Henry III of England

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Henry III (1 October 1207 – 16 November 1272) was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for fifty-six years from 1216 to his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready. England prospered during his reign and his greatest monument is Westminster, which he made the seat of his government and where he expanded the abbey as a shrine to Edward the Confessor.

He assumed the crown under the regency of the popular William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke, but the England he inherited had undergone several drastic changes in the reign of his father. He spent much of his reign fighting the barons over Magna Carta[1][2][3][4] and the royal rights, and was eventually forced to call the first "parliament" in 1264. He was also unsuccessful on the Continent, where he endeavoured to re-establish English control over Normandy, Anjou, and Aquitaine.

Contents

Coronation

Henry III was born in 1207 at Winchester Castle, the son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême. His coronation at age nine was a simple affair, attended by only a handful of noblemen and three bishops at St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester. In the absence of a crown (the crown had recently been lost with all the rest of his father's treasure in a wreck in East Anglia)[5] a simple golden band was placed on the young boy's head, not by the Archbishop of Canterbury (who was at this time supporting Prince Louis "the Lion", the future king of France) but by another clergyman—either Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, or Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, the Papal legate. In 1220, a second coronation was ordered by Pope Honorius III who did not consider that the first had been carried out in accordance with church rites. This occurred on 17 May 1220 in Westminster Abbey.[6]

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