1250

 

Qtr 4  -  Earthquake shakes St. Albans Abbey 
Matthew Paris, the medieval historian, reported that an earthquake shook and damaged the church at St. Albans. Earthquakes are unusual in this area.

 

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1251

 

Nov 5  -  Dedication of Hailes Abbey 
The King and Queen, with Richard, Earl of Cornwall (the King's brother) were at Hailes Abbey for its dedication ceremony.

Dec 26  -  Margaret marries Alexander III 
Henry III's daughter Margaret married Alexander III, king of the Scots, at York Minster. Both bride and groom were under the age of eleven at the time of the wedding. The festivities were huge as many members of the English and Scottish courts attended the wedding.

1252

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Shrine to St. Ethelreda installed at Ely 
A shrine to St. Ethelreda was installed in the retrochoir of the cathedral. The ceremony was attended by Henry III and many other dignitaries.

1253

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Edmund Crouchback and Sicily 
Pope Innocent IV invested the young prince of England with the kingdom of Sicily.

1254

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Edward marries 
Edward (I) at the age of fifteen travels from Portsmouth with his mother and the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry Eleanor of Castile the half-sister of the King Alfonso X of Castile. Both Edward and Eleanor are descended from Henry II.

Henry gives Edward his own lands 
Henry III granted Edward (I) areas of land including Crown lands in Wales, Ireland, the Channel Islands and Gascony. He was also given cities such as Bristol, Stamford and Grantham.These areas were on the edge of Henry's lands and the idea was to give Edward experience of governing lands of his own before becoming king. Edward was granted the three castles in the Marches, Skenfrith, White and Grosmont.

Alexander IV becomes Pope  (More...)

1255

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Abundant Harvest 
The harvest for this year was so good that some of it was sold off cheaply. The next three years would be very different.

Angel Choir at Lincoln 
Work began on the construction of the Angel Choir at Lincoln Cathedral in order to house the body of St. Hugh. Work was completed in 1280. The celebration of the movement of the body was attended by Edward I, the Queen and many important figures of the time.

Llywelyn rules North Wales 
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd declared himself ruler of North Wales.

Oct  -  Edward and Eleanor return to England 
After the marriage at a Cistercian convent in Castile, Edward and Eleanor returned via Dover to England. Eleanor lived initially at Windsor Castle.

1256

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Harvest lost 
Hay and corn crops were lost this year.

Sep  -  The Welsh invade the coastal plains 
Under their leader, Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the welsh invaded the northern coastal areas that had agreed to English rule. Edward (I), who had been given the areas to administer himself by his father Henry III asked his father for help but Henry refused.

1257

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Henry and Edward reclaim the Lost Territories 
Henry III relents to his son's demands for assistance to fight the Welsh and joins him on a campaign to retake the territories lost to the Welsh under Llywelyn.

Floods and famine 
Rainy weather in the early part of this year and serious flooding destroyed crops and caused a famine.

Building work at St. Albans 
Sections of the Norman apses at the eastern end of the church were damaged during the earthquake of 1250. It was decided to knock these down and replace them with a plan based on work that had been carried out at Westminster Abbey. The work took over sixty years to complete due to periods when funds were lacking.

1258

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
The West Front of Salisbury Cathedral 
Work on the excellent West Front of Salisbury Cathedral began around 1258 and took until 1266.

Exeter rebuilding work 
Major rebuilding work began from 1258 under the control of Bishop Bronescombe who had been impressed by a visit to the new cathedral at Salisbury.

 -  Barons confront Henry 
The seven were joined by many more Barons and Knights and they confronted Henry III at Westminster. Although armed, the Barons did leave their weapons outside the hall. Henry and his son Edward were forced to take the oath to join the commune of Barons and to accept their wished. Henry agreed to meet again with the Barons at Oxford in June.

Qtr 1  -  The year starts badly 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Because of a series of bad harvests, a wet winter and a late frost, crops were destroyed and cattle starved. People were hungry and dying.

Mar  -  Llywelyn becomes 'Prince of Wales' 
Llywelyn received the support of the native lords in Wales and declared himself the 'Prince of Wales'. Under him, a united Welsh nation was ready to defend itself from the English.

