainte:
la formation de l’ idée de croisade dans l’Occident chrétien (Paris, 2001), pp. 316–20, 324–32; W.J.
Purkis, Crusading Spirituality in the Holy Land and Iberia c.1095–c.1187 (Woodbridge, 2008).
F.H. Russell, The Just War in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1975), pp. 294–6, argues that terms
such as iter and peregrinatio also served as convenient euphemisms for canonists and other
ecclesiastical writers who wished to avoid discussing the violence of crusades. M.G. Bull, ‘The
Capetian Monarchy and the Early Crusade Movement: Hugh of Vermandois and Louis VII’,
Nottingham Medieval Studies, xl (1996), pp. 25–45, at p. 45 observes that Louis VII’s cross-taking
ceremony (1146) distinguished between crusaders and pilgrims.
127. M. Markowski, ‘Crucesignatus: Its Origins and Early Usage’, Journal of Medieval History,
x (1984), pp. 157–65, qualified by W.R. Cosgrove, ‘Crucesignatus: A Refinement or Merely One
More Term among Many?’, in T.F. Madden, J.L. Naus and V.T. Ryan, eds., Crusades: Medieval
Worlds in Conflict (Farnham, 2010), pp. 95–107; Tyerman, The Invention of the Crusades, pp. 27–8,
49–50. C. Smith, Crusading in the Age of Joinville (Aldershot, 2006), pp. 109–117 notes the decline
of the identification of crusaders as pilgrims by the time of the Seventh Crusade (1248–51).
128. Most studies of the Albigensian Crusade have discussed its status as a pilgrimage.
A succinct summary of the issue is provided by J. Riley-Smith, The Crusades: A Short History
(London, 1987), p. 136.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
of a crusade to Jerusalem if he would provide military assistance to the
papal legates in their efforts to eradicate heresy, and by 1207–08, he
was extending these privileges to all the Christian faithful.129 When
the crusade was launched, Innocent III recognised the participants
as crucesignati—which was also the most common term used in the
charters, and one accepted even by the opponents of the crusade—or as
milites Christi, but he only rarely invoked the language of pilgrimage.130
Papal letters more commonly described attempts to root out heresy in
Languedoc in quite different language, as ‘the business of peace and
faith’ (negotium pacis et fidei);131 variants of this epithet were also much
used by Peter des Vaux-de-Cernay in his Historia Albigensis for both the
preaching before the crusade and the campaigns themselves.132
The chief narrative sources for the Albigensian Crusade accepted
that its participants were crusaders, but were more ambivalent about
their status as pilgrims. After describing the initial expedition, Peter des
Vaux-de-Cernay—himself a participant in the crusade between 1212 and
1218—used the term peregrini mainly for the short-term crusaders,133 as
did the much later chronicle by William of Puylaurens;134 the principal
vernacular source, the Canso, always referred to the crusaders as li
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 129. R. Foreville, ‘Innocent III et la croisade des Albigeois’, in M-H. Vicaire, ed., Paix de Dieu
et guerre sainte en Languedoc au XIIIe siècle (Cahiers de Fanjeaux 4, Toulouse, 1969), pp. 184–217;
Dutton, ‘Aspects’, pp. 140–47; Rist, ‘Salvation’, pp. 98–101.
130. Markowski, ‘Crucesignatus’, pp. 161–2; Cosgrove, ‘Crucesignatus’, pp. 101–2; for the
mil(it)es Christi, see Die Register Innocenz’ III, xi, no. 26; Layettes, i, no. 841. A rare example of
Innocent III’s invocation of the language of pilgrimage is a letter to Simon de Montfort (12 Nov.
1209): Layettes, i, no. 898 (RHF, xix. 526; Regesta pontificum, ed. Potthast, i, no. 3834): ‘obedisti …
in locum peregrinationis exire’. For a reference to the crusaders as crucesignati by their opponents,
see Cartulaire de Mirepoix, ed. F. Pasquier (2 vols., Toulouse, 1921), i. 25 (cf. HGL, viii, cols.
767–8), recording the homage of the lords of Mirepoix to the count of Foix (1223?), which refers
to a time ‘antequam cruce nunquam signati fuissent in ista partria (lege patria)’.
