Second Baron's War, 1264-1267

Second Baron's War, 1264-1267

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Second Barons War, 1264-1267

Civil war between Henry III and the Barons led by Simon de Montfort. The rebellion was caused by increased financial demands made by Henry III. Initially, de Montfort was triumphant, capturing Henry III at the battle of Lewes, but his victory was shortlived. The Barons argued amongst themselves, and Gilbert, earl of Gloucester and Roger Mortimer joined the Royalists, by then led by Prince Edward, the future Edward I. At the battle of Evesham (1265), the rebels were defeated, Simon de Montfort killed, and Henry III rescued. Peace was proclaimed on 16 September 1265, but the siege of Kenilworth, where de Montfort's son was besieged, went on for longer, while the last resistance was not ended until 1267.

Second Barons War

It is a pleasure to welcome to History…the Interesting Bits, author Carol McGrath. Carol’s latest novel, The Damask Rose, is out this month and tells the story of Eleanor of Castile and her devoted husband, King Edward I. Eleanor of Castile led an adventurous life, to say the least, even accompanying her husband on Crusade to the Holy Land.

Carol McGrath tells us more…

Barnwell Castle

Barnwell Castle is a strongly fortified manorial residence built during the period of the Second Baron’s War (1264-1267), which was at the forefront of medieval military architecture in Britain It is quadrilateral in shape with cylinder towers on the northeast, northwest and southwest corners. On the southeast corner is a twin-towered gatehouse. It has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Attractions near Barnwell Castle

​Barnwell Country Park comprises 37 acres of lakes, riverbank and meadows to explore, situated close to the historic market town of Oundle.There is a range of walks around the park and you can download or pick up maps to help you find your way around. The walks are waymarked along the way. There is a nature trail and an orienteering map. Plus activity packs for kids and scavenger hunts. The park has a woodland adventure play area and a hobbit garden for toddlers.

Oundle Museum is an award winning Accredited Museum located in the former Courthouse of the beautiful stone built Market Town in Northamptonshire. The history of the town is evident from many of the current houses over 300 years old yet Oundle dates back to the Iron Age and can boast a rich history throughout the ages which are reflected in the Museum.

Titchmarsh Nature Reserve is a 72.7 hectare Local Nature Reserve north of Thrapston in East Northamptonshire. The River Nene runs through this site, which also has large areas of open water and grassland. There are nationally important numbers of goosanders, wigeons and gadwalls in winter, and banded demoiselle damselflies nest on nettles along the river bank. It is owned and managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. It is part of the Upper Nene Valley

The National Trust's Lyveden New Bield, Northamptonshire, is an incomplete Elizabethan lodge and moated garden. It is a wonderful survivor of the Elizabethan age and a rare example of late Tudor landscape design. There are tranquil moats, viewing terraces and an Elizabethan orchard to explore, as well as an enigmatic garden lodge covered in religious symbols. The exterior of the building is decorated by friezes of a religious nature. The metopes contain the emblems and motifs found also at the

Fotheringhay Castle was a motte-and-bailey fortification raised in the early twelfth century by the Earl of Northampton. It was subsequently owned by various Scottish Princes before being incorporated into the Dukedom of York. In 1587 the castle was chosen to host the trial and execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. The castle was dismantled in the 1630s and most of the masonry was removed, leaving only the earthworks. The site is protected as a Scheduled Monument and is open to the public.

Elton Hall was built in 1666, on the site of a medieval house, and there have been many additions. A compartment garden was made in the 1670s. The house has been the home of the Proby family since 1660, although previous generations held land at Elton from the time of Elizabeth I. The Victorian gardens have been skillfully restored in recent years and contain a knot garden, a new rose, and herbaceous garden, fine hedges, and a Gothic orangery built to celebrate the Millennium.

Discover more attractions in Northamptonshire , where Barnwell Castle is located

Rochester Castle History

Rochester castle sits inside an ancient Roman stone enclosure. The Romans started a settlement called Durobrivae, which means Fort by the bridges, in the area of Rochester and the river Medway. Part of the Roman wall that surrounded Durobrivae was used during Medieval times as a defensive wall for Rochester castle, and still exists today.

William I (the Conqueror) built Rochester castle shortly after 1066, to guard the crossing point of the river Medway. The Bishop of Rochester owned the land at the time, and the Normans raised the ground up away from the river to build the first stone castle there.

