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Dynasty: Plantagenets
Ruler: Henry III
Reigned: 1216 - 1272
Denomination: AR Long cross Penny (Class Vc)
Mint/Moneyer: London/Henri
Date of Issue: 1251-1272
Obverse: Facing bust with sceptre in right hand. "hENRICUS REX III"
Reverse: Long cross voided with three pellets in each angle. "hENRI ON LVND"
Reference: Spink 1369, North 993
Weight: 1.4 gms
Diameter: 18.3 mm


HENRY III (1207-1272), king of England (18th October 1216 to 16th November 1272) (House of Anjou), was the son and successor of King John (Lackland), and a member of the house of Anjou, or Plantagenet. Henry ascended the throne at the age of nine, on the death of his father. During his minority the kingdom was ruled by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, as regent, but after his death in 1219 the justiciar Hubert de Burgh was the chief power in the government. During the regency the French, who occupied much of eastern England, were expelled, and rebellious barons were subdued.

Henry was declared of age in 1227. In 1232 he dismissed Hubert de Burgh from his court and commenced ruling without the aid of ministers. He displeased the barons by filling government and church offices with foreign favourites, many of them relatives of his wife, Eleanor of Provence, whom he married in 1236, and by squandering money on Continental wars, especially in France. In order to secure the throne of Sicily for one of his sons, Henry agreed to pay the pope a large sum. When the king requested money from the barons to pay his debt, they refused and in 1258 forced him to agree to the Provisions of Oxford, whereby he agreed to share his power with a council of barons. Henry soon repudiated his oath, however, with papal approval. After a brief period of war, the matter was referred to the arbitration of Louis IX, king of France, who decided in Henry's favour in a judgment called the Mise of Amiens (1264). Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, accordingly led the barons into war, defeated Henry at Lewes, and took him prisoner. In 1265, however, Henry's son and heir, Edward, later King Edward I, led the royal troops to victory over the barons at Evesham, about 40 km (25 miles) south of Birmingham. Simon de Montfort was killed in the battle, and the barons agreed to a compromise with Edward and his party in 1267. From that time on Edward ruled England, and when Henry died, he succeeded him as king.

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