Storm of Berwick (1216)

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Stormed by the Scots in 1214

Lincoln Fair 20 May 1217

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In 1216, during the war between King John and his Barons, known as the First Barons War, the Barons proclaimed Louis of France, King of England. Louis’ forces with support from the Barons captured a large swathe of southern and eastern England. When John died midway through the war, his young son was proclaimed Henry III. However, Louis fought on, and besieged Lincoln Castle, after taking the town. A relief force was sent under the Earl of Pembroke, William Marshal. His army broke into the town and kills the French commander. Because the town resisted it was pillaged by the victorious army giving rise to its name Lincoln Fair. The French defeat at Lincoln led directly to their expulsion from England.

Evesham 4 August 1265

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After Northampton, the Barons' fortunes were reversed at the Battle of Lewes in Sussex (14 May 1264) when de Montfort captured the King, Prince Edward and gained control of the government. The following year a number of de Montfort’s supporters defect to the King and Prince Edward manages to escape captivity, putting de Montfort on the defensive. Edward raises an army and meets de Montfort at Evesham. Heavily outnumbered, de Montfort’s army is destroyed and de Montfort is killed.

Exeter Siege (1215)

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Exeter was captured after a brief siege by the rebels in May 1215. However they withdrew when the King's half-brother William Longespée, 3rd Earl of Salisbury and a force of Flemish mercenaries turned up to retake it. 

Battle of Lewes 1264

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One of two main battles of the the Second Barons' War. It marked the high point of the career of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, and made him the "uncrowned King of England." The royalists fled back to the castle and priory and the King was forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, a settlement ceding many of his powers to de Montfort

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Odiham Castle Siege 1217

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Odiham Castle was besieged and taken by the French army in 1217. A tiny force of John's men put up a string resistance for two weeks.  When the French offered terms they were surprised that only a dozen men emerged.

Dover Castle (Siege 1215-17)

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The medieval castle was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. It is the largest castle in England.   It was besieged in 1216-1217 in the wars following the signing of Magna Carta. The defence of the castle on behalf of King John was an epic, aided by the guerilla warfare waged by Wicken of the Weald, a prototype for Robin Hood.

Pevensey Castle AD 1264-65

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Pevensey Castle was first documented as a Saxon Shore fort. According to the Anglo Saxon Chronicle it was besieged and captured by the Saxons in 491 AD. It was a key location in the 1066 invasion occupied by Harold and William during the course of the year. In medieval times the Norman castle was beseiged in the rebellion by William Rufus and again in the wars between Stephen and Matilda and the refuge for Henry III's troops after the defeat at Lewes. Even in WW2 the fortifications of the castle were improved by the addition of bunkers and pill boxes.

Sandwich 1217 

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A victory for the Plantagenet English fleet over a Capetian French armada led by Eustace the Monk and Robert of Courtenay. The English captured the French flagship and most of the supply vessels, forcing the rest of the French fleet to return to Calais. The naval battle took place off Sandwich, Kent on the English coast during the First Barons' War. The English vessels attacked from windward, seizing Eustace's ship, making Robert and the knights prisoner and killing the rest of the crew. Eustace, a notorious pirate, was executed after being taken prisoner. The battle convinced Prince Louis to abandon his effort to conquer England and the Treaty of Lambeth was signed a few weeks later.

Norham Castle Seige (1217)

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The ruin of a castle which was the sight of several seiges in the long border strugles as well as being besiged by King John in 1217

Barnard Castle siege (1216)

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In 1216, Scots under Alexander I invaded the north of England and beseiged Barnard Castle briefly. A defender within the castle fired a crossbow bolt that killed Alexander's brother-in-law, Eustace de Vesci. The castle survived that seige, but in 1264 was taken by barons supporting Simon de Montfort's rebellion against Henry III.

1265 Peatling Magna (peasant action)

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A few days after Simon de Montfort’s defeat and death at the battle of Evesham in August 1265, a group of peasants from Peatling Magna sought to arrest a party of royalists going through the village, declaring that they were acting ‘against the welfare of the community of the realm and against the barons’, a declaration which shows peasants had grasped the concept of the community of the realm, and thought the barons were acting in its interests.

Siege of Northampton 6 April 1264

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The siege of Northampton was the first action of what is now known as the Second Barons War. In April 1264 King Henry III raised his standard at Oxford. The Barons at the same time seized Northampton, strategically located in the centre of the country. The baronial army was led by Simon de Montfort jnr, and his army had been bolstered by students from Oxford and Cambridge’s universities. Henry marched on the town and castle but it fell quickly after Prince Edward (Later King Edward I) fought his way in from the north whilst his father attacked from the south. 

Rochester Castle (Seige 1215)

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Strategically placed astride the London Road, this imposing fortress guarded an important crossing of the River Medway. In 1215, garrisoned by rebel barons, the castle endured an epic siege by King John. Having first undermined the outer wall, John used the fat of 40 pigs to fire a mine under the keep, bringing its southern corner crashing down. Even then the defenders held on until they were eventually starved out after resisting for two months.

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