Tag Archives: Alice de Montmorency

The crimes of the father


Simon’s namesake father had gained fame throughout Europe for his ruthless suppression of the Cathars during the Albigensian Crusade. He brought his family along for the siege of Toulouse in 1218, so the younger Simon was close at hand when his father was felled by a stone pitched from the battlements. His mother Alice de Montmorency was a match for her husband in extreme cruelty. To the Jews of Toulouse she gave the choice of converting or being put to the sword. After her husband’s death, she returned to northern France where she died in 1221. Simon was left in the care of his older brothers, who soon resumed the campaign in the south. The plaque reads:

Old Montoulieu Gardens – During the siege of Toulouse in the course of the Albigensian Crusade Simon de Montfort was killed here in 1218.

Below that in French and the original Occitan from the Song of the Cathar Wars is

now a stone hit just where it was needed.


The third son

Simon De Montfort
Simon De Montfort

Simon de Montfort was described as “tall in body and handsome in face.” He was also said to have a pleasant and agreeable way of speaking, which helps explain why some of the greatest men of his age were drawn to him. A descendant of two aristocratic families of northern France (and of William the Conqueror), Simon was probably born at the family seat of Montfort-l’Amaury in today’s Île-de-France between Paris and Normandy. The third son of parents renowned for their fanaticism, he spent his youth in the south of France.