King Richard 1 st was called Coeur de Lion, which means Lion Hearted. He was born in Oxford, England 1157. He was the third son of Henry 2 nd and Eleanor of Aquitaine. While Richard was still a baby he was betrothed to daughter of the French king Louis VII, and in 1172 he was given the duchy of Aquitaine in France, his mother's inheritance. As a child he spent his time protecting his interests from his father. Richard turned out to be a brilliant solider.
When he became king in 1189, he set out on his 3 rd crusade. Young Lois king of France went along with him. The Crusade proved a failure from the beginning, mainly because of the lack of peace between the two kings. In Sicily Richard argued with Philip and refused to marry Philip's sister as planned.
Instead he married Berengaria of Navarre on Cyprus, which he conquered in 1191. After capturing Acre (now known as 'Asko) from the Saracens that year, Richard executed 2, 700 Muslim prisoners of war. It was Richard's personal intrest in the Holy Land that made his name famous in many legends. Conflict over policy in the Holy Land resulted in a break between the two kings, and Philip returned to France alone. Richard spent months in contests against Saladin, sultan of Egypt and Syria, before making a truce in which Jerusalem was left in Saladin's hands. Captured on the route to England by Leopold 5 th, duke of Austria, Richard was handed over to the Holy Roman Emperor Henry 6 th.
He was released in 1194 only after paying a large ransom. Richard returned to England and made peace with his brother, John, who was later a king of England, who in Richards absence had been plotting with Philip to take over the English throne. Leaving the government of England to the care of Hubert Walter, archbishop of Canterbury, Richard went to France in 1194 to wage war against the French king. Campaigns in defense of his European lands continued for five years.
Victor in mos of the warfare in which he engaged, Richard was fatally wounded by an arrow during an insignificant skirmish in 1199. As king, Richard had chosen ministers, to whom he left most matters of administration. Under his rule, however, England suffered heavy taxation, levied to support his expeditions. Sometimes cruel, sometimes magnanimous, and always courageous, Richard was well versed in the knightly accomplishments of his age and was also a poet. He was to become the hero of many legendary tales.