131. M.-H. Vicaire, ‘“L’affaire de Paix et Foi” du midi de la France (1203–1215)’, in Vicaire, ed.,
Paix de Dieu, pp. 102–27; Foreville, ‘Innocent III’; M. Zerner, ‘Le déclenchement de la Croisade
albigeoise: retour sur l’affaire de paix et de foi’, in Roquebert, ed., La Croisade Albigeoise, pp. 127–
42; P. Jiménez-Sanchez, ‘Le catharisme fut-il le véritable enjeu religieux de la croisade?’, ibid.,
pp. 143–55; M. Zerner, ‘Le negotium pacis et fidei, ou l’affaire de paix et de foi: une désignation de
la Croisade albigeoise à revoir’, in R.M. Dessi, ed., Prêcher la paix et discipliner la société: Italie,
France, Angleterre (XIIIe–XVe siècle) (Turnhout, 2005), pp. 63–101; Rist, ‘Salvation’, pp. 102–4.
Zerner states that the phrase was first used by Innocent III in November 1209. It is common
in Honorius III’s correspondence, e.g. RHF, xix. 669–71 (letters to Philip Augustus and the
prelates of the provinces of Vienne, Arles, Narbonne, Auch, Embrun and Aix, September 1218;
Regesta Honorii III, i, nos. 1614–16), referring to ‘negotium pacis et fidei circa Provinciæ partes’;
R. Kay, ed., The Council of Bourges, 1225. A Documentary History (Aldershot, 2003), e.g. pp. 350
(Honorius III: ‘negotium pacis et fidei’), 402 (Cardinal Romanus: ‘negotium pacis et fidei contra
hereticos terre Albig.’).
132. See the comments in PVC (trans.), pp. 6 n. 9, 313–15.
133. PVC, e.g. i. 105, 177, 187 (§§ 105, 174, 184); PVC (trans.), pp. 57, 93, 97, translates peregrini
as ‘crusaders’: see pp. 45 n.78, 57 n.70, where the translators note Peter’s repeated use of peregrini
(nostri) for the members of the Fourth Crusade. The headings in the A manuscript of this text
used the term peregrini where some other manuscripts (e.g. B, C) preferred (cruce)signati: e.g.
PVC, i, pp. 81, 85 (§§ 82, 83).
134. Guillaume de Puylaurens, Chronique, pp. 76, 78, 108, 112, 148 (translated as ‘crusaders’ in
the English translation).
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1078 crozat, except when its hostile anonymous continuator used the term
bordonier (‘stave-carriers’), a derogatory term for pilgrims also noted by
Peter des Vaux-de-Cernay.135 As Christopher Tyerman has noted, the
Canso itself provides some of the best evidence of the clearer distinction
between crusading and pilgrimage in the early thirteenth century, since
it uses a distinctive vernacular term, crozada, for the expedition, rather
than calling it a pilgrimage.136
The popularity of the language of pilgrimage in the charters is
therefore very striking. They provide powerful evidence for the
persistence of the idea among the aristocracy of Latin Christendom
that crusaders against heretics were ‘pilgrims’ on a ‘pilgrimage’. Since
the expedition had no obvious shrine as its destination, the notion of
the expedition as a pilgrimage shows that the ‘pilgrims’ conceived of the
expedition primarily in terms of the promised spiritual benefits that put
it on a par with the armed pilgrimages to Jerusalem.137 The emphasis
upon pilgrimage also had substantial implications for the viability of
the enterprise. It reflected an expectation among the participants that
they would be absent for a short time and return. Most of them clearly
had no intention of settling in the Midi, despite Innocent III’s promise
of the confiscated lands of heretics;138 and the expedition’s lack of a
clear geographical goal would prove an enduring obstacle to its success,
as the participants were drawn into an ever-broader struggle to control
southern France.
The language of the charters also responded little to the vicissitudes
of papal policy over the course of the Crusade. For instance, in January
1213, Innocent III suspended the privileges of the crusaders, effectively
bringing the Albigensian Crusade to a formal halt: he was responding
to pressure from the king of Aragon and southern French nobility, and
he wished to further his ambitions for a new crusade to Jerusalem as
well as to prepare to counter a possible Islamic response to the Christian
victories in Iberia the previous year. Innocent renewed this suspension
in April, although his pronouncements over the next couple of months
were more ambivalent and left room for recruitment in the south of
135. CCA, iii. 136, 162, 204, 296, laisses 198 (l. 111), 201 (l. 75), 205 (l. 94), 213 (l. 65) (SCW,
pp. 157, 163, 171, 190, translates bordon[i]er merely as ‘pilgrims’). PVC, ii, p. 13 (§ 313: burdonarii);
PVC (trans.), p. 152 and n. 1. W. Paden, ‘Perspectives on the Albigensian Crusade’, Tenso: Bulletin
of the Société Guilhem IX, x (1995), pp. 90–95 and E. Miruna Ghil, ‘Crozada: Avatars of a Religious
Term in Thirteenth-Century Occitan Poetry’, ibid., pp. 99–109, both argue that the term crozada
in the Canso refers to the army of crusaders, rather than an abstract concept of a distinctive form
of expedition, and note the continuator’s reluctance to recognise the invaders as crusaders.
