Henry III: Interesting Facts and Stories

Son of King John, born in 1207, crowned in 1216 in a rush after his father died (and again in 1220), and dying in 1272, he was super-devout, developing his veneration of Saint and King Edward the Confessor. Did his extra-piety get in the way of an effective kingship? The birth of Parliament happened on his watch.

An image of his effigy at Westminster Abbey, to get the general idea:

Source: Wikipedia

Let’s get started with his ancestors and descendants.

GENEALOGICAL TABLES

Plantagenets

(Source)

The above table gives a good overview of the entire Plantagenet family. Henry III is on the left, grandson of Henry II.

Henry III

Source: Stephen Church

Henry III’s sisters: Joanna married Alexander, King of Scots; Isabella married Emperor Frederick II; and Eleanor married William II Marshall, earl of Pembroke.

Source: Michael Prestwich

Eleanor of Provence

Source for above two tables: Margaret Howell

Two genealogical tables about the Capetians, from Medieval France: An Encyclopedia:

Yes, the Capetians descend from Charlemagne. For the primary documents proving the link, click on Herbert I, Count of Vermandois, and scroll down to the Addendum.

As for the first table, Philip II will succeed Louis VII his father in 1180. He will be called Augustus, mainly because he was born in August (so says Bradbury), but the French will realize that his reign was august and powerful. He will make mincemeat of John’s attempts to win back lost territories in France.

Louis VII has his own post: Louis VII.

See Philip II’s own post: Philip II Augustus.

Louis VIII has his own post: Louis VIII.

HENRY AND ELEANOR’S CHILDREN

First some basic facts about the couple.

He was born at Winchester 1 Oct 1207. He ascended the throne 19 Oct 1216 and was crowned at Gloucester 28 Oct 1216 and again at Westminster Abbey 17 May 1220. He declared himself to be of age in Jan 1227, so he claimed personal rule. He was first contracted on 29 Oct 1216 to marry by proxy to Yolanda of Brittany, but it was annulled. He married by proxy in 1235 Jeanne (Joan) de Dammartin, but that was annulled.

He married at Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, 14 Jan 1236, Eleanor of Provence, 2nd daughter and co-heiress of Raymond Berengar, Count and Marquis of Provence (etc.). As noted, below, he died at Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, 16 Nov. 1272 and was buried at Westminster Abbey. His widow Eleanor entered Amesbury Priory, Wiltshire, where she was veiled 7 July 1286. She died testate at the priory 24 July 1291 and was buried in the Convent Church 10 Sep 1291.

In 1292 Henry’s heart was delivered by the Abbot of Winchester to the Abbess of Fontrevault (Fontevraut), near Chinon, in Anjou, France. He had promised it to her when he visited her house in 1254. Her heart was buried in the Franciscan church in London, near her daughter Beatrice.

They had nine children:

1.. Edward I of England: See his own post at this website, here:

Edward I

2.. Margaret of Margery of England: She married Alexander III, King of Scots, at York, Yorkshire on 26 Dec 1251. He was born at Roxburgh 4 Sep 1241 and was crowned King of Scotland at Scone 13 July 1249. She was born 29 Oct 1240. They had two sons: Alexander and David, and one daughter, Margaret. Alexander III was knighted by his father-in-law, King Henry III on 25 Dec 1251. Alexander and Margaret were present at the coronation of her bother Edward I. Margaret died at Cupar, Fife 26 Feb 1274/75 and was buried at Dunfermline, Fife. He remarried.

3.. Beatrice: She was born at Bordeaux, France, on 25 June 1242. She married John II of Brittany, Knight, Duke of Brittany, Earl of Richmond, Keeper of Hastings Castle; they married in the Abbey of Saint-Denis, near Paris, on 22 Jan 1259/50. He was born 3 Jan 1238/39. They had three sons: Arthur II, Duke of Brittany, Count of Montfort; John, Knight and earl of Richmond; and Peter, Vicomte of Leon; and three daughters: Marie, Blanche, and Eleanor, Abbess of Fontrevault. He journeyed to Lyons, France, for the coronation of Pope Clement V and was leading the pope’s mule in the course of the procession on 14 Nov 1305. The crowd knocked down a wall from their combined weight and it fell on him. He died 16 or 17 Nov 1305 and was buried in the church of the Carmelites at Ploermel, Brittany. He left a will dated Sep 1303 and modified 5 July 1304. Beatrice had died at London on 24 Mar 1274/75 (or 25 Apr 1277) and was buried in the church of the Grey Friars, London.

