King Richard I Fact 1: Richard the Lionheart was born on September 8, 1157 at Beaumont Palace, Oxford in England.
King Richard I Fact 2: He was King Richard I of England from 1189 until his death in 1199. During his lifetime, he also earned the titles of Lord of Cyprus, Overlord of Brittany, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Normandy, Duke of Gascony, Count of Poitiers, Count of Maine, Count of Anjou and Count of Nantes.
King Richard I Fact 3: His father was King Henry II, the great grandson of William the Conqueror, and his mother was Eleanor of Aquitaine. Richard the Lionheart had numerous full and half-siblings including two brothers older than himself which meant that he was unlikely to inherit the throne.
King Richard I Fact 4: Little is known about the childhood and education of Richard the Lionheart but a Latin prose narrative of the Third Crusade reported that he grew into a tall, handsome man with blond-red hair, pale skin and light colored eyes. He spoke a French dialect known as langue d'oïl.
King Richard I Fact 5: He gained the name 'Richard the Lionheart' from his solid military reputation which he gained from a young age. He had taken command of his own arm by the time he'd reached sixteen.
King Richard I Fact 6: His brother, Henry, was crowned King of England on June 14, 1170. He became known as 'Henry the Young King' and he reigned for little more than 2 years. He rebelled against his father, Henry II, as he wanted independence from him so that he could reign over part of the territory that he’d promised to him.
King Richard I Fact 7: Richard the Lionheart joined two of his brothers, Henry the Young King and Geoffrey, in a revolt against their father, Henry II. Under the protection of Louis VII, they made an oath at the French court not to make agreements with their father without Louis VII and the French baron’s consent.
King Richard I Fact 8: Henry II, supported by his army of over 20,000 mercenaries, approached Verneuil where Louis withdrew from his forces. When given an offer of peace from Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and his brothers refused it upon the advice of Louis. Henry II continued with his army and captured most of Saintes' military defence. Richard the Lionheart escaped and hid for the rest of the war in Château de Taillebourg.
King Richard I Fact 9: Following a truce made by Henry II and Louis VII on September 8, 1174, Richard the Lionheart asked his father to forgive him. Henry II gave him the Kiss of Peace; a traditional Christian greeting. His brothers arrived a few days later also seeking forgiveness from their father. Richard the Lionheart was given half of the income of Aquitaine and two castles in Poitou. Henry II kept their mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, prisoner until he died on July 6, 1189. Part of the reason that he kept her prisoner was to ensure that Richard the Lionheart did not betray him again.
King Richard I Fact 10: His father died on July 6, 1189 and Richard the Lionheart became Duke of Normandy on July 20, 1189 and the King of England on September 3, 1189. He refused to allow any Jews or women attend his coronation at Westminster Abbey. The King's words turned the people of London against the Jews and they began rioting and burning down homes belonging to Jewish people. After the attacks, Richard the Lionheart feared that his reputation would become damaged and he demanded that all Jewish people be left alone.
King Richard I Fact 11: After successfully raising funds, he went on the Third Crusade with Philip II. He became an important Christian commander, leading the crusade in the summer of 1190. He arrived in Sicily with Philip II in September 1190 where he demanded the release of his sister, Queen Joan, who had been imprisoned by King Tancred I of Sicily. His sister was released on September 28, 1190.
King Richard I Fact 12: He took over Messina, Sicily where he attacked, looted and burnt the city until King Tancred I agreed that Richard the Lionheart's sister, Joan, would receive 20,000 ounces of gold as compensation for the inheritance that was rightfully due to her as she had become the widow of King William II of Sicily. King Tancred I also agreed to allow one of his daughters to marry Richard the Lionheart's nephew's, Arthur of Brittany. The treaty was signed on March 4, 1191 by Richard the Lionheart, Philip II and Tancred I.
King Richard I Fact 13: He continued with the Third Crusade by conquering the island of Cyprus during the reign of Isaac Komnenos. When news reached Richard the Lionheart that his sister and fiancé were aboard a ship anchored on the south coast of Cyprus, along with the treasure ship and several other ships wrecks in the same area. Richard was told that the survivors had been imprisoned by Isaac Komnenos. He arrived at the port of Limassol on May 1, 1191.
King Richard I Fact 14: The ruler of Cyprus, Isaac Komnenos, refused to release the prisoners nor the treasure. With the support of his troops, Richard the Lionheart retaliated and took over Limassol. By June 1, 1191, he'd taken over the entire island.
King Richard I Fact 15: His conquest of Cyprus was very important as it fortified a Christian defence until 1571 when the battle of Lepanto occurred. Cyprus occupies a strategically important position close to the Holy Land. Richard the Lionheart was praised for his conquest of Cyprus during the Third Crusade and the financial gains that he made.
King Richard I Fact 16: He married Berengaria of Navarre on May 12, 1191 in Limassol, Cyprus. She was the daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre. A grand celebration was held following their wedding to commemorate not only their marriage, but the crowing of Richard as the King of Cyprus and his bride as the Queen of England and Cyprus. Although, Berengaria went on crusade with Richard the Lionheart for a time, the couple spent little time together and they didn't have any children.King Richard I Fact 17: He continued to the Holy Land on the Third Crusade, landing in Acre in Northern Israel on June 8, 1191. Richard the Lionheart had a serious case of scurvy caused by a lack of vitamin C but he continued with the crusade regardless. Leopold and Philip left the crusade and Richard the Lionheart remained in the Holy Land without military support. He still managed to win many victories over the Muslim leader, Saladin, but he didn't retake Jerusalem from him.
King Richard I Fact 18: In December 1192, Richard the Lionheart was captured near Vienna by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, who imprisoned him at Dürnstein Castle in Austria. Leopold V believed that Richard the Lionheart was responsible for the death of one of his cousins known as Conrad of Montferrat. He was held prisoner until February 4, 1194 when a huge sum of money was paid for his release.
King Richard I Fact 19: He returned to England where he was re-crowned in 1194. The exact cause of his death remains uncertain, however, he was wounded on March 25, 1199 by a crossbowman who struck his shoulder. The wound was thought to have become infected and gangrenous.
King Richard I Fact 20: He died on April 6, 1199 at the age of 41 in Châlus, Duchy of Aquitaine in his mother's arms. His heart was buried in Rouen, Normandy. His remaining organs were buried in Châlus, and the rest of his body at the feet of his father, Henry II, in Anjou.
Influence & Legacy of Richard the Lionheart: Richard the Lionheart was the son of Henry II, he rose to the throne on July 6, 1189 and soon became a major participant in the Third Crusade.
Short Facts about King Richard I for Kids: The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character, King Richard I (Richard the Lion Heart). A fast, simple way to present a short biography of King Richard I with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.