His reign officially began in 1199, upon the death of his brother Richard, however he had actually ruled England before this. When Richard I (famously, Richard the Lionheart) was made king, he declared his intention to embark on the Third Crusade, and appointed John as the overseer of his Anglo-French empire while he was away. During this time, John rebelled against Richard, trying to convince the country that he was dead and that he should be made king in his absence. However, Richard was far from dead and, upon his return, made John kneel and beg for his forgiveness. Remarkably, Richard actually granted him this, declaring, “think no more of it, John. You are only a child who has had evil counselors.” A touching display of mercy for an age so typically unforgiving towards treasonous behaviour.
His reign began in 1199. (4/10)