Ferdinand I (Spanish: Fernando I; 27 November 1380 – 2 April 1416 in Igualada, Òdena) named Ferdinand of Antequera and also the Just (or the Honest) was king of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and (nominal) Corsica and king of Sicily, duke (nominal) of Athens and Neopatria, and count of Barcelona, Roussillon and Cerdanya (1412–1416). He was also regent of Castile (1406–1416). He was the first Castillian ruler of the Crown of Aragon.

Ferdinand I
Ferdinand I being crowned by the infant Jesus in San Benito el Real Valladolid, by Juan Rodríguez de Toledo (c.1410–15)
King of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica
Count of Barcelona, Roussillon, and Cerdanya
Duke of Athens and Neopatria
Reign3 September 1412 – 2 April 1416
CoronationFebruary 1414 (Zaragoza)
SuccessorAlfonso V
Born27 November 1380
Medina del Campo
Died2 April 1416(1416-04-02) (aged 35)
(m. 1394)
among others...
FatherJohn I of Castile
MotherEleanor of Aragon



Ferdinand was born 27 November 1380 in Medina del Campo, the younger son of King John I of Castile and Eleanor of Aragon.[1]

On 15 August 1403 in Medina del Campo, Ferdinand founded a new order of knighthood, the Order of the Jar.[2]

In 1406, upon the death of his elder brother, King Henry III of Castile, Ferdinand declined the Castilian crown and instead, with Henry's widow Catherine of Lancaster, became coregent during the minority of his nephew John II of Castile.[3] In this capacity he distinguished himself by his prudent administration of domestic affairs.

In a war with the Muslim Kingdom of Granada, he conquered the town of Antequera (1410), whence his surname.[4]

After Ferdinand's maternal uncle, King Martin I of Aragon (Martin II of Sicily), died without surviving legitimate issue, Ferdinand was chosen King of Aragon in 1412 to succeed him in the Compromise of Caspe. The other candidate, Count James II of Urgell (see Counts of Urgell), revolted and Ferdinand dissolved the County of Urgell in 1413.

Ferdinand created the title of Prince of Girona for the heir of the Crown of Aragon on 19 February 1416.

The most notable accomplishment of his brief reign was his agreement in 1416 to depose the Antipope Benedict XIII, thereby helping to end the Western Schism, which had divided the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 40 years.

He is buried in the Crown of Aragon's royal pantheon of the monastery of Poblet, in a magnificent tomb ordered by his son Alfonso to Pere Oller in 1417.

The Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla wrote an official biography of Ferdinand, Historiarum Ferdinandi regis Aragonum libri sex.

Family and children


In 1394 Ferdinand married Eleanor of Alburquerque (1374–1435). They had seven children:

Appearance and character


"He was tall, a little more than average, and thin and ruddy, and his cheeks had a few freckles... very patient to all who wanted to talk to him, even if their speeches were ordinary or not well-reasoned..."[7]


Alfonso IV of Aragon
Peter IV of AragonJames I of Urgell
Peter II of Urgell
John I of CastileEleanor of AragonMartin of AragonIsabella of AragonJames II of Urgell
Catherine of LancasterHenry III of CastileFerdinand I of Aragon
John II of Castile


  1. ^ Jones 1997, p. 122.
  2. ^ Torres Fontes 1980, p. 99.
  3. ^ Hillgarth 1976, p. 408.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Hillgarth 1976, p. 407.
  5. ^ a b Ward, Prothero & Leathes 1911, p. 80.
  6. ^ Watanabe 1988, p. 136.
  7. ^ From Crónica de Juan II by Alvar García de Santa María


  • Hillgarth, J.N. (1976). The Spanish Kingdoms, 1250-1516. Vol. I. Clarendon Press.
  • Jones, J. A. P. (1997). Europe, 1500-1600. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.
  • Torres Fontes, Juan (1980). "Don Fernando de Antequera y la romántica caballeresca". Miscelánea Medieval Murciana (5): 83–120. doi:10.6018/j5141. hdl:10201/16401.
  • Ward, A.W.; Prothero, G.W.; Leathes, Stanley, eds. (1911). The Cambridge Modern History. Vol. XIII. Cambridge at the University Press.
  • Watanabe, Morimichi (1988). Christianson, Gerald; Izbicki, Thomas M. (eds.). Nicholas of Cusa – A Companion to his Life and his Times. Ashgate Publishing Limited.

Further reading

Ferdinand I of Aragon
Born: 27 November 1380 Died: 2 April 1416
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca,
Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica;
Count of Barcelona, Roussillon and Cerdagne

Succeeded by