King John’s Right Hand Lady: The Story of Nicholaa de la Haye

The Collection welcomes Sharon Bennett Connolly’s long awaited book about Nicholaa de la Haye, an important figure in Lincoln’s history on Saturday 20th May at 7pm.

The book uncovers the life of Nicholaa de la Haye, a woman instrumental to Norman and Plantagenet England who shaped some of the most significant events in English medieval history.

Nicholaa was appointed the first female Sheriff in England by King John, hours before his death in October 1216. She successfully defended Lincoln Castle in no less than three sieges, halting a French invasion in doing so. The book also aims to understand why Nicholaa stayed beside one of the most hated Kings in English history. Why did an intelligent and powerful woman support King John until the very end? 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’.

Sharon Bennett Connolly has been fascinated by history her whole life. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Sharon has studied history academically and just for fun – and even worked as a tour guide at historical sites.

Sharon writes her own blog,, researching and writing about the stories that have always fascinated, concentrating on medieval women. Her books include, Defenders of the Norman Crown, Heroines of the Medieval World, Silk and the Sword, The Women of the Norman Conquest and Ladies of Magna Carta. Sharon regularly gives talks on women’s history; she is a feature writer for All About History magazine and her TV work includes Australian Television’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’

Tickets are available at £7 standard ticket / £29 single ticket including book / £32 couple ticket including book.