Posts Tagged ‘EHR’

Sunday 23 March 1264: talking peace, preparing for war

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

Henry III spent another week in Oxford, waiting for his forces to gather there, ostensibly to launch a campaign against the Welsh. He sent messages to ten southern and western counties, instructing their knights and freemen to come to Oxford with horses and arms by 30 March. The sheriffs would induce and if necessary compel them to do so, and the king would pay their costs. The sheriffs should proclaim this immediately, and come to Oxford in person with the knights, serjeants and squires they could gather at the king’s expense. (CPR 1258-66, 358; Close Rolls 1261-64, 382)

“Cum equis et armis.” From BL Royal 12 F XIII, a bestiary, possibly from Rochester, second quarter of 13th century.

“Cum equis et armis.” From BL Royal 12 F XIII, a bestiary, possibly from Rochester, second quarter of 13th century.

At the same time, Henry was trying to negotiate a settlement with the barons. He issued a safe conduct for a baronial delegation to come to Brackley (in Northamptonshire, about 19 miles from Oxford) for peace talks. Henry was represented by Roger Longespee, bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, and master Nicholas de Plumpton, archdeacon of Norfolk. A French knight, John de Valentinis, was to act as arbitrator. Following the capture of Gloucester, Henry must have felt that he was negotiating from a position of strength. According to the London annals, the bishops representing the baronial party were willing to compromise on almost everything, accepting the terms laid down by Louis IX in the mise of Amiens. Their only stipulation was that foreigners should be removed from England, which should be ruled by natives. The king’s answer was that he would not go back on the terms imposed by the king of France, which he would enforce forever. The difference between the two sides came down to this single point: the king could not allow any limitation on his choice of ministers and officials; the barons could not swallow the loss of this last vestige of their reforming programme. No compromise was possible. (CPR 1258-66, 307-8; Ann Lond, 61)

Book review

English Historical Review has just put online a book review which is relevant to the events of 1264: Sophie Ambler reviews The First English Revolution: Simon de Montfort, Henry III and the Barons’ War, by Adrian Jobson. She says: ‘this book provides a superb introduction for those unfamiliar with the topic, as well as a very useful summary for specialists.’

You can’t say fairer than that. And we can look forward to a contribution to this blog from Adrian Jobson, to appear in a couple of weeks.