The conflict between the English monarch Richard I (1157 - 1199) and the duke Leopold V of Austria (1157 - 1194) began because of a dispute over the primacy of the 3rd Crusade (1189 - 1192). The hot-tempered Richard the Lionheart, when the soldiers of the duke of Austrian Leopold V took possession of one of the walls of Acre, ordered the Austrian banner to be pulled down and replaced with his own. This English king offended all German knighthood and received in the person of the duke a personal enemy.
The conflict was further aggravated: King Richard supported Guy de Lusignan in his claims to the throne of Jerusalem (de Lusignan was overthrown as a result of a palace coup), and Duke Leopold V was a supporter of Conrad of Montferrat, his relative. In 1192, Konrad was assassinated, many attributed the murder to an English monarch.
2 September 1192, Richard made peace with Saladin and left Syria in October. However, the way home presented considerable difficulties, since the English king everywhere had made powerful enemies. The road through southern France was blocked by the troops of the Count of Toulouse, and the road through Italy by numerous supporters of the Holy Roman Empire. The emperor ordered the occurrence of King Richard on the lands subordinate to him, to detain the king of England. The English monarch was accused of betraying the cause of the crusaders, wanted to extradite the French king Philip Augustus Saladin, ordered the killing of Conrad of Montferrat, and poisoned the duke of Burgundy. Philip Augustus was even afraid of hired assassins that Richard could send and increased security. The Byzantine ships, outraged by the seizure of Cyprus and the ships of Pisa and Genoa, allied to the German emperor, were a threat to the sea. In addition, the autumn storms precluded the passage through Gibraltar and sailing in the Atlantic Ocean.
11 November Richard landed on Corfu Island. Here the king hired 2-3 galleys and with a small retinue moved on. Perhaps he wanted to land on the coast of Dalmatia, which, together with Croatia, was part of Hungary. In the Hungarian kingdom, Richard could count on a friendly reception, and from there it was possible to get to Bohemia to Ottokar, an ally of Heinrich Leo. From Bohemia you could travel to lands that belonged to friends and relatives of Richard. Richard's voyage ended in the Gulf of Venice, between Venice and Aquileia. Apparently, the king's ship was driven there by storm and crashed.
Richard's overland journey began. He traveled under an assumed name, along with him were Baldwin de Bethune, Guillaume de Ethan, secretary, master Philip of Poitiers, chaplain Anselme, and several Knights Templar. Richard let go of his beard and long hair. It is not known why Richard headed north-east to Vienna, in the hands of his enemy Leopold of Austria. Perhaps the group has gone astray, not turning in time to the east - to Croatia and Hungary, or to the north-west - to Bohemia. Maybe the group was prevented by bad weather, obstruction of passes, or pursuit. In addition, it should be noted such a character trait of Richard the Lionheart as an irresponsible, frivolous attitude toward himself (Richard treated himself not as the king on whom the future of thousands of people depends, but a simple warrior), love of risk. He often teased fate, which led to situations when it was necessary to strain all the powers of the mind and subject resources to get out of the current situation. Therefore, it may well be that the path through Austria was deliberately chosen, Richard took the risk himself.
It is clear that a group of about twenty pilgrims of Anglo-French origin, who literally poured money along the way, did not go unnoticed. Meinhard, Count Görz, on whose land Richard began the journey, did not detain the strange group, but reported it to his brother, Count Engelbert. He sent a squad in pursuit. The chase intercepted Richard, but did not delay. Richard left a separate group with Bethune to distract attention to himself, and moved on. Several more people were detained in Frisach in Carinthia, but Richard was able to leave. Soon, only two people remained with him. After starving for several days, Richard went out to the inhabited places and was detained. This happened on the outskirts of Vienna 21 December 1192 of the year. The Austrian duke immediately arrived at the place of detention, to whom Richard handed over his sword.
The arrest of the knight king was one of the most important political events of the end of 12 century in Western Europe. This led to a significant loss of the English crown in Normandy and the transition of the Sicilian kingdom under the authority of the German emperors. The German emperor Henry VI Hohenstaufen considered Richard as an ally of the Sicilian king Tancred of Lecce, who seized the throne of Sicily, which belonged to the emperor. In addition, Richard was a relative and supporter of the opponent of the emperor - Heinrich Leo. And Duke Leopold, was not only the personal enemy of Richard, but also a supporter of the emperor, knew about his attitude to the English king and about the agreement of Henry and Philippe of France about the capture of Richard the Lionheart. It is possible that without having data on the hostility of these great rulers to the English king, the duke would not dare to detain Richard.
December 28 Heinrich told Philip about the capture of "the enemy of Our Empire and the troublemaker of your kingdom." French King Philip II Augustus immediately wrote a letter to Leopold, where he reported that Richard was guilty of the death of Conrad of Montferrat, a relative of the French king and emperor, as well as an attempt on the life of Philip, and demanded not release the English king without consulting him and the emperor. Then the French king reported this pleasant news Brother Richard John. The emperor and the duke did not make secrets from the arrest, on the contrary they informed everyone in order to get a ransom faster.
Richard’s first prison was Dürnstein Castle, sixty kilometers from Vienna, and then in Oxenfurt, near Würzburg. 6 January 1193 in Regensburg Leopold of Austria showed Richard to the emperor, but took him back because there was no agreement yet. February 14 in Würzburg signed an agreement for the extradition of the King of England. The agreement guaranteed the integrity of Richard. Henry VI was supposed to get 50 thousand stamps of Cologne, Richard also guaranteed personal participation with the squadron in the 50 gallery and 200 knights in the capture of Sicily for the emperor. The duke was also to receive 50 thousand marks and the hand of Richard Alienor (Eleanor) Breton’s niece for one of his sons. The Duke also demanded the release of Isaac of Cyprus and his daughter. Richard was supposed to get the Pope’s removal from the duke and emperor of possible excommunication. The word "redemption" does not appear anywhere in the documents.
Ruins of Dürnstein Castle.
In March, Richard was brought to Speer to a meeting of princes. The most terrible threat to Richard at that time was the extradition to his worst enemy - the French monarch. In this case, he was guaranteed life imprisonment, the loss of all possessions on the mainland, and on the throne in England John could establish himself. In this regard, Leopold of Austria immediately became an ally of Richard. When Richard was handed over to the French king, the duke received continuous losses instead of profits: “given” together with Alienor, only Richard could guarantee the release of Isaac and the removal of excommunication. As a result, the duke from the enemy became the protector of Richard and even, to a certain extent, an ally.
John developed a stormy activity. In mid-January, he was already in Paris. John promised to marry Alice, to give Philip to the French Norman Vexin. In addition, Philip took the oath for all the continental possessions and, possibly, for England. Returning to England, John began to prepare for the seizure of power. He asked for help from the Scottish king, William the Lion, but he, being grateful to Richard for his release from loneliness and being a relative of Arthur of Breton, refused. Then Philip asked for help from Baldwin, Count of Flanders. He began to collect ships and warriors. However, Alienora and the Justiciar (the highest political and judicial official) called on the knights and the people to armsby collecting a real army. Patrols were deployed throughout the southeast coast in case of an invasion. After the capture of several enemy scouts, the invasion was canceled. John did not humble himself and strengthened his castles as mercenaries from Wales and Flanders, announced the death of Richard, and proclaimed himself king.
The Supreme Justiciar Gauthier de Coutances held a state assembly at the end of February, which sent two abbots to Germany. 18 March Abbots Boxley and Robertbridge discovered Richard in Oxenfurt. 21 March Richard met with the emperor. 22 March Richard appeared before a court of princes in Speyer. Many of the princes were in opposition to the emperor, and therefore were not present. Heinrich brought several charges against Richard: helping Tancred of Lecce against the emperor, receiving money from him, depriving him of power and concluding Isaac of Cyprus, selling and resale of his land, participating in the murder of Conrad, attempting to kill Philip, insulting the Duke Leopold and other German knights, betrayal holy land (peace with Saladin and the exchange of gifts).
Richard defended himself so eloquently and with such dignity that all suspicions were dismissed. Richard the Lion-Heart said: “I could sin, carried away by passion, but my conscience is not tainted by any crime.” In conclusion, the king challenged anyone who would blame him for treason. Emperor Heinrich had nothing left to do, how to drop the charges, hug Richard and kiss the world with a kiss. Having reconciled with Richard, Heinrich expressed his readiness to reconcile the king with Philip. Richard expressed his willingness to pay in gratitude 100 thousand marks. 23 March Leopold handed Richard to Heinrich. March 25 entered into an agreement whereby the English ruler was to pay the emperor 100 thousand of Cologne marks (of which 50 thousand for the Duke Leopold), as well as transfer the 50 galleries and 200 knights for a year to 50. After Heinrich and Richard celebrated Easter together, the English king was sent under house arrest to Trifels Castle. He was allowed to hunt there, under the supervision of XNUMX Knights. Then he was transferred to the more luxurious castle of Gagenau in Alsace, where the emperor was located.
Somewhat later, Richard’s innocence in the murder of Conrad and the attempted assassination of Philip was confirmed by two letters from the head of the Assassins, the “Elder of the Mountain. The first letter in 1193 was sent to Duke Leopold, it was reported that Conrad of Montferrat was killed for piracy, robbery and violence. The second letter was read out in Paris in 1195 year, it was reported that Richard is not related to the assassination attempt on Philip and the murder of Conrad. Both letters, apparently, were written in the office of Richard and signed by either the head of the assassins mediated by Count Heinrich Champagne, or simply in the royal office itself. As a result, both charges were dropped completely.
