Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Henry III of England, King of England

Henry III of England, King of England[1, 2]

Male 1207 - 1272  (65 years)

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  • Name Henry III of England 
    Arms of Plantagenet
    Arms of Plantagenet
    Suffix King of England 
    Born 1 Oct 1207  Winchester Castle, Winchester, Hampshire Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 4
    Winchester Castle
    Winchester Castle
    Hampshire, England
    Gender Male 
    Title 28 Oct 1216  Gloucester Abbey, Gloucester, Gloucestershire Find all individuals with events at this location  [3, 5, 6, 7
    Military Mar 1250 -1254  Aquitaine, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Gascony Rebellion 
    • Took the cross. Henry's departure had to wait, however, as he fought to keep the duchy of Aquitaine, then in rebellion, in the English fold. His brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, was the acting governor there and his imperious manner had stirred up resentment among the local magnates. This led to a very public row between Henry and Leicester. The king of Castile also found the occasion ripe for meddling. The resulting negotiations led to the betrothal of his half-sister to Henry's son, Edward.
    Political 30 Apr 1258  Westminster Palace, Westminster, London Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    • The king was confronted by an armed retinue led by Earls Roger Bigod, Richard de Clare, and Simon de Montford. The group demanded that a council of twenty-four be appointed to offer reforms. The king acceded to their demand and promptly appointed, for his part, the Lusignans, in-laws who were the reason for dissatisfaction. This aggravated the magnates and set the stage for the Provisions of Oxford.
    Political 22 Jun 1258  Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    The Provisions of Oxford 
    • The Provisions of Oxford were adopted in parilament, requiring regular callings of parliament and a royal council that effectively stripped the executive power of the king.
    Military 14 May 1264  Lewes, East Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Battle of Lewes 
    Battle of Lewes
    Battle of Lewes
    In the Second Barons' War, the Battle of Lewes was the high water mark in the career of Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester. Leicester had become the focus of reform of royal power since the adoption of the Provisions of Oxford in 1258 and power seesawed between court and country during the years that followed. At Lewes, Leicester's smaller force was able to defeat Henry when Prince Edward chased a contingent of Leicester's force from the field, exposing his father's flank. The royals were bagged and Henry was reduced to Simon's cipher, at least until the wheel turned at Evesham.
    Military 4 Aug 1265  Evesham, Worcestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Battle of Evesham 
    • Prince Edward defeats Montfort, ending the reforms of the Provisions of Oxford., and freeing his father. Montfort was killed in the fighting.
    Political 25 Sep 1267  Montgomery, Montgomeryshire, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Treaty of Montgomery 
    • Henry surrendered the Four Cantrefs of Perfeddwlad, and Builth to the Welsh and acknowledged Llyewelyn's supremacy in Wales as prince of Wales. [11]
    Also Known As Henry of Winchester 
    Died 16 Nov 1272  Westminster Palace, Westminster, London Find all individuals with events at this location  [12, 13, 14
    Buried Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Henry III of England
    Henry III of England
    Westminster Abbey
    Henry III of England
    Henry III of England
    Westminster Abbey
    Westminster Abbey
    Westminster Abbey
    • HENRY III (1207-1272), called Henry of Winchester, king of England, elder son of John [q. v.] by his queen Isabella [q. v.] of Angoulême, was born at Winchester on 1 Oct. 1207, and was named after his grandfather, Henry II (Wendover, iii. 219; Ann. Winton. p. 80). In 1209 his father caused an oath of fealty to be taken to him throughout England. When John lay on his deathbed at Newark in October 1216 he again declared him his heir, and all present took an oath to him. John's death on the 18th completely changed the position of the two contending parties in England [see under John, king]. The king's adherents may be said to have become the constitutional party, while the barons of the opposition ceased to appear as the upholders of the national cause against an intolerable tyrant, and were committed to an attempt to deprive an innocent child of his inheritance, and to place a foreign prince, Louis of France, on the throne. A similar change was effected in the relations between the kingdom and the papacy. Innocent III had used his suzerainty to quash the great charter of liberties; Honorius III, who had just succeeded him, was, as the proper guardian of the heir to the throne, bound to protect the kingdom. Gualo, the pope's legate, caused Henry to be crowned without delay. The ceremony took place at Gloucester on the 28th, and in the absence of Stephen Langton, archbishop of Canterbury, of the Archbishop of York, and of the Bishop of London, the crown was placed on the king's head by Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, in the presence of a small number of bishops and barons; the crown used was a plain hoop of gold, the crown of the kingdom no doubt being out of reach at the moment (Ann. Dunst. p. 48; Wykes, p. 60; Wendover, iv. 2). All present did homage to the young king, and he did homage to his suzerain the pope in the person of the legate. A council was summoned to meet at Bristol on 11 Nov., and was largely attended by bishops and barons of the king's party, who swore fealty to him. The lords chose as regent William Marshall, earl of Pembroke, with the title of ?rector regis et regni,? gave him charge of the king's person, and associated with him as his chief counsellors the legate and the Poitevin bishop of Winchester (cf. Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 329; Constitutional History, ii. 20). Henry remained at Bristol until after Christmas, and thence went to Oxford, where a council of his party was held in the middle of January. He received tuition from Philip of Albini, who did his duty faithfully (Wendover, iv. 75). On 20 May Louis's army was totally defeated by William Marshall and the Earl of Chester at Lincoln. The probability that Louis would receive reinforcements from France vanished, when towards the end of August William of Albini brought Henry news of the destruction of the French fleet by Hubert de Burgh [q. v.] [for account of the fight], for which he offered up thanksgiving. He accompanied the regent to the siege of London, and went with him to Kingston, where a peace was arranged which was finally settled at Lambeth on 11 Sept. All on the side of Louis were to swear fealty to Henry, and all places occupied by the French, special mention being made of the Channel islands, were to be surrendered and all hostages were to be restored (F?dera, I. i. 148, the articles were sealed first by Gualo, as representing the pope, then by the king, and thirdly by the regent). A sum of 10,000l. was promised to Louis nominally in payment of his expenses, and he almost immediately left England. Progress was made in the work of restoring order. The legate, the regent, and the chief justiciar, Hubert de Burgh [q. v.], were loyal and capable; the legate, although greedy, worked heartily with William Marshall (for a harsher estimate of Gualo see introduction to Royal Letters, ed. Shirley). Many lords and Alexander II of Scotland did homage to the king. Henry spent Christmas at Northampton, where the expenses of the court were borne by Falkes de Breauté [q. v.] In the following autumn the council decreed that no charter or grant should be sealed to hold good longer than the king's minority (F?dera, i. 152), and probably at the same time (6 Nov.) the king's seal was first used (Ann. Wav. p. 291). Gualo left England on the 23rd, and his place as legate was taken by Pandulf [see under John], a meddlesome and imperious intriguer, who upheld the interests of the foreign party in the kingdom. Henry spent Christmas at Winchester, the bishop, Peter des Roches, bearing the expenses of the court. In May 1219 the regent died, after having secured the king's position, established order, and given permanence to the liberties guaranteed in the Great charter. No one was appointed exactly to fill his place; the care of the king's person being in the hands of Bishop Peter, a bold, clever, and unscrupulous man, while the foremost place in the council was filled by the justiciar. On 20 July the peace between England and France was renewed, and on 3 March 1220 a truce was arranged to last for four years (F?dera, i. 156, 158).

