On this week in Lincoln: Swan preservation

— On this week in Lincoln is part of a new series, reflecting each week on different highlights throughout Lincoln’s history. This week, Josh Francis looks at the history of the city swans, and a royal birth in the county.

This week in history, two events happened in the county of significance.

In 1524 on May 24, Henry VIII commissioned Lord Sir Christopher Wyllaby, Sir Edmund Dimock and other Justices of the Peace to confirm the preservation of swans on the River Witham.

The commission laid down documentation which identified the ownership of swans by the king — and currently the queen.

It entailed the investigation of ditches and any tributaries. It also included any ponds or streams in the counties.

Through the commission, regulations were also put down to ensure the conservation of fishing, including nets and the use of dogs.

To help with the preservation of swans, it was also decreed that thatching or cutting of the grasslands was allowed within 40 yards of a swan nest.

Meanwhile in 1351 at Bolingbroke Castle, Henry the IV was born.

In 1399 Henry usurped the throne from Richard the II — though despite this, his claim as king was not widely recognised, especially by King Charles VI of France.

Henry spent much of his reign trying to gain control of his lands from various revolts and of course, the plague in 1400.

Henry died in 1413 from exhaustion.