4.. Edmund: He was born at London on 16 Jan 1244.45 and was made Earl of Lancaster, Leicester and Derby, Steward of England, Keeper of the Isle of Lundy, 1206, and Keeper of Sherborne Castle. He married (1) Averline de Forz, styled Countess of Aumale. She was born at Burstwick, Yorkshire 20 Jan 1258/59. They had twin children, who died at birth. She died at childbirth at Stockwell, Surrey 10 Nov 1274 and was buried at Westminster Abbey. He married (2) Blanche of Artois, widow of Henri, King of Navarre, before 18 Jan 1275/76. They had three sons: Thomas (Earl of Lancaster, Leicester, and Derby); Henry (Earl of Lancaster and Leicester); and John (lord of beaufort and Nogent-l’Artuad). Edmund died testate at Bayonne 5 June 1296 and was buried at Westminster Abbey in 1297. Blanche, dowager queen of Navarre, died 2 May 1302 and was buried in the choir of the church of the Cordeliers of Paris and her heart of the conventual church of Minoress at Nogent-l’Artaud. She left a will dated at Paris 1 May 1302.

5.. Richard: he was born about 1247 and died 29 Aug 1250 and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

6.. John: He was born at Advent 1250 and died 31 Aug 1252 and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

7.. Katherine: She was born at London on 25 Nov 1251 and died at Windsor Castle on 3 May 1257.

8.. William: He died 1259 and was buried at New Temple.

9.. Henry: He was born May 1260 and died 10 Oct 1260 and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Here are a few clarifications, next.

ABBREVIATIONS AND TERMS

H3 = Henry III after he was crowned king.

Magnates were large landowners.

Barons were also large landowners, usually of noble descent.

Justiciar = second to the king and acts as his alter-ego in the Angvin (adjective of Anjou) conception.

Homage was “an act of handing over oneself to one’s lord and receiving lands and rights in return for service” (Church).

The New Year happened on 25 March, not January 1.

Let’s get started.

