Richard the Lionheart (1157-1199)

Richard the Lionheart

1157 On September 8th, Richard I was born, the one who would have been known Richard the Lionheart, because of his reputation of a great army leader. He was the third son of Henry II and of Eleonora of Aquitaine. Even if he was born at Beaumont Palace, Oxford, England like all the other Plantagenets, Richard was half English, half French. When his parents separated, he remained with his mother in France.

1172 He became Duke of Aquitaine.

1173-1174 Unhappy, he started a revolt together with his brothers. These betrayed him and then supported a rebel against him in Aquitaine that is why he had conflicts with his brothers.

1189 He fought against his father and won the battle. After his father’s death he ascended the throne of England, but spent a big part of his time abroad.

1190 This year he left the country and joined the other royalties in the third crusade. On the way, he conquered Messina and Cyprus.

1191 He decided to get married to Beregaria of Navarra. While he was to Palestine, his brother John tried to take the power helped by France’s king, who had come back from crusade. Because he failed in Palestine, he hurried toward home in order to protect his throne.

1192 Enemies of royalties have emerged and Richard was taken prisoner to Durnstein, on December, by Leopold V of Austria. Legend says that troubadour Blondel of Nestle was found in this castle. Leopold gave him to German Roman Emperor, Henry VI, from who the king would redeem with a huge amount, recognizing the imperial suzerainty.

He returned to England after his long peregrinations, he defeated his intruder brother then went to France to face Phillip II August who had supported John.

1199 He died after a short time. The brave king would have had a spirited heart, but he did not prove qualities for a leader. But legends kept the image of a wronged by fate knight. The story would be taken in XIX century by British writer Walter Scott in his novel called “Ivanhoe”. If you want to find out more about Richard the Lionheart’s peregrinations, “Sicilian Vespers” by Steven Runciman would be a pleasant reading.



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