Convivencia in Katharine of Aragon’s Spain

by Heather R. Darsie Prior to Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, the Catholic Monarchs, finally removing the last Islamic presence from the Kingdom of Granada, there was a considerable Islamic and Jewish presence that lasted over 700 hundred years. Isabella of Castile by Juan de Flandes, c. 1500-1504 The Muslims first came to Spain during the Umayyad conquest of Hispania around the year … Continue reading Convivencia in Katharine of Aragon’s Spain

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The Habsburg Sisters, Part I: Eleonore von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Portugal and France

by Heather R. Darsie Most people interested in Tudor history are familiar with names like Charles V, Francis I, or even Christina of Denmark. Charles’ mother Juana of Castile might sound familiar. But what of Juana’s four daughters, Charles V’s sisters? Who were they? Why were they important? How did they fulfill the goals of Charles and his brother Ferdinand in the early 16th century? This article will provide … Continue reading The Habsburg Sisters, Part I: Eleonore von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Portugal and France

Isabella and Joanna of Castile: The Fight for the Throne

Isabella, mother of Katharine of Aragon and one of the Catholic Monarchs, did not easily come to the throne of Castile. Isabella’s older half-brother ruled as Henry IV, known as the Impotent, of Castile. Whether Henry IV was truly impotent became an issue for his daughter and Isabella’s niece, Joanna of Castile. Joanna was Henry IV’s heir until a rebellious faction at court wanted to … Continue reading Isabella and Joanna of Castile: The Fight for the Throne

1519: A Tudor Year in Review

by Heather R. Darsie The year 1519 was a year of massive changes, important births, and important deaths in Western Europe. Some of these impacted Henry VIII’s reign, whilst others did not come meaningfully into play until the reigns of Henry’s daughters. Henry VIII turned 28 years old in 1519, and was still young-minded. Births and Deaths Maximilian I von Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor, died … Continue reading 1519: A Tudor Year in Review

Sebastian Cabot and the Loss of Sancti Spiritu

by Heather R. Darsie On 1 September 1529, Charles V von Habsburg lost one of his major forts in what is now Argentina. Charles V became King of Spain on 23 January 1516, right before his sixteenth birthday on 24 February. A few years later, on 28 June 1519, Charles effectively inherited the Holy Roman Empire from his paternal grandfather, Maximilian I von Habsburg. The … Continue reading Sebastian Cabot and the Loss of Sancti Spiritu

Sir Francis Drake’s 1570s Adventure in Panama

by Heather R. Darsie During the Elizabethan period, English privateers careened up and down the Atlantic coast of the Americas in an attempt to capture Spanish ships. One of the more famous privateers was Sir Francis Drake. Regarded as an all-out pirate by the Spanish,  Drake harassed Spanish ships wherever he found them. This included attacks in what is now Central America. In 1572, Drake … Continue reading Sir Francis Drake’s 1570s Adventure in Panama

Her Brother’s Keeper: Marguerite of Angouleme, Queen of Navarre Rescues Francis I from the Emperor

On 24 February 1525, the Battle of Pavia was fought as part of the Italian Wars that began in 1521 and ended in 1526. The French troops, led by King Francis I, fought against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s Imperial army, which was reinforced by Spanish troops. The battle lasted around four hours, with the French taking heavy casualties. Francis himself was taken captive … Continue reading Her Brother’s Keeper: Marguerite of Angouleme, Queen of Navarre Rescues Francis I from the Emperor