John's nickname was
or as the French called him Jean Sans Terre.
John's Famous Family
John's father was
His mother was the beautiful and smart
Eleanor of Aquitaine, who by the way was brilliantly
depicted by the great Katherine Hepburn in the movie
The Lion in
Back to John.
Henry and Eleanor had five sons and three daughters.
The oldest son was William who died at age three.
was son number two. Son number three was
John's very famous brother
Richard the Lionheart.
Number four was
was his parents' youngest son and his father's favorite.
John's sisters were Matilda,
Eleanor Jr., and
John's mother Eleanor was married once before — to
The marriage was annulled in the year 1152. Eleanor and Louis had
1167 - 1188
It was the year 1173. John was 16 years old.
John's father had it all figured out. His favorite son would marry
the daughter of Humbert III, count of Maurienne (Savoy),
which would mean lots of lands for John. Unfortunately for
John, the marriage proposal didn't sit right with John's elder
brothers, a greedy bunch. The brothers started a rebellion during
the years 1173 - 1174.
the Anglo-Norman Rebellion of 1173
This marriage was off and father Henry arranged another marriage
via which John would become the Earl
In 1177, John was given the lordship of Ireland. John went and visited Ireland
in April 1185 and stayed until late
1185. While in Ireland, John partied the house down, which didn't
Father Henry kept preferring son
John. John's brother Richard was finally fed up with it and raised
serious stink. John, son of a smart mother, figured that father Henry would
probably kick the bucket fairly soon. So John made friends with Richard and turned against his
1189 - 1199
Richard became king
after the death of his father in 1189. Richard was very generous towards his brother John.
He made him Count of Mortain, France, and gave him lands and revenues in England.
MAP LOCATION OF MORTAIN, FRANCE
As it had already been arranged by his father, John now married
Isabella, heiress to the earldom of Gloucester.
Richard was no fool. When
he was fixing to go on
he made his brother John promise not to enter England while he was
away. John promised and kept his word. That is, until October 1190,
when Richard announced that their
Arthur I, son of their late brother
Geoffrey, would be
successor to the throne.
This ticked John off and he returned
to England in order to kick butt and take names.
During Richard's absence (1190 -
William Longchamp and
Hugh de Puiset were entrusted with
the running of the country. William soon managed to get
rid of Hugh. William was loyal to Richard, but he was a
John thought this was an opportune time to convince the
English citizens that he, John, should
become king. Now.
Thus, in 1191, John declared himself ruler.
Many people, however, kept their loyalty to Richard and disliked John's
presumptuous actions. In addition, clever and powerful mother Eleanor
wished to see her son Richard on the
throne, rather than her son John.
In January 1193, John received
news that Richard, on his way back from the crusade, had been
imprisoned in Germany by Holy German Emperor
Henry VI. John thought that was
excellent news and teamed up with French King
Philip II to
get some backup to take over the throne for good.
But easier planned than done.
Richard's loyal supporters forced John to accept a truce in April 1193.
John continued scheming with Philip. On
paper, they divided Richard's belongings
amongst each other, just in case something
actually should happen to Richard, God forbid. To make sure
it would, they were also planning a rebellion in England.
When Richard came
back to England in early 1194, he issued John a one-way ticked into
exile and all
his lands were confiscated. John apologized to Richard and, amazingly enough,
Richard forgave him. By May
1194, the brothers were best friends again. Richard gave John back some
of his estates including Mortain and Ireland.
But there was still the
nephew Arthur issue
that John wanted to be taken care of. And solved it got. In
1196, the Brits handed Arthur over to Philip II of France. Dungeon
storage optional. Richard
announced that John would be his successor, Arthur who?
King of England 1199 - 1216
Richard died in April 1199 and John became king of England. Finally.
undisputed. The people weren't blind and some thought that Arthur
had been dealt a foul hand.
Greedy Philip II of France decided there was potentially some money to
be made with his prisoner, Arthur. Philip switched game plans and
loyalties, turned against John, voted for Arthur
as English ruler,
and organized a propaganda campaign accordingly. In Anjou and Maine everybody was
convinced that Arthur was the rightful king of England. Death to John.
A year down the road: