Michael Cahill

Michael Cahill

I have history degrees from the University of Warwick, which I attended as a “mature student” in the 1990s.  From 2002 I worked for Open Studies, becoming a freelance lecturer in 2010.  I teach in Leamington, Coventry, and at the Percival Guildhouse adult education centre in Rugby.  My training was in early modern English history, but I have ranged more widely since then.


King Henry III, 1216 – 1272; the earlier part of the reign

Henry III is not one of our most famous kings.  Aged nine when he came to the throne, at the time of a French invasion which was then repelled, his long reign was characterised by weakness.  A baronial revolt was to follow, led by Simon de Montfort.  We look at an unhappy monarch, perhaps influenced by stronger personalities, whilst also looking at aspects of the social history of the period. 

Our class is friendly and informal, and participation is encouraged.  No prior knowledge of the period is required.  The course runs for 8 weeks and our sessions are as follows.

  • Week 1:      The young King, successfully defended
  • Week 2:      Retrospective: William Marshal, “the Greatest Knight”
  • Week 3:      The regimes of Hubert de Burgh and Peter des Roches
  • Week 4:      The coming of the Friars and the cult of saints
  • Week 5:      Of Henry III’s marriage and character, and of Simon de Montfort
  • Week 6:      The emergence of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge
  • Week 7:      The trouble with foreigners
  • Week 8:      Introducing Matthew Paris

The following books are of interest:

  • Asbridge, T.,  The Greatest Knight (Simon and Schuster, 2015)
  • Carpenter, D.A.,  The reign of Henry III (Hambledon, 1996)
  • Draper, P.,  The formation of English Gothic (Yale, 2006)
  • Harding, A.,   England in the Thirteenth Century (Cambridge, 1993)
  • Maddicott, J.R.,  Simon de Montfort (Cambridge, 1994)
  • Powicke, F.M.,  King Henry III and the Lord Edward (Oxford, 1966)
  • Prestwich, M.,  Plantagenet England, 1225-1360 (Oxford, 2005)
  • Starkey, D.,  Magna Carta (Hodder, 2015)
  • Vincent, N.,  Peter des Roches (Cambridge, 1996)  

Oddfellows F. S., 6 Clarence Terrace, Warwick Street, Leamington Spa, CV32 5LD


Thursdays from 9.45 a.m to 11.45 a.m, with a break for refreshment.  (Course members are asked to contribute £1 from time to time to maintain a kitty for tea, coffee and biscuits.)


2nd May 2019


£64 for 8 weeks


If you wish to enrol for this course, or have any queries, you may contact me by typing your name, e-mail address and message in the boxes below and clicking “submit”.  You do not need to enter a website address, but it would be helpful if you would give a phone number together with your message in the Comment box.  I will try to answer your message as soon as possible.









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