King Henry III
1207 - 1272

 Relationship to me: Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Gen -24

 Born: 1 Oct 1207
 Died: 16 Nov 1272
 Age 65  
 Father:      King John 1167 - 1216
 Mother: Isabella, daughter of Aymer Taillefer m.24/8/1200 c.1187 - 1246
 Married: Eleanor of Provence, Berenger c.1223 - 1291
 Children: King Edward I 1239 - 1307
  Edmund Plantagenet, Earl of Leicester 1245 - 1296   

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According to information passed on to me by Ian Caldwell, in Dec 2001: "Henry III King of England 1216-1272, born Winchester Castle 1/10/1207, died Westminster 16/11/1272 aged 65, buried Westminster Abbey. Married Eleanor of Provence (c.1223-1291) on 14/1/1236 at Canterbury Cathedral, daughter of Raymond Berenger, Count of Provence - 9 children.

Henry was only 9 when his father, King John, died during a civil war with London and the South East controlled by Louis, the son of the French King. However the regent, William Marshall and the Justiciar, Hubert de Burgh, soon defeated the rebel barons and bribed Louis to leave.

Henry had been crowned using his mother, Isabella's gold torque, as the crown jewels had been lost. After William Marshall died Henry was crowned again in 1220 with new regalia in Westminster Abbey when he was still only 12, and he did not assume sole control until 1227, although Hubert remained Chief Justiciar until 1232.

Because the fighting with the barons, and in France, had been prolonged, the treasury was empty. Henry blamed Hubert and had him imprisoned. He had been led to blame him by Peter des Roches, bishop of Winchester, who was from Poitou, now lost by the English. Peter des Roches along with his friend Stephen Segrave, had great influence over the king and proceeded to fill the offices of State with Poitevins, upsetting many of the barons. Eventually Henry was persuaded to sack Roches and Segrave and expel the Poitevins, but then, unwisely, Henry began to fill his court with Frenchmen, especially after his marriage to Eleanor of Provence and the marriage of her sister, Margaret, to Louis IX of France.

Although this upset the barons it was to have a remarkable effect on English culture, as France was then at the height of literary and architectural art. So French romantic literature, chansons and romances de gestes came to England, as well as chivalric romances including stories about King Arthur and his knights. It was also an active period of building and restoration of churches and castles and religious houses in the Gothic style. Many of our great historic castles date from this period, as does Westminster Abbey which was sumptuously restored and improved for the coronation of Eleanor in 1236.

Although the barons were unhappy with the king and the loss of the French lands, Henry proved a good negotiator and established a strong alliance with Scotland under the Treaty of York in 1237; and agreed a similar treaty with the Welsh princes at Woodstock in 1247.

In 1259 Henry agreed to cede Normandy, Maine and Anjou to Louis of France in return for retaining Gascony as a fifedom subject to Louis. This did not please the barons who saw Henry as a weak king and resulted in a rebellion in 1264, led by Simon de Montfort. At the Battle of Lewes on 14th May Henry was defeated and captured. The barons forced Henry to call a parliament and to give way to their demands. In July 1265 Henry's son, Edward, escaped and raised and army and, at the Battle of Evesham on 4th August 1265 he defeated and killed de Montfort and Henry returned to power.

However Henry was beginning to suffer from senility and now left much of the government to his son, Edward, instead devoting his time to pursuing the arts and to completing the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey. In 1270 the country was stable enough for his son, Edward to leave his father and go on a crusade to the Holy Land. Henry was grief stricken at the death of his brother, Richard, in 1272 and died 7 months later, while Edward was still away. Although he may have been damned by the barons he encouraged a flowering of art and culture in England".