The First Barons’ War ended on this day in 1217. The war had broken out in 1215, when it became clear that King John had no intention of abiding by the terms of the Magna Carta. When John died in 1216, the barons refused to recognise his son Henry III as King, and instead supported the rival claim to the title of the French King Philippe II’s son Louis, also known as the Dauphin (*). The Dauphin and barons then suffered a heavy military defeat at the Battle of Lincoln in 1217, after which they were forced to retreat to their power-base in London, there to await reinforcements from France, which in the event never arrived, the transporting fleet being intercepted en route (**). There, the Dauphin agreed to relinquish his claim to England and end the war, by signing the so-called Treaty of Lambeth, brokered by William Marshall, later in 1217. In exchange, the barons and people were given back the liberties that had been taken away under John’s unjust rule.
(*) 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.
(**) Incidentally, two prominent Londoners were captured at the battle, namely the aforementioned Robert FitzWalter, formerly of Baynard’s Castle, and Richard de Montfichet, of Montfichet’s Tower, both of which had been demolished on John’s orders after the baronial conspiracy of 1212, in which FitzWalter had been implicated.