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Barons' war


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(1215–17; 1264–67)

Two civil wars fought in England between the King and the barons. The first began in June 1215 at Runnymede, King John, faced by the concerted opposition of the barons and Church, conceded Magna Carta. He failed to honour his promise and thereby provoked the barons to offer the crown to Louis, Dauphin of France, who landed in Kent in May 1216. John's death (October 1216) and the reissue of Magna Carta by the regent of his son Henry III prevented a major civil war. With his defeat at Lincoln and the capture of his supply ships off Sandwich, Louis accepted the Treaty of Kingston-upon-Thames in September 1217.

The second arose from baronial opposition to the incompetent Henry III and led to his accepting a programme of reform, the Provisions of Oxford (1258). Henry's renunciation of those reforms led to civil war in 1264, the baronial forces being led by Simon de Montfort. The king's capture at the Battle of Lewes (May 1264) began a brief period of baronial control when de Montfort sought to broaden his support by extending parliamentary franchise to the shires and towns (1265). After his defeat and death at Evesham (August 1265), the struggle was continued unsuccessfully until 1267 by his supporters.

Subjects: World History.


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