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John II of Castile: Wikis


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John II (6 March 1405, Toro, Zamora – 20 July 1454) was King of Castile from 1406 to 1454. He was the son of Henry III of Castile and his wife Catherine of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster by Constance of Castile, daughter of King Peter of Castile (known as 'Pedro the Cruel'). He was thus great-grandson of King Edward III of England through the maternal line.

Castilian and Leonese royalty
House of Trastámara
Escudo Corona de Castilla.png

Henry II
Children include
   John I
   Eleanor, Queen of Navarre
John I
Children include
   Henry III
   Ferdinand I of Aragon, Valencia and Sicily
Henry III and II of Leon
Children include
   John II
   Maria, Queen of Aragon, Valencia, Sicily and Naples
John II
Children include
   Henry IV
   Isabella I
   Alfonso, Prince of Asturias
Henry IV and III of Leon
   Joan, Queen of Portugal
Isabella I with Ferdinand V
   Isabella, Queen of Portugal
   John, Prince of Asturias
   Joanna the Mad
   Maria, Queen of Portugal
   Catherine, Queen of England

He succeeded his father on 25 December 1406, at the age of a year and ten months, and united in his person the claims of Pedro the Cruel and of Henry of Trastamara. His mother Katherine and his uncle, Ferdinand, were co-regents during his minority. When Ferdinand died in 1416, his mother was sole regent until she died as well, in 1418.

It was one of the many misfortunes of Castile that the long reign of John II—forty-nine years—should have been granted to one of the least capable of her kings. Juan was amiable, weak, and dependent on those about him. He had no taste except for ornament and no serious interest except in amusements such as verse-making, hunting, and tournaments.

He was entirely under the influence of his favourite, Álvaro de Luna, until his second wife, Isabella of Portugal, obtained control of his feeble will. At her instigation, he dismissed his faithful and able favorite, an act which is said to have caused him much remorse. He died on 20 July 1454, at Valladolid.

John II of Castile declared the Valladolid laws, which restricted the social rights of Jews. Among many other restrictions the laws forced Jews to wear distinctive clothes and denied from them any administrative positions.

In 1431 John placed Yusuf IV on the throne of the Moorish kingdom of Granada, in exchange for tribute and vassal status to Castile. This exchange is depicted in the short ballad the Romance of Abenamar.


John's ancestors in three generations
John II of Castile Father:
Henry III of Castile
Paternal Grandfather:
John I of Castile
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Henry II of Castile
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Juana Manuel of Castile
Paternal Grandmother:
Eleanor of Aragon
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Peter IV of Aragon
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Eleanor of Sicily
Katherine of Lancaster
Maternal Grandfather:
John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Edward III of England
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Philippa of Hainault
Maternal Grandmother:
Constance of Castile
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Peter of Castile
Maternal Great-grandmother:
María de Padilla

Family and children

Tomb of John II

In 1418, John married his cousin Maria of Aragon, the oldest daughter of the king Ferdinand I of Aragon and his wife Eleanor of Alburquerque. The marriage produced four children but only one son, the future Henry IV of Castile, survived infancy. John was widowed in 1445 and remarried to Isabel de Portugal, daughter of Infante João of Portugal, with whom he had two children: the future Queen Isabella I of Castile and the Infante Alfonso (1453-1468).


John II of Castile
Born: March 6 1406 Died: July 20 1454
Preceded by
Henry III
King of Castile and León
Succeeded by
Henry IV
Title last held by
Prince Henry
his father
Prince of Asturias
Title next held by
Prince Henry
his son


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