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Henry III became king in 1216 amid a rebellion backed by the future Louis VIII of France, but this was defeated the following year by the Kings forces; he was nine, but it was a further eleven years before the minority government ended and he assumed personal control. Henry made little attempt to recover lost English possessions on the continent (he surrendered them with the Treaty of Paris in 1259) and his financial policies, in particular his commitment to the Papacy and the support of his brother, Richard of Cornwall, as the King of the Romans, made him greatly unpopular with his barons and administrators. Recouping John's French losses was more difficult. After a series of diplomatic manoeuvres and military expeditions, in 1259 Henry and Louis IX signed the Treaty of Paris. Henry was confirmed as lord of the south western region of Gascony, under the over lordship of the King of France; he renounced all other claims to French territory. Henry's Queen and his stepmother were both French; his court was hospitable to their relatives. His reliance on foreigners and the cost of his campaigns triggered a baronial rebellion led by Simon de Montfort. In 1259 a part-elected council of aristocrats was established to govern the country. Five years later open war broke out; de Montfort took Henry prisoner, but was himself defeated and killed in 1265 by the King's son Edward. Restored to the throne, Henry governed in a spirit of moderation, implementing many of the rebels reforms. When he died in 1272 Edward's succession was unchallenged.


1243: A Witheridge couple, Henry le Hoper and his wife Agatha were arrested at Chulmleigh after stealing goods. They were put in prison there, but killed their gaoler while he slept at night, They escaped and Henry sought sanctuary in St Mary's Cheldon, confessed and abjured the realm, his chattels worth (9/5) his wife Agatha fled, let her be outlawed she had no chattels. (The Pleas of the Crown of Exeter Assize No. 175) Henry III reign.

1280: In this year Bradford Tracy was the scene of a remarkable murder case, in which two women, Alice and Margery, combined to kill Alice's husband. They were tried and found guilty; Margery was hanged, and Alice was sentenced to be burnt, but accomplices helped her to escape from Exeter Prison and take sanctuary in Heavitree Church.

The Middle Ages (1216 to 1347)

Monarchs during this period

Henry III (1216-72)
Edward I, Longshanks (1272-1307)
Edward II (1307-27)
Edward III (1327-77)

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Last Edited 03/07/2006    Copyright © 2000-2006 Witheridge

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