Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Richard (1209-1272)
RICHARD, Earl of Cornwall and King of the Romans (1209–1272), second son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême, who subsequently married Hugh of Lusignan, was born at Winchester on Monday, 5 Jan. 1209 (Ann. Bermondsey, p. 451; Ann. Waverley, p. 264). He was christened Richard in memory of his uncle, Richard I. In February 1214 he accompanied his father and mother on John's unlucky expedition to Poitou (Ralph Coggeshall, p. 168). After John's death, on 19 Oct. 1216, Geoffrey de Marisco [q. v.], justiciar of Ireland, offered Richard and his mother a safe refuge in Ireland, which was, however, civilly declined by the council of Henry III, Richard's elder brother (Fœdera, i. 145; cf. Gilbert, Viceroys of Ireland, p. 80). Early in the new reign Richard became governor of Chilham Castle in Kent, and lord of the great honour of Wallingford (Dugdale, Baronage, i. 761). Richard now seems to have spent much of his time at Corfe Castle, Dorset, under the charge of its governor, Peter de Mauley [q. v.], King John's Poitevin favourite. Here he received his early education. On 7 May 1220 Peter de Mauley was ordered to bring Richard from Wallingford to Westminster (Fœdera, i. 160) to witness his brother's coronation.
In 1221 Richard received the honour of Eye. Early in 1223 he lay sick at Lambeth (Rot. Lit. Claus. i. 540). In July of the same year he went on pilgrimage to Canterbury with his brother-in-law, Alexander II, king of Scots (ib. i. 554). In the late summer Richard accompanied his brother on his invasion of the Welsh border (ib. i. 605). To his honour of Eye was now added half of the estates of Henry of Pagham, a follower of Falkes de Breauté (ib. i. 605, 621).
Richard's active career began in 1225, when he was sixteen years old. The pacification of England had now so far advanced that a great effort was resolved upon to win back the Aquitanian heritage of the English kings which had been almost altogether lost under King John. Richard was chosen as the nominal leader of the expedition destined for France. On 2 Feb. 1225 Henry III girt him with the knightly sword (Oxenedes, p. 152). On 13 Feb. Richard was granted the wealthy earldom of Cornwall, then in the king's hands (Rot. Lit. Claus. ii. 16; Rot. Hund. i. 56), to which were added in November the Cornish tin mines in possession of his mother, Queen Isabella (Pauli, Geschichte von England, iii. 555). It is probable that he was invested at the same time with the county of Poitou, so that he might call upon the allegiance of the Poitevins as their lawful lord against the aggressions of Louis VIII (Wykes, p. 68; Koch, Richard von Cornwall, i. 14–15). His uncle, the veteran William Longsword, earl of Salisbury [q. v.], and Philip of Albigny were appointed his chief counsellors. On 23 March Count Richard sailed with a considerable army. He landed at Bordeaux, where he was enthusiastically received. Richard easily captured St. Macaire and Bazas, the outposts of French influence, and on 2 May he wrote a brief letter to Henry III, boasting that all Gascony, save one town and one noble, was reduced to his obedience (Fœdera, i. 178). The one resisting town, La Réole, was now subdued, after a long, fierce, and often interrupted struggle, while the winning over of Bergerac, through the timely defection of its lord to the English, opened up the road over the Dordogne towards Poitou. Richard's position was made more difficult by the disunion of his advisers (Royal Letters, i. 338), by the sickness and return home of William Longsword, and by the depredations of Savary de Mauléon and the corsairs of La Rochelle, who intercepted his convoys and straitened his resources. Richard, who sought to keep on good terms with the ecclesiastical authorities, was further embarrassed by the necessity of forming an alliance with Raymond of Toulouse, who supported the Albigensians. Early in 1226 Louis VIII took the cross against Raymond, and Raymond complained to Henry III that he could get no help from Richard (Royal Letters, i. 338). But strict neutrality was enjoined on both Henry and Richard by the pope (Fœdera, i. 185). On the other hand the pope exhorted Louis VIII to surrender the lands that the English kings had once held, and the Lusignans to obey their English count (ib. i. 181). Richard also negotiated an alliance with the counts of Auvergne (Petit-Dutaillis, p. 268; cf. Pièces Justificatives, No. viii). He sent home a proposal for his own marriage with a daughter of the king of Leon, but was told by the king and council that they hoped soon to negotiate a more advantageous union (Rot. Lit. Claus. ii. 83). Various reinforcements were sent out from England (ib. ii. 110–17; Trivet, pp. 215–16), but Richard was forced to tax Gascony severely, and to offend his ally, the archbishop of Bordeaux, by laying hands on church property. Under these circumstances there was little fighting in 1226. In the spring the French appeared before the walls of Bordeaux (Fœdera, i. 178). Richard made a vain effort to find a refuge in La Rochelle (Canon of Tours, p. 315; Matt. Paris, iii. 111). But the death of Louis VIII on 8 Nov. 1226 gave Richard another chance. Louis IX was a minor, and many of the great barons entered into a conspiracy against his authority. Savary de Mauléon again changed sides, and at his bidding La Rochelle opened its gates to Richard. The turbulent Hugh of Lusignan and the powerful Viscount of Thouars concluded treaties with Richard on 18 Dec. (Fœdera, i. 183), and a truce followed with the French king (ib. i. 186). Henry III confirmed and prolonged the agreement (ib. i. 190–2), and in May 1227 Richard returned to England.
