Philip I of Castile
Philip I called the Handsome or the Fair, was the first member of the house of Habsburg to be King of Castile. He was the first Habsburg monarch in Spain, the future King Henry VIII of England met Philip the Handsome on a visit Philip made to Henrys fathers court in London and regarded him as providing a model of leadership towards which he aspired. The two would become brothers-in-law since Philip married Joanna of Castile, and Henry married Joannas youngest sister, in 1482, upon the death of his mother, he succeeded to her Burgundian possessions under the guardianship of his father. A period of turmoil ensued which witnessed sporadic hostilities between, the towns of Flanders and the supporters of Maximilian. Both sides came to terms in the Treaty of Senlis in 1493 and this smoothed over the internal power struggle as the two sides agreed to make the 15-year-old Philip prince in the following year. On 20 October 1496, he married Joanna, daughter of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, in Lier, the matter became more urgent after Charles VIIIs invasion of Italy.
Philips sister Margaret married John, Prince of Asturias, only son of Ferdinand and Isabella and heir apparent to the crowns of Castile. The double alliance was never intended to let the Spanish kingdoms fall under Habsburg control, at the time of her marriage to Philip, Joanna was third in line to the throne, with John and their sister Isabella married and hopeful of progeny. In 1500, shortly after the birth in Flanders of Joanna and Philips second child, the heir apparent, had died in 1497 very shortly after his marriage to Margaret of Austria. The crown thereby seemed destined to devolve upon his and Joannas elder sister Isabella, the succession to the Castilian and Aragonese crowns now fell to Joanna. Because Ferdinand could produce another heir, the Cortes of Aragon refused to recognize Joanna as heir presumptive to the Kingdom of Aragon, in the Kingdom of Castile, the succession was clear. Moreover, there was no Salic tradition which the Castilian Cortes could use to thwart the succession passing to Joanna.
Philip and the majority of the returned to the Low Countries in the following year, leaving a pregnant Joanna behind in Madrid. Philips life with Joanna was rendered extremely unhappy by his infidelity and political insecurity, most historians now agree she was merely clinically depressed at the time, not insane as commonly believed. Before her mothers death, in 1504, husband and wife were living apart. In 1504, Philips mother-in-law, Queen Isabella of Castile, Isabella Is widower and former co-monarch, King Ferdinand II, endeavored to lay hands on the regency of Castile, but the nobles, who disliked and feared him, forced him to withdraw. Philip was summoned to Spain, where he was recognized as king, however, en route to Spain in January 1506, Philip and Joanna were caught in a tempest and shipwrecked off the Dorset coast, forcing them on shore near Melcombe Regis. The couple stayed as guests of Henry VII of England but were in fact hostages for the duration of their stay, after handing over Edmund and Joanna were allowed to leave England after a stay of six weeks
Catherine of Aragon
The daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, Catherine was three years old when she was betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the English throne. They married in 1501, but Arthur died five months on 2 April 1502, in 1507, she held the position of ambassador of the Aragonese Crown in England, the first female ambassador in European history. Catherine subsequently married Arthurs younger brother, the recently ascended Henry VIII, for six months in 1513, she served as regent of England while Henry VIII was in France. During that time the English won the Battle of Flodden, an event in which Catherine played an important part with a speech about English courage. He sought to have their marriage annulled, setting in motion a chain of events led to Englands schism with the Catholic Church. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage, Henry defied him by assuming supremacy over religious matters, in 1533 their marriage was consequently declared invalid and Henry married Anne on the judgement of clergy in England, without reference to the Pope.
Catherine refused to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in England and considered herself the Kings rightful wife and queen, despite this, she was acknowledged only as Dowager Princess of Wales by Henry. After being banished from court, she lived out the remainder of her life at Kimbolton Castle, English people held Catherine in high esteem, and her death set off tremendous mourning. The controversial book The Education of a Christian Woman by Juan Luis Vives, such was Catherines impression on people that even her enemy, Thomas Cromwell, said of her, If not for her sex, she could have defied all the heroes of History. She successfully appealed for the lives of the involved in the Evil May Day. Catherine won widespread admiration by starting an extensive programme for the relief of the poor and she was a patron of Renaissance humanism, and a friend of the great scholars Erasmus of Rotterdam and Thomas More. Catherine was born at the Archbishops Palace in Alcalá de Henares near Madrid and she was the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.
