Medieval Quilt I

Panel 1 - King Richard I of England, also known as Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior, dies in the arms of his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine on April 6, 1199. Richard was the third of five sons born to Eleanor and King Henry II of England. As King he ruled over England and Ireland, as well as Normandy and Brittany (in present day France). He died without fathering a legitimate heir, so he was succeeded to the throne by his youngest brother, John.

Panel 2 - King John I of England was the fifth son of Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry II of England. He became king because all of his older brothers, William, Henry, Richard, and Geoffrey had passed away. Geoffrey had a son and heir named Arthur. This panel shows the seal of King John I, with the Latin inscription reading "King John, by the grace of God , King of England and Ruler of Ireland".

Panel 3 (TRIPTYCH - "DEATH THREE WAYS") - Arthur, son of Geoffrey and the young Duke of Brittany, was a threat to John's claim to the throne of England . Arthur had the support of King Phillip II of France, who had laid claim to Normandy upon Richard's death. Arthur was taken prisoner by John, and died in 1203 at the age of sixteen under mysterious circumstances. He is rumoured to have died one of three ways: at the hands of King John or one his henchmen; from a fatal fall during an attempted escape from his prison tower; or, by drowning in the River Seine.

Panel 4 - King John needed to raise money to try to regain sovereignty over his lands in Normandy , in the north of France. One of the ways he did this was by charging the land Barons of England a tax called scutage, to "buy out" of the military service they owed to the King.

Panel 5 - King John used the courts and the existing laws to extort monies from the Barons, as symbolised by the scales of justice in this panel.

Panel 6 - King John even resorted to selling off the hand of wealthy widows in marriage to loyal subjects in a bid to raise monies and keep the widow's property under his control.

Panel 7 - King John also charged widows and their rightful heirs a tax so they could inherit their father's estate and titles.

Panel 8 - After filling his coffers, King John went on several campaigns to try and secure his lost lands in Normandy and Brittany from Phillip II of France's control.