Today and tomorrow is dedicated to Simon de Montfort. Today is about how powerful and influential he became and tomorrow see’s his gruesome downfall at the Battle of Evesham. D for de Montford and E for Evesham. I think I can get away with that.
Simon de Montfort was born in Normandy in or around 1208 and came to England in 1229 to claim the earldom of Leicester that was linked through his mother. He became a close of friend of the Young King Henry III and this lead to the marriage to the King’s sister Eleanor in 1238. He finally gained his title of the 6th earl of Leicester the following year.
In 1240 he went on crusade and returned two years later and supported Henry in campaigns in Gascon against Louis IX of France. He then became Governor of Gascony taking full control of Gascony region where he crushed the feuding barons. This caused friction in the area and following the King receiving relentless complaints from the Gascon barons Simon resigned as Governor. Relationship after were strained from then on between Simon and Henry.
Simon in 1258 led the barons seeking reforms on the king and helped draw up the Provision of Oxford that were an extension to and more empowering documents than the previous Magna Carta. The Provision put restriction on Henry, as King of England, and introduced a new form of government. Henry after agreeing the Provisions violated the terms of the agreement that led to the barons declaring war against the King. Simon led the barons in their revolt.
On the 14 May 1264 Simon and the barons were victors at the Battle of Lewes capturing the King and his son Prince Edward, who was to become Edward I in future years. A government was formed, ‘Mise of Lewes’, where Henry was forced to sign removing his powers and Simon de Montfort became ruler of England.
At this point things were looking good for Simon but how long can it last. Find out tomorrow with the Battle of Evesham blog.