Bad Day at Boroughbridge
March 16, 1322 - This was the day that Humphrey de Bohun, the 4th Earl of Hereford met his particularly gruesome fate.
Humphrey de Bohun was an English aristocrat who railed against the excesses of King Edward II. He was one of the 21 signers of the Ordinances of 1311 which sought to restrict the powers of the king.
King Edward and his supporters didn't like the idea and they set out to make Humphrey's life miserable. They confiscated several of his estates, which drove the Earl to join an armed rebellion against the tyranny.
At the Battle of Boroughbridge, Humphrey and his troops were halted at a wooden bridge defended by loyalists to the king. With his sword raised high, Humphrey led a charge. Historian Ian Mortimer described what happened next:
Hereford led the fight on the bridge, but he and his men were caught in the arrow fire. Then one of de Harclay's pikemen, concealed beneath the bridge, thrust upwards between the planks and skewered the Earl of Hereford through the anus, twisting the head of the iron pike into his intestines. His dying screams turned the advance into a panic.
The rebels lost the battle, and the reform movement died when most of the Ordinances of 1311 were repealed two months later.