Europe's History

The Magna Carta

In 1199, king Richard the lionheart died. Richard left no heirs and so his dominion of all his territory is to be inherited by either his brother John who Richard had chosen or by his nephew Arthur of Brittany. Arthur began a rebellion but nothing came of it and john managed to get the french king to accept his territorial claims.

after becoming, King John had his first marriage annulled and instead married Isabella of Angouleme, in 1202 fighting resumed between the kings of England and France because by this point they were both getting pretty good at it. John attempted to mount a defense of his lands but due to financial constraints and the fact that he often insulted his nobility his ability to do so was lacking.

by the end of 1204, Philippe Augustus had conquered both Normandy and Anjou whereas Brittany had broken away from Angouleme on its own. thus, within five years of John coming to the throne, only Aquitaine remained of his inheritance. naturally, many of the remaining Nobles in England were very unhappy that they had just lost some of their Continental lands, the peasantry of England also found themselves upset when John levied extremely heavy taxes to pay for an attempted reconquest. so by 1205 John was dishonored and disliked by his Nobles and he still had bad relations with the church too, the main issue between John and the church occurred during the election of the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1205, John wanted a friend and ally of his to become the new archbishop, whereas the clerics at Canterbury Cathedral did not. the Pope Innocent the third was appealed to in his answer was that they were, in fact, both wrong and the Pope instead consecrated a man called Stephen Langton. John was furious about this and so banned Langton from entering England and seized Canterbury’s assets and revenues. many clergymen saw this as a step too far and when they complained to John he essentially declared them traitors and seized their property as well. the Pope attempted to convince the king to agree to Langdon’s appointment, but the king still refused and so in 1208 the Pope ordered that church services in England were to be halted which they were for six years.

in 1209, the Pope went further and excommunicated John as well. 1209 was an eventful year for John and England’s is before his ex-communication he invaded Scotland fearing that its King, King William the lion, was planning on forging an alliance with France. the invasion went well and William agree to pay John and would stop claiming Northumbria so there was one success at least. this year also saw the establishment of another Center of Education at Cambridge thus the two major centers of learning in England had been founded both of which would dominate English intellectual and political life for centuries to come

in 1210, the barons of Ireland revolted and John crossed the sea and crushed them shortly, of course, it was brony rebellion which would ultimately define John’s brain and so unsurprisingly this would not be the last. it’s important to note the bearings have a justification to revolt against John because he had been excommunicated. technically, lords owed no allegiance to their superiors who lived outside of the boundaries of the Christian faith, in practice the reasons for revolts weren’t so theological

In 1212, John forged a series of alliances against King Philippe to prepare for an invasion of France the most notable ally being the Count of Flanders. Philippe made the first move and attacked Flanders and was himself preparing to invade England, John’s barons weren’t very supportive, and only due to a pre-emptive English attack didn’t invasion occur. by this time John had realized that he needed his barons onside who would the convenient excuse of ex-communication to refuse his service. In 1213, he and Pope Innocent came to an agreement the king would repay the church for everything he took, and importantly it was decided that John held England as a papal fief. what this meant is that technically England belonged to the Pope and John simply ruled over it as the Pope is appointed keeper, the next year John had secured more alliances in his war with France the most notable being the Holy Roman Emperor Otto the fourth.

the decisive battle was on July the 27th the Battle of the Bovey which was a decisive French victory. this battle forever ruined John’s chances of recovering his northern French territories as well as earning him the nickname John Lackland due mostly to his lack of land. Phillipe Augustus was now the undisputed ruler of these territories marking an important turning point in the rise of France.

John’s problems went from bad to worse upon his return to England. in 1215, John Snow was revolted against him plunging England into chaos. the rebellious nobles’ approach was not to replace the king but to force reforms. the rebels were led by Robert Fitzwater who he made 1215 March what the rebels had made the army of God into London, John knew this wasn’t going to end well and so whilst Archbishop Langton to organize peace talks. what happened at these talks is one of the most famous and important events in English history the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede which is here.

Magna Carta which is Latin for Great Charter, sought to restrict John’s powers over the dispensing of justice which John had up until that point mostly used to make money. it’s also importantly stated that if John was to abandon his promises within the Magna Carta his barons could use force against him. John did sign the Magna Carta but make no mistake he had no intention of abiding by it and quickly asked the Pope who was technically John’s Lord to annul the agreement which the Pope did. John’s parents were not too happy about this and so on rebellion. the Baron’s knew that John would never accept their demands and so they invited a new claimant to the throne whom they could rally behind this man was Louie the son and heir of the French King Philippe Augustus

Louie arrived in England in May 1216 within a few months had taken all of this territory. little more happened John died in October of the same year and for many of the rebellious barons the reason for the war had died with the King. John had a young son Henry who many of the rebellious barons flocked to, the reason was that Henry at this point was only nine years old and thus was much less of a threat to noble interest than Louis could be.

