Thursday, 6 June 2013

Henry III and the Provisions of Oxford

The Provisions of Oxford are presented to King Henry III by Simon de Montfort and his fellow barons in 1258.

The Provisions of Oxford are often regarded as England's first written constitution (although the Magna Carta and earlier law codes such as that of King Ethelbert of Kent are also significant).

Installed in 1258 by a group of barons led by Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, the provisions forced King Henry III of England to accept a new form of government in which power was placed in the hands of a council of twenty-four members, twelve selected by the crown, twelve by the barons. The twenty-four members selected were to pick two more men to oversee all decisions. The selected men were to supervise ministerial appointments, local administration and the custody of royal castles. Parliament, meanwhile, which was to meet three times a year, would monitor the performance of this council.

A written confirmation of the agreement was sent to the sheriffs of all the counties of England in Latin, French and, significantly, in Middle English. The use of the English language was symbolic of the Anglicisation of the government of England and an antidote to the Francization which had taken place in the decades immediately before. The Provisions were the first government documents to be published in English since the Norman Conquest two hundred years before.

from The Battle of Cheesterfield 1266 by Rupert Matthews

Buy your copy HERE

A book dedicated to the Battle of Chesterfield that ended the Baronial Wars of King Henry III against Simon de Montfort. After Simon de Montfort's death at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, his supporters rallied in Derbyshire. Sending messages to other reformers to rally to their cause the rebels were expecting help from the King of France, but it was Prince Edward (later King EdwardI) who got there first with a royal army. The resulting battle began in the fields south of the town, but moved into the streets of the town and ended in the churchyard where the last rebels surrendered. This book follows the standard pattern set by others in the Bretwalda Battles series. The reasons for and course of the war in question are outlined, then detailed analyses of weapons, tactics and strategies are given with particular reference to this battle. The course of the battleis then followed, with comment on what there is to see at the site today. Short biographies of the commanders are also given. The aftermath of the battle, its effects and importance to the progress of the war are then described. The "Bretwalda Battles" series has been running with increasing success as ebooks for some time. Now the first books in the series are being published in print format.

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