I pretty much love and enjoy medieval history, today we are taking on Richard I. A king from medieval Britain.
Richard I is a personal favorite of mine when talking about the monarchs. But I also have some other favorites as well.
I want to talk about the whole story of Richard also known as the “Lionheart”. Three months ago I published a paper on him, but the problem is that it isn’t in an English language and I cannot share it with you. But I will try to add the most interesting parts of Richard and his life into this short post.
How Did All Begin?
Let’s start as Richard when he was a child. He was born with blue blood which made him get the best education, even though he isn’t much famous for his learning abilities. In the later years of his life he made a poem, but people say he wasn’t very good in that either.
Richard’s dynasty was from French origins it was believed that Richard didn’t know how to speak English.
Richard had two other brothers which were much older than him, this made it harder for Richard to claim the throne but he became a king anyway. One of his brothers died earlier which left two brothers who can claim the throne,
Henry II was Richards father and his mother was Eleanor of Aquitaine. The brother that came before Richard was called Henry and later he would be also known as “The Young King”.
In some sources says that Richard was a tall man with a lot of strength. He had a strong and healthy build contrary to his brother who was considered short.
Note that I won’t stick too much on the details here and there because there is a lot to talk about for each Monarch, but there was a revolt.
Richard’s brother Henry the Young King had the first claim to the throne and he wanted to press it. His father Henry II was still alive and his mother who was of French origin was believed that she pushed her sons in order to start a rebellion against their father.
Everything started when Henry and Richard rebelled against their father Henry. Before this happened Henry gave lands to his sons and was readying the throne for his son, but Henry the Young King didn’t wait.
The three brothers that rebelled against their father swore an oath with the French king Louis VII. He gave them support and they went to England in order to confront their father. Henry raised a good army and defeated his sons and with time won the rebellion. Richard was the first of the brothers to beg to his father to accept him back.
After this everything was getting back to normal but suddenly Henry the Young King died and Richard was the first claimant to the throne.
King Richard I
In 1189 his father Henry II died and Richard was soon to be king. He was crowned with the ceremony held in Westminster Abbey and there came a slight problem with the Jews, he had ordered all the Jews to be killed.
The problem with Richard is that he wanted an “adventure” of a sort. He didn’t care he had a big kingdom to run and started planning for the crusades, but why?
Well, Sala Ah Din (Saladin) captured Jerusalem in 1188 so it was expected there would be a third crusade. This was a king crusaded as well and three famous kings joined this crusade. They were Richard, Philip II and Barbarossa. The problem with this king crusades is that it’s too personal, they are looking out for their kingdom interests and political benefits, even though they have more organized armies.
He made a deal with Philip II and they started to move. But in the meantime, a new adventure is unlocked. The first being the island of Sicily. He wanted to conquer it because there was a slight problem with his sister, they wasted a whole year on this island and Philip got impatient.
After the failure of Sicily they went to Cyprus. Here Richard fought against the King of Cyprus and got the title and claim for the Island. This was a good thing because they can store supplies, etc. for the coast.
In the meantime the Holy Roman Emperor died while he was crossing a river, he “drowned”. This left French and English crusaders to take over the Holy City.
They soon moved over to the coast and started planning on taking the holy city. Here they tried to fight against Saladin, there were a lot of battles, not to get in detail in the Third Crusade, in the end, Saladin won. Before this Philip left for France because of health issues and Richard was left alone. He tried to negotiate with Saladin but it was a failure.
The Road Back
Richard was going home until there was a big bump on the road. There was an Austrian Noble Leopold which was in conflict with Richard back in the holy Land. Richard was captured by Leopold. He was being held hostage by this Austrian noble. But after some time he was passed to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI.
Even though they were excommunicated in the end they got a huge ransom for Richard.
He was held a prisoner for that time and now he finally went home.
Back at home he was stopping revolts and fighting against Philip. He got the nickname Lionheart for being brave. It’s interesting that he is more known by his nickname instead of his name.
But in the end, he got an arrow to his neck. This is how he died.
At a siege to the castle of Limousin, he was stopping a revolt. Late at night, he was riding his horse and an arrow struck his neck. Even though it wasn’t fatal in the moment this wound had a big effect afterward and he died.
This is silly because he was killed by a little boy, a boy called Pierre. This boy shot a crossbow, even though arrows were banned sometimes because nobles were worth alive more than dead. But this was a vendetta, the boy’s father and brother were killed by Richard and he wanted revenge.
He shot an arrow aiming at him, even though Richard forgave the boy, they murdered him afterward.
This is how a 10-year rule has ended, Richard died by the hands of a boy from a wound that got infected and couldn’t be treated. This was a huge blow looking from a historic aspect because after this his brother John will lose a lot of the central power and the king shall become a mere puppet to the other houses.