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John II (Spanish: Juan II, Catalan: Joan II, Aragonese: Chuan II and Basque: Joanes II; 29 June 1398 – 20 January 1479), called the Great (el Gran) or the Faithless (el Sense Fe), was King of Aragon from 1458 until his death in 1479. As the husband of Queen Blanche I of Navarre, he was King of Navarre from 1425 to 1479. John was also King of Sicily from 1458 to 1468.
|King of Aragon |
|Reign||27 June 1458 – 20 January 1479|
|King of Sicily|
|Reign||27 June 1458 – 1468|
|King of Navarre|
|Reign||8 September 1425 – 20 January 1479|
|Born||29 June 1398|
Medina del Campo
|Died||20 January 1479 (aged 80)|
|Spouse||Blanche I of Navarre|
|Father||Ferdinand I of Aragon|
|Mother||Eleanor of Alburquerque|
John was born at Medina del Campo (in the Crown of Castile), the son of King Ferdinand I of Aragon and Eleanor of Alburquerque. In his youth he was one of the infantes (princes) of Aragon who took part in the dissensions of Castile during the minority and reign of John II of Castile. Till middle life he was also lieutenant-general in Aragon for his brother and predecessor Alfonso V, whose reign was mainly spent in Italy. In his old age he was engaged in incessant conflicts with his Aragonese and Catalan subjects, with Louis XI of France, and in preparing the way for the marriage of his son Ferdinand with Isabella I of Castile which brought about the union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile and which was to create the Kingdom of Spain. His troubles with his subjects were closely connected with tragic dissensions within his own family.
John was first married to Blanche I of Navarre of the house of Évreux. By right of Blanche he became king of Navarre, and on her death in 1441 he was left in possession of the kingdom for his lifetime. But one son, Charles, given the title "Prince of Viana" as heir of Navarre, had been born of the marriage. John quickly came to regard this son with jealousy. After his second marriage, to Juana Enríquez, it grew into absolute hatred, being encouraged by Juana. John tried to deprive his son of his constitutional right to act as lieutenant-general of Aragon during his father's absence. Charles's cause was taken up by the Aragonese, however, and the king's attempt to make his second wife lieutenant-general was set aside.
There followed the long Navarrese Civil War, with alternations of success and defeat, ending only with the death of the prince of Viana, possibly by poison administered by his father in 1461. The Catalans, who had adopted the cause of Charles and who had grievances of their own, called in a succession of foreign pretenders in the Catalan Civil War. His last years John spent contending with these. He was forced to pawn Roussillon, his possession on the north-east of the Pyrenees, to King Louis XI of France, who refused to part with it.
In his old age John was blinded by cataracts, but recovered his eyesight by the operation of couching conducted by his physician Abiathar Crescas, a Jew. The Catalan revolt was pacified in 1472, but John carried on a war, in which he was generally unfortunate, with his neighbor the French king till his death in 1479. He was succeeded by Ferdinand, his son by his second marriage, who was already married to Isabella I of Castile. With his death and son's accession to the throne of Aragon, the unification of Spain under one royal house began in earnest.
Marriages and issueEdit
From his first marriage to Blanche of Navarre, John had the following children:
- Charles, Prince of Viana (1421–1461)
- Juana (1423 – 22 August 1425)
- Blanche II of Navarre (1424–1464)
- Eleanor of Navarre (1426-1479)
From his second marriage to Juana Enríquez, John had the following children:
- Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452-1516). Married Isabella I of Castile.
- Joanna of Aragon (1455–1517). Married Ferdinand I of Naples.
|Ancestors of John II of Aragon|
- Ruiz 2007, p. ?.
- Woodacre 2013, p. 91.
- Earenfight 2015, p. 143.
- Scofield 1923, p. 235.
- Livermore 1966, p. 120.
- Merriman 1918, p. 61.
- de Sousa, Antonio Caetano (1735). Historia genealogica da casa real portugueza [Genealogical History of the Royal House of Portugal] (in Portuguese). Vol. 2. Lisboa Occidental. p. 497.
- Earenfight, Theresa (2015). "Trastamara Kings, Queens, and the Gender Dynamics of Monarchy". In Todesca, James (ed.). The Emergence of León-Castile c.1065-1500: Essays Presented to J.F. O'Callaghan. Ashgate. pp. 141–160.
- Livermore, H. V. (1966). A New History of Portugal (2nd ed.). Cambridge University Press.120
- Merriman, Roger Bigelow (1918). The Rise of the Spanish Empire in the Old and in the New. Vol. 2. The Macmillan Company.
- Ruiz, Teófilo F. (2007). Spain's centuries of crisis: 1300–1474. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-2789-9.
- Scofield, Cora Louise (1923). The Life and Reign of Edward the Fourth, King of England and of France, and Ireland. Vol. 1. Longmans, Green, and Co.
- Woodacre, Elena (2013). The Queens Regnant of Navarre: Succession, Politics, and Partnership, 1274–1512. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Rivadeneyra. "Cronicas de los reyes de Castilla," Biblioteca de autores espanoles, vols. Ixvi, Ixviii. Madrid, 1845.
- Zurita, G. Anales de Aragon. Saragossa, 1610.[title incomplete][volume & issue needed]
- Prescott W. H. History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella. 1854.
- public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "John II of Aragon". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 440. This article incorporates text from a publication now in the