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1150 AD - 1200AD

1151

August. Bernard of Clairvaux negotiates peace between Louis the Seventh and Henry Plantagenet.

September 7. Death of Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou. Survived by his wife Empress Matilda, and their son, the soon to be King Henry the Second.

Birth of Geoffrey (the Bastard) to Henry Plantagenet by Ykenai. Henry’s habit of bringing his illegitimate children into the royal household “so that the queen’s eyes were daily offended by the evidence of the king’s base passions.”

Knights Templar: The focus of their charter changes to piety without charity.

1152

March 24. With the death of his uncle King Conrad, Frederick Barbarossa (Red Beard) Hohenstoffen is elected German king in Frankfurt. This contravenes the divine right of the Church to bestow kingships, kingdoms and crowns.

Whit Sunday. The marriage of King Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine is annulled on grounds of blood relationship.

May, Eleanor eludes ambush and capture as she spirits away in the night into the arms of her lover, Henry, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou, Maine and Touraine. Henry is nineteen and Eleanor thirty. Eleanor marries Duke Henry allying Aquitaine to his lands of Anjou and Normandy just two months after her marriage to King Louis VII is annulled.

Hildegard of Bingen becomes Abbess of Saint Rupert. Hildegard, mother of all Mother Superiors, becomes Abbess in the ruins of a Carolingian monastery on a hill of Rupertsberg. Her example would set the stage and example for the ambitions of women to become powerful advocates of women’s rights, especially Eleanor of Aquitaine and her retreat sanctuary of Fontverault.

Son of King Fulk of Anjou and Queen Melisende, King Baldwin III of Jerusalem sole ruler until 1162.

Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy invades England with a hired force of 140 knights and 3,000 foot soldiers transported in 36 vessels. He is repulsed but shows his grit.

1153

The Angevins Empire begins. Henry Plantagenet, son of Empress Matilda and Count Geoffrey of Anjou, invades England and forces King Stephen to acknowledge him as heir to the throne of England. Henry is twenty years old. Under the treaty of Winchester, Stephen accepted Henry as heir to the throne of England.

Robert de Lucy was given charge of the Oxford castle which houses the chapel of St George’s in the Castle.

Duchess Eleanor gives birth to a son in August, William. William will die in infancy.

King Baldwin of Jerusalem takes Ascalon from the Egyptians and settle for an annual tribute which they never receive. This defeat draws the Egyptians into an alliance with the Turks and the Palestinians.

Reynald de Chantillon is named Prince of Antioch.

August 20. Bernard of Clairvaux dies.

Death of King David of Scotland. His grandson Malcolm succeeds him becoming king of Scotland.

1154

April 25, Nur al-Din Mahmud bin Zangi of Aleppo takes control of Damascus unifying Muslim Syria under his authority.

Al-Idrisi makes an atlas of the known world for King Roger of Sicily.

Nicolas Breakspear (1100 - 1159) becomes the only Englishman to have held the office of pope, taking the name Hadrian or Adrian the Fourth. He had earlier served in France and Italy.

With the death of King Stephen’s son on December 7, Eustace, the way was clear for Henry the second to succeed to the throne of England. On the death of King Stephen, and his son Eustace’s premature death. The path is clear for Duke Henry Plantagenet to ascend as King of England.

Henry and Eleanor cross the English Channel from Barfleur.

December 19 - English Royalty. Duke Henry and Duchess Eleanor are crowned together at Westminster Abbey by Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury. The new king is 21 years of age, his queen 32.

After King Frederick pacifies the quarrels between the Guelphs and the Ghibertines he embarks on a campaign to enforce his feudal rights in Italy.

The Cross of St George is established as the English flag.

Work starts on York Minster.

King William of Sicily. Roger the Second dies in Palermo shortly before his third wife, Beatrix of Rethel, gives birth to a daughter, Princess Constance of Hauteville. William, Roger’s son by his first wife is crowned king.

1155

Thomas Becket becomes the king’s Chancellor until 1161. King Henry II of England abolishes fiscal earldoms and restores royal demesne. Pope Adrian bestows Ireland on King Henry the Second.

February: A son is born to King Henry II and Queen Eleanor. He is named Prince Henry after his father.

Queen Eleanor commissions ’Queenhithe’ her personal dock cut into the river bank next to Vintner’s Quay to moor ships from Aquitaine bringing spices, especially pepper, and silks from the Orient. The dock’s great gatehouse remained for centuries one of the sights of London. Until the Great Fire of London in 1666.

Robert Wace (1115 - 1183) completes his novel Roman de Brut, based on Welsh scholar Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historiae Regum Britanniae of 1135.

Emperor Frederick Hohenstaufen ‘Barbarossa’ crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Adrian.

Arnold of Brescia hanged.

Period of almost incessant civil war begins in Norway and Sweden, lasting to about 1230.

King Baldwin of Jerusalem allies himself with Byzantine emperor Manuel Comnenus to counter the growing threat from Nur ad-Din.

Seljuk Turks lose some parts of Mesopotamia to a new Abbasid caliphate.

1156

Death of Prince William, heir apparent to the throne of England. Succession of King Henry and Eleanor’s second son, Prince Henry. Queen Eleanor gives birth to daughter, Matilda.

Frederick Barbarossa marries Beatrice, heiress of Upper Burgundy. Frederick Barbarossa restores Bavaria to Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony. The former Duke of Bavaria Henry Jasomirgott is compensated with Austria. Austria is made a duchy with special privileges.

King Baldwin signs peace treaty with Nur ad-Din.

Raynald de Chantillon launches an unprovoked attack against Cyprus. Laying waste the land, devastating its people and plundering Cypriot treasure.

The Carmelite Order is founded at Mount Carmel, Palestine.

1157

September 8 - Prince Richard is born to King Henry II and Queen Eleanor.
   “The king did shout with joy, and reward the bearer of these happy tidings with a piece of gold. Then he dismounted and kneeled on the grassy verge of the road and gave thanks to God.” - Peter of Blois, secretary to King Henry the second.

Eric of Sweden conquers Finland.

King Alfonso the Seventh of Castille and Leon invades Muslim al-Andulay but is killed at Muradel.

Nur ad-Din is struck by severe illness halting his advance.

Christian forces reconquer Navarre in al-Andulay from Islamic forces in the ancient Roman Empire land of Espania.

A strong earthquake hits Syria.

1158

September 23 - Queen Eleanor bears Henry’s fourth son naming him Prince Geoffrey after Henry’s late father, Count Geoffrey of Anjou.

Frederick Barbarossa makes Vladislav the Second, King of Bohemia.

Roncaglia Decrees

1159

The great Pope Alexander the Third comes to power.

King Henry II of England levies scutage, payment in cash instead of military service.

The dispute over the successor of Pope Adrian the forth nearly split the English Church.

Between 1159 and 1180 four anti-popes sponsored by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Victor and Alexander are the candidates.

Robert’s nickname ‘Guiscard’ means ‘wily’ and he proved himself adept in political diplomacy as well as military cunning. Robert made an alliance with Pope Alexander who agreed to recognize Robert as Duke of Apulia and Calabria, and the future Duke of Sicily.

John of Salisbury produces his Policraticus, a work of political observation drawing heavily upon classical authors.

1160

On October 4th After a difficult th birthing Queen Constance provides a second daughter to French King Louis the Seventh before expiring. Princess Alys will be the cause of consternation to the English and French royal households for years to come.

Work begins on the construction of the Laon gothic cathedral, Laon.

Raynald de Chantillon is captured during an Islamic ambush and is imprisoned in Aleppo for fourteen years.

Normans expelled from North Africa.

Gengis Khan is born.

1161

Thomas Becket, King Henry II’s Lord Chancellor, is made Archbishop of Canterbury.

Emperor Frederick Barbarossa proclaims the Roman Catholic Church “The Whore of Babylon” and the Pope “The Anti-Christ”. The reference to the ‘Whore of Babylon’ the Babylonian goddess of war and sexual love to whose temple every female citizen was expected to offer her body to any male worshiper who paid the required contribution.

The Sicilian barons under Matthew Bonello revolt. The palace in Palermo is sacked. King William’s son Prince Roger is killed.

Queen Eleanor gives birth at Windsor Castle to a daughter, named Eleanor Plantagenet.

Edward the Confessor canonized Saint Edward.

Explosives used in China at the Battle of Ts’ai-shih.

Pope Innocent the Third: “Dumb dogs who can no longer bark, men who will do anything for money, zealous in avarice, lovers of gifts, seekers of rewards” - Pope Innocent describing the clergy of Narbonne.

1162

Almaric King of Jerusalem. King Baldwin the Third dies February 10 at Tripoli. Control of Jerusalem passes to his brother Almaric second son of King Fulk and Melisende. Almaric’s continual failed attempts to conquer Egypt causes the decline in power of the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

After Frederick Barbarossa conquers Milan. He pillages the bones of The Three Magi and takes the relics back home to Germany and installs them in Cologne Cathedral.

Gratian’s Decretum.

The Council of Westminster

1163

Quarreling starts between King Henry II and Thomas Becket.

Nur ad-Din lays siege to the Knight’s Hospitallers fortress Krak de Chevaliers in Syria but fails to take it.

King Amalric launches his first invasion of Egypt in September. He gets to the Nile but is turned back by flooding.

Building begins on The great cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. It will take one hundred and sixty three years to complete and encompass several building styles. The circular Rose Window is a marvel in stained glass and represents ‘Redemption after the Fall’.

1164

January the Constitutions of Clarendon were drawn up. A set of sixteen requirements which King Henry II felt conserved custom and royal prerogative. Archbishop Thomas Beckett disagreed sensing an encroachment on ecclesiastical liberties. Becket is forced to flee to protection of France.

Cathars have become so numerous in Languedoc that they are able to defy local prelates and meet at Lombers where their unconventional doctrines are proclaimed openly.

May. Shawar is reinstated as Visier of Cairo with the help of Nur ad-Din.

July. A joint army of Egyptians and Franks besiege Shirkuh in Bilbays.

1165

August 21 - Dieu Donne, ‘God’s Gift’ Prince Philippe Augustus is born at Gonesse, Vald’Oise near Paris to King Louis VII and Adela of Champagne

“By the grace of God there is born this night a King who shall be a hammer to the King of the English.” - scoffed an old Parisian woman to chronicler Gerald of Wales as a twenty-year-old student in Paris in 1165. Two comets appeared over the continent that night, one portending a bright beginning for France and one an ominous future for England.

Death of King Malcolm the Fourth. Succeeded by his brother William the Lion, King of Scotland.

Maimonides visits Jerusalem.

Byzantium allies with Venice against the German Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

Saint Charlemagne. December 29. Canonization of Charlemagne.

The rapid development of Oxford University begins after King Louis VII of France bans English attendance at the university in Paris. Oxford gradually establishes itself as England’s first university after students were recalled from Paris as a result of King Henry II’s quarrel with Archbishop Becket.

1166

January 9, Hasan ala dhikrih’l-salam ‘on his mention be peace’, proponent of “The Resurrection in 1164”, is stabbed to death in the castle of Lamasar by his brother-in-law, the scion of a noble Daylami house. Hasan, the seducer of the religion, departed from this world “unto God’s burning fire.” The Assassin is assassinated.

Salah ah-Din orders the construction of fortifications in Cairo which become known as ‘The Citadel’.

King Almaric of Jerusalem marries Maria Comnena, grand-niece of Byzantine emperor
Almaric launches his second invasion of Egypt capturing the city of Cairo.

Revolt of Serbians under Stephan Nemanja.

Trial by Jury. The jury system is given legal recognition as the standard method for reaching verdicts in criminal trials in England.

Assize of Clarendon orders the erection of jails in all English counties and boroughs.

King William I dies. William the Second his twelve-year-old son is crowned, with the Queen Mother, Margaret of Navarre, as regent.

December 24, Prince John is born to King Henry II and Queen Eleanor at Beaumont Palace in Oxford, England.

1167

Frederick Barbarossa captures Rome and is crowned Holy Roman Emperor installing antipope Paschal the Third on the papal throne. But Paschal is not accepted in Rome, the Roman curia prefer their own candidate, Alexander.

Empress Matilda, Richard’s grandmother, dies September 10.

Anglo-Norman poet, Thomas, writes the earliest existing text recounting the legend of Tristan and Iseult, a tragic love story.

Cretien de Troyes writes Erec and Enide, an Arthurian Romance novel featuring the adventures of King Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot, Gawain and may other characters we relate to Camelot.

The Lombard League is founded by cities in northern Italy to assert their independence as city republics and to resist the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

A combined Seljuk and Fatamid force defends Egypt from Crusaders on the Day of Al-Babein.

1168

King Henry the Lion of Scotland marries Princess Matilda, daughter of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor of England.

October 10. Under Nur ad-Din’s banner Shirkuh and Salah ah-Din take Cairo and subsequently Egypt.

October 10. King Almaric of Jerusalem, with Byzantine assistance, launches his third unsuccessful invasion of Egypt.

Milan rebuilt.

Bogolubsky sacks Kiev and assumes the title of Grand Prince.

November 1. King Almaric of Jerusalem contests with Nur ah-Din’s commander Shirkuh over control of Egypt at Bilbays, a fortress city on the eastern edge of the southern Nile delta in Egypt. Bilbays was commanded by the Vizier son Taiy who put up a stiff fight but surrendered within three days. Egypt favored a treaty with the Kingdom of Jerusalem rather than Nur ad-Din’s governor Shirkuh but the massacre of the inhabitants of Bilbays turned all Muslims and the Coptic Christians against the Christians.

1169

In the Peace of Montmirail, King Louis VII insists that King Henry II must divide his lands between his sons, Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey.

The Church of the Nativity is completed in Bethlehem, Palestine.

January 2. King Amalric leaves Egypt before Shirkuh arrives with a Syrian army.

January 8. Sunni Shirkuh, Chief advisor and general for Nur ad-Din and Salah ah-Din’s uncle, enters Cairo.

January 17. Shi’a Vizier Shawar of Cairo is killed.

Shirkuh dies and Salah ah-Din succeeds as ruler. Takes control of both Cairo and Egypt founding the Ayyubid Dynasty.

Gengis Khan’s father is murdered by Tartars and he is sent into exile at age 9.

1170

June 14 - Coronation of King Henry II’s son Henry, the Young King. It was with Pope Alexander’s blessing, the archbishop of York performed the inauguration ceremony. It was French tradition to have the successor to the throne while the reigning king was still in power but never before on English soil had there been two kings reigning.

Dominican Order. Birth of Domingo de Guzman (1170 - 1221) founder of the Dominican Order of priests. Canonized after death.

December 25, King Henry II exclaims in a fit of rage (it is said), “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest.”

December 29. Murder in the Cathedral. “The clergy, by reason of their orders and distinctive office, have Christ alone as king.” Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury.
After a severe and humiliating deriding, four of Henry’s most loyal knights covertly steal into the night and within days are across the English channel at the doorstep of Canterbury cathedral. Before witnesses Thomas Becket the Archbishop of Canterbury is accosted by the knights and on bended knee forced to recant. Becket refuses and returns to his oblations before the altar and before God.
The knights leave the cathedral where, outside, another awaits holding their horses. They don their armor and strap on their swords and steel themselves for the task ahead. Thomas still kneeling before the altar hears their approach. “You are agents of Death. Do your business”. The top of the priest’s cranium was lopped off spraying brains on the floor. Thomas prayed before the altar “Into thy hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.” while his body was being dismembered.

King Henry II forces Roger, Archbishop of York, to accept royal power over the church and its administration.

Pope Alexander establishes rules for the canonization of saints.

The university of Paris is founded.

Salah ah-Din subdues Egypt. He captures the crusader city of Eilat located on the Red Sea. This is his first victory over the occupying force on his long march to Damascus.

The Danishmandid states of Anatolia are conquered by the Seljuks of Rum.

1171

March 12 - Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenus suspends Venetian commercial privileges in Constantinople. Every Venetian in the empire is arrested and all their property confiscated. In retaliation, Venetian ships sack and plunder the Byzantine islands of Chios and Lesbos.

March 24, Pope Alexander. The Wednesday before Easter, in the custom of the Roman Catholic Church the pope usually made a public proclamation of excommunication imposing a sentence of interdict against an individual or country denying the aforesaid salvation through the Eucharist or sanctified burial. On the other hand, the pontiff could also declare absolution of sin. The rumor in the curia was a pronouncement of excommunication against the King of England and his realm. Panic-stricken, the envoys pleaded with cardinals to mediate. Then on March 25, Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday, food for the evening meal was distributed to the poor by the lord of the manor to commemorate the Last Supper, Pope Alexander pronounced a general sentence of excommunication against the four murderers of Archbishop Thomas Becket only.

Pope Alexander, in the bull Non Parum Animus Noster, equates Crusades against pagan Estonians and Finns in the north with Crusading in the Holy Land. “We therefore grant to those who fight with might and courage against the asforesaid pagans one year’s remission for the sins they confess and receive penance for, trusting in God’s mercy and the merits of the apostles Peter and Paul, just as we usually grant to those who visit the sepulcher of the Lord; and if those who perish in the fight are doing their penance, to them we grant remission of all their sins.”

The Suppression of the Irish. King Dermot, of Leinster enlists Norman baron, Richard de Clare, “Strongbow”, Earl of Pembroke to his ranks and promises his daughter in marriage and the reversion of his kingdom. Richard de Clare, Strongbow, begins the conquest of Ireland. Anglo-Norman adventurers conquer much of Ireland. King Henry II, concerned at the increasing power in Ireland declares Strongbow Lord of Ireland, and grants Irish estates to some of his courtiers.

The Anglo-Irish minority, known as the Ascendancy dominate Irish affairs. Some Irish chieftains accept Henry as King of Ireland.

September 10, Sunni Kurdish warrior Salah ah-Din abolishes Shia Islam and removes the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt from power demanding allegiance to the Sunni Abbasid Caliph in Baghdad. Nur ah-Din was not happy with his subordinate in control of the wealthiest part of Islamic territory but the unity of the struggle was more important at this time.

King William the Second takes over full powers as king of Sicily.

The Battle of Santarem: The last battle that drives the Muslims out of Portugal.

1172

The Compromise of Avranches. The Crown had a right to protect its interests if these were threatened in any way by the processes of ecclesiastical government and suggests the lines on which a concordat between Church and State could be arranged.

On June 11, in silk tunic and gold ducal coronet, Richard Plantagenet at 15, was invested with the ring of St. Valerie and publicly proclaimed Duke of Aquitaine in the vein of all Dukes past.At the Church of St Hilary in Poitiers, Richard spent the night in a vigil of arms before the altar praying he was worthy to receive this honour. At dawn he was escorted back to the castle and bathed, dressed in a robe of white silk, scarlet cloak, brown boots and a white belt. Finally a round spot shaved from the top of his head signified he was fully vested. At a solemn mass before the altar and crucifix, the bishop approached the kneeling Richard asking if his intentions were honorable to which Richard acceded “It is that I may serve Christ the Lord with a pure mind and heart. It is that I may devote the strength of His Holy Church. It is that I may aid those in distress, protect the weak against the strong and the poor against the rich, and maintain my knightly honour and integrity at all times and in all places.”

He could run in a forty pound suit of chainmail and could wield sword, mace, battle-ax, hammer and scramasax (dagger). Sparring with contemporaries his six foot frame served to intimidate as much as his military prowess. ‘Few squires were willing to break lances with him, and he sought out grizzled veterans to test his mettle.’ - Richard of Devizes, chronicler

Reconciliation between King Henry II and Pope Alexander III.

The Venice Grand Council restricts the powers of the Doges.

   His father Henry steps forward to pick up the gold and jewel encrusted sword from the altar and by tapping Richard’s right shoulder three times giving his son the accolade. Reciting “In the name of Christ, Saint George and Saint Denis, I dub thee knight. Be thee gallant, courteous and loyal.” Whereupon he was presented with knightly gifts; armor, sword and golden spurs.

Many miracles had been attributed to Thomas Becket. By overwhelming popular demand the martyred Archbishop of Canterbury and defender of Church rights was canonized Saint Thomas on February 21. Soon afterward an order of Knights of St Thomas of Acre was established in the Holy Land with the aid and sponsorship of King Henry II of England.

1173

The Vexin was a territory between the tributaries Epte and Andelle rivers. A peace prize from the Norman Chief Rollo in 911 AD, in acknowledgment for the Duchy of Normandy and it’s Dukes would pay homage to the kings of France. It was part of the dower of Margarite of France on her marriage to the Young King of England.It would be re-negotiated on the death of the Young King Henry in 1183.

Alys’ mother Constance died giving birth to her and her father King Louis VII, having sired two daughters by his first wife Eleanor and two daughters by his second wife Constance in twenty years of marriage. King Louis promised Alys’ hand in marriage to Prince Richard when they were young children and she lived at the English court for safekeeping until she matured.

The Knights Templar are guardians of the Vexin until 1183.

King Henry II: ‘Pater Familias’. The King’s prime minister was the justiciar with judicial and political power often acting as regent in the king’s absence. The justiciar was head of the Court of the Exchequer which controlled the royal finances. The royal treasure was stored in the Lower Exchequer, under strong guard while in the Upper Exchequer a checkered tablecloth was spread and an abacus used to check the returns made by tax collecting sheriffs. Notched tally sticks and long parchment Pipe Rolls recorded the transactions. The King’s secondary minister was the chancellor, who headed the Chancery. The royal secretariat who issued writs in the king’s name. The chancellor was also the King’s chaplain and the keeper of the King’s seal.

May. The Great Rebellion. ‘The sons have incurred their father’s curse, the hatred of the clergy and the imprecations of the people.’

Ages: King Henry II 40. Queen Eleanor 51. The Young King 17. Richard 15. Geoffrey 14.

Queen Eleanor raises Aquitaine against her husband King Henry II. Principalities, dukedoms, counties all conspire to achieve freedom from interference from King Henry’s tyrannical autocratic rule, whereas Henry sought his duty to prevent vassal states from becoming autonomous.

The bellicose forces were drawn from disgruntled royalty and rebels, of which Henry’s eldest son, Henry the Young King, instigated at the urging of his closest advisers, spurred on by King Louis VII and anyone else who had a gripe against the king of England. The barons of Norfolk and Yorkshire rose up in arms against their king and the King of Scotland, William, led an army of bald headed Galwegians into the border shires of Northumberland and Cumberland.

Richard Plantagenet is knighted by King Louis VII of France at the age of sixteen. Spending the night in a vigil of arms before the altar on which his weapons were laid, praying to God to make him worthy of the honour. After sunrise Richard took a ritual cleansing bath and was dressed in spotless garments. Over the robe of white silk, a symbol of chastity, we wore a scarlet cloak, symbolic of the blood he must spill in defense of the church. On his feet were placed brown boots as a reminder that man is mortal and must return to the earth. While a white belt denoting virginitywas wrapped around his waist.

Queen Eleanor is captured trying to escape to France dressed as a man She was taken back to England and held secure Old Sarum castle, then to Winchester castle. Henry contemplates divorcing Eleanor but considers it politically unsound. Instead, Queen Eleanor is sequestered is secret locations and under heavy guard for fifteen years.

Henry the Young King surrenders soon afterwards and is sent to England. Fifteen year old Prince Geoffrey surrendered next when he realized there was little chance of success and threw himself at the mercy of his father. Only Richard stubbornly defied his father. Accolades are showered on seven year old Prince John who would henceforth be the apple of his father’s eye.

The King William II of Sicily seeks and receives the hand of King Henry II’s youngest daughter Joanna in marriage.

‘The whole world was terrified by an infection deriving from a cloudy corruption of the air, causing a general coughing, a catarrh of the stomach and many deaths.’

Sir Walter de Clifford receives a manor house and lands “for the love of his daughter Rosamund” Rosa mundi (Rose of the world) from King Henry II. Referred to by Queen Eleanor as Rosa immundi (Rose of unchastity).

1174

Salah ah-Din launches an attack on the impregnable fortress of Kerak but fails to take it.

Benjamin of Tudela visits Jerusalem.

January 18. Bernard of Clairvaux receives sainthood.

Richard of Dover becomes Archbishop of Canterbury

King Henry II forces himself to be humbled before the tomb of St Thomas Becket. Pope Alexander exacts a penance for Henry’s complicity in Thomas Becket’s murder. Thirty thousand gold bezants to each of the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller. Enough to support two hundred knights in the Holy Land.

Emperor Frederick Barbarossa buys Tuscany, Spoleto, Sardinia, and Corsica from Welf the Fourth.

May 12. Whit Sunday. King Henry II arrives at Poitou and dismantles Queen Eleanor’s Court of Love dismissing every courtier and installing his own administrators. On departure he takes as collateral his daughter Joanna, Marguerite of France (the Young King’s betrothed), Alys of France (Richard’s betrothed), Constance of Brittany (Geoffrey’s wife), and Alice of Maurienne (John’s betrothed).

May 15. Nur ah-Din Mahmud bin Zengi dies. His son As-Salih Ismail inherits.

July 11. King Amalric of Jerusalem dies. The thirteen year old Baldwin the Fourth, son of Almaric and Melisende and brother of Baldwin the Third. succeeds but had been showing signs of leprosy since he was nine.

September. Count Raymond of Tripoli is named regent of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. Ramond is not the popular choice. The Templars and Lusignans oppose Raymond while the Hospitallers support him.

September 25. King Henry II meets his sons the Young King and Geoffrey and King Louis VII under the ancient elm tree at Gisors for a parley.

October. Salah ah-Din seizes Damascus, the capital of Nur al-Din’s empire, after the deaths of Nur ah-Din and Almeric.

King William the Lion of Scotland captured by Ranulf Glanville, sheriff of Yorkshire. By the Treaty of Falaise, William swore vassalage to the king of England, paid a ransom of ten thousand pounds and surrendered the castles of Edinburgh, Stirling, Roxburgh, Jedburgh and Berwick to King Henry II.

Richard Plantagenet was placed under guard and recalled to Winchester Palace to face charges of insurrection and treason. Insurrection for his part in the rebellion led by his brother Henry in an effort to unseat his father from the throne of England and treason for paying homage to the French king for the Duchy of Aquitaine.

William Marshal assigned to battle harden Richard Plantagenet who was unleashed on the rebels in Aquitaine.

Work begins on the Campanile, the bell tower at Pisa. Later the tower will lean.

Work starts on Wells Cathedral, England.

Earliest horse races in England.

1175

Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnenus fortifies the Anatolian city of Dorylaeum.

Salah ah-Din is recognized as the Sultan of Syria and Egypt by the Caliph of Baghdad.

Raynald de Chantillon is released from prison in Aleppo. Joscelin de Courtenay is released at the same time.

1176

Famine rips through southern France.

King William the Second of Sicily’s ambassadors visit London for his betrothal to Johanna, daughter of English King Henry II and Queen Eleanor.

Battle of Myriokephalon. Muslims defeat Byzantines under Manuel Comnenus Megas and capture the city of Dorylaeum in Anatolia.

August. Salah ah-Din besieges the city of Masyaf and conquers Syria.

Frederick Barbarossa is defeated by the Lombard League at Legnano.

Welsh priest Walter Map compiled and modified the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table at Camelot.

Assize of Northampton extends use of Grand Jury.

Death of Rosamund de Clifford. Rosamund is interred before the altar of Godstow abbey. At Henry’s request an annuity in perpetuity is bestowed on the nunnery for the care of her tomb and the weal of her soul.

King Henry II celebrates Christmas at Nottingham Castle.

1177

United Kingdom - Scotland by the Treaty of Falaise 1174. Ireland by the treaty of Windsor 1175 with Rory, King of Connought. Wales by the treaty at Geddington 1177 with leading Welsh princes. The outstanding feature was the recognition of the overlordship of Henry II. Treaty of Ivry between Henry II of England and Louis VII of France.

Pope Alexander III signs the Treaty of Venice, a peace treaty between himself, Sicily, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and the Lombard League. The Emperor concedes that cardinals choose popes, not emperors.

Pope Alexander sends an embassy to seek Prester John.

Johanna Plantagenet arrives in Palermo, Sicily. She is twelve years old.

Founding of Belfast.

Foundation of Spanish military Orders of Santiago, Avis and Alcantara

Princess Sibylla, sister of leper king Baldwin and daughter of Amalric, is married to William du Montferrat.

November 25, Battle of Ramleh (Montgisard). With a force of 500 led by the leper King Baldwin attempts to stop Salah ah-Din at Ascalon. The Egyptian army is able to bypass the Crusaders and continue towards Jerusalem. Baldwin is able to join up with the Templars from Gaza and surprise Salah ah-Din from the rear. The Egyptian army is routed and Salah ah-Din barely escapes.

1178

Frederick Barbarossa crowned King of Burgundy by Pope Alexander the third.

Bridge at Avignon begun. Completed in 1188.

Richard Fitznigel and the financial administration of England.

1179

Third Lateran Council. Walter Map, an English delegate attends the Council.

Coronation of Philippe Augustus. On All Saints Day, his father has Philippe crowned King of France in Rheims cathedral by his uncle Archbishop William on All Saints Day at age fourteen.

September 13 Friday - Eclipse of the sun

The Assault on Taillebourg. The assault on the formidable fortress of Taillebourg in Saintonge, the stronghold of Geoffrey de Rancon, Henry’s rebellious Aquitainian vassal. The seemingly impregnable castle was perched upon a rock, three sides which were inaccessible. The township on the fourth side was protected by a triple ditch and a triple wall. Well stocked with weapons, victuals and men.

1180

Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa awards the dukedom of Bavaria to the Count Palatine Otto von Wittelsbach founding a dynasty which would survive into the twentieth century.

Birth of William Longspee to King Henry II by Ida de Toeny, Countess of Norfolk.

March, Salah ah-Din defeats a Crusader force at Marj Ayun (Valley of the Springs), capturing the Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Odo de St Amand.

King Baldwin the Fourth negotiates a peace treaty with Salah ah-Din but it is broken in 1181.

Reynald de Chantillon supports Guy de Lusignan for the throne of Jerusalem and against regent Raymond of Tripoli.

Sibylla, Widow of William du Montferrat and heiress of Jerusalem marries Guy de Lusignan.

King Louis the Seventh of France dies and is succeeded by his son Philip Augustus.

April 28, Philippe Augustus of France takes for his wife, Isabelle of Hainaut.
“The little king of Lesser-land.” - as Bertran de Born quipped.

September 24, Basilius Manuel Comnenus Megas, Emperor of Byzantium dies. Eleven year old Alexius Comnenus becomes the Byzantine Emperor of the remaining Roman Empire.

Duke Henry the Lion is deprived of his duchies.

1181

King Henry II’s illegitimate son, Geoffery is dignified by the position of Archbishop of York. King Henry’s sons again rebel.

Lucius the Third becomes Pope.

Henry the Lion is forced into exile and flees to the court of Henry II.

First Carthusian monastery in England at Witham.

Al-Salih Ismail, heir of Nur ah-Din, dies. This allows Salah ah-Din to complete his take-over of Nur al-Din’s empire.

Reynald de Chantillon raids a large caravan of pilgrims on their way to Mecca. This violates the peace treaty which outrages Salah ah-Din.

The three Plantagenet brothers ,Young King Henry, Richard and Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany unite in opposition to a threat from Count Philip of Flanders who was garnering favour from the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa to come to the aid of the sixteen year old King Philippe of France.

Pope Lucius III separates the Church from renegade heretic thought and ritual. Though pedantic at first the inquisition would grow teeth under his successors.

1182

Birth of Francis of Assisi (1182 - 1226) founder of the Franciscan order of priests. Canonized after death.

Salah ah-Din takes Edessa.

Canute becomes King of Denmark.

The Jews are banished from France.

Massacre of Latins in Constantinople. The widow of byzantine emperor Manuel Comnenus, Maria, was Latin by birth. Resented by the populace leading to an insurrection led by Andronicus Comnenus kills many Pisans, Genoese and Venetians as well as the thirteen year old heir to the throne Alexius. Andronicus becomes a ruthless leader killing a large number of rivals and dissenters.

May 11. Salah ah-Din sets out from Cairo to gather an army large enough to be a serious threat to the Kingdom of Jerusalem.

1183

Archbishop of Jerusalem, William of Tyre, chronicler of the first two crusades, excommunicated by the newly appointed Patriarch Heraclius of Jerusalem ending their struggle for power. William is outraged by the patriarch and the Knights Templar’s influence over the Leper King, Baldwin the fourth. William sets sail for Rome to present his case to Pope Lucius the third but dies before he can present his case. Rumored to be murdered by poison by an agent of Heraclius.

Reynald de Chantillon launches a military expedition on the Red Sea. He had built prefabricated galleys in dry dock at Castle Montreal and reassembled them to float down to Mecca where he would destroy Mohammad’s, peace be with him, tomb and smash the Ka’aba.

Salah ah-Din takes Aleppo.

The Young King Henry and his brother Count Geoffrey of Brittany rise up against Richard, Duke of Aquitaine. Their father, King Henry, intervenes “I set my sons at each other’s throats only because they thirst after mine”. “Young King Henry was a shield, but Richard was a hammer.” Giraldus Cambrensis

June 11 the Young King Henry dies of dysentery at the age of 28. He charges William Marshal with taking a pilgrimage, on his behalf, to the Holy Sepulchre. William Marshal fulfills his vow from 1185 to the Spring of 1187.
“Young King Henry was a shield, but Richard was a hammer.” Giraldus Cambrensis

September 17. Salah ah-Din leaves Damascus with his large Muslim army and heads for the Crusader states. He encounters Crusader forces at the Pools of Goliath but the Christians retreat to Jerusalem. Guy de Lusignan’s decision to withdraw causes a loss of confidence among other Christian leaders and attracts suspicions of cowardice.

Peace of Constance: The Treaty of Constance is concluded between Frederick Barbarossa and the Lombard League.

Byzantine Emperor Manuel Comnena dies in Constantinople. Succeeded by Alexius

Suspicious death of Emperor Alexius of Byzantium. The murder of Maria Comnena, the Porphyrogenita, Byzantine princess by poison. The murder of Renier du Montferrat, husband of Maria Comnena by poison. Usurper Andronicus Comnenus succeeds as Emperor by marrying Alexius’ widow Agnes (the daughter of King Louis of France).

First written account of a sport resembling cricket, by Joseph of Exeter.

1184

May 25. A ferocious fire destroys Glastonbury Abbey. King Henry orders the rebuilding of a new Abbey incorporating the Romanesque exterior with a new French Gothic style interior.

The Diet of Mainz: Emperor Frederick Barbarossa at his height. Barbarossa’s son, Henry of Hohenstaufen is knighted at Mainz. In October, Constance of Sicily is betrothed to Henry of Hohenstaufen at Augsburg.

Baldwin becomes Archbishop of Canterbury. A new Canterbury Cathedral is begun to replace the one Thomas Becket was murdered in. It was designed in the Gothic style by Frenchman, William of Sens.

Isaac Comnenus takes control of Cyprus which frees itself from Byzantium. Isaac is a great nephew of Manuel Comnenus and had launched a rebellion against the harsh rule of Andronicus, establishing an independent kingdom in Cyprus. Constantinople is too weak to crush this rebellion and Isaac would hold power until King Richard arrives.

Salah ah-Din launches a second attack on the Fortress of Kerak, but fails.

The Order of Santiago confirmed. ‘Red Sword’ Spain against Moors.

Consecration of Modena Cathedral.

Tamara, Queen of Georgia.

Meinhard builds a Christian Church in Uexkull (Latvia).

The Grand Priory of the Knights Hospitaller is established in London.

Arnauld, Grand Master of the Knights Templar dies at Verona.

Pope Lucius III held a Synod at Verona which condemned the Cathars, Paterines, Waldensians and Arnoldists, and anathematized all those declared as heretics and their abettors.

1185

January 27. Henry Hohenstaufen the son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, marries Constance heiress of Sicily, and assumes title of Caesar.

January 29. Baldwin IV, King of Jerusalem, was a leper near death. His nephew, son of his sister Sibylla and her first husband, William du Montferrat, the heir apparent was but a child. Count Raymond of Tripoli appointed regent. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, Heraclius laid at the feet of King Henry II of England the kingdom of Jerusalem, a piece of the Holy Cross and the keys to the Tower of David and the Holy Sepulchre. He offers the throne of Jerusalem to Henry by right of inheritance from King Fulk of Anjou his great uncle. “Do I not already support two hundred knights in the field?” King Henry asks. His councillors advise, “It seems better to all, and much for the safety of the king’s soul, that he should govern his kingdom with due care and protect it from the intrusion of foreigners and from external enemies, than that he should in his own person seek the preservation of the easterners”. Henry agrees. “If the patriarch or anyone else comes to us, it is because they are seeking their own advantage rather than ours.” Heraclius departed in bitter disappointment, muttering, “Almost all the world will offer us money, but it is a prince we need; we would prefer a leader even without money, to money without a leader.”

March. King Baldwin IV dies of leprosy and King Baldwin the Fifth succeeds him. Raymond of Tripoli is named regent.

The papacy would go under a new regime change upon the death of Lucius in ‘85, Urban in ‘87, Gregory in ‘87 and Clement in ‘87.

Isaac Angelus becomes Byzantine emperor. Andronicus Comnenus had ordered him arrested and killed but his years of heavy handed rule had taken their toll and the people refused.

By the Treaty of Boves Philippe Augustus substantially increases the French crown lands at the expense of Count Philip of Flanders.

August. Princess Constance of Sicily sails to Salerno and is handed over to the Germans in Rieti.

Great earthquake rattles Sicily.

Death of Alfonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, in Coimbra. Alfonso created the nation of Portugal by liberating it from Muslim invaders and resisting attempts at dominance from Castile in Spain.

Normans lay siege to and sack Thessalonika, a Greek Christian city.

Revolt of Bulgarians under Ivan and Peter Asen. Found new Bulgarian Empire.

The consecrated Temple Church is among the oldest and most beautiful churches in London. Built by the Knights Templar the Church, two Halls, cloisters and domestic buildings led straight down to the River Thames. Modeled on the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the site of Christ’s death, burial and rising, the Round Church was built to recreate, in London, the sanctity of the Sepulcher itself.

1186

March 3. Salah ah-Din conquers Mosul expanding his empire. The Muslim world is united behind the Sword of Islam.

Raynald de Chantillon breaks the truce by attacking a Muslim caravan killing many and capturing Salah ah-Din’s sister. Salah ah-Din vows revenge.

The Bulgarians rebel against Byzantine rule.

King William of Sicily takes Corfu and Durazzo from Byzantium.

Death of twenty-eight year old Duke Geoffrey Plantagenet (Richard’s brother) leaving his young son Arthur to inherit Brittany.

August. Baldwin V dies. His mother Sibylla, sister of Baldwin the forth, is crowned Queen by Joscelin de Courtnay and her husband Guy de Lusignan is crowned king.

September 29. Suspicious death of Archbishop William of Tyre, Chancellor to the Leper King of Jerusalem.

September 30. Appointment of Joscius to the Archbishropic office in Tyre.

October. Henry Hohenstaufen and Constance hold court in Ravenna.

1187

March. In response to the insult and perfidy of Raynald de Chantillon, Salah ah-Din invokes Jihad to unite all Muslims against the infidel occupiers.

May 1. - Massacre at Cresson. At the fountain of Cresson or ‘Ain Gozeh, near Nazareth, a contingent of Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller charge a greater force of the Muslim army. Almost all the knights die.

June 26. Salah ah-Din launches his struggle to drive the occupying Franj into the sea.

July 1. Salah ah-Din crosses the Jordan River with an army of 12,000.

July 2. Muslim forces overcome Tiberias on the sea of Galilee. Countess Eschiva retreats into the keep. Her husband, Raymond of Tripoli is in Jerusalem in council with the new King Guy de Lusignan. The news of the advancing army reaches Jerusalem whence a retaliatory force of men at arms is sent forth to Saphoria. Raymond suggests a cautious response to which Guy agrees. Goaded by taunts of cowardice by Gerard, Grand Master of the Knights Templar, Guy is convinced to attack.

July 4. Horns of Hattin.

  • Guy de Lusignan, King of Jerusalem (captured)
  • Reynald de Chantillon,(executed)
  • Raymond, Count of Tripoli (dies)
  • Gerard de Rideford, Grand Master of Knights Templar (executed)
  • Roger de Moulins, Grand Master of Knights Hospitaller (dies)
  • William du Montferrat (captured)
  • All Knights Templars (executed)

Salah ah-Din, Sword of Islam, clamped the trap shut so tight ‘not a cat could have slipped through the net’.

   “When the Christian king had withdrawn to the top of the hill, his knights made a gallant charge and drove the Moslems back upon my father. I watched with dismay. He turned pale, then red, pulled at his beard and rushed forward crying, ‘Give the devil the lie!’ So our men fell upon the enemy, who retreated back up the hill. When I saw the Franj flying, I shouted out with glee, ‘Ah, we have routed them!’ But they charged again and drove our troops back to where my father was standing. Again he urged them forward; again they drove the enemy back up the hill; again I cried out, ‘We have routed them!’ Again my father turned to me impatiently and said, ‘Be quiet. We have not beaten them so long as that tent still stands.’ At that moment the tent was overturned. Then my father bowed to the ground and, with tears of joy, gave thanks to Allah.” - al-Afdal, son of Salah ah-Din.

July 8. Acre capitulates to Salah ah-Din surrendering after the victory at Hattin. Acre and other cities that surrender are treated well.

Joppa has to be taken by force and the population is sold into slavery.

July 14. Finding Acre in Salah al-Din’s hands, Conrad du Montferrat arrives at Tyre where he assumes command and disconnects the surrender negotiations. Salah ah-Din offers to trade the life Conrad’s father William du Montferrat for the surrender of Tyre. Conrad fires an arrow at his father rather than surrender.

July 29. The city of Sidon surrenders to Salah ah-Din.

August 9. Salah ah-Din captures Beirut.

August 10. Ascalon surrenders to Salah ah-Din.

August 11. Muslim control over the cities of Nablus, Joppa, Toron, Sodon, Gaza and Ramla completes the ring around the prize, Jerusalem.

September 4. Total eclipse of the sun over Syria.

September 5. A son is born to King Philippe of France and is named Louis after his grandfather.
A son is also born to Richard’s younger brother, Geoffrey Plantagenet, Duke of Brittany who had died in a tournament accident a few months before. Constance of Brittany, the widow of Geoffrey gives birth to a son. With King Henry’s permission is allowed to name him Arthur after the famous king of legend.

September 19. Salah ah-Din breaks camp at Ascalon and moves his army towards Jerusalem.

September 20. Salah ah-Din and his forces arrive outside Jerusalem and lay siege. Defence of Jerusalem is led by Balain of Ibelin. Balian evaded capture at Hattin and Salah al-Din personally gave permission for him to enter Jerusalem and retrieve his wife and children. Once there the people beg him to lead their defence. Salah al-Din allows Balian to stay in Jerusalem while allowing his wife and children to seek refuge in Tyre.

September 26. After days of contemplation Salah al-Din launches an attack on Jerusalem. The meagre garrison is expected to hold against the entire Arabic military force. Including Balian the city has but three knights to lead the defence. However every man has been armed and knighted.

September 28. After two days of heavy battering, the walls of Jerusalem begin to crumble under the Muslim assault. St Stephen’s tower falls partially and a breach appears at St Stephen’s Gate,

September 30. Jerusalem surrenders to the Muslim forces. Salah ah-Din exacts a heavy ransom on the population. Those who cannot pay resolve to a life of slavery. Orthodox and Jacobite Christians were permitted to stay in the city. The magnanimous Salah ah-Din personally purchases the freedom of thousands of the poorest Christian citizens. The patriarch Heraclius, Templars and Hospitallers escape with Christian treasures rather than ransoming thousands more with the booty.

October 2 - The Fall of Jerusalem. “We have waited eighty eight years for retribution, and praise be to Allah, our time has come.” Salah ah-Din.

October 4. Salah ah-Din enters Jerusalem to coincide with the anniversary of the prophet Muhammad’s, peace be with him, ascent into heaven from the Haram al-Sharif.

October 19. Pope Urban the Third. Since his failure to bolster the Templars strength and to convince King Henry or one of his sons to take command of the throne of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Pope Urban the third was overcome with grief at the loss of Jerusalem to the Sultan Salah al-Din, it was said he died of a broken heart.

October 29. In response to the fall of Jerusalem, Pope Gregory the Eighth issues the Bull Audita Tremendi calling for all faithful Christians to take the cross. Richard Plantagenet takes the cross. Followed by Frederick Barbarossa of Germany and Philippe Augustus of France.

November. Salah ah-Din launches a second assault on Tyre but the assault fails. Tyre’s defences have been improved and now the garrison has been bolstered by refugees from Jerusalem.

Verona Cathedral completed.

Punjab conquered by Mohammed of Ghor.

Pope Gregory the Eighth dies and is succeeded by Pope Clement the Third in the year of the three popes.

December 30. Conrad du Montferrat, commander of the Christian forces, launches a night raid against several Muslim ships participating in the siege of Tyre. He captures some and scatters the rest, eliminating the naval threat to Tyre.

1188

January 6. An embassy from the Byzantine Emperor Isaac Angelus congratulates Salah ah- Din on his liberation of Jerusalem.

January 21. The Archbishop of Tyre, Josias describes the loss of Jerusalem. At Le Mans, King Henry II of England and King Philippe Augustus of France agree to take up the cross and participate in a military expedition against Salah ah-Din.

The Saladin Tithe. “This year each man shall give alms a tenth of his revenues and movables with the exception of the arms, horses and garments of the knights, and likewise with the exception of the horses, books, garments and vestments, and all appurtenances of whatever sort used by clerks in divine service, and the precious stones belonging to both clerks and laymen.” Henry II, King of England.

February, King Henry II institutes the Saladin Tithe. Ten percent on revenues and moveable properties over and above his subjects fiscal obligations. The tax was assessed by dioceses and collected by the local priest always in the presence of a Knight Templar. Only those who took the cross were exempt. King Henry tried to implement the tax in Scotland but King William refused.

March. King William of Sicily sends a fleet to support Tyre, Tripoli and Antioch.

Salah ah-Din inspects the siege of Belvoir.

May 30. Salah ah-Din lays siege to the large fortress of Krak des Chevaliers, the headquarters of the Knights Hospitallers in Syria, but fails to take it.

Crusading fleets set sail from northern Europe.

July 1. Finding Tripoli too strong to be besieged, Salah ah-Din begins a campaign to take Crusader castles in northern Syria. Salah al-Din agrees to release Guy de Lusignan, the king of Jerusalem who had been captured at the Battle of Hattin. Guy is under oath not to raise arms against Salah al-Din but manages to find a priest who convinces him he doesn’t have to honour a an oath made to an unbeliever. The Marquis William du Montferrat, Conrad’s father, is also released at this time.

August. King Henry II and Philippe Augustus meet at the hoary tree at Gisors, France and nearly come to blows over their various political disagreements. Philippe chops down the tree.

Another rebellion by King Henry II‘s sons; Richard and John Plantagenet.

September 3. Upon the death of King Ferdinand of Leon, Alfonso of Castile becomes king of Leon.

Crusading fleets from northern Europe help the Portugese conquer Silves.

October 1. Salah ah-Din agrees an eight-month truce with Prince Bohemond of Antioch.

Usamah ibn Munqidh dies.

December 6. Frederick Barbarossa and the poet Frederick von Hausen take the cross at Mainz.

The fortress of Sufed surrenders to Salah ah-Din. The castle of Belvoir falls to Muslim forces.

1189

January 21. Troops gather in response to the defeats the Muslim army has inflicted on the Kingdom of Jerusalem under the command of Salah ah-Din.

King Henry’s English troops combined with his Norman, Angevin and Aquitainian armies dwarf his liege lord Philippe Augustus’ force. But the Holy Roman Empire’s Frederick Barbarossa’s is the biggest of all.

March. Salah ah-Din returns to Damascus.

April. Fifty-two warships from Pisa arrive at Tyre to aid in the city’s defence.

Salah ah-Din besieges Beaufort.

May 11. Septuagenarian Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa sets off with a hundred thousand fully armed troops to march overland through the Turkish empire on his way to Jerusalem.
Isaac Angelus, the emperor of Byzantium, makes a treaty with the Seljuk Turks against the interests of the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.

May 18. Frederick Barbarossa captures the Seljuk city of Iconium (Konya).

June 3. Christian troops from Tyre advance against Sidon but are forced back.

The burning of Le Mans. “Oh, God, Thou hast vilely taken away the city I loved best on Earth! I will pay Thee back as best I can. I will rob Thee of the thing Thou lovest best in me. My soul!” - Henry King II of England.

July 4. The Capitulation of Azay.

July 6 - The Conquered King. Death of King Henry II at Chinon, France. “To few monarchs has fate vouchsafed a less dignified end.”

July 9. King Henry II is laid to rest at Fontevraud Abbey. Ralph of Diceto transcribed the epitaph engraved on Henry’s tomb.

July 15. Jabala Castle surrenders to Salah ah-Din.

Pisan fleet reaches Tyre.

July 20. Richard Plantagenet is invested as Duke of Normandy before crossing over to the England where he declares a general amnesty and frees many prisoners, including his mother.

July 29. Sahyun Castle surrenders to Salah ah-Din, who leads the assault personally and the fortress is renamed Qalaat Salah al-Din.

August 13. Richard Plantagenet lands at Portsmouth and travels to Winchester Palace where he is joined by his mother, Queen Eleanor. After a short stay the royal couple travel to London where they are received with acclaim.

August 26. Baghras Castle is captured by Salah ah-Din.

Emperor Frederick Barbarossa occupies Plovdiv. Serbian and Bulgarian representatives offer to form an anti-Byzantine alliance with Frederick during his stay at Nish, but Frederick does not accept.

August 28. Guy de Lusignan arrives at the gates of Acre with a the Pisan fleet and a force much smaller than the Muslim city’s garrison and is determined to have a city to call his own because Conrad du Montferrat refuses to relinquish the city of Tyre to the former King of Jerusalem and lays claim to the crown himself. Conrad is supported by the Balians and the Garniers, two of the most powerful families in Palestine.

August 31. Guy de Lusignan launches an admirable assault against the well defended city of Acre but fails to take it. His efforts do attract the attention of pilgrims and soldiers streaming into Palestine to take up his cause and join the siege of Acre.

September 2. Danish and Frisian war ships arrive at Acre to effectively blockade the city by sea. The landward side, however, is still being supplied by Salah ah-Din’s army.

Emperor Isaac Angelus seizes Frederick Barbarossa’s representatives as hostages.

September 3. The Coronation of King Richard the LionHeart by Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury. Days before his 32nd birthday, “Richard is escorted to the high altar in Westminster Abbey along a path of woolen cloth. The procession consisted of the clergy, led by the priors, the abbots and the bishops carrying crosses, candles and holy water. Amongst the bishops were four barons carrying golden candelabra. After them came the highest nobles in the land carrying variously the king’s cup of state, the golden spurs, the sceptre and the swords of state. They were followed by six barons holding the royal robes and insignia. The crown was carried by the Earl of Essex and Richard, flanked by two bishops, followed this. He was shaded by a silk canopy and behind him walked the rest of the laity. At the altar Richard took the coronation oath: swearing to observe peace honour and reverence towards God and to exercise right justice over his subjects. After this Richard was stripped to his breeches and shirt and anointed, an action which conferred on him the divine sanction for his kinship. This moment, rather than the placing of the crown upon his head, was the key moment in the service.” The Blessing: “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you and remain with you always.” Amen. The anthem echoed through the great apse of Westminster Abbey. “The golden age comes round the earth’s salvation nigh. The rich man is thrown down: the poor man lifted high.”

