[MR] Wikipedia: The Woman Who Resisted Two Sieges

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 16 02:54:17 PDT 2019

Noble Friends,

While reading the book I mentioned some weeks ago, Catherine Hanley's
the 1217 siege of Lincoln Castle. The Constable of Lincoln castle and
Sheriff of Lincolnshire was a woman named Nicola de la Haie (or Haye /
Hale). Nicola had inherited these offices when her husband died in 1215,
though she was in her sixties. In 1216 she had attempted to cede the
offices to King John, but he ordered her to continue her service (he was
fast running out of allies, so this was a pretty good move on his part).

Several months later, the city of Lincoln was occupied by the forces of
Louis, Prince of France (the townspeople largely supported Louis against
King John). Nicola still held out in the castle with a small garrison, now
loyal to the boy king Henry III and his regent William Marshal. Louis sent
further forces to Lincoln to press the siege in May 1217. William Marshal
arrived to break the siege and the Second Battle of Lincoln was fought on
20 May 2017. Louis' troops were bottled up in the town between Marshal's
army and the castle garrison who sortied out to wreak havoc on the
retreating besiegers. The French commander Thomas, Count of Perche, died
before the gates of the castle.

This wasn't Nicola's first rodeo. She and her husband had supported Prince
John during his attempted coup against the regent Longchamps while Richard
the Lion Heart was in captivity. Longchamps besieged Lincoln while her
husband was off with John at Nottingham (supposedly dealing with Robin
Hood, if you believe the legends and Hollywood movies).

After the French were routed, Nicola continued her offices until 1226. Then
well past 70, she retired to an apartment within the castle until her death
in 1230.

Sadly, there is no book on Nicola de la Haie, though there is a bio-sketch
on this remarkable and courageous woman at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicola_de_la_Haie .

Yours Aye,

Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge  🦆

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