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the national cause. It was on the subject of his wifes claims that the Earl of Gloucester, while in France,
1259 attacked Simon with remarks which we can imagine
Quarrel were the reverse of a compliment to his supposed between
Leicester uxoriousness. De Montfort was not slow to reply, and and the two were with difficulty separated by their Gloucester
renewed. friends amid the laughter of the French spectators.' The negotiations were temporarily broken off, but Simon on his return to England seems to have been persuaded to yield. In July he went out again with two others, to carry out the final negotiations, and when they came back to England, bringing with them the form of peace for Henrys acceptance, the earl remained behind in France.
The peace was ratified by the royal council about Final peace the middle of October 1259, and is the last act in France : which the baronial government appears in that shape. and de The presence of Henry, as well as that of the earl and Montfort countess, was considered necessary at the concluding ceremony in Paris. The king therefore went over to Paris in November for the purpose, and in the December following Simon and his wife set their seals to a
Matt. Par. 987. This is the last event of importance noted by that great historian, whose loss in the confusion of the following period we cannot sufficiently deplore. It seems doubtful whether his work extends beyond 1253, where his history, as we have it in his own MS., ends. He died in 1259, but the last six years may possibly be by him.
· The points in dispute were submitted to arbitration ; and eventually the Countess allowed herself to be bought off by the promise that part of the money paid by the French king should be paid to her. At the same time Simon resigned to Henry the earldom of Bigorre in Gascony, which he had held as security for his own debt, for a certain sum, and made a formal renunciation of all claims he might have in the south of France. This settlement between the brothers-in-law was only temporary. For a full account of all these negotiations, see Greens Princesses ii. 114 seq.
: It was possibly to some extent superseded by the council of regency in the kings absence.
1259 Terms of the peace with France,
solemn confirmation made before both kings. By this peace, besides the settlement of feudal difficulties in Gascony, the provinces of Normandy, Anjou, Maine, Touraine and Poitou were ceded to France; the titles of Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou were dropped ; and thus the long quarrel between the two nations was brought, at least for a time, to an end. It was one of the most important in that series of events which, after raising French princes to the throne of England, and creating under Henry II a great continental power of which England was the less important part, had since the beginning of the thirteenth century reduced those princes to the position of English kings, whose possessions in France, though still by no means inconsiderable, were only awaiting the inevitable fate which had swallowed up the rest. It is needless to say that to England this peace was as great a boon as the losses of territory she had suffered at the hands of Philip Augustus; yet there were not wanting those who thought it a disgrace to the country.”
With this event ended what may be called the first act of the revolution. The foreign policy of England had been in a year and a half completely reversed, the crying evils of the State redressed, and internal peace to some extent secured. But, by the very performance of this work, the power of those that did it was undermined. The only defence for their anomalous position was removed, jealousy broke out, and men began to ask themselves whether the old form of government should not be restored. It was better perhaps to be ruled, even tyrannically, by a born king, than to be worried with reforms by an upstart and ambitious foreigner. 1 Fæd, i. 392.
? Facta pudenda concordia.'- Ann. Mels. 129.
Results of the baronial government.
Of the reactionary period that followed the peace of CHAP. 1259 it is very hard to get a clear idea. “For nearly three years from this time,' says Dr. Shirley, 'the his
Obscurity tory of de Montfort is worse than a blank : it is a of the riddle.'' Perhaps a key to this riddle may be found period. in the undecided attitude taken up by the King of France. Simons character was better known and more highly estimated among the great nobles of France than among those of England, and with Louis personally he was on excellent terms; but the pious and autocratic king could not be expected to sympathise with his revolutionary ideas, however much he may have been disgusted by the duplicity and incapacity of Henry. His monarchical principles eventually carried the day, but the length of time during which he hesitated shows how little was wanting to make him throw his weight into the other scale. The struggle between Simon and Henry takes more and Struggle more of a personal character; and with the political aspect of it, private hostility and private disputes Simon and
the king. about money matters and the like are strangely mixed up. Each of the combatants strives to win the favour
Quart. Rev. vol. cxix. 50.
of the King of France and the people of England.
When one is in Paris, the other attempts to steal a 1259
march upon him in London. When Henry returns to Struggle between England Simon finds it convenient to be in France. Earl Simon and the
The two stand opposite each other not as king and subking.
ject, but as two independent princes, in whose private
downfall of the monarchy.
1259, the royal authority was vested in a Council of kings Regency, pretty equally composed of the two parties, absence.
consisting of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop
Lib. de Ant. Leg. sub anno.
They are found on the kings side in 1264. P. Basset was the kings justiciar in 1261.
But no sooner did he feel himself somewhat secure, thinking probably he had made sure of Louis, than he wrote to the Pope from Paris to say that he hoped now to renew the negotiations about Apulia ; while on renews the same day, 16 January 1260, he sent a studiously tions with polite letter to the justiciar, explaining the reason of the Pope, his delay abroad, asking him to send another arbiter to France, and bidding him refrain from summoning the regular Lent Parliament on account of the report of a Welch invasion. Shortly afterwards he distinctly informed Hugh Bigod that the Sicilian enterprise was to be taken up again. Thus did he on the first opportunity return to his old schemes, and break one of the most important of the Oxford Provisions, by forbidding the assembly of Parliament at the stated time. A sign of his reviving power, and a more defensible and reexercise of it, was an edict he issued at the same time, power in bidding the sheriffs look to their duties as guardians England. of the public peace. But he was too cautious at once to assert fully the reactionary policy ; he wrote to the Pope begging him not to insist on the return of the Bishop of Winchester.
Meanwhile however, after the conclusion of peace, Return of Earl Simon, whose absence had been as usual much re- Simon. gretted, had returned with his wife and a large suite to England. He was not likely to acquiesce in such a breach of the law as that commanded in the kings letter. The barons therefore intimated to the king their desire to hold a Parliament, but received only a
See throughout this period Royal Letters ii. 147 seq.
: On 10 Feb., 1260, he was at St. Albans, and presented a costly baldekin to the shrine. - Ibid.