Henry III of England
Overview
 
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready. England prospered during his reign and his greatest monument is Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

, which he made the seat of his government and where he expanded the abbey as a shrine to Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

.
Timeline

1216    King John of England dies at Newark-on-Trent and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Henry.

1259    Kings Louis IX of France and Henry III of England agree to the Treaty of Paris, in which Henry renounces his claims to French-controlled territory on continental Europe (including Normandy) in exchange for Louis withdrawing his support for English rebels.

1264    The Battle of Lewes, between King Henry III of England and the rebel Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, begins.

1264    Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the ''de facto'' ruler of England.

1272    Following Henry III of England's death on November 16, his son Prince Edward becomes King of England.

Encyclopedia
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready. England prospered during his reign and his greatest monument is Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

, which he made the seat of his government and where he expanded the abbey as a shrine to Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

. He is the first of only five monarchs to reign in the Kingdom of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

 or its successor states for 50 years or more, the others being Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

 (1327–1377), George III
George III of the United Kingdom
George III was King of Great Britain and King of Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of these two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death...

 (1760–1820), Queen Victoria (1837–1901) and Elizabeth II (1952–present).

He assumed the crown under the regency
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

 of the popular William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke
William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke
Sir William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke , also called William the Marshal , was an Anglo-Norman soldier and statesman. He was described as the "greatest knight that ever lived" by Stephen Langton...

, but the England he inherited had undergone several drastic changes in the reign of his father. He spent much of his reign fighting the barons over Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

 and the royal rights, and was eventually forced to call the first "parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

" in 1264. He was also unsuccessful on the Continent, where he endeavoured to re-establish English control over Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

, Anjou
Anjou
Anjou is a former county , duchy and province centred on the city of Angers in the lower Loire Valley of western France. It corresponds largely to the present-day département of Maine-et-Loire...

, and Aquitaine
Aquitaine
Aquitaine , archaic Guyenne/Guienne , is one of the 27 regions of France, in the south-western part of metropolitan France, along the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range on the border with Spain. It comprises the 5 departments of Dordogne, :Lot et Garonne, :Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Landes...

.

Minority

Henry III was born in 1207 at Winchester Castle
Winchester Castle
Winchester Castle is a medieval building in Hampshire, England. It was founded in 1067. Only the Great Hall exists now; it houses a museum of the history of Winchester.-Great Hall:...

, the son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême
Isabella of Angoulême
Isabella of Angoulême was queen consort of England as the second wife of King John from 1200 until John's death in 1216. They had five children by the king including his heir, later Henry III...

. His coronation at age nine was a simple affair, attended by only a handful of noblemen and three bishops at St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester. In the absence of a crown (the crown had recently been lost with all the rest of his father's treasure in a wreck in East Anglia
East Anglia
East Anglia is a traditional name for a region of eastern England, named after an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the Kingdom of the East Angles. The Angles took their name from their homeland Angeln, in northern Germany. East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but upon the marriage of...

) a simple golden band was placed on the young boy's head, not by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 (who was at this time supporting Prince Louis "the Lion"
Louis VIII of France
Louis VIII the Lion reigned as King of France from 1223 to 1226. He was a member of the House of Capet. Louis VIII was born in Paris, France, the son of Philip II Augustus and Isabelle of Hainaut. He was also Count of Artois, inheriting the county from his mother, from 1190–1226...

, the future king of France) but by another clergyman—either Peter des Roches
Peter des Roches
Peter des Roches was bishop of Winchester in the reigns of King John of England and his son Henry III. Roches was not an Englishman, but a Poitevin.-Life:...

, Bishop of Winchester
Bishop of Winchester
The Bishop of Winchester is the head of the Church of England diocese of Winchester, with his cathedra at Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire.The bishop is one of five Church of England bishops to be among the Lords Spiritual regardless of their length of service. His diocese is one of the oldest and...

, or Cardinal Guala Bicchieri
Guala Bicchieri
Guala Bicchieri was an Italian diplomat and papal official, and Cardinal. He was the papal legate in England from 1216 to 1218, and took a prominent role in the politics of England during King John’s last years and Henry III’s early minority....

