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Monarchy -

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(generated from captions) that the young Henry And she made sure of the English king - Henry I. his mother was the daughter But if his father were French, in the heart of France. his father's ancestral lands He was born here in Anjou, the time of the Norman conquest. which had ruled in England since that hybrid Anglo-French culture The young Henry was a product of to great lands and titles in France. He spoke French and he was heir But Henry was only half English. the throne of England. when he inherited Henry II was just 21 years old THEME MUSIC King Henry II and his heirs. This is the story of his extraordinary achievements. would do much to undermine whose prides and passions with a turbulent family. Henry was cursed But, like many stars, as much by law as by the sword. would extend royal power and keen intelligence whose huge personality Henry II was a star amongst monarchs kings of England began his reign. one of the most charismatic of all In December 1154,

And he laid siege simultaneously the seat of Mortimer's power. to the Welsh Marches, Henry took his forces the Marcher Lord, dared to resist. One man, Hugh Mortimer, should be demolished. and illegal castles must be returned to the king So, royal castles, he decreed, to stamp on this development. was determined of royal authority, Henry, with a vigorous sense each with its own castle capital. into a series of baronial statelets, threatened to disintegrate And the hard-won unity of England new illegal castles of their own. and they built The barons seized royal castles at the top known as barons. Then, it came from the men at the bottom of the social pile. tends to come from those Nowadays, such thuggish disorder with pardonable exaggeration. as the chroniclers lamented God and his angels slept, It was a time when who was master. Henry quickly showed them the baron's candidate, But though he was they had to business with. the barons, saw in Henry a man Anglo-Norman aristocracy, But above all, because the had no heir. ..partly because Stephen it now fell into Henry's grasp... an his cousin Stephen, by Henry's mother Matilda Fought over for 20 years the greatest prize of all. But England was to the beautiful Eleanor. through his marriage Normandy, Anjou and finally Aquitaine year by year. where he accumulated territories He then returned to France his lifelong love of learning. who gave him and an English tutor where he had an English guardian he lived at Bristol Between the ages of 10 and 14, was familiar with England as well.

Thanks to his innovations in the law he wasn't there in person. And he could win even when confident of winning the argument. but he could always be pretty as an English king was bound to, He could consult and take advice gave him the best of both worlds. Henry's charismatic personality to gaze on again. and still feel drawn a man might gaze a thousand times MAN: His face was one upon which mesmerising. and his physical presence, His energy and temper were legendary Nor subject who may resist him. of whom he stands in awe. for he has no superior indeed the greatest of monarchs MAN: He is a great, at every turn. He overawed and faced down opponents the pretensions of the position. whose personality matched was worn by a man But now the crown England had been weak. For two decades, as their superior. formally acknowledging him the princes do homage to him, In Wales, he made of his kingdom. behind the old frontiers The King of Scots was driven back as having imperial authority. he saw himself the Norman, William the Conqueror - the Anglo-Saxon Edgar and like his greatest predecessors - Over which, to the whole of Britain. extended beyond England Henry's vision of royal authority successful start to his reign. And he'd made a spectacularly to his mightiest subjects. in the arts of kingship Henry had given an object lesson of bishops, earls and barons. a specially summoned assembly in front of made a formal submission to the king Baron Mortimer himself Until, finally, on 7 July 1155, Mortimer's castles surrendered. One by one, at Wigmore in Herefordshire. including this one to all three of Mortimer's castles,

Like the European Union today, whose frontiers it shares, the power of the Church reached everywhere. and all western Europe. soared over England the power of the Church In the Middle Ages, to become its master. now it threatened the nursemaid of monarchy, Once the Church had been than those of Henry's empire. whose boundaries were even wider It was also a superstate, a state within a state. The Church was There was another power in the land. the only monarchy in England. But Henry's was not could be everywhere for everybody. the king and his justice and the magic of writing, Now, with the writ, the seal the king's actual presence. had depended on Previously, the king's justice for a fee, to every freeman. and they were available, by the chancery clerks They were mass-produced of the king's