Henry was crowned King Henry the third at Gloucester but he was too young to govern and so the respected nobleman William Marshall acted as his Regent. being Regent meant that Marshall would act with the King’s Authority until the king was old enough to do so himself, Marshall’s first act would be to reissue Magna Carta in Henry’s name to assure the other Nobles that their rights would be upheld. Louis was of course not going to give up his claim to England and so the war carried on. the war was not going in Henry’s favor until 1217 when Willy Marshall marched on Lincoln in an all-or-nothing battle. the Battle of Lincoln saw many of Louie’s French noblemen killed Robert Fitzwater was captured and afterward, the town was thoroughly looted. as a result, Menino has defected from Louis to Henry and after a few more battles Henry’s throne was secured and Louis renounced his claim.

Henry’s early reign was not without its problems, many nobles had pledged their loyalty but weren’t so keen on actually providing it. some had built castles illegally during the rebellion and refused to abandon and demolished them. to reassure Henry’s Authority the Pope allowed him to be coronated again this time in London and most of his Lords pledged allegiance and pain of ex-communication some still refuse to pledge their loyalty and so at the help of his friend Hubert de burgh, henry crushed them.

in 1224, Louie, now King Louie the eighth for France invaded Henry’s French territories and quickly seized poitey and most of Gascony the nobles agreed to help fund an army to reinforce Gascony on the condition the Magna Carta was reissued again, which it was in 1225. this time Magna Carta was issued willingly by a king who agreed to be bound by the laws and the advice of his knowledge was a significant stepping stone in the history of the English monarchy.

in 1226, Louie the eighth for France died and the throne passed to his son whose name is Louis. this new king was only 12 and so his position was weak many of the nobles in Normandy, Anjou, and Britain asked for Henry to invade and reclaim his inheritance. in 1227 the Regency ended and Henry began his personal rule, three years later he landed in Braitiny me with the large English army. he would remain in France until 1234 and would leave having achieved nothing at a great cost. when Henry left for France he had placed Hubert de baron in charge Hubert was not particularly popular in the faction which opposed him rally behind a man who pitted the rush.

in 1231 after his return to England, Peter wrote to Henry claiming that Hubert was corrupt and so Henry had Hubert arrested and Peter was made to stickier. Peter almost immediately began seizing his opponent’s land which angered a certain Richard Marshall, the son of William, who complained that the king was neglecting his promises from Magna Carta. naturally, there would only be one outcome of this disagreement, civil war. in the end, Henry agreed to remove Peter and wood from then onwards rule on his own Henry was so keen for peace because he was worried that during the Civil War Louis would invade and conquer Brittany, which he did anyway. so Henry believed that his predecessors mostly his father had allowed royal authority and dignity to be eroded and he sought to restore it.

in 1236, Henry married Eleanor of Provence in order to forge an alliance in the South of France. three years later Eleanor gave birth to a son Edward named after Edward the Confessor who Henry revered as the paragon of English kingship so Henry made sure to look after his wife’s family, and eventually they were invited over and some of them are giving important positions. an example being Ellena’s uncle Boniface, who was made Archbishop of Canterbury. all of this preferential treatment for people who weren’t the English nobility was upsetting for the English nobility since they felt these rewards were theirs by rights, needless to say, Henry was well on his way to annoying his barons again. so in 1241 Henry’s stepfather rebelled against the French King and called for Henry to land with an army to assist which Henry did. eventually, Henry’s slow response meant that the rebellion collapsed and during the campaign there Henry’s army was soundly defeated at the Battle of Taillebourg. as a result of this Henry’s French relatives by marriage ended up leaving France and coming to England in 1247. these relatives were granted numerous lands which further annoyed the English nobility. by 1258, Henry was extremely unpopular. he had financially ruined the kingdom the most notable event occurring in 1252 when the Pope offered Henry Sicily providing he paid off the Pope’s debt, which he agreed to without consulting his Lords. furthermore, Henry also traveled to Paris where he agreed to renounce his claims to his lost territories the anger of his noble was culminated in rebellion, again.

led by Simon de Montfort the rebels demanded Henry abandon his personal rule and allow the nobles to control the government and Institute reforms. these reforms limited the powers at the king in the major Nobles but most importantly set up an elected group of barons who would run the kingdom. these forms of government broke down after Henry had asked for the Pope’s help in denouncing it in 1263 the second barons war broke out.

long story short, the war waged for four years Henry and his son Edward were captured at the Battle of Lewes, Edward eventually escaped and later won a victory at the Battle of Evesham, which saw de Montfort killed. by 1267 the Barons had surrendered and the war was over leaving a now unwell Henry to rebuild. Prince Edward was given greatly to say over the running of the kingdom until he went on a crusade in 1270. Henry died in 1272 when Edward was declared king and upon his return to England he was crowned king yet with the first, Edward however is better known either as Edward Longshanks or more famously as malleus Scott Horan the hammer of the Scots.

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