In July 1227 the good understanding between Richard and the king, of which the latter had given abundant proofs in Richard's absence, was broken by a violent quarrel over Richard's claim to a manor which, originally belonging to the earldom of Cornwall, had been granted by King John to Waleran the German. Henry, who had just been declared of age, resented Richard's demand for the judgment of the magnates, and bade Richard resign the manor or quit the realm. Richard retired to Marlborough, where he entered into a confederacy with William Marshal, earl of Pembroke. Earl Ranulf of Chester joined the league, and in a short time a formidable force, including eight earls, met at Stamford to support the earl against the king, though they made a show of blaming not Henry, but the justiciar, Hubert de Burgh. Henry met the confederates on 3 Aug. at Northampton, and practically granted all they asked. In compensation for Waleran's manor, Richard received from the king all their mother's dower, along with the English lands rightfully belonging to the Count of Brittany (i.e. the honour of Richmond) and the late Count of Boulogne (Rog. Wend. iv. 141–3). The brothers were friends again, but the incident is noteworthy as first bringing Richard into close touch with the growing baronial opposition.
In 1230 Richard attended Henry III on his inglorious expedition to Brittany (Royal Letters, i. 363), when Count Peter of Brittany regained the earldom of Richmond, which Richard had had in his custody since 1227. On 30 March 1231 Richard was married to Isabella, the beautiful daughter of the elder William Marshal, first earl of Pembroke [q. v.] of that house, and the widow of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, who had died on 25 Oct. 1230 (Wykes, p. 72). The alliance closely connected Richard with the baronial leaders. The Earls Marshal and the Earls of Norfolk and Derby were his brothers-in-law; the Earl of Gloucester was his stepson. Richard in July 1232 joined his brother-in-law, Richard Marshal, in upholding Hubert de Burgh, on whose ruin the king was resolved in deference to his foreign counsellors (ib. p. 88; Royal Letters, i. 410).
Meanwhile Richard was much occupied in Wales, where he was now acquiring extensive possessions of his own. His brother had granted him the castle of Builth and the custody of the lands of William de Braose, whom Llywelyn ab Iorwerth [q. v.] had put to death. This involved him in war with Llywelyn, who had Builth in his possession. In the winter of 1232–3 Richard was fighting in person in Wales in co-operation with Richard Marshal. By March 1233 he had driven Llywelyn back and strongly fortified and garrisoned the castle of Radnor, as a check on the aggressions of the Welsh prince (Ann. Tewkesbury, p. 88). In the summer of 1233 the quarrel between Henry and the Earl Marshal grew critical, but the Earl of Cornwall deserted his brother-in-law for his brother, and his lands were ravaged by one of Marshal's partisans, Richard Siward [q. v.] (Ann. Osney, p. 76). Next year Richard Marshal's death led to a general pacification. All through the struggle Richard showed great weakness. He was plied largely with grants from his brother. Besides the Welsh grants, he received the profits of a specially searching judicial iter (Ann. Tewkesbury, p. 90), and in 1235 the lordship of the castle and honour of Knaresborough (Doyle, i. 436).
During 1235 Richard also took an active part in promoting the marriage of his sister Isabella to the Emperor Frederick II, with whom he exchanged many letters and presents. But the request made early next year by Frederick that Richard should pay him a visit and take a high command in an expedition projected against the French was refused by the magnates at Merton on the ground that Richard was heir to the throne.
Gregory IX had long been striving to organise a new crusade. In June 1236 a gathering of magnates assembled at Winchester, and many of them took the cross. At their head was Richard of Cornwall. He cut down and sold his woods to pay the cost of his pilgrimage. But domestic troubles delayed his departure. The marriage of Henry III in 1236 had brought over a new swarm of foreigners, and Richard again put himself at the head of the growing opposition to his brother. In 1237 he openly rebuked the king for his greed and maladministration (Matt. Paris, iii. 411). In 1238 he was the mouthpiece of the baronial opposition to the marriage of his niece Eleanor, William Marshal's widow, to Simon of Montfort [q. v.], then looked upon as simply one of the greedy group of high-born foreign adventurers (Royal Letters, ii. 15). For a short time the Earl of Cornwall was the popular hero. But he soon again showed his characteristic infirmity of purpose. The legate Otho, working in the king's interest, strove hard to win Richard over; and the latter was easily reconciled both to Earl Simon and Henry III. On 20 June 1239 he stood godfather, along with Simon, to the future Edward I. He mediated effectively when Henry and Simon quarrelled on 2 Aug. 1239. As before, fresh grants rewarded his conversion to the royal cause. He now received the manor of Lidford and the forest of Dartmoor, possessions which extended his Cornish estates as far as Exeter. In January 1240 the death of his wife Isabella in childbirth, quickly followed by that of her new-born son, overwhelmed him with grief. But he hurried on his crusading preparations. The bishops at Reading urged him not to go. His presence was the one check on the rapacious foreigners. Richard answered that he could not any longer endure the desolation of England (ib. iv. 11). As a last contribution to peace, he reconciled Gilbert Marshal with the king.
On 10 June 1240 he bade adieu at Dover to the king, in whose care he left his little son Henry and his vast estates. A large number of English knights and nobles followed him. The most famous among them were Simon de Montfort and the younger William Longsword, earl of Salisbury (ib. iv. 44). By midsummer day 1240 Richard had reached Paris, where St. Louis and his mother, Queen Blanche, gave him a hearty welcome. Raymond Berengar, count of Provence, the father of Queen Eleanor, met him at Tarascon, and accompanied him to Saint-Gilles. Meanwhile Gregory IX renewed his quarrel with Frederick II, and wished to defer all crusading until Frederick was subdued. At Saint-Gilles the papal legate, John Baussan, archbishop of Arles, forbade Richard to proceed. Richard was also asked by his brother-in-law the emperor to abandon the undertaking. But he angrily rejected all such counsels, and embarked for Palestine at the free Provençal city of Marseilles. On 8 Oct. he landed at Acre, where he was rejoined by Simon de Montfort.
