THE TRAVELLING HISTORIAN -- RICHARD COEUR DE LION
A biography of King Richard I of England, who was also known as He was also highly cultured and well-educated, and wrote poems and songs. . He negotiated a truce with Saladin that allowed the Crusaders to keep Acre. Introduction: Richard I or Richard the Lionheart was King of England and the central His most noted and celebrated victories were against Saladin, the Muslim He however, had a fractured relationship with his father who wanted him to. Salah al-Din Yusuf (AD) has gone down in medieval history as the most famous This was the Third Crusade (AD), led by King Richard I (Richard the Saladin's relationship with Richard had been one of chivalrous mutual in Europe, and in an epic poem written in the 14th century about Saladin.
While travelling through Germany in disguise, his identity was discovered and he was captured and imprisoned. His captor was a fellow crusader, Leopold, Duke of Austria, whom Richard had needlessly alienated with his insolent attitude and behaviour.
As Leopold's overlord Henry had every right to take charge of Richard which he promply did and locked the Lionheart away in an undisclosed castle until he decided on his fate. Adriatic Sea photo by G. Wilson Legend has it that Blondell, a shadowy and elusive figure, was Richard's faithful minstrel.
He is reputed to have travelled from castle to castle singing a favourite song of Richard's until he finally heard a familiar response. And it was the voice of Richard. Low and behold at one of the fortresses he was ecstatic to be rewarded with a chord from Richard's own harp. This hostage of all hostages had become his "by divine grace. Richard learned from the Emperor that the long list of grievances against him had been filed by French crusaders who left the Holy Land before him and blackened his reputation by telling the Emperor that Richard had betrayed Christianity by making peace with Saladin.
By doing so he had committed, they charged, treason and treachery in the "Land of Promise. His wrath flared only when he thought about his former French friend and ally, Philip. Richard was tried for his so-called crimes in the presence of the Holy Roman Emperor in a court at Speyer attended by an imposing array of lay and clerical vassals. In language searing and forthright, Richard spoke brilliantly in his own defence and appeared to all as shining as his legend.
He had lost not an inch of his regal stature nor any of his natural aplomb. His eloquence converted him from being the villain to the victim being persecuted for righteousness' sake. The Emperor was so moved by Richard's tale of his heavy role as count, crusader and king, he burst into tears, came down from his throne and raised the prostrate Richard from humility to honour. Chroniclers say the trial at Speyer was in some ways Richard's finest moment.
The Emperor's touching tears did not diminish his demand for a rich ransom for Richard's release and Richard sent word to Queen Eleanor to raise it quickly. He sent her the armour he had worn on his Crusade hoping the "poor empty scaffolding" in which he had defied the enemies of Christ would motivate his many faithful followers to give generously.
Richard wrote passable poetry himself. He burnished his poetic gifts with his favourite lyric form, the sirventes and with disarming grace, suave cadence and delicate strophic schemes, he admonished his fair weather friends to respond respectfully. The Pope considered himself the politically superior of kings and Eleanor sought from him support for Richard's release, but despite her entreaties, his sword "reposed in its scabbard. To reach the ransom England was forced to reach into the very bottom of its purse.
The amount required to buy Richard's release cost the country twice the annual revenue of the English crown. It is estimated that 35 tons of silver were collected and calculated that in today's currency, the ransom would have totalled two billion pounds. Richard's earnest enemy, Philip of France, was amazed at the speed with which the ransom money was raised. Anticipating Richard's early release, Philip dashed off this coded message to his arch conspirator, Richard's brother, Prince John.
Led by Eleanor a great number of ladies attended the Coeur de Lion's second coronation but Beringaria was not among them. Richard and Beringaria were re-united but Richard lived in the saddle and was no captive in the courts of love. Historians suggest that he may have been in the middle of his infatuation with a Cypriot princess or experimenting with more exotic forms of love or he may simply have been distant and aloof.
Whatever the reason Eleanor's longed-for heir never resulted from their reunion, It was during this trip that Richard visited Sherwood Forest which he had never seen before. He stayed in the royal hunting lodge, now a ruin known as King John's Palace. According to legend Richard's visit brought him face to face with Robin Hood. It is believed the original of this outlaw, who robbed the rich to give to the poor, was either an entirely mythical figure or an outlaw who may have lived near the beginning of the 13th century.
