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Richard, earl of Cornwall

Richard, earl of Cornwall (1209–72), king of the Romans (1257–72). The younger brother of Henry III, he was granted vast estates by his brother, notably the earldom of Cornwall (with its tin-mines), which made him the richest man in England after the king, who frequently turned to Richard for loans. Although he exerted great influence over Henry, and at times of crisis dominated his policies, he was by no means always in agreement with his brother. In particular, he led the baronial opposition to Henry in the late 1230s. But he remained solidly loyal in the years of baronial reform and rebellion (1258–65), for his pains suffering the indignity of being captured in a windmill, after the battle of Lewes (1264). In 1257 he was elected king of Germany, the only Englishman to wear that crown, but he never fully established his authority over the country before his death.

S. D. Lloyd

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