Battles and Dynasties exhibition is a hit with visitors!


The Battles and Dynasties exhibition currently showing at The Collection and Lincoln Castle presents a fascinating array of historic documents, illuminated manuscripts and artefacts, including royal portraits and Domesday Book.

Visitors are flocking through the doors and enjoying the treasures on display.

“Superb exhibition. Reading the original manuscripts puts one a heartbeat away from the authors. We need to see more of this in Lincoln.” (visitor to The Collection)

The exhibition has a particular focus on the Battle of Lincoln, and events taking place in the city and castle of Lincoln on that fateful day in May 1217. Contemporary manuscripts and archives show the parts played by, among others, the Regent, William Marshal, whose knightly valour was admired on all sides, and the Constable of Lincoln Castle, the remarkable Nichola de la Haye.  These exhibits are then set in a wider context.  Taking as its starting point the Norman Conquest of 1066, the exhibition traces the ups and downs of the ruling dynasty, with particular attention to those times when the succession to the throne was challenged by battle, rebellion or a monarch’s lack of heirs.

Among these events are the first Battle of Lincoln in 1141 when King Stephen was defeated and captured by the forces of the Empress Matilda, his rival for the throne.  Later flashpoints for the English throne came with the overthrow of Richard II in 1399 and the usurpation of Henry of Bolingbroke – the only English king born in Lincolnshire – as King Henry IV, and the subsequent struggle between the houses of Lancaster and York culminating in the defeat of King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

The fluctuating fortunes of the ruling dynasty are equally evident in the post-medieval period.  Other exhibits illustrate the civil war and the execution of King Charles I in 1649, the flight of King James II in 1688 and the subsequent Glorious Revolution establishing the primacy of Parliament, the Jacobite rebellions of the eighteenth century, and the premature death in 1817 of Princess Charlotte, only child of King George IV, which led to the eventual succession of Queen Victoria.

Visit the exhibition and find out more about the battles and dynasties that have shaped this country.

Iconic items on loan from collections from around the country and overseas are on display until 3rd September 2017, including royal portraits loaned by Her Majesty the Queen, and other artefacts from the National Archives, the British Library, the Lambeth Palace Library, the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Society of Antiquaries, Eton College, and many other public and private collections.

Highlights include Domesday Book, royal portraits of Elizabeth I, Victoria, and Elizabeth II, illustrations and manuscripts from the 1217 Battle of Lincoln, and the 1217 Charter of the Forest, plus:

The 13th century, near contemporary Matthew Paris Chronicle will be on display which depicts the famous 1217 Battle of Lincoln.

Act of Settlement 1701, which brought a close to the upheavals of the 17th century and laid the foundations for the Hanoverian succession.

Domesday Book – This iconic document was commissioned by William the Conqueror in 1086 and today is the earliest surviving public record. The Domesday Book is on loan from its permanent home at The National Archives, London.

Hans Holbein’s Drawings of Anne Boleyn and John Fisher

Illuminated Bible of Henry IV

Instrument of Abdication of Edward VIII

Mary Tudor’s Book of Devotions

Mary Queen of Scots’ Death Warrant

Richard III’s Prayer Book which was taken by the king to the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.

Van Dyck’s Triple Portrait of Charles I

William Marshal Manuscript

Will of Henry V

The exhibition is on display mostly in The Collection, with Domesday Book exhibited in Lincoln Castle’s David PJ Ross Magna Carta Vault.