Peter IV of Aragon

Peter IV of Aragon

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Peter IV, (Balaguer
Balaguer
Balaguer is the capital of the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.It is located by the river Segre, a tributary to the Ebre....

, September 5, 1319 – Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, January 6, 1387), called el Cerimoniós ("the Ceremonious") or el del punyalet ("the one of the little dagger"), was the King of Aragon, King of Sardinia and Corsica (as Peter I), King of Valencia (as Peter II), and Count of Barcelona (and the rest of the Principality of Catalonia
Principality of Catalonia
The Principality of Catalonia , is a historic territory in the northeastern Iberian Peninsula, mostly in Spain and with an adjoining portion in southern France....

 as Peter III) from 1336 until his death. He deposed James III of Majorca
James III of Majorca
James III , called the Rash or the Unfortunate, son of Ferdinand of Majorca and Isabelle de Sabran, heiress of Principality of Achaea, was the King of Majorca from 1324 to 1344. He was the last independent king of Majorca of the House of Barcelona.James was born at Catania...

 and made himself King of Majorca in 1344. His reign was occupied with attempts to strengthen the crown against the Union of Aragon
Union of Aragon
The Union of Aragon was an anti-royalist movement among the nobility and the townsmen of the lands of the Crown of Aragon during the last quarter of the thirteenth century...

 and other such devices of the nobility, with their near constant revolts, and with foreign wars, in Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

, Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, the Mezzogiorno
Mezzogiorno
The Midday is a wide definition, without any administrative usage, used to indicate the southern half of the Italian state, encompassing the southern section of the continental Italian Peninsula and the two major islands of Sicily and Sardinia, in addition to a large number of minor islands...

, Greece
Latin Empire
The Latin Empire or Latin Empire of Constantinople is the name given by historians to the feudal Crusader state founded by the leaders of the Fourth Crusade on lands captured from the Byzantine Empire. It was established after the capture of Constantinople in 1204 and lasted until 1261...

, and the Balearics. His wars in Greece made him Duke of Athens and Neopatria
Duchy of Neopatria
The Duchy of Neopatria or Neopatras was one of the Crusader States set up in Greece after the conquest of the Byzantine Empire during the Fourth Crusade...

 in 1381.

Succession conflicts



Peter was born at Balaguer
Balaguer
Balaguer is the capital of the comarca of Noguera, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain.It is located by the river Segre, a tributary to the Ebre....

, the eldest son and heir of Alfons IV, then Count of Urgell, and his first wife, Teresa d'Entença
Teresa d'Entença
Teresa d'Entença was the eldest daughter of Gombald d'Entença and his wife Constance of Antillón. She was Queen consort of Aragon by her marriage to King Alfonso IV of Aragon and was Countess of Urgell in her own right; however control over her estate passed to her husband.- Life :Before dying at...

. Peter was designated to inherit all of his father's title save that of Urgell, which went to his younger brother James
James I of Urgell
James I , the eighteenth Count of Urgell, was the fourth son of Alfonso IV King of Aragon and Teresa d'Entença & Cabrera, 17th Countess of Urgell.-Biography:...

.

Upon succeeding his father he called a corts
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

in Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

 for his coronation. He crowned himself, disappointing the Archbishop of Zaragoza and thus rejecting the surrender Peter II
Peter II of Aragon
Peter II the Catholic was the King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona from 1196 to 1213.He was the son of Alfonso II of Aragon and Sancha of Castile...

 had made to the Papacy, in an otherwise traditional ceremony. According to his own later reports, this act caused him some "distress". He did, however, affirm the liberties and privileges of Aragon. Also while he was at Zaragoza an embassy from Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 had met him and asked that he promise to uphold the donations of land his father had made to his stepmother Eleanor, but he refused to give a clear answer as to the legitimacy of the donations.

