Simon de Montfort and his times

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Chronicles

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What’s the big deal about 1264?

England is about to settle the question of the Great Irony. Their king has bestowed wealth and privileges on his French relatives and his wife’s French relatives. Fed up with these foreign favorites, a popular movement led by Simon de Montfort, another Frenchman and former favorite, defeats and captures the king. Montfort forces him to summon two parliaments. The first strips the king 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 as well. This campaign seeks to honour him on the 750th anniversary of that struggle.

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Why this guy?

Standing outside Parliament is a statue of Richard the Lionheart, a king who cared nothing for England and spent his life dedicated to violence and slaughter. Why the people of Victorian England chose to honour him next door to an institution he would have put to the sword staggers the imagination. This statue could easily be renamed Simon de Montfort, also a great warrior, who did far more to make Parliament what it is today.

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