Shock horror – I see in my dips into the past that I have missed boring you by not mentioning the death of a nations greatest King –Richard Coeur de Lion.
Subject of many a thesis,so historians forgive the brief tale – He was the third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, born in Oxford 8th September 1157. Bitter internicine disputes ended when He became King of the Angevin Empire on September 30, 1189. The ceremony took place at Westminster Abbey.
Angevin Empire? – It spanned from the Scottish borders to the Pyrenees in the southwest of France.
Richard and the King of France, Philip II, combined their forces during the crusades in an attempt to liberate Jerusalem from Muslim rule. King Philip’ s early withdrawal, troubles in England and many other factors contributed to King Richard’s failure to deliver Jerusalem from Saladin. Richard signed a peace treaty with Saladin September 2, 1192
Philip’s withdrawal from battle and Richards refusal to marry Philip’s sister increased the enmity between the two men. On the evening of 26th of March 1199,while Richard was directing the siege of the castle at Chalus-Chabrol, an archer fired a crossbow bolt which embedded itself in Richard’s left shoulder. In attempting to pull the bolt out, the shaft broke, leaving the iron head in his flesh. A clumsy surgeon working by torch light made the wound far worse and gangrene set in Richard the Lionheart died on April the 6th 1199. He was buried in the Fontvraud Abbey in Anjou.
England as we have noted was but one of the many provinces in the Angevin Empire although it was the most solid and perhaps least attractive. Angevin lands included: Brittany, Normandy, Maine, Touraine, Angouleme, Anjou, and the vast duchy of Aquitaine, which included Poitou, Gascony and Guienne.
What a pity that Rouen was not its capital.
By 1204 Richard’s useless successor,the infamous King John, had lost all the lands north of the Loire to Philip . This had the effect of severing the Norman aristocracy of England from their continental possessions. Had he not done so……….les règles de république d’angevin !