King John Timeline
1166 (24th December)
John’s parents began leading separate lives. John and his sister, Joan were placed in the care of a nursemaid.
1168 (1st February)
John’s eldest sister, Matilda, married Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and Bavaria.
King Henry II became ill and decided to give his sons their inheritance so that they would be established in their lands before he died. Richard was given control of Aquitaine. His three brothers were also given land – Henry gained England and Normandy and Geoffrey gained Brittany. John who was four years old was not given any land.
1170 (14th June)
John’s eldest brother, Henry, was crowned at Westminster Abbey because their father, Henry II, was concerned about the succession. Afterwards he was known as Henry the Young King.
John began his education. He was educated at home by a tutor.
John’s brother, Richard
, was created Duke of Aquitaine.
Henry the Young King, supported by his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and his brothers, joined forces with Louis VII of France and William (the Lion) of Scotland and rose against Henry II.
1174 (13th June)
Battle of Alnwick
Henry II, defeated and captured William (the Lion) of Scotland. Scotland and its church became subject to rule by Henry.
1174 (8th July)
Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry the Young King sailed from Harfleur to Southampton. King Henry II ordered that his wife be placed under house arrest.
John’s sister, Eleanor, married Alfonso VIII, King of Castile at Burgos Cathedral Castile.
1174 (30th September)
The revolt against Henry II by his elder children, failed when their ally, Louis VII of France, surrendered to Henry near Rouen.
King Henry II was now stronger than ever and forgave his sons for turning against him. He decided to make his lands a federation of self-governing states that would be ruled over by his sons on his death.
Henry the young king would rule England, Normandy and Anjou
Richard would rule Aquitaine
Geoffrey would rule Brittany
John would rule Ireland
John was betrothed to Isabella
, daughter of William Earl of Gloucester.
John became ruler of Ireland.
1177 (13th February)
John’s sister, Joan, married William II, King of Sicily.
John’s brother, Geoffrey, married Constance, daughter of Conan IV, Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond.
1183 (11th June)
Henry the Young King died at Martel Castle, Turenne, France, from dysentery. This meant that John’s brother Geoffrey was now heir to the throne.
John visited Ireland for the first time. The Irish were not impressed by his attitude towards them.
1186 (19th August)
Geoffrey, duke of Brittany, son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine died after being trampled by his horse at a tournament. John’s brother Richard Duke of Aquitaine was now heir to the throne.
1189 (6th July)
King Henry II died in France and John’s brother, Richard
succeeded as King of England.
1189 (20th July)
King Richard became Duke of Normandy.
1189 (29th August)
John married his betrothed, Isabella
, daughter of William of Gloucester, at Marlborough Castle. Upon his marriage John became Earl of Gloucester.
1189 (after 29th August)
Baldwin, Archbishop of Canterbury
, spoke against John’s marriage saying that the couple were too closely related because they shared the same great-grandfather. John promised the Archbishop that he would seek a papal dispensation but he never did.
1189 (3rd September)
Richard was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
1190 (4th July)
King Richard and Phillip II of France embarked on a Third Crusade to the Holy land. Richard designated his nephew, Arthur of Brittany, as his heir.
1190 (After July)
Although John was annoyed that Richard had made his nephew Arthur his heir, he agreed to remain away from England while the King was on Crusade.
The political situation in England was deteriorating as the nobles left in charge of governing the country continually squabbled and vied for power. Richard agreed that John could return to England to maintain order.
1191 (12th May)
1191 (11th July)
Richard defeated Saladin at Acre.
1191 (7th September)
Richard defeated Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf.
Richard took control of Jaffa.
Richard was unable to take Jerusalem and so he negotiated a three-year truce with Saladin that stipulated that Christians should be granted access to the holy city at all times.
Having heard the news that his brother John, who had been left in control of England, was plotting to take the throne from him, Richard decided to return home.
Richard was captured by Duke Leopold V of Austria and held to ransom.
1193 (28th March)
Richard was transferred to the custody of Holy Roman Emperor, Henry VI. He was placed in Trifels Castle. A ransom of 150,000 marks was demanded for the release of the English King. This was a huge sum of money, at least double the annual income of the Crown.
The ransom of 150,000 marks was paid and Richard returned home to England.
Richard was annoyed that John had tried to take the throne during his absence and as punishment took all of his property. John was allowed to retain the Lordship of Ireland.
Richard left England for Normandy to defend it from attacks by King Phillip II of France.
1199 (26th March)
While walking round the castle of Chalus, King Richard, was shot by a crossbowman. Although the bolt was removed it was not cleanly done and the wound quickly festered.
1199 (6th April)
Richard died. On his deathbed he nominated John rather than his nephew Arthur to succeed him.
1199 (25th April)
John was created Duke of Normandy at Rouen.
1199 (27th May)
John was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey. His wife Isabella of Gloucester was not crowned Queen.
John divorced his wife Isabella of Gloucester and made her his ward. It is likely he did this to retain control of her large inheritance.
1200 (22nd May)
Treaty of Le Goulet
John and Philip of France reached an agreement where Philip would gain The Vexin and a cash payment and John would remain overlord of his lands in France.
1200 (24th August)
John married Isabella of Angouleme
, the 12 year old daughter of the Count of Angouleme, who had been previously betrothed to Hugh IX, Count of Lusignan.
1200 (after 24th August)
Hugh IX Count of Lusignan was furious when John failed to compensate him financially for marrying his betrothed.
1200 (8th October)
Isabella of Angouleme was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.
John and Isabella took up residence in Normandy.
1202 (30th April)
Hugh de Lusignan, who had been betrothed to Isabella of Angouleme, complained to Philip of France that John had no right to marry Isabella. Philip summoned John to appear before his court in France but John ignored the request. Philip then declared that John’s lands in France should be forfeited and gave many of them to Arthur of Brittany, John’s nephew.
1202 (1st August)
Arthur of Brittany put Mirabeau Castle, where John’s mother Eleanor was in residence, under siege. John launched a mission to relieve the siege and free his mother. Arthur of Brittany was captured and imprisoned in Falaise Castle.
1203 (3rd April)
Arthur of Brittany was murdered, possibly on the orders of King John.
Peace talks with Philip of France broke down.
1204 (1st April)
John’s mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine died. John gave his mother’s lands in Poitou to his wife, Isabella.
Philip of France took control of Normandy.
John wanted to raise an army to take Normandy back but he did not have the support of his barons.
1205 (13th July)
Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
1206 (7th June)
John went to Aquitaine to defend his lands.
Pope Innocent III declared that Stephen Langton should be the new Archbishop of Canterbury. John did not agree with the appointment and was threatened with excommunication by the Pope.
John introduced a new tax based on income. The new income tax was very unpopular with the barons and the church.
The Pope told John that if he did not accept Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury immediately he would serve an interdict (the banning of all church services) on the country.
1207 (1st October)
A son, Henry
, was born to John and Isabella at Winchester Castle.
1208 (24th March)
As John had not agreed to the appointment of Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury he was served an interdict on England. In retaliation John confiscated all church property causing many churchmen to flee abroad.
1209 (5th January)
A son, Richard, was born to John and Isabella at Winchester Castle.
King John was excommunicated by Pope Innocent III.
John travelled to Ireland to receive homage from the Irish chieftains.
John captured Carrickfergus Castle in Ireland.
1210 (22nd July)
A daughter, Joan, was born to John and Isabella.
John demanded that all Jews in England should pay a sum of money to the crown. Those that refused were imprisoned until the money was paid. Many Jews left the country.
John and William of Scotland reached agreement. William’s son, Alexander was sent to England as hostage.
John finally agreed that Stephen Langton could take up the appointment of Archbishop of Canterbury.
1213 (20th July)
The Pope lifted the excommunication served on King John.
John held a meeting with his rebellious barons to try to reach an agreement.
A daughter, Isabella, was born to John and Isabella.
1214 (2nd February)
John went to France to deal with a new conflict with Philippe.
1214 (29th June)
The interdict on England was lifted.
1214 (27th July)
Battle of Bouvines
John was defeated by Philippe of France.
1214 (15th October)
John returned to England where he was facing a rebellion by his barons.
A daughter, Eleanor, was born to John and Isabella.
John met with the barons in London.
1215 (4th March)
To gain favour with the Pope, John swore an oath to go on Crusade.
The Pope ordered the barons to stop their rebellion against the King.
1215 (27th May)
The rebellious barons took control of London.
1215 (15th June)
King John met a deputation of barons and Stephen Langton at Runnymede. John was forced to sign a charter, called Magna Carta, which met the baron’s grievances and limited the power of the King. Magna Carta contained 61 clauses which included:
The freedom and rights of the church should be guaranteed
That the King was not above the law of the land.
That no free man should be arrested, imprisoned, dispossessed, outlawed or exiled except by the lawful judgement of his peers and by the law of the land.
1215 (13th September)
After complaining to the Pope that he had been forced to sign Magna Carta, the Pope declared that the agreement was null and void.
The Baron’s War
War broke out between the barons and King John after the annulment of Magna Carta.
John took Rochester Castle from the barons.
John took control of East Anglia.
A French fleet reached London to support the barons. Philippe had sent forces after the baron’s had promised to make his son, Louis, King of England.
1216 (21st May)
Prince Louis of France landed in Kent and re-took Rochester Castle for the barons.
Prince Louis of France took Winchester. At the same time Windsor and Dover Castle were put to siege by the barons but they managed to hold out.
1216 (18th October)
John died at Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire. He was succeeded by his son, Henry
First Published 2015, Updated and re-published Dec 24 2020 @ 10:50 – Updated – [last-modified]