John I of Castile

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John I
King of Castile and León
Reign29 May 1379 – 9 October 1390
Coronation 25 July 1379
Predecessor Henry II
Successor Henry III
Born24 August 1358
Died9 October 1390(1390-10-09) (aged 32)
Alcalá de Henares
Spouse Eleanor of Aragon
Beatrice of Portugal
Issue Henry III of Castile
Ferdinand I of Aragon
House House of Trastámara
Father Henry II of Castile
Mother Juana Manuel
Religion Roman Catholicism

John I (Spanish : Juan I; 24 August 1358 – 9 October 1390) was king of the Crown of Castile from 1379 until 1390. He was the son of Henry II [1] and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile. He was the last monarch of Castile to receive a formal coronation.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish, known in the Middle Ages as Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Castile region of Spain and today has hundreds of millions of native speakers in the Americas and Spain. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Crown of Castile Former country in the Iberian Peninsula

The Crown of Castile was a medieval state 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.

Henry II of Castile King of Castile

Henry II, called Henry of Trastámara or the Fratricide, 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 Ferdinand Wars and the Hundred Years' War.



His first marriage, to Eleanor of Aragon on 18 June 1375, [2] produced his only known issue :

Eleanor of Aragon, Queen of Castile Queen consort of Castile

Eleanor of Aragon was a daughter of King Peter IV of Aragon and his wife Eleanor of Sicily. She was a member of the House of Aragon and Queen of Castile by her marriage.

  1. Henry (4 October 1379 – 25 December 1406), succeeded his father as King of Castile. [3]
  2. Ferdinand (27 November 1380 – 2 April 1416), became King of Aragon in 1412. [3]
  3. Eleanor (b. 13 August 1382), died young. [4]

In 1379, John I formed the short lived military order of the Order of the Pigeon, known for its large feasts which included eating the organization's namesake, the pigeon. [5]

He ransomed Leon V of the House of Lusignan, [6] the last Latin king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, from the Mamluks and out of pity granted him the lifetime lordship of Madrid, Villa Real and Andújar in 1383. [7]

Leo V, King of Armenia King of Armenia

Leo V or Levon V, of the House of Lusignan, was the last Latin king of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. He ruled from 1374 to 1375.

House of Lusignan dynasty

The House of Lusignan was a royal house of French origin, which at various times ruled several principalities in Europe and the Levant, including the kingdoms of Jerusalem, Cyprus, and Armenia, from the 12th through the 15th centuries during the Middle Ages. It also had great influence in England and France.

Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia former country

The Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, also known as the Cilician Armenia, Lesser Armenia, or New Armenia, was an independent principality formed during the High Middle Ages by Armenian refugees fleeing the Seljuq invasion of Armenia. Located outside the Armenian Highland and distinct from the Armenian Kingdom of antiquity, it was centered in the Cilicia region northwest of the Gulf of Alexandretta.

He engaged in hostilities with Portugal; his first quarrel with the Portuguese was settled in 1382, and later, on 14 May 1383, he married Beatrice of Portugal, daughter of King Ferdinand I of Portugal. On the death of his father-in-law (22 October 1383), [8] John endeavoured to enforce the claims of his wife, Ferdinand's only child, to the crown of Portugal. [1] The 1383–1385 Crisis, a period of civil unrest and anarchy in Portugal, followed. He was resisted by supporters of his rival for the throne, John I of Portugal, and was utterly defeated at the battle of Aljubarrota, on 14 August 1385. [1] [9]

Portugal Republic in Southwestern Europe

Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic, is a country located mostly on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It is the westernmost sovereign state of mainland Europe, being bordered to the west and south by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north and east by Spain. Its territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira, both autonomous regions with their own regional governments.

Beatrice of Portugal Queen of Castile, Pretender Queen of Portugal

Beatrice was the only surviving legitimate child of King Ferdinand I of Portugal and his wife, Leonor Teles. She became Queen consort of Castile by marriage to King John I of Castile. Following her father's death without a legitimate male heir, she claimed the Portuguese throne, but lost her claim to her uncle, who became King John I of Portugal, founder of the House of Aviz.

Ferdinand I of Portugal King of Portugal

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.

He also had to contend with the hostility of John of Gaunt, who claimed the crown of Castile by right of his wife Constance, the eldest daughter of Peter of Castile. [1] [10] The king of Castile finally bought off the claim of his English competitor by arranging a marriage in 1388 between his son Henry and Catherine, daughter of Constance and John of Gaunt, [1] [11] as part of the treaty ratified at Bayonne. [12]

John of Gaunt 14th-century English nobleman, royal duke, and politician

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster 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 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, 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.

