Never to perjurers and apostates

England drifted towards civil war in late 1263 as Henry III reclaimed more of the machinery of government from Simon de Montfort. While London still remained firmly for Montfort, they insisted he keep his rowdy soldiers across the river in Southwark. The city oligarchs, who had been pushed to the side by all this democracy stuff, saw their chance and had the gates to the city secretly locked. On 11 December they sent a messenger to Henry with his army at Croydon telling him he could bag the lot of the Montfortians if he moved fast. With Edward also on the move from Merton, Simon was trapped, but he answered their calls to surrender with ‘never to perjurers and apostates’. In a classic moment of deliverance, the people of London broke down the chains, swarmed across the bridge and led Simon and his men inside. So they ended up quartering the rebel rousers after all.

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