Huesca temática

Number 153 - February of 2011Spanish language Principal menu

Martin I of Aragon

King from Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica
Count from Barcelona and king from Sicily

    Martin I of Aragon (Gerona 1356 - Barcelona 1410), is also known as Martin Ith the Human and Martin Ith the Old. Between years 1396 and 1410 he was king of Aragon, of Valencia, of Majorca, of Sardinia and count of Barcelona. Equally he was king of Sicily among yeras 1409 and 1410.
    He was born in Gerona the 29 of July of 1356, being second son of Pedro IV of Aragon and his third wife Leonor of Sicily, Martin marriied in 1372 with María de Luna, daughter of Don Lope, the first count of Luna, being born of this union, in 1374, his first son and heir Martin the Youth. His Real House would be therefore, the House of Aragon.
     In 1375 his mother dies, from who he will inherit her rights on Sicily, Kingdom on which he will reinforce his position when in 1379 would be agreed the marriage between his son and heir with María of Sicily, who in 1377 had inherited the Sicilian throne after her father's death Federico III of Sicily. Given the minority of age of both, the marriage would not take place until 1390, and Martin I will be named Lord and Regent of Sicily in 1380.
     After the coronation, in Palermo, of María of Sicily and Martin the Youth who received the title of Martin I of Sicily, a faction of the Sicilian nobility in favor of Anjou was rebelled against the new kings, what forced Martin the Old to bring to front of a fleet and to move to Sicily to put end to the insurrection. While he was immersed in the pacification of the island, he was surprised in 1396 by his brother's death the king from Aragon and the news that, having died without masculine succession, his wife María of Luna had claimed the throne on her behalf..
     When not having put end to the Sicilian insurrection he had to delay his return to the Peninsula, for what would be his wife, María of Luna, who had to make in front of the successoral pretenses, so much of the widow of Juan I -Violante de Bar who announced that waited a son of the died king who would be his legitimate heir-, as of Mateo I, count of Foix who for his marriage with Juana of Aragon and Armagnac, eldest daughter of the deceased king, alleged his rights to the Aragonese throne. The troops of the count of Foix entered in Aragon, but were rejected by the loyal troops to Martin.
    The unstable situation of his peninsular Kingdom made Martin to abandon Sicily in 1397, and when arriving in Zaragoza he swore the jurisdictions in The Courts. October of 1397, 13, being crowned April 13 of 1399.
      All his reign was marked by the Schism of West that divided to the Christendom from year 1378. .

     He was in favor of the popes of Avignon, of those who obtained support in his pretenses on the Kingdom of Sicily in front of Anjou, in favor of the popes of Rome.
     In 1397, when he returned of Sicily to take charge of the Aragonese throne, he interviewed in Avignon with the antipope Benedicto XIII -Aragonese and the queen's relative- with the intention of solving the schism and, later on, in 1403, he intervened militarily against the blockade that Benedicto suffered in his papal headquarter, rescuing him and welcoming him in Peñíscola.
      He threw two crusades against the North of África in 1398 and 1399.
     His son Martin of Sicily, with San Luis' victory (1409), had just subjected to the rebellious nobility of Sardinia, expelling of there to the Genoese in 1409.
      In general it was a reign of external peace, which sharpened the struggles between noble sides in the interior.

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      On December 29, 1406 the queen Maria de Luna died, that although she had given to him four children (Martín, Jaime, Juan and Margarita), they all should die before their father, therefore Martín I decided to contract the second nuptials with Margarita de Prades on September 17, 1408, who did not give him any heir, so when Martín died in Barcelona on May 31, 1410 -at age 54- the throne was without legitimate descent, reason by which there was opened an interregnum of two years in which the throne was disputed up to six claimants -between them his bastard grandson Fadrique de Luna- and that should be solved in 1412 with the called Commitment of Caspe that would elect as his successor to Fernando I, member of the Castilian dynasty of the Trastámara.
      This king was buried in the Real Tombs of the Monastery of Poblet. His descent were: Martín el Joven (1374-1409), king of Sicily of 1390. Jaime (1378-?). Juan (1380-?) and Margarita (1385-?), who would not be successors of him in the throne.

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The Aragon Kingdom

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