Apr  -  Henry asks for money 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
The Pope offered the Sicilian crown for Henry's youngest son Edmund. The Pope wanted to add Sicily to the papal dominions. To raise the money required for such an expedition Henry met Parliament at Westminster. The barons who were not involved in the meeting forced Henry to meet again in June where they wanted Henry to reform the way the country was being run.

Apr 12  -  Henry is opposed by the Barons 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
For many years, Henry had been living beyond the means of the country and with the failure of both harvests and Henry's will to amend his ways, a group of Barons rose up against him. Seven Barons first signed an oath and formed a commune in which they swore to look after each others interests. The seven were Richard de Clare (Earl of Gloucester), John Fitz Geoffrey, Roger Bigod (Earl of Norfolk), Hugh Bigod (Roger's brother), Peter of Savoy, Peter de Montfort (not a relation of Simon), and finally Simon de Montfort.

May 11  -  Treaty of Corbeil 
A treaty between Louis IX of France and James I of Aragon. Both sides gave up ownership of certain lands in exchange for peace.

Jun  -  Provisions of Oxford 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
The barons and Henry III met at Oxford where fully armed, the barons showed Henry that he had no choice but to reform the way the country was being run. A council of fifteen members was set to advise the king. The fifteen were selected by a committee of four, two from the barons and two from the king. The new council was not to last long as the members could not agree amongst themselves on courses of action and by 1260 it had broken up. The reformers and royalists were to take up arms and meet in civil war.

Jun  -  Odiham and Kenilworth handed over to the King 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
As an act of faith, Simon de Montfort handed over his castles at Odiham and Kenilworth as part of the proposals put forward in the Provisions of Oxford.

Oct 5  -  The death of Philippe III 
Philippe III, the king of France died at Perpignan at the end of a disastrous attempt to capture Aragon for his son Charles. The battle in which he died was part of a large war known as the War of the Sicilian Vespers forght between the kings of Aragon on one side and Charles of Anjou and the kings of France on the other with the support of the Pope.

 

1259

 

Oct 13  -  Provisions of Westminster 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
These were a series of reforms made by the council of fifteen created in 1258 at the Provisions of Oxford.

Dec 4  -  Treaty of Paris 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Also known as the treaty of Albeville/Abbeville. A treaty between Louis IX of France and Henry III in which Henry agreed to the loss of Normandy, Maine, Anjou and Poitou. These areas had been lost under the reign of King John. Henry was able to keep the lands of Gascony and parts of Aquitaine. This won Henry the support of Louis IX of France against the rebellious Barons back in England.

1260

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Tenby Castle attacked 
Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the 'Prince of Wales' attacked the castle at Tenby.

1261

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Urban IV become Pope  (More...)

Qtr 1  -  Absolved from the Provisions of Oxford 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Pope Alexander IV agreed to absolve Henry from the Provisions of Oxford.

May  -  Henry back in control 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Having obtained a papal bull (a formal proclamation issued by the pope) to absolve himself from the Provision of Oxford, Henry hired an army of 300 French knights as bodyguards and took up position in the Tower of London. His objective was to regain the absolute power that the Barons had taken away.

May 25  -  Death of Pope Alexander IV 
Urban IV was elected Pope after the death of Pope Alexander IV.

Aug 16  -  Henry appoints new ministers 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Henry had deposed ministers that had been appointed at the Provisions of Oxford and appointed new ones. His new proclamation gave the new ministers full power.

1262

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Katla Volcano Eruption 
Eruption of the large Icelandic volcano.

1263

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Edward joins Simon de Montfort 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
At this time, Edward (to become Edward I), met up with Simon de Montfort and came under his influence. Edward, knights Simon's two eldest sons. This friendship was not to last.

Edward raids the Temple in London 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
On the pretence of removing his mother's jewels, Edward (I) entered the Knights Templar's Temple in London and ransacked the treasury, taking the proceeds to the Tower of London.

Salisbury Cathedral Cloisters 
The cloisters at Salisbury Cathedral were started around 1263 and the work on them continued until around 1284.

First Oxford University college founded 
The first college was founded at Oxford University.

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Feb  -  Edward returns to England 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Edward and his wife returned to England

Jun  -  Simon's forces do much damage 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Moving firstly westward from the stronghold of one of Henry's supporters to another, Simon de Montfort's forces did much damage, even though Simon had ordered that no sacred place should be attacked. Simon then moved towards the south east coast ports to secure them. By the end of June he had reached Dover, its inhabitants welcoming him.

Oct 1  -  The Battle of Largs 
Alexander III of Scotland attacked the Viking army led by King Haakon IV of Norway and took the islands of the Hebrides. Haakon died on Orkney.

1264

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Pevensey Castle siege 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Following the defeat at the Battle of Lewes, Henry III's supporters fled and took refuge in Pevensey Castle. Simon de Montfort's son, laid siege to the castle, but could not take it.

Army at Barham Down 
At a camp near Canterbury, called Barham Down, the supporters of Simon de Montfort gather an army and hold it there to fend off a possible invasion from Henry III's supporters.

Possible comet sighting 
From the Chronicles of Meaux Abbey came the report of the siting of a comet which was said to return every three hundred years. Rising from the east with more brightness than had ever been seen by a living person.

Siege of Rochester Castle 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
A force led by Simon de Montfort besieged Rochester Castle for several days but the castle did not fall. He left a small number of men to continue the siege but they were attacked and fled.

Beeston Castle occupied 
During this year forces belonging to Simon de Montfort occupied and controlled the important Beeston Castle.

Tutbury Castle attacked 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Prince Edward attacked the castle at Tutbury as it was the stonghold of one of the rebel barons.

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Jan 23  -  The Mise of Amiens 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Louis IX held a court at Amiens to decide if Henry should be freed from the obligations forced upon him by the Provisions of Oxford in 1258 by the Barons. Louis agreed that Henry should be freed and ruled against the Barons.

Apr  -  Northampton captured by the King 
Henry and Edward captured the castle at Northampton where the sons of Simon de Montfort and their group of rebels were stationed. The sons (Henry and Simon the younger) were taken prisoner.

Apr  -  Warwick castle attacked and destoyed 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
The castle at Warwick was attacked by forces loyal to Simon de Montfort. The castle was badly damaged in the assault.

May (to , 1267)  -  Henry's war with the Barons 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
The civil war between Henry III and the barons. The barons wanted to limit Henry's power and to sort out his finances which were a drain of the barons' resources. The cause was led by Simon de Montfort.

May 14  -  Battle of Lewes 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Simon de Montfort surprises Henry III and Edward (I), with early movements of his troops on the hills above the castle. Henry and Richard of Cornwall defend the centre and left of the castle, but Edward attacks the lighter armed Londoners to the right and forcing them to flee, follows them off the battle site. When he returns, he finds that Henry is trapped in the priory and gives himself up in exchange for his father's release. After the battle Simon de Montfort marched on London but the drawbridge on London Bridge had been raised by the Lord Mayor. But Simon had the support of the Londoners who managed to lower the drawbridge allowing Simon into the city,

Jun  -  Haco of Norway attacks Scotland 
Haco of Norway and his troops landed at the mouth of the Clyde after taking a battering from storms. Three days of fighting resulted in a victory for Alexander III. Escaping to Orkney, Haco died (from injuries ?).

Jun  -  Simon summons Parliament 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
From a provisional administration consisting of Simon himself, the Earl of Gloucester and the Bishop of Chichester, a council of 9 were chosen to advise the king. From these 9, 3 were to be with the king at all times.

Summer  -  Edward moved to Kenilworth 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Edward (I) was held captive at Wallingford Castle but after an escape attempt he was moved to Kenilworth Castle.

1265

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Work begins on the Lady Chapel at Chester. 
Work is begun on the Lady Chapel at Chester Cathedral.

Hawaden Castle attacked by the Welsh 
Llywelyn attacked Hawarden Castle because Henry de Montfort had promised to hand the castle over to the Welsh but had failed to honour the agreement.

Clement IV becomes Pope  (More...)

Jan 20  -  Ordinary people's Parliament 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Simon calls a Parliament where for the first time ordinary people were brought to represent the country.

Feb  -  The Barons split 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
The Earl of Gloucester, Gilbert de Clare organised a tournament where Simon's sons were invited to attend. Angry that de Clare could put his sons in a position of danger where a murderer could take advantage, he stopped the games. Simon and Gilbert fall out and Gilbert moves his allegiance to the king causing a split in the Barons loyalties.