Catherine was quite short in stature with red hair, wide blue eyes, a round face. Consequently, she was cousin of her father-in-law, Henry VII of England. Catherine was educated by a tutor, Alessandro Geraldini, who was a clerk in Holy Orders and she studied arithmetic and civil law, classical literature and heraldry, philosophy and theology. She had a religious upbringing and developed her Roman Catholic faith that would play a major role in life. She learned to speak and write in Spanish and Latin and she was taught domestic skills, such as cooking, drawing, good manners, lace-making, needlepoint, sewing and weaving. The great scholar Erasmus said that Catherine loved good literature which she had studied with success since childhood
Isabella of Aragon, Queen of Portugal
Isabella, Princess of Asturias was a Queen consort of Portugal and heir presumptive of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, as their eldest daughter. Her younger sisters were Catherine, Queen of England, Queen Joanna I of Castile, Isabella was the eldest child of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. Upon the death of Henry IV in 1474, Isabellas mother claimed the throne of Castile, the early years of the reign of Isabella I were spent embroiled in a war of succession, as Henry IV had not specifically named a successor. Afonso V of Portugal, who was Henry IVs brother-in-law and young Joannas uncle, intervened on Joannas behalf and Ferdinand, during the war, young Isabella witnessed some of the chaos for herself. While her parents were fighting the Portuguese, the princess was left in Segovia while the city was placed under the control of Andrés de Cabrera, the citys residents, unhappy with this new administration, rose up and seized control of the city. The then-seven-year-old princess was trapped in a tower of the Alcázar for some time until her mother returned to Segovia, the war ended in 1479 with the Treaty of Alcáçovas.
Among the terms were the provision that Princess Isabella would marry the grandson of Afonso V, Afonso and she spent three years in Portugal before returning home. Isabella spent a part of her youth on campaign with her parents as they conquered the remaining Muslim states in southern Spain. For example, she accompanied her mother in accepting the surrender of the city of Baza and her first marriage was to Prince Afonso, the only son and heir of king John II of Portugal from his marriage with Eleanor of Viseu. The wedding, by proxy, took place in the spring of 1490 in Seville, though the marriage had been arranged by the Treaty of Alcáçovas, the marriage quickly became a love match. Isabella proved a popular figure with the Portuguese royal family due to her knowledge of their language, Isabellas happy life in Portugal came to an abrupt end in July 1491, when Afonso was killed in a riding accident. She was heartbroken and convinced that he had died because God was angry that Portugal had provided a refuge for the Jews that her parents had expelled from Spain.
She was eventually sent back to Spain at the request of her parents and she underwent efforts to starve and scourge herself, something she would do for much of the rest of her life as part of her mourning for Afonso. She declared that she would never marry again and her parents seem to have humored her declaration at first, but after the death of John II of Portugal in 1495, he was succeeded by Manuel I of Portugal, who immediately sought Isabellas hand. Ferdinand and Isabella, perhaps trying to respect their daughters wishes, offered him the hand of one of their daughters, Maria. There remained a stalemate between them until Princess Isabella agreed to marry Manuel on the condition that he expel all Jews from Portugal who would not convert to Christianity and he agreed to her ultimatum and they married in September 1497. Immediately, the husband of Isabellas younger sister Joanna of Castile, claimed the crown, although Isabella, as the eldest daughter, the royal family went to Zaragoza to convene the courts of Aragon for the same purpose.
Although female succession was permitted in Castile, Ferdinand IIs kingdom of Aragon hesitated to accept a woman as their future ruler, if she were to give birth to a son, the child could inherit everything, something much preferred to female rule
Afonso V of Portugal
Afonso V KG, called the African, was King of Portugal and the Algarves. His sobriquet refers to his conquests in Northern Africa, as of 1471, Afonso V was the first king of Portugal to claim dominion over a plural Kingdom of the Algarves, instead of the singular Kingdom of the Algarve. Territories added to the Portuguese crown lands in North Africa during the 15th century came to be referred to as possessions of the Kingdom of the Algarve, the Algarves were considered to be the southern Portuguese territories on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar. Afonso was born in Sintra, the eldest son of King Edward of Portugal by his wife Eleanor of Aragon, Afonso V was only six years old when he succeeded his father in 1438. During his minority, Afonso V was placed under the regency of his mother in accordance with a will of his late father, as both a foreigner and a woman, the queen was not a popular choice for regent. Opposition rose and without any important ally among the Portuguese aristocracy other than Afonso, Count of Barcelos, the half brother of King Edward.
