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The Battle of Lincoln 1217

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the battle at Lincoln on 20th May 1217 between the forces of the boy-king Henry III, led by William Marshal, and supporters of Louis of France.

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss The Battle of Lincoln on 20th May 1217, when two armies fought to keep, or to win, the English crown. This was a struggle between the Angevin and Capetian dynasties, one that followed Capetian successes over the Angevins in France. The forces of the new boy-king, Henry III, attacked those of Louis of France, the claimant backed by rebel Barons. Henry's regent, William Marshal, was almost seventy when he led the charge on Lincoln that day, and his victory confirmed his reputation as England's greatest knight. Louis sent to France for reinforcements but in August these, too, were defeated at sea, at the Battle of Sandwich. As part of the peace deal, Henry reissued Magna Carta, which King John had granted in 1215 but soon withdrawn, and Louis went home, leaving England's Anglo-French rulers more Anglo and less French than he had planned.

The image above is by Matthew Paris (c1200-1259) from his Chronica Majora (MS 16, f. 55v) and appears with the kind permission of the Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge


Louise Wilkinson
Professor of Medieval History at Canterbury Christ Church University

Stephen Church
Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia


Thomas Asbridge
Reader in Medieval History at Queen Mary, University of London

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

53 minutes

Last on

Thu 4 May 2017 21:30


Louise Wilkinson at Canterbury Christ Church University

Stephen Church at the University of East Anglia

Thomas Asbridge at Queen Mary, University of London

Battle of Lincoln (1217) – Wikipedia

Lady Nicholaa de la Haye by Louise Wilkinson – Magna Carta Trust



Thomas Asbridge, The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power behind Five English Thrones (Simon & Schuster, 2015)

David Carpenter, The Minority of Henry III (Methuen, 1990)

David Carpenter (trans.), Magna Carta (Penguin Classics, 2015)

Stephen Church, King John: England, Magna Carta and the Making of a Tyrant (Macmillan, 2015)

Stephen Church, Henry III: A Simple and God-Fearing King (Allen Lane, 2017)

Lindy Grant, Blanche of Castile, Queen of France (Yale University Press, 2016)

Francis Hill, Medieval Lincoln (first published 1948; Cambridge University Press, 2008)

Sean McGlynn, Blood Cries Afar: The Forgotten Invasion of England of 1216 (The History Press, 2013)

Louise Wilkinson, Women in Thirteenth-Century Lincolnshire (Boydell Press for the Royal Historical Society, 2015)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Louise Wilkinson
Interviewed Guest Stephen Church
Interviewed Guest Thomas Asbridge
Producer Simon Tillotson


  • Thu 4 May 2017 09:00
  • Thu 4 May 2017 21:30

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