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The Lord's Knight

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We've revised and added considerably to the piece called The Knight. Along the way, we've made some interesting discoveries into the ideas that impelled the knight-barons to ride in what they called "God's Army" to Runnymede.

They were certainly a self-interested group of characters, and have been studiously painted as such by modern historians. If you examine their list of personal grievances against John - his taking of children as hostages, his murder of a mother and brother, his rapacious taxes - you might almost see them as victims. Undoubtedly they would be presented as victims today.

The knight-barons were angry and frustrated, but anger and frustration alone did not bring them to Runnymede or create Magna Carta. Each of them had a grievance against John, but it was more than their personal grievances that inspired them or they could not have created anything so great.

We examine their secret meeting at Bury St Edmunds on 20 November 1214, which was reported by several chroniclers alive at the time, and the fears and ideals that moved them. We continue the story of William Marshal, which we began when he was a young hostage.

We describe the one man on whom the knights could count. He had defended them from the king once before. For their sakes, and the cause of justice, he would defy the Pope. He is the Lord's Knight.

The Knight begins here.

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