Character Spotlight: Enrique (The King)

     I have been asked not to complete my planned blog series, and I will respect the wishes of those who asked me not to do so.  I have no desire to turn my blog into a political statement, but I will most certainly write about the Jewish influences on Spain & Europe when I get closer to writing about Granada and the Islamic influence on Spain & Europe as a whole.  Thank you very much for your understanding.  🙂  As a consolation, here is the beginning of a new Character Spotlight: King Don Enrique, Constanza’s father.

     King Don Enrique, referred to as “Enrique” for the rest of this series, was born January 13, 1334, in Sevilla, Spain.  His father was King Don Alfonso XI.  Alfonso married Maria of Portugal in 1328, and in the same year, he met Leonor, a beautiful Sevillan woman who was only a few days older than he.

[E]ra … rica dueña, et muy fija-dalgo, et en fermosura era la mas apuesta muger que avia en el regno.
(She was…a rich woman, and very noble, and probably the most beautiful woman the kingdom had.)

     Alfonso preferred his beautiful mistress to his required wife (even leaving his wife after only two days in order to return to Leonor), and it would cause a war between Portugal and Castilla where Alfonso would be forced to give up his beloved at the insistence of his father-in-law; however, it didn’t work, and Alfonso and Leonor had ten children.

     Enrique was one of those ten.  The eldest surviving male, he was born in his mother’s hometown as a twin, the elder brother of Fadrique (who, confusingly, would form the Enriquez dynasty which contained the mother of Fernando de Aragon, the husband of Isabel la Catolica).  He was “adopted”, or raised in the house of, Don Rodrigo Álvarez, conde (count) de Noreña.  Enrique was named señor (lord) of Noreña, Cabrera, y Ribera.  He was raised there, seemingly happy, and on Don Rodrigo’s death in 1370, he inherited the full title of count.

     During his father’s life, his mother received many privileges, and he and his other siblings received multiple titles and honors.  The showering of such gifts on the king’s bastards left a sour taste in the mouths of many nobles, including the scorned queen, but after the death of Alfonso XI in 1350, the former mistress reached a tentative agreement with Pedro and his mother to live at court in peace.

     And to be honest, that was probably when the troubles between Pedro el Cruel and Enrique really became an issue.  In 1351, Enrique married the cousin of the king, eleven-year-old Juana Manuel, daughter of Infante Don Juan Manuel and half-sister to Alfonso’s first repudiated wife, Constanza Manuel (who later married the future king of Portugal and gave birth to a son, Fernão).  The Manuel name would help Enrique and his cause gain allies, for it was well known for its willingness to go against the crown: Juan Manuel went to war against Alfonso multiple times.  Also, around that time, Enrique and his younger brothers Fadrique, Tello, and Sancho, proceeded to start multiple rebellions.  Leonor was imprisoned and later executed for her parts, real or imagined, in the uprisings, and Enrique fled to Portugal, and after yet another peace and uprising, he went into the service of King Jean II of France. He would end up going between Aragón and France, when one would make a deal with King Don Pedro.

     And in exile is where we shall leave him…until LA BASTARDA picks up where we left off.

Bibliography (hopefully it posts this time):

  • Alfonso de Carvallo, Luis. Antiguedades Y Cosas Memorables Del Principado De Asturias. Madrid: Julian De Paredes, Impressor De Libros, 1695. Print.
  • Ayala, Pedro, and Germa Orduna. Crónica Del Rey Don Pedro Y Del Rey Don Enrique, Su Hermano, Hijos Del Rey Don Alfonso Onceno. Buenos Aires: Secrit, 1994. Print.
  • Cerdá y Rico, Franisco. Colección De Las Crónicas Y Memórias De Los Reyes De Castilla. Madrid: La Imprenta de Antonio de Sancha, 1779. Print.

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