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King John: Worst king of

England?
Many people believe John to be a bad king and
possibly the worst, I think not, and the following
paragraphs will explain my opinion.

First off; Often, he was compared to his


brother/previous king; Richard the Lion-heart;
who was a good fighter, went on the crusades
and was overall the definition of a middle age
king which John was not as he was termed a poor
fighter. When you compare him to Richard it
shows how good he was.
Richard John
Was only in England for Was there for most of
6 months out of his his reign
whole reign.
Got the country in debt Tried very hard to get it
out of debt and also
introduced a new
finance system
Hardly spoke any Spoke English
English
The list is endless. He didn’t always lose battles;
he won some in Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Lastly all the sources at the time were written by
Monks and Church people who might be biast.
The reason why church people may be biast
started when John and the Pope started arguing
over who should be the next Archbishop of
Canterbury (This was not the first time there was
an argument between the church and the king,
John’s father was Henry the second, who argued
with Thomas Beckett.) John argued it should be
his choice as he would have to work with the
Archbishop and the Pope wouldn’t. John would
not back down. So in 1205 the Pope ordered all
churches to be closed down. John still would not
back down. The churches being closed was bad
news for the Villanes, who could not get married,
christen their children or bury their dead. You
may think that’s fine, they can wait, but back
then people took their church very seriously. If
their children could not be christened and then
died, they believed they would be sent to hell. If
they couldn’t bury their dead on church land
which they also believed to be bad. This lasted
for six years and John made a move during this
time that added to his un-popularity.

He took church land so he could get the rent


from any people living on it. This made him very
unpopular. Other things that made him
unpopular were: He lost most of the land in
Normandy and all his attempts to regain it failed,
the church matter and Arthur. Arthur was John’s
nephew and another candidate for the throne. He
was found dead in a castle in France and it was
later revealed that John was in the castle at the
same time, people were quick to blame John for
the death and accuse him of murder. His biggest
blow was when he was forced to sign the Magna
Carta. The Magna Carta consisted of 200 rules
mostly helping the Barons.

When you balance this all out, I believe that John


was just unlucky. The Arthur incident for
example, could just be a case of John being in the
wrong place at the wrong time. Sure, he did
some wrong things but they were only minute
things, him taking church land was a use of the
space, remember the church owned about a third
of British land.

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