Study a message from King John to the barons of England 1214
We need to consider why King John faces rebellion? Why don’t you start by exploring the document and reading the transcript...
The King sends greetings to his earls, barons, knights and other faithful men throughout the realm of England. Know that we are in good health and uninjured, and that everything is prosperous and joyous with us through the grace of God. We send thanks to those amongst you who have sent your knights to serve with us, for the protection and winning of our rights. We ask most attentively, as you value our honour, that those of you who have not crossed over with us to France, you should come to us without delay to the aid of our land which needs to be defended. We ask that you act from now on in such a way that we will forever owe you our gratitude. If any of you think that we hold hatred in our hearts against you, by coming to our aid this hatred will be removed. 9 July, 1214
I thought this document would be useful in assessing the relations between the barons and John. He is writing from a fortress in France. It appears to be sending a very happy and positive message to his barons and it would seem that the barons were anxious about his well-being. In reality John’s campaign in France has been a disastrous failure. The barons are furious and they are worried that John is going to ask for more taxes to pay for more wars.
Message from King John to the barons of England July 1214
The National Archives
Test your understanding
What has John promised in return for the barons aid?
Not quite right, I'm afraid... Why don't you try studying the document again and listening to the transcript?
Excellent, well done! King John has promised his gratitude in return for aid from the barons!
Why does King John face rebellion?
Is King John responsible for the rebellion?
Are the barons responsible for the rebellion?
It is the view of this chronicle that the great rebellion of 1215 has come about for the following reasons...
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