This document is an example of a traditional tax and how John used it. The barons were used to paying fees to the king when they inherited land, or married, or their children got married. This was seen as a fair exchange because they held their lands from the king. However, John could use this to his advantage. When a baron stood to gain a lot of land by marriage, the king could charge a huge amount. At the time, 20,000 marks was seen as a huge sum to pay for marriage. The situation was complicated slightly because Mandeville became much richer and more powerful as a result of this marriage, so John may have seen him as a political threat as well as trying to get money out of him. Eventually Mandeville failed or refused (we don’t know) to pay the money and John confiscated the lands of Isabel his wife).
Extract 1 from the Pipe Rolls of King John 1214
E 372/60, rot 1d m1
The National Archives
An arrangement between John and Geoffrey of Mandeville in relation to his marriage to Isabel Countess of Gloucester.
Test your understanding
When must Geoffrey de Mandeville pay the second 5,000 marks?
Very close... This is a tricky one... Why don't you go and study the source in more detail and listen to the transcript?
Excellent answer! That is correct - Mandeville had to pay the second lot of 5,000 marks by Easter!
Why does King John face rebellion?
- Is King John responsible for the rebellion?
- Are the barons responsible for the rebellion?
- It is the view of this chronicle that the great rebellion of 1215 has come about for the following reasons...