"[72][nb 7] Rumours of the manner of Arthur's death further reduced support for John across the region. He launched his new fleet to attack the French at the harbour of Damme. [82], John inherited a sophisticated system of administration in England, with a range of royal agents answering to the Royal Household: the Chancery kept written records and communications; the Treasury and the Exchequer dealt with income and expenditure respectively; and various judges were deployed to deliver justice around the kingdom. [67] John's operations became more chaotic as the campaign progressed, and Philip began to make steady progress in the east. [24] Henry II triumphed over the coalition of his sons, but was generous to them in the peace settlement agreed at Montlouis. [167] He barred Langton from entering England and seized the lands of the archbishopric and other papal possessions. Coss, Peter. They formed a key route for communications between Anjou and Gascony. These failures, foreshadowed under Henry II and Richard, were brought about by the superiority of French resources and the increasing strain on those of England and Normandy. Most of these ships were placed along the Cinque Ports, but Portsmouth was also enlarged. [81] Both Henry II and Richard had argued that kings possessed a quality of "divine majesty"; John continued this trend and claimed an "almost imperial status" for himself as ruler. He was also Earl of Gloucester and Cornwall prior to his accession to the English throne. King Rufus: The Life and Murder of William II of England. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/biography/John-king-of-England, English Monarchs - Biography of King John, The Home of the Royal Family - Biography of John Lackland, John - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), John of England - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). John was born to King Henry II of England and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, on December 24, 1166, at ‘Beaumont Palace’ in Oxford. [209], John's campaign started well. [18] Other historians have been more cautious in interpreting this material, noting that chroniclers also reported his personal interest in the life of St Wulfstan and his friendships with several senior clerics, most especially with Hugh of Lincoln, who was later declared a saint. Louis gave up his claim to the English throne and signed the Treaty of Lambeth. John’s brother, Richard the Lion-Hearted, became king and added to John’s possessions. [69] As the situation became worse for John, he appears to have decided to have Arthur killed, with the aim of removing his potential rival and of undermining the rebel movement in Brittany. These estimates are based on chronicler accounts, the date of Isabella's parents' marriage and on the date of birth of her first child. A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF KING JOHN OF ENGLAND. He lost many of his family’s Angevin lands on the continent and was forced to concede numerous rights to his barons in the Magna Carta, which has led to John being considered a colossal failure.In later years many poor reputations have been rolled back by modern supporters, and while John's financial management is now being reassessed, … The Northerners: A Study in the Reign of King John. Meanwhile, in England, war had nearly broken out between the followers of King Richard II and the followers of Gloucester. However, John had a meeting with him and persuaded him to desert Arthur, and marry his son Louis to John's own niece, Blanche, who had a chance of being queen of part of Spain. [262] The character of John acts either to highlight the virtues of King Richard, or contrasts with the Sheriff of Nottingham, who is usually the "swashbuckling villain" opposing Robin. [11], Shortly after his birth, John was passed from Eleanor into the care of a wet nurse, a traditional practice for medieval noble families. [2] Nonetheless, modern historians agree that he also had many faults as king, including what historian Ralph Turner describes as "distasteful, even dangerous personality traits", such as pettiness, spitefulness, and cruelty. [154] Conflict continued in Ireland between the Anglo-Norman settlers and the indigenous Irish chieftains, with John manipulating both groups to expand his wealth and power in the country. Agatha de Ferrers Mistress of John I Lackland, King of England and possible mother of his illegitimate daughter Joan, who married Llewellyn the Great'; Prince of Wales. [58], After his coronation, John moved south into France with military forces and adopted a defensive posture along the eastern and southern Normandy borders. He marched from the Cotswolds, feigned an offensive to relieve the besieged Windsor Castle, and attacked eastwards around London to Cambridge to separate the rebel-held areas of Lincolnshire and East Anglia. [5] The territories of Henry and Eleanor formed the Angevin Empire, named after Henry's paternal title as Count of Anjou and, more specifically, its seat in Angers. The King named his four-year-old nephew Arthur as his heir. Historians are divided in their use of the terms "Plantagenet" and "Angevin" in regards to Henry II and his sons. [100][nb 12] John created a new tax on income and movable goods in 1207 – effectively a version of a modern income tax – that produced £60,000; he created a new set of import and export duties payable directly to the Crown. His determination to reverse the Continental failure bore fruit in ruthlessly efficient financial administration, marked by taxation on revenues, investigations into the royal forests, taxation of the Jews, a great inquiry into feudal tenures, and the increasingly severe exploitation of his feudal prerogatives. [74] This was not just a personal blow for John, but threatened to unravel the widespread Angevin alliances across the far south of France. Author of. [147] John began his reign by reasserting his sovereignty over the disputed northern counties. One of John's principal challenges was acquiring the large sums of money needed for his proposed campaigns to reclaim Normandy. [47] The following year, John seized the town of Gamaches and led a raiding party within 50 miles (80 km) of Paris, capturing the Bishop of Beauvais. This was after many conflicts with barons and the Church. [67], John's position in France was considerably strengthened by the victory at Mirebeau, but John's treatment of his new prisoners and of his ally, William de Roches, quickly undermined these gains. [176] Some contemporary chroniclers suggested that in January Philip II of France had been charged with deposing John on behalf of the papacy, although it appears that Innocent merely prepared secret letters in case Innocent needed to claim the credit if Philip did successfully invade England. The quarrel continued until 1213, by which time John had amassed more than £100,000 from the revenues of vacant or John also had to deal with a lot of issues while he was king. [115] From Henry II onwards, ira et malevolentia had come to describe the right of the King to express his anger and displeasure at particular barons or clergy, building on the Norman concept of malevoncia – royal ill-will. [64] John was unwilling to weaken his authority in western France in this way. [27] John's first period of rule in Ireland was not a success. [26] The two attacked the capital of Poitiers, and Richard responded by attacking Brittany. John, King of England real name: John, Birthdate(Birthday): December 24, 1166 , Age on October 19, 1216 (Death date): 49 Years 9 Months 26 Days Profession: Kings (King of England), Father: Henry II, King of England, Mother: Eleanor of Aquitaine, Married: Yes, Children: Yes Marriage to John of England . [51] The powerful Anjou nobleman William des Roches was persuaded to switch sides from Arthur to John; suddenly the balance seemed to be tipping away from Philip and Arthur in favour of John. [195] He appears to have been playing for time until Pope Innocent III could send letters giving him explicit papal support. 1 Oct 1207, d. 16 Nov 1272; Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall + 10 b. John, taking his ground on the traditional rights of the English crown in episcopal elections, refused to accept Langton. [55] Armies of the period could be formed from either feudal or mercenary forces. [74] John's relief operation was blocked by Philip's forces, and John turned back to Brittany in an attempt to draw Philip away from eastern Normandy. [252] Popular historian Frank McLynn maintains a counter-revisionist perspective on John, arguing that the King's modern reputation amongst historians is "bizarre", and that as a monarch John "fails almost all those [tests] that can be legitimately set". [261] Claude Rains played John in the 1938 colour version alongside Errol Flynn, starting a trend for films to depict John as an "effeminate ... arrogant and cowardly stay-at-home". [66] Rather than negotiating some form of compensation, John treated Hugh "with contempt"; this resulted in a Lusignan uprising that was promptly crushed by John, who also intervened to suppress Raoul in Normandy. On his father's death in 1189 his brother, Richard, became king. [34] Richard retained royal control of key castles in these counties, thereby preventing John from accumulating too much military and political power. His two marriages -- to Isabella, Countess of Gloucester and Isabella, Countess of Angouleme -- produced a total of five children. In 1175 he appropriated the estates of the late Earl of Cornwall and gave them to John. [12] Eleanor spent the next few years conspiring against Henry and neither parent played a part in John's very early life. John’s father wasn’t just King of England; he had acquired land in Anjou and Normandy. [138] John's preferred plan was to use Poitou as a base of operations, advance up the Loire Valley to threaten Paris, pin down the French forces and break Philip's internal lines of communication before landing a maritime force in the Duchy itself. [67] His forces caught Arthur by surprise and captured the entire rebel leadership at the battle of Mirebeau. These measures provided the material basis for the charges of tyranny later brought against him. Contemporary chroniclers argued that John had fallen deeply in love with her, and John may have been motivated by desire for an apparently beautiful, if rather young, girl. An argument with Pope Innocent III led to John's excommunication in 1209, a dispute he finally settled in 1213. [140], John had already begun to improve his Channel forces before the loss of Normandy and he rapidly built up further maritime capabilities after its collapse. [70][nb 6], Further desertions of John's local allies at the beginning of 1203 steadily reduced his freedom to manoeuvre in the region. 4. [220] Roger of Wendover provides the most graphic account of this, suggesting that the King's belongings, including the English Crown Jewels, were lost as he crossed one of the tidal estuaries which empties into the Wash, being sucked in by quicksand and whirlpools. [64] Philip argued that he was summoning John not as the Duke of Normandy, but as the Count of Poitou, which carried no such special status. He married Margaret of Provence in 1234. [61][nb 8] [94] John's reforms were less popular with the barons themselves, especially as they remained subject to arbitrary and frequently vindictive royal justice.[94]. King John of England son of the Angevin and Plantagenet Empire 1199-1216. John was very young when his mother left for Poitiers and sent John to ‘Fontevrault Abbey,’ where he was assigned a teacher to educate him. The deaths of his older brothers left John in a position to become King of England, a title he assumed after the 1199 death of Richard I of England … King John was King of England from 1199 to 1216. [240] The anonymous play The Troublesome Reign of King John portrayed the King as a "proto-Protestant martyr", similar to that shown in John Bale's morality play Kynge Johan, in which John attempts to save England from the "evil agents of the Roman Church". Turner, p. 192 citing Brown, pp. He spent much of the next decade attempting to regain these lands, raising huge revenues, reforming his armed forces and rebuilding continental alliances. [144] John used some of this money to pay for new alliances on Philip's eastern frontiers, where the growth in Capetian power was beginning to concern France's neighbours. They commented on the paucity of John's charitable donations to the Church. Children of John I 'Lackland', King of England and Isabella d ' Angoulême. He refused William's request for the earldom of Northumbria, but did not intervene in Scotland itself and focused on his continental problems. [73], In late 1203, John attempted to relieve Château Gaillard, which although besieged by Philip was guarding the eastern flank of Normandy. [64], John initially adopted a defensive posture similar to that of 1199: avoiding open battle and carefully defending his key castles. [51] With Arthur's army pressing up the Loire Valley towards Angers and Philip's forces moving down the valley towards Tours, John's continental empire was in danger of being cut in two. King John seems to have been having illegitimate children over an extended period of time, both before and after becoming king. [210] Having regained the south-east John split his forces, sending William Longespée to retake the north side of London and East Anglia, whilst John himself headed north via Nottingham to attack the estates of the northern barons. [234] Of these, Joan became the most famous, marrying Prince Llywelyn the Great of Wales. John was a younger son of Henry II and he was not expected to become king. An Illustrated History of Late Medieval England. He also had to promise (March 1190) not to enter England during Richard’s absence on his Crusade. [174] Although the interdict was a burden to much of the population, it did not result in rebellion against John. [33] John was made Count of Mortain, was married to the wealthy Isabella of Gloucester, and was given valuable lands in Lancaster and the counties of Cornwall, Derby, Devon, Dorset, Nottingham and Somerset, all with the aim of buying his loyalty to Richard whilst the King was on crusade. When war with France broke out again in 1202, John achieved early victories, but shortages of military resources and his treatment of Norman, Breton, and Anjou nobles resulted in the collapse of his empire in northern France in 1204. Sam De Grasse's role as John in the black-and-white 1922 film version shows John committing numerous atrocities and acts of torture. [104], At the start of John's reign there was a sudden change in prices, as bad harvests and high demand for food resulted in much higher prices for grain and animals. [103] He found that these measures enabled him to raise further resources through the confiscation of the lands of barons who could not pay or refused to pay. Henry had often allied himself with the Holy Roman Emperor against France, making the feudal relationship even more challenging. This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 18:06. [232] The youngest daughter, Eleanor, married William Marshal's son, also called William, and later the famous English rebel Simon de Montfort. (2007) "Philip Augustus and King John: Personality and History," in Church (ed) 2007. [134] Financial records show a normal royal household engaged in the usual feasts and pious observances – albeit with many records showing John's offerings to the poor to atone for routinely breaking church rules and guidance. He was initially looked after by a wet nurse called Ellen in the south of England, away from John's itinerant court, and probably had close ties to his mother. [32] Henry died shortly afterwards. [243] Winston Churchill, for example, argued that "[w]hen the long tally is added, it will be seen that the British nation and the English-speaking world owe far more to the vices of John than to the labours of virtuous sovereigns". [67] With his southern flank weakening, Philip was forced to withdraw in the east and turn south himself to contain John's army. McEachern, Claire. [74] In March 1204, Gaillard fell. [122][nb 14], The character of John's relationship with his second wife, Isabella of Angoulême, is unclear. John refused Innocent's request that he consent to Langton's appointment, but the Pope consecrated Langton anyway in June 1207. [137] John adopted recent improvements in ship design, including new large transport ships called buisses and removable forecastles for use in combat. 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