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Simon de Montfort Parliament: Scotland and Wales

This article has been written by Professor David Carpenter, and edited by the Hansard writing team.

Scotland and Wales

Simon de Montfort's Parliament was exclusively English. No representatives were sent from Wales or Scotland. However, there was a strong British dimension to the political situation from which the Parliament emerged. Montfort forged an alliance with Llywelyn, Prince of Wales. This was important in underpinning Montfort's power between his great victory at the battle of Lewes in May 1264 and his defeat and death at the battle of Evesham in August 1265.

At Evesham, Montfort had a large contingent of Welsh footsoldiers, who let out a bloodcurdling shout before the battle, only to be slaughtered by the royalist forces. Montfort also had important supporters among the Anglo-Scottish nobility. Eustace de Balliol “a valiant Scottish knight” was his standard bearer at Evesham, and died there. John de Vesci, lord of Alnwick in Northumberland and Sprouston in Scotland, preserved Montfort's foot as a holy relic in the chapel at Alnwick.

However, Alexander III of Scotland took a different line from his father, Alexander II. He supported Henry III, his father-in-law, and there was a Scottish contingent on King Henry's side at the battle of Lewes. Had it arrived in time, a Scottish force would have been ranged against Montfort at the battle of Evesham, making it partly a battle between the Welsh and the Scots. The 1265 Parliament was set up in the middle of what could be regarded as a British civil war.

 

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2015 Banners Exhibition

An online gallery featuring 18 specially commissioned artworks that celebrate750 years since De Montfort Parliament and 800 years since the sealing of Magna Carta.

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