What did he do Simon de montfort?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, along with Richard de Clare, the Earl of Gloucester, Roger Bigod, the Earl of Norfolk, Peter de Montfort, Simon's cousin, and John FitzGeoffrey the Justiciar for Ireland, forced King Henry III to permit a meeting of the barons and clergy at Oxford, in June of 1258, which resulted in the creation of the Provisions of Oxford, which required the establishment of a Parliament composed of the lords (House of Lords) and four knights elected by the common people of each shire as their representatives. Further, the Provisions forced the King to follow the policies prescribed by Councillors selected by the Parliament and placed them in perpetual attendance upon the King. As an added means of harnessing the King to the will of the people, the Parliament also had power to appoint the Justiciar, who was head of the royal system of justice and castellan of the Tower of London, and the Chancellor, who possessed the royal seals, without which no royal command was official.

This first modern, elective democracy would, however, have been no more than a document had it not been for Simon de Montfort's skills in actually seeing to the replacement of all the royal castellans and sheriffs by men chosen at the Oxford meeting. It was Montfort who had the knight-representatives elected, and arranged for the first meeting of a Parliament in the modern sense with genuine power. And it was Montfort who repeatedly protected the Parliament with defensive measures, blocking the landing of armies from abroad, summoned by King Henry to his aid.

Montfort's ability to seize control of a country through its points of vulnerability had been developed when he served as Viceroy over England's rebellious duchy of Gascony, and his ability to govern had been honed when he served as Regent of France during the absence of King Louis IX (Saint Louis) on crusade.

Jealousy of his power eventually moved the lords of England to abandon their own oaths to the Provisions of Oxford and to form alliance with King Henry against Montfort. With an army made up of commoners and a few young knights, Montfort defeated the entire army of King Henry and his barons and their knights at the Battle of Lewes in 1264.

By 1265 the resentment of the honor paid Montfort, and the awe in which he was held by a grateful commons, moved Richard de Clare's son Gilbert and others of Montfort's young leaders to abandon him and his cause in favor of the King.

In an attempt to try the validity of the new system, Montfort accompanied King Henry on a circuit of the law courts of England, with only a minimal armed guard accompanying the royal entourage. In this exposed situation Montfort's enemies entrapped him west of the Severn River. His son Simon was directed to raise an army of the Montfort partisans to come to his father's aid. But though the army was raised, the son, apparently not taking the danger seriously, failed to move with adequate speed.

In an attempt to reach the safety of his castle of Kenilworth, Montfort was intercepted at the village of Evesham. Seeing that he was surrounded and immensely outnumbered, Montfort released those attending him and urged them to flee while they could. Refusing to leave him, they received the Last Rights at the abbey of Evesham and attended him to his and their annihilation on Green Hill just north of Evesham.

Montfort's body was dismembered on the battlefield, leaving only the torso to be buried. But when the body was lifted from the ground a spring was seen to come up beneath it. Powers of healing blindness, lameness and a variety of ills were ascribed to the waters of the spring. It became a site of pilgrimage so damaging to the still fragile reinstated royal powers that taking water from the spring, and even mention of the name Simon de Montfort was made a capital crime.

The Parliament Simon created, and defended with his life, was the template for bicameral elective government that has become the prevailing form of democracy in most countries of the world.

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