King Richard I (The Lionheart) of England 1157 – 1199

King Richard I

Born – 8th September 1157
Died – 6th April 1199
FatherKing Henry II (1133 – 1189)
MotherEleanor of Aquitaine (1122 – 1204)
SpouseBerengaria of Navarre (1168 – 1230)
Children – No children
King of England – 1189 – 1199
PredecessorHenry II – 1154 – 1189
SuccessorJohn – 1199 – 1216

1157 (8th September)
King Richard I was born the third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine at Oxford, England. The couple’s second son, William had died in 1156 but their first son, Henry, born in 1155 survived. Richard also had an elder sister, Matilda.
1158 (23rd September)
Richard’s brother, Geoffrey was born to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
1162 (around)
Little is known of Richard’s early life but it is likely he was educated at home by tutors. He was also schooled in horse-riding, use of weapons and military tactics.
1162 (13th October)
Richard’s sister, Eleanor, was born to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine at Domfront Castle, Normandy.
1165 (May)
Richard was taken on a visit to Normandy by his mother.
1165 (October)
Richard’s sister, Joan was born to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine at Angers Castle, Anjou.
1166 (24th December)
Richard’s brother John was born to Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
1169 (January)
Richard was betrothed to Alys, daughter of Louis VII of France. During the ceremony Richard paid homage to the French king.
1170 (during)
King Henry II became ill and decided to give his sons their inheritance so that they would be established in their lands before he died. Richard was given control of Aquitaine. His three brothers were also given land – Henry gained England and Normandy and Geoffrey gained Brittany. John who was four years old was not given any land.
1170 (14th June)
Henry, Richard’s eldest brother, was crowned at Westminster Abbey in a move designed to ensure the succession. He became known as ‘The Young King’.
1171 (during)
Richard and his mother left England for Aquitaine.
1172 (June)
Richard was formally given the title Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Poitou.
1173 (during)
Richard had become a great military tactician and had control of his own army which he used to put down rebellions in the French provinces granted to him by his father.
1173 (Summer)
Richard joined forces with his brothers in rebellion against his father. The brothers wanted more freedom to rule their territories and had gained the support of the French king.
1174 (8th September)
King Louis VII of France made peace with Henry II. Richard was deliberately excluded from the terms of the treaty which left him in a position of isolation.
1174 (23rd September)
Richard begged his father Henry II for forgiveness and Henry II complied.
1175 (around)
King Henry II had an affair with Richard’s betrothed, Alys of France.
1175 (during)
Richard was ordered by his father to punish those nobles of Aquitaine who had supported him against King Henry II.
1179 (during)
There was a revolt against Richard’s rule in Aquitaine due to his ruthlessness in punishing the nobility for supporting him against King Henry II.
1179 (Spring)
The revolt against Richard in Aquitaine ended after Richard took the castle of Taillebourg. His skill in securing the property led many to swear loyalty to him once again.
1180 (during)
Tensions increased between Richard and his father after Richard refused to swear fealty to his brother Henry the Young King.
1183 (during)
Richard’s brothers, Henry and Geoffrey, invaded Aquitaine. They hoped to defeat Richard and force him to swear fealty to Henry the Young King.
1183 (11th June)
Henry the Young King died after contracting dysentery. His death meant Richard was now heir to the throne.
1185 (around)
King Henry II demanded that Richard give Aquitaine to his brother John but Richard refused.
1187 (November)
Richard made an alliance ith Philip of France to strengthen his position.
1189 (around)
Richard broke his betrothal to Alys of France on the grounds that she had become his father’s mistress. He then became betrothed to Berengaria of Navarre.
1189 (during)
Richard planned to take the English throne by force.
1189 (6th July)
King Henry II died and Richard became King Richard I of England.
1189 (20th July)
Richard became Duke of Normandy.
1189 (After July)
Richard was determined to go on crusade to Jerusalem and began using treasury money to finance this venture.
1189 (3rd September)
Richard was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
1190 (late)
Richard sent his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, to escort his betrothed, Berengaria of Navarre, to Messina, Sicily where they would be married.
1190 (4th July)
Richard and Phillip II of France embarked on the Third Crusade to the Holy land.
1190 (September)
Richard and Phillip II reached Sicily.
1191 (February)
Berengaria and Eleanor of Aquitaine joined Richard in Messina, Sicily. However, when they arrived it was Lent and the marriage could not be celebrated.
1191 (March/April)
Richard sent Berengaria, accompanied by his sister Joan, on a ship to the Holy Land. Unfortunately, the ship was caught in a storm and landed in Cyprus.
1191 (early May)
Richard and Phillip II conquered Cyprus and rescued Berengaria and Joan.
1191 (12th May)
Richard married Berengaria of Navarre in St George’s chapel, Limassol, Cyprus.
1191 (8th June)
Richard and the Third Crusade reached Acre and placed it under siege.
1191 (11th July)
Acre fell to the Crusaders.
1191 (August)
Phillip had disagreed with Richard over spoils of war and abandoned the Crusade and returned to France.
1191 (August)
Richard had decided to continue the Crusade alone and agreed terms with Saladin. The deal included an exchange of prisoners but Richard mistrusted Saladin and ordered the massacre of all Muslim prisoners.
1191 (7th September)
Battle of Arsuf
Richard defeated Saladin at this battle.
1191 (November)
Richard took control of Jaffa.
1192 (January)
Richard reached the outskirts of Jerusalem but by this point his army was depleted and in need of reinforcements and supplies.
1192 (September)
Unable to take Jerusalem, Richard negotiated a three-year truce with Saladin that stipulated that Christians should be granted access to the Holy City at all times.
1192 (September)
Having heard the news that his brother John, who had been left in control of England, was plotting to take the throne from him, Richard decided to return home.
1192 (December)
Richard was captured by Duke Leopold V of Austria and held to ransom.
1193 (28th March)
Richard was transferred to the custody of Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VI. He was placed in Trifels Castle. A ransom of 150,000 marks was demanded for the release of the English King. This was a huge sum of money, at least double the annual income of the Crown.
1194 (February)
The ransom of 150,000 marks was raised, much of it by taxation. Richard was released and returned home to England.
1194 (March)
Richard left England for Normandy to defend it from attacks by Phillip II.
1198 (During)
Richard finally defeated Phillip II.
1199 (March)
Richard went to Limoges to suppress a riot
1199 (26th March)
Richard was shot by a crossbowman While walking round the castle of Chalus. Although the bolt was removed it was not cleanly done and the wound quickly festered.
1199 (6th April)
Richard died. He was succeeded by his younger brother, John.


First published 2015; updated and re-published Apr 06 2021 @ 11:35 – Updated – Apr 6, 2021 @ 11:37 am

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2015 – 2020). King Richard I (The Lionheart) of England 1157 – 1199 . Available: Last accessed October 10th, 2021