1902 Encyclopedia > Henry III, King of Castile

Henry III, King of Castile

HENRY III. (1379-1406), king of Castile, surnamed el Doliente (the sickly), succeeded his father John I. in 1390, when only eleven years of age. During his minority, the question of the regency not having been very clearly settled by his father, the kingdom was in a constant state of disturbance, bordering upon civil war; unable to satisfy the rival claims of Don Fadrique, Don Alonso, and the archbishop of Toledo, Henry at last resolved, minor as he was, to take the reins of government entirely into his own hands (1393). By energetic measures he succeeded within two years in quelling the turbulence of his nobles, in establishing his own popularity with the body of the people, and thus in effecting the pacification of his kingdom. The only foreign war during this reign was that with Portugal, which terminated in the peace of 1399; a great expedition against the kingdom of Granada, for which extensive preparations had been made, and for which large grants from the cortes held in Toledo in 1406 had been obtained, was brought to an abrupt termination by the death of Henry at that city on December 25 of the same year. It was during this reign that the sovereignty of the Canary Islands was assumed by Castile; and an interest-ing indication of at least a widening interest in foreign affairs was afforded by the mission of a solemn embassy to Tamerlane in 1401. Henry III. was succeeded by John II., his eldest son by Catherine of Lancaster, whom he had married in 1393. See Davila, Historia de la Vida y Hechos del Rey Don Henrique Tercero de Gastilla (1638).

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