Depiction of Henry by Jaime Serra (c. 1375)
|King of Castile and León|
|Reign||13 March 1366 – 3 April 1367|
|Coronation||29 March 1366, Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas|
|Reign||23 March 1369 – 29 May 1379|
|Born||13 January 1334|
|Died||29 May 1379 45) (aged|
Santo Domingo de la Calzada
| John I |
Eleanor, Queen of Navarre
|Father||Alfonso XI of Castile|
|Mother||Eleanor de Guzmán|
Henry II (13 January 1334 – 29 May 1379), called Henry of Trastámara or the Fratricidal (el Fratricida), 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.
Henry was the fourth of ten illegitimate children of King Alfonso XI of Castile and Eleanor de Guzmán, a great-granddaughter of Alfonso IX of León. He was born a twin to Fadrique Alfonso, Lord of Haro, and was the first boy born to the couple that survived to adulthood.
At birth, he was adopted by Rodrigo Álvarez de las Asturias. Rodrigo died the following year and Henry inherited his lordship of Noreña. His father later made him Count of Trastámara and lord over Lemos and Sarria in Galicia, and the towns of Cabrera and Ribera, which constituted a large and important heritage in the northeast of the peninsula. It made him the head of the new Trastámara dynasty, arising from the main branch of Burgundy-Ivrea.
While Alfonso XI lived, his lover Eleanor gave a great many titles and privileges to their sons. This caused discontent among many of the noblemen and in particular the queen, Maria of Portugal, and her son, Pedro, known as Pedro the Cruel and the Just.
They had a chance for revenge when Alfonso XI died unexpectedly from a fever in the siege of Gibraltar in March, 1350. They pushed Eleanor, her sons and their supporters aside, and Henry and his brothers fled and scattered. They were fearful of what their brother, the new king Pedro I of Castile, could do to them. The late king had not even been buried.
Although Eleanor and her sons reached an agreement with Pedro to live peacefully in his court, the situation remained unstable. Henry and his brothers Fadrique, Tello and Sancho staged numerous rebellions against the new king. Also, to strengthen his position and gain allies, Henry married Juana Manuel, the daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, adelantado mayor of Murcia and Lord of Villena, the most prosperous nobleman of the realm. In 1351, the King took counsel from Juan Alfonso de Alburquerque, María of Portugal's right-hand man. He became convinced that his father's lover was the instigator of the uprisings, so he ordered Eleanor to be incarcerated and finally executed in Talavera de la Reina.
After that, Henry fled to Portugal. He was pardoned by Pedro and returned to Castile, then revolted in Asturias in 1352. He reconciled with his brother, only to rebel against him again in a long, intermittent war, which ended with Henry's flight to France, where he entered the service of John II of France.
Shortly after, Henry and his men spent time in Peter IV of Aragon's army in their war against Castile (1358). During that conflict, he was defeated and held prisoner in Nájera (1360). He was liberated (with the help of Juan Ramírez de Arellano, among others) and exiled himself to France once more.
Then Peter IV of Aragon attacked Castile again. Henry agreed to help him on condition that he would lend his support to destroying his brother, Pedro of Castile. This became the Castilian Civil War. The attack combined Henry's Castillian allies, the Aragonese and the French (a company of Bertrand du Guesclin's mercenaries, expelled by Pedro, who had taken refuge in Guyenne). Henry was proclaimed king in Calahorra (1366).In return, he had to reward his allies with titles and riches for the help they had provided. This earned him the nickname el de las mercedes ("mercedes being Spanish for "mercies").
Pedro of Castile fled north to Bordeaux, the capital of the English dominions in France, where Edward, the Black Prince held court. Edward agreed to help Pedro recover his throne. Despite the fact that the army suffered so badly from dysentery that it is said that one out of every five Englishmen would not return home,on 3 April 1367 an Anglo-Gascon army, led by Edward and his younger brother, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, met the Castilian forces (supported by French mercenaries under Bertrand du Guesclin). Pedro then defeated Henry in the Battle of Nájera, but Henry escaped and returned to France under the protection of Charles V of France. King Pedro and Prince Edward parted ways over the funding of the expedition, and the Black Prince returned to Bordeaux, having contracted an illness on this expedition that would ail him until his death in 1376.
They reorganised their army at Peyrepertuse Castle. Then, with the help of many Castilian rebels and Bertrand du Guesclin's Frenchmen, they defeated Pedro at the Battle of Montiel on 14 March 1369.Henry killed "the Cruel King," now a prisoner, with his own hand. This definitively won him the Castilian throne and the name of Henry II.
Before being consolidated in his throne and being able to hand on power to his son John, Henry had to defeat Ferdinand I of Portugal. He embarked on the three Ferdinand Wars. Ferdinand's main ally in these wars was John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, the husband of Constance of Castile, Duchess of Lancaster, who was Pedro I's daughter. Henry was allied with Charles V of France. He put the Castilian navy at Charles' disposal and they played a key part in the siege of La Rochelle, and the Battle of La Rochelle where the admiral Ambrosio Boccanegra completely defeated the English side.
Henry recompensed his allies, but he still had to defend his interests in the kingdom of Castile and León. Consequently, he denied the King of Aragon the territories that he had promised him in the difficult times.
Henry then went to war against Portugal and England in the Hundred Years' War. For most of his reign he had to fight off the attempts of John of Gaunt, a son of Edward III of England, to claim the Castilian throne in right of his second wife, Pedro's daughter, Infanta Constance of Castile. In his domestic policy he started to rebuild the kingdom, sped up the transformation of the royal administration; and held numerous courts. He also permanently set up the Lordship of Biscay after the death of his brother Tello. In foreign policy, he favoured France over England.
Henry was as hostile to the Jews as Pedro had been friendly.In order to pay Bertrand du Guesclin's mercenaries, he imposed a war contribution of twenty thousand gold doubloons on the already heavily oppressed community of Toledo, and issued an order to take all the Jews of Toledo as prisoners, to give them neither food nor drink, and if they still refused to raise this enormous sum, to sell their property, both movable and immovable, at auction. Nonetheless, he was compelled, owing to his financial straits, to have recourse to Jewish financiers. He made Don Joseph Pichon his chief tax-collector ("contador major"), and appointed several Jews farmers of the taxes.
The demands of the Cortes in Toro (1369) and in Burgos (1374 and 1377) against the Jews harmonized perfectly with Henry's inclinations. He ordered the Jews to wear the humiliating badge, and forbade them to use Christian names. He further ordered that for short loans Christian debtors should repay only two-thirds of the principal. Shortly before his death Henry declared that Jews should no longer be permitted to hold public office.
Henry was potentially the first ruler since the Visigothic King Ergica to implement anti-Jewish policies in the Iberian Peninsula.[ citation needed ]
He died on 29 May 1379 in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. His son John I of Castile succeeded him on the throne.
After Henry's death, his body was transported to Burgos, then to Valladolid, then finally to Toledo where he was buried in Capilla de los Reyes Nuevos de ToledoHis remains are still there today. His grave is in the choir stalls at one side of the church and it is in the Plateresque style. The box is adorned with the shields of Castille and León, and the lower interior part has three panels decorated with trophies. There are two cherubs over the panels, holding the cartouche on which the king's epitaph is displayed. The inscription translates to:
Here lies the most adventurous and noble knight and king, the sweetly remembered Don Henry, son of the late noble king Don Alfonso, who came from Benmarin and ended his life in Santo Domingo de la Calçado, he just died gloriously on the XXX day of May, in the year of our saviour Jesus Christ MCCCLXXIX.
There is a recumbent statue of Henry II on top of the tomb. It is made from polychromed alabaster. It depicts the king wearing his royal robes, with his sword in his left hand and his girdle decorated with the lions of Castile. His right hand holds the sceptre, the upper end of which rests on three pillows that support the monarch's head. The king wears slippers and his feet rest on a recumbent lion.
The king's entrails are buried in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
On 27 July 1350, Henry married Juana Manuel, the daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile. They had three children:
He had several children outside wedlock, some of which he mentioned in his will dated 29 May 1374:
By the end of his reign, he bore the titles of the King of Castile, Toledo, León, Galicia, Sevilla, Córdoba, Murcia, Jaén, the Algarve and Lord of Molina.
|Ancestors of Henry II of Castile|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Henry II of Castile .|
Afonso IV, called the Brave, was King of Portugal from 1325 until his death. He was the only legitimate son of King Denis of Portugal by his wife Elizabeth of Aragon.
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.
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.
Eleanor, 3rd Countess of Alburquerque became Queen consort of Aragon by her marriage to Ferdinand I of Aragon. In Spanish, she is known as Leonor Urraca de Castilla, condesa de Alburquerque.
Eleanor de Guzmán (Leonor) (1310–1351) was a Castilian noblewoman and long-term mistress to Alfonso XI of Castile. She was the mother of King Henry II of Castile.
Fadrique Alfonso of Castile, 1st Señor de Haro (1334–1358), 25th Master of the Order of Santiago (1342–1358), was the fifth illegitimate child of Alfonso XI of Castile and Eleanor of Guzman. He was born in Seville.
Fernando Ruiz de Castro, was a Galician nobleman of the House of Castro and prominent military figure. He was the third Count of Lemos, Trastámara and Sarria. He is often referred to by the appellation "Toda la lealtad de España", from an inscription on his tomb in Bayonne.
Pedro Fernández de Castro, nicknamed el de la Guerra, was a powerful Galician noble and military figure of the House of Castro, descended by illegitimate lines from the kings of Castile-Leon-Galicia. Pedro Fernandez de Castro was Lord (Señor) of Lemos and Sarria and served as mayordomo mayor of Alfonso XI of Castile, adelantado de la frontera (governor) of Andalusia, Galicia and Murcia and pertiguero mayor of the lands of Santiago.
Juan Fernández Pacheco y Téllez Girón, 1st Duke of Escalona, was a Castilian noble of Portuguese descent who rose to power in the last years of the reign of Juan II of Castile and came to dominate the government of Castile during the reign of Juan II’s son and successor Henry IV of Castile. Created The 1st Duke of Escalona in 1472, his other titles included, among others, Marquess of Villena and Master of the Order of Santiago. Between 1445 and 1472, he was styled as El Marqués de Villena.
Fadrique Enríquez de Mendoza was the second Admiral of Castile, Count of Melgar and Rueda, and second Lord of Medina del Rioseco. He was a son of Alonso Enríquez, the first admiral of Castile.
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.
Alfonso Enríquez, also known as Alonso Enríquez was Lord of Medina de Rioseco and Admiral of Castile.
The Battle of Villanueva de Barcarrota was fought in 1336 near the town of Villanueva de Barcarrota in Extremadura between troops of the Kingdom of Portugal led by Pedro Afonso de Sousa, and troops of the Kingdom of Castile led by Enrique Enriquez the Younger, who led the forces of the Bishop of Jaén, assisted by Juan Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y Coronel and Pedro Ponce de León the Elder, who led forces sent by the city of Seville. The Portuguese were defeated. As a result, Afonso IV of Portugal, who was besieging the city of Badajoz, ordered the siege to be lifted and returned with his troops to Portugal.
Pedro Ponce de León the Elder was a Castilian nobleman, grandson of King Alfonso IX of León. He was a knight of the Order of the Band, and Lord of Marchena, Bailén, Rota, Mairena del Alcor, Bornos and Oliva de la Frontera.
Enrique Enríquez the Younger was a nobleman of Castile, son of Enrique Enríquez the Elder. He was lord of Villalba de los Barros, Nogales, Almendral, La Parra, Begíjar and other towns. He was Adelantado Mayor of the border of Andalusia, chief justice of the King's House, Chief of the forces of the bishopric and Kingdom of Jaén, Mayor of Seville and Knight of the Band.
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.
On 5 June 1465, in a location around Ávila, a group of Castilian noblemen deposed of King Henry IV of Castile in effigy, and instead proclaimed his half-brother Prince Alfonso, better known as "Alfonso the Innocent", as king. This ceremony became known by its detractors as the farce of Ávila and has been recorded as such in history.
Alfonso Enríquez, Count of Noreña and of Gijón and lord of several places, was the eldest son of King Henry II of Castile and Elvira Íñiguez born before the king's marriage. As one of the most powerful feudal lords in Asturias, where he owned many properties, he attempted to declare the independence of this region from his brother King John I and then from his nephew, King Henry III of Castile. He and his Portuguese wife, Isabel of Portugal, a natural daughter of King Ferdinand I, are the ancestors of the Noronha lineage in Portugal.
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.
Pedro Fernández de Córdoba y Pacheco, 1st Marquis of Priego, was a Castilian nobleman. He became one of the most powerful men in Andalusia, but after the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile (1451–1504) supported her daughter Joanna of Castile (1479–1555)) against King Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452–1516), who was regent of Castile. After serious disturbances in Córdoba in 1508 he was forced to throw himself on the king's mercy, and was arrested and exiled. Later he was pardoned and allowed to return.
Henry II of Castile
Cadet branch of the House of IvreaBorn: 13 January 1334 Died: 29 May 1379
| King of Castile and León |
| King of Castile and León |