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earl of Cornwall Richard

(1209—1272) .


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B. 5 Jan. 1209, 2nd s. of John and Isabella; cr. earl of Cornwall 1227; elected king of the Romans 1257; m. (1) Isabella, da. of William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, and wid. of Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, 30 Mar. 1231; issue: John, Isabella, Henry, Nicholas; (2) Sancia, da. of Raymond Berenger IV, count of Provence, 23 Nov. 1243; issue: Henry, Edmund; (3) Beatrice of Falkenburg, niece of Engelbert of Cologne, 16 June 1269; d. 2 Apr. 1272; bur. Hailes abbey, Glos.

Richard was the only brother of Henry III. Until the birth of his nephew Edward in 1239, he was heir to the throne, and his marriage to the queen's sister in 1243 confirmed his influence. He was made earl of Cornwall and count of Poitou, and gained a considerable reputation as a crusader in 1240; his earldom gave him great wealth through its tin-mines. He declined an offer from the pope of the throne of Sicily, but in 1256 was persuaded to come forward as papal nominee for the throne of the Holy Roman Empire. He was crowned at Aachen, but found it difficult to establish his authority against a rival candidate, Alfonso of Castile. Returning to England in 1259, he found his brother at odds with a powerful baronial party, but when open warfare broke out in 1264 he took the king's side, fought with him in the defeat at Lewes, and was captured hiding in a windmill. He was still in captivity when his nephew, prince Edward, rescued the royal cause at Evesham in 1265. He did not abandon his German ambitions and revisited that country in 1268–9. He died seven months before his brother in 1272.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500) — British History.


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