Three days after landing at Acre, Richard issued a proclamation offering to take into his pay all pilgrims forced to go home for lack of means. After completing his preparations he marched to Jaffa. He was accompanied by the Duke of Burgundy, almost the only Frankish crusader who had not gone home. Richard prudently kept aloof from the factions of the Latin host. He ordered a march towards Ascalon, and busied himself with the fortification of the city. At the same time he negotiated a treaty with the sultan of Krak, a dependent of the sultan of Egypt, by which many French captives were restored to liberty on 23 April (Matt. Paris, iv. 141–3; Röhnricht, Beilage, i. 96–8). Richard also collected the bones of the Christians slain at Gaza, gave them Christian burial at Ascalon, and endowed a priest to say mass for the repose of their souls. He then handed over Ascalon to the deputy of the Emperor Frederick, whom Richard regarded as the lawful king of Jerusalem.
Richard had now done his work. He returned to Acre through Jaffa. He left Acre on 3 May, and landed at Trapani in Sicily on 1 July, after a stormy passage. A brilliant reception was offered him by Frederick II, who was then in Sicily. Richard then proceeded to the papal curia bearing documents from Frederick, and hoping to mediate a peace between pope and emperor. He reached Rome in July. But Gregory IX, who was at his last gasp, would hear of nothing except the absolute submission of the emperor. Richard went back to Frederick much disgusted. He was still with him on 10 Nov. (Potthast, Regesta, i. 940). Soon after he set off on his journey homewards. Accompanied by imperial deputies, he made his way slowly through the cities of Italy, and was everywhere received with great honour. In January 1242 he reached Dover.
On 28 Jan. he entered London (Matt. Paris, iv. 180). Next day he took an active part in the opening of a council called by the king to secure a grant to equip a new expedition to Poitou. Richard, whose interests as Count of Poitou were specially affected, made himself the spokesman of his brother's wishes. But the barons urged that the king and the count had better wait until the existing truce with France had ended, so that Henry was forced to collect what money he could by private negotiations with individual magnates. But the expedition went forward, and Richard accompanied it, sailing with Henry from Portsmouth on 16 May, and reaching Royan on 20 May. Thence they proceeded by land to Pons. The disastrous campaign of Taillebourg and Saintes followed. Richard rebuked the disloyalty of the Count of La Manche before Taillebourg, and sought to save the army from its perilous plight by crossing the bridge to the French army, and persuading St. Louis to grant a truce till the next day. Going back to Henry, Richard recommended his immediate retreat to Saintes. But he soon quarrelled with his brother. He blamed him for his harsh treatment of a northern noble, William de Ros, and at last, joining with other disaffected nobles, sailed home to England. On 22 Aug. he got license to return. After a stormy passage, during which he vowed to build an abbey if he escaped shipwreck, Richard landed at Scilly on 18 Oct. (Matt. Paris, iv. 229). He had lost all hope of any real power in Poitou.
But, to improve his position, he now agreed to marry Sanchia, third daughter of Raymond Berengar, count of Provence, and sister of the queens of France and England (Wurstemberger, Peter II von Savoyen, iv. 87). The lady, brought to England by her mother, Beatrice, solemnly entered London on 18 Nov. On 23 Nov. 1243 the marriage was magnificently celebrated at Westminster by Walter de Grey, archbishop of York. On 1 Dec. the king and Richard made a settlement with regard to the latter's property. Richard renounced his rights in Ireland and Gascony, and received a confirmation of his earldom of Cornwall, and the honours of Wallingford and Eye, with a sum of money and fresh lands in compensation (Fœdera, i. 253–4). Just as his first marriage had connected him with the baronial opposition, so did his second marriage closely bind him to the court, to the Savoyards, and the unpopular foreign influences. Henceforth he was the political ally of his brother. His change of policy left room for the rise of Simon de Montfort.
A few years of comparative quiet followed. In August 1244 Richard mediated a treaty of peace between Henry III and Alexander II of Scotland, and immediately after engaged in an unsuccessful campaign against Davydd II, prince of Wales [q. v.] He carefully administered his estates and had much money at his disposal. He constantly lent the king large sums (Pauli, Geschichte von England, iii. 673). The king gave him the farming of the new coinage for twelve years as a means of recouping him for his loans to the state. In 1247, when the magnates were desirous of formulating their continued grievances against the king in parliament, Richard betook himself to Cornwall to avoid attending the parliament, and thus thwarted the barons' plan (Matt. Paris, v. 73). In the same year, after the death of Henry Raspe, the first anti-king set up by the pope against Frederick II, a papal legate was sent to Richard offering him the succession of Henry Raspe's precarious throne; but Richard rejected the offer.
Nevertheless, Frederick II complained that Richard was in the hands of the papal party (Matt. Paris, iv. 577). In the autumn of 1247 Richard went on a mission to St. Louis of France, who had arranged to sail on crusade next year, and wished to restore every man his rights before his departure. Richard, it was believed, vainly urged the claims of the English on Normandy and Poitou. In 1250 he again went to France with Peter of Savoy [q. v.], as ambassador to prolong the truce (Fœdera, i. 272). Subsequently he proceeded to Lyons, where Innocent IV then held his court. The pope received him with deference, and long and secret conferences were exchanged. It seems probable that Innocent sounded Richard as to whether he would accept the Sicilian throne (Schirrmacher, Die letzten Hohenstaufen, p. 42), of which the excommunicated emperor had been formally deprived. But Richard was not prepared to declare openly against his brother-in-law (cf. Matt. Paris, v. 347). On his way back to England Richard paid a second pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Edmund at Pontigny, and visited the abbey of Saint-Denis. From the latter he bought the priory at Deerhurst in Gloucestershire, with its estates, where he aimed at building a castle to protect the Severn. On 25 April he returned to England (Koch, pp. 104–6).
