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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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.
..... Click the link for more information. ). 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. . 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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,
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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).