John of Gaunt
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, KG was a member of the House of Plantagenet, the third of five surviving sons of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was called John of Gaunt because he was born in Ghent, when he became unpopular in life, scurrilous rumours and lampoons circulated that he was actually the son of a Ghent butcher, perhaps because Edward III was not present at the birth. This story always drove him to fury, due to some generous land grants, John was one of the richest men in his era. John of Gaunts legitimate male heirs, the Lancasters, include Kings Henry IV, Henry V and his other legitimate descendants include his daughters Queen Philippa of Portugal and Elizabeth, Duchess of Exeter, and Queen Catherine of Castile. John fathered five children outside marriage, one early in life by a lady-in-waiting to his mother, the children of Katherine Swynford, surnamed Beaufort, were legitimised by royal and papal decrees after John and Katherine married in 1396.
Through his daughter Philippa, he was grandfather of King Edward of Portugal, through John II of Castiles great-granddaughter Joanna the Mad, John of Gaunt is an ancestor of the Habsburg rulers who would reign in Spain and much of central Europe. When John of Gaunt died in 1399, his estates and titles were declared forfeit to the crown, since King Richard II had named Henry a traitor, Henry Bolingbroke returned from exile to reclaim his inheritance and depose Richard. Bolingbroke reigned as King Henry IV of England, the first of the descendants of John of Gaunt to hold the throne of England, John was the fourth son of King Edward III of England. His first wife, Blanche of Lancaster, was his third cousin and they married in 1359 at Reading Abbey as a part of the efforts of Edward III to arrange matches for his sons with wealthy heiresses. He became the 14th Baron of Halton and 11th Lord of Bowland, John inherited the rest of the Lancaster property when Blanches sister Maud, Countess of Leicester, died without issue on 10 April 1362.
John received the title Duke of Lancaster from his father on 13 November 1362, by well established, he owned at least thirty castles and estates across England and France and maintained a household comparable in scale and organisation to that of a monarch. He owned land in almost every county in England, a patrimony that produced a net income of between £8,000 and £10,000 a year, Johns ascendancy to political power coincided with widespread resentment of his influence. Although he fought in the Battle of Nájera, for example, when Edward III died in 1377 and Johns ten-year-old nephew succeeded as Richard II of England, Johns influence strengthened. However, mistrust remained, and some suspected him of wanting to seize the throne himself, John took pains to ensure that he never became associated with the opposition to Richards kingship. As de facto ruler during Richards minority, he made unwise decisions on taxation that led to the Peasants Revolt in 1381, when the rebels destroyed his home in London, the Savoy Palace.
Unlike some of Richards unpopular advisors, John was away from London at the time of the uprising and thus avoided the direct wrath of the rebels. In 1386 John left England to seek the throne of Castile, claimed in Jure uxoris by right of his wife, Constance of Castile. However, crisis ensued almost immediately in his absence, and in 1387 King Richards misrule brought England to the brink of civil war
Diego de Deza was a theologian and inquisitor of Spain. He was one of the notable figures in the Spanish Inquisition. Deza was born in Toro and entered the Dominican Order at a young age. He held a number of posts, and tutored Prince Juan de Aragón y Castilla, known as John, Prince of Asturias. He was fundamental in granting navigator Christopher Columbus access to Queen Isabella, after first serving as Bishop of Zamora, Bishop of Salamanca, Bishop of Jaén, and Bishop of Palencia, he became Archbishop of Seville in 1505. Deza was commissioned as Grand Inquisitor for Castile, León, on 1 September of the following year, his authority was expanded to cover the whole of Spain. Deza was the successor to Tomás de Torquemada, perhaps the most famous of all inquisitors, like Torquemada, Deza had a particular dislike of conversos — Jews or Muslims who had converted to Christianity but who were often accused of secretly retaining their original faith. It is reported shortly after his arrival to Palencia, he managed, on 25 April 1500.
As the 25 April was Saint Marcus day according to the calendar and he was commissioned as Archbishop of Seville on 30 October 1504. Arriving in Seville in October 1505, just one year after his appointment, with the help of Martín de Ullate, numerous Sevillian Muslims and Jews were thus converted no than the end of 1505. He held the inquisitorial enquiries on the new Archbishopric of Granada, like Torquemada, Deza was accused of being overzealous in his work, and of showing excessive cruelty – his reputation was sufficient that in 1507, the Pope was forced to publicly request moderation. Accusations were made that Deza used his position to enrich himself, Deza himself was accused of secretly practicing Judaism, a charge mainly based on the fact that he himself had Jewish blood on his mothers side. The accusation was probably political, but nevertheless damaged his standing somewhat and his position was further undermined by several open insurrections against the Inquisition, particularly against his chief lieutenant Diego Rodriguez Lucero.
