King John
1167 - 1216

 Relationship to me: Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather Gen -25

 Born: 24 Dec 1167
 Died: 18 Oct 1216
 Age 48  
 Father:      King Henry II 1133 - 1189
 Mother: Eleanor of Acquatine (m. 1152) c.1122 - 1204
 Brothers: (elder) King Richard I
 Married: Isabella, daughter of Aymer Taillefer m.24/8/1200 c.1187 - 1246
 Children: King Henry III 1207 - 1272

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According to information passed on to me by Ian Caldwell, in Dec 2001: "John, King of England= (1)Isabella daughter of William, Earl of Gloucester
b. 1167 r.1199-1216; m.29/8/1189, divorced 1199, no children d.18/10/1216; = (2) Isabella (c.1187-1246), daughter of Aymer Taillefer, count of Angouleme: m.24/8/1200: 5 children.

John was the youngest and favourite son of Henry II and Eleanor. His mother was 45 when he was born and had already had nine children, thus he had no inheritance at first and was known as Lackland. He behaved badly when he was sent to Ireland by his father, tugging the Irish kings long beards and insulting them when they came to pay homage, so Henry wisely recalled him. When (his elder brother) King Richard I died John was accepted as king of England, but not by the Angevin territories in France, who preferred his nephew, Arthur of Brittany.

Just over a year after his coronation he divorced his wife and married Isabella of Angouleme. Their marriage was tempestuous - both being highly sexed and strong-willed, they were well matched, but it was to be John¹s downfall. She was already betrothed to Hugh de Luisignan, who complained to Philippe of France. He summoned John to answer his case, but John refused, enabling Philippe to confiscate all of John's lands in France.

John needed resources to fight to get his lands back and taxed those barons scutage who would not go and fight for him. This annoyed the barons but amused John, who had a good sense of humour and enjoyed anything that ridiculed or deflated pomposity, and he was popular with many of his subjects as he often found in their favour against the barons. John's refusal to accept the new archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, resulted in the pope excommunicating John. Rather than being a problem for John he saw this as a new source of income as he then took the opportunity to confiscate church revenues, providing funds for his campaign. Apart from fighting in France, John waged successful campaigns in Scotland, Ireland and Wales, defeating Llywelyn the Great in 1211. He was planning a further campaign in 1212 when he heard rumours of a planned invasion by Philippe of France and rebellion by his barons. He used his cunning to secure his position by negotiating with Pope Innocent III a lifting of the papal interdict on the basis that John would hold his lands as a fifedom of the papacy. After this the pope supported John in his actions against the barons and even against Philippe.

The campaign begun in 1213 was initially successful and he routed the French fleet and won a number of victories. However the following year John's allies suffered a defeat in Flanders, weakening his position and forcing him to agree a peace treaty. The barons saw this as a defeat and civil war broke out in May 1215. London fell within a month and John was forced to sign a charter, The Magna Carta, at Runnymede on 15th June 1215. John soon denounced the charter and civil war broke out again with the rebel barons declaring Louis, son of Philippe as their king. Louis landed at Sandwich in May 1216 and advanced, unopposed on London, forcing John to retreat. While campaigning in the Fens he lost the crown jewels in the Wash and caught a fever, not helped by his over eating, and died a few days later aged only 48. Some said he had been poisoned. He was succeeded by his 9 year old son, Henry III. Queen Isabella retired to her lands in France and married the son of her original lover, Hugh de Lusignan, and lived a further 30 years".