As a headstrong young blade of 25, he took exception to the London troops of Montfort’s army, sincerely believing they had insulted his mother.When the battle opened on May 14, Edward led a cavalry charge that scattered the London burghers like dead leaves in a windstorm.

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Intoxicated by the chase, he began a single-minded pursuit of his fleeing quarry that took him miles from the battlefield.

Once his thirst for vengeance was appeased, Edward returned to Lewes–only to find that Montfort had defeated his father’s main army.

Simon de Montfort, leader of the baronial opposition, led an open revolt that defeated the king at the Battle of Lewes in 1264.

Lewes gave Prince Edward his first real taste of combat.

Although he was no democrat, he believed the king should promote the general welfare and place himself above class or faction–a revolutionary concept in the 13th century.

Although he has been called ‘the English Justinian’ because of his legal codes, Edward was first and foremost a military man, one of the great generals of the medieval world.

Crowds gave a tumultuous welcome to their new monarch, who, at 6 feet 2 inches, towered over contemporaries.

He was handsome, but his piercing blue eyes were slightly offset by a drooping left eyelid.

Unfortunately, Henry’s private virtues became public vices.