Richard's political attitude was still regarded as doubtful. Though he was essentially on his brother's side, the people, mindful of his past, still looked up to him for protection against the king. Thus, in 1250, the Londoners, aggrieved by some aggressions of the abbot of Westminster, Richard Crokesley [q. v.], took their grievances before the earls of Cornwall and Leicester, who successfully interceded with Henry (Matt. Paris, v. 128). When Henry III began to quarrel with Simon of Montfort about the government of Gascony, Richard took Leicester's side. But Richard, who was still sore about his early failures in Gascony, bitterly resented the grant of Gascony to his nephew, the future Edward I, which finally shattered his hope of dominion in Southern France (ib. v. 291, 313). But in August 1253, when Henry III went to Gascony, Richard of Cornwall and Queen Eleanor were appointed regents of England (ib. v. 383; Fœdera, i. 291; Royal Letters, ii. 99). After Eleanor, who was but regent in name, joined her husband in May 1254, Richard became sole regent. His main care was to furnish the king with supplies. In January 1254 a great council met, in which Earl Richard declared that, as he was more powerful than the other magnates, he was bound to set a good example, and promised to equip three hundred knights at his own expense (Matt. Paris, v. 424). He failed to persuade many nobles to do likewise. He again assembled them after Easter, but they persisted in offering only conditional help (ib. v. 440). The regent had to fall back on plundering the Jews. He also lent large sums to Henry from his own resources (ib. v. 458). He had a fierce conflict with the Londoners, and amerced them severely for refusing to appear before him to obtain his confirmation of their mayor (Liber de Antiquis Legibus, p. 621).
Henry III returned home at the end of 1254, with his financial embarrassments greater than ever. During 1255 and 1256 the long purse of Earl Richard alone enabled him to make some show of satisfying his creditors. As a pledge for the sums advanced by him, Richard received from his brother a grant of the royal rights over all the Jews in England. This was an enormous addition to his already vast resources. But the Jews were already reduced to such distress that Richard treated them with some consideration, which they acknowledged in kind. When his nephew, Edward, was unable to make headway against his Welsh subjects, he visited his uncle at Wallingford, and got four thousand marks and sound advice from him (ib. v. 593). Richard, courted on every side, assumed a lofty and independent attitude. He posed as a neutral in the quarrels between the barons and the king's foreign favourites (ib. v. 514). In the parliament of October 1255, when urged by the king to set an example of loyalty by granting a liberal aid, he firmly refused. While thus standing proudly above English parties, he received the great opportunity of his life—the offer of the German crown.
Since his crusade and his redemption of Frankish captives Richard had been a personage of European importance. He had already twice declined the pope's offer of a foreign throne in Sicily and Germany respectively, owing to scruples due to his friendship for Frederick II. But the latter's death in 1250 altered the situation. When, in November 1252, the papal notary Albert came to England, charged to renew Innocent's offer of the Sicilian throne, Richard entered into long negotiations with him, but, distrusting the pope's terms, rejected the offer (Sternfeld, Karl von Anjou als Graf von Provence, p. 83; Ann. Burton, p. 339). Richard was, however, annoyed when Henry III during his Gascon expedition of 1254 accepted the Sicilian throne for his son Edmund without asking Richard's advice. The death of Henry, Frederick II's son by Isabella of England, in December 1253, meanwhile loosened the dynastic connection between England and the empire. In May 1254 Conrad IV, Frederick's eldest son, died, and his papal rival, William of Holland, thereupon ruled Germany without a rival until his death in January 1256. Nearly a year elapsed before a new king of the Romans was elected. The German princes were divided into partisans of the Hohenstaufen and of the pope. Pope Alexander IV, who had just succeeded Innocent IV, perceived that a strong German king, a partisan of the Hohenstaufen, might well ruin papal predominance in Italy as well as Germany. Henry III watched German affairs with no less interest. Now that he was pledged to Edmund's Sicilian candidature, he was anxious that the next German king should not stand in his son's way. It was soon felt that Richard's candidature would meet many difficulties. He was friendly to the papal policy, and yet no extreme man, and long closely attached to the Hohenstaufen. Above all, he had plenty of money. It is not clear in what quarter Richard's name was first suggested. Henry III had in February or March 1256 sent William Bonquer to the pope to procure that the next king of Germany should be a friend of England and the Roman court (Fœdera, i. 337; cf. Bauch, p. 140, and Koch, pp. 140–3). On 12 June Henry sent a mission, including Richard, earl of Gloucester, and John Mansel, to Germany (Fœdera, i. 342). Meanwhile in Germany the count palatine Louis II, the leader of the Hohenstaufen, was anxious for a compromise. Conrad, archbishop of Cologne, already well acquainted with Richard and England, declared himself in Richard's favour. John of Avesnes, count of Hainault, took to England an invitation from some German princes. By the end of the year definite engagements were made. On 26 Nov. the count palatine signed, at Bacharach, the conditions on which he would support Richard's candidature. The count was to marry a daughter of Henry III, who was to bring him a great marriage portion. Richard was to renounce all claims on Sicily, and to appear in Germany before midsummer (Böhmer, Wittelsbachische Regesten, p. 27). On 15 Dec., at Zündorf, Conrad, archbishop of Cologne, formally adopted Richard's candidature. Besides acknowledging the right and independence of the see of Cologne, Richard was to pay eight thousand marks in instalments for Conrad's vote (Lacomblet, Urkundenbuch des Niederrheins, ii. 232–3), or three thousand marks in case his election was not carried. On 26 Dec. Richard accepted these terms in London, and sent hostages to Archbishop Conrad (ib. ii. 233). Henry III also sealed the compact. Richard's money was now scattered freely over Germany. He sold his woods to increase his means. The Jews, his faithful dependents in England, did Richard good service in furthering his candidature (Fœdera, i. 365; Monumenta Germaniæ, Scriptores, xvi. 383–4).
But Alfonso X of Castile, originally suggested by the citizens of Pisa and Marseilles, was now welcomed as a rival candidate by the archbishop of Trier. He was even more prodigal of his purse than Richard (Lipkau, pp. 22–4). The French party, afraid of an English emperor who had once been count of Poitou, actively took the side of Alfonso, who also secured the Brandenburg and Saxon votes. Ottocar of Bohemia, though negotiating with Archbishop Conrad and Richard, would come to no definite decision.
