The 13th Century: Reigns of Henry III and Edward I

Ref: C3743089

The boy king Henry III's throne was secured by the regent William Marshal who defeated the French at the battle of Lincoln. However, Henry's adult rule was markedly incompetent, his barons' dissafection culminating in the Provisions of Oxford and a baronial dominated government led by Simon de Montfort, until his death at the hands of the King's forces at the battle of Evesham. Henry's incompetence at ruling indirectly helped create an English Parliament. In contrast, his son, Edward I appears as a truly formidable king who conquered Wales & defeated John de Balliol & William Wallace in Scotland. Under his rule, the English parliament & common law courts took shape. The architectural impact of his reign can be seen in the chain of castles he constructed across Wales & the Eleanor Crosses, monuments to his first wife, Eleanor of Castile.

Course aim

This course will contrast the incompetent rule of Henry III which provoked the Barons' War, led by Simon de Montfort with the formidable reign of Edward I, lauded as a military genius - the Hammer of the Scots - and a great legislator.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify & contrast the personal styles & public policies of Henry III & Edward I.
  • Assess the extent of the English crown's dominance over the British Isles by the end of the reign of Edward I.
  • Analyse developments in governance, justice & Church-state relations in the course of the thirteenth century.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • You may wish to bring pen & paper to take notes.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member

Download full course information sheet

The 13th Century: Reigns of Henry III and Edward I


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