FRIDAY KNIGHTS - John de Balliol (? - 1268)

The coat of arms of Sir John de Balliol
The coat of arms of Sir John de Balliol
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Keen local historian Jon Gunson has compiled this series entitled Friday Knight - knights who fought at the Battle of Lewes - giving each a brief biography.

Sir John was captured at Lewes, but escaped, and rejoined the King.

He was a powerful and influential Scots noble - protector of the young Alexander III, counsellor to Henry III, and, for a few years, Sheriff of Nottingham. He provided much of the money to found Balliol College, Oxford. His son became King John the First of Scotland, but was so much under the thumb of Edward I of England that his subjects referred to him as ‘Toom Tabard’ - the Empty Coat.