Lucero intensely disliked the false converted, and in 1500 handled papers sent to Pope Julius II on the Archbishop of Granadas Jewish ancestry, Pope Julius II seems to have brought some common sense to Deza and Luceros researches choosing to ignore them. After King Ferdinand II of Aragon remarried, he decided that Deza had become a liability, hernando de Talavera would die in 1507 without knowing the whereabouts of his process in Rome. It is likely that Diego de Deza could have returned to his office, because it is known that he was named Archbishop of Toledo. His tomb in his College of Santo Tomas was opened by Napoleonic troops in 1810 with the aim of stealing his rings and she thought it would be useful to set up a bath to look after her beauty
Sancho Alfonso, 1st Count of Alburquerque
Sancho Alfonso de Castilla is known in Spanish as Don Sancho Alfonso de Castilla, Infante de Castilla, I conde de Alburquerque. He was the ninth of the ten children of King Alfonso XI of Castile. He participated in a revolt of the Castilian nobles against the rule of his brother. In 1373 he married Beatrice of Portugal, daughter of Peter I of Portugal and they had two children, Fernando Sánchez, 2nd Count of Alburquerque, and Eleanor of Alburquerque, who married Ferdinand I of Aragon. He had a daughter, Leonor Sánchez de Castilla. Francisco de Moxó y de Montoliu, Estudios sobre las relaciones entre Aragón y Castilla,1997, ISBN 84-7820-387-7
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II, called the Catholic, was King of Sicily from 1468 and King of Aragon from 1479 until his death. As a consequence of his marriage to Isabella I, he was King of Castile as Ferdinand V from 1474 until her death in 1504 and he was recognised as regent of Castile for his daughter and heir, from 1508 until his own death. In 1504, after a war with France, he became King of Naples as Ferdinand III, reuniting Naples with Sicily permanently, in 1512, he became King of Navarre by conquest. Ferdinand is today best known for his role in inaugurating the discovery of the New World, since he and that year he fought the final war with Granada which expunged the last Islamic state on Iberian soil, thus bringing to a close the centuries-long Reconquista. At his death he was succeeded by Joanna, who co-ruled with her son, Charles V, Ferdinand was born in Sada Palace, Sos del Rey Católico, Kingdom of Aragon, as the son of John II of Aragon by his second wife, Juana Enríquez. He married Infanta Isabella, the half-sister and heiress of Henry IV of Castile, on 19 October 1469 in Valladolid, Kingdom of Castile, Isabella belonged to the royal House of Trastámara, and the two were cousins by descent from John I of Castile.
They were married with a prenuptial agreement on sharing power. He became jure uxoris King of Castile when Isabella succeeded her brother in 1474 to be crowned as Queen Isabella I of Castile. The two young monarchs were initially obliged to fight a war against Joan of Castile, the purported daughter of Henry IV. When Ferdinand succeeded his father as King of Aragon in 1479, the Crown of Castile, for the first time since the 8th century, this union created a single political unit referred to as España, the root of which is the ancient name Hispania. The various states were not formally administered as a single unit, the completion of the Reconquista was not the only significant act performed by Ferdinand and Isabella in that year. That document was signed with the defeated Moorish Emir of Granada Muhammad XII and it allowed Mudéjar Moors and converso Marrano Jews to stay, while expelling all unconverted Jews from Castile and Aragon. 1492 was the year in which the monarchs commissioned Christopher Columbus to find a maritime route for access to Asia.
