Guy de Montfort, Count of Nola
d.abt 1288 Sicilia, Italy
Facts and Events
He participated in the Battle of Evesham against the royalist forces of his uncle, King Henry III of England, and his cousin, Prince Edward. Both his father and elder brother were traumatically killed during the disastrous battle, Guy de Montfort was extremely wounded and captured.
He was held at Windsor Castle until spring 1266, when he bribed his captors and escaped to France to rejoin his exiled family. Guy and his brother, Simon the younger, wandered across Europe for several years, eventually making their way to Italy.
Guy took service with Charles of Anjou, serving as his Vicar-General in Tuscany. There he married an Italian noblewoman, Margherita Aldobrandesca, the Lady of Sovana, heiress of a branch of the Aldobrandeschi family, with a feudal contado, nominally subject to Orvieto, that stretched from the shores of the Tyrrhenian sea to the borders of Acquapendente. With her he had two daughters:
In 1271 Guy and Simon discovered that their cousin Henry of Almain (son of Richard, Earl of Cornwall) was in Viterbo at the church of San Silvestro. In revenge for the deaths of their father and brother at Evesham, Guy and Simon murdered Henry while he clutched the altar, begging for mercy. "You had no mercy for my father and brothers", was Guy's reply. For this crime the Montfort brothers were excommunicated, and Dante banished Guy to the river of boiling blood in the seventh circle of his Inferno (Canto XII). The news reached Britain in 1273, and King Edward I dispatched a clerk of the royal household to inform the northern counties and Scotland about the excommunication.
Simon died later that year at Siena, "cursed by God, a wanderer and a fugitive". Guy was stripped of his titles and took service with Charles of Anjou again, but was captured off the coast of Sicily in 1287 by the Aragonese at the Battle of the Counts. He died in a Sicilian prison.
Among his direct descendants (via his elder daughter, Anastasia): late 15th century Kings of Naples, England's Queen-Consort Elizabeth Woodville, 16th century rulers of Poland, Dukes of Ferrera, and Dukes of Guise.