Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile
|Eleanor of England|
|Queen consort of Castile|
|Tenure||September 1177 – 5 October 1214|
13 October 1162|
Domfront Castle, Normandy
|Died||31 October 1214
|Burial||Abbey of Santa Maria la Real de Huelgas, Burgos|
|Spouse||Alfonso VIII, King of Castile|
|Berengaria, Queen of Castile
Urraca, Queen of Portugal
Blanche, Queen of France
Eleanor, Queen of Aragon
Henry I, King of Castile
|House||Plantagenet / Angevin[nb 1]|
|Father||Henry II, King of England|
|Mother||Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine|
Eleanor of England (Spanish: Leonor; 13 October 1162 – 31 October 1214) was Queen of Castile and Toledo as wife of Alfonso VIII of Castile. She was the sixth child and second daughter of King Henry II of England and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and received her first name as a namesake of her mother.
Early life and family
She was born in the castle at Domfront, Normandy on 13 October 1162, and was baptised by Henry of Marcy. Her half-siblings were Marie and Alix of France, and her full siblings were Henry the Young, Duchess Matilda, King Richard, Duke Geoffrey, Queen Joan and Prince John.
When she was 12 years old, in 1174, Eleanor was married to King Alfonso VIII of Castile in Burgos. The marriage had been arranged with a betrothal in 1170 but, because of Eleanor’s youth at the time, and the uproar in Europe six months later of Archbishop Thomas Becket's murder implicating her father, the wedding was delayed. Her parents' purpose in arranging the marriage was to secure Aquitaine’s Pyrenean border, while Alfonso was seeking an ally in his struggles with his uncle, Sancho VI of Navarre. In 1177, this led to Henry overseeing arbitration of the border dispute.
Around the year 1200, Alfonso began to claim that the duchy of Gascony was part of Eleanor's dowry, but there is no documented foundation for that claim. It is highly unlikely that Henry II would have parted with so significant a portion of his domains. At most, Gascony may have been pledged as security for the full payment of his daughter’s dowry. Her husband went so far on this claim as to invade Gascony in her name in 1205. In 1206, her brother John, King of England granted her safe passage to visit him, perhaps to try opening peace negotiations. In 1208, Alfonso yielded on the claim. Decades later, their great-grandson Alfonso X of Castile would claim the duchy on the grounds that her dowry had never been fully paid.
Of all Eleanor of Aquitaine’s daughters, her namesake was the only one who was enabled, by political circumstances, to wield the kind of influence her mother had exercised. In her own marriage treaty, and in the first marriage treaty for her daughter Berengaria, Eleanor was given direct control of many lands, towns, and castles throughout the kingdom. She was almost as powerful as Alfonso, who specified in his will in 1204 that she was to rule alongside their son in the event of his death, including taking responsibility for paying his debts and executing his will. It was she who persuaded him to marry their daughter Berengaria to Alfonso IX of León. Troubadours and sages were regularly present in Alfonso VIII’s court due to Eleanor’s patronage.
Eleanor took particular interest in supporting religious institutions. In 1179, she took responsibility to support and maintain a shrine to St. Thomas Becket in the cathedral of Toledo. She also created and supported the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas, which served as a refuge and tomb for her family for generations, and its affiliated hospital.
When Alfonso died, Eleanor was reportedly so devastated with grief that she was unable to preside over the burial. Their eldest daughter Berengaria instead performed these honours. Eleanor then took sick and died only twenty-eight days after her husband, and was buried at Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas.
|Las Huelgas near Burgos,
8 November 1246
|Married firstly in Seligenstadt on 23 April 1188 with Duke Conrad II of Swabia, but the union (only by contract and never solemnized) was later annulled. Married in Valladolid between 1/16 December 1197 with King Alfonso IX of León as his second wife. After their marriage was dissolved on grounds of consanguinity in 1204, she returned to her homeland and became regent of her minor brother King Henry I. Queen of Castile in her own right after the death of Henry I in 1217, quickly abdicated in favour of her son Ferdinand III of Castile who would re-unite the kingdoms of Castile and León.|
5 April 1181
|26 July 1181||Heir of the throne since his birth, died aged three months.|
|Sancha||20/28 March 1182||3 February 1184/
16 October 1185
|Died in infancy.|
|Henry||1184||1184?||Heir of the throne since his birth, died either shortly after being born or in infancy. His existence is disputed among sources.|
28 May 1187
3 November 1220
|Married in 1206 to Infante dom Afonso of Portugal, who succeeded his father as King Afonso II on 26 March 1212.|
4 March 1188
27 November 1252
|Married on 23 May 1200 to Prince Louis of France, who succeeded his father as King Louis VIII on 14 July 1223. Crowned Queen at Saint-Denis with her husband on 6 August 1223. Regent of the Kingdom of France during 1226-1234 (minority of her son) and during 1248-1252 (absence of her son on Crusade).|
29 September 1189
14 October 1211
|Heir of the throne since his birth. On whose behalf Diego of Acebo and the future Saint Dominic travelled to Denmark in 1203 to secure a bride. Ferdinand was returning through the San Vicente mountains from a campaign against the Muslims when he contracted a fever and died.|
|Betrothed in 1204 to Infante Ferdinand of Leon, eldest son of Alfonso IX and stepson of her oldest sister.|
|Married on 6 February 1221 with King James I of Aragon. They became separated on April 1229 on grounds of consanguinity.|
|Constance||c. 1202||Las Huelgas,
|A nun at the Cistercian monastery of Santa María la Real at Las Huelgas in 1217, she became known as the Lady of Las Huelgas, a title shared with later royal family members who joined the community.|
14 April 1204
6 June 1217
|Only surviving son, he succeeded his father in 1214 aged ten under the regency firstly of his mother and later his oldest sister. He was killed when he was struck by a tile falling from a roof.|
|Ancestors of Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile|
- Historians are divided in their use of the terms "Plantagenet" and "Angevin" in regards to Henry II and his sons. Some class Henry II to be the first Plantagenet King of England; others refer to Henry, Richard and John as the Angevin dynasty, and consider Henry III to be the first Plantagenet ruler.
- Abbreviationes Chronicorum
- Annales Compostellani
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- Crónica Latina, Anales Toledanos
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- José Manuel Cerda, The marriage of Alfonso VIII of Castile and Leonor Plantagenet: the first bond between Spain and England in the Middle Ages
- Gillingham 2005.
- Weir 2008, p. 64.
- Cawley, Charles, ENGLAND KINGS 1066-1603, Medieval Lands database, FMG, retrieved August 2012 Check date values in:
- Weir, 64.
- Shadis 2010, p. 25-31.
- Shadis 2010, p. 31-32.
- Wheeler & Parsons 2002.
- Shadis 2010, p. 27-30.
- Shadis 2010, p. 38-39.
- Mila y Fontanels 1966, p. 112.
- Shadis 2010, p. 35-41.
- Ricardo del Arco y Garay, Sepulcros de la Casa Real de Castilla
- New International Encyclopedia, Vol.13, (Dodd, Mead and Company, 1915), 782.
- Vicaire, pp. 89–98.
- Osma 1997, p. 55-56, vol.20.
- Shadis 2010, p. 4.
- Mila y Fontanels 1966, p. 126.
- Shadis 2010, p. 48.
- Eleanor of England, Queen of Castile at the Internet Movie Database
- Cerdá, José Manuel, La dot gasconne d'Aliénor d'Angleterre. Entre royaume de Castille, royaume de France et royaume d'Angleterre, Cahiers de civilisation médiévale, ISSN 0007-9731, Vol. 54, Nº 215, 2011.
- Cerdá, José Manuel (2012). "Leonor Plantagenet y la consolidación castellana en el reinado de Alfonso VIII". Anuario de Estudios Medievales. 42.2. ISSN 0066-5061.
- Fraser, Antonia (2000). The Middle Ages, A Royal History of England. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22799-9.
- Gillingham, John (2005). "Events and Opinions: Norman and English Views of Aquitaine, c.1152–c.1204". In Bull, Marcus; Léglu, Catherine. The World of Eleanor of Aquitaine: Literature and Society in Southern France between the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries. Woodbridge: Boydell Press. ISBN 1-84383-114-7.
- Mila y Fontanels, Manuel (1966). "De los trovadores en España". In Martinez, C.; Manrique, F. R. Obras de Manuel Mila y Fontanels. 2. CSIC, Barcelona.
- Osma, Juan (1997). "Chronica latina regum Castellae". In Brea, Luis Charlo. Chronica Hispana Saeculi XIII. Turnhout: Brepols.
- Rada Jiménez, Rodrigo. Historia de los hechos de España.
- Shadis, Miriam (2010). Berenguela of Castile (1180–1246) and Political Women in the High Middle Ages. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-23473-7.
- Weir, Alison (2008). Britain's Royal Families: The Complete Genealogy. London: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-09-953973-X.
- Wheeler, Bonnie; Parsons, John Carmi (2002). Eleanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-230-60236-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eleanor of England (1162-1214).|
- Adrian Fletcher’s Paradoxplace – Leonora’s Tomb in the Cistercian Nunnery of Santa Maria de Real Huelgas in Burgos, Spain
Richeza of Poland
|Queen consort of Castile
Mafalda of Portugal