The cinque ports in the reigns of King John and King Henry III, with a focus on the two civil wars of the thirteenth century
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Situated on the shores of the historic counties of Kent and Sussex on the South-East coast of England, the Cinque Ports were a group of port towns which provided ship service to the kings in exchange for certain privileges in the Middle Ages. Although the organization was originally made up of five port towns; Dover, Hastings, Hythe, Romney, and Sandwich, later additions were made, the most notable ones being the inclusion of Rye and Winchelsea in the late twelfth century. This thesis is a study of the Cinque Ports in the reigns of King John and King Henry III. The focal point of the study is the involvement of the Cinque Ports in the two civil wars of the thirteenth century, which took place in 1215-17 and 1264-7. The purpose of the thesis is to contextualize the actions of the Cinque Ports by comparing them in the two civil wars. In both of the civil wars, the Cinque Ports became a war zone, and their control was perceived as crucial by the main political actors. However, the difference in the political movements preceding the two civil wars, and the environmental changes in the Cinque Ports coastline led to the distinctness in their participation in the two civil wars.
King Henry III