Upon his death, William I handed Normandy to his elder son Robert and England to his younger son William II (Rufus). William I’s half-brother Bishop Odo was already Earl of Kent at the time, and allied with Robert, and Rochester castle was one of his residences. During the rebellion of 1088 over the succession of the English throne, Odo seized Rochester castle and blockaded the city to form the base for the rebellion. Only to surrender shortly after when his garrison collapsed.

It was after this first siege that William II decided to strengthen Rochester castle’s defences in 1088. Gundulf, the bishop of Rochester, was commissioned to rebuild the castle while working on Rochester cathedral at the time. His experience was quite suitable for the job, as he was previously commissioned to build the Tower of London in the 1070s.

Rochester castle continued to improve over the next few decades. Henry I, who succeeded his brother William II, granted the castle to the Archbishop of Canterbury (William de Corbeil) on condition that further fortifications would be built. As a result, the tallest of all stone keeps in Europe was erected. Crucially, due to the incredible design of the keep, a huge spine wall was built in the centre of the keep, splitting it structurally in two. This would have significant consequences during the first major test of Rochester castle’s defences, the famous First Baron’s War (1215-1217).

First Baron’s War and the Siege of Rochester Castle

During the turbulent reign of the despised King John (1199-1216), the Archbishop of Canterbury (Stephen Langton) was persistently blocked by John from becoming elected, until the pope intervened. King John had no choice but to accept the Archbishop, and agreed Rochester castle would be in the Archbishop’s hands on condition that no ill become of it. Langton made no such agreement.

Shortly after the Barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta in 1215, this arrangement collapsed. The Baron, William d’Aubigny, and his troops marched to Rochester castle and the constable Reginald de Cornhill opened the gates, and let the rebels in. King John, on his way up to London from Dover, stopped at Rochester and was met by an attack from the leader of the rebel Barons, Robert Fitzwalter, a signee of the Magna Carta. King John’s army forced Fitzwalter back to London, and cut off any further attacks by destroying the bridge across the Medway with fire ships. Then the siege began on Rochester castle.

The outer walls were breached by royal siege engines, but the keep remained strong. King John’s siege engineers began undermining the south-east corner of the keep, holding up the mine with large timber struts. It was then that King John called for forty of the fattest pigs to burn the mine with such heat, as to bring down the tower of the keep.

Send to us with all speed by day and night, forty of the fattest pigs of the sort least good for eating so that we may bring fire beneath the castle

When the south-east corner of the tower collapsed under the intense fury of the flames, the rebels inside were able to continue defending from the other side of the central spine wall, such was the structural strength of the castle. However, after resisting for just over seven weeks, the garrison surrendered. It was hunger that eventually forced their hand. King John was dissuaded from hanging every rebel baron by one of his captains, reminding him of the repercussions if he did so. The Barnwell chronicler remarked:

Never in our age has a siege been driven so hard, or resisted so bravely

Rochester castle did not stay under King John’s control for long. In 1216, Rochester was taken by Prince Louis of France, but when king John died, his son Henry III took control back in 1217.

Second Baron’s War and the Siege of Rochester Castle

Rochester castle was again besieged in 1264, for the third time, during the Second Barons’ War (1264–1267). Baron rebel armies led by Simon de Montfort and Gilbert de Clare, were once again challenging the king’s authority (Henry III). The rebels entered Rochester and attempted to capture the castle. Rochester’s defenses were once again strong, and despite de Montfort breaking into the bailey, the defenders were protected well inside the keep. The siege continued for a further week, until de Montfort heard reports that Londoners were about to defect to the king. The siege was swiftly lifted.

Rochester castle had suffered extensive damage, and as Henry III was struggling to remain in power, with ongoing wars with the Barons, Rochester castle was left to decay. It was the main keep and some outer walls that survived throughout the rest of the middle ages.

Rochester Castle and the Peasant’s Revolt

Rochester castle saw its final attack, in 1381 when it was captured and ransacked during the Peasants’ Revolt during the reign of Richard II. Robert Baker of Dartford stormed the castle, and the constable in charge released (without a fight) Robert Belling, an escaped serf from the estate of Sir Simon de Burley, who was held prisoner there. Together, the two Roberts and the rest of their party of revolutionaries, marched onto London. The revolt was soon quashed the following month.

The Keep of Rochester Castle

The Keep of Rochester castle was the tallest in Europe at one time. Chroniclers in the 12th century described it as noble and outstanding, and indeed it was (and still is). Its creation began in 1127, by William de Corbeil, the Archibishop of Canterbury, and sits 125ft high. The entrance consists of a stone stairway leading up the first floor, with a set of removable wooden steps positioned before the entrance door, which could be removed in times of trouble. A series of gatehouses and portcullis’ add to the security. The windows on the first floor are very narrow, and get larger as you go up the keep, offering maximum security whilst allowing some light in.

Inside the keep, there are three floors above the basement and a further battlement at the top, offering incredible views over the river Medway and surrounding land. There are luxuries like latrines present throughout, which send waste down to the cesspit at the base of the keep, and a well-designed fresh water well shaft built into the spine wall. This well is 20m deep, and can provide fresh water right up to the top levels of the keep. It still holds water today.

The central spine wall, which splits the keep into two, was the structural factor that prevented the whole keep from collapsing when King John’s miners brought down the south-east tower, during the great siege on Rochester castle. The south-east tower itself was rebuilt after its collapse, and you can tell which one it is, because they rebuilt it with a semi-circular design, rather than the classic square shape the other three have. It also uses local stone from Reigate, rather than the more costly Caen stone from Normandy.

On the second floor, is the grandest room in the keep. The height and size of the room, along with the detailing on the arches, windows and fireplaces, gives it the grandeur of a state room. A gallery built into the outside wall, surrounds the upper part of stately room. Arches in the gallery offer light through from the outer windows, and opportunities to look down on the activities occurring in the the main room.

At the very top of the keep are the battlements. Classic crenellations running between each tower, offering maximum support for archers. Along the battlement floor, holes still exist where timber supports reached out beyond the outer wall, which held wooden platforms (hourds). These hourds would allow rocks or oil to be dropped through trapdoors in the floor, directly down onto enemies climbing the wall, or at the base of the wall.

Rochester Castle – Facts

  • Rochester castle is in Rochester, Kent and sits between the river Medway and the Roman road, Watling Street
  • Rochester castle sits on top of the pre-conquest Anglo-Saxon settlement of Rochester
  • Rochester castle is a Norman castle and was first made of wood, after the Battle of Hastings by William the Conqueror
  • Rochester castle was upgraded to stone in 1087 by Gundulf, the bishop of Rochester. Further improvements were added over the next few centuries
  • Rochester castle has been left to ruin a number times before being saved
  • King Henry I gave the Rochester Castle to the Archbishop of Canterbury, William de Corbeil, who built the impressive stone keep in 1127
  • Rochester castle was sieged for the first time by Bishop Odo, Earl of Kent
  • Rochester castle was sieged for the second time by King John in the First Baron’s War
  • Rochester castle was sieged for the third time by rebels during the Second Baron’s War
  • Rochester castle was involved in the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381, where it held prisoner a revolutionary peasant
  • Charles Dickens wanted to be buried outside Rochester castle, in a small cemetery there

Rochester Cathedral

Rochester Cathedral in the Diocese of Rochester in the Church of England, and the seat of the Bishop of Rochester. This is the second oldest bishopric in England, behind the Archbishop of Canterbury. A cathedral is been here since Roman times, and was founded in 604AD by Bishop Justus. The cathedral you see today was built by Gundulf, the Bishop of Rochester in 1080, around the same time Rochester castle was built in stone. Rochester cathedral houses one of the oldest doors in England, albeit hidden from view.

Following the murder of William of Perth, a Scottish baker in the 13th century, the Cathedral became a place of pilgrimage. From his shrine in the cathedral, of which no trace remains, miracles were apparently reported of. Today, pilgrims who journey to the Cathedral can still climb the very worn steps up to the shrine, and light a candle at the William of Perth prayer-station.

So who was Sir Adam de Gurdon and what did he do?

Adam de Gurdon was a minor nobleman. He was Lord of Selbourne in Hampshire during te C13th and Bailiff of Alton in 1232, he also a Knight of the Garter. He was one of the disgruntled barons who sided with Simon de Montfort the 6th Earl of Leicester and as a result, was disinherited of his estates in 1266. This action led him, with others, to form a party of outlaws which ravaged Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Hampshire. A particularly favoured stomping ground of his was Alton Pass, near Basingstoke.

