King John(1167-1216), Reigned 1199-1216
Sitter associated with 29 portraits
Famous as the king who granted the Magna Carta in 1215, John was the youngest and favourite son of Henry II. He succeeded his brother Richard I (the Lionheart) as king in 1199 and his reputation has always suffered in comparison. Known as 'Lackland' or 'Softsword', he lost control of crown territory in Northern France in 1205 after a lengthy war. John's defeat and the high taxes raised to support the campaign sparked a rebellion amongst his barons at home. Civil unrest continued until John's death in 1216.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below
after Unknown artist
line engraving, mid 19th century
published by Illustrated London News
wood engraving, published 4 February 1854