73 Return of the Jedi

In 1262, it looked for all the world as though the royal party was back in control and the whole struggle for reform was over. But that was before you take into account the ability of Henry, Eleanor and their son to get up the collective English nose. So de Montfort was able to return and once again the battle was on. This time though, the royal party fought back right away, and won a string of victories. By March 1264, De Montfort was drinking at the last chance saloon. 

73 Return of the Jedi

Stirring up rebellion

In 1262, Henry and Eleanor should by rights have been able to finish any question of revolt. But instead their misrule continued, and each passing day re-affirmed that teh Provisions of Westminster had been lost, with the return of the Lusignan, and the restart of Eyres of Justices designed to raise money for the crown. But the really foolish move was to irritate the de Clare's; when Richard died, Henry and Eleanor refused to confirm the accession of his son the Red Earl, Gilbert de Clare, and tried to cripple Gilbert with the size of his mother's dower. 

Henry finally cottoned up and confirmed the provisions of Oxford – but it was too late. In April 1263 a group of marcher lords asked de Montfort to return, and duly he returned. 

1263-1264: Struggle for power

At first de Montfort carried all before him. He was well supported by magnates such as John de Warenne, Gilbert de Clare and even Richard of Cornwall. London declared for the rebels, and Eleanor and Henry were forced to retreat to the Tower. 

Temple Church LondonEdward was not prepared to take this lying down. He and a group of his knights broke into the Temple Church and stole £1,000 worth of jewels and coin. While this heightened London's support for de Montfort, it allowed Edward to escape the city and raise the royal standard at Windsor. Queen Eleanor  tried to join him, by sailing down the Thames on her barge – but much to her fury and that of Henry and Edward the Londoners on the bridge drove her back with mud, rotten vegetables and insults. Sadly, Edward and Eleanor were just the type to bear a grudge, and would never really forgive London the insult to the royal dignity.  

1264: The Mise of Amiens and power swings to the Royalists Gilbert de Clare

Early in 1264, Louis IXth was asked to arbitrate between the barons and king.

The result was acomplete whitewash, and the complete  rejection of the baronial claims. The ware then seemed to go from bad to worse for the Barons – with one exception – Gilbert de Clare's declaration for de Montfort. despite this, Henry was everywhere victorious, taking Northampton (and capturing Simon de Montfort Junior), Leicester and Nottingham before heading  to the south coast.

In May 1264 de Montfort set out with his numerically inferior army to risk it all on one last throw of the dice. 

9 thoughts on “73 Return of the Jedi

  1. Love this period David, very interesting part of English history. Too bad you can’t also discuss French history, also fascinating. Maybe someone wants to step up to the plate and make THOF? 😉

  2. Come on David, I thought you could do the THOF podcast during the week and THOE in the weekend. You’ve already got the French pronunciation ‘down’ 😉

  3. Keep up the great work, David.
    I look forward to each new installment.
    You do a terrific job of weaving personalities, cicumstances and motives into a fine tale.
    I listen while doing chores. So far I’ve cleaned the basement and the attic, stacked the firewood, raked piles of leaves. I expect to paint the guest bedroom by the end of Edward I.

  4. I don’t do facebook so I’m going to post my question here, as this is where I’m at in the podcast.
    You’ve mentioned several times how unusual it is for this time period for people to be holding kings accountable to standards regarding how they rule. Such as when the mayor of London swears fealty to the king as long as the king treats the people properly.
    This makes me wonder why, assuming that your assertion is correct, this sort of progress occurred in England at this time. I’ve tried to consider the history your podcast has discussed, and I can’t think of any particular reason why the people of England had this attitude before people elsewhere did. I mean, kings elsewhere must have behaved as badly towards their people as the kings of England did, yet apparently they didn’t meet with the kind of resistance that the kings of England did.
    Can you recommend any books which discuss why England was different in this regard from the rest of Europe?

  5. Hi Rich…it just so happens that my knowledge of developments outside England is wafer thin. S I am not sure I can answer your question. My assumption had always been that England was not particularly exceptional; There are examples in Europe where freedoms won fro rulers exceed those in England; Flanders and Northen Italy spring to mind; Germany also a little later, though generally really only in relation to the Great Men. It’s not that England was exceptional, but that over time these things add up, and England does end up in a substantially different place. Or that’s my view, and I’d also love to see a comparative study, and whether there’s any theory as to whether it’s anything more than an accident of History.

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