On April 19, a letter was sent to England with the terms of the release: it was necessary to immediately pay 70% of the amount. A new tax has been introduced in the country. The laity and the church were to give away a quarter of the movable property. Churches gave gold and silver utensils, even sacred relics. Mainland ownership also contributed, but on a smaller scale. At the same time supporters of the king, having received confirmation that Richard was alive, more energetically took on John. The castles of Windsor and Tikhill with his supporters were besieged. However, a truce was soon concluded with him, John gave the mothers the castles of Windsor and Wallingford for the time of peace, Nottingham and Tikhill remained behind him.
At this time, Philip achieved significant success in Normandy - his army occupied the fortress Gisore and Nofle. It was a severe blow to the entire defense system of Normandy. In the same campaign the Omal counties were captured and E. Philip created the basis for further offensive. In addition, some frontier barons, who always balanced between the French monarchs and the Norman dukes, went over to the side of the French king. Philip's troops laid siege to Rouen, but Richard’s associate Earl Leister led the defense of the city. After two weeks of the siege, Philip withdrew his troops, fearing the Anjou army. However, Philip succeeded in taking the towns of Pasi and Ivri. Philip accompanied the Norman campaign with an intensive information war against Richard. The English king was accused of violating the oath to marry Alice and in all the indictments that Emperor Heinrich voiced in Speyer.
At the end of May, Richard was transferred to Worms. Being in captivity, Richard developed a stormy political and diplomatic activity. He constantly communicated with England and kept the situation there under his control. Richard had to do a lot of work in order to reconcile the emperor with the Lower Rhine princes, who were outraged by the murder of Liège bishop Albert by the imperial knights and were going to put the duke of Brabant on the royal throne. The war of the emperor with the princes threatened with the alliance of Henry and Philip, who could offer a large ransom for the English king and military assistance in the struggle against the princes. However, the lower Rhine princes were interested in trade relations with England and agreed to an agreement with Richard. The meeting of Philip with Heinrich did not take place. Emperor Henry VI took into account the fact that the extradition of Richard of France strengthened Philip's position even more. The French king committed a series of unfriendly actions against the emperor: he took the oath of John (Henry himself wanted to make England dependent); married the sister of the Danish king, who refused to take the oath to the emperor, etc.
The final terms of the release of Richard the Lionheart were approved on June 29 in Worms. Richard was to receive freedom after the payment of 100 thousand marks (of which 30 thousand - Leopold). The remaining 50 thousand marks were due within seven months of release. At this time, Richard left hostages: 60 people for 30 thousand emperor and 7 people for 20 thousand Duke Leopold. During these seven months, Alienor was to arrive in Austria and marry the son of a duke. Thus, Richard’s direct military assistance to the emperor in conquering the Sicilian kingdom was replaced by paying additional 50 thousand marks.
King Philip, having learned about the Treaty of Vorm, told John: “Beware the devil is free.” After receiving this news, John fled to France. Philip did not know that before the release of Richard another six months, so he hurried to conclude a peace agreement (July 9 1193 in Manta). According to him, Philip retained the conquered territory, but recognized Richard as the owner of the mainland Lena. Richard understood that he would not be released soon, so he ordered the British delegation to conclude "at least some" treaty to stop the war. Even in relation to John, his rights to the lands belonging to him were confirmed.
While Richard was in captivity for the second winter, a ransom was collected in England. To estimate its size, it suffices to say that the royal treasury's final income from England and Normandy was then approximately 30 thousand marks per year. True, the ransom was collected mainly at the expense of the church, property of the nobility and cities. The state treasury did not incur large losses, so Richard immediately after returning was able to start a war with France. For Christmas 1193, the emperor received so much money that he appointed Richard's release on January 17. By this time, his mother had come for Richard, with the last part of the ransom.
In mid-January, the French king Philip and John made a desperate attempt to maintain the status quo or even consolidate it. They offered the emperor 150 thousands of marks, of which a third was to be paid by John, for the transfer of Richard to them or for the additional year of his arrest. Another option involved the transfer of 100 thousand marks to Heinrich if he detained Richard the Lionheart until the end of autumn. It was also proposed to transfer over 1 thousand pounds for each additional month of delay. This proposal interested Henry, and he postponed the release of Richard. On 2 February a new meeting of imperial princes was appointed in Mainz. Heinrich reported on the letters of Philip and John, referring to the prince-guarantors of the emperor in the contract. The princes did not support the idea of extending the conclusion of Richard. The English king, on the advice of his mother, threw the last trump card into battle — he took a vow of oath for England to the emperor. He decided that it was better to incur moral damage and free himself than to aggravate the situation in France, losing new territories. The oath was accompanied by a promise of an annual payment in the amount of 5 thousand pounds.
February 4 Richard was "returned to his mother and freedom." Richard's triumphal journey down the Rhine lasted a week. He was solemnly received in Cologne, Brussels and Antwerp. During this time, he tied down the lower Rhine princes with a number of political and trade agreements (including payment of pensions). Richards' allies were the archbishops of Cologne and Mainz, the Bishop of Liège, the dukes of Brabant and Limburg, the count of Holland and other smaller rulers. This Richard blocked the main ally of Philip in the region - the Count of Flanders. 13 March 1194, Richard the Lionheart landed on the English coast.