The 13th Century


1215- King John was forced to  approve the Magna Carta, much against his will. Richard and Gilbert where two of 25 barons allotted the job of keeping the King to his promises. But the peace that followed the sealing of Magna Carta, in June 1215, was to last just 10 weeks before John was on the warpath again. John got Rome to denounce the rebel-lious barons, including the de Clares, and brought in a band or foreign mercenaries to help him wreak his revenge. Just five months after he had put his name to England's great human rights pledge, he attacked and seized Tonbridge Castle and held it until his death the following year. It was returned in due coarse by his son, King Henry |||, with whose army Gilbert died fighting in France.

1230- Now in 1230, the scene was set for another argument with Canterbury. As Gilbert was dead, his son, another Richard was due to take over at Tonbridge but he was just eight years old.  King Henry therefore made Hubert de Burgh {Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports} protector of the castle, the town, the land and the little boy. The arch bishop Whetheshed was definitely not amused. He protested to the King and so did Arch-bishop Becket. It was 60 years earlier that Tonbridge came under his power. The King replied 'on the contrary,' the vacant trust of his earls, barons and their under-age heirs came under crown control he could therefore do what he liked with them.    

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