Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall
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Richard (5 January 1209 – 2 April 1272), second son of
John, King of England John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216) was King of England from 1199 until his death in 1216. He lost the Duchy of Normandy and most of his other French lands to King Philip II of France, resulting in the collapse of the Angevin Empir ...

John, King of England
, was the nominal
Count of Poitou Among the people who have borne the title of Count of Poitiers (or ''Poitou'', in what is now France but in the Middle Ages became part of Aquitaine) are: *Bodilon *Saint Warinus, Warinus (638–677), son of Bodilon *Hatton (Poitou), Hatton (7 ...
(1225–1243),
Earl of Cornwall The title of Earl of Cornwall was created several times in the Peerage of England before 1337, when it was superseded by the title Duke of Cornwall, which became attached to heirs-apparent to the throne. Cadoc of Cornwall *Cadoc of Cornwall 1066 ...
(from 1225) and
King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple in ...
(from 1257). He was one of the wealthiest men in Europe and joined the
Barons' Crusade The Barons' Crusade, also called the Crusade of 1239, was in territorial terms the most successful crusade since the First Crusade. Called by Pope Gregory IX, the Barons' Crusade broadly spanned from 1234-1241 and embodied the highest point of p ...
, where he achieved success as a negotiator for the release of prisoners and assisted with the building of the citadel in Ascalon.


Biography


Early life

He was born 5 January 1209 at
Winchester Castle Winchester Castle is a medieval building in Winchester Winchester is a cathedral city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''Th ...

Winchester Castle
, the second son of
John, King of England John (24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216) was King of England from 1199 until his death in 1216. He lost the Duchy of Normandy and most of his other French lands to King Philip II of France, resulting in the collapse of the Angevin Empir ...

John, King of England
, and Isabella, Countess of Angoulême. He was made
High Sheriff of Berkshire The High Sheriff of Berkshire, in common with other counties, was originally the King's representative on taxation upholding the law in Saxon The Saxons ( la, Saxones, german: Sachsen, ang, Seaxan, osx, Sahson, nds, Sassen, nl, Saksen) were ...
at age eight, was styled
Count of Poitou Among the people who have borne the title of Count of Poitiers (or ''Poitou'', in what is now France but in the Middle Ages became part of Aquitaine) are: *Bodilon *Saint Warinus, Warinus (638–677), son of Bodilon *Hatton (Poitou), Hatton (7 ...
from 1225 and in the same year, at the age of sixteen, his brother
King Henry III
King Henry III
gave him Cornwall as a birthday present, making him
High Sheriff of Cornwall Sheriffs and high sheriffs of Cornwall Cornwall (; kw, Kernow ) is a Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county in South West England. It is recognised as one of the Celtic nations and is the homeland of the Cornish people. Cornwal ...
. Richard's revenues from Cornwall helped make him one of the wealthiest men in Europe. Though he campaigned on King Henry's behalf in
Poitou Poitou (, , ; Poitevin dialect, Poitevin: ''Poetou'') was a Provinces of France, province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers. Geography The main historical cities are Poitiers (historical capital city), Châtellerault (France ...

Poitou
and
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula, historical region, historical country, and cultural area in the west of modern France, covering the western part of what was know ...
, and served as regent three times, relations were often strained between the brothers in the early years of Henry's reign. Richard rebelled against him three times, and had to be bought off with lavish gifts. In 1225 Richard traded with Gervase de Tintagel, swapping the land of Merthen (originally part of the manor of Winnianton) for Tintagel Castle. It has been suggested that a castle was built on the site by Richard in 1233 to establish a connection with the Arthurian legends that were associated by Geoffrey of Monmouth with the area. Richard hoped that, in this way, he could gain the Cornish people's trust. The castle itself held no real strategic value. The dating to the period of Richard has superseded Ralegh Radford's interpretation which attributed the earliest elements of the castle to Earl Reginald de Dunstanville and later elements to Earl Richard. Sidney Toy, however, has suggested an earlier period of construction for the castle.


Marriage to Isabel, 1231–1240

In March 1231 he married Isabel Marshal, the wealthy widow of the Gilbert de Clare, 5th Earl of Gloucester, Earl of Gloucester, much to the displeasure of his brother King Henry, who feared the Marshal family because they were rich, influential, and often opposed to him. Richard became stepfather to Isabel's six children from her first husband. In that same year he acquired his main residence, Wallingford Castle in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), and spent much money on developing it. He had other favoured properties at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, Marlow and Cippenham and was a notable Lord of the manor, lord of the manor at Princes Risborough, Earls Risborough all in Buckinghamshire. Isabel and Richard had four children, of whom only their son, Henry of Almain, survived to adulthood. Richard opposed Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, Simon de Montfort, and rose in rebellion in 1238 to protest against the marriage of his sister, Eleanor of England, Countess of Leicester, Eleanor, to Simon. Once again he was placated with rich gifts. When Isabel was on her deathbed in 1240, she asked to be buried next to her first husband at Tewkesbury, but Richard had her interred at Beaulieu Abbey instead. As a pious gesture, however, he sent her heart to Tewkesbury.


