Spanish Monarch. Born the son of Enrique III, King of Castilla y León and his queen, Juana of Peñafiel. His first marriage to Eleanor of Aragon, resulted in three children, including the future kings Enrique III of Castilla and Ferdinand I of Aragon. He succeeded to the title of Rey Juan I de Castilla y León in 1379. His wife died in 1382. At the beginning of 1383, the political situation with Portugal was hostile. For purposes of state, Ferdinand I of Portugal arranged his daughter Beatriz's wedding to Juan I of Castile. The wedding took place on May 17, 1383 in Elvas, Portugal. Beatriz was eleven years old. By October, however, Ferdindand was dead, and Juan attempted to force the claims of his wife, Ferdinand's only child, and claim the crown of Portugal. According to the wedding treaty, the Queen Mother of Portugal, Eleonore Telles de Meneses, became regent, ruling in the name of her daughter and son-in-law. To be subsumed by the Castilian crown, however, was unthinkable for the majority of Portuguese, and a rebellion began, leading to the two years of civil unrest referred to as the Crisis. Juan's forces were defeated at the battle of Aljubarrota, on August 14, 1385. Ironically, he had faced the opposite end of a similar claim by John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, who claimed the crown of Castile by right of his wife, Costanza, the eldest daughter of Pedro I of Castile. Lancaster had styled himself as King John of Castile. That matter was also settled by a marriage, between Juan's son Enrique and the Duke's daughter, Catherine, in 1388. Juan was killed by a fall from his horse in October 1390. His son, still a minor, succeed.
Bio by: Iola