, the Papal legate
Papal legate
A papal legate – from the Latin, authentic Roman title Legatus – is a personal representative of the pope to foreign nations, or to some part of the Catholic Church. He is empowered on matters of Catholic Faith and for the settlement of ecclesiastical matters....

. In 1220 a second coronation was ordered by Pope Honorius III
Pope Honorius III
Pope Honorius III , previously known as Cencio Savelli, was Pope from 1216 to 1227.-Early work:He was born in Rome as son of Aimerico...

 who did not consider that the first had been carried out in accordance with church rites. This occurred on 17 May 1220 in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

.

Under John's rule the baron
Baron
Baron is a title of nobility. The word baron comes from Old French baron, itself from Old High German and Latin baro meaning " man, warrior"; it merged with cognate Old English beorn meaning "nobleman"...

s had supported an invasion
First Barons' War
The First Barons' War was a civil war in the Kingdom of England, between a group of rebellious barons—led by Robert Fitzwalter and supported by a French army under the future Louis VIII of France—and King John of England...

 by Prince Louis because they disliked the way that John had ruled the country. However, they quickly saw that the young prince was a safer option. Henry's regent
Regent
A regent, from the Latin regens "one who reigns", is a person selected to act as head of state because the ruler is a minor, not present, or debilitated. Currently there are only two ruling Regencies in the world, sovereign Liechtenstein and the Malaysian constitutive state of Terengganu...

s immediately declared their intention to rule by Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

, which they proceeded to do during Henry's minority.

Eleanor of Brittany

The treatment of his elder cousin Eleanor of Brittany, who was 23 years his senior (and older than his mother), was a difficult problem for Henry.

Eleanor was the daughter of Duke Geoffrey II of Brittany, elder brother of King John, which meant that she had a better claim to the English throne than John and Henry according to Primogeniture
Primogeniture
Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings . Historically, the term implied male primogeniture, to the exclusion of females...

, thus should have been queen regnant in 1203. But in 1202 John captured Eleanor at Mirebeau
Mirebeau
Mirebeau is a commune in the Vienne department in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France.-Demographics:-Twin towns:*Bassemyam, Burkina Faso*Membrilla, Spain*Regen, Germany*Saint-raymond, Quebec...

. When John died, the barons passed her over and crowned Henry, leaving the beautiful and defiant princess still imprisoned at Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle
Corfe Castle is a village and civil parish in the English county of Dorset. It is the site of a ruined castle of the same name. The village and castle stand over a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage. The village lies in the gap below the castle, and is some eight...

 at Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

, guarded by Peter de Maulay.

Viewing her claim to England and Aquitaine, though with little baronial support for her sex, as a threat, the regents, later Henry himself, viewed Eleanor as "state prisoner" and kept her in a state of semi-captivity, or "under a gentle house arrest", and never permitted her to marry. Before Henry held real power, it was alleged that there was a plot to spirit Eleanor away and deliver her to the king of France; de Maulay was accused of the plot and fell out of favor. However many believed such a plot was just an excuse aiming to discredit de Maulay and Peter des Roches
Peter des Roches
Peter des Roches was bishop of Winchester in the reigns of King John of England and his son Henry III. Roches was not an Englishman, but a Poitevin.-Life:...

, who would also fall out of favor in spring 1234. Shortly after the plot was discovered, Eleanor was moved away from coast and transferred between Gloucester
Gloucester
Gloucester is a city, district and county town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, and on the River Severn, approximately north-east of Bristol, and south-southwest of Birmingham....

, Marlborough and Bristol Castle
Bristol Castle
Bristol Castle was a Norman castle built for the defence of Bristol. Remains can be seen today in Castle Park near the Broadmead Shopping Centre, including the sally port.-History:...

