King John died in 1216 â 800 years ago. A few years after his death, the medieval chronicler Matthew Paris wrote about him that âfoul as it is, Hell itself is made fouler by the presence of King Johnâ.
His reputation has not improved over the centuries: King John is seen today as a cardboard villain â the archetypal Bad King â remembered chiefly for being such a tyrant that his barons rebelled and forced him to grant Magna Carta. But why does John have this terrible reputation? And is it fair?
Weâre hosting a free panel event to discuss King Johnâs career and reputation, featuring three world experts on him. The event is in Kew at 18:00Â on Tuesday 18 October â the 800th anniversary of the day on which John died. Continue reading »