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Sancho, which happened after he had worn the crown one year and ten days; and this calamitous stroke was followed by many commotions. Upon the demise of Don Sancho, the
A.D. Castilian diadem devolved to his son Al
1158, phonso; but, as that prince was only three years of
he was left under the care of Don Guitterez de Castro, who was declared sole regent. This nobleman, who was equally respectable on account of his consummate prudence and inviolable probity, committed the education of his royal ward to a person who proved unequal to the trust reposed in him, and delivered up the infant to Don Manrique de Lara, a powerful and designing noble, who had always expressed the most violent hatred against the regent. Don Guitterez exerted all his abilities to compromise this matter, and to regain possession of the young king's person : but before he could effect his purpose he was summoned away by the angel of death ; and Manrique de Lara put so many artifices in execution, that even the king of Leon found it impossible to wrest the usurped regency out of his hands.
Åfter making several fruitless attempts against the intriguing family of Lara, Ferdinand deemed it expedient to compromise all differences with Don Manrique ; and took advantage of the ensuing calm to repair and fortify such parts of his dominions as were either indifferently peopled, or fallen to decay. He also granted several new privileges to his subjects, and acquired a considerable degree of popularity by espousing a princess of Portugal, in order to establish a firm alliance between the two kingdoms. Manrique de Lara paid so little regard to the
mild counsels of Ferdinand, that he used his utmost endeavours to enflame the mind of the young prince against the family of Castro, and at length persuaded him to seize on the city of Toledo, which had hitherto been governed by Don Ferdinand Ruez de Castro, and some of that nobleman's intimate friends. In the accomplishment of this project much blood was shed, and Manrique himself was numbered among the slain : but his brother, Don Nugnez, took the command of the army, and the gates
of Toledo were treacherously opened, whilst the unfortu. nate governor retired, with a few adherents, into the territories of the Moors.
Subsequent to this occurrence, the king of Portugal made a sudden irruption into Galicia, and, after a short time, made himself master of Badajos. Ferdinand hearing of this bieach of faith, resolved to besiege the aggressor in his new conquest, and conducted his design with such prudence that the Portuguese troops were completely defeated, and their royal commander was * taken prisoner. Alphonso was extremely mortified at this accident, and, in all probability, expected to receive very harsh treatment from his injured son-in-law. Ferdinand, however, behaved toward him with the utmost respect and affection; and after compromising their difference, permitted him to return to his own domis nions.
* The king of Portugal attempted to march out of the city against his enemy: but he was completely blocked up by his opponent, and, in endeavouring to force his passage, ke shattered one of his legs against the bolt of a gate, which accident threw his owu troops into confusion, and facilitated the victory of the assailants.
The Castilians having expressed an earnest desire that their king should enter into the con jugal state, though at this time he was
A.D. only fourteen years of age, an assembly
1169. of the states was convened at Burgos; and, in consequence of their deliberations, ambassadors were sent to Henry II. of England (at that time in Guienne), to demand the prin. cess Eleonora, his daughter. This proposal was cheerfully accepted, and the marriage was solemnized, in the course of the ensuing year, at Terrazona. About this time, Joseph, king of Mo
A. D. rocco, sent a numerous body of troops in
1170. to Spain, where they made some attempts against Valencia and Santaren: but they were repulsed with considerable loss; and though, in the following year, Joseph came over in person and made himself master of Murcia, he was soon obliged to return to Africa, and the infidels received a signal overthrow from the hand of king Ferdinand.
Meanwhile, the ancient animosity between the families of Lara and Castro was revived, and care ried to such a pitch as actually disturbed the públic peace of Castile and Leon, almost all the noble families in both kingdoms taking part on one side or the other. At length a resolution was taken to determine these resentments by a general action ; and a battle was accordingly fought, in the province of Tiero de Campos, with all the fury and obstinacy that inveterate hatred could inspire. Victory, however, decided in favour of Don Ferdinand de Castro; Nugnez and Rodrigo were made prisoners, but gene rously set at liberty; and the king of Leon
bestowed his sister Tiennetta on the conqueror, in order to attach him the more 'strongly to his service and interests.
Ferdinand of Leon had lived for several A. D. years in the most perfect felicity with 1175.
his queen, when the pope's legate found
out that they stood in an equal degree of relationship, being both of them grand-children of Alphonso VI. and prevailed on his master to annul the marriage. The king was highly displeased at this proceeding, and peremptorily refused to obey the papal injunction for several months ; but as his dominions were put under an interdict, and as his subjects began to exhibit signs of discontent, he at length parted with his wife, Urraca, by whom he had a heir to the crown; and about a year after, he espoused Donna Theresa, the daughter of Nugno de Lara.
Alphonso, king of Castile, having freed himself from a dangerous war with Navarre, resolved to imitate his illustrious predecessors, by turning his arms against the infidels. Ac . cordingly he marched, at the head of a numerous' army, into the enemy's country, and, with the assistance of the king of Arragon, reduced Cuenca, a place of considerable strength seated on the summit of a hill, at the confluence of two little streams, which, when united, form the river Xeucax.
Some historians have asserted that whilst Alphonso was employed at the siege of Cuenca, his uncle, Ferdinand, made an incursion into his dominions; and that the Castilian monarch took an ample revenge by committing many outrages in the territories of Leon. But this
account seems very improbable, as we find the two monarchs, early in the ensuing year, hold. ing a consultation, at Tordesillas, in order to strengthen the harmony, which then subsisted between their kingdoms. Shortly after this interview, died Theresa Lara, queen of Leon; and the year following, Don Ferdinand espoused Urraca Lopez, daughter of an opulent grandee in the province of Biscay.
The king of Castile seems to have had great success in several expeditions against the infidels; and in the summer of 1184, the whole force of the Moors was put to flight by the kings of Portugal and Leon, and their monarch, Joseph, was killed by a fall from his horse. In the course of the next year, they obtained some advantages in Estramadura: but these were soon wrested from them by the Castilians, and they were again defeated with prodigious slaugh. ter
In the autumn of 1187, Don Ferdinand of Leon was taken ill on his return from Compostella; and in the first month of the new year he breathed his last, amidst the universal lamentations of his subjects. He left three sons, viz. Don Alphonso, by his first queen the infanta of Portugal, and Don Sancho and Don Garcia by his surviving queen Urraca. rally admired for his piety, valour, and munificence; and his remains were solemnly interred, near those of his grandfather Don Raymond, in the cathedral of St. James.
The new king of Leon had no sooner taken possession of his father's dignities by the title of Alphonso IX. than he hastened to pay his respects to his royal cousin at Carrion, and, in
He was gene