Posts Tagged ‘Magna Carta’

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.

Cold afternoon in Lincoln

February 2, 2015
Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Midday, a walk part way up Church Hill in Washingborough. The puddles were frozen. In the distance hills, Lincolnshire Wolds, white with snow. Cold north wind blowing. My fingers dropping off.

Lincoln in the afternoon cold, but not as cold as Washingborough midday.

St Mary le Wigford open. The oldest church in Lincoln. A little cafe inside, but I’d rather go to Stokes on High Bridge and get a decent coffee. Never before seen a church with wifi.

Adjacent a soup kitchen for homeless.

Reliant on donations of food, shops and supermarkets donating surplus food.

Everyone benefits, shops do not have to pay for disposal of surplus, it does not go to landfill or incineration, and people get fed.

Win-win all round. And yet what is a disgrace, local business are complaining, trying to stop the donation of food. How low can you sink?

What would be an excellent idea, open up one of the abandoned shops in Sincil Street (a street blighted by unwanted development) at a peppercorn rent, serves quality meals at either low price or free with a donation, pay what you can afford.

Treatment of homeless in Lincoln is a disgrace. They are being bussed out of the area to fiddle the homeless figures. Lincoln Prison is also fiddling the books on prisoners kicked out with no where to stay, but they try to get them into a shelter so it looks as though they are not being kicked out on the street.

This is to go back to the Poor Laws.

Many of the homeless are finding benefits are being stopped on a whim. Sick bastards in Lincoln Job Centre take a sick pleasure in sanctioning vulnerable people. Yet another example of fiddling figures.

Next time you hear the ConDem government say jobless figures are down, challenge the liars.

Magna Carta

Magna Carta

In window of Ruddocks, a book on Magna Carta.

It clearly says £7-95, which seemed reasonable.

I even went out of my way to pick up a copy.

All were sealed.

I found one that was not sealed. Flipped through, yes I would have a copy.

Picked one up. Took it to the counter. Handed over a tenner.


I thought I had misheard.

No, it was £50 for a book that you would expect to pay £20 or £25.

I said forget it.

This is Lincoln Cathedral taking the piss and taking people for a ride.

Back to the Middle Ages when the Church screwed the populace.

Cappuccino and cookie in Stokes on High Bridge.

Sat below the Stonebow, Andy Neal playing acoustic guitar. He was quite good. I picked up a couple of CDs. I suggested he uploaded to bandcamp. And recommended as it was starting to snow, time to go home.

Sun down, temperature dropping, snowing.

Lincoln Cathedral

January 22, 2012
Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral sits atop of a hill. It is visible from miles around, but within the city not so as the short-sighted Lincoln City Council has allowed the erection of appalling multi-story eyesores. The same city council that has presided over destruction of the heart of the city, has put the historic Lawn up for sale and now plans the destruction of Sincil Street, the one area of character left in the city centre. It used to be policy to not allow any building to obstruct the historic skyline, but now greed and fast bucks is all that matters.

The best way to approach the Cathedral is on foot. From the top of the High Street, up The Strait, passed Norman Houses, up Steep Hill and more Norman Houses, and the cathedral is there when you reach the top. On the way up you will get tantalising glimpses of the cathedral.

Resist the temptation to tarry, if you do, you will not have time to look around Lincoln Cathedral. Though there is lots to see on the way up. If you do tarry, then make the most of it and save the cathedral for another day.

I did tarry, with the result that on the two days I made it to Lincoln Cathedral, before Christmas and in the New Year, I had no time other than to look in the door, have a chat with the Duty Chaplain and light candles.

Lincoln Cathedral was founded by the Normans not long after they invaded, as was Lincoln Castle. It is the finest Gothic Cathedral in Europe, as you will see when you step through the door and look down the nave. The view down the nave literally takes the breath away. Worth the climb if you only look down the nave then have to turn around and set off back down the hill. As did I.

Inside the Cathedral the Lincoln Imp, Cathedral treasures and lovely cloisters that are very tranquil to walk around.

Lincoln Cathedral owns one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta, currently on loan to Lincoln Castle.

Lincoln Cathedral was used as the set for The Da Vinci Code, with Tom Hanks staying at the nearby White Hart.

I have a knack of being in the right place at the right time. The light on the walls is the winter sun filtering through the stained glass windows at midday.

The cathedral on the hill is the cathedral being caught by the morning sun not long after sunrise. But note the ugly building on the left, a blot on the landscape.

Candles in the side chapel are a bit of a disappointment. A sand pit! I would have at the very least expected wrought iron candle holders.

The book to get on Lincoln cathedral is Capturing Lincoln Cathedral, though you will have a job as it was a limited edition edition and I picked up the only two remaining copies. It captures the cathdral in all its moods.

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