Henry III of England

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Winchester Castle,
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Birthday
Birthplace
Winchester Castle,

Henry III was king of England, Duke of Aquitaine, and Lord of Ireland, and was also known as Henry of Winchester. He was born in 1207 as the heir to the throne of England after his father, King John. Henry III’s tenure as king began at the tender age of nine, and he was expected to be a great ruler, yet he nevertheless fell short on the greatness meter in terms of military and political successes. He is remembered in history as a cowardly, egoistic, and haughty emperor who invaded France twice but failed miserably. However, during the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217, just a year after Henry took the kingdom, he was able to put down the Baron uprising. However, Henry continued to try to suppress them for the rest of his life, eventually culminating to the first arrangement of England’s parliament in 1264. His father, King John, was also a contentious character who was unpopular, but Henry III’s unpopularity was somewhat mitigated by the fact that England experienced a period of prosperity and political and social progress during his reign.

His Childhood and Adolescence

Henry was called after his grandpa, Henry II, who was a very effective ruler and under whose reign the English Empire grew vast, spanning many territories of south-west and north-west France.

Henry was born on October 1, 1207, at the royal palace of Winchester to King John and Isabella of Angouleme. John, Henry’s father, was an inept ruler who lost numerous French lands to King Philip II of France.

His reign was so feeble that King Philip’s son, Louis, aspired to the English throne, and John’s political ineptness paved the ground for the First Baron’s War in England, with the Barons assisted by Prince Louis, who subsequently became King Louis VII of France.

The Barons, like King John, were unable to win, and he died in the midst of the conflict, leaving his eldest son, Henry, as the successor to the crown.

Henry grew up in the midst of the upheaval, yet he was shielded from the war and political unrest as a child. He had a close relationship with his mother, who adored him more than his siblings.

His formal education began in 1212, under the supervision of Peter des Roches, the bishop of Westminster at the time. Henry was then given training in battle, politics, military, fighting, and horseback riding in order to prepare him for his future role as a monarch.

The Coronation and the Reign

Henry was with his mother at Corfe Castle on the day his father died. Before his death, the king had declared that the crown was in grave danger and that Henry’s coronation must take place as soon as possible. William Marshal, King John’s close friend and reputedly the best knight in England, was to be appointed as young Henry’s guardian.

The crown loyalists proclaimed Henry King, William Marshal knighted him, and the official coronation ceremony took place on October 28, 1216. Henry was only nine years old at the time.

King John had put Henry in a difficult position, with the general population criticizing the royal family for allowing the rebels to occupy half of the nation.

Henry succeeded to put down the rebellions with the support of William and Guala Bicchieri. The main source of Baron’s displeasure was Henry’s father, King John, who was a lousy ruler with callous and brainless policies.

In Henry’s name, the Magna Carta was republished twice, the first in 1216 and the second in 1217.At the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217, William Marshal led a force to Lincoln and beat the Baron rebels in what became recognized as one of the most decisive conflicts in English history.

When William died of illness in 1219, Henry was still young and unable to rule on his own; as a result, Hubert de Burgh became his principal counselor and played a key part in the reaffirmation of the charter in 1223, as well as the establishment of peace with Wales.

In the same year, Pope Honorius III recognized Henry to be of legal age, allowing him to make judgments on things of royal importance, and in 1227, Henry declared to reclaim the land that King Louis of France had pledged but failed to keep.

King Louis VIII had died by then, and his son Louis IX had become King of France, thus Henry declared war (‘war for inheritance’). The French kingdom appeared to be in a weaker situation than the English, and Henry’s attempt to recapture the provinces of Brittany and Poitou in 1230 turned out to be a military and political failure.

After years of fighting, Henry gave up his claims and signed a peace deal with France’s King Louis IX. In 1934, Henry returned to England empty-handed. This massive failure cost the crown a great deal of money, and Henry was met with hostility, indiscipline, and challenges to his authority from all parts of his country.

In 1236, Henry married Eleanor of Province in an attempt to establish a new level of peace. Eleanor was regarded as a more capable princess and a “strong-willed personality.” Henry was 28 years old when they married in Canterbury Cathedral, and Eleanor was only 12 years old.

Despite the fact that marriage was mostly a political arrangement, he treated her lovingly, causing love to blossom between them. Eleanor is the mother of five children.

This marriage provided opportunities for French to enter the royal court of England, and while this was a bold step, it did cause some distrust among the barons.

By 1239, Henry had achieved reputation, and one of his relatives, Simon de Montfort, joined the rebels, as did Henry’s own brother, Richard. By arranging a marriage for his brother, Henry was able to win him back to his side, and the rebellion began to fade.

Simon was alone, and he was always criticising the King for appointing foreigners to significant posts in the royal court and the church while disregarding his own countrymen. This pitted the barons and the church against Henry, and de Montfort, a charismatic leader, was able to rally a large number of nobles and troops to his side.

Finally, the conflict erupted, with Henry’s eldest son Edward leading the onslaught against de Montfort. By 1263, de Montfort had conquered most of southern England, and the following year, he defeated Prince Edward’s men in the Battle of Lewes.

The battle was lost, and de Montfort placed Henry and his children under house arrest. De Montfort climbed to prominence and came dangerously close to overthrowing the monarchy, but most of the nobles who had previously backed him did not agree.

Following de Montfort into the war, barons began to suspect him of attempting to disrupt their way of life, which was represented by the monarchy, which they considered was a “very bold” decision, and most of them did not accept it, resulting in de Montfort’s position dwindling.

Worse, with the help of one of his cousins, Prince Edward managed to elude house confinement, and in the battle of Evesham in 1265, he defeated de Montfort and reclaimed Henry’s kingdom.

Death of Henery III of England

Prince Edward sailed for France in 1270, and Henry got gravely ill. He dialed Edward’s number, but he didn’t answer. On November 16th, 1274, King Henry III died and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His wife was by his side at the time of his death. Four of his five children survived him: Edward, the heir; Margaret, Beatrice of England; and Edmond Crouchback.

Legacy of Henery III

Henry III was admired for his appreciation of art, despite the fact that he was not a popular king. He made the brave decision to build Westminster Abbey in the Gothic style. Because of his tax measures, England prospered financially during his reign.

Henry III appears in a number of folk tales and ballads, but not as frequently as earlier English royals. Henry III is depicted brooding outside a door in Dante’s “Divine Comedy.” Even though William Shakespeare created plays on a number of well-known rulers, he avoided writing about Henry III, for which he was chastised.

Estimated Net Worth

The estimated net worth of Henry III is unknown .