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the name of several kings in England.
Richard I the Lion-Hearted (French, Coeur de Lion). Born Sept. 8, 1157, in Oxford; died Apr. 6, 1199, at Châlus, France. Became king in 1189; member of the Plantagenet dynasty.
A typical medieval knight-adventurer, Richard I waged incessant wars that were alien to England’s interests and cost the country enormous sums of money. He took part in the Third Crusade (1189–92), during which he captured the island of Cyprus and the fortress of Acre in Palestine. On the return journey he was taken prisoner by the Austrian duke Leopold V, who handed him over to Emperor Henry VI. Richard was not set free until 1194, when a huge ransom was paid. In 1194 he began a war against the French king Philip II Augustus, who was attempting to win back the lands held by the Plantagenets in France. Richard was killed during this war.
REFERENCEChronicles and Memorials of the Reign of Richard I, vols. 1-2. Edited by W. Stubbs. London, 1864–65.
Richard II. Born Jan. 6, 1367, in Bordeaux; died Feb. 14, 1400, at Pontefract Castle. King from 1377 to 1399; last Plantagenet King. Grandson of King Edward III and son of Edward the Black Prince.
During Richard’s minority the country was ruled by a council headed by Richard’s uncle John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster. Richard took a direct part in the suppression of the Wat Tyler revolt of 1381. In 1389 he began ruling on his own with the assistance of Parliament and part of the nobility. His establishment of strict one-man rule in 1397 provoked a rebellion by the great feudal lords under the leadership of John of Gaunt’s son Henry of Lancaster, who later became King Henry IV. Richard was deposed on Sept. 30, 1399, and subsequently either was killed or died of starvation in prison. Shakespeare devoted a historical drama to Richard II.
REFERENCESteel, A. B. Richard II. Cambridge, 1941.
Richard III. Born Oct. 2, 1452, in Fotheringhay Castle; died Aug. 22, 1485, at Bosworth. Became king in 1483; last king of the House of York. Younger brother of King Edward IV.
Richard was created duke of Gloucester in 1461 and became king during the Wars of the Roses. In 1483 he was named protector of the realm during the minority of Edward V, son of Edward IV. Richard deposed the young king and imprisoned him in the Tower of London. In the battle of Bosworth in 1485 Richard was defeated and killed.
In 16th-century literature Richard III is usually portrayed as a direct participant in the murders of the deposed English king Henry VI, of Edward V, and of Edward’s brother. Richard was also said to have poisoned his wife Anne and murdered his brother the duke of Clarence. Richard is the subject of T. More’s unfinished History of King Richard III (Russian translation, 1973) and Shakespeare’s historical drama Richard III.