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|The First Castilian Civil War|
|Part of the Hundred Years War|
Battle of Nájera, from a fifteenth-century manuscript, the English and Pedro are on the left while the French and Henry are on the right.
OtherElite European mercenaries
| Forces of Henry of Trastámara |
Kingdom of France
Crown of Aragon
|Commanders and leaders|
| Peter of Castile † |
Edward, the Black Prince
| Henry of Trastámara |
Bertrand du Guesclin
The Castilian Civil War was a war of succession over the Crown of Castile that lasted from 1351 to 1369. The conflict started after the death of king Alfonso XI of Castile in March 1350. It became part of the larger conflict then raging between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France: the Hundred Years' War. It was fought primarily in Castile and its coastal waters between the local and allied forces of the reigning king, Peter, and his illegitimate brother Henry of Trastámara over the right to the crown.
Peter was called by his supporters "The Just" and by his detractors "The Cruel". To the higher ranks of the nobility, he was a tyrant, forcing the royal will on hitherto free men. He had greatly extended the royal authority and had entered into a war with the Crown of Aragon (called "The War of the Two Peters").
His illegitimate brother Henry quickly obtained the support of not only the upper noblesse, but France, Aragon, and the Papacy. In 1366, he officially deposed his brother as king of Castile, León, Toledo, and Seville and had himself proclaimed king in the monastery of Las Huelgas.
In 1366, Henry, then living in France, assembled a large army, with both French and Aragonese components, at Montpellier and invaded Castile with the support of the kings of France and Aragon (Charles V and Peter IV respectively). He successfully forced Peter to flee.
Peter fled to Bayonne, a city in English-held Gascony. There, he petitioned Edward, the Black Prince, for aid and, in exchange for lands in Castile, received it. With English troops led by the prince, he returned to Castile and reasserted his royal power in 1367, forcing Henry to return to France after the successful Battle of Nájera (Navarette). He refused, however, to make good on his dealings with the English and his allies, including the Prince of Wales himself, soon left. In 1368, Henry and Charles of France signed the Treaty of Toledo whereby the Castilians lent a fleet in the Bay of Biscay to the French in return for military aid on land.
Henry entered Galicia, took some towns and then took the city of León in April. After this, the whole province of Galicia took sides with Henry. He reentered Castile in 1369 and murdered Peter after the Battle of Campo de Montiel. He was acclaimed Henry II and immediately solidified his rule by removing Jews from high office. Castile became, at this time, a stern ally of the French in their ongoing wars.
Afonso V, known by the sobriquet the African, was a King of Portugal. His sobriquet refers to his military conquests in Northern Africa.
John of Gaunt was an English prince, military leader, and statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England who survived to adulthood. Due to his royal origin, advantageous marriages, and some generous land grants, Gaunt was one of the richest men of his era, and was an influential figure during the reigns of both his father, Edward, and his nephew, Richard II. As Duke of Lancaster, he is the founder of the royal House of Lancaster, whose members would ascend to the throne after his death. His birthplace, Ghent, corrupted into English as Gaunt, was the origin for his name. When he became unpopular later in life, a scurrilous rumour circulated, along with lampoons, claiming that he was actually the son of a Ghent butcher. This rumour, which infuriated him, may have been inspired by the fact that Edward III had not been present at his birth.
Ferdinand IV of Castile called the Summoned, was the king of Castile and León from 1295 until his death.
Peter, called the Cruel or the Just, was the king of Castile and León from 1350 to 1369. Peter was the last ruler of the main branch of the House of Ivrea.
Ferdinand I, sometimes called the Handsome or occasionally the Inconstant, was the King of Portugal from 1367 until his death in 1383. His death led to the 1383–85 crisis, also known as the Portuguese interregnum.
Henry II, called Henry of Trastámara or the Fratricidal, was the first King of Castile and León from the House of Trastámara. He became king in 1369 by defeating his half-brother, Peter the Cruel, after numerous rebellions and battles. As king he was involved in the Fernandine Wars and the Hundred Years' War.
The Kingdom of Castile was a large and powerful state on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region. It began in the 9th century as the County of Castile, an eastern frontier lordship of the Kingdom of León. During the 10th century, its counts increased their autonomy, but it was not until 1065 that it was separated from León and became a kingdom in its own right. Between 1072 and 1157, it was again united with León, and after 1230, this union became permanent. Throughout this period, the Castilian kings made extensive conquests in southern Iberia at the expense of the Islamic principalities. The Kingdoms of Castile and of León, with their southern acquisitions, came to be known collectively as the Crown of Castile, a term that also came to encompass overseas expansion.
