The Simon de Montfort Day School 2022

One day, four different subjects on military life in the thirteenth century.

Date: October 8th 2022

Venue: The Simon de Montfort School, Evesham WT11 1DQ

Tickets: £25 each or £20 each for members of the Simon de Montfort Society (includes morning coffee, lunch and afternoon tea)

This year will see the first Iris Pinkstone Memorial Lecture delivered by Dr Sophie Porter, author of the engaging biography: The Song of Simon de Montfort, a history of the nobleman who between 1258 and 1265, seized power from Henry III and established a regime to govern in his stead, before dying on the blood-soaked Green Hill above Evesham.

The Final Weeks of Simon de Montfort

In the final weeks of his life, Simon de Montfort was at his most impressive and most politically ruthless. Having won the Battle of Lews in May 1264 and taken captive King Henry III and Edward, heir to the throne, he ruled the country at the head of a revolutionary regime. Between January and March 1265, he held the great parliament at Westminster that has been hailed as the ‘first House of Commons’. In the spring of 1265, however, a new phase of the civil war opened in the march of Wales, as Simon moved to counter the marcher barons. At the end of May, Edward escaped from captivity and united with Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, and Roger Mortimer of Wigmore to confront Simon. Over the first two weeks of June, their combined forces trapped Simon to the west of the Severn, at Hereford. Outnumbered and desperate, Simon established an ambitious and audacious military strategy to outmanoeuvre his opponents and reclaim his regime’s grip on the kingdom, incorporating supporters across mainland Britain. This lecture will present new evidence to reveal the dynamics and scale of that strategy, which could have brought a Montfortian victory but would also have transformed the political structure of Britain.

Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler is Reader in Medieval History and Deputy Director of the Centre for War and Diplomacy at Lancaster University. Her work includes Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213-1272 (OUP, 2017) and The Song of Simon de Montfort: England’s First Revolutionary and the Death of Chivalry (Picador and OUP, 2019).

Heraldry in Peace and War

Rob Jones with a fascinating talk about blazons, their use and meaning.

The knight bedecked in his heraldic finery, is a familiar image, embodying the pageantry and pomp of the chivalric elite. But from where did it originate, and to what practical purpose was it put? This talk will set the heraldry of the thirteenth century in context, exploring its role on the battlefield, at tournament and in the wider chivalric world.

Dr Robert Jones is the Alumni Association Coordinator for Advanced Studies in England, a small independent study abroad program based in Bath, England. He is also a Visiting Scholar in History at Franklin and Marshall College in Pennsylvania.  Rob received his PhD from Cardiff University (under the supervision of Professor Peter Coss) in 2008. Specialising in medieval military culture, he is the author of Bloodied Banners: Martial Display on the Medieval Battlefield, and co-editor of Boydell and Brewer’s Companion to Chivalry’ He has recently completed revisions on his latest book – ‘ultures of the Medieval Sword: Power, Piety, and Play – which should be out in the new year.

Sir William Marshall: England’s Greatest Knight

Portrayed by Max Keen, complete with maille, sword, shield and great helm!

William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembrokeshire, served five English kings: Henry II, his sons the “Young King” Henry, Richard I and John and finally John’s son Henry III. He lived a remarkably long life (for hose days – 74 years) of loyal service, chivalry, bravery, courage and raw martial talent.

Max Keen is well-known for his costumed portrayal of historical celebrities. Sir William Marshall is one of Max’s personal favourites so expect a lively, colourful and animated presentation.

How a Man Shall be Armed

The House of the Twin-Tailed Lion in all their glory

Local re-enactment society, The House of the Twin-Tailed Lion, will go through a hot and humorous look at what a medieval knight has to wear to go to work in the thirteenth century. With any luck, they might be persuaded to knock one another about for our entertainment. You might have seen the Lions at the recent Evesham Medieval Festival and re-Enactment.

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Please let us know any dietary or other special requirements through the email addresses above.

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