Provisions of Oxford


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Oxford, Provisions of:

see 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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.

Provisions of Oxford,

1258, a scheme of governmental reform forced upon Henry IIIHenry III,
1207–72, king of England (1216–72), son and successor of King John. Reign
Early Years

Henry became king under a regency; William Marshal, 1st earl of Pembroke, and later Pandulf acted as chief of government, while Peter des Roches
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 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 nobles, half of whom were to be chosen by the king, for the purpose of drafting a scheme of constitutional reform. Under the leadership of 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 plan was drawn up at Oxford in June, 1258. It provided for a council of 15 members to advise the king and to meet three times a year to consult with representatives of the realm. Committees were chosen by an involved electoral system to keep check upon the various branches of the government. Local administrative reforms were instituted and an effort made to limit the taxing power of the king. The committee of 24 completed their work the following year by drawing up an enlarged version of the Provisions of Oxford known as the Provisions of Westminster. The new document provided for additional inheritance and taxation reforms. Divisions among the barons themselves enabled Henry to repudiate the provisions, with papal sanction, in 1261. There followed a period of strife known as the 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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 (1263–67), which terminated in a victory for the king. The clauses of the provisions that limited monarchical authority were then annulled, but the legal clauses of the Provisions of Westminster were reaffirmed in the Statute of Marlborough (1267).

Oxford, Provisions of

 

resolutions adopted by a council of English magnates (the “great council”) assembled in Oxford in June 1258. Under the Provisions of Oxford, the autocratic power of the king was sharply limited in favor of the great feudal lords. A baronial oligarchy was established in the country; power was transferred in effect to a council of 15 barons, who completely controlled the king and appointed and replaced high officials. A parliament, consisting of the 27 most powerful barons, was to assemble three times a year to discuss the most important affairs of state. Under pressure from the baronial opposition, King Henry III was obliged to sanction the Provisions of Oxford (October 1258), but in April 1261 he obtained the pope’s release from his oath to observe them. The French king, Louis IX (St. Louis), acting as an arbitrator, decided in favor of abrogating the provisions (January 1264). In the civil war between the king and the barons that began in 1263, the latter failed to get the provisions reestablished, because they were not supported by the knights and burghers, who played a decisive role in the struggle against the king. In the course of the war, the first English parliament was convened (1265).

PUBLICATIONS

Pamiatniki istorii Anglii XI-XIII vv. [Moscow, 1936.]

REFERENCES

Petrushevskii, D. M. Ocherki iz istorii angliiskogo gosudarstva i obshchestva v srednie veka, 4th ed. Moscow, 1937.
Gutnova, E. V. Vozniknovenie angliiskogo parlamenta. [Moscow] 1960. Chapter 5.

E. V. GUTNOVA

References in periodicals archive ?
In 1259, he briefly sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford.

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