Richard & John: Kings at War

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Table of Contents

 

Title Page

Dedication

Illustrations

Introduction

 

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20 - Richard and John, Conclusion

 

Note

Guide to Most Frequently Cited rim ry So rce

Bibliograhy

Index

Copyright Page

BY THE SAME AUTHOR

France and the Jacobite Rising of 1745
The Jacobite Army in England
The Jacobites
Invasion: From the Armada to Hitler
Charles Edward Stuart
Crime and Punishment in Eighteenth-Century England
Stanley: The Making of an African Explorer
Snow Upon the Desert: The Life of Sir Richard Burton
From the Sierras to the Pampas: Richard Burton’s Travels in the Americas,
1860-69
Stanley: Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Hearts of Darkness: The European Exploration of Africa
Fitzroy Maclean
Robert Louis Stevenson
C.G. Jung
Napoleon
1066: The Year of the Three Battles
Villa and Zapata
Wagons West: The Epic Story of America’s Overland Trails
1759: The Year Britain Became Master of the World

For Pauline

Illustrations

First section

Reverse of the Royal Seal of Henry II (
Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Paris, France, Lauros/Giraudon/The Bridgeman Art Library
)

 

Henry VII at his coronation, miniature from
Flores Historiarum
, by Matthew Paris, Ms 6712 (A.6.89) fol.135v (©
Chetham’s Library, Manchester, UK/The Bridgeman Art Library
)

 

Tomb of Eleanor of Aquitaine at Fontevraud Abbey (
akg-images/Erich Lessing
)

The marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and Louis VII of France, and Louis departing by ship to go on the Second Crusade, from the
Chronique de St Denis
(
TopFoto/HIP
)

Eleanor of Aquitaine and her daughter-in-law, Isabella of Angoulême, followed by Richard and John, being led into captivity by Henry II after their rebellion in 1173, 12th-13th century fresco, Chapelle de Sainte Radegonde, Chinon, France (
The Art Archive/Dagli Orti
)

 

Tomb of the Young King at Rouen Cathedral (
TopFoto/Roger-Viollet
)

 

Bertran de Born (
Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Ms Français 12473, f.
1
60
)

Richard the Lionheart, painting by Merry Joseph Blondel (
Chateau de Versailles, France, Giraudon/The Bridgeman Art Library
)

Frederick Barbarossa, from
History of the Third Crusade
by Robert de Saint Remy (
TopFoto/HIP
)

Richard I and his sister, Joanna, Queen of Sicily, with Philip II of France, at Palermo in Sicily, 1190, during the Third Crusade, from
History of the Crusades
by William of Tyre (
By permission of the British Library/Yates Thompson 12, f.188v
)

Saladin, illustration by Gustave Doré from
Histoire des Croisades
by J-F. Michaud, 1877, vol. I (
akg-images
)

Portrait of Saladin, Arabic School (
British Library, London, UK/The Bridgeman Art Library
)

Saladin’s troops ravaging the Holy Land, during the Third Crusade, from
History of the Crusades
by William of Tyre (
By permission of the British Library/Yates Thompson 12, f.161
)

Saracen on horseback fighting in Sicily, fresco, late 13th century, Tour Ferrande, Pernes-les-Fontaines, France (
The Art Archive/Dagli Orti
)

 

A kneeling crusader knight, from the
Westminster Psalter
(
By permission of the British Library/Royal 2 A. XXII, f.220
)

Nureddin, Sultan of Damascus, in mail-coat and wearing an open helmet, flees on horseback pursued by two knights, Godfrey Martel and Hugh de Lusignan the Elder. From
History of the Crusades
by William of Tyre (
By permission of the British Library/Yates Thompson 12, f.132
)

Krak des Chevaliers, Syria (
The Art Archive/Dagli Orti
)

 

Embarkation of French crusaders in St Jean d’Acre and the English fleet destroying a ship of the Saracens, from Sebastian Mamerot,
Les Passages d’outremer par les Français
, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (
akg-images
)

 

Siege of Acre, from
Grandes Chroniques de France
(
Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Ms Français 2813, f.237
)

King Richard I and his army capture the city of Acre in July 1191, from
Chroniques de France ou de Saint Denis
, vol. 1 (
By permission of the British Library/Royal 16 G. VI, f.352v
)

Surrender of the keys of Acre to Richard and Philip, from
Grandes Chroniques de France
(
Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Ms Français 2813, f.238v
)

Richard the Lionheart massacres captives in reprisal, illustration by Gustave Doré from
Bibliotheque des Croisades
by J-F. Michaud, 1877 (
Private Collection, Ken Welsh/The Bridgeman Art Library
)

 

Ms illustration showing the massacre of the Saracen prisoners, from
Les Passages d’outremer par les Français
(
Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Ms Français 5594, f.213
)

Chateau-Gaillard at Les Andelys in Haute Normandie, France (
Guy Thouvenin/Robert Harding
)

