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John II
Depiction of King John II in his seventy-fifth year
John as a Knight of the Golden Fleece
Miniature from the southern Netherlands, 1473
King of Aragon
Reign27 June 1458 – 20 January 1479
PredecessorAlfonso V
SuccessorFerdinand II
King of Sicily
Reign27 June 1458 – 1468
PredecessorAlfonso V
SuccessorFerdinand II
King of Navarre
Reign8 September 1425 – 20 January 1479
PredecessorCharles III
Co-rulerBlanche I (until 1441)
ContendersCharles IV (1441–1461)
Blanche II (1461–1464)
Born29 June 1398
Medina del Campo
Died20 January 1479(1479-01-20) (aged 80)
(m. 1420; died 1441)
(m. 1447; died 1468)
FatherFerdinand I of Aragon
MotherEleanor of Alburquerque

John II (Spanish: Juan II, Catalan: Joan II, Aragonese: Chuan II and Basque: Joanes II; 29 June 1398 – 20 January 1479), called the Great (el Gran) or the Faithless (el Sense Fe),[1] was King of Aragon from 1458 until his death in 1479. As the husband of Queen Blanche I of Navarre, he was King of Navarre from 1425 to 1479. John was also King of Sicily from 1458 to 1468.


A Sicilian–Athenian–Neopatrian carlino of John II.

John was born at Medina del Campo (in the Crown of Castile), the son of King Ferdinand I of Aragon[2] and Eleanor of Alburquerque.[3] In his youth he was one of the infantes (princes) of Aragon who took part in the dissensions of Castile during the minority and reign of John II of Castile. Until middle life he was also lieutenant-general in Aragon for his brother and predecessor Alfonso V, whose reign was mainly spent in Italy.[4] In his old age he was preoccupied by incessant conflicts with his Aragonese and Catalan subjects, with Louis XI of France, and in preparing the way for the marriage of his son Ferdinand with Isabella I of Castile which brought about the union of the crowns of Aragon and Castile and which was to create the Monarchy of Spain. His troubles with his subjects were closely connected with tragic dissensions within his own family.

John was first married to Blanche I of Navarre of the House of Évreux.[4] By right of Blanche he became king of Navarre, and on her death in 1441 he was left in possession of the kingdom for his lifetime. But one son, Charles, given the title "Prince of Viana" as heir of Navarre, had been born of the marriage. John quickly came to regard this son with jealousy. After his second marriage, to Juana Enríquez, it grew into absolute hatred, being encouraged by Juana. John tried to deprive his son of his constitutional right to act as lieutenant-general of Aragon during his father's absence. Charles's cause was taken up by the Aragonese, however, and the king's attempt to make his second wife lieutenant-general was set aside.

There followed the long Navarrese Civil War, with alternations of success and defeat, ending only with the death of the prince of Viana, possibly by poison administered by his father in 1461.[5] The institutions of the Principality of Catalonia, who had adopted the cause of Charles and who had grievances of their own, called in a succession of foreign pretenders in the ten year's Catalan Civil War. John spent his last years contending with them. He was forced to pawn Roussillon, his Catalan possession on the north-east of the Pyrenees, to King Louis XI of France, who refused to part with it.

In his old age John was blinded by cataracts, but recovered his eyesight with an operation (couching) conducted by his physician Abiathar Crescas, a Jew. The Catalan revolt was pacified in 1472, but until his death in 1479 John carried on a war, in which he was generally unfortunate, with his neighbor the French king. He was succeeded by Ferdinand, his son by his second marriage, who was already married to Isabella I of Castile. With his death and son's accession to the throne of Aragon, the unification of the realms of Spain under one royal house began in earnest.

Marriages and issue

From his first marriage to Blanche of Navarre, John had the following children:

A ducat with John II's effigy

From his second marriage to Juana Enríquez, John had the following children:

Illegitimate children:


See also


  1. ^ Ruiz 2007, p. ?.
  2. ^ Woodacre 2013, p. 91.
  3. ^ Earenfight 2015, p. 143.
  4. ^ a b c d Scofield 1923, p. 235.
  5. ^ Livermore 1966, p. 120.
  6. ^ a b Merriman 1918, p. 61.
  7. ^ de Sousa, Antonio Caetano (1735). Historia genealogica da casa real portugueza [Genealogical History of the Royal House of Portugal] (in Portuguese). Vol. 2. Lisboa Occidental. p. 497.


John II of Aragon House of TrastámaraBorn: 29 June 1397 Died: 20 January 1479 Regnal titles Preceded byAlfonso the Magnanimous King of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca,Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica;Count of Barcelona 1458–1479 Succeeded byFerdinand the Catholic Count of Roussillon and Cerdagne 1458–1462 Succeeded byLouis the Prudent Preceded byCharles III King of Navarre (jure uxoris) 1425–1441with Blanche I Succeeded byCharles IVde jure King of Navarre de factowithholding the crown fromCharles IV and Blanche II 1441–1479 Succeeded byEleanor Spanish nobility VacantTitle last held byMartin of Aragon Duke of Montblanc 1415–1458 Succeeded byFerdinand II of Aragon Preceded byJames II of Urgell Lord of Balaguer 1418–1458 Preceded byHugh of Cardona Duke of Gandia 1433–1439 Succeeded byCharles of Viana