After the festivities in Zaragoza, Peter began on his way to Valencia to receive coronation there. On route he stopped at Lleida
Lleida
Lleida is a city in the west of Catalonia, Spain. It is the capital city of the province of Lleida, as well as the largest city in the province and it had 137,387 inhabitants , including the contiguous municipalities of Raimat and Sucs. The metro area has about 250,000 inhabitants...

 to affirm the Usatges and Constitutions
Catalan constitutions
The Catalan constitutions were promulgated by the Corts of Barcelona . The first constitution was promulgated by the court of 1283. The last ones were promulgated by the court of 1702...

 of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 and receive the homage of his Catalan subjects. This offended Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, at which the ceremony had usually been performed, and the citizens of that city complained to the king, who claimed that Lleida was on his way to Valencia. While in Valencia he decided on the case of his stepmother's inheritance, depriving her of income and outlawing her Castilian protector, Peter Ponce of León and Jérica. However, Jérica had enough supporters within Peter's domains that Peter was unable to maintain his position and in 1338, through papal mediation, Jérica was reconciled to the king and Eleanor received her land and jurisdictional rights. Peter was largely forced to capitulate by a new invasion from Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 aimed at Castile and Valencia.

In 1338 he married Maria
Maria of Navarre
Maria of Navarre was the eldest child of Philip III of Navarre and Joan II of Navarre. She was Queen consort of Aragon by her marriage to Peter IV of Aragon, she was also the first of four wives. Maria of Navarre is also known as Marie d'Évreux .-Family:Maria was an elder sister of Charles II of...

, second daughter of Philip III
Philip III of Navarre
Philip III , called the Noble or the Wise, Count of Évreux and King of Navarre , was the second son of Louis of Évreux and Margaret of Artois and therefore a grandson of King Philip III of France...

 and Joan II of Navarre
Joan II of Navarre
Joan II was Queen of Navarre from 1328 until her death. She was the only daughter of Margaret of Burgundy, first wife of King Louis X of France...

. In May 1339 he allied with Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI of Castile
Alfonso XI was the king of Castile, León and Galicia.He was the son of Ferdinand IV of Castile and his wife Constance of Portugal. Upon his father's death in 1312, several disputes ensued over who would hold regency, which were resolved in 1313...

 against Morocco, but his contribution of a fleet had no effect at the pivotal Battle of the Saulty River (October 1340).

Conquest of Majorca


Early on in his reign, a thorn in Peter's side had been James III of Majorca
James III of Majorca
James III , called the Rash or the Unfortunate, son of Ferdinand of Majorca and Isabelle de Sabran, heiress of Principality of Achaea, was the King of Majorca from 1324 to 1344. He was the last independent king of Majorca of the House of Barcelona.James was born at Catania...

, his brother-in-law, the husband of his sister Constance
Constance of Aragon, Queen of Majorca
Constance of Aragon was the eldest daughter of Alfonso IV of Aragon and his first wife Teresa d'Entença. She was born into the House of Aragon...

. James had twice postponed performing the ceremony of homage to Peter, his feudal overlord, and when he finally performed it in 1339 it was on his terms. The rising economic star of Majorca, whose merchants were establishing independent markets and gaining trading privileges in the western Mediterranean, threatened the supremacy of Barcelona. The gold coinage of Majorca and the diplomatic equality granted it by the powers of France and Italy irked Peter further, while James also allied with Abu Al-Hassan, the king of Morocco and Peter's enemy. Peter's outrage, however, was given no outlet until 1341, when James, threatened with invasion by the French over disputed rights to the Lordship of Montpellier, called on his suzerain Aragon for aid. In order not to offend France nor to support James, Peter summoned the king of Majorca to a cort at Barcelona, to which he knew he would not come, and when James or a representative of his failed to appear, Peter declared himself free from the obligations of an overlord to James.

Peter then opened a legal process against James, with the intent of dispossessing him of his kingdom. He alleged that the circulation of James' coinage in the Counties of Roussillon
County of Roussillon
The County of Roussillon was one of the Catalan counties in the Marca Hispanica during the Middle Ages. The rulers of the county were the Counts of Roussillon, whose interests lay both north and south of the Pyrenees.-Visigothic county:...

 and Cerdagne
County of Cerdagne
The County of Cerdanya was one of the Catalan counties formed in the last decades of the 8th century by the Franks in the Marca Hispanica. The original Cerdanya consisted of the valley of the upper Segre. Today Cerdanya is a Catalan comarca.-Origins:...

 to be an infringement on the royal right of monopoly of coinage. This was open to question, considering the ancient customs of Roussillon and Cerdagne, but Peter was prepared to move forward anyway. The interference of Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI
Pope Clement VI , bornPierre Roger, the fourth of the Avignon Popes, was pope from May 1342 until his death in December of 1352...

, however, granted James a hearing in Barcelona in front of papal delegates. Peter, for his part, spread rumours that James was seeking to capture him. James, fearing that Peter would stoop to invading Majorca and seizing it by force, returned to the island to prepare its defence. In February 1343 Peter declared James a contumacious vassal and his kingdom and lands forfeit.

The legal process being terminated, Peter went to war, on the advice that the islanders were burdened by taxes and would readily rise in his support. In May a fleet which had been blockading Algeciras
Algeciras
Algeciras is a port city in the south of Spain, and is the largest city on the Bay of Gibraltar . Port of Algeciras is one of the largest ports in Europe and in the world in three categories: container,...

 landed at Majorca and quickly defeated James' army at the Battle of Santa Ponça. Peter received the submission of all the Balearics and confirmed the privileges of the islands as they had been under James I
James I of Aragon
James I the Conqueror was the King of Aragon, Count of Barcelona, and Lord of Montpellier from 1213 to 1276...

. Though James sued for peace and Pope Clement attempted to mediate it, Peter returned to Barcelona prepared to invade Roussillon and Cerdagne. After these were finally conquered in 1344 James surrendered on a safe conduct, only to find himself ignominiously reduced to the status of a petty lord. In March Peter had declared his realm incorporated into the Crown of Aragon in perpetuity and ceremoniously had himself crowned its king.

Military career



By the Pact of Madrid
Pact of Madrid
The Pact of Madrid, signed in 1953 by Spain and the United States, ended a period of virtual isolation for Spain, although the other victorious allies of World War II and much of the rest of the world remained hostile to what they regarded as a fascist regime sympathetic to the Nazi cause and...

, Peter was constrained to aid Alfons XI of Castile in his successful attack on Algeciras
Algeciras
Algeciras is a port city in the south of Spain, and is the largest city on the Bay of Gibraltar . Port of Algeciras is one of the largest ports in Europe and in the world in three categories: container,...

 (1344) and his failed attempt on Gibraltar
Gibraltar
Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern end of the Iberian Peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. A peninsula with an area of , it has a northern border with Andalusia, Spain. The Rock of Gibraltar is the major landmark of the region...

 (1349) by defending against a Moroccan
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 counterattack.

As Peter had no male issue, his brother Count Jaume of Urgell was the presumptive heir to the Aragonese throne. Peter grew to mistrust the intentions of Jaume over time. Peter decided that he would instead name his daughter Constança as his heir notwithstanding the precedents established by Jaume I and Alfons IV to exclude females from the throne. To this end, he demanded that Jaume cede his post as procurator general, a position which, by tradition, was reserved for the second in line to the Aragonese throne. Jaume fled to Zaragoza
Zaragoza
Zaragoza , also called Saragossa in English, is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain...

 where he gained the favor of certain nobles who wished to reassert their powers vis a vis the monarch. Peter eventually succumbed to the pressure to hold a cortes in Zaragoza where he made numerous concessions of royal authority to quell a rebellion he was not yet in a position to crush. One of such concessions was to revoke his attempt to name Constanca as heir, and to restore Jaume as procurator general. To avert additional damage, Peter dissolved the corts on the premise that he had to address a crisis developing in Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

. Not long thereafter, while Peter was in Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, Jaume suddenly died. Many suspected Peter of having arranged to have Jaume poisoned. Deprived of their leader, the Union of Aragon was greatly weakened.

