- While Richard Plantagenet is revered as one of the great warrior kings of England, he is perhaps best known as "the absent king." This is due to the fact that during his reign from 1189-1199, he spent a total of six months in England. This aside Richard I was well known for his bravery which earned him the nickname "The Lionheart". A name that has reached epic and mythological proportions, best seen in literary works such as Robin Hood and Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe.
Richard Plantagenet came into the world September 8th in the year 1157 AD Although born in Oxfordshire England, Richard was a child of Aquitaine a part of Southern France. His native language was not English and throughout his life he spoke little of it.
He had four brothers and three sisters, the first of which died at a young age. Of the remainder; Henry was named heir to the English throne, Richard was to succeed his mother's Aquitaine and Geoffrey was to inherit Brittany. John was the poorest to fair out receiving nothing from his father. It is this action that gave him the name John Lackland.
At a young age of twelve, Richard pledged homage to the king of France for lands of his. At the age of fourteen, Richard was named the Duke of Aquitane in the church of St. Hillaire at Poitiers which was one of the lands made homage to the French King. Henry's sons, who had been given lands but no real power revolted against their King father aided by their mother. In retaliation King Henry had Eleanor jailed. She remained there for many years.
In March 1199, Richard was in the Limousin suppressing a revolt by Viscount Aimar V of Limoges. Although it was Lent, he "devastated the Viscount's land with fire and sword". He besieged the puny, virtually unarmed castle of Châlus-Chabrol. Some chroniclers claimed that this was because a local peasant had uncovered a treasure trove of Roman gold, which Richard claimed from Aimar in his position as feudal overlord.
Tomb containing the heart of King Richard at Rouen Cathedral
Tomb at Fontevraud
In the early evening of 25 March 1199, Richard was walking around the castle perimeter without his chainmail, investigating the progress of sappers on the castle walls. Missiles were occasionally shot from the castle walls, but these were given little attention. One defender in particular amused the king greatly—a man standing on the walls, crossbow in one hand, the other clutching a frying pan he had been using all day as a shield to beat off missiles. He deliberately aimed at the king, which the king applauded; however, another crossbowman then struck the king in the left shoulder near the neck. He tried to pull this out in the privacy of his tent but failed; a surgeon, called a "butcher" by Howden, removed it, "carelessly mangling" the King's arm in the process. The wound swiftly became gangrenous. Accordingly, Richard asked to have the crossbowman brought before him; called alternatively Pierre (or Peter) Basile, John Sabroz, Dudo, and Bertrand de Gourdon (from the town of Gourdon) by chroniclers, the man turned out (according to some sources, but not all) to be a boy. This boy claimed that Richard had killed the boy's father and two brothers, and that he had killed Richard in revenge. The boy expected to be executed; Richard, as a last act of mercy, forgave him, saying, "Live on, and by my bounty behold the light of day," before ordering that the boy be freed and sent away with 100 shillings. Richard then set his affairs in order, bequeathing all his territory to his brother John and his jewels to his nephew Otto.
Richard died on 6 April 1199 in the arms of his mother; it was later said that "As the day was closing, he ended his earthly day." Because of the nature of Richard's death, he was later referred to as "the Lion (that) by the Ant was slain". According to one chronicler, Richard's last act of chivalry proved fruitless when the infamous mercenary captain Mercadier had the crossbowman flayed alive and hanged as soon as Richard died.
Richard's heart was buried at Rouen in Normandy, his entrails in Châlus (where he died), and the rest of his body at the feet of his father at Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou. In 2012, scientists analysed the remains of Richard's heart and found that it had been embalmed with various substances, including frankincense, a symbolically important substance because it had been present both at the birth and embalming of the Christ.
A 13th-century Bishop of Rochester wrote that Richard spent 33 years in purgatory as expiation for his sins, eventually ascending to Heaven in March 1232
Angevin kings of England
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the English royal house of the 12th and early 13th century. For other houses of Anjou, see House of Anjou.
Royal Arms of England (1198-1340).svg
Arms adopted in 1198
Parent house House of Châteaudun
King of England
Lord of Ireland
Duke of Aquitaine
Duke of Brittany
Duke of Normandy
Count of Anjou
Count of Gâtinais
Count of Maine
Count of Mortain
Founder Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou
Final ruler John, King of England
Current head Extinct
House of Plantagenet
House of Lancaster
House of York
The Angevins /ænd?v?ns/ ("from Anjou") were an English royal house in the 12th and early 13th centuries; its monarchs were Henry II, Richard I and John. In the 10 years from 1144, two successive counts of Anjou, Geoffrey and his son, the future Henry II, won control of a vast assemblage of lands in western Europe that would last for 80 years and would retrospectively be referred to as the Angevin Empire. As a political entity this was structurally different from the preceding Norman and subsequent Plantagenet realms. Geoffrey became Duke of Normandy in 1144 and died in 1151. In 1152 his heir, Henry, added Aquitaine by virtue of his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry also inherited the claim of his mother, Empress Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I, to the English throne, to which he succeeded in 1154 following the death of King Stephen.
Henry was succeeded by his third son, Richard, whose reputation for martial prowess won him the epithet "Cœur de Lion" or "Lionheart". He was born and raised in England but spent very little time there during his adult life, perhaps as little as six months. Despite this Richard remains an enduring iconic figure both in England and in France, and is one of very few kings of England remembered by his nickname as opposed to regnal number.
When Richard died, his brother John – Henry’s fifth and only surviving son – took the throne. In 1204 John lost the Angevins' continental territories, including Anjou, to the French crown. The loss of Anjou from which the dynasty is named is the rationale behind John's son—Henry III of England— being considered the first Plantagenet—a name derived from a nickname for Geoffrey. Where no distinction is made between the Angevins—and Angevin era— and subsequent English Kings, Henry II is the first Plantagenet king. From John the dynasty continued successfully and unbroken in the senior male line until the reign of Richard II before dividing into two competing cadet branches, the House of Lancaster and the House of York.