King Richard the Lionheart: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Richard the Lionheart.

  • King Richard I, better known as Richard the Lionheart, was born in 1157 in Oxford, England. He was King of England from 1189 until his death in 1199.
  • His father was King Henry II and his mother was Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  • He was known as the Lionheart because he was generally considered to be a great soldier and a brave crusader. He won several battles against the Saracens.
  • After becoming king, Richard joined the Third Crusade to the Holy Land to fight the Saracens. He conquered the island of Cyprus quickly and then sold it to the Knights Templar.

Richard the Lionheart

  • Richard the Lionheart was so anxious to fight in the Crusades and in France that he used most of the Treasury money to fund his trip. Despite that, he failed to win Jerusalem from the Saracens.
  • The Saracen leader respected Richard and regarded him as a great warrior. Even though the two men were enemies, he sent Richard grapes and a fast horse as gifts.
  • Richard was King of England for 10 years, yet he spent almost all of that time outside the country and may not have been able to speak English. He often complained about the English weather.
  • During the Third Crusade, Richard was captured by the Duke of Austria. The ransom asked was about 2 billion pounds in today’s money and its payment required about 25 percent of each Englishman’s income for a year.
  • After returning from the Crusades, Richard spent much of his time fighting the French. He reportedly spent twice as much on building a castle (Chateau Gaillard) there, than he had spent on castle building in England.
  • Richard the Lionheart was shot by a crossbowman from the walls of Chalus-Chabrol castle in France. The shooter turned out to be a boy. King Richard I ordered that the boy be brought before him. Apparently, rather than having the boy executed, Richard gave him 100 shillings and let him go free in an act of forgiveness.
  • The crossbow bolt was removed from Richard I’s arm, but the wound became infected. Richard died on 6th April 1199. He was 41 years old.
  • His heart, entrails and the rest of his body were buried in different places in France.
  • Richard the Lionheart has been portrayed in many films, by actors including Richard Harris and Sean Connery. He has also appeared in operas and video games.
  • During the 1500s, Richard I was linked to the legend of Robin Hood. The outlaws of Sherwood Forest are often seen to be supporters of Richard I and become outlaws during the years in which Richard’s brother, King John I, ruled England.
  • A statue of Richard I stands outside the Palace of Westminster in London.


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