The consequences of the Second Barons War

By 1263, de Montfort and his forces had captured most of southeastern England and at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, Henry was defeated and taken prisoner, Simon de Montfort worked to broaden parliamentary representation, so that it included groups beyond the nobility, with members from each county of England and many important towns. King Henry III and Prince Edward remained under house arrest.

Prince Edward escaped captivity fifteen months after being caught and he led the royalists into battle again. He defeated and killed de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Prince Edward now felt confident enough to face the recalcitrant barons and chose to confront Adam de Gurdon in person.

Prince Edward and Adam de Gurdon meet

In 1266, Prince Edward met de Gurdon somewhere close to Alton, the exact position is uncertain but thought to be somewhere just east of Long Sutton.

Various stories exist to relate what happened during their encounter. One story is that after a long fight, de Gurdon was unseated from his horse but Edward was so impressed by his courage and prowess, that he spared his life. This was a shrewd move by the prince, who then restored de Gurdon’s land and by doing so secured the loyalty of the Knight Adam Gurdon who became one of Edward’s most trusted supporters.

The countryside of Long Sutton

The Barons’ War, Footsore Miniatures

What could be better than receiving 21 packs of figures for your favourite historical period? Well, opening them to discover they have been extremely well designed and crisply manufactured. That’s what I got when Footsore Miniatures handed me a box of all the latest packs from their Baron’s War range. This new range of “highly detailed 28mm miniatures for medieval games set during the 13th Century”, was commissioned by Andy Hobday, designed by Paul Hicks and has been manufactured by Footsore, they’re not strictly Footsore Miniatures, but let’s gloss over the boring admin and take a look at what is on offer.

The Barons’ Wars were two conflicts which excited the nobles of England, Scotland and France in the 13th Century and engaged their sparring retinues in the usual round of medieval sieging, skirmishing and even a handful of
‘big battles’.

The earlier (suitably titled) First Barons’ War centred around the ‘invasion’ of England by Prince Louis of France (later to be King Louis VIII). It began with Louis and his French, English and Scottish allies warring against that pariah of British history King John and ended (on land at least) at the Battle of Lincoln Fair in 1217, when the French were tactically and combatively beaten by one of the great heroes of medieval England, William Marshal.

The Second Barons’ War, 1264 – 1267, heralded the birth of British democracy, but more importantly for us saw more fighting with English-on-English action at the Battle of Lewes, where King Henry III was taken prisoner and the Battle of Evesham, where chief rebel Simon de Montfort had his body torn apart by the loyal soldiers of Prince Edward.

Both conflicts are fascinating and whilst totalling just five years at different ends of the 13th Century provide plenty of scope for wargamers in terms of tabletop medieval games for those, who like me, are plate armour averse.

The benchmarks of the Barons’ Wars are chain armour covered by surcoats, the reduction in the size of the kite shield – into a heater – the enclosure of the face in the great helm and the development of heraldry. All this potentially makes for great looking figures, now let’s see if these Footsore Miniatures deliver!

It’s all very well admiring those brightly painted hot shots on their destriers, but it’s us lot (the commoners) who did most of the fighting on a 13th Century battlefield, so it’s fitting that there are three early packs of ‘Spearmen’ and ‘Bowmen’ in the range. A couple of the Spearmen packs cover those soldiers who have been provided with mail armour and shields, whilst the third are struggling to find anything but the clothes they stand up in.

Do you like your spearmen minis to have closed fists which need to be drilled in order to slot in the top quality metal spear which have been provided? If so you’re in luck ’cos that’s what you will have to do with these fellas. I’m sure once you get on a roll with the whole tiny drilling project you will be well away. My first thought is – gulp!

Incidentally there is much talk (amongst a very small circle of people) about the length of the 13th Century spear, for me, the ones provided with these figures are spot on.

The Bowmen are similarly scantily armoured and conform to the look of pretty much every medieval (from post Norman to the Hundred Years War) archer figure which has gone before them. Having said that even on these ‘basic’ figures you can see some great detail/ expression in their faces.

