THE REAL HISTORY
John was on the list of those who had plotted against his father, Henry I, but was not
successful in plotting against his brother, Richard. Richard gave him lands in Normandy and
England, but these were not enough. While Richard was imprisoned, John unsuccessfully
rebelled several times. Upon Richard's return, he was reprimanded and kept out of trouble
for the last five years of his brother's reign and earned the succession to the throne.
Irish Castle Built During John's Rule of The British Empire
John was respected as successor in England, but in Anjou, Maine, and Touraine Arthur, son of Geoffrey of Brittany, was recognized as sovereign. John persuaded Philip II to oust the twelve-year-old Arthur and became Lord of the Angevin Empire. He then annulled his marriage to Isabella of Gloucester, whom Richard had betrothed to him, and, in an effort to unite the two halves of his empire, married Isabella of Angouleme. Unfortunately, John's
bride's former fiance appealed to Philip II, and Philip declared all of John's recent acquisitions forfeit.
John captured Arthur shortly after his possessions were forfeited. Arthur disappeared and the murder has never been proven.
Determined to get his territory back, John levied high taxes on his nobles. This also came at the time of a conflict
with Pope Innocent III. John refused to accept the papal appointment to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury. The pope punished
John by placing England and Wales under an interdict and excommunicating John a year later. John, however, needed papal
support to win his invasion of France. John made England a papal fief and invaded. In 1214, John lost the Battle of Bovines
and the English barons had enough.
Etching of King John
King John's Tomb
In 1215, the barons seized London and forced John to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymead. John had no intention of living upto the document, and the barons looked to Louis of France, Philip's son, for aid. Louis invaded England in 1216. John died thatyear in October with a nine-year old son as his successor.
THE ORIGINAL TRANSLATION OF THE MAGNA CARTA
PICTURES OF THE ACTUAL DOCUMENT
A KIPLING POEM ABOUT THE MAGNA CARTA'S RAMIFICATIONS