. To prevent her from liberation, the princess was under strict custody and always closely guarded, even after child-bearing years. But on the other side, Henry also showed his generosity to his cousin. He styled Eleanor, who had been left no title, as "king's kinswoman" , referred her as "our cousin", and it was recorded that she lived as comfortably as a royal princess who received generous gifts from royal family. Henry himself once gave Eleanor a saddle, suggesting that she was probably a horsewoman, and was not always confined in her apartment. On another occasion, Henry sent her 50 yards of linen cloth, three wimples, 50 pounds of almonds and raisins respectively and a basket of figs. In November 1237 at Woodstock, Henry met a healthy Eleanor. Then the princess was again taken captive to Gloucester under the custody of William Talbot
William Talbot
Rt. Rev. William Talbot was Bishop of Oxford from 1699 to 1715, Bishop of Salisbury from 1715 to 1722 and Bishop of Durham from 1722 to 1730.-Family:...

, and the sheriff there paid for her expenses. In the final years of her life Eleanor was moved to Bristol, and Henry ordered the mayor and bailiff there to increase her household. The governor there exhibited her to the public annually, in case there might be rumors that the royal captive had been injured. The fact might suggest that English people were sympathetic to her.

On 10 August 1241 Eleanor died, and was buried at Amesbury
Amesbury
Amesbury is a town and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. It is most famous for the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge which is in its parish, and for the discovery of the Amesbury Archer—dubbed the King of Stonehenge in the press—in 2002...

. In the Chronicle of Lanercost there was a legend saying that before her death, the remorseful Henry gave her a gold crown, which would be donated to his young son Edward
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 three days later. Another version of events stated that Eleanor returned the crown after wearing it for only one day. After his cousin, who actually never gave up her rights and claim, finally died an unmarried prisoner, Henry was now indisputably the rightful king of England, although years later he was still unwilling to admit that Eleanor had preceded him in English succession line.

In 1268 Henry donated a manor in Melksham
Melksham
Melksham is a medium-sized English town, lying on the River Avon. It lies in the county of Wiltshire.It is situated southeast of the city of Bath, south of Chippenham, west of Devizes and north of Warminster on the A350 national route. The 2001 UK census cited Melksham as having 20,000...

, a place that Eleanor had shown her interest in, to Amesbury for the souls of Eleanor and her younger-brother Arthur, who was captured along with his sister and disappeared mysteriously the next year, it being widely believed that John had him murdered.

Wars and rebellions

In 1244, when the Scots threatened to invade England, King Henry III visited York Castle
York Castle
York Castle in the city of York, England, is a fortified complex comprising, over the last nine centuries, a sequence of castles, prisons, law courts and other buildings on the south side of the River Foss. The now-ruinous keep of the medieval Norman castle is sometimes referred to as Clifford's...

 and ordered it rebuilt in stone. The work commenced in 1245, and took some 20 to 25 years to complete. The builders crowned the existing moat with a stone keep, known as the King's Tower.

Henry's reign came to be marked by civil strife as the English barons, led by Simon de Montfort
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, 1st Earl of Chester , sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from other Simon de Montforts, was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. He led the barons' rebellion against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War of 1263-4, and...

, demanded more say in the running of the kingdom. French-born de Montfort had originally been one of the King's foreign counselors—a group much resented by the barons. Henry, in an outburst of anger over de Monfort's behaviour in a financial matter, accused de Montfort of seducing his sister and forcing him to give her to de Montfort to avoid a scandal. When confronted by the Barons about the secret marriage that Henry had allowed to happen, a feud developed between the two. Their relationship reached a crisis in the 1250s when de Montfort was brought up on spurious charges for actions he had taken as lieutenant of Gascony
Gascony
Gascony is an area of southwest France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; sometimes they are considered to overlap, and sometimes Gascony is considered a...

, the last remaining Plantagenet land across the English Channel
English Channel
The English Channel , often referred to simply as the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates southern England from northern France, and joins the North Sea to the Atlantic. It is about long and varies in width from at its widest to in the Strait of Dover...

. He was acquitted by the Peers of the realm
Peer of the Realm
Peer of the Realm is a term for a member of the highest social order in a kingdom, notably:...

, much to the King's displeasure.