October 4. Conrad du Montferrat joins forces with King Guy Lusignan and launches an attack on Acre which nearly succeeds in routing Salah ah-Din’s forces as far as al-‘Ayadiya - but only at the expense of heavy casualties. Grand Master Knights Templar Gerard de Ridefort is captured and killed and even Conrad has a close call but is rescued by his rival king Guy.

October 16. Salah ah-Din’s forces pull back to al-Kharruba.

October 29. Salah ah-Din’s Egyptian fleet brings relief supplies and troops to the garrison at Acre.

November. King Richard leaves England

Byzantine Emperor Isaac Angelus agrees to transport Frederick Barbarossa’s army across the Dardanelles.

November 18. King William of Sicily dies childless in Palermo widowing Richard’s sister Joanna.

December 26. Another Egyptian fleet reaches the beleaguered city of Acre but is unable to lift the sea blockade imposed by the combined Danish and Frisian ships.

Massacre of the Jews of Rhineland, Germany.

Coronation of the Virgin Mary.

1190

The Third Crusade
January. Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem dies and Guy de Lusignan claims sole rule of the former Kingdom of Jerusalem. Both of their daughters had died of disease days before so technically Sibylla’s sister Isabella was successor to the throne. Conrad du Montferrat also claims the throne and confusion over the rightful ruler divides the Christian army.

William’s successor Queen Constance, wife of Emperor Barbarossa’s son Henry, is unacceptable to rule Sicily. Tancredi of Lecce, illegitimate grandson of Roger the Second seizes power and is crowned king of Sicily and subsequently imprisons Joanna Plantagenet and confiscates her dowry.

Philippe Augustus declares Paris, a city of 200,000 citizens, the capital of France with the motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur, “though rocked by the waves, she does not sink.” Centring on Paris, Philippe builds a palace fortress “the Louvre” on the East bank of the Seine. Philippe at Vezelay hoists the oriflamme of Clarlemagne which had been blessed by Bishop Suger at the Abbey of St. Denis, the resting place of the saint and the Capetian kings of France. Philip had chosen the fleur-de-lis, a rebus of “flower of Louis”, as the royal emblem of France for all time in memory of his dearly departed father.

King Richard weaves a ring of alliances around the Capetian royal demesne. At Lyons disaster struck when the bridge over the Rhone river collapsed spilling a number of men-at-arms into the river whereupon some drowned.

King Philippe’s army heads for Genoa where a fleet of ships wait to transport them to Messina, Sicily, where they will winter before proceeding to the Holy Land.

Frederick Barbarossa and his followers depart for the Holy land from the Sultanate of Rum (Turkey).

February 6. Massacre of the Jews of Norwich, England.

March 7. Massacre of the Jews of Stamford, England.

March 16. Massacre of the Jews in York, England: Many Jews commit mass suicide in order to avoid having to submit to baptism. In an attempt to escape the raging mob, a hundred Jews seek sanctuary is a wooden structure soon to become their funeral pyre. Prompted by religious fervour Clifford’s Tower is set ablaze roasting all inside.

April 18. Christian fanatics kill 57 Jews in Bury St. Edmonds, England.

Frederick Barbarossa crosses into Anatolia. Contingents from Northern Syria are sent to guard the frontier against Frederick Barbarossa.

April 23. The City of London adopts St George as patron saint appointing a feast day. The flag, a red cross on a white field, was a way to identify English ships entering the Mediterranean Sea to benefit from the protection of the Genoese fleet during the Crusades. King Richard paid annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for this protection. Richard had every intention of keeping vigil at the church, consecrated before 337 by Constantine the Great, in Lydda where the bones of St George lie.

April 27. Prolonged Crusader attack on Acre begins but fails on April 27.

May 6. German Poet Frederick von Hausen dies while on crusade.

May 17. A Seljuk army attempts but fails to stop Frederick Barbarossa entering Konya.

June. King Richard reads the Riot Act: Stern provisions and punishments are imposed on the general rank and file.

June 10. Frederick Barbarossa drowns in the River Saleph in Cilicia (Turkey) before reaching his primary objective; Jerusalem.

June 24.The Benedictine basilica of Vezelay in Burgundy claims Mary Magdalene’s remains.

July 4. The Launch of the Third Crusade from Vezelay with King Richard and King Philippe Augustus presiding.

Beaufort castle surrenders to Salah ah-Din’s army.

Count Henry of Champagne and his contingent join the siege of Acre.

August 22. King Richard’s fleet from England and Normandy arrive in Marseilles.

September 14. King Philippe Augustus and his army land in Sicily.

September 16. King Richard’s advance force under Archbishop Baldwin reaches Tyre.

The German Order of Teutonic Knights founded a hospital at Acre to nurse the sick during the Third Crusade. It was militarized in 1198 and given lands in Germany:

King Richard arrives at Messina, Sicily.

Queen Johanna of Sicily, (King Richard’s sister) is rescued from the clutches of usurper Tancredi of Leece. Tancred had seized Joanna’s dowry and refused to pay retribution.

Mategrifon (Kill-Greek). A prefabricated portable castle which could be assembled as and where required

October 3. Rioting breaks out in Messina. Rumor spreads that Richard intended to conquer Sicily. The gates of Messina are closed to King Richard’s army. King Tancredi feels safe in his capital of Catania.

Outside Acre, troops from Mosul demand to return home. Salah ah-Din complies.

November 11. King Richard formally designates the heir to the throne of England. Instead of his twenty three year old younger brother Prince John, Richard names his three year old nephew Arthur of Brittany to succeed him should he perish childless during the crusade.

November 24. Conrad du Montferrat marries a reluctant Isabella usurping regal legitimacy from King Guy.

December. King Richard and Philippe Augustus winter in Sicily amid increasing acrimony.

Duke Leopold of Austria’s army winters in Zara having sailed from Venice.

1191

Henry Fitz Ailwin is elected London’s first mayor.

January 18. King Henry Hohenstaufen and Queen Constance cross the Alps on their first expedition to conquer the South of Italy.

Embassy from Salah ah-Din asks the Muwahhid Caliph Ya’qub al-Mansur for naval support but is refused.

February 5. King Richard and Tancredi King of Sicily, meet at Catania to resolve a long simmering feud.

February 13. Salah ah-Din’s troops break through the siege lines into Acre with a relief army and a new commander.

February. News of Prince John’s arrival in England unsettles Richard who dispatches the capable Walter of Coutances Archbishop of Rouen.

March 1. Philippe Augustus sets sail from Messina to Acre in the Holy Land.

March. Walter of Coutances lands in Sicily escorting King Richard’s mother, Queen Eleanor who arrives at Messina with King Richard’s soon to be bride, Berengaria of Navarre.

Duke Leopold of Austria rallies the remnants of Frederick Barbarossa’s army in Acre.

Taqi al-Din and the governor of Diyar Bakr do not respond to Salah ah-Din’s summons for reinforcements because they are competing for domination in the same region.

March 27. Death of Pope Clement III. Succeeded by Pope Celestine the Third.

March 30. King Philippe Augustus arrives at Tyre joining his cousin Conrad du Montferrat and beginning his campaign to free the Kingdom of Jerusalem. A ship load of corn reaches Acre bringing relief to the exhausted besiegers.

April 1. The Cathedral of Monreale is counted among the purest manifestations of Norman art in Sicily, was built under the auspices of King William the Second. The dominance of Palermo, and particularly of the bishop, was so strong by 1172 as to lead King William to establish a competing church, palace and monastery nearby at Monreale. Pope Lucius the Third elevated the Cathedral of Monreale to an episcopal seat in 1183. Tuscan sculptor Bonanno de Pisa executed the massive bronze doors for the main portal which were installed in 1185 and by 1190 the cathedral was complete.

April. King Henry Hohenstaufen is crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Rome.

King Richard presents King Tancredi of Sicily with Excalibur, the fabled sword of king Arthur, in trust until his return.

April 10. King Richard departs from Sicily with a fleet of over two hundred ships in echelon.

April 14. Walter of Coutances arrives in Rome with Queen Eleanor to attend the consecration of Pope Celestine the Third.

May 1. King Richard’s fleet divided by severe storms in the Gulf of Adalia and the fleet straggles into safe harbors at Rhodes.

May. Emperor Henry Hohenstaufen besieges Naples, Empress Constance is invited to Salerno.

May 6. Three of the ships blown off course were his most treasured of all. Richard’s sister Joanna and Berengaria, the future Queen of England in one, the royal treasury in another and an escort vessel bearing the Royal Seal shipwrecked off the Cypriot shore. King of the island Isaac Comnenus treated them shabbily. He imprisoned the shipwrecked sailors stole what treasure they had on board and refused the royal couple permission to come ashore for fresh water.

May 12. The English Crusaders in Cyprus found themselves facing a large crowd of Griffons (Greek Cypriots). The Crusaders were so greatly outnumbered that a clerk-in-arms named Hugo de Mara went to the king and told him, “My lord the king, it would appear to be a wise plan to decline for a time so large and so powerful a multitude.” The king answered, “Sir clerk, as for our professions, you had better employ yourself in writing and leave war to us.” King Richard unleashes his army to defeat Isaac Comnenus’ troops.

May 12. King Richard marries Berengaria of Navarre, first born daughter of King Sancho in Famagusta, Cyprus. Followed by three days of celebration.

May 31. King Isaac Comnenus surrenders to King Richard at Kantara, Cyprus.

June 1. The Count of Flanders is killed during the siege of Acre. Flemish soldiers and nobles played an important role in the war effort since the fall of Jerusalem and the Count of Flanders had been one of the first to take the cross.

June 5 - King Richard sells Cyprus to the Knights Templar for 100,000 dinars. King Richard departs from the port of Famagusta, Cyprus and sails for the port at Tyre leaving Richard Camville and Robert of Thornham as governors.

Humphrey of Toron spoke fluent Arabic and was useful as a translator.

King Philippe Augustus’ forces attack Acre but pull back when Salah ah-Din attacks their siege lines.

