Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/409

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John
John
403

to make him heir of all his lands in the west of England and Glamorgan.

At a council at Oxford in May 1177 Henry declared John king of Ireland; he received the homage of the Norman lords of Irish lands as holding of him, as well as of his father, and Hugh de Lacy was appointed viceroy. After the death of his eldest brother John was, by Henry's command, taken to Normandy by Glanville in July 1183, and having crossed from Dover to Witsand met his father, who tried to prevail on Richard to give up the duchy of Aquitaine to John to be held of him as count of Poitou. Richard refused, and Henry declared that John and his brother Geoffrey, count of Brittany [q. v.], might make war upon him. John spent Christmas with his father at Le Mans, and in the following summer after Henry's return to England he and Geoffrey wasted Richard's lands. All three brothers were summoned to England in November by their father, who brought about a reconciliation. John remained at his father's court. In the spring of 1185 he expressed his wish to go on the crusade, but his father would not suffer him. On Mid-Lent Sunday, 31 March, Henry knighted him at Windsor, and sent him to govern Ireland. He sailed from Milford on 24 April, in company with Glanville and with a large force of mercenaries in sixty ships; landed the next day at Waterford, and was received by John Comyn [q. v.], archbishop of Dublin, and many of the King's lords, together with several Irishmen of rank. He treated the Irishmen with insolence, he or his followers pulling their long beards in mockery. They consequently deserted the English cause, and kept the kings of Limerick, Cork, and Connaught from coming to do fealty to him. John went to Dublin and alienated other Irish allies by granting away their lands, appointed unfit men as governors of the coast towns and other places, and offended the colonists by his overbearing conduct. On his arrival castles were built at Tibragny and Ardfinnan on the river Suir, and from them his men ravaged Munster, but were defeated with great loss by Donnell O'Brien, king of Limerick. As he spent on his own pleasures the money which he should have used in paying his mercenaries, the latter deserted to the Irish in large numbers, and John's force was soon so weakened that in September his father recalled him. Nevertheless Henry, on hearing of the murder of Hugh de Lacy, which took place on 25 July 1186, again sent him to Ireland to seize Lacy's lands. While he was waiting for a favourable wind he was recalled by his father, who had received tidings of the death of Geoffrey (19 Aug. 1186).

Henry had requested Urban III to allow him to have one of his sons crowned king of Ireland, and at Christmas two legates landed at Dover, bringing the pope's consent, and a crown of peacocks' feathers set in gold. John and the archbishop of Dublin were sent to meet them, but other business compelled Henry to put off the ceremony of coronation. Early in 1187 John was sent into Normandy; the king joined him at Aumâle, and in May gave him command of a fourth division of his army. In conjunction with Richard, John carried on operations in Berry; they were besieged by Philip of France in Châteauroux until 23 June, when the siege was raised. In June 1188, during Philip's invasion of Berry, John was sent by his father into Normandy, and crossed from Shoreham to Dieppe. Henry followed him later. Henry's partiality towards John offended Richard, who believed that his father wished to oust him from the succession in John's favour, and he accordingly allied himself with Philip. At the conference at La Ferté-Bernard on 4 June 1189, Henry proposed to Philip that John should marry his sister Adela, who had been affianced to Richard, but Philip would not consent, and demanded that John should go on the crusade. While Henry was suffering defeat and loss through his eagerness to forward John's interests, John was false to him, and secretly made an agreement with his brother Richard, the ally of his father's enemy. The unexpected news of this treachery gave Henry his death-blow [see under Henry II].

On the death of his father (6 July 1189) Richard received John graciously; gave him the county of Mortain, which had been granted to him by his father, though it is doubtful whether he had yet had possession of it; and promised him 4,000l. a year from land in England, and the hand of the heiress of the Earl of Gloucester, to whom he was already betrothed. On returning to England with Richard he further received from him the castles and honours of Marlborough, Luggarshall, Lancaster, Bolsover, and the Peak, the town of Nottingham, the honours of Tickhill and Wallingford, and the county of Derby, with the honour of Peverell. His marriage with Avice of Gloucester took place at Marlborough on 29 Aug., in spite of the remonstrance of Archbishop Baldwin, for John and his bride were related in the third degree. While his appeal was pending, Baldwin laid his lands under an interdict, which was relaxed in November by the legate, John of Anagni. In October the king sent John to receive the homage of the Welsh princes. Before the end of the year he received the four counties of Dorset, Somerset, Devon,