Eleanor of Castile

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Eleanor of Castile
Eleanor of Castile in a fictional drawing published in Cassell's History of England (c.1902)
Queen consort of England
Tenure16 November 1272 – 28 November 1290
Coronation19 August 1274
Countess of Ponthieu (with Edward I)
SuccessorEdward II
Castile, Spain
Died(1290-11-28)28 November 1290 (aged 48–49)
Harby, Nottinghamshire
SpouseEdward I of England
among others
Katherine of England
Joan of England
John of England
Henry of England
Eleanor, Countess of Bar
Joan, Countess of Hertford and Gloucester
Alphonso, Earl of Chester
Margaret, Duchess of Brabant
Berengaria of England
Mary of England
Elizabeth, Countess of Hereford
Edward II of England
HouseHouse of Burgundy
House of Plantagenet
FatherFerdinand III of Castile
MotherJoan, Countess of Ponthieu

Eleanor of Castile (1241 – 28 November 1290) was the queen of Edward I of England. She was also Countess of Ponthieu from 1279 until her death in 1290.

Edward and Eleanor married at the monastery of Las Huelgas, Burgos on 1 November 1254. Several of her relatives came to England soon after her marriage. Edward's father Henry III of England spent much money on her relatives. This made the people not like her, even though she could not stop it.

In the 1260s, the Second Barons' War started between Henry III and his barons. This divided the kingdom. Eleanor supported her husband Edward. Edward was captured at Lewes and imprisoned. Eleanor was honourably kept at Westminster Palace.

In 1270 Edward and Eleanor left to join his uncle Louis IX of France on the Eighth Crusade. Louis died at Carthage. They spent the winter in Sicily. Then the couple went on to Acre in Palestine.

They left Palestine in September 1272. In Sicily that December they learned of Henry III's death. Edward and Eleanor returned to England and were crowned together on 19 August 1274.

The many children of Queen Eleanor and King Edward I[change | change source]

  1. A stillborn daughter (unnamed) in May 1255 in Bordeaux, France.
  2. Katherine, (before 17 June 1264 – 5 September 1264) and buried at Westminster Abbey. Lived for less than a year.
  3. Joan: a daughter born January 1265, buried at Westminster Abbey before 7 September 1265. Lived for less than a year.
  4. John, (13 July 1266 – 3 August 1271) born at Wallingford, died in the custody of his granduncle, Richard, Earl of Cornwall and buried at Westminster Abbey. Lived for 5 years.
  5. Henry of England, born before 6 May 1268 and died on the 16th of October 1274. Lived for 6 years.
  6. Eleanor, (18 June 1269 – 29 August 1298). Buried on the 12th of October, 1298. She was betrothed to Alfonso III of Aragon, who died in 1291 before the marriage could take place, and in 1293 she married Count Henry III of Bar, by whom she had one son and two daughters. Lived for 29 years.
  7. Daughter, (28 May 1271 Palestine – 5 September 1271). Some sources call her Juliana, but there is no evidence for her name. Lived for less than 1 years.
  8. Joan of Acre (April 1272 – 7 April 1307). She married (1) in 1290 Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford, who died in 1295, and (2) in 1297 Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer. She had four children by each marriage. Lived for 35 years.
  9. Alphonso, Earl of Chester, born 24 November 1273, died 19 August 1284, buried in Westminster Abbey. He is sometimes given the title "Earl of Chester" by modern popular writers, but there is no evidence that that title, or any other, was ever his. Lived for 11 years.
  10. Margaret Plantagenet, (15 March 1275 – after 1333). In 1290 she married John II of Brabant, who died in 1318. They had one son. Lived for 58 years.
  11. Berengaria, (1 May 1276 – before 27 June 1278), buried in Westminster Abbey. Lived for 2 years
  12. Daughter, died shortly after birth at Westminster, on or about 3 January 1278. There is no evidence for her name. Lived for less than a year
  13. Mary of Woodstock, (11 March 1279 – 29 May 1332), a Benedictine nun in Amesbury, Wiltshire (England), where she was probably buried. Lived for 53 years.
  14. A son, born in 1280 or 1281 who died very shortly after birth. There is no evidence for his name. Lived for less than a year.
  15. Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, (7 August 1282 – 5 May 1316). She married (1) in 1297 John I, Count of Holland, (2) in 1302 Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford & 3rd Earl of Essex. Lived for 34 years.
  16. Edward II of England, also known as Edward of Caernarvon, (25 April 1284 – 21 September 1327). In 1308 he married Isabella of France. Lived for 43 years.

Eleanor of Castile was born to the Castilian King, Ferdinand III and his wife, Queen Joan of Ponthieu in the early 1240s. When her father died, her step brother, Alfonso X, ascended to the throne where he and King Henry III arranged her marriage. In Spain, at age 10-12 she was married to King Henry’s son, Edward, who was only 15 at the time in 1254. She went with her husband, Lord Edward of England, who was leading an important crusade in 1270. As a gift to celebrate their wedding, her step brother gave Edward the region of Gascony. Edward also gained the lands of Montreuil and Ponthieu through Eleanor. When Eleanor first moved to England, King Henry III “Ordered that her apartments be furnished "in Castilian fashion" to make her feel more comfortable.” [1] Archived 2020-11-27 at the Wayback Machine In 1264 she was moved to France for her safety when war broke out and did not return until about a year later. In 1270 she went on the 8th crusade with Edward to the Holy Land and returned in August 19, 1274 to be crowned. Since Eleanor was foreign, many of her subjects did not like her. On November 28, 1290, Eleanor died of a fever, leaving Edward to write, "I loved her dearly during her lifetime . . . . I shall not cease to love her now that she is dead."

References[change | change source]