Monday, 2 February 2015

Fascinating Facts: Richard I

Most people have heard of Richard the Lionheart, but here are some things you might not know:

Fascinating Facts: Richard I [1189-1199]

  • Richard was Eleanor of Aquitaine's favourite son and she made sure he was well educated.
  • He was steeped in the highminded values of chivalry and grew up believing that the most important goal in a man's life was to achieve valorous deeds.
  • He excelled at all military skills.
  • He allied himself with King LouisVII of France, who knighted him.
  • He governed his mother's duchy of Aquitaine, and then his father gave it to his brother John.
  • He was engaged from childhood to Alice, Louis VII's daughter, who came to live at his father Henry's court. When she grew up, Henry took her as his mistress and she bore him a son.
  • Although he did have mistresses, Richard preferred male lovers. He had an intense relationship with Philip Augustus, the young King of France.
  • He was preparing to go on crusade when his father died and he became king.
  • He showed his visionary, idealistic side when he suggested that Christians and Muslims share Jerusalem instead of fighting over it, and offered his sister in marriage to Saladin's brother Saphadin.
  • When he was captured on the way home from crusade, his English subject pledged one quarter of their annual incomes to pay the ransom.
  • He spent only a few months of his ten-year reign in England and never learned English.

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