Louis VIII the Lion (5 September 1187 – 8 November 1226) was King of France from 1223 to 1226. Louis VIII was born in Paris, the son of King Philip II of France and Isabelle of Hainaut, from whom he inherited the County of Artois.
While Louis VIII only briefly reigned as king of France, he was an active leader in his years as crown prince. During the First Barons' War of 1215-17 against King John of England, his military prowess earned him the epithet the Lion. After his victory at the Battle of Roche-au-Moine in 1214, he invaded southern England and was proclaimed "King of England" by rebellious barons in London on the 2 June 1216. He was never crowned, however, and renounced his claim after being excommunicated and repelled.
In 1217, Louis started the conquest of Guyenne, leaving only a small region around Bordeaux to Henry III of England.
Louis VIII briefly ruled about half of England from 1216 to 1217 at the conclusion of the First Barons' War against King John. On marching into London he was openly received by the rebel barons and citizens of London and proclaimed (though not crowned) king at St Paul's cathedral. Many nobles, including Alexander II of Scotland for his English possessions, gathered to give homage to him. However, in signing the Treaty of Lambeth in 1217, Louis conceded that he had never been the legitimate king of England.
Louis's short reign was marked by an intervention using royal forces into the Albigensian Crusade in southern France that decisively moved the conflict towards a conclusion. He died in 1226 and was succeeded by his son Louis IX.