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
9 Further reading
Youth and rebellion
Henry spent his childhood at Burgos, where among his tutors was the
future cardinal Giles of Torres. He received the typical education
of a royal prince in both arms and letters.
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 Medina
Sidonia. In the repartimiento (division) of Seville itself, Henry and
his retinue received a part. He spent the next few years mostly at
Seville, often at the court of his father's second wife, Joan of
Ponthieu. The troubadouric allusions to their illicit relationship
are, however, of no evidentiary value.
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 Calatayud, according to the Libro de las
armas of Juan Manuel, Henry's nephew, he asked for the hand in
marriage of king of Aragon's daughter, Constance of Aragon, but
Alfonso prevented it.
These insults induced Henry plot against Alfonso. In a meeting at
Maluenda in 1255, Henry temporarily brought
James I of Aragon
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
Cádiz and sailed through the Mediterranean, stopping
at Valencia, and passed through France, initially seeking refuge with
his stepmother in Ponthieu. She may have suggested he visit his
half-sister Eleanor, who was married to Edward, the son and heir of
King Henry III of England.
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 Miliana. These campaigns strengthened Hafsid
independence in the face of the Almohads, the Moroccan dynasty which
had also ruled much of Spain the previous century.
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
King of Sicily (Battle of
Benevento) and lent him large sums of money. It was here that Henry
earned his title of El Senador when Charles had him made Senator of
Rome (at the time, the ancient
Senate of Rome
Senate of Rome evolved into an
institution where a single "Senator" was entrusted with civil power in
the city of Rome). However, he was never repaid by Charles; and Henry
had aspired to the Kingship of Sardinia or some other high title, and
found the senatorship poor compensation.
As a result, when his cousin
Conradin invaded Italy in 1268, Henry
changed sides and joined him. He was one of Conradin's generals at the
Battle of Tagliacozzo; he was in command of a host of three hundred
Spanish knights sent by his brother Afonso X of Castille. He won the
first encounter against the French, but was defeated by a surprise
attack of a hidden reinforcement of one thousand French knights under
Charles of Anjou. After the loss of the battle, he fled to the Convent
of San Salvatore, Monte Cassino, where he was captured by the
Ferdinand Gregorovius he spent the next twenty-three
years in captivity - in Castello di
Canosa from 1268 to 1277, and in
Castel del Monte from 1277 to 1291.
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
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, Italy for many years.
Ancestors of Henry of Castile the Senator
16. Alfonso VII of León and Castile
8. Ferdinand II of León
17. Berenguela of Barcelona
4. Alfonso IX of León
18. Afonso I of Portugal
9. Urraca of Portugal
19. Maud of Savoy
2. Ferdinand III of Castile
20. Sancho III of Castile
10. Alfonso VIII of Castile
21. Blanche of Navarre
5. Berenguela of Castile
22. Henry II of England
11. Eleanor of England
23. Eleanor of Aquitaine
1. Henry of Castile the Senator
24. Frederick II, Duke of Swabia
12. Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor
25. Judith of Bavaria
6. Philip, King of Germany
26. Renaud III, Count of Burgundy
13. Beatrice I, Countess of Burgundy
27. Agatha of Lorraine
3. Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen
28. Andronikos Doukas Angelos
14. Isaac II Angelos
29. Euphrosyne Kastamonitissa
7. Irene Angelina
30. George Komnenodoukas Palaiologos
15. Unknown Palaiologina?, afterwards Irene
31. ?Irene Komnene Kantakouzene?
^ Spanish: Enrique de Castilla, Don Enrrique; Italian: Enrico di
Castiglia, Arrigo di Castiglia; Latin: Henricus de Castella, Henricus
de Hispania, Anrricus
^ a b c d e f g h i j k Kamp 1993.
^ Maurice Prou (editor), Les registres d'Honorius IV (Paris 1888), pp.
240-241, no. 319 (8 March 1286).
Kamp, Norbert (1993). "Enrico di Castiglia (Henricus de Castella,
Henricus de Hispania, Arrigo di Castiglia, Anrricus, Don Enrrique)".
Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. 42. Rome: Istituto
Ballesteros Beretta, Antonio. Sevilla en el siglo XIII
Parsons, John Carmi. Eleanor of Castile: Queen and Society in
Thirteenth Century England
Runciman, Steven (1958). The Sicilian Vespers. Cambridge University
Press. ISBN 0-521-43774-1.
Santiago Sevilla Setecientos años buscando al Author del "Amadís" in
Portal de las Humanidades.
Santiago Sevilla Personajes Reales en el Amadis in Liceus El
Santiago Sevilla El Verdadero Author del Amadís de Gaula Diario de
León Jueves 13 de Marzo de 2008
Santiago Sevilla Parentescos Principescos y Amadís in Liceus El
Portal de las Humanidades.
Santiago Sevilla La Geografía fantástica del Amadís de Gaula in
Portal de las Humanidades.
Paolo Borsa Letteratura Antiangioina tra Provenza, Italia e Catalogna.
La Figura di Carlo I
Peter Herde Die Schlacht bei Tagliacozzo, Zeitschrift für Bayerische
Giuseppe Del Giudice Don Arrigo
Infante di Castiglia Biblioteca
nazionale Sagarriga Visconti-Volpi-Bari - BA.
Arrigo da Castiglia Don Alegramente e con grande baldanza / canzone/
in Virgilio da Benedetto, Contributi allo studio della poesia storico
politica delle origini. Due poesie per la discesa in Italia di
Corradino di Svevia 1956.
Ferdinand Gregorovius Wanderjahre in Italien in Projekt Gutenberg-DE
Valeria Bertolucci Pizzorusso,
Universitá di Pisa
Universitá di Pisa Don Enrique / Don
Arrigo: un infante di Castiglia tra storia e letteratura. ALCANATE IV
2004-2005 Revista de Estudios Alfonsíes El Puerto de