In the tumult of taking off from England on 12 May,Richard may never have known he was leaving England for the last time. Richard studied the strategic defence of Normandy and decided to build a fort on a high crag rising above the bend in Seine by Andelys, the key to Rouen. In he set about building the most perfect fortress his experience could devise.
He called it Chateau Gaillard or "Saucy Castle" and "my fair child. Richard bragged that it was beyond question, the strongest fortress in the world.
Beringaria's failure to provide Richard with an heir left her destitute of a role in destiny. She lived out a long widowhood in Le Mans, continually calling upon John to pay her the pension he had promised. She was noted for her work with the poor. Until her death she styled herself as "most humble former Queen of the English. Her effigy is that of a woman with long, flowing hair. She is dressed as a virgin bride with her feet resting on a lion and a small dog underneath it.
Her remains were discovered in hidden under the floor of the former chapterhouse of the Abbey at L'Epau, which she founded. Beringaria of Navarre in effigy on her tomb at L'Epau Abbey The effigy is not necessarily a likeness, but it may be a guide to her appearance. A vassal of Richard's, Aymar, Viscount of Limoges, found a treasure trove on his land.
It was said to be a set of gold and silver figurines representing a king seated at a table with his family. It was thought to be some relic from the Roman times and of great value. Richard saw it as a source of badly needed funding and claimed it as his right as overlord. When Aymar sent him half the value of the treasure, Richard demanded all and sent sappers and soldiers to undermine and take Aymar's tiny castle of Chalus. One evening while casually checking on the success of their efforts, Richard was struck in the left shoulder near the neck by a bolt from a crossbow.
Without uttering a sound of surprise or pain, Richard returned to his tent where his benumbed nobles succeeded in breaking off the blade of the arrow. The barb, however, remained deep within the flesh which festered. A surgeon of sorts known as the 'butcher' in what must have been a ghastly operation, "carelessly mangled the king's arm," finally digging out the barb from deep inside his shoulder.
Despite the application of unguents and poulticies, the damage had been done and before long gangerene set in. Richard soon realized the end was just a matter of time and sent for Eleanor who arrived in time to share with him his last day of chivalry before he went the way of all flesh.
For one brief decade Richard was King of England and the pride of Christendom. The Lionheart was an inspiring and skilful commander whose arrogance was often tempered by mercy. The castle was surrounded by a cliff on three sides and a town on the fourth side with a three-layer wall. Richard first destroyed and looted the farms and lands surrounding the fortress, leaving its defenders no reinforcements or outs. The inhabitants of the fortress were so afraid of Richard at this point, that they left the safety of their castle and attacked Richard outside its walls.
Richard was able to subdue the army and then followed the defenders inside the open gates, where he easily took over the castle in two days.
It also won Richard a reputation as a skilled military commander. Richard was accused of numerous cruelties against his subjects, including rape: After Richard subdued his rebellious barons, he again challenged his father for the throne.
However, Richard and his army were able to hold back the invading armies and executed any prisoners. The conflict took a brief pause in June of when the Young King died. With the death of Henry the Young King, Richard was now the eldest son and heir to the English crown, but still he continued to fight his father.
Roger of Hoveden wrote: There are allusions to the book of Samuel's depiction of Jonathan and David in this passage, but the politics of the relationship are Hoveden's chief concern.
In exchange for Philip's help against his father, Richard promised to concede to him his rights to both Normandy and Anjou. Richard did homage to Philip in November of the same year. With news arriving of the battle of Hattin, he took the cross at Tours, in the company of a number of other French nobles.
The following year, Richard attempted to take the throne of England for himself by joining Philip's expedition against his father. Henry, with John's consent, agreed to name Richard his heir. Roger of Hoveden claimed that Henry's corpse bled from the nose in Richard's presence, which was taken as a sign that Richard had caused his death. He was officially crowned duke on 20 July and king in Westminster on 3 September According to Ralph of Diceto, Richard's courtiers stripped and flogged the Jews, then flung them out of court.
