Explore the BBC
3 Oct 2014
Click for a Text Only version of this page
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio

Radio 4
Radio 4 History
BBC History

This Sceptred Isle


55 BC - 1087

1087 - 1327

1327 - 1547

1547 - 1660

1660 - 1702

1702 - 1760

1760 - 1792

1792 - 1837

1837 - 1861

1861 - 1901

1901 - 1919

1920 - 1939

1940 - 1959

1960 - 1979

1980 - 1999


Contact Us


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

This Sceptred Isle

Henry III
Henry III
The Barons' War
King John died in 1216. Henry III, at the age of nine, inherited the throne of a country at civil war. William the Marshal acted as guardian.

In 1215 at the invitation of the English barons the French dauphin, who would be Louis VIII, had invaded England. The barons, completely fed up with John, hoped to make Louis King of England. In 1216 Alexander II King of Scots invaded England. The rebellion was supported in the west by Prince Llewellyn of North Wales. The death of John changed the conditions of the conflict, the sole reason and justification for the war died with John - but nobody was in the mood for peace.

In the winter of 1215 Louis returned to France for reinforcements and lost much of his English support while he was away. He returned only to be defeated at the battle of Lincoln.

WILLIAM THE MARSHAL (c. 1147-1219)

  • A courtier in the service of Henry the Young King
  • Entered Henry II's household in 1186
  • Served Richard I well and through his marriage was rewarded with the estates of Richard de Clare in Ireland, Wales and Normandy
  • Managed to retain his estates in spite of the loss of Normandy in 1204
  • Became regent to Henry III in 1216
  • Defeated the French dauphin Louis VIII at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217

did you know?
William the Marshal was nearly 80 years old when he became guardian to Henry III.

William wanted the Earl of Chester to become regent but the Papal legate begged William to take the office in return for the remission and pardon of his sins.

Henry III was crowned at Gloucester. Henry at the time of John's death was with his family at Corfe Castle and from there was taken to Gloucester, being the nearest Abbey.

Select historical period

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.dat does not exist

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.html does not exist

1199John I becomes king of England
1200John marries Isabel of Angouleme
1203Arthur of Brittany is murdered
1204John loses French territories to Philip Augustus of France
1207John refuses to accept Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury
1207Papal interdict is imposed on England
1213John offers the Pope England as a fiefdom
1214Alexander II, King of Scots
1215Barons force John to accept Magna Carta
1216John dies
Henry III becomes king of England
William the Marshal becomes regent
1217Louis VIII defeated at the Battle of Lincoln
1219William the Marshal dies

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy