King Richard and John key events


Richard becoming king

Causes - Richard was the eldest surviving son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was an experienced ruler and Duke of Aquitaine since 1172. He was also the faourite son of Eleanor, who held much power and influence.

Events - On 3 september 1189 Richard 1 was crowned king of the Angevin Empire in a lavish ceremony. He was crowned in the coronation ceromony at Westminster Abbey where, he was anointed with holy oil and swore to protect the church and act with justice and mercy (the coronation oath) and the tennants in chief swore homage.

Consequences -

  • He made peace who had fought against him.
  • He made John the Count of Mortain and Geoffrey Archbishop of Yolk but banned them from England for 3 years.
  • He made William king of Scotland aboandon his claim to the throne as long as he did not have to pay homage.
  • He put William Longchamp in charge whilst he was away.
  • He restored land to nobles and treated them with courtesy and respect.
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John's rebellion

Causes - Richard was away from England fighting the crusade and John was allowed back in England. Many did not like Longchamp as he was Norman, paid richard to make him chancellor, replaced many sheriffs with his own men, and was arrogant.

Events - In 1191 John arrives in England and stirs up rebelions from the Barons against Longchamp's rule. He set up his own court, hired sheiffs to collect taxes for him,and seized control of several castles.

After Richard's capture in 1193, John pays homage to Philip II for Richard's lands in France, seizes more castles, and declares Richard dead and himself as king.

Consequences - In October 1191 Longchamps was deposed. In 1193 Hubert Walter becomes justiciar. He had the support of barons and made the justice system more effective by choosing four kings in every hundred to deal with justice in an area.

Richard forgave John upon returing to England in 1194 and named him his heir.

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London Riot (pogroms)

Causes -

  • The church banned Christians from moneylending and they were angry that some Jews were becoming rich from it.
  • Some viewed Jews as "Christ Killers".
  • The Jews of London presented Richard with a gift at his cornoation and the crowd saw this as an insult.

Events - During 1189-90 there were many pogroms where Jew's homes were set on fire, their property stolen, and many physically attacked or killed. After one progrom where 30 Jews were killed Richard hanged the ringleaders and sent messages across England ordering people to leave Jews in peace as their tallage money was too precious to him.

Consequences -  A frenzy of killing swept across the country in Norwich, Lincoln and York. In York 150 took refuge at Clifford's Tower in York Castle. When this was attacked, some men killed their families before committing suicide. Jewish prosperity declined and landlords who owed money to the Jews destroyed records to clear their debt.

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Richard's control of Normany

Causes - Richard's army successfully laid seige to many castles, defended their own castles and won several battles. Richard bribed many nobles to switch sides and support him instead of Phillip. Richard made important allinces with leaders, meaning Phillip was surrounded by enemies.

Chateau Gaillard - Regarded as having the finest defences in Europe. It was close enough to Rouen for men and supplies to reach it easily by road and by the river for ships. It defended the main route from Paris to Rouen. Around the central great tower were several thick walls with huge towers to defend them. Many of the walls were curved, meaning they had no weak corners. It was on a steep hill, making it difficult to attack and mine under.

Consequences - It was the closest Angevin land in France to England so provided a gateway to other regions. Barons were happy Richard had kept Normandy as they had land there. Produced crops and animal fodder as Normandy was very wealthy and and fertile. Prevented Phillip from invading.

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John's loss of Normandy

Causes -

  • John did not offer compensation when he married Isabelle of Angouleme who was betrothed to Hugh de Lusignan. He then refused to attend Philip's court after he had been summoned, giving Philip the chance to forfeit John's lands in France and launch an attack. He claimed Normandy for himself and declare Arthur lord of all John's other lands in France.
  • John's treatment of Arthur and other Noble prisoners causes many nobles to switch sides.
  • English barons were reluctant to start another war.
  • John could not afford to hire more professional soldiers or bribe nobles.
  • Phillip was a good millitary leader and skilled diplomat.
  • John returned to England in December 1203 and many thought he was abandoning them.
  • Paying homage to Phillip in 1200 meant Philip could legally declare John's lands forfeit in 1202.

Events - On 6th March 1204 philip takes Chateua Gaillard and on 24th June Rouen surrendes to Philip and Normandy is entirely under Philip's control.

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The interdict

Causes - John, the Pope and the monks of Canterbury disagreed who should be the new Archishop. John did not know or trust the Pope's decision of Stephen Langton, especially as he had been working in Paris with Philip, and wanted John de Gray to be archbishop. Pope Innocent II was relatively young, 37, and wanted to assert his authority. Also, he had spent time with Langton and new him to be a holy man. John expelled the monks from Canterbury and seized land from Italian clergy in England.

Events - The pope placed England under an Interdict from March 1208 until July 1213.

Consequence -

  • The dying were not allowed to recieve mass and the sick could not be anointed.
  • Marriages could not take place in Church.
  • Christian burial was banned (many feared the soul of their loved ones would not go to heaven)
  • Baptisms were only allowed behind locked doors in the Church.
  • Religious services could not take place in a Church.
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The interdict (continued)

Consequences - John confiscated the property of any clergy who opposed him and kept and profit for himself unless they paid for it back. Some  monks and mistresses were arrested and only released upon payment of a large fine. Consequently, John profited a great deal.

John's excomunication

On 8th Novenmeber 1209, the pope excommunicated John. This excluded him from all church services and meant he would go to hell. It also meant all his subjects were released from their oath to obey him. Most of his subjects resented him for putting them in a position to choose between him and the Church.

John responded by seizing even more Church property and possessions.

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The reconciliation

Causes -  John lacked allies both in England and Europe. By reconciling with Inocent III, John would have the papacy as the most powerful ally. Also, by 1213 England was on the brink of invasion from Prince Louis, Phillip would be able to claim this as a crusade with the pope's blessing.

Events - In May 1213 John agreed to the pope's peace terms:

  • Stephen Lngton to become archishop
  • All clergy exiled from England allowed to return and their land returned to them.
  • Compensation given to the pope, 1000 marks a year.
  • England would become a fief of Rome and John a vassal of the pope.

Consequences -

  • John became a vassal of the pope
  • It prevented Phillip II's forces from invading.
  • It gave John an important ally against attacks, invasions and problems within his kingdom.
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The plot of 1212

Causes -

  • Scutage was raised 11 times within this period.
  • Marriage fines more frequently charged on barons who married without the king's permission.
  • The amount charged in wardship fines increased by 300%
  • Widows were fined if the did not agree to marry who John wanted or if they wanted to inherit their husband's land without remarrying.
  • In 1207 John introduced the thirteenth tax on goods and income.
  • Fines for inheriting lands rose by 400%.
  • John and his favourites pressured barons to pay fines within a fixed period or he would seize their land, take their possesions or even hold their relatives hostage.
  • John took almost complete control of justice and only used judges directly approved by himself.

Events - In 1212 some of the barons ploted to kill John. This was led by Eustace do Vesci, Robert Fitz Walten, and Llywelyn.

Consequences - John made some more concession, including relaxing some tax demands and reconcilled with the pope.

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The Battle at Bouvines

Causes - John's loss of Normandy.

Events - John left for France in February 1214 with a large, well-prepaed army. On 27 July 1214 John's allies lost at Bouvines and his hope of regaining Normandy was lost.

Consequences -

  • John returned defeated and discredited, his reputation of a "softsword" was cemented.
  • He had wasted £130000. The barons who had financed the campaign were angry about the money he had lost and their revenues in France.
  • Philip II had defeated buth the Angevins and the Holy Roman Empire, making them the most powerful nation in Europe.
  • Perhaps led to the baron's rebellion and the Magna Carter.
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The rebellion of 1215

Causes - John's high demands, use of arbitary power, and loss of Nomandy in October 1214.

In January 1215 John met with the rebels in London and refused thier demands.  John also refused the demands sent in April, hoping for more time in which the pope could take his side.

Events - On May 5 1215, rebel barons broke their oath of fealty to John and marched on Northampton led by Fitz Walter. They failed to take the town but marched to London and took control of Norfolk, Suffolk and Lincoln. By 17 May rebels gained control of London and its financial resources. By June around 39 barons out of 165 rebelled against John.

Consequences - Especially after losing London with much revenue that would have helped quash the rebellion, John was forced to sign the Magna Carter.

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The Magna Carter

Causes -

  • Money - the barons were in debt due to the unfair taxes
  • Power - Few barons were consulted before John made decisions as he relied on a small number of "new men".
  • Behaviour - John treated some very cruelly and made baron's widows marry men of his choice and was accused of trying to reduces some baron's wives and daughters.
  • Justice - John had almost total control of justice and was accused of using arbitary power to benefit himself. His punishments were often unfair and he was accuesed of selling justice.

Events - The Magna Carter was sealed at Runnymede, Surrey, on 15 June 1215.

Consequences - (provisions of the Magna Carta)

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Main provisions of Magna Carta

  • English church set free
  • Inheritance fines set at £100
  • Not have to pay a coming of age fine to recieve lands
  • Widow does not have to pay to inherit her lands and can have them all at once
  • Scutage and aid only raised with the agreement of the barons
  • For freemen, fines only levied in poportion to the seriusness of the crime
  • Barons only fined after the trial and in proportion to the crime committed
  • No freeman could be arrested, imprisoned or have his lands confiscated without the hearing of a fair trial with his peers
  • The king could not sell, delay or deny justice
  • All have their unfairly confiscated lands returned
  • A coucil of 25 barons, chosen by the barons, set up to advise the king. If he refuses, his possessions and land can be confiscated
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The Third Crusade

Causes - By 1095 the Muslims Seljuk Turks had taken over the Holy Land and the pope claimed that Muslims were being persecuted and prevented them from visiting, this resulted in the first crusade. However, by 1144 Muslim forces took back parts of Edessa, leading to the second crusade.

By October 1187 Jerusalem was back under Muslim control. On 29 October 1187 Pope Gregory VIII issued a papal bull describling horrible attacks on Christians by Muslims and calling a Third Crusade to take back Jerusalem. He offered a full indulgence to those who went.

Consequences -

  • The treaty of Jaffa
  • Increased rivalry with Philip
  • Richard being captured
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Why people went on crusade

Soldiers, knights, churchmen, priests and civilians motives:

  • Did not have to pay the Saladin tithe and all debts would be cancelled.
  • There would be opportunity to gain wealth and land.
  • The 800 professional soldiers who went were paid.
  • The Pope had promised full indulgence and it was viewed as  a religious duty.
  • Were told of Muslim atrocoties and viewed Jerusalem the most sacred of all Chirstian sites.
  • To win glory and respect for themselves and their family.
  • To complete their Knight service and fulfill their duty to their lord.
  • To take revenge on the Muslims who had taken Jerusalem and killed Christians.

Richards motives:

  • He was religious and believed it was his Christian duty.
  • He as a great soldier with militay experience and believed it was his chance for honour and glory.
  • He had the necessary resources.
  • His great grandfather had been king of Jerusalem.
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Richard's quarrels with Philip II

  • Fredrick I, leader of the Holy Roman Empire drowned on the way to the Holy Land in June 1190 and so both Richard and Philip wanted to lead the crusade.
  • In September 1190 Richard was greeted with a great ceremony upon his arrival at Messina, whereas Philip was greeted with a quiet ceremony. When Richard conquered the Island, Philip was annoyed.
  • Richard invaded and conquered Cyprus in May 1191 but refused to give Philip ashare of its value - 100000 gold coins, gains and supplies.
  • In Cyprus, Richard married Berengaria of Navarre, going back on his agreement to marry Philip's sister.
  • They disagreed who should be king of Jerusalem and how much their professional soldiers should be paid.

Philip returned home in August 1191 due to annoyance at Richard, illness and fear that France would be attacked in his absence.

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Acre and Arsuf

Causes - Acre was the main port in the Kingdom of Jerusalem and therefore an important supply route to Jerusalem, however it had been under seige since 1189.

After their success at Acre the army marched to Jaffa and was faced by Saladin's army at Arsuf.

Consequences - Enhanced Richard's reputaion as a great warrior and military leader.

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Acre and Arsuf events

  • Philip's forces reached the town in January 1191 and joined the seige. Richard joined on 8 June.
  • The walls were eventually breached by catapults and Philip's miners. Saladin surrendered on 12 July 1191.
  • Philip returned to France and Richard agreed to release Muslim soldiers for 200 000 gold coins, the release of Christian prisoners and the handing over of the True Cross. However Saladin did none of this.
  • On August 20 Richard's men took 2700 Muslim prisoners to a spot within sight of Saladin's camp and executed them.
  • On 25 August the men began their march to Jaffa. They marched close to the sea so that one flank was protected by the fleet and the other by the archers and infantry. They were supplied with water, food and a place to rest from the fleet and despite frequent attacks the crusaders kept their formation.
  • On 7 September 1191 Saladin's 30 000 army attacked on the plain of Arsuf.
  • Richard led his knights  on a charge into the middle of Saladin's army, causing them to flee and the crusaders to advance on their way to Jaffa.
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Failure to recapture Jerusalem.

Causes -

  • Leaving the coast would have left thier supplies vulnerable to attack and they could easily have been surrouded by Saladin's army.
  • Richard also had a lack of troops to seccessfully beseige Jerusalem with its strong defences, including a fortress and a wall.
  • Even if they did win, Richard had a lack of resources to hold the city.

Events - At first, progress was slow due to terrible weather and so Richard led the crusaders to Ascalon.By June the weather was too hot and Richard worried about a lack of water, especially as Saladin hat poisoned the wells around Jerusalem. And so, once agian, Richard retreated.

Consequences - The Treaty of Jaffa agreed that:

  • Muslims retained Jerusalem.
  • Chistains would retain the coastline between Acre and Jaffa.
  • Christians would be able to pilgrim to Jersusalem
  • There would be no fighting for 3 years.
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The Barons first war and the taking of Rochester

Causes - After John had signed the Magna Carta, he apealed to the Pope who issued a papal bull declaring the Magna Carta void and pledged to excommunicate anyone who tried to enforce it. The barons invited Prince Louis, Philip's son, to become kind and promised Alexander II of Scotland land if he sent forces to help them.

Events - Rochester Castle was needed to defend or attack the capital and was taken over by the barons in October 1215. John arrived shortly after and took control of the town and laid seige to the castle, which was surrendered on 30 November. By March only London was still held against John.

Consequences - The Invasion of Prince Louis

Prince Louis landed in Kent on 21 May with and amy of 1200 knights. John retreated and Louis quickly took most of Kent. By the end of July about 2/3rds of the barons were with Louis and they had captured many important towns/cities.

On 15 October John died of dysentery

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Thanks This is very useful



Thank you, this resource is very helpful, especially as I'm trying to revise for PPEs and mocks. 5 stars

FaZe Zetl


You’re spelling is awful, you get so many of the names wrong eg Robert Fitz Walten (it’s Robert Fitzwalter), so many of the underlying causes are unnecessarily summarised an concise. 



May you attempt to re-read your cards before they are 'posted' as there are quite a few spelling mistakes and it makes the potentially very useful cards slightly difficult to understand.

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