In 1439, the Portuguese Cortes decided to replace the queen with Peter, Duke of Coimbra, peters main policies were concerned with restricting the political power of the great noble houses and expanding the powers of the crown. The country prospered under his rule, but not peacefully, as his laws interfered with the ambition of powerful nobles, the count of Barcelos, a personal enemy of the Duke of Coimbra eventually became the kings favourite uncle and began a constant struggle for power. In 1442, the king made Afonso the first Duke of Braganza, with this title and its lands, he became the most powerful man in Portugal and one of the richest men in Europe. To secure his position as regent, Peter had Afonso marry his daughter, Isabella of Coimbra, but on 9 June 1448, when the king came of age, Peter had to surrender his power to Afonso V. The years of conspiracy by the Duke of Braganza finally came to a head, on 15 September of the same year, Afonso V nullified all the laws and edicts approved under the regency.
In the following year, led by what were discovered to be false accusations, Afonso declared Peter a rebel and defeated his army in the Battle of Alfarrobeira. After this battle and the loss of one of Portugals most remarkable infantes, Afonso V turned his attentions to North Africa. In the reign of his grandfather John I, Ceuta had been conquered from the king of Morocco, the kings army conquered Alcácer Ceguer in 1458 and Arzila in 1471. Tangiers, on the hand, was won and lost several times between 1460 and 1464. These achievements granted the king the nickname of the African or Africano, the king supported the exploration of the Atlantic Ocean led by prince Henry the Navigator but after Henrys death in 1460, he did nothing to continue Henrys work. Administratively, Afonso V was a passive king and he chose not to pursue the revision of laws or development of commerce, preferring instead to preserve the legacy of his father Edward and grandfather John I. In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued the papal bull Dum Diversas and this was reaffirmed and extended in the Romanus Pontifex bull of 1455
Ferdinand I of Aragon
He was regent of Castile. Born at Medina del Campo, he was the son of King John I of Castile. In this capacity he distinguished himself by his prudent administration of domestic affairs, in a war with the Muslim Kingdom of Granada, he conquered the town of Antequera, whence his surname. After Ferdinands maternal uncle, King Martin I of Aragon, died without surviving legitimate issue, the other candidate, Count James II of Urgell and Ferdinand dissolved the County of Urgell in 1413. Ferdinand created the title of Prince of Girona for the heir of the Crown of Aragon on 19 February 1416 and he is buried in the Aragonese royal pantheon of the monastery of Poblet, in a magnificent tomb ordered by his son Alfonso to Pere Oller in 1417. The Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla wrote a biography of Ferdinand. In 1393 Ferdinand married Eleanor of Alburquerque, very patient to all who wanted to talk to him, even if their speeches were ordinary or not well-reasoned. Crown of Aragon J. N Hillgarth, The Spanish Kingdoms, ISBN 0-19-822531-8 T. N.
Bisson, The Medieval Crown of Aragon. ISBN 0-19-820236-9 Ferdinand I of Catalonia-Aragon in the Catalan Hyperencyclopaedia H. J. Chaytor, A History of Aragon and Catalonia, la Monarquía Hispánica, Fernando I el de Antequera Article of Francesca Español Bertran on his tomb in Poblet
John I of Castile
John I was King of the Crown of Castile from 1379 until 1390. He was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile and he was the last monarch of Castile to receive a formal coronation. His first marriage, to Eleanor of Aragon on 18 June 1375, produced his only issue, Henry. Ferdinand, became King of Aragon in 1412, in 1379, John I formed the short lived military order of the Order of the Pigeon, known for its large feasts which included eating the organizations namesake, the pigeon. On the death of his father-in-law, John endeavoured to enforce the claims of his wife, Ferdinands only child, the 1383-1385 Crisis, a period of civil unrest and anarchy in Portugal, followed. He was resisted by supporters of his rival for the throne, John I of Portugal, and was utterly defeated at the battle of Aljubarrota, on 14 August 1385. He had to contend with the hostility of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, who claimed the crown of Castile by right of his wife Constance, at the beginning of 1383, the political situation in Portugal was volatile.
Beatrice was the child of King Ferdinand I of Portugal. Her marriage was the issue of the day, and inside the palace. Ferdinand arranged and canceled his daughters wedding several times before settling for his wifes first choice, John had lost his wife, Infanta Eleanor of Aragon the year before, and was happy to wed the Portuguese heiress. The wedding took place on 17 May at the Cathedral of Badajoz, Beatrice was only ten years old. King Ferdinand died soon thereafter, on 22 October 1383, according to the treaty between Castile and Portugal, the Queen Mother, Leonor Telles de Menezes, declared herself Regent in the name of her daughter and son-in-law. This was ordered first in Lisbon, Santarém and other important places, the national rebellion led by the Master of the Order of Aviz, the future John I, began immediately, leading to the 1383-1385 Crisis. King John of Castile invaded Portugal in the end of December 1383, the consequent war was effectively ended in 1385, with the defeat of Castile in the Battle of Aljubarrota on 14 August.