Peter of Castile king of Castile and León from 1350 to 1369

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 king of Castille

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.

At the beginning of 1383, the political situation in Portugal was volatile. Beatrice was the only child of King Ferdinand I of Portugal, and heir to the throne, after her younger brothers' deaths in 1380 and 1382. Her marriage was the political issue of the day, and inside the palace, factions lobbied constantly. Ferdinand arranged and canceled his daughter's wedding several times before settling for his wife's first choice, King John I of Castile. John had lost his wife, Infanta Eleanor of Aragon the year before, and was happy to wed the Portuguese heiress. The wedding took place on 17 May at the Cathedral of Badajoz. Beatrice was only ten years old.

King Ferdinand died soon thereafter, on 22 October 1383. According to the treaty between Castile and Portugal, the Queen Mother, Leonor Telles de Menezes, declared herself Regent in the name of her daughter and son-in-law. The assumption of the regency by the queen was badly received in many Portuguese cities; [13] Leonor was considered a treasonous interloper who intended to usurp the Portuguese crown for Castile and end Portugal's independence. [14] At the request of John I of Castile, when he had knowledge of his father-in-law's decease, Leonor ordered the acclaim of Beatrice, [15] although John I of Castile hadn't expressly recognized her as the Regent. This was ordered first in Lisbon, Santarém and other important places, and some days after the assassination of Count Andeiro, in all the country. The national rebellion led by the Master of the Order of Aviz, the future John I, began immediately, leading to the 1383–1385 Crisis.

As a Crown of Portugal Pretender, John of Castile used this Coat of Arms during the crisis. Coat of Arms of John I of Castile (as Castilian Monach and Crown of Portugal Pretender).svg
As a Crown of Portugal Pretender, John of Castile used this Coat of Arms during the crisis.

Crisis of 1383–1385

King John of Castile invaded Portugal in the end of December 1383, to enforce his claim to be king by right of his wife. [16] The consequent war was effectively ended in 1385, with the defeat of Castile in the Battle of Aljubarrota [17] on 14 August. In the aftermath of this battle, John of Aviz became the uncontested King of Portugal. John of Castile and Beatrice no longer had a tenable claim to the throne of Portugal, but during the lifetime of John I of Castile, they continued to call themselves king and queen of Portugal.

Battle of Aljubarrota: The victorious Portuguese are on the right Batalha de Aljubarrota 02.jpg
Battle of Aljubarrota: The victorious Portuguese are on the right

To secure the succession of the throne of Portugal, the Portuguese Cortes on 2 April 1383 in Salvaterra de Magos covenanted marriage between Beatrice and John I of Castile, with the stipulation that upon the death of Ferdinand I, with no issue of sons, the crown would pass to Beatrice, and her husband become titular king of Portugal. [18] Although John I of Castile could call himself king of Portugal, the Spanish and Portuguese parties agreed not to unite the kingdoms of Castile and Portugal, [19] and therefore, Leonor, widow of King Ferdinand, would remain regent of the government of Portugal until Beatrice had a son who upon reaching fourteen years of age [20] would assume the title and office of King of Portugal, and his parents' claim cease. If Beatrice died childless, the crown would pass to other hypothetical younger sisters, and if not, the crown would pass to John I of Castile, and through him to his son Henry, [21] thus disinheriting the line of Inês de Castro. Pedro de Luna, a Papal legate to the realms of Castile, Aragon, Portugal and Navarre, pronounced the betrothal in Elvas on 14 May, and the wedding ceremony took place on 17 May at the Cathedral of Badajoz. [22] To ensure compliance with the treaty, on 22 May a group of Castilian knights and prelates of the kingdom swore an oath to depose their king if the Castilian king dishonoured the commitments agreed in the treaty, and a corresponding group of Portuguese knights and prelates vowed to do the same if the king of Portugal broke the treaty with Castile, among them the Master of Aviz. [23]

