According to John Richardson’s “Annals of London”, eight hundred years ago, in 1217, during the First Barons’ War, London, unlike most of the rest of the country, did not support the claim to the throne of England after the death of King John of John’s son Henry III (*), but rather that of Philippe II’s son Louis, Dauphin of France. It was thus to London that the Dauphin retreated following his heavy defeat at the Battle of Lincoln (**) on May 20th (to await reinforcements, which in the event never arrived – a French fleet being intercepted en route to England). It was also here, though, at Lambeth, that he subsequently formally relinquished his claim to England – and the Channel Islands – and ended the war, on September 11th (***).
(*) Henry III had actually already been crowned – in Gloucester – late the previous year. He would go on to be crowned again in Westminster in 1220.
(**) Two prominent Londoners were captured at the battle, namely Robert FitzWalter, formerly of Baynard’s Castle (which had been destroyed by King John in 1213), and Richard de Montfichet, of Montfichet’s Tower.
(***) The agreed terms of the so-called Treaty of Lambeth restored to the barons and the people all the liberties lost under King John’s unjust rule.