Post-classical history

PLATE SECTION

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The Angevin Kings of England: Henry II, Richard I, John and Henry III. (The British Library Board)

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The Franco-Angevin border in 1202. (John Gillingham, The Angevin Empire)

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The coronation of Philip II Augustus, 1179. The birth of Philip in 1165 secured the Capetian dynasty and he was therefore considered by many contemporaries in France as sent from Heaven, hence he was known as ‘Dieudonné’ – ‘Godgiven’. (Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore)

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John’s visits to his French domains by the end of 1202. Note the time spent at Chinon and also around Rouen, the capital of Normandy. (John Gillingham, The Angevin Empire)

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The opening stages of the Anglo-French conflict, spring to autumn 1202.(W.L. Warren, King John)

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Autumn 1202 to December 1203. The main French-led attack on Normandy, with Philip leading his forces against Normandy and the crucial defence network of Château Gaillard, which guarded the Norman border just north of Paris, while his Breton allies attack John’s Angevin territory from the west. (W.L. Warren, King John)

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Château Gaillard from the Seine. Richard the Lionheart’s ‘Bold Castle’ which he claimed he could defend even if its walls were made of butter. (Author)

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View of the Seine from the ramparts of Château Gaillard. Note the isle of Andely, the scene of a fierce engagement before the castle was fully assaulted. (Author)

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Château Gaillard. The thrust of Philip’s main assault came from the southwest (left of picture). (Author)

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Plan of Château Gaillard. (E.E. Viollet-le Duc, Military Architecture)

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The keep of Château Gaillard. (E.E. Viollet-le Duc, Military Architecture)

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The northeastern scarp slope of Château Gaillard. It was here that most of the hundreds of non-combatants expelled from the castle – ‘the useless mouths’ – died from exposure and starvation during the winter months of the siege. Neither side dared show the weakness of compassion. (Author)

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The advanced design of the keep’s curtain wall at Château Gaillard. Here the dramatic final moments of the siege took place. (Author)

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The final phase of the conquest of Normandy, showing the advances of Philip and the Bretons in the summer of 1204. (W.L. Warren, King John)

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Falaise Castle. John spent a huge amount of resources on fortifying the castle and was outraged in 1204 at the actions of his mercenary captain Louvrecaire who commanded it for him. Arthur of Brittany was imprisoned here after the Battle of Mirebeau. (Author)

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King John hunting with dogs. He came in for much criticism from some quarters for devoting too much attention to his pleasures – including his young wife – rather than to defending the Duchy of Normandy. (The British Library Board)

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John’s French campaign, 1206. His success at Montauban was deep in the south, far away from the main crucible of war to the north. (W.L. Warren, King John)

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The great seal of Philip Augustus. (Archives Nationales, Sceaux, Paris)

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A cavalry charge at the Battle of Bouvines, 1214, one of the most important battles of the entire Middle Ages. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris)

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The Battle of Bouvines: King Philip lies in mortal danger while Huge de Boves makes his escape from the battlefield. (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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Count Ferrand of Flanders and Count Renaud de Boulogne are escorted to prison after the Battle of Bouvines. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris)

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Philip Augustus receives the swords of his vassals in homage. (Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore)

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Magna Carta. King John hoped it would buy him time to muster his forces against the rebels and prevent a French invasion. (Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral)

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Seal of Robert Fitzwalter, general of the rebel army and a leading commander of Louis’s forces. The other shield is that of Robert’s fellow rebel, Saer de Quincy, representing their solidarity in their cause. (Trustees of the British Museum)

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Rochester Castle. The tower in the background was rebuilt after the original one was destroyed during the siege of 1215; it is constructed in a more advanced, rounded form. (Author)

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Rochester Cathedral as seen from the ramparts of Rochester Castle. John is recorded as having stabled his horses in the cathedral during the siege. (Author)

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The interior cross-wall of the keep at Rochester Castle, behind which the defenders of the 1215 siege were forced to withdraw. (Author)

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The fate of a defeated English garrison. Angered and frustrated by the rebels’ defence of Rochester Castle, John expressed his intention at the siege of Rochester to hand out the same treatment to the garrison there. (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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Belvoir Castle. Roger d’Albini, who led the heroic defence at Rochester, was the master here. It was in the sights of John during his vicious campaign of 1215–16. The leading English chronicler of events for this time, Roger of Wendover, was prior at Belvoir. (Author)

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The perils of sea travel: a military ship goes down in a storm. This was the fate of many vessels in John’s reinforcement fleet in the English Channel in 1215, coming to England to prepare for the French invasion. Among the victims was one of John’s leading commanders. (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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A soldier of King John torturing prisoners. The livery of the soldier denotes him as being in the service of John’s general William Marshal, considered by many contemporaries as the epitome of chivalry. (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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John’s campaigning, September 1215 to March 1216. (W.L. Warren, King John)

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Prince Louis with the four cardinal virtues being presented with a copy of the Karolinus by its author, Gilles de Paris. The work was designed to inspire Louis to emulate the deeds of the great first Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne. (Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris)

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John’s network of royal castles, a major military asset during the French invasion. (John Gillingham, The Angevin Empire)

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Dover Castle. This massive fortress overlooking the English Channel was ‘the key to England’ according to Matthew Paris. It was subjected to prolonged sieges by French forces. (Author)

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Siege and battle scene. Most medieval battles arose from siege situations. Note the trebuchet in action. These large machines, the heavy artillery of the day, were used to great effect against castle walls during the invasion. However, some very strong fortresses could withstand their bombardment. (Pierpont Morgan Library)

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The Roman walls of Portchester looking towards the twelfth-century keep. Portchester’s strong coastal position made it an important objective for Louis. (Author)

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Armies on the move. The supply wagon is transporting the soldiers’ armour. Logistics were key to a successful campaign and a particular problem for the French invaders. (Pierpont Morgan Library)

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A king prepares for battle, he and his horse wearing the chainmail armour of the day.(Trinity College, Cambridge)

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The great seal of King Louis. (Archives Nationales, Sceaux, Paris)

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Map showing the territory consolidated by Louis during his invasion. It does not show the land of English rebels affiliated to him in the North. (N.J.G. Pounds, The Medieval Castle in England and Wales)

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Newark Castle, the place of John’s death. (Author)

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Effigy of John from his tomb at Worcester Cathedral. His heart was not buried with him: it was taken from his deathbed corpse by a leading churchman. (Photograph by Mr Christopher Guy, Worcester Cathedral Archaeologist)

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William Marshal’s castle at Pembroke, Wales. With his other mighty royalist fortress on the Welsh border at Chepstow, the rebels and French made little permanent headway in the west. (Author)

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Effigy of William Marshal from his tomb, Temple Church, London. (Author, by kind permission of The Temple Church, London)

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The coronation of the boy king, Henry III. (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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The ruined keep of Odiham Castle, where a garrison of only thirteen men bravely held up Louis’s forces for a fortnight. (Author)

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A surgeon removing an arrow. Bows and crossbows were the deadliest weapons at sieges, as a leading rebel commander found out to his cost, shot through the middle of his forehead with a crossbow bolt. (Trinity College, Cambridge)

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Plan of the city of Lincoln in the early thirteenth century. (Frances Hill, Medieval Lincoln)

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The notorious royalist mercenary captain Falkes de Bréauté at St Albans. The town and abbey were pillaged by both sides during the invasion. Low-born and foreign, Falkes was a much hated military and poitical figure. (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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Royalist troop movements at the Battle of Lincoln according to Professor David Carpenter. The Battle of Lincoln was the major land engagement of the invasion. (David Carpenter, The Minority of Henry III)

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The north gate of Lincoln Castle, scene of some fierce fighting. (Author)

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View along the battlements of Lincoln Castle towards the keep, from where the redoubtable Nicola de la Haye conducted a lengthy defence against French and rebel forces. (Author)

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Postern gate at Lincoln Castle. (Author)

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East gate and wall of Lincoln Castle, directly facing the cathedral. Troops poured out of this gate in retreat. (Author)

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The west front of Lincoln Cathedral. Here, between the minster and the east gate of the castle, a last stand was made during the battle. (Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral)

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The young Count of Perche is killed by a blade which went through the eye slit of his helmet and pierced his brain. The defeated cavalry take flight. (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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The bloody Battle of Sandwich which played a major part in ending the war. Peter des Roches, William Marshal and the papal legate Guala bless the English fleet as it engages with the French fleet bringing reinforcements for Louis’s final push in England. Note the use of lime pots and grappling hooks and the grim fate of Eustace the Monk.(Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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Prisoners being set free. The terms of prisoner release were central to the peace treaty. (Corpus Christi College, Cambridge)

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