136. Tyerman, Invention of the Crusades, p. 27.
137. For this emphasis upon crusades as pilgrimages even when they were not going to the Holy
Land, see Brundage, Medieval Canon Law and the Crusader, pp. 30–31, 192–3.
138. Die Register Innocenz’ III., xi, no. 26; Layettes, i, no. 841 and PVC, i.51–65 (§§ 55–65);
PVC (trans.), pp. 31–8. Philip Augustus had opposed any redistribution of lands, which he saw as
his prerogative alone, and the crusaders’ deliberations after the fall of Carcassonne reveal similar
reservations: Recueil des actes de Philippe Auguste, iii, no. 1021, tr. in PVC (trans.), pp. 305–6; CCA,
i. 84–6, laisses 34–5 (SCW, pp. 26–7).
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
France and further military action by Montfort’s forces. Yet, these
shifts in papal policy had no impact upon the language of the charters.
In June 1213, a charter of the Champenois magnate Erard de Brienne
stated that he was ‘about to set off on the Albigensian pilgrimage’,140
and in August the bishop of Toul in Lorraine confirmed a grant of a
‘crusader against the Albigensian heretics’, with provisions in case he
died on his peregrinacio.141
The degree of similarity between the phrases expressing these pious
motives is also remarkable: although there was much variation, some
phrases, such as peregre proficiscere and iter arripere contra hereticos,
occur repeatedly. It is possible that the common discourse of the crusade
revealed in the charters was related to the preaching of the expedition
and to the distribution of recruiting letters through the Cistercians,
Premonstratensians and, eventually, the new mendicant orders.142
Unfortunately, no sermons promoting the crusade survive before
Louis VIII’s third expedition in 1226. For that campaign, homilies
such as Odo de Châteauroux’s Sermo contra hereticos de Albigensibus
partibus are primarily biblical commentaries. The only extant sermon
concerning the Albigensians by the most famous of the preachers, James
de Vitry, refers to them as ‘Patarenes’, a term never found in crusading
acts, and it was not redacted until the mid-1230s.143 As for negotium
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? 139
139. Marvin, The Occitan War, pp. 161–9, which briefly considers the possible impact of these
vicissitudes in papal policy upon recruitment to the Albigensian Crusade; Dutton, ‘Aspects’,
pp. 39–40, 100–01, 144–5, 187–8; Rist, ‘Papal policy’, pp. 99–101; Smith, Innocent III and the
Crown of Aragon, pp. 117–34.
140. Recueil des pièces … de Yonne, no. 128 (act for the abbey of Dilo): ‘ego, ingressurus iter
peregrinationis Albigensis’.
141. BNF, Coll. Champagne XLV, fo. 159r no. 121: Renaud, bishop of Toul, confirms the grant
of Garnier d’Amance, knight, ‘crucesignatum contra Albigen(ses) hereticos’, to the abbey of
Trois-Fontaines, with terms ‘si quod absit in peregrinacione suscepta ipsum uiam carnis ingredi
contigerit’ (Toul, 20 Aug. 1213). An original act of the bishop confirming another grant by Garnier
to the same abbey, also issued at Toul on 20 August, makes no mention of the crusade (Châlonsen-Champagne, AD Marne, 22 H 36, no. 2); nor does Garnier’s own act (no. 1, dated ‘1213’). The
bishop had served on the crusade in 1212: PVC, ii. 43, 47 (§§ 345, 351); PVC (trans.), pp. 163–4.
142. For the preaching of crusades in this period, see P.J. Cole, The Preaching of the Crusades to
the Holy Land, 1095–1270 (Cambridge MA, 1991), pp. 80–176; C.T. Maier, Preaching the Crusades:
Mendicant Friars and the Cross in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge, 1994). As Cole (pp. 110–
112, 125) and Vincent, ‘England and the Albigensian Crusade’, p. 78, both note, a manual from
the mid-1210s for promoting the Fifth Crusade in England includes an exemplar describing the
fortitude of three brothers in bello contra Albigenses (Quinti belli sacri scriptores minores, ed.