June 6. King Richard sails straight for Tyre but because of his alliance with Guy de Lusignan, Conrad du Montferrat refuses to allow King Richard to enter the city and he and his twenty five galleys are forced to make camp on the beach.

June 7. Disgusted with his treatment at the hands of Conrad du Montferrat, King Richard sets sail on the morning tide for Arce.

June 8. Amid jubilation, King Richard’s fleet comprising a hundred or more ships from England, Normandy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Richard’s continental domains arrives at Acre.

June 15. Genoese fleet arrive to strengthen the blockade of Acre.

June 25. The French attack Acre but Richard refuses to take part.

July 2. French attack again and breach the fortifications but the Muslims offer staunch resistance and shore up their defenses.

July 4. Hastily the rulers of Acre draft a parchment declaring their conditions of surrender and present it to the Christian coalition... which is rebuffed. Salah ah-Din is dismayed to hear the garrison is considering surrender.

King Richard and Philippe Augustus succumb to a virus which makes their hair and eyebrows fall out and his face puff up beyond recognition.

July 6. King Richard’s troops attack the ruined Maledicta Tower of Acre. The defenders shore up the fortifications with the rubble.

July 7. Heroic swimmer brings desperate plea to Salah ah-Din from the besieged garrison saying they cannot hold out any longer.

July 8. English and French troops penetrate the first of Acres two defensive walls. English and Pisan troops attack the Maledicta Tower.

The new Duke of Swabia, Barbarossa’s son takes command of the German contingent.

Salah ahl-Din makes a final attempt to break the siege.

July 11, Friday. Acre Surrenders. “We saw the Cross and the banners of the Franj appear on the walls. An immense roar of joy rose from the Christian ranks - while we gnashed our teeth and wept with rage and humiliation. Oh, it was hateful to see Conrad du Montferrat enter the city with the flags of the four Christian kings and plant them one by one on the citadel and on the minaret of the grand mosque!” - Abu Shama

The Cost of Acre: As Acre surrenders to King Richard and King Philippe Augustus the death toll of the two year siege on the Crusader side alone was tallied at 6 archbishops, 12 bishops, 40 earls, 500 barons and 300,000 soldiers.

Duke Leopold of Austria publicly humiliated, his flag cast down from the walls of Acre onto the dust.

July 14. King Richard and Philippe Augustus share the bounty between them providing a much needed infusion of liquid assets to pay their men.

Salah ah-Din organizes the collection of ransom money and Crusader prisoners for release.

July 28. Council of Crusader leaders decides to divide the Kingdom of Jerusalem with King Guy controlling Acre and the South, while Conrad du Montferrat controls Tyre and the north.

July 30. “It is a shame and a disgrace on my Lord (Philippe Augustus) if he goes away without having finished the business that brought him hither. But still, if he find himself in bad health, or is afraid lest he should die here, His will be done.” - King Richard

July 31. Philippe Augustus and Conrad of Montferrat leave Acre for Tyre amid cries of derision

August 3. Philippe Augustus leaves Tyre for France. As Philip leaves with his cousin, Peter de Courtney Count of Nevers, made their way to Genoa on board one of the few ships Richard provided him, he assigns the duties to the Duke of Burgundy.

August 10 - The Massacre of the Innocents. Two thousand seven hundred and twenty three hostages executed.

August 24 . Part of Salah ah-Din’s army moves to Caymont.

In Italy, Emperor Henry Hohenstaufen raises the siege of Naples and retreats north. Empress Constance is betrayed by the people of Salerno and taken prisoner to Palermo.

August 25. King Richard’s army sets off south in three divisions, following the coast. The Crusader fleet accompanies offshore.

August 26. King Richard’s contingent moves forward to seize Merle; al-Afdal attacks the Crusader rearguard; Salah ah-Din sends his baggage train ahead towards Majdal Yaba; al- Adil corps head to the coast; other contingents remain at Caymont or are sent to observe the Crusader army.

August 27. Salah ah-Din orders his baggage train to return. Crusader army makes a short march because the fleet is delayed rounding Mount Carmel.

August 29. Crusader army remains encamped.

August 30. Crusader army advances towards Caesarea with fleet offshore. Muslim attacks have little effect. Crusaders make camp at the Nahr al-Zarqa.

August 31. Crusaders remain in camp.

September 1. Crusaders march to the Nahr al-Mafjir.

September 2, Monday. Prolonged and determined harassment of Crusader column by Salah ah-Din’s forces between the Wadi al-Mafjir and the Wadi al-Qasab streams. Heavy casualties were felt by both sides. Death of Ayaz al-Tawil (Ayaz the Tall). Buried at Wadi al-Qassab. Crusaders march to Nahrbal-Qasab despite intensive attacks.

September 3. Salah ah-Din’s army moves to the Forest of Arsuf; the Crusaders remain in camp.

September 5. Crusaders march to the Nahr al-Falik. King Richard contacts al-Adil for talks. Salah ah-Din sends his baggage train south then orders it to return.

September 6. Crusaders do not move. Salah ah-Din’s baggage train sent off again.

September 7 - Battle of Arsuf. Crusaders march toward Arsuf harassed by the Muslim warriors.

Chronicler Ambroise observes the action from atop the wagon bearing the a tall flagpole with Richard’s royal standard atop; three gold leopards (or) stretched out (passant) flashing teeth and nails (guardant) on a vibrant red field (gules). “First came the trumpeters and drummers, sounding so loudly that God himself would not have been heard. Then they moved away and wave after wave of Negro and Bedouin infantry raced forward, shooting their arrows and letting fly with their spears. They threw the first line of our infantry into disorder but made no impression upon the men of iron behind them. Then the Turkish cavalry, their axes and sabers flashing in the sunlight, charged the Knights of the Hospital, hoping to turn our left flank, and you could see nothing in the turmoil of dust, shrieking horses and shouting men.”

September 8. Salah al-Din’s army moves south laying waste anything which can be of use to the Crusaders.

September 9. Crusaders march to within a few miles of Joppa (Jaffa). Salah al-Din prepared to break off contact. Crusaders remain in Joppa until October 31

September 10. Salah ah-Din pulls back to Ramla then goes to Ascalon to supervise the demolition of its fortifications moving its population to Syria and Egypt. Al-Adil remains to be in charge of Ascalon.

September 24. On to Jerusalem. “Paradise yearns and longs for the Temple (Beit al-Makdas), and the Temple is a part of Paradise, and is the Earth’s Navel.” - Al Omri. Salah al-Din returns to Ramla and then inspects the defenses of Jerusalem.

October 1 - King Richard’s letter home reporting on the march from Acre to Jaffa. ‘Richard by the grace of God king of England, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to N. His beloved and faithful servant, sends his greeting. “Know that after the taking of Acre and the departure of the King of France, who there, against the will of God and to the eternal dishonour of his kingdom, so shamelessly failed in his vow, we set out for Joppa. And as we were nearing Arsuf Salah ah-Din came fiercely swooping down upon us. But, of God’s mercy, we lost no man of importance that day, saving only one - James de Avesnes - a man right dearly beloved by the whole army; and rightly so too, for he had proved himself, by many years’ service in the Christian host, to be vigorous, devout, and, as it were, a very column in holiness and sincerity of word. Thence by God’s will we came to Joppa, which we have fortified with ditch and wall in our desire to do everything that can promote the Christian cause. On that day, to wit on the Vigil of the Nativity of the Blessed Mary. Salah al-Din lost an infinite number of his greatest men; and being put to flight, in the absence of all help and council, he has laid waste the whole land of Syria. On the third day before Salah al-Din’s defeat, we were ourselves wounded with a spear on the left side; but thanks to God, we have regained strength. Know also that by twenty days after Christmas we hope, through God’s grace, to receive the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Lord’s Sepulchre, after which we shall return to our own land.’ Witness our own at Joppa.’

October 4. Salah ah-Din demolishes the well-fortified fortress at Latrun, also known as Toron of the Knights.

October 16. King Richard presents a magnificent war horse to al-Adil as a gift for Salah ah- Din.

October 17. King Richard meets with al-Adil’s emissary and requests negotiations.

The Caliph of Baghdad, al-Nasir li-dini’llah, ‘he who helps the religion of God’ rebukes Salah ah-Din. Salah ah-Din expects little help from Baghdad.

The Caliph al-Nasir, hard pressed by the Seljuks of Persia, Tughrul appealed to Tekish for help and thus provided the occasion for the Khorazmian armies to advance westwards, to the conquest of Rayy and Hamadan. It was at Rayy that in 1194, the last of the Seljuks was defeated and killed.

October 30. Envoys from Conrad du Montferrat in Tyre to al-Adil at Lydda. Crusaders remain in Joppa where dissension increases.

November 6. A foraging party is attacked by a group of Saracen horsemen, whereupon Richard sent some knights to rescue them, promising to follow with more men as soon as he was ready.

As the knights reached the foragers many more enemy horsemen appeared in what was a classic Saracen entrapment. Seeing this, some of his own men tried to prevent the king from attacking, telling him that they should not start something they would not be able to win, since they were so heavily outnumbered. As it was quite clear that the fate of the foragers was already sealed, one of his attendants asked Richard if it would not be the lesser of two evils that those few men should be killed rather than that he, upon whom so much depended, should be lost in a futile attack?
   At this, Richard changed colour and snapped at him; “When I sent my loved comrades out to war it was with the promise of bringing them aid. And if I fail to do this, so far as I can, I shall deceive those who trusted me. And should they meet with death in my absence - which I pray never happen - never more will I bear the name of king.”

November 17. Salah ah-Din pulls back to Latrun. Crusaders occupy Ramla. Skirmishes continue. Archbishop of Jerusalem Albert of Louvain is murdered.

December 12. Salah ah-Din disbands most of his army and withdraws to Jerusalem.

December 2. Crusader advance guard reaches Bayt Nuba.

December 27. Amid pomp and fanfare Philippe Augustus is given a heroes welcome by his loyal subjects. He immediately travels up Montmartre to the magnificent cathedral Abbot Suger had prepared for temporal as well as divine royalty, St Denis.

December 28. King Richard renews advance on Jerusalem. Muslim unit under Sabiq al-Din ‘Uthman attacks Crusader outposts.

With the efforts of Chinese priest, Ensai, Buddhism gains popularity in Japan becoming the world’s greatest religion.