When a rumour spread that Richard had ordered all Jews to be killed, the people of London began a massacre. Many Jews were beaten to death, robbed, and burnt alive. Many Jewish homes were burned down and several Jews were forcibly baptised. Some sought sanctuary in the Tower of London, and others managed to escape.
Roger of Howeden, in his Gesta Regis Ricardi, claimed that the rioting was started by the jealous and bigoted citizens, and that Richard punished the perpetrators, allowing a forcibly converted Jew to return to Judaism. Archbishop of Canterbury Baldwin of Exeter reacted by remarking, "If the King is not God's man, he had better be the devil's," a reference to the supposedly infernal blood in the Angevin line.
Realising that the assaults could destabilize his realm on the eve of his departure on crusade, Richard ordered the execution of those responsible for the most egregious murders and persecutions. Most of those hanged were rioters who had accidentally burnt down Christian homes. He distributed a royal writ demanding that the Jews be left alone.
However, the edict was loosely enforced, as the following March there was further violence, including a massacre at York. Having become king, Richard and Philip agreed to go on the Third Crusade together, since each feared that, during his absence, the other might usurp his territories. Richard swore an oath to renounce his past wickedness in order to show himself worthy to take the cross. He started to raise and equip a new crusader army.
He spent most of his father's treasury filled with money raised by the Saladin titheraised taxes, and even agreed to free King William I of Scotland from his oath of subservience to Richard in exchange for 10, marks. To raise even more money he sold official positions, rights, and lands to those interested in them.
Even those already appointed were forced to pay huge sums to retain their posts. He was apparently outbid by a certain Reginald the Italian, but his bid was refused. Richard made some final arrangements on the continent.
He reconfirmed his father's appointment of William Fitz Ralph to the important post of seneschal of Normandy. In Anjou, Stephen of Tours was replaced as seneschal and temporarily imprisoned for fiscal mismanagement. Payn de Rochefort, an Angevin knight was elevated to the post of seneschal of Anjou.
In Poitou, the ex-provost of Benon, Peter Bertin was made seneschal, and finally in Gascony, the household official Helie de La Celle was picked for the seneschalship there. After repositioning the part of his army he left behind to guard his French possessions, Richard finally set out on the crusade in summer His delay was criticised by troubadours such as Bertran de Born.
Richard's brother John was not satisfied by this decision and started scheming against William. Some writers have criticised Richard for spending only six months of his reign in England and siphoning the kingdom's resources to support his Crusade and campaigns in what is now France.
He claimed England was "cold and always raining," and when he was raising funds for his Crusade, was said to declare, "I would have sold London if I could find a buyer. Like most of the Plantagenet kings before the 14th century, he had no need to learn the English language. Leaving the country in the hands of various officials he designated including his mother, at timesRichard was far more concerned with his more extensive French lands. Tancred had imprisoned William's widow, Queen Joan, who was Richard's sister, and did not give her the money she had inherited in William's will.
When Richard arrived, he demanded that his sister be released and given her inheritance. The presence of foreign troops also caused unrest: Richard attacked Messina, capturing it on 4 October After looting and burning the city Richard established his base there.
He remained there until Tancred finally agreed to sign a treaty on 4 March The treaty was signed by Richard, Philip and Tancred. Its main terms were: Joan was to be released, receiving her inheritance and the dowry her father had given to her late husband.
Richard and Philip recognized Tancred as King of Sicily and vowed to keep the peace between all three of their kingdoms. Richard officially proclaimed his nephew, Arthur of Brittany, son of Geoffrey, as his heir, and Tancred promised to marry one of his daughters to Arthur when he came of age. Richard and Tancred exchanged gifts; Richard gave Tancred a sword which he claimed was Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur. After signing the treaty Richard and Philip left Sicily.
The treaty undermined England's relationships with the Holy Roman Empire and caused the revolt of Richard's brother John, who hoped to be proclaimed heir instead of their nephew. Although his revolt failed, John continued to scheme against his brother. He had assigned his mother to represent him and convince her father, Sancho VI of Navarre, and her other relatives to agree to the wedding, and to bring the bride to him.
