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|Prince of Asturias and Girona, Duke of Montblanc, Count of Cervera, and Lord of Balaguer|
|Born||30 June 1478|
|Died||4 October 1497 19) (aged|
Real Monasterio de Santo Tomás in Ávila
|Spouse||Margaret of Austria|
|Father||Ferdinand II of Aragon|
|Mother||Isabella I of Castile|
John, Prince of Asturias (Spanish : Juan; 30 June 1478 – 4 October 1497), was the only son of Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon who survived to adulthood.
John was born in Seville in 1478 to the sovereigns of Castile, Isabella I and Ferdinand V (also Ferdinand II of Aragon). At the time, his parents were involved in the War of Castilian Succession against Isabella's niece Joanna la Beltraneja, wife of King Afonso V of Portugal.
John's birth helped consolidate Isabella's position as sovereign as she had given birth to a legitimate male heir. At the time of his birth, he had one elder sister Isabella; his younger sisters were Joanna, Maria, and Catherine.
His parents won the war against the King and Queen of Portugal. To negotiate a peace settlement with Isabella, King Afonso sent Infanta Beatrice, Duchess of Viseu. The two women met in March 1479. Beatrice was Afonso's sister-in-law and Isabella's maternal aunt. By terms of the treaty they eventually negotiated, the Queen of Portugal was given two options: she could either wed Prince John, waiting 13 or 14 years until the prince was old enough to be married (by which time Joanna herself would be at least thirty) or she could enter a convent; either way she was to give up her claim to the throne.
Isabella I was quite an attentive mother for such a busy queen. John, being her only son, had a special place in her heart and she referred to him affectionately as ’my angel’ even when he was being reprimanded by her,John's wetnurse was Maria de Guzman, a member of the powerful Spanish House of Mendoza. It was commonly believed in the fifteenth century that a wetnurse could influence the character of the baby to whom she fed breast milk. Therefore, a healthy woman, with a placid disposition was ideal.
John's paternal grandfather, King John II of Aragon, took close interest in the infant prince; he warned his son Ferdinand that the prince should not be tutored under one grandee, a member of the nobility, as they would have far too much influence over the boy. He also suggested that Prince John be educated in Aragon as opposed to Castile, which Isabella most likely rejected at once.In 1492, Columbus named the newly discovered island of Cuba as Isla Juana in deference to Prince John, at that time the heir apparent.
Isabella and Ferdinand, together with their cousin, Duke Francis II of Brittany, planned the alliance of their respective heirs, John and Anne, but the plan came to nothing, possibly due to John's frail constitution.
Isabella and Ferdinand came to plan a double alliance with Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, for the marriage of his children, Archduke Philip the Handsome and Archduchess Margaret of Austria. Around the same time, King Charles VIII of France invaded Italy and marched to take Naples which belonged to a branch of the House of Trastamara. Ferdinand II was therefore against the French. With both powers angered at France, marriage was the way to seal the alliance between the two.
On 20 January 1495 in Antwerp, a preliminary alliance, which included a wedding of Prince John with Maximilian's daughter was agreed. Similarly, Maximilian's son Philip and John's sister Joanna were to be married.
As heir to the throne Isabella and Ferdinand paid special attention to John's education. His original tutor was the Dominican Fray Diego Deza who taught Theology at the University of Salamanca. Deza was also later remembered as the Grand Inquisitor of Spain, he taught the young Prince mainly in Theology as he was not a renaissance humanist. Eventually in the late 1480s, Isabella would ask the Italian humanist Peter Martyr d'Anghiera to come and broaden the Prince's education.
Isabella also worried that John would grow up pampered and wilful if he lacked peers and companions of his own age. Therefore, she invited the sons of aristocrats to live at court. She also invited a slightly older group of young aristocrats so that her son would see older young men and that he would aspire to be more like them. Among these youths were young men who would later become famous in their own right, Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres, the future governor of the Indies, and Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés the future historian of the Indies. John's education also insisted that he and his companions learned to ride and joust, to hawk and hunt, to play chess and cards, and to sing and recite poetry. John was also naturally gifted in music and was able to play the flute, violin, and the clavichord with ease and great skill. He also developed a fine tenor voice and often sang with his siblings and companions at court.
Infanta Joanna left Spain to marry Philip the Handsome in late 1496. Philip's sister, Margaret of Austria, aged 18, married John on April 3 the following year in Burgos Cathedral. It was a good marriage and John was devoted to Margaret. All of Isabella's children had a passionate nature, and although it was a political alliance, it was a deep love match. Apparently the amount of time they spent in bed made the court physicians uneasy about the Prince's health. The lust he felt for his wife bothered him, but his confessor assured him it was natural. The Princess of Austria was easy to love, she was fun loving and had a sharp sense of humor. Her first betrothal to Charles VIII ended when he rebuked her. Her engagement to the Prince of Asturias seemed doomed when the ship carrying her to Spain hit a storm in the Bay of Biscay. In haste, she wrote her own epitaph should she not reach Spain.
"Here lies Margaret, the willing bride,
Twice married - but a virgin when she died."
On 4 October 1497, a messenger came to John's parents and informed them that their son lay dangerously ill in Salamanca. He and his wife Margaret had arrived a week earlier, on the way to the wedding of his older sister in Portugal. At once Ferdinand rushed to his son's bedside while Isabella remained behind fretting over the life of her only son. Ferdinand was with his son as John died in the arms of his former tutor Fray Diego Deza.
