The topics of this blog are Armand-Jean du Plessis, Cardinal Duke of Richelieu, and the IDEAL CITY built on his command next to his magnificent CHÂTEAU on the borders of Touraine, Anjou and Poitou, in France.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

King Henry II, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard Coeur-de-Lion

These great monarchs were buried in the abbey church at Fontevraud, 15 miles NW from Richelieu.  Henry / Henri and Eleanor / Alienor, father and mother of King Richard I 'the Lionheart', Robin Hood's absent true king of England, and his brother 'bad' King John, the hero of the Magna Carta of 1215 limiting the power of the English Monarchy;  all three men Kings of England, but vassals of the King of France on the continent.  French speaking members of the Plantagenet dynasty who ran their huge domain from Chinon castle.

Richard I at Westminster

The abbey had a very noble pedigree and was always administered by an abbess during the ancien regime.  The inconvenient or devout daughters and dowagers of the high nobles of France filled its echoing corridors up to 1789.

After that it became a notorious Napoleonic high security prison with many famous inmates, even the recent well-known writer Jean Genet, author of 'A thief's journal'.

It has now been restored in its entirety and yearns for a multitude of sweet new novices to fill its immaculate rooms.  But the daughters of today's celebrities prefer clubbing in Ibiza, Mustique and Dubai!
find the location on the map to the right ------>



Anonymous said...

King Richard I 'the Lionheart', Robin Hood's absent true king of England

This is a common misconception. It originates only in the 1520s, in the work of the Scots writer John Mair, and was only popularised by Walter Scott in Ivanhoe (1819) and by later Victorian writers. The Hood ballads from the 15C are explicitly set in the reign of a King Edward, probably Edward II. Richard I was quite a nasty piece of work in reality.

Abbé Henri Proust said...

Thanks for your comment; I feel sure you are right! Horrid little sadist, I should think, although he impressed Saladin didn't he? The Edwards weren't much nicer.

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons his vassals in Poitou gave for rebelling against him was his habit of forcibly abducting their wives, daughters and kinswomen, raping them, and then passing them on to his soldiers to play with.

He was also the only crusader ever to be arrested on suspicion of arranging the assassination of the Christian King of Jerusalem, which was not the point of crusading. Especially as the king in question was the quite magnificent Conrad of Montferrat, about whose defence of Tyre Bertran de Born had composed a fine song.

Anonymous said...

All 3 comments are in error. Richard tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution with Saladin at Acre upon his arrival. Saladin refused to negotiate. No original sources state Richard was a sadist. The claims by his unruly vassals lack any original source support. They were in fact made by his unruly vassals to his Father Henry II because in fact Richard was effective in making his unruly vassals adhere to their obligations to him and they were protesting being forced to live up to their obligations. Richard in fact had the greatest claim to the throne of Jerusalem through his great-grandfather Fulk of Anjou and King of Jerusalem. Conrad was an proxy and relative of Philip Augustus the French King. There was no evidence Richard arranged for the murder of Conrad. In fact, Richard played by the then present rules of the nobility to his detriment. It was Philip Augustus who with his slithering monks of St. Denis that promoted the black op against Richard and slandered him with the murder of Conrad. Yes, Saladin appreciated Richard. Saladin's brother Al-Adil became his friend and Richard knighted Al-Adil son! How about that a Christian Crusader King while on Crusade knights a Muslim noble at the time he is fighting against him! This is a level of advancement beyond anything documented in the historical record. Richard could and did effectively lead an army and at the same time conduct personal negotiations with and become friends with the leaders of the adversary.

Abbé Henri Proust said...

Thanks anon for your detailed history. The two tombs really are rather extraordinary, being so old. We think that the cardinal duke was a long time ago!

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