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Eleanor of Provence

Eleanor of Provence (1223–91), queen of Henry III. Daughter of Raymond Berenger IV, count of Provence, Eleanor came from a cultivated and well-connected family. Negotiations for her to marry Henry III began in 1235, the marriage taking place in Canterbury the following year. There were five children, Edward, Edmund, Margaret, Beatrice, and Catherine. The queen and her Provençal relatives were not popular: her uncle William, bishop-elect of Valence, was said to have returned to France with a vast fortune. She raised funds for her husband during the baronial wars and gathered troops on his behalf. Much of her wealth was used up and when she entered a convent after his death in 1272, she was heavily in debt. She died at Amesbury on 25 June 1291 and was given a full burial by Edward I, her son, who paid off her debts.

Sue Minna Cannon

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Eleanor of Provence

Eleanor of Provence (prôväNs´), d. 1291, queen consort of Henry III of England. The daughter of Raymond Berengar, count of Provence, she was married to Henry in 1236. She was a vigorous and incisive woman and had much influence on her husband, as did her unpopular relatives and other foreign courtiers who followed her to England. During the ascendancy of Simon de Montfort in 1264–65, Eleanor raised mercenaries in France for her husband's cause. She was dispatched to a convent in 1286 but was sometimes consulted by her son, Edward I.

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