Giving William a taste of his own medicine

1257
Medieval dentistry
Medieval dentistry

Simon was one of the commissioners appointed to deal with Alexander in Rome, but the mission, for reasons unknown, never took place. He had spent most of the years of the Sicilian fiasco tending to private affairs, including a growing family. He and Eleanor had seven children in all. After first-born Henry came another Simon, then another Amaury, another Guy, a daughter who died in infancy, another Richard and finally another Eleanor. The need to provide for such a large brood kept the doting parents constantly on the king’s back to make good the money owed them. Henry did make an effort, if only because he recognized the importance of Montfort’s skills as a negotiator, particularly in France, where he was held in high regard. Much of that money was tied to Eleanor’s claims to her first husband’s estate, which shouldn’t have been a problem after Henry married their half-brother William of Valence into the Marshal clan. But William was greedy, nasty and effeminate like the rest of Isabella and Hugh’s children and chose to default rather than pay up. Their quarrels escalated until William openly accused Simon in parliament of being the son of a traitor. ‘I’m no traitor, William,’ he countered. ‘Your father and mine were not cut from the same cloth.’ When William repeated the charge, Simon drew his sword and rushed at him in full view of the assembled magnates. Henry threw himself in front of his brother to save him but the stage had been set. Montfort’s willingness to stand up to the hated Lusignans would single him out as a leader of the burgeoning reform movement.

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