Barons' War

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Two Civil Wars are recorded under the name of the Barons' War. The one most commonly called simply 'The Barons' War', with no number, is the second.

  • The first Baron's War was fought between King John and the barons who had forced him, in 1215, to sign Magna Carta - which he had then ignored. The rebellion was supported by Louis, the Dauphin of France (later Louis VIII), who was proclaimed king, and received homage, in 1216. From Louis's perspective, it was an opportunity in the ongoing struggle between England and France. On John's death towards the end of 1216, the barons acknowledged the claims of his young son Henry III, relizing their chance of controlling the regency. The war was marked by a number of hard-fought sieges of castles.
  • The second Barons' War, between 1264 and 1267, was fought between Henry III and the rebels led by Simon de Montfort, and was in some senses a continuation of the first, in that both were struggles by the propertied class against monarchy, and an attempt to develop subordinate, at the expense of royal, power. The war was started with the royalists taking Northampton. This was followed by a stunning defeat of the royalists ands capture of Henry and Prince Edward at the battle of Lewes (1264). Edward escaped, and the next year defeated and killed de Montfort at the battle of Evesham.