On May 14th 1264, King Henry III fought a violent battle at Lewes against the barons led by Simon de Montfort. The barons were angry that the King was spending all the country’s money on himself, his friends and relatives. They tried to get him to listen to their advice but he ignored them. The King and his army arrived in Lewes on 11th May. The King stayed at the Priory of St Pancras whilst his son, Prince Edward, went with his knights to John de Warenne’s castle within the town. De Montfort, the barons and their army were camped out of sight, on the Downs above Lewes. They continued to try to persuade the King, via messengers, to agree to restrictions on his spending but were unsuccessful. So they moved into position to start the battle the next day.
The outcome of the Battle of Lewes lead to the formation of England’s first elected Parliament and so has great significance nationally and internationally. The resources on these pages are designed to be used in the classroom and at home.