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Thread: The reign of King John I of England

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    For England and St.George Senior Member ShadesWolf's Avatar
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    INTRODUCTION

    In the year of our Lord 1205AD , John I came to the thrown of England. He had a rudimentary grasp of reading and writing but was dimly aware of the omnipotent forces that guide our daily lives.

    Diplomatically he was recognised as a significant power within the world. John was the youngest of Henry II four sons. He found himself crowned king of England in 1199 after the death of hs last brothers

    John was prepared to go further than most others to achieve his goals, this made John a dangerous adversary



    THE EARLY YEARS

    John had achieve his fame on the battlefields of Ireland, Normandy, Aquaitiane and England. In 1183 while ruling Ireland, in his fathers name, he had massacred, the then King, Rory O’conner for treason along with 500 of his followers.

    John’s eldest brother, Henry the younger, died in 1183 while protecting the Angevin empire. This was followed by the death on another brother, Geoffrey, who died in 1187 while at a tournament. John and Richard were left as the only heirs. Henry’s relationships with Richard was worsening and John became the king favourite. In 1189 Richard, with the help of Louis of France declared war on his father. Henry called for Johns support, but was horrified to learn that his favourite son had betrayed him and gone over to Richards’s side. Henry died a broken man in 1189.

    Richard was crowned king in September 1189. Immediately he made John 'Count of Mortain,' and granted him extensive lands in England (including Nottingham). While Richard was away Crusading, John conspired against him with William Longchamps, the king regent. He set himself up as king, all but in name. On Richards return John fled to France, worried for his life.

    Richard finally died in 1199, leaving his brother unopposed as the sole heir to the kingdom, John was crowned king of England in 1199 and thus our story begins…


    KING JOHNS CONTEMPORIES

    The year is 1205 and John has been on the throne for 6 years. His reign, so far, had been a quiet one. The empires borders were vast and weakly defended.



    To the north were the Scottish, for many centuries there had been hostilities between England and Scotland. The border was not large, but the threat was real. Scotland was ruled by Domongart of Douglas, but all was not well in the nation, his cousin Fearghus the Balleol wanted the throne and was willing to do anything to get it.

    To the eastern borders of Brittany, Anjou and Aquitaine lay the lands of Philippe II of France. The French were a dangerous nation who had vast influence on European diplomacy. Phillipe was an excellent commander and was well known for his massacring of prisoners captured on the battlefield.

    Aquitaines southern borders were the twin kingdoms of Aragon and Navarre. Both of these nations were looking to advance their empires and any weakness would quickly be sieged upon. Aragon was the strongest of the two, and with the warrior King, Pedro II, were somewhat of a threat. It was rumoured that the 'Black Knight' who killed Geoffrey in the tournament of 1187 was Pedro, as he had natural talent for personal combat and recently had won a number of jousting competition.

    John seeing the threat that Aragon posed, sent his eldest daughter to meet their King. The plan was to make Catherine his wife, thus bringing the two kingdoms closer together and protecting Aquitianes southern borders.

    Pedro II unfortunately was already married, but he was so impressed with Catherines diplomatic abilities that he agreed to an alliance with England. This protected Johns southern borders and left him able to concentrait his forces elsewhere.

    THE MASSACRE IN SCOTLAND(1207 - 1210)

    In 1207 King John had completed his negotiations with Fearghus the Balleol. Fearghus announsed his rebellion against Domongart and joined the English side. His army is small but loyal. Domongart raises an army and marched from Edinburgh to meet Fearghus in the battlesfields of southern Scotland. The Scottish wars of succession had begin.

    In 1208 during the battle of 'Mcdonald Pass', Fearghus was captured by Domongart and along with his 120 men was massacred. Hearing the news of Fearghus's death, King John is angered and despatches Lord Roos, The Earl of Northumbria, to deal with Domongart. The king wants his heads to be bought back to him on a plate.

    Lord Roos was the kings most trusted Lord. In the year 1209 he marched across the scottish borders with 299 men to meet the Scottish king on the battlefield. Domongart was eager to meet the new invasion and again marched from Edinburgh, south to engage the enemy. On october 24th 1209 the two armies collided, the English army was made up of Longbows, Chivalric knights and light cav. The Scottish army had crossbows and highland warrior.