subjects. all the most common legal problems writs were developed to deal with For, in the course of Henry's reign, were even more far-reaching. but it's effects than the seal The writ is much less showy of his people. as the warrior-defender he is mounted and armed On the reverse, as a law-giver and judge. On the front, the king is seated about the nature of kingship. And it makes an important point of his dominions. to the furthest corners and it carried the king's image and impressive The seal is deliberately large by attaching the great seal. and then it's authenticated on the slip of parchment The writ itself is written out that is, standardised royal orders. They're called 'writs' - of the documents that it produced. and these are typical was known as the chancery The main writing office his royal authority. reflecting and multiplying which became a kind of mirror

Crossing borders, claiming rights and dispensing its own justice in its own cause. But, unlike the European Union, the Church also had its own officials on the ground. The priests, bishops and archbishops and above all, it had its own very visible head - the Pope in Rome. The Pope, as a successor of St Peter, claimed the religious allegiance of all Catholic Christians, including kings and emperors. But the Pope was also an elective monarch, the heir of the Roman emperors, who often claimed to be the political superior of kings as well. And kings, however good Christians they were, rarely took that claim lying down. No-one was less disposed to lie down than Henry. He thought he'd found the perfect instrument to control the Church in Thomas Becket, whom he appointed Archbishop of Canterbury. Becket was a middle-class Londoner whom Henry had plucked from obscurity to make chancellor, chief minister and his closest personal friend. He expected similar loyalty from his new archbishop...in vain. From the first, Becket went out of his way to pick a fight with the king. He ostentatiously resigned the chancellorship and he took an extreme and intransigent stance on any issue, however petty, which affected the Church's claim to absolute independence. Why the transformation in Becket? From the king's dearest friend to his bitterest enemy? Had he undergone a religious transformation? Was he just a consummate actor - throwing himself with zest into a new part? Was he trying to prove himself to his fellow clergy - many of them thought him no better than a royal stooge. Any and every of these explanations is possible. What is certain however, is that Becket's behaviour provoked an equal and opposite reaction in the king. Neither man would give way. One or the other would have to break... ..or to be broken. Henry's first 10 years on the throne had been a glittering success. But now he confronted two major challenges. Who should succeed to Henry's vast empire after his death? And where did ultimate authority lie? With the king, or the with Church and Churchmen? It was issue of priests who committed crimes like murder and highway robbery which sparked off the final clash with the Church. These thugs in cassocks were tried in Church courts where they received derisory sentences. After the collapse of one such murder trial, Henry demanded that the man be handed over to a royal court - Becket refused. Henry met the challenge head-on and at a meeting of the council held in the royal palace of Clarendon, near Oxford, he tabled a list of what he claimed were the customs of the realm. The customs left the Church jurisdiction over matters of faith. But disputes about property or the punishment of clergy who were convicted of crimes like robbery or homicide were to belong in the future to the king's laws. Becket disdained Henry's pseudo-historical arguments. Instead, as usual, he took the high moral ground, basing himself on the words in the Bible - "Touch not mine anointed." But even Becket yielded before Henry's crude threats of force and accepted the constitutions. Soon however, Becket repudiated his submission on the grounds that it had been extorted under duress. And the dispute between king and archbishop flared up more fiercely than before. And this time, in fear of his life, Becket fled abroad. But Becket's flight only focussed attention on the issue of the succession. Henry decided to leave each of his four sons a substantial inheritance. In 1169, he announced how his dominions would be divided on his death. His eldest son and principal heir, Henry, would receive England, Normandy and Anjou. Richard would be Duke of Aquitaine. And Jeffrey would receive Brittany. There was no land as yet, for his beloved baby son, John. Henry had an eye on conquering Ireland for him. Henry had two reasons for dividing his lands amongst his sons. The first was to placate the King of France - whose kingdom was threatened with extinction by the vastness of Henry's power. Whilst the second was to try to keep the peace amongst his teenage sons who, it was already clear, had inherited his own ferocious temper. But in practice, the division of his lands proved to be a