The Loss of Mountsorrel Castle & the Battle of Lincoln 1217

King John the first resident King of the Normans/Anglo line from 1199 - 1216 managed a reasonable but uneasy peace as he restored the treasury and his reserves, this after King Richard had bankrupt England with his Crusades to the Holy Lands.
Johns taxes on the Anglo/Norman Barons became more oppressive or at least demanding. John wanted more action in France to retrieve his Norman domains, he got the same reaction from his barons as the much later Henry V got prior to his Agincourt venture.
The first Barons rebellion led by Robert Fitzwalter was in 1212 in which John handled with relative ease. Fitzwalter fled to France, Vesci, his cohort befriended the Scottish King William. The reinstated Barons arose again in 1215 led again by Lord Robert Fitzwalter ( Fitzwalter had returned from France he and Vesci were now supported by King Alexander of Scotland) along with Eustace de Vesci and Saire de Quincy these and others were the instigators of the 2nd rebellion.
King John played political games which would make modern politicians look like amateurs. He played Baron against Baron, Baron against Pope and the Pope against the King of France. John trod a fine line of promises, promises, which like most politicians, he never kept, but was always in command.
The Barons appealed to the French King Phillipe to help against the progressive abuse from John. King Phillipe was presented with a glorious opportunity.
John kept up his onslaught of the Barons, he wrecked their estates, took more hostages and redistributed the power.
At that time there were 197 Lay Baronies, plus 39 Ecclesiastical 236 in all. The Lay Baronies were held by 45 Barons who maintained 140 castles. The total 236 were divided into 7200 Knights fees or Lordships - a Knights fee being a manor or tenure with sufficient income to support a Knight.
Of the 45 Barons only 24 were in revolt and they were all related and acted as a clan, the other 21 either remained neutral or were on the side of the King and only interested in preserving their fiefs. As for the great mass of Englishmen, each man was bound by fealty to his Lord and followed his Banner, no matter how vacillating that might be.


Banner of Saire de Quincy

"Who were the Barons that now impose limits upon tyranny and place themselves in the vanguard of liberty" When one reads the many accounts of the 24 Barons, one is very disappointed to discover that there are but meager records about many of them.
The men who, one must believe were the framers and instigators of the Magna Charta and active in its authorship, were 1) Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury , William Marshall, who remained the counselor of King John  (not one of the  24)  Roger Bigod, Saire de Quincey and Possibly William de Huntingfield and Richard de Mountfichet.
Saire de Quincey, Robert Fitzwalter and companions of the Magna Charta Sureties were mostly military leaders and landed magnates. If the records of their lives give no clues to the greatness of their minds, the importance of what they proposed, we have to be eternally grateful to them for recognizing its significance and enforcing it.
The Following is in order in which the Barons names are appended to
The Magna Charta

       Richard de Clare   (Earl of Hertford)
William de Fortibus   (Earl of Albemarle)
Geoffrey de Mandeville   (Earl of Essex and Gloucester)
Saire de Quincy   (Earl of Winchester)
Henry de Bohum   (Earl of Hereford)
 Roger Bigod   (Earl of Norfolk and Suffolk)
Robert de Vere   (Heir to the earldom of Oxford)
William Marshall Jnr.   (Heir to the earldom of Pembroke)
Robert Fitzwalter   (Lord of Dunmow Castle)
Gilbert de Clare   (Heir to the earldom of Hertford)
Eustace de Vesci   (Lord of Alnwick Castle)
  Hugh Bigod     (Heir to the earldoms of Norfolk and Suffolk)
William de Mowbray   (Lord of Axholme Castle)
 William Hardell   (Mayor of the City of London)
  William de Lanvallie  (Lord of Standway Castle)
 Robert de Roos   (Lord of Hamlake Castle)
John de Lacie    (Lord of Pontefract Castle)
 Richard de Percy
 John Fitzrobert   (Lord of Warkworth Castle)
William Mallet   (Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset)
Geoffrey de Saye
  Roger de Montbegon   (Lord of Hornby Castle)
  William de Huntingfield   (Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk)
Richard de Montfichet
William d'Albini   (Lord of Belvoir Castle)These are the modern names the original names are in latin


              Picture showing the Arms of Saire de Quincy on the shield

King John on the 15th June 1215 was forced to sign the Magna Charta this quickly turned into a dynastic war for the throne of England. The Barons faced with a very powerful King who had been forced to sign, turned to the son of the King of France, Louis for help. Louis landed in England on May 21st. 1216 and marched to London where he was openly received by the Rebel Barons and the citizens of London. Many of King Johns supporters, sensing a tide of change, moved to support the Barons.
Gerarld of Wales remarked; "The madness of slavery is over, the time of liberty has been granted, English necks are free from the yoke"
John died in the middle of the war on October 18th 1216, this quickly changed the nature of the war.His nine year old son Henry was next in line for the throne. The Royalists believed the rebel Barons would find the idea of loyalty to the child Henry more palatable than loyal to Louis and so the child was crowned in late October. On November 12th 1216 Magna Charta was reissued in Henrys name with some of the clauses, including clause 61 omitted. The revised charter was signed by the young Kings Regent William Marshal.
Having appropriated the rebels cause, the military defeat of Louis came soon after and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Lambeth in 1217 and the withdrawal of Louis to France.
William Marshal not one of the 25 Barons and did not oppose King John but was at the original signing, his part was one of intermediatory he was the supreme man for the hour when John died, leaving as his heir a boy of nine during the time when one half the Kingdom was in the hands of the French King
during the civil war. William Marshal was entrusted with the task of guarding the safety of the young King, whom he personally Knighted, he was appointed
"Guardian of the King and Realm" the new Protector and Regent of England. He recruited and reinforced the already powerful Royal Anglo/Norman army with mercenaries and the Anglo/Norman Barons.
In 1217 William Marshal took Saire de Quincy's Castle at Mountsorrel and totally destroyed it.

Saire de Quincy was at Lincoln Castle at the time with the Count de Perche. There are several conflicting reports of the battle that subsequently took place, but the sequence of events appears to be as follows -:
Marshal with the Royal army was arrayed on a flat piece of land to the north west of the castle in four divisions commanded by 1) Ranulph de Blundeville
2) William Marshal and his sons (William the elder had formally sided with the rebel Barons as had William Longespee,the natural son of King Henry II and Fair Rosamund, Ida de Tosny), the fourth division by Peter de Roches, the warlike Bishop of Winchester.
Saire de Quincy and Robert Fitzwalter, went out of the castle to reconnoiter
They returned to report to the Count de Perche that they outnumbered the Royalist army and that the upper hand and should have the battle on open ground this was good advice as records give 611 Knights and 1000 foot soldiers to the rebels and 406 knights and 317 cross bowmen to the Royalists. However the Count de Perche did not trust the English Barons and refused to risk battle in the open and instructed his men to barricade themselves behind the city walls (A full account of the battle can be found in the story of Lincoln Castle by Sheila Sancha) 


When the Battle was over, the looting began and the Royalists took vengeance on the city, the churches were ransacked and the terrified citizens ran for their lives. It is recorded that the streets ran red with the blood of women and children. The event became known as the Battle of Lincoln Fair.
As for Saire de Quincy and Robert Fitzwalter they were taken prisoners, but released to go on crusade to the Holy Lands Saire de Quincy died after the Battle of Damietta in 1219, Robert Fitzwalter returned to England and died peacefully in 1235.
Roger de Quincy the second son of Saire who had accompanied his father on the crusades returned to England to take over his fathers properties in 1221, he became the 2nd Earl of Winchester and Constable of Scotland after his mothers death in 1235.