Richard I absences and its impact

Preparations, why he was absent, threats and how he dealt with them (effectively or not?)

  • Created by: ava.scott
  • Created on: 01-05-14 09:56

Preparation for absence- Government


  • William Longchamp became Lord Chancellor and papal legate, as well as chief justiciar- this linked the church and government.
  • 4 key justiciars to help Longchamp.
  • Meticulous plea rolls and other records were kept.
  • Henry II's reforms in finance and judicial systems were maintained.
  • John was given extensive land and wealth in England and married to Isabella of Glamorgan.
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Preparation for absence- Finance


  • Introduced 'Saladin Tithe' which was a 10% tax on all Chruch wealth.
  • Sold titles, offices, land and anything the monarch usually gave away for free. For example the Bishop of Winchester paid £3,000 for royal demense in Herefordshire.
  • He fined people for corruption and other judicial faults. The Sheriff of Worcester was fined £1,000.
  • The exchequer wrote royal revenue as £31,000 in 1190, double the amount of the previous year.
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Preparation for absence- Defence


  • Signed treaty with Scotland called 'Quit Claim'; this promised Scotland independence in return for £6,000 and neautrality in foreign affairs.
  • Signed oaths of neytrality with Welsh Princes.
  • Philip II of France was pacified with a gift of £16,000, the surrender of Auvergne and the promise to marry his sister Alys (This marriage never happened as it was rumoured she and Henry II had had an affair.)
  • Aquittaine was secured by an agreement with Sancho of Navarre, secured by an agreement to marry his daughter, Berngaria of Navarre.
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Reasons for Absence- The Third Crusade

The Third Crusade 1190-92

  • In 1187 Saladin took the city of Jerusalem with Muslim forces. The Pope sent out for all Christian kings to help reclaim it.
  • Richard I was an amazing military leader, taking the impregnable Taillebourg (french castle) in 2 days in 1179. He and Philip II of France sailed to Cyprus before launching an attack on Acre.
  • After the succesful gain of this port and city in 1191, the two leaders argued over superiority and booty. Philip II left in rage (although plenty of his men remained.) Richard had two further successes at Arsuf and Jaffa later that year, but did not dare attack the City of Jerusalem itself. 
  • He and Saldin agreed a truce in haste (as Richard was now facing threats from his brother John and the French King).
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Reasons for Absence- Abduction

Capture 1193-94-

  • On his way home in 1193, Richard was captured by Duke Leopold of Austria, who then handed him over the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI. 
  • Philip II and John tried to arrange for Henry to keep Richard for longer, and pay him for this.
  • Instead, Henry issued a ransom of 150,000 marks (approx. £60,000). 
  • Hubert Walter returns to England, assuming Chief Justiciar and Archbishopric of Canterbury. The ransom is raised through careful administration and hard taxation. Richard returns in 1194, and is recrowned. 

The ransom lead to a huge increase of control and administration within England.

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Reasons for Absence- War with France

War with France 1194 to death in 1199- 

  • He leaves again in 4 months to fight King Philip II of France over lands. 
  • Philip is an extremely opportuinistic monarch, and has also gained many advantages from his brief alliance with John e.g. key castles such as the Evreux on the Anglo-Norman frontier.
  • The remainder of Richard's reign is on the continent until he died in a minor squirmish on the Aquittainian border.
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Threats from 1189-1194: JOHN

  • JOHN

When John heard about Richards capture in 1193, he rushed to France where he was offered to be Lord of all Richards lands in France, if he married Philip II's sister, Alys. Eleanor and Coutances persuaded him out of it, threatening to take away all his English and Irish lands. He was also already married.

How did Richard deal with the threat?

  • Forgave John and showed him mercy.
  • Helped him regain lands.
  • John was designated as heir.
  • John helped Richard fight in France.
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Threats from 1189-1194: Longchamp and Govt.


in 1189 Longcamp paid £3,000 for office of Chancellor and then was named papal legate. He was also give the Bishopric of Ely and chief justiciarship with Hugh de Puiset.

John didn't like Longchamp (probably jealous of his power, but the justiciar was also from Normandy and was insenstive of English customs.) This lead to disputes, including Longchamps capture of John's Lincoln Castle. 

Richard sends Walter de Coutances over in 1191, the same year as the Geoffery scandal. Geoffery was the half brother of John and Richard, and AB of Rouen. He returned to England against his word, took refuge in St Martins Priory, only to be dragged out by Longchamp's men. This caused outrage as it reminded people of Beckett. John helped spread hostility with rumours of Longchamp crossdressing!

Later that year (1191) Longchamp is deposed and excommunicated and flees to Flanders. Walter de Coutances assumes his position.

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Threats from 1189-1194: dealing with threats in Go

How did Richard deal with the threat?

During his capture, in 1193, Richard sent Hubert Walter back to England. He becomes AB of Canterbury and chief justiciar that year and papal legate in 1195. He was a very effective minister and successfully raised the huge ransom imposed by Henry VI, by streamlining the judicial and financial systems.

When in England, Richard imposed many new instructions in the finance and logistics of his kingdom. In these ways he maintained rule of England relatively smoothly (compared to John anyway.)

Problems/ concerns with his response:

  • No new assizes were made in Richard's absence.
  • He still faced opposition from everywhere and had few allies. 
  • He spent £6,000 on castles in England, but £12,000 on just one in the Continent.
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Years 1194-99

Although John was forgiven for his rebellion and treachery, Philip II recieved no such mercy.

In 1194, Richard lead multiple victories against Philip, regaining security in Anjou. However, Philip still had a large part of Normandy, due to John's help during 1193-4.


  • Richard built the Chateux Gaillard, which cost his £12,000 (only £7000 was spent on all English castles.)
  • Alliance with Count of Tolouse, securing southern borders of the Angevin Empire.

1197- Treaty with Count of Flanders, securing key coastal ports facing England as neutral.

1198-Otto of Brunswick was elected Holy Roman Emperor, and this meant the Angevins had a friend in Germany.

Hubert Walter was a fanastic justiciar, archbishop and legate.

1199- Richard dies by an arrow sieging the Viscount of Limoge's castle in Chalus-Chabrol.

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Why was Richard still king in 1199?

His preparations

  • He subdued many potential enemies with money, independence and promises. However, many of these 'allies' (Philip and John) deferred from their position (e.g. Philip soon turned against Richard as he wouldn't marry his sister, Alys.)
  • Richard's second chancellors, Hubert Walter and Walter de Coutances, were very successful. However, Longchamp has put stress on the system, and made relations with John worse.

His response

  • Great military leader in war of France.
  • His forgiving approach towards John reduced chances of further conflict.
  • Choosing a Hubert Walter after Longchamp disaster was a great decision.

Other things

  • Philip II was distracted by disturbances in France.
  • Philip's men would not attack a crusader's lands.
  • Richard had loyal supporters e.g. Eleanor and Norman barons.
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