| Queen of Navarre |
with John III
|Reign||7 January 1483 – 12 February 1517|
|Died||12 February 1517 48–49)(aged|
|Spouse||John III, King of Navarre|
|Father||Gaston, Prince of Viana|
|Mother||Magdalena of France|
Catherine (Basque : Katalina, Occitan : Catarina; 1468 – 12 February 1517), Queen of Navarre, reigned from 1483 until 1517. She was also Duchess of Gandia, Montblanc, and Peñafiel, Countess of Foix, Bigorre, and Ribagorza, and Viscountess of Béarn.
Catherine was the younger daughter of Gaston of Foix, Prince of Viana, and Magdalena of Valois, the sister of Louis XI of France. She was born & raised during the reign of her paternal great-grandfather, King John II, who was succeeded by her grandmother Eleanor in 1479. Their father having already died, the crown of Navarre devolved upon Catherine's brother Francis Phoebus upon their grandmother's death the same year.
In 1483 the death of Francis made Catherine queen under the regency of their mother. Her uncle John of Foix, appealing to the Salic Law alien to the Kingdom of Navarre, claimed the throne and ignited a civil war (1483–1492) that reignited the old conflict of the Beaumont-Agramont parties. In 1484, hard pressed by ambitions over the throne of Navarre, Magdalena of Valois decided to marry 15-year-old Catherine to John of Albret, hailing from a noble family in western Gascony. This marriage was favored by many of Catherine's Iberian subjects and would have given Catherine much needed support in her fight against her uncle's claim.
The wedding took place at the Notre Dâme Cathedral of Lescar in 1486, 75 but the coronation of the young couple in Pamplona was deferred until 1494, after a fleeting peace treaty with Louis of Beaumont, Count of Lerín, and Catherine's granduncle, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, was signed. However, the marriage did not garner the sympathy of the Navarrese Beaumont party, always preferring Isabella I of Castile's and Ferdinand II of Aragon's offer to marry Catherine to their son John, Prince of Asturias, and even the Agramont party split. Catherine's mother Magdalena died in 1495.:
In 1504, she made her will, confirming her son Henry's right to succeed her and expressing her wish to be buried at the Cathedral of Pamplona—ultimately both she and John were interred in Lescar. The political alliance between the houses of Valois and Foix ahead of an impending Spanish invasion led to marriage negotiations between Catherine and Louis XII in 1512. It was suggested that Henry should marry a daughter of the French king.
Ferdinand, who had allied with the Pope against France, presented a set of claims to the legitimate royal family of Navarre. Catherine did not accept the demands, and Ferdinand sent Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba, over to Pamplona, who occupied Pamplona on 25 July 1512. The Castilians went on to conquer St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (Donibane Garazi in Basque) after setting fire to Roncevaux, and wrought havoc across the merindad of Ultrapuertos (Lower Navarre). The Spanish troops would retain the southern half of that region intermittently for the next years. Catherine and John III, overwhelmed by the Castilian push, fled to Bearn, constituent part of their kingdom. They set their base in Pau, Orthez and Tarbes, where they alternately resided most of the time until their deaths. 75:
On 23 March 1513, the Cortes of Navarre reunited in Pamplona (Iruñea in Basque), greatly reduced to the pro-Spanish Beaumont party, and pledged allegiance to Ferdinand in exchange for his loyalty to the Navarrese laws. In 1515, Upper Navarre was annexed to the Crown of Castile as a different kingdom (aeque principalis), and it would be one constituent part of the Kingdom of the Spains, as Spain came to be known during the following period.
In 1516, two columns led by King John III and Pedro, Marshal of Navarre, crossed the Pyrenees south and attempted to reconquer Navarre but they failed to progress into the heartland of the kingdom. Devastated by the defeats undergone, John retreated to Monein, and died on 17 June 1516. Queen Catherine did not outlive her husband much longer, and died in her domain of Mont-de-Marsan on 12 February 1517, just a few months later. By then, she had given birth to 13 children (other sources point to 14).
From 1512 to her death in 1517, Catherine was actual queen only in some areas of Basse-Navarre, or Lower Navarre, north of the Pyrenees, but her domains extended to the contiguous Principality of Bearn and other lands.
She and John III of Navarre were parents to thirteen children:
Henry II, nicknamed Sangüesino because he was born at Sangüesa, was the King of Navarre from 1517, although his kingdom had been reduced to a small territory north of the Pyrenees by the Spanish conquest of 1512. Henry succeeded his mother, Queen Catherine, upon her death. His father was her husband and co-ruler, King John III, who died in 1516.
Lower Navarre is a traditional region of the present-day French département of Pyrénées-Atlantiques. It corresponds to the northernmost merindad of the Kingdom of Navarre during the Middle Ages. After the Spanish conquest of Iberian Navarre (1512–24), this merindad was restored to the rule of the native king, Henry II. Its capitals were Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Saint-Palais. In the extreme north there was the little sovereign Principality of Bidache, with an area of 1,284 km2 (496 sq mi) and a decreasing population of 44,450, 25,356.
The Kingdom of Navarre, originally the Kingdom of Pamplona, was a Basque kingdom that occupied lands on either side of the western Pyrenees, alongside the Atlantic Ocean between present-day Spain and France.
The County of Foix was an independent medieval fief in southern France, and later a province of France, whose territory corresponded roughly the eastern part of the modern département of Ariège.
John III was jure uxoris King of Navarre from 1484 until his death, as husband and co-ruler with Queen Catherine.
Blanche II, titular queen of Navarre, was the daughter of John II of Aragon and Blanche I of Navarre. She was also Princess of Asturias by marriage.
Francis Phoebus was King of Navarre (1479–1483), Viscount of Bearn, and Count of Foix (1472). He was the son of Gaston, Prince of Viana, and grandson of Queen Eleanor, whom he succeeded. She recommended him to ally with France.
Eleanor of Navarre, was the regent of Navarre from 1455 to 1479, then briefly the queen regnant of Navarre in 1479. She was crowned on 28 January 1479 in Tudela.
Madeleine of France, also called Magdalena of Valois, was a French princess, and regent of Navarre during the minority of her children, Francis I and Catherine I, who were successively monarchs of Navarre, from 1479 until 1517.
Gaston, Prince of Viana, also called Gaston de Foix, was the son of Gaston IV of Foix and Eleanor of Navarre, and was the heir of both. As a Prince of Navarre, he was called Prince of Viana.
Gaston IV was the sovereign Viscount of Béarn and the Count of Foix and Bigorre in France from 1436 to 1472. He also held the viscounties of Marsan, Castelbon, Nébouzan, Villemeur and Lautrec and was, by virtue of the county of Foix, co-prince of Andorra. From 1447 he was also Viscount of Narbonne. Through his marriage to Eleonor, heiress of the Kingdom of Navarre, he also held the title of Prince of Navarre.
The viscounts of Béarn were the rulers of the viscounty of Béarn, located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, in southwest France. Along with the three Basque provinces of Soule, Lower Navarre, and Labourd, as well as small parts of Gascony, it forms the current département of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (64).
John of Foix was a younger son of Count Gaston IV of Foix and Queen Eleanor of Navarre. His elder brother was Gaston, Prince of Viana.
The Viscounty, later Principality, of Béarn was a medieval lordship in the far south of France, part of the Duchy of Gascony from the late ninth century. In 1347 the viscount refused to acknowledge the suzerainty of the French king and declared Béarn an independent principality. It later entered a personal union with the Kingdom of Navarre in 1479 and with France in 1589. In 1620 the prince formally incorporated Béarn as a province of France.
The Spanish conquest of the Iberian part of Navarre was initiated by Ferdinand II of Aragon and completed by his grandson and successor Charles V in a series of military campaigns lasting from 1512 to 1524. Ferdinand was both the king of Aragon and regent of Castile in 1512. When Pope Julius II declared a Holy League against France in late 1511, Navarre attempted to remain neutral. Ferdinand used this as an excuse to attack Navarre, conquering it while its potential protector, France, was beset by England, Venice, and Ferdinand's own Italian armies.
Charlotte of Albret, Dame de Châlus, was a wealthy French noblewoman of the Albret family. She was the sister of King John III of Navarre and the wife of the widely notorious Cesare Borgia, whom she married in 1499. She was the mother of his only legitimate child, Louise Borgia, to whom she acted as regent following the death of Cesare.
Louis of Beaumont was a noble in the Kingdom of Navarre. He was the 2nd Count of Lerín in southern Navarre, Marquis of Huesca, and Constable (condestable) of Navarre.
Pedro de Navarra was a nobleman in Navarre and its highest military authority as Marshal of Navarre during the kingdom's last years of independence, as well as the following tumultuous period.
Catherine of NavarreBorn: 1468 Died: 1517
| Queen of Navarre |
Countess of Foix
with John III (1484-1516)