An arm of Persia’s Armenian Shiites reaches out from a stronghold high in the Nosairi mountains of Syria ruled by the mystical ‘Old Man of the Mountain’, Sheikh Rashid ed-Din Sinan. It was he who held balance of power in the region and bive birth to the word ‘Assassin’.

Rosamund’s tomb was still covered with silken cloths and tended by the nuns of Godstow in accordance with Henry’s benefaction. At Queen Eleanor’s insistence Bishop Hugh of Lincoln ordered the removal of the body to be buried in unconsecrated ground outside of the cemetery, “for she was a harlot.”

Richard’s Chancellor, William Longchamps, Bishop of Ely left in charge of the Tower of London.

Prince John attempts to take the throne in Richard’s absence. John besieged the Tower and forces William Longchamps to surrender. Longchamps tries to escape to the continental mainland dresses as a woman but is unmasked by an amorous sailor looking for a good time.

King Richard is now Supreme Head of the invasion force and acknowledges the fact he has neither the resources, men or money to launch an extended campaign to capture Jerusalem.

“Jerusalem will be defended to the last man, and if it falls...I fall with it, so that in times to come our children would remember and understand that this was no ordinary city of stone, but a place where the future of our faith was decided.” - Salah ah-Din

1192

January 3. King Richard reaches Bayt Nuba, only twelve miles from Jerusalem. From the top of a hill, the domes and minarets of Jerusalem were visible and the mosque of Omar gleaming white.

January 6. A former resident of Jerusalem sketches a map of the city, though Mount Zion, the Valley of Kidron, the walls and towers made it seem an unsurmountable task to conquer the city. “We could not hold it. Your men would have fulfilled their Crusader’s vow and returned to their homes, and the might of a united Islam would soon overwhelm us.” - Knights Templar.

Salah ah-Din receives reinforcements from Egypt. The garrison in Jerusalem is comprised of tough fighting men from Turkistan.

January 8. King Richard orders retreat to Ramla.

January 20. Crusader Council at Ramla agrees that King Richard lead an army to Ascalon. The Duke of Burgundy and the French army refuse to take part in the task of rebuilding Ascalon, being fighting men not stone masons, retreat to the comfort of Acre.

Enrico Dandolo becomes Doge of Venice

February. Al-Afdal leaves Jerusalem for Syria. Fighting breaks out in Acre between pro-King Guy Pisans and pro-Conrad du Montferrat Genoese.

February 20. King Richard arrives in Acre and tries to make peace. Richard requests a meeting with al-Adil.

Queen Constance of Sicily is rescued by German knights at Ceprano and returns to Germany.

March 20. Al-Adil goes to Richard’s camp with a peace offer.

April 20. King Richard summons Crusader leaders and demands that the question off the crown of Jerusalem be settled. All want Conrad to replace Guy as king. “Oh, God, hear me! If I am unworthy of the crown, then give it to another!” - Conrad du Montferrat is surprised to learn that King Richard supports his claim to the throne which prevents civil war from breaking out.

The population of Cyprus revolts against the Knights Templar who were cruel overlords and imposed high taxation. King Richard sells the Island of Cyprus to King Guy initiating the dynastic House of Lusignan which rule over Cyprus for over three hundred years.

April 23. The appointment of Conrad du Montferrat to the position of King of Jerusalem. Appointed king but never crowned.

April 28. The assassination of Conrad du Montferrat. King Richard is blamed.

April 30. After the murder of Conrad du Montferrat, King Richard’s nephew, Count Henry of Champaign, is chosen to marry Conrad’s widow, Isabella. The French suspected Richard’s complicity in the murder as an attempt to get his nephew the crown. As a result those who had lost confidence in the venture sailed for home, further depleting Richard’s forces.

May 5. Henry of Champagne and Isabella married and crowned King and Queen of Jerusalem.

May 18. King Richard and Crusader army attack Darum by land and sea threatening both Egypt and Jerusalem and takes it in four days netting five thousand prisoners.

June 9. King Richard and Crusader army make camp east of Latrun. Salah ah-Din prepares to defend Jerusalem.

June 22. King Richard gives his reasons for not persisting with the advance to Jerusalem.

June 23. King Richard takes a large force and attacks a caravan in Wadi al-Hasi pillaging a great reward.

July 1. Salah ah-Din holds council in Jerusalem to discuss whether to remain or retreat. Emptying Jerusalem of all but a skeleton garrison and assumes command of a massive field army outside Jerusalem. After deciding that a siege of Jerusalem would be unwise, King Richard’s forces move to the city of Ascalon.

July 4. King Richard abandons Bayt Nuba and retreats towards Ramla.

July 9. King Richard requests negotiations.

July 27. Salah ah-Din takes the town of Joppa but the garrison in the citadel holds out.

July 31. King Richard returns by sea with Pisan and Genoese ships to reprieve the garrison.

August 4. Salah ah-Din unsuccessfully attacks Crusaders outside Joppa.

August 9. A truce is called since it is obvious that neither side can find sufficient ground to win an overwhelming advantage.

August 20. Negotiations resume. Ascalon being the stickler.

September 1. King Richard proposes the hand in marriage of his sister Queen Joanna of Sicily to al-Adil, thereby uniting the kingdom under one family, Arab and Frank.

Peace in the Holy Land. Peace terms are agreed upon and signed by both sides. The Christians were allowed to enter Jerusalem unarmed and without penalty for three years, three months and three days and three hours.

September 29 - Queen Berengaria, Queen Joanna and the Maid of Cyprus leave Acre for their voyage home.

Prince John goes to Paris to become Philippe Augustus’ man swearing homage to him for all Richard’s lands, promising to marry Philippe’s sister, Alys. Philippe in turn swore to make John king of England. When Queen Eleanor hears of these events she summons nobles and knights to guard the seacoasts designating William Marshal to take charge of the nation’s defense.

October 9. King Richard sails homeward from Acre.

October 15. Salah ah-Din meets with Prince Bohemond of Antioch in Beirut.

November 4. Salah ah-Din returns to Damascus in triumph.

November 11. King Richard debarks under the cover of darkness at the natural harbour of the Korision Lagoon, Corfu.

November 23. King Richard reaches Ragusta (Dubrovnik).

December. King Richard is shipwrecked in Gulf of Trieste.

December 21. King Richard is captured by Duke Mainard of Gorizia and released through compassion.

December 25. Queen Berengaria, Queen Joanna and the Maid of Cyprus arrive safety in Rome.

December 28. Duke Leopold of Austria imprisons King Richard in the dungeons of the Alpine castle of Krems. and offers his prize to his suzerain, German Emperor Henry the Sixth. June. Muslims under Ghudid conquer Delhi and later all of Northern and Eastern India, establishing a Delhi sultanate. Hindus would suffer many periods of persecution at the hands of Muslim rulers.

1193

January. Walter of Coutances sends a copy of a letter to King Richard.

February. News of King Richard’s capture reaches England and two abbots are immediately dispatched to locate him and plead for his immediate release. Richard is moved to Durnstein castle.

February 28. Death of Salah ah-Din, may peace and blessings be upon him.

March 3. Salah ah-Din’s sons bicker over their substantial inheritance which consisted of Egypt, Palestine, Syria and the northern fringes of Mesopotamia.

March 23. Duke Leopold surrenders King Richard to Emperor Henry the Sixth, who immediately sequesters his valuable ward in Trifels Castle.

Prince John and Philippe Augustus offer large sums of money to have Richard cooped up in prison a little longer.

April 12. With Prince John’s approval Philippe Augustus invades Normandy and masses an expeditionary force on the coast to support an invasion of England to put John on the throne should Richard die in custody.

May. Henry of Champagne King of Jerusalem uncovers a plot. The Pisan leaders were conspiring with King Guy of Cyprus to take the city of Tyre. Henry arrests the traitors and in retaliation the Pisan merchants raid the coast. Henry expels the Pisans.

King Tancredi of Sicily’s son Roger marries Irene of Byzantium.

June. Enrico Dandalo, Doge of Venice is compelled to bring the imprisoned King Richard news of Salah ah-Din’s death.

King Richard’s ransom is set at one hundred and fifty thousand marks. Literally “a king’s ransom”. Every man in the country, noble or commoner was taxed one quarter of his yearly income. Churches and monasteries were stripped of their silver and gold and even the austere Cistercians had to contribute their wool clip for the entire year. One hundred thousand marks (thirty five tons of silver) collected and stored in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

The Trial of Richard the LionHeart. King Richard is retrieved from the stronghold of Haguenau and brought before the court of Emperor Henry the Sixth.

Hubert Walter is created Archbishop of Canterbury.

August 15. Philippe Augustus marries Ingeborg the daughter of King Valdemar of Denmark. And shortly thereafter divorces her.

September. With the sudden illness and death of Robert de Sable, Gilbert Erail becomes Grand Master of the Knights Templar.

December. Queen Eleanor arrives at Speyer, Germany.

1194

January 17. Fearing the imminent release of King Richard, Prince John and Philippe Augustus conspire to tempt the Emperor to keep Richard in captivity for another year in exchange for another 150,000 marks. Postponing Richard’s release, the Henry VI contemplates the offer.

Pope Celestine the Third initiates The Inquisition: a plan to get rid of heresy starting with the Cathars of Albi.

February 3. Emperor Henry the Sixth holds court at Mainz. King Richard is released.

March 4. King Richard and Queen Eleanor attend mass in the cathedral of Cologne making their way to Antwerp where they board the English ship Trenchemer moored in the Scheldt estuary. Admiral Stephen de Turnham at the helm sails for the coast of England.

March 20. Sunday. Landing at Sandwich, Richard sets foot on English soil for the first time in five years.

March 23. King Richard arrives to a heroes welcome in London, England.

While King Richard is making his way north, Flemish mercenaries arrive at Nottingham Castle to shore up rebel defenses.

King Richard subdues Nottingham Castle, the last stronghold of Prince John. John flees to France.

King Richard celebrates a second coronation with the obeisance of his nobles, barons and knights.

May. King Richard leaves England to reclaim lands on the continent whose allegiance has shifted to Philippe Augustus.

1196

King Richard designs and builds the formidable castle Chateau Gaillard to protect Rouen.

1199

January 13. King Richard signs a five year treaty with King Philippe Augustus.

March 26. King Richard is wounded while laying siege to Chalus in Angouleme.

April 6. Death of King Richard the Lionheart at Chalus. Enshrined at the Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud.

May 27. Ascension Day. Coronation of King Richard’s brother John at Westminster Abbey by Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury.