The Montfortian Bishops and the Justification of Conciliar Government in 1264

Sophie Ambler

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In 1266, five English bishops were suspended from office for supporting Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, in rebellion against King Henry III. The action in which the bishops had conspired was highly controversial: the violent imposition of a conciliar government that ruled in the king's name. This article examines the justifications for this system of government produced by the Montfortian religious milieu, showing that the bishops' arguments were not part of a coherent philosophy on royal government but rather ad hoc responses shaped by the context of their production in the midst of dramatic political change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193–209
Number of pages17
JournalHistorical Research
Issue number228
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Simon de Montfort
  • bishops
  • political thought
  • Robert Grosseteste

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