Richard, Earl of Cornwall crowned King of the Romans

Richard Cavendish recalls May 17th, 1257.

The curious situation in which a nobleman from England was chosen as the ruler of Germany occurred because the German electoral princes, cherishing their independence, preferred a weak outsider to a more powerful insider. So did Pope Innocent IV, who did not want to see another Hohenstaufen on the imperial throne after the death of the Emperor Frederick II in 1250. Richard, Earl of Cornwall, was the second son of King John and the younger brother of Henry III. Far more forceful and competent than his brother, he was Frederick II’s brother-in-law, one of the richest men in Europe and one of the few English barons of the time who actually spoke English.

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