Henry also became embroiled in funding a war in Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

 on behalf of the Pope
Pope Innocent IV
Pope Innocent IV , born Sinibaldo Fieschi, was pope from June 25, 1243 until his death in 1254.-Early life:...

 in return for a title for his second son Edmund. This situation led many of the barons to fear that Henry was following in his father's footsteps and therefore also needed to be kept in check. De Montfort became leader of those who wanted to reassert Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

 and force the king to surrender more power to the baronial council. In 1258 seven leading barons forced Henry to agree to the Provisions of Oxford
Provisions of Oxford
The Provisions of Oxford are often regarded as England's first written constitution ....

, which effectively abolished the absolutist Anglo-Norman
Anglo-Norman
The Anglo-Normans were mainly the descendants of the Normans who ruled England following the Norman conquest by William the Conqueror in 1066. A small number of Normans were already settled in England prior to the conquest...

 monarchy, giving power to a council of fifteen barons to deal with the business of government and providing for a thrice-yearly meeting of parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 to monitor their performance. Henry was forced to take part in the swearing of a collective oath to the Provisions of Oxford
Provisions of Oxford
The Provisions of Oxford are often regarded as England's first written constitution ....

.

In the following years those supporting de Montfort and those supporting the king grew more and more polarised. Henry obtained a papal bull in 1262 exempting him from his oath and both sides began to raise armies. The Royalists were led by Prince Edward
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, Henry's eldest son. A civil war, known as the Second Barons' War
Second Barons' War
The Second Barons' War was a civil war in England between the forces of a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort, against the Royalist forces led by Prince Edward , in the name of Henry III.-Causes:...

, ensued.

The charismatic de Montfort and his forces had captured most of southeastern England by 1263, and at the Battle of Lewes
Battle of Lewes
The Battle of Lewes was one of two main battles of the conflict known as the Second Barons' War. It took place at Lewes in Sussex, on 14 May 1264...

 on 14 May 1264, Henry was defeated and taken prisoner by de Montfort's army. While Henry was reduced to being a figurehead king, de Montfort broadened representation to include each county of England and many important towns—that is, to groups beyond the nobility. Henry and Edward remained under house arrest. The short period that followed was the closest England was to come to complete abolition of the monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 until the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of England
The Commonwealth of England was the republic which ruled first England, and then Ireland and Scotland from 1649 to 1660. Between 1653–1659 it was known as the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland...

 period of 1649–60 and many of the barons who had initially supported de Montfort began to suspect that he had gone too far with his reforming zeal.

Fifteen months later Prince Edward had escaped captivity (having been freed by his cousin Roger Mortimer) and led the royalists into battle, turning the tables on de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham
Battle of Evesham
The Battle of Evesham was one of the two main battles of 13th century England's Second Barons' War. It marked the defeat of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and the rebellious barons by Prince Edward – later King Edward I – who led the forces of his father, King Henry III...

 in 1265. Following this victory, savage retribution was exacted on the rebels.

Though not seen as the most tyrannical of kings, unlike his son Prince Edward
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, discontent was common during Henry's time and, though traditionally thought of as belonging to the time of King John, the earliest Robin Hood
Robin Hood
Robin Hood was a heroic outlaw in English folklore. A highly skilled archer and swordsman, he is known for "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor", assisted by a group of fellow outlaws known as his "Merry Men". Traditionally, Robin Hood and his men are depicted wearing Lincoln green clothes....

 sources and tales suggest that, if he existed at all, it was during Henry's reign.

Death

On Henry's death in 1272 he was succeeded by his son Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

. His body was laid, temporarily, in the tomb of Edward the Confessor while his own sarcophagus was constructed in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

.

Attitudes and beliefs during his reign

As Henry reached maturity he was keen to restore royal authority, looking towards the autocratic model of the French monarchy. Henry married Eleanor of Provence
Eleanor of Provence
Eleanor of Provence was Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Henry III of England from 1236 until his death in 1272....

 and he promoted many of his French relatives to higher positions of power and wealth. For instance, one Poitevin
Poitou
Poitou was a province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers.The region of Poitou was called Thifalia in the sixth century....

, Peter de Rivaux
Peter de Rivaux
Peter de Rivaux or Peter de Rivalis was an influential Poitevin courtier at the court of Henry III of England. He was related to Peter des Roches, being a nephew ....