      In accordance with the pope's directions Henry was crowned at Westminster by Stephen Langton on Whitsunday, 17 May 1220, in the presence of a large number of prelates and barons, and again repeated the coronation oath ({[sc|Walter of Coventry}}, ii. 244). This second coronation proclaimed that the king's government was fully established. In his French dominions constant quarrels went on between his subjects and the subjects of Philip II, and were apparently fomented by Louis. In the spring his mother Isabella announced to him her marriage with Hugh of Lusignan, count of La Marche, and as the king refused to satisfy a demand which she and her husband made in respect of her dower from her late husband, the count made war on some of Henry's possessions in Poitou (Royal Letters, i. 22, 25, 134, 155; F?dera, i. 169; Bernard of Limoges). A truce was made in the autumn. At home there was a division in the council; Hubert de Burgh endeavoured to put the executive, and especially the custody of castles, in the hands of Englishmen, and was supported by Archbishop Langton, while Peter des Roches and the Poitevins were determined to place all offices in the hands of foreigners. The royal castles were in the hands of the men who had received them from John, many of them foreigners, and their power endangered the royal authority (Constitutional Hist. ii. 32). Honorius commanded that the king's castles and domains should be surrendered (Royal Letters, i. 121, 535), and on the day after the coronation their holders swore to obey the command. Henry was taken by his governors to receive the surrenders, and in the course of his progress met Alexander II of Scotland at York on 11 June, and agreed to give him his sister Joan in marriage. At Rockingham William of Aumale refused to give up his castle; its surrender was enforced and another of his castles was taken on the 28th. Henry then went to Canterbury and was present at the translation of St. Thomas on 7 July. He kept the Christmas festival at Oxford in, as it seemed, profound peace. William of Aumale, however, suddenly left the court, and began a revolt by making war on his neighbours from his castle at Biham in Lincolnshire. Several powerful lords secretly sent the earl help. In company with the legate and the Earl of Chester, Henry marched to Biham, and the castle was taken on 2 Feb. 1221. At midsummer he spent four days at York, and married his sister to the Scottish king. Langton obtained a promise from the pope that no more legates should be sent to England during his life, and Pandulf was recalled in July. Soon afterwards Peter des Roches left the kingdom on a pilgrimage. The foreign party which was represented by the bishop had evidently been defeated, and Hubert de Burgh gained the absolute direction of the royal policy. He had many difficulties to face. In Ireland the king's power seems to have been declining, and on the Welsh border there was constant war. After some attempts to persuade Llewelyn ap Iorwerth [q. v.] to keep the peace, Henry was taken to relieve Builth, in the present Brecon, and a castle was built at Montgomery (Wendover, iv. 71; F?dera, i. 166). A more serious danger arose from the insubordination of a party among the baronage, and their constant endeavours to thwart the justiciar and set up a state of anarchy. In the course of an insurrection raised in London in 1222 there were signs that a large body of the citizens felt no attachment to the king, and were ready to welcome another French invasion [see under Breaté, Falkes de]. Henry held a council at London in the second week of January 1223, at which Langton required him to confirm the Great charter, and a dispute arose between the archbishop and William Brewer [q. v.] on the subject. The king ended the scene by declaring his intention to abide by the charter, and sent letters to all the sheriffs commanding them to hold an inquest as to the liberties enjoyed in the days of his grandfather, and to send the return to London. In April the pope, probably in order to deprive the malcontent barons of all excuse for rebellion, declared that the king, though not of full age, was of an age to assume the government, and charged all who had the custody of the royal castles to deliver them up (Royal Letters, i. 430).

      The war which was perpetually going on between Llewelyn and the lords of the marches now became of more than usual importance, for the Welsh prince received supplies from the discontented party in England, and acted on their prompting. The success of Llewelyn drew the king to Worcester, where he held a great council. His army met at Gloucester, entered Wales, and Llewelyn was compelled to make peace. At the close of the campaign an attempt was made by Randulph de Blundevill [q. v.], earl of Chester, William of Aumale, and other lords, to surprise the Tower of London, for they were determined to overthrow the justiciar before he could compel them to surrender the royal castles. On hearing that the king was approaching they abandoned their design and retired to Waltham. Some of them appeared before the king and demanded the dismissal of the justiciar. At Christmas 1223 Henry held his court at Northampton, while the malcontents assembled at Leicester; the archbishop interfered, and by threats and persuasions prevailed on them to make peace with the king and place all that they held in charge in his hand (Ann. Dunst. pp. 83, 84). In the September of this year John of Brienne, king of Jerusalem, visited Henry and received many rich gifts from the king and the nobles. A general contribution for the crusade was demanded, but it is probable that the money was not paid. In July Philip II of France died, and was succeeded by his son Louis VIII. Henry sent ambassadors to the new king to demand the restoration of Normandy and the other ancient possessions of his house, apparently on the ground that they were covered by the provision for restoration of lands in the treaty of Lambeth. In reply Louis alleged several causes of grievance (Wendover, iv. 86); and when the truce ended in May 1224 invaded Poitou and Gascony, and the English lost nearly all the French provinces. On 16 June Henry held a council at Northampton to consider the state of Poitou, but nothing came of it, for Falkes de Breauté revolted, and the king was occupied in besieging his castle at Bedford until 14 Aug. The fall of Falkes [see under Breauté, Falkes de] put an end to the power of the foreign adventurers brought into the kingdom by John (Constitutional History, ii. 36).

      Matters were still going badly in Ireland, for Hugh de Lacy, who had helped Llewelyn in his last war, was gaining great power, and it was rumoured that a Norwegian invasion was probable (Royal Letters, i. 219). The rest of the year was taken up with preparations for an expedition to France. Henry kept Christmas 1224 at Westminster, and there asked an aid for the war. Hitherto the taxation had chiefly been by way of scutage, and levies of this kind had been made for the siege of Biham in 1221, for the Welsh war of 1223, and for the siege of Bedford (Constitutional History, ii. 36). On this occasion the justiciar asked for a fifteenth of all moveables both from clergy and laity. In return the king confirmed the charters, stating that he did so ?of his own motion and goodwill,? a somewhat dangerous precedent (ib. p. 37). Having knighted his brother Richard in February 1225, and created him Earl of Cornwall and Count of Poitou, he sent him and William, earl of Salisbury, in March with an army to Gascony, where Bordeaux still remained faithful to him. The earls soon reduced the whole of Gascony to submission (F?dera, i. 177; Wendover, iv. 100). Towards the end of 1225 a papal envoy named Otho visited England, and tried to persuade Henry to pardon Falkes de Breauté, but was unsuccessful. He also told the king that he had come to demand that a prebend should be assigned to the pope in every cathedral church, and a like provision from every bishopric, from every abbacy, and from every monastery. Henry replied that the matter must be laid before the great men. After spending Christmas at Winchester he removed to Marlborough, and there fell dangerously ill. He sent to the council of prelates held at Westminster on 13 Jan. 1226, bidding them not to grant the envoy's demands, which were finally set aside with an excuse. On his recovery Henry was eager to invade France. As, however, Louis was at war with the Count of Toulouse and the Albigensian heretics, Pope Honorius wrote to him on 27 April forbidding him to make an alliance, which he was then negotiating with Count Raymond, or to go to war with the French king (Recueil des Historiens, xix. 772). He laid the letter before the magnates, and they decided that the expedition should be postponed. On 8 Nov. 1226 Louis VIII died, and on the accession of his son Louis IX, who was a minor, many lords of the great fiefs began to conspire against the regent, Queen Blanche. Henry took advantage of this, and sent embassies to the nobles of Normandy, Anjou, Brittany, and Poitou, urging his claims. With the Duke of Brittany, Peter of Dreux, he was already in alliance, and in December he satisfied the demands of the Count de la Marche, and made a treaty with the viscount of Thouars (F?dera, i. 183). On 8 Jan. 1227 he held a council at Oxford, where, by the advice of Hubert de Burgh, he declared that he was of full age, and dismissed Peter des Roches and his other governors. Taking an unfair advantage of the ordinance of the council of 1218 relating to grants in perpetuity, he declared that all charters granted during his minority needed confirmation; and he also threatened to quash the forest charter. A large sum was paid for the renewal of charters, a heavy tallage was laid upon the towns, and the clergy were forced to pay the fifteenth which had been demanded at Christmas 1224. During the minority of Henry the permanent council of the king's advisers, consisting of the great officers of state, with certain bishops and lords, appears as a body distinct from the king's court, and from the common council of the kingdom. It was ?continual,? and from it descend the later privy council and the still later cabinet. There is reason to believe that in some cases the great officers of state were, during the minority, appointed in the common council, which must to some extent have brought in the idea of a responsible ministry (Const. Hist. ii. 40, 41).

