Of all the monarchs King John was considered the weakest, the fucked-up Medieval version of Richard Nixon, he was once described by chronicler Matthew Paris: “Foul as it is, Hell is made fouler by the presence of John.”
King John’s reign began with some significant military defeats, losing Normandy and most of his other French lands to Philip II of France in his first five years on the throne.
John’s reign ended with England torn apart by civil war, from whence he was eventually forced out of power. In 1213, he made England a papal fief to resolve a conflict with the Catholic Church, and his rebellious barons forced him to seal Magna Carta in 1215.
The legend of Robin Hood was thus created at the time of King John, his high taxes and incompetence causing numerous rebellions. His attempt to renege on commitments made at the signing of Magna Carta led to civil war and the occupation of London by a foreign usurper invited in by John’s rebellious barons.
In 1215, Louis of France grabbed the entirety of the southeast of England, including the Tower of London, and proclaimed himself king in May 1216. In the same year, Louis managed to grab back Rochester Castle for the rebel cause. The hapless John even managed to lose most of the Crown Jewels in a river as he cowardly fled in haste with his baggage train from Lincoln in October. Catching a bad case of dysentery, the defeated king died as he tried desperately to get to the castle’s shit box on 18 October 1216 at Newark Castle.
John left a legacy of profound weakness, incompetence and loss. The question is, will Charles III follow in John’s footsteps?
The British monarchy stands to lose much from Charles’ dilly-dallying ways. The British monarchy, the House of Windsor aka the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha is currently under attack, and the augurs do not bode well for the future of any sort of structural monarchy in Britain, especially with a king who is not happy with any sort of confrontation. From small things come big things, and if one does not crush those small things first, they eventually envelop you and become very big things.