John (11671216)

John, king of England from 1199 to 1216, was clever and vivacious, but the most vicious, profane, false, short-sighted, tyrannical, and unscrupulous of English monarchs; the son of Henry II., he married Hawisa of Gloucester, and succeeded his brother Richard I., being Richard's nominee, and the tacitly elect of the people; his nephew, Arthur, claimed the French dominions, and was supported by the French king, Philip; in 1200 he divorced Hawisa, and married Isabel of Angoulême, a child-heiress; this provoked the French barons; in the war that ensued Arthur was captured, and subsequently murdered either by John himself or by his orders; Philip invaded Normandy, and with the fall of the Château-Gaillard in 1204, most of the French possessions were lost to the English crown; then followed John's quarrel with Pope Innocent III. over the election of an archbishop of Canterbury; the Pope consecrated Stephen Langton; John refused to receive him; in 1208 the kingdom was placed under an interdict, and next year the king was excommunicated; John on his side confiscated Church property, exiled the bishops, exacted homage of William of Scotland, and put down risings in Ireland and Wales; but a bull, deposing him and absolving his vassals from allegiance, forced him to submit, and he resigned his crown to the Pope's envoy in 1213; this exaction on Innocent's part initiated the opposition to Rome which culminated in the English Reformation; the rest of the reign was a struggle between the king, relying on his suzerain the Pope, and the people, barons, and clergy, for the first time on one side; war broke out; the king was forced to sign Magna Charta at Runnymede in 1215, but the Pope annulled the Charter; the barons appealed for help to the Dauphin, and were prosecuting the war when John died at Newark (11671216).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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Nearby

John in Chalmer’s 1812 Dictionary of Biography

John in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable

Links here from Chalmers

A Lasco, John
Aarsens, Francis
Abbot, Robert
Abel, Charles Frederick
Abelin, John Philip
Abercromby, Sir Ralph
Abney, Sir Thomas
Abrabanel, Isaac
Accolti, Benedetto
Acosta, Uriel
[showing first 10 entries of 1876]