Henry, the eldest son of John I and Isabella of Angouleme, was born in Winchester in 1207. Henry was only nine when his father died in 1216. Hubert de Burgh ruled as regent but in 1234 took over the administration of the country.
Henry III married Eleanor of Provence in 1236 and the couple had two sons and four daughters. Henry had a passion for castles and houses which he filled with works of art. He was an extremely religious man and spent a great deal of money on church buildings. The most important of these being the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey.
Henry also spent a lot of money on warfare. However, he was not a very successful soldier. Attempts to win back back territory in France that had been lost by his father, King John, ended in failure. Eventually he was forced to sign an agreement acknowledging that Normandy, Maine, Poitou, Touraine and Anjou were no longer part of the empire.
Unhappy with his rule, the barons, under the leadership of Simon de Montfort, forced Henry III to accept a programme of reform. Further conflicts with his barons led to the Battle of Lewes in 1264. Although defeated at Lewes, Henry III regained control of his kingdom after the death of Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Henry III died in 1272.