Sunday, July 26, 2015

Louis the Lion

In the play and movie, "The Lion in Winter", Henry II jokes with Alais that they will have a son and name him Louis, "Louis le Premiere, how's that for a king of England".  Well, It almost came true, though not with a son of Henry and Alais.
Louis VIII of France.  Louis, later the Capetian king of France, invaded England during the unpopular reign of John Lackland, brother of Richard the Lionheart.  He was proclaimed king of England at Saint Paul's Cathedral in May of 1216, and was in control of much of England till the death of King John, when his support amongst the Barons of England disappeared in favor of Henry III, John's young son.  In August of 1217, he was defeated.  By treaty, he agreed(upon generous payment) that he was never king.
Though he promised never to attack England again, he routed the English in France and left Henry III with only a tiny foothold in Bordeaux out of all the territories(which were nearly half of France) once held by the English.

This denier tournois of 1223 - 1226, was in truth also produced into the reign of his son, Louis IX, also known as Saint Louis.
Of course this coin does not date to the brief and disputed reign of Louis, but is an interesting side bar to the parade of English kings and queens.
This coin was about $31.00.

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