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King John of England

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Portrait of King John of England from Cassell's History of England, c. 1902.

Portrait of King John of England from Cassell's History of England, c. 1902.

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This profile of King John is part of
Who's Who in Medieval History

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

King John was known as:

John Lackland; in French, Jean sans Terre. John also held the title of Count of Mortain.

King John was noted for:

His reputation as a bad king. John was forced to accept the Magna Carta and lost most of England's possessions in France.

Occupation and Role in Society:

Places of Residence and Influence:

Important Dates:

About King John:

King John was the son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and the younger brother of Richard I.

John's life was characterized by tumultuous relationships. Though favored by his father, he allied with his brother Richard to rebel against him. He also allied with Philip II in order to fight against Richard, and later warred against the French king, as well. He was disliked and mistrusted by many of the English barons, and he was even excommunicated by the pope for a time.

John was considered a bad king during his lifetime and for long after, especially by those who found it easy to compare him unfavorably with his popular brother. Although he did make advances in military organization, taxation, and in the administration of justice, his misdeeds overshadow his achievements, and attempts to rehabilitate his reputation have largely failed.

For more about John's life and reign, visit the concise biography by your Guide.

King John Resources:

Concise Biography of King John
Portrait of King John
King John in Print
King John on the Web

King John on Film

The Lion in Winter
Henry II (Peter O'Toole) must choose which of his three surviving sons will succeed him, and a vicious verbal battle ensues between himself and his strong-willed queen. John is portrayed by Nigel Terry; Katharine Hepburn won an Oscar® for her portrayal of Eleanor.

Medieval & Renaissance Monarchs of England
Medieval Britain
Medieval France



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