King of England from 1189 to 1199; Duke of Normandy; Duke of Aquitaine from 1172
ichard was born at Oxford in 1157. His father was Henry II (Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou and Duke of Aquitaine), and his mother was Eleanor of Aquitaine. At the age of fourteen Richard was given the title Duke of Aquitaine. He was well taught, could write in French and speak in Latin. He even cracked a joke in Latin at the expense of a lesser learned Archbishop of Canterbury and often fought in knight's tournaments. Eleanor decided that her duchy should go Richard and Richard became betrothed to Alice the second daughter of King Louis VII's second wife Constance.
Conflicts with his father
Problems arose between Richard and his father Henry as Henry did not want to give any kind of power him or his other sons. In 1173 Richard's brothers Henry (the Young King) and Geoffrey went to join Richard in Paris in an effort to rise up against their father. Their mother, Eleanor was captured by her husband's troops as she tried to join her sons in Paris and was held a prisoner until Henry's death. In May 1174, Richard seized the town of Saintes from his father but quickly lost it again to Henry II's superior forces and tactics. Henry (the Young King) and Geoffrey both returned to their father's side but Richard held out until he and Henry II met in Paris to settle their differences. Henry II then used Richard's new found military skills of siege warfare to put down rebellious barons in the Aquitaine area. In 1179 Richard took the supposedly impenetrable fortress town of Taillebourg within two weeks and his skills became famous.
The Young King became jealous of Richard's new found fame and fled the French court. Henry II tried to force Richard and Geoffrey to pay homage to their elder brother the Young King, but Richard refused to do so. Richard was being compelled to swear on some holy relic so stormed out. It was then the turn of the Young King and Geoffrey to try a subdue Richard. To achieve this, the Young King and Geoffrey sided with the barons but the barons were more interested in attacking Henry II not Richard. Again the tables were turned and Richard joined Henry II to subdue the Henry the Young King, Geoffrey and the barons.
Heir to the throne
In June 1183 Henry the Young King died of dysentery and Richard became heir to the throne. As Richard was now heir to the English throne Henry II hoped Richard would hand Aquitaine over to his youngest son John, but Richard refused. John joined Geoffrey against Richard but Richard won, leaving John the title 'John of Lackland'. In 1180 King Louis VII of France died and his son Philippe became king of France as Philippe II. Philippe was determined to make France great again and in 1187 Richard joined forces with him. Geoffrey died in a tournament in 1186 and in 1189 Henry II died at Chinon and was buried in the choir church of Fontevrault leaving Richard the new King of England. William Marshal, who served under Henry II and was favoured by Richard was sent to England to prepare for Richard's arrival. Queen Eleanor was freed from prison and was to reign until Richard arrived.
As King of England
On the 20th of July 1189 Richard was girded with the Ducal Sword, and in August Richard returned to England. Henry II's fortune was calculated at 100,000 marks. 24,000 marks were used instantly to buy peace with France. On the 3rd of September 1189 Richard was crowned in Westminster and on the 11th of December Richard began planning his Crusade by selling mansions and castles for funding. Richard had no children and in the event of his death, John his youngest brother or Geoffrey, Henry's illegitimate son could have become king. So Richard gave Geoffrey the title of Archbishop of York thus making it impossible for him to become king. He gave John land including Derbyshire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and the Norman county of Mortain. He also made John the Earl of Gloucester and banished him for three years to try and prevent him trying to take the throne. Richard nominated his nephew Arthur of Brittany as his successor even though Arthur was only four.
On the 4th of July 1190 Richard's Crusade began (...).
In March of 1199 Richard besieged the castle at Chalus where some treasure had been unearthed. Believing the treasure to be his own, Richard tried to take the castle but riding too close to the walls was shot in the shoulder. The castle then fell and the archer who shot Richard was brought before him. Richard forgave the archer but Richard's second in command had the archer executed. Richard died of his wounds due to the lack of proper medical attention. He had arranged that after his death his brain was to be buried in the abbey of Charroux (Poitou) and his heart in Rouen (Normandy) while the rest was to lie at the feet of his father in the abbey church of Fontevrault (Anjou). On his deathbed, Richard nominated his younger brother John as the heir to the throne.
|Father:||Henry (II, King of England 1154-1189) (b.1133 - d.1189)|
|Mother:||Eleanor (of Aquitaine) (b.1122 - d.1204)|
Do you want to explore a Saxon Hall, a medieval church or a large stone keep? Click the images below to enter a medieval world.
|1157||Sep 9||Richard (I) born at Oxford|
|Richard may have been born at the Palace of Beaumont in Oxford.|
|1169||12yrs||Betrothal of Richard and Alice|
|A marriage agreement was arranged between Prince Richard and the daughter of King Louis VII, bringing peace between England and France.|
|1172||Jun||15yrs||Richard become Duke of Aquitaine|
|In a ceremony held at the church of St. Hilary in Poitiers, Richard was granted the title of Duke of Aquitaine.|
|1174||May||17yrs||Richard (I) seizes the town of Saintes from his father, Henry II|
|Richard seized the town of Saintes from his father but soon lost it again as Henry's tactics and forces were more superior.|
Episode: Rebellion against Henry II
|Oct 11||Henry II reaches a peace agreement|
|After a year and a half of rebellion against him, Henry II achieved peace agreements with Louis the French king and his own three sons. (Treaty of Falaise?)|
Episode: Rebellion against Henry II
|1179||22yrs||Richard (I) takes the impenetrable fortress town of Taillebourg.|
|Within two weeks Richard broke the defences of the fortress town of Taillebourg. Henry II employed his son Richard to bring the rebellious barons of the Aquitaine area under control.|
|1183||Jun||26yrs||The Young King dies|
|Henry II's son Henry, crowned as the Young King, died of dysentery and Richard became heir to the English throne.|
|1187||Nov||30yrs||Richard takes the Cross. The Crusade|
|Richard took the Cross. Before going on a Crusade a vow was taken and the person was given a piece of cloth in the shape of a cross to be sown onto the surcoat. To go on a Crusade meant a person was granted a plenary indulgence which freed them from the terrors of purgatory and hell if they killed the enemy and gave them the promise of eternal life in heaven.|
Episode: The Third Crusade
|1188||Jan||31yrs||The 'Saladin Tithe'|
|Josias, the Archbishop of Tyre, found Henry II and Philippe II at Gisors and told them of the defeat at Hattin. Both kings agreed to peace terms and to contribute to a joint Crusade. It was decided to raise a new tax to pay for the endevour. This tax, known as the Saladin Tithe, was imposed on the people of England and France to raise funds for a new Crusade. But the truce between England and France did not last long enough for the planned joint crusade to get underway.|