A talk by Dr John Hunt, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Birmingham
Between 1258 and 1265 the realm of England was in the grip of rebellion against King Henry III. The midlands of England was at the heart of this turmoil, not least because Simon de Montfort, its most charismatic leader by 1263, was the earl of Leicester, drawing much of his support from the lesser nobility of the area, particularly from Warwickshire and Leicestershire. Furthermore, the baronial rebellion was largely brought to an end in the region, with the defeat and death of Simon in Worcestershire at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, and then the submission in 1266 of the rebel garrison at Kenilworth Castle, together with the formulation of the ‘Dictum of Kenilworth’.
This talk will focus upon the impact of the rebellion in the localities, looking particularly at the tensions it revealed in local society and the factors that influenced the lesser nobility of the region in their decision to either support, or oppose, the baronial faction. It will draw primarily, although not exclusively, on examples from Staffordshire and Warwickshire.