In 1494 the Treaty of Tordesillas divided the world beyond Europe between Portugal and Castile for conquest and dominion purposes – by a north–south line drawn down the Atlantic Ocean. Ferdinand violated the 1492 Alhambra Decree peace treaty in 1502 by dismissing the clearly guaranteed religious freedom for Mudéjar Muslims, Ferdinand forced all Muslims in Castile and Aragon to convert, converso Moriscos, to Catholicism, or else be expelled. Some of the Muslims who remained were mudéjar artisans, who could design and this was practised by the Spanish inquisitors on the converso Marrano Jewish population of Spain. The main architect behind the Spanish Inquisition was King Ferdinand II, Ferdinand destroyed over ten thousand Arabic manuscripts in Granada alone, burning them. The latter part of Ferdinands life was taken up with disputes with successive Kings of France over control of Italy
Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and it is south of both the U. S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti, and north of Jamaica. Havana is the largest city and capital, other cities include Santiago de Cuba. Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean, with an area of 109,884 square kilometres, prior to Spanish colonization in the late 15th century, Cuba was inhabited by Amerindian tribes. It remained a colony of Spain until the Spanish–American War of 1898, as a fragile republic, Cuba attempted to strengthen its democratic system, but mounting political radicalization and social strife culminated in the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1952. Further unrest and instability led to Batistas ousting in January 1959 by the July 26 Movement, since 1965, the state has been governed by the Communist Party of Cuba.
A point of contention during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, a nuclear war broke out during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Culturally, Cuba is considered part of Latin America, Cuba is a Marxist–Leninist one-party republic, where the role of the vanguard Communist Party is enshrined in the Constitution. Independent observers have accused the Cuban government of human rights abuses. It is one of the worlds last planned economies and its economy is dominated by the exports of sugar, coffee, according to the Human Development Index, Cuba is described as a country with high human development and is ranked the eighth highest in North America. It ranks highly in some metrics of national performance, including health care, the name Cuba comes from the Taíno language. The exact meaning of the name is unclear but it may be translated either as where fertile land is abundant, authors who believe that Christopher Columbus was Portuguese state that Cuba was named by Columbus for the town of Cuba in the district of Beja in Portugal.
Before the arrival of the Spanish, Cuba was inhabited by three distinct tribes of indigenous peoples of the Americas, the Taíno, the Guanajatabey, and the Ciboney people. The ancestors of the Ciboney migrated from the mainland of South America, the Taíno arrived from Hispanola sometime in the 3rd century A. D. When Columbus arrived they were the dominant culture in Cuba, having a population of 150,000. The name Cuba comes from the native Taíno language and it is derived from either coabana meaning great place, or from cubao meaning where fertile land is abundant. The Taíno were farmers, while the Ciboney were farmers as well as fishers and hunter-gatherers, Columbus claimed the island for the new Kingdom of Spain and named it Isla Juana after Juan, Prince of Asturias. In 1511, the first Spanish settlement was founded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar at Baracoa, other towns soon followed, including San Cristobal de la Habana, founded in 1515, which became the capital
Henry III of Castile
Henry III of Castile, called the Mourner, was the son of John I and Eleanor of Aragon. He succeeded his father as King of Castile in 1390, Henry was born in Burgos, the capital of Castile. He was the child of the recently crowned king John I of Castile. His younger brother Ferdinand grew up to king of Aragon. His upbringing was entrusted to Inés Lasso de la Vega, the wife of John Niño, as a child he was educated by Diego de Anaya Maldonado, Bishop of Tui-Vigo, who became Archbishop of Seville. His tutor was Juan Hurtado de Mendoza el Limpio and his confessor was the Dominican Alonso de Cusanza, shortly after his birth, he was promised to be married to Beatrice of Portugal, the heir to the Portuguese throne. This was part of a treaty between Castile and Portugal, who had signed a truce after the Ferdinand Wars. But this marriage did not happen, Beatrice married his father, who would instigate a war of succession with John of Aviz. In 1388, as part of the Treaty of Bayonne, he married Catherine of Lancaster in Palencia Cathedral and she was the daughter of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, and Constance of Castile, a daughter of Peter the Cruel.
This solved the conflict that had raged since the death of Peter the Cruel, secured the House of Trastámara. At the time of his wedding, he received the title Prince of Asturias with the approval of the court of Briviesca and this title designated him as the heir apparent. He was the first person to hold this title, with earlier heirs to the throne being known as infantes mayores, in 1390, his father considered abdicating in his favour to gain the recognition of the Portuguese, but he was dissuaded from this plan by his council. They were against it because of the damage caused to the kingdom by earlier similar decisions, however, in October of the same year, King John died in Alcalá de Henares by falling off his horse, and Henry was proclaimed king. He assumed power on 2 August 1393, at the age of 13, despite his nickname, he engaged in a vigorous foreign policy and manoeuvres during the first few years of the 15th century. He was able to pacify the nobility and restore royal power and he was supported by the aristocracy and displaced their most powerful relatives.