    The outcome was disastrous, the highlanders came screaming down from the hills, and charged into the unsuspecting English. By the end of the day, 196 English men lay dead including Lord Roos and the Lord chamberlain. The Scots had lost 60 highlanders to longbow fire. An English army of 104 limped back over the border to regroup and try again but reinforcements would be required before John could reinvade.

    On hearing of the battle in Scotland, Aed Brechyne declared Irelands independence from England, The English garrison under Lord Holland of Ireland marched to crush the rebellion. The odds were to high for the English and the entire garrison of 99 died, Ireland was free and an independent nation once more.





    To be continued.........



    ShadesWolf
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  2. #2
    Wait, what? Member Aelwyn's Avatar
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    Nicely written ShadesWolf. It was an interesting read. More interesting when you actually put some flavour into the story.

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    For England and St.George Senior Member ShadesWolf's Avatar
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    Part 2 will be intitled 'the French Wars' and will take place between 1211 and 1219......
    ShadesWolf
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    For England and St.George Senior Member ShadesWolf's Avatar
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    A French Affair (1212 to 1217)

    King John is a worried man; the easy invasion of Scotland had failed. How would other European rulers see him now? What would be their reply to his failure? The King quickly went about raising another army, this time a stronger one, which would crush the Scottish insolence. Men from all over the kingdom gathered in Wessex. The province is awash with different accents; Knights arrive from East Anglia, Longbows from West Country. Spearmen, Men-at-arms from the Midlands and Sergeants from the North. All are here for one purpose, the capture of Scotland, for their King.

    The defeated armys begin to march south to meet the reinforcements, the Plan is to meet up in Mercia, regroup and march into Scotland as one army. On a spring morning in 1210 the last of the army leave the great city of London, now garrisoned by 60 of its own Militia, and head north. The army set-up camp, just outside the ancient city of Lichfield, while it waits for the rear guard to catchup. News reaches the army commander that an invasion force has been launched by the traitorous French. A force of 188 men under Lord de Lugnes – count of Tripoli, lands in Dover and starts the march north to London. The garrison fall back behind to castle walls to await reinforcement.

    Lord Stanley the English commander in Merica, now has an army of some 423 men, he orders it to about turn and relieve the siege of London. The army quick marches south and by early 1213 is nearing London at a place called Wessex bridge, when the notice that the French force have marched north and set-up a defensive line on the southern side of a bridge, that crosses the river.

    The battle of Wessex Bridge 1213....



    London castle was well stocked and would take some time to capture. Reinforcements arrived from main land Europe and Lugnes knew the only way to win the province was to stop the large English army marching south to meet him. He chooses the bridge over the river Lea at Hertford; known to the locals as Wessex bridge. This would be the place to make his stand, hopefully giving his King time to send a larger force to continue his invasion of England.

    The French force was mainly a cavalry force, the plan was to charge the English lines, and hopefully the impact would be enough to persuade the English to retreat. The battle did not go well for the French, who were out numbers 2 to. The English Longbows lined up on the riverbanks and rained down their arrow onto the French lines. The French charge across the bridge but were met by the English men-at-arms and sergeants.

    The French line finally broke, but the English were unable to take a major advantage. Pockets of fighting continued but night drew in and the French withdrew. The battle resulted in a moral victory for the English as they killed 185 of Lugnes army of 248 men. Lugnes retreated to Wessex with his army and awaited his fait.

    Lord Stanley, did not give him long to wait. He followed the retreating army and pushed home the advantage. In 1214 the two armies met for a second time. Lugnes army had not received any reinforcements so where in no state to fight. Lugnes order a withdrawal and the army retreated to Flanders.Stanley had been victorious, England had won her first battle under king John and London and Wessex were back part of the empire.

    The counter at Ile de France 1213



    News reaches King John that a French force has marched into Wessex and laid siege to his castle in London. The King summons his war council to decide what the best plan of attack would be.

    The decision is to invade the French capital in the province of Ile de France. The king gathers together 320 of this best man, including his son, Prince John, who is camped in Anjou and the army marches over the border and towards Paris.

    The French counter the attack and the two armies collide just west of Paris. The battle results in a minor victory for the English. The French force loses 91 men and have 3 men taken prisoner. The defeated army retreats to the castle and waits for the siege to begin. The English lose 149 men.