      With a view to securing allies in the event of a war with France, Henry entered into several negotiations for his own marriage, sending ambassadors to treat for Iolenta, daughter of Peter, duke of Brittany, for Margaret, daughter of Leopold VI, duke of Austria, and for a daughter of Premysl, king of Bohemia (F?dera, i. 176, 180, 185; Royal Letters, i. 252, 295; Ann. Wigorn. p. 240). He also treated for alliances with the Emperor Frederick II, with Lewis, duke of Bavaria, and with the princes of the empire. The ambassadors whom he had sent to the French lords, however, returned in April, and announced that the Duke of Brittany, the Count of La Marche, and other malcontent lords had, on 16 March, made peace with Louis, and that their embassy had therefore failed; the truce was renewed with France in July until the following midsummer. In the same month the king had a violent quarrel with his brother, Richard of Cornwall, about the earl's right to a manor. Henry thought of seizing his person, but Richard, warned of his intention, fled from the court, and at Stamford was joined by William Marshall, the Earl of Chester, and other earls, with a large force. The confederates sent to the king demanding justice, imputing his action to the justiciar, and bidding him with threats restore the forest liberties. A meeting was arranged for 2 Aug. at Northampton, and there the king yielded to their demands, was reconciled to Richard, and gave him large grants (Wendover, iv. 141). Henry held his Christmas court this year at York. In August 1228, hearing that Llewelyn was besieging the castle of Montgomery, he marched thither with a small force and relieved it. He burnt the Cistercian abbey of Kerry, which the Welsh used as a place of arms, and began to build a castle there. While the work was in progress the Welsh attacked his men, slew many of them, and took William of Braose a prisoner. Provisions failed, and it is said that many in his army were secretly well-wishers of Llewelyn. At last, after wasting nearly three months, Henry made a disgraceful peace, and left William in the hands of the Welsh. A scutage of two marks was levied for this campaign. On the death of Stephen Langton in July 1228, the king was displeased at the election of Walter Eynsham by the monks of Canterbury, and used his influence with Gregory IX to get it quashed; the pope virtually gave the see to Richard Grant [q. v.], and in 1229 took advantage of Langton's death to demand a tenth of all property (ib. p. 201; Matt. Paris, iii. 128; but Ann. Theok. p. 73, and other authorities incorrectly limit the demand to the property of the clergy, see Const. Hist. ii. 42). Henry held a council of his tenants in chief at Westminster on 29 April 1229 to consider the demand; the clergy yielded, the lords resisted, the king, to whom all looked to support them in resistance, kept silence, for he had already agreed to the pope's scheme in order to get his way about the archbishopric. The pope's collector, Stephen, raised the money from the clergy; and his exactions excited general indignation.

      While Henry was keeping the Christmas of 1228 at Oxford, a message was brought to him from the nobles of Normandy, Poitou, and other parts of the former possessions of the crown in France, inviting him to invade the kingdom; but he deferred action by the advice of the justiciar, who was always in favour of peace. At Michaelmas he gathered his forces at Portsmouth, but on the point of embarking found that he had not enough ships, and fell into a great rage with the justiciar [see under Burgh, Hubert de]. Soon after this the Duke of Brittany visited him and advised him to put off his expedition until Easter; he restored to the duke his rights in England, received his homage, and gave him five thousand marks for the defence of Brittany. Christmas (1229) he again spent at York in company with Alexander of Scotland. A scutage of three marks was levied, a tax was laid upon the towns, and the Jews had to pay a third of their goods for the expenses of the forthcoming expedition. Henry embarked at Portsmouth with a large force on 30 April 1230, stayed in Guernsey on 2 May, and on the 3rd landed at St. Malo, where the Duke of Brittany met him (Royal Letters, i. 363, 364). On the 8th he proceeded to Dinant and thence to Nantes, where he hoped to meet his mother and the Count of La Marche. Several of the most powerful feudatories in France were hostile to the French crown, and Henry might have done much mischief if he had possessed any ability, military or diplomatic. As it was the French king marched with a large army to Angers in order to shut him out from Poitou, and, while Henry remained at Nantes waiting for reinforcements, to Oudon, a castle about four leagues distant. Many of the Breton nobles did homage to Henry, while some fortified their castles against him. The Poitevin lords generally did him homage, though the Count of La Marche showed some hesitation, and the Viscount of Thouars took the side of Louis. Towards the end of June, the French army being engaged elsewhere, Henry marched by way of Anjou, taking the castle of Mirebeau late in July, into Poitou and thence into Gascony, where he received many homages. He then marched back to Brittany, and after staying for several weeks at Nantes, where he and his lords wasted a vast amount of money in luxurious living, he returned to England, landing at Portsmouth on 27 Oct. 1230, having left a small force under the Duke of Brittany and the Earl of Chester, to act against the French in Normandy and Brittany (Wendover, iv. 917; F?dera, i. 197, 198).

      The failure of this expedition increased Henry's feeling of alienation from the justiciar (Royal Letters, i. 379). After keeping Christmas at Lambeth, where the justiciar entertained the court, Henry held a council of his tenants in chief at Westminster on 27 Jan. 1231, and asked for a scutage of three marks for the expedition of the previous year from all fees lay and clerical. The grant was opposed by Richard of Canterbury and the bishops, who declared that no scutage could be granted without their consent. The difficulty was overcome, and the king issued letters patent affirming the liberties of the clergy (ib. p. 394). In the spring Henry quarrelled with the Archbishop of Canterbury about a fief, and the archbishop went to Rome [see under Grant, Richard]. The king was much grieved at hearing of the death of William Marshall, which took place on 15 April 1231, and exclaimed, ?Woe, woe is me! is not the blood of the blessed martyr Thomas fully avenged yet?? (Matt. Paris, iii. 201). The death of the earl, who guarded the Welsh border, was followed by a fresh outbreak of the Welsh. Henry marched against them, and they at once retreated; but on his departure Llewelyn invaded the lands of the marchers. Henry summoned his forces to meet him at Oxford in July, and advanced to Hereford, Llewelyn's army being near Montgomery. He met with no success, and was deceived and out-generalled by the Welsh. He rebuilt and garrisoned Maud's Castle in the present Radnorshire, which had been destroyed by the enemy. While there he was visited by the Duke of Brittany and the Earl of Chester, who had been carrying on war with Louis IX, and had finally made a three years' truce between the two kings. With them came Richard Marshall, who claimed his brother's lands. Henry refused, and accused him of treacherous dealings with the French. But when the earl made arrangements to take forcible possession of his inheritance, the king restored him his rights. Henry returned to England in October 1231; he had some thoughts of marrying a daughter of the Scottish king, but was dissuaded by the Earl of Chester, on the ground that the justiciar had already married the elder daughter, and that it would not be seemly for him to take the younger. He spent Christmas at Winchester with Peter des Roches, who, lately come back from the crusade, had quickly regained his influence over him. The breach between the king and the justiciar was widened meanwhile by the rumour that Hubert was concerned in a series of attacks made on the persons and property of the papal agents and other Roman clerks; for Henry was devoted to the papacy, which had been his early protector. At a council at Westminster on 7 March 1232 the barons refused an aid for the Welsh war, on the plea that they had served in person, while the prelates objected, because some of their number were absent. The Welsh renewed their ravages, and Henry complained that he was too poor to stop them. By the advice of Bishop Peter he made a change in his ministers, and on 29 July dismissed Hubert, to whom he attributed all his difficulties, from the justiciarship, and gave it to Stephen Segrave. He brought a series of charges against Hubert, who fled to sanctuary, and was after a time taken and imprisoned [see under Burgh, Hubert de]. With the fall of the justiciar ?Henry's own administration of government begins,? and during the next twenty-six years he gave abundant proofs of his ?insincerity and incapacity? (Const. Hist. ii. 43).

      In September 1232 the king held a council at Lambeth, and obtained the grant of a fortieth on all moveables, except spiritualities, for the payment of his debts to the Duke of Brittany. At Christmas he completed the change in the administration by turning out all his English officers and replacing them by Poitevins. The predominance of the Poitevins offended the nobles at home, and was unacceptable to Rome. It partly explains the renewed papal interference in the election to the see of Canterbury, when, after the death of Richard Grant, three archbishops-elect were set aside by Pope Gregory [see Blund, John le]. By the death of the Earl of Chester in October 1232 the baronage lost their leader; his place was taken by Richard Marshall, who, in 1233, told the king that if he chose to have Poitevins as his advisers he and the nobles generally would withdraw from his court. Henry was frightened and answered meekly; but the Bishop of Winchester spoke saucily to the earl, and he and his associates left in anger. Henry summoned his lords to a council at Oxford on 24 June, but they refused to attend. He was violently angry, and took counsel with his courtiers. The lawyers advised that the lords should be summoned three times, and a council was called to meet at Westminster on 5 July. To Henry's dismay the associated nobles refused to come to Westminster. By Bishop Peter's advice he summoned all to attend at a conference on 14 Aug. on pain of being declared traitors. Many came and were won over by bribes. Richard Marshall and a few others who believed that the king designed to seize them stayed away, and nothing was settled. Henry and the bishop had, however, sent for a number of foreign troops, and determined to compel the lords to submission. The king gathered his military tenants at Gloucester on 17 Aug. 1233; was joined at Hereford by the Poitevin mercenaries, and ravaged the lands of the associated lords, obtaining possession of the earl-marshal's castle (at Usk?) by a disgraceful piece of deceit on 2 Oct. (Wendover, iv. 268?73; Matt. Paris, iii. 241?9). He held a council at Westminster on 9 Oct., and there all present besought him to make peace with his lords, the Franciscan and Dominican friars to whom he generally paid deference urging the wrong he was doing in thus wasting the lands of nobles who had not been judged by their peers. Bishop Peter answered for him with the insolent remark that there were no peers in England as there were in France. On this the bishops threatened to excommunicate the king's evil counsellors by name. Henry now again proceeded to Gloucester on 2 Nov., and invaded the lands of the earl-marshal. Richard retook his castle, and though he would not fight against the king, his allies, Welsh and English, despoiled the royal camp at Grosmont on 11 Nov. Henry returned to Gloucester, and on the 25th the mercenary captain whom he left in command was defeated with great loss before Monmouth Castle. On 22 Dec. the king offered terms to the earl without result. A few days later, while he was still at Gloucester, another body of his troops was defeated by the earl. Thereupon he went to Winchester, and entered into a truce with the earl. At a conference with the magnates which he held at Westminster on 2 Feb. 1234, the bishops, with Edmund Rich, the archbishop-elect of Canterbury, at their head, made a formal complaint to him of Bishop Peter and his other evil counsellors, and of the ill-government of the kingdom, and declared that, if he did not amend matters shortly, they would, when the archbishop was consecrated, proceed to spiritual censures. He answered humbly and asked for time. Then he went by St. Edmund's to Bromholm to pray before the holy cross there, and as he came back through Huntingdon the associated lords fired Alconbury, a town belonging to Stephen Segrave, his chief justiciar, in the immediate neighbourhood. On 9 April the archbishop came to the council at Westminster, attended by his suffragans, and threatened Henry with excommunication. He gave way, sent Bishop Peter to his diocese, and dismissed the bishop's nephew, Peter de Rievaulx, from the treasurership with passionate reproaches. All the Poitevins were driven from the court, and he sent the archbishop to make terms with the earl-marshal. He had no part in the wicked plot which led to the earl's destruction, and was grieved when he heard of his death. He was reconciled to the other lords, and among them to Hubert de Burgh, who had escaped from confinement and joined the earl-marshal, and he called his late ministers to account, imprisoning Peter de Rievaulx for a while in the Tower. From this time he filled the ministerial offices with men of scarcely higher rank than clerks, and became his own minister.

      Although he had sent some help to Peter of Brittany in May, when the truce with France ended he refused to go to his succour, and the count therefore withdrew his homage and gave up some places which he held for Henry to Louis. Henry was anxious for peace with France, for Louis was growing more powerful. The Count of La Marche hindered the arrangements for a truce by demanding the Isle of Oléron, which the English nobles would not allow the king to surrender. Finally the matter was settled in July 1235 by the grant of an annuity to the count in lieu of the island (Royal Letters, i. 476), and a five years' truce was made in the following February (F?dera, i. 221). In May 1235 the king sent his sister Isabella to be married to the emperor Frederic II, who promised to help him against the French king. A marriage was also arranged between Henry and Joan, daughter of Simon de Dammartin, count of Ponthieu, but though the negotiations were completed, the count was persuaded by the French king to change his mind (ib. pp. 216, 218; Matt. Paris, iii. 328). Before this match was broken off Henry wrote on 22 June to Amadeus IV, count of Savoy, proposing marriage with his niece, Eleanor, daughter of Raymond Berenger IV, count of Provence [see Eleanor of Provence]. Her elder sister, Margaret, had lately been married to Louis IX. She was brought over to England by her uncle William, bishop-elect of Valence, and was married to the king at Canterbury by Archbishop Edmund on 14 Jan. 1236. As soon as the marriage festivities in London were over, Henry went to a great council held at Merton on the 28th, at which the celebrated assize of Merton was passed (Stat. Merton, 20 Hen. III, c. 9, ap. Statutes at Large, i. 31; Stubbs, Lectures, p. 351). William of Valence at once gained complete influence over the king, and it was believed that he and eleven others had formed themselves into a kind of secret council, and that the king had sworn to be guided by them (Ann. Dunst. p. 146). Indignation waxed so hot that Henry took shelter in the Tower. The nobles refused to attend him there. He therefore returned to Westminster, and consented to appoint a new set of sheriffs sworn to take no bribes. However, he made several changes in his household, apparently by the advice of the foreign clique, and recalled to court two of his late ministers, Stephen Segrave and Robert Passelew. Later in the year Henry went to York, where an attempt was made to settle the claim of the King of Scots on the Northumbrian districts. He was in want of money, and had lately been forced to pay the emperor the portion assigned to Isabella on her marriage. Accordingly at a council of nobles and prelates held at Westminster on 13 Jan. 1237, his clerk, William of Raleigh, requested an aid, offering on his behalf that the money when collected should be paid over to a com- mittee of magnates, to be spent by them on the necessary expenses of the kingdom. The demand was ill received, and the king promised with an oath that if he obtained a thirtieth he would cease to quarrel with or molest his nobles; offered to authorise the excommunication of all who infringed the charters; and took three lords nominated by the magnates into his council. He obtained the aid, but continued to follow the guidance of William of Valence, and to lavish gifts on him and other foreigners. Further offence was given to the magnates, and specially to Archbishop Edmund, by his inviting the pope to send the legate Otho into England. Edmund rebuked him, but he went to meet Otho on landing, and knelt before him. His brother Richard chided him severely for his subservience to the pope and the legate, and for the favour which he showed to certain unpopular councillors, among whom was Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester. On 14 Sept. he held a council at York, and there by the mediation of Otho a final agreement was made with Alexander of Scotland, who gave up his claims on the northern districts in consideration of receiving Penrith and other manors, of the value of 200l. a year, in Northumberland and Cumberland, to be held of the English king by the service of delivering a goshawk each year at Carlisle Castle. This agreement was carried out in 1242 (F?dera, i. 233).

      On 7 Jan. 1238 Henry was present at the secret marriage of Simon, earl of Leicester, to his sister Eleanor, the widowed countess of Pembroke. The wealth and power which this marriage gave an alien, as Simon was, roused the anger of the magnates, and Richard of Cornwall again reproached Henry for his action in the matter, and for giving his ward, Richard of Clare, in marriage to the daughter of John de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, another of his friends, without asking the assent of his lords. The matter was taken up by nobles and people alike, and specially by the citizens of London. Earl Richard took arms, but the king was persuaded to appoint a conference for 2 Feb. He agreed to submit to the requisitions of a body of prudent councillors. A scheme of reform was drawn up, and received the assent of the legate and the rest of the magnates. All, however, ended in nothing, because Earl Richard deserted the cause of reform. While the king was at Abingdon on 12 March the legate came to him complaining of the treatment of his servants by Oxford students. He accordingly sent an armed force to Oxford to protect the legate. On 22 April he allowed the emperor of the East, Baldwin II, who had come to England against his wish, to enter London. He entertained him at Woodstock, and gave him 500l. (ib. i. 235). He sent some troops to help his brother-in-law, the Emperor Frederic, in his war in Italy, and wrote to the pope on the emperor's behalf. This so angered the pope that for a while he stopped all English business in the curia. On 8 Sept. a crazy clerk, who declared that he was the rightful king, made an attempt to kill Henry in his palace at Woodstock. The man declared that he had been set on by certain persons, naming especially William de Marisco, who had been outlawed by Henry, and was living as a pirate on Lundy Island. He was pulled limb from limb by horses at Coventry.

      On the death of Peter des Roches (9 June 1238), Henry made strenuous efforts to procure the election of the bishop-elect of Valence to the vacant see of Winchester. The monks of St. Swithun's resisted; he quashed two elections which they made, and forced an alien prior on the convent. As they remained firm he kept the see vacant, took the revenues into his own hands, and spent his Christmas there. At the festival he grossly insulted Gilbert, the earl-marshal, probably on account of some suspicion relating to the attempt at Woodstock. The earl left the court in anger. In the course of the year Henry dismissed the chancellor bishop, Ralph Neville, and committed the seal to two keepers. In April 1239 he tried to persuade the bishop to accept the seal again, but he refused to do so. His heir Edward [see Edward I] was born on 17 July. At the queen's churching in August he had a sudden and violent quarrel with Simon de Montfort, whom he accused of having seduced his sister before marrying her, and of having used his name as the security for the payment of money as bribes to the Roman court to procure a dispensation for his marriage. The earl and countess fled to France. On 15 July Henry received another of the queen's uncles, Thomas of Savoy, count of Flanders, and when he left, gave him five hundred marks, granted him a tax on English wool passing through his territories, and dismissed the keeper who refused to seal the writ. The news of the death of the elect of Valence on 1 Nov. threw him into violent transports of grief.

      The years 1240 and 1241 show little beside continued wastefulness and bad government. To pay the expenses of the war against the emperor procurations were levied by the legate, and a fifth of all the goods of the clergy was taken by the pope. Henry, as he plainly declared, had neither the power nor the courage to contradict the pope in anything. Rights of patronage were set at naught, and in 1240 Gregory, in order to bind the Roman citizens to his side, ordered that three hundred English benefices should be provided for distribution among their sons and nephews. Archbishop Edmund, after vainly remonstrating with the king, left the kingdom in despair, and died abroad. Frederic II was highly displeased at the help which the pope was allowed to receive from the spoils of the English church. On his side Henry used the church for the benefit of his foreign favourites. After the death of the elect of Valence he tried to obtain the see of Winchester for another of his wife's uncles, Boniface of Savoy [q. v.], and shamefully oppressed the convent because the chapter persisted in the election of William of Raleigh. He succeeded in procuring Canterbury for Boniface in 1241, and the see of Hereford for another foreigner, for whom he also tried in vain to procure first Durham and then London. Foreigners, chiefly Provençals, swarmed about the court and lived on the country. Another of the queen's uncles, Peter of Savoy, came over and received the earldom of Richmond, and the citizens of London were compelled to attend the festivities held in his honour. The departure of Richard of Cornwall on a crusade removed the check which he had from time to time put on the king's doings. Large sums of money were squandered, and the Londoners were specially irritated by the new works which were added to the fortifications of the Tower. The Jews were compelled to find money to meet the royal expenses. Meanwhile the king's foreign possessions were neglected, and lay at the mercy of Louis. One success the king had. On Llewelyn's death his son David adopted an independent and hostile attitude. Henry summoned all his military tenants to assemble at Gloucester in the summer of 1241; marched to Shrewsbury on 2 Aug., and so overawed the prince that without a blow having been struck he submitted by the end of the month.

      In 1242 Henry received a message from the Count of La Marche urging him to come to his help with a numerous force, and promising him the assistance of the Poitevins, the Gascons, the king of Navarre, and the Count of Toulouse. The king summoned a council of the magnates for 28 Jan., and Richard of Cornwall came back in time to help him. A report of the proceedings, 'the first authorised account of a parliamentary debate,' is preserved (Matt. Paris, iv. 185; Const. Hist. ii. 58). The king sent his message, requesting an aid for the recovery of his French possessions, by the Earl of Cornwall, the Archbishop of York [see under Gray, John de], and the provost of Beverley. In reply the lords spoke of the aids, subsidies, and scutages which he had received, of the wealth which he had gained by escheats and wardships, of the revenues of vacant sees, and of the absence of all accounts, which made it probable that the last thirtieth granted in 1237 was still in his hands, and refused to make him a fresh grant while the truce remained unexpired. On the next day he called several of them into his private chamber one after another, talked to them separately, with great craftiness, and so obtained by persuasion no small amount of money, though not nearly so much as a general aid would have yielded. Having appointed the Archbishop of York guardian of the kingdom, he sailed from Portsmouth on 13 May 1242 with thirty casks of money, his queen and his brother, seven other earls, and about three hundred knights, and, after being obliged to put back for a day to wait for a wind, reached Finisterre on Sunday the 18th, and on the following Tuesday landed at Royan at the mouth of the Gironde. After staying there some days he went to Pons in Saintonge, where he held a conference with the Count of La Marche and other lords of his party, and by their advice sent messengers to Louis, and, failing to obtain satisfaction, decided that the truce was at an end. Thence he marched to Saintes, where, on 8 June, he wrote a declaration of war, and so on to Tonnay, and on the 30th took up a position outside Taillebourg, and to the south of the Charente. Meanwhile Louis took Fontenay and many castles in Poitou, and having made himself master of the country north of the Charente, led his army to Taillebourg, which was surrendered to him, though its lord had made Henry believe that he would give up the city to him. On the morning of 20 July the English position was threatened by Louis. Earl Richard obtained a truce until the following day, and as soon as the sun set Henry and his army fled to Saintes. On the 22nd Louis pursued him, and a skirmish between the Count of La Marche and a French foraging party led to an indecisive engagement outside Saintes. Two days later, finding that the king of France was likely to attack him, Henry retreated to Pons, and thence to Barbesieux. There the Count of La Marche, who had made terms with Louis, deserted, after having so nearly delivered the army into the hands of the French king, that the English only saved themselves by a forced march of a day and a night to Blaye. The king neither ate nor slept for nearly forty-eight hours, and a good part of the baggage train was lost. At Blaye he remained some days to refresh himself and his men (Royal Letters, ii. 25). He then retreated to Bordeaux, where, though a truce was made with France in April 1243, he remained wasting his time and his money until 1 Oct. A scutage was paid him by the barons who did not accompany him, and he tried to force those who left him at Bordeaux to pay a fine. He reached Portsmouth on the 9th, and arranged that he should be received at Winchester and London with ridiculous pomp.

      The expedition of Henry led to the coming into England of more of his Poitevin relations, and to a visit from his mother-in-law, Beatrice, countess of Provence, and her daughter Sanchia. He spent much money in entertaining the countess, to whom he paid four thousand marks a year for keeping his castles in Provence. The marriage of Sanchia to Richard of Cornwall detached the earl from the baronial interest, and gave Henry a rich and prudent ally (Const. Hist. ii. 60). He recommenced his persecution of William of Raleigh, bishop-elect of Winchester, and was sharply reproved by three of the bishops. William fled to France, where the king's conduct was severely condemned; his cause was taken up by Innocent IV; he was recalled, and on 9 Sept. Henry was reconciled to him. The second marriage of Alexander II to Mary, daughter of Enguerrand de Coucy, led to a breach between him and Henry [see under Alexander II]. Henry summoned the Count of Flanders to help him, and marched to Newcastle with a large army, in which was a strong Irish contingent (F?dera, i. 256). At Newcastle a peace was made between the two kings. Henry was specially willing to avoid war with Scotland, because David, the son of Llewelyn, was making war on the Welsh border. In a great council held at Westminster, probably after the march to the north, Henry in person requested an aid, on the ground that he had contracted debts during the expedition to Gascony, which had been undertaken by the advice of the magnates. The magnates appointed to consider his request a committee composed of prelates and lay lords, who complained of abuses, and demanded the appointment of a justiciar and chancellor. After an adjournment they promised that if the king would agree to their request they would recommend a grant, provided that they might direct the expenditure of it for the good of the realm. He tried to influence the prelates by producing a letter of Innocent IV, urging them to grant the king an aid. He used personal influence, entreaty, and artifice in endeavouring to win over the committee. A scheme was drawn up for reform; as the Great charter was so often broken, a new one embodying its provisions was to be granted; four magnates were to be chosen to be of the king's council, with the special office of 'guardians of liberties,' to see that the charter was observed; a justiciar and chancellor were to be chosen by the common council; and certain judges were also to be elected (Matt. Paris, iv. 366). Finally a scutage was granted for the marriage of the king's eldest daughter, but no aid was granted (Const. Hist.). The magnates were angered by the coming of a papal nuncio, Martin, who made enormous demands on the prelates. Even Henry, finding that it was difficult to get money for himself, was irritated at the sums which were taken from the church by Italian ecclesiastics; he encouraged the prelates to resist the papal demands, and for a time checked the levy of money for the pope. About 30 June 1245 Martin came to him complaining that he had received a message from a company of lords bidding him leave the kingdom at once or he would be torn in pieces. 'For the love of God, and the reverence of my lord the pope,' prayed Martin, 'grant me a safe-conduct.' 'May the devil give you a safe-conduct to hell and all through it!' was the answer of the irritated king. The English envoys at the council of Lyons vainly represented the grievances of the kingdom, and threatened that the submission of John should be cancelled; and Henry expressed much indignation when he heard that the bishops had been prevailed on to sign the charter of tribute. In September 1245 the king made an expedition against the Welsh, encamped in the neighbourhood of Snowdon, and fortified Gannoch Castle. No decisive action took place, the Welsh keeping out of the way until they saw an opportunity of taking the enemy at a disadvantage, and Henry's army suffered from cold and shortness of provisions. His Irish allies ravaged Anglesey, whence the Welsh obtained their corn, and he also laid waste much country. When he returned to England he forbade all trade with Wales, and as he had destroyed the crops the Welsh were brought to starvation. The money for this fruitless campaign was supplied by Richard of Cornwall on the security of the crown jewels, and a scutage of three marks was obtained for it the following year. The demands made by Innocent on the clergy in 1246 were exorbitantly large; Henry forbade the prelates to collect the required subsidy, but, as Robert Grosseteste, bishop of Lincoln, showed him, they could not refuse. At a great council held in the spring he, in common with men of every order in the kingdom, sent a remonstrance to Innocent concerning the oppressions of the church. The answer was received in a great council held at Winchester in July. The pope urged his claim. For a while Henry forbade anything being paid to him, but he grew terrified, listened to the persuasions of Richard of Cornwall, and gave way. In the spring Henry levied a heavy tallage from the Londoners, who indignantly declared that he was the 'lynx with eyes that pierced all things' of Merlin's prophecy.

      A fresh protest, in which the king joined, against papal exactions from the clergy was made in the council of 3 Feb. 1247, but at the Easter parliament at Oxford the opposition was withdrawn, and the clergy paid an aid of eleven thousand marks. In the course of the year more foreigners came to the court. Peter of Savoy brought over several young ladies that the king might give them in marriage to his noble wards, which much offended his own people. Henry's half-brothers, Guy of Lusignan, William de Valence, and Aymer de Valence [q. v.], and his half-sister Alicia, came over by his invitation, for their mother had lately died, and in their train came a crowd of greedy Poitevins. For William he at once found a rich heiress; his half-sister he married to the young Earl of Warrenne, and he gave Provençal brides to two young English nobles, his wards, who, it is said, were unwilling to receive them. He enriched all three of his brothers, providing for Aymer out of the revenues of the church. Before long Beatrice, the widowed countess of Provence, his mother-in-law, and Thomas of Savoy, came to replenish their purses at his expense. This influx of foreigners, and his lavish gifts to them, again stirred up opposition to his misrule; the coinage had suffered mutilation; robbery and violence were rife, and the loss of Gascony, from which a large revenue was received, seemed certain. When Henry asked the parliament of 9 Feb. 1249 for an aid, the lords reproved him for his extravagance and exactions, complaining chiefly of the aliens, of the disparagement of his noble wards by marriage, and of his governing without a justiciar, chancellor, or treasurer appointed by the common council of the realm. The king obtained a delay until 8 July, and had the coinage altered to prevent mutilation, effecting the change in such a manner as to cause much distress. Meanwhile Richard of Cornwall pressed his brother for payment of his debts to him, which amounted to 20,000l.; Henry satisfied him by farming the mint to him. In July he refused to allow the election of ministers, telling the nobles that they were trying to make a servant of their lord. They accordingly refused an aid, and he sold his plate to the Londoners. He said that the city was an inexhaustible well of riches, exacted large sums from the citizens, and aggrieved them in various ways. He borrowed wherever he could, and oppressed the Jews heavily, taking from Aaron of York between 1243 and 1250 three thousand marks of silver and two hundred marks of ?queen's gold.? In 1250 he made a short-lived effort to reform his ways; on 6 March he took the cross and asked pardon of the Londoners for his oppressions, and ordered that his household expenses should be curtailed, and that less money should be spent on alms and candles for shrines. At the same time he spent much on his half-brothers, and obtained the see of Winchester for Aymer by personal intercession. Gascony had been secured by Simon de Montfort, whom he had appointed his vicegerent in 1248. The earl had hard work to reduce the rebels to obedience, and received most insufficient supplies. He came to Henry in January 1251 and urged him to give him the needful help for carrying on his work. The king swore 'by God's head' that Simon had done him good service, and promised him supplies, though he told him that there were complaints against his government. His effort at economy seems to have ended; his gifts to his foreign relatives and friends went on; and he raised money by loans and extortions, chiefly from churchmen and religious bodies. Christmas he kept at York, where he gave his daughter Margaret in marriage to Alexander III of Scotland. Alexander did homage for 'Lothian,' the estates which he held in England in virtue of the treaty of 1230, the question of homage for Scotland being raised and laid aside.

      Although Simon de Montfort was doing great things for him in Gascony, Henry readily listened to complaints against him from the disaffected party there, and in May 1252 held a kind of trial, in which he confronted the earl and his accusers. Hot words passed between the king and the earl; Henry called Simon a 'usurper and a traitor,' and the earl gave him the lie. Richard of Cornwall and other nobles took the earl's part, and he returned to Gascony and remained there a short time longer. In consequence of a letter from Innocent IV Henry showed much, probably sincere, interest in the crusade, and swore publicly that he would go in person in the course of the next three years. On 13 Oct. 1252 he laid before the prelates a papal mandate requiring them to pay him a tenth of the church revenues for three years for the expenses of his crusade. Led by Bishop Grosseteste they refused. Henry changed his tone, and asked for an aid as a favour. They spoke of the grievances of the church, and their desire to have the Great charter confirmed and a new one granted. When Henry received their answer 'he swore horribly.' As his custom was, he appealed to each personally, but to no purpose. On his asking his barons for money they said that they would be guided by the decision of the prelates, remarking one to another that it was absurd for him to go to the crusade, as he was utterly ignorant of martial exercises. He was determined to lead an army into Gascony, and they told him that the Gascons were rogues and rebels, and that Earl Simon had acted rightly towards them. He again had recourse to exactions from the Londoners, and when the citizens beat some of his servants who interrupted them at a game of quintain with abuse and violence, he laid a heavy fine upon them. In order to win over Richard de Clare [q. v.], earl of Gloucester, to his side, he promised that if the earl's son would marry his niece he should have five hundred marks with her. He had not the money, and tried to borrow it from certain abbeys, and failing in this tried to force the treasurers of the Temple and the Hospital to let him have it. Meanwhile matters were going badly in Gascony, chiefly because he listened to rebels, thwarted his vicegerent Simon, and failed to send him needful supplies. Gaston of Béarn and other lords were offering the land to Alfonso X of Castile, and after the departure of Earl Simon broke into rebellion. After much debate in 1253 the prelates and lay lords yielded in some degree to the king's wishes. The tenths from the church were promised when the crusade actually started, a demand being made at the same time for liberty of election; the tenants in chief granted a scutage. In return Henry confirmed the charters. A solemn ceremony was performed in Westminster Hall on 3 May 1253; the bishops excommunicated all who should transgress the charters, the original charter of John was produced, and as the bells sounded and the bishops ended their sentence by dashing their candles on the ground, the king swore to keep the charters unbroken 'as a man, a Christian, a knight, a king crowned and anointed.' In order to detach Alfonso from the side of the Gascons, ambassadors were sent to arrange a marriage between his sister and the king's elder son Edward, and a marriage was also proposed between Henry's daughter Beatrice and the eldest son of the king of Aragon.

