The Battle of Lincoln 1217

4 May, 2017 940 History of Europe

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 As part of the peace deal, Henry reissued Magna Carta, which King John had granted in 1215 but soon withdrawn, and Louis went home, leaving England’s Anglo-French rulers more Anglo and less French than he had planned.

Listen on BBC Sounds website


  • Louise Wilkinson 3 episodes
    Professor of Medieval History at Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Stephen Church No other episodes
    Professor of Medieval History at the University of East Anglia
  • Thomas Asbridge No other episodes
    Reader in Medieval History at Queen Mary, University of London

Reading list

  • The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power behind Five English Thrones
    Thomas Asbridge (Simon & Schuster, 2015) Google Books →
  • The Minority of Henry III
    David Carpenter (Methuen, 1990) Google Books →
  • Magna Carta
    David Carpenter (trans.) (Penguin Classics, 2015) Google Books →
  • King John: England, Magna Carta and the Making of a Tyrant
    Stephen Church (Macmillan, 2015) Google Books →
  • Henry III: A Simple and God-Fearing King
    Stephen Church (Allen Lane, 2017)
  • Blanche of Castile, Queen of France
    Lindy Grant (Yale University Press, 2016) Google Books →
  • Medieval Lincoln
    Francis Hill (Cambridge University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Blood Cries Afar: The Forgotten Invasion of England of 1216
    Sean McGlynn (The History Press, 2013) Google Books →
  • Women in Thirteenth-Century Lincolnshire
    Louise Wilkinson (Boydell Press for the Royal Historical Society, 2015) Google Books →

Related episodes

Programme ID: b08njv60

Episode page:

Auto-category: 940.1 (Medieval history of Europe)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. On the 20th of May, 1217, two armies fought at Lincoln to keep or to win the English crown.