Greetings, Sunday Weekend Warriors! Look at you, all eager to learn more about British history in preparation for your London move! Last week, we met King John’s son, Henry III, who was making a fine mess of things when we left off.
Continuing on this week, then, as we see a sense of nationalism grow in England and a desire to constrain the royal powers, the Provisions of Oxford are enacted in 1258, by which a 15-member, baron-appointed council is established to advise the king. Created with the best of intentions, this system starts to break down before long as squabbles and Henry III’s reassertion of control start to diminish its efficacy.
Henry’s resistance incites yet another civil war in 1264 as his son Edward leads the charge against the opposing leader, Henry’s own brother-in-law, Simon de Montfort. Simon is victorious; he captures both king and son and assumes leadership of England, straightaway reforming its government to conduct sessions that are precursors to today’s Parliament. By 1265, though, Edward escapes captivity and, joining forces with the Earl of Gloucester, conquers Simon; Henry III reclaims his throne and rules until his death in 1272.