Kings and Queens - Richard I
Our next monarch is Richard I, better known as Richard the Lionheart.
Richard was born on 8th September 1157 in Oxford, England. He was the son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Like his brothers Richard fought against his father in 1173. In 1183 Richards brother Henry died leaving him heir to the throne. Henry had wanted to give Aquitaine to his son John but Richard disagreed and joined Phillip II of France in 1189. It was this rebellion against his father that lead to Henry II dying in France in July 1189.
|Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads|
Richard then ascended to the English throne but although he was king for 10 years he only spent 6 months in England. Richards ambition was to join the Third Crusade to the Holy Land. He sold Sheriffdoms and other high offices in order to finance this crusade, in 1190 he set off and landed in the Holy Land in June 1191.
Richard came close to the crusade's main objective, Jerusalem but it continued to elude him. Quarrels amongst the crusades contingents meant that after a years stalemate Richard made a truce with Saladin and started home to England.
The journey wasn't an easy one and bad weather made him land near Venice where he was imprisoned by Duke Leopold of Austria. He was then handed over to the German Emperor Henry VI who then ransomed him for 150,000 marks. This was a huge amount and the actual raising of the ransom was a remarkable achievement for the English nobles.
In February 1194 Richard was released, he returned at once to England and was crowned for a second time. A month later he travelled to Normandy but never returned. The last 5 years of his reign were spent in intermittent warfare against Phillip II. He was fatally wounded whilst besieging the castle of Chalus. Richard died on 6 April 1199 and was succeeded by his younger brother John.