In the aftermath of battle, John of Aviz became the uncontested King of Portugal. John of Castile and Beatrice no longer had a claim to the throne of Portugal. King Ferdinand I of Portugal had died on 22 October 1383 and his widow, Leonor Telles de Menezes, under the Treaty of Salvaterra de Magos and by the previous testament of the deceased king, declared herself Regent in the name of her daughter and son-in-law. The news of the death of Ferdinand came to John I and Beatrice in Torrijos, the Master of Aviz wrote John, urging him to seize the Portuguese crown by right of his wife, and the Master himself would assume the regency
Francisco Pradilla Ortiz
Francisco Pradilla Ortiz was a prolific Spanish painter famous for creating historical scenes. In 1873, he one of the first students chosen to study at the new Spanish Academy in Rome. From there he had opportunities to travel to France and Venice, in 1878 he submitted his painting Doña Joanna the Mad or to the National Exhibition in Spain and was awarded the Medal of Honor. The Spanish Senate commissioned him to create La Rendición de Granada that took him three years to complete, in 1881 he became the Director of the Spanish Arts Academy in Rome, but resigned from this post after two years. He traveled, mostly in Italy, portraying local themes and people, in 1897 he returned to Madrid as the director of the Museo del Prado. He held this position only briefly and focused again on painting and his total output is well over 1,000 paintings showing his interest in a variety of subjects and styles, often without regard of the current fashion. Much more common, are costumbristas—often romanticized studies that show local customs or manners—and landscapes that are often sketchy, financial duress after the bankruptcy of his bank may have imposed a special need to be productive
Joanna la Beltraneja
Joanna la Beltraneja was a claimant to the throne of Castile, and queen of Portugal as the wife of King Afonso V, her uncle. Henry IV of Castile married Joan of Portugal, the youngest sister of King Afonso V of Portugal, seven years later, a daughter, was born. Henry had previously married to Blanche of Navarre. After thirteen years, that marriage was annulled on the grounds that it had never been consummated and this was attributed to a curse, which only affected the kings relationship with his wife, a number of prostitutes from Segovia testified that they had noticed no impairment. The king had no children and was rumoured to be impotent. Whether true or not, it was circulated by Henrys opponents that the little infanta was the child of Beltrán de la Cueva. They called her la Beltraneja, a reference to her supposed illegitimacy. Her mother was banished to Bishop Fonsecas castle where she fell in love with Fonsecas nephew, on 9 May 1462, Joanna was officially proclaimed heir to the throne of Castile and created Princess of Asturias.
Henry had the nobles of Castile swear allegiance to her and promise that they would support her as monarch, many of the more prominent nobles, seeking to increase their own power, refused to recognize Joanna, preferring that Henry name as heir his younger half-brother, Infante Alfonso. Armed conflict broke out and in 1464 the league of nobles forced Henry to repudiate Joanna, Alfonso became Prince of Asturias, a title traditionally held by the heir apparent. Henry agreed to compromise with the stipulation that Infante Alfonso would marry Joanna. But in 1468, Infante Alfonso died, and Joannas parents separated and this resulted to her displacement in the succession. Her half-aunt, Infanta Isabella, was placed before her in the succession, Joanna was held in custody by the Mendoza family in 1465–1470, and by Juan Pacheco in 1470–1475. There were many negotiations for a marriage to someone who could defend her succession, on 26 October 1470, she was engaged and married by proxy to Charles, Duke of Guienne, brother of Louis XI of France, and again proclaimed as legitimate heir to the throne.
When Henry died in 1474, she was recognized as Queen by some noble factions and this began the four-year War of the Castilian Succession. On 10 May 1475 Afonso V of Portugal invaded Castile and married Joanna in Plasencia,15 days later and Afonso held court at Toro, and she was considered a promising ruler by her courtiers, though too young. Joanna sent a letter to the cities of Castile, expounding the wish of her father that she should rule, Joanna found fewer supporters than expected. Isabella Is husband Ferdinand led her forces against the Juanista army, Afonso V was beaten by the left and center of Ferdinand’s army, and fled from the battlefield
Joanna of Castile
Joanna of Castile, called the Mad, was queen of Castile from 1504 and of Aragon from 1516. From the union of two crowns modern Spain evolved. Joanna married Philip the Handsome on 20 October 1496, Philip was crowned King of Castile in 1506, initiating the rule of the Habsburgs in Spain. After Philips death that year, Joanna was deemed mentally ill and was confined to a nunnery for the rest of her life. Though she remained the legal queen of Castile throughout this time, her father, Ferdinand II of Aragon, was regent until his death, from 1517, her son, ruled as king, while she nominally remained co-monarch. Joanna was born in the city of Toledo, the capital of the Kingdom of Castile and she was the third child and second daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon of the royal House of Trastámara. Joanna was a clever and diligent child and an excellent student, Queen Isabella ensured that Joanna, along with her three sisters Isabella and Catherine, received a fine education.
