Juana Manuel

Juana Manuel (1339 – 27 March 1381) was queen consort of Castile from 1369 until 1379 by marriage to king Henry II of Castile. She was also the heiress of Escalona, Villena, Peñafiel and Lara, as well as Lady of Biscay.

Juana Manuel
La reina Juana Manuel y una de sus hijas (Detalle del cuadro de la Virgen de Tobed).png
Juana and one of her daughters, painted by Jaime Serra in the mid-fourteenth century
Queen consort of Castile and León
Died27 March 1381 (aged 41–42)
SpouseHenry II of Castile
IssueJohn I of Castile
Eleanor, Queen of Navarre
Infanta Joanna
HouseCastilian House of Ivrea
FatherJuan Manuel, Prince of Villena
MotherBlanca Núñez de Lara
ReligionRoman Catholicism


She was the daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena (1282–1348) and his second wife Blanca Núñez de Lara de La Cerda. Her mother Blanca (d. 1347) was a descendant of the lords of Biscay and of Lara and of Alfonso X's eldest son, Fernando de la Cerda. She was the last legitimate member of the House of Ivrea.


Her father had been for five years a serious enemy of King Alfonso XI, his former protégé, and the king wished to neutralize or absorb the might of the Peñafiel family. Although Juana was not yet the heiress (yet), already in her youth she had to go along with royal wishes. The king's influential mistress, Leonor de Guzmán, wanted to obtain some high prestige and property to her eldest son.

On 27 July 1350 her brother and guardian, Fernando Manuel of Peñafiel, had to marry his young sister to Henry (1333–1379), eldest of the illegitimate sons of Alfonso XI of Castile. This brought Henry certain lands.

However it was later that Juana's relatives' deaths made Juana the great heiress she turned out to be, while her husband became a threat to the royal power.

Inheritance and queenshipEdit

In 1361 (at the death of her teenage niece Blanca,[1][better source needed] daughter of her brother Fernando Manuel who himself had died in c 1350 without other children) she inherited Villena, Escalona and Peñafiel.[2]

Because Juana was a maternal granddaughter of La Palomilla (Juana Núñez de Lara), from her another cousin, Isabel de Lara who was murdered in 1361 [3][better source needed] and her young daughter Florentina [4][better source needed] (d after 1365), she also inherited Lara and Biscay.

In 1369, her husband became King Henry II of Castile, after he deposed and murdered his half-brother to take the throne, and she became queen of Castile and León.

When in 1381 she died and left her inheritance to her son, Biscay finally was united with Castile, and ultimately Spain.


Family treeEdit


  1. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "(Blanca's death)". Genealogy.EU.[self-published source]
  2. ^ Cawley, Charles, (inheritance of the 'greatest' castilian patrimony), Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,[self-published source][better source needed]
  3. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "(Isabel's death)". Genealogy.EU.[self-published source]
  4. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "(Florentina's death)". Genealogy.EU.[self-published source]
Juana Manuel
Born: circa 1339 Died: 27 March 1381
Regnal titles
Preceded by Queen consort of Castile and León
Succeeded by
Spanish nobility
Preceded by Lady of Villena,
Escalona and Peñafiel

Incorporated into the
Crown of Castile
Preceded by Lord of Biscay and Lara
Succeeded by