Little kooky anecdotes are my favorite things to learn (and share) about history
This one takes place in England during the 2nd Barons’ War, between Simon de Montfort and his baronial allies against King Henry III and his son, the future Edward I. After the Battle of Lewes in 1264, Montfort was basically in charge of England. Henry and Prince Edward were captured in that battle, and Edward became a hostage of the barons. That was the situation until Edward escaped captivity:
On 28 May, Prince Edward, Henry de Montfort and Thomas de Clare, as well as other lords of the rebel party, were exercising their horses at Widemarsh. The Prince suggested that the men race each other, an idea that was gladly taken up. Edward took part in the first race, when he was beaten by Henry. After that he contented himself with cheering on the others. It came to the hour of vespers and Henry ordered a return to the castle. They all turned their horses’ heads back to the city. Then, suddenly, Edward swung his mount and galloped for the trees. Angrily, the others chased after him, but their horses were tired from all the racing. Edward’s horse, however, was still fresh. Edward reached one of Mortimer’s supporters, Roger Croft, who was hidden in the trees and they rode off in the direction of Wigmore. Henry had lost his father’s most valuable prize.
After his escape with the horse trick, Edward linked up with a Royalist army. On August 4th, Edward and Simon clashed at the Battle of Evesham. In a crushing victory against representative democracy, the Royalists won the day. Montfort’s son Henry was killed and Simon himself died fighting. His body was halved, quartered and possibly minced. Roger Mortimer sent the head to his wife, Lady Mortimer, as a gift.
Today, Montfort is remembered was someone who got the ball rolling on parliamentary government in England. The barons were fighting to curtail unlimited royal authority and institute some rule by consent. Montfort’s second parliament included burgesses from the towns, which was new at the time. Edward grew up to be the bad guy in Braveheart*
Have a nice day thread, friends.
*some details omitted