Ferdinand I of Aragon

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Ferdinand I
Ferran d'Antequera al retaule Sancho de Rojas (detall).jpg
Ferdinand I being crowned by the infant Jesus in San Benito el Real Valladolid, by Juan Rodríguez de Toledo (c.1410–15)
Reign3 September 1412 – 2 April 1416
CoronationJanuary 1414 (Zaragoza)
PredecessorMartin the Humane
SuccessorAlfonso the Magnanimous
Born27 November 1380
Medina del Campo
Died2 April 1416(1416-04-02) (aged 35)
ConsortEleanor of Alburquerque
among others...
Alfonso V, King of Aragon
Maria, Queen of Castile
John II, King of Aragon
Henry, Duke of Villena
Eleanor, Queen of Portugal
Peter, Count of Alburquerque
FatherJohn I of Castile
MotherEleanor of Aragon
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Ferdinand I (Spanish: Fernando I; 27 November 1380 – 2 April 1416 in Igualada, Catalonia) named Ferdinand of Antequera and also the Just (or the Honest) was king of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca, Sardinia and (nominal) Corsica and king of Sicily, duke (nominal) of Athens and Neopatria, and count of Barcelona, Roussillon and Cerdanya (1412–1416). He was also regent of Castile (1406–1416).


Born in Medina del Campo, he was the younger son of King John I of Castile and Eleanor of Aragon.[1]

In 1406, upon the death of his elder brother, King Henry III of Castile, Ferdinand declined the Castilian crown and instead, with Henry's widow Catherine of Lancaster, became coregent during the minority of his nephew John II of Castile.[2] In this capacity he distinguished himself by his prudent administration of domestic affairs.

In a war with the Muslim Kingdom of Granada, he conquered the town of Antequera (1410), whence his surname.[3]

After Ferdinand's maternal uncle, King Martin I of Aragon (Martin II of Sicily), died without surviving legitimate issue, Ferdinand was chosen King of Aragon in 1412 to succeed him in the Compromise of Caspe. The other candidate, Count James II of Urgell (see Counts of Urgell), revolted and Ferdinand dissolved the County of Urgell in 1413.

Ferdinand created the title of Prince of Girona for the heir of the Crown of Aragon on 19 February 1416.

The most notable accomplishment of his brief reign was his agreement in 1416 to depose the Antipope Benedict XIII, thereby helping to end the Western Schism, which had divided the Roman Catholic Church for nearly 40 years.

He is buried in the Aragonese royal pantheon of the monastery of Poblet, in a magnificent tomb ordered by his son Alfonso to Pere Oller in 1417.

The Italian humanist Lorenzo Valla wrote an official biography of Ferdinand, Historiarum Ferdinandi regis Aragonum libri sex.

Family and children[edit]

In 1393 Ferdinand married Eleanor of Alburquerque (1374–1435). They had seven children:

Appearance and character[edit]

"He was tall, a little more than average, and thin and ruddy, and his cheeks had a few freckles... very patient to all who wanted to talk to him, even if their speeches were ordinary or not well-reasoned..."[5]


Alfonso IV of Aragon
Peter IV of Aragon
James I of Urgell
Peter II of Urgell
John I of Castile
Eleanor of Aragon
Martin of Aragon
Isabella of Aragon
James II of Urgell
Catherine of Lancaster
Henry III of Castile
Ferdinand I of Aragon
John II of Castile

Further reading[edit]

  • J. N Hillgarth, The Spanish Kingdoms. ISBN 0-19-822531-8
  • T. N. Bisson, The Medieval Crown of Aragon. ISBN 0-19-820236-9


  1. ^ Jones 1997, p. 122.
  2. ^ Hillgarth 1976, p. 408.
  3. ^ a b Hillgarth 1976, p. 407.
  4. ^ a b Ward, Prothero & Leathes 1911, p. 80.
  5. ^ From Crónica de Juan II by Alvar García de Santa María


  • Hillgarth, J.N. (1976). The Spanish Kingdoms, 1250-1516. Vol. I. Clarendon Press.
  • Jones, J. A. P. (1997). Europe, 1500-1600. Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd.
  • Ward, A.W.; Prothero, G.W.; Leathes, Stanley, eds. (1911). The Cambridge Modern History. Volume XIII. Cambridge at the University Press.

External links[edit]

Ferdinand I of Aragon
Born: 27 November 1380 Died: 2 April 1416
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Martin the Humane
King of Aragon, Valencia, Majorca,
Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica;
Count of Barcelona, Roussillon and Cerdagne

Succeeded by
Alfonso the Magnanimous