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Montfort & his Noble Supporters

Simon de Montfort (1208-1265) was the 6th Earl of Leicester whose father was a French nobleman and crusader. He married Eleanor the sister of Henry III. After a series of disagreements with his brother-in-law, Simon became the leader of the barons who were lobbying for reform of the king’s powers under the Provisions of Oxford. When it became clear that Henry would not accept any reduction of his power, Simon resorted to armed rebellion. His success at the Battle of Lewes was subsequently reversed at the Battle of Evesham where he was killed.

Henry de Montfort (1238-1265) was Simon’s son and supported him in the Second Barons’ War. With his brother Guy he led the right flank at the Battle of Lewes. He died with his father at the Battle of Evesham.

Gilbert de Clare 7th Earl of Gloucester (1243-1295) was known as the Red Earl. He supported Simon de Montfort though his wife, Alice de Lusignan, was the king’s niece. he commanded the central division at the Battle of Lewes. He then changed sides and commanded a division at the Battle of Evesham. On the death of Henry III he was joint Guardian of  England while Edward I was abroad. He commanded an army for Edward during the campaign in Wales and was in constant dispute with other Marcher Lords. 

Sir John fitzJohn (1240-1275) was the son of John fitz Geoffrey a prime instigator of the political revolution with Simon de Montfort. He commanded the 2nd division at the Battle of Lewes with Gilbert de Clare. He was captured at the Battle of Evesham but was saved from death by Roger de Clifford. He was later pardoned by Henry and served Edward I.

William de Munchensi (Mont Chensey) (1235-1287) was a key baronial leader in the attempt to enforce the Provisions of Oxford. He supported de Montfort and fought at Lewes in the division under Gilbert de Clare. He was taken prisoner by Edward at Kenilworth and disinherited. He was later pardoned and served under Edward in the Welsh campaign where he was killed at the siege of Dryslwyn Castle.

Nicholas de Seagrave, 1st Lord Seagrave, (1238-1295) was a young squire to the King before siding with de Montfort. He fought at Lewes where he led the London contingent. At Evesham he was captured and finally pardoned. He later served Edward I in Scotland.

Thomas de Pelveston, described as a London merchant, fought with Montfort’s contingent at Lewes.

Sir John de Burgh (d. 1271) fought at Lewes and Evesham. Subsequently pardoned.

Humphrey de Bohun (V), Humphrey the Younger (1249-1298), unlike his father, took the side of the barons and shared command of the right wing at Lewes. He was taken prisoner at Evesham in 1265 and died in captivity the following year.

Robert de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby (1239-1279) supported Montfort principally because of a longstanding feud with Prince Edward. Later put in the Tower by Simon for various transgressions, he was released after the Battle of Evesham only to be imprisoned again for rebellion against the king. Later disputes with Edward’s son Edmund led to the loss of most of his landholdings.

Escutcheons of the Nobles