Whether you, or your chosen rules, choose to call them footknights or men-at-arms, these two packs are those guys. They’ve got 13th Century written all over them – clearly not Normans and clearly not Hundred Years War or beyond. All but one of the knights carries the period-classic broadsword, the other an in-vogue flanged mace. Their helmets are an array of those on offer during the 1300s including the barrel-shaped great helm and those with a mail coif protecting the mouth and chin. All these figures are one piece castings, save the shields, which are of the larger heater (or smaller kite, whichever way you look at it) style.

The Footknights are accompanied by two packs of Footknight Commands, which include both a leader type and a banner carrier. All are suitably impressive and imposing, with shields attached this time.

It’s time to take a look those magnificent men on their “riding machines” – Mounted Knight packs 1 – 3. Each pack contains two knights and their chargers, along with appropriately sized oval bases, separate heater shields (smaller than the Footknights) and two lances – wire spears which can be cut to size. More drill-work here I’m afraid as again the figures have closed fists. Unsurprisingly the knights are very similar in look to their ‘foot’ brethren. Four of the six are intended to hold their lances couched ‘at the charge’, while the other two hold them upright. Interesting the designer has gone for a very high elbow couching style, not something I am familiar with from pictorial evidence of the period.

The horses with their caparison cloth coverings present a great canvas for the painter. I’m not sure why one of the horses has a strange bowing action, but I’m willing to believe they are blowing and scraping their front foot on the ground in an aggressive equine way.

We’ve got some great looking character figures amongst these five packs, including two for ‘The Greatest Knight’ – Sir William Marshal. He appears both in mounted form and with a ‘Bannerman’ on foot (below right), looking suitably worldly wise and commanding. Sir William was the most influential figure of 13th Century England, you can find out loads more about him in various books including The Greatest Knight by Osprey and by Googling and watching ‘The Greatest Knight’ videos on YouTube.

Less well known are the other two characters: Robert Fitzwalter (mounted, above left), Hubert de Burgh (and Bannerman) and Stephen Langton (mounted, above centre).

Fitzwalter was the leader of the baronial opposition against King John during the First Barons’ War. He fought for Prince Louis and was captured at Lincoln, later joining the Fifth Crusade in 1218.

Hubert de Burgh was a King John loyalist, defending Dover Castle for the troubled monarch and leading his naval forces at the Battle of Sandwich in 1217. The de Burgh model is holding a great helm in one hand and what looks like a scroll in his other – perhaps alluding to the fact he was John’s Chief Justiciar. Incidentally all the bannermen in the range, including those in the command packs, are in great dynamic poses with detailed clothing and armour and have open hands to accommodate their wire spears. (Phew! No drilling.)

The last of the character models is (uniquely, so far at least) a one-piece mounted miniature: Stephen Langton. Here we have the great politician and Archbishop of Canterbury (1207 – 1228) depicted as a crusading soldier of god, holding a cross aloft whilst a mace hangs from his wrist. Despite me having no knowledge of Langton breaking any skulls on the battlefield, I wasn’t there at the time and can see no reason why
he shouldn’t have.

It’s great to see a new range of 13th Century figures to add to those of quality that already exist and exciting to see some of my historical heroes come to life in the form of William Marshal and Robert Fitzwalter etc. This range certainly passes my (albeit amateur) test for historical accuracy and also delivers when it comes to sheer attractiveness of the figures. I recommend you join with me in embarrassing the chain and surcoat ensemble, applaud the heater and great helm, and grab your paint brush and design your own early heraldry.

Barons' War

Henry became king under a regency William Marshal, 1st earl of Pembroke, and later Pandulf acted as chief of government, while Peter des Roches
. Click the link for more information. and his barons. In 1261, Henry III renounced the Provisions of Oxford Provisions of Oxford,
1258, a scheme of governmental reform forced upon Henry III of England by his barons. In 1258 a group of barons, angered by the king's Sicilian adventure and the expenditures it entailed, compelled Henry to accept the appointment of a committee of 24
. Click the link for more information. (1258) and the Provisions of Westminster (1259), which had vested considerable power in a council of barons, and reasserted his right to appoint councilors. The barons led by Simon de Montfort Montfort, Simon de, earl of Leicester,
1208?�, leader of the baronial revolt against Henry III of England. Early Life

