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 Britroyals

House of Angevin - King Richard I The Lion Heart


Name: King Richard I The Lion Heart
Father: Henry II
Mother: Eleanor of Aquitaine
Born: September 8, 1157 at Beaumont Place, Oxford
Ascended to the throne: July 6, 1189 aged 31 years
Crowned: 2/3 September, 1189 at Westminster Abbey
Married: Berengaria, Daughter of Sancho V of Navarre
Died: April 6, 1199 at Limousin, France, aged 41 years, 6 months, and 27 days
Buried at: Fontevraud, France

Richard was the third son of Henry II. He twice rebelled against his father before he became King of England in 1189, but based himself in his Duchy in Aquitaine inherited from his mother Eleanor. He spent only six months of his reign in England and spoke only French. He appointed William Longchamp as Chancellor of England during his absence but he was overthrown by Richard’s brother John.

Richard acquired a reputation as a leader and warrior becoming known as Richard ‘The Lion Heart’ or ‘Coeur de Lion’. His experience in warfare came from controlling rebellions in Poitou in the 1170s and against his father, Henry II, in 1183. He took up Henry's plans to recover Jerusalem on his accession in 1189 and set out to establish bases for crusades in Sicily in 1190 and Cyprus, which he took in 1191. Engaging in the siege of Acre, which he brought to a swift conclusion, he set off down the coast to Jaffa, conducting a fighting march against Saladin.

In the third Crusade 1191–92 he won victories at Cyprus, Acre, and Arsuf (against Saladin), but failed to recover Jerusalem. While returning overland he was captured by the Duke of Austria, who handed him over to the emperor Henry VI. He was held prisoner until a large ransom was raised.

On his release he returned briefly to England, where his brother John had been ruling in his stead. His later years were spent in warfare in France, where he was killed by a crossbow bolt while besieging Châlus-Chabrol in 1199. He left no heir.

Timeline for King Richard I The Lion Heart

YearEvent
1189 Richard I becomes King of England upon the death of Henry II
1189 William Longchamp is appointed Chancellor of England and governs the country during Richard’s absence abroad
1189 Richard sets out with Philip of France on the Third Crusade to the Holy Land
1191 William Longchamp falls from power and Richard’s brother, John, takes over the government
1191 Richard captures the city of Acre, Palestine, and defeats Saladin at Arsuuf, near Jaffa
1192 Richard reaches an agreement with Saladin to guarantee Christians safe pilgrimage to Jerusalem
1192 On his way back to England from Palestine, Richard is captured and handed over to Henry VI, Emperor of Germany. Henry demands a ransom of 100,000 marks from England for Richard’s release from prison
1194 The ransom is raised in England. Richard is released from captivity.
1195 Richard returns to England for a brief period, before leaving to fight in France, never to return to his homeland.
1196 The Assize of Measures standardizes weights including the lb (pound) and distance including the yard.
1199 Richard is mortally wounded by an arrow from a crossbow in battle at Chalus, in France.