May 28  -  Edward escapes 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Left in custody at Hereford, Edward (I) was rescued and joined Roger Mortimer and Gilbert de Clare at Wigmore Castle.

Summer  -  Armies march 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Simon's son was sent to London to raise money and troops. He diverted back through Winchester which was loyal to the king and then moved through Oxford and Northampton. Edward (I) moved from Worcester to Bridgnorth destroying bridges and means of allowing Simon who was on the Welsh side of the Avon from crossing back. The people of Bristol, friendly to Simon's cause sent ships to Newport to help Simon cross, but they were intercepted and destroyed by Edward.

Aug 1  -  Younger Simon attacked at Kenilworth 
Simon's son was attacked at Kenilworth during the night being taken completely by surprise and having no chance to defend himself. They had decided to stay in the village rather than in the castle. The younger Simon managed to reach the safety of the castle.

Aug 4  -  Battle of Evesham 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
Using the banners of Simon's son captured at Kenilworth, Edward (I) approached Simon's position at Evesham. Simon was hemmed in the bend of the river Avon and forced to fight. Simon was defeated and killed. Simon's youngest son took refuge in Kenilworth castle , where prepared for a long siege, managed to hold out until December 1267.

Sep 16  -  Peace with the Barons 
Episode: The Second Barons' War
After the defeat of Simon de Montfort at Evesham, a limited agreement of peace was declared between Henry and the barons. Some resistance remained at Kenilworth and the Isle of Ely until 1267.

1266

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Alexander III acquires the Hebrides 
Alexander, the King of the Scots exchanged his daughter in marriage to Eric, the King of Norway for the Hebrides.

Jul 2  -  Treaty of Perth 
The Hebrides and Isle of Man were given to the Scots by the Magnus IV of Norway. The Scots had mainly captured the islands anyway.

Oct  -  Mise of Kenilworth 
The rebel barons were given the option by Edward to buy back their properties. Edward was careful not to cause friction between the king and the barons that may have restarted a war.

1267

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Treaty of Shrewsbury 
Agreement between Henry III and Llywelyn, Prince of Wales. Henry recognised Llywelyn's position as Prince of Wales in return for a regular payment. Also known as the Treaty of Montgomery.

1268

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Caerphilly Castle construction 
Construction of the castle at Caerphilly was begun in 1268 under the control of Gilbert de Clare.

Jun  -  Edward take the cross 
Edward (I) took the cross in preparation for a Crusade from Ottobuono Fieschi, the papal legate. Ottobuono Fieschi had been sent to help both Henry and Edward sort out troubles at home and was an important factor in the country's rule from 1265 to 1268.

1269

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Magnetism Experiments 
Pierre de Maricourt performed a series of experiments with magnets and proposed that a machine could be run forever in perpetual motion using the properties of magnets.

Eleanor of Provance and London Bridge 
Henry III granted to his wife Eleanor the revenues from the taxes and rent taken from London Bridge. Originally the money raised on the bridge were supposed to pay for repairs to the structure. With no money to spend on the upkeep of the bridge it began to fall into disrepair. This event may have been the source of the nursery rhyme 'London Bridge is falling down'.

Oct 13  -  Edward the Confessor moved 
Henry had Edward the Confessor's remains moved from behind the alter to a newly built golden shrine within Westminster Abbey.

Oct 13  -  Westminster Abbey consecrated 
Sufficient parts of the abbey were completed for the monks to hold their first service in the new building. October 13 was chosen possibly to commemorate the moving of Edward the Confessor's body just over 100 hundred years earlier. Henry III died before he could witness the completion of the whole church.

1270

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Tintern Abbey begun 
Building work begins on Tintern Abbey.

Caerphilly Castle attacked 
The Welsh attacked the castle during its construction and set it alight. It appears that the conflict could have become out of control but Henry III intervened and Llywelyn withdrew to leave de Clare to restart the building work.

Jul  -  Prince Edward leaves for the Holy Land 
Prince Edward (I), his wife Eleanor, his cousin Henry (son of the King of the Romans) and many knights left for the Holy Land.

