Simon de Montfort's Parliament was an English parliament held from 20 January 1265 until mid-March of the same year, called by Simon de Montfort, a baronial rebel leader.
Montfort had seized power in England following his victory over Henry III at the Battle of Lewes during the Second Barons' War, but his grip on the country was under threat. To gain more support, he summoned not only the barons and the knights of the shires, as in previous parliaments, but also burgesses from the major towns. They discussed radical reforms and temporarily stabilised Montfort's political situation. Montfort was killed at the Battle of Evesham later that year, but the idea of inviting both knights and burgesses to parliaments became more popular under Henry's son Edward I. By the 14th century, it had become the norm, with the gathering becoming known as the House of Commons.
In 1258, King Henry III of England faced a revolt among the English barons.Anger had grown about the way the King's officials were raising funds, the influence of his Poitevin relatives at court and his unpopular Sicilian policy; even the English Church had grievances over its treatment by the King. Within Henry's court there was a strong feeling that the King would be unable to lead the country through these problems. On 30 April, Hugh Bigod marched into Westminster in the middle of the King's parliament, backed by his co-conspirators, including Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, and carried out a coup d'état. Henry, fearful that he was about to be arrested and imprisoned, agreed to abandon his policy of personal rule and instead govern through a council of 24 barons and churchmen, half chosen by the King and half by the barons.
The pressure for reform continued to grow unabated and a parliament met in June. The term "parliament" had first appeared in the 1230s and 1240s to describe large gatherings of the royal court, and parliamentary gatherings were held periodically throughout Henry's reign.They were used to agree upon the raising of taxes which, in the 13th century, were single, one-off levies, typically on movable property, intended to support the King's normal revenues for particular projects. During Henry's reign, the counties had begun to send regular delegations to these parliaments, and came to represent a broader cross-section of the community than simply the major barons.
The new parliament passed a set of measures known as the Provisions of Oxford, which Henry swore to uphold.These provisions created a smaller council of 15 members, elected solely by the barons, which then had the power to appoint England's justiciar, chancellor and treasurer, and which would be monitored through triennial parliaments. Pressure from the lesser barons and the gentry present at Oxford also helped to push through wider reform, intended to limit the abuse of power by both the King's officials and the major barons. More radical measures were passed by the new council the next year, in the form of the Provisions of Westminster.
The disagreements between the leading barons involved in the revolt soon became evident.Montfort championed radical reforms that would place further limitations on the authority and power of the major barons as well as the Crown; others promoted only moderate change, while the conservative barons expressed concerns about the existing limitations on the King's powers. Over the next four years, neither Henry nor the barons were able to restore stability in England, and power swung back and forth between the different factions. By early 1263, what remained of Henry's authority had disintegrated and the country slipped back towards open civil war. Montfort convened a council of rebel barons in Oxford to pursue his radical agenda and by October, England faced a likely civil war. Montfort marched east with an army and London rose up in revolt. Montfort took Henry and Queen Eleanor prisoner, and although he maintained a fiction of ruling in Henry's name, the rebels completely replaced the royal government and household with their own, trusted men.
Montfort's coalition began to quickly fragment, Henry regained his freedom of movement and renewed chaos spread across England.Henry appealed to his brother-in-law Louis of France for arbitration in the dispute; Montfort was initially hostile to this idea, but, as war became more likely again, he decided to agree to French arbitration as well. Initially Montfort's legal arguments held sway, but in January 1264, Louis announced the Mise of Amiens, condemning the rebels, upholding the King's rights and annulling the Provisions of Oxford. The Second Barons' War finally broke out in April, when Henry led an army into Montfort's territories. Becoming desperate, Montfort marched in pursuit of Henry and the two armies met at the Battle of Lewes on 14 May. Despite their numerical superiority, Henry's forces were overwhelmed. Captured, Henry was forced to pardon the rebel barons and reinstate the Provisions of Oxford, leaving him, as historian Adrian Jobson describes, "little more than a figurehead".
Simon de Montfort claimed to be ruling in the King's name through a council of officials. However, he had effective political control over the government even though he was not himself the monarch, the first time this had happened in English history.Montfort successfully held a parliament in London in June 1264 to confirm new constitutional arrangements for England; two knights were summoned from each county, chosen by the county court, and were allowed to comment on general matters of state – the first time this had occurred. Montfort was unable to consolidate his victory at Lewes, however, and widespread disorder persisted across the country. In France, Eleanor made plans for an invasion of England with the support of Louis.
In response, and hoping to win wider support for his government, Montfort summoned a new parliament for 20 January 1265 which continued until mid March that year.It was held at short notice, with the summons being issued on 14 December, leaving little time for attendees to respond. He summoned not only the nobility, senior churchmen and two knights from each county, but also two burgesses from each of the major towns such as York, Lincoln, Sandwich, and the Cinque Ports, the first time this had been done. Due to the lack of support for Montfort among the nobility, only 23 of them were summoned to parliament, in comparison to the summons issued to 120 churchmen, who largely supported the new government; it is unknown how many burgesses were called. The event was overseen by King Henry, and held in the Palace of Westminster, just outside London, which was the largest city in England, and whose continuing loyalty was essential to Montfort's cause.
This parliament was a populist, tactical move by Montfort in an attempt to gather support from the regions, and the historian Jeffrey Hamilton characterises it as "a very partisan assembly, not some sort of proto-democratic representative body".Once again the representatives were allowed to comment on wider political matters than just the usual issues of taxation. The business of the parliament focused on enforcing the Provisions of Westminster, in particular its restrictions on the major nobles, and promising judicial help to those who felt they were suffering from unfair feudal lordship.
The parliament bought temporary calm but opposition grew once more, particularly as Montfort and his immediate family began to amass a huge personal fortune.Prince Edward escaped his captors in May and formed a new army, resulting in a fresh outbreak of civil war. Edward pursued Montfort's forces through the Welsh Marches, before striking east to attack his fortress at Kenilworth and then turning once more on the rebel leader himself. Montfort, accompanied by the captive Henry, was unable to retreat and the Battle of Evesham ensued. Edward was triumphant and Montfort's corpse was mutilated by the victors. In places the now leaderless rebellion dragged on, with some rebels gathering at Kenilworth, which Henry and Edward took after a long siege in 1266. The remaining pockets of resistance were mopped up, and the final rebels, holed up on the Isle of Ely, surrendered in July 1267, marking the end of the war.
Henry III ruled England until his death in 1272, continuing to summon parliaments, sometimes including a number of knights of each shire and, once, including burgesses from the towns.After 1297 under Edward I's reign, this became the norm, and by the early 14th century it was normal to include the knights and burgesses, a grouping that would become known as the "Commons" of England and, ultimately, form the "House of Commons".
Simon de Montfort's parliament of 1265 is sometimes referred to as the first representative English parliament, because of its inclusion of both the knights and the burgesses, and Montfort himself is often regarded as the founder of the House of Commons.The 19th century historian William Stubbs popularised the 1295 "Model Parliament" of Edward I as the first genuine parliament; however, modern scholarship questions this analysis. The historian David Carpenter describes Montfort's 1265 parliament as "a landmark" in the development of parliament as an institution during the medieval period.
The Parliament of the United Kingdom presented a loyal address to Queen Elizabeth II in 1965 to mark the 700th anniversary of Montfort's Parliament,and the Queen addressed both Houses of Parliament. The House of Lords Record Office, now known as the Parliamentary Archives, organised an exhibition in the Houses of Parliament of several important Acts of Parliament. Some of these documents were displayed again in a 2015 exhibition.
In 2015, Parliament held a year-long programme of events called "Parliament in the Making", coordinated with Parliament Week, including events to mark the 750th anniversary of Montfort's Parliament.The BBC broadcast a "Democracy Day" on 20 January to coincide with the 750th anniversary consisting of live discussions and debate about parliament and democracy. It was presented in partnership with the Speaker's Office of the House of Commons, including broadcasts from inside the Palace of Westminster. Westminster Abbey held a special evensong on 22 January commemorating the anniversary of the Montfort parliament and the development of rights and representation.
The Dictum of Kenilworth, issued on 31 October 1266, was a pronouncement designed to reconcile the rebels of the Second Barons' War with the royal government of England. After the baronial victory at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, Simon de Montfort took control of royal government, but at the Battle of Evesham the next year Montfort was killed, and King Henry III restored to power. A group of rebels held out in the stronghold of Kenilworth Castle, however, and their resistance proved difficult to crush.
Magna Carta Libertatum, commonly called Magna Carta, is a royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. First drafted by Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton to make peace between the unpopular king and a group of rebel barons, it promised the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown, to be implemented through a council of 25 barons. Neither side stood behind their commitments, and the charter was annulled by Pope Innocent III, leading to the First Barons' War.
Edward I, also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Before his accession to the throne, he was commonly referred to as The Lord Edward. The first son of Henry III, Edward was involved from an early age in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he briefly sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was hostage to the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and defeated the baronial leader Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Within two years the rebellion was extinguished and, with England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land. He was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed that his father had died. Making a slow return, he reached England in 1274 and was crowned at Westminster Abbey.
Henry III, also known as Henry of Winchester, was King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine from 1216 until his death in 1272. The son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême, Henry assumed the throne when he was only nine in the middle of the First Barons' War. Cardinal Guala declared the war against the rebel barons to be a religious crusade and Henry's forces, led by William Marshal, defeated the rebels at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217. Henry promised to abide by the Great Charter of 1225, a later version of the 1215 Magna Carta, which limited royal power and protected the rights of the major barons. His early rule was dominated first by Hubert de Burgh and then Peter des Roches, who re-established royal authority after the war. In 1230, the King attempted to reconquer the provinces of France that had once belonged to his father, but the invasion was a debacle. A revolt led by William Marshal's son, Richard Marshal, broke out in 1232, ending in a peace settlement negotiated by the Church.