Capture of Richard and his paying homage to Emperor Henry VI, from
Petrus de Ebulo
, ‘Liber ad honorem’, Augusti. Cod. 120 II, fol. 129 r, Burgerbibliothek, Bern (
akg-images
)

 

Durnstein Castle in Austria (©
Jack Sullivan/Alamy
)

Second section

‘The King! The King!’ illustration by Howard Davie from
Robin Hood and his Life in the Merry Greenwood
, told by Rose Yeatman Woolf, published by Raphael Tuck, 1910-20 (
Private Collection/The Bridgeman Art Library
)

Statue of King Richard I, by Carlo Marochetti, outside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, London (
Mary Evans/Gerald Wilson
)

 

Calendar scene for August showing three men reaping, with a farmer directing them, from the
Queen Mary Psalter
(
By permission of the British Library/Royal 2 B. VII, f.78v
)

Calendar page for July showing three men cutting down trees with axes and loading logs on to a cart, from the
Anglo-Saxon Calendar
(
By permission of the British Library/Cotton Tiberius B. V, Part 1, f.6
)

A man raising a club before three Jews, from
Chronica Roffense
by Matthew Paris (
By permission of the British Library/Cotton Nero D. II, f.183v
)

Exchequer receipt roll headed by anti-Jewish drawings (
The National Archives, Kew/ref. E401/1565
)

William Marshal unhorses a French knight (
The Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge/MS 016, f.85r
)

Seal of King John, 13th century (
Centre Historique des Archives Nationales, Paris, France, Lauros/Giraudon/The Bridgeman Art Library
)

 

Portrait of King John (
National Portrait Gallery, London
)

King John hunting a stag with hounds (
By permission of the British Library/Cotton Claudius D. II, f.116
)

King John with his dogs, from
Chronicle of England
by Peter de Langtoft (
By permission of the British Library/Royal 20 A. II, f.8v
)

The sixteen-year-old Prince Arthur is murdered by his uncle, King John, at Rouen Castle, engraved by J. Rogers after W. Hamilton (
Mary Evans Picture Library
)

 

King John pays homage to Philip of France, from
Chroniques de France ou de Saint Denis
, vol. 1 (
By permission of the British Library/Royal 16 G. VI, f.362v
)

Battle of Bouvines, from
Grandes Chroniques de France
(
Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Ms Français 2609, f.219v
)

Prince Louis of France crosses the Channel to invade England (
The Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge/Ms 016, f.46v
)

King John at Runnymede by Ernest Normand (
Guildhall Library, City of London
)

The Magna Carta (
By permission of the British Library/Cotton Augustus II.106
)

King John loses his treasure in the Wash (
Getty Images
)

MAPS

The Angevin Empire at the death of Henry II 116

 

The Mediterranean and Palestine, showing Richard’s journey during the Crusade 166

 

The French campaigns 326

 

The Angevin Empire after Bouvines 412

 

John’s campaigns 1215-16 436

Introduction

I have always been fascinated by the personalities of Richard I and King John but, Shakespeare aside, knew little of them apart from the various filmic representations over the years. That Richard was a born-again warrior I realised from many celluloid extravaganzas and I still remember with amusement Virginia Mayo’s characterisation in
King Richard and the Crusaders:
‘Fight, fight, fight. That’s all you think of, Dick Plantagenet!’ Although one critic described the sound effects for that movie as the sound of Sir Walter Scott turning in his grave, Scott himself had historians turning in their graves and has attracted two hundred years of academic contempt for his notions of Saxons and Normans still at each other’s throats in the 1190s - which did not stop Michael Curtiz and his producers annexing the idea for the famous
The Adventures of Robin Hood
in 1938. Since all these screen depictions showed Richard as the good guy and John as a creature of the night, I assumed this was a stereotype that could quickly be dispatched after some serious historical research. Imagine, then, my surprise, when my own sleuthing in ancient documents turned up what is in effect a reinforcement of the stereotype. But the honest historian must perforce go where the evidence leads him. If it has led me into areas which will not please the champions of King John, so be it. John’s defenders, it seems to me, work mainly by denying the reliability of the most famous chroniclers and questioning their good faith. In some quarters a rather curious bifurcation has arisen: charters, letters patent and pipe rolls good; Roger of Howden, Matthew Paris and Roger of Wendover bad. Like most types of revisionism, this ascetic approach generates as many absurdities as the previous and allegedly gullible vantage point. To those who say that chronicles are a poor source for medieval history, I reply that charters are an inadequate guide to human personality, and it is that with which I am principally concerned in this would-be dual biography. I hope my debt to all the fine scholars who have worked in this field is clear and is sufficiently acknowledged in the notes. But declaring an interest, I have to confess that the academic who has most influenced me is the great John Gillingham, a man whose wit, humour and humanity are as obvious as his erudition and scholarship. Needless to say, I am not attempting to co-opt him or anyone else into responsibility for any errors that have crept into the text. I also acknowledge the sterling assistance given me by Will Sulkin and Tony Whittome at Random House and my wife Pauline at home.

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