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under the command of Nicholas de Segrave, Henry of
CHAP. Hastings, and others. Simon appears to have sent
1264 them, knowing they could hardly stand in the open field against the mounted and well-armed foe, to enter the town by another way and attack the enemy in the rear. The centre, probably directed against the castle, was commanded by the young Earl of Gloucester, eager to show himself worthy of his spurs. The right was led by Henry and Guy, two of Simons sons, the eldest, Simon, having been taken prisoner at Northampton; it was meant to surprise that portion of the royal army which was encamped round the priory. This was the important point, for in the priory lay the prize of victory, the king. The earl himself seems to have remained with a fourth body in reserve, to go wherever the course of the struggle should demand his presence.
Even yet the advancing army does not seem to The have been perceived, until it came into collision with royalists
. a party which had come out in the early morning to forage, some of whoni, rushing back into the town, gave the alarm. From the point where the barons halted to the castle is about a mile, to the priory about a mile and a half, so that the royalists had no time to lose. Prince Edward, who was in the castle, was naturally the first to appear, and sallying forth fell
7. of Oxenedes, p. 221, says that Simon sent 'quosdam ex nobilioribus' to fire the town in the rear of the enemy; these I suppose to have been the nobles who led the Londoners. This is the only way I can account for the Londoners being near the castle, so as to meet Edwards attack, for it seems to me absurd to think, with Mr. Blaauw, that they had the place of honour, and were sent directly against the castle, the strongest point. They were, as we know, on the left, and would naturally have been employed on this sort of service. Edward must have sallied forth before Gloucester with the centre reached the gates.
CHAP. vigorously upon the first portion of the enemy that
he came across. These happened to be the Londoners, 1264 The Baitle
whom he probably took in flank as they were hurryof Lewes : ing past the castle to enter the town, and were doubtdefeat of the Lon- less in very poor order. They were immediately put Joners ;
to flight, and pursued by the relentless victor for some miles. They appear to have fled along the road to Offham, and their bones have been discovered in pits along the steep hill-side, up which they hoped that the horses of their pursuers could not follow them.' When he had sufficiently glutted his sword with the blood of these unwarlike townsmen, and bitterly avenged the insult they had put upon his mother, the prince was returning towards the battle-field, when he descried upon the hill where Simons army had halted
a large vehicle, on the top of which the earls standard attack on was flying. This was the carroccio, or waggon, on the carroccio.
which it was the custom of the time to carry the standard of a town to battle. On this occasion however it had been made use of by the earl as a place of confinement for four citizens of the royalist party, whom he had taken with him as hostages on leaving the city. The waggon was very strong and barred with iron. Round it was piled what baggage the army had brought with it. The royalists, seeing the earls standard, and fancying that he was within, as being not yet sufficiently recovered from his fall to be able to mount on horseback, attacked the waggon
Blaauw, Barons' War, pp. 354, 356.
? As for instance in the Battle of the Standard, where the flags of York, &c, and in the Battle of Legnano, where that of Milan was carried.
* This number is given in Rish., de Bellis, &c., and Matt. West. ; others give three or two. Some say they were the citizens who had' barred the gates of London against Simon in the previous autumn.
with great vehemence. They lost some time in driv- CHAP. ing off those who guarded the vehicle, and more in breaking it open, for its strength defied for a long 1264 while all their efforts. In vain they shouted, Come
• out, come out, thou devil Simon ! come out, thou basest of traitors!' In vain did those within declare that not Simon but friends and allies were there. The royalists, finding all their efforts to burst open the waggon unavailing, at length set fire to it and burnt it with its unfortunate inmates. By this time the day was far advanced, and Prince Edward, the Rupert of his day, returned to Lewes, exhausted with his easy but fruitless victory, to find the main battle lost and won." For de Montfort no sooner saw the best troops of Defeat of
the kings the enemy engaged in pursuing the least valuable main body. portion of his own force, than he hurled the rest of his army upon that body of the royalists which was led by the two kings in person. The latter were taken completely by surprise, but speedily ranged themselves in the best order they could, and issued from the priory enclosure with the royal standard, the
Chron. Mailr. p. 194, says that some of the Londoners, in order to deceive the enemy, told them that Simon had pretended he could not ride, and had not wished to come with them ; that they had therefore confined him in the waggon, in fear that if they left him behind he would play them false. But Edward can hardly have been sool enough to believe this story, which sounds as if it had been made up by the Londoners after the event. A good deal of guile has been imported into this affair, which was probably, after all, merely a lucky accident,
2 Blaauw, Barons' War, p. 204, says he returned about 8 o'clock ; but surely usque ad octavam horam’ (Chron. Mailr. 195) means 2 o'clock : even this is hardly possible.