R. Röhricht [Geneva, 1879], pp. 3–26, at p. 24).
143. N. Bériou, ‘La prédication de croisade de Philippe le Chancelier et d’Eudes de Châteauroux
en 1226’, in J.-L. Biget, ed., La prédication en Pays d’Oc (xiie–début xve siècle) (Cahiers de Fanjeaux
32, Toulouse 1997), pp. 85–109, especially pp. 85–6; for the preaching of the Albigensian Crusade,
see Dutton, ‘Aspects’, 178–98; Maier, Preaching the Crusades, pp. 170–71. C. Muessig, ‘Les sermons
de Jacques de Vitry sur les cathares’, in Biget, ed., La prédication en Pays d’Oc, pp. 69–83, shows
that his sermon was designed to counter purported Cathar beliefs (p. 82 for ‘Patarenes’). I am
grateful to Carolyn Muessig for kindly providing me with a full transcript of Vitry’s sermon. For
his promotion of the Albigensian Crusade, see PVC, i. 281–2 (§285), especially p. 281 n. 1, ii. 202;
PVC (trans.), pp. 142, 229. The Parisian masters also had a role in promoting the crusade: J. Bird,
‘Paris Masters and the Justification of the Albigensian Crusade’, Crusades, vi (2007), pp. 117–55.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1080 pacis et fidei, this phrase is found in only a few acts emanating from or
concerning crusaders, all of them from the final stages or aftermath of
the Albigensian Crusade and mostly issued by senior clergy, although
the phrase can also be found in French royal acts.144 The language of
pilgrimage remained the most popular way in which charters accounted
for participation in the campaign of 1226,145 even though by then many
of the participants were serving expressly at royal command.146
If the charters proclaim a common view of the expeditions against the
Albigensians as pilgrimages, the standardised nature of their clauses
cannot reveal individual motives, for the crusade rapidly took on a
normative quality as an option for pious or penitential action. In or
soon after 1209, the elderly Breton nobleman Alan fitzCount took his
young son Henry to Paris to do homage to Philip Augustus.147 At an
inquest in 1235, a juror reported that he had heard Alan afterwards
declare, ‘Now I can indeed go to the Albigeois or outre mer, for [my
son] is the lord king’s man for all my seisins’.148
144. E.g. Layettes, ii, nos. 1789 (justification by French prelates and magnates to Emperor
Frederick II of the siege of Avignon, 1226), 1942 (Walter, archbishop of Sens, and Walter, bishop of
Chartres, promise to pay 1500 li. parisis p.a. ‘ne impediatur succursus negocii pacis et fidei in terra
Albigensi … si negotium terre Albigesii tantum duraverit’, Aug. 1227). For university influence upon
no. 1789, see Bird, ‘Paris Masters’, pp. 153–4. E. Martène and U. Durand, eds., Veterum Scriptorum
et Monumentorum … amplissima collectio (9 vols., Paris, 1724–33), i, cols. 1230–31: Louis IX awards
a pension at Limoux (dépt. Aude) to Guy de Gournay (from northern France), ‘quia in negotio
pacis et fidei ab inimicis Jesu Christi in Albigensium partibus fuerat excæcatus’ (Aug. 1229). BNF,
ms. lat. 10967, fos. 18v–19r, no. 48: act of three canons of Tournai, ‘vices gerentes domini Tornacensis
episcopi in terra Albigen’ pro negotio fidei commorantis’ (24 May 1232). By the 1220s, the campaign
against heresy began to be described as ‘the business of the Albigeois’ or ‘Albigensian business’:
Recueil des actes de Philippe Auguste, iv, no. 1807 (‘de negocio terre Albigesii … affarium Albigense’,
c.1222–3); The Council of Bourges, ed. Kay, p. 422 (Philip, dean of Paris: ‘pro Albigen’ negotio …
de modo subventionis negotii Albigen.’); below, n. 146. For William the Breton, chaplain of Philip
Augustus, it was negotium crucifixi, a phrase previously reserved for campaigns to the East (Œuvres
de Rigord et de Guillaume le Breton, i. 319; Foreville, ‘Innocent III’, p. 192).
145. E.g. BNF, Coll. Touraine VI, no. 2632: John de Courcelles, ‘in terram Aubigensem peregre
proficiscens’ (1226). Chartres, AD Eure-et-Loir, G 3297: Geoffrey, viscount of Châteaudun, ‘contra
hereticos Albigenses peregre proficiscens’ (May 1226). Chartes de Saint-Bertin, ed. Haigneré, i. 303
n. 692: Baldwin d’Aire, lord of Heuchin, ‘cum essem quasi in procinctu itineris constitutus, et
propter plurima et ardua negotia mea et urgentem profiscicendi brevitatem … cum me de via
Albigensium redire contigerit, dante Deo’ (May 1226).
