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John reigned as King of England from April 6, 1199, until his death. He succeeded to the throne as the younger brother of King Richard I (known as "Richard the Lionheart"). John acquired the nicknames of "Lackland" and "Soft-sword." He was a Plantagenet or Angevin King.

King John's reign has been traditionally characterised as one of the most disastrous in English history: it began with defeats—he lost Normandy to Philippe Auguste of France in his first five years on the throne—and ended with England torn by civil war and himself on the verge of being forced out of power. In 1213, he made England a papal fief to resolve a conflict with the Roman Catholic Church, and his rebellious barons forced him to sign Magna Carta in 1215, the act for which he is best remembered. Some have argued, however, that John's rule was no better or worse than those of kings Richard I or Henry III. Be that as it may, his reputation is a reason many English monarchs have refrained from giving the name John to their expected heirs.

King John is also an early history play by William Shakespeare, telling a version of the story of John's reign.

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John reigned as King of England from April 6, 1199, until his death. He succeeded to the throne as the younger brother of King Richard I (known as "Richard the Lionheart"). John acquired the nicknames of "Lackland" and "Soft-sword." He was a Plantagenet or Angevin King.

King John's reign has been traditionally characterised as one of the most disastrous in English history: it began with defeats—he lost Normandy to Philippe Auguste of France in his first five years on the throne—and ended with England torn by civil war and himself on the verge of being forced out of power. In 1213, he made England a papal fief to resolve a conflict with the Roman Catholic Church, and his rebellious barons forced him to sign Magna Carta in 1215, the act for which he is best remembered. Some have argued, however, that John's rule was no better or worse than those of kings Richard I or Henry III. Be that as it may, his reputation is a reason many English monarchs have refrained from giving the name John to their expected heirs.

King John is also an early history play by William Shakespeare, telling a version of the story of John's reign. More...

 
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