In partnership with Oxford University, this course explores thirteenth-century England during the reign of Henry III through to the accession of his son Edward I.
The boy king Henry III's throne was secured by the regent William Marshal who defeated the French at the battle of Lincoln. However, Henry's adult rule was markedly incompetent, his barons' dissafection culminating in the Provisions of Oxford and a baronial-dominated government led by Simon de Montfort, until his death at the hands of the king's forces at the battle of Evesham. Henry's incompetence at ruling indirectly helped to create an English Parliament.
In contrast, his son, Edward I appears as a truly formidable king who conquered Wales and defeated John de Balliol and William Wallace in Scotland. Under his rule, the English parliament and common law courts took shape. The architectural impact of his reign can be seen in the chain of castles he constructed across Wales and the Eleanor Crosses, monuments to his first wife, Eleanor of Castile.
Sessions run every Thursday from 10:00–noon for ten weeks.