On Crusade and marriage to Sanchia, 1240–1243

Later that year Richard departed for the Holy Land, leading the second host of crusaders to arrive during the
Barons' Crusade The Barons' Crusade, also called the Crusade of 1239, was in territorial terms the most successful crusade since the First Crusade. Called by Pope Gregory IX, the Barons' Crusade broadly spanned from 1234-1241 and embodied the highest point of p ...
. He did not fight any battles but managed to negotiate for the release of prisoners (most notably Amaury de Montfort (died 1241), Amaury de Montfort) and the burials of crusaders killed at a battle in Gaza City, Gaza in November 1239. He also refortified Ascalon, which had been demolished by Saladin. On his return from the Holy Land, Richard visited his sister Isabella of England, Isabella, the empress of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick II. After the birth of Edward I of England, Prince Edward in 1239, provisions were made in case of the king's death, which favoured the Queen and her Savoyard relatives and excluded Richard. To keep him from becoming discontented King Henry and Queen Eleanor brought up the idea of a marriage with Eleanor's sister Sanchia of Provence, Sanchia shortly after his return on 28 January 1242. On his journey to the Holy Land, Richard had met Sanchia in Provence, where he was warmly welcomed by her father Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence, Raymond Berenger IV . Richard and Sanchia were married at Westminster in November 1243. Marriage to Sanchia had the advantage of tying Richard closely to the royal couple and their interests. Eleanor and Sanchia's youngest sister Beatrice of Provence, Beatrice married Charles I of Naples, while their oldest sister Margaret of Provence, Margaret had married Louis IX of France. The marriages of the kings of France and England, and their two brothers to the four sisters from Provence improved the relationship between the two countries, which led up to the Treaty of Paris.


Poitou and Sicily

Richard was appointed count of
Poitou Poitou (, , ; Poitevin dialect, Poitevin: ''Poetou'') was a Provinces of France, province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers. Geography The main historical cities are Poitiers (historical capital city), Châtellerault (France ...

Poitou
some time before August 1225. However, Richard's claims to Gascony and
Poitou Poitou (, , ; Poitevin dialect, Poitevin: ''Poetou'') was a Provinces of France, province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers. Geography The main historical cities are Poitiers (historical capital city), Châtellerault (France ...

Poitou
were never more than nominal, and in 1241 King Louis IX of France invested his own brother Alphonse, Count of Poitiers, Alphonse with Poitou. Moreover, Richard and Henry's mother, Isabella of Angoulême, claimed to have been insulted by the French queen. They were encouraged to recover Poitou by their stepfather, Hugh X of Lusignan, but the expedition turned into a military fiasco after Lusignan betrayed them. Richard conceded Poitou around December 1243. The pope offered Richard the Kingdom of Sicily, crown of Sicily, but according to Matthew Paris he responded to the extortionate price by saying, "You might as well say, 'I make you a present of the moon—step up to the sky and take it down.'" Instead, his brother King Henry attempted to purchase the kingdom for his own son Edmund Crouchback, Edmund.


Elected King of Germany, 1256

Richard was elected in 1256 as King of the Romans, King of Germany by four of the seven Prince-elector, German Electoral Princes: *Konrad von Hochstaden, the Archbishop of Electoral Cologne, Cologne; *, Archbishop of Elector of Mainz, Mainz; *Louis II, Duke of Bavaria, Louis II, the Electoral Palatinate, Count Palatine; *Ottakar II of Bohemia, Ottakar II, King of Kingdom of Bohemia, Bohemia. His candidacy was opposed by Alfonso X of Castile, who was elected by: *Albert I, Duke of Saxony; *John I, Margrave of Brandenburg; *, Archbishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Trier, Trier. Pope Alexander IV and King Louis IX of France favoured Alfonso, but both were ultimately convinced by the powerful relatives of Richard's sister-in-law, Eleanor of Provence, to support Richard. Ottokar II of Bohemia, who at first voted for Richard but later elected Alfonso, eventually agreed to support the Earl of Cornwall, thus establishing the required simple majority. So Richard had to bribe only four of them, but this came at a huge cost of 28,000 Mark (currency), marks. On 17 May 1257 Konrad von Hochstaden, List of Archbishops of Cologne, Archbishop of Cologne himself crowned Richard
King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple in ...
in Aachen; however, like his lordships in Gascony and
Poitou Poitou (, , ; Poitevin dialect, Poitevin: ''Poetou'') was a Provinces of France, province of west-central France whose capital city was Poitiers. Geography The main historical cities are Poitiers (historical capital city), Châtellerault (France ...

