At Henry 2nd's death in 1189 Richard I named/called “the Lion Heart” succeeded to the throne and he reigned from 1189 to 1199 but he always lived abroad.Actually he was called the Lion Heart because throughout his life he was engaged in fighting in the Holy Land in the 3rd Crusade.
During his absence his younger brother John acted as king and indeed at Richard’s death he succeeded to the throne. He was named “Lackland” because He was unsuccessful in all of his wars against France and he had even lost Normandy.
One of the reason why he was unpopular lies also in the fact that in 1215 he tried to reconquer Normandy so he asked the support of the nobles and the clergy as well as of the rising middle classes. In particular what he did was to impose heavy taxes to finance the war against France. Since They refused to finance him they (nobles, church and middle classes) forced him to sign an agreement, an important document called Magna Charta (or The Great Charter) at Runnymede, a place outside London. According to this document they meant to limit the power of the king and actually this document greatly limits his power because it stated/ asserted that:
1) No one could be imprisoned or submitted to judgement except by a court of peers. This implied that the king didn't have the power to send to prison anyone. No one could be send to prison without a fair trial/legal process.
2) The king could exercise the right to leave new taxes only with the consent of an assembly. He was no longer allowed to impose/establish new taxes without the consent of an assembly. This assembly didn't include the representatives of any strata of the population (for example the lower strata) but the social classes represented in this assembly/ the members were the barons, the Church and later on even the new rising/emerging classes of the merchants which started being represented inside/within this assembly very soon.
It’s generally considered and it will always be considered as an important step towards democracy and the most important foundation on which British democracy is founded because it asserted, affirmed, stated essentially 2 fundamental principles on which future democracy will be based from now on.
Although Magna Charta was not drawn/designed/worked out in the interests of ordinary people (poor) but just having in mind the interests of the upper classes however We can say that this is / it’s to be recognized as the first truly important step towards democracy even if the members of the lower strata were excluded from the assembly.