At the time of King John’s death, England had descended into civil war. Following the papal annulment of Magna Carta, the rebel barons had invited Louis, the oldest son of the king of France (the future Louis VIII, r. 1223–28), to invade England. Gerald of Wales (1146–1223), writing in The Instruction of a Prince, declared that the French had triumphed over John, the ‘tyrannical whelp’, and he anticipated that England, ‘oppressed for so long under the insufferable yoke of servitude, would see at last complete liberation and liberty’. Ultimately, however, Louis’s campaign in England was unsuccessful. His army was defeated at Lincoln on 20 May 1217, and on 24 August of that same year his naval forces were destroyed off the coast of Sandwich. Both events were drawn by Matthew Paris (1200–59) on facing pages of the autograph manuscript of his Chronica maiora, which includes detailed accounts of the reigns of John and Henry III.
- Full title:
- The siege of Lincoln Castle and battle of Sandwich
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© The Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
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- Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
- CCCC MS 16
- Article by:
- David Carpenter
- Clauses and content, Medieval origins
As a 13th-century peace treaty, Magna Carta was a failure. Just 10 weeks after its creation, it was annulled by the Pope and the country was plunged into civil war. Yet this was by no means the end of the charter’s journey. Professor David Carpenter explores the events that led to the reissue and revival of Magna Carta by Henry III and Edward I.