King John

Family Disputes

Henry II died in 1189 AD and was replaced by his son Richard I, ‘The Lionheart’. Richard didn’t spend much of his reign in England. Richard spent most of his time in France and abroad on Crusades. Richard I worked with King Philip II of France on Crusades until they fought over how to share out the spoils of the Crusades. When Richard died in 1199 AD, his brother John I became the new King.

Johns Family Problems

John did not get along with his family…

Before becoming King, John schemed __with the __King Philip II of France in order to try overthrow his brother, King Richard, and take control of England and the Angevin Empire. Throughout the 1190s AD, King Philip II attacked Normandy and Anjou and although Richard successfully fought him off by 1198 AD, he died from an infected wound in 1199 AD and John became King.

When John became King he separated with and imprisoned his first wife, Isabel of Gloucester, in order to marry his second wife, Isabella of Angoulême.

During his reign, John fought and imprisoned his nephew Arthur in 1202 AD. Arthur threatened John’s claim to the English throne because Richard I had previously offered to make Arthur heir to the throne - it was rumoured John had Arthur murdered because after 1203 AD, Arthur was never seen again!

Johns Relations with Barons

King John had a poor relationship with his Barons (a Baron was a nobleman who served the King):

  • John imposed heavy taxes on the Barons (in order to pay for his expensive foreign wars)

  • If the Barons __refused to pay __him, John punished them severely with violence or through taking away their property.

The Barons fought back. They were unhappy with the way he was running the country for a number of reasons:

  • Poor military leadership and losing foreign __wars __(losing the territory of the Angevin Empire)

  • Raising __taxes __

  • Ignoring his advisors

  • Horror at the idea he could murder his own nephew

  • Quarrelling with the __Pope __

The Barons fought against John in the First Barons War and captured London. The Barons and King John met Runnymede __and negotiated. The terms of the negotiations were recorded in a document called the __‘Magna Carta’ (translated as the ‘Great Charter’), which John signed. The charter set out the rights and duties, of the King of England and the Barons. It also gave every free man the right to justice and a fair trial.

See the Horrible Histories ‘Magna Carta’ Rap:

This video is not produced or owned by Study Rocket Ltd and is provided by the copyright holder CBBC.

John and France

John fought King Philip II of France. He tried and failed to protect his French territory and protect his Angevin Empire. Throughout his reign, John lost the Northern territories of France including Anjou, Normandy, Brittany,__ and __Maine.

John and Ireland

Although John did not lose territory in Ireland, he did lose support from the Irish population. John was __distracted __with wars on the continent and with fighting with the English Barons - he was not focused on pleasing those under him in Ireland. As John’s popularity decreased across England, it did the same in Ireland.

Johns Significance to England

King John was seen as one of the worst Kings of England. Positive and Negative impacts of King John’s reign:

  • Saw the end of the __Angevin Empire __(having lost most of the territory in France, including Anjou, his reign marked the end of the Angevin Empire)

  • Left __England’s economy in economic ruin __(having spent so much money on foreign war and raising taxes too high, which resulted in the Barons and his subjects refusing to pay them and Civil War to break out)

  • His reign saw the creation of the ‘Magna Carta’, which still has a legacy on the rights to law, justice, and a fair trial we claim today.

See the story of the Magna Carta clip:

This video is not produced or owned by Study Rocket Ltd and is provided by the copyright holder GuyFoxTV.

Why did the Angevin Empire collapse under King John?
Your answer should include: loss / France / Ireland
What was the Magna Carta?
Your answer should include: The Great Charter / barons / subjects / rights
Who was King John?
Your answer should include: King / England