BASIC FACTS AND STORIES

  1. Born on 1 October 1207 at Winchester, Henry was the first king to have been raised exclusively in England, since the Normans conquered England in 1066. His immediate predecessors spent periods as princes on the continent.
  2. Henry was nine years young when his father John died on 19 October 1216, after John signed the Magna Carta in June 1215 at Runnymeade.
  3. Important background: The Magna Carta opened the door for power to shift from the monarchy to the barons, legally, if not in fact. However, Pope Innocent III condemned the document on 24 August. “We utterly reject and condemn this settlement … we declare [the Charter] to be null and void of all validity forever.”
  4. Despite the papal condemnation, it was too late. The door was ajar, even though H3, later, by his actions tried to shut it on several occasions.
  5. Back to the drama: The French landed in Kent on 14 May 1216, under the command of King Philip II’s son Louis. Philip had declared John’s kingship forfeit because a “trial” found John had killed his nephew Arthur (son of John’s older brother Geoffrey, duke of Brittany).
  6. On 28 October 1216, at Gloucester Abbey Henry was hurriedly crowned king because of the invasion; Gloucester Abbey was safely behind loyalist lines. A sparse crowd viewed the spectacle. Normally kings were crowned on Sunday, but Henry was on Thursday. It was presided over by a cohort of bishops that didn’t include the Archbishop of Canterbury (he was on the Continent, maybe favoring Philip II).
  7. Philip’s son Louis held Westminster.
  8. Child kings posed problems in English polity. Fortunately, H3 had the greatest knight at his side, William Marshall, earl of Pembroke, serving as H3’s guardian. He instituted a conciliar (council) form of rule. But William died on 14 May 1219.
  9. In 1217 the Charter of the Forest limited the king’s right over large territories of royal forests. The Charter included pastures and parts of farms and villages. The landowners liked this restriction of the king’s property.
  10. Since H3 was a child-king, William invented a new address for himself: rector noster et regni nostri (“our ruler and ruler of our kingdom”) or shortened by modern historians to “regent.”
  11. Pope Innocent III also favored the boy king, at King John’s dying request.
  12. The French invasion was settled at Lincoln, after six hours of bloody, brutal battle.
  13. Prince Louis was farther south besieging the monumental castle at Dover. Hearing the news of the battle, he dithered, trying to figure out a strategy.
  14. The French were defeated and almost every major rebel baron was captured.
  15. Louis withdrew to London, where he had been earlier cheered by the rebels, to figure out how to withdraw now.
  16. In August, Hubert de Burgh led a naval battle at Sandwich. The English showered the French with arrows and threw quicklime downwind, to burn out their eyes. The French were defeated.
  17. Louis pocketed a bribe and left for France.
  18. On 17 May 1220, H3 was crowned a second time at Westminster Abbey (correct place) overseen by the Archbishop of Canterbury (correct person), on Sunday (correct day).
  19. Three men fight for tutorship over H3: papal legate (ambassador) Cardinal Pandulf; Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, the richest see in England; and Hubert de Burgh, justiciar.
  20. His mother, Isabella de Angoulême (France), was cut out of the picture, so she returned home and married Hugh de Lusignan in 1220, to whom she was betrothed when John claimed her. Her sons, H3’s half-brothers, will later cause trouble in England.
  21. What happened to the three who claimed guardianship over H3? On 26 July 1221 Pandulf resigned; on 19 February 1221 the Exchequer audited des Roches’ account and he was pressured to resign and left the country by April, apparently to go on a pilgrimage. Now De Burgh is the only one left. He tutored H3 from 1223 onwards.
  22. It is clear that since H3 did not grow up with a father, he was drawn to paternal figures—and they were certainly drawn to him for riches and power.
  23. In January 1223 at Westminster the king, now sixteen years old, confirmed the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest.
  24. Hubert invented a Great Seal for H3; now his attestation had real authority.
  25. Now down to business. H3’s father John had lost regions in France that had been won by John’s father Henry II and brother Richard I. Would H3 conquer at least some of it back?
  26. The barons had no financial stake, so how could H3 and his advisor de Burgh persuade them to spend all the money to invade?
  27. H3 asked for taxes from a council of English nobility. They granted him one fifteenth tax on movables, but he had to reissue the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest—the Charters of Liberties. Those two charters now had the status of law. Restrictions on the monarchy went forward one more step.
  28. King Philip II of France died and his son Louis, thirty-five years old, became Louis VIII (8).
  29. H3’s younger brother, Richard, made earl of Cornwall, led by their uncle, earl of Salisbury, did open up Gascony in southern France. Now the wine trade was secure. Even parts of Aquitaine were secured. Aquitaine was north of Gascony and H3’s grandmother’s home area—Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  30. H3’s personality and physical features: He inherited the Plantagenet’s temper. He did fly into rages with friends and ministers, hurling abuse at them and trying to hit them on their heads with a nearby object or attacking at least one with a blunted sword.
