Medieval Quilt II
Panel 1 - King John also had a power struggle with the Church, as the Pope claimed supremacy over all of Europe's kings. After the death of Archbishop Hubert Walter, Pope Innocent III in Rome wanted to appoint Stephen Langton to the role of Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest ranking position in the Church in England. King John was opposed to this because Stephen Langton was a known sympathiser with the Barons. This panel shows the King's knights expelling the monks from Canterbury Cathedral.
Panel 2 - The "Dear John" letter - Pope Innocent III was so annoyed with King John over the Stephen Langton issue, that he placed the Church in England under Interdict, which meant that no church services, no marriages, and no funerals were allowed to take place. This caused great hardship, as the only services allowed in the churches during Interdict were baptism and confession.
Panel 3 - Meanwhile, King Phillip II of France took advantage of the Pope's and King John's dispute and set forth to invade England to press his claim for the English throne. Phillip had supported Arthur's claim to the throne, and when Arthur died without producing an heir, Phillip believed that the throne should revert to France. He had plans to put his own son, Prince Louis, on the throne of England. In this panel Phillip's boats are preparing to leave Calais to invade England.
Panel 4 - In 1207 Pope Innocent III consecrated Stephen Langton to the role of Archbishop of Canterbury. King John was forced to submit to the authority of the Church and accept Stephen Langton's appointment when the Pope threatened him with excommunication. Stephen Langton was finally allowed into Canterbury in 1213.
Panel 5 - The Battle of Bouvines took place in July 1214 in Flanders, France. Although King John was in France at the time, he was not himself at the Battle of Bouvines. It was fought between an alliance of Imperial German, Flemish and English forces, led by King John's nephew, Emperor Otto IV of Germany, and the French forces, led by Phillip. The battle was a decisive victory for Phillip. Otto was deposed, and replaced by Frederick II Hohenstaufen, and King John's half-brother Renaud of Boulogne was taken prisoner by Phillip, as were Theobold I Duke of Lorraine , and Ferrand of Flanders. The battle effectively ended any claims King John had on his lands in Normandy and Brittany, and weakened his position in England against the Barons.
Panel 6 - Archbishop Langton reminded the Barons that their liberties and rights had been previously guaranteed under law by the Charter of Liberties, which was a written proclamation by Henry I, when he had ascended to the throne of England back in 1100. This panel shows the Barons meeting with King John to inform him that they were unhappy with his unfairness, to remind him of the Charter, and to make it clear they are considering writing their own charter of rights.
Panel 7 - King John was in no mood to negotiate with the rebellious Barons, which further infuriated them. This growing rift is symbolised in this panel by showing King John tearing up the Charter of Liberties while the Barons tear up the King's flag. To make matters worse, King John had spent all of the money he had extorted from them, as symbolised by the empty treasure chest in this panel.