RICHARD THE LIONHEART
Summary: 12th Century AD English Monarch and military leader
Date: Born: 8th September AD 1157; Died: 6th April 1199 (Reigned: 3rd September AD 1189 to 6th April 1199)
Location: England, Europe
Family: Father: Henry II of England; Mother: Eleanor of Aquitaine; Brothers: Berengaria of Navarre
- Introduction -
From AD 1189 – 1199, Richard ruled as the campaigning king of England. When his older brother, Henry, died in 1183, Richard was left as sole heir to the throne. Selfishly, however, Richard’s father did not want him to become king. Instead, he wished for John, Richard’s younger brother, to be his successor. Naturally, Richard disagreed. So he allied with the king of France and fought cleverly against his father and defeated him. A short time later, his father died. During his 10-year reign, Richard fought many battles overseas and, because of this, he spent very little time actually in England.
- Fame -
Richard was probably most famous for his skillful military leadership. In 1173, when he was only sixteen, Richard led and won a revolt against his father for his right to the throne. Eventually, Richard would organize and command his own army in the Third Crusade. He also apparently attacked Egypt.
- Death & Legacy -
While besieging a castle at Châlus in France, Richard was shot by an arrow and died from his wounds. Richard was an extremely fine leader and administrator who knew how to treat his soldiers in a way that would win their loyalty and respect. Such traits are the mark of a great leader and he will be remembered forever because of them.
- Name -
Richard had several names. ‘The Lionheart,’ which has been placed on the end of his title, is only a nickname. Strangely enough, it emerged nearly 500 years after the king’s birth, around 1655 – 1665. According to dictionary.com, the name means ‘a person of exceptional courage and bravery,’ and was formed by simply adding ‘lion’ and ‘heart’ together. Since Richard was a daring and skilled military leader, his nickname suited him well.
Richard was also dubbed ‘Richard Coeur de Lion,’ although this name was less frequently used. During his life (and still today), Richard was known as ‘Richard I.’ Although this inspiring man had several names, ‘Richard the Lionheart’ will perhaps always suit him best.
1. Barrow, G. W. (2018, May 01). Richard I. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Richard-I-king-of-England
2. Richard the lion-hearted. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dictionary.com/browse/richard-the-lion-hearted
3. Richard I. (2016, February 08). Retrieved from https://www.biography.com/people/richard-i-9457078
4. History - King Richard I. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/richard_i_king.shtml
Researched and Written By
Possibly one of England's most famous monarchs, Richard the Lionheart is known for both his military achievements in France and the Third Crusade.