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* THE ORIGINAL ACRYLIC STUDY (Preparatory Work for the Finished Painting THE GREAT SIEGE) BY ARTIST MARK CHURMS. Color Sketch on Canvas board, Image Size: 9 inches high x 12 inches wide.
medieval catsles, knights, warriors, greek fire, art prints, mark churms, posters, pictures, John Lackland King of England is last of the Angevin line and successor to his older brother King Richard the Lionhearted. He is unjust and very unpopular with many of his nobles and barons; many of whom openly revolt against him. Under arms, they force him to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede on June 15, 1215, which guarantees certain rights for the nobility and limits the absolute power of the corrupt king. However, once free from their grasp, John dissolves this agreement (which he reluctantly signed under duress). In response the rebel barons offer the English Crown to Prince Louis of France, if he will come and take it from John. In 1216, Prince Louis assembles a large fleet and arrives on English soil. He first takes Rochester Castle, which guards the approaches to London and then turns his attentions towards Dover. He lands nearby at Thanet in May of 1216. Surprised by the initial invasion, King John heads for Winchester leaving Hubert de Burgh and 140 trusted knights, loyal to the king to defend Dover Castle against the rebel barons and French invaders. Dover Castle is built on the site of an old Iron-Age hill fort above the white cliffs and had been heavily developed late in the previous century by King Henry II. However both Richard and John had also added to these formidable defense works, which guard the main port on the English Channel. In front of the North gate (built by John) and separated from the main stone castle by a wide ditch is a fortified wooden barbican which guards approach to the castle entrance. This is a large, strong concentric castle of walls within walls. It has strong towers, many of the latest design and is ready to receive any army that comes to try and take it by force.