, held the offices of Treasurer of the Household
Treasurer of the Household
The position of Treasurer of the Household is theoretically held by a household official of the British monarch, under control of the Lord Steward's Department, but is, in fact, a political office held by one of the government's Deputy Chief Whips in the House of Commons...

, Keeper of the King's Wardrobe, Lord Privy Seal
Lord Privy Seal
The Lord Privy Seal is the fifth of the Great Officers of State in the United Kingdom, ranking beneath the Lord President of the Council and above the Lord Great Chamberlain. The office is one of the traditional sinecure offices of state...

, and the sheriff
Sheriff
A sheriff is in principle a legal official with responsibility for a county. In practice, the specific combination of legal, political, and ceremonial duties of a sheriff varies greatly from country to country....

doms of twenty-one English counties simultaneously. Henry's tendency to govern for long periods with no publicly-appointed ministers who could be held accountable for their actions and decisions did not make matters any easier. Many English barons came to see his method of governing as foreign.

Henry was much taken with the cult of the Anglo-Saxon saint king
Anglo-Saxon monarchs
Anglo-Saxon monarchs were the rulers of the various kingdoms which arose in England following the withdrawal of the Romans in the fifth century. The most prominent kingdoms were Kent, Sussex, Wessex, Mercia and Bernicia, each recognising their own monarch...

 Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

 who had been canonised in 1161. After learning that St Edward dressed in an austere manner, Henry took to doing the same and wearing only the simplest of robe
Robe
A robe is a loose-fitting outer garment. A robe is distinguished from a cape or cloak by the fact that it usually has sleeves. The English word robe derives from Middle English robe , borrowed from Old French robe , itself taken from the Frankish word *rouba , and is related to the word rob...

s. He had a mural
Mural
A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface. A particularly distinguishing characteristic of mural painting is that the architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.-History:Murals of...

 of the saint painted in his bedchamber
Bedroom
A bedroom is a private room where people usually sleep for the night or relax during the day.About one third of our lives are spent sleeping and most of the time we are asleep, we are sleeping in a bedroom. To be considered a bedroom the room needs to have bed. Bedrooms can range from really simple...

 for inspiration before and after sleep and even named his eldest son Edward. Henry designated Westminster
Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...

, where St Edward had founded the abbey, as the fixed seat of power in England and Westminster Hall duly became the greatest ceremonial space of the kingdom, where the council of nobles also met. Henry appointed French architects from Rheims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

 to renovate Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 in the Gothic
Gothic architecture
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

 style. Work began, at great expense, in 1245. The centrepiece of Henry's renovated abbey was a shrine to Edward the Confessor. It was finished in 1269 and the saint's relics were then installed.

Henry was known for his anti-Jewish decrees, such as a decree compelling Jews to wear a special "badge of shame
Badge of shame
A badge of shame, also a symbol of shame, mark of shame, or simply a stigma, is typically a distinctive symbol required to be worn by a specific group or an individual for the purpose of public humiliation, ostracism, or persecution...

" in the form of the Two Tablets. He exacted several tallage
Tallage
Tallage or talliage may have signified at first any tax, but became in England and France a land use or land tenure tax. Later in England it was further limited to assessments by the crown upon cities, boroughs, and royal domains...

s specifically from Jews to raise money for his campaigns.

Henry was pious and his journeys were often delayed by his insistence on hearing Mass
Mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...

 several times a day. He took so long to arrive for a visit to the French court that his brother-in-law, King Louis IX of France
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

, banned priests from Henry's route. On one occasion, as related by Roger of Wendover
Roger of Wendover
Roger of Wendover , probably a native of Wendover in Buckinghamshire, was an English chronicler of the 13th century.At an uncertain date he became a monk at St Albans Abbey; afterwards he was appointed prior of the cell of Belvoir, but he forfeited this dignity in the early years of Henry III,...

, when King Henry met with papal prelates, he said, "If [the prelates] knew how much I, in my reverence of God, am afraid of them and how unwilling I am to offend them, they would trample on me as on an old and worn-out shoe."