  31. He was five feet, six inches, had a drooping eyelid, which gave him a pious appearance.
  32. He was given to great displays of kingly magnificence, usually for religion, but sometimes for paintings of heroic kings of the past, like Alexander the Great or Richard I, Lionheart.
  33. In 1258 Pope Alexander IV called him Rex Christianissimus (Most Christian King), but the great Italian poet Dante called him vir simplex (a simple man).
  34. H3 developed an attachment to Edward the Confessor, who reigned as king of England from 1042-1066, before the Norman Conquest in 1066. He got the name “Confessor” because of his extra-devotion.
  35. H3 took fed 150 paupers per day (a hundred when the queen was absent).
  36. H3’s piety was legendary even in his own times.
  37. Birth of Parliament: For so many years, H3 was a child-king. His mentor William Marshall as regent ruled by a council. The king had ministers, but who would watch over them? From 1216 to 1225 twenty-five great councils were called (in Bristol), which put it in people’s mind that the king would consult (ask permission?) from the council on matters of great importance in the realm. A primitive parliament was born—parl– is the French stem for “speaking,” and the English nobility spoke French.
  38. From 1225 onwards, extraordinary taxes would be given by the realm, not taken from it. That’s a big switch. Money is vital.
  39. In January 1235 the first official parliament met.
  40. Meanwhile, in November 1226 Louis VIII of France dies of dysentery at aged thirty-nine, and his twelve year-old son, Louis IX (9), succeeded to the throne. As with H3, boy kings usually mean weakness.
  41. Power struggle as H3 matured. De Burgh steered the wheels of power, but he was H3’s father’s man.
  42. H3’s brother Richard and William Marshall’s son Richard Marshall revolted in 1231 against de Burgh’s heavy rule.
  43. H3 accused de Burgh of crimes and tried before his peers (Magna Carta demands it) and was imprisoned in Devizes Castle. H3 is trying to show his independence.
  44. Returning to England at this time, Peter des Roches, H3’s one-time tutor and bishop of Winchester, dominated H3’s government. He got rid of his opponents (de Burgh’s old allies) without a trial by peers; he also burned these noble’s villages and cut down woods and orchards and destroying parks and fishponds.
  45. Thus des Roches and H3 trampled underfoot the Magna Carta.
  46. Again Richard Marshall revolted in 1233, twice.
  47. In June of that year there was talk among the barons of deposing H3.
  48. In April 1234 Richard Marshall died in battle in Ireland, and H3 was erroneously accused of having him murdered. Bottom line: Too many people did not respect H3.
  49. During all this time, H3 was an intensely devoted king, collecting relics. He retreated to his religion when things got tough.
  50. But he shook himself into action to suppress opposition, but he acquiesced to the nobles and submitted to the principles of the Magna Carta, limiting his power. The barons were happy, and peace ensued. Monarchy restricted one more time.
  51. In 1236 H3 finally looked toward marriage. He chose Eleanor of Provence, the twelve-year-old daughter of Ramon-Berengar IV, count of Provence, whose eldest daughter Margaret was already married to Louis IX.
  52. Eleanor brought with her a lively southern French culture, much like H3’s grandmother Eleanor of Aquitaine
  53. They married in Canterbury Cathedral on 20 January 1236 and she was crowned queen six days later. London was filled to bursting with great men and women who wanted to see the newlyweds.
  54. The females who attend young Plantagenet queens (and presumably other noble ladies) decide when she is ready for childbirth. H3 would have to wait.
  55. Future competition: Simon de Montfort had arrived in 1230, claiming a title to the earldom of Leicester. He was wooing H3 sister Eleanor, who, after the death of her first husband William II Marshall, had sworn the holy oath of chastity.
  56. Wooed by de Montfort, however, she broke her oath. Simon de Montfort and Eleanor married in secret without H3’s consultation. H3 other sister Isabella did seek consultation—even H3 did before the barons and prelates (church leaders).
  57. This secret marriage provoked outrage among English nobility, both lay and ecclesiastical. Scandal.
  58. In May 1235 William Marsh (not the same as William Marshall) murdered a man within twelve miles of H3. This upset the king very much. Marsh fled to Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel and formed a gang of pirates.
  59. On 9 September 1238 H3 and his queen were staying in a hunting lodge in Woodstock. Marsh sent a maniac to enter H3 bedroom and assassinate him, but H3 was sleeping with his wife (their first child Edward was born in mind-June), so the bedroom was vacant. The maniac was confused. The lady-in-waiting (Margaret Bisset) raised the alarm, and he was caught. Under torture he confessed that Marsh had sent him. Only in 1242 was Marsh and his gang of sixteen caught; they were dragged behind a horse and killed.
