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In a time when men fought and women stayed home, Nicholaa de la Haye held Lincoln Castle against all-comers. Not once, but three times, earning herself the ironic praise that she acted 'manfully'.
Nicholaa gained prominence in the First Baron's War, the civil war that followed the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215. Although recently widowed, and in her 60s, in 1217 Nicholaa endured a siege that lasted over three months, resisting the English rebel barons and their French allies. The siege ended in the battle known as the Lincoln Fair, when 70-year-old William Marshal, the Greatest Knight in Christendom, spurred on by the chivalrous need to rescue a lady in distress, came to Nicholaa's aid.
Nicholaa de la Haye was a staunch supporter of King John, remaining loyal to the very end, even after most of his knights and barons had deserted him.
A truly remarkable lady, Nicholaa was the first woman to be appointed sheriff in her own right.
Her strength and tenacity saved England at one of the lowest points in its history.
Nicholaa de la Haye is one woman in English history whose story needs to be told...