      Leaving the kingdom under the care of his queen and Earl Richard, Henry sailed for Gascony with his army from Portsmouth on 6 Aug. with a fleet of three hundred large and many smaller vessels, and landed at Bordeaux on the 15th. His army took Benauges, La Réole, and several other castles and places, but suffered much from want, and made little real progress. The campaign was mismanaged; as usual he was lenient when he should have been stern, and at the same time allowed his troops to inflict much needless hardship on the people, rooting up their vineyards and burning their houses, and so alienating them. Gaston fled to the king of Castile, but Henry neutralised Gaston's efforts by concluding the marriage treaty, and sent for the queen and his son. He persuaded Earl Simon to come to his aid, and the coming of the earl was enough to reduce the province to order. He also sent to England for reinforcements and supplies, and spent Christmas at Bazas, near La Réole. On 28 Jan. 1254 the prelates, while refusing an aid from the clergy unless the tenth for the crusade was remitted or postponed, decided to grant an aid from themselves in case the king of Castile invaded Gascony, and the lay lords declared themselves ready in that event to go to Gascony; but the regents gathered that no general aid could be granted unless a confirmation of the charters was published (Royal Letters, ii. 101). They called a council to meet at Westminster on 26 April, which is 'an important landmark in parliamentary history,' for to it were summoned two knights from each shire to grant an aid (Select Charters, p. 367; Const. Hist. ii. 68). After remaining at Bordeaux until late in the summer, spending vast sums and getting deeply into debt, Henry and his queen performed a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, at Pontigny (Ann. Burton. p. 327). On recovering from a short sickness there, Henry went to Fontevraud, where he had the body of his mother moved into the church, was met at Chartres by Louis IX, and accompanied him to Paris, where he was lodged in the Old Temple. He stayed eight days, was sumptuously entertained, and spent about 1,000l. Then he went to Boulogne, whence he crossed to Dover, arriving in the last week of the year (1254). As soon as he landed he began to get money out of the Londoners and the Jews, and when the Jews remonstrated and asked to be allowed to leave the kingdom, he swore ?by God's head? that he might fairly set his debts at 300,000 marks; they were indeed 350,000 marks.

      In April 1255 he complained of his debts to parliament, and asked for an aid. As usual he was met by a demand for elected ministers, irremovable except by the common council. This he again refused, and resorted to extracting the tenth from the clergy. Matters were now entering on a new stage. While he was in Gascony, Innocent IV, who was engaged in a struggle with Manfred, king of Sicily, the illegitimate son of Emperor Frederick II, offered Henry the crown of Sicily for one of his sons, in order to secure the wealth of England to assist him in his schemes. Henry accepted it for his second son, Edmund, and bound himself to bear the cost of the war. Pope Alexander IV confirmed the agreement on his accession. This business was regarded with great displeasure in England. In October 1255 the lords refused Henry an aid for the war, and the pope's envoy (Rustand) failed to obtain money from the prelates. Nevertheless on the 18th Edmund was invested with the kingdom of Sicily by the envoy, to the great joy of his father, who promised to go in person to Apulia, and was allowed to reckon the war as a satisfaction of his vow of crusade. By the advice of the Savoyard, for whom he had obtained the see of Hereford, he obtained blank forms sealed by some of the bishops, and filled them up, with promises to pay, and sent them to Rome to satisfy some of his Italian creditors. Among his quarrels with his subjects in this year (1255) he had a fierce dispute with the earl-marshal [see Bigod, Roger, fourth Earl of Norfolk], which ended by his declaring: 'I will send and have your corn threshed out and sold, and so humble your pride.' To which the earl replied: 'And I will send you the heads of the threshers.' In August Henry marched to Scotland to arrange some troubles there [see Alexander III]. On the 25th he put out a proclamation at Newcastle that he would do nothing to prejudice the liberties of the kingdom (F?dera, i. 327). Alexander sent his queen to meet her father, and Henry was at Werk during most of September, for she fell ill while with him. He met Alexander at Roxburgh, and caused him to change his counsellors, and took several Scottish lords under his protection (ib. p. 329). In February 1256 Pope Alexander wrote that unless Henry paid what he owed for the war he would renounce the Sicilian arrangement; the amount owed at Rome about this time was 135,501 marks. Henry obtained a respite. Rustand pressed the prelates, who obtained a confirmation of John's charter of freedom of elections, but as pope and king were united in a scheme of plunder it was of no avail. They refused to contribute from their baronies. The king made many efforts to obtain money; he oppressed the Londoners and the Cistercians, fined those who neglected to receive knighthoods, fined all the sheriffs, and begged, borrowed, and extorted supplies from every quarter. Early in 1257 the pope sent the Archbishop of Messina to Henry apparently to get money. The election of Richard of Cornwall as king of the Romans put an end to his brother's chance of borrowing from him; Richard wanted all his money for his own schemes. At Mid-Lent Henry appeared before the parliament with Edmund in Apulian costume, declared that he had accepted the Sicilian crown for him, and incurred a debt of 150,000 marks by the advice of the English church, which the bishops denied; he asked for a tenth of ecclesiastical revenues for two years, and other grants from the church. The bishops unwillingly granted him 52,000 marks, stipulating for the observance of the Great charter. Many troubles came on him in this year (1257); he lost a daughter, Katharine?dumb but very pretty?on 3 May; his Sicilian project looked hopeless, and the Welsh, who had for some months been troublesome, were laying waste the border under their prince, Llewelyn, the son of Griffith. These mortifications threw him into a dangerous fever towards the end of May, and he lay some time sick at London. In September he marched to Chester, and thence to Gannoch, where he stayed about a month, and then, having made a discreditable peace with Llewelyn, returned home on 13 Oct. and levied a heavy scutage for the cost of his expedition. The pope sent several envoys and legates in succession to try to make Henry pay his debts to him, and the king was even threatened with excommunication if he failed.

      He met his parliament on 9 April 1258; the nobles were not in a compliant mood, for there had been a terrible famine during the winter, and the Welsh were wasting the border, and had made alliance with the Scottish lords. He told them his difficulties, and asked for a large grant. They answered that his difficulties were the result of his own folly, and refused his request. Some recriminations passed between the king's friends and other lords, and the meeting was adjourned. After trying with only partial success to persuade the abbots of some great houses to become sureties for him, he on the 28th announced in parliament that he must have a third of all property. On the 30th the king was startled by the appearance before him of the barons in armour, their swords, however, being left at the door of Westminster Hall. 'What is it, my lords?' he cried; 'am I your prisoner?' That Roger Bigod denied, but said that the aliens must be banished, and that the king and his son must swear that he would be guided by a council of twenty-four elected magnates which should enforce reforms. Henry agreed, and on 11 June met the barons at Oxford. They came with their men armed as for war, for they had been summoned for an expedition into Wales. The assembly gained the name of the 'Mad parliament.' A schedule of grievances was drawn up, a council of twenty-four was appointed, half by the king from his party and half by the barons, to effect reforms in church and state, and a body of fifteen was chosen by an intricate process devised to secure fairness to both parties to be the king's permanent council. Parliaments were to meet three times a year, and were to consist of the fifteen and a committee of twelve chosen by the baronage, who were to discuss the proceedings of the council. Another body of twenty-four was chosen by the parliament to arrange an aid (Const. Hist. ii. 74?8; Select Charters, pp. 367 seq.). The two bodies of twenty-four were temporary institutions; their existence was to end with the performance of their work. As a whole the scheme meant the establishment of a direct control over the executive, and its character was oligarchic; the national council shrunk to a small committee of the chief men of the kingdom. A justiciar, treasurer, and chancellor were chosen; they and the sheriffs were to hold office only for a year, and were then to answer for their acts before the king and his council. One of the first resolutions of the new council was that the king should resume possession of those royal castles which he had alienated, and that he should make them over to the custody of nineteen English barons. Henry's alien relatives declined to obey this order, and many, leaving the court, flung themselves into the castle of Wolvesey, then held by Aymer de Lusignan, bishop of Winchester, who refused to deliver the
    Person ID I10788  Dickinson
    Last Modified 31 Oct 2017 

