Richard the Lionheart forgave his killer and other facts about the legendary king
Richard I or Richard the Lionheart was the king of England from 1189 to 1199. He has been depicted countless times in romantic fiction and pop culture. Did you know that he was the only king mentioned in the earliest Robin Hood Ballads? Here are other facts that you may not know about the third son of King Henry II of England:
Richard I was an attractive man
If Richard was born in this era, he would be regarded as a real catch because apart from being highly educated, he was also physically attractive with blue eyes and reddish blond hair. He also stood tall as his height was estimated at 6 feet, four inches. Apart from his looks and brains, Richard I was also known for composing poetry in French and Occitan.
Richard I was known for his hatred of Jews
Richard the Lionheart was anti-Semitic. He was known to have barred all Jews from his crowning ceremony as King of England. When a few Jewish leaders presented their gifts to the new king despite the warning, Richard’s courtiers stripped and flogged the Jews. During his reign, many Jews were beaten to death, burned alive, and even forcibly baptized.
Richard I may be King of England but he hardly acted like one
Richard was more interested in Crusades rather than being king. He apparently used the kingdom’s resources for his Third Crusade. Richard also hated staying in England. In his 10-year reign, Richard only spent a total of six months in England. He simply designated different officials, including his mother, to take care of the country during his long absence.
Richard was attacked by a man of his own army, but he forgave him before he died
Richard was wounded in the shoulder by a crossbow bolt launched from a tower by his own man. Unfortunately, the gangrene set in which caused his untimely death. Before his demise, Richard forgave and set free his attacker. As soon as Richard died, however, his mercenary captain flayed the man alive and hanged him.
A recent analysis showed Richard did not die from a poisoned arrow
While many historians believed that gangrene was the cause of Richard’s death, there were others who speculated that the arrow that struck the king was poisoned. A recent toxicological analysis of Richard’s mummified heart showed that it was not the case as the forensic experts did not find any proof of poison or contamination.