  60. In mid-June 1239 Queen Eleanor gave birth to a son. Would H3 name him Henry, John, Richard, William? He named him Edward, after H3’s beloved Confessor. Edward would become the future King Edward I. Until then he was called Lord Edward.
  61. H3’s brother Richard led a Crusade to Palestine between 1239 and 1241, and Simon de Montfort joined him.
  62. In 1242 H3 decided to take Poitou, France, on the northern part of the Bay of Biscay. Simon de Montfort joined him, but H3’s generalship was terrible, and the English lost. De Montfort was overheard comparing H3 to Charles the Simple, the tenth-century Carolingian king of France, who failed so badly militarily that his subjects put him in prison.
  63. H3 reneged on his promise to give his brother Richard Gascony for his valiant fight for Poitou. Resentment builds.
  64. On 12 October 1247, the eve of the translation of Edward the Confessor, H3 was to lead a procession on the long road from London to Westminster. He was accompanied by all the priests of London. They departed from St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was carrying a crystal vial over his head, containing the blood of Christ. Dutiful priests held up his arms.
  65. Such was H3’s reign. Was it politically profitable? No.
  66. In 1245 H3 began rebuilding Westminster Abbey (still largely the same today), so-called because it housed a community of monks following the rule of St. Benedict, who met each day in the Chapter House, to a hear a chapter of the rule (hence the name). It was Edward the Confessor’s favorite abbey. H3 also built the Palace of Westminster, combining politics and religion.
  67. No word on Downton Abbey.
  68. In May 1247 Simon de Montfort went to Gascony to shore up H3’s control. Before long he ran out of money so he became high-handed. He destroyed buildings and confiscated land and cut vines.
  69. H3 recalled de Montfort to stand trial to be investigated. De Montfort denounced H3’s fecklessness in believing Gascon complaints. “Who could believe that you are a Christian? Have you never confessed?” “I have,” H3 replied. “But what avails confession without repentance and atonement?” This implies that H3’s faith was a sham. Emotions got the better of them in the trial.
  70. On a happier note, Lord Edward (H3’s firstborn) married Eleanor of Castile on November 1, 1254.
  71. The Lusignan brothers were related to H3 by his mother’s second marriage to Hugh X (10) of Lusignan. They arrived in England in 1247 and were rowdy, causing all kinds of mischief. (More on them, below)
  72. H3 was poor compared to the King of France, but he wanted to acquire Sicily for his son Lord Edward, the large island off the southern tip of Italy. He wanted to go on a Crusade, but his acquisition of Sicily caught his eye.
  73. On St. Edward’s day, October 13, 1255, H3 told the assembled parliament of his plan and his debt to the pope for 135,541 marks (a huge amount). They were stunned. This shows H3’s lack of wisdom in governance.
  74. H3 brother Richard was made king of the Germans in 1256.
  75. In 1257 H3 presented his twelve-year-old son Lord Edward as “king” of Sicily to the magnates (large landowners) and prelates (church leaders).
  76. The coffers were empty and the Lusignans were loathed, though H3 liked or tolerated them.
  77. In 1258 H3 summoned the barons to a parliament in Westminster, hoping to get them to pay for H3’s Sicily project. They were not amused. They arrived in a reforming mood.
  78. On April 30, 1258, a large body of nobles, including Simon de Montfort, told the king to back off.
  79. Respiratory disease swept through England at the time, and rebellion was tearing through Wales, led by the powerful prince of Gwynedd, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd.
  80. In 1258 the nobles made H3 and his son Lord Edward swear on the Gospels that they would be bound by a panel of twenty-four magnates, twelve selected by H3 and the others by the magnates. H3 couldn’t even find twelve to be his allies
  81. In the same year, a parliament was convened in Oxford; they presented him with a list of misdeeds, particularly for refusing to submit to the Magna Carta. H3 backed down and submitted to the Oxford Provisions.
  82. The main provisions were to allow a panel of four knights per county to investigate by royal officials. The provisions established a panel of twenty-four to oversee the government of the realm. A justiciar was chosen who was to “put right wrongs done by ‘others’” (i.e. king); a chancellor (takes care of business of the realm) was chosen who submitted to a council of fifteen; the treasurer came under the control of the fifteen. Parliament would meet three times per year in October, February, and June. The Lusignans were chased out of England.
  83. Ever devout, H3 toured his favorite shrines in Oxford, mourning his three-year-old daughter Katherine’s passing who had been born severely disabled.
  84. In 1259, the barons made peace with France, too, with this heavy price: H3 had to pay homage to Louis IX, in Paris. He also was very pious, considered the most pious of Europe. On his way there, he stopped by churches to hear the Mass. The French king ordered the church doors to shut, so he wouldn’t be late.
  85. H3 renounced all that remained of his claims to rule the lands won by Henry II and Richard I: Normandy, Maine, Anjou, and Poitou. He was paying homage to Louis.