On 13 Jan. 1257 the archbishop of Cologne, with the archbishop of Mainz's proxy, and the count palatine, appeared before the walls of Frankfurt to make their election. Admission into the town was denied them, but they formally elected Richard before the gates. The town was held by Arnold of Trier, who joined with the Duke of Saxony and the proctor of Ottocar of Bohemia in protesting against so irregular an election. Ottocar, however, soon declared his adhesion to Richard, and thus secured a majority for Richard of four of the seven electors (Fœdera, i. 353; cf. Schirrmacher, Die letzten Hohenstaufen, p. 460–1). But the electors of Trier, Saxony, and Brandenburg persisted in their opposition. On 1 April they elected Alfonso of Castile. The election is of great constitutional importance in German history as the first occasion on which the seven electors of later history definitely exercise the right of choice (cf. Urban IV's bull dated Civita Vecchia, 31 Aug. 1263; Böhmer-Ficker, Regesta Imperii, v. 992–3; Schirrmacher, Kurfürsten-Colleg.; Busson's Doppelwahl des Jahres 1257, and Bauch's Markgrafen Johann I and Otto III von Brandenburg, Excurs II).
Richard's election was known to Henry III on 17 Jan. (Fœdera, i. 353). Then came a letter from Conrad of Cologne (Matt. Paris, vi. 341). On 30 Jan. Ottocar's emissaries took to Wallingford their lord's approval. King Henry urged his brother to accept the throne. After a show of hesitation, Richard announced his willingness with an outburst of tears, protesting that he was not moved by greed or ambition, but by an honest desire to restore the prosperity of the empire and govern justly and loyally (Matt. Paris, v. 603). In the well-attended mid-Lent parliament he bade adieu to the English barons. Soon afterwards Conrad of Cologne and other German magnates came to London and did homage to him (ib. v. 625). On 29 April Richard took his departure from Yarmouth (ib. v. 628). He constituted Fulk Basset, bishop of London, his proctor for his English possessions.
Fifty ships were needed for the transport of himself, his wife Sanchia, and his eldest son Henry and their attendants. On 1 May they landed at Dordrecht, and on 17 May, Ascension Day, Richard and Sanchia were crowned king and queen at Aachen by Conrad of Cologne. Richard had brought a new crown and insignia from England, which he afterwards handed over to the chapter for safe keeping; some of these jewels may be among the present treasures of the Dom at Aachen. When the festivities were over, grave counsels were held. It was resolved to take the field against Arnold of Trier. With this object Richard moved to Cologne, where he spent Whitsuntide. The citizens were less friendly to him than the archbishop. From Cologne Richard slowly marched up the Rhine, scattering money, grants, and confirmations with a lavish hand. The majority of the estates of the Lower Rhineland were strongly on his side. The Duke of Brabant was the only important exception. But the Upper Rhineland was more divided. His supporters, the elector of Mainz and the count palatine, were confronted by the elector of Trier and the towns of Worms and Speyer, which banded together in fierce opposition to Richard. But the non-appearance of Alfonso of Castile deprived his partisans of their chance. Richard gradually made headway, and bade fair to become effective lord of all the Rhineland. He made a long stay at Mainz in the summer and early autumn (Böhmer-Ficker, Regesta, v. 997). On 18 Sept. he entered Oppenheim in triumph. On 20 Sept. he proceeded south to Weissenburg (ib. v. 999). Finding that the Germans did not like his large English following, he prudently sent them home about Michaelmas (Matt. Paris, vi. 653). Next year he showed his sympathy with England by sending fifty ships laden with provisions to relieve a scarcity (ib. iv. 673). Before winter set in Richard was again in the Lower Rhineland. On 29 Oct. he was at Liège, and on 28 Nov. at Neuss. On 27 Feb. 1258 he was at Siegburg (Lacomblet, ii. 243). In April and May 1258 he was again at Aachen. He was more at home there than anywhere else in Germany. The citizens received from him many new privileges (ib. ii. 238). The one German building in which his hand can be traced is the so-called curia of King Richard, which was the town-hall of the city until the building of the larger and more imposing later town-hall (Miranda, pp. 19–28). It still survives in part, and is used to keep the local archives.
In the summer of 1258 Richard made a second expedition into the Upper Rhineland. John, bishop of Lübeck, writing to that city in July (Urkundenbuch der Stadt Lübeck, erster Theil, pp. 233–5; Böhmer-Ficker, Regesta, v. 1000), describes him as orthodox, prudent, strenuous, wealthy, well connected, energetic, and moderate. His power was at length generally acknowledged throughout the Rhineland. Worms and Speyer alone held out. About May Richard sent Archbishop Gerhard of Mainz to try and win them over. He failed, and on 16 June Richard was at Oppenheim collecting an army to march against the rebel cities. On 25 July Richard made his triumphal entry into Worms, where he gave presents and privileges both to the Jews and Christians (‘Ann. Wormatienses,’ p. 60, in Pertz, Mon. Germ. Scriptores, xvii. 60; Böhmer-Ficker, Regesta, v. 1001). Everywhere the bishops were on his side, and the Worms annalist complains that they took advantage of the situation to invade the liberties of the cities (Ann. Worm. p. 59). At last even the archbishop of Trier and the Duke of Brabant agreed to submit to Richard if Alfonso did not appear in person (Matt. Paris, v. 649; Regesta, v. 1002). A papal legate joined Richard's train. The Italian cities began to acknowledge him. He got at least as far as Basel (‘Chron. Elenhardi’ in Mon. Germ. Script. xvii. 122).
Richard's power in Germany never reached a greater height. But his recognition by the Rhineland meant very little, and the rest of Germany was quite unaffected by his influence. The silence of the German chroniclers as to his movements shows how little interest was taken in him. Moreover, he was only loved because of his money; and, despite strenuous efforts to raise fresh supplies at home, his purse was now exhausted (Fœdera, i. 377). At Basel the princes began to desert him. On 6 Oct. he was at Speyer, and on 19 Oct. at Worms (Regesta, v. 1003). In the winter he suddenly resolved to return to England, hoping to get fresh resources. The Germans were angry at his departure, the English barons feared his coming. Richard went home through Cambray, whence he reached Arras on 14 Jan. 1259 (Böhmer-Ficker, Acta Imperii Selecta, pp. 310–11). At Saint-Omer a deputation of English magnates told him that he could only be allowed to land in England after he had taken an oath to observe the provisions of Oxford. Even the king advised this step (Royal Letters, ii. 132). Richard swore that he had no peer in England, and reproached the English barons for presumptuously reforming the realm without consulting him. But he promised to take the oath.
On 27 Jan. 1259 Richard, with his queen and younger son Edmund, landed at Dover. He was met by Henry III and Archbishop Boniface; but the barons would allow neither king to enter Dover Castle. Next day he went to Canterbury, where he took, in the chapter-house of Christ Church, the oath exacted by the barons (Matt. Paris, v. 735–6). The Earl of Gloucester, who administered it, was careful to address him merely as ‘Earl of Cornwall.’ On 2 Feb. the two kings entered London, which was richly adorned in their honour. The citizens especially welcomed Richard, since his German candidature had opened for them new avenues of trade. Richard was present at the parliament of 9 Feb. The few German nobles who accompanied him, disgusted to find how little reverence and favour he possessed in his own country, went back indignant (Matt. Paris, v. 737). Meanwhile Richard spent Christmas in Cornwall (Wykes, p. 123). His object now was to provide money for the expenses of his projected journey to be crowned at Rome.
Pope Alexander IV, although he had long wished well to Richard, was embarrassed on every side, and had no wish to offend the king of Castile (Ricordano Malespini, in Muratori, Rerum Ital. Script. viii. 986, and ‘Ann. Salisburg.’ in Mon. Germ. Script. ix. 794). But by sending a legate to Germany he had practically taken Richard's side, and was now doing the best he could to further his interests. Already in 1258 Milan and all the Italian towns allied with the church were supporting Richard (Lübecker Urkundenbuch, p. 234). The Romans chose him senator for life. All seemed ready for the coronation journey.
On 18 June 1260 Richard again crossed to Germany (Wykes, p. 124). Between 27 June and 8 July he was at Cambray. He was at Worms from 20 Aug. to 17 Sept. (Böhmer-Ficker, Regesta, v. 1006–7). He now granted the Wetterau to his friend and chamberlain, Philip of Falkenstein, and Alsace to Bishop Werner of Strassburg, while patching up an old feud between that town and Worms (Gebauer, pp. 165–71; Ann. Worm. pp. 60, 65). On 4 Oct. he was at Boppard. On 24 Oct. he was back again in England.
On 25 May 1261 the death of Alexander IV deprived Richard of his best chance of being crowned emperor. The new pope, Urban IV, soon leant towards Alfonso. Alfonso was willing to accept Urban's arbitration. Richard's sense of dignity had always prevented him from submitting his claims to the pope's discretion. Urban summoned both kings before his court, but Richard put off sending a representative, and nothing was done. At last, as Richard grew to despair of his claims, he agreed to submit to the arbitration of Clement IV, whom he knew to be personally more favourable to him. But there were long delays before any direct action was taken. A fourth pope, Gregory X, at last began to seriously bestir himself about the business; but Richard died before any decision was reached.
While Richard thus failed to obtain permanent papal recognition, he was almost equally unsuccessful in enforcing his claims in Germany. During his absence the opposition grew. In June 1261 Werner, archbishop of Mainz since 1259, proposed that if he remained longer absent, Conradin, son of Conrad IV and grandson of Frederick II, should be appointed king in his stead. On 21 June 1262 he paid a third visit to the empire (Wykes, p. 131; cf. Liber de Antiquis Legibus, p. 50). He travelled through Flanders and Brabant to Aachen, where on 6 Aug. he confirmed to Ottocar of Bohemia both his hereditary lands and his new acquisitions of Austria and Styria, thus finally conciliating the strongest prince of the empire (Miranda, p. 13; cf. Gebauer, pp. 421 sq.). He was at Frankfurt on 17 Sept. He had some difficulty in making peace with Werner of Mainz, but his old enemy, Arnold of Trier, was now dead, and the new archbishop of Trier was his friend. Accompanied by Werner, Richard again proceeded south. On 16 Oct. he had reached Hagenau, where he sought in vain to mediate between the citizens of Strassburg and their bishop (‘Bellum Waltherianum’ in Mon. Germ. Script. xvii. 113). Later, on 5 Nov., he was at Schlettstadt, where he granted a charter (Gebauer, pp. 390–1). He was back at Hagenau on 18 Nov., and, after visiting Mainz, was at Trier on 23 Jan. 1263. On 10 Feb. he was again in England. No doubt the impossibility of drawing supplies from England accounts for the short duration and limited success of his stay (Fœdera, i. 421).
