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On This Day



On This Day… The Lionheart Was Released!

Written by: George Chittenden : 01 Jul 2019

It was on this day, 4th February, back in 1194 when the King of England was released from captivity after a huge ransom of 100,000 marks was paid to the Holy Roman Emperor to secure his freedom. Richard the Lionheart was captured by his enemy Leopold, the Duke of Austria, near Vienna in December of 1192.

He was imprisoned in the Duke’s castle of Dürrenstein on the Danube before he was handed over to Henry VI of Germany. The initial payment for his release was followed by another payment of 50,000 marks that would secure the release of additional hostages. You’ve heard the expression ‘a king’s ransom’ to describe something expensive, well interestingly this story is that expression’s origin.

On his release Richard returned to England for a short period, but within months he left once again. Richard the Lionheart spent only six months of his ten-year reign actually in England, and he never met Kevin Costner in some woods. He claimed England was "cold and always raining”.

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