disastrous miscalculation. He had whetted his sons' appetite with the promise of future power. But he'd given them little or nothing in the present. And there was also a risk that the irritated princes and the exiled archbishop might make common calls. For from his haven in France Becket continued to defy Henry by making ever more grandiose claims to the independence of the Church. (Man reads) "Since it is certain "that kings receive their power from the Church "so you have not the power... "Restore to the Church at Canterbury "from which you received your promotion and coronation, "the rank and status it held "in the time of your predecessors..." "You have not the power to absolve or excommunicate anyone "nor to drag clerks before secular tribunals..." Henry brushed aside Becket's claims but Becket, on the loose and abroad, was more dangerous, Henry felt, than Becket at home. So a compromise was patched up. And Becket was allowed to return to England. And what a return. For at Christmas 1170, word reached Henry that Becket, who'd learned nothing and forgotten nothing, was up to all his old tricks. The archbishop, his enemies insinuated to the king, was careering round the country with armed knights and he was excommunicating bishops who were loyal to Henry. Something snapped, and there resulted one of those famous Plantagenet rages - "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?" the king exclaimed, or words to that effect. Now Henry had said such things before. And nothing much had happened. But this time, four royal knights took the king at his word and they rode furiously to England and to Canterbury to bring Becket to account. Whatever that might mean. On 29 December, the four knights - Reginald Fitzurse, William de Tracey, Hugh of Morville and Richard Breton, arrived at Canterbury Cathedral. They accused Becket of treachery against his king. Becket hotly denied the charges. The knights withdrew menacingly saying they'd be back. The other clergy begged Becket to flee whilst there was still time. But he refused, deciding instead to make a final stand. The knights came back with drawn swords. It was Reginald Fitzurse who struck the first blow, taking off the back of Becket's head. Still denouncing his assailants the archbishop fell to the pavement of his cathedral and the others piled in. Moments later, Becket lay dead. When he heard the news Henry plunged into an agony of grief. Shutting himself away for three whole days so that his friends feared for his health, if not for his life. Was it personal grief for the death of his one-time friend? Or horror at what had been done in his name. In either case, the king's response fully matched the enormity of the deed for Europe was stunned by the murder of an archbishop in his own cathedral on the orders of his own king. And letters reigned upon the Pope, even from members of Henry's own family demanding that he take action against a sacrilegious king who was worse than a Nero or even than a Judas. And Becket's ghost, growing more powerful year by year, was to serve as the perfect cover for resistance or rebellion against the murderer king. The result was, that as Henry feared, the problems of the Church and the succession came together and threatened to overwhelm him. In 1173, a great rebellion started. It was led by Henry's own elder sons. Henry decided that it was Becket's memory that was the greater threat. He would exorcise it with a single grand gesture of self-abasement. First, Henry fasted... ..then stripped only to a rough woollen shirt, he walked barefoot to Becket's shrine here in Canterbury Cathedral where he prostrated himself before his erstwhile enemy. Next, he, Henry, King of England, submitted to a public scourging by all of the clergy present. Bishops, abbots and each of the monks of Canterbury took it in turn to flog him. Finally, he lay all night and all day on the cold stones in front of the shrine. It was an extraordinary untypical gesture by that proud and passionate man. But the penance and the humiliation, he calculated, was worth it if it contrived to separate Becket - the saint as he now was - from the coalition of Henry's enemies, now arrayed against him. And it did, almost immediately. The king awake the following morning to hear that at an invasion of England, planned by the rebels, had been thwarted. Henry had indeed stooped to conquer for, despite the sound and fury over Becket's martyrdom, Henry was able to preserve many of his claims over the Church. And subsequent kings of England would reassert and intensify them until finally they assumed that supremacy over the Church of which Henry had only dreamed. His furious energy so oft repeated acts of disloyalty and rebellion by his sons in alliance with Henry's most dangerous enemy - the King of France. But finally in 1189, Henry lost his grip. He was defeated in battle by Richard and the King of France and his health collapsed. Mortally sick, and already a broken man at the age of only 56, Henry was carried back in a litter here to his castle of Chinon in