  86. This homage is called the Treaty of Paris, dated October 1259 but ratified in December. In France H3 would be a baron of the French royal court subject to the parlement (parliament) of Paris.
  87. H3’s and Eleanor’s stay in Paris was extended. He ran out of money because he intended to show how rich an English king was, so he had to borrow from the Templars in Paris. Embarrassing. His daughter Beatrice was going to marry John, heir to the duchy of Brittany, so he stayed longer, but he was making a mistake to be so dependent on Louis.
  88. On 14 January 1259, H3 carried the bier of Louis’s son, of the same name, who had just died. On 22 January the kings of England and France and their wives attended the wedding.
  89. Louis IX was transcendent—rose to power—from Flanders to Toulouse.
  90. In January 1261 H3 began making plans to escape from the council. He fled to the Tower of London, which had never been conquered.
  91. However, a revolt led by Simon de Montfort never materialized. The Treaty of Kingston was signed on the Thames (River) on 21 November 1261. De Montfort left for France. The treaty disbanded the council, the Lusignans were restored, and he decided to revive the Sicilian Business again.
  92. The problem: people liked the Oxford Provisions, which emerged from real (not imaginary) problems across the realm. How and where could H3 get his money and authority?
  93. H3 decided to go to France to undermine de Montfort’s position there, but his absence was detrimental.
  94. De Montfort returned in October 1262 at the parliament to hear Pope Urban IV’s (4) bull (document of pope’s most important mandate) confirming the Provisions of Oxford
  95. A rebel army emerged, led by Simon Montfort, opposing H3 and Lord Edward and Richard, son and brother (his position as king of Germans had collapsed).
  96. De Montfort won. By mid-July 1263 he ruled the kingdom in his own image, forgetting the conciliar model. Chaos.
  97. Arbitration should be done by the King Louis IX. Eleanor of Provence had already fled to Paris, so she influenced the king (Margaret, married to Louis, and Eleanor were sisters).
  98. In January 1264 King Louis IX decided the matter in favor of H3, in Amiens, France. This uncoupled Magna Carta (principles by which H3 promised to rule) from the Provisions of Oxford (principles by which magnates rule over H3), and the Provisions of Westminster of 1259 (putting the Oxford Provisions into statute law).
  99. On 14 May 1264 the Battle of Lewes erupted (Lewes is a small town in Sussex). The king’s forces suffered a humiliating defeat.
  100. Outcome: H3 could serve as king (otherwise anarchy) provided Edward and his cousin Henry of Almain, eldest son of Richard, earl of Cornwall, be handed over as prisoners. They were imprisoned first at Dover Castle and then in Wallingford.
  101. The peace after the Battle Lewes is known as the Mises of Lewes, reinstating in modified form the Provisions of Oxford.
  102. Once again, de Montfort did not know how to rule as a quasi-king.
  103. On 28 May 1265, Lord Edward escaped because after a while he was allowed some liberties, like the best horse on rides. He simply took off and met with his royalist allies.
  104. On May 1 the royalists attacked Simon junior, son of Simon de Montfort.
  105. On August at Evesham the royalists attacked and defeated and killed de Montfort, Sr., his son Henry and other allies.
  106. H3 was delighted and was sent to recuperate in Gloucester and Marlborough castles, where he restored the altar plates.
  107. Power shifted to another quasi-king, Lord Edward.
  108. In September 1265 H3 unwisely declared all the Montfortian rebels should be permanently disinherited of their land and it should be redistributed to the royalists. H3 grandfather Henry II would have healed the wounds and peace would have ensued.
  109. The distressed rebels were known and the Disinherited. Rebellions broke out in too many places for Lord Edward to suppress.
  110. A papal envoy (Ottobuono) and Henry of Almain led a committee to reconcile the rebels and restore their lands.
  111. On 31 October 1266, the Dictum of Kenilworth set out forty-one clauses by which the rebels could be restored, and it also mentioned that the king must follow the Magna Carta and the Charter of the Forest.
  112. In 1267 the Treaty of Montgomery ceded vast feudal power to Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the Welsh prince.
  113. In mid-November 1267 H3 issued the Statute of Marlborough which enshrined in English law the Provisions of Westminster in their final form and the principles of Kenilworth.
  114. On 13 October 1269 Edward the Confessor’s remains were transferred to Westminster Abbey in an expensive new tomb.
  115. On 16 November 1272, just turning sixty-five, H3 died. He outlived most men of his generation, including his brother Richard, who had died six months earlier.
  116. On 20 November 1272 the king’s corpse was carried on an open bier, dressed in full regalia. It was temporarily buried in the old burial chamber of Edward the Confessor.
  117. Lord Edward had left on a Crusade in 1270, so he was out of the country. He will be crowned king on 19 August 1274, soon after he returned.
  118. In 1291 Edward I commissioned a splendid tomb, behind the tomb of the Confessor, for his father’s body.