King Ferdinand I of Portugal had died on 22 October 1383. His widow, Leonor Telles de Menezes, under the Treaty of Salvaterra de Magos and by the previous testament of the deceased king, declared herself Regent in the name of her daughter and son-in-law. From then onwards, Leonor ruled with her lover, João Fernandes Andeiro, second Count of Ourém, also called "Conde Andeiro", a Galician who had been Fernando's chancellor, which angered the nobility and the lower classes. The news of the death of Ferdinand came to John I and Beatrice in Torrijos, with the closing of the court in Segovia. The Master of Aviz wrote John, urging him to seize the Portuguese crown by right of his wife, and the Master himself would assume the regency. [24] To avoid problems with John the Infante of Portugal, the dynastic eldest son of Inês de Castro, John I had him and his brother Dinís imprisoned [25] in the Alcazar of Toledo. King John I then met the Council in Montalbán and sent Alfonso Lopez de Tejada with instructions for the regent, now Queen Mother, to proclaim Beatrice and himself the rulers of Portugal. [26] The proclamation was announced, first in Lisbon, Santarém and other important places, and then, some days after the assassination of Count Andeiro, in all the country. Yet in Lisbon and elsewhere, as in Elvas and Santarém, popular sentiment favoured John the Infante. [27] John I of Castile assumed the title and coat of arms of King of Portugal, which investiture was recognized by the Pope of Avignon, [28] and ordered the deployment of his troops when the Bishop of Guarda and chancellor to Beatrice, Afonso Correia, promised to deliver the support of the people. [29] He then entered the country with his wife to ensure the obedience of the Portuguese people to him as King by the right of his wife, although they considered him merely a pretender. [30]

For John I of Castile, his marriage to Beatrice was supposed to maintain a protectorate over the Portuguese territory and prevent the English from invading the peninsula. [19] However, the expectation of a Spanish commercial monopoly, fear of Castilian rule and the loss of Portuguese independence, reinforced by popular opposition to the regent and her allies, led to an uprising in Lisbon in late November and early December. The loss of independence was unthinkable for the majority of the people. The Master of Aviz, future John I of Portugal, ignited the rebellion when he broke into the royal palace on 6 December 1383 and assassinated Leonor's lover, Conde Andeiro, [31] after which the common people rose up against the government at the instigation of Alvaro Pais. [32] [33] The Bishop Martinho Anes, under suspicion of conspiring with the enemy, was thrown from the north tower of the Lisbon Cathedral when Lisbon was besieged by the Castilians in 1383. [34] The uprising spread to the provinces, taking the lives of the abbess of the Benedictine nuns in Évora, the Prior of the Collegiate Church of Guimarães, [35] and Lançarote Pessanha, Admiral of Portugal, who was murdered at the Castle of Beja. [36] The rebellion was supported by the bourgeoisie but not by the aristocracy. Queen Leonor fled with the court of Lisbon and took refuge in Alenquer, the property of the queens of Portugal. [37] She appealed to John I of Castile for help.

Joao I (John I of Portugal) JohnI-Portugal.jpg
João I (John I of Portugal)

In Lisbon, Alvaro Pais proposed that he and Leonor marry and hold the regency together, but Leonor declined; upon the news of the coming of the Castilian king, the Master of Aviz was elected Regent and Defender of the Realm [38] on 16 December 1383, as an advocate for the rights of the queen's son, the Infante Juan. The distinguished jurist João das Regras was appointed as chancellor [39] and the brilliant general Nuno Álvares Pereira as constable; [40] immediately England was requested to intervene. The Master of Aviz tried to besiege Leonor at Alenquer but fled to Santarém to prepare the defense of Lisbon. In Santarém, Leonor proceeded to raise an army and sought help from John I of Castile, who decided to take command of the situation in Portugal, and left a Regency Council consisting of the Marquis of Villena, the Archbishop of Toledo and the Steward of the King to rule Castile in his absence. In January 1384 he began the journey to Santarém with Beatrice to answer the call of the Queen Regent to restore order in Portugal. On 13 January King John I and Queen Beatrice obtained the waiver of the rule and the government in their favour, which caused many knights and castle lords to submit and swear allegiance to the royal couple. Since Leonor had conspired against John the Infante, she was sent to the monastery of Tordesillas. [41] This served the purposes of the Master of Aviz to justify his leading the revolt; he had violated the oath he swore at the Treaty of Salvaterra de Magos.

