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King Richard I

King Richard I (1157-1199)

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King Richard I, the 'Lionhearted', of Britan
Chapter 4


In May 1191, Richard's fleet arrived in the port of Lemesos (now Limassol). Richard captured the city. When the island's despot Isaac Dukas Comnenus arrived to stop the Crusaders he discovered he was too late, and retired to Kolossi. Richard called Isaac to negotiations but Isaac broke his oath of hospitality and started demanding Richard's departure. Richard ordered his cavalry to follow him in a battle against Isaac's army in Tremetusia. The few Roman Catholics of the island joined Richard's army and so did the island's nobles who were dissatisfied with Isaac's seven years of tyrannical rule. Though Isaac and his men fought bravely, Richard's army was bigger and better equipped, assuring his victory. Isaac continued to resist from the castles of Pentadactylos but after the siege of his castle of Kantaras he finally surrendered. Richard became the new ruler of Cyprus.

Richard looted the island and massacred those trying to resist him. Meanwhile, Richard was finally able to marry the woman to whom he was engaged, who had been brought by his mother to join him on the crusade route. His marriage to Princess Berengaria of Navarre, first-born daughter of King Sancho VI of Navarre, was held in Limassol. His sister Joan, whom Richard had brought from Sicily, also attended the wedding. 
The unfortunate Berengaria had almost as much difficulty in making the journey home as her husband did, and did not see England until after his death.

Richard and most of his army left Cyprus for the Holy Land early in June. In his absence Richard Kamvill governed Cyprus.

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