SUMMARY

  1. Henry III was not made to rule. His father died when Henry was young, and his mother abandoned him. He was obsessively drawn to paternal figures, who early in his reign caused strife.
  2. He was extra-pious, too pious to take care of royal business. It was as if kingship distracted him from his true passion—religion.
  3. He was known for healing the king’s “evil” (scrofula or swelling of lymph glands in neck or leukemia of glands in neck).
  4. He formally renounced vast territories in France that his grandfather Henry II and his uncle Richard I had won. His father John lost the majority of the territories before him, but he couldn’t win them back.
  5. Parliament and submitting to it is a loss from the monarchy’s point of view. And at this stage it is no victory for the common people, either, but Henry III took England one small step closer to people’s liberties over the centuries.

PLANTAGENETS

Henry II

Eleanor of Aquitaine (duchess of Aquitaine, queen, and Henry II’s wife)

Richard I

King John

Henry III

Eleanor of Provence (wife of Henry III and mother of Edward I)

Edward I

Eleanor of Castile (married Edward I and mother of Edward II)

Edward II

Edward III

Richard II

RELATED

Matilda, Empress (Henry II’s mother). The post has links to her Norman ancestors!

William Longsword and Life in the Medieval Age and His American Descendants

Royal gateway ancestors of the Northeast

Royal gateway ancestors of the Middle Colonies

Royal gateway ancestors of Virginia

William Clopton and Our Royal Heritage (Our royal gateway ancestor)

Glossary of Medieval Terms A to J

Glossary of Medieval Terms K to Z

SOURCES

Jim Bradbury, The Capetians: Kings of France (Continuum, 2007).

Stephen Church, Henry III: A Simple and God-Fearing King, Penguin Books, (UK: Penguin Random House and Allen Lane, 2017).

Ian Crofton, The Kings and Queens of England (New York: Metro Books, 2006).

Margaret Howell, Eleanor of Provence: Queenship in Thirteenth-Century England (Blackwell, 1998, 2001).

Dan Jones, The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (New York: 2014).

Medieval France: An Encyclopedia, eds. William W. Kibler and Grover A. Zinn (New York: Garland, 1995).

Charles Philips, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Royal Britain (New York: Metro Books, 2009).

The Plantagenet Encyclopedia: An Alphabetical Guide to 400 Years of English History, gen. ed. Elizabeth Hallam, (Crescent Books, 1996).

Michael Prestwich, Edward I, Yale English Monarchs (Yale UP, 1997, 1998).

Douglas Richardson, Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols. (Salt Lake: Published Privately, 2013).

Desmond Seward, The Demon’s Brood: A History of the Plantagenet Dynasty (Pegasus, 2014).

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