Criticisms

Henry's advancement of foreign favourite
Favourite
A favourite , or favorite , was the intimate companion of a ruler or other important person. In medieval and Early Modern Europe, among other times and places, the term is used of individuals delegated significant political power by a ruler...

s, notably his wife's Savoyard uncles and his own Lusignan
Lusignan
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan...

 half-siblings, was unpopular with his subjects and barons. He was also extravagant and avaricious; when his first child, Prince Edward
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

, was born, Henry demanded that Londoners bring him rich gifts to celebrate. He even sent back gifts that did not please him. Matthew Paris
Matthew Paris
Matthew Paris was a Benedictine monk, English chronicler, artist in illuminated manuscripts and cartographer, based at St Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire...

 reports that some said, "God gave us this child, but the king sells him to us".

Appearance

According to Proulx et al., Henry was a thickset man of great stature who was often revered for his smooth skin. (His son, Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

 suffered from a droopy eyelid.)

Marriage and children

Married on 14 January 1236, Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, Kent, is one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England and forms part of a World Heritage Site....

, Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

, Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

, to Eleanor of Provence
Eleanor of Provence
Eleanor of Provence was Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Henry III of England from 1236 until his death in 1272....

, with at least five children born:
  1. Edward I
    Edward I of England
    Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

     (b. 17 June 1239 – d. 7 July 1307)
  2. Margaret
    Margaret of England
    Margaret of England was a medieval English princess who became Queen of Scots. A daughter of the Plantagenet king Henry III of England and his queen, Eleanor of Provence, she was Queen consort to Alexander III "the Glorious", King of the Scots.- Family :She was the second child of Henry III of...

     (b. 29 September 1240 – d. 26 February 1275), married King Alexander III of Scotland
    Alexander III of Scotland
    Alexander III was King of Scots from 1249 to his death.-Life:...

  3. Beatrice of England
    Beatrice of England
    Beatrice of England , also known as Beatrice de Dreux, was a Princess of England as the daughter of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence...

     (b. 25 June 1242 – d. 24 March 1275), married to John II, Duke of Brittany
    John II, Duke of Brittany
    John II was Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond, from 1286 to his death. He was son of Duke John I and Blanche of Navarre...

  4. Edmund Crouchback (16 January 1245 – d. 5 June 1296)
  5. Katherine (b. 25 November 1253 – d. 3 May 1257), deaf and mute from birth, though her deafness may not have been discovered until age 2.


There is reason to doubt the existence of several attributed children of Henry and Eleanor.
  • Richard (b. after 1247 – d. before 1256),
  • John (b. after 1250 – d. before 1256), and
  • Henry (b. after 1253 – d. young)


are known only from a 14th century addition made to a manuscript of Flores Historiarum
Flores Historiarum
The Flores Historiarum is a Latin chronicle dealing with English history from the creation to 1326 . It was compiled by various persons and quickly acquired contemporary popularity, for it was continued by many hands in many manuscript traditions...

, and are nowhere contemporaneously recorded.
  • William (b. and d. ca. 1258) is an error for the nephew of Henry's half-brother, William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke
    William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke
    William de Valence, 1st Earl of Wexford and 1st Earl of Pembroke , born Guillaume de Lusignan or de Valence, was a French nobleman and Knight, who became important in English politics due to his relationship to Henry III...

    .


Another daughter, Matilda, is found only in the Hayles Abbey chronicle, alongside such other fictitious children as a son named William for King John, and an illegitimate son named John for King Edward I
Edward I of England
Edward I , also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons...

. Matilda's existence is doubtful, at best. For further details, see Margaret Howell, The Children of King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence (1992).

Personal details

  • His Royal Motto was qui non dat quod habet non accipit ille quod optat (He who does not give what he has, does not receive what he wants).
  • His favourite wine was made with the Loire Valley
    Loire Valley
    The Loire Valley , spanning , is located in the middle stretch of the Loire River in central France. Its area comprises approximately . It is referred to as the Cradle of the French Language, and the Garden of France due to the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, and artichoke, asparagus, and...

     red wine grape Pineau d'Aunis
    Pineau d'Aunis
    Pineau d'Aunis, also known as Chenin noir is a red wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Loire Valley around Anjou and Touraine. A favorite of Henry Plantagenet, wine made from the grape was first exported to England in the thirteenth century. Today the grape is blended with the white...

     which Henry first introduced to England in the thirteenth century.
  • He built a Royal Palace in the town of Cippenham
    Cippenham
    Cippenham is a suburb of the unitary authority of Slough in the county of Berkshire, England. It was transferred to Berkshire from Buckinghamshire in 1974.The name, Cippenham derives from the old English Cippan-ham, meaning Cippa's homestead....

