« Richard I of England, The Lionheart »
As the centuries have passed, Richard I of England, also called Richard « the Lionheart » because of his reputation of being a courageous and brave man, has became the most famous King of England, in and out of the English Kingdom. But behind the hero that the legend has made there was also a King who has left his print inthe history by fighting during the crusades and left the throne to a regent when he was away, which was the main part of his reign by the way.
But, why this King who has spent most of his reign out of the country he’s still one of the most famous English King ? What was his story and why do he have a so glorious reputation today ?
The reign of Richard, as the reign of most of the English Kings,was divided in three parts, which all have their importance in the administration of a country during those times : He had to deal, first, with the inheritance of his dynasty, the Plantagenet’s (I), and then he also gave prominence to the religion and the clerical influence in the Kingdom (II). And finally, he had to deal with the relation a King has with his Kingdom and his subjects (III).
I- The inheritance of the Plantagenet
A - Family and Personality
Third of eight children, Richard was the son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was born in 1157 (the eighth of September) and as he wasn’t the elder he wasn’t supposed to become King of England, he wasn’t the legitimate heir of his father, but the dead of William and Henry « the young King » made him thelegitimate heir of the throne. It is also said that Richard has always been the favourite of his mother, unlike his father who had a preference for one of his younger brothers, John.
His family was part of a famous dynasty of the English history, the House of Plantagenet. This dynasty, which has begun with his father Henry II, included some of the English Kings but also some French, Wales andIrish rulers.
Since an early age, the young Richard showed a interesting ability in politic and military domains, two of the most important ability asked to be a good King. He was also described like a courageous person, and that’s probably why he acquired the nickname of « Coeur de lion » or « Lionheart » ; He seemed to be really interesting in conquests and politic matters, and we can supposethat becoming the King of England was something he dreamed, even if he wasn’t the one who was supposed to inherit the throne of his father.
But under all those qualities, Richard was also a man who had the reputation of being sometimes full of indecision, which has value him the other nickname of « oc e no », the equivalent of « yes or no » in Occitan. He seemed to be a man who wanted to be morepowerful than what he was supposed to be, and that’s why I did everything to take the throne of his father, by every possible ways …
B - Accession to the throne and differences with his father’s politic about the Kingdom
The end of the reign of Henry II came firstly by the efforts of Eleanor of Aquitaine to manipulate her three eldest sons, Henry the Young, Richard and Goeffrey, and upthem against their father. In France the three decided to start a rebellion against their father, but Henry II and his troops quickly stopped them and as Eleanor was imprisoned and Henry the Young and Goeffrey capitulated, and in 1173 Richard was the only one who still wanted to take the throne to his father.
Between 1180 and 1183 Henry and Richard fight again, the first wanted to keep his throneand the second wanted to take this same throne for him. Henry the Young and Geoffrey finally rebelled against their brother and tried to help their father to stop him, but the army raised by Richard and the help he received from Philip II of France was strong enough to stop the rebellion of the brothers and finally Henry II accepted with the acceptance of the youngest son John to designate...