The Rebel Barons of 1264 and the Commune of London: An Oath of Mutual Aid
English Historical Review
In March 1264, the commune of London, led by its mayor Thomas fitz Thomas, allied with twenty other leading rebels to swear an oath of mutual support. This oath was mentioned by one contemporary chronicler. This article transcribes and translates this hitherto unpublished oath. It examines the significance of the agreement the rebels entered into, which was sworn just six weeks before the battle of Lewes. It analyses the text, placing it alongside other contemporary oaths in order to understand more fully its contents. Through detailed study of the oath’s unique witness list, it seeks to shed new light on the motivations and sympathies of many leading rebels of the day. Lastly, the article discusses what can be learnt about the attitudes of one of the leading chroniclers of the period of baronial reform and rebellion.
6th October 2018