1199 John had previously acted as King during his brother’s absence, during the Third Crusade and fighting in France, and when King Richard I, died in 1199, he had been named his successor.
On the 6th April he ascended to the English throne, and on the 25th April he was invested as the Duke of Normandy at Rouen, and crowned King of England on the 27th May at Westminster Abbey.
With John’s rise to King of England, he received the support of nobility in England and Normandy, along with Eleanor of Aquitaine. Little did they know that his actions during his reign would send the Plantagenet dominion on a course for collapse?
Arthur, the son of John’s brother; Count Geoffrey of Brittany, became a rival claimant to the Plantagenet lands after Richard’s death.
John’s marriage to his first wife; Isabella of Gloucester was annulled.
1200 Louis, the son of the King of France married Blanche of Castile, the daughter of the King of Spain and the niece of King John. John’s wedding gift, were the lands of Berry and Auvergne, along with castles.
Peace reigned between England and France.
John married Isabella, the daughter of Audemar, the Count of Angouleme, and they had two sons and three daughters.
1201 Hugh the Brown, formerly engaged to Isabella had his lands seized by John along with those of his brother Ralph.
1202 John failed to attend the French court hearing, in response to the seized lands.
John’s French fiefs (land granted by a lord in return for military service) were confiscated and given to Arthur, the Count of Breton, who married Mary, the daughter of the King of France.
War with France commenced again.
1204 After two years of fighting with France, John had lost Normandy and most of his other possessions to Philip II, the King of France.
1205 England was gripped by a famine; rivers froze, and crops were destroyed by the cold.
On the 12th July, Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury died. His death initiated a dispute which would last for years between the King and monks of Canterbury, as to who should be the rightful successor.
1206 The pope intervenes, in this ongoing dispute, between King and Monks, always on the side of the church. John refused to accept the elected replacement, Stephen Langton as the Archbishop of Canterbury.
1207 On the 17th June Stephen Langton was consecrated as the new Archbishop of Canterbury in Rome.
John felt betrayed by the Monks of Canterbury and expelled them from England.
John’s male heir had been born; Henry, his successor to the English throne.
1208 Pope Innocent III issues a ban against England and its people. No church services were permitted except baptisms and funerals.
1209 Pope Innocent III excommunicates John for his confiscation of church possessions.
Social tensions and riots between the townspeople and scholars, resulted in the move from Oxford to Cambridge, where a new university was born.
1212 Pope Innocent III declares that in his eyes, John is no longer the King of England.
King John believed he himself was the only ruler of his land, but he hadn’t counted on the power of the church and Rome.
John was forced to accept the authority of the Pope in England, otherwise he faced a war with France backed by the Pope… to remove him as King.
1214 Ten years of fighting with France, in an attempt to regain his lost lands, saw King John defeated by Philip Augustus at the Battle of Bouvines.
John returned to England to face the nobles, and explain to them how he had lost their lands.
1215 Rebellion between England’s barons and bishops, led to the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede on the River Thames. For the first time, a document had been produced which defined limitations to royal rights, feudal obligations of its barons, liberties of the church, the granting of all freemen and their heirs… as written down in English Law.
The Pope intervened on the side of King John, making this document illegal, and so Civil War breaks out.
1216 The Magna Carta did not bring peace the barons had hoped for, and John did not abide by the terms of the document. So the barons turned to France for assistance, and in May, Prince Louis of France, landed in England, with the support of Alexander II of Scotland, supporting from the north.
King John fled to the north, and died on the 19th October at Newark Castle from fever, and is buried before the altar of St.Wulfstan an 11th century English Bishop at Worcester Cathedral.