Interesting Facts About King John of England

A forgotten fourth son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, it’s peculiar to think how King John ascended to the throne of England after receiving so little support from his parents. Still, this didn’t mean that John’s reign would be a smooth one, with the Angevin Empire, consisting of England and part of France, crashing under his watch. Here are some of the most interesting facts about King John of England.

Violent Mood Swings

While John could be “generous” and “hospitable”, he would often fly into violent fits of rage when frustrated. In fact, it was reported that he would even gnaw at his fingers when he couldn’t keep his temper under control.

Family Betrayal

Unfortunately, John’s family constantly fought each other without end. As his father Henry got older and more frail, John’s brother Richard saw this as the perfect moment to strike and remove his own father from power. Uniting with King Philip II of France, Richard fought against his father and was soon joined by John. Following the heartache of his sons’ bitter betrayal, Richard has no fight left in him, surrendering and passing on soon after.

Pursuing His Own Lustful Desires

Not only were John and his wife Isabella betrothed as children, but they were cousins, which made the Archbishop of Canterbury oppose this marriage. Still, then-King Richard went over his head and got the Pope’s approval to marry the pair, so long as the couple would not consummate their marriage. Naturally, this term frustrated John as he grew up and he eventually annulled the marriage in favor of marrying Alys, the sister of King Phillip of France.

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