In 1166, on this day the future Angevin Emperor John Lackland was born to Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
Birth of John LacklandShortly after his birth, John and his sister Joan were taken to Poitiers, the capital of Aquitaine. This relocation was calculated to win over the support of the French nobility, because from this city, Henry's heirs would rule a collection of states that stretched from the Pyrenees to Ireland. But ironically, the circumstances behind his ascension to the throne were caused not by the Acquitaine Inheritance but were entirely due to a rebellion of the English nobility. And the central issue of the revolt was that Henry II believed the Plantagenets were French Lords that happened to be Kings of England.
From his late teenage years, his elder brother Richard had commanded the armies of their father Henry II. As King, he led the Third Crusade in the Holy Land. Inevitably, this overseas military focus created a vacuum of power at home that was filled by domestic plotting. Richard was forced to return home where we was killed in a full-scale baronial revolt. Having spent only six months of his rule in England, he was widely considered in want of sympathy, or even consideration, for his people. This reckless monarch was succeeded by John, a hard-working administrator, an able man, an able general.