Henry's Personal Rule: 1232-1258

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  • Created by: esthelc14
  • Created on: 15-04-16 21:35

Henry's GAINS from his marriage to Eleanor of Prov


  • By marrying Elanor instead of Joan, it prevented any major faling out between France and England
  • Brought in connections:
    -Margaret, her sister, was married to Louis, so she could influence Louis to work with Henry.
    -Mother (Beatrice of Savoy) controlled entry into Italy, which Henry could take advanatge of in campaigns.
    -Family had links to Papacy and Holy Roman Empire which is useful as Emperor is seen as having supreme power.
    -Eleanor's uncles (William, Thomas and Peter) were skilled diplomats, so Henry could use their expertise.
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What was the significance of Henry's marriage to E


  • Could not marry who he really wanted to, and so his marriage did not bring him any lands.
  • Having to marry Eleanor instead = no foothold in the north of France from which he could launch military campaigns.
  • Eleanor's uncle's had come to England once they had married and so Henry had given them patronage and high offices in government, so they were able to have political influence and dictate policy (for example William of Savoy who had begun a prgramme for administrative and financial reform).
    -Therefore, the marriage had lost the trust from his barons and their backs had tunred against him becuase they felt that their standings had been diminishing.
    -The barons would se that there were less significant, less powerful, less rewards for them (so less willing to cooperate with Henry) and made worse by how they were already resentful of the Lusignians. the Savoyards and Provencal group.
  • Henry then gave Eleanor opportunities to be involved in government. This shows the baron the extent that Henry distrusted them.
    -It also showed them that Henry was ruling in the interst of the foreigners and not the English.
    -This also allowed her to build up a power base in England, so the barons could see this as the foreigners starting to take over.
  • Introduced influence of the barons, so he created a disunited court between the two groups and between Henry and the barons.
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Significance of Henry's piety on image (good)

  • Was having a religious transformation (seen in his growing interest of Edward the Confessor, and interest in pilgrimages and relics), getting on the good side of the Church
  • Increase his standing: wanted to create a shrine and burial for Edward the Confessor comparable with the Capetian monarcy and St Louis.
  • Competition to previous kings: purchase of vessel containing blood of Christ and presented to abbey October 1247 in lavish ceremony, showing that he was more holy than his predecessors.
  • Shows that his rule would be based on divinity and not conquest
    -So, maybe he would not trouble the barons for taxation for abroad campaigns (and that his campaigns would have a greater significance than just for increasing lands).
  • Seen as benevolent: 
    -St Edward day ceremonies in October and January
    -paying to feed 500 paupers a day
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Significance of Henry's piety on image (bad)

  • Interst in church building and in St Edward showed people that he was not as interested iin politics, so wouldn't fulfill his job as king.
  • Finance: rebuilding of abbey alone cost £45,000, so would have made him financially weak and vulnerable.
  • Doubt: the fact that Henry had spent so much on church building made people doubt his judegement.
  • Not sensible: his efforts were a waste as attempts to develop cult of St Edward failed and shrine resulted in no pilgrimages. Therefore, it didn't work and so he didn't spend his time or money wisely. 
    -He lost more than he gained
  • The gothic building style was seen as un-English, so it caused contreversy among the barons
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Henry's view of kingship

  • Building of abbey and palace close together reflects the link between monarchy and the concept that God was Henry's vicar. So, that he would work with and in relation to God.
  • The buildings and art used to show awe and majaesty and that monarchy would be the dominant force in England.
    -This came into conflict with the Magna Carta, which put a limit on royal power and could not be revoked, as well as the barons, who wanted it to be upheld
  • Was seen as foreign:
    -Peter des Roches had begun to establish absolute royal power
    -appoinment of foreigners confirmed their fears of absolute monarchial power.
    -barons saw these ideas as 'of the past' and 'alien', so they had blamed the foreigners for instilling these ideas into Henry
  • His coronation also confimed this in the way that he saw himself as the head of the family with the ultimate power in the kingdom. 
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Baron's view on kingship

