23 Things You Didn’t Know About The 1100s


1King Richard I

King Richard I

In 1191, King Richard I used chains made of silver to imprison the ruler of Cyprus because he had promised not to place him in irons.

2William Adelin

William Adelin

In 1120, the captain of the White Ship was encouraged by on-board revelers to try and overtake another vessel on which King Henry I was a passenger. In the dark the ship hit a submerged rock and capsized, leading to the death of Henry's only heir (William Adelin), which led to a 20-year civil war.

3Baldwin IV

Baldwin IV

The Leper King of Jerusalem: Baldwin the fourth ruled Jerusalem from 1174-1185, refused to hide his leprosy from his subjects and took an active part in the wars and crusades of that time until his disease progressed enough to cripple and blind him.

4The Green Children of Woolpit

The Green Children of Woolpit

Several 12th-century British historical sources report the mysterious appearance of “The Green Children of Woolpit.” A brother and a sister were discovered to have green skin, spoke an unknown language, and were capable of eating only green food.

5Philip of France

Philip of France

In 1131, crown prince Philip of France died while riding through Paris when his horse tripped over a black pig running out of a heap of dung.

6Ancient sunglasses

Ancient sunglasses

In the 12th century China, sunglasses with lenses made from smoky quartz were used by court judges to mask their facial expressions and appear impartial.

7Yellow badge

Yellow badge

There is a surviving text of an 1121 law in Baghdad requiring all Jewish women to wear at all times: 1 yellow star on their head, 1 yellow star on their neck, a necklace with a lead plaque that said "Dhimmi" (ie "non-Muslim"), 1 red shoe, 1 black shoe and a bell on their neck or their shoes.

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8Philip II of France

Philip II of France

In 1193, King Philip II of France married Ingeborg of Denmark. On their wedding night, he decided not to let her be crowned the Queen of France after he discovered she had such a horrible breath.

9King Richard I of England

King Richard I of England

In 1187, King Philip II of France and King Richard I of England (whilst a prince), shared a bed overnight in a symbol of unity between the two countries.

10Sigurd I of Norway

Sigurd I of Norway

In 1107, King Sigurd I of Norway launched a crusade that fought in Spain, the Mediterranean, and the Holy Land. They won every battle they participated in.


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