King Henry III, Eleanor of Provence, Simon and Eleanor de Montfort – Their struggle over monarchy and parliament in 13th century England

Pay or quit the kingdom

1243 There was nothing like a wedding to bring out the best in Henry and he used the occasion of […]

The king should be locked up

1242 Henry’s expedition to recover Poitou was a spectacular failure. Caught off guard by Louis’ aggressiveness at the Charente River […]

Another boy king

1241 Like Henry, Louis IX (1214 – 1270) had been a boy king, crowned at the age of 12 after […]

Enter the Lusignans

1242 This time the conflict was instigated by Henry’s mother, Isabella d’Angoulême. She was just a teenager when King John […]

The unholy struggle

1240 Crusading was all the rage among the nobility of the 13th century. Simon returned to England alone in the […]

The king’s wrath

1239 True to character, Henry’s break with Simon was abrupt and unseemly. He waited for the occasion of the queen’s […]

Birth of the cousins

1238 Impressed by this practical approach, the pope gave his blessing. The marriage was further helped by the arrival of […]

Another royal wedding

1238 It was into this atmosphere of ill-will and hostility that Simon strode on another cold January day two years […]

Henry finally takes a wife

1236 The royal wedding took place on January 4, 1236. It was a lavish affair, all of it overseen by […]

The second Eleanor

1237 Eleanor of Provence was the second of the four daughters of poverty-stricken Count Ramon Berenger. Known as Eleanor La […]

The first rebellion

1234 By this time Richard, the earl of Cornwall, had also married into the Marshal clan. William’s sister Isabella was […]

The first Eleanor

1231 The youngest of John’s children, Eleanor (1215 – 1275) had all the beauty of her mother Isabella of Angoulême. […]

Courtly intrigue

1231 The Leicester holdings, it turned out, generated little income to cover the debts Simon had incurred to recover them. […]

Always the Jews

1231 The expedition was a total failure. Young Henry looked splendid in his armor until dysentery took hold of him […]

Arriving in England

1230 When the middle brother died during another siege, the oldest brother Amaury had only Simon to contend with for […]

The crimes of the father

1218 Simon’s namesake father had gained fame throughout Europe for his ruthless suppression of the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade. […]

The third son

1208 Simon de Montfort was described as “tall in body and handsome in face.” He was also said to have […]

The simple king

1207 Stout and florid in later life, no doubt from a love of good wine, the one physical feature of […]

Simon and Henry

Next door to the cathedral is the Palace of Westminster with its iconic clock tower. It’s home to the houses […]

The true visionary

The Westminster Abbey we know today was the vision of King Henry III. A fickle man of unsteady purpose, Henry […]