… on August 2 in the year 1265, Simon de Montfort and his son Henry fought surrounded by their enemies until they both were killed.
When the battle was ended, monks from the nearby abbey came out to bury the dead. As they lifted the man’s stripped and mangled torso from the ground, a spring of water flowed up from beneath the body. A blind old monk, accidentally splashed with the spring’s water, suddenly could see. Soon the blind from all over England came to the miraculous spring and were cured. So says the Chronicle of William Rishanger, who was there.
Thousands came to the spring. The man who had died there was hailed as a saint, as The Angel with the Sword of the Apocalypse, or perhaps even the risen Savior Himself. And so King Henry III made it criminal to take water from the spring, and a hanging crime of treason to speak the dead man’s name.
Today, though few know of him, we have all been touched by him. For it was he who founded, fought and died for a new form of government — one elected by the people.