Sleaford Castle, Crownless King

Little remains of Sleaford Castle. It is now essentially parkland, chiefly frequented by dogwalkers and bored teens. The undulating earthworks and occasional ruined wall hint at the site’s former importance. It was here, in October 1216 that King John stayed the night. It is fair to say that John was not in a good mood. The day before, he had lost his crown in the wash. More accurately, he has lost his treasury, gold and crown jewels in the Wash, the tidal mudflats near Lincolnshire’s Sutton Bridge. He was a pretty poor monarch at the best of times, but that night spent at Sleaford must have given him further time for reflection. I suspect the main, St Edward’s Crown was later used to crown his son, so that was saved, but the rest remain missing to this day, fascinating treasure hunters and occultists as they seek their whereabouts. So there was John, a king without a crown, whose contracting of dysentery would shortly render his a kingdom without a king.

The Christian is somewhat different. In the Wash we lose our dishonour, pride and selfishness, that a crown might be gained. We live among the ruins and earthworks, not looking back to a glory gone but a glory not yet seen. We are kings and priests who are not losing a kingdom but gaining one.

Miserable John must have looked back on his reign and wept, if he was capable of crying. Though now we groan and suffer, the best, we know, is yet to come.

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 2 Tim 4:8

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay