On the 12th October 1216, King John set off from Lynn in Norfolk to Swineshead in Lincolnshire. Along the journey he parted company from his supply train to conduct some business at Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.
When he arrived at Swineshead he received news that the baggage train and all his treasures had been lost whilst crossing the Wellstream. This is history as it has been handed down to us by chroniclers, but is this what really happened?
Where was the Wellstream? Where did it happen? What was the background to the story? What was the treasure? Why was the king transporting it with him? Has anything ever been found? Who were the chroniclers? Was the coincident onset of the king’s illness at Swineshead (and death of the only 7 days later) tied to the mystery? Was he poisoned? Who was Brother Simon? Who was Robert de Gresley? Why were the Knights Templar so wealthy in the area? There are a lot of questions around the incident which I set out to uncover answers to in the book, coming up with a few theories of my own along the way.
On the eve of the 800 year anniversary of Magna Carta and the events surrounding this mystery, there is a renewed interest in King John and I suspect this will lead to a renewed interest in the fascinating subject of the king’s lost treasure. I hope that my research will contribute to that in some small way.