King John of England 1166 – 1216

King John

King John was born 24th December 1166 and died 19th October 1216. He was the youngest son of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was nicknamed Lackland because his father did not grant him any land. His brother Richard became King of England in 1189 but embarked on the third Crusade. During his brother’s absence John tried to take the throne but failed. When his brother was captured and held to ransom, John had to use taxation to raise the ransom money.

Richard died in 1199 and John became King. His first task was to make peace with France but it was fragile. In 1209 John was excommunicated by the Pope because he had refused to accept the Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. Later in his reign he  became involved in disputes with the nobility and was forced to sign Magna Carta in 1216.

Family tree for John, son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine showing:


Published Apr 30, 2018 @ 1:42 pm – Updated – Jun 5, 2020 @ 4:54 pm

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2018 – 2020). King John of England 1166 – 1216. Available: Last accessed February 20th, 2021