Venturing next to Valencia, Peter encountered the nascent Valencian Union which had taken its cue from its counterpart in Aragon. At Murviedro (Sagunt), Peter was forced to name his stepbrother Ferran as the new procurator general. Additional concessions of royal authority were made to appease the Unionists. This time when he attempted to leave a bad situation, Peter was held under guard in Valencia as a prisoner of the Union. Suffering perhaps his greatest humility, he and his queen were forced to dance with the common folk to show his subservience. Ironically, his salvation was the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

. Valencia was felled by this plague in May 1348, enabling Peter to escape amid the confusion. Assembling an army of increasingly powerful royalists in Aragon, Peter attacked the unionist forces at the Battle of Epila
Battle of Epila
The Battle of Épila refers to the armed conflict that took place on July 21, 1348 near Zaragoza, in what is now Spain, between the supporters of the Union of Aragon and King Peter IV, led by Don Lope de Luna...

 on July 21, 1348. Peter won a complete victory. Proceeding to Saragossa, Peter executed only thirteen Union leaders. By fourteenth century standards, this was a great display of magnaminity. Not the same can be said for the fate of Valencia. After being persuaded not to burn the entire city and sow it with salt, many were executed. Of particular note, he had the bell that the Valencian Union rang to summon its meetings melted down. The molten metal from the bell was then poured down the throats of the Union leaders so that they "should taste its liquor."

In 1356, he engaged with Peter I of Castile in what was called the "War of the Two Peters
War of the Two Peters
The War of the Two Peters was a war fought from 1356 to 1375 between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. Its name refers to the two rulers of these countries: Peter of Castile and Peter IV of Aragon, respectively...

". It ended in 1375 with the Treaty of Almazan, without a winner due to the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 and several natural disasters.

He conquered Sicily in 1377 but the possession was given to his son Martin.

Throughout his reign, Peter IV had frequent conflicts with the inquisitor general of Aragon, Nicolas Eymerich.

In 1349, James invaded Majorca, but was soundly defeated by Peter's troops at the Battle of Llucmajor
Battle of Llucmajor
The Battle of Llucmajor occurred in 1349 when Peter IV of Aragon's forces defeated and killed his cousin James III of Majorca in the town of Llucmajor on the Balearic Islands, resulting in the end of the independent Kingdom of Majorca.-References:...

, in which he died. After James' death, Peter allowed James IV
James IV of Majorca
James IV of Majorca was King of Majorca from 1349 until his death.James was the son of James III of Majorca and Constance of Aragon...

, his successor, to retain his royal title on purely formal terms until his death in 1375. After that date, Peter assumed the titular. Majorca remained one of the component crowns of the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

 until the Nova Planta decrees.

Generalitat


At a corts
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

 celebrated at Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Vilafranca del Penedès
Vilafranca del Penedès
Vilafranca del Penedès, or simply Vilafranca, is the capital of the comarca of the Alt Penedès in Catalonia, Spain. The Spanish spelling of the name, Villafranca del Penedés, is no longer in official use...

 and Cervera
Cervera
Cervera is the capital of the comarca of Segarra, in the province of Lleida, Catalonia, Spain. The title Compte de Cervera is a courtesy title, formerly part of the Crown of Aragon, that has been revived for Felipe, Prince of Asturias....

 in 1358–1359, Peter instituted the Generalitat
Generalitat
Generalitat is the name of the autonomous systems of government of two of the present Spanish autonomous communities: Catalonia and the Valencian Community. The term is also used for the government of the semi-autonomous comarca of Val d'Aran, the Generalitat a l'Aran.Generalitat refers to all...

. Castile had recently invaded Aragon and Valencia and the cortes decided to streamline the government by designating a dozen deputies to oversee the fiscal and material policies of the Crown. The first "President of the Generalitat" was Berenguer de Cruïlles
Berenguer de Cruïlles
Berenguer de Cruïlles was bishop of Girona, , and first President of the Generalitat de Catalunya in the 14th century....

, Bishop of Girona (1359).

Toward the end of his reign (c. 1370) Peter ordered the compilation of the Chronicle of Sant Joan de la Penya to record the historical basis for the authority of the crown.

