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Richard I of England

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Richard I of England. 13th Century (Between 1250 and 1259)

Richard I of England (8 September 1157 – 6 April 1199) was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Ireland, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was also known as Cœur de Lion, or Richard the Lionheart.

He was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior.

The Muslims called him Melek-Ric (King Richard) or Malek al-Inkitar (King of England). He was also known in Occitan as Oc e No (Yes and No), because of his ability to change his mind.

By the age of 16, Richard the Lionheart had taken command of his own army. He quashed rebellions in Poitou against his father. Richard was a central Christian commander during the Third Crusade. He led the campaign after the departure of Philip II of France. He scored many victories against the Muslim leader, Saladin. Richard I did not reconquer Jerusalem from Saladin however.

Richard was born in England where he spent his childhood. His adult life was passed in the southwest of France. Following his rise to the English throne, he spent very little time, perhaps as little as six months, in England> He preferred to use his kingdom as a source of revenue to support his armies. Nevertheless, he was seen as a pious hero by his subjects. He remains one of the few kings of England remembered by his epithet, rather than regnal number, and is an enduring iconic figure both in England and in France.


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