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    Richard the Lionhearted

    Richard the Lion Hearted of England was one of several Kings who had a hand in the freeing the Holy City of Jerusalem.

    His fame mainly comes from the story of Robin Hood, a young man who fought against Prince John in order to save England while Richard is kept hostage in Austria. In the end, Richard comes home and becomes king once agian. Robin, lovely Maid Marian, the merry men of Sherwood Forest, and England live happily ever after.

    The Story is partly true but, Richard was born to Herny II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He grew up in a family who were constantly at war with one another. Poor Richard even had to struggle with his father to be considered an heir to the throne. Once crowned in 1189, Richard immediately prepared for the Third Crusade. He raised the taxes to help fund the expedition.

    Richard and King Philip Augustus of France joined forces in Sicily. He conquered Cyprus on his way to the Holy Land and the city's wealth helped to increase the Crusades funds. Richard then joined in the seige of Acre in 1191. The leaders of the Germans and French quarreled constantly during the seige, the French and English armies almost came to blows. In July Arce fell and by August Philip was back in France. Richard was a brave soldier. He enjoyed nothing more than a good war. Once the French left him, Richard found a new army to help him fight: Saladin, the sultan of Egypt.

    Salatan had his heart set on driving the Crusaders out. Unfortunately, Richard's army was stopped and forced to retreat when he tried to capture Jerusalem in 1191. He tried three more times but never succeeded. When he finally realized that he would never take Jerusalem, Richard worked out a treaty with Saladin. It left the Crusaders with only a fringe along the coastline, and their base at Ascalon was destroyed.

    The fact that there was no good way to go home was yet another problem that Richard faced. Both land and sea routes were controlled by his enemies. In 1192, he disguised himself while passing through Austria. Unfortunately, King Leopold was watching for him and he was captured in Vienna. Leopold turned Richard over to Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI who required a ransom of 150,000 marks for Richard's release. The English people quickly raised the taxes to help meet the demands, and even though the full amount was never met, Richard was released. Richard arrived home in 1194. After being there for only a few weeks, he left to fight Philip in France. In 1199, Richard died from a crossbow injury to the shoulder. He ruled as the King of England for eleven years even though he was on English soil for less than a year. He accomplished nothing of importance to his country but he is still and always has been a popular figure.