  • The barons did not want ultimate monarchial power:
    -it went against the Magna Carta, which they wanted upheld
    -it would reduce their standings, power and influence
  • The government must be a co-operative exercise between king and barons
    -they believed this would be the only way to prevent the monarcy from becoming arbitary and feared.
    -so they saw that the baronial role was important in preventing corruption.
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Causes of Breakdown between de Montfort, H & Baron

Simon's Personality: 
-Seen as ambitious, so would do anything to get the land and status and power he wants, so was seen as a threat.
Marriage to Eleanor: 
Angered barons as was done without their consent which was needed said by Magna Carta
so governement is moving backwards, making the barons feel no longer involved and that the foreigners are getting undeserved favouritism.
-Altered balance of power within country as he got vast income, more land in south to add to lands he got as Earl of Leicester. So, barons see it as foriegners taking their land and building up their power = threat. 
-Bishops annoyed because Eleanor had taken vow of chasity, but remarried. So, gone against church as well as barons.
-Richard: felt his influence reducing as de M rose in Henry's immediate circle.
-Consequences of Jan 1238 rebliion from Richard, Gilber Marshal and Earl of Winchester: Henry had to settle dispute (not Henry, so de M could be seen as avoiding problems) by agreeing to demands he didn't want to agree to.
-Matthew Paris: called Richard a traitor for agreeing to peace by bribe. Shows the extent that they didn't like de M as was seen as an enemy.
de Montfort's financial problems:
-Had borrowed £2000 from Thomas of Savoy 1239, and named King as guarantor of debt without consulting him. So, could be seen as taking advantage and identified his mistake in allowing marriage. 

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Why baronial consultation was so controversial 1

  • Vassals regularly advised their overlords. This consultation used in regards to tax and strengthened by the Magna Carta and minority government.
    -So, they wanted to keep to tradition.
  • 1230 complaints Henry did not consult over important matters (de M's marriage and summoning of papal legate) which they felt that they had the right to be consulted.
  • Council meetings regular during Minority rule, and Great Council meeting 3x a year by 1250s.
    -Liked working together
  • 60/800 tenants-in-chief could be summoned, they had a better cohesiveness among themselves and so greater desire to be involved in government. But Henry had hardly used them and used his private inner cirlce. So this creted conflict as they felt as though they were being excluded.
    -But they were relucatant to take permanent role: unpaid resisdence in London expensive and not proff politians (more interested in social standing and status).
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Why baronial consultation was so controversial 2

  • The Paper Constitution: barons had previously tried to assert their influence (1237, 3 barons to join inner circle discussing taxation) so tried different method: four nobles to be on Private Council, 2 to supervise treasury and that tax spent wisely. But was never put into practice, so annoyed at how H still ignoring them and able to get out of it. 
    -shows they believe that administration was no longer just king's responsibility
  • Great Council continued to be weak  
  • Removed justiciar 1234 | Ralph of Neville denied Great Seal 1238 and replaced by minor officials = bad for minor men as no channel of communication with localities and centre.
  • Could not present grievances or have leverage over king: king would not summon council and nobility's power over direct tax was useless as king able to use other methods to raise sufficient funds.
  • Reduction in central government size = more succesptible to corruption, replaced by foriegners, alienation of barons.
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Why did the methods of local gov create disquiet?