Richard came to their rescue when they were shipwrecked on the coast of Cyprus. He left Rhodes in May but a new storm drove Richard's fleet to Cyprus. On 6 MayRichard's fleet arrived in the port of Lemesos now Limassol on Cyprus, and he captured the city. The island's despot Isaac Komnenos arrived too late to stop the Crusaders, and retired to Kolossi.
Richard called Isaac to negotiations but Isaac demanded his departure. Richard and his cavalry met Isaac's army in battle at Tremetusia. Though Isaac and his men fought bravely, Richard's army was bigger and better equipped, assuring his victory. He also received military assistance from the King of Jerusalem and Guy of Lusignan.
Isaac resisted from the castles of Pentadactylos but after the siege of Kantara Castle, he finally surrendered. It was claimed that, once Isaac had been captured Richard had him confined with silver chains, because he had promised that he would not place him in irons. Isaac's young daughter was kept in the household of Berengaria and Joan. Richard looted the island and massacred those trying to resist him.
What We Can Learn From Saladin
He and most of his army left Cyprus for the Holy Land in early June, having gained for the Crusade a supply base that was not under immediate threat from the Turks as was Tyre. In his absence Cyprus was governed by Richard Camville. The wedding was held in Limassol on 12 May at the Chapel of St.
It was attended by his sister Joan, whom Richard had brought from Sicily. It should be noted that when Richard married Berengaria he was still officially betrothed to Alys and that Richard pushed for the match, in order to obtain Navarre as a fief like Aquitaine for his father.
Further, Eleanor championed the match, as Navarre bordered on Aquitaine, thereby securing her ancestral lands' borders to the south. Richard took his new wife with him briefly on this episode of the crusade.
However, they returned separately.
Saladin and Richard the Lionheart are two names that tend to dominate the Crusades
Berengaria had almost as much difficulty in making the journey home as her husband did, and did not see England until after his death.
Although after his release from German captivity, Richard showed some degree of regret for his earlier conduct, he was not joined by his wife. Richard had to be ordered to reunite with and show fidelity to Berengaria in the future, being told to "remember the destruction of Sodom and abstain from illicit acts. Some modern writers, elaborating on the theory, have alleged that Berengaria's own brother, the future Sancho VII, was one of Richard's early lovers.
Nevertheless, when Richard died inBerengaria was greatly distressed, apparently having loved her husband very much although that does not imply mutuality on Richard's part. The picture is further muddied by the fact that she had to sue the Church to be recognised as his widow. Historians remain divided on the issue.
He gave his support to his Poitevin vassal Guy of Lusignan, who had brought troops to help him in Cyprus. Guy was the widower of his father's cousin Sibylla of Jerusalem, and was trying to retain the kingship of Jerusalem, despite his wife's death during the siege of Acre the previous year.
Guy's claim was challenged by Conrad of Montferrat, second husband of Sibylla's half-sister, Isabella: Richard also allied with Humphrey IV of Toron, Isabella's first husband, from whom she had been forcibly divorced in Humphrey was loyal to Guy, and spoke Arabic fluently, so Richard used him as a translator and negotiator.
Richard and his forces aided in the capture of Acre, despite the king's serious illness. At one point, while sick from scurvy, Richard is said to have picked off guards on the walls with a crossbow, while being carried on a stretcher. Eventually, Conrad of Montferrat concluded the surrender negotiations with Saladin, and raised the banners of the kings in the city.
Richard quarrelled with Leopold V of Austria over the deposition of Isaac Komnenos related to Leopold's Byzantine mother and his position within the Crusade. Leopold's banner had been raised alongside the English and French standards. This was interpreted as arrogance by both Richard and Philip, as Leopold was a vassal of the Holy Roman Emperor although he was now the highest-ranking surviving leader of the imperial forces.
Richard's men tore the flag down and threw it in the moat of Acre. Leopold left the Crusade immediately. Philip also left soon afterwards, in poor health and after further disputes with Richard over the status of Cyprus Philip demanded half the island and the kingship of Jerusalem. Richard suddenly found himself without allies.
Richard had kept Muslim prisoners as hostages against Saladin fulfilling all the terms of the surrender of the lands around Acre.
Philip, before leaving, had entrusted his prisoners to Conrad, but Richard forced him to hand them over to him.