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Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester

The Gascon Campaigns

Returning to France in 1242, he joined Henry III in the Gascon campaigns of 1242–43. Simon was preparing to go on a new crusade when in 1248 Henry sent him to Gascony with unlimited powers to bring order out of the anarchy of petty feudal wars and rebellions against English authority. Simon was skillful and ruthless in using military force to crush the turbulent Gascon barons and achieved a somewhat unstable order. But loud Gascon protests provoked Henry in 1252 to call Simon to an inquiry in England. After a bitter quarrel with the king was temporarily ended, Simon returned to Gascony, only to be interrupted a second time by a royal order to desist in the middle of his campaign so that young Prince Edward (later Edward I) might take Gascony in charge.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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