King John

Bad reputation: King John’s tomb, Worcester Cathedral.

Aged 48 or 49, the king died at Newark Castle on 19 October 1216.

The ruins of Corfe Castle

One of King John's most detestable crimes has been surprisingly overlooked by historians.

Rochester 1215, illustration by John Cann. Courtesy of Medway Council

The struggle between King John and his barons turned into open warfare at Rochester Castle in 1215. Yet the story of how the fortress came to be besieged has not been fully understood, says Marc Morris.

Charles Sims R.A. (1873-1928)

The life of the artist Charles Sims and his controversial, little-known mural in St Stephen’s Hall, Westminster depicting King John at Runnymede. 

Knights and foot soldiers engage in battle during the war between Philip II of France and King John, French manuscript, 13th century.

Magna Carta was born of the loss of King John’s French territories and his increasingly desperate – and expensive – attempts to regain them.

Portrait of King John by an unknown artist. c.1620.

Nigel Saul marks the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta with a comprehensive overview of the landmark books that dominate the field.

Will England's most reviled king get the Thomas Cromwell treatment? It doesn't seem likely. 

Attempts to rehabilitate ‘Bad’ King John always come up against a major stumbling block: the verdicts of his contemporaries.

For the cogent reasons explained here by Anthony Beadles, the revolt against King John was led largely by the Northern barons.

William Seymour describes how a large area of Dorset and Wiltshire, abounding in deer, was hunted by King John and granted to Robert Cecil by James I.