Appoinment of Foreigners and non-local, lesser men:  
-They were not tied down by local loyalty, so could extort to meet quotas, make agreements with Exchequer leading to corruption and could be harsher in their methods, making them more oppressive
-Many counties had previously purchased rights to appoint sherrifs, so lost that when king reasserts his authority by appointing Sheriff of Somerset in 1237
-Seen as appointing the wrong people
-The lesser men easier for the magnates to take advantage of
But Henry had tried to tacke in 1250, but little changed as Henry needed the money, so localities alienated

Collection of Local Fees/Financial Demands:
The sheriffs would have had to adopt harsher methods to reach the quotas (eg, the county of Norfolk in 1241 to 1251 had risen from 200 to 400 marks)

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Local gov creating disquiet 2

  • Increments:
    -A way in which the government could increase their profits at the expense of the sheriffs salaries, so the sheriffs would have to collect more in order to recieve a fixed amount of money. So, this would have led to corruption as they would have had to use harsher methods or bribe.
    -Magnates and ministers interefered, making it harder for the lesser men to obtain writs to take legal action. Therefore, they wre not able to express their grievances and stuck with corruption. 

  • Magnates:
    Magnates and ministers interefered, making it harder for the lesser men to obtain writs to take legal action. Therefore, they wre not able to express their grievances and stuck with corruption. 
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Why were the Jews taxed heavily?

  • Henry's ever increasing financial demands: 
    They had hardly been needed during the minority rule as much had already been squeezed out of them during the cilvil war with John, but the fact that from 1241 to 1255 66,000 was raised indicates the amount of pressure put on them
    -So to meet the demands, they would have had to in turn put pressure on those that had borrowed from them (the gentry). 
    -So the gentry would have then had another reason to blame Henry
    -And Henry's refusal to act when they asked him (as he needed the money) they saw as them being alienated
  • Religion
    Trying to convert the Jews into Christianity
    -founded a house for the converted on Chancery Lane
    -statutes in 1233 and 53 reflects measures introduced in France preventing contact between Jews and Christians. (Again shoing foreign influence)
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Why regime became unpopular by 1258: 1

Overseas Policies
-Henry continued to ask for taxation to fund for wars. 1232-1257, requested 14 times but was only allowed 2x. Henry would hav used other methods=bad. Meet to discuss tax, Henry not willing to make settle,=bad view
-Gatherings showed had  common grievance = cohesion between the group and tension between them and Henry.
-1254, county's encouraged to elect 2 knights to attend meetings to grant taxation, so local grievances presented, but caused more tension w H as it would have made each side more impatient
The Impact of the War With France
1242 Louis' brother in Poitou threatened H's mother and Hugh de Lusignian, so H used this as an excuse to go to war, but had to become a private venture and failure made incompetnace v visble&cant't resore A Empire
-Arguement with Richard of Cornwall no Gascony as promised=turned against Henry & said that H alienation process gone as far to affect his brother.
-Henry now has no money, so now dependent, so the barons can be more open with their grievances.
-Revolted 1241-42, came to England in 1247 &Henry favoured them, eg de Valence knighted, Lord of Pembroke, married Marshal heiress &castles on Welsh borders. Rewards less for barons, royal poverty.
-Rewards, protection from justice, marry widows=power in gov, 1256: writs shouldn't be acted on against his favourites (needs them for loans), Lusignians harsh in rule (Aymer vs Archbishop) = bad infuence, jealousy, favourtism, putting them before good government, not upholding MC, replacing Englishmen


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Why regime became unpopular by 1258: 2


  • De M (royal lieutenant) no money to conquer surrounding land, 1248,49 meets gave no money, but complaints heard. Henry forced to borrow from nobles, sell royal treasure, futher expolitation esp from justice which goes against MC and upset balance of politics. Shows the desperation of situation
  • Henry allowed feudal exemption, which coud have caused rivalry and jealousy, which showed people that Henry couldn't ahndle it and there was the fact that some may have also been alienated by Henry's situation

  • De M had angered Gascon de Bearn and caused a rebellion to break out in 1252. So, it had also caused unrest in Normandy, wich shows how unpopular the situation was
  • De M put on trail in England, then sent back to Gascony where upset emerged from this, so Henry had to settle the affair with expensive rewards (as well as taking castles), so this would have again caused tension as Henry would have got the money elsewhere
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Why regime became unpopular by 1258: 3

The Sicillian Affair:

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