Although most of the Portuguese aristocracy was loyal to his cause, King John I of Castile did not repeat the Castilian successes of the earlier Fernandine Wars (Guerras Fernandinas) and failed to win Coimbra and Lisbon. On 3 September 1384, he left garrisons manned by his supporters among the people, and returned to Castile and sought help from the King of France. Meanwhile, the Master of Aviz tried to seize those places loyal to his adversaries, and even took Almada and Alenquer, but failed to take Cintra, Torres-Velhas (Torres Vedras) and Torres Novas. In March 1385 he went to Coimbra, to which he had summoned the Portuguese Cortes; [42] they declared Beatrice illegitimate and proclaimed the Master of Aviz to be King of Portugal as John I on 11 April. [43] This was in effect a declaration of war against Castile and its claims to the Portuguese throne. Recovering from his recent defeats, the new monarch began his campaign to regain the northern kingdom, and took Viana do Castelo, Braga and Guimarães. [44]

John I of Castile, accompanied by allied French cavalry, then entered Portugal again by way of Ciudad Rodrigo and Celorico in July 1385 [45] to conquer Lisbon [46] and remove John I from the Portuguese throne, but the disastrous defeats suffered by his army in Trancoso and at the Battle of Aljubarrota in May and August 1385 had ended any possibility of his reigning as king of Portugal. He fled to Santarém and from there down the Tagus to meet the fleet near Lisbon. In September the Spanish fleet returned to Castile, and John I of Portugal gained control of the places formerly occupied by his adversaries. Advancing from Santarém, he seized the region north of the Duero whose knights had remained faithful to Beatrice and John I of Castile: Villareal Pavões, Chaves and Bragança capitulated [47] at the end of March 1386, and Almeida in early June 1386.

Queen Beatrice had no children with her husband John I of Castile, although a son called Miguel is mentioned in several genealogies written much later and even in some modern history books. [48] There is no contemporary document mentioning him, and his supposed mother was only 10 or 11 years old at his reputed birth. It is most probably a confusion with a grandchild of the Catholic Monarchs who was called Miguel da Paz. [49]

Death and burial

Sepulchre of John I of Castile in the Cathedral of Toledo Sepulcro de Juan I, rey de Castilla y Leon. Capilla de los Reyes Nuevos de la Catedral de Toledo.jpg
Sepulchre of John I of Castile in the Cathedral of Toledo

King John was killed at Alcalá on 9 October 1390, when he fell off his horse while riding in a fantasia with some of the light horsemen known as farfanes, who were mounted and equipped in the Arab style. [1] [50] His death was kept secret by Cardinal Pedro Tenorio for days who claimed he was only wounded. Since his son Henry III was still a minor at the time, a regency was set up to rule in his place. After his death, the body of John I was transferred to the city of Toledo for burial. His tomb is in the Chapel of the New Monarchs (La Capilla de los Reyes Nuevos) of the Cathedral of Toledo in Spain. [51] [52]



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John I of Castile
Born: 24 August 1358 Died: 9 October 1390
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Henry II
King of Castile and León
Succeeded by
Henry III
Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Juana Manuel
Lord of Biscay and Lara
Crown of Castile

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John I of Portugal King of Portugal

John I, also called John of Aviz, was King of Portugal from 1385 until his death in 1433. He is recognized chiefly for his role in Portugal's victory in a succession war with Castile, preserving his country's independence and establishing the Aviz dynasty on the Portuguese throne. His long reign of 48 years, the most extensive of all Portuguese monarchs, saw the beginning of Portugal's overseas expansion. John's well-remembered reign in his country earned him the epithet of Fond Memory ; he was also referred to as "the Good", sometimes "the Great", and more rarely, especially in Spain, as "the Bastard" (Bastardo).

Battle of Aljubarrota

The Battle of Aljubarrota was a battle fought between the Kingdom of Portugal and the Crown of Castile on 14 August 1385. Forces commanded by King John I of Portugal and his general Nuno Álvares Pereira, with the support of English allies, opposed the army of King John I of Castile with its Aragonese, Italian and French allies at São Jorge, between the towns of Leiria and Alcobaça, in central Portugal. The result was a decisive victory for the Portuguese, ruling out Castilian ambitions to the Portuguese throne, ending the 1383–85 Crisis and assuring John as King of Portugal.

The Battle of Alfarrobeira took place on 20 May 1449. It was a confrontation between the forces commanded by King Afonso V of Portugal and his uncle Afonso, Duke of Braganza, against the army of the rebellious Peter, Duke of Coimbra. The place was Vialonga, near Lisbon, at the margins of the creek of Alfarrobeira. The result was the clear defeat and death of the Duke of Coimbra and the establishment of the Braganzas as the most powerful House of Portugal.