146. E.g. Recueil de pièces … de l’Yonne, no. 334: Henry, bishop of Auxerre, states that Louis
VIII has excused him ‘pro exercitu suo et pro militibus quos ei debemus mittere ad exercitum
suum apud Albigen., et pro decima quam similiter de proventibus nostrorum redditum tenemur
solvere eidem pro negotio Albigensi supradicto’ (Mar. 1226).
147. Alan made peace with Guy, duke of Brittany, in the king’s presence in Paris in 1209,
and died c.1212: Morice, Preuves de Bretagne, i. 812–13; Catalogue des actes de Philippe Auguste,
nn. 1128–9; Registres de Philippe Auguste, p. 393. For Alan, lord of Tréguier, and his son Henry
d’Avaugour, see Actes de Philippe Auguste, iii, nos. 1271–2; S. Morin, Trégor, Goëlo, Penthièvre: Le
pouvoir des Comtes de Bretagne du XIe au XIIIe siècle (Rennes, 2010), pp. 154–8.
148. A. de la Borderie, ‘Nouveau recueil des actes inédits des ducs de Bretagne’, Bulletin et
Mémoires de la Société Archéologique d’Ille-et-Vilaine, xxi (1891), pp. 91–193, at p. 112: ‘Alanus filius
Pagani, miles, juratus … adjecit quod fuit Parisiis quando comes Alanus duxit istum Henricum
ad faciendum homagium regi Philippo de predictis terris, et audivit dictum Alanum comitem
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
The Church was soon prescribing participation in the Albigensian
Crusade as a standard form of penance. Pilgrimage had been used as a
form of public penance for centuries, and crusades had consequently
served a penitential purpose since their inception;149 but in the early
thirteenth century, the taking of crusading vows was becoming a
standard penance for penitent aristocratic sinners, while the penitential
character of crusading was receiving greater emphasis in sermons.
Despite the spread of private confession, public penance remained
popular, and there were few more visible acts of repentance than
departure on crusade.150 Indeed, the Church sometimes required those
opposing the Albigensian Crusade to serve a fixed term in the Holy
Land in atonement: most notable of all was the unfulfilled promise
by Raymond VII of Toulouse to take the Cross against the Saracens in
Outremer for five years, as part of the treaty which ended the crusade
in 1229.151
Yet, charters and letters reveal that the Albigensian Crusade itself
became a prescribed destination for penitents. In 1218, Honorius III
permitted those who had been excommunicated for assisting Louis’
invasion of England in 1216–17 to commute their penance from service
in the Holy Land to participation in the Capetian prince’s intended
expedition against Toulouse; the pope went on to allow a number of
other excommunicates to commute their penances in return for joining
this campaign.152 For his complicity in the murder of the abbot of SaintMichel-en-Thiérache near Laon c.1214—allegedly at the age of only
fifteen—Giles de Saint-Michel, the abbey’s advocate (lay protector),
was ordered by the Roman Church to fight against the Albigensian
heretics.153 By joining Louis VIII’s last crusading expedition in 1226,
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? dicentem quando venit a curia ad domum suam: ‘Nunc possum bene ire in Albigensem sive ultra
mare, quoniam Henricus est homo domini regis de omnibus sesinis meis’.’
149. Brundage, Medieval Canon Law and the Crusader, pp. 7–11, 146–9; J. Sumption,
Pilgrimage: An Image of Medieval Religion (London, 1975), pp. 98–145; S. Hamilton, The Practice
of Penance, 900–1050 (Woodbridge, 2001), pp. 42–3, 173–4.
150. M.C. Mansfield, The Humiliation of Sinners: Public Penance in Thirteenth-Century
France (Ithaca and London, 1995), pp. 110–14 (contemporary types of public penance) and 125–
8, 152–4, 277–86 (pilgrimages and crusades as acts of penance). For the changing relationship
between penance and crusades in the thirteenth century, see Cole, The Preaching of the Crusades,
pp. 156, 175, 218–20; for the indulgence offered to the crusaders against the Albigensians, see
Dutton, ‘Aspects’, especially pp. 136–49.
151. HGL, viii, col. 886 (Layettes, ii, no. 1992, p. 149); cf. cols. 1206–09 for the terms imposed
upon Raymond Trencavel by Louis IX in 1247.