his native Anjou, to die. One of the condition imposed on him by Richard and the King of France was that he should pardon the conspirators against him. When the list was read out, it included the name of his beloved youngest son, John. It was the final blow. "Why should I reverence Christ?", the dying king cried out when he was asked to make his final confession. "And why should I honour him, who has taken all my honour from me?" Confess, nevertheless, he did. And immediately afterwards, on 6 July 1189, Henry died. Henry's body was brought for burial to the nearby Abbey of Fontevraud, the traditional burial place of the counts of Anjou. Like a wounded animal, he'd gone home to die. Yet, he had been one of England's most successful kings. Able, in his prime, to enforce his authority on barons, bishops and even other princes. He had turned his vision of kingship into a reality. Would his successors be able to sustain it? Alongside the tomb of Henry II, here in the Abbey of Fontevraud in Anjou lies this one, of his son and eventual heir, Richard. Richard ruled the family empire for almost 10 years until he was mortally wounded in a siege here in France. But during all that time, Richard spent only six months in England. Instead he used England merely to bankroll his adventures elsewhere. Above all, on crusade in the Holy Land. These adventures won Richard a golden reputation and the name 'Coeur de Lion' - Lionheart. He would be a hard act to follow. Especially as England had got used to an absentee king. And especially as his heir was his younger brother, John. "My brother John," Richard sneered, "is not man enough to conquer a country "if there is anyone to offer even the feeblest resistance." So John was no mighty warrior, like his father Henry II. Nor a charismatic leader of men, like his brother Richard, 'Coeur de Lion'.

Still worse, there was an unfortunate streak of mistrustfulness - even paranoia, in his character. On the other hand, he was unusually interested in the mechanics of government which he pursued with an often obsessive interest. There is no more contrary breed than professional historians. For John's contemporaries, and for most succeeding generations of historians John was the very model of a bad king. But now, a new generation of historians has come along who argue on the contrary - that John was a good thing, or at any rate, a good administrator. And indeed it's true that his reign sees the start of the great parchment rolls which record the government's correspondence and which form the essential basis for scholarly history. But to praise John for being a royal filing clerk is historians looking after their own with a vengeance. For John's obsession with recordkeeping, was a sign not of strength, but of weakness. He was so keen on documentation because he was so mistrustful of his subjects. And his subjects in turn distrusted a king who was nitpicking and always eager to revive an old, outdated royal imposition and to invent a new one. The result was tax, tax and more tax. And what made things worse was the fact that John had the misfortune to confront the most effective King of France for generations - Philip Augustus. By 1204, John had been shorn of one third of his territories, including his ancestral lands of Normandy, Anjou and Brittany. For the first time since the Norman conquest, the King of England was that and little more. In an attempt to recover his position, John decided to follow in his father's footsteps by striking at the power of the Church. But, once again, he had the misfortune to encounter one of the greatest Medieval Popes - Innocent the Third. The struggle began as a dispute about the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury. But it quickly escalated, as both sides wheeled in their heaviest weapons. Innocent led England under an interdict, this was a kind of clerical general strike - in which the clergy refuse to say mass, marry couples or bury corpses. In retaliation, John resorted to one of Margaret Thatcher's favourite weapons against the unions. And confiscated all the property of the Church which amounted to almost a third of the land in England. Who would win - the clerical strikers or the royal strike-breaker? Pope Innocent, despite his name, was a formidable politician who turned real weapons as well as spiritual ones against the King of England. For he not only excommunicated John, but declared him deposed. And invited Philip Augustus, John's other great enemy, to launch a crusade and seize the throne of England for himself. Under threat by his two most dangerous enemies, John had to buy one off. And the price he was prepared to pay was astonishing... it was England itself. On 15 May, 1213, King John received the Pope's representative at Dover Castle. At the meeting, John agreed to everything that the Pope demanded - to do penance for his offences against the Church, to accept the Pope's choice as Archbishop of Canterbury, and to pay compensation for everything that he'd seized from the Church. But John also went much further