The differences between the Ibelin and Richard Plantagenet started at birth. Richard was born to power, wealth, influence and title. The second son of two of the most powerful rulers in Christendom, he was already invested with one of the richest duchies in the West by the age of 13. He rebelled against his father at 15 and for the next 17 years he was almost continuously at war ― against his father, his brother, his vassals, and/or his would-be brother-in-law. He was viewed by the Church as excessively proud, greedy and sexual.
|Richard the Lionheart by Henry Justice Ford|
|Ibelin had negotiated the surrender of Jerusalem to Saladin: Here the Hollywood version|
To Richard’s credit, he appears to have learned about his opponents very rapidly, yet Richard's support for Guy de Lusignan was utterly unacceptable to Ibelin (and the other barons of Outremer). It was Richard’s insistence that Guy de Lusignan was a legitimate king with the right to again control the fate of the Kingdom of Jerusalem that made it impossible for Ibelin and Richard to see eye-to-eye. Ibelin recognized Conrad de Montferrat at the rightful king of Jerusalem by right of his wife, Ibelin’s step-daughter Isabella of Jerusalem. Because of this, he was willing to act as Montferrat’s envoy to Saladin in the fall of 1191, which put him in direct conflict with Richard. Montferrat was willing to cut a deal with Saladin not only behind Richard’s back but effectively against Richard. Saladin called Montferrat’s bluff, and broke off the negotiations with him, but the fact that Ibelin had represented Montferrat in some of these negotiations naturally made him seem a traitor to Richard, at least in the eyes of some of his followers and later chroniclers.
This says a great deal about the self-confidence and independence of the barons of Outremer -- or at least about Ibelin himself. Apparently, Ibelin was prepared to face the powerful Plantagenet down, risk his displeasure, and even his withdrawal from the fight for Jerusalem. Ibelin's stance here foreshadows the attitude of his eldest son, who would face down the might of the Holy Roman Empire and lead a baronial revolt against the autocracy of Friedrich II.