3 Ann. Wav. p. 357; say that the barons paused on the hill, and did not attack at once, so as to give the royalists time to wake ; so too Rob. of Glouc. 547 : but this is almost too Quixotic to attribute to them.
CHAP. dragon of England, flying in their van. The struggle IX.
here was long and stubbornly contested, but eventu1264 ally the baronial forces, having the advantage of the The Battle of Lewes : position, routed their adversaries at all points. King Defeat of
Henry, who fought bravely and had his horse killed the king;
under him, was driven back into the priory, round the walls of which for some time the battle was continued. Many of the vanquished were left on the field, or were driven into the marshes, where they were smothered. But few of this body can have made
King Richard, who seems to have fought his way some distance up the hill-side, was surrounded and compelled to take refuge in a windmill.? Here he was assailed with shouts of Come down, come down, thou wretched miller! thou who didst so lately defy us poor barons, with thy titles of King of the Romans and “Semper Augustus, come down !' It was no place in which to stand a long siege, and he therefore soon surrendered. Prince
Edward came back to find his uncle a prisoner, his Prince
father surrounded, without a chance of escape, and Edward :
the greater part of the royalist forces routed or slain. He was however about to renew the conflict, when his
' Chron. Lanercosť 74, says that many were found afterwards sitting upright in their saddles, with their arms stretched out, and their swords in their hands, as if they had been alive.
? This windmill was for a long time afterwards pointed out as King Harrys mill, but has long ceased to exist. The spot in which tradition fixes it is where a public-house now stands, on the right-hand side of the street, just below the gaol. — Blaauw, Barons' War, p. 202.
* The accounts of what happened to the prince after his return are very confused and inconsistent. I have taken what seems to be on the whole the most probable view, which is mainly that of Rishanger (de Bellis, &c.). Some say he entered the castle, which he could hardly have done, seeing that if he had he would not have surrendered so easily, and that the castle was probably taken by this time : others that he
own followers, seeing it was all over, took to flight.
CHAP. Among them were the Earl of Warenne and William
1264 of Valence, the latter of whom probably expected flight of his small mercy from de Montfort. They succeeded in troops : cutting their way through the town, and escaping across the bridge to Pevensey, whence they took ship for France. The prince, thus deserted, took sanctuary with the few who were left to him in the church of the Franciscans, or as others say in the priory itself.
Surrender The victory of the barons was now complete, and the of the king
and others, priory, the last stronghold of the royalists, would probably have soon been taken by storm had not wiser counsels prevailed, or darkness put an end to the conflict.? About nightfall a truce was made. Prince Edward surrendered himself as hostage for his father, while Prince Henry of Almaine did the same for the King of the Romans. Simon de Montfort was undisputed lord of England.
fought his way into the priory, which is more likely. Some say he surrendered at once ; others that he did so next day to save his father. Some say that the king surrendered to Simon ; others that he would only yield to Gloucester, from hatred of the other.
'Rish. Chron. is here inconsistent. It first says these nobles were with Edward, then that they deserted the king. A combination with kish, de Bellis, &c. gives what I believe to be the truth : cf. Walt, de Hemingb. 317. There is also an uncertainty about their subsequent fate. Six months later the sheriffs were summoned to bring several of them to London, so that they appear not to have escaped to France, but to have been taken. The next we hear of them is their landing in Wales in 1265.
? Here again the authorities differ as to whether the truce was made that evening or next day. There are great discrepancies too as to the number of the slain. The most circumstantial accounts give between two and three thousand, besides those of the Londoners who were killed in the flight, perhaps as many more. No nobles of the first rank, and only two on each side of less repute, lost their lives.