and, in a dramatic move, he issued a charter in which, of his own free will, he acknowledged the Pope as his overlord and agreed to pay a large annual cash tribute. John had handed ultimate authority over the Kingdom of England to the Pope. And had agreed him a yearly fee to lease it back. John had saved his neck... But at what cost? He was humiliated at home and abroad as a king and as a man. There was now only one way for John to re-establish his authority, to reconquer his lost lands in France. He raised a great army but he needed a great deal of cash to pay for it. The barons were pressed hard and the rest of his subjects wrung dry. John was playing a desperate game for the highest of stakes. If the dice rolled in his favour and he won a great victory in France, all would be well. But once again, his luck failed. On 27 July 1214, the English and French armies met at Bouvines in Flanders. At first, the English seemed victorious and Philip himself was thrown from his horse. But the French struck back and overwhelmed the English. Paris rejoiced, but in England, John faced mutiny. The barons sank their own differences and presented a united front against the king. Never again, they decided, would a king be able to behave as John had done. And they backed up their demands with the threat of overwhelming force. The part of honest broker between the king and the barons was played by Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury. He professed to be neutral but, in fact, he inclined to the barons and secretly helped them structure their demands. Finally, the terms were agreed. And on 15 June 1215, the two sides met in a field near Windsor, known as Runnymede. The barons, who had come fully armed, presented their demands. And King John reluctantly, and already in bad faith, granted what they wished. The agreement became known as Magna Carta - the great charter. But in fact, it was only the most famous and ambitious of a succession of attempts stretching back through the coronation oath of Henry I and the memories of Anglo-Saxon England to define the rights and duties of king and people. The original of Magna Carta, sealed by King John himself, has long since vanished. After all, the king had no desire to preserve the record of his own humiliation. But this, kept in Salisbury, is one of the only four survivors of the copies that were distributed to each county in 1215. Nowadays, the fame of Magna Carta rests on clauses like this - (Reads) "No free man shall be seized or imprisoned "or stripped of his goods or possessions "save by lawful judgement of his peers or equals "or by the law of the land." Or this one - (Reads) "To no-one shall we sell or deny or delay justice. Provisions like these are, or have become, what we call basic human rights. And echoes of them survive in the statute book and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But they come a very long way down the document. At the top, are the provisions that really concern the authors of the document - the bishops and the barons. The first clause states that - (Reads) "The Church in England shall be free." That is, free from royal interference. Whilst the second limits the king's rights to exact death duties or fines from barons when their lands were handed over to their heirs. Magna Carta quickly became and remained a touchstone of liberties in the Middle Ages itself. And it also had very sharp contemporary teeth. Because this clause allows the barons to use force to bring John into line if he showed any sign of backsliding from Magna Carta. It was tough stuff. And John didn't like it one bit. It seemed a total defeat but John had one last card up his sleeve. Immediately, he appealed to his new overlord, the Pope, to have it annulled. Innocent agreed and Magna Carta was promptly declared null and void. The barons were outraged at the kings faithlessness and open war broke out. For the barons, it was no longer a questions of restraining John, but of dethroning him. They even turned to the national enemy, and invited Louis, son of the French King, to take the English throne. Louis invaded, and by the autumn of 1216 had seized much of the south-east of England, including London itself. Would England be divided? Or would there be the first violent change of dynasty since 1066? Suddenly, at this point, on the night of 18 October 1216, John died. His heir was his son Henry. But Henry was only nine years old. The child's cause looked hopeless. But with John safely out of the way, the prospect of a French succession lost its attraction for an important group of barons and bishops. Instead, they decided that the young Henry should be brought to Gloucester and crowned as quickly as possible. On the morning of 28 October 1216, the impromptu coronation took place. The boy, who was a grave, handsome, golden-haired child, was brought to Gloucester Cathedral here. He wore a specially made set of little royal robes. First, he took the customary coronation oath. Then he paid homage to the Pope's representative, the legate. Finally and