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John
John
416

and returned to Corfe on the 25th, having done much damage to the castles and lands of the barons on his march, though he had not advanced his cause, for Louis was master of nearly the whole kingdom except the west. Early in September he marched by Chippenham and Oxford, intending to relieve Windsor, and advanced as far as Reading, but finding that the besiegers under the Count of Nevers were in strong force, he turned northwards and marched by Aylesbury to Bedford, intending to intercept the Scottish king on his return. The baronial army raised the siege of Windsor, pursued him fruitlessly as far as Cambridge, which he reached on the 16th, and then gave up the pursuit. Everywhere he ravaged mercilessly, even destroying the churches. He raised the siege of Lincoln, marched as far north as Grimsby, where he was on 3 Oct., pillaged the church of Crowland and burnt the crops of the monastery, and put a body of the baronial forces to flight at King's Lynn. Again setting out on a northward march he lost all his baggage and some of his men in crossing the Welland. In bitter grief at this loss he went on to the Cistercian abbey of Swineshead, where he is said to have surfeited himself with peaches and a kind of new beer. This brought on a slight attack of dysentery, which was followed by fever. On the 14th he went as far as Sleaford, where he was bled, and sent a letter to the new pope, Honorius, commending his children to him. With great difficulty he reached Newark on the 16th. His physician, the abbot of Croxton, heard his confession and gave him the sacrament. He made a short will, and declared his son Henry his successor. While he lay dying messengers arrived from a number of lords who wished to be reconciled to him, but he could not attend to them. He died on the 19th. In accordance with his directions he was buried in the cathedral church of Worcester, in front of the high altar. Before the end of the century it was generally believed that he was poisoned by a monk of Swineshead (Wikes), and there is a legend that as he intended to violate a nun, the sister of the abbot, a monk gave him three poisoned pears while he sat at table talking wildly about the scarcity of food which he intended to bring upon the country (Hemingburgh, i. 252; also in Higden and other later writers). In his later years he seems to have had some serious difference with his queen, is said to have 'hanged her gallants over her bed' (Matt. Paris, ii. 565), and in December 1214 ordered her to be kept in confinement at Gloucester (Patent Rolls, p. 124).

By his wife John left five children: Henry, who succeeded him as Henry III [q. v.]; Richard, earl of Cornwall [q. v.]; Joan, queen of Scotland (1210-1238) [q. v.]; Isabella (1214-1241) [q. v.], wife of the Emperor Frederic II; and Eleanor, born 1215, wife of (1) William Marshall, earl of Pembroke, 23 April 1224, and (2) Simon of Montfort, earl of Leicester, 7 Jan. 1239; she died in the convent of Montargis in France, 1274. Of John's illegitimate children may be mentioned Richard, who slew Eustace the Monk after the sea-fight of 1217; Oliver, who joined the crusade against Damietta, 1218; and Joan (d. 1237) [q. v.], who married Llywelyn of Wales.

[For John's early life the chief authorities are the Gesta Hen. II et Ric. I (Benedictus), vols. i. ii., ending at 1192, ed. Stubbs (Rolls Ser.); William of Newburgh (Engl. Hist. Soc.), ending 1197, and Richard of Devizes (Engl. Hist. Soc.), 1189-1192, both valuable for their accounts of John's struggle with Longchamp; Roger of Hoveden, vols. iii. iv. ed. Stubbs (Rolls Ser.), ending 1201 (see critical summary of the struggle with Longchamp in Introd. v. lll): Ralph Dicoto, vols. i. ii., ending 1202, ed. Stubbs (Rolls Ser.); Giraldus Cambrensis's notes on John's character in De Instruct. Principum (Angl. Christ. Soc.),and his account of his expedition to Ireland in De Expugn. Hibernica, ed. Brewer (op. v. Rolls Ser.); and some interesting personal notices in Magna Vita S. Hugonis (Rolls Ser.) For the reign the earliest and strictly contemporary authorities are the Barnwell Chron. in the Memoriale of Walter of Coventry (Rolls Ser.), beginning from 1201, on the value of which, with accounts of the character and reign of John, see the prefaces by Bishop Stubbs; Ralph of Coggeshall, who tells many of John's worst deeds without comment (Rolls Ser.), as is generally the case with Roger of Wendover (Engl. Hist. Soc.), who takes up tho St. Albans compilation at 1189, and from 1202 may be regarded as an independent authority; Matt. Paris, vol. ii. (Rolls Ser.), who interprets and edits Wendover's work, looking back on the reign in the light of later events, and speaking with the freedom of a later historian (he is violent against John, but there is no reason for doubting his truthfulness, see Dr. Luard's remarks in his edition of the Historia Major, vol. ii., and Bishop Stubbs in Introd. to Walter of Coventry, vol. ii.); Gervase of Cant. ed. Stubbs (Rolls Ser.), whose work ends 1210. Of the Ann. Monastici, vols. i-v. ed. Luard (Rolls Ser.), the Annals of Margam are useful, 1199-1212; those of Towkesbury are of some use after 1200; those of Burton contain a curious legendary account of a dialogue between John and the papal envoys in 1211; those of Waverley begin to be useful at the same date, those of Dunstable from 1210 onwards, while Wikes and Osney contain little. The Chron. of Lanercost (Bannatyne Club) should be consulted. Miss Norgate's Angevin Kings is invaluable down to the loss of Normandy. Bishop Stubbs's Const. Hist, and Select Charters,