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Richard I

Richard I

b. 8 Sep 1157, Oxford, England
d. 6 Apr 1199, Châlus, Aquitaine

Title: Dominus Anglorum (Lord of the English) [to 3 Sep 1189] [1]
  Dei Gracia Rex Anglorum et Dux Normannorum et Aquitanorum et Comes Andegavorum (By the Grace of God, King of the English and Duke of the Normans and Aquitanians and Count of the Angevins) [3 Sep 1189 - 6 Apr 1199]
Term: 3 Sep 1189 - 6 Apr 1199
Chronology: 3 Sep 1189, crowned, Westminster Abbey
  6 Apr 1199, died
Names/titles: Duke of Aquitaine [from 11 Jun 1172, formally installed]; Count of Poitou [from 1172]; byname: the Lion-Heart, or Lion-Hearted; French: Richard Cœur de Lion
Biography:
The third son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard received the duchy of Aquitaine and county of Poitou, part of the Angevin continental possessions, which remained the sphere of his primary interest to the end of his life. He joined his brothers, Henry the "Young King" and Geoffrey, in rebellion against their father (1173-1174), who invaded Aquitaine to submit Richard. In 1183 Richard quarreled with the brothers and his own Gascon subjects, who rebelled against his harsh rule in Aquitaine. The death of the "Young King" (11 Jun 1183) left Richard the heir of most Angevin lands. The intention of Henry II to yield Aquitaine to Richard's youngest brother, John (afterwards King John), brought about the war between the aging king and his son. Chased by Richard and his French allies, Henry II conceded to peace (4 Jul 1189).The death of Henry II (6 Jul 1189) freed Richard from uneasy relationship with his father and added England, Normandy and Anjou to his possessions. He was invested as Duke of Normandy on 20 Jul 1189 at Rouen and landed in England on 12 Aug 1189. [2] He governed as Lord of the English until 3 Sep 1189, when he was anointed as a new king at Westminster Abbey. In ten years of his reign Richard visited England twice, spending only six months on English soil. [3] The greatest ambition of his life was a crusade in the Holy Land, which he joined in 1190. Before he landed in Palestine, Richard infuriated the Germans by interfering in the affairs of Sicily and his plans to marry his nephew, Arthur of Brittany, to the daughter of Sicilian king. In 1191 he conquered Cyprus, which was finally sold to Guy of Lusignan. Richard participated in the successful siege of Acre, but he never achieved the ultimate goal of the Third Crusade - the capture of Jerusalem. On his way home, Richard was seized by his sworn enemy, Leopold of Austria and spent more than a year in imprisonment. He was transferred to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI and ransomed at a colossal amount of 150,000 marks of silver. He returned to England in early 1194. After a ceremony at Winchester Cathedral (17 Apr 1194) [4], Richard departed for Normandy, where he waged war on Philippe II of France. [5] He was wounded by a crossbow bolt during the siege of Châlus and died without legitimate heirs in the 42nd year of his age. Biography source: [6; 7; 8]

[1] Richard reached the place of King Henry's death before Henry was buried, and was there and then acknowledged as Lord of the English by the barons.
[2] Richard's mother, Queen Eleanor, and William Marshal carried out administration prior to his landing in England on 12 Aug 1189.
[3] Chief Justiciar William Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, carried out administration in the absence of Richard I (12 Dec 1189 - 13 Mar 1194).
[4] The ceremony at Winchester Cathedral on 17 Apr 1194 was a "crown-wearing" possibly intended to downplay any diminution of sovereignty occurred from Richard's doing homage to the Holy Roman Emperor for the kingdom of England.
[5] Chief Justiciar Hubert Walter, Bishop of Canterbury, carried out administration in the absence of Richard I (12 May 1194 - 6 Jun 1199).
[6] Handbook of British Chronology (1986)
[7] "Richard I", by John Gillingham (Yale Univ. Press 1999).
[8] "England under the Angevin Kings", by Kate Norgate (Macmillan, London 1987).
  Image: tomb effigy of King Richard I, Fontevrault Abbey, Anjou.

This page was last updated on: 14 Mar 2010 03:57:22

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