Henry III

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Henry III,

1017–56, Holy Roman emperor (1046–56) and German king (1039–56), son and successor of Conrad II. He was crowned joint king with his father in 1028, and acceded on Conrad's death in 1039. Under Henry III the medieval Holy Roman Empire probably attained its greatest power and solidity. In 1041, Henry defeated the Bohemians, who had been overrunning the lands of his vassals, the Poles, and compelled Duke Bratislaus I of Bohemia to renew his vassalage. Although several expeditions to Hungary against the raiding Magyars failed to establish his authority in that country, Henry was able in 1043 to fix the frontier of Austria and Hungary at the Leitha and Morava rivers, where it remained until the end of World War I. In the West, Henry attempted with some initial success to control particularist tendencies among the duchies. The dukes of Saxony and Lorraine (Lotharingia) offered the most resistance. In Saxony, Henry managed to avert rebellion, which, however, erupted after his death. On the death of Duke Gozilo of Lorraine (1044), Henry divided the duchy between the duke's two sons. Duke Godfrey, the elder, who received Upper Lorraine, organized numerous revolts against Henry; in 1047–50 the counts of Holland and Flanders (Lower Lorraine) joined in the revolt. Godfrey was successively defeated, imprisoned, restored, and expelled again. He went to Italy (1051), where he married (1054) Marchioness Beatrice of Tuscany, mother of MatildaMatilda,
1046–1115, countess of Tuscany, called the Great Countess; supporter of Pope Gregory VII in the papal conflict with the Holy Roman emperors. Ruling over Tuscany and parts of Emilia-Romagna and Umbria, she controlled the most powerful feudal state in central Italy.
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; Godfrey used his Tuscan position to bolster his strength in Germany, and Henry was unable to subdue him. Despite his political involvement Henry made religious matters his prime concern and supported monastic reform movements, including the Cluniac orderCluniac order
, medieval organization of Benedictines centered at the abbey of Cluny, France. Founded in 910 by the monk Berno and Count William of Aquitaine, the abbey's constitution provided it freedom from lay supervision and (after 1016) from jurisdiction of the local bishop.
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. He branded as simony the customary payments made to the king by new bishops and in 1046 undertook to reform the church. Descending into Italy, he had three rival claimants to the papacy set aside at the synods of Sutri and Rome and was accorded the decisive vote in papal elections. The four German popes named by Henry (including Leo IXLeo IX, Saint,
1002–54, pope (1049–54), a German named Bruno of Toul, b. Alsace; successor of Damasus II. A relative of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, he was educated at Toul and was made bishop there in 1027.
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) renewed the strength of the papacy, which was to prove the nemesis of his successors. On his death his wife Agnes of Poitou assumed the regency for his infant son, Henry IVHenry IV,
1050–1106, Holy Roman emperor (1084–1105) and German king (1056–1105), son and successor of Henry III. He was the central figure in the opening stages of the long struggle between the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy.
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Henry III,

1207–72, king of England (1216–72), son and successor of King John.


Early Years

Henry became king under a regency; William Marshal, 1st earl of PembrokePembroke, William Marshal, 1st earl of,
d. 1219, English nobleman. He became (1170) a guardian of Prince Henry, eldest son of Henry II, and supported him in his abortive rebellion (1173–74) against his father.
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, and later PandulfPandulf
, Ital. Pandolfo, d. 1226, Italian churchman. He was first sent to England in 1211 by Pope Innocent III on an unsuccessful mission to settle the pope's dispute with King John.
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 acted as chief of government, while Peter des RochesRoches, Peter des
, d. 1238, English churchman and statesman, b. Poitou. A chamberlain under Richard I of England, then entered the service of King John, who gave him rich estates and made him (1205) bishop of Winchester.
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 was the king's guardian. At the time of Henry's accession, England was torn by civil war and partially occupied by the French prince Louis (later King Louis VIIILouis VIII,
1187–1226, king of France (1223–26), son and successor of King Philip II. He fought (1215, 1219) against the Albigenses in S France. Invited by English lords in rebellion against their king, John, to become king of England, he invaded (1216) England,
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). In 1217, however, the French were defeated and withdrew. Some of the English barons, Louis's former allies, continued to cause trouble; but Hubert de BurghBurgh, Hubert de
, d. 1243, chief justiciar of England under kings John and Henry III. Having served as a royal minister and commander in France, he was appointed justiciar by John in 1215.
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, chief justiciar and the greatest power in the government after 1221, gradually restored order.

Between the Barons and the Church

In 1227, Henry was granted full powers of kingship, and in 1230, with typical willfulness and against the advice of the justiciar, he led an unsuccessful expedition to Gascony and Brittany. In 1232 the king dismissed Hubert de Burgh, and for the next two years the government was controlled by Peter des Roches and his nephew (or son), Peter des Rivaux. This administration, which consisted of trained civil servants (many of them Poitevin), was hated by the barons, and a baronial revolt (1233–34) forced Henry to dismiss it.

