HENRY OF CASTILE (March 1230 – 8 August 1303), called THE SENATOR (el Senador), was a Castilian infante , the fourth son of Ferdinand III of Castile by his first wife, Beatrice of Swabia .
* 1 Youth and rebellion * 2 English exile * 3 Tunisian expedition * 4 Italian campaigns * 5 Traditions * 6 Ancestors * 7 References * 8 Sources * 9 Further reading
YOUTH AND REBELLION
Henry spent his childhood at
In 1246, Henry accompanied his father on the expedition to Jaén .
His father granted him in fief the first of the new conquests: Morón
de la Frontera and Cote . After the fall of Seville , he was enfeoffed
with more conquered towns:
Jérez de la Frontera ,
Lebrija , Arcos and
As early as 1246, Henry had refused his father's request that he pay
homage (homagium) to his elder brother, the future Alfonso X . After
their father's death in 1252, Henry and his brother Frederick chafed
under the rule of Alfonso. In March 1253, Alfonso withdrew the
privileges which Ferdinand had granted Henry on his vast southern
estates. He also interfered to prevent Henry from contracting an
advantageous marriage. At
These insults induced Henry plot against Alfonso. In a meeting at
Maluenda in 1255, Henry temporarily brought
James I of Aragon over to
his side. Finally, in October, leagued with
Diego López IV de Haro ,
lord of Biscay , and drawing support from Galicia as well, he went
into open rebellion. Despite an initial victory over troops of the
royal party, he was defeated near Morón and forced to flee the
country. He took ship at
Henry arrived at the English court in towards the middle of 1256. He lived comfortably there for three years entirely on King Henry's good graces, but the English offered him no political support. In the spring of 1257, Giovanni Colonna , archbishop of Messina and an ambassador from Pope Alexander IV , arrived in England to negotiate with the king the investiture of his second son, Edmund , with the Kingdom of Sicily . Henry offered to lead troops to Italy to conquer the kingdom for Edmund, but a rebellion in Wales diverted attention from these projects.
After several sojourns in France proved fruitless, Henry decided to seek his fortune in Africa, where the Hafsid emir of Tunis , Muhammad al-Mustansir , had carved out a large empire. After securing a vow that he would not attack Castile, the king of England let Henry leave for Tunisia in July 1259, even granting him a safeconduct through the Gascon ports under his control.
Henry sailed to Catalonia, but King James refused to allow any of his
vassals to accompany Henry to Tunisia. In 1260, Henry arrived in
Tunis, where his brother Frederick soon joined him. Henry took command
of a contingent of Spanish knights in the service of al-Mustansir. In
1261, with the emir's brother, Abou Hafs, he led an attack on the
desert city of
In Tunis, Henry adopted the customs and dress of the Hafsid court, much to the shock of the local Christian community. He used the money he earned in the emir's service to finance commercial ventures originating out of the Genoese merchant colony in Tunis. From funds accrued through this trade, the king of France, Louis IX , was later able to make a loan to Henry of England.
Henry later made his way to Italy, where he joined his cousin Charles
of Anjou 's campaign in 1266 to become
King of Sicily
As a result, when his cousin
In 1272, his half-sister Eleanor and her husband King Edward I of England came to Sicily on return from the Crusades. Eleanor's attempts to get him released from prison were unsuccessful, but she kept in touch with him until her own death.
On 8 March, 1286, Pope Honorius IV absolved him from the excommunication he had incurred when he had ravaged the city of Rome with Conradin, and committed insults and harm to Cardinal Giordano Orsini (the future Pope Nicholas III ), his nephew Matteo Rosso Orsini , and Giordano Savelli. His absolution was conditional upon sacramental confession and restitution for all the damages done to interested parties, or, if he had insufficient means, a solemn promise to make full restitution when he was able.
Both Eleanor and Charles were dead before Henry was finally released in 1291. He returned to Castile in 1298, where he was appointed Regent for his grandnephew, King Ferdinand IV . He married Juana Núñez de Lara , but had no known legitimate children before his death in 1304.
According to tradition he had a son out of wedlock with a lady called Mayor Rodríguez Pecha, daughter of the lord ( Alcaide ) of the castle of Zamora . This son was called Enrique Enriquez de Sevilla, who became Justicia Mayor or Chief Judge of Castile under King Alfonso XI .
Recent literary studies attribute the famous tale of chivalry "Amadis
de Gaula " to Henry of Castile. He was a poet, a troubadour and a
daring warrior. He might have written "Amadis" while imprisoned in
Castel del Monte ,
Terra di Bari
ANCESTORS OF HENRY OF CASTILE THE SENATOR
19. Maud of Savoy
21. Blanche of Navarre
11. Eleanor of England
1. HENRY OF CASTILE THE SENATOR
25. Judith of Bavaria
6. Philip, King of Germany
28. Andronikos Doukas Angelos
14. Isaac II Angelos
29. Euphrosyne Kastamonitissa