1383–1385 Portuguese interregnum Civil war in Portugal

The 1383–1385 Portuguese interregnum was a time of civil war in Portuguese history when no crowned king reigned. It began when King Ferdinand I died without a male heir, and ended when King John I was crowned in 1385 after his victory in the Battle of Aljubarrota. Portuguese interpret this era as their earliest national resistance movement countering Castilian intervention; Robert Durand considers it the "great revealer of national consciousness." Bourgeoisie and nobility worked together to establish the Aviz dynasty securely on an independent throne, unlike the lengthy civil wars in France known as the Hundred Years' War, and England as the War of the Roses, where aristocratic factions fought powerfully against a centralised monarchy.

House of Aviz dynasty

The House of Aviz known as the Joanine Dynasty was the second dynasty of the kings of Portugal. In 1385, the Interregnum of the 1383-1385 crisis ended when the Cortes of Coimbra proclaimed the Master of the monastic military Order of Aviz as King John I. John was the natural (illegitimate) son of King Peter I and Dona Teresa Lourenço, and so was half-brother to the last king of the Portuguese House of Burgundy or Afonsine Dynasty, Ferdinand I of Portugal. The House of Aviz continued to rule Portugal until Philip II of Spain inherited the Portuguese crown with the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580.

Eleanor of Portugal, Queen of Aragon Queen of Aragon

Eleanor of Portugal, was a Portuguese infanta and queen consort of Aragon from 1347 to 1348.

John, Duke of Valencia de Campos Portuguese infante

John of Portugal, occasionally surnamed Castro, was the eldest surviving son of King Peter I of Portugal by his mistress Inês de Castro. He was a potential but unsuccessful contender for the Portuguese throne during the 1383–85 crisis of succession.

Blanche of Portugal (1259–1321) Viscountess of Huelgas

Blanche of Portugal, was an infanta, the firstborn child of King Afonso III of Portugal and his second wife Beatrice of Castile. Named after her great-aunt Blanche of Castile, queen of France, Blanche was the Lady of Las Huelgas, Montemor-o-Velho, Alcocer and Briviesca, the city which she founded.

Beatrice of Castile or Beatriz, was an infanta of Castile, daughter of Sancho IV and María de Molina. She was Queen of Portugal from the accession of her husband, Afonso IV, until his death on 28 May 1357.

João das Regras Portuguese jurist

João das Regras, in English, literally John of the Rules, was a Portuguese jurist of the second half of the 14th century. João das Regras was born in Lisbon in an unknown date and died there on 3 May 1404. Son of João Afonso das Regras and Sentil Esteves, João das Regras became a stepson of Álvaro Pais, the chief chancellor of the Portuguese Kingdom, after his mother's second marriage.

Fernando Sánchez de Tovar Spanish admiral and general

Fernando (or Fernán) Sánchez de Tovar, 1st Lord of Belves was a significant Castilian soldier and Admiral of the Middle Ages.

Leonor Teles Portuguese queen

Leonor Teles was queen consort of Portugal by marriage to King Ferdinand I, and one of the protagonists, along with her brothers and her daughter Beatrice, of the events that led to the succession crisis of 1383–1385, which culminated in the defeat of her son-in-law King John I of Castile and his armies in the Battle of Aljubarrota. Called "the Treacherous" by her subjects, who execrated her on account of her adultery and treason to her native country, she was dubbed by the historian Alexandre Herculano as "the Portuguese Lucrezia Borgia".

Álvaro Pires de Castro Portuguese noble

Álvaro Pires de Castro was a powerful Galician-Portuguese nobleman, stem of the Portuguese branch of the House of Castro. He was the first Count of Viana, the first Count of Arraiolos and the first Constable of Portugal.

Fernandine Wars

The Fernandine Wars were a series of three conflicts between the Kingdom of Portugal under King Ferdinand I and the Crown of Castile under King Henry II. They were fought over Ferdinand's claim to the Castilian succession after the death of King Peter of Castile in 1369.

Third Fernandine War

The Third Fernandine War was the last conflict of the Fernandine Wars, and took place between 1381–1382, between the Crown of Castile and the Kingdoms of Portugal and England. When Henry II of Castile died in 1379, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster claimed their rights of the throne of the Kingdom of Castile, and again found an ally in Ferdinand I of Portugal.

Portugal in the Middle Ages

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.

João Afonso Telo,, mayor of Lisbon in 1372, admiral of Portugal from 1375 – 1376, and sixth Count of Barcelos, was a member of the highest ranks of the nobility, member of the Téllez de Meneses lineage as a descendant of Tello Pérez de Meneses.

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.