He died possibly from tuberculosis, but rumors circulated John had died of sexual over-exertion at age eighteen. His dog, a lurcher called Bruto, had whimpered as he died, then stayed next to his coffin throughout the vigil in Salamanca's main church.John's devastated mother would later keep the dog next to her, as if to keep the memory of her beloved son with her. Two months later, on December 8, the Princess of Asturias gave birth to their only child, a stillborn girl.
John's death was followed closely by that of his sister Isabella in 1498. Her only child, Miguel de la Paz, died in 1500. The Spanish kingdoms passed to his younger sister Joanna, her husband Philip the Handsome, and their Habsburg descendants. Philip had himself and Joanna declared as 'Princes of Castile' which her parents took as a lack of respect towards his deceased brother in law.
|Ancestors of John, Prince of Asturias|
Joanna, known historically as Joanna the Mad, was Queen of Castile from 1504, and of Aragon from 1516. Modern Spain evolved from the union of these two crowns. Joanna was married by arrangement to Philip the Handsome, Archduke of the House of Habsburg, on 20 October 1496. Following the deaths of her brother, John, Prince of Asturias, in 1497, her elder sister Isabella in 1498, and her nephew Miguel in 1500, Joanna became the heir presumptive to the crowns of Castile and Aragon. When her mother Queen Isabella I of Castile died in 1504, Joanna became Queen of Castile, while her father, King Ferdinand II of Aragon, proclaimed himself 'Governor and Administrator of Castile'. In 1506 Archduke Philip became King of Castile jure uxoris, initiating the rule of the Habsburgs in the Spanish kingdoms, and died that same year. Despite being the ruling Queen of Castile, she had little effect on national policy during her reign as she was declared insane and imprisoned in the Royal Convent of Santa Clara in Tordesillas under the orders of her father, who ruled as regent until his death in 1516, when she inherited his kingdom as well. From 1516, when her son Charles I ruled as king, she was nominally co-monarch but remained imprisoned until her death.
Philip the Handsome, also called the Fair, was Duke of Burgundy from 1482 to 1506 and the first member of the house of Habsburg to be King of Castile.
Joanna la Beltraneja was a claimant to the throne of Castile, and Queen of Portugal as the wife of King Afonso V, her uncle.
Charles, Prince of Viana, sometimes called Charles IV of Navarre, was the son of King John II of Aragon and Queen Blanche I of Navarre.
Isabella of Austria, also known as Elizabeth, was queen of Denmark, Norway and Sweden as the wife of King Christian II. She was the daughter of King Philip I and Queen Joanna of Castile and the sister of Emperor Charles V. She was born at Brussels. She ruled Denmark as regent in 1520.
Eleanor of Austria, also called Eleanor of Castile, was born an Archduchess of Austria and Infanta of Castile from the House of Habsburg, and subsequently became Queen consort of Portugal (1518–1521) and of France (1530–1547). She also held the Duchy of Touraine (1547–1558) in dower. She is called "Leonor" in Spanish and Portuguese and "Eléonore" or "Aliénor" in French.
Catherine of Lancaster was Queen of Castile by marriage to King Henry III of Castile. She governed Castile as regent from 1406 until 1418 during the minority of her son.
Catherine of Austria was Queen of Portugal as wife of King John III, and regent during the minority of her grandson, King Sebastian, from 1557 until 1562.
Joanna of Austria was Princess of Portugal by marriage to John Manuel, Prince of Portugal. She served as regent of Spain to her brother Philip II of Spain during his trip to England to marry Mary I in 1554-1556, and from 1556 to 1559. She was the mother of King Sebastian of Portugal.
Germaine of Foix was queen consort of Aragon as the second wife of Ferdinand II of Aragon, whom she married in 1506 after the death of his first wife, Isabella I of Castile in 1504.
Miguel da Paz, Prince of Portugal and Prince of Asturias was a Portuguese royal prince, son of King Manuel I of Portugal and his first wife, Isabella of Aragon, Princess of Asturias (1470-1498).
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.
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 siblings were John, Prince of Asturias, Queen Joanna I of Castile, Maria, Queen of Portugal and Catherine, Queen of England.
Maria of Aragon was a Spanish infanta, and queen consort of Portugal as the second spouse of Portuguese King Manuel I.
DoñaElvira Manuel de Villena Suárez de Figueroa was a Spanish court official. She served as duenna of Catherine of Aragon.
Ferdinand II was King of Aragon from 1479 and, by marriage, King of Castile from 1474, reigning over a dynastically unified Spain jointly with his wife Isabella I. Ferdinand is considered de facto the first King of Spain, being described as such during his own lifetime, although Castile and Aragon remained de jure two different kingdoms until the Nueva Planta Decrees of 1716.
Isabella I was Queen of Castile from 1474 and Queen consort of Aragon from 1479, reigning over a dynastically unified Spain jointly with her husband Ferdinand II. Isabella is considered the first Queen of Spain de facto, being described as such during her own lifetime, although Castile and Aragon de jure remained two different kingdoms until the Nueva Planta Decrees of 1716.
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John, Prince of AsturiasBorn: 28 June 1478 Died: 4 October 1497
Isabella of Aragon
| Prince of Asturias |
Isabella of Aragon
Ferdinand of Aragon
| Prince of Girona |
Miguel of Portugal