Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Montfort, Simon de (circa 1200-65), was the son of the Simon who harried the Albigenses. He was born in France, but came early to England, where, through his grandmother, he had a claim to the earldom of Leicester. He did not obtain the earldom till it was granted him by Henry III. in 1231. In 1238 he married the king's sister, the Countess of Pembroke, and was soon after made seneschal of Gascony. His harsh rule drove the people into revolt, and he was recalled, and had a violent scene with the king. A reconciliation followed, and De Montfort was employed on military and diplomatic service. He joined the discontented barons, and took part, in 1258, in the Mad Parliament, which resulted in the Provisions of Oxford. For some years he presided over the twenty-four barons, who managed the affairs of the kingdom. After the battle of Lewes, in 1264, De Montfort, possibly in consequence of dissensions among the barons, took the step which has identified his name with the history of Parliament - namely, the summoning of the Commons to send members to join in the deliberations. Like many other great measures, this was entered upon in probable unconsciousness of its important bearing upon the future, regard being had only to its immediate advantages. The Parliament met in 1265, and in this same year De Montfort was slain at the battle of Evesham. He was long regarded as a saint by the people.