The daughters of Henry III

PhD Thesis

Armstrong, A. 2018. The daughters of Henry III. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Education
AuthorsArmstrong, A.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification namePhD

This thesis examines Henry III and Eleanor of Provence’s three daughters: Margaret, Beatrice and Katherine. It is a comparative study of their lives and relationships with their parents, arguing that the English king and queen cared greatly for the welfare and prosperity of their daughters from birth. These close family bonds continued after the daughters’ marriages and departures for their husbands’ courts, and both Henry and Eleanor continued to be strong influences in their daughters’ adult lives.

This study contributes to the historiography concerning the role of medieval royal daughters. It demonstrates that Margaret and Beatrice were not forgotten about by their natal family following their nuptials but, rather, these relationships continued, and their new marital families were quickly integrated within the larger English royal family. Henry’s parental concern for his daughters also strongly influenced his politics. In marriage, Henry was prepared to forego alliances if he did not feel that his daughters would be suitably provided for as wives that befitted their status as the English king’s daughters. Similarly, these concerns continued into married life, as Henry and Eleanor intervened in the minority government of Scotland when they felt that Margaret’s rights and liberties were being infringed. Henry and Eleanor’s strong, emotional attachment to their daughters is most apparent in the short life of Katherine, whose death caused her parents inconsolable grief, demonstrating that parents formed strong attachments to their infant children and were not prepared for their deaths.

This thesis adds to our understanding of the lives of royal women, as well as Henry III as a king and as a father. Moreover, it demonstrates the interconnectivity of familial concerns and politics in the thirteenth century.

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Publication process dates
Deposited20 Mar 2019
Output statusUnpublished
Accepted author manuscript
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