On this day of 25 April in 1263 Simon (VI) de Montfort returned to England after nearly 18 months of exile. He came back to make war against Henry III because the king had quashed the statutes that gave the church and nobility an equal voice in government. Simon gathered his compatriots in Oxford for a war council. His masterful generalship combined with a deft propaganda campaign allowed them to march into London unopposed later that July. His regime was short-lived, however. Within a few months Henry won back all power and came close to crushing the insurgents while they lay encamped in Southwark. They made good their escape across London Bridge only just in time.

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