Conference at Montmirail. Epiphany Day 1169
Just a short note today, but the one that cannot be missed. On Epiphany Day 1169 Henry the Young King's father and Louis II of France held a conference at Montmirail, a town of Maine, near to the French frontier. Henry II’s three eldest sons were there, as well as Louis’s beloved Dieu-Donne [the God given] Philip [later Augustus].
According to the treaty the English princes were to hold respectively: the young Henry Normandy, Brittany, Anjou and Maine, Richard Poitou and Guienne, Geoffrey Brittany under his brother Henry. It was also agreed that Richard would marry Alais, Louis's second daughter by his late wife Constance of Castile. Alais was the young Henry's sister-in-law. Furthermore king Louis, the young Henry's father-in-law bestowed upon him the post of Seneschal of France, previously held by Theobald of Blois (the same year, on 2 February Henry, in person, would be attending Louis's table and performing his duties as required by the new position).
The next day saw the young Henry and Richard doing homage to Louis, as well as the three papal envoys* delivering to king Henry the papal letter of May, 1168, in which the Pope exhorted him to reconcile with Thomas Becket, the exiled Archbishop of Canterbury. The latter appeared before the gathering, throwing himself on the king's mercy at first, but later stubbornly insisting on "certain salvos about the dignity of his Church” and the "Honour of God” (Eyton, p.119). The negotiations broke off. King Henry left the meeting angry and king Louis, so far Becket's staunch supporter, became estranged from him for a few days.
* The envoys were: Simon, Prior of Mont Dieu, Bernard de Corilo, Monk of Granmont and Engelbert, Prior of Val St.Pierre (Eyton)