In many ways, the history of Spain is marked by waves of conquerors who brought their distinct cultures to the peninsula. After the passage of the Vandals and Alans down the Mediterranean coast of Hispania from 408, the history of medieval Spain begins with the Iberian kingdom of the Arianist Visigoths (507–711), who were converted to Catholicism with their king Reccared in 587. Visigothic culture in Spain can be seen as a phenomenon of Late Antiquity as much as part of the Age of Migrations.
The Battle of Nájera, also known as the Battle of Navarrete, was fought on 3 April 1367 near Nájera, in the province of La Rioja, Castile. It was an episode of the first Castilian Civil War which confronted King Peter of Castile with his half-brother Count Henry of Trastámara who aspired to the throne; the war involved Castile in the Hundred Years' War. Castilian naval power, far superior to that of France or England, encouraged the two polities to take sides in the civil war, to gain control over the Castilian fleet.
The Battle of Montiel was a battle fought on 14 March 1369 between the Franco-Castilian forces supporting Henry of Trastámara and the Grenadian-Castilian forces supporting the reigning Peter of Castile.
The Kingdom of Galicia was a political entity located in southwestern Europe, which at its territorial zenith occupied the entire northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded by the Suebic king Hermeric in 409, with its capital established in Braga. It was the first kingdom which adopted Catholicism officially. In 449 it minted its own currency. In 585, it became a part of the Visigothic Kingdom. In the 8th century, Galicia became a part of the newly founded Christian Kingdom of Asturias, which later became the Kingdom of León, while occasionally achieving independence under the authority of its own kings. Compostela became capital of Galicia in the 11th century, while the independence of Portugal (1128) determined its southern boundary. The accession of Castilian King Ferdinand III to the Leonese kingdom in 1230 brought Galicia under the control of the Crown of Castile.
The House of Trastámara was a dynasty of kings in Spain and in Italy, which first governed in Castile beginning in 1369 before expanding its rule into Aragon, Navarre, Naples and Sicily. They were an illegitimate cadet line of the House of Ivrea.
The Crown of Castile was a medieval polity in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and, some decades later, the parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then Castilian king, Ferdinand III, to the vacant Leonese throne. It continued to exist as a separate entity after the personal union in 1469 of the crowns of Castile and Aragon with the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs up to the promulgation of the Nueva Planta decrees by Philip V in 1715.
The Anscarids or the House of Ivrea were a medieval Frankish dynasty of Burgundian origin which rose to prominence in Italy in the tenth century, even briefly holding the Italian throne. The main branch ruled the County of Burgundy from the eleventh to fourteenth centuries and it was one of their members who first declared himself a count palatine. The cadet Castilian branch of Ivrea ruled the Kingdom of Galicia from 1111 and the Kingdoms of Castile and León from 1126 until 1369. The House of Trastámara, which ruled in Castile, Aragon, Naples, and Navarre at various points between the late 14th and early 16th centuries, was an illegitimate cadet branch of that family.
The War of the Two Peters was fought from 1356 to 1375 between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. Its name refers to the rulers of the countries, Peter of Castile and Peter IV of Aragon. One historian has written that "all of the centuries-old lessons of border fighting were used as two evenly matched opponents dueled across frontiers that could change hands with lightning speed."
Coming to power in 1369, the House of Trastámara was a lineage of rulers of the Castilian and Aragonese thrones. The line of Trastámaran royalty in Castile ruled throughout a time period of military struggle with Aragon. Their family was sustained with large amounts of inbreeding, which led to a series of disputed struggles over rightful claims to the Castilian throne. This lineage ultimately ruled in Castile from the rise to power of Henry II in 1369 through the unification of the crowns under Ferdinand and Isabella.
Diego García de Padilla was a Spanish nobleman who became Master of the Order of Calatrava. His sister María de Padilla was the mistress of King Peter of Castile, the Cruel. Padilla fought for Peter of Castile in the wars against Aragon and Granada. In the Castilian Civil War (1366–69) he went over to the side of Henry of Trastámara.
The kingdom of Portugal was established from the county of Portugal in the 1130s, ruled by the Portuguese House of Burgundy. During most of the 12th and 13th centuries, its history is chiefly that of the gradual reconquest of territory from the various Muslim principalities (taifas) of the period.
The Castilian House of Burgundy is a cadet branch of the House of Ivrea descended from Raymond of Burgundy. Raymond married Urraca, the eldest legitimate daughter of Alfonso VI of León and Castile of the House of Jiménez. Two years after Raymond's death, Urraca succeeded her father and became queen of Castile and Leon; Urraca's and Raymond's offspring in the legitimate line ruled the kingdom from 1126 until the death of Peter of Castile in 1369, while their descendants in an illegitimate line, the House of Trastámara, would rule Castile and Aragón until the 16th century.