Catherine of Navarre
with John III
|Reign||7 January 1483 – 12 February 1517|
|Spouse||John III of Navarre|
|Henry II of Navarre
Isabella, Viscountess of Rohan
|House||House of Foix|
|Father||Gaston of Foix, Prince of Viana|
|Mother||Magdalena of France|
|Died||12 February 1517|
Catherine (in Spanish, Catalina de Foix) (1468 – 12 February 1517) was Queen of Navarre (1483–1517), duchess of Gandia, Montblanc, and Peñafiel, countess of Foix, Bigorre, and Ribagorza, and viscountess of Béarn.
In 1483 the death of her brother Francis Phoebus made her queen under the regency of her mother. Her uncle John of Foix, appealing to the Salic Law alien to the Kingdom of Navarre, claimed the throne and ignited a civil war (1483–1492) that reignited the old conflict of the Beaumont-Agramont parties. In 1484, hard pressed by ambitions over the throne of Navarre, Magdalena of Valois decided to marry 15-year-old Catherine to John of Albret, hailing from a noble family in western Gascony.
The wedlock took place at the Notre Dâme Cathedral of Lescar in 1486,:75 but the coronation of the young couple in Pamplona was deferred until 1494, after a fleeting peace treaty with Louis of Beaumont, count of Lerin, and Ferdinand II of Aragon was signed. However, the marriage did not garner the sympathy of the Navarrese Beaumont party, and even the Agramont party split. Catherine's mother Magdalena died in 1495.
In 1504, she made her will, naming her son Henry II successor to the throne of Navarre and expressing her wish to be buried at the Cathedral of Pamplona—ultimately both her and her John III were interred in Lescar. The political alliance between the houses of Valois and Foix ahead of an impending Spanish invasion led to marriage negotiations between Catherine and Louis XII in 1512. It was suggested that Henry, prince of Viana, first son and heir presumptive of Catherine, marry a daughter of the French king.
1512 Castilian-Aragonese invasion
Ferdinand the Catholic, who had allied with the Roman Church against France, presented a set of claims to the legitimate royal family of Navarre. Catherine didn´t accept the demands, and Ferdinand sent Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba over to Pamplona, who occupied Pamplona on 25 July 1512. The Castilians went on to conquer St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (Donibane Garazi in Basque) after setting fire to Roncevaux, and wrought havoc across the merindad of Ultrapuertos (Lower Navarre). The Spanish troops would retain the southern half of that region intermittently for the next years. Catherine and king John III, overwhelmed by the Castilian push, fled to Bearn, constituent part of their kingdom. They set their base in Pau, Orthez and Tarbes, where they alternately resided most of the time until their death.:75
On 23 March 1513, the Cortes of Navarre reunited in Pamplona (Iruñea in Basque), greatly reduced to the pro-Spanish Beaumont party, and pledged allegiance to Ferdinand in exchange for his loyalty to the Navarrese laws. Since 1515, Upper Navarre was annexed to Castile as a different kingdom (aeque principalis), and it would be one constituent part of the Kingdom of the Spains, as later Spain came to be known during the following period.
In 1516 two columns led by John III crossed the Pyrenees south and attempted to reconquer Navarre but they failed to progress into the heartland of the kingdom. Devastated by the defeats undergone, king John III retreated to Monein, and died on 17 June 1516. Catherine did not outlive his husband much longer, and passed away in her domain of Mont-de-Marsan on 12 February 1517, just a few months later. By then, she had given birth to 13 children (other sources point to 14).
From 1512 to her death in 1517, Catherine was actual queen only in some areas of Basse-Navarre, or Lower Navarre, north of the Pyrenees, but her domains extended to the contiguous Bearn and other lands.
She and John III of Navarre were parents to thirteen children:
- Anne of Navarre (19 May 1492 – 15 August 1532).
- Magdalena of Navarre (29 March 1494 – May 1504).
- Catherine of Navarre (1495 – November 1532). Abbess of the Trinity at Caen.
- Joan of Navarre (15 June 1496 – last mentioned in November, 1496).
- Quiteria of Navarre (1499 – September/October 1536). Abbess at Montivilliers.
- A stillborn son in 1500.
- Andrew Phoebus of Navarre (14 October 1501 – 17 April 1503).
- Henry II of Navarre (18 April 1503 – 25 May 1555).
- Buenaventura of Navarre (14 July 1505 – 1510/1511).
- Martin of Navarre (c. 1506 – last mentioned in 1512).
- Francis of Navarre (1508 – last mentioned in 1512).
- Charles of Navarre (12 December 1510 – September 1528). Took part in the Siege of Naples during the War of the League of Cognac but was captured. Died while still held as a prisoner of war.
- Isabella of Navarre (1513/1514 – last mentioned in 1555). Married Rene I, Viscount of Rohan.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (August 2012)|
|Catherine of Navarre||Father:
Gaston of Foix, Prince of Viana
Gaston IV of Foix
John I, Count of Foix
Joan of Albret
Eleanor of Navarre
John II of Aragon
Blanche I of Navarre
Magdalena of Valois
Charles VII of France
Charles VI of France
Isabeau of Bavaria
Marie of Anjou
Louis II of Naples
Yolande of Aragon
- An annotated index of medieval women. Markus Wiener Publishers. 1992. ISBN 978-0-910129-27-5. Retrieved 2010-03-25.
- Bustillo Kastrexana, Joxerra (2012). Guía de la conquista de Navarra en 12 escenarios. Donostia: Txertoa Argitaletxea. ISBN 978-84-71484819.
- The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol.13, (New York:1910), 293.
- Cawley, Charles, List and genealogy of the Kings of Navarre, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, retrieved August 2012
Catherine of NavarreBorn: 1468 Died: 1518
|Queen of Navarre
with John III
|Countess of Foix
with John II
|Co-Princess of Andorra
1517 – 25 May 1555