Poitou
, his title never held much significance, and he made only four brief visits to Germany between 1257 and 1269.


Later life, death and successors

He founded Burnham Abbey in Buckinghamshire in 1263, and the , Aachen in 1266. He joined King Henry in fighting against Simon de Montfort's rebels in the Second Barons' War (1264–1267). After the shattering royalist defeat at the Battle of Lewes, Richard took refuge in a windmill, was discovered, and was imprisoned until September 1265. Richard bought the feudal barony of Trematon in 1270. In December 1271, he had a stroke. His right side was paralysed and he lost the ability to speak. On 2 April 1272, Richard died at Berkhamsted Castle in Hertfordshire. He was buried next to his second wife Sanchia of Provence and Henry of Almain, his son by his first wife, at Hailes Abbey, which he had founded. After his death, a power struggle ensued in Germany, which only ended in 1273 with the emergence of a new Roman King, Rudolph I of Habsburg, the first scion of a long-lasting noble family to rule the empire. In Cornwall, Richard was succeeded by Edmund, 2nd Earl of Cornwall, Edmund, son of his second wife Sanchia.


Wives and progeny

Richard of Cornwall married three times and had six legitimate children, none of whom themselves had children, and he also had illegitimate progeny:


First wife

Richard married first, on 30 March 1231 at Fawley, Buckinghamshire, to Isabel Marshal (d.1240) was the daughter of William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke by his wife Isabel de Clare, 4th Countess of Pembroke, Isabel de Clare, who in turn was daughter of Sir Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, Richard "Strongbow" de Clare and Aoife MacMurrough. Isabel Marshal died on 17 January 1240 while giving birth at Berkhamsted Castle and was buried at Beaulieu Abbey. By Isabel Marshal he had four children, of whom only one reached adulthood: *John of Cornwall (31 January 1232 – 22 September 1232), born and died at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, buried at Reading Abbey. *Isabel of Cornwall (c. 9 September 1233 – 6 October 1234), born and died at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, buried at Reading Abbey. *Henry of Almain, Henry of Cornwall (2 November 1235 – 13 March 1271). Known as "Henry of Names of Germany#Names from Alemanni, Almain" (Germany), he was murdered by his cousins, the Montfort brothers Guy de Montfort, Count of Nola, Guy and Simon de Montfort the Younger, Simon the Younger, in revenge for the beheading of their father and older brother at the Battle of Evesham. He was buried at Hailes Abbey in Gloucestershire. He had no children. *Nicholas of Cornwall (b. & d. 17 January 1240 at Berkhamsted Castle), died shortly after birth; buried at Beaulieu Abbey with his mother.


Second wife

Richard's second marriage took place nearly four years after the death of his first wife. His new bride, whom he married in Westminster Abbey on 23 November 1243, was Sanchia of Provence (c. 1225 – 9 November 1261), the third of four daughters of Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence by his wife Beatrice of Savoy. She was a younger sister of the Queens of France and England, while the youngest sister would later become Queen of Sicily. The match was arranged by Sanchia's elder sister Queen Eleanor, Eleanor of Provence, wife of Richard's elder brother King Henry III of England. Sanchia died on 9 November 1261 at Berkhamsted Castle and was buried 15 November in Hailes Abbey in Gloucestershire. By Sanchia of Provence Richard had a further two sons: *unnamed son (Jul 1246 – 15 Aug 1246), died in infancy. *Edmund, 2nd Earl of Cornwall (26 December 1249 – before 25 September 1300), usually styled ''Edmund of Almain.'' Edmund married Margaret de Clare (1250 – shortly before Nov 1312), daughter of Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester but by her had no children.


Third wife

The third marriage of Richard was to Beatrice of Falkenburg, said to be one of the most beautiful women of her time. Her father, Dietrich I, Count of Falkenburg, of Valkenburg Castle in the Netherlands, was a supporter of Richard's claim to the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. The two men fought on the same side in a battle, at which time Richard met Beatrice and grew besotted by her. They married on 16 June 1269 at Kaiserslautern, when she was about fifteen years old while he was in his sixty-first year and his youngest child was only four years older than Beatrice. Richard doted on his young wife, and she had a high regard for him, but they produced no children. Beatrice survived Richard by only five years and never married again. She died on 17 October 1277 and was buried before the high altar at the Church of the Friars Minor, Grey Friars in Oxford.