He repealed privileges granted by his predecessors at the Court of Castile, such as the alcabala and he increased the number of city magistrates and cleaned up the kingdoms economy. He reduced persecution of the Jews and passed various bills against the violence, during his reign, the Castilian fleet won several victories against the English, Henry sent a naval fleet in 1400 that destroyed Tétouan in North Africa, a pirate base. In 1402, Henry began the colonisation of the Canary Islands and he deflected a Portuguese invasion with an attack on Badajoz in 1396, finally signing a peace treaty with John I of Portugal on 15 August 1402
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
University of Salamanca
The University of Salamanca is a Spanish higher education institution, located in the town of Salamanca, west of Madrid, in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It was founded in 1134 and given the Royal charter of foundation by King Alfonso IX in 1218 and it is the oldest founded university in Spain and the third oldest university in the world in continuous operations. The formal title of University was granted by King Alfonso X in 1254 and its origin, like all older universities, was a Cathedral School, whose existence can be traced back to 1130. The university was founded in 1134 and recognized as a General School of the Kingdom by the Leonese King Alfonso IX in 1218, granted Royal Chart by King Alfonso X, dated 8 May 1254, as the University of Salamanca this established the rules for organization and financial endowment. On the basis of a bull by Alexander IV in 1255, which confirmed the Royal Charter of Alfonso X. The historical phrases Quod natura non dat, Salmantica non praestat, in the reign of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, the Spanish government was revamped.
Contemporary with the Spanish Inquisition, the expulsion of the Jews and Muslims, and this involved the massive employment of letrados, i. e. bureaucrats and lawyers, who were licenciados, particularly, of Salamanca, and the newly founded University of Alcalá. While Columbus was lobbying the King and Queen for a contract to seek out a route to the Indies. In the next century, the morality of colonization in the Indies was debated by the School of Salamanca, along with questions of economics, philosophy, by the end of the Spanish Golden Age, the quality of academics in Spanish universities declined. The frequency of the awarding of degrees dropped, the range of studies shrank, the centuries-old European wide prestige of Salamanca declined. Like Oxford and Cambridge, Salamanca had a number of colleges and these were founded as charitable institutions to enable poor scholars to attend the University. By the eighteenth century they had become closed corporations controlled by the families of their founders, most were destroyed by Napoleons troops.
Today some have turned into faculty buildings while others survive as halls of residence. In the 19th century, the Spanish government dissolved the universitys faculties of canon law and they were reestablished in the 1940s as part of the Pontifical University of Salamanca. The faculty of this university discussed the feasibility of Christopher Columbuss project and it was the period when some of the brightest minds attended the university and it was known as the School of Salamanca. The schools members renovated theology, laid the foundation for law, international law, modern economic science. The schools mathematicians studied the reform, commissioned by Pope Gregory XIII. By 1580,6,500 new students had arrived at Salamanca each year, Salamanca draws undergraduate and graduate students from across Spain and the world, it is the top-ranked university in Spain based on the number of students coming from other regions
John II of Castile
John II of Castile was King of Castile and León from 1406 to 1454. John was the son of King Henry III and his wife and his mother was the granddaughter of King Peter, who was ousted by Henry IIIs grandfather, King Henry II. John succeeded his father on 25 December 1406, and united in his person the claims of both Peter and Henry II and his mother and his uncle, King Ferdinand I of Aragon, were co-regents during his minority. When Ferdinand died in 1416, his mother governed alone until her death in 1418, John IIs reign, lasting 49 years, was one of the longest in Castilian history, but John himself was not a particularly capable monarch. He spent his time verse-making and holding tournaments and his favourite, Álvaro de Luna, heavily influenced him until his second wife, Isabella of Portugal, obtained control of his feeble will. At her instigation, he dismissed his faithful and able servant, John IIs Regents declared the Valladolid laws in 1411, which restricted the social activity of Jews. Among the most notable of the provisions were outlining that Jews must wear distinctive clothes, in 1431 John placed Yusuf IV on the throne as the Sultan of Granada in the Moorish Emirate of Granada, in exchange for tribute and vassal status to Castile.
This exchange is depicted in the ballad the Romance of Abenamar. He was all and handsome, fair-skinned and slightly ruddy and his hair was the color of a very mature hazelnut, the nose a little snub, the eyes between green and blue. He had very graceful legs and feet and hands, John II died on 20 July 1454, at Valladolid. In 1418, John married Maria of Aragon, the oldest daughter of his paternal uncle, Ferdinand I of Aragon