He was born in France, the son of Simon de Montfort, leader of the Albigensian Crusade.
. Click the link for more information. , earl of Leicester, finally resorted to arms in 1263 and forced the king to reaffirm his adherence to the Provisions. In 1264 a decision in favor of the crown by Louis IX of France as arbitrator led to a renewal of war, but Montfort defeated Henry's forces in the battle of Lewes, and the king once again submitted to government by council. Early in 1265, Montfort summoned his famous representative Parliament Parliament,
legislative assembly of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Over the centuries it has become more than a legislative body it is the sovereign power of Great Britain, whereas the monarch remains sovereign in name only.
. Click the link for more information. to strengthen his position, which was threatened by the possibility of an invasion by Henry's adherents abroad. The invasion did not take place, but an uprising against Montfort of the Welsh "Marchers" (Englishmen along the Welsh border) led to his defeat by the king's son (later Edward I Edward I,
1239�, king of England (1272�), son of and successor to Henry III. Early Life

By his marriage (1254) to Eleanor of Castile Edward gained new claims in France and strengthened the English rights to Gascony.
. Click the link for more information. ) at Evesham. Montfort was killed in the battle, but some baronial resistance continued until 1267. The barons had failed to establish their own control over the crown, but they had helped prepare the way for the constitutional developments of the reign of Edward I.


See R. F. Treharne, The Baronial Plan of Reform (1932, repr. 1972) F. M. Powicke, King Henry III and the Lord Edward (1947).

1. Erich Hartmann led all aces in aerial victories

In World War II hundreds of German pilots earned the distinction of being labeled an ace pilot, many before Erich Hartmann did. He did not achieve ace status until the spring of 1943, flying a Messerschmidt bf 109 against Soviet pilots on the Eastern Front. By the end of the war two years later he had 352 confirmed kills against the Soviets, making him the leading fighter ace of World War II, as well as of all time. Only one other fighter pilot in history counted over 300 confirmed kills. Gerhard Barkhorn, who fought in the Battle of France, Battle of Britain, on the Eastern Front, and against the Western Allies bombing campaign, scored 301.

Together with Gunther Rall, who flew with Hartmann against the Soviets and scored 275 kills, the three leading German aces all survived the war. Barkhorn surrendered to the Western Allies in 1945, as did Rall. Hartmann also surrendered to the Americans, though Soviet pressure led to his being turned over to them in 1945. He refused to submit to Soviet pressure to join East German forces, and was charged, tried and convicted of war crimes. Sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment in the gulags and released after serving ten, he escaped to the West and joined the West German Air Force in 1956. He retired from its service in 1970.


On this day in 1264, the Simon de Montfort the Earl of Leicester (b.1208-1265) won a stunning victory over the royal armies of King Henry III (b.1207-1272), led by his son Prince Edward (1239-1307). Known today as Edward Longshanks and as King of England, Edward I (r.1272-1307), the Hammer of the Scots, the Battle of Lewes was fought in Sussex, England and and was shattering victory of the royal army. Arguably the most well known battles to have been fought during the struggles of the Barons' Wars in 1215-1217 and in 1264-1267, de Montfort's victory at Lewes made him (disputably) a candidate to become the next sovereign King of England.

The Baron's Wars themselves are singularly important because of the creation of the Magna Carta 1215, and for de Montfort's later calls to create a strong representative parliament to check the then unlimited power of the King and the English Monarchy. However the military significance of the Battle of Lewes cannot be overlooked, it being one of only a handful of battles in medieval England pre-Wars of the Roses, to have ever directly threatened the Plantagenet hegemony so acutely. A dynasty which dated back to the heyday of the Angevin Empire with King Henry II and his sons, all descendants of William the Conqueror (known also as William the Bastard of Normandy) and which died on the field of Bosworth and Ambion Hill in 1485 with King Richard III.

What we today refer to as the Second Baron's War (1264-1267) began when a number of influential Norman-English barons rose in defiance against what they and many of their followers believed were the unjust powers and privileges which the King levied upon his subjects, both noble and peasant alike. In the immediate prelude to the second great rebellion of the English barons, a number of leading magnates led by the Earl of Leicister, Simon de Montfort, forged the Provisions of Oxford (1258), from which de Montfort presided over his peers in a council and parliament, swearing allegiance to the King and their fellow barons. This "community" of earls, barons, and knights would be charged with governance of the shires and to above all, check the power of the King in London. Eventually King Henry moved to end the Barons power, which he did by receiving a Papal annulment in 1261-62.

Led by de Montfort the Barons rebelled yet again in 1263, forcing the King to adhere though the following year he would seek arbitration from King Louis IX of France (b.1214-1270), making a large scale clash of arms inevitable for the first time since the First Barons' War of 1215-1217. Vastly different from the Second Barons' War the first rebellion was a prolonged conflict fought predominately in sieges, which saw Lord Robert Fitzwalter receive the aid of a large French expeditionary force in order to make King John of England abide by his affixed seal on the Magna Carta. King John died in 1216 before any real peace could be attained, his son Henry of Winchester succeeding him as Henry III inheriting both the crown and an uneasy peace. This would last until the end of Henry's 56 year reign, when a rebellion of many leading magnates led by the Earl of Leicester began in 1262.

Earl de Montfort brought somewhere between 3,500 to as many as 5,000 men to Offam Hill, about a mile north-west of Lewes, a town in East Sussex in southern England. His armies (battles) were commanded by Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, his son Sir Henry de Montfort, and the honorable Sir Henry de Hastings, raised to lordship by Earl Simon himself. According to the surviving medieval sources, the knights, lieutenants, and nobles of the barons army were all dressed splendidly for battle at Lewes, wearing the red crosses on white in the Crusader style. Sir Henry de Hastings commanded a battle of levies mostly commoners and low level vassals (peasants and tradesmen who could afford basic armor & weapons).

The royalist force who opposed them from within Lewes numbered probably between 6-8,000 to a maximum of 10,000 men, with 1500 knights, led by King Henry III, Prince Edward, and Richard, the King's brother, the Earl of Cornwall and from 1257-1272, the titular King of Romans, which then meant King of Germany (though he held little influence on the continent otherwise). Attempting to seize the initiative, Earl de Montfort charged with his knights who made headway into the royalist ranks, cutting directly into King Henry's lines in a savage attack led by the Gilbert de Clare (b.1243-1295), the Earl of Gloucester (b.1243-1295).

Known as the Red, or the Red Earl, de Clare was a fierce man, stout in combat and always in the thick of melee in his youth. A month before the Battle of Lewes de Clare led a group of men-at-arms in an pogrom against a significant number of Jews in Canterbury in c.1262-1263. In the years after Second Barons' War he became an influential Marcher lord on the Welsh border.

The King fought bravely by all accounts and had two horses killed from underneath him, his retainers fighting in a tough & brutal melee which allowed him to escape with his life that day. The critical moment of the battle came when the young Prince Edward charged the rebel lines sending the inexperienced London levies under Sir Henry de Hastings in a bloody rout which saw many ridden down attempting to flee the field. Without knowing it Prince Edward had allowed the battle to be lost by pursuing the barons gentry infantry to the back of the Earl de Montforts lines and away from the main battle.

In the final push through the Royal lines the Barons managed to rout the royalist skirmishers and knigts entirely, later capturing the King inside St. Pancras priory. Hoping to save the day Prince Edward thought to redirect his knights in a charge towards their own lines back into the baronial army. These "warlike" men were substantial in number and though the day was lost, they had hoped to perhaps slay Earl Simon in single combat and to end the Barons cause despite the shattering defeat of King Henry's army. This charge never materialized and Prince Edward was captured near priory.

By the end of the Battle of Lewes, perhaps 2,000-3,000 or more men lay dead or dieing, though no archaeological evidence can support any accurate numbers, nor can we can determine exactly where the attacks were made near Offam Hill. Therefore little solid evidence has yet to be uncovered as to where the majority of the common fighting men would have been buried. De Montfort and his rebel barons had achieved a total victory in the Battle of Lewes, routing the Royal host whilst capturing both the King and the Prince, both of whom would remain captives for sometime.

Upon escaping after a nine month captivity Prince Edward raised another army to deal with rebellious barons. This time with the help of the Earl of Gloucester, Gilbert de Clare, who betrayed the baronial cause to take up arms against Earl de Monfort. A year later in August a strong royalist army met the depleted Barons' army at Evesham, holding a 3 to 1 or perhaps even greater advantage. The baronial army was crushes and Earl Simon lost his lost life, the cause of the barons undying despite his death on battlefield.

