Medieval Developments

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Unfortunately for the Lancea Sanctum, they had misjudged the extent to which the government of Britain would become centralised in Westminster. What had originally been focused on by the covenant as a centre of religion became increasingly a centre for secular human authority. Aware of the necessity to maintain a discreet existence, the Lancea Sanctum found themselves under pressure to move away from Westminster. The growth in population allowed them to do so, although this migration was not really completed until the 16th century, and since they started to leave Westminster has by and large been free from kindred influence. The Lancea Sanctum largely moved towards Holborn, relatively close to the site of the House of the Knights Templar. Though religious belief and the growth of many religious houses in London was occurring in the mortal world, the Lancea Sanctum in this period consolidated rather than grew. The move away from Westminster was a distraction, and it seemed that many kindred were interested in the more secular virtues of trade. That being said, outside of the old Roman city walls, the Lancea Sanctum remained easily the most influential body among kindred.

The increased influence of Westminster as a centre of mortal government was more helpful to the Invictus. The proximity of the court and government to the City meant that it flourished, and if kindred did travel it was to trade. In several decades following his claim of rule over the City, Richard of Lincoln codified a number of laws of behaviour which are still adhered to today;

  • Trades completed within the boundaries of this domain shall be recorded, and such record shall be final and binding.
  • The Lord Mayor shall be final arbiter over dispute within this domain. No other authority has the right to make proclamation save the Lord Mayor or his herald.
  • Feeding within this domain is forbidden save to the Lord Mayor and his childer.
  • Kindred shall not involve themselves in the mortal government of this domain.

1315 saw a crisis in Richard's rule of the City. A document purporting to have been written by him, and bearing his seal, made announcement that he had gifted a significant acreage within the domain to a kindred named Sarah Taunton. She had only recently arrived in London, and established kindred were appalled. For three weeks she instigated a draconian regime within "her" domain, causing the deaths of two kindred. It was only when Richard was discovered imprisoned and near starving that the situation was resolved. Sarah had managed to isolate Richard and control him for a brief time, and had then used his seal to make proclamation in his name. She was executed, and Richard made an addition to his laws;

  • No proclamation, regardless of whom it is attributed to, shall be binding within this domain lest it be made publically, at a formal gathering of kindred, and in person.

It was important for Richard to attempt to maintain his authority, particularly in light of the developments during this period in the mortal world. From the signing of the Magna Carta to the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, the idea of a different type of government impinged on immortal society as it did mortal. Though he had never claimed the title of Prince, and in fact his rule mirrored that of the commune system established and confirmed for London in the Magna Carta, there were still whisperings of change. There were a small number of kindred who believed in a more representative style of governance. These individuals were a significant minority, but it appears that in the aftermath of the Peasant's Revolt they succeeded in taking advantage of the upheaval in the City to seize control. Richard's position had been weakened not only be the crisis of 1315, but by the plagues of 1348, 1361, 1369 and 1375 which had all but halved London's population.

Richard had ruled the City of London for 178 years, yet he was ultimately betrayed by his eldest childe, Julian, who had some sympathy with the desire for a different style of government. He still took the title of Lord Mayor, but acted as part of an informal council of five. Though it is not really accurate to call the members of this council Carthians, such ideas were still some centuries in the future, they did enact some policy to make it easier for the voice of younger and less influential kindred to be heard. Edicts to protect the work and skills of specialised kindred - craftsmen and the like - were made.

Julian had sufficient support to seize power, but not, in the end, to hold it. It was too early for some of the ideas he and his allies wanted to put forward. Their reign lasted only five years, and it is believed Julian fled the city as his situation became increasingly untenable. The Invictus took strong control of the City once more and, realising the need for renewed stability, worked to ensure relative peace during most of the 15th century.

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