In the year 1246

Finally a house with a number on the mailbox. This year stands out for being a mostly quiet one at home. The biggest debate was about whether to help fund the pope in his campaign against Emperor Frederick II. The bishops were cowed into submission, which led Henry III to round on them for being a bunch of wimps in pontificals. The royal family attended the dedication of Beaulieu Abbey, founded four decades earlier by Henry’s father King John. When six-year-old Edward became seriously ill, his mother Eleanor of Provence insisted on caring for him within the confines of the abbey. The monks were scandalized to have a woman in their presence for the three weeks it took him to get better and the prior lost his job. The year before Eleanor de Montfort visited Waverley Abbey with her husband Simon and their two oldest boys. She donated a precious cloth for the altar, gave the monks money to buy some adjacent land, and equally important, she did not stay the night.

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