Richard of Cornwall
The English King of Germany
- Darren Baker
15th September 2022
In 1225 the sixteen-year-old Richard was given a quite a generous birthday present by his brother, Henry III: Cornwall. Despite such an extremely valuable gift, Richard would rebel against his brother three times in the coming years. But he also acted as regent three times, and campaigned for the king in Poitou and Britanny. Richard is at the centre of the era's political intrigues - he is an enemy of Simon de Montfort and through the machinations of his powerful sister-in-law, Eleanor of Provence and her family, is elected King of Germany in 1256. Richard only had to bribe four out of the seven Electors - but it still cost him the astounding sum of 28,000 marks. Richard led the second host of crusaders to arrive in the Holy Land during the Barons' Crusade. After the royalist defeat at the Battle of Lewes in 1264 during the Second Barons' War, Richard was discovered hiding in a windmill and was imprisoned to the following year.
Married three times, Richard had six legitimate children and at least three more sons and two daughters by various mistresses. His was an extraordinary life, examined in detail here by Plantagenet expert Darren Baker.