152. RHF, xix. 669–71, 676–7 (Regesta Honorii III, i, nos. 1615, 1820), discussed by Dutton,
‘Aspects’, pp. 201–3.
153. BNF, ms. lat. 18375, pp. 33–4 (vidimus of Anselm, bishop of Laon, of a letter of James,
the papal penitentiary, summarised in Cartulaire de l’abbaye de Saint-Michel en Thiérache, ed.
A. Piette [Vervins, 1883], no. 15): ‘veniens ad nos Egidius de Sancto Michaele nobis lacrimabiliter
exposuit quod cum quindecim annorum etatis esset diabolo instigante quidam de sociis suis quos
secum duxerat, auctoritate tamen eiusdem Egidii abbatem eiusdem loci interfecit, et licet per
manum domini R. de Curceon in Francia quondam legati ab hoc homicidio ut asserit fuerit
absolutus, et contra hereticos Albigenses in peregrinationem propter hoc profectus fuerit, et
iterum usque ad Romanam curiam fatigatus, nichilominus tamen in ipsum ab huiusmodi
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1082 the Picard baron, John de Nesle, along with his household and retinue,
temporarily escaped a sentence of excommunication that the bishop
of Noyon had imposed upon them.154 When a quarrel between the
abbey of Bonneval (dioc. Chartres) and Hugh de Loevilla was resolved
in 1227, the mediators gave Hugh a choice of penances to atone for
his offences against the abbey: he could either journey to Rome to
seek the pope’s sentence and letters of absolution in person or serve
for a year as one of the king’s paid knights in the Albigeois, returning
with the written certification of one of the nobles that he had fulfilled
these conditions.155 Hugh’s act well demonstrates how, after nearly two
decades of converging interests, the concerns of the Church and the
French monarchy had finally merged: paid service in the royal army
could count as an act of penance.
If charters emphasise the status of the Albigensian Crusade as a
pilgrimage, the documents of Capetian administration, by contrast,
depict its later campaigns as funded royal military expeditions, with
little distinction evident in the sources between the last years of the
crusade (1226–29) and subsequent operations to maintain royal
power in the Midi.156 Most of the Complaints of the Normans of 1247
concerning the Albigensian wars were associated with supplying and
homicidio absolueremus humiliter et cum lacrimis postulauit’ (Mar. 1219/20). Further penances
were imposed after Giles returned home, including sending a sergeant to the Holy Land (ultra
mare in negotio crucifixi) for six months. However, his dispute with the abbey was not resolved
until 1233 (ms. lat. 18375, pp. 34–5, act of Bishop Anselm, naming the abbot as Goubert and stating
that he had been slain in the abbey itself ). Courson’s legatine mission to France lasted from late
spring 1213 to early autumn 1215: he chiefly promoted the Albigensian Crusade between April and
August 1214, but he may have met Giles when visiting Laon in January 1215 (M. and C. Dickson,
‘Le cardinal Robert de Courson: sa vie’, Archives d’Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Âge,
ix [1934], pp. 53–142, at pp. 85–116, especially pp. 99–103, 110; see also Cole, The Preaching of the
Crusades, pp. 127–8). For papal penitentiaries, see Mansfield, The Humiliation of Sinners, p. 82.
154. W.M. Newman, Les seigneurs de Nesle en Picardie (XIIe–XIIIe siècle): leur chartes et leur
histoire (2 vols., Paris, 1971), ii. 250–52, no. 153: act of John, lord of Nesle, stating that the bishop
has relaxed the sentence at the king’s request, but only for the duration of the campaign (siege of
Avignon, 31 July 1226; cf. pp. 245–6, no. 147).
155. Chartres, AD Eure-et-Loir, H 620 (two vidimus by King Louis (Mar. 1226/7) of an act of
Guérin, bishop of Senlis and chancellor of France (same date), partly ed. in Gallia Christiana,
ix, instr., cols. 234–5): ‘Dictus Hugo de Loeuilla tenetur ire Romam infra instantem natiuitatem
Sancti Johannis Baptiste, et de absolutione sua, ac de iniuncta sibi penitentia domini pape litteras
impetrare, vel infra terminum eundem ire in Albigesium, et seruire ibi per annum sicut unus
aliorum militum qui ad domini Regis stipendia morantur ibidem, et afferre in reditu suo patentes
litteras alicuius nobilium virorum qui tunc ibi erunt, de mora, ac de seruitio eius testimonium
perhibentes’. If dated by Capetian style, this was Louis IX (Mar. 1227), not Louis VIII. The
liasse also contains acts of Hugh’s lord Geoffrey, viscount of Châteaudun, resolving this quarrel.
Chédeville, Chartres et ses campagnes, pp. 328, 550 identifies Hugh with Louasville (Eure-et-Loir,
cant. Voves, cne. Theuville), but Loisville (cant. Brou, cne. Yèvres) is much closer to Bonneval and
Châteaudun. For letters of certification for returning pilgrims and crusaders (when participating
as a penance), see Brundage, Medieval Canon Law and the Crusader, pp. 125–6.
156. E.g. RHF, xxi. 239j: 68s paid for 17 days’ service de arreragiis Albigesii (1234). Ibid., 260d
(May 1238): 6400 li. paid pro liberationibus Albigesii. RHF, xxiii. 728fg: two lost summons (c.1242)
for paid service pro Albigesio: those owing knight-service were to provide horsemen, communes of
the realm were to send foot-soldiers, abbeys were to furnish carts and royal baillis were to supply
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
paying the royal army. Two knights from the border of Normandy and
Perche alleged that their horses had perished at the siege of Avignon in
1226 while the knights were serving on royal pay, but neither man had
received any compensation.157 Three plaintiffs stated that they had not
been paid their full wages for serving in royal armies in Languedoc at
various points between the siege of Avignon in 1226 and the campaigns
preceding the fall of Montségur in 1244.158 Seven others complained
that their horses or carts had been requisitioned in Normandy or
Perche for Louis VIII’s iter of 1226: few of the beasts or carts ever came
back!159 One knight had paid for his horse, arms and harness out of his
own pocket on the royal marshal’s orders in 1228 but received no pay for
the thirty-seven days that he served.160 He also stated that while in the
king’s service in the garrison of Castelsarrasin, he and several sergeants
were forced by hunger to eat a nag of his, worth 15 livres tournois, but he
had been compensated only two livres. William of Puylaurens describes
the starving of this garrison by the count of Toulouse in 1228, but the
Querimonie Normannorum show that the Church’s forces included
recently arrived crusaders from Normandy serving for royal wages as
well as more seasoned members of the army of God.161
The Norman depositions of 1247 give a strong impression of
the later expeditions as royal campaigns organised by compulsory
military summons rather than voluntary pilgrimages, with even noble
participants serving for pay rather than for vows taken for the sake
of their souls. For the crusade after 1219, historians have had to rely
heavily upon William de Puylaurens’ much later chronicle and so the
Complaints are a useful additional source for that period, and they
demonstrate a significant gap between the views of the monarchy and
of many of the participants as to the nature and purpose of the crusade.
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? IV
Histories of the Albigensian Crusade have made relatively little use of
documentary sources for these expeditions and so they have had little
to say about the nature of participation in the campaigns or the identity
of participants, especially the forty-day crusaders. Fascinated by the
polemical tone and rich detail of the main narrative texts, historians
157. QN, nos. 531 (Robert de Portes), 539 (Payn de Champeaux). Robert was serving on royal
pay in the familia of the Norman baron Fulk d’Aunou; Payn stated that the royal marshal had
determined his horse’s value.
158. QN, nos. 500 (Hugh de Montaigu, 1228), 301 (William Poucin, c.1243), 500 (Baldwin des
Monts, c.1243, ‘cum ivisset compulsus ad partes Albigenses ad denarios regis’); all had served under
the royal marshal Humbert de Beaujeu.
159. QN, nos. 38, 77, 117, 157, 168, 230, 543.
160. QN, no. 500 (Hugh de Montaigu).
161. QN, no. 500 (Castelsarrasin, Tarn-et-Garonne, ch.-lieu de l’arr.): Guillaume de Puylaurens,
Chronique, pp. 134–6; William of Puylaurens, tr. Sibly and Sibly, pp. 76–7.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ?
