In 1214, on this day John Lackland King of England brought the twelve year old Angevin-Flanders War to a decision with a glorious victory against his rival Philip II of France at the Battle of Bouvines.
Battle of BouvinesWhich was fortunate for the House of Plantagenet, because the treasury had been exhausted despite the unprecented levels of taxation revenue that had been raised from the barony. Sensing that their simmering resentment could easily lead to civil war, John recalled the army to march through the capital and stamp his authority on the country.
And in a meadow by the River Thames, he forced the reluctant barons to sign a great charter. Due to its broad definition of the "free man" this historic document is generally considered to be the cornerstone of modern English government.