with all the traditional ceremonies - he was anointed and crowned. Though the crown, in fact, was one of this mother's tiaras, or hair ornaments. Bearing in mind the circumstances, it was inevitable that Henry's coronation was a bit of a makeshift affair, but it was real, nonetheless. It had imbued him with the magical, mystical authority of kingship and he never forgot the fact. Now it was up to his regents to persuade his country to accept him as king. Their first moves were not military, but propagandistic. For already, there was something called public opinion. And they appealed to it, by issuing a letter in the king's name, which argued that his youth meant that he'd had no part in the sins of his father. BOY: We hear that call between our father and certain nobles of our kingdom. Whether justification or not, we do not know. Next, Henry's regents made a major political concession. They reissued Magna Carta, without the clauses authorising the use of force against the king. At a stroke, the charter was rescued from oblivion and the cause of civil war removed and Henry universally recognised as king. For the remainder of his minority, the spirit of Magna Carta was adhered to and the great men of the kingdom had a real say in government. Magna Carta has saved Henry's crown. It remained to be seen if he would honour the charter when he came of age. In 1232, Henry III was preparing a coup d'etat that would overthrow the men and measures that had restrained him for so long. Though he was 25, it had been difficult to persuade his nobles that he was no longer a child. That they should relinquish control. Now he was determined to be king in deed, as well has king in name. And he was determined, above all, to break free from the shackles of Magna Carta. Henry was also influenced by the revived monarchy of France. He favoured French courtiers and his greatest building project was wholly French in style. This, the Westminster Abbey that we know today, is essentially the work of Henry. Though its interior is only a pale shadow of the masterpiece that he created - which glowed with red and blue and gold. Work started in 1245. It cost a fortune, employed hundreds of craftsmen, and lasted for 25 years in the most ambitious project of church-building that Western Europe had yet seen. Indeed, it was so ambitious that it almost bankrupted the king and inflicted severe political damage on him. But, for Henry, it was worth it. For he was building a monument to the greater glory of God and to the monarchy. Westminster Abbey was intended to be the crowning glory of Henry's vision of kingship. But it was a vision that was intensely controversial to some of his barons. For it seemed as un-English as the architecture of the abbey itself. For Henry's models of kingship were foreign - the French monarchy and the Papacy and his agents were foreign too. Henry showered power and wealth onto a close-knit circle of French relatives and favourites. Inevitably, the English barons resented it and they were spurred on by Henry's autocratic style of kingship. They were furious with the king for his successful reassertion of royal power and his appointment of his foreign relations to high office. And they saw the two as being closely connected - claiming that Henry's foreign officials treacherously whispered to him that the king was above the law. The barons were determined to restore the traditional English practice. They would re-impose Magna Carta. And they would devise a new machinery of government that would so tie the king's hands that neither he nor his heirs would ever be able to escape from it again. The nobles quickly found a leader in Simon de Montfort. De Montfort was himself a Frenchman. Like so many of his compatriots, he'd been brought to England by Henry, showered with favour and given the Earldom of Leicester. He'd even dared to marry the king's sister without Henry's permission. This marriage sowed the seeds of distrust between Simon and the King. Once, when the two men were out hunting together and had stopped to shelter from a thunderstorm, Henry is said to have told Simon that much as he feared the lightning... ..he feared Simon more. The key to Simon's character was his past as a crusader. Crusaders see the world in simple black and white. Once Simon's enemy had been the infidel, but now it was those who supported Henry's autocratic style of monarchy. In 1258, de Montfort and six other leading barons swore an oath of mutual loyalty. Together, they were more than a match for the king and they had their own distinct ideas of how England should be run. The two sides met at Oxford. The council at Oxford drew up a revolutionary new way of governing the country that was intended to turn England into a crowned republic. And Henry, despite his high view of kingship, had no choice but to agree. The Provisions of Oxford, as the new constitutional blueprint was known, looked back to Anglo-Saxon England with its tradition of a strong national community. And they also looked abroad to Germany and Italy, where new self-governing communes or city-states, like Florence or Venice were appearing. The result was to leave Henry as king but king in name only. Instead, his powers would be exercised by an elected council of 15 which in turn would answer to parliaments - meeting at three set intervals a year. No other European country had tried such an audacious governmental experiment. And no other king had been subject to such humiliation. The king was determined to avenge himself - the only way was force. And in 1264, the two sides confronted each other outside Lewes in East Sussex. Inspired by de Montfort's leadership and wearing the crusader cross, his army quickly reduced the king's forces to a broken rabble. After the battle, Henry took refuge here at Lewes Priory. And here too, he was joined by his son Edward who'd been victorious in his sector of the battle. But had been unable to save the day for his father. Would the royalists give in - or would they try to resume the fight? To concentrate minds, Simon's troops shot off a volley of burning arrows which set fire to the roof of the Priory Church. Intimidated and surrounded, Henry decided to surrender. But Simon's terms were tough. Henry had to swear once again to submit to the baronial government of the Provisions of Oxford. And to make sure that he kept his word this time, he was compelled to hand over his son Edward as a hostage for his good behaviour. The King of England was now a puppet with only the trappings of kingship. As Simon, in the name of defending freedom, ruled both king and kingdom. Not even John had sunk so low. Simon was now free to impose his own vision of monarchy on Henry. The king was reduced to a mere figurehead whilst all power was exercised by Simon's baronial clique who claimed to be acting in the name of the whole community of England. But de Montfort's ideas also appealed far beyond the baronial class and this led him to broaden dramatically the membership of what was already becoming known as parliament. Hitherto, parliament had consisted of nobles and bishops. But in 1265, Simon enfranchised new groups. Simon summoned representatives - small groups of knights from each county and burgesses, or local bigwigs, from the more important towns. Such representatives had been summoned before to consult on taxation. But this was the first time that they'd been invited to discuss and to decide the great affairs of the realm. It was a blatant bid for support for Simon's revolution from the groups immediately below the magnates - the wider community of the realm. It was also a milestone in the history of parliament. But, despite such bold moves Simon's revolution was to be short-lived. There was still a strong royalist party. And for all Simon's own high ideals, his followers proved to be as selfish and as grasping as the king's fallen favourites. Just as the tide was turning, the king's son and heir, the Lord Edward, escaped from captivity and raised an army. Edward met fellow royalists here at Ludlow Castle. He made the symbolic promise to uphold Magna Carta. And then marched to meet de Montfort's forces. The armies met just north of the town of Evesham. Simon was hoping every minute to be joined by his son at the head of reinforcements. But the reinforcements never arrived and without them, de Montfort was overwhelmed. de Montfort himself was killed only 15 months since his great victory at Lewes. This monument to Simon de Montfort was erected in the grounds of the former Evesham Abbey in the 1960s. And it's a sign that 700 years after his defeat and death in the battle fought near here - he's not forgotten. Contemporaries remembered him too. Already, at the time of his death, he was a folk hero. Soon, there were reports of miracles at his tomb. And he was even compared to that other great scourge of kings - St Thomas Becket. But the royalists hated him. And in a grisly revenge, they dismembered his body as the corpse of a condemned traitor. It would be less easy, however, to uproot the political ideas that de Montfort had planted. But for the moment, the royalists had triumphed. And the authority of the monarchy was restored. Though, in practice, it would be exercised by the Lord Edward. But there was one final moment of glory left to the old king. In 1269, the new Westminster Abbey which had cost so much money and political goodwill, was finally consecrated. The king himself and his sons bore the saint's relics to their magnificent new shrine which was encrusted with gold mosaic and inlaid with precious marbles. The shrine was the work of Italian craftsmen and it spoke of Roman imperial power and grandeur. And despite all the crises of his reign, Henry's view of his own position remained equally exalted. And he still saw himself as combining the powers of Pope and Emperor in his own kingdom. Many of his nobility, of course, led by Simon de Montfort, had taken the opposite point of view, and they'd come within a whisker of victory. Which way would the balance swing in the future? Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd