Tag: Simon de Montfort

Oxford – Provisions of Oxford

The Provisions of Oxford is probably of more importance for the free man under the rule of the realm than the better known Magna Carta, although without the latter the former would probably not have happened. The Provisions made way for greater fairness with royal authority retrenched and reduced. The Provision of Oxford were imposed in 1258 on the then King Henry III at the Oxford parliament.

Oxford 1

This followed disputes and unrest with the baron’s led by  Simon de Montfort who were enraged by the Kings incompetence and excess spending for overseas aggressions. To enforce the Provisions fifteen councillors were appointed.  They were chosen by twenty four men, twelve of whom were from the reformers and twelve from the King’s men. They would control the chancellor and treasury and without their approval the King was restricted in his control on the country.

Henry accepted the terms as his hand was forced as he needed funds for his son Edmund’s claim to the Sicilian crown although this never came to fruition. In true  Henry style although he had agreed to the terms it was something had he had never intended to adhere too. The unrest and the rule of government continued and eventually led to the Second Baron War of 1264 to 1267.



Battle of Evesham

The battle of Evesham, Worcestershire took place on 4th August 1265 and was between the rebels led by Simon de Montfort and those troops loyal to the King.

Henry III and his son the then Prince Edward were held prisoner by rebels. Prince Edward managed to escape after tricking his guards, he rallied troops to attack the rebels. De Montfords support was starting to diminish following failed attempts at parliament to reach a long term solution.

Death_of_de_Montfort Evesham

The terrain favoured Edwards men on the high ground and they far outnumbered De Montforts by at least two to one. De Montfort, having been in battle with the odds against before and winning decided to attacked immediately leading his men into what would be a slaughtered. Edward had selected men to make sure they found and killed the rebel leader. Finally tracked down where he was surrounded and slain by the group with the final death blow coming from Roger de Mortimer. Simon de Montforts body was mutilated with his testicles cut off and hung over his nose. His body then dismembered with his head and arms sent to lords throughout the country as a warning never to cross the king and his hand sent to his wife Eleanor the King’s sister.

The king Henry was wounded but escaped any serious injury.

To find out more about The Second Barons’ War: Simon De Montfort and the Battles of Lewes and Evesham click here

Simon de Montfort

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.

Simon de Montfort

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.


To find out more about The Second Barons’ War: Simon De Montfort and the Battles of Lewes and Evesham click here