Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 26.djvu/33

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.

made a sudden attempt on Dover Castle, and being refused admittance marched, deeply annoyed, towards London, in the hope of gaining the city, but his friends among the citizens were not as strong as the baronial party, and he found the gates closed against him. On 16 Dec. it was agreed to submit the provisions to the arbitration of Louis, and in the last days of 1263 Henry sailed to Wissant, and met the French king at Amiens, where on 23 Jan. 1264 Louis made his award, by which, in accordance with the papal decree, he declared the provisions null and void; the castles held by wardens appointed by the barons were to be delivered to the king; he was to have the appointment of all officers of state, might employ aliens in the work of government, and was to be restored to full power (ib. i. 433). The award was confirmed by Urban IV, who promised to send a legate.

Henry returned to England on 15 Feb. 1264 with a strong force and a good supply of money, and found that the barons rejected the award, and that Llewelyn and Earl Simon were in alliance, and were fighting against Edward on the border. About 18 March 1264 he held a conference at Oxford with the barons who were assembled at Brackley; but the negotiations came to nothing. While he was at Oxford he dismissed the university, in consequence of a riot which had taken place on the first Thursday in Lent. On 20 March he summoned his forces to meet there on the 30th, and marched in person against Northampton, then held by Simon de Montfort the younger, and took it on 5 April. Simon and many others were made prisoners. Thence he marched to Leicester, and on to Nottingham, which was delivered up to him [see Bardolf, William]. Meanwhile the Londoners broke into open revolt, slew many Jews who were on the king's side, and seized the royal treasure. Henry and his son marched south to the relief of Rochester Castle, which was besieged by Earl Simon, found the siege raised, took Tonbridge on 1 May, visited Winchelsea, and tried to compel the Cinque ports to aid him; then finding provisions run short he marched into Sussex, and on the 12th took up his quarters at the priory of Lewes. The baronial army was a few miles distant, and the bishops of London and Worcester, who were with Earl Simon, came to the king to treat about peace, and are said to have offered fifty thousand marks for the confirmation of the provisions. In the battle of Lewes on 14 May [see under Edward I] the king fought in person with the royal ensign, the dragon, displayed. His army was more numerous than that of the barons, but the imprudence of Edward left him exposed to the attack of the larger part of the enemy's forces. He displayed great courage, his charger was slain under him, his army was completely routed, and he took shelter in the priory. His son became hostage for him, and the next day an agreement or mise was made. Commissioners were appointed as arbitrators; they were to choose counsellors who were to be Englishmen to direct the king in all matters, and see that he did not live expensively; Edward and his cousin Henry were to be hostages, and the final agreement was to be made the following Easter.

The king now ceased to reign except in name; he was virtually the captive of Earl Simon, who took care to keep him always with him, and used him simply to give authority to his own acts. He was treated with personal respect, but was led about at the earl's will, and had to seal letters which were contrary to his interests. On 17 May 1264 he was taken to Battle, and thence by way of Canterbury and Rochester to London, where he arrived on 27 or 28 May, and was lodged with the bishop at St. Paul's; on 4 June he was caused to summons a parliament to meet on the 22nd, to which four knights were to be sent from each shire. At this parliament a scheme of government was settled, by which the king was to act in accordance with the advice of nine counsellors. An invasion was expected from Flanders. Henry's queen had gathered for the relief of her husband an army which had been reinforced by many of his adherents from England, and was ready to embark at Damme. He was made to write repeated letters to Louis to prevent troops being raised, and summoned a force to meet on a down near Canterbury, whither he was taken by Simon in August, and remained during September. The invasion did not take place; the wind was contrary, and Simon was careful to have the coast thoroughly defended. On 2 Oct. the king was at Westminster, and on 18 Nov. at Windsor, where he was made to write to the queen, forbidding her to raise money for his cause by selling or pledging any of his French fiefs (ib. p. 448). An attempt of the marchers on behalf of Edward, and their renewal of the war with Llewelyn, caused Earl Simon to direct the king to summon a conference at Oxford on 30 Nov.; he took Henry with him to Gloucester, and on 13 Dec. to Worcester, where certain of the marchers agreed to go into exile. While at Worcester Henry sent out writs for the earl's famous parliament, which met in his presence at Westminster on 20 Jan. 1265, and to which representatives were summoned from the shires, cities, and