John (24 December 1167 – 19 October 1216) reigned as King of England from 6 April 1199, until his death. John acquired the nicknames of “Lackland” for his lack of an inheritance as the youngest son and for his loss of territory to France, and of “Soft-sword” for his alleged military ineptitude. As a historical figure, John is best known for acquiescing to the nobility and signing Magna Carta, a document that limited his power and that is popularly regarded as an early first step in the evolution of modern democracy.
Rev. C. Arthur Lane Illustrated Notes on English Church History (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1901)