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, later sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from his namesake relatives, was a nobleman of French origin and a member of the English peerage, who led the baronial opposition to the rule of King Henry III of England, culminating in the Second Barons' War. Following his initial victories over royal forces, he became de facto ruler of the country, and played a major role in the constitutional development of England.
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. It marked the high point of the career of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, and made him the "uncrowned King of England". Henry III left the safety of Lewes Castle and St. Pancras Priory to engage the barons in battle and was initially successful, his son Prince Edward routing part of the baronial army with a cavalry charge. However, Edward pursued his quarry off the battlefield and left Henry's men exposed. Henry was forced to launch an infantry attack up Offham Hill where he was defeated by the barons' men defending the hilltop. The royalists fled back to the castle and priory and the King was forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, ceding many of his powers to Montfort.
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 the future King Edward I, who led the forces of his father, King Henry III. It took place on 4 August 1265, near the town of Evesham, Worcestershire.
Eleanor of Provence was a French noblewoman who became Queen consort of England as the wife of King Henry III from 1236 until his death in 1272. She served as regent of England during the absence of her spouse in 1253.
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of the Magna Carta, which had established the rights of barons to serve as consultants to the king on governmental matters in his Great Council. In 1295, Parliament evolved to include nobles and bishops as well as two representatives from each of the counties and towns in England and, since 1542, Wales. This became the model for the composition of all future Parliaments. Over the course of the next century, the membership of Parliament was divided into the two houses it features today, with the noblemen and bishops encompassing the House of Lords and the knights of the shire and local representatives making up the House of Commons. During Henry IV's time on the throne, the role of Parliament expanded beyond the determination of taxation policy to include the "redress of grievances," which essentially enabled English citizens to petition the body to address complaints in their local towns and counties. By this time, citizens were given the power to vote to elect their representatives—the burgesses—to the House of Commons.
The Second Barons' War (1264–1267) was a civil war in England between the forces of a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort against the royalist forces of King Henry III, led initially by the king himself and later by his son, the future King Edward I. The barons sought to force the king to rule with a council of barons rather than through his favourites. The war also featured a series of massacres of Jews by de Montfort's supporters including his sons Henry and Simon, in attacks aimed at seizing and destroying evidence of baronial debts. To bolster the initial success of his baronial regime, de Montfort sought to broaden the social foundations of parliament by extending the franchise to the commons for the first time. However, after a rule of just over a year, de Montfort was killed by forces loyal to the king in the Battle of Evesham.
The Model Parliament is the term, attributed to Frederic William Maitland, used for the 1295 Parliament of England of King Edward I.
Peter de Montfort of Beaudesert Castle was an English magnate, soldier and diplomat. He is the first person recorded as having presided over Parliament as a parlour or prolocutor, an office now known as Speaker of the House of Commons. He was one of those elected by the barons to represent them during the constitutional crisis with Henry III in 1258. He was later a leading supporter of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester against the King. Both he and Simon de Montfort were slain at the Battle of Evesham on 4 August 1265.
The Oxford Parliament (1258), also known as the Mad Parliament and the First English Parliament, assembled during the reign of Henry III of England. It was established by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester. The parlour or prolocutor (Speaker) was Peter de Montfort under the direction of Simon de Montfort. Simon de Montfort led the Parliament and the entire country of England for 18 months, from 1264 until his death at the Battle of Evesham.
The Battle of Northampton was a battle in the Second Barons' War. A decisive victory for the royalist forces of King Henry III of England, who took Northampton Castle and captured Simon de Montfort, son of Simon de Montfort.
Robert de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby (1239–1279) was an English nobleman.
Events from the 1260s in England.
The Mise of Amiens[miz ɒv a.mjɛ̃] was a settlement given by King Louis IX of France on 23 January 1264 in the conflict between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons, led by Simon de Montfort. Louis' one-sided decision for King Henry led directly to the hostilities of the Second Barons' War.
The Mise of Lewes was a settlement made on 14 May 1264 between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons, led by Simon de Montfort. The settlement was made on the day of the Battle of Lewes, one of the two major battles of the Second Barons' War. The conflict between king and magnates was caused by dissatisfaction with the influence of foreigners at court and Henry's high level and new methods of taxation. In 1258 Henry was forced to accept the Provisions of Oxford, which essentially left the royal government in the hands of a council of magnates, but this document went through a long series of revocations and reinstatements. In 1263, as the country was on the brink of civil war, the two parties agreed to submit the matter to arbitration by the French king Louis IX. Louis was a firm believer in the royal prerogative, and decided clearly in favour of Henry. The outcome was unacceptable for the rebellious barons, and war between the two parties broke out almost immediately.
Thomas Fitzthomas was Mayor of London in the 13th century, closely associated with Simon De Montfort and the revolutionary regime at the time of the Second Barons' War. He led a popular uprising against the established authorities of London, and was imprisoned by Henry III when he resumed power in 1265.
Robert de Neville, 2nd Baron Neville of Raby, was a medieval English nobleman.