Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


20 January 1265

Simon de Montfort convenes the first English Parliament in Westminster Hall.

I mentioned that I'm getting all these fun things out of a book, 365: Your Date With History. For this date, they have the annexation of Nice into France and King George V's death as the important dates, with lengthy write-ups about those events. This seminal event, which might be one of the most important in English history, gets a one-line mention. That's sad.

Everyone with a passing knowledge of history has heard of Magna Carta. All that did, however, was make the nobles more powerful. Fifty years later, the Earl of Leicester, Simon de Montfort (whose father led the Albigensian Crusade), was so outraged by the inept kingship of Henry III (possibly the worst king in English history) that he led a rebellion against the crown and succeeded in imprisoning both the king and, more importantly, his son, Edward (later Edward I). He was a true reformer, beginning back in 1258 with the Provisions of Oxford, which bound Henry to abide by Magna Carta. Henry backed off, and Simon went further. He wanted Parliament to be representative of both the nobility and the commoners - Montfort had a good fan base among the commoners - and wanted to limit the power of the king because of the likelihood that more would be weak like Henry. Edward, unfortunately for Montfort, escaped and raised an army of loyalists, and in August of 1265 defeated Montfort at Evesham and the earl was killed. Henry returned to the throne and under his son, English royal power grew greater.

Montfort certainly wasn't a saint, but he did want broader representation in English politics than anyone in the Middle Ages have ever considered. For almost two years he was the virtual king of England, and he tried his best to change the system of monarchy, but he was too far ahead of his time. Much more about Simon de Montfort here, or a quick search will bring up lots of other sites. Interesting guy.


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