Simon DE MONTFORT 1st Earl of Leicester, Duke of Narbonne
- Born: Abt 1170, Montfort-l'Amaury, Yvelines, Ile-de-France, France
- Married: Abt 1190
- Died: 25 Jun 1218, Toulouse, Midi-Pyrénées, France
- Buried: Abbaye des Haute-Bruyere, near Montfort-l'Amaury, France
The Chronicle of Alberic de Trois-Fontaines refers to the mother of "comes Symon Montisfortis et Guido frater eius" as "Guilelmum comitem Licestrie…sorore". A charter dated Feb 1199 recalls a donation to the leprosery of Grand-Beaulieu near Chartres by "Amauricus de Monteforti", with the consent of "Amauricus parvus filius eiusdem Amaurici, qui erat sub custodia Amaurici de Mestenon", and the confirmation by "Simon de Monteforti, predictorum successor virorum et heres" with the consent of "uxore mea Eva et filiis meis Amaurico et Guidone et fratre meo Guidone". "Li cuens Symon de Monfort et Gui ses freres" left on crusade in 1202. "Symon de Monteforti", leaving for Jerusalem, confirmed the privileges of the priory of Saint-Thomas d´Epernon by charter dated 1202. He left on Crusade in 1202 with Renaud Comte de Dampierre, but refused to take part in the capture of the town of Zara for the Venetians or in the capture of Constantinople. Villehardouin records that, after the siege of Zara, "Simon de Montfort [and]…his brother Guy de Montfort" deserted the army to join the king of Hungary. The Historia Salonitanorum of Thomas Archdeacon of Split names "Symon comes de Monteforti" as one of the leaders of the army which landed at Zadar in Oct 1203. After the death of his maternal uncle, he went to England and was recognised as Earl of Leicester. He was one of the leaders of the crusade against the Albigensian heretics in 1209, and was elected their leader to govern the captured towns of Beziers and Carcassonne in Aug 1209. He captured Albi in 1210 and Toulouse in 1211. The titles which he used at that date are shown in the charter dated 3 Apr 1211 under which "Rogerus comes Convenarum" reached agreement with "Simone comite Leycestriensi, domino Montisfortis...Biterensi et Carcassonensi vicecomite, et domino Albiensi et Redensi". "Henricus comes Ruthenensis, comitatum Ruthenensum, Rodellam, vicecomitatum de Cambolatio" swore homage to "domino meo S...comite Leycestriensi, domino Montisfortis...Biterrensi et Carcassensi vicecomite...et domino meo Amalrico primogenito filio vestro" by charter dated 7 Nov 1214. He defeated the Comte de Toulouse at Castelnaudary, and adopted the titles Vicomte d'Albi, Comte de Toulouse, Duc de Narbonne and Marquis de Provence. He defeated Pedro II King of Aragon at Muret 12 Sep 1213. "Simonem comitem de Monteforti" swore homage to Philippe II King of France for "ducatu Narbonensi, comitatu Tolosano, vicecomitatu Biterrensi et Carcassonæ" by charter dated Apr 1216. He lost Toulouse to Comte Raymond in Sep 1217, and was killed during an unsuccessful siege of the city. The Chronicle of Toulouse Saint-Saturnin records that "Simon comes Montisfortis" died "in obsidione Tolosæ, in crastinum festi Sancti Johannis Baptistæ" in 1218. The Annales Sancti Victoris Massilienses record the death "1218 VII Kal Iul" of "Simon comes Montisforti" during the siege of Toulouse. The necrology of Le Mans Cathedral records the death "VII Kal Jul" of "Simon…comes Montisfortis". The necrology of Haute-Bruyère lists members of the Montfort family who are buried in the abbey, including "…conte Simon…qui mourut en Albigeois et de la contesse Alix sa femme…"
Simon married Alix DE MONTMORENCY, daughter of Bouchard DE MONTMORENCY and Laurette DE HAINAUT, about 1190. (Alix DE MONTMORENCY was born in Montmorency, Val D'oise, France, died on 24 Feb 1220-1221 in Abbaye des Haute-Bruyere, near Montfort-l'Amaury, France and was buried in Hautes-Bruyères, Champagne-Ardenne, France.)