Was Simon de Montfort born in 1209? Most historians lean toward that date. He would have been twenty or twenty-one when he arrived in England: at the point of coming of age if he had been in wardship. I don’t think it was his “coming of age,” but rather his brother Amaury’s disqualification for the inheritance when he was made Marshall of France, that prompted Simon’s arrival to press the family claim on the earldom of Leicester. My own view is he was probably born around 1213. Let’s hope that by 2013 the founder of modern democracy will be well enough known to have a splendidly happy birthday celebration.