NORMANDY, a province of old France, bounded on the N.E. by the river Bresle, which falls into the Channel at Treport and separates Normandy from Picardy, and then roughly by the Epte, which divides the Vexin into two parts.
Under the feudal regime, the energy of the Norman dukes pre vented the formation of many powerful lordships, and there are few worthy of note, save the countships of Eu, Harcourt, Le Perche and Mortain. The duchy of Normandy, which was con fiscated in 1204 by King Philip Augustus of France, formed in the 16th century the gouvernement of Normandy; the extent of this gouvernement did not, as a matter of fact, correspond exactly to that of the duchy, for Le Perche, which had been part of the duchy, was annexed to the gouvernement of Maine, while the Thimerais, which had belonged to the countship of Blois, was joined to the gouvernement of Normandy. In the I7th century this gouvernement was divided into three generalites or inten dances: those of Rouen, Caen and Alencon. For judicial purposes Normandy was under the jurisdiction of the parlement of Rouen, created in 1499. Since 1791 the territory of the old duchy has composed, roughly speaking, the departments of Seine-Inferieure, Eure, Calvados, Manche and Orne.
History is here obscure. The first two dukes, Rollo and his son William "Longsword," displayed a certain fidelity to the Carolin gian dynasty, and in 936 William did homage to Louis IV. d'Outremer. He died on Dec. assassinated by the count of Flanders. During the minority of his successor, Duke Richard, King Louis IV., who was making an expedition into Normandy, was captured by the inhabitants of Rouen and handed over to Hugh the Great. From this time onwards the dukes of Normandy began to enter into relations with the dukes of France; and in 958 Duke Richard married Hugh the Great's daughter. He died in 996. At the beginning of the reign of his son, Richard II. (996-1026), there was a rising of the peasants, who formed assemblies with a view to establishing fresh laws for the management of the for ests. This attempt at insurrection, described by William of Ju mieges, and treated by many historians, on the authority of the poet Wace, as a sort of democratic movement, was put down with an iron hand. Richard III. reigned from 1026-27 and Robert the Magnificent or the Devil (1027-35). In 1031 Robert supported King Henry I. of France against his brother Robert, who was lay ing claim to the throne, and in return for his services received the French Vexin. The duke died on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, leaving as his heir an illegitimate son, William, born of his union with the daughter of a tanner of Falaise and left under the pro tection of the king. In 1047 Henry I. had to defend the young duke against an army of rebellious nobles, whom he succeeded in beating at Val-es-dunes. In the following year the king of France was in his turn supported by the duke of Normandy in his struggle against Geoffrey Martel, count of Anjou; the two allies besieged Mouliherne (1048) ; and the war was continued between the duke of Normandy and the count of Anjou by the siege of Alencon, which was taken by Geoffrey Martel, then retaken by William, and that of Domfront, which in 1049 had to surrender to Duke William.