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Was King John underrated and misunderstood or simply "bad" - told by Carolyn Clarke of Worcester u3a

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This event will be held online via Zoom and is for u3a members only.

Ever since Carolyn visited King John’s tomb at Worcester Cathedral more than 50 years ago and was told by the guide that he was the most wicked king to ever rule this country, King John has held a fascination for her. Not only does the Cathedral house the King’s last Will and Testament, but also the grisly remains of his teeth and thumb. Even in death John caused strife and did not rest peacefully, with several other cathedrals and monasteries arguing over the possession of his body, which had been exhumed several times by the beginning of the twentieth century.

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Carolyn Clarke – During 2015, which marked 800 years from when King John signed (and reneged on) Magna Carta, Carolyn, who trained as an historian and has always been interested in the problems and questions surrounding our past, made trips to all the places strongly associated with King John, including Salisbury and Lincoln Cathedrals and the small Lincolnshire village of Swinshead, where the King became gravely ill. During her research, Carolyn came across all manner of interesting people and opinions as well as discovering quite an amount of myth and folklore surrounding the King, with the year 2015 seeing a proliferation of books and theories about him, including some revisionism of the notion that King John was a ‘bad King’.

During this talk, Carolyn will look forward to sharing her studies and hopes to go some way to answering the question as to whether King John was underrated and misunderstood, or just simply ‘bad’.

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