Richard's brief visits to Germany did not withdraw him from English politics. In 1260 he went to London during Henry's absence abroad, and called a parliament for 25 April (Liber de Antiquis Legibus, p. 44). Late in 1261 he was called in as arbiter to decide the important question whether the king or the barons had the right to nominate sheriffs, and early in 1262 he decided in favour of the king (Fœdera, i. 415; Royal Letters, ii. 198). On 15 July 1263 he secured a temporary truce after war had broken out between king and barons (Lib. de Ant. Leg. p. 55). When the conflict became inevitable in 1264, King Richard warmly took up his brother's side, and was denounced by the patriotic song-writers (Carmen de Bello Lewensi, p. 13; cf. Rishanger, De Bello, p. 140 n.) In February he was at Windsor and Oxford, organising resistance in conjunction with his nephew Edward. In revenge, in March, the Londoners plundered and devastated his Isleworth estates, and destroyed his house at Westminster (Wykes, pp. 140–1). Before Lewes, the barons offered a large sum of money to Richard if he would procure peace (Wykes, pp. 148–9; Wright, Political Songs, p. 69, Camd. Soc.). But Richard joined Edward in urging resistance (Rishanger, De Bello, p. 30). At the battle of Lewes, Richard commanded jointly with Henry the left of the army. In the fierce fight Richard got separated from his brother, and took refuge in a mill. He was soon surrounded and forced to surrender amid the jeers of the soldiers at the sorry plight of Cæsar Augustus (Political Songs, p. 69; Chron. Melrose, p. 196). All his lands, including the earldom of Cornwall, were seized by Simon de Montfort. Richard was kept under close custody by Henry de Montfort (Wykes, p. 153), being taken to the Tower and thence to his own castle at Wallingford (Liber de Ant. Leg. p. 63). He was finally immured ‘minus honeste quam regiam deceret honestatem’ (Wykes, p. 175) with his younger son Edmund at Kenilworth. When the news of the battle of Evesham reached the garrison, the soldiers were for murdering him on the spot. After Evesham Richard and his son were unconditionally released by the younger Simon de Montfort. On 9 Sept. 1265 Richard reached Wallingford, where friends and family joyfully celebrated his release. His lands were of course restored (cf. Wykes, p. 179). Despite the hard treatment he had experienced, Richard still counselled moderation. In December 1265 he requited the younger Simon by procuring for him decent terms of surrender in Axholme and spoke warmly in his behalf before the king at Northampton (Rishanger, Chron. p. 51). In 1266 he joined the legate in mediating the surrender at Kenilworth, though his name does not occur in the Dictum de Kenilworth in which his son Henry is associated with the legate (Select Charters, p. 421). He disliked the wild schemes of disinheritance and pressed for that scheme of redeeming the rebels' lands which the Dictum contained (Ann. Waverley, p. 367). He supplied Henry III with money and provisions to enable him to keep on foot the army that, in 1267, conquered the isle of Ely (Wykes, p. 204). In return Henry petitioned the barons to do something for Richard, now loaded with debt (Fœdera, i. 466). The Londoners paid him one thousand marks compensation for his losses at Isleworth (Liber de Ant. Leg. pp. 94–5). He also helped to pacify Llywelyn ab Gruffydd [q. v.] (Royal Letters, ii. 312). When the affairs of the realm were finally settled, Richard started on his fourth and last visit to Germany on 4 Aug. 1268.
Richard now showed great activity in maintaining order in Germany. At first he stayed at Cambray (Böhmer-Ficker, Acta Imperii Selecta, p. 312). On 22 Sept. he was at Aachen (ib. pp. 313–14), and on 15 Dec. at Cologne. On 7 March he reached Worms, and summoned a diet which met on 14 April. Edicts were promulgated declaring a Landfriede for the Rhineland and denouncing the robber castles and the excessive tolls of the Rhine (Wykes, pp. 222–4; Ann. Wormatiensis, p. 68; Böhmer-Ficker, Regesta, v. 1019; Mon. Germ. Leges, ii. 381–2). The result was increased peace and trade. Richard afterwards attended a church council at the same place. He spent the latter part of May at Frankfurt. On 15 June he married his third wife, Beatrice of Falkenstein, at Kaiserslautern, and, after great festivities, reached Mainz by 9 July. Thence he proceeded to England with his wife, landing at Dover on 3 Aug. (Wykes, p. 225). He was present on 13 Oct. at the translation of St. Edward's remains into the new church built by Henry III at Westminster (ib. p. 226), and successfully mediated between Earl Gilbert of Gloucester and his nephew Edward.
Richard's health was already declining when the great shock came of the murder of his eldest son Henry at Viterbo by the younger Montfort. The young man with his brother Edmund had joined their cousin Edward on a crusade. Richard procured the removal of Henry's body to England, and buried it at his own foundation at Hayles. He also recalled Edmund, his other son, fearing that he might meet a similar fate. In September 1271 Richard visited Yorkshire, returning to the south in the winter. On 12 Dec. he reached Berkhampstead. The next night he was smitten with paralysis of the right side, and almost lost his speech and reason. He lingered on until 2 April 1272, when he died. His body was buried beside his son and second wife, Sanchia, at Hayles. His heart was buried in the choir of the Franciscan church at Oxford (Monasticon, v. 699).
Richard was the only Englishman who attempted to rule the holy Roman empire, and the task proved beyond his strength. He was at all times bountiful to the church, and was the founder of several houses of religion, including, in 1256, a convent of Trinitarian or Maturine friars at Knaresborough in Yorkshire (ib. vi. 1565–1567), and in 1266 the Austin nunnery of Burnham in Buckinghamshire, with which Dugdale has confused a small Benedictine nunnery at Brunham or Nunburnholme, east of Pocklington in Yorkshire (Monasticon, vi. 545–6, cf. iv. 278–9). His greatest foundation was, however, that of the Cistercian abbey of Hayles, near Winchcombe in Gloucestershire. He began the building about 1246, in fulfilment of the vow he took when in danger of shipwreck, and on 9 Nov. 1251 caused the church to be ceremoniously dedicated in the presence of the king. The first monks came from his father's foundation at Beaulieu. Richard endowed the house liberally. In 1271, just before his death, the church was burnt down; but Edmund of Cornwall, Richard's son and successor, rebuilt it (ib. v. 686–6). By his will Richard established a college of secular priests at Oxford to pray for the repose of his soul. But Edmund thought he would better further his father's desire by converting this into the new Cistercian abbey of Rewley, just outside Oxford (ib. v. 697–701).