Henry then assumed direct control of the government, but despite frequent protests from the barons and from his brother, Richard, earl of CornwallRichard, earl of Cornwall,
1209–72, second son of King John of England and brother of Henry III. In 1227, following an expedition to Gascony and Poitou, Richard forced Henry to grant him the land and wealth he regarded as his right, as well as the title of earl of Cornwall.
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, the king continued to surround himself with French favorites, including relatives of Eleanor of ProvenceEleanor of Provence
, d. 1291, queen consort of Henry III of England. The daughter of Raymond Berengar, count of Provence, she was married to Henry in 1236. She was a vigorous and incisive woman and had much influence on her husband, as did her unpopular relatives and other
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 (whom he married in 1236) and his own Poitevin half-brothers. The latter involved him in a disastrous campaign (1242) to expel Louis IX of France from Poitou.

In 1238, Henry had weathered a storm of baronial protest caused by the secret marriage of his sister, Eleanor, to Simon de MontfortMontfort, Simon de, earl of Leicester,
1208?–1265, leader of the baronial revolt against Henry III of England. Early Life

He was born in France, the son of Simon de Montfort, leader of the Albigensian Crusade.
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, earl of Leicester. The king subsequently (1248) sent Montfort to restore English authority in Gascony, but he totally alienated his former friend when he recalled him (1252) to answer charges of unjust administration.

In 1254, Henry accepted the papal offer of the kingdom of Sicily for his younger son, Edmund, earl of Lancaster (see Lancaster, house ofLancaster, house of
, royal family of England. The line was founded by the second son of Henry III, Edmund Crouchback, 1245–96, who was created earl of Lancaster in 1267.
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), agreeing in return to finance the conquest of the kingdom from the Hohenstaufen dynasty. However, the English barons, disturbed by the king's subservience to the papacy (which had already resulted in large papal exactions and an influx of foreign clergy into England) and angry that they had not been consulted, refused the necessary funds. Threatened by the pope with excommunication, Henry was forced to come to terms with the baronial opposition, now led by Simon de Montfort. The king accepted its plan for conciliar government set forth in the Provisions of OxfordProvisions of Oxford,
1258, a scheme of governmental reform forced upon Henry III of England by his barons. In 1258 a group of barons, angered by the king's Sicilian adventure and the expenditures it entailed, compelled Henry to accept the appointment of a committee of 24
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 (1258), supplemented by the Provisions of Westminster (1259).

Divisions in the baronial party enabled Henry to repudiate (1261) the provisions, with papal sanction, and in 1263 war broke out (see Barons' WarBarons' War,
in English history, war of 1263–67 between King Henry III and his barons. In 1261, Henry III renounced the Provisions of Oxford (1258) and the Provisions of Westminster (1259), which had vested considerable power in a council of barons, and reasserted his
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). An attempt to have Louis IX of France arbitrate the dispute led to the Mise of Amiens (1264), a declaration completely in the king's favor, and the war was renewed. Montfort won (1264) the battle of Lewes and summoned (1265) his famous representative ParliamentParliament,
legislative assembly of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Over the centuries it has become more than a legislative body; it is the sovereign power of Great Britain, whereas the monarch remains sovereign in name only.
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. However, the heir to the throne, Prince Edward (later Edward IEdward I,
1239–1307, king of England (1272–1307), son of and successor to Henry III. Early Life

By his marriage (1254) to Eleanor of Castile Edward gained new claims in France and strengthened the English rights to Gascony.
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), led the royal troops to decisive victory at Evesham (1265), where Simon de Montfort was killed, and by 1267 the barons had capitulated. From 1267 on, Prince Edward actually ruled the realm, and Henry was king in name only.


Henry III has suffered at the hands of many historians, in part, because of the hostility of contemporary chroniclers. His long reign, however, showed progress in several respects. Learning flourished, particularly at Oxford, where Robert GrossetesteGrosseteste, Robert
, c.1175–1253, English prelate. Educated at Oxford and probably also at Paris, he became one of the most learned men of his time. He taught at Oxford and later, as rector, made the university an important center of learning.
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 and Roger BaconBacon, Roger,
c.1214–1294?, English scholastic philosopher and scientist, a Franciscan. He studied at Oxford as well as at the Univ. of Paris and became one of the most celebrated and zealous teachers at Oxford.
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 inspired others by their intense pursuit of knowledge and their championing of the natural sciences. Many magnificent buildings were erected, including Salisbury Cathedral and Westminster Abbey. Commerce and industry thrived, even though interrupted by warfare.


See F. M. Powicke, King Henry III and the Lord Edward (1947, repr. 1966) and The Thirteenth Century (2d ed. 1962).

Henry III,

1379–1406, Spanish king of Castile and León (1390–1406), son and successor of John I. His marriage (1388) to Catherine, daughter of John of Gaunt, ended a long dynastic conflict. Henry consolidated royal authority against the nobles. He also sent a fleet that destroyed (1400) Tétouan in N Africa, dispatched envoys to Timur, and sponsored the colonization of the Canary Islands. He was succeeded by his son John II.

