King Richard Marries
King Richard married Princess Berengia, daughter of the King of Navarre, on 12th May 1191 in the chapel of St. George at Limassol in Cyprus. King Richard's chaplain conducted the ceremony and Bishop John of Evreux crowned Princess Berengia as Queen of England.
|Run for Their Lives
King Richard and fifty of his knights chased a party of Greeks out of an olive grove to within sight of the main body of Isaac's men. Although greatly outnumbering the knights, the main body of Isaac's men were at a loss as to what to do against mounted knights and merely rattled their shields and shouted insults.
Isaac, resting in his tent half a mile away, heard the shouts, came riding up and stared in amazement at the mounted knights - he had no idea that Richard had brought horses in his ships.
An armed clerk, named Hugh de la Mare, advised Richard: 'Retire, sire, their numbers are too great.'
Richard curtly told him 'Sir clerk, return to your scrivening and leave the fighting to me!' before ordering a charge.
The massed charge of fifty knights in full armour put fear into the Greeks and they ran for their lives, 'driving them into disarray, striking them with terror and dismay.' Richard personally unhorsed Isaac who quickly grabbed another horse and escaped into the hills. His standard bearer was not so lucky - Richard struck him down and bore his captured standard back to Limassol in triumph.
|King of Jerusalem
Guy of Lusignan arrived in Cyprus seeking King Richard's support in a dispute. He was King of Jerusalem through his marriage to Queen Sybelle - they married for love not the usual political reasons.
The Count of Montferrat, heroic defender of the town of Tyre against Saladin, claimed to be the rightful King of Jerusalem and opposed Guy. In exchange for King Richard's backing, Guy agreed to help him conquer Cyprus.
|Isaac Disappears Before Surrendering
Governor Isaac's pledges to King Richard at Limassol were nothing but shameful lies. In the night he stole away on his horse named Fauvel and rode to Famagusta 'like one who had quite lost his mind, leaving behind two horses swift and strong, and desperately fleeing headlong.'
As soon as Isaac's flight was discovered, Richard sailed round the coast to Famagusta while Guy of Lusignan led his forces along the coast road. The town was deserted - Isaac had fled once again, this time to the great castle of Kantara, confident that he could safely hold out in the mountains.
While in Famagusta, King Richard received a deputation from King Philip imploring him to come to the crusade as soon as possible.
'Not for half the wealth of Russia,' Richard answered, 'not until I have conquered Cyprus.'
When Isaac's wife and small daughter fell into Guy of Lusignan's hands at Kyrenia, Isaac (pictured right) was beside himself with grief and surrendered himself and the whole island. After he had begged not to be put in irons, King Richard simply cast him in silver ones.
Richard and Berengia Are Married
The bride was dressed in a fine, rich white gown embroidered with flowers and the King wore a rose coloured silk tunic, a cape embroidered with silver thread and a scarlet cap. There were two days of celebrations.
King Richard then met Emperor Isaac in a garden of fig trees to discuss peace terms. To overawe Isaac, Richard dressed in his wedding clothes, carried a gold-hilted sword and rode a horse of great beauty that had a red saddle studded with golden stars and two golden lion cubs on its hind-bow. Isaac promised his own sword and 500 mounted men towards King Richard's crusade. He also pledged all the castles of Cyprus and added 3,500 marks as security.
After exchanging the kiss of peace, they dined together and returned to Limassol as brothers.
|Crusaders Set Sail Once More
Having conquered Cyprus within the space of a month, King Richard not only took over the wealth that Isaac had taxed out of the Cypriots but taxed them again. They had to give half their capital toward the crusade: 'Twas for God's work and His domain that England's king all this did gain'.
The supply of corn, barley, mutton and beef now secured for all crusaders fighting in the Holy Land, Richard and his own crusaders set sail once more on the last fifty miles of their sacred mission. The King as usual, light and gay, and fit as a feather, led the way.