Richard I of England: the Lionheart: folk hero of France and England and the meaning behind the three Lions

johnnydodStarred Page By johnnydod, 3rd Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Folklore

When I was a child I had a history book that centred on some famous people that had helped build some of the great in Great Britain of the "Modern" ones were people like Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Charles Darwin, William Shakespeare, and Sir Isaac Newton, but I was more interested in some of the early one

Among them are Oliver Cromwell, Alfred the Great, Boudica, Sir Thomas More, Henry VIII, Sir Francis Drake, and Richard I (The Lionheart)

The Royal Arms of England

The Plantagenet kings of England adopted as their personal arms "The Royal Arms of England." towards the end 12th century.

The arms had three lions passant guardant, that is to say in plain English three lions in a walking stance, with the right fore-paw raised and all others on the ground

The Meaning of the Arms

The reason three lions were used in English Heraldry was because they stood for bravery, valour, and strength,, historically the lion has always been regarded as the king of beasts and the Plantagenet’s were the first to use them, these Kings were
• King Henry II 1154 - 1189
• King Richard I the Lionheart 1189 - 1199
• King John 1 1199 - 1216
• King Henry III 1216 - 1272
• King Edward I 1272 - 1307
• King Edward II 1307 - 1327
• King Edward III 1327 - 1377
• Richard II 1377 – 1399

Coeur de Lion

Of all the Plantagenet kings, King Richard I. AKA Coeur de Lion ('The Lionheart') stands out as one of England’s greatest folk hero’s

Apart from being The King of England he was also Duke of Normandy (as Richard IV), Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Poitiers, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany (Bit of a lad wasn’t he)

The fighting Kings

There is no doubt he was a great military leader (In those day’s Kings fought alongside the troops and from what we know three died in battle including Richard)

The three Kings of England that died in battle were Harold II, Richard I and Richard III (his remains were discovered and dug up from a car park in 2012 and reburied at Leicester Cathedral)

France was his favourite home

Richard was born and spent most of his childhood in England the son of King Henry II after which he spent all his time in his Duchy of Aquitaine in France until he became King aged 31

But he preferred to live in France where he made most of his source of revenue to support his wars to reconquer the Holy Lands from Saladin, in fact, the total time he spent in England was less than six months.

The Lion heart

Nevertheless, he was still seen as a hero by both the English and the French and one of the few Kings of England known by his epithet “The lion heart” rather than a regnal number

So there you go, God rest Richard the Lionheart we will never see the likes of him again


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With thanks to...

    Wikipedia, for the pictures
    BBC History, for the research
    Ladybird’s Adventures from History series from my childhood
    And my wife, for the idea for this piece

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
24th Jul 2015 (#)

Interesting to know about these facets from history, the road we have taken to reach here, thanks Johnnydod for the share - siva

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author avatar M G Singh
24th Jul 2015 (#)

Very interesting post. Added to my knowkedge

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author avatar Retired
24th Jul 2015 (#)

By coincidence, I walked past the former and present burial places of Richard III this morning, in the company of your moderating colleague Peter Giblett!

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author avatar Ptrikha
27th Jul 2015 (#)

Great article.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
10th Aug 2015 (#)

Very informative Johnny Hail Manchester United!

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author avatar peachpurple
21st Aug 2015 (#)

Something new that my history teacher didn't teach us

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