The Preparations of Count John I of Sées for the Third Crusade
A prospective crusader had much to accomplish before setting off on his expedition. His prolonged absence would leave his property vulnerable to encroachments or pillage; he needed to settle his debts; he required funds, horses, arms, equipment and provisions for his long journey; and he had to make arrangements for the succession to his inheritance, in case he did not return from the campaign. Consequently, one of the main types of source for the crusaders’ preparations are the charters which they issued before departure to record the regulation of such matters, as historians have long recognized.2 Yet while the charters issued by participants in the early crusades have been extensively studied and most have been published, the voluminous records from the expeditions after the Muslim recovery of Jerusalem in 1187 are much more neglected.3 The present chapter examines a number of charters issued
1 I am grateful to M. Louis Le Roc’h Morgère, former director of the Archives du Calvados, for drawing my attention to the main document discussed in this article and for supplying me with a reproduction of it, and to Kathleen Thompson for her comments upon a draft of this article. I also wish to thank the College of Arms for allowing me to publish the charter in Appendix I.