Eleanor of Provence (1222-1291)
© 2007 Armchair Travel Co. Ltd. - This page may be used for non-commercial purposes ONLY!

Eleanor of Provence (1222-1291)

[ Play Narrated and Animated Movie ! ]
[ Virtual Tour ] [ Main Topics Index ]

Eleanor of Provence and her husband Henry III were one of the most loving Royal couples in English history.

Additional Information on
Eleanor of Provence (1222-1291)

Married in 1236 at the age of 14 to Henry III who was twice her age, Eleanor arrived in England with countless French relations, servants and hangers-on who were all quickly ensconced at court to the fury of her English subjects. She had had an impecunious though cultured and educated childhood and retaliated by exhibiting almost unparalleled greed and rapaciousness at the expense of the English, who hated her. Her generous husband encouraged her in her folly and she, in turn supported him in his enthusiasm for building. They built new cathedrals, such as Salisbury as well as extending old cathedrals like Westminster Abbey. The royal residences of the Tower of London, the Palace of Westminster and Windsor Castle were similarly refurbished and renovated. They were, however, a devoted couple and their nine surviving children returned the affection lavished on them, making them perhaps the most loving royal family in English history.

Eleanor's excesses and nepotism made her hated by the people and she was a significant factor in the risings by Simon de Montfort and the barons. On one occasion passing under London Bridge in the Royal Barge she was pelted with rotten eggs and vegetables by a crowd shouting "Drown the witch" who then attempted to sink the barge with paving stones. She had to seek sanctuary in St. Paul's until rescue arrived.

In 1263 the barons rose again and Eleanor went off to the Continent to raise troops. Her fleet was wrecked in a storm before it left Flanders and her husband and son were captured at the Battle of Lewes. The situation was saved by Prince Edward (later Edward I) who escaped, rallied the royalists and defeated the barons, killing Simon de Montfort.

After Henry's death at the Tower of London 1272, while the citizens of London rioted, Eleanor retired to a convent in Amesbury, took the veil and remained in seclusion until her death in 1291.

Explore-Parliament.net: Advanced Category Search

Keyword Categories: