Henry III


Henricus of Winchester was the eighth monarch to rule England since the Norman invasion of 1066. Crowned at the age of nine, he was the first child king since Ælthered the Unready. Henry was the eldest son of King John, grandson of Henry II, nephew of Richard the Lionheart, and later father of Edward I. Due to his becoming king at such a young age, his general sound physical state and, on the whole, an ability to keep the peace, Henry ruled for 56 years, thus making him one of only 5 monarchs of Great Britain to rule for more than half a century. Though ridiculed as a simpleton by his critics, during his reign, England developed greatly. Thanks to the actions of Henry’s regents, the terms of Magna Carta became established. By 1266, these had evolved further with the permanent implementation of the Provisions of Oxford. Away from England, his reign was dogged by war with Wales, feud with France, and a forced acceptance to abide by the commands of the Papacy, following the submission of England to Rome by John in 1213. Though many focus on the war with Simon de Montfort, Henry III should also be remembered for the mass castle developments and the flourishing of the gothic cathedrals that still mark the landscape of England. The most famous, of course, is Westminster Abbey, which is rightly regarded as his life’s work.