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LEWES, 14th May 1264

The Battle of Lewes came about due to King Henry III of England's exasperation with his barons led by Simon de Montfort who were determined that Henry should rule England in accordance with the Magna Carta, signed by his father King John.

The baron's army were outnumbered by 10,000 to 5,000 and after Simon de Montfort's failed attempt to reach a settlement, Henry's son Prince Edward launched an impulsive cavalry charge without waiting for the rest of the army. The charge caused a faction of the baronial army to retreat with Edward and his cavalry in hot pursuit. This forced Henry with the remaining army to advance but the baronial army had the advantage of the higher ground and, after a desperate struggle, were able to push the royal army back towards Lewes.

When Edward and his cavalry finally returned to the battle, his father had been defeated and Edward, along with his father, was made a prisoner.


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