Biography of Infante de Aragón Sancho de Aragón (1400-1416)

Castellano-aragones Aristocrat, master of the order of Alcántara. Sancho of Aragon was the fourth son of Fernando de Antequera and Eleanor of Alburquerque. He was born in the year 1400 and died in Medina del Campo (Valladolid) 15 March 1416, few weeks rather than its parent.

Despite his short life, Sancho was capital part in plans of Fernando de Antequera, above all with regard to dominate political and economic privilege of Castile jobs. Along with his older brother, Alfonso, future King of Aragon and Naples; his brother Juan, future King of Navarre, Duke of Peñafiel and; and his brother Enrique, master of Santiago and Marquis of Villena, Sancho was one known infants of Aragon, whose confrontation with the private of Juan II of Castile, the powerful Álvaro de Luna, capitalized on much of the political evolution of the first half of the 15th century Castile.

The importance of Sancho in Fernando de Antequera plans regarding their children gained importance following the death of the previous master of the order of Alcantara, Fernán García de Villalobos, in 1408. As it was the custom in the monastic orders, the friars would vote the election of a candidate who would be submitted to the Pope for he validase the election. The proposed candidates were Juan Sotomayor, comendador of the order, and Gonzalo Fernández, clavero of the same; This issue started a series of clashes underground between supporters of both candidates. For this reason, the infante Fernando de Antequera, strong man of the Council of Regency which ruled Castile in the minority of Juan II, tried to take advantage of these internal discord to impose its criteria on the choice. On the occasion of the celebration of Cortés in Guadalajara, Fernando de Antequera made contact with his main collaborator political, the Bishop of Palencia, Sancho de Rojas, who allegedly directed the words he picked up the historian f. Rades and Andrada (op. cit., f. 35r-v):

Bishop: already you veys how my sons van increasement, and according to nature in these reynos have, would be reason to fuessen inheriting them. [...] And sabeys how the Lady Queen and I swear of not enagenar anything of the lordship of the King, my Lord, and my nephew. I thought, for this election of the Alcántara maestradgo is in discord, it would be good of make sure it to don Sancho, my son.

The political prestige of Fernando de Antequera and the mediation of the Bishop of Palencia made it possible, at least the freires de Alcántara took good proposal, although almost all stated as having issued his vote in favor of one or another contender, as it was Canon in order. Unexpectedly, Juan Sotomayor bowed to the desire of Fernando de Antequera and announced that if he was elected master, it will charge in favour of the infante Sancho. Quickly, supporters of the clavero, Gonzalo Fernández, protested what they considered a betrayal of Juan Sotomayor, and started the rumors about a so-called bribery. For this reason, the friars of Alcántara were summoned to chapter in the convent of Alcântara, where, with the presence of Sancho de Rojas, and despite some protests, the friars finished electing Juan Sotomayor as master, after which, and according to what has been agreed, this renounced to the benefit and handed it to Sancho of Aragon.

Subsequently, Sancho de Rojas dealt with save the next obstacle, the Pontifical. Being chosen a child of eight years that, logically, yet not had professed religious orders, only the validation of the Pope could secure him possession of the maestrazgo. In this case, there was only discord, every time that the holder of the headquarters, Benedict XIII, also Aragonese, had signed in addition various alliances of mutual with Fernando, since Benedicto XIII was in full battle to ensure its authority in Christianity, divided by the Western schism. It was not difficult for Fernando de Antequera to get the bull that legitimized the rise of his son.

As master took place in a new chapter of the order, in the convent of San Pablo (Valladolid) in early January 1409, attended by Fernando de Antequera, of Juan II of Castile and the Regent, Catherine of LancasterQueen the ceremony of investiture of Sancho of Aragon. At the same ceremony, the Commander Juan Sotomayor was also appointed Governor of the order during the minority of age of Sancho. In this way, Sancho of Aragon the powerful Castilian Prince became, with eight years in an improvised maestre of Alcantara, which, in effect, took with him the economic and military dominance of the order by his father.

During the term of the master don Sancho, the order of Alcántara obtained the approval of a change in habit, which became shorter and with the addition of a cross of green malt. Also, the master Sancho, accompanied by a large number of Knights of the order of Calatrava, attended the coronation of his father as King of Aragon, ceremony that took place in Zaragoza from June 28, 1412. On the verge of becoming sole order to already reach adolescence, everything seemed to smile to Sancho of Aragon, who had placed high hopes, as evidenced by this excerpt from a poem that fray Diego de Valencia, poet in the Cancionero de Baena, dedicated to praise his figure (ed. Dutton-González Cuenca, p. 359):

By Alcantara regidoel world is, very wide, sea King don Sancho, noble and chosen master; grace of God complidoassi biva in this world, you win the second Saints promised.

However, everything is twisted in Medina del Campo, in March 1416, when the master became ill and passed away a few days, while the cause of death is known to be safe. In addition to the ubiquitous pain of a father by the subsidiary death, sad death meant a serious deterioration of the already precarious health of Fernando I of Aragon, who died just fifteen days later. His body was buried in the same city of Valladolid, in the Dominican convent of San Andrés. After his death, he was elected as new master of Alcantara Juan de Sotomayor, so the military order continued being controlled by infants of Aragon, siblings of Sancho.


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