Jul 20  -  The Eighth Crusade 
Louis IX once again set out on Crusade, not to the east but towards Tunis. Charles, the brother of Louis, influenced the direction as Charles had plans in the East (?). At Cathage in July, the plague broke out and in August Louis died.

Sep 14  -  Relic given to Hailes Abbey 
A phial containing the blood of Jesus was presented to abbey of Hailes by the son of Richard, Earl of Cornwall. The phial had been guaranteed by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and had been bought from the Count of Flanders in 1267. A section of the abbey was rebuilt to hold the relic, and it was held in a purpose built shrine. A similar relic had been presented to the King, Henry III several years before in 1247.

 

1271

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Marco Polo leaves Venice at the age of eighteen 
Marco Polo left Venice on a trading adventure with his father Nicolo and uncle Matteo. Not seeing Venice again for 23 years.

Edward's Crusade 
The Crusade of Edward, King of England.

Gregory X becomes Pope  (More...)

Mar 3 (to Apr 8)  -  Krak de Chevaliers siege 
Episode: The Crusaders in the Holy Land
The final siege at Krak des Chevaliers began in early March. Led by Sultan Beibars and Mumlaks the attackers managed to capture the outer defences and undermine one of the outer towers. The inner defences were much stronger and a direct assult was too difficult. A trick was used instead. A forged letter was delivered to th castle supposedly from the Hospitaller Grand Commander ordering the knights to abandon Krak. The trick worked and the knights left, given safe passage to the coast.

May  -  Edward reaches Acre 
The Sultan of Babylon abandoned plans to attack Acre at the arrival of Edward (I). Edward moved on to Nazarus where large numbers of Muslims were killed. Becoming ill, Edward returned to Acre where he stayed for 18 months. The fortifications of Acre being too strong for any attackers, an assassination attempt is made on Edward by a messenger from the Emir of Jaffa. The messengers had become a regular occurrence and one managed to approach Edward while he was alone and unarmed. The assassin attempted to stab Edward with a poisoned knife, but Edward saved himself and killed the assassin instead. Edward did suffer a cut and the poison took hold. Luckily, a skilful doctor cut away the poisoned area and, with drugs sent by the master of the Knights Templar, Edward survived.

1272

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Peterborough Cathedral's Lady Chapel 
The Lady Chapel of the Cathedral at Peterborough was constructed between 1272 and 1286.

Nov 16  -  Henry III dies 
Henry was buried in the church of St. Peter's at Westminster (which he had rebuilt) in the former grave of Edward the Confessor whose remains Henry had moved to a golden shrine.

Nov 23  -  Edward chosen as King 
The Council met at the Temple in London and drafted a letter to Prince Edward informing him of his accession to the throne. There was no opposition.

1273

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Foundation of Sweetheart Abbey 
This Cistercian abbey was founded by Lady Devorgilla, the wife of John Balliol of Barnard Castle. Monks from Dundrennan Abbey colonised Sweetheart Abbey.

Feb  -  Edward visits the Pope 
Edward met the Pope in Rome.

1274

 

Events occurring at some time during this year 
Vale Royal Abbey founded 
The foundation of this abbey in Cheshire was a result of an almost disastrous sea crossing by Edward I. His fulfilment of a vow taken during the voyage resulted in a new abbey called Vale Royal.

Investigation into land ownership 
Edward ordered an investigation into the rights of ownership of the land owners in England. Land owners who had obtained land after the start of the reign of Richard I had to provide proof. The information gained from this investigation allowed Edward to plan his taxation more effectively.

May  -  Little battle of Chalons 
While staying in Guienne in France, Edward (I) was challenged to a duel by the Count of Chalons. Fearing a trap Edward took a thousand men with him and was faced by a force of double that. In the battle that ensued Edward's forces overcame the enemy and won.

Jul 11  -  Birth of Robert the Bruce 
Robert the Bruce, the future King of Scotland, was born at Turnberry Castle, Ayreshire on the west coast of Scotland.

Aug 2  -  Edward arrives home 
Edward (I) landed at Dover to be crowned king. (Why did it take him so long to return home after the death of his father?)

Aug 19  -  Edward I crowned at Westminster 
Seventeen days after returning from the Crusade, Edward was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.