Richard the Lionheart: King and Knight

By Jean Flori; Jean Birrell | Go to book overview

10
The Death of the Lion (1199)

LAST BATTLES

Richard’s anger at the legate’s request was not feigned. The King was genuinely shocked that the pope should express such deep concern at the fate of Philip of Dreux, his irrevocable and traitorous enemy, when, not so very long ago, this same pope had done nothing to help Richard emerge from the emperor’s gaols. Peter of Capua realised this; he fled from the royal court, fearing, at least according to William Marshal, that he might lose his masculinity if he stayed.1 Queen Eleanor had also intervened personally on Philip’s behalf, at Rouen. And while his guards had been escorting him to a meeting with her, the Bishop had attempted to escape, rushing into a church and claiming right of sanctuary. He had been dragged out by force and Richard had given orders for him to be taken to Chinon and kept under closer guard.2 Peter of Capua’s efforts in this matter were doomed from the start.

Hastily leaving Richard’s quarters, the legate made his way to those of the King of France, where his encounter was the subject of much laughter and where it was agreed that this king was certainly ‘not a lamb, but a lion’. Peter was then asked to return to try at least to procure the five years’ truce that Richard had been ready to accept before the ill-fated request on behalf of Philip of Dreux. But the legate was sufficiently scared to refuse point blank and this delicate diplomatic mission had to be entrusted to the Archbishop of Reims. Meanwhile, William Marshal had managed with some difficulty to calm the King down, pointing out that it was very much in his own interests to agree to a truce confirming the status quo. Richard, he said, had made many gains. The King of France must be in dire straits if he was reduced to suing for peace or for a truce, proof, surely, that he had had enough. What did it matter if the terms of the truce meant that Richard had to cede a few isolated castles in the middle of Normandy? How were their garrisons to survive if they were unable to depend for their provisions on the surrounding countryside? To hold onto them, the King of France would himself have to keep them supplied with men, arms and

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Richard the Lionheart: King and Knight
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Richard the Lionheart i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction Richard: a ‘Roi-Chevalier’? 1
  • Part I - Prince, King and Crusader 19
  • 1 - The Early Years 21
  • 2 - Richard the Younger Son, Count of Poitou (1174-83) 40
  • 3 - Richard the Eldest Son, Duke of Aquitaine (1184-9) 57
  • 4 - King Richard 76
  • 5 - Richard in Sicily (1190-1) 93
  • 6 - Cyprus and Acre 113
  • 7 - Richard versus Saladin (1191-2) 132
  • 8 - The Lion Caged (1192-4) 155
  • 9 - Richard versus Philip Augustus (1194-8) 175
  • 10 - The Death of the Lion (1199) 197
  • Part II - A King as Mirror of Chivalry 219
  • 11 - Richard's Image and Chivalry 221
  • 12 - Chivalry Imagined before Richard 244
  • 13 - Richard and the Three Orders 264
  • 14 - Chivalric Prowess 282
  • 15 - The King of England's Prowess 299
  • 16 - Prowess in Outremer 315
  • 17 - Royal Largesse 332
  • 18 - Chivalric Conduct 348
  • 19 - Richard and Women 370
  • 20 - Richard and His Legend 397
  • Bibliography 415
  • Index 445
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