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Number 156 - May of 2011Spanish language Principal menu

Juan II of Aragon

King of Aragon and of Navarrese, Valencia, Majorca,
Sardinia and Corsica and Sicily

     Juan II of Aragon, the Big (Medina del Campo, Castile, June 29 1398 - Barcelona; January 20 of 1479) was duke of Peñafiel, king of Navarrese (1425 - 1479) and king of Aragon, of Sardinia and of Sicily (1458 - 1479), son of Fernando I de Antequera and of Leonor Urraca of Castile, countess of Alburquerque. Juan II were one of the most long-lived king in the XV century.
     From 1415 at 1416 represented his father in the government of Sicily and Sardinia like general lieutenant. Of return to Spain helped his bigger brother, Alfonso V the Magnanimous, in the problems there been in Castile with Álvaro de Luna, valid of his cousin the Castilian king Juan II.
    In 1419 contracted marriage with Blanca of Navarrese daughter of the king Carlos III the Nobleman, and widow of Martin the Youth. To death of Carlos III in 1425, his daughter Blanca and the infant Juan was proclaimed jointly kings of Navarrese. In the Summer of 1429, for favoring the interests of his siblings the Infants of Aragon, Juan invaded Castile for the valley of the Henares. When he will outline battle near Jadraque, the intervention of his sister María, wife of Juan II of Castile, determined the end of the expedition and, to the long one, the loss of that war in the next year.
    Juan lived unaware to the matters of Navarrese, governed by his wife, and he stayed surrendered fully to the Aragonese matters and his interests in Castile. This way, and for helping to his brother the king of Aragon, Alfonso V, participated in the unsuccessful campaign for the conquest of Naples in 1435. That expedition gave cause to a satirical work of the marquis of Santillana: "La comedieta de Ponza" (The little comedy of Ponza). Years later, faced again with his cousin and brother-in-law the king Juan II and with his valid don Álvaro de Luna, he entered in war against Castile. He took Atienza and Torija, but he was defeated in 1445 in the battle of Olmedo, with which started end to the Aragonese influence in the Castilian matters.
     To the death of Blanca de Navarra in 1441, Juan married in the second nuptials (1445) with Juana Enríquez, daughter of Fadrique Enríquez, Admiral of Castile, and political rival of Álvaro de Luna. The sudden political intervention of Juan in Navarre motivated the confrontation between the king and his first-born son Carlos de Viana, fruit of his marriage with the deceased queen Blanca. In effect, Juan broke the testament of his wife and, instead of delivering the Navarrese crown to his son Carlos, who like Viana's prince was the legitimate heir, delivered to him only the possession of the place in the Kingdom. This provoked a strong dissatisfaction in Navarre, which led to the civil war in 1451.
     The malcontent of Carlos de Viana and the more and more serious differences with his father, ended in a civil war between the "Beaumont lineage", Carlos's followers, and the "Agramont lineage" defenders of Juan's cause. Both faced on October 23, 1451 in the battle of Aibar, where Carlos was defeated and made prisoner along with his condestable Luis de Beaumont. Juana Enríquez, in advanced state of gestation, left Estella and moved to Sos (Aragon), where she gave birth to her son Fernando. Decided to that her son was the future king of Aragon, showed all her distaste towards Carlos who once liberated, by request of the Spanish Parliament of Lérida, went to Naples in search of the protection of his uncle Alfonso V.
     In 1454, Juan II, there was named by his brother Alfonso V substitute of Aragon and Catalonia, while this was governing the kingdom from the south of Italy and Sicily. Four years later Alfonso's death took place, who was lacking direct heirs and Juan was successor in the throne of Aragon, although he turned out to be forced to deliver to his son Carlos the government of Catalonia. The Spanish Parliament assembled in Lerida in 1460, asked Juan II to liberate his son and forced him to respect in 1461 the Capitulation of Villafranca del Penedés, where prohibited him to enter in Catalonia without permission and his real authority was limiting himself significantly.
     Carlos dies on September 23, 1461 as a consequence of a pulmonary illness (or poisoning, as it was speculated, indicating his stepmother Juana Enríquez). His death and the nonperformance of the agreed in Villafranca del Penedés unleashed the Catalan civil war, which coincided with the riot of the peasantry, initiated in February, 1462 (meet as the riot of the "payeses de remensa"). The king managed to maintain the loyalty of Aragon, Valencia and Sicily opposite to the riot of Catalonia, where he was considered to be a destitute of the Crown.

      The army of the Generality of Catalonia, under the control of Roger Pallarés, besieged Juana and her son in their fortress of Gerona. But the queen could defend herself, for four months, until there came the troops of the king that supported by troops of the French king, forced to raise the encirclement. The price that was agreed by the French help of Luis XI was 200.000 golden doubles, to pay in the course of one year; as payment guarantee there were offered the Cerdaña and the Roussillon that would go on to the French kingdom in case of the payment is not carried out, as this way it was.
     During this long war the Catalans were offered whom better help wanted to offer them. His nephew Enrique IV of Castile was nominated a count of Barcelone, but the Castilian nobility forced him to leave Catalonia.
     The same offer received the condestable Pedro de Portugal (1463) and was the infant Fernando who, with thirteen years and supervised by the army, conquered in Calaf to the Portuguese, who was dying soon. Later, the Catalans would offer themselves Renato de Anjou (1466).
     Juan II continued his harassment, blind and with seventy years, helped by his son, in 1472 managed to enter Barcelona, forcing the rebels to produce obedience. Juan, for reasons of the state, proved to be merciful with the defeated, resigned from the revenge and granted the pardon. In October of the same year the war was finishing with the Capitulation of Pedralbes (1472).
      His last action was the useless attempt of recovering the Roussillon and the Cerdaña, territories of which Luis XI had taken possession during the war of Catalonia in exchange for his military support.
      In 1469, Juan II coordinated the marriage, celebrated the same year in Valladolid, of his son and hereditary Fernando with his niece Isabel de Castilla, (daughter of Juan II, his cousin), hereditary for her part, of the throne of Castile..
      His daughter Leonor, daughter of his first marriage, inherited the kingdom of Navarre and Fernando, son of his second union, who was already a spouse king of Castile by his marriage with Isabel, inherited the kingdom of Aragon and the Catalan counties.
      He died for old age in Barcelona on January 19, 1479, being 82 years old, and was buried in the Monastery of Poblet.

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      The descent of Juan II of Aragon, was prolix, had of two marriages and of some extramarital relation.

     From his first marriage with Blanca de Navarra:
      - Carlos. (1421 - 1461), Prince of Viana and of Gerona, duke of Gandia and Montblanc, titular king of Navarre, with the name of Carlos IV.
      - Juana (1423 - 1425).
      - Blanca (1424 - 1464), married Enrique IV of Castile and titular queen of Navarre with the name of Blanca II.
      - Leonor (1425 - 1479), married Gastón IV of Foix and titular queen and (after the death of her father) effective of Navarre with the name of Leonor I.

      From his second marriage with Juana Enríquez:
      - Fernando el Católico (1452 - 1516), His successor in Aragon, with the name of Fernando II, and spouse king of Castile, with the name of Fernando V, for his marriage with Isabel I the Catholic.
      - Juana (1454 - 1517), married Fernando I of Naples.
      - Leonor (1448 - ¿?)
      - María (1455 - ¿?).

      Had out of marriage: :
      - Juan (1439/40 - 1475), archbishop of Saragossa (1458 - 1475).
      - Alfonso, whom his father granted the Villahermosa duchy.

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