After this, on the Tuesday fourth of August, they [Simon de Montfort] arrived at Evesham, where Sir Edward and the Earl of Gloucester surprised them with all their army; and on the same day, the two fought outside the said town, the said Edward and the Earl of Gloucester gained the victory, and the Earl of Leicester and his eldest son, Henry, were slain; Hugh le Despenser also, and Peter de Montfort, and all the Barons and knights who had adhered to them, were slain, a few only survived…
The head of the Earl of Leicester, it is said, was severed from his body, and his testicles cut off and hung on either side of his nose; and in such guise the head was sent to the wife of Sir Roger de Mortimer, at Wiggemor Castle. His hands and feet were also cut off, and sent to various places to enemies of his, as a great mark of dishonour to the deceased; the trunk of his body however, and that only, was given for burial in the church of Evesham. On the same day and at the same hour that the battle took place, there was a very great tempest at London and elsewhere, accompanied with lightning and thunder.
I have just received this account from my friend the chronicler of the Mayor of London. He tells of a great battle that has taken place at Evesham between Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester and Prince Edward, the son of Henry III, who is now supported by the Earl of Gloucester, previously a friend of de Montfort. You can read the gruesome outcome of this battle for de Montfort, and his own sons Henry and Peter, but what will this mean for his radical plans? Will Henry III stick by the terms of the agreement made by the Parliament in London earlier in the year?
A third extract from the Chronicles of Mayors and Sheriffs of London 1265
London Metropolitan Archives
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What happened in London at the same time as the battle?
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Why have the barons rebelled against Henry III?
- Is it because Simon de Montfort is an ambitious traitor who wants power for himself? Is he not really interested in the liberties granted by Magna Carta and is acting like a revolutionary dictator by seizing power?
- Or is it Henry who cannot be trusted? Has he ruled the kingdom badly and he is also trying to get out of commitments he has made to rule according to Magna Carta and the Provisions of Oxford?
- It is the view of this chronicle that the barons have rebelled against King Henry III because…