Westminster Abbey and its Forgotten Patron

The Templar Knight permits himself a bit of home tourism to Westminster Abbey and reveals a fact I had not known: That the Abbey, which is the chief ceremonial center of the British Monarchy, was largely built by one of England’s lesser-known Kings, Henry III.

He was the son of King John and the father of Edward I (the villain in Braveheart). His reign was long (1216-1272) and full of troubles. The barons despised him for his favoritism to his French wife’s family and his military ineptitude. But what he lacked as a warlord he made up for as a patron of the arts. Besides the Abbey, Henry also built Westminster Hall as the seat of English governent, made trade ties with the Hanseatic League, and introduced a Pinot grape to England.

All of those things lasted longer than his father’s Angevin Empire or his son’s overlordship over Scotland.


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