Battle of Lewes 1264-The Earl of Leicester, Simon de Montfort defeats the Royalist army of King Henry III and Prince Edward, making them his captives, forcing the Mise of Lewes.

Battle of Northampton 1264- April. King Henry's besieged the Baron's castle at Northampton. De Montfort escaped but his son Simon the younger was captured by the royalists.

Legends of America

A cattle baron who moved longhorn herds from Texas into New Mexico in the mid-1800s, Chisum would work with Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving, found one of the largest cattle ranches in the American West, and become involved in New Mexico’s Lincoln County War.

Born in Hardeman County, Tennessee on August 15, 1824, Chisum’s family moved to Texas in 1837, where the teenager soon found work as a building contractor. Later, he would serve as the County Clerk in Lamar County.

In 1854, Chisum moved to Denton County where he settled on Clear Creek, three miles above the town of Bolivar. He soon went to work for a large rancher as a cowboy and started to develop his own herd. It was during this time that Chisum purchased a mulatto slave girl named Jensie from some emigrants bound for California. The girl was just 15 years old and beautiful and Chisum began a love affair with her. The couple had two daughters.

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Chisum freed all his slaves, including Jensie. He would later provide Jensie and his daughters with a home in Bonham, Texas as well as financial support for their needs.

By the early 1860s, Chisum had developed his own herd of over 100,000 head of cattle and became one of the first to send his herds into New Mexico. There, he started a ranch in the Bosque Grande, about forty miles south of Fort Sumner.

Charles Goodnight in his later years

In 1866-67, he formed a partnership with cattlemen Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving to drive herds of cattle to the Army in Fort Sumner and Santa Fe, New Mexico. When Loving succumbed to a Comanche arrow in 1868, Chisum continued his partnership with Goodnight, prospering over the next five years.

In 1875, he purchased the 40 acre South Spring Ranch, three miles south of Roswell, New Mexico and made it his headquarters of a cattle ranching empire that extended for 150 miles of land along the Pecos River.

During this time, Chisum befriended a Lincoln County, New Mexico lawyer by the name of Alexander McSween. McSween along with John Tunstall were in a bitter feud with Lawrence Murphy and James Dolan, who owned the only store in Lincoln County and monopolized the economy of the area. Chisum backed McSween and Tunstall when they opened a rival business in 1876 and began to challenge the large profits recognized by Murphy and Dolan. The feud eventually led to what is known as the Lincoln County War. Though Chisum does not appear to have had any direct contact in the furious gunfights and bloody battles, he was known to have given sanctuary and financial assistance to those fighting on the side of McSween and Tunstall .

Before the Lincoln County War was over, both McSween and Tunstall would be killed, and Billy the Kid would be a wanted fugitive. Governor Lew Wallace proclaimed an amnesty for all those involved in the bitter feud, with the exception of Billy.

Though Billy the Kid and Chisum supported the same side in the bitter struggles of the Lincoln County War, the two would be at odds once the war was over and amnesty proclaimed for those who participated. When Billy the Kid went to see Chisum, believing that the cattle baron owed him $500, Chisum refused to pay. In retaliation, Billy, along with his gang of “Rustlers,” including Dave Rudabaugh, Billy Wilson Tom O’Folliard, and Charles Bowdre began to steal Chisum’s cattle.

In 1880, Chisum supported the election of Pat Garrett as Lincoln County Sheriff, who he believed could stop the cattle rustling problems in the area. Chisum was right.

In December 1880, Garrett shot dead Tom O’Folliard and Charles Bowdre. Soon afterward, Billy the Kid , Dave Rudabaugh and Billy Wilson were captured. Billy the Kid was able to escape, but Garrett tracked him down to Fort Sumner, New Mexico where he killed him on July 14, 1881.

In 1883, Chisum discovered a tumor on his neck and the next year, traveled to Kansas City for treatment. His tumor was removed and he returned to New Mexico. However, his health continued to deteriorate and he then traveled to Eureka Springs, Arkansas to partake of the “healing waters.” But, the tumor returned and grew larger.

On December 22, 1884, he died of cancer. His body was returned to Paris, Texas where he was buried. He left an estate worth $500,000 to his brothers Pitzer and James.

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