Richard I

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Richard I,


Richard Cœur de Lion

(kör də lyôN`), or

Richard Lion-Heart,

1157–99, king of England (1189–99); third son of Henry IIHenry II,
1133–89, king of England (1154–89), son of Matilda, queen of England, and Geoffrey IV, count of Anjou. He was the founder of the Angevin, or Plantagenet, line in England and one of the ablest and most remarkable of the English kings.
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 and Eleanor of AquitaineEleanor of Aquitaine
, 1122?–1204, queen consort first of Louis VII of France and then of Henry II of England. Daughter and heiress of William X, duke of Aquitaine, she married Louis in 1137 shortly before his accession to the throne.
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. Although enthroned as duke of Aquitaine in 1172, he was, like his brothers Henry and Geoffrey, discontented with his lack of authority and joined their revolt (1173–74) against their father. Later he fought (1183) against the same brothers when they intervened in support of a rebellion against Richard in Aquitaine. In 1189 he again warred with his father and defeated him, before Henry II's death brought him to the throne.

Soon after his coronation, Richard set out (1190) on the Third Crusade (see CrusadesCrusades
, series of wars undertaken by European Christians between the 11th and 14th cent. to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims. First Crusade

In the 7th cent., Jerusalem was taken by the caliph Umar.
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). En route he captured Messina and Cyprus and married (1191) Berengaria of Navarre. With Philip IIPhilip II
or Philip Augustus,
1165–1223, king of France (1180–1223), son of Louis VII. During his reign the royal domains were more than doubled, and the royal power was consolidated at the expense of the feudal lords.
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 of France, he stormed Acre. Philip then returned to France, where he began plotting against Richard with the latter's brother JohnJohn,
1167–1216, king of England (1199–1216), son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Early Life

The king's youngest son, John was left out of Henry's original division of territory among his sons and was nicknamed John Lackland.
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. Richard remained but had to abandon his attempt to seize the strongly fortified city of Jerusalem.

After concluding a treaty with SaladinSaladin
, Arabic Salah ad-Din, 1137?–1193, Muslim warrior and Ayyubid sultan of Egypt, the great opponent of the Crusaders, b. Mesopotamia, of Kurdish descent.
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 that allowed Christians access to the holy places of Jerusalem, he too started home. However, he was captured (Dec., 1192) by Leopold V of Austria, with whom Richard had quarreled on crusade, and was imprisoned in the castle of Dürnstein, where the troubadour Blondel de NesleBlondel de Nesle
, fl. late 12th cent., French troubadour, a favorite of Richard I of England. Legend relates that after Richard was captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria in 1193, Blondel wandered through Germany, singing a song known only to him and his lost master,
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 is supposed (by legend) to have found him. Leopold delivered Richard to Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, who released him (1194) only after Richard paid an enormous ransom, raised by his English subjects, and surrendered his kingdom, receiving it back as a fief of the empire. Richard returned (1194) briefly to England to complete the suppression of the revolt raised against him by his brother John and to raise funds. Thereafter he fought Philip in France, in the process building the famous Château Gaillard. He was killed in a minor engagement.

Richard spent only six months of his reign in England, which he was concerned with chiefly as a source of revenue, but his ministers, William of LongchampLongchamp, William of
, d. 1197, chancellor and justiciar of England, bishop of Ely. After service with Geoffrey, duke of Brittany, he joined Richard (later Richard I) and John in their uprising (1189) against their father, Henry II.
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 and Hubert WalterWalter, Hubert,
d. 1205, English archbishop and statesman. He was clerk to his uncle, Ranulf de Glanvill, and in 1186 he was made dean of York. In 1189 he was appointed bishop of Salisbury, and he accompanied Richard I on crusade in 1190.
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, were able to rule the kingdom effectively by the excellent administrative system set up by Henry II and extended by them. Richard's military prowess and reputation for chivalry have made him a central figure in English romance. He appears in Sir Walter Scott's novels Ivanhoe and The Talisman.


See biographies by P. Henderson (1958), K. Norgate (1924, repr. 1969), and J. Brundage (1974); A. L. Poole, From Domesday Book to Magna Carta, 1087–1216 (2d ed. 1955); J. T. Appleby, England without Richard, 1189–1199 (1965); C. Gibb, Richard the Lionheart and the Crusades (1985); J. Reston, Jr., Warriors of God: Richard the Lionheart and Saladin in the Third Crusade (2001).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Richard I

nicknamed Coeur de Lion or the Lion-Heart. 1157--99, king of England (1189--99); a leader of the third crusade (joining it in 1191). On his way home, he was captured in Austria (1192) and held to ransom. After a brief return to England, where he was crowned again (1194), he spent the rest of his life in France
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
If the Plantagenets had managed a similarly smooth succession of eldest sons, they would undoubtedly have been called Henry--the name of Richard I's elder brother--or later on, Edward.
Richard I and II had at least a whiff of sexual ambivalence about them; Richard III less so.
Richard I and II both had a fascination for the cult of St Edmund and other obscure English saints.
It was precisely this, though Saul does not say so, that Richard I was accused of at his trial in Germany, but in this case he was almost certainly not guilty.
All three were committed to the chivalric ideal, but the period seems to have seen its slow nationalisation--from the international crusading hopes of Richard I through to the very parochial concerns of Richard III.
She posits thoughtful and well-supported arguments for viewing Berengaria as a hapless victim of the political turmoil that characterized the reigns of Richard I, John and the young Henry III, but also as a skilled defender of the property rights and privileges owed her as a landowner.