John, born the youngest of Henry II's five sons, was not expected to succeed to the throne. Indeed, his lack of any intended inheritance gave him the early nickname "John Lackland". However, the early deaths of his three eldest brothers put him in line for the throne as Richard I's successor. John acted as Richard's regent while he was on crusade in the 1190s, and on his death from a stray arrow wound at a Limousin castle in 1199, took the throne as King. He initially managed to retain hold of the English crown's Angevin Empire (along the west coast of modern-day France) in the Treaty of Le Goulet, which he and Philip II of France signed in 1200. However, war broke out two years later, in which nobles from Anjou, Brittany and Normandy …
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Editors. "Reign of King John". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 31 July 2012
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=644, accessed 26 June 2017.]