Her academic education consisted of canon and civil law and heraldry, history, mathematics, reading and writing. In the Castilian court her main tutors were the Dominican priest Andrés de Miranda, the respected educator Beatriz Galindo who was a member of the queens court, and her mother the queen. Joanna developed feminine accomplishments in court etiquette, drawing, equestrian skills, good manners and the arts of embroidery, needlepoint. She excelled in all of the Iberian Romance languages, Leonese, Galician-Portuguese, Joanna was given instruction in religious studies and she learned outdoor pursuits such as hawking and hunting. Praise was given to her for being a dancer and a talented musician, she played the clavichord, the guitar. As an infanta she was not expected to be heiress to the throne of either Castile or Aragon and she had a fair complexion, blue eyes and her hair colour was between strawberry-blonde and auburn, like her mother and sister Catherine. Already in 1495 Joanna showed signs of religious skepticism and little devotion to worship and this alarmed her mother, who ordered it to be kept secret.
English ambassadors at Valencia on 23 June 1505 attempted to give a description of her appearance according to fifteen criteria. In 1496, Joanna, at the age of sixteen, was betrothed to Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy, Philips parents were Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and his first wife, Duchess Mary of Burgundy. The marriage was one of a set of alliances between the Habsburgs and the Trastámaras designed to strengthen both against growing French power. Joanna entered a marriage at the Palacio de los Vivero in the city of Valladolid
Charles VIII of France
Charles VIII, called the Affable, French, lAffable, was a monarch of the House of Valois who ruled as King of France from 1483 to his death in 1498. He succeeded his father Louis XI at the age of 13 and his elder sister Anne of France acted as regent jointly with her husband Peter II, Duke of Bourbon until 1491 when the young king turned 21 years of age. During Annes regency, the great lords rebelled against royal centralisation efforts in a known as the Mad War. Preoccupied by the succession in the Kingdom of Hungary, Maximilian failed to press his claim. Upon his marriage, Charles became administrator of Brittany and established a union that enabled France to avoid total encirclement by Habsburg territories. The coalition formed against the French invasion of 1494-98 finally drove out Charles army, Charles died in 1498 after accidentally striking his head on the lintel of a door. Since he had no heir, he was succeeded by his cousin Louis XII of France from the Orléans cadet branch of the House of Valois.
Charles was born at the Château dAmboise in France, the surviving son of King Louis XI by his second wife Charlotte of Savoy. Charles succeeded to the throne on 30 August 1483 at the age of 13 and he was regarded by his contemporaries as possessing a pleasant disposition, but as foolish and unsuited for the business of the state. She would rule as regent, together with her husband Peter of Bourbon, Charles was betrothed on 22 July 1483 to the 3-year-old Margaret of Austria, daughter of the Archduke Maximilian of Austria and Mary, Duchess of Burgundy. The marriage was arranged by Louis XI, and the Estates of the Low Countries as part of the 1482 Peace of Arras between France and the Duchy of Burgundy. Margaret brought the Counties of Artois and Burgundy to France as her dowry, in 1488, Francis II, Duke of Brittany, died in a riding accident, leaving his 11-year-old daughter Anne as his heiress. The Regent Anne of France and her husband Peter refused to countenance such a marriage, since it would place Maximilian and his family, the Habsburgs, on two French borders.
The French army invaded Brittany, taking advantage of the preoccupation of Frederick III and his son with the succession to Mathias Corvinus. Anne of Brittany was forced to renounce Maximilian and agree to be married to Charles VIII instead, in December 1491, in an elaborate ceremony at the Château de Langeais and Anne of Brittany were married. The 14-year-old Duchess Anne, not happy with the arranged marriage, Charless marriage brought him independence from his relatives and thereafter he managed affairs according to his own inclinations. Queen Anne lived at the Clos Lucé in Amboise, there still remained the matter of Charles first betrothed, the young Margaret of Austria. Although the cancellation of her betrothal meant that she by rights should have returned to her family, Charles did not initially do so