John Lackland is a historical figure belonging to the Plantagenet dynasty who lived during the 12th and 13th century. He is the son of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was nicknamed John Lackland because he did not received some territory during the lifetime of his father.
The story of John Lackland left a trace in Ireland history. In his youth he spent eight months to govern the Lordship of Ireland. It was he who ordered the construction of the castle in the medieval area of Limerick, called King John's Castle.
He is known for having conspired against the king of England, his brother, Richard the Lionheart, when he left for his third crusade. When Richard was held captive in Austria, Jean took the opportunity to seize power. These are the historical events that inspired the legendary epic Robin Hood. When Richard was able to return to England, he forgives John and designated as his heir.
However, John appears clumsy with regard to some barons of Poitou, and he is accused of abducting Isabella of Angoulême. This earned him to be summoned to the court of France to answer charges brought against him. It will not present and this provoked the implementation of the commise (confiscation) by the King of France of all his continental possessions. This triggered a war between the King of France and Britain.
During the siege of the castle of Chalût-Chabrol in the Limousin, Richard the Lionheart died. Thus John became Duke of Aquitaine and Normandy and King of England. And he inherits of all the Plantagenet empire. But during five years, the empire left by his father found in greatly reduced since lost all mainland.
Once back in England Jean had to face to the revolt of the barons. The latter forced him to sign the Magna Carta in 1215. The latter limits the power of the king, it is still today the foundation of the British institutions. King John died in 1216, his son Henry, who succeeded him.
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