In the year 1241

The next house being 1241, in this year Simon de Montfort went on crusade and took the family with him. He left them in Brindisi, Italy, where the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II lent them a palace (Eleanor de Montfort’s sister Isabella was married to Frederick). There was a truce in the Holy Land, so Simon spent his time there getting mixed up in the local politics. His cousin Philip was the head of one faction and it was through him that a petition was sent to Frederick, who was the nominal overlord for Jerusalem, to make Simon the governor of the place. Meanwhile Simon’s older brother Amaury was ransomed along with the other French knights captured at the battle of Gaza two years earlier. Amaury had had a rough time of it because he wouldn’t name names to the sultan. He was now free but broken, and died on the way home. Simon also left, the petition to Frederick having come to nothing, and found that he had left his wife pregnant before going to Jerusalem. They had a son, their third, and named him Amaury.

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