Bowland's link to Magna Carta to be revealed in Lancaster University academic Dr Sophie Ambler's Lord of Bowland lecture at Browsholme Hall

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The story of a rebellious Lord will be revealed at the annual Lord of Bowland lecture.

The free lecture will be given by Lancaster University academic Dr Sophie Thérèse Ambler at Browsholme Hall, near Clitheroe, on October 4.

Entitled ‘John de Lacy: Rebel, Crusader, Lord of Bowland in the Age of Magna Carta’ the lecture will explore the role and influence of the 5th Lord of Bowland during the early 13th century.

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Historian Dr Sophie AmblerHistorian Dr Sophie Ambler
Historian Dr Sophie Ambler

Dr Ambler is Reader in Medieval History and Deputy Director of the Centre for War and Diplomacy at Lancaster University. She currently holds a Philip Leverhulme prize in history and is a Visiting Fellow at All Souls, Oxford.

She will detail how John de Lacy’s career offers a window onto the wider medieval world and how the lives of ordinary people and their landscape were transformed, both in Bowland and across England, at this time.

The determined Lord, who rebelled against monarch King John, played a leading role in key events in the Middle Ages. He was one of twenty-five barons responsible for enforcing Magna Carta in 1215.

He was also an active Lord of Bowland. This local role took on new importance with the introduction of the Forest Charter, which promised to reduce the royal forest dramatically. The King insisted his barons offer the same terms to their tenants in their private forests.

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Although pressured by the people of Bowland to abandon his forest rights John de Lacy staunchly resisted.

This is the eleventh annual lecture instigated by William, 16th Lord of Bowland, who will introduce the evening. Funds raised from donations at the event will be donated to two local charities – Slaidburn Archive, which records the history of the Hodder Valley and Champion Bowland, which supports projects benefiting the environment, local communities and visitors to the Forest of Bowland. Champion Bowland raises funds from visitor donations, charitable activities and other sources.

The event is fully booked but to join the waiting list for tickets email Sandra Silk at [email protected]

Lancashire’s Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of 46 AONBs in England, Wales and Northern Ireland For more about AONBs see

The Bowland uplands, near Longridge, Lancaster and Clitheroe, were designated as an AONB in 1964.

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