Monday, 16 February 2015

Fascinating Facts: Henry III

After the chaotic reign of King John, his sudden death left his son, Henry III, on the throne at the age of only 9!

Fascinating Facts: Henry III [1216-1272]

  • When his father John died, Henry was nine years old, and large swathes of the richest and most populous parts of England were in French hands.
  • His guardians William Marshal and Hubert de Burgh became regents and settled things with the barons so the country could be united against the French.
  • Within a year of his accession, stability and order had been restored.
  • The regents governed well, but he was a weak and immature king his whole life.
  • He had a high appreciation of art and patronised fine craftsmen.
  • Unlike his predecessors, he had a happy marriage and nine children. He appears to have been faithful – also a rarity.
  • In 1250 he vowed to go on crusade, but never went.
  • He was defeated at the battle of Lewes by Simon de Montford, and his eldest son Edward handed over as a hostage.
  • Edward escaped, raised an army, and defeated de Montford at the battle of Evesham.
  • From then on, Henry left the rule of the kingdom to Edward, and was king in name only.
  • In his retirement, Henry built Westmister Abbey, where the remains of Edward the Confessor were enshrined.

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