King John’s youngest

Like her husband Simon, the birth date and place of Eleanor de Montfort cannot be determined with accuracy but there are clues. On 18 October 1236 her brother Henry III gave her Odiham Castle in Hampshire. It could be seen as a birthday present to her for turning twenty-one, which would put her birth in 1215. In August of that same year her mother Isabella of Angoulême could be found at Marlborough, suggesting Eleanor was born there if that’s where Isabella spent her confinement. The grant of Odiham, however, may reflect another observance. It was twenty years before that date that Eleanor’s father King John died in Newark. Henry III was a keen observer of anniversaries and he always remained faithful to his parents regardless of the sneers of everyone else. In May 1232, he had John’s body translated to a new tomb in Worcester and his Eleanor was with him for the ceremony. Doubtless she wished to see the father she had never known.

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