Louis the farmer

Nobody was more anxious for the invasion force to disperse than Henry. In his letters to Louis, he indicated he was as much a hostage as Edward to the good faith of the peace process. Were foreign troops to land on English soil, the whole realm would suspect he was in on it, doubly so since Louis was using the money he owed Henry to subsidize the force gathering in Flanders under Queen Eleanor’s direction. After an interview with Henry’s emissary, Louis agreed to host a peace conference in Boulogne on 8 August. The situation in the marches and the roguish earl of Derby kept the Montfortians from arriving, but whether these events were known across the Channel, the papal legate had enough. He firmly demanded they either welcome him by 1 September or face excommunication. And just to clarify where he stood on the issue of kingship, they were also to forswear the Provisions and subsequent enactments that were causing all the trouble. The legate added for good measure that the Mise of Lewes was a dead letter as far as the French were concerned. This cursory attitude was probably behind the drafting on 15 August 1264 of the ‘Peace of Canterbury’, where the court had gathered. The Peace was an affirmation of the Ordinance, which itself affirmed the Provisions, only it included the caveat that the reform government might well outlast Henry’s reign. This suggestion that even future monarchs would be subject to restraints against absolutism was too much for Louis. His famously arrogant response to these democratic rumblings was to prefer the harness of a plough rather than that of his subjects.

Medieval Canterbury
                                                                    Medieval Canterbury

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