Philip II de Montfort

When Charles of Anjou moved in to conquer the kingdom of Sicily in 1265, he chose Philip II de Montfort to lead his army across the Alps into Italy. Philip was a distant cousin from the cadet branch of the de Montforts. He was then about 40 years and a seasoned warrior, although his military background remains a mystery. His victories at Benevento (1266) and Tagliacozzo (1268) match the two for Simon de Montfort the crusader at Castelnaudary (1211) and Muret (1213) and the one for SDM the revolutionary at Lewes (1264). Unlike SDM father and son, Philip did not live to see his victories undone. He joined the African crusade of Louis IX in 1270 and died there of dysentery.

Charles also got help from another distant de Montfort cousin, Guy IV from the senior branch. He was the fourth son of SDM the revolutionary and after his father’s defeat and death at Evesham (1265), where Guy himself was wounded, he joined Philip’s forces in Italy. He made his mark at Tagliacozzo, fighting in the front line like a ‘wild boar among dogs’. He and Philip next led the invasion force of Sicily, but he did not join the African crusade for fear of the murderous rampage he might undertake against the English contingent there. He got his revenge the following year in 1271 when he hacked to death another cousin, Henry of Almain, in church. Charles properly disowned him for it, but he brought him back into service after the Sicilian Vespers of 1282.

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