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

Fool’s gold

1257 For his part, Henry started collecting gold, which he would need to finance an army in Sicily. Frederick had […]

The poor and needy come second

1255 The deal called for the crown of Sicily to go to Henry’s ten-year-old son Edmund in return for money […]

Red hats and torture

The former Sinibaldo Fieschi, Innocent IV despised Frederick II and Robert Grosseteste in equal measure. He is remembered for introducing […]

Bankrolling the papal army

1254 The other piece of business the king concluded while in Gascony had to do with Sicily. Considered a rich […]

Blood money

1255 Six months earlier Henry had sold the custody of the Jews to Richard so that he might “disembowel those […]

Jew’s Court

Known as Jew’s Court, this house in Lincoln was long considered the scene of the crime. In 1910, the owner […]

A boy named Hugh

1255 On 31 July a fatherless boy named Hugh disappeared in the city of Lincoln. Told he was last seen […]

All in the family

1254 Modern historians tend to side with Henry in this affair, suggesting he had every reason to believe Alfonso was […]

Eleanor’s parliament

1254 Before leaving, Henry appointed his wife Eleanor to rule in his stead with Richard serving as her adviser. Their […]

The third Eleanor

1254 It had been Henry’s intention to come to Gascony and show that it could be ruled with peace and […]

Maker and lover of strife

1252 A humiliated and insulted Henry called his governor a “maker and lover of strife” and ordered him to observe […]

An absolute mess

1250 Henry’s policy in Gascony was an absolute mess. The province was nominally Richard’s, but now, at the queen’s insistence, […]

The rights of common people

1248 Meanwhile the real warfare was in the east. The Mongols had swept through Poland and Hungary before turning south […]

The Lusignans come to England

1247 Isabella and Hugh were later embroiled in another plot against Louis, involving poison and cooks who talk a lot […]

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 […]