Archive for the ‘history’ Category

The Battle of Lincoln

September 10, 2017

King John was a bad King. He bled his subjects dry with punitive taxes, embarked on a disastrous war with France.

The Barons had had enough.  At Runnymede, on the banks of The Thames, King John was forced to sign, strictly speaking apply his seal, he was illiterate, to the Great Charter, Magna Carta.

All done and dusted.

Only it was not, he reneged on the Charter, he appealed to The Pope, who annulled Magna Carta.

With the help of the French, the Barons rebelled, most of the country was lost.

Lincoln Castle, under the stewardship of Nicola de la Haye held against the rebels and the French.

King John mounted a counter offensive.

Crossing The Wash, he lost baggage, money and jewels.

The chest was bare,  there was no war chest, all monies had been spent on disastrous campaigns, he had lost most of the country and thus his tax base.

He then died.

His legal successor, Henry III, was nine years old.

William Marshal was appointed Regent.

Following the Coronation, the French decided to press home their advantage and seize the Throne.

With Lincoln Castle likely to fall, it had been under siege for two years, and the town  under the control of the rebels, William Marshal decided to mount a counter-offensive and relieve Lincoln Castle.

He arrived at Newark, but instead of crossing the Trent at Newark and travelling the Roman Road to Lincoln he headed north and crossed further up.

Had he entered Lincoln from the south, he would have entered a rebel held city, then had to fight his way up Steep Hill.

By heading north, he was able to approach Lincoln Castle across what was then open country.

The French set out to meet William Marshall, over estimated the size of his force and retreated.

The rebels were now behind the Roman and Medieval Wall of the city.

A recce was carried out, a messenger came out of the Castle, explained the lie of the land.

William Marshal was able to get crossbow men into the Castle.

This had a strategic advantage, from the Castle Walls, could fire from behind at the French manning the outer wall.

William Marshal was able to break through, then mount a charge along the medieval road which ran alongside the ditch outside the Castle Walls.

They charged around to the East Gate.

The French were routed.

The French and rebels then made a last stand in front of Lincoln Cathedral. Their leader Comte du Perche was killed and it was over.

The French were chased down Steep Hill. A further skirmish took place down the hill.

The victors then looted the city.

One of the most decisive battles in English history, it determined who took the throne, and yet it is all but forgotten.

Had the French won, England would have become a French province.

Nicola de la Haye who had held the Castle was rewarded by being removed from her post and the position  given to one of the supporters of Henry III. She fought through the Courts and a couple of years later, got her position back.

Thanks to Lincoln Archaeological Society who organised the guided walk as part of Lincoln Heritage Day.

One of the four surviving copies of Magna Carta can be found in a vault in Lincoln Castle.

The Charter of the Forest was drawn up.

The Battle of Lincoln was the inspiration for Lincoln Knights, a series of sculptures that roughly follow the route of The Battle of Lincoln. They have proved to be highly popular It is unfortunate they have been removed, a big mistake, they should have remained in the street until at least the end of September, if not longer.  The only Knights to remain are miniature Knights in shop windows.

Magna Carta by David Starkey provides a useful overview of the events that led to The Battle of Lincoln. Henry III by Matthew Lewis of the events that followed. David Starkey will be speaking at the Lincoln Book Festival.

Nigel Burn will be giving a talk entitled The Battle of Lincoln Fair 1217 at St Hugh’s Hall, Monks Road, 1900 Wednesday 13 September 2017, admission members £1, non-members £5.

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Lincoln Heritage Day

September 10, 2017

Heritage Open Day is when buildings not normally open are open to the public, or with the example of Lincoln Cathedral, the entrance fee is waived.

There was though something extra. A guided walk following the route of The Battle of Lincoln.

I would have participated yesterday. Heavy rain put paid. I caught the end of the walk opposite Norman House on Steep Hill. I apologised for not joining the walk and learnt there would be  a repeat on Sunday.

Thus I was outside The Museum of Lincolnshire Life for an interesting walk.

As we finished up outside the Visitor Information Centre, to see if they had anything useful on The Battle of Lincoln, they do not, apart from 1217 The Battle of Lincoln, a Ladybird-style book aimed at children.

I did though find a collection of miniature knights. These were used by the artists to show what their full-sized Knight would look like. What will happen to these I do not know. They should be given permanent exhibition space somewhere.

It was unfortunate the Knights were removed last week. A huge mistake. Typical bureaucratic thinking. They have proved to be highly popular and should have remained in the street until at least the end of September, if not longer.

I picked up a programme for the Lincoln Book Festival. Small, with emphasis on quality. Contrast with the Guildford Book Festival, large with the emphasis on hyped authors.

I would love to go to the talk on Mona Lisa.

After the walk, I wandered to Stokes Lawn Café. A mistake, I should have walked down Steep Hill to Makushi.

It was then through the Castle Grounds, visit the Castle Shop, which is worth a visit. Usually such places house tourist tat. Lincoln castle must be the exception. I have never visited before. Worth a visit.

I picked up a copy Magna Carta by David Starkey. I am no great fan of his, but this was the best book on display.  I wanted it, not only for Magna Carta, but also the life of King John.

A bad King. He was forced by the Barons to sign, strictly speaking, place his seal on Magna Carta. What most do not realise, it was almost immediately reneged upon, annulled by The Pope, a French Invasion followed, and led on his death to the decisive Battle of Lincoln, the route I had just followed.

Appalling the amount of damage caused by Graduation in the Castle Grounds last week.

It had been cold and windy all afternoon, now rain.

I headed for Lincoln Cathedral.

Lincoln Heritage Day

September 9, 2017

Coolish, heavy rain.

Today Lincoln Heritage Day, various places open that not normally open, or for example Lincoln Cathedral free entry.  There was also a guided walk following route of the Battle of Lincoln.

Unfortunately heavy rain put paid to plans.

Starbucks in the High Street closed. The bad news, only for renovation. Use the opportunity to find coffee shops serving decent coffee, then do not return.

I looked in Mono Records, Bird’s Yard, then as I left, heavy rain.

I sheltered for a while in Makushi, then as the rain eased off in a potter shop.

Contrary to the sign in the window of the potter shop,  not mini-Knights these are miniature Knights.

The intention had been, maybe lunch at Bailgate Deli, join the guided walk, then as rain fell, free entry to Lincoln Cathedral. But rain put paid to that.

I had looked in the archaeological centre to ask of the walk, as they were leading it.  Lincolnshire Echo did not give full information.

On my way up Steep Hill, I met the guided walk, I apologised to the leader and learnt it would also take place on Sunday.

I had hoped for lunch at Bailgate Deli, but too late.

I walked back down Steep Hill to Pimento tea rooms. Excellent for tea and cakes, but food is not good.

It was then continue back down Steep Hill, too late for anything, a cappuccino in Madame Waffle.

I am still finding miniature Knights.

Removal of the Lincoln Knights

September 4, 2017

It was very depressing today to see the Lincoln Knights being removed, especially as  completely unnecessary.

The Lincoln Knights have generated massive public interest, drawing visitors in from far afield, thus their premature removal one huge mistake. I have yet to meet a single person, whether visitor, local resident or independent business who are pleased to see their removal or supports their removal

The Knights should have been kept in the street until at least the end of September, if not longer.

The miniature Knights remain in shop windows, a reminder of the cultural vandalism removing the Knights from the streets.

And Knight Ale is still available.