    Father John I, King of England,   b. 24 Dec 1166, The Tower of London, Tower Hamlets, London, Greater London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1216, Newark Castle, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Isabella d'Angoulême, Queen Consort of England,   b. ca. 1187, Angoulême, Angoumois, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 May 1246, Fontevraud, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 59 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 24 Aug 1200  Bordeaux Cathedral, Bordeaux, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [18, 19, 20
    • Isabella had been betrothed to Hugh de Luisignan and so the marriage to John caused an immediate rift in Aquitaine but more importantly was duly protested to King Philip (who had encouraged John to marry the girl). When summoned, John prevaricated. Philip, in turn, received homage from Arthur of Brittany for John's Angevin possessions and claimed Normandy for his own.
    • "[John] was married already, and his new queen hardly of age, but time and the Church could resolve those difficulties. More seriously, Isabel was promised to Hugh the Brown, Count of la Marche, and one of the Lusignan clan, the Angevin's deadliest enemies south of the Loire. Not only did John abduct and marry his enemy's wife, he offered him crooked justice, hiring professional champions to resolve the issue by judicial combat." [15]
    • "John chose to marry Isabella for political reasons, and those reasons had much to do with the trouble he was having in securing his hold over his inheritance and the problems he was encountering in the heartlands of his Angevin realm. The city of Angoulême was perched on a rocky spur overlooking the River Charente, which exited the Atlantic at the port of La Rochelle, crucial for John's control of Poitou. Angoulême itself was a nodal point for many roads, and as such was of great tactical importance. Bringing the count of Angoulême on his side by marrying his daughter and only surviving child, and, therefore, his heir, made good strategic sense for John, and since she came with a dowry, he stood to gain territorially before his father-in-law died, too." [16]
    • 5 children were produced by this union. [17]
    Family ID F2961  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Eleonore de Provence, Queen Consort of England,   b. 1223, Aix-en-Provence, Provence, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Jun 1291, Amesbury Abbey, Amesbury, Wiltshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years) 
    Married 20 Jan 1236  Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent Find all individuals with events at this location  [22, 23, 24, 25
    • Nine children were produced by this union. Richard, John, William, Katherine and Henry all died young. [21]
    +1. Edward I, King of England,   b. 17 - 18 Jun 1239, Westminster Palace, Westminster, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Jul 1307, Burgh by Sands, Cumbria Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68 years)  [Birth]
    +2. Margaret of England, Queen of Scots,   b. 29 Sep 1240, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 - 27 Feb 1275, Cupar Castle, Fife, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 34 years)  [Birth]  [Foster]
    +3. Beatrice of England, Countess of Richmond,   b. 25 Jun 1242, Bordeaux, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Mar 1275, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 32 years)  [Birth]
    +4. Edmund "Crouchback" of Lancaster, 1st Earl of Lancaster and Leicester,   b. 16 Jan 1245, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Jun 1296, Bayonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Aquitaine, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 51 years)  [Birth]
     5. Katherine of England,   b. 25 Nov 1253, Westminster Palace, Westminster, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 3 May 1257, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 3 years)  [Birth]
    Last Modified 29 Apr 2015 
    Family ID F2959  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1 Oct 1207 - Winchester Castle, Winchester, Hampshire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsTitle - Coronation - 28 Oct 1216 - Gloucester Abbey, Gloucester, Gloucestershire Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 20 Jan 1236 - Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Gascony Rebellion - Mar 1250 -1254 - Aquitaine, France Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPolitical - 30 Apr 1258 - Westminster Palace, Westminster, London Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPolitical - The Provisions of Oxford - 22 Jun 1258 - Oxford, Oxfordshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Battle of Lewes - 14 May 1264 - Lewes, East Sussex Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Battle of Evesham - 4 Aug 1265 - Evesham, Worcestershire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsPolitical - Treaty of Montgomery - 25 Sep 1267 - Montgomery, Montgomeryshire, Wales Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 16 Nov 1272 - Westminster Palace, Westminster, London Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Westminster Abbey, Westminster, London, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S336463] Medieval Lands: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families, Charles Cawley, (Online: The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy at, 20XX),

    2. [S336351] Dictionary of National Biography, 63 volumes, Sir Sidney Lee, ed., (New York: McMillan and Company, 1885-1900), Public Domain., vol. 26, 12-31.

    3. [S336429] Britain's Royal Families: A Complete Genealogy, Alison Weir, (London: Vintage Books, 2008), 116.

    4. [S164] King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Stephen Church, (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 152.

    5. [S164] King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Stephen Church, (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 240-241.
      "The first priority was to have John's son and heir, Henry, crowned king. The anointing with holy oil was crucial in the race to become the next monarch, and so those whose taks it was to support Henry decided to move with such rapidity that they were prepared to completely discard convention. They decided to have Henry crowned the very next day, October 28, a Friday (rather than waiting until Sunday 30th) and on a day of no great religious significance (the feast of Saints Simon and Jude); they decided that the ceremony would be conducted by the papal legate, Guala Bicchieri, who had been appointed by Pope Honorius III to provide on-th-ground support for John's cause against the French invasion (the right of consecration was reserved for the archbishop of Canterbury); and they decided that the ceremony should take place at Gloucester (Westminster was the coronation church of the English kings)."

    6. [S12] Foundation: The History of England from its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors, Peter Ackroyd, (New York: St Martin's Press, 2011), 183.

    7. [S421] The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, Thomas Asbridge, (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 344.
      "With the backing of the Church, a coronation was hurriedly arranged for 28 October 1216, and regal robes were cut down in size to fit the diminutive Henry. Custom dictated that only a dubbed knight could become king, so [William] Marshall duly performed the ceremony. The boy was then crowned and anointed as King Henry III by Bishop Peter [des Roches], with Guala [of Bicchieri, the papal legate] presiding over the ceremony in Gloucester Cathedral, and affirming the young monarch's status as the pope's 'vassal and ward.'"

    8. [S157] A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, Marc Morris, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2015), 13-19.

    9. [S157] A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, Marc Morris, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2015), 36-37.

    10. [S157] A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, Marc Morris, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2015), 39.

    11. [S157] A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, Marc Morris, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2015), 132.

    12. [S336429] Britain's Royal Families: A Complete Genealogy, Alison Weir, (London: Vintage Books, 2008), 128.

    13. [S12] Foundation: The History of England from its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors, Peter Ackroyd, (New York: St Martin's Press, 2011), 203.

    14. [S157] A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, Marc Morris, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2015), 103.

    15. [S20] The Knight Who Saved England: William Marshal and the French Invasion, 1217, Richard Brooks, (Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, 2014), 56.

    16. [S164] King John and the Road to Magna Carta, Stephen Church, (New York: Basic Books, 2015), 85-94, quoting 87-8.

    17. [S336429] Britain's Royal Families: A Complete Genealogy, Alison Weir, (London: Vintage Books, 2008), 69-72.

    18. [S336429] Britain's Royal Families: A Complete Genealogy, Alison Weir, (London: Vintage Books, 2008), 68.

    19. [S154] The Demon's Brood: A History of the Plantagenet Dynasty, Desmond Seward, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2014), 46.

    20. [S421] The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, Thomas Asbridge, (New York: HarperCollins, 2014), 272.

    21. [S336429] Britain's Royal Families: A Complete Genealogy, Alison Weir, (London: Vintage Books, 2008).

    22. [S23] The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England, Dan Jones, (New York: Viking, 2012), 202.

    23. [S157] A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, Marc Morris, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2015), 2, 5.

    24. [S154] The Demon's Brood: A History of the Plantagenet Dynasty, Desmond Seward, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2014), 72.

    25. [S34] The History of the Noble House of Stourton, Charles Boltoph Joseph, (Chicago: The Institute of American Genealogy, 1899), vol. 1, 77.