John Plantagenet (* 24 December 1166) reigned as King of England from 6th April 1199 until his death on 19th October 1216. He succeeded to the throne as the younger brother of King Richard I (known in later times as Richard the Lionheart). John acquired the nicknames of Lackland (French: Sans Terre) for his lack of an inheritance as the youngest son and for his loss of territory to France, and of Softsword for his alleged military ineptitude. (Most likely he was given both nicknames by his father, King Henry II.)
John was a Plantagenet or Angevin king and was born on Christmas Eve 1166 it is said…

Apart from entering popular legend as the enemy of Robin Hood, he is also known for when he acquiesced to the nobility and sealed Magna Carta, a document limiting his power which is popularly thought as an early first step in the evolution of modern democracy.

And just to clarify it – he was by no means illiterate! He was an highly educated man with the largest library of that time.

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