Richard was thrice married. All his wives are described as very beautiful. By his first wife, Isabella, daughter of William Marshal the regent, and widow of Gilbert of Clare, earl of Gloucester, whom he married on 30 March 1231 at Marlow, he had: 1. John, born 31 Jan., died 22 Sept. 1232, and buried at Reading (Ann. Tewkesbury, p. 89); 2. Isabella, born September 1233, died October 1234, and also buried at Reading (ib. p. 93); 3. Henry, born 1 Nov. 1235 at Hayles [see Henry of Almaine]; 4. Nicholas, who died a few days after his birth at Berkhamstead, and cost his mother her life. Isabella died on 16 Jan. 1240, and was buried at Beaulieu (ib. pp. 113–14). Her heart was deposited at Tewkesbury among her first husband's family. By his second wife, Sanchia of Provence, whom he married on 23 Nov. 1242, Richard had two sons: the elder, born in July 1246, died on 15 Aug. (Matt. Paris, iv. 568–9); the second, born after Christmas 1250, was baptised Edmund (see below) by Archbishop Boniface in honour of Richard's early friend, St. Edmund of Canterbury (ib. v. 94).
By Beatrice of Falkenstein Richard left no issue (Wykes, pp. 224–225; Gebauer, pp. 254–8, 615–32). Sandford (Genealogical History, p. 99) says that Richard was also father of three natural children: 1. Richard, ancestor of the knightly families of the Cornwalls called barons of Burford in Shropshire, and of those of Berington in Herefordshire; 2. Walter, who received a grant of land from his brother Edmund; 3. Isabel, who married Maurice of Berkeley.
Edmund, second Earl of Cornwall (1250–1300), was knighted and invested with the earldom by Henry III on 13 Oct. 1272. On Henry's death next month he was named joint guardian of the realm, but his position seems to have been honorary, and the power remained with the archbishop of York and the chancellor, Walter de Merton [q. v.] In April 1279 he was again appointed joint lieutenant of the realm. When Edward went to Gascony in May 1286, Edmund was made guardian and lieutenant of England. On this occasion his functions were more important, as the chancellor accompanied Edward; but the three years of the king's absence were uneventful. In 1297 Edmund became councillor to the young Prince of Wales. He died on 1 Oct. 1300, having married Margaret, daughter of Richard de Clare, eighth earl of Clare and seventh earl of Gloucester [q. v.] He left no issue, and the earldom became extinct.[The oldest modern life of Richard is J. P. von Gundling's Geschichten und Thaten Kaiser Richard's (Berlin, 1719). G. C. Gebauer's Leben und denckwürdige Thaten Herrn Richards erwählten römischen Kaysers (Leipzig, 1744) is still of use for its fulness and the documents printed in it. A. Lipkau's De Richardo comite Cornubiæ electo coronato Rege Romano (1865) is a rather thin Königsberg inaugural dissertation, of which only thirty-two pages have been printed. Dr. Hugo Koch's Richard von Cornwall, erster Theil (1209–1257), Strassburg, 1888, is careful and almost exhaustive up to Richard's coronation, though sometimes failing to disentangle the biography from general history, and occasionally making little mistakes in English matters. The biography of Richard in the Allgemeine deutsche Biographie (xxviii. 412–413) by F. Schirrmacher is too brief to be of value. Richard's German career and the constitutional problems involved in his election have been much written about in Germany. Among older monographs may be mentioned Zentgrav De Interregno imperii Germanici (Wittenberg, 1668), and Schwartz's Dissertatio de Interregno (Jena, 1714). Among recent monographs upon special points may be mentioned A. Busson's Die Doppelwahl des Jahres 1257 (Münster, 1866); A. di Miranda's Richard von Cornwallis und sein Verhältniss zur Krönungsstadt Aachen, Bonn, 1880; A. Bauch's Die Initiative zur Wahl Richards von Cornwall zum römischen König, printed as an appendix to his book on Die Markgrafen Johann I und Otto III von Brandenburg in ihren Beziehungen zum Reich, 1220–1267 (Breslau, 1886), and Schirrmacher's Kurfürsten Colleg. A solitary and short English monograph is F. P. Weber's Richard, earl of Cornwall, and his Coins as King of the Romans, London, 1893, reprinted from the Numismatic Chronicle, 3rd ser. xiii. 273–81. Among the general histories which specially deal with Richard may be mentioned Pauli's Englische Geschichte, excellent for both the English and German sides of his career, Lorenz's Deutsche Geschichte im 13en und 14en Jahrhundert, F. Schirrmacher's Die letzten Hohenstaufen, especially bk. iii. ch. iii. and vii. Richard's German acts are calendared in J. F. Böhmer's Regesta Imperii, of which the last and best edition for the 1198–1272 period is that edited by Ficker (Innsbruck, 1879–1892). The acts of Richard in this edition are in vol. v. pp. 988–1024, and pp. 1733–1774. More important documents are printed in full in Böhmer-Ficker's Acta Imperii Selecta, pp. 307–15 (Innsbruck, 1870); Böhmer-Will's Regesta Archiepiscoporum Moguntinensium, vol. ii; Lacomblet's Urkundenbuch für die Geschichte des Niederrheins, vol. ii.; Böhmer's Wittelsbachische Regesten; Regesten der Pfalzgrafen, published by Badische Historische Commission; Rymer's Fœdera, vol. i.; Rot. Lit. Claus.; Shirley's Royal Letters (Rolls Ser.); Matthew Paris's Hist. Major, Annales Monastici, Flores Historiarum, Rishanger (all in Rolls Ser.); Liber de Antiquis Legibus, Wright's Political Songs, and Rishanger's De Bello (the last three in Camden Soc.); Dugdale's Monasticon, vols. iv. v. vi.; Dugdale's Baronage, i. 761–6; Sandford's Genealogical History, pp. 95–100; Doyle's Official Baronage, i. 436–7; Raynaldi Annales Ecclesiastici; the French and German chroniclers quoted from Bouquet and Pertz are referred to in the text; the chief passages of the English writers dealing with Richard are conveniently excerpted by Pauli and Liebermann in Pertz's Mon. Germ. vols. xxvii. and xxviii. Among the literary commemorations of Richard may be mentioned Chapman's curious ‘Tragedy of Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany,’ which makes Alfonso actually reign in Germany until his tyranny leads to his murder, and Richard becomes his successor. It has been elaborately edited by Dr. Elze in 1867.]