Henry III,

1551–89, king of France (1574–89); son of King Henry II and Catherine de' Medici. He succeeded his brother, Charles IX. As a leader of the royal army in the Wars of Religion (see Religion, Wars ofReligion, Wars of,
1562–98, series of civil wars in France, also known as the Huguenot Wars.

The immediate issue was the French Protestants' struggle for freedom of worship and the right of establishment (see Huguenots).
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) against the French Protestants, or Huguenots, Henry, then duke of Anjou, defeated (1569) the Huguenots at Jarnac and Moncontour. He refused (1571), on religious grounds, to proceed with negotiations for his marriage to the Protestant queen of England, Elizabeth I. With his mother, the duke helped instigate the massacre of the Huguenots (see Saint Bartholomew's Day, massacre ofSaint Bartholomew's Day, massacre of,
murder of French Protestants, or Huguenots, that began in Paris on Aug. 24, 1572. It was preceded, on Aug. 22, by an attempt, ordered by Catherine de' Medici, on the life of the Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny.
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). Elected king of Poland (1573), he returned to France at his brother's death to assume the French crown. By the Edict of Beaulieu (1576) at the end of the fifth war of religion, he made concessions to the moderates and the Protestants, which led to the formation of the Catholic League (see LeagueLeague
or Holy League,
in French history, organization of Roman Catholics, aimed at the suppression of Protestantism and Protestant political influence in France.
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) at the behest of Henri, 3d duc de GuiseGuise
, influential ducal family of France. The First Duke of Guise

The family was founded as a cadet branch of the ruling house of Lorraine by Claude de Lorraine, 1st duc de Guise, 1496–1550, who received the French fiefs of his father, René II, duke
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. The king, fearing the League's power, proclaimed himself its head. It was dissolved after he revoked some of his earlier concessions to the Protestants. The League was revived by Henri de Guise, however, when the death (1584) of the king's brother, Francis, duke of Alençon, made the Protestant Henry of Navarre the legal heir to the French throne. De Guise forced Henry III to issue an edict suppressing Protestantism and excluding Henry of Navarre from the throne. In the war that ensued, known as the War of the Three Henrys, Navarre defeated the king's troops at Coutras (1587). Although de Guise helped raise a Parisian revolt against Henry, he did permit his escape to Chartres. However, Henry III procured the assassination of de Guise and his brother Louis in the hope of quelling the rebellion, but his action only further provoked the Catholics. Joining forces with Henry of Navarre, the king attempted to regain Paris. In the siege he was stabbed by Jacques ClémentClément, Jacques
, 1567–89, French Dominican monk, assassin of Henry III of France. An adherent of the League, he thought Henry a danger to the Church because of his recognition of a Protestant successor.
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. The last male member of the house of Valois, Henry III left France torn by civil war. Henry of Navarre succeeded him as Henry IV.
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Henry III

1. 1017--56, king of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor (1046--56). He increased the power of the Empire but his religious policy led to rebellions
2. 1207--72, king of England (1216--72); son of John. His incompetent rule provoked the Barons' War (1264--67), during which he was captured by Simon de Montfort
3. 1551--89, king of France (1574--89). He plotted the massacre of Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's Day (1572) with his mother Catherine de' Medici, thus exacerbating the religious wars in France
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Cristiano Bierrenbach, of US-based Heritage Auctions, said: "King Henry III ordered the creation of a gold coin for his kingdom at twice the weight of a silver penny.
For anyone, like me, who first learnt their French history from Alexandre Dumas, Henry III of France must remain an intriguing figure because of his appearance in La Dame de Monsoreau and Les Quarante-Cinq.
In 1265 - just 40 years after Henry III's final reissuing of Magna Carta - the relationship between the promises made by the king and the granting of taxation paved the way for the first English Parliament.
I'm impressed so many voters had an in-depth knowledge of the style of Samuel Pepys and Henry III to put them in the top 10.
Among the topics are the transformation of the fief into the common law tenure in fee, the law and crime of arson in England 1200-1350, King Henry III and the Jews in 1255, lawyers retained by Peterborough Abbey in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, and the wills and testamentary trials of Sir John Fastolf.
It was not recognised by King Henry III and was dissolved less than a month later.
They were both valued initially by Louis IX and Henry III for their administrative and diplomatic capablilities, yet both also had to maintain their abbeys' status as exempt from ecclesiastical jurisidiction.
They have three days to pin down the location of a lost sacristy, a stronghold that was built by Henry III almost 800 years ago and is said to have housed the biggest collection of treasure this side of the Alps.
Six-hundred metal objects, including a ring brooch, pins, needles, buckles and nails as well as a Henry III penny dating from 1199 to 1216, were also uncovered.
These continental kinfolk of Henry III were seen as displacing or trying to displace the native upper class from its central importance and thereby deflecting some of the crown's largesse away from the latter.
At Henry III's death, the allied royal and Huguenot armies were besieging Paris and poised to capture it.