    , Slough
    Slough
    Slough is a borough and unitary authority within the ceremonial county of Royal Berkshire, England. The town straddles the A4 Bath Road and the Great Western Main Line, west of central London...

    , Berkshire
    Berkshire
    Berkshire is a historic county in the South of England. It is also often referred to as the Royal County of Berkshire because of the presence of the royal residence of Windsor Castle in the county; this usage, which dates to the 19th century at least, was recognised by the Queen in 1957, and...

     named "Cippenham Moat
    Cippenham Moat
    Cippenham Moat refers to the remains of a 13th Century Royal Palace created by King Henry III, located in the Cippenham suburb of Slough, in Berkshire. The area where the Palace once stood is still referred to and marked on maps as Cippenham Moat....

    ".
  • In 1266 Henry III of England granted the Lübeck
    Lübeck
    The Hanseatic City of Lübeck is the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World...

     and Hamburg Hansa a charter for operations in England, which contributed to the emergence of the Hanseatic League
    Hanseatic League
    The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

    .

Fictional portrayals

  • In The Divine Comedy, Dante sees Henry ("the king of simple life") sitting outside the gates of Purgatory
    Purgatory
    Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

     with other contemporary European rulers.
  • Henry is a prominent character in Sharon Kay Penman
    Sharon Kay Penman
    Sharon Kay Penman is an American historical novelist, published in the UK as Sharon Penman. She is best known for the Welsh Princes trilogy and the Plantagenet series. In addition, she has written four medieval mysteries, the first of which, The Queen's Man, was a finalist in 1996 for the Best...

    's historical novel
    Historical novel
    According to Encyclopædia Britannica, a historical novel is-Development:An early example of historical prose fiction is Luó Guànzhōng's 14th century Romance of the Three Kingdoms, which covers one of the most important periods of Chinese history and left a lasting impact on Chinese culture.The...

     Falls the Shadow; his portrayal is very close to most historical descriptions of him as weak and vacillating.
  • Henry's Court is described in some detail in James Blish
    James Blish
    James Benjamin Blish was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. Blish also wrote literary criticism of science fiction using the pen-name William Atheling, Jr.-Biography:...

    's historical novel concerning Roger Bacon
    Roger Bacon
    Roger Bacon, O.F.M. , also known as Doctor Mirabilis , was an English philosopher and Franciscan friar who placed considerable emphasis on the study of nature through empirical methods...

    , Doctor Mirabilis. Critical events of Henry's reign are well described, including the dismissal of Peter des Roches (after a politically loaded riddle by Roger Bacon is answered by Henry), the ejection of Poitevins from England, the conflict with Hubert de Burgh, the marriage of Eleanor with Simon de Montfort
    Simon de Montfort
    Simon de Montfort or Simon de Montford may refer to:*Simon I de Montfort , French nobleman, an ancestor of the following...

    , and finally the accession of Henry's son, Edward I after the battle of Evesham. The imprisonment of Eleanor is lightly dealt with, and the story of her crown is turned to the advantage of Bacon, who is said to have received the crown as a gift to secure funding for the publishing of his last great book, Liber de retardatione, concerning old age and its amelioration though the sciences.
  • Henry has been portrayed on screen only rarely. As a child he has been portrayed by Dora Senior in the 1899 silent short King John (1899), a version of John's death scene from Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

    's King John, and by Rusty Livingstone in the 1984 BBC Television Shakespeare
    BBC Television Shakespeare
    The BBC Television Shakespeare was a set of television adaptations of the plays of William Shakespeare, produced by the BBC between 1978 and 1985.-Origins:...

     version of the play.

Ancestors




External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK