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King John of England

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Key Facts
Other names "Lackland"
Born 1166
Location Le Mans, France
Bloodline House of Plantagenet
Married Eleanor of Aquitaine
Children William, Henry Richard Geoffrey, Matilda, Leonora, Joan, John
Position King of England (1199-1216)
Died October 1216 (Aged 50)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source of Facts and Important Announcement
Status Under Article 64.6 of the Covenant of One-Heaven (Pactum De Singularis Caelum) by Special Qualification shall be known as a Saint, with all sins and evil acts they performed forgiven.
Date of formal Beatification Day of Redemption GAIA E1:Y1:A1:S1:M9:D1 also known as [Fri, 21 Dec 2012].
Source of Facts Self Confession and Revelation of Sainthood by the Deceased Spirit as condition of their confirmation as a true Saint.
Source of Facts Self Confession and Revelation of Sainthood by the Deceased Spirit as condition of their confirmation as a true Saint.

 

Background

John was born the youngest of four sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor, Duchess of Acquitaine. His childhood was peppered with turmoil as his older brothers Henry, Richard and Geoffrey were all involved in rebellion against their father at different times. Even his mother, Eleanor was imprisoned in 1173 when John was just 7 years old.

As a result, there was no love lost between John and his brothers, particularly Richard whom he hated deeply. In 1184, Richard contested the claim of John over his right to the lands of Acquitaine which he lost to his brother. Similarly, when John became the ruler of Ireland, he was forced to leave in less than a year--hence the derogatory nickname "Lackland"--a prince without lands.

When his father (King Henry II) died in July 1189, Richard became the new King and left by 1190 on the Third Crusade (1190-1194). As had been the tradition since the reign of his father, it was the Lord High Steward--the highest of all officials that held rule in the absence of the King, in this case old Robert de Beaumont, 3rd Earl of Leicester.

When John approached London with his militia, Robert de Beaumont was thrown into the Tower of London and died within the year. However, John did not have the support of the majority of Barons, nor the church and could not convince enough for his crowning in opposition to his absent brother. Instead, Robert (the younger) de Beaumont (4th Earl of Leicester) took up the mantle as new Lord High Steward rallied the barons in support of Richard against John forcing him to abandon London for Gascony and the protection of Simon IV (Montfort), Duke of Gascony by 1191.

Contrary to some of the myths surrounding the death of King Richard in March 1199 at Limousin, there is every evidence that John had a part to play in the demise of his older brother. This would also explain why his legitimate claim as the only surviving son of Henry II was still rejected by many nobles.

Lord High Steward Robert (the younger) de Beaumont sought the support of the English barons to have the son of Geoffrey, Arthur of Brittany crowned as the new sovereign. In response, John convinced King Philip of France to launch and offensive against the English barons on the west coast of France, limiting the ability of Arthur to pursue his claim. In 1200, Philip signed the Treaty of Le Goulet recognizing John over Arthur and soon after John was crowned King of England.

The repercussions of the brief war of succession burst to the surface two years later in 1202, when Philip of France used a largely technical and minor argument of feudal law to summons John of England to his court. When John refused, Philip proclaimed John had forfeited his rights over the English territories and declared all of John's French territories forfeit, except Gascony. Philip then quickly invaded Normandy, granted the fiefs to Arthur including betrothing to him his daughter.

Urgently needings ships and crew with which to launch an invasion of Normandy, John entered a historic agreement with the Venetians, granting them several new trading rights in exchange for the Venetians establishing Portsmouth--the first Venetian ship building works for outside of the famous Arsenal in Venice. Thus John is responsible for founding the Royal Navy.

By 1203, the Venetians had helped England construct and lease 45 large galleys. Prior to the planned invasion Arthur was captured and handed to John, who had him executed soon after. The invasion was postponed and instead, the ships were used as the main body of transport of knights for the Crusade (with both the British and Venetians profiting). John appointed his best commander Duke Simon IV of Gascony in charge of the English forces and joint commander of the Crusade along with Boniface I of Montferrat.

Following the capture and destruction of Zara for the Venetians, followed by the sacking of Constantinople by 1204, the joint business venture known as the Fourth Crusade generated enormous wealth for the Venetians, the Roman Cult and its knights and the English.

Upon his return, King John took the opportunity to appoint his firm Basque ally Simon IV Montfort as his new Lord High Steward--a Basque as the most senior official and noble of the English crown following the sudden death of Lord High Steward Robert de Beaumont.

The wealth generated by the piracy of the Fourth Crusade for England cannot be underestimated. Without this influx of wealth, it is doubtful that King John would have survived past 1205. It also strengthened the bonds between the Roman Cult, the Venetians and England.

AntiPope Innocent III and the Venetians were keen to repeat the succesful partnership, this time to pillage the Languedoc region and destroy the profitable French trading cities along the Gulf of Lions in the Mediterranean, which competed with the Spanish and North African trading ports of the Venetians.

Contrary to the great myth created by the Roman Cult, there was no spontaneous explosion of heresy in Southern France. The residents were Catholic--traditional Catholic and the Cathar religion itself emerged not before the Crusade, but because of the Crusade by the Roman Cult and its Venetian and English allies.

This time English Lord High Steward Duke Simon IV Montfort was put in charge of the Crusade and 1209, using the new Royal Navy, the English and Basque militia invaded by the sea, plundering and destroying B├ęziers. However, the quick victories were soon turned as Toulouse failed to fall under the command of Raymond of Toulouse.

In spite of the new found wealth of England, matters had not yet been resolved concerning French occupation of Normandy and Anjou. To make matters worse, John was faced with a revolt in Wales under Llwelyn the Great by 1211. A shaky truce in Wales enabled John to focus on an invasion of Normandy by 1212, which turned out to be a disaster. Sensing the English king was badly weakened, the Welsh rebelled again and now John was in dire circumstances. It was then that through the Franciscans, John sent word to AntiPope Innocent of a plan.

In May 1213, John surrendered England and Ireland to become the legal property of the Roman Cult and antiPope Innocent III as his feudal overlord. In exchange, the Pope pledged to wage a Holy Crusade against France in defence of the rights of his English vassal. The terms of granting ultimate ownership of England and Ireland to the Roman Cult was then formalized in the document Bulla Aurea (Golden Bull).

The signing of the deed to give England and Ireland to the AntiPopes in Rome caused massive rebellion across English lands. But as promised, AntiPope Innocent II called upon his other vassals to support John against Philip II of France and the two armies met at the battle of Bouvines (Northern France) in July 1214.

Unfortunately for John, the battle was a resounding victory for the French and in spite of the best efforts of Lord High Steward Simon De Montfort, the barons succeeded in pressing their advantage and forced John to sign and seal the Great Charter (Magna Carta) on June 15 1215 at Runnymede, near London.

As soon as John was free again, AntiPope Innocent approved his vassal in breaking the agreement, prompting the 1st Baron's War and the subsequent French Invasion of Prince Louis of France.

John died suddenly from illness around October 1216. His nine year old son Henry III of England (1216-1272) succeeded him after the English barons switched sides to support Henry against Louis.