    In 1214 a large French army marches into Ile de France to lift the siege. The English meet them on the battlefield. The English have a total of 268 men, including the king and Prince John, the heir to the thrown. The French army totals 862 men. King John realising that the odds are against him, retreats back into Anjou. The HRE seeing an opportunity to enlarge its kingdom invades Toulouse.

    Regrouping and the march to victory 1215-17

    King John is pleased with the war effort, all land has been recaptured from the French, he has also inflicted a bloody nose on their King, it is now time to push the advantage home.
    Lord Gifford, the earl of Wessex joins Stanbys army in 1215 and takes command. His first order is to invade Flanders, and attempt to catch the French King off guard.

    The French King seems totally unaware of how close he is to the English army. By the time the French King notices the approaching English it is to late and he becomes surrounded, the Battle of Flanders 1215 is about to begin.



    The King draws his sword and waits for the onslaught. The English army close in for the kill, the outcome is a slaughter; the French lose their king and his bodyguards.

    Prince John with a loyal force is dispatched from Anjou to capture Normandy, support is sent from Lord Beckett who marches over the border from Brittany. The English army numbers 178 men and the French defenders 24. Normandy falls with some ease, the English loose a total of 3 men and the French loose 20. The remaining 4 retreat to Paris.

    Prince Phillippe of France marches from Ile De France with 240 men and engages the English army in Anjou. The Kings force numbers some 451 men. The French army are a poorly trained bunch, made up mainly of peasants. The English onslaught begins, the French fight bravely but lose 58 of their men and further 99 are captured, the remaining 80 including the Prince retreat to Ile De France. The English loose 42.



    In the space of twelve months, an English army has invaded Flanders, laid siege to the castle and killed the French King. A second force under the control of Prince John has invaded Normandy and captured the province, however the Prince is killed during the campaign. A French force under Prince Phillipe invaded Anjou, the King defeated the invasion and the French retreated back to Ile De France. Prince Phillipe on returning to paris is installed as the new King, thus becoming King Phillippe III of France

    King John recognises the achievements of Lord Giffard and promotes him. Lord Becket of Aquitaine weds Princess Catherine, who has returned from here mission in Aragon. Becket has staunch faith in you and this makes him a valuable man to have under your control. For him, no action is considered too base when defending your person or rule.

    By the end of the year 1217 all provinces, captures, are fully under King john control.

    The siege of Ghent castle in Flanders lasts for 2 years, before finally falling. The French empire is reduced to a few provinces. Enough is enough. King john decides it is time to sue for peace, he despatches another of his daughter. Catherine, aged 18, arrives at the French court in late 1217, the plan being to offer his daughters hand in marriage as a good will jester to prove he is an honourable man and can be trusted, this can hopefully usher in a new a time of friendship between France and England.

    The marriage is accepted and in 1219 a peace treaty is signed between England and France, thus ending the 1st French wars.
    ShadesWolf
    The Original HHHHHOWLLLLLLLLLLLLER

    Im a Wolves fan, get me out of here......


  5. #5
    Dark Knight Member Dramicus's Avatar
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    great stuff, keep it up
    Repent For tomorrow you die -Battlecry of the Dark Angels

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    Member Member whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    Very entertaining read, can't wait to hear what happens next

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    For England and St.George Senior Member ShadesWolf's Avatar
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    He dies of old age
    ShadesWolf
    The Original HHHHHOWLLLLLLLLLLLLER

    Im a Wolves fan, get me out of here......


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    Member Member Panther's Avatar
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    lol
    shadesmtw
    this is a very good site with lots of info on england and with byzantines and also has lots more info on how to play or just the period, very enjoyable and interesting
    enjoy





    War is nothing but the continuation of politics with the admixture of other means. - Karl Von Clausewitz

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    The Lordz Modding Collective Senior Member Lord Of Storms's Avatar
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    Good stuff ShadesWolf I was thoroughly engrossed in the story a very good tell indeed...
    Taking life one day at a time!

  10. #10
    For England and St.George Senior Member ShadesWolf's Avatar
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    BTW coming soon on my site

    - Viking invasion - info etc
    - The Turks SP guide...
    ShadesWolf
    The Original HHHHHOWLLLLLLLLLLLLER

    Im a Wolves fan, get me out of here......


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