independent, and even defying the abbot himself. At best, however, the fight must have been an unequal one, with wealth, learning, and power on the one side, and poverty and ignorance on the other. After an honourable career of eight hundred years the monastery was overthrown. Even this great abbey, with its wealth and power and integrity, was impotent to withstand the popular prejudice aroused by the exposure of the degradation and vice prevailing in so many kindred institutions, the greed of Henry VIII., and the ruthless energy of Thomas Cromwell. In a few years it was swept away, leaving only a few beautiful fragments to tell of its former grandeur.
Evesham's next great claim to notice is as the field of the decisive battle of 1265, ending in the defeat and death of Simon de Montfort, and the allies still remaining faithful to their leader. This event, we know, added much to the fame of the monastery, and reacted on the town by bringing many pilgrims to the grave of that popular hero. The tomb of the g
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