MAGISTRATE'S SEAT

Do you like this chair? This is where the magistrate (or judge) would have sat. The magistrate would have looked after the court cases that happened in this room. In less serious court cases, where there was no need for a jury, the magistrate would have decided if a person was guilty. The magistrate would be helped by the court clerk. He would have sat right below us in the room. Look out for the Clerk’s Bench. Magistrates are very important people. I suppose that is why they had the best seat in the whole room.

Let’s find out about another important person who has sat in this room, Simon De Montfort....

As a historian, you’ll get to know about some really powerful people. Simon De Montfort was a powerful man who inherited Leicester Castle and became the 6th Earl of Leicester in 1208. Simon De Montfort did a lot of building work on the castle. He improved a lot of the buildings and made them bigger. In 1264 Simon De Montfort led the Barons’ rebellion. He defeated King Henry III to become the uncrowned King Of England.

Did you know? During his rule, Simon De Montfort called the first directly elected parliament in medieval Europe. That means that he helped to set up the way that our country and many others are still run today. There are still quite a lot of things around Leicester that use De Montfort’s name. Have you heard of De Montfort University? Or De Montfort Hall?  As a historian you’ll have to remember a lot facts and figures. A good memory is essential.