What’s the big deal about 1264?

On May 14 of that year, the forces of Simon de Montfort defeated those of Henry III and his son Edward. With the king as captive, Montfort summons two parliaments. The first strips the monarchy of unlimited authority, the second invites common folk to have a say in the affairs of state. These reforms, centuries ahead of their time, would be dead in a year. Montfort too. This campaign seeks to honour him on the 750th anniversary of that struggle by raising a memorial to him at Westminster.

Why this guy?

Standing outside Parliament today is a statue of Richard, he of the Lionheart, a king who cared nothing for England and spent his life dedicated to violence and slaughter. Couldn’t even speak English. The people of Victorian England no doubt chose to honour him next door to an institution he would have put to the sword had it existed at the time because they liked his moniker and deemed it practical for empire-building. The Merc next to Richard in the picture below is another indication of how out-of-date he’s become.

Richard and the Merc

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