Marriage and children


On 1338, he married Maria of Navarre
Maria of Navarre
Maria of Navarre was the eldest child of Philip III of Navarre and Joan II of Navarre. She was Queen consort of Aragon by her marriage to Peter IV of Aragon, she was also the first of four wives. Maria of Navarre is also known as Marie d'Évreux .-Family:Maria was an elder sister of Charles II of...

 (1329–1347), daughter of Joan II of Navarre
Joan II of Navarre
Joan II was Queen of Navarre from 1328 until her death. She was the only daughter of Margaret of Burgundy, first wife of King Louis X of France...

. She bore him three daughters and one son:
  • Constance of Aragon (1343–1363), who married Frederick III of Sicily
    Frederick III the Simple
    Frederick III , called the Simple, was King of Sicily from 1355 to 1377. He was the second son of Peter II of Sicily and Elisabeth of Carinthia. He succeeded his brother Louis...

    .
  • Joanna of Aragon
    Joanna of Aragon, Countess of Ampurias
    Joanna of Aragon was the second child of Peter IV of Aragon and his first wife Maria of Navarre. She was an Infanta of Aragon by birth and Countess of Ampurias by her marriage. She was a member of the House of Aragon.- Family :Joanna was the second-born child of her parents. Her elder sister was...

     (1344–1384) Married in 1372 to John, Count of Ampuries.
  • Maria of Aragon (1345/6 – 1348) Died young of the plague.
  • Peter of Aragon (1347)


In 1347 in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, he married Leonor of Portugal (1328–1348), daughter of Alfons IV of Portugal. She died one year later of the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

.

His third marriage, on 27 August 1349 in Valencia was to Eleanor of Sicily
Eleanor of Sicily
Eleanor of Sicily was Queen Consort of Aragon . She was the daughter of Peter II of Sicily and Elisabeth of Carinthia. She was the third wife of Peter IV of Aragon.- Early life and family :...

 (1325–1375), daughter of Peter II of Sicily
Peter II of Sicily
Peter II was crowned King of Sicily in 1321 and gained full sovereignty when his father died in 1337....

. Four children were born from this marriage:
  • John I
    John I of Aragon
    John I , called by posterity the Hunter or the Lover of Elegance , but the Abandoned in his lifetime, was the King of...

     (1350–1396)
  • Martin I
    Martin I of Aragon
    Martin of Aragon , called the Elder, the Humane, the Ecclesiastic, was the King of Aragon, Valencia, Sardinia, and Corsica and Count of Barcelona from 1396 and King of Sicily from 1409...

     (1356–1410)
  • Eleanor, who married John I of Castile
    John I of Castile
    John I was the king of Crown of Castile, was the son of Henry II and of his wife Juana Manuel of Castile, daughter of Juan Manuel, Prince of Villena, head of a younger branch of the royal house of Castile...

     and was the mother of Ferdinand I of Aragon
    Ferdinand I of Aragon
    Ferdinand I called of Antequera and also the Just or the Honest) was king of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and Corsica and king of Sicily, duke of Athens and Neopatria, and count of Barcelona, Roussillon and Cerdanya...

    .


His last marriage, in 1377 in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, was to Sibila of Fortià
Sibila of Fortia
Sibila of Fortià , Queen of Aragon, was daughter of Berenguer de Fortià and his wife, Francesca of Palau. Sibila belonged to the lineage of Fortià, the lower nobility, with possessions in the rural Empordà, in the county of Ampurias. She was Queen consort of Aragon by her marriage to Peter IV of...

 (?-1406), who bore him a son and a daughter:
  • Alfons (1378–1412) Duke of Gandia
  • Isabella
    Isabella of Aragon (1380–1424)
    Isabella of Aragon was a daughter of Peter IV of Aragon and his fourth wife, Sibila of Fortia. She was infanta of Aragon and Countess of Urgel.- Family :...

     (1380–1424), who married her cousin James II of Urgell
    James II of Urgell
    James II was the Count of Urgell , Viscount of Àger, and lord of Antillón, Alcolea de Cinca, and Fraga...

    .

External links



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