1084 have largely turned to other sources only from the death of Simon de
Montfort onwards, but, even then, acts from the South of France and
royal and papal archives have been privileged at the expense of charters
and inquests from the principal homelands of the crusaders. These
are not the only neglected sources for participation in the Albigensian
Crusade; so, too, are hagiographies and miracle stories, which offer
another set of views of the crusade and the identity of its participants
and also deserve separate study.162 Yet, the non-narrative sources offer
a useful corollary to, and check upon, the writings of Peter des Vauxde-Cernay and the Canso. This is well demonstrated by statistics. For
the present study, about 430 members of the crusading armies have
been identified. The two main narrative sources identify about 220 of
these, with at least thirty people appearing in both texts: approximately
seventy are known only from Peter des Vaux-de-Cernay’s History,
and about 120 only from the Canso.163 Charters, letters and inquests
mention about 250 participants in the Albigensian Crusade, of whom
around forty are named in narrative sources. Hence more than 200
participants—nearly half of the known crusaders—are known from
documentary sources alone. As we have seen, they also provide valuable
evidence for contemporary understandings of the crusade and of its
We can look at these documents from another perspective. If we
consider the body of medieval crusading charters as a whole, the
Albigensian Crusade appears as a major crusading experience for the
162. For hagiographies, see, for example Acta Sanctorum Bollandiana (68 vols., Antwerp,
1643–1940), Septembris, viii, col. 220 (anonymous vita of Blessed John de Montmirail by a monk
of Longpont), describing how the saint allegedly attempted to sell his woods in the diocese of
Cambrai for 7000 li. to pay for his participation in the Albigensian expedition (probably in
1209 or 1210), but his wife refused to give her consent to the sale and dissuaded him from his
peregrinatio. For the challenges and potential of hagiographies as sources for historical events,
see F. Lifshitz, ‘Beyond Positivism and Genre: “Hagiographical” Texts as Historical Narrative’,
Viator, xxv (1994), pp. 95–113. For miracle stories, see, for example BNF, ms. lat. 11832, fos.
20r–v (‘Mirabile miraculum matris Domini de Iohanne clerico cui abcisa ab Albigensibus lingua
dedit Cluniaci nouam), relating that ten common soldiers (decem de plebe) returning from the
crusade—apparently the first expedition of 1209—were ambushed by brigands near Béziers, and
most were slain: a subdeacon called John de Saint-Denis-sur-Loire (Loir-et-Cher, cant. Blois1), but described as of Breton origin, had his tongue cut out, but it was restored through the
Virgin Mary’s intercession while he was convalescing at the abbey of Cluny at Epiphany (probably
1211, n.s.). A shorter version of this story appears in the collection of exempla compiled by the
Dominican inquisitor Stephen de Bourbon (d. c.1261): Anecdotes historiques, légendes et apologues,
tirés du recueil inédit d’Étienne de Bourbon, ed. A. Lecoy de la Marche (Paris, 1877), p. 97,
discussed by S. Hamilton, ‘The Virgin Mary in Cathar Thought’, Journal of Ecclesiastical History,
lvi (2005), pp. 24–49, at p. 26. For such narratives as sources for crusading, see M. Bull, ‘Views
of Muslims and of Jerusalem in Miracle Stories, c.1000–c.1200: Reflections on the Study of First
Crusaders’ Motivations’, in Bull and Housley, eds., The Experience of Crusading: 1, pp. 13–38,
especially pp. 25–32; for miracles of the Virgin and Cluniac miracle stories, see B. Ward, Miracles
and the Medieval Mind (London, 1982), pp. 132–65, 192–4.
163. These figures are necessarily approximate because of the difficulties of confirming the
identities of many of those named, especially in the Canso; they also exclude the small number
known only from other narrative sources.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)
French aristocracy. For an earlier age that was less reliant upon the
written word, Jonathan Riley-Smith has identified about 800 certain,
probable and possible participants in the First Crusade from narratives
and charters.164 For the two most important early thirteenth-century
expeditions sent to recover Jerusalem, the Fourth and Fifth Crusades
(1202–4 and 1218–21), prosopographical studies that draw upon a
similar range of evidence as this study of the Albigensian Crusade have
collected approximately 300 and 1,100 known or possible participants
respectively from across western Europe.165 The identification of
well over 400 participants in the Albigensian Crusade, nearly half
of them from documentary sources alone, places it on a comparable
scale to these great enterprises, although it is true that it took place
over a much longer period. While the identified crusaders in all these
expeditions must represent only a small fraction of the total number of
participants, the presence of significant numbers of charters concerning
the Albigensian Crusade in the archival collections and cartularies of
France testifies to widespread, repeated involvement in the campaigns
against heresy across much of the kingdom. Although it is not time to
discard the Historia Albigensis or Canso as the leading sources for this
enterprise, an alternative history of the Albigensian Crusade that draws
upon these forgotten sources remains to be written.
W h o W e n t o n t h e A l b i g e n s i a n C ru s a d e ? Swansea University
D aniel P ower
164. Riley-Smith, The First Crusaders, pp. 197–238.
165. Longnon, Les compagnons de Villehardouin; Powell, Anatomy of a Crusade, pp. 207–46.
EHR, CXXVIII. 534 (October. 2013)