Illegitimate Children

Richard also had several documented out-of-wedlock children. One of Richard's mistresses was Joan de Vautort, widow of Ralph de Vautort (d.1267), feudal baronies in Devonshire, feudal baron of Harberton, Devon and feudal barony of Trematon, Trematon, Cornwall. Joan later married Sir Alexander Okeston, lord of the manor of Modbury in Devon, a part of the Vautorts' feudal barony of Harberton that had been granted him by Roger de Vautort. Joan bore Alexander a son and heir, Sir James Okeston.John Lambrick Vivian, Vivian, Lt.Col. J.L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p.160, pedigree of Champernowne By Joan de Vautort or other mistresses, the Earl of Cornwall had at least three sons and a daughter as follows: * Philip of Cornwall, a priest. * Sir Richard of Cornwall, who received a grant from his half-brother Edmund, 2nd Earl of Cornwall (d. 1300), in which he was called "brother". He married Joan FitzAlan, daughter of John Fitzalan (1246–1272), John FitzAlan III, and by her had three sons and a daughter. He was slain by an arrow at the Capture of Berwick (1296), Siege of Berwick in 1296. His daughter, Joan of Cornwall, married Sir John Howard, from whom the Howard family, Duke of Norfolk, Dukes of Norfolk, are descended. * Sir Walter of Cornwall, who received a grant of the royal manor of St Stephen-in-Brannel, Brannel, Cornwall,Pridham, T.L., Devonshire Celebrities, (regarding the ancestry of the Cornwall family of Brannell), pp 12–17 from his half-brother Edmund, 2nd Earl of Cornwall, in which he was called "brother". He was ancestor of the Cornwalls of Branell. * Joan of Cornwall, daughter of Joan de Vautort, in 1283 received a grant from her half-brother Edmund, 2nd Earl of Cornwall, in which she was called "sister". The younger Joan married twice, firstly to Richard de Champernowne (second son of Sir Henry Champernowne of Clyst Champernowne, Devon), by whom she had a son, Richard de Champernowne, and secondly, Sir Peter de Fishacre, of Combe Fishacre and Coleton Fishacre, Devon, by whom she had no issue. Her childless half-brother Sir James Okeston made her son or grandson Richard de Champernowne his heir.


Notes


References

* * * * * * *


Further reading

*Noël Denholm-Young, Denholm-Young, Noël. ''Richard of Cornwall''. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1947. *Peter Jackson (historian), Jackson, Peter. "The Crusades of 1239–41 and their Aftermath". ''Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies'' 50, 1 (1987), pp. 32–60. *Lewis, Frank R. "Beatrice of Falkenburg, the Third Wife of Richard of Cornwall". ''English Historical Review'' 52, 106 (1937), pp. 279–82. *Lower, Michael. ''The Barons' Crusade: A Call to Arms and Its Consequences''. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005. *Sidney Painter, Painter, Sidney. "The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and Richard of Cornwall, 1239–1241". R. L. Wolff; H. W. Hazard, ''A History of the Crusades, Volume II: The Later Crusades, 1189–1311'', pp. 463–86. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1969. *Roche, T. W. E. ''The King of Almayne: A 13th-Century Englishman in Europe''. London: John Murray, 1966. *Schwab, Ingo. "The Charters of Richard of Cornwall for the Empire". ''Thirteenth Century England'' 12 (2009), pp. 183–92. *Vincent, Nicholas
"Richard, first earl of Cornwall and king of Germany (1209–1272)"
''Oxford Dictionary of National Biography''. 2008 online [2004 print]. *Frederick Parkes Weber, Weber, F. P.. "Richard, Earl of Cornwall, and His Coins as King of the Romans (1257–1271)". ''The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Numismatic Society'', Third Series 13 (1893), pp. 273–81. *Weiler, Björn. "Image and Reality in Richard of Cornwall's German Career". ''English Historical Review'' 113, 454 (1998), pp. 1111–42.


External links


Charter given by Richard as German King to the town of Zürich, 20.11.1262
Photograph taken from the collections of the at Marburg University showing Richards's seal. {{DEFAULTSORT:Richard, Earl Of Cornwall 1209 births 1272 deaths 13th-century English nobility 13th-century Kings of the Romans 13th-century viceregal rulers Heirs to the English throne, Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall Counts of Poitiers, Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall Earls of Cornwall (1225), *01 High Sheriffs of Berkshire High Sheriffs of Cornwall House of Plantagenet, Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall People from Marlow, Buckinghamshire People from Slough People from Winchester People from Wallingford, Oxfordshire Christians of the Sixth Crusade Christians of the Barons' Crusade Regents of England Medieval Cornish people People of the Barons' Wars English Christians Children of John, King of England