Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Henry III, A Dumbass King

Just a fun history lesson.  13th Century.  Henry ruled for a long time, and had plenty of time to make mistakes and make up for them.  Heck, even Alfred the Great screwed some things up, though he learned from his mistakes.  But this Henry had a remarkable knack for taking a bad situation and making it worse. The son of King John of Magna Carta fame, he tried the same gambit himself repeatedly, agreeing to many concessions on paper and then flouting them before the ink was dry. He kept thinking this time it will work. His father lost many lands in France.  He lost more.  His father offended the barons.  He offended them more.  Whenever cornered, he would double down on his previous bad plan. He was reputed to be pious, but not all his contemporaries agreed.  That reputation seems to have come from paid chroniclers.  Maybe it was true anyway.

He was grandson of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  I guess one could go in any direction after that. She supported various sons against husbands, ex's, and other sons for thrones and other titles.  She was pretty good at getting her way, but it's a dangerous game and tends to be bad for the territories involved.


Texan99 said...

It's funny, I think this may be the first time I can remember anyone mentioning Henry III. John Lackland and Henry IV, sure.

james said...

The only reason he was on my radar at all was because I'd read Matthew Paris' Chronicles. He was quite the character: "in order to maintain a reputation for generosity to the poor, despite his lack of liquidity, Henry III visited London and told Londoners that their traditional New Years' presents would be given to him this year."