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Saturday, August 8, 2020

King Alfonso VIII of Castile & Queen Eleanor Plantagenet

 47277578. King Alfonso VIII of Castile & 47277579. Queen Eleanor Plantagenet

11/11/1155, Alphonse born in Soria, Castile, heir & s/o 94555156. Sancho III of Castile & 94555157. Blance of Navarre.

1156, Alfonso’s mother died.

1158, Alfonso succeeded his father and proclaimed King.

1160, At the battle of Lobregal, the contending sides of the family fought with the Castro side victorius over the Lara side. Alfonso was put in the custody of the Lara village of Avila. By invitation of the Castro’s, Fernando II of Leon garrisoned troops in Toledo and collected its revenues until 1166.

10/13/1162, Eleanor born in Domfront, Normandy, France, d/o 47277568. King Henry II & 47277569. Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine. [Baptized by Henry, the Cardinal Legate.]

1163, Fernando had Manrique Perez de Lara bring his nephew Alfonso to him at Soria.

1164, Sancho VI of Navarre in vaded the Rioja of Castile and issued fueros [laws] there.

1166, The Castilian bishops intervened and supported Alfonso VIII and the Laras.

1166-1168, Alfonso and his regent defeated the Castros in a series of campaigns.

3/27/1168, Alfonso granted the castle of Chillon and its mercury mine to the Order of Calatrava and Count Nuno Perez de Lara.

1168 at Sahagun, Alfonso VIII of Castile made a peace agreement with Alfonso II of Aragon.

3/1/1169, Alfonso granted and estate at Villasequilla to Gonzalo de Maranon.

11/1169, Alfonso achieved majority and began his reign.

1170, Alfonso, age 15, assumed the duties of King. Through deliberations of the Cortes held at Burgos, it was decided that Alfonso should seek a wife. Eleanor was chosen to get King Henry’s support in recovering lands from Navarre. Eleanor’s dower included those conquered lands.

1170, Eleanor with her mother at court in Bourdeaux when an embassay arrived to request her marriage to Alfonso.

1170, Eleanor traveled to Spain accompanied by the Archbishop of Toledo, the Archbishop of Bourdeaux, and numerous other bishops, with many nobles from Aquitaine, Bretagne, Normandy and England.

[––Alfonso––] & [––Eleanor––]

8/1170, King Alfonso met his bride, Leonor, in Taragona where he had been negotiating with the King of Aragon.The ceremony of betrothal lasted the month of September. Alfonso and Leonor then traveled to Burgos and on to the capital of Toledo. [In Toledo thay stayed in the royal palaces of the Tower of St. Romain, or the Standard of the Crown, but they preferred to summer in the city of Burgos.]

1170, By the Treaty of Zaragoza, the kings of Castile and Aragon promised to cooperate against all Christians except the King of England. (S) War and Peace, Souza, 2008, P202.

1171, Alfonso and King Alfonso II of Catalonia & Aragon founded the city of Teruel.

1172, Alfonso began minting new coins using captured Muslim gold called “maravedi”. (S) Traders and Muslims in Spain, Constable, 1996, P50.

6/1172, Alfonso defended the Castilian stronghold of Huete, between Madrid and Cuenca, against a 7-week siege of an Almohad army from Seville. (S) Spain, 1157-1300, Linehan, 2011.

2/1173, King Alfonso with Leonor attend the court of his father-in-law King Henry at Montferrand in Auvergne.

1173, King Alfonso began a war with Navarre to recover lands lost in 1164.

1174, Alfonso confirmed royal privileges of his predecessors to the city of Toledo in order to encourage people to move to the city. (S) Mozarabs in Medieval and Early Modern Spain, Hitchcock, 2008, P89.

1175, Alfonso granted Fernando Martin control of several royal fortresses.

8/1176, Alfonso VIII rewarded Rodrigo Gustioz for giving him a horse during the campaign to conquer Leguin near Pamplona. (S) Aristocracy in 12th Century Leon and Castile, Barton, 2002, P106.

[––Alfonso & Eleanor––]

10/1176 at Toledo, Eleanor married Alphonse VIII, King of Castile. [14 was considered the age of maturity for females.]

1/1177, The kings of Castile, Leon, and Aragon agreed by the treaty of Tarazona to cooperate in campaigns against the Muslims. They began with a siege of Cuenca.

3/15/1177, Alfonso requested his father-in-law, King Henry, negotiate a peace agreement between him and the King of Navarre.

6/23/1177, During the siege of Cuenca, Alfonso granted half a fish pond at Medino to Pedro Gutierrez.

9/21/1177, Alfonso captured the city of Cuenca by siege.

1/1178, Alfonso VIII held a curia at Burgos.

1178, Alfonso II of Aragon and Alfonso VIII of Castile signed the 1st of two treaties of Cazola. The first treaty dealt with the boundary between Castile and Aragon.

3/20/1179, Alfonso VIII placed the first stone of the buildings of Huerta in the presence of Count Pedro de Molina. (S) Cantar de Mio Cid, Duggan, 2008, P84.

4/5/1179, Alfonso signed the treaty of Cazola with King Alfonso II of Aragon, in which the zones of expansion of Navarre, Leon, Portugal, and Aragon were defined. (S) War and Peace, Souza, 2008, P203.

1180, Leonore gave birth to a son, Sancho, who died an infant.

1180, Alfonso VIII founded the city of Plasencia after capturing the land from the Moors. (S) Fodor’s Spain, 2011, P215.

1181, Alfonson and Leonor were in Segovia where daughter Berengaria was born. [King Henry sent Leonor clothes, plates and silver vases.]

Aft. 7/26/1181, Queen Eleanor received some gifts from her father King Henry II. (S) Court, Household, and Itinerary of King Henry II, Eyton, 1878, P240.

1182, Alfonso invaded Andalusia, besieged Cordova and Fxija, and garrisoned the castle of Setefilla above Seville. (S) History of the Crusades, Setton, 1975, P421.

1183, Fernando II of Leon [Alfonso’s uncle] and Alfonso VIII met and ratified the Treaty of Fresno-Lavandera. (S) Curia and Cortes in Leon and Castile, Procter, 2010, P51.

1184, Alfonso VIII recaptured Alarcon in a 9-month siege. The army commander, Matinez de Ceballos, who scaled the walls using daggers, became the hereditary governor. (S) Companion Guide to Madrid, Oliver, 2002, P333.

1185, “Yo Alfonso, por la gracia de Dios rey de Castilla y de Toledo, juntamente con mi jujer la reina dona Leonor y con nuestro hijo el infante don Fernando, hago esta carta de concesion …”. (S) Las Senoras de Valfermoso, Pinedo, 1996, P56.

1186, Alfonso started to unite the Castilian nobility against the moslem Almohads.

1187 in Castile, Eleanor founded a Cistercian nunnery at Law Huelgas.

4/23/1188,Daughter Berenguela pledged to Konrad von Hohenstaufen, Duke of Swabia, s/o Emperor Frederic Barbarossa.

1188, At court at Toledo, Konrad was knighted by King Alfonso. Alfonso IX, s/o Ferdinand of Leon, now King of Leon, was also knighted, returning homage to King Alfonso. Queen Leonor was present at the ceremony.

1189, Alfonso again attacked western cities and Seville.

7/6/1189, Richard I succeeded Henry II as King of England. [Richard I being Eleanor’s brother; H.II her father.]

6/21/1190, “Alphonso” bestowed Fontevraud abbey an annual grant of 100 marks gold, given in the presence of “my wife, Queen Eleanora, and Ferdinand, my son”. [Fontravaud a Norman abbey, and the burial place of the early Plantagenet monarchs – Leonor’s ancestors.]

1191, Alfonso II of Aragon joined forces with Sancho VI of Navarre against Alfonso VIII of Castile. [Alfonso IX of Leon supported the pact.]

1193, Alfonso VIII gave Alarcos, a small unwalled village south of Toledo, to the order of Calatrava. (S) Oxford Encyclopedia of Medieval Warfare, V1, 2010, P16.

1194, Alfonso IX of Leon made peace with Alfonso VIII of Castile at the treaty of Tordehumos.

1194, Alphonsi and Leonor made a grant to the Cistercian monastery of St. Peter’s de Gumiel.

6/1195, From Seville, Muslim general Al-Mansur proclaimed a Jihad against the Christians.

7/19/1195, Alfonso defeated at the battle of Alarcos in the hill country outside Toledo. Alfonso lost thousands of soldiers to the great Moor general al-Mansur. Alfonso, with the few Spainsh survivors, fled northeast through Ciudad Real to the fortress at Calatrava. [Alfonso was outnumber by as much as 10 to 1.]

8/15/1196, Alfonso recovered Plasencia after the Caliph’s departure. (S) Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile, O’Callaghan, 2002, P30.

1197, The fortress at Calatrava fell to the Moors. Alfonso had to accept a unfavorable peace agreement.

8/1197, Alfonso VIII of Castile present when Pedro II of Aragon extended protection to Huerta.

12/1197, Alphonso and Leonor attended the wedding of daughter Berenguela in Valladolid, Castile-Leon, Spain.

1198, Alfonso ceased hostilities against Al-Manssor in order to defend himself against the forces of the Leonese and Navarrese.

5/20/1198, Pedro II of Aragon allied with Alfonso VIII by the Treaty of Calatayud. (S) Cantar de Mio Cid, Duggan, 2008, P78.

1198, King Pedro and King Alfonso attacked Sancho VII of Navarre.

5/27/1199, John, Leonor’s brother, crowned king of England, succeeding Richard I.

1200, Alfonso denounced the truce of 1197.

1200, While Sanco VII was out of Navarre, Alfonso attacked and captured Vitoria. (S) Cantar de Mio Cid, Duggan, 2008, P78.

1200, Alfonso and Leonor visited by Leonor’s mother, the Queen-mother of England, to arrange the marriage of their daughter Blanche to King Philip’s son Louis. [Part of a treaty by Leonor’s brother King John with King Philip of France.]

1201, Alfonso founded the city of Laredo on the coast of the Bay of Biscay.

7/25/2002, Alfonso granted land to Diego de Villar.

1202-1203, Alfonso and King John were in conflict over Leonor’s dowery of Gascony given by her father. Queen Leonor was given letters of safe conduct by King John to visit England. [In England, Leonor negotiated an initial agreement over Gascony.]

1204, The kings of Castile, Navarre, and Aragon entered in another peace agreement.

1204, Alfonso invaded Gascony after the death of Eleanor’s mother, and King John’s refusal to give up her dower-held lands. Alfonso captured Bayonne.

1204, Daughter Berenguela’s marriage declared unlawful by the Pope. Berenguela returned to Castile-leon with her infant sons Ferdinand and Alphonso.

12/8/1204, Alfonso wrote his will naming his son Fernando as his successor; and leaving multiple castles to his grandson Fernando.

1205, A charter of the dukes of Gascony “when King John was at war with Alphonso, King of Castile, for the province of Gascony.”

3/26/1206, By the treaty of Cabreros, the marriage of Alphonso IX of Leon and their daughter Berenguela ended with recognition of their grandson Fernando as Alfonso’s heir. Berenguela returned to the court in Castile with her sons.

1206, King John recaptured Gascony.

1/1207, Alfonso held court at Toledo in which the proceedings were recorded in the vernacular [instead of Latin]. (S) Sapin, 1157-1300, Linehan, 2011.

1207, By treaty, Alfonso VIII obtained disputed lands with Navarre.

1208, Alfonso founded the first Spanish university, at Valladolid. (S) The Rosary Magazine, V9, 1896, P287.

1209, Alfonso with the Kings of Leon, Navarre and Aragon met at Alfaro and entered into a league against the infidels. Every knight was ordered to take what was only necessary and meet at Talavera. Alfonso’s son Ferdinand took a large body of troops and ravaged Andalusia, defeating multiple forces.

10/14/1209, Leonor and Berenguela traveled to meet their son Ferdinand at Madrid. While there, Ferdinand developed a violent fever and died.

1209-10, Alfonso, facing an enemy with superior numbers, wrote a letter to King Philip Augustus of France requesting help. Alfonso also sent the Archbishop of Toledo to the Pope asking permission to declare a general crusade against the Moors in Spain – and consent was given.

1210, Alfonso attacked multiple fortresses in Moorish territory and returned to Toledo with a large bounty.

1211, Pope Innocent III, at the request of Alfonso VIII, sent letters to the Spanish archbishops offering that anyone dying while on crusade would have all their sins forgiven.

1211-12, Alfonso toured Italy, Germany and France recruiting forces for the crusade [with the Pope’s approval.]

2/1212, The crusading forces began to assemble at Toledo – the only city large enough to support the arriving army. The Archbishop of Narbonne brought a large contingent of French knights. Many members of the Knights Templar, the Hospitallers, and newly established Knights of St. James joined the forces.

6/20/1212, Alfonso at the head of 10,000 horsemen and 100,000 foot soldiers left Toledo.

1212, After some initial successes, some of the forces left over disputes about the distribution of the bounty. Alfonso himself had renounced any right to the spoils of the crusade. King Sancho of Navarre arrived with his forces reinforcing the remaining army.

7/14/1212, with the help of locals to bypass a bottleneck in the mountains guarded by the Moors, Alfonso’s forces met the Moorish forces on the plains of las Navas. Alfonso would not attack on a Sunday [the next day], and held off until Monday.

7/16/1212, Alfonso lead a coalition of Castillian forces as crusaders defeating the Almohads at the battle of Navas de Tolosa; the beginning of the restoration of the Iberian peninsula to Christanity. The coalition included King Sancho VII, “the Strong”, of Navarre, and Pedro II of Aragon, Alfonso’s grandson. Alfonso, in a letter to the Pope, estimated 100,000 Moors were killed, while he lost 25,000. [According to records of the Archbishop of Toledo, Alfonso was determine to win or die in battle – he did not want to leave a second time in defeat. Alfonso led the decisive charge.]

1212, Alfonso, having returned to Toledo, ordained a day of thanksgiving to be celebrated each year on the anniversary of the battle to be called the Triumph of the Holy Cross.

2/1213, Alfonso took to the field again in battle against remaining Moorish forces.

1213-14, Alfonso founded the Spanish university at Palencia.

7/16/1213, Alfonso and Leonor in Toledo for the 1st celebration of the Triumph of the Holy Cross.

1213-14, Alfonso was stymied from taking the field by a 9-month drought which limited food for an army. Alfonso and Leonor opened the royal castles to the starving people of Toledo.

1214, Alfonso and Leonor, with son Henry, daughters Berenguela and Leonor, and grandsons Ferdinand and Alfonso, left for a trip to Portugal to visit their daughter, the Queen.

10/6/1214, Alfonso died at Gutierre-Munoz during the trip. Alfonso was buried at Huelgas, Burgos.


10/1214, Leonor named regent during the minority of her son Henry.

10/31/1214, 25 days after Alfonso died, Leonor died; buried with Alphonso at the Cistercian nunnery.

(S) The Lives of the Princesses of England, V1, Green, 1850. (S) Medieval Iberia, Gerli, 2003. (S) The Cantar de Mio Cid, Duggan, 2008. (S) Aristocracy in 12th Century Leon and Castile, Barton, 2002.

Family notes:

·         There are over 1000 documents existant from the reign of Alfonso VIII.

Children of Alfonso and Eleanor:

i. Queen Berenguela of Castile (23638789), born 1/1181 in Spain.

1217, with the death of her brother Henry, Berenguela, eldest daughter, renounced her right to the throne to her son Ferdinand.

ii. Queen Urraca of Castile, born 1186 in Castile.

1206, Urraca married Alfonso II of Portugal.

3/26/1212, Alfonso became King of Portugal.

11/3/1220, Urraca died.

3/25/1223, Alfonso died in Coimbra.

ii. Queen Blanch of Castile (47277625), born 3/4/1188 in Castile.

iii. Ferdinand of Castile, born 11/29/1189 at Cuence, Spain.

12/8/1204, King Alfonso wrote his will naming his son Fernando as his successor; and leaving multiple castles to his grandson Fernando.

10/14/1209, Ferdinand died of a fever, returning from a military campaign against the Muslims; buried at the monastery of St Mary’s in Huelgas, Burgos.

10/14/1211, Fernando’s son Fernando died.

iv. Queen Eleanor of Castile, born ~1191 in Castile.

1221, Eleanor, about age 30, married to King James I of Aragon, age 10.

By 1235, King James divorced Eleanor.

v. Henry